This is the first of two "Free Speach Radio News" interviews with Professor Madawi al-Rasheed looking at the political situation in Saudi Arabia. The second interview will focus on the campaign in Saudi Arabia for women’s rights.
Saudi Arabian activists push for women’s right to drive
Posted by Main at 03:36 AM.
News And Views •
Stephane Lacroix Awakening Islam Religious Dissent in Contemporary Saudi Arabia, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University press, 2011, £22.95
ISBN: 978-0-674-04964-2, 328 pages, 1 map
The surge in Arab revolutions since January 2011 has surprised many scholars and policy makers for one reason. The revolt is not currently orchestrated by the much studied Islamists. Since the 1970s, Western academics preferred to see the Arab world through the prism of Islam, which has become the constant variable that explained everything- stagnation, resistance to democracy, oppression of women, discrimination against minorities, and recently terrorism. The majority of academics ignored a limited number of texts written by nuanced scholars who argued that we must go beyond Islam to understand the many social, political and economic problems of the region. Yet Western obsession with security after 9/11 and so-called Islamic radicalism meant that the academe had to follow suit and privilege the study of Islamists- many are seen as terrorists in the making. Privileging Islam as the only explanatory factor allowed policy makers in the West and the Arab world to avoid facing unpleasant realities such as demographic explosions, unemployment, poverty, corruption, authoritarian rule and abuse of human rights.The recent fall of authoritarian Arab regimes in Tunisia and Egypt at the hands of young and frustrated population proved that Islam alone can never and will never explain the Arab world. Yet the metanarrative persists.
Posted by Main at 02:55 PM.
Book Reviews •