Download Dynamism in Islamic Activism: Reference Points for Democratization and Human Rights PDF

TitleDynamism in Islamic Activism: Reference Points for Democratization and Human Rights
File Size1.4 MB
Total Pages239
Table of Contents
                            Table of Contents
1 Introduction
	1.1 Background
	1.2 Goal, key questions, and definitions
	1.3 Limitations
	1.4 Elaboration of the research question and structure of the report
2 The development of Islamic political thought
	2.1 Introduction
	2.2 Reform by return to the sources
	2.3 Reform by reinterpretation of the sacred sources
	2.4 Interpretation of the dynamism in Islamic thought
	2.5 Conclusion
3 The development of Islamic political movements
	3.1 Introduction
	3.2 Islamic political movements in the 1970s: background and characteristics
	3.3 Islamic political activists in power
	3.4 Islamic political movements in the political and social arena
	3.5 Interpretation of the political dynamism
	3.6 Conclusion
4 The development of law and legal systems
	4.1 Introduction
	4.2 Recent Islamization of law and legal systems
	4.3 Islamic and universal human rights
	4.4 Interpretation of the legal dynamism
	4.5 Conclusion
5 Policy perspective
	5.1 Introduction
	5.2 The world political situation
	5.3 Reference points
	5.4 Constructive engagement with the Muslim world
	5.5 European and bilateral policy options for constructive engagement
	5.6 Islamic activism in the Dutch democratic constitutional state
	5.7 Conclusion
Appendix 1 Comparison of the scores of Muslim countries with regard to political rights and civil liberties, early 1970s and 2003/2004
Appendix 2 Classification of Muslim countries by regime type – 2002
Appendix 3 Status of Islam and Sharia as a legal source in the constitutions of Muslim countries
Appendix 4 The Barcelona process, EMP and ENP
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Dynamism in Islamic Activism

Dynamism in Islamic 24-08-2006 10:14 Pagina 1

Page 119

rights, the founders allowed themselves to be inspired by France. The
Islamic Republic, therefore, can be seen as a sort of ‘theo-democracy,’ the
term that Mawdudi reserved for the system that he advocated for Pakistan
(Mawdudi 1980). The constitution has two basic norms: supremacy of God
and supremacy of the people, with the first determining the borders
of the second. The institutions whose members are chosen by general elec-
tion – president and parliament – are subject to the supervision of the
Supreme Leader, de vila yat-i faqih, and the Council of Guardians, consist-
ing of religious scholars and professional jurists, which stands in service to
the leader. Constitutionally, primacy belongs to Sharia, and the Council of
Guardians has the task of testing all legislation against it. In spite of the
explicitly hierarchical structure, the last 25 years reflect a history of regular
clashes between the two constitutional basic norms. Although parliament,
on the basis of the Sharia adhered to in the constitution, has the status of a
consultative assembly, it has regularly sought to strengthen its authority to
the disadvantage of the theocratic institutions. The most important result
of these confrontations has been the creation of a new state body, the
Expediency Discernment Council for the System. This council arbitrates
between parliament and the Council of Guardians, a practice which thus
far has led to approval of seventy per cent of the legislation proposed by
parliament. The new council is based on some fatwas (juridical instruc-
tions) issued by Khomeini, which indicates that the state’s interest can
prevail above Sharia. All the same, if differences persist, the last word is
given to the faqih (Dekker and Barends in Otto et al. 2006).

Shiite Iran is thus, along with the Sunni Saudi Arabia, the most marked
example of a constitutional Islamic theocracy; both countries have a system
of law that in principle is based on classical versions of Sharia. There is still
an important difference between these two countries: unlike in Iran, the
theocracy in Saudi Arabia is absolute. Saudi Arabia has no written consti-
tution and thus, constitutionally, has no place for democracy. The
members of the advisory body (shura) are appointed, and not – as in Iran –
chosen by universal suffrage (Barends and Van Eijk in Otto et al. 2006). In
2005, under American pressure, the first local elections were held; only
men were given the right to vote. The theocracy is constitutionally
anchored in Iran, but space is also created in the constitution for many
modern rights (education, etc.).

Pakistan, since its founding as an Islamic state, has been exposed not only
to forces that wanted to found a theocracy (Mawdudi, mentioned in Chap-
ter 2, was an important exponent of one of these, the Jamaat-i-Islami-
movement) but also to forces directed toward democratization. The vacil-
lating power relationship between these forces was expressed in successive

dy na mism in isl a mic activism


Dynamism in Islamic 24-08-2006 10:14 Pagina 118

Page 120

constitutions. The constitution of 1956 mentioned ‘the Islamic Republic’
and had a strongly religious character. That of 1962 dealt with the ‘Republic
of Pakistan’ and instead of speaking of ‘the holy Quran and Sunna,’ spoke
of the wider concept, ‘Islam.’ This illustrates how Pakistan has struggled
and still struggles over determining the priority between a clearly Islamic
and a more secular system of norms. In the third constitution of 1973, the
first drafted by an elected representative body, place was also created for
Islam (art. 1: “Pakistan shall be a Federal Republic to be known as the
Islamic Republic of Pakistan”), as well as for democracy, freedom, national
unity, equality and solidarity. General Zia ul-Haq suspended this constitu-
tion in 1977 and sought support for retaining power in the radical Islamic
groupings that were growing in membership. He considered Islam irrecon-
cilable with democracy on a Western model and assigned to himself a
special status. During Zia’s dictatorship (1977-1988), Pakistani law was
extensively Islamized, including the introduction of an Islamic criminal
law and the notorious blasphemy law, both of which remain in force.
A new constitutional article, introduced by decree, stated that the precepts
of Islam shall be the highest law of the land. This was in contradiction to
other constitutional articles that designated the constitution as the highest
norm. A special legal body was charged with testing legislation and legal
judgments concerning some crimes cited in the Quran against Islamic
precepts. This ambiguity led to great controversy within the judiciary.
The contest between forces directed toward Islamization, on the one hand,
and secular forces, on the other, has continued since 1988. Nevertheless,
it appears as though the Islamization project lost a lot of its fervor in the
1990s. Since 2003, the constitution of 1973 is again in force (Barends and
Otto in Otto et al. 2006).

Sudan’s temporary, secular constitution of 1956 laid great emphasis on
parliamentary democracy but, from the very start, strong forces manifested
themselves, directed toward an ‘Islamic parliamentary republic,’ with
Sharia as the most important source of legislation. The high point of
Islamization was reached in the 1980s when the attempt was made, by
amending the constitution, to bring the constitution into line with ‘the’
Sharia. The president was given a new name as ‘leader of the believers,’ the
parliament was changed into a consultative council (in conformity with
the Quranic shura), its members were obliged to be loyal to the leader, and
Sharia became the only source of law. These changes effectively put the
‘permanent’ constitution of 1973 out of use. In this constitution, as in that
of the provisional one of 1956, Sudan had been designated a parliamentary
democracy. The Christian south received a form of self-government. The
new constitution was granted only a short life and was unable to prevent
bloody conflict between the north and the south. From the time of inde-

the development of law and legal systems


Dynamism in Islamic 24-08-2006 10:14 Pagina 119

Page 238


Ahmadiyya Muslim movement in Pakistan
Ayatollah Religious title (Iran)
Baha’is Followers of the Persian Baha’i faith
Caliph Successor of the Prophet, deputy of God, leader of the

Muslim community (Ummah)
Caliphate The rulership of the entire Muslim community

Da’wa Islamic proselytizing
Fatwa Judgement based on Sharia regarding individual ques-

tions (legal advice)
Fiqh Both the Islamic knowledge by which God’s divine plan

with society can be derived and the body of rules itself
Hadd (pl. Hudud) Five crimes set down in the Quran (literally: limit)
Hadith Traditions and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad
Hakimiyya Sovereignty of God
Hezbollah/Hizbullah Party of God
Hizb al-shaytaan Party of Satan
Hudud See: Hadd
Ijtihad Free interpretation, method of legal interpretation
Imam Religious leader
Jahiliyya Heathenism
Jama’a al-Islamiyya/
Jamaat-i-Islami Literally: organization for Islamic rebirth
Jihad Struggle; the inner, spiritual struggle of the believer or

the struggle to defend the religious community
Jinayat Rules for the application of the pre-Islamic retaliation

principle of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or
compensation with blood money in cases of murder,
manslaughter, or assault

Khilafa See: Caliph
Khul Divorce by mutual agreement, entails a payment
Loya Jirga Consultative assembly (Afghanistan)
Madrasa Religious school
Muddawana Moroccan code of family law
Mullah Religious teacher or leader
Pancasila Five pillars of the state’s constitution (Indonesian)
Pesantrens System of Islamic boarding schools (Indonesia)
Shah (Persian) King
Sharia Islamic law; literally: ‘path’
Shiites A minority denomination within Islam (followers of Ali,

the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet)



Dynamism in Islamic 24-08-2006 10:14 Pagina 237

Page 239

Shura Obligation of the ruler to consult with the ruled
Siyasa Authority for rule-giving, granted by Sharia, to the

government, which must not conflict with Sharia
Sufi Mystical order in Islam
Sunna Acts of the Prophet (source of Sharia)
Sunnis Followers of the denomination which represents the

majority of all Muslims (literally: followers of the tradi-

Tachtsche The place where the Quran is stored: the highest place in
the house (Persian)

Tawhid The unity of God, monotheism
Ulama (singular Alim) Those educated in Islamic law
Ummah The community of Muslim believers
Vilayat-i-faqih Spiritual leader (Iran)
Wahhabism Conservative interpretation of Islam that is the official

religious doctrine in Saudia Arabia and that dates back to
the ideas of Muhammad ’Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792)

Zakat Compulsory contribution of a percentage of one’s wealth
to the poor (alms)

Zina Extramarital sex (a hadd crime)

dy na mism in isl a mic activism


Dynamism in Islamic 24-08-2006 10:14 Pagina 238

Similer Documents