By Martin Kramer
Publish yr note: First released in 2008
Over the prior decade, the political flooring underneath the center East has shifted. Arab nationalism the political orthodoxy for many of this century has misplaced its grip at the mind's eye and allegiance of a brand new iteration. even as, Islam as an ideology has unfold around the area, and "Islamists" bid to trap the guts of politics. such a lot Western students and specialists as soon as hailed the redemptive strength of Arabism. Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival is a serious overview of the contradictions of Arab nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism, and the misrepresentation of either within the West.
The first a part of the ebook argues that Arab nationalism--the so-called Arab awakening--bore inside of it the seeds of its personal failure. Arabism as an concept drew upon overseas assets and assets. whilst it claimed to free up the Arabs from imperialism it deepened highbrow dependence upon the West's personal romanticism and radicalism. eventually, Arab nationalism grew to become a strength of oppression instead of liberation, and a replicate photo of the imperialism it defied. Kramer's essays jointly shape the single chronological telling and the at totally documented postmortem of Arabism. the second one a part of the e-book examines the same failings of Islamism, whose rules are Islamic reworkings of Western ideological radicalism. Its impression has been to provide new existence to previous rationales for oppression, authoritarianism, and sectarian division.
Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival offers an alternate view of a century of center jap historical past. because the area strikes fitfully earlier ideology, Kramer's standpoint is extra compelling than at any time within the past-in Western academe at the very least between many within the center. This booklet should be of curiosity to sociologists, political scientists, economists, and center East experts.
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Extra info for Arab Awakening & Islamic Revival: The Politics of Ideas in the Middle East (Middle East in Transition)
Zionist settlement in Palestine threatened the political status quo. Ottoman authorities tolerated the influx of Jewish immigration in the belief that it would ultimately benefit the Empire, as it had in successive waves since the Spanish Inquisition. But not all of the sultan’s subjects concurred, since this latest wave of immigrants saw the land on which they were settling not merely as a refuge but as a state in the making. As the pace of Zionist immigration and settlement increased, their immediate neighbors grew apprehensive about the looming possibility of dispossession.
The rationale for the idea of the Middle East, made most fully by some Cairo intellectuals, argued that the Arab nationalist vision had become anachronistic. It was ideological in a postideological age, and it pressed for continuation of a costly Arab cold war against Israel, although the Arabs could no longer count on any outside support following the end of the superpower cold war. The moment had come to shift priorities to the domestic agenda of economic growth, lest the Arab world sink under the Arab Nationalism: Mistaken Identity 45 weight of its swollen populations.
More often than not, they now justified their choices by invoking Syrian, Jordanian, Saudi, or Iraqi national interests, not Arab national destiny. And by legitimizing themselves as states, despite their origins in imperial map rooms, they came that much closer to legitimizing Israel, despite its origins in Zionist drawing rooms. For the first time, it became possible to criticize the myths of Arabism, and to see the differences among Arabs not as “accidental” but as living realities, even deserving of respect.
Arab Awakening & Islamic Revival: The Politics of Ideas in the Middle East (Middle East in Transition) by Martin Kramer