Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Reading......

By Jeroen Gunning

In Hamas in Politics, Jeroen Gunning launches a probing study of the movement's success in the political arena, showing that religion, violence, and democracy are not necessarily incompatible. Many of Hamas's apparent contradictions flow from the relationship between the organization's ideology, local constituency, and the nature of politics in Israel and Palestine. Gunning conducts interviews with members of Hamas as well as the group's critics and draws on a decade of close observation of the organization. He illuminates Hamas's understanding of its ideology and explores the tension between its dual commitment to "God" and "the people." Examining the group's political practice and what it says about the group's attitude towards democracy, religion, and violence, Gunning provides a unique window into Hamas's internal structure, revealing its process of choosing leaders and determining policy.

Transnational Shia Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf
By Laurence Louër

The reshaping of geopolitics after the Gulf War and the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003 had a profound impact on transnational Shiite networks. New political opportunities encouraged these groups to concentrate on national issues, such as becoming fierce opponents of the Saudi monarchy. Yet the question still remains: How deeply have these new beliefs taken root in Islamic society? Are Shiites Saudi or Bahraini patriots?

Louër's book also considers the transformation of Shia movements in relation to central religious authority. While they strive to formulate independent political agendas, Shia networks remain linked to religious authorities (marja') who reside either in Iraq or Iran. This connection becomes all the more problematic should the marja' also be the head of a state, as with Iran's Ali Khamenei. In conclusion, Louër argues that the Shia will one day achieve political autonomy, especially as the marja', in order to retain transnational religious authority, begin to meddle less and less in the political affairs of other countries.

1 comment:

Komal said...

very nice
Islamic School