Islam and International Relations
- Is Islam compatible with the modern state? With democracy? With
diplomacy? What foundations exist in Islamic texts or history?
- To what extent has Islam provided a unifying element for foreign policy?
- To what extent has the OIC been influential in foreign policy
- To what extent has Islam been a factor in regional conflict
- What is “political Islam?” Why did it develop? How has it changed over time?
- How have state political leaders negotiated legitimacy and authority through
Islam? What is the role of Islam in the state?
Islam & Democracy
- Islam compatible with modern state?
o Modern states are typically secular
o Sovereignty issue because these things unite people past borders
o Millet system in Ottomans
o Clash of civilizations
o Right after death of Muhammad, they chose a new leader in the
o Shura – people should agree on whoever is to be the leader
Translates as consultation
o Issue is that there are different definitions of Islam
Resistance to democracy from inside? Outside?
- Threat of democracy?
o Fear of Islamist takeover
Foreign policy has been pretty stable in Egypt
- Compare with democratic transitions in non-Arab Muslim majority states
o Malaysia, Indonesia
- Islam and post-Arab Spring?
o Islamic vs. Islamist parties
Islam and the State
- Defining the Islamic state
o Based on sharia (Islamic law)
SA, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan; these states, Iran and SA included,
are not based solely on sharia however
- Islamic parties in non-Islamic states
o MB in Egypt, Ennahda in Tunisia, AKP in Turkey
- Instrumentalizing Islam?
o Domination v. cooperation (Egypt & Al-Azhar) Al-Azhar is an old institution and held up as the center of
learning in Egypt; university as well as mosque; what you have
seen in recent years is a back and forth with the government
between domination and cooperation
Egypt can count as Al-Azhar to keep most of population in line
o Legitimizing policy through fatwas (legal opinions)?