Book Review Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn

1082 Words Sep 4th, 2011 5 Pages
Book Review Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn
Author: Asef Bayat Book: Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn. Publisher: Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007. Hardcover: 320 pages ISBN-10: 0804755949 ISBN-13: 978-0804755948 Key-words: democracy, Egypt, Iran, Islam, Middle East, political history, political theology. Reviewed by: Jacob Greenberg hile other disciplines in the social sciences and humanities have made use of comparative methodologies, History has been slow to join the trend. Most historical analyses investigate a single locale, individual, or neighborhood in order to offer conjectures about larger contexts. This allows the researcher to become well versed
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When this happens, people turn to new movements/organizations that are can emphasize what Bayat feels defines the post-Islamist turn: the “fusion of religiosity and rights” (11). Bayat’s analysis is focused on the late 1980s and 1990s in Iran and Egypt, when both the Islamic government of Iran and the secular government of Egypt were dealing with rising challenges from Islamic organizations, in both moderate and extreme forms. Bayat’s central research question asks why Iran of the late 1970s experienced an Islamic revolution, while Egypt of the 1980s, faced with similar conditions, only experienced an Islamic movement. For Iran, Bayat concludes that the Shah’s autocratic rule, which crushed political opposition, while providing favorable conditions for Western businesses and expatriate communities galvanized a crosssection of Iranian society, and provided for remarkable “unity of purpose” in overthrowing the regime. After the revolution completed, the revolutionary government allowed for public protest to continue in order to preserve the legitimacy of clerical rule (36). However, for Egypt,
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