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The Poor Man's Model of Development

Development Potential at Low Levels of Living in Egypt


van Nieuwenhuijze, al-Khatib and Azer

Performing Islam

Gender and Ritual in Iran


Azam Torab

Performing Islam takes as its main focus the rich array of ceremonial activities that shape and inform the lives of circles of women in south Tehran. Based on anthropological fieldwork, the book describes and analyses rituals that mark religious anniversaries and life course events in Iran today. Arguing that the ritual performances are powerful forums where ideas develop, and where rules, symbols and discourses are contested, this book discusses the values and beliefs underpinning gender constructions in a rapidly changing and complex society. The ambiguous metaphorical language of the rituals is examined, revealing how gender ideologies are projected and renewed, but also challenged, destabilized and ridiculed. Thus the rituals provide possibilities for self-expression, innovation and incremental change. This study goes beyond questions of meaning and culture to interrogate the dynamics of gender performance as products of power and politics.

Dynamics of Self-Determination in Palestine

Protection of Peoples as a Human Right


de Waart

The Arab-Israeli conflict has become an example of total disregard for international law by all parties involved, including the United Nations, to the detriment of a regional and global lasting peace.
The conflict has contributed considerably to the erosion of the moral and legal authority of the United Nations, while the international community has failed to take prompt advantage of the East-West detente. Peoples with statehood — the Iraqis, Somalis, Yugoslavs — and even more those without — the Palestinians — paid a high price for the international lack of decisiveness.
Dynamics of Self-Determination in Palestine discusses the Palestinian conflict in the light of the protection of peoples under international law. Chapter One treats the fact that the Arab states and the Palestinians have overlooked the element of negotiation in the keeping of international order, Chapter Two discusses the International Bill of Rights, in which the UN included self-determination in order to protect peoples against oppression, while Chapter Three expounds on the fact that, in doing so, it shaped the framework for the settlement of conflicting territorial claims to Palestine. The final chapter sets forth the desired UN participation in the creation of Palestine.

Sacred Law in the Holy City

The Khedival Challenge to the Ottomans as seen from Jerusalem, 1829-1841


Judith Mendelsohn Rood

The Muslim community's political and socio-economic role in Jerusalem under Ottoman administration during 1830s is analyzed in this volume from a natural law perspective. A bitter political contest between Sultan Mahmud II and Muhammad Ali Pasha resulted in the military occupation of Syria and imposition of a brutal new political and legal regime which crushed the indigenous elites of southern Syria. Through a careful analysis of the archives of the Islamic law court of Jerusalem, the study offers a fresh appraisal of how the Ottoman Empire ruled Jerusalem and considers the Muslim response, elucidating the reasons for the breakdown of their relations with non-Muslim Ottoman subjects and differentiating the Ottoman understanding of law and government from that of their enemies, the Wahhabis.


Forough Jahanbakhsh

This volume focuses primarily on the question of the compatibility of Islam and democracy. It highlights the contribution of seven prominent pre- and post-revolutionary Iranian religious thinkers on the subject. Situating the discussion in its specific religious context, the book critically examines those elements that are usually referred to as democratic norms in Islamic tradition. It also provides, for the first time, an exposition of the emergence of religious intellectualism in post-revolutionary Iran, focusing on the ideas of its leading figure, Abdolkarim Soroush. His discussion of religious democratic government presents a paradigm shift in the Muslim modernists' discourse on the issue.
The book also delineates the intellectual component of the current reformist movement in Iran and sheds light on the challenges that the pro-democracy movement has to overcome.

The Twelver Shia in Modern Times

Religious Culture & Political History


Edited by Werner Ende and Rainer Brunner

This volume - grown out of an international conference at Freiburg University in 1999 - deals with various aspects of Shiite Islam since the 18th century. It is divided into two major parts, the first of which is dedicated to traditional institutions of theology and learning and their transformation in modern times. The second part treats internal debates and the activities of Shiite dissidents, showing that Shiism is far from being uniform. Ideological and political developments in the 20th century and especially the Islamic Revolution in Iran have shaped the image of modern Shiism more than any other tendencies and are therefore also discussed in greater detail in Parts three and four.
This book reflects the state of the art in this field of Islamic studies, its 21 contributions covering three centuries and a vast geographical range.

Islam and Colonialism

Intellectual Responses of Muslims of Northern Nigeria to British Colonial Rule


Muhammad Umar

This volume analyzes discourses on British colonialism constructed by Muslims of northern Nigeria c. 1903-1945. It departs from the conventional wisdom on British colonial policy of indirect rule and its “benign” consequences. Conceptualizing colonialism not simply as a unilateral imposition but as a dynamic encounter between colonizer and colonized, the book shifts the focus away from the overwhelming impact of the former and devastating consequences on the later, thereby revealing indeterminate outcomes and unintended consequences of both the actions of the colonizer and the reactions of the colonized. The volume analyzes legal treatises, poems, and novels, connecting authors to their intellectual backgrounds, relations to colonial regime and intended audiences, leading to better understanding of the ideas that informed Muslims’ intellectual and practical responses to colonialism.

Speaking for Islam

Religious Authorities in Muslim Societies


Edited by Gudrun Krämer and Sabine Schmidtke

Who speaks for Islam? To whom do Muslims turn when they look for guidance? To what extent do individual scholars and preachers exert religious authority, and how can it be assessed? The upsurge of Islamism has lent new urgency to these questions, but they have deeper roots and a much longer history, and they certainly should not be considered in the light of present concerns only.
The present volume – grown out of an international symposium at the Free University, Berlin in 2002 – is not so much concerned with religious authority, but with religious authorities, men and women claiming, projecting and exerting religious authority within a given context. It addresses issues such as the relationship of knowledge, conduct and charisma, the social functions of the schools of law and theology, and the efforts on the part of governments and rulers to organize religious scholars and to implement state-centred hierarchies.
The volume focuses on Middle Eastern Muslim majority societies in the period from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, and the individual papers offer case studies elucidating important aspects of the wider phenomenon. Individually and collectively, they highlight the scope and variety of religious authorities in past and present Muslim societies.

This book is also available in paperback.