This book regards Arab Islamism and liberalism as distinct political ideologies with all-encompassing views on the structure and appropriate roles of society and the state. The thesis presented here on the different functions of Israel and Zionism within these two ideologies refers to a protracted period of time. It also establishes several generalizations about the actions of individuals and groups in a vast geographic and linguistic space. The book first offers a chronological overview of the Islamist ideological opposition to Zionism. It portrays the main characteristics of and driving forces behind this resistance and explores the different pragmatic approaches toward Israel that have developed in the various epochs of Islamist thought. The book then discusses Islamist depictions of Zionism and Israel as role models and analyses the reasons for the formation and acceptance of such interpretations. It also offers a chronological overview of the evolution of liberal thought with regard to the Zionist enterprise. It depicts the various perceptions of peace and normalization created within this thought and demonstrates the contradictory ways in which the Arab liberal struggle for freedom and democracy has been intertwined with the Israeli-Arab conflict. Finally, the book discusses liberal interpretations that represent Zionism and Israel as role models, and analyses the reasons for the formation and acceptance of such interpretations.
British and Anglo-American representations of the East during the nineteenth century, Al-Da’mi demonstrates that judgements about the Ottoman Empire varied according to the problems or debates which concerned the author. 25 He compares the works of Carlyle, Irving, and Burton, which emphasised the virtuous qualities of Muhammad and the attractive features of Oriental life, to the contemporaneous accounts of Macaulay and Newman, which denigrated the Arab-Islamic world and the Ottoman Empire. While Al-Da’mi supports Said’s contention that modern Europeans often approach
From the early twentieth century through to the Arab Spring, Arab
Islamist and liberal thinkers alike have identified the Zionist movement
and Israel as enemies, or at least as adversaries – but also as role models
that provide examples that should be followed. There is no intrinsic contradiction in the duality of the approach toward the Zionist enterprise; it
reflects an ambivalent treatment of the ‘Western other’ in ArabIslamism
and liberalism alike.
Islamists have perceived the Zionist enterprise as an injustice and a
historical distortion, whose
it across groups), and historic memories of a common community give decisive advantage to some identities over others that may appear ‘artificial’, such as a ‘Babylonian’ identity for Iraq or the Ottomanism that ultimately proved impotent against Slavic, Arab and Turkish nationalisms having linguistic roots. Given the greater popular credibility of Arab-Islamic identity over most alternatives, rulers in the contemporary Arab states vacillate between legitimising themselves as Arab-Islamic leaders and relying on state identities; they cannot fully rely on Arabism or
In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.
attitude that a society has toward the aggregate of experienced events;
in other words, the place that such a society accords to the past in the pattern of its
present and its future, and hence of its functioning.50
Laroui describes classical Arab-
Islamic51 historiography as heterogeneous.52 It
consists of three distinct but related modes of narration that correspond to the different political stages through which the classical Arab-Islamic community passed. The
first mode, dating to the seventh and eighth centuries ce, relied on testimony, ‘the
’, and these writings provide an important context for interpreting the themes of Freeman’s volume.
Considered within the framework of Said’s thesis on Orientalism, I show that Freeman exploited the East according to contemporary exigency and portrayed the Orient as Europe’s inferior ‘alter-ego’. Composed in direct response to Britain’s support of the Ottoman Empire during the Crimean War, Freeman’s aim in the Saracens was to demonstrate that Arab-Islamic governments could not be tolerated because they are despotic and incapable of reform. In constructing his
Five months ago we built a main street in Haifa, which had to pass through an
Arab [Islamic] cemetery. We brought the Arab community to accept the removal
of graves and eighty bags of bones are still until today overstuffed in the mosque
because our men are not ready to designate a piece of land where these bones
can be buried. There are examples of hundreds of cases of discrimination and
brutality. (The Secretariat’s Meeting with MKs, 9 July 1950:7/2)
He also highlighted various draconian laws which were passed and aimed to
take over Palestinians’ property
, which stated that Arab-Islamic culture proved to be flexible and developed over time, in accordance with changing circumstances; 4) a perception of Western modernity and Israel as sources of inspiration and not only as hotbeds of conspiracy; and 5) the depoliticization of Islam, since Islam had little to offer in terms of political thought, thus allowing Muslims to adopt a liberal, Western democracy. Arab liberals pointed out that the West made very little progress, at least until politics were separated from religion. Eventually, Muslim communities and Arab
though ArabIslam, and Wahhabism in particular, is not the most prevalent form of Islam in Britain or globally, there exists in the media a pervasive presence of ArabIslam Muslims as they are portrayed in their struggle for dominance in the Middle East in order to ensure the hegemony of their version of Islam. In turn the descriptions of Islam that have become normative in the British press are reflective of power struggles in the larger Middle East, and Britain's involvement in them. This greatly reduces the agency and vibrancy of Muslims in Britain, as the Muslims