By Martin Kramer
Publish 12 months 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 new release. whilst, Islam as an ideology has unfold around the area, and "Islamists" bid to catch the guts of politics. so much Western students and specialists as soon as hailed the redemptive strength of Arabism. Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival is a severe overview of the contradictions of Arab nationalism and Islamic fundamentalism, and the misrepresentation of either within the West.
The first a part of the booklet argues that Arab nationalism--the so-called Arab awakening--bore inside it the seeds of its personal failure. Arabism as an idea drew upon international resources and assets. at the same time it claimed to disencumber 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 reflect photograph of the imperialism it defied. Kramer's essays jointly shape the one chronological telling and the at absolutely documented postmortem of Arabism. the second one a part of the booklet examines the same failings of Islamism, whose rules are Islamic reworkings of Western ideological radicalism. Its impression has been to provide new existence to outdated rationales for oppression, authoritarianism, and sectarian division.
Arab Awakening and Islamic Revival offers another view of a century of center jap heritage. because the quarter strikes fitfully previous ideology, Kramer's standpoint is extra compelling than at any time within the past-in Western academe at the least between many within the heart. This ebook can be of curiosity to sociologists, political scientists, economists, and center East experts.
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Additional resources for Arab Awakening & Islamic Revival: The Politics of Ideas in the Middle East (Middle East in Transition)
Nasser had faltered, and in 1970 he died. The Ba‘th in Syria, after more twists and turns, came to rest in 1970 under Hafiz al-Asad, a master of realpolitik who put Syria above all. For lack of better alternatives, Arab nationalists fixed their hopes first on the Palestinians, and finally on Saddam Hussein. The Palestinians were a desperate choice, since they themselves had largely despaired of other Arabs. At the height of Nasser’s powers, they had allowed themselves to believe in him, and to see him as their redeemer.
In this rarified atmosphere, the myths of Arab nationalism could still be sustained. For the most part, these intellectuals did not regard the defeat of 1967 as a failure of their idea, but rather as a failure of its implementation by others, who were criticized for not being sufficiently radical or sufficiently ruthless. Much of the Arab nationalist “self-criticism” after 1967 pushed even further toward advocacy of violent change. But intellectuals lacked an Arab Bismarck who would revive an idea whose time had come and nearly gone.
And while Nasser gave first priority to Egypt’s Arab character, at times he made Egypt out to be Muslim, African, or Afro-Asian—whatever served his particular purpose. But it was precisely that ambiguity which made Nasser all things to all Arabs, and permitted Egypt to imagine herself to be the bridge of Arab nationalism, linking the Arabs of Asia and Africa in the march to unity. Ba‘thism tended to be more ideologically stringent, if only because its founders were Sorbonne-educated Syrians, mostly teachers hailing from minority sects, who had filled their spare time with academic debates and Nietzsche, Fichte, and Houston Stewart Chamberlain.