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Competing Islamic Narratives in the Middle East

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mohammad Reza Hatami and Ali Boghairy

Abstract

Rivalry between different Islamic views is an old issue that the recent developments in the Middle East have revived in a more acute manner. Irrespective of the views considering economy, nationalism, civil war, democratization, etc. as the main cause of these developments, this article posits that Islamism is the main cause of recent developments in the Middle East. Accordingly, four different models are studied: Neo-Ottomanism, Salafi–Takfiris divided into Salafi-Courtiers and Salafi-Jihadis, Egypt's Muslim brotherhood, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. These four models are the most important rival Islamic views with distinct attitudes towards Islam. Now, the question is which model is more apt at influencing the recent developments in the Middle East? The main hypothesis of this article is that among these models, the only suitable ones are those capable of responding to demands regarding democratization that enjoy two characteristics: accepting the political status of Islam and the flexibility of political action. As a result, this article first explains the nature and attitude of each views regarding Islam. Then, given the above hypothesis, the ability of these models in responding to demands for democratization in the region is evaluated. The finding is that among the above models, the Islamic Republic of Iran has a more logical capability to establish a link between wisdom and faith to influence the developments in the Middle East.

continue Here: http://www.isrjournals.ir/images/pdf/5-Hatami.pdf

*Mohammad Reza Hatami is the Faculty Member of Payame Noor University, Tehran (hatami5@yahoo.com). Ali Boghairy is the PhD Candidate, Allameh Tabatabai University

Keywords: Islamism, Neo-Ottomanism, Muslim Brotherhood, Salafi-Takfiri, Middle East

Source: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs - IRFA
http://www.isrjournals.ir/

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