In Re: [Mona Eltahawy] A Book Burner for Unesco?


I commented on A Book Burner for Unesco?

I agree that the passive salafism is for the most part a Saudi import into Egypt.

After studying the Egyptian Muslim brotherhood, I have the impression that it encompasses two somewhat different currents: Westernizing Islamic modernists and Salafist reformers, who want to go back to primary Islamic principles in order to find an Islamic path to modernization.

These two separate  intellectual currents seem to be inherent in the thinking of Sayid Qutb, who in his last writings developed analysis that could be used to justify the revolutionary Salafism of someone like Ayman al-Dhawahiri.

The last stage of Qutb’s thought developed out of his confrontation with Nasserism, with which Qutb saw no possibility of compromise.

Hasan al-Banna, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Sayid Qutb and their followers have been on the right track.

Basic principles of modern governance typically involve some form of (1) separation of powers, (2) national vs. regional organization, and (3) checks and balances.

As the last 8 years of the Bush administration has shown, checks and balances are hard to maintain in modern Western governments.

In Islamic tradition commitment to sacred law has generally provided an effective check on excessive executive power or caudillismo, but Arab and Islamic modernizers have tended to discard the limits on the executive (rather as happened in France under Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte).

One could argue that the Islamic modernizers have tried to restore the balance to system by reintegrating Islam into the modern state.

Because this project has failed to a large extent thanks to Western interference, a fourth current of thought has developed, which I call Arab Salafi Jihadism and which I discuss in Collision: Jewish-Zionist, Arab-Islamic Transnational Politics.

Someone like Farouk Hosni is a caudillist apparatchik (аппаратчик) opportunistically trying to capitalize on various Islamic political currents, but he does not really belong to any of them.

Like Hussayn Haqqani in Pakistan (see the discussion of Fatima Bhutto’s op-ed in Who Killed Benazir Bhutto?) Farouk Hosni is also willing to cozy up to Jewish power when it serves his purposes:  [NY Times] Private Motive for Egypt’s Public Embrace of a Jewish Past.

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One Response to “In Re: [Mona Eltahawy] A Book Burner for Unesco?”

  1. Bill Bartmann Says:

    I usually don’t post on Blogs but ya forced me to, great info.. excellent! … I’ll add a backlink and bookmark your site.

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