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gegründet vom Nah- und Mittelost-Verein

Focus: The Muslim World & the Internet

Dr. des. Bettina Gräf Media Fatwas, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Media-Mediated Authority in Islam Carola Richter Virtual Mobilisation: The Internet and Political Activism in Egypt Dr. Eugenia Siapera Networked Palestine Exploring Power in Online Palestinian Networks Jan Scholz, Tobias Selge, Max Stille, Johannes Zimmermann Listening to more than Islam Approaching identities through the auditive dimension of podcasts Matthias Brückner Ein islamisches Tabakverbot? Untersuchung anhand moderner islamischer Rechtsgutachten Dr. Abdel Hakim K. Al Husban, Dr. Mahmood Na'amneh Primordial Ties Vis-à-Vis Citizenship: The Particularity of the Jordanian City

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Exporthandbuch Erneuerbare Energien MENA 2009

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Editorial / Content

Editorial
Dear readers of ORIENT, In our globalised world, Muslim societies are closer connected with the rest of world than ever before. The Internet is the most important tool to communicate with the world without the barriers of censorship. Of course, there is no such thing as a “Muslim internet,” but Muslims who are using the Internet for reasons of information and communication are becoming more involved in politics or culture on a local, regional, transnational and international level. Thus, Muslims are using the Internet as anybody else in a general way and not only for religious topics; today the Internet is a forum for obtaining uncensored information, for free communication, and for the expression and exchange of personal opinions. This new technology has also offered a way to establish a cyber-umma among people of the same faith or opinion. It has also become a tool for organizing political platforms and groups of solidarity. Therefore, this issue of ORIENT focuses on the Muslim world and the Internet, and contains different perspectives on issues related to political discourse, political activism and media-mediated authority in Islam. Regarding the religious perspective, Dr. des. Bettina Gräf focuses on the Internet activities of scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi and his “media fatwas,” followed by Carola Richter, who sheds light on the political activism in Egypt that she has termed “virtual mobilisation.” The next article deals with Muslims in the diaspora and their podcast activities. Matthias Brückner analyses the development of fatwas regarding the prohibition of tobacco and the functional role of the Internet for juridical questions in Islam. The last article focuses on the relationship between primordial ties and citizenship in Jordanian cities. All in all, our authors shed light on various fascinating aspects regarding the Muslim world and the Internet. We wish you an interesting, instructive reading and a peaceful and prosperous New Year. Sincerely yours

Content
Abstracts 4 ARTICLES Dr. des. Bettina Gräf Media Fatwas, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Media-Mediated Authority in Islam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Carola Richter Virtual Mobilisation: The Internet and Political Activism in Egypt . . . . . . . . 16 Dr. Eugenia Siapera Networked Palestine. Exploring Power in Online Palestinian Networks . . . 25 Jan Scholz, Tobias Selge, Max Stille, Johannes Zimmermann Listening to more than Islam. Approaching identities through the auditive dimension of podcasts . . . . . . 38 Matthias Brückner Ein islamisches Tabakverbot? Untersuchung anhand moderner islamischer Rechtsgutachten . . . . . . . . . 51 Dr. Abdel Hakim K. Al Husban, Dr. Mahmood Na'amneh Primordial Ties Vis-à-Vis Citizenship: The Particularity of the Jordanian City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 REVIEWS Murat Belge Genesis. „Büyük Ulusal Anlatı“ ve Türklerin Kökeni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Seth G. Jones In the Graveyard of Empires. America’s War in Afghanistan Jim Dobbins After the Taliban. Nation-Building in Afghanistan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Naif Bezwan Türkei und Europa. Die Staatsdoktrin der Türkischen Republik, ihre Aufnahme in die EU und die kurdische Nationalfrage . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Eva Patricia Rakel Islam, and Political Elite in Iran. A Study on the Iranian Political Elite from Khomeini to Ahmadinejad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Patricia Crone From Arabian Tribes to Islamic Empire. Army, State and Society in the Near East c. 600-850 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Reidar Visser / Gareth Stansfield (eds.) An Iraq of its Regions. Cornerstones of a Federal Democracy? . . . . . . . . . 75 Antonio Giustozzi Decoding the New Taliban. Insights from the Afghan Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 New Publications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Authors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

Dr. Gunter Mulack Director of the German Orient-Institute

Board / Board of Trustees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Imprint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82

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Abstracts
Dr. Bettina Gräf Media Fatwas, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Media-Mediated Authority in Islam In this paper, Bettina Gräf focuses on the impact of electronic media on the process of issuing fatwas and the layout of the genre. The online fatwas of the Egyptian scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi (born in 1926) published at Qaradawi.net and IslamOnline.net serve as useful examples. The paper renders transparent that media fatwas have become a key means of legitimising Muslim politics and a symbol of what it means to be Islamic in a multi-religious and multi-ethical media-mediated world. Hence, those professionals (in journalism, IT, media management, politics and religion) who are involved in the process of giving/publishing fatwas leave their mark on the fatwa genre.

Carola Richter Virtual Mobilisation: The Internet and Political Activism in Egypt Internet use in Egypt has increased massively during the last decade. The Internet’s particular features – interactivity and decentral organisation – have opened up new spaces for social and political actors that had been marginalised by the authoritarian regime. The article describes how blogs, social network sites as well as websites have been incorporated into different actors’ strategies of political mobilisation. Using a social movement approach as the theoretical background, the author critically examines the ambivalent outcomes of this virtual activism.

Dr. Eugenia Siapera Networked Palestine. Exploring Power in Online Palestinian Networks This article is concerned with the question of power in Web 2.0 networks. It focuses on the issue of Palestine, and seeks to show the new power configurations in these kinds of network. Implied in the rhetoric of Web 2.0 is that power and hierarchy are somehow diffused, decentralized, and to an extent also disabled. Within this often celebratory language, there is a tendency to dismiss power structures and hierarchies as no longer relevant in the days of network organisation. This paper poses therefore the question of power in an explicit way, seeking to trace its new configurations within Web 2.0 applications. In empirical terms, the question of power will be discussed in a case study looking at ‘Palestine’ in the context of Web 2.0. The choice of Palestine is significant: in a global geopolitical environment which has turned Palestine into an underdog, fighting an uneven fight, considerably disadvantaged and impoverished, the blogosphere offers an apparently more egalitarian space within which it can voice its concerns. But are the networks developed really egalitarian? Where is power located within these networks, and what are its accomplishments for Palestine? This paper will address these questions through studying a Palestinian issue network and a blogging network. In both cases, three main questions will be asked: Who (or what) has power over the network? What is the power of the network? What are the power dynamics within the network? The findings suggest that offline power structures and hierarchies both enable and limit Palestinian networks. Secondly, that the actual efficacy of the networks under study is limited, and finally, that while the blogging network appears to be egalitarian this is probably because it is a network of similar blogs operated by people of very similar educational and cultural background.

Jan Scholz, Tobias Selge, Max Stille, Johannes Zimmermann Listening to more than Islam. Approaching identities through the auditive dimension of podcasts Trying to reach beyond essentialist concepts often employed in the field of Internet-related Islamicist research, this article wants to suggest an approach to Islam-related online contents that focuses on the specificities of the different media available to the producers of such contents and on the decisions of the latter related to this diversity. The approach will be illustrated by analysing the oral and performative aspects of the audio medium podcast represented by a number of selected podcasts featuring Islamic contents and produced by Muslim groups and individuals.

Matthias Brückner Ein islamisches Tabakverbot? Untersuchung anhand moderner islamischer Rechtsgutachten Some Islamic jurists try to establish a prohibition of tobacco by way of analogy to the intoxicating effect of alcohol. This remains doubtful because an intoxicating effect of smoking does not exist. Smoking rather does harm to the body than to the spirit. As fatwas have a strong interactive aspect, they fit in very well with the

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Abstracts
Internet. Since 1995, myriads of fatwa online services have come into life. Meanwhile, the number of online fatwas is uncountable. It is estimated that the number is at least higher than 100,000. The Internet makes the differences of opinion more visible. A contradicting opinion may be “just one mouse click away.” The habits of a mufti may influence his opinion as well. Muftis who are smokers themselves just have the option to allow the use of tobacco, such as e. g., Ayatollah Khui.

Dr. Abdel Hakim K. Al Husban, Dr. Mahmood Na'amneh Primordial Ties Vis-à-Vis Citizenship: The Particularity of the Jordanian City This paper seeks to investigate the vital role played by the primordial attachments which are based on ties of blood, race, language, region, and religion in shaping the Jordanian society and identity. In a society like Jordan, which is labelled as a tribal society and is largely produced and reproduced by primordial loyalties and attachments, concepts of the individual and citizenship seem almost non-existent. Throughout this paper, it is argued that unlike the European city, the Jordanian city has played a crucial role in producing, reproducing, maintaining and reinforcing tribal affiliations and identities. Moreover, the paper illustrates the essentialist mosaic and segmentary models of collective identity which are adopted by Western scholars in particular when studying the Arab world including the Jordanian society.

Ausschreibung von acht Doktorandenstipendien der Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies
Gemeinsame Graduiertenschule der Freien Universität Berlin, der Hertie School of Governance und des Wissenschaftszentrums Berlin
Die Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies (BTS) schreibt zum dritten Mal bis zu acht Promotionsstipendien aus. Bewerben können sich hochqualifizierte Nachwuchswissenschaftler aus den Wirtschaftswissenschaften, Geschichte, Rechtswissenschaften, Regionalstudien und anderen sozialwissenschaftlichen Disziplinen. Die Bewerbungsfrist beginnt am 1. Dezember 2009 und endet am 1. Februar 2010. Das Programm der BTS beginnt im September 2010 und läuft über drei Jahre. Die BTS ist eine gemeinsame Einrichtung der Freien Universität Berlin, der Hertie School of Governance und des Wissenschaftszentrums Berlin. Die Doktoranden werden während ihres Promotionsstudiums von Wissenschaftlern aller drei Forschungseinrichtungen betreut. Informationen zur Bewerbung:
Themen der Dissertationsprojekte sollten aus einer der drei Forschungsbereiche der BTS stammen:

● ●

Analyse nationaler und transnationaler Ursachen und Konsequenzen politischer, gesellschaftlicher und kultureller Globalisierung; Herausforderungen für „governance” in internationalen und transnationalen Zusammenhängen, insbesondere Bereiche der Politisierung und Legitimation oder in Räumen begrenzter Staatlichkeit; Vergleichende Studien regionaler Kooperation, einschließlich der EU. Der Bewerbungszeitraum läuft vom 1. Dezember 2009 bis zum 1. Februar 2010. Bewerbungen werden ausschließlich online über www.transnationalstudies.eu erbeten.



Weitere Informationen erteilt Ihnen gern: ●
Dr. Sebastian Barnutz, Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies, Telefon: 030 / 838-52321, E-Mail: [email protected]

ORIENT I / 2010

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Dr. des. Bettina Gräf

Media Fatwas, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Media-Mediated Authority in Islam
I. Introduction Yusuf al-Qaradawi seems a very suitable example to study media fatwas, and that not only because he was the first Muslim scholar who, in 1997, published fatwas (legal opinions) on his personal homepage (www.qaradawi.net) or because he has been supporting the Qatari-Egyptian online project IslamOnline.net (IOL) since its beginning in the mid-1990s. The fact that Yusuf al-Qaradawi has been issuing and publishing fatwas since the 1950s makes his media fatwas all the more interesting as a research topic and allows a comparison between fatwas in terms of their production modalities in the so-called old and the new media. I am interested in the transformation of the genuinely juridical fatwa genre through the use of the media. This interest pertains to the changed functions and, therefore, contents of fatwas, but I am also interested in the people who participate in the production of media fatwas and in the influence this has on the relationship of authority connected to the genre. It is certainly not an accident that one of the most popular contemporary Muslim scholars is living in Doha, the capital of Qatar, a place that can be described as the hub of a media-produced reality of Arabic-speaking Muslims since the foundation of the satellite TV station al-Jazeera in 1996, the Internet portals IslamOnline.net1 and IslamWeb.net2, as well as of Internet technology companies like iHorizon3. The Qatar-based Azhar scholar Yusuf alQaradawi was an active member of the Egyptian Muslim Brothers in his younger days.4 He has never abandoned his commitment to the contemporary Islamist movement although he broke up his formal ties with the Brothers in 1956 after having been in prison under Gamal Nasser’s ruling. Two times he was asked to become their supreme leader (al-murshid al-camm), two times he refused. Al-Qaradawi is regarded as one of the leading theorists of the Islamic awakening (al-sahwa al-islamiyya)5 of the 1970s which can be described as a counter-project to non-Muslim colonial occupation in the Middle East including the expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 and the ensuing socialist state policy under Nasser. Al-Qaradawi’s vast production of texts (which includes more than 120 books) in various disciplines such as theology, Islamic law and Islamic education started around that time. Fatwas, along with sermons and essays, constitute a substantial part of his text production. Although the paper focuses on al-Qaradawi’s media fatwas it will become clear that Yusuf alQaradawi does not play a major role in producing fatwas in the Internet. He himself does not use computers, but is, however, supporting the idea of spreading the message of Islam on a global scale and via all kinds of media. In the following, his personal website Qaradawi.net and the web portal IslamOnline.net (IOL) serve as two distinct examples to illustrate the changes of the fatwa genre in the electronic media. Both sites were observed for a number of years and during my research trips to Doha and Cairo I visited the institutions and had discussions with the relevant employees. In addition, I conducted interviews with Yusuf al-Qaradawi himself, his staff, and university employees. In this way, I reconstructed both the contexts in which online fatwas are created and the details of the production process of fatwas in the various types of media. II. The website Qaradawi.net Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s website with the domain name Qaradawi.net has been on the web since 9 January 1997.6 It was the first personal site of an calim in Arabic language.7 The site has been produced in Doha, the capital of Qatar, initially by the Internet company iHorizon and since 2004 by members of IslamOnline.net and al-Qaradawi’s secretary Akram Kassab, an Egyptian who studied Islamic theology at al-Azhar and at the Wadi an-Nil University in Sudan. The founder of iHorizon, the Qatari-born Palestinian Muhammad at-Takriti, is a

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Online since 1999, see Gräf, Bettina: “IslamOnline.net: Independent, interactive, and popular,” in: Arab Media and Society (http://www.arabmediasociety.com/?article=576, January 2008). IslamWeb has been online since 1998. It is produced within the ministry of awqaf in Doha in Arabic, English and French and financed by the Qatari state. Today iHorizon is the biggest IT company in Qatar and is also very successful in the other Gulf countries. Along with al-Qaradawi, this company’s clients include, among others, two private Qatari daily newspapers (al-Raya and alSharq), the television channel al-Jazeera as well as the official information site of the state of Qatar (www.qatarinfo.net). For his life and further details, see: Gräf, Bettina/Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen (eds.): The Global Mufti. The Phenomenon of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, London, New York: Hurst, Columbia University Press, 2009. Salvatore, Armando: Islam and the Political Discourse of Modernity, Berkshire: Ithaca Press, 1997. For more details about the structure and content of his website, see Gräf, Bettina: “Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi in Cyberspace,” in: Die Welt des Islams, 47(2007)3-4: pp. 403-421. In comparison, the website of the Lebanese Ayatollah Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah (www.bayynat.org) has been online since 17 Nov. 1999 and that of the Syrian scholar Muhammad Sacid al-Buti (www.bouti.net) since 20 July 2000. This information is retrievable from www.alexa.com and www.archive.org, accessed 26 Nov. 2009.

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graduate of the Faculty of Engineering at Qatar University. It was he who had the idea of creating a website for Yusuf al-Qaradawi in 1996. The result was and remains at once zakat in service to the Muslim community and an advertisement for his company.8 The site was originally composed in Arabic and English. It opened with an elaborately designed picture, in which al-Qaradawi was portrayed as a preacher of a just Islamic order in a global context. The details were as follows: al-Qaradawi stood on a podium to the right wearing a white jallabiyya, a brown quftan and a red-and-white cimma on his head, the attire of the Azhar scholars. His right index finger was raised. In the centre of the picture, a golden balance held a revolving globe. To the left could be seen a mosque with a green dome and a green minaret. Above the globe there was a Koran that concealed a sword behind it. From right to left the following Koran verse ran in Kufic script: “Thus, have We made of you an Umma justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves.” (Koran 2/143).9 The website had little structure and did not provide very much content until it was redesigned and restructured in June 2001 to become a highly elaborated site.10 The layout has since been simplified, with Arabic being the only language used. The site is described as a non-profit civilizational project (mashruc hadari khayri). Thus, the function of the al-Qaradawi project is the dissemination of a contemporary Islamic thinking that is substantially characterized by alQaradawi and marked particularly by three principles: balance (wasatiyya), moderation (ictidal) and ease (taysir).11 The header is divided in three parts and consists of the calligraphically written name of Qaradawi in red and orange, a periodically changing slogan next to a picture of Qaradawi’s head. The Koran verse 2/143 in Kufic script can still be seen in yellow writing on a blue background.12 Below the header follow the site’s contents, divided in three columns. To the right are the links to the
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individual categories, 21 in total. In the centre the current news items of and about al-Qaradawi are presented with respective dates. The left side provides the internal search engine, a box for regular opinion polls, a section offering the opportunity to join the email lists (which does not work) and three promotional links, the first to Sahim fi tatwir almawqic (Participate in the development of the website), the second to I’tilaf al-khayr (Union for Good)13, and the third to the IT company iHorizons. The 21 categories of the website can be subdivided into contents-related (13), organizational (6) and interactive (2). The interactive category contains Muntadiyyat al-niqash (Discussion forums) and Taswit (Opinion polls), but not fatwas – to that point I will be coming back later in the text. The discussion forums have been available since 2003. They invite users to voice their opinion, with express reference to the protection of freedom of speech on the one hand, and libel on the other. The organizational category comprises Li-l-iclan fi lmawqic (Statistical information about the site), again the invitation to (financially) support the development of the page (Sahim fi tatwir al-mawqic), an announcement for al-Qaradawi’s two weekly television shows, al-Sharica wa-l-hayat on the satellite television channel al-Jazeera and Hadi lislam on Qatar television (Mawacid al-baramij altilifiziyuniyya), the invitation to link al-Qaradawi’s website with one’s own page (Irbat mawqicak bisafahat al-Qaradawi), a service centre (Markaz almusacada) and the contact address (Ittasil bi-na). Unlike comparable Islamic websites, the organizational part lays strong emphasis on the promotion and networking of al-Qaradawi’s website which can be interpreted as part of his dacwa activities. The contents-related part, too, revolves not only around al-Qaradawi’s texts and doctrine, but also to a great extent around his activities and his person. Accordingly, the 13 contents-related categories could also be subdivided as follows: written and spoken texts, activities, and news. Beginning with the texts, the user can read the introductions of at least 20 of al-Qaradawi’s over 100 published books, various legal opinions (Fatawa wa-ahkam), and the last 15 Friday sermons from the Doha

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See http://www.ihorizons.com/site/topics/index.asp?temp_type=41&template_id=15&cu_no=2, accessed 26 Nov. 2009. Translation of Yusuf cAli. The reasons for this were largely technical. Up until 1999 no browser software was able to visualize Arabic characters. The first browser who solved the problem was InternetExplorer 5.0 (Microsoft). This technology also enabled Arabiclanguage websites to contain and offer interactive features and dynamic linking for the first time. Wasatiyya, also translated with “Islamic centrism” or “Islamic mainstream”, is a term supported not only by Yusuf alQaradawi but by many others, especially after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. The term was coined by alQaradawi in as early as the 1970s. It refers to the maintenance of balance between old and new as well as among the different Islamic legal schools and doctrines (including the Shica) based on the ”umma justly balanced” concept in the Qur’an (2/143), see: Baker, R. William: Islam Without Fear: Egypt and the New Islamists, Cambridge Mass., London: Harvard University Press, 2003 and Baker, R. William: ”Building the World in a Global Age,” in: Armando Salvatore/ Mark Le Vine (eds.): Religion, Social Practice, and Contested Hegemonies. Reconstructing the Public Sphere in Muslim Majority Societies, N.Y.: Palgrave, 2005, pp. 109-131; see also Gräf, Bettina: “The Concept of wasatiyya in the Work of Yusuf al-Qaradawi,” in: Gräf/Skovgaard-Petersen: The Global Mufti, op.cit. Also in the following: personal archive, www.qaradawi.net, accessed 30 Aug. 2005. See under www.101days.org, a website which is produced in Belgium and supports “the people of Palestine.”

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mosque cUmar Ibn al-Khattab. Visitors can gain an insight into al-Qaradawi’s activities under the following headings: Palestine under occupation (Filastin tahta l-hisar), Conventions and conferences (Nadwat wa-mu‘tamarat), Television programmes and meetings (Baramij wa-liqa‘at), and Documents and declarations (Watha‘iq wa-bayanat). According to his website, Yusuf al-Qaradawi annually participates in around a dozen conferences in Asia, Europe, Africa, and on the Arabian Peninsula. Among the hosts are, for instance, the Fiqh Academy of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, the Cairo-based Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, various universities, dialogue forums, the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR)14, and the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS)15, both Dublin-based organisations of which he is a co-founder. The subjects range from Islamic law (sharica) in association with the topics of medicine, family, women and economy, to democracy, terrorism and the dialogue between religions. The global Islamic community (al-umma al-islamiyya calamiyya) is always the core issue that must be protected and defended. III. Fatwas on Qaradawi.net Visitors to al-Qaradawi’s website have no option of a direct contact with him to ask his opinion as a mufti. In the corresponding section, entitled ”Fatwas and decisions” (Fatawa wa-ahkam), the users, up until December 2004, were referred to the Internet portal IslamOnline.net: ”Dear brothers and sisters: we would like to inform you that this website does not accept questions requiring replies (…). If you wish to obtain information on a specific subject or a fatwa on issues which you cannot find here, please contact the portal IslamOnline.net, where queries can be sent in.”16 The fatwa section has already existed before the relaunch of the website in 2001. However, up to that point only one fatwa was featured in the section, dated from December 1999 and bearing the title “Giving Zakat for Chechen refugees is allowed.” Since the site’s relaunch in October 2001, the number of fatwas issued by Yusuf al-Qaradawi has increased. By June 2003, a total of thirty fatwas or fatwa-like texts were featured on www.Qaradawi.net, a number that remained unchanged until another restructuring of the fatwa section by al-Qaradawi’s secretary, Akram Kassab,

took place in December 2004. With most of the fatwas, the date of placement on the site was included, but never the date it was actually issued, and its source was not always mentioned either. Up until 2004, the fatwas were arranged in chronological, rather than contents-related order, based on the date of their respective publishing on the site. This mode of presentation changed in 2004. Since then users have been able to call up fatwas issued by al-Qaradawi from among twelve different categories with the following headings: Alms (al-zakat), Major and minor pilgrimage (al-hajj wa-l-cumra), Prayer (al-salat), Fasting (as-siyam), Dogmas and the supernatural (caqa’id wa-ghaybiyyat), Feasts (al-cid), Social relations (al-calaqat al-ijtimciyya), Women (al-mar’a), Banking and loans (al-bunuk wa-l-qurud), Current events (ahdath mucasira), Knowledge, call to Islam, and effort in the name of Islam (al-cilm wa-d-dacwa wa-l-jihad), and General/universal fatwas (fatawa camma).

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The person responsible for this new classification is Akram Kassab, the categories, however, are based on those featured on IslamOnline.net.17 There are three categories that are interesting from a methodological perspective. “Current events” points towards the phenomenon of the propinquity of media fatwas to the news genre, as those fatwas are selected based on the criteria of topicality and originality. The comparatively innovative category “Knowledge, call to Islam, and effort in the name of Islam” seems to be wholly adjusted to the information age, emphasizing that knowledge is essential to winning ideological arguments. The corresponding category on IslamOnline.net is named “Efforts in the name of Islam and international relations” (Fiqh al-jihad wal-calaqat ad-duwaliyya). With respect to the term fatawa camma, we have recently seen an increase in the number of discussions dealing with the pair of concepts fatawa camma – fatawa khassa or fatawa c amma – fatawa juz’iyya (general fatwas – specific fatwas, fatwas for sub-categories). This rise in interest is associated with the fact that fatwas can nowadays be received globally due to the expan-

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See their website www.e-cfr.org and Caeiro, Alexandre: ”Transnational ‘Ulama, European Fatwas, and Islamic Authority: A Case Study of the European Council for Fatwa and Research;” in: van Bruinessen, M. /S. Allievi (eds.): Production and Dissemination of Islamic Knowledge in Western Europe, London: Routledge, in print. See Gräf, Bettina: ”In Search of a Global Islamic Authority,” in: ISIM Review 15(2005), p. 47. The association has had a website since Nov. 2005 (www.iumsonline.net). Since then, the English translation of the Arabic title has been changed to International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). The technical work on the site was carried out by IslamOnline in Cairo. Personal archive, www.qaradawi.net/fatawa wa-ahkam, 17 June 2003. Cooperation is facile since Akram Kassab has his office in the IOL building in Doha.

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sion of all kind of media. By classifying them into general and specific, an attempt is made to distinguish between fatwas applicable to a local environment and fatwas with universal relevance, with the latter representing an innovation in the history of ifta’ (process of issuing fatwas). To explain this in more detail, up until 2005 the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS) had drafted two fatwas which al-Qaradawi, during an interview, described as fatawa camma. One dealt with the question whether the consumption of fish was allowed after the tsunami in South-East Asia (2005), which he answered in the affirmative, and the other with the categorical condemnation of hostage takings.18 Upon my question of why the IUMS produces fatwas that have global validity and are not relevant merely to a certain locality and era, al-Qaradawi answered with two arguments: The IUMS would never issue specific fatwas (fatawa juzciyya) – these were the task of the scholars in individual countries, who issue fatwas according to the respective local jurisprudence; The IUMS concerns itself with major and universal issues (qadaya kabira, qadaya shumaliyya) affecting the entire umma, such as Palestine, the occupation of Iraq by the United States, or even the vaccination of children against certain diseases (his view here being that some scholars had forbidden vaccinations due to the fact that they contained pork – hinting at fatwas issued by Saudi scholar Bin Baz). For these comprehensive concerns, IUMS uses the term fatawa camma (universal fatwas).

legitimate or illicit in principle. Instead, he offered authoritative support to those scholars who wish to argue against female circumcision in local contexts. Dividing fatwas into fatawa juzciyya and fatawa camma can therefore be interpreted as a strategy aimed at making his voice heard in the daily flood of fatwas. As of December 2004, the vast majority of the fatwas published on Qaradawi.net are directly adopted from the archives of the Internet portal IslamOnline.net. After the systematization the number of fatwas to be found on Qaradawi.net grew to 144 in 2007 and have been growing ever since. In November 2009, the sub-section fatawa camma contained a total of 30 fatwas, among which was one speaking out positively on Muslims working in graphic design, another on the question whether a Muslim was allowed to work in advertising, and a fatwa on the role of the mosque in Islam. With regard to the selection criteria, i.e. which fatwas are published on the site and which are not, Akram Kassab told me during a discussion that he publishes every fatwa that al-Qaradawi produces without exception. Accordingly, the website should have contained at least 650 fatwas, i.e. all the fatwas issued by al-Qaradawi that can be found in the IOL archives, which however is not the case. Today, Kassab continues to sometimes upload old fatwas of al-Qaradawi from the 1970s. However, this is not the result of systematic deliberations, but mainly a reaction to events communicated by the media. It also became evident that Kassab attaches importance to the adherence to the genre rules. Since he took on the administration of the site, the questions of the mustafti have always been quoted, without which, in his opinion, a fatwa would not be a fatwa, and so has the date of publication (but again, not the date of the original fatwa). In addition, he considers the differentiation between fatwa and hukm important. To him, a hukm represents an unchangeable fact, a fixed rule, whereas a fatwa is characterized by a content that is convertible from person to person, from situation to situation, and from era to era.20 Journalist Mustafa cAbd al-Jawwad, whose workplace is with the IOL in Cairo, is also involved in the managing of the fatwa section on Qaradawi.net. His areas of responsibility include the decision into which of the twelve existing categories a fatwa is to be classified and the choice of photographs illustrating both the fatwas and the news items on al-

-

According to this phrasing, there should ideally exist a consistency between the various fatwa institutions on local and global levels. At the same time, the fatwas issued by the IUMS should obviously serve as global guiding principles. This claim for global validity is also evident in other fatwas of al-Qaradawi, for instance on the subject of female circumcision. In November 2006, on the occasion of an international conference on this subject in the Egyptian Dar al-Ifta’, al-Qaradawi argued that it was legitimate to prohibit the circumcision of women if doctors deemed it necessary.19 In this way, he avoided interfering in specifically local issues, for example by declaring female circumcision

18 19

20

Personal interview with Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Doha, 23 Dec. 2005. ”al-Qaradawi: manc khitan al-inath ja’iz idha ijtamacat kalimat al-atibba’ cala dararihi,“ under: http://www.qaradawi.net/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=4601&version=1&template_id=116&parent_id=11 4, accessed 2 Oct. 2008 and ”al-Hukm al-sharci fi khitan al-inath,“ under: http://www.qaradawi.net/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=4609&version=1&template_id=226&parentid=17, accessed 28 Nov. 2006. In his first fatwa collection he is in favour of ”light circumcision“ (al-khitan al-khafif), see alQaradawi, Yusuf: “Khitan al-banat,“ in: Min hady al-islam. fatawa mucasira, Vol. 1, Cairo: Dar al-Qalam, 71998, 1 1979, 443. Personal interview with Akram Kassab, Doha, 11 Dec. 2005..

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Qaradawi’s website. He says he tries to avoid posting images of persons in the fatwa section, though it does happen occasionally, and that all images used are taken from the picture archives of the IOL, which are organized according to keywords and events.21 IV. The web portal IslamOnline.net (IOL) IslamOnline is one of the most-visited Arabic/ English Islamic web portals.22 The organization behind IOL is the Al-Balagh Cultural Society in Qatar which was established in 1997 on the initiative of Qatari IT specialist Maryam Hasan al-Hajari and Hamid al-Ansari, a scholar at the Sharica Faculty of the University of Qatar. In its early stages the project was supported by the University of Qatar, especially by Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The headquarters and IT development of IOL are based in Doha, while most of the content is produced by more than 150 employees at the IOL offices in Cairo. Along with the mentioned persons in Doha, many others got involved at the early stages of the IOL project. The site began to take off particularly after 9/11 when users from all over the world overwhelmed IslamOnline with questions. Hiba Ra’uf cIzzat, an Egyptian political sciences lecturer at Cairo University often described as an Islamic feminist, is one of those who established the IOL office in Cairo. During a discussion she said that she had devoted no less than three years of intensive work to IOL alongside with her work at the university. Combining work at IOL with studies or other jobs was a common theme with employees interviewed for my research. IOL is mainly financed by donations, by selling its technical know-how to other Islamic institutions around the world, and partly by advertisement. Its main bilingual competitors are the Saudi-based IslamToday.net and the Qatar-based IslamWeb.net. These portals are associated with different contemporary schools of Islamic thought; IslamOnline declares its support for wasatiyya and Yusuf alQaradawi. IslamToday.net is part of the new awakening (sahwa) in Saudi Arabia, a moderate Salafi movement (a position that leans towards wasatiyya discourse) which follows the ideas of Salman alc Awda, who is one of the most popular independent scholars in Saudi Arabia. IslamWeb.net is the website of the Qatari Ministry for Religious Affairs which follows the Wahhabi school of thought. In spite of their ideological dif-

ferences, these sites essentially offer similar services: detailed information about Islam, the Prophet Muhammad, the two sources of Islamic law, Qur’an and Sunnah, and articles on Islamic history. Some portals, for example IslamWeb.net, host databanks containing other historical texts. This sometimes involves digitizing old manuscripts, expensive and time-consuming projects that not all sites can afford. All of these portals offer users information on religious practice and its respective contemporary interpretation, usually through fatwas. A key difference between IslamOnline and its competitors is that the former invites not only sharica experts to give advice, but also academics from fields including sociology, political science, psychology, medicine and economy, and sometimes even from literature or the arts. This is due to a belief among IOL founders that Islamic scholars often cannot give answers to questions that require special knowledge outside the framework of Islamic jurisprudence and theology. In addition to its fatwa services, IslamOnline promotes the exchange of different views and debates among Muslims, but also between Muslims and non-Muslims. Its employees moderate “Discussion Forums” (sahat alhiwar in the Arabic section), refreshing them daily with topical subjects. Interlinked journalistic essays on topics including Islamic law, family, youth, health, culture, economics or Muslims in Europe reflect the current debate over Muslim daily life in a wide geographical spectrum reaching from the Middle East and Africa to Europe and Asia. Beyond being a counseling service and discussion platform, IOL is also, in a way, an independent news agency which is another aspect that distinguishes it from other Islamic portals. Every day, the IOL staff publishes a range of news stories on the site. In both the choice of the stories, which always have relevance to Islamic countries or Muslims, and the evaluation of global events, the presentation of the news on IOL differs from that of international news agencies, such as Reuters or the German DPA. IOL news could be most closely compared to that of al-Jazeera and its website, although IOL aims to present a clearly Islamic spectrum of opinions on the news, which al-Jazeera does not.23 V. Contents of the IOL web portal The IOL web portal consists of two parts, English and Arabic, which are produced independently of

21 22

23

Personal interview with Mustafa cAbd al-Jawwad, Cairo, 24 March 2007 In an August 2005 worldwide ranking of Internet sites, IslamOnline occupied position 596 in terms of hits. This puts the site at roughly the same level as the news portal Aljazeera.net at position 275 or The New York Times website at spot 155. In the same month, IslamOnline ranked eighth among the top ten of the most-visited Arabic-language websites worldwide. According to Alexa Traffic Rank in September 2007, most hits came from Egypt (21.4%), followed by the Palestinian Territories (11%), the United Arab Emirates (10.3%), Saudi Arabia (8.9%), and Morocco (8.7%). The USA-based users made up 2.1% of the traffic volume and Germany and the UK 0.9% each. IslamWeb.net copies the news stories directly from Aljazeera.net.

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each other. Each of the around ten featured sections is managed by one or several editors, whose approach and convictions shape the sections and sub-pages of the site. An editorial board supervises content production. The pages in Arabic and English are not congruent, which is due to the fact that they are produced for different publics or users. The pages in English mainly address Muslims in non-Muslim societies or non-Muslim users, while those in Arabic are aimed at Muslims in Muslim contexts. The site’s structure changes and expands regularly, but one constant is that the Arabic and English sections are tailored to appeal to their respective audiences. Current sections in English include “News”, “Living Shari’ah”, “Health and Science”, “Politics in Depth”, “Reading Islam”, “Family”, “Art and Culture”, “Youth 4 the Future”, “European Muslims”, and in Arabic Akhbar watahliliyyat (“News and Analyses”), Sharci (about Islamic Law, Islamic Normativity), Madarik (“Sense”), Islamiyun (“Islamists”), Nama’ (“Development”), c Ulum wa-sihha (“Science and Health”), Thaqafa wa-fann (“Culture and Art”), Hawwa’ wa-Adam (“Adam and Eve”), Mashakil wa-hulul (“Problems and Solutions”). VI. Counseling and fatwas online One of the most popular sections on the IOL website is the Arabic-language section Sharci. This can be put down to the opportunities it presents to search and receive fatwas. According to IOL coordinator Mutiullah Tayeb, an Afghan publicist who studied in Pakistan, fatwas, together with psychological and social counseling, constitute the core of IslamOnline. Maryam al-Hajari, the founder and IT manager, regards online fatwas as “decision supporters”. For her, fatwas are starting points for reflection rather than authoritative doctrines or instructions on how to act. She argues that Islamic scholars are no longer able to provide answers to all questions, and thus IslamOnline’s counseling service aims to consult a range of specialists that can include psychologists or social scientists. Each section of IOL offers counseling (ist- risharat) on relevant subjects. The staff members responsible for the counseling service tend to specialize in specific fields, e.g. psychologists and social scientists offer social counseling (istisharat ijtimaciyya c amma), physicians offer medical consultation (istisharat sihhiyya), and so forth. These counselors

are not given the title mufti, but rather khabir (expert) or mustishar (advisor). All the advice offered, including the fatwas, is issued according to standardized rules which the site terms “quality management regulations” (Watha’iq nizam idara al-jawda).24 Contrary to the assumption that someone like Yusuf al-Qaradawi might object to these practices, he perceives this form of production of knowledge by experts from other scientific provinces as no danger to the interpretation of Islam by theologians and legal scholars. He describes these processes as partial interpretation of sharica (ijtihad juz’i), and subordinate to the methods of legal and normative interpretation as practiced by the culama’ which he calls ijtihad intiqa’i (selection of certain doctrines from old legal traditions) or ijtihad insha’i (interpretation of the two sources, Qur’an and Sunnah, adapted to the new circumstances of life).25 Fatwas at IOL are researched, processed, edited or issued and published in the fatwa department (qism al-fatwa). The following is an introduction of five different types of online fatwas available on the Arabic portion of IslamOnline. The typology shows that beside the abovementioned developments within the counseling service in general, the fatwa genre itself is also changing: VI.1. Edited fatwas: Is’alu ahl adh-dhikr These are edited versions of previously issued fatwas originating from well-known muftis that IslamOnline staff members present in response to user questions. Edited fatwas feature a heading, date of publication online, the name and origin of the questioner, the question itself (al-su’al), the fatwa text (al-hall), a concluding Allahu calam (God knows best)26, and a disclaimer27. A short text written by IslamOnline staff members introduces each fatwa and the issuing mufti or institution. Significantly, the date and place of issue and the source of publication of the original fatwa are not mentioned, nor is the question that led to its pronouncement. The texts might be mere excerpts from previously published fatwas or contain other text formats, neither of which is labeled as such. Of particular interest are edited fatwa texts assembled from several other fatwas (one might call these collage fatwas), which tend to leave the answer to the

24

25

26

27

For more details see Gräf, Bettina: Medien-Fatwas von Yusuf al-Qaradawi und die Popularisierung des islamischen Rechtsverständnisses (dissertation at the University of Berlin, FU-Berlin, in October 2008), ZMO-Studien, Berlin: Klaus-Schwarz-Verlag, in preparation. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, al-Ijtihad al-mucasir bayna l-indibat wa-l-infirat (Contemporary ijtihad between discipline and neglect), Beirut, Damaskus, Amman: al-Maktab al-Islami, 21998 (11994), p. 50. Brinkley Messick, while talking about the “modernity of (...) fatwas” in the turn of the 20th century, calls this kind of classical features “hallmarks of the old generic form” of fatwas, see Messick, B.: “Madhhabs and Modernities,” in: Bearman, P. et al.: The Islamic School of Law. Evolution, Devolution, and Progress, Harvard University Press, 2005, p. 169. The text translates as: “All advice published on IslamOnline’s expresses the opinions of the authors of these advices and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of those who are responsible for IOL.”

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question up to the questioner (mustafti). This system gives considerable leeway to IslamOnline staff to select responses from a massive database of, sometimes contradictory, fatwas. The removal of the original question and the staff-written introduction gives further agency to IOL staff members to craft and package the site’s responses. VI.2. Fatwa bank: Bank al-fatawa The fatwa bank is an online archive that users can search to find previously issued opinions. The names of the muftis are listed and the user can choose among some 150 scholars on the Arabiclanguage site and 170 on the English site. The orientation of the archive is unmistakable. Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s fatwas have the strongest presence (672) out of approx. 6,000 fatwas on the Arabic site (January 2007). The number of collage fatwas is large (810) which underlines the influence of IOL staff members on the composition of online fatwas. Remarkably, fatwas issued by Rashid Rida rank on fifth position with 150, which is likely due to the digitization of al-Manar, the journal Rida published for over 35 years. Also at the top ranks in the number of fatwas accessible by users are the Lebanese Faysal Mawlawi (248) and the Qatari scholar cAli Qurah Daghi (72), both of whom are members of the ECFR. Together with the choice of muftis, the fatwa bank interface offers the user the possibility to choose from different areas of topics. Most fatwas can be found in conventional subject areas of the fatwa genre, e.g., in the sphere of traditional fiqh (Islamic jurisrudence) like cibadat (“Religious duties”), mucamalat (“Transactions”) or in that of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Most of the fatwa categories are entirely new inventions by members of the IOL fatwa section (see table 1 page 13). Maximum fatwas are concerned with questions about religious duties – a trend which can also be observed in printed publications of fatwas.28 In an exchange typical of this category, a Canadian user asks what he should do if his mobile rings during prayer. The fatwa starts with an introduction of the importance of the prayer as the second pillar of Islam and then gives advice in the name of Canadian scholar Ahmed Kutty to stop the ringing immediately. Kutty advises that the prayer would only be invalidated if the ringing repeats again and again. The fatwa closes with the hope that Muslims take the prayer seriously and with a citation identifying the fatwa as an excerpt from the Canadian Islamic website www.islam.ca. Quite a number of fatwas can be found in the category “Jihad and International Relations” (Fiqh al-jihad wa-l-calaqat adduwaliyya). In May 2007, a Dutch user raised the
28

question of whether Muslims are allowed to vote in parliamentary elections in a Western country. After a lengthy discussion in which a scholar from Iraq and a scholar from Saudi Arabia are quoted, the answer (which was already prepared in 2004) by an anonymous group of muftis (majmuc min almuftiyin) is that every Muslim should take part in elections in the country in which he is entitled to vote and should support moderate movements (altayyarat al-muctadila) in order to combat negative preconceptions of Muslims. Both of these examples illustrate IslamOnline’s efforts to make Muslims live easily, in accordance with one of al-Qaradawi’s main principles besides wasatiyya and ictidal (“moderation”), namely taysir (“ease”). VI.3. Live Fatwas: Fatawa mubashira The live fatwa format offers an entirely different type, one reminiscent of the classical ifta’ based on immediate contact between mufti and mustafti – except for the fact this is over the internet rather than face to face.29 The users know before the session which mufti they will put their question to. IOL holds two Arabic language live fatwa sessions per day five times a week, and during the one or twohour sessions several users ask questions in what amounts to an online chat room – another parallel to traditional ifta’ sessions in the house of a local mufti. Interestingly, these live fatwa sessions do not become part of the IOL fatwa bank. According to Mutiullah Tayeb the reason for this is that the mufti sometimes responds “very short without giving details of fatwa and their references from Qur’an and Sunnah due to the shortage of time” or the arguments are not compelling, whereas the fatwas in the fatwa bank are very detailed, complex and usually give several viewpoints. The individual sessions are chronologically stored in a separate archive.30 Live fatwa sessions are offered in thematic areas, the most popular of which is Fatawa fiqhiyya camma (“General topics”). The others include Istisharat dacwiyya camma (General advice on dacwa issues), pilgrimage advice and special sessions for Muslims in the West. By November 2009, the number of live sessions in Arabic reached 3,025. The first session took place on 18 December 1999. The guest (dayf), as IOL calls the mufti of a live session, was cAli Qurah Daghi. The third session featured Yusuf alQaradawi. In total, al-Qaradawi has taken part in five such sessions.31 A group of scientists (Fariq albahithin bi-l-mawqic) began taking part in weekly sessions in June 2004. The group consists of staff members in the IOL fatwa team: all graduates in ei-

29

30

Cf. Masud, M. Khalid et al.: ”Muftis, Fatwas, and Legal Interpretation,“ in: Masud, M. Khalid et al.: Islamic Legal Interpretation: Muftis and Their Fatwas, Harvard University Press, 1996, pp. 3-32. The fatwas which have recently been issued during the fatwa programs of satellite television stations are described either as fatawa fada’iyya or by the expression fatawa mubashira. Despite the existence of certain similarities, this is a different format, the mustafti can see and hear the mufti, and the mufti can at least hear the mustafti (his dialect, etc.). Under http://www.islamonline.net/livefatwa/arabic/oldresult.asp, accessed 26 Nov. 2009.

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Table 1: IOL Fatwa bank, January 2007 Categories
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
c

Numbers
2,840 1,448 1,261 1,158 824 639 510 261 259 234 195 167 144 134 17 6 4 3 2 1

al-cIbadat (Religious duties) Ahkam al-usra (Family) al-Akhlaq wa-l-adab (Ethics and conduct) Fiqh al-mucamalat (Social relations, transactions)
c

Aqida (Dogma)

al-Qur’an wa-s-sunna (Koran and Sunna) Fiqh al-jihad wa-l- alaqat ad-duwaliyya (Efforts in the name of Islam and international relations) Qadaya cilmiyya wa-sihhiyya (Science and health) al-Imama wa-n-nuzum (Imamat and political systems) al- Uqubat wa-l-hudud (Punishments and corporal punishments) Usul wa-qawa’id al-fiqh wa-l-maqasid (Principles, rules and intentions of fiqh) al-Al ab wa-r-riyada (Games and sport) al-Funun wa-l-iclan (Arts und media) Madhahib wa-harakat wa-adyan (Schools of law, movements, and religions) as-Siyaha wa-l-athar (Tourism and sights) Fiqh al-mar’a (Women) Shubahat wa-rudud (Appeals and responses) al-cAlaqa bayna l-jinsayn (Relation between the sexes) Fiqh as-sira wa-t-ta’rikh (Biography of the prophet and history) Fiqh ad-da wa (Call to Islam)
c c c

ther Islamic jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh) at the Cairo University or Islamic studies (dirasat al-islamiyya) at the Sharica faculty of the Azhar University. AlQaradawi’s secretary, Akram Kassab, has been taking part in fatwa sessions since 2005. Live fatwas, then, are issued not only by what we could call conventional muftis, but also by IOL staff members who specialize in fatwas. Considering fatwa production at IOL, we see the emergence of a new type of online fatwa editors who shape IslamOnline’s response to queries by selecting and editing together already existing fatwas. In this context, ifta’ are about to become a field within the online production context, towards which one can train but which apparently has none of the aura or authority of a conventional mufti. The authority of the ifta’ is not lost, but rather seems to shift from the person of the mufti to the fatwa text as a genre. VI.4. People’s say or journalistic fatwas: Fatawa an-nas In the summer of 2006, a new category called Fatawa an-nas (“Fatwas of the people”) joined the abovementioned three types on the site. This daily updated section adds a journalistic flare and presents fatwas linked with the top news stories of the day. The idea originated from Mascud Sabri, a former staff member in the fatwa department who has
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worked at the Center for Wasatiyya Studies in Kuwait since 2006.32 Two associates in the fatwa department in Cairo are in charge of Fatawa an-nas, journalist Nihal Mahmud Mahdi and Islam cAbd al-cAziz, an Azhar graduate in communication sciences. They cooperate closely with the other staff of the fatwa department. Nihal Mahmud Mahdi describes Fatawa an-nas as translating the language of fiqh into the everyday language of the people. She believes that this presents the opportunity to link expert fiqh with real life (waqic al-hayat). The Fatawa an-nas category corresponds with IslamOnline’s fundamental aspiration to stimulate thought and discussion by supplying information. But another crucial function of this section is to present information contextualizing fatwas publicized in the mainstream media, information which these fatwas themselves do not provide but without which the fatwas remain almost incomprehensible. This category furthermore represents an effort to cogitate over fatwas and ifta’ with the tools of journalism as opposed to those of fiqh, and therefore it could be named journalistic fatwas. An important trend arises from this: Media-issued fatwas or texts related to fatwas predominantly have neither a direct association to nor do they serve an immediate

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No. 3, January 13, 2000, no. 12, March 6, 2000, no. 28, August 8, 2000, no. 94, May 30, 2001 and no. 1406, January 18, 2007. Another Center with a similar name has been founded in Doha in 2009: Al-Qaradawi Center for Islamic Moderation and Renewal.

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function for Islamic jurisprudence. On the contrary, they are associated with an imagined public, the ”people” (an-nas) out there. The issue of amalgamating fiqh and journalism, or fiqh and the commitment for Islam in the media, has recently been under intensive discussion among scholars and intellectuals; articles are published in daily and weekly newspapers (Al-Hayat, Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Al-Ahram Weekly) as well as in periodicals (alManar al-Jadid, al-Mujtamac) and online portals (Islamismscope.com, Almultaka.net). VI.5. Dossiers and fatwa-like texts: Malaffat khassa IslamOnline staff members also take on the role of mustafti themselves and raise questions, most of which allude to various current events. For instance, during my visit to Doha in 2005, the IOL staff was covering the issue of ”Avian flu and the Hajj.” Avian flu at that time was under discussion in all types of media, both global and local and the IOL coordinator and editors decided to create a feature topic on it. In July 2005, shortly after the attacks on the London Underground that year, IOL ran another special dossier called “Violence: Causes and Alternatives” which featured an atypical black layout with a red-gold glowing flower.33 The editorial to this feature topic ends as follows: “Our aim is to inform and empower people, to allow a genuine platform for qualified and courageous scholars, experts, thinkers, activists, and imams whose cooperation and efforts are needed now more than ever before. We hope to create and strengthen alternative ideas, tools, and visions that will enable Muslims to change realities on the ground.“34 The dossier features eight headings: “Why?”, “Concepts Explained”, “Live Sessions”, “Alternatives”, “Your Say”, “Audio”, “Special Pages”, “Statements” which treat the issue on the basis of various text genres. Under “Statements” five fatwa-like texts by various scholars or institutions can be found, among which is a text by the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS). It carries the title “Bombing Innocents: IAMS’s Statement”35 and features a photograph of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the chairman of IUMS. The text was originally published on the union’s website (www.iumsonline.net). The

opinion of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), also to be found under “Statements”, even carries the term fatwa in its title although not mentioning a question: “A Fatwa by Fiqh Council of North America.”36 Here too, the arguments are supported by quotes from the Qur’an and the Prophet’s traditions: “(...) If any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people (…)”.37 The “Statements” in this dossier topic almost seem to represent the fatwa genre and serve to establish a link between the published texts and the handeddown Islamic jurisprudence. At the same time the texts possess their own news value, and fatwas with a news value can be used again for multiple purposes on the global media market. At any rate, they are a tool towards the legitimization of certain views as being “Islamic.” However, these texts are only remotely connected to fatwas as established institutions of fiqh. The name (or face) of alQaradawi in such cases is more a reference to a popular brand of a global Islamic project and only secondarily, if at all, to a mufti issuing a legal opinion according to predetermined criteria. VII. Conclusion On his personal website and on the web portal IOL, Yusuf al-Qaradawi is presented as a scholar whose fatwas are valid for Muslims in the whole world. However, there is a major difference between the two sites. On Qaradawi.net Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s fatwas and fatwa-like texts are merely published without any interaction taking place between the visitors and al-Qaradawi. In this case, media fatwas serve as a means to propagate al-Qaradawi’s views according to criteria such as news value or topicality; the actual needs and interests of the users and questioners are not addressed. On IslamOnline.net one finds several possibilities to ask questions and to receive a fatwa directly meant for the questioner. However, IOL also does not provide a direct contact between the questioner and the respective mufti but employs fatwa editors who search, select and issue online fatwas. The only exception might be the type fatawa mubashira (live

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35 36

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See under: http://www.islamonline.net/English/In_Depth/ViolenceCausesAlternatives/index.shtml, accessed 26 Nov. 2009. “Violence: Causes and Alternatives,” http://www.islamonline.net/English/In_Depth/ViolenceCausesAlternatives/Articles/Editorial/2005/07/01.shtml, accessed 26 Nov. 2009. In contrast to this view, IslamOnline supports the position of Yusuf al-Qaradawi and others, who legitimizes Palestinian suicide attacks arguing that these are the weapons of the weak against a long-lasting, unequal and unjust war of aggression. For details see my Ph.D dissertation, op.cit. IUMS was formerly called IAMS, International Association of Muslim Scholars. “A Fatwa by Fiqh Council of North America,” http://www.islamonline.net/English/In_Depth/ViolenceCausesAlternatives/Articles/topic08/2005/08/01.shtml, accessed 26 Nov. 2009. Ibid.

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fatwas), but as has been mentioned above, alQaradawi himself has taken part only five times in that type of ifta’ since 1999. In spite of the theoretical possibility of simultaneous global access to al-Qaradawi’s online fatwas, his authority is not negotiated via the Internet. There is a starting point for his activities: Without the basis of the location in Qatar his activities would not be conceivable, neither on an intellectual level nor on an organizational and financial level. There are, however, other places that are important hubs for his thoughts and actions, such as Egypt, Palestine, Ireland, Britain and others. In this respect he could be described neither as a global scholar nor as a Qatari scholar, but as a scholar whose authority is translocally established.38 The relationships that are constitutive of his translocal authority were and are still being negotiated in special sets of actions outside cyberspace. Certain activities of al-Qaradawi, such as consultancy in various international banks or his work for Islamist periodicals, are surely important in this context but mostly ignored on the websites.39 The actions of culama‘ are, and not only since modern times, characterized by acting in translocal sets. To make a name for oneself in the religious field today, however, requires a different technical and organizational effort. Besides only taking part in these transformations, al-Qaradawi got involved in shaping them from an early stage. His strategy in this respect is the cooperation not only with other

scholars and Islamist intellectuals, but with specialists from different professional areas such as journalists, editors, publishers, television presenters and managers of media institutions. They mostly share al-Qaradawi’s attitudes and see themselves in the framework of the wasatiyya school as was exemplified by both websites and their fatwa services above. One should furthermore differentiate between alQaradawi’s translocal authority and his popularity as a scholar and so-called media mufti. He is claiming global authority but is rather popular on a global scale. Media fatwas connected to al-Qaradawi’s name serve as an important point of reference for people with very different attitudes who create their personal or group identity upon it. Those who ask for and receive relevant advice in the Internet, process and pass on this information in their own ways, in blogs and websites for example. This results in varying shapings of contemporary Islamic religiousness, some of which Yusuf al-Qaradawi has not predicted and some of which do not correspond with his own ideas. Most importantly, it is not just the Islamic scholars, as al-Qaradawi has in mind who define how Islam should be lived today. In an ideal relationship of authority people would not voluntarily vary the messages they receive. Media-mediated authority through the Internet, or let us say the expansive popularity of a scholar, meets the demands of the believers for orientation and simultaneously enables them to create their own interpretations.

38

39

As a result of academic work done on globalisation, the concept of translocality has been a research topic at the Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in Berlin since 2000 (www.zmo.de). Translocality is understood here as describing conditions that transcend (and transform) local circumstances, regardless of whether the local is determined culturally, socially or politically, see Ulrike Freitag and Achim von Oppen (eds.): Translocality: The Study of Globalising Processes from a Southern Perspective, Leiden: Brill, in print. On Islamic periodicals, such as al-Muslim al-Mucasir, which was established in 1974 in Beirut (many of the founders used to live in Qatar at this time), and of which al-Qaradawi is a co-publisher, or al-Manar al-Jadid, established in 1998 with al-Qaradawi on its advisory council, see Rogler, Lutz: “Suche nach einem ‘progressiven Islamverständnis’: Untersuchungen zu Diskurs und Praxis einer Gruppe islamischer Intellektueller in Tunesien,” (unpublished dissertation, University of Leipzig), 2004, pp. 83-99, 192-199. For Islamic financing, see Mariani, Ermete: ”Youssef alQaradawi: pouvoir médiatique, économique et symbolique,” in: Mermier, Franck (éd.): Mondialisation et nouveaux médias dans l’espace arabe, Lyon: Maisonneuve et Larose, 2003, pp. 35-45.

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Virtual Mobilisation: The Internet and Political Activism in Egypt
I. Introduction In an ideal Habermasian society, the media are key elements of a public sphere, which functions as an intermediary between the political regime and society. The mass media are meant to provide a space where different perspectives and issues are represented in order to shape decision-making processes according to the people’s will. Meanwhile, the authoritarian Egyptian regime openly and consciously aims to exclude non-conforming actors from the public sphere. At the same time, the rapid development of information technology during the last decade has fuelled expectations of a democratic turn of the public sphere. Especially the internet and its particular features of de-central organisation, interactivity and interconnectivity to other media genres have opened up new spaces for social and political actors to get attention. Internet use in Egypt has increased massively during the last decade. Thus, websites as well as blogs and social networking sites have been incorporated into different actors’ strategies of reaching out to the public. These actors try to influence decision-making by mobilising public support for their issues and discourses. For a long time, these issues had largely been excluded from the agenda of the governmentled mass media. However, besides the expansion of the internet also other media sectors such as the press sector were liberalised, although this liberalisation has tight limits. Nevertheless, it was this liberalisation that helped to promote internet activism in Egypt. After describing the characteristics of Egypt’s internet environment in relation to the development of other media, this article will show the implications of these new possibilities for political activism by applying a social movement approach. Two case studies of very different actors – the Muslim Brotherhood and the April 6 strike movement – will be used to examine the background, ambivalent outcomes and perspectives of virtual activism in Egypt. II. The Development of the Internet in Egypt As most states in the Middle East and the developing world, Egypt introduced the new information
1 2 3 4

technologies with the hope of leapfrogging stages of modernisation. As Burkhart and Older put it: “They (the regime) want what the information revolution offers, and want it badly enough to be willing to risk some disbenefits that may arise from more open and possibly ‘unacceptable’ communications.”1 The extent of this desire and its implications on political activism will be shown by describing the formation of the internet in Egypt. The internet was first introduced at Egyptian universities in 1986 before it was made accessible to the broader public by the government-owned Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC). In the 1990s, the leading employees of this centre were appointed to high government posts such as the position of Prime Minister, Ahmad Nazif, and the Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Tariq Kamil. Later, other employees were the first to obtain licences for the country’s main Internet Service Providers (ISPs).2 On the one hand, this relation implies that there is an increasing amount of technocrats among the political decision-makers who are interested in applying a rather non-ideological handling of the new media.3 This technocratic approach to the media also led to a more relaxed perspective on the traditional media such as the press and the broadcasting sector. With the beginning of the 21st century, the Egyptian authorities licenced the first privately-owned newspapers in decades as well as the first TV stations ever in its history. On the other hand, the close personal relations between authoritative bodies and business interests made it clear that the new medium, internet, as well as the traditional media will be strategically bound to the authoritarian regime, which seeks to regulate them by handing over access and control to loyal business men.4 However, even this marketdriven, but politically limited liberalisation of the media sector opened up spaces for new actors to enter the public sphere. In 1996, private ISPs were allowed and two years later they were permitted to build their own infrastructure apart from the Egyptian Telecom.5 The new medium got a different political status than the press or the broadcasting sector: In 1999, the

5

Burkhart/ Older 2003: xiii. Human Rights Watch 2005: p. 18. El-Gody 2004: p. 732f. There are several other restricting elements in this liberalisation process. Egypt and Saudi Arabia, for example, pushed massively the passage of the Arab Satellite Broadcasting Charter which allows to close TV channels that “damage social harmony, national unity, public order, or traditional values.” For the English translation see: http://www.arabmediasociety.com/countries/index.php?c_article=146. Human Rights Watch 2005: p. 19.

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Ministry for Information and Communication Technology was established to forward the high expectations on progress and prosperity through the new media. In 2002, when the ministry introduced a new regulation to provide people access to the internet via the existing telephone land lines, the competition among the private ISPs was stirred up and the DSL infrastructure was enormously extended.6 In addition, several governmental campaigns have been initiated to promote internet access amongst all citizens including a programme to provide every Egyptian household with a cheap PC, funding for IT clubs in rural areas and establishing computer training at Egyptian schools in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.7 The promotion of information technology led to a slow but steady increase of Egyptian internet users in the first years followed by a massive jump between 2004 and 2005. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) the number of Egyptian users reached over 13.5 million in 2008, which is almost 17% of the total population.8 With the increasing number of users, the government’s interest in regulating access to and content of the internet also grew. Human Rights Watch labelled the Ministry of Interior and the security services as the main opponents of internet enthusiasm.9 Indeed, in 2002, the ministry installed the General Administration for Information and Documentation (GAID) to monitor the internet in addition to the Authority for Fighting Computer and Internet Crime. According to the Communications Act (No. 10/2003) and the E-Signature Law (No. 14/2004), internet usage and access are free of restrictions, but “Egyptian law can be interpreted to mean that the government as well as the military and security agencies are in a position to censor online communications and block Websites.“10 It is possible to identify three “sensitive” dimensions in which “superior” laws are used to distort the information and limit access to the internet: 1) morality including pornography and “deviant” sexual behaviour, 2) security including websites that incite violent acts, terrorist sites, and those which are affiliated with the global jihad movement, and 3) political activism of the opposition from within and their capacity to mobilise public support.

Consequently, since 2006 Reporters Without Borders has dubbed Egypt one of the “Enemies of the Internet,”11 although Egypt does not filter websites as Saudi Arabia and China do, nor does it brutally restrict internet activism as Tunisia does. Instead, as Isherwood, amongst others, argue coercive action is taken against some individual political activists behind blogs or websites rather than restricting internet access: “Hence, the authorities do not persecute bloggers but rather the activists among them, and it is important to make this distinction.“12 Indeed, internet activists are well aware that the internet is not a fully liberal zone. Weyman describes that the actions of the blogger Karim Amir – the first blogger who was sentenced to a prison term in 2007 – found little appreciation among other active bloggers. Although they protested in solidarity against his conviction, they were also against what they deemed to be spreading “hate speech” on the internet and aggressively transgressing the red lines. Instead, Egyptian bloggers prefer to gently but steadily push these lines in a bid to gradually expand freedom of expression and political freedom.13 In spite of the gentle activism, the regime has noted challenges to its authority brought upon by the use of the internet for political activism. A 2008 study prepared for the government reports details of political activities on the web and calls for more surveillance, which suggests that the regime intends to act more strongly against bloggers and networkers.14 Nevertheless, the Egyptian government has realised early that the internet itself is not a threat to the stability of authoritarian regimes. As in all other countries, Egyptian users are primarily looking for entertainment on the internet. The Alexa internet ranking site15 placed among the top 20 of Egypt’s most popular websites portals like Google and Yahoo, social networking sites like Facebook, sites to share and download programmes, films, music and games as well as special interest sites for football and sex.

6 7 8

9 10 11 12 13 14

15

Abdulla 2007: p. 48. Hamdy 2004; el-Gody 2004: 732f., Human Rights Watch 2005: p. 19f. The ITU states the following progress of Internet users of the total population: 2008 – 16.65%, 2007 – 13.95%; 2006 – 13.04%; 2005 – 12.19%; 2004 – 5.37%; 2003 – 4.21%; 2002 – 2.72%; 2001 – 0.87%; 2000 – 0.67%. Source: International Telecommunication Union 2009: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ICTEYE/Indicators/Indicators.aspx [Retrieved on Novemvbeer 24, 2009]. Human Rights Watch 2005: p. 18. Human Rights Watch 2005: p. 38f. See Reporter without Boarders: http://www.rsf.org/en-ennemi26150-Egypt.html [Retrieved on December 04, 2009]. Isherwood 2008. Weymann 2007. Asharq al-Awsat, July 6, 2008, http://www.aawsat.com/details.asp?section=4&issueno=10813&article=477603&feature [Retrieved on December 4, 2009]. See Alexa.com: [Retrieved on December 4, 2009]. To learn more about the Alexa traffic ranking see: http://www.alexa.com/help/.

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However, looking at the top 100 site reveals that there is also a huge interest in breaking the other big taboos besides sex: politics and religion. A very popular website, for instance, is that of the neo-Islamic preacher Amr Khalid who tries to connect the spiritual with social renewal by forming social networks which bridge into the real world. On the other hand, interest in sound and neutral political information is manifested in the rising popularity of the website al-Masri al-Yaum – the first private Egyptian daily newspaper that started to outpace the government-owned newspapers and their websites. In this ambivalent search for a mixture of entertainment, sex, religion and political information, Hofheinz sees the “need to overcome the discursive barriers” that are still present in the Arab world.16 III. Theoretical Context: Media and Contentious Politics As mentioned above, the Egyptian state partly liberalised access to the media sector with the internet at its forefront. Social movement theorists refer to this development as a change in the political opportunity structure which according to Sidney Tarrow may “create incentives for social actors who lack resources on their own.”17 In authoritarian systems, these actors include especially the political opposition to the regime – contentious groups which struggle heavily to overcome the discursive barriers set by the incumbents so as to promote social change. John Downing, a senior researcher on the relation of social movements and the media, argues that the media has always been the “life-blood” for protest groups in order to mobilise followers and garner bystanders.18 Research on the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979 as well as on the late socialist states in Eastern Europe has indicated that small media such as leaflets, books or cassettes have been successfully used by marginalised contentious actors to de-legitimise the authoritarian regimes.19 However, today, the de-central and interactive character of the internet is believed to be one of the major incentives for contentious groups to articulate their messages to a broader public, therewith allowing them to leave what Downey and Fenton call their “radical ghetto.”20 On the other hand, Tarrow argues that contentious politics need to be “backed by dense social networks” to lead to “sustained interaction with opponents.”21 Thus, the potential of the internet to foster political activism depends on the ability of political or social actors

to use the media within their protest strategies. This again indicates a rather instrumental character of the media for already existing groups or networks that simply try to mobilise resources by using the media. The Islamist movement of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is one of these well-established groups representing the main political antagonist to the authoritarian regime in Egypt. Over the past 80 years, the Brotherhood has successfully built social and political capacities by framing activism as a moral obligation and mobilising resources through informal networks such as mosques, social and health institutions or through its presence in professional associations.22 Since the 1980s and under ever-changing conditions, they have constantly won seats in the parliamentary elections, albeit no more than 20% of the mandates. They seem to have a clear and programmatic agenda of issues to push forward in their struggle with the Egyptian regime and the internet is yet another tool for reaching out to the public by bypassing authoritarian restrictions. Contrary to such an established contentious actor, there are new and different forms of challenges to the authoritarian regime that seem to have been initiated by the web itself. Through websites like Facebook, for example, social networks are formed that do not necessarily have an institutional background and a traditional following. The networks formed on Facebook evolve as a virtual extension of existing offline networks that can quickly expand into huge interest groups relying primarily on virtual linkages. These networks normally form around a particular issue rather than a complete programmatic agenda. This one-issue-centred approach supplemented by the non-coercive character of the ad-hoc formation process allow these networks to gain much faster and much broader support than the more institutionalised movements. Therefore, for social networking sites, the internet is not only an instrument to be used by an organisation, but it is also the organisational platform itself that allows the building of a contentious agenda. The virtual outreach of such a single-issue network is massive in comparison to the less frequented sites of institutionalised movements. Indeed, no website of political or civil society actors can be found amongst the top 100 sites visited in Egypt. While it remains difficult to envisage how an ad-hoc network formed on Facebook or even a margi-

16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Hofheinz 2004: p. 461. Tarrow 1998: p. 2. Downing 1996: p. 22. See, for example, Sreberny-Mohammadi/ Mohammadi 1994 and Downing 1996. Downey/ Fenton 2003: p. 190. Tarrow 1998:p. 2. See Clark 2004 and Wickham 2002 for the recent development and Munson 2001 for a more historical approach.

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nalised movement like the Muslim Brotherhood can exert enough pressure on the regime to change its politics. Dieter Rucht, a sociologist linking social movement theory with theories of the public sphere, claims that it is not the direct confrontation between the regime and its challenger which affects the regime’s politics but “the resonance that has been provoked by the reflection of the confrontation in the media.”23 Although authoritarian regimes are not as dependent on public legitimacy as democratic regimes, they still have to rely on a minimum amount of legitimisation from the public. The media, therefore, plays a crucial role in winning and maintaining legitimacy for the regime as well as for contentious groups. The wider the reflection of the struggle between the different sides spreads, the less can the authoritarian regime deny the existence of other interests and perspectives and their need to respond to them. While the internet is probably the least costly starting point to present a protest group’s activities and frames, resonance is generated by the reaction of other media outlets. In contrast to the traditional media where selected issues are flagrantly pushed, the internet is often referred to as a pull medium, meaning that the user has to actively search for information. Thus, it is the mass media that are said to have an agenda setting function, which partly determines what people should think about. In this context, an actor’s internet presence can become the anchor point for mass media’s attention and coverage if this actor proves to be re-levant for media coverage. Indeed, in democratic societies, the commercial logic of the mass media requires the newsworthiness of the marginal actor based on its exceptional behaviour and/or relative importance.24 In authoritarian states like Egypt where censorship and partisan media are rampant, the logic has been somewhat different. Still, the small-scale liberalisation in the press sector and the increasing competition of satellite TV has led to the slight adaptation of the commercial paradigm, albeit only in the private media. It is this shift in the political opportunity structure which activists can rely on in Egypt and which they have to exploit in their struggle for social change. One such opportunity, the internet, has become a space to present a movement’s issues, form new coalitions and attract attention. However, virtual activism still very much depends on the mass media’s resonance in order to adequately mobilise masses into taking collective action on the ground and thus pressuring the regime.

The following two case studies examine the outcomes of different approaches to foster social activism on the internet and their relation to the mass media. IV. Facebook in Egypt Facebook is the most prominent of the social networking sites in Egypt. Networking sites are the main element of the so-called Web 2.0, which refers to the increasingly interactive character of the internet. They help facilitate networking between existing groups of acquaintances and extend this network by adding the friends of friends. The group function, in particular, has become popular on Facebook and other social networking sites because it makes it easier for like-minded people to connect to each other relatively independent from time and space and on a very costefficient level. This function enables people to react on recent as well as on latent issues that concern parts of the Egyptian society. The Egyptian author Muhammad al-Basyuni tried to take stock of the most important Facebook groups in 2008 and found a broad range of groups gathering on political, social, cultural, religious or sports issues. He describes rather cynical and ambivalent formations around women’s issues such as the group “Say woman not whore” and the group “The people’s campaign to widen the trousers of girls” as well as more serious topics such as “The campaign to foster the donation of blood” or the group for “Human development.”25 On the political front, Facebook has become a virtual battleground for supporters or opponents of the regime. The most important feature seems to be the possibility to group around a single issue of mutual interest without having to share a whole set of programmatic aspects or rules of engagement. As one group founder puts it: “I decided to found a party, a special party, far away from the Party’s Council, far away from the Shura Council, far away from the official newspaper (…) which is not liberal, not socialist, not communist, not of the Brotherhood, not Nasserist nor Sadatist nor Mubarakist.”26 Thus, the groups reflect existing but often publicly suppressed discourses of social and political relevance in the Egyptian society. Facebook provides people with an outlet to flagrantly discuss these controversial issues and show their support or opposition to them. Facebook can therefore be seen as helping to break the political apathy that has gripped Egyptian society for a long time by providing particularly the young and media-savvy middle class with a space to articulate and loosely

23 24 25 26

Rucht 1994: p. 347. See Wolfsfeld 1997. Basyuni 2009: pp. 21f., 34f., 107f., 150f. Basyuni 2009: p. 157.

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organise themselves. The popularity of groups or the intensity of discussions between supporters and adversaries serve also to measure public interest in a topic, which can in turn have repercussions on the mass media’s agenda. In the same way as some of the privately-owned newspapers in Egypt have featured the most important Egyptian blogs on their pages, they may be also inclined to feature relevant Facebook issues in order to attract readership. V. Case Study: Facebook and the Strike of April 6 For the first time in decades starting in December 2006, Egypt experienced massive strikes. The occupation of Egypt’s largest state-owned factory, “Misr Spinning and Weaving,” in Mahalla al-Kubra by a large number of its 27,000 workers served as a role model for strikes by other groups such as the dockers in Suez, the garbage collectors in Giza or the workers of the iron wire factory in Tanta.27 Although the labour protests were immediate expressions of discontent with the regimes neo-liberal reform policies in the industrial sector,28 they coincided with an increasing general uneasiness with the economic developments in Egypt and the regime’s performance. A climate of political suppression as well as the feeling of social decline determined most of the beginning of the year 2008. This culminated in a general strike against the regime’s economic and social policy on April 6. Originally, the workers of Mahalla al-Kubra had chosen this day for their strike, but it suddenly became an event of national importance because of massive virtual mobilisation. As Faris puts it: “April 6th was the day when organising tool (Web 2.0) met political reality to create elements that were strong enough to form storm clouds on the regime’s horizon.”29 Isra’ Abd al-Fattah, a young Egyptian middle class woman, had set up a Facebook group to support the Mahalla workers. Within two weeks, the group had 70,000 supporters of nearly 800,000 Egyptians Facebook account holders at this time.30 The unexpected popularity was mainly the result of the particular easiness of building a network around an issue that functioned as a unifying frame for the participants. Most demonstrations and the major opposition groups are illegal in Egypt thus making it risky for individuals to join these movements and their political activities. The open and non-binding

character of a Facebook group, however, allowed more people to publicly express their personal dissatisfaction with the authoritarian system and the political and economic situation in Egypt. While the rapid formation of a virtual group was the foundation stone of an ad-hoc movement, the determinant factor for its bridging into action on the street was the attention the issue gained through its featuring in the mass media. The massive size of the Facebook group became newsworthy for the mass media on a regional and international level, for it was the first time that such a phenomenon happened in Egypt. This mass media attention created resonance for the issue beyond the original social network users. By giving attention to the protest frames on Facebook, the mass media built the links between the Facebook group, the labour protests and other institutionalised activists. On the other hand, Faris found mass-media coverage “very sensational” and concluded that it was “this press attention that distracted activists from the actual demands of the Mahalla workers and allowed the state to co-opt substantial portions of the strike leadership.”31 Of course, the still hegemonic state-owned media tried strongly to influence the outcome of the protests by counteracting or dismissing the protest group’s issues. It was nevertheless the mass media that made the masses aware of what was planned on this specific day. As a result, April 6 became a day of some decentralised protests but mostly deserted streets and offices. To some, this was a clear signal of vast discontent with the regime, while others argued that it was simply a fear of clashes which had kept people home.32 VI. Further Developments After the April 6 strike, Facebook’s mobilising effects lost momentum for independent activists. Follow-up strikes on President Mubarak’s birthday on May 4, 2008 as well as on the first anniversary on April 6, 2009 failed. And even the ambivalent outcomes of the original strike showed that the “organisers have not yet discovered and exploited what matters.”33 The call for the strike via Facebook obviously received massive media attention because of its uniqueness, but the movement did not succeed in defining clear goals of their interests that could lead beyond a purely virtual commitment to the issue. Thus, the mass media had an event to talk about but no clear-cut frames and outstanding protagonists to rely on for their coverage. In addi-

27 28 29

30 31 32 33

See Lübben 2007: p. 51. See Beinin/ el-Hamalawy 2007 for details. Faris 2008, see also “Egypt’s Facebook Girl.” In: Asharq al-Awsat. English Edition, April 28, 2008, http://www.asharq-e.com/news.asp?section=2&id=12582 [Retrieved December 4, 2009]. Faris 2008. Faris 2009. “Riding the storm.” In: Al-Ahram Weekly, April 10-16, 2008, http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/892/fr1.htm. Faris 2009.

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tion, the regime made an example of the putative mastermind behind the strike, Isra’ Abd al-Fattah, by imprisoning her for several weeks, thus showing that mobilising virtual activism against the regime can bear individual costs. Abd al-Fattah has since refrained from any political activity. Faris points out that Facebook’s main asset – the facilitated linkbuilding group formation of like-minded people – may lead to “over-estimating the actual degree of support enjoyed by your particular cause.”34 Furthermore, virtual support can function as a simple substitutive action that was never meant to bridge into on-the-ground-action as the expected individual social costs are too high: “Facebook groups seem to engender extraordinary low levels of commitment on the part of their members.”35 Therefore, Faris argues that virtual activities are rather complimentary and supportive for what already happens on the ground. Activism seems less likely to be sustainable without a dedicated organisation behind it that helps to constantly mobilise people. Furthermore, mass media attention cannot be reached without newsworthy events and prominent figures. VII. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt Contrary to the ad-hoc formation of Facebook groups, the Brotherhood’s internet activism was a conscious strategy necessary due to the movement’s continuing marginalisation. Its access to media throughout its history reflects its far-reaching political exclusion. Starting in 1984, the politically illegal Muslim Brotherhood employed a piggyback strategy to publish newspapers, for only legal political or social institutions like parties were entitled to apply for newspaper licences. Typically, the movement used the newspapers of their short-term allies to address the public with an Islamist agenda. The neo-liberal al-Wafd, the socialist al-Sha’ab and the leftist al-Ahrar all served as mouthpieces of the Brotherhood at different times. In the 1990s, the Liberals’ party leader conceded one of the party’s licences to the Brotherhood, enabling them to unofficially publish their own newspaper.36 The products of this strategy – al-Nur and its successor Afaq Arabia – were badly printed papers with limited circulation. However, after the massive success of the Brotherhood in the 2005 parliamentary

elections, the regime found Afaq Arabia potentially dangerous and cancelled its licence in March 2006, again leaving the Brotherhood without a print organ.37 Thus, under the new General Guide, Mahdi Akif, who took over in 2004, the Brotherhood’s small-scale presence in the World Wide Web was developed into a widely ramified and interconnected communication platform.38 According to Ajemian, the 2002-founded website ikhwanonline.com was initially meant ”to support short-term political objectives like election campaigns.“39 However, in 2004, the site was blocked and its offices were raided. Following this attack, the Brotherhood decided to extend the network and installed proxy servers bypassing possible regime restrictions.40 Since then, ikhwanonline.com serves as the focal point of the internet network targeting the Egyptian and Arab public, while the English-language ikhwanweb.com targets an international audience. In March 2007, the website barlman.com was launched to disseminate news and background information on the work of the Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc. In addition, several regional branches of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 26 Egyptian governorates run their own websites such as Alexandria’s amlalommah.net or Nafidat Misr (egyptwindow.net).41 The Brotherhood’s network had already passed its litmus test during the parliamentary elections in 2005 when the different websites provided up-todate information about the regime’s fraud in local branches. Thus, the websites became a platform for news that had been neglected in the governmental media and served as an inter-media agenda setter for other private media such as alJazeera or al-Masri al-Yaum. VIII. Case Study: The Muslim Brotherhood and the Constitutional Amendments42 On a different front, during the debate on the constitutional amendments in 2007, the websites served yet again as the movement’s outlet to support its campaign. At this time, President Hosni Mubarak had initiated the process to amend 34 articles of the Egyptian constitution. All of the ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood, the secular opposition as well as civil society organisations took part in the discussion on the content of these amend-

34 35 36 37

38 39 40 41 42

Faris 2008. Faris 2009. Personal interview with Isam Kamil, editor-in-chief of al-Ahrar newspaper, February 21, 2007. „Parliament Discusses Suspension of MB weekly.“ In: Ikhwanweb.com, March 8, 2006, http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=4651&ref=search.php [Retrieved on December 4, 2009]. For information about the general change of strategies after the take-over of Akif, see: el-Ghobashy 2005: p. 389f. Ajemian 2008. Personal interview with Abd al-Galil al-Sharnubi, editor-in-chief of ikhwanonline.com, March 8, 2007. See also Lynch 2007. The following chapter is based on field research in Egypt including a content analysis of ikhwanonline.com and six daily Egyptian newspapers (the semi-governmental al-Ahram and Ruz al-Yussif, the party papers al-Wafd and al-Ahrar, the private al-Masri al-Yaum) from February 13 – March 12, 2007 as well as a survey based on a standardised questionnaire with 259 participants. See excerpts of the yet unpublished study (forthcoming 2010) in Richter 2008.

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ments and the process itself. Despite the broad and vibrant discussion in these organisations, which proposed a revision of the suggested amendments, the government held a public referendum in March 2007 resulting in the endorsement of the amendments as initially suggested by Mubarak’s ruling NDP.43 The Brotherhood used a threefold strategy to react to the Mubarak initiative and its public discussion: first, it aimed to counteract the governmental frames which tried to display the amendments as an outcome of a democratic process of public participation. Ikhwanonline.com emphasised that the amendments were just a cosmetic fabrication staged by the ruling party. Interestingly, instead of displaying fatalism by stating that the amendments were more or less irrelevant for the people – a common trend for non-activist media at the time – ikhwanonline.com chose to actively de-legitimise the regime. Meanwhile, the state-owned papers argued that the proposed amendments would improve democracy and bring about social change in Egypt, whereas the Brotherhood and other opposition press criticised them strongly for the possible restrictions they would impose on civil liberties. Second, the Brotherhood did not simply counteract the regime but suggested and discussed via its media how the constitution should be amended in order to bring about democratic transformation. The media output of the Brotherhood was accompanied by public discussions, symposia and press conferences so as to attract broad public attention and participation of its followers. A survey which the author conducted among users of ikhwanonline.com in comparison with non-users showed clearly that the massive coverage of the amendments had strong agenda-setting effects among its followers: they ranked the issue of the constitutional amendments as the single-most important problem at the time of research while the other groups prioritised daily-life problems. But the media strategy of the Muslim Brotherhood did not only find resonance among its traditional followers. The Islamist opposition succeeded also in having their agenda and frames reflected in the private media in Egypt and the Arab world. The private media especially relied on these oppositional frames because they seemed to be much more passionate and vivid then the government’s frames. Third, and in order to deepen the resonance of its strategy to de-legitimise the regime, the Muslim Brotherhood aimed at forming discursive coalitions with other forces in the opposition such as the secular parties. With this in mind, the Brotherhood overtly refrained from making the issue of the relation between religion and the state a broad subject

of discussion. It was obvious to the Brotherhood that this aspect would be a very sensitive issue and that it would not help the alliance-building process with secular and civil society organisations. In a flagrant attack against the Brotherhood, the regime proposed an article in the constitution aimed to prohibit parties based on religious foundations. This was accompanied by a campaign led by the stateowned newspapers which framed one quarter of their coverage on the amendments arguing against religious parties in Egypt. Still, the Muslim Brotherhood chose to stick consistently to frames of mutual interest with other oppositional groups and by doing so broadened its mobilising resources. Even a heavy-handed series of arrests of leading Brotherhood members did not weaken their resolve to build discursive coalitions via their media. IX. Further Developments The Brotherhood’s virtual and offline mobilisation strategy, however, did not result in substantial changes in the constitutional amendments. From the perspective of the Brotherhood, direct and positive effects on decision-making could not be detected. Nevertheless, it helped to consolidate the Brotherhood’s role as a major digital force in Egypt. Being already well-established on the net, the Brotherhood perpetually tries to catch up with new trends in order to mobilise more users and reach out to the public. In 2007, it launched the website ikhwantube.com, which enables young Brotherhood supporters to share videos. In the same year, it jumped on the blogging bandwagon after Egypt had become the biggest blogger nation in the Arab world. The most well-known of a whole network of blogs is Abd al-Mun’im Mahmud’s ana-ikhwan.blogspot.com.44 However, the aim to encourage virtual participation to increase the movement’s outreach had the unexpected side effect of stimulating publicised individual discussions about programmes and strategies among members and affiliates. In September 2007, for example, the movement internally circulated a party platform draft that instantly disseminated into the public and was discussed controversially in the different Muslim Brotherhood blogs and other media. Because this discussion occurred during a time of revived regime repression, the Brotherhood cadres reacted harshly towards the discussants and demanded less public controversy and more internal cohesion. This incident shows that while structural changes in authoritarian systems provide challengers with greater opportunities to reach out to the public, these changes, however, can have unintended repercussions by making the activists more vulnerable to reactions from the regime and the pub-

43

44

See, for example, “Purple fingers, black bands.” In: al-Ahram Weekly, March 29, 2007, http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2007/838/fr1.htm [Retrieved on December 4, 2009]. See Lübben 2008 as well as Lynch 2007 and Radsch 2008 for further information on the Muslim Brotherhood blogs.

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lic. Nevertheless, especially the more moderate members of the Brotherhood, like Sa’ad al-Katatni, MP of the Brotherhood bloc, emphasises the important role of the internet for stimulating activism in Egypt. According to al-Katatni, “the government puts pressure on the private television stations so as to exclude the appearance of MB deputies on television raising public issues. This matter has become exposed since last year. This has prompted us to formulate a plan to keep contacts with the masses through the official website of the MB Group, the official website of the MB parliamentary bloc, the offices offering public services to the people, and the political pamphlets and seminars held by the MB parliamentary bloc. We have also held a number of seminars to discuss the important issues and to promote these issues through the media so as everyone would become aware of the real performance of the MB parliamentary bloc.”45 X. Conclusion The digital media has obviously fostered the publicity of political activism in Egypt and as such fostered political activism itself. The relative freedom of the internet in connection with the limited liberalisation of the other media sectors resulted in a new opportunity structure that has enabled marginalised actors to incorporate new strategies of mobilisation into their repertoire as well as it enabled the formation of movements on a virtual level. While actual collective action still seems to be much smaller than during the bread riots in the 1970s, these new opportunities were used to create a public presence that can be reflected by the mass media which then again provoke and influ-

ence reactions of the regime. However, the case studies have shown that high degrees of virtual commitment can lead to short-term mass media attention but do not necessarily translate into sustainable high-level pressure on the regime. In particular the loosely connected Facebook groups rather seem to offer an instrument to release steam than to mobilise people into collective action. Furthermore, Facebook groups often lack the ability to state clear goals and frames to be bridged into the mass media in order to garner bystanders. Still, Facebook activism may over time create a general feeling of empowerment towards the regime that can in the future be exploited by socially embedded movements. More institutionalised actors like the Muslim Brotherhood, on the other hand, continue to rely on their traditional followers as a basis for collective action and regime pressure. Using digital media enables them to constantly inform and mobilise their base of supporters. It is the relative importance which they gained through their networking as well as their coherent programmatic agenda that earns them the mass media attention they receive. However, a widespread virtual presence and decentralised communication can also challenge the public coherence of the movement itself with issue-centred fragmentation as a possible outcome. In the end, it might be the bundling of issue-centred virtual activism and on-the-ground activism by a broad coalition of more institutionalised social movements that may have an impact on the enduring authoritarianism of the Egyptian regime.

XI. Bibliography ABDULLA, RASHA A. (2007): The Internet in the Arab World. Egypt and Beyond. New York: Peter Lang. AJEMIAN, PETE (2008): The Islamist Opposition online in Egypt and Jordan. In: Arab Media & Society No. 4, January. BASYUNI, MUHAMMAD (2009): Daulat al-Facebook (The Facebook-State). Al-Qahira: Dar ash-Shuruq. (in Arabic.) BEININ, JOEL/ EL-HAMALAWY, HOSSAM (2007): Egyptian Textile Workers Confront the New Economic Order. In: Middle East Report, March 27, 2007. BURKHART, GREY E./ OLDER, SUSAN (2003): The Information Revolution in the Middle East and North Africa. Santa Monica: RAND-Corporation. CLARK, JANINE A. (2004): Islam, Charity, and Activism. Middle-Class Networks and Social Welfare in Egypt, Jordan and Yemen. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press. DOWNING, JOHN D.H. (1996): Internationalizing Media Theory: Transition, Power, Reflections on Media in Russia, Poland and Hungary, 1980 - 95. London: Sage. Culture:

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Ikhwanonline.com, November 9, 2008, [Retrieved on December 4, 2009] in the translation of mideastwire.com. Almesryoon.com also reports about a governmental instruction of dismissing journalists close to the Muslim Brothers from their posts in state-owned papers of March 16, 2008, http://www.almesryoon.com/ShowDetails.asp?NewID=46071&Page=6 [Retrieved on December 4, 2009].

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DOWNEY, JOHN/ FENTON, NATALIE (2003): New Media, Counter Publicity and the Public Sphere. In: New Media & Society No. 2, pp. 185-202. FARIS, DAVID M. (2009): The End of the Beginning: The Failure of April 6th and the Future of Electronic Activism in Egypt. In: Arab Media & Society No. 9, Fall. FARIS, DAVID (2008): Revolutions Without Revolutionaries? Network Theory, Facebook, and the Egyptian Blogosphere. In: Arab Media & Society No. 6, September. EL-GHOBASHY, MONA (2005): The Metamorphosis of the Egyptian Muslim Brothers. In: International Journal of Middle East Studies No. 3, pp. 373-395. EL-GODY, AHMED (2004): Medien in Ägypten. In: Hans-Bredow-Institut (Hrsg.): Internationales Handbuch für Hörfunk und Fernsehen 2004/2005. Baden-Baden: Nomos, S. 721-736. HAMDY, NAILA NABIL (2004): The Internet and Egypt’s National Development. In: Global Media Journal (American Edition), Fall. HOFHEINZ, ALBRECHT (2004): Das Internet und sein Beitrag zum Wertewandel in arabischen Gesellschaften. In: Faath, Sigrid (Hrsg.): Politische und gesellschaftliche Debatten in Nordafrika, Nah- und Mittelost. Inhalte, Träger, Perspektiven. Hamburg: Deutsches Orient-Institut, S. 449-472. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH (2005): False Freedom. Online Censorship in the Middle East and North Africa. November. ISHERWOOD, TOM (2008): A New Direction or More of the Same? Political Blogging in Egypt. In: Arab Media & Society No. 6, September. MUNSON, ZIAD (2001): Islamic Mobilization: Social Movement Theory and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. In: The Sociological Quarterly No. 4, pp. 487-510. LÜBBEN, IVESA (2008): Junge Islamisten im Cyberspace. Die Blogs der Muslimbrüderjugend. In: Inamo No. 55, S. 25-30. LÜBBEN, IVESA (2007): Erwachen der ägyptischen Arbeiterbewegung? In: Inamo No. 49, S. 51-55. LYNCH, MARC (2007): Young Brothers in Cyberspace. In: Middle East Report No. 245, Winter. RADSCH, COURTNEY C. (2008): Core to Commonplace: The Evolution of Egypt’s Blogosphere. In: Arab Media & Society No. 6, September. RICHTER, CAROLA (2008): The Effects of Islamist Media on the Mainstream Press in Egypt. In: Hafez, Kai (ed.): Arab Media. Power and Weakness. New York: Continuum, pp. 46-65. RUCHT, DIETER (1994): Öffentlichkeit als Mobilisierungsfaktor für soziale Bewegungen. In: Neidhardt, Friedhelm (Hrsg.): Öffentlichkeit, öffentliche Meinung, soziale Bewegungen. Opladen: Westdeutscher Verlag, S. 337-358.

SREBERNY-MOHAMMADI, ANNABELLE/ MOHAMMADI, ALI (1994): Small Media, Big Revolution: Communication, Culture and the Iranian Revolution. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis. TARROW, SIDNEY (1998): Power in Movement. Social Movements and Contentious Politics. Second Edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. WEYMAN, GEORGE (2007): Western Niemann Reports, Summer, . Journalists Report on Egyptian Bloggers. In:

WICKHAM, CARRIE ROSEFSKY (2002): Mobilizing Islam. Religion, Activism, and Political Change in Egypt. New York: Columbia University Press. WOLFSFELD, GADI (1997): Media & Political Conflict. News from the Middle East. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Networked Palestine Exploring Power in Online Palestinian Networks
I. Introduction The continued rise and global proliferation of the internet has led to renewed hope regarding its role in revitalizing democracy and the public sphere (Dahlberg, 2001). The association of the internet and democracy (c.f. Dalhberg and Siapera, 2007) has led some theorists to argue that the diffusion of new technologies will introduce democratic principles even in places where these have been in short supply. More specifically, in connection with Islam and Muslim societies, theorists argued that the internet might lead to social and political reforms, as it will help create a transnational public sphere, broadening participation and allowing a greater range of people to take part in politics (Eickelman and Anderson, 1999/2003). As more and more Muslims come online, the new online Muslim publications are revealing a diversification of Islam and its interpretations, which are detached from authors and authorities, thereby in many ways echoing the operations of the public sphere in early (European) modernity. As Gary Bunt (2003) has shown, the internet has diffused and redistributed religious power, which has now left the confines of the famous madrasas and circulates in the various sites offering fatwas and other religious advice. Inevitably, these lead to a politicization of Islamic religious and social knowledge, as they involve a power struggle between different sources, seeking to provide the most authoritative knowledge (Mandaville, 2001). Making use of these insights, Siapera (2007) argues that the mediation of Islam by the internet is one of intellectual and public engagement with Islam, which takes many forms, including some polemical ones, such as hacking and flaming. Such an engagement is not limited to Muslim societies, or the Muslim diasporas, but involves all kinds of participants from different areas and walks of life. It must not be seen necessarily as a civil process of exchanging views, as it often involves polarized opinions, unmoving dogmatic ideas, while it may also be an emotionally charged process. On the other hand, the tendencies of the internet to divide are well-known. Cass Sunstein (2001) argues that the internet has a tendency to divide the public into small, self-contained groups of likeminded people whose views become even more polarized, who never come into contact with others, thereby eventually leading to a fragmentation of society. This has led theorists such as Gilles Kepel (2004) to argue that the internet may contribute to a radicalization of especially young Western Muslims. In an interview with the BBC, Kepel used the example of a young woman asking for advice on the pill and receiving the answer was that she had to reject her (Western) values and environment (Casciani, 2004). The complex and often fraught relationship between Islam and the internet, especially the more polemical and politicized aspects of it, appears lost or certainly displaced upon the arrival of Web 2.0. Specifically, it is been almost five years since Tim O’Reilly coined the term Web 2.0 to summarize the shift towards a new kind of paradigm within the internet (O’Reilly, 2005). This was centered on buzz words such as networks, collaboration, ‘wiki-fication’ and so on. For O’Reilly, Web 2.0 is about ”harnessing collective intelligence” and the wisdom of crowds, as opposed to individual effort and rigid hierarchies of knowledge and expertise. In some ways, the rhetorical explosion surrounding this new paradigm reflects broader shifts that had been identified by theorists such as Manuel Castells. Castells’ main argument is that the sociopolitical organization associated with industrial capitalism has given way to new forms of organizing, associated with informational capitalism (Castells, 1996/2000). These new forms revolve around a new organizing principle, that of the network. Darin Barney (2004) defines the network as a structural condition in which “distinct points (often called ‘nodes’) are linked to one another by connections (often called ‘ties’) that are typically multiple, intersecting and often redundant” (p. 2). The logic of the network is characterized by decentralization and connectivity and it is distinctly different to the centralist tendencies of the industrial paradigm which were based on having control over more or less isolated individuals. Web 2.0 seems to represent this shift in an ideal manner: while Web 1.0 was still making use of the characteristics of the industrial age, thinking that the internet was more about publishing than participation as O’Reilly (2005) put it, Web 2.0 moved things to a second level, allowing for increased participation, sharing and connectivity, displaying the networking logic in operation. From this point of view, the networking logic appears to be more democratic compared to the industrial capitalism’s tendencies to concentrate and hierarchically distribute power, knowledge and resources. When we put Web 2.0 alongside Islam, the emerging picture is in many ways an idealized one. Already couched in primarily positive terms, Web 2.0’s emphasis on collaboration, participation, and connectivity gives rise to notions of egalitarian civil

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exchanges on Islam in online applications such as blogs and wikis. This implies that any struggles and polemics have given way to collaboration and sharing. Participatory culture (Jenkins, 1992; 2006) for Islam implies a smoothing out of any differences and a more democratic-egalitarian way of encountering others. But this view of the almost inherent democratic potential of Web 2.0 and networks overlooks the ways in which networks actually displace rather than remove power altogether. And in doing so, the result is actually ignoring the new, perhaps more diffuse, but no less potent, power struggles and intra-network hierarchies that develop in Web 2.0 environments. This paper seeks to offer a preliminary investigation of the concept of power in Web 2.0 applications. But this is not only a question of theoretical interest. This article has a clear substantive and grounded focus on Palestine – and all its geographical, political, ethno-cultural and religious meanings. In a politically fraught case such as Palestine, where is power located in online environments? The stakes here are multiple: first, we need to know who the Web 2.0 environment favors, if we are able to understand the new power dynamics emerging in networked communications. Second, we have to find out whether these new power structures that have emerged are more democratic than previous ones. Third, we must ask what precisely the Web 2.0’s contribution to very real and pressing political problems is, such as the one posed by Palestine. This paper does not purport to have answers to all these questions. Rather, it seeks, on the one hand, to contribute to the problematique of the relationship between Web 2.0, power and politics and, on the other hand, to formulate some initial and preliminary ideas regarding the contribution of Web 2.0 to addressing the problem of Palestine. In doing so, we will begin with a discussion of Palestine and the empirical questions it raises in connection with the Web. This will be followed by a theoretical discussion of power and its various conceptualizations. The paper will then move on to a discussion of the findings regarding the issue of power in networks concerning Palestine. II. Palestine The ‘bare’ facts of the ‘question’ of Palestine are more or less well-known. The territory circumscribed in the north by the borders of Lebanon, in the east by those of Jordan, and in the south by Egypt, was part of the Ottoman Empire, whose disintegration following the World War I led to the distribution of its lands in the Middle East to European colonial powers. This territory, then Palestine, now Israel, was allocated to the British, with a mandate to temporarily rule over it, before offering independence (Article 22, League of the Nations,

1917). While there had been some settlements of Jewish people in the region, mostly following pogroms in Europe, it was the activism and diplomacy of the Zionist Organization, then headed by Chaim Weizman, that led to the eventual formation of a Jewish state. The Balfour Declaration (1917) in which the British government offered its support to the Zionist cause prevented Palestine from being offered the independence granted to other territories placed under the mandate. Unable to resolve the conflicting requirements of Jewish settlements and Palestinian independence, the British government passed over the issue of Palestine to the UN, which, in 1947, offered a plan of partition into two states: an Arab and a Jewish one. Eventually, the State of Israel proclaimed its independence on May 14, 1948, but the Arab State of Palestine never materialized. The various conflicts and wars between Israel and Palestine led not only to the loss of life and an almost unprecedented amount of human misery, but also to further loss of territory for Palestinians and to more polarization between the two sides, further removing the possibility and success of any future political settlement. The Palestinian question, as Said (1980) argues, is the question of what is the world going to do about Palestine. This question is still awaiting an answer. In this context it is crucial to ask what the role and contribution of the new media in connection with Palestine is. In his influential works, Edward Said (1979; 1980; 1994; 1997) studied the traditional media, the press, books, and television, as well as the academic apparatus, arguing that since they produce know-ledge, they end up shaping the world around us. For instance, the ‘Orient’ and the ‘West’ are not naturally or geographically designated categories, but rather value-laden in very specific ways, and with very specific outcomes. Such outcomes include the silencing of those seen as ‘oriental others,’ and the justification of the dominance of ‘Western’ civilization. When it comes to Palestine, Said urges us to think how representations of it in the media and elsewhere ‘conspire’ to silence and block its voice (Said, 1980). As Said put it: “The sheer impossibility of finding a space within which to speak for the Palestinians is enormous.” (1980: 40) Such comments make an investigation into the role of the new media and Palestine even more urgent: if the ‘old’ media prevented Palestine from speaking, then how may the new media and especially the more ‘democratic’ Web 2.0 applications help it find a voice? And what precisely might this voice be? If therefore we follow Said’s criticism of the mass media as preventing action on Palestine, and now that the Web has taken over, what is the kind of ac-

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tion it has taken or led to? We may also add here that an important argument put forward by Said was that ‘orientalized’ subjects must find and speak with their own voice. The blogosphere might be able to do precisely that: to allow for Palestinian voices to be aired and heard. On the other hand, to argue that there is an authentic Palestinian voice leads to problems of representation and nativism (Moghadam, 1989). How may we then understand Palestine and the Palestinian question in online environments? In this paper we consider that ‘Palestine’ is indeed a world issue, and that we are all therefore involved in discussing, representing and (re)constructing it – this includes the ‘friends’ and ‘enemies’ of Palestine. This has several implications: the first is that we have to consider Palestine as a global issue network, which, in empirical terms, means we need to examine the kind of network of NGOs, activists, and others that support Palestine. This leads to an empirical analysis of ‘Palestine’ as an issue network, that is, as a network of activists that support an issue. Second, in studying it online, we must consider the contribution of opposing and polarized voices in constructing ‘Palestine.’ In order to study this in empirical terms, we need to locate encounters of these oppositional groups in online environments. At the same time, when going back to Said’s arguments, it is important to show the emerging voice of Palestine especially in the collaborative and networked world of the blogosphere, because this will allow us to understand the contribution of the blogosphere and the network logic to the question of Palestine. In empirical terms, this means we need to find and study a blogging network on Palestine. In these terms, ‘Palestine’ is operationalized as an issue network, a set of networks of opposing groups, and a blogging network. Given the limited scope of this article, we will only focus on the issue and blogging networks. Discovering oppositional networks is a crucial step in completing this research, as the dilemmatic nature of the question of Palestine shows that it is co-constructed by opposing and antithetical forces. In the future, such research might focus on the works of these groups in environments bring them together, such as Facebook or Twitter. Precisely because of the important contribution of networks to Palestine, we must clearly and urgently pose questions regarding the articulations of networks on Palestine with power. How is power involved in Palestinian blogging networks emerging on the internet? How might they contribute to the question of Palestine? These are the questions this paper seeks to address. But before empirically researching these, we need to discuss the issue of power and operationalize it in a certain manner so that we can study its articulation with ‘Palestine.’ This task is undertaken in the next section.

III. Power In his discussion of Hannah Arendt’s concept of power, Habermas (1977) discussed both Weber’s and Parson’s views on power as being primarily instrumental and teleological: power is first and foremost aimed at attaining certain goals. These may be collective (Parsons) or, more generally, actionoriented goals (Weber). Specifically, while Weber understood power as the possibility of forcing one’s will over others (in Habermas, 1977: 3), Parsons viewed power “as the capacity of a social system to mobilize resources to attain collective goals” (Parsons, 1963, cited in Habermas, 1977: 4). While Habermas, through his reading of Arendt’s concept of power, criticized both Weber and Parsons. Of central importance here is the understanding of power as forceful and therefore limiting, constraining (Weber) and enabling (Parsons), while always being teleological or goal-oriented. To some extent these two fundamental sociological understandings have shaped further discussions on power. To begin with, in Stephen Lukes’ (2005) influential analysis, power can be seen as having three dimensions. The first focuses on behaviors in circumstances where there is conflict of interest and it concerns the kind of direct force or influence exerted in decision making. The second builds on this model but extends the application of power to circumstances broader than decision making and overt conflict. To these, Lukes adds another dimension of power which goes a step further (or backwards): grievances and opinions may be prevented not only from reaching a public arena but altogether from being formed through the exercise of a kind of power that influences and shapes cognitions, perceptions, values and ideas. Empirically, this involves the identification of what Lukes terms latent conflict. Clearly influenced by Marx and ideas of false consciousness, Lukes understands this as the conflict which arises between the real interests of different people and groups in society, who may not even be aware of their real interests. Lukes in this manner ‘radicalizes’ the concept of power which includes not only direct exertion of influence in decision making and grievance airing contexts, but also as the operation of more subtle ways of shaping cognitions and ideas over what is just and right. While Lukes’ concept primarily concerns the view of power as limiting or constraining action, it introduces an important factor: that of power looking beyond attaining immediate goals and towards shaping the environment of ideas, images, and more broadly knowledge and visibility. But we still need to understand the circumstances under which power is also enabling, that is, acting as a resource used by people. It is in the works of Michel Foucault that this view has found

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its most forceful explication. Specifically, in Discipline and Punish (1977) and other works (e.g., 1982) Foucault formulated a view of power that, in common with Parsons, exists in a productive way: it produces and shapes not only institutions, but also subjects. Unlike Parsons’ view of power as a benign and positive force, exercised intentionally by people, Foucault showed that intentionality is almost absent as power works in much more subtle ways. Specifically, he argued that power enables the existence of certain ideas, views, but also institutions and subjects. On the other hand, by constructing subjects and institutions, power allows and enables them to act. From this point of view, power is both productive, in that it produces subjects (and objects), and enabling, as it allows for these to act; albeit in ways structured (but not altogether determined) by power. It emerges from the above discussion that power can be understood both as limiting/constraining as well as productive/enabling power. If we are to understand power and networks, then the first question we need to pose is: what enables and what constrains the network? The first operationalization therefore is that of power over the network – the power which has made the (specific) network possible, but which also limits its possible actions. Secondly, power is always seen as action and goal-oriented: it seeks to do things. We may therefore operationalize power in terms of the accomplishments of the network: looking for the achievements of any given network in relation to its stated and implied goals will give us an idea of the power of the network. Finally, following Lukes’ third dimension of power, that of shaping the broader environment of visibility and acceptability, we may operationalize power in networks in another way. This concerns the distribution of voice and visibility in the network. The third operationalization therefore looks for power within the network. These three operationalizations – power over the network, power of the network, and power within the network – will guide the empirical analysis, which will be presented in the following sections. IV. Tracing Palestinian Online Networks In the previous sections we operationalized ‘online Palestine’ in terms of different kinds of networks. The first was Palestine as an issue network, the second Palestine as a set of opposing networks, and the third Palestine as a blogging network. Of these, we will focus on the first and last: Palestine as an issue and a blogging network, covering the ‘organizational’ and ‘individual’ aspects of the question of Palestine, leaving the study of oppositional networks for a future project. However, the almost unlimited expansion of the Web poses important

questions for the empirical investigation of such networks. Rather than attempting, and failing, to provide a comprehensive idea of all the issue and blogging networks on Palestine, here we have to limit the empirical investigation to indicative networks of each type, getting an initial idea of the articulations of Palestinian networks with power, which can then be expanded or modified by further research. The methodological decisions will be outlined in each sub-section below. How can we actually study the articulations of Palestinian networks with power? To begin with, this section will need to examine the three operationalizations of power in each of these networks. In other words, in the following sections each kind of network will be examined from the point of view of (i) what made it possible and what constraints it, (ii) how effective it is vis-à-vis the question of Palestine, and (iii) what kind of power dynamics are present within the network. V. Palestine as an Issue Network In political science, an issue network is understood as a kind of network comprising organizations, policy makers, academics, journalists and other interested individuals, all converging on a certain issue they support or advocate (Sikkink, 1993). It is feasible that, given the prominence of the question of Palestine, there is more than one relevant network. When it comes to the online environment, we can determine these networks online through specialized software tools, such as issuecrawler (see www.govcom.org). This software allows us to enter a set of relevant websites, trace the links coming off and to them, and in this manner map the network they have formed. In this paper, we did this by choosing the first ten entries following a google search of Palestinian NGOs. The websites generated by our search included the following (with the exception of the UN site, when these were webpages, the homepage was used): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. The Palestinian NGO Network: www.pngo.net/ The Palestinian-Israeli Peace NGO Forum: www.peacengo.org/ The Palestinian Environmental NGO Network: www.pengon.org/ Masader, the Palestinian NGO portal: www.masader.ps/p/ The UN supported Civil Society Network on the Question of Palestine: www.un.org/depts/dpa/ngo/ Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs: www.passia.org Electronic Intifada: www.electronicintifada.net

6. 7.

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8.

Prisoners’ Support and Human Rights Association: www.addameer.org/ 9. NGO Development Center: www.ndc.ps 10. MuzzleWatch: www.muzzlewatch.com/

List of top twenty sites by number of links. In red, the top three sites of the network, excluding the media, and global NGO sites. Actor Rankings

The URLs of these were fed into the issuecrawler software. Issuecrawler works by tracing the links coming off and to these sites, thereby generating a network that may include some of the ‘seeds’ but not all, depending on their links with other sites. The emerging sites and their links to other sites are understood as a network, visualized in Figure 1 below, using a cluster map formation This map includes all the sites to which the original ten linked to, which can then be thought of as part

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

- haaretz.com - 757 - bdsmovement.net - 747 - news.bbc.co.uk - 593 - electronicintifada.net - 547 - un.org - 529 - hrw.org - 343 - guardian.co.uk - 288 - amnesty.org - 236 - jewishvoiceforpeace.org - 236 - btselem.org - 234

Figure 1. Palestinian NGO network. of a wider Palestinian support network. The specific network comprises 95 sites and reveals an interesting picture: the white node near the centre of the map is the UN site which received a total of 529 links from the initial ten NGO sites. In general, the centre of the map contains the sites most linkedto, while the larger the node, the more linked is the site. This means that the sites found in the centre of the map can be thought of as the most referred to, visited, and linked sites of the network. Issuecrawler allows for the generation of a list of the top linked-to sites, found below. The numbers refer to the number of links received by each site from the sites within the network. 11 - jpost.com - 229 12 - passia.org - 192 13 - domino.un.org - 171 14 - birzeit.edu - 165 15 - pchrgaza.org - 164 16 - alnakba.org - 139 17 - ochaopt.org - 129 18 - stopthewall.org - 121 19 - badil.org - 104 20 - miftah.org – 100 This list positions Haaretz, the Israeli newspaper, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions for Palestine Movement, and the BBC news site at the top

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three spots. Interestingly, there are five news sites in the top 20 – Haaretz, BBC news, Electronic Intifada, The Guardian, and Jerusalem Post – while we can also see two global NGO sites, those of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, as well as one university site – Birzeit University. Then there are three UN sites – the UN home page, domino.un.org, which is the site for the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine, and OCHAoPt, the site of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the occupied Palestinian territory. The remaining sites comprise NGOs, such as B’Tselem and Stop the Wall, and academic information sites, such as MIFTAH, The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, and Passia. The later, in fact, is the only site of our original ‘seed’ sites that generated this network. Finally, the top 20 sites include al Nakba, a historical memory site with personal testimonials, maps and experiences of the exile from Palestine. The geographical dispersion of the network is shown in Figure 2 below. Most URLs are located either in the Middle East or in the USA, with a smaller number located in Western Europe. How is this network articulated with power? We can begin this interrogation with the first operationalization of power, that of power as enabling/constraining the network. Paradoxi-

and takes part in various initiatives in the region. This network’s existence is unlikely without the support of the UN – either direct or indirect. At a second level, this network is enabled and supported by the technology of the Web, which allows for the posting of information and links. These enabling factors also act in ways that constrain this network: as long as it receives funding and other means of support by the UN, the online existence of these sites must reflect this and operate within the required guidelines. The technology that enables them circumscribes the ways in which they can use it: insofar as these are websites rather than blogs, visitors can only read the information they post, rather than getting more actively involved. From this point of view, although the connectivity element is part of Web 2.0, the non-interactive or collaborative aspects of these sites take us back to the previous state of the Web. On the other hand, insofar as they are part of a network, the political position of each NGO site in the network vis-à-vis the question of Palestine must be more or less in line with each other. Although some deviation is expected, particularly in the outlayers of the cluster map in Figure 1 above, in general the top 20 sites appear to have a more or less established political position, i.e., that of a liberal support for the cause of Palestine, pointing to the wellknown notion of homophily found in networks. Ho-

Figure 2. A geo-map of the network. Most URLs are located in the US and Israel-Palestine.

cally, this network is enabled precisely by the question of Palestine: it came into being as a direct result of the disputes and uncertainty over the future of the Arab people of the land of Palestine. Further, the centrality of the UN in this network shows that it is enabled by the UN, which supports

mophily, which refers to the tendency to link or connect to similar rather than dissimilar others (McPherson, Smith-Lovin and Cooke, 2001), works in ways that first attract similar groups, and subsequently acts in ways that constrain and limit deviation from shared ideas, positions and viewpoints.

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Outlinks, or links from a site to another, might act as a means by which to control and influence others. The more a site diverges from the common viewpoint the less likely it is to receive a link, thereby effectively pushing it out of the network.

accomplish this goal. Moving to the third dimension, that of power within the network, we can use the top actors list, above, to find out which sites are the most visible in this network. The main measure here is the number of links going from the network

Figure 3. Map of the top twenty sites. The second articulation concerns the power of the network. The actual outcomes are the most difficult to measure. Here, however, we can use links by mainstream media as a measure of the network’s success in publicizing their cause. The underlying assumption is that the more publicity, the more efficacious the network. We have seen that there are five media sites in the top 20 actors within this network, and Figure 3 below shows the inlinks going to these sites and the outlinks coming out of them. Looking at the media sites, none of the mainstream media sites, the BBC, The Guardian, Haaretz and Jerusalem Post have any outlinks to any of the network sites – the only exception is the BBC’s links to the two global human rights NGOs, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Not surprisingly, it is only Electronic Intifada that offers some outlinks and publicity to these sites. By far the most outlinks are to other sites doing more or less the same work in the network. From this point of view, we can see that their online efficacy or power is rather limited. This does not mean that they do not have any actual results on the ground – if, however, part of their goal is to generate publicity and to improve their visibility through their online presence, then the lack of any outlinks from mainstream media shows their relative failure to to these sites. Excluding the media sites, which are clearly the most visible, the global NGO and the UN sites, which are equally visible and wellknown, the most powerful site within the network – in terms of visibility – is the BDS Movement which campaigns for boycotting, divestment and sanctions against Israel. While this gives the impression of a truly polemical network, the second most powerful site is that of Jewish Voice for Peace, a US-based organization which supports the rights of both Palestinians and Israelis. This is followed closely by the site of B’Tselem, the wellknown Israeli NGO for human rights in the occupied territories. From this point of view, it is interesting to note that two of the top three sites within this Palestinian network are in fact Jewish. On the one hand, it shows that Jewish-operated sites supporting Palestinian rights enjoy a great degree of visibility within (some) Palestinian networks and, on the other, that the polarization between Palestinians and Israelis is not as extreme as implied in the mainstream media. VI. A Palestinian Blogging Network While the Palestinian NGO network gave us a good idea of some of the power dynamics in oper-

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ation within issue networks, a study of a blogging network will reveal the point of view not of organizations but of people, and their networking vis-àvis the question of Palestine. The methodological strategy followed here is similar to the one used for the Palestinian issue network. We queried google for ‘Palestinian Blogs’ and noted the first ten which were subsequently fed into issuecrawler. The selection omitted aggregators, official blogs belonging to organizations rather than individuals, and blogs that were not updated for more than three months. However, after selecting three blogs, the google

9. Attending the World, attendingtheworld.wordpress.com 10. Memories Documented, blog.sweetestmemories.com The emerging network is again visualized as a cluster map, with the larger nodes representing the more popular sites in terms of links to them. The network is comprised of 48 blogs, less than the 95 of the NGO network, but more densely linked as there appear to be more lines connecting them. The nodes or circles representing each blog are

Figure 4. Palestinian blogging network. search was showing more results for either official blogs or for isolated posts on Palestine, leading to a different strategy. Through a relevant aggregator, Palestineblogs.net, which posts the most recent feeds of the listed blogs, we selected a further seven blogs to go into our seeds – these were the most recently updated blogs written in English. The resulting ten ‘seed blogs’ are listed below. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Gaza Mom, www.gazamom.com From Gaza, fromgaza.blogspot.com Zaatar, www.za3tar.net Desert Peace, www.desertpeace.wordpress.com Irish for Palestine, irish4palestine.blogspot.com Cinnamon Zone, oeliwat.jeeran.com Annie’s Letters, anniesnewletters.blogspot.com Filasteen, filasteen.wordpress.com more or less of equal size, representing a more equal number of links going to and from these sites. But does this mean that this is a more egalitarian network? The list below contains the top 20 blogs, and this tells us something more about this network. List of top twenty blogs in the network. Actor Rankings (crawled population) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. qwaider.com – 14919 [aggregator] facebook.com - 6001 blog.sweetestmemories.com – 3530 kinziblogs.wordpress.com - 2606 black-iris.com - 1746 andfaraway.net - 1600 jadmadi.net - 1161 palestineblogs.org - 1109 hareega.blogspot.com - 1103 moeys.net - 1066

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11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

blog.jarofjuice.com - 986 orientalsoul.blogspot.com - 985 halataha.jeeran.com - 983 za3tar.net - 882 iman-a.com - 873 thearabobserver.blogspot.com - 871 maioush.com - 810 vagueraz1.jeeran.com - 718 talasim.com - 692 arabesquerhabsody.com - 652

The top two entries, Qwaider and Facebook are not blogs. Qwaider is an aggregator of blogs on Arabic culture, and of course Facebook is a social networking site. The most linked to blog in this network is therefore Memories Documented (blog.sweetestmemories.com) – one of the original ‘seed’ sites – followed by My Treasure (kinziblogs.wordpress.com) and Black Iris. The geographical map of the blogging network shows a distribution similar to the one of the NGO network: most sites are located in the USA and the Middle East. Interestingly, most of the blogs in this network

tool works by searching for the top actors in the first 1,000 results of a google search using specific keywords. With the exception of Memories Documented, none of the top ten blogs were included in the first 1,000 results using the keyword ‘Palestine.’ Similarly, none of the top 10 blogs were included in the first 1,000 google results using the keywords ‘Palestinian,’ ‘Israel,’, ‘Gaza,’ ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Occupied Territories.’ In these terms, and unlike the NGO network examined above, this network does not owe its existence to Palestine. Rather, a closer look at all these blogs shows that this network was enabled by the high levels of literacy of the bloggers, their technical, linguistic and writing skills, as well as their easy and regular access to broadband internet. The profiles of the bloggers in the top twenty blogs – who are all writing in English – reveal they are university graduates and some of them even hold PhDs in science or other subjects. They have travelled and some of them live in the USA or Europe. Some of them are Palestinian in origin. They are in no way typical of the average citizen of the Middle East, and to this extent it can

Figure 5. A Geo map of the blogging network are located on the West coast of the USA. In the Middle East, by far the most blogs are found in Jordan, while others are located in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt. In terms of the relationship of this network with power, we can begin our interrogation by asking what enables this network and what constrains it. To begin with, we can see that the question of Palestine did not enable this network. These blogs are connected not so much by their common concern about Palestine, but by their common interest in the Arabic cultures of the Middle East. Actor Profiler, yet another tool in the toolbox of govcom.org,1 allows us to examine the top ten actors in conjunction with their relation to certain keywords. The be argued that this network was enabled precisely by the high levels of literacy of these bloggers. On the other hand, the constraints encountered in this network partly stem from the following background: comfortable middle class, mostly living abroad, the reality of either the Palestinian occupied territories or that of the poverty and political volatility in most Middle Eastern countries is not the daily reality of these bloggers. Their views are inevitably constrained by their own – for the most part successful – experiences, their education, and their abilities to express themselves in many ways. It is not that their views are not authentic; rather we must see them as positioned along a class, cultural and social hierarchy which inevitably shapes their outlook. In terms of power over the network, we can then

1

See http://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/ToolDatabase for all tools and scenarios of use.

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argue that existing (offline) hierarchies with their associated power asymmetries operate in online environments. Therefore, this blogging network is enabled/constrained by the operation of these hierarchies. If we ask what the power of this network is – vis-àvis the question of Palestine – we can see that it is very limited. The dense network of links between these blogs reveals a closely knit network, but with few outside connections that would help publicize or mobilize on the question of Palestine. Homophily, as we saw earlier, is a clear characteristic of networks and this is also found in this blogging network. Indicative of the kind of homophily we are talking about is that Sam Qwaider, the blogger behind the blog aggregator and Memories Documented, and Maioush, the blogger behind Maioush.com, are a married couple. Their blogs are mostly about personal experiences, likes and dislikes, typical of most general, personal blogs. On the other hand, they do blog for Palestine, so we must see what they say about it, and what power this might have in the case of Palestine. One of the characteristics of Web 2.0 is its emphasis on ‘folksonomies,’ that is taxonomies that stem from the bottom up, by putting together and relating ‘tags’ or keywords that bloggers use to characterize their posts. We can then collect these tags and see what emerges around them, to get an idea of how people talk about a certain issue, and what the wider implications of this might be. We can feed the blogs to a tool, again provided by Govcom.org Foundation’s Digital Methods Initiative, Google Scrapper, which searches the number of occurrences of certain tags or keywords and visualizes them as a tag cloud. This cloud shows the relative importance and frequency of a term for the network. This in turn helps us understand the commitment of this network to the issue of Palestine, and also its potential contribution to this question. This cloud (see figure 6.) shows that Palestine is of great importance to these blogs, even if they are not exclusively blogging on it. Palestine is the sec-

they do not seem to connect these with other broader efforts to garner publicity or resources that might contribute to the question of Palestine. Rather, their ‘power’ is mostly one of self expression, forming opinions, and keeping the issue alive in online contexts. Whether this in fact contributes to the actual question of Palestine is difficult to gauge; nevertheless, the concern of this elite blogging network with Palestine shows that this question engages a wide range of people from a Middle Eastern background, and it is not likely to go away anytime soon. More broadly in terms of the actual efficacy of this network, this seems to be limited. Even if the issue is kept alive among this network, its tendency towards homophily – linking to similar blogs – leads to little diffusion of views, opinions and exchanges on Palestine across the wider blogosphere. On the other hand, the language of the blogs is easily accessible to westerners, who, in principle, can access the blogs and read the posts on the topic of Palestine. We have, however, little evidence that this is the case, and given that none of these blogs appears in the top 1,000 google results on Palestine, it is unlikely that the networks generates much interest in or publicity for Palestine. On the other hand, there are – see Figure 7 below – some links from this network to some of the NGO sites such as the BDS Movement site. This shows that another possible avenue for this network’s efficacy is through links to NGOs, which are more explicitly (and practically) oriented towards the question of Palestine. Finally, we need to address the issue of power within the network. Figure 7 below is a map of all the blogs of the network on the basis of the number of ties (links) between them. The map includes these blogs that have exchanged more than three links among themselves, showing, thus, the most connected and hence visible blogs within this network. We see here a dense set of blogs with no clear discernible centre. The blog Zaatar has received and reciprocated the most links from all the blogs in the network, thereby

Gaza (1881) Hamas (647) Intifada (649) Iraq (1557) Jerusalem (1735) Jordan (5170) Lebanon (1510)
Obama (1554) Palestine (3249) Palestine/Israel (1566) Peace process (324) USA (1578) Wall (1675)

War (2088)
Figure 6. Palestinian blogging network tag cloud ond most used tag, following Jordan which, with 5,170 references, is by far the most popular blog topic. Other relevant tags include ‘War,’ ‘Gaza,’ the ‘wall’ that separates Israel from the occupied territories. Less popular tags include ‘Hamas,’ ‘Intifada,’ and ‘Peace Process.’ While, however, these bloggers write on Palestine, Israel, and related topics, making it the most visible blog in the network. In this sense it acts as a hub, collecting and redirecting traffic across other blogs. Nevertheless, its position is not so much different to other blogs, which also circulate and exchange links. It exchanges links with other blogs such as Memories Documented, Jadmadi, Faraway and My Treasure (kinz-

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Figure 7. Cluster map of all blogs by number of links received. iblogs), all quite similar to one another: they are all highly literate, technology savvy, bilingual (ArabicEnglish) speakers. They enjoy a slightly smaller but overall similar degree of visibility, showing that in this respect the network is more egalitarian. If, however, we take into account the broad similarity of the nodes blogs of this network, we can argue that it effectively excludes or marginalizes other blogs, perhaps authored by bloggers occupying different spaces in the class and education hierarchy. Of interest also is that none of the top twenty blogs is written in Arabic. Overall, it seems that power within this network is diffused across nodes, but that these nodes are highly similar to each other. This is not the reason why this network is more egalitarian; the reason is that this network is formed between people who were equal in the first place. VII. Conclusions We argued in this article that the rise of Web 2.0 is not accompanied by a rise in the theoretical instruments that could help us understand the new configurations of power in the online (and indirectly in the offline) world. The focus on broad descriptions and key or buzzwords – such as collaboration, wikification, participation and the like – shifts attention from issues of power in the network society. When it comes to Islam, the rise of the internet has generated huge expectations for change, democratization and in the end a more equitable and just distribution of material wealth and symbolic value, both in Muslim majority and Muslim minority countries. Conversely, a parallel strand of scholarship has argued that the internet has the potential to radicalize Islam, to fortify and support the most extreme elements, underlining the necessity of controls and regulation over the internet. But the rise of Web 2.0 seems to have silenced these arguments, leading to views of more or less harmonious and cooperative publics, loosely connected in geographically dispersed networks. The failure to examine the issue of power in online networks does not only reflect a theoretical gap, but also has important empirical implications. Specifically in connection with the question of Palestine, we need to find out how exactly power involved in relevant online networks, as this may have important implications for the ongoing political quagmire. Palestinian online networks, while multiple, have been discussed here through reference to issue (or NGO) networks and blogging networks. Using the works of Foucault, Weber, and Lukes, this paper operationalized power in terms of enabling/constraining factors, in terms of outcomes, and in terms of visibility and power dynamics within the network. In the empirical part, we examined two kinds of Palestinian networks, an issue network and a blogging network in terms of these three operationalizations of power. The findings indicated some similarities and some differences between these two networks. The issue network operated more explicitly in favor of Pales-

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tine, seeking to expand to a wide range of sites through linking, not all of which reciprocated. In terms of enabling/constraining power, this network was enabled by the question of Palestine and limited itself through linking almost exclusively to similar others (the well-known homophily). Its power in terms of outcomes was equally limited. It sought to link to media sites, but these never reciprocated, effectively never throwing the limelight on this issue network. The power dynamics within the network revealed an interesting picture: although BDS Movement was the most linked-to site, Jewish sites supporting the rights of Palestinians to a homeland enjoyed a similarly high degree of connectivity, showing that the gap between Israelis and Palestinians is not unbridgeable. The blogging network, on the other hand, was not centred on Palestine in the same way that the NGO network did. It included a variety of blogs written mostly from a personal perspective, which included a large number of posts on Palestine. Interrogating this network in terms of power revealed the same hierarchies that structure the offline world are in operation online as well. This network consisted of well-educated and highly literate people, some of them living in the USA, who clearly write from a personal and positioned perspective. In a recent paper, that reported the results of an extensive survey of the Arabic blogosphere, the authors referred to a special category of bloggers, the so-called ‘bridge bloggers,’ mainly coming from the Levant (Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Syria) writing in English and connecting to the US and international blogosphere (Etling et al., 2009). It seems that ‘our’ blogging network is part of this special category of ‘bridge bloggers,’ who are mostly expats, writing on an array of topics, and who are broadly ‘progressive’ and open minded about life. When it comes to Palestine, however, their efficacy is questionable. They seem to write in English and seek to provide a bridge – to use Etling et al.’s (2009) terminology – between the Arabic and international-Western cultures, but this bridge, unless specifically planned and targeted, cannot really contribute anything substantial to the pressing question of Palestine. The efficacy of this network vis-à-vis Palestine appears to be very limited. Although the number of posts on it may be high, there are almost no links to (and from) media sites, or indeed to any other sites that may contribute to the issue of Palestine. The exception here is that there are links to some

activist sites, such as the BDS Movement site. The efficacy of the network may then be located in its garnering support for movements and NGOs supporting Palestine. Finally, in terms of power within the network, our findings indicated that this network appears to be a more egalitarian network, as there were striking differences between the blogs. But then, these bloggers were equal, to begin with, as they came from similar cultural and educational backgrounds. To the issue of whether this network helps Palestine find its voice, we must ask whether the voice of Palestine is necessarily well-educated and middle class. In the introduction to this paper we posed three questions: Who does the Web favour? Are Web 2.0 applications more democratic? And what is the contribution of Web 2.0 to the question of Palestine? Of course, this article cannot provide comprehensive answers to these questions. However, we can sketch some preliminary responses on the basis of the current findings. In terms of the first question, we cannot know for sure at this point, who Web 2.0 favors. But it seems that so far the better educated, more literate members of the public are more willing to participate and to use Web 2.0 applications. Concerning the extent to which Web 2.0 is more democratic, on the basis of our study of the blogging network we can conclude that although the network is more egalitarian, in the sense that its blogs share a more or less equivalent number of links, these blogs were equal to begin with, as the bloggers behind them appear to broadly have similar educational and cultural backgrounds. From this point of view, we cannot claim that Web 2.0 has contributed to the democratization of this network, as it already begun life as a network of equals. Finally, in terms of the contribution of Web 2.0 to the pressing question of Palestine, our findings indicate that at least its direct contribution is minimal. Rather than democratizing – or conversely radicalizing – the Web seems to contribute little to the issue of Palestine which can then be seen as still ruled by the old-fashioned principles of realpolitik. On the other hand, we must not rule out a more indirect contribution in terms of finding a voice for Palestine, as Said required, and in terms of mobilizing and uniting these voices in order to create an online critical mass for Palestine. For this, though, more blogging networks must be found and studied as well as the connections and links between them.

VIII. References BARNEY, D., 2004, The Network Society, Cambridge: Polity. BUNT, G., 2003, Islam in the Digital Age: E-jihad, Online Fatwas and Cyber Islamic Environments, London: Pluto Press.

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CASCIANI, D., 2004, An Online War for Hearts and Minds: an Interview with Gilles Kepel, in: BBC News, 10 November 2004, available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/3997701.stm). CASTELLS, M., 1996/2000, The Rise of the Network Society, Oxford: Blackwell. DAHLBERG, L., 2001, ”Extending the Public Sphere through Cyberspace: The Case of Minnesota E-Democracy.” FirstMonday 6 (3): http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue6_3/dahlberg/index.html DAHLBERG L., and SIAPERA, E. (EDS.), 2007, Radical Democracy and the Internet, Basingstoke: Palgrave. EICKELMAN, D and ANDERSON, J, 1999/2003, Redefining Muslim Publics, pp. 1-18 in D. Eickelman and J. Anderson (eds.), 2003 [1999], New Media in the Muslim World: The Emerging Public Sphere, Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ETLING, B., KELLY, J., FARIS, R., and PALFREY, J., 2009, “Mapping the Arabic Blogosphere: Politics, Culture, and Dissent,” in Berkman Center Research Publication No. 2009-06, at: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/sites/cyber.law.harvard.edu/files/Mapping_the_Arabic _Blogosphere_0.pdf FOUCAULT, M., 1977, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. Alan Sheridan, New York: Pantheon. FOUCAULT, M., 1982, “The Subject and Power.” Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics. 2nd edition. Ed. Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow. Chicago: U of Chicago Press. HABERMAS, J., 1977, Hannah Arendt’s Communications McCarthy, in: Social Research, 44(1): 3-23. Concept of Power, trans. Thomas

JENKINS, H., 1992, Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture, NY: Routlegde. JENKINS, H., 2006, Convergence University Press. Culture: When Old and New Media Collide, NY: NY

LUKES S., 1974/2005, Power: A Radical View, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. KEPEL, G., 2004, The War for Muslim Minds, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. MCPHERSON, M., SMITH-LOVIN, L. and COOK, J. M., 2001, “Birds of a Feather: Homophily in Social Networks,” in: Annual Review of Sociology 27, pp. 415-445. MANDAVILLE, P., 2001, Transnational Muslim Publics, London: Routledge. MOGHADAM, V., 1989, “Against Eurocentrism and Nativism,” in: Socialism and Democracy, 9, 81-104. O’ REILLY, T., 2005, What is Web 2.0, in: O’Reilly Media, available at: http://oreilly.com/web2/archive/what-is-web-20.html SAID, E., 1979, Orientalism, New York: Vintage. SAID, E., 1980, The Question of Palestine, London: Routledge and Keagan Paul. SAID, E., 1994, Culture and Imperialism, New York: Vintage. SAID, E., 1997, Covering Islam, New York: Vintage. SIAPERA, E., 2007, “Islam Online,” pp. 90-107, in: N. Karagiannis and P. Wagner, (eds.) Varieties of World-Making, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. SIKKINK, K., 1993, “Human Rights, Principled Issue-Networks, and Sovereignty in Latin America,” in: International Organization, Vol. 47, No. 3, pp. 411-441. SUNSTEIN, C., 2001, Republic.com, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

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Jan Scholz, Tobias Selge, Max Stille, Johannes Zimmermann

Listening to more than Islam: Approaching identities through the auditory dimension of podcasts
I. Introduction The last years have witnessed the publication of a growing number of studies built on the categories “Islam and Internet.” Although such a formula might seem plausible and catchy at first glance, a closer look reveals both the formula as a whole and its categories need further examination and clarification. This dilemma is well illustrated in the 2009 collective volume Von Chatraum bis Cyberjihad: Muslimische Internetnutzung in lokaler und globaler Perspektive, edited by Matthias Brückner and Johanna Pink, which offers valuable contributions to the theme by the fact that the editors seem less than successful in defining their overall categories. They write: “Was genau umfasst diese islamwissenschaftliche Internetforschung? Die naheliegende Formel ‘Islam und Internet’ greift zu kurz, genau wie sich die Islamwissenschaft nicht einfach als Wissenschaft ‘des Islams’ beschreiben lässt (...)” Brückner and Pink continue with their attempt to define what Internet-related research in the field of Islamic studies deals with, by saying: “Es geht um islamische Internetnutzung, die zu ganz erheblichen Teilen außerhalb der islamischen Welt stattfindet, ebenso wie um muslimische Internetnutzung, die zu ganz erheblichen Teilen nicht religiös motiviert ist.”1 The problem of such a definition is that it seems to create more problems than it solves. The existence of Islam-related or Islamic content in the various media interlinked via the Internet is certainly undeniable. The fact that Muslims – for religious or non-religious reasons – make use of the World Wide Web can hardly be contested. However, the idea of a specific Muslim or Islamic mode of using “the Internet” seems highly questionable, since it gives priority to the user’s “Muslim” aspect, which itself remains undefined, over aspects of his personality and identity. Probably more, or at least equally, decisive for his or her way to approach and use media, would be factors such as age, sex, social and economic status, educational level, geographical location, political affiliation, etc.
1

The second category of analysis, “the Internet”, is equally problematic. This category presupposes that “the Internet” exists as an entity as well as a space. Consequently, the different dimensions of networking technologies, media forms and content are neglected, analytically merged and reduced into one single unspecific category. Of course, such an amalgamation can be of use for receptionoriented research, but cannot serve as the definitional basis for a whole field of studies. In order to attribute an independent ontological quality to the Internet, reference is often made to the Internet’s “virtuality” which would separate it from the “real world.” However, the virtual is nothing more than a mode of the real. Both are inextricably dependent on each other, insofar as the virtual can only be conceived in relation to the real, and the real is altered as soon as it is reflected upon in the realm of the virtual. Obviously, this is not bound to a specific medium, place, etc., but is characteristic of any process of reflection. This line of thought points us in the same direction as Bräuchler’s contribution to the Moluccan conflict on the Internet which, on the theoretical level, largely draws on Arjun Appadurai: “(Häufig wird) eine ‘virtuelle’ Welt im Internet einer ‘realen’ Welt im OfflineBereich gegenüberstellt (vgl. Rheingold 2000, Thiedeke 2000, Turkle 1995). Meines Erachtens ist diese Trennung falsch. Denn Online- und Offline-Ebene sind Bestandteil ein- und derselben Wirklichkeit. OnlinePhänomene müssen immer im Zusammenhang mit ihrem Online- und Offline-Kontext gesehen und untersucht werden. Ich stimme hier mit Nessim Watson (1997:129) überein, die Unterscheidung zwischen ‘virtuellen’ und ‘realen’ Gemeinschaften sei nicht gerechtfertigt. ‘Virtuelle’ Gemeinschaften würden allein aufgrund der Bedeutung des Wortes schon als unreale Gemeinschaften abgestempelt, wodurch man der Vorstellung Vorschub leiste, das, was online vor sich gehe, sei zwar wie eine Gemeinschaft, aber nicht wirklich eine Gemeinschaft. (...) Die im Internet so entstehenden Gemeinschaften sind nicht losgelöst von ihrem jeweiligen Offline-Kontext zu sehen (...).”2 Yet such approaches were until now often neglected in Islamic studies. Scholars such as Gary R.

2

Johanna Pink and Matthias Brückner, “Vorwort,” in: Von Chatraum bis Cyberjihad: Muslimische Internetnutzung in lokaler und globaler Perspektive, Kultur, Recht und Politik in muslimischen Gesellschaften; 13, Würzburg 2009, p. V. Birgit Bräuchler, “Der Molukkenkonflikt im Internet: Globale Dimension eines Konflikts,” in: Martin Slama (ed.): Konflikte - Mächte - Identitäten. Beiträge zur Sozialanthropologie Südostasiens. Veröffentlichungen zur Sozialanthropologie; 11, Wien 2009, p. 92.

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Bunt even construct a sub-entity “Islamic” within the entity “Internet”: “My use of the umbrella term ‘cyberIslamic environment’ (CIE) acknowledges diversity among and within different zones in cyberspace that represent varied Muslim world views within the House of Islam, all of which present a reference point of identity with a conceptualization of Islam. (...) Specific forms of online or digital Islam, distinct from offline or analogue Islam, have developed.”3 It is this conceptual vagueness in combination with the subtle essentialist subtext of these categories that make it possible to argue that only scholars of Islamic studies are able to access and to interpret what previously has been defined as the “Islamic” and/or “Muslim” dimension of online phenomena. In such an interpretation, the “Islamicist competence” of the scholar replaces any other methodological requirement deriving from the object of interest itself. This argument may be demonstrated by the following quotation from the already mentioned introduction to Von Chatraum bis Cyberjihad: “Ihre [the academic discipline of Islamic studies] Vielschichtigkeit und Perspektivenvielfalt ermöglicht es ihr aber andererseits, die Komplexität der Lebenswirklichkeiten von Muslimen – in ihrem Religionsverständnis und ihrer Religionsausübung, aber auch jenseits des Religiösen – in all ihren Facetten und wechselseitigen Bezügen zu
3 4

beschreiben, wie es weder eine reine Religionswissenschaft, noch eine reine Philologie, Regional- oder Geschichtswissenschaft könnte.”4 What does this discussion imply for concrete research in the field’s major categories? First of all, it indicates avoiding the metonymic use of the term “the Internet” as a scientific category. The different media linked via the Internet have to be taken seriously. Second, it points out the need to stay away from the essentialist subtext of formulas such as “Muslim” or “Islamic” Internet usage, as the complexity of the identities of the users and producers have to be taken equally seriously. From the first premise, at least three methodological requirements are derived: First, each of the different media used within a multimedia context5 have to be analyzed according to their own characteristics: Images cannot be treated like sound elements, sound elements must be regarded as distinct from written texts, etc. Second, an analysis must not neglect the interconnectedness and interactivity of the different codes used in one multimedia environment. A multimedia environment must always be understood as more than the mere sum of its parts. Third, the question has to be raised for what reasons a specific combination of codifications has been selected to realise a certain multimedia environment? These decisions by the producer can, at least partly, be understood as purposeful choices, although already existing (media-related) production and presentation conventions certainly play an important role, too.6 In order to illustrate this approach to media, this article will focus on the auditory dimension of podcasts7 and videocasts listed on podcast portals

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Gary R. Bunt, iMuslims: Rewiring the House of Islam, London 2009, p. 1. Johanna Pink and Matthias Brückner, “Vorwort,” in: Von Chatraum bis Cyberjihad: Muslimische Internetnutzung in lokaler und globaler Perspektive, Kultur, Recht und Politik in muslimischen Gesellschaften; 13, Würzburg 2009, S. V. “Multimedia” is basically defined as every (often digital) medium or content that uses multiple forms of encoding (text, images, sounds, etc.). Content and media having a multimedia character can roughly be divided into two categories: linear and non-linear. While, in the case of linear multimedia content (e.g. homepages using different forms of encoding, but not containing hyperlinks), the user has no active navigational control, non-linear multimedia content is characterized by its interactivity, allowing the user to take command over his or her informational reception process. In the second case, this reception process becomes independent from the intrinsic timeline of linear forms of multimedia content. For a short introduction and a detailed bibliography, Ludwig J. Issing and Paul Klimsa, Information und Lernen mit Multimedia und Internet: Ein Handbuch für Studium und Praxis, Weinheim 2002, pp. 20ff. It must not be neglected that – independently from the specific content – producers are (at least partly) limited in their stylistic and aesthetic choices by already existing media conventions. What a listener, for example, perceives as an appealing and successful podcast is dependent on the established phonic standards and the user’s experience with other forms of audio media such as radio, audio dramas, other already published podcasts etc. Of course, the same applies to the user’s perception of Internet presences. If, for example, videos/pictures/podcasts, etc. form an integral part of what is considered by the user to be a “complete” Internet presence, a producer may hardly escape the need to embed such media or forms of encoding into their online presence if the producer wants to meet the user’s expectations. The term “podcast” is a portmanteau word combining the words “iPod” (designation of an Apple produced portable mp3-player) and the verb “to broadcast” – coined around the year 2004, Oxford University Press. http://www.oup.com/elt/catalogue/teachersites/oald7/wotm/wotm_archive/podcast?cc=global (6th December 2009). Podcasts are – in simple terms – sound files containing verbal information, often accompanied by sounds and music and distributed via podcasting portals such the iTunes store, www.podster.de or www.podcastalley.com, to name a few, on a more or less regular basis. The user can subscribe to such podcasts – which are often affiliated with certain groups and institutions, but also produced by individuals – with the help of a so called “podcatcher” (or “podcastingclient”) that automatically downloads each new episode of the podcast the user has subscribed to. What distinguishes podcasts from other audio media – such as sound files that can be downloaded via audio archives – is their mode of distribution and the regularity with which they are published. For more detailed information on the definition and character of podcasts, Martin Bauer, Vom iPod zum iRadio: Podcasting als Vorbote des individualisierten Hörfunks, Mittweida 2007, (M. A. thesis), http://www.onairding.de/arbeit/wcontent/uploads/2007/06/masterarbeit-martin-bauerpodcast-und-horfunk-druckversion.pdf, pp. 5-9 (6th December 2009).

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under categories such “Religion & Spirituality: Islam,” “Islam,” “Muslim” or “Islamic,” etc. In this regard, it has been taken into consideration that audio media, language and text usually – but not exclusively8 – appear in spoken form and therefore have a fundamentally oral character. This qualification, of course, merely applies to the use of the phonic code. It does not include any statement relating to the degree of conceptual orality or literacy of the text.9 In this sense, audio media enables the researcher to access levels of communication usually not contained in written texts: the quality and timbre of the speaker’s voice, his idiolect/sociolect/dialect/accent, his intonation, his use of pauses, volume and stress, dynamics of velocity, etc. may – on a mere linguistic level – already prove to be valuable analytical categories since they highly influence the auditory experience of the listener and may facilitate or impede the listener’s identification with the speaker and his message. The oral dimension, however, is only one aspect of audio media that merit consideration and deepened analysis. Many podcasts contain additional layers of auditory elements such as music, sounds (both natural and artificial) and acoustic effects (echoes, reverberation, disturbances). Be they deliberate choices on the part of the producer or mere by-products of the production process itself (i.e. technical equipment, recording conditions, technical skills of the producer), these phonic layers also have an effect on the listener’s auditory experience. All of the qualities that distinguish audio media from written texts contribute to the fact that in the act of listening, the message of the correspondent can be transformed into a tangible, often physical experience. In the field of Islamic studies, Navid Kermani and Kristina Nelson10 have pointed to the fact that Islam, and religion in general, has – alongside its readable and visible aspects – also auditory aspects that can and should form an object of interest to the researcher. In the case of religious content – when, for example, rituals are recorded and podcasted – audio media permit the producer to make allusions to or even fully evoke the auditory atmosphere of specific types of sacred spaces

(e.g. mosques, tekkes) in the sense of group specific sonospheres (or soundscapes)11. As for the second methodological requirement formulated above, podcasts/videocasts always have to be interpreted in light of at the very least the podcast’s direct links to the homepage of its producer. Furthermore, another level of intermediality is created by the simultaneous existence of different research tools within practically all podcast portals12. The user can either make use of search fields allowing keyword searches, alternatively click his way through lists of podcast categories such as “news”, “health”, “family”, “education” or “spirituality”, or navigate with the help of lists of “related/featured podcasts” or podcasts to which other listeners of the selected podcast have subscribed. Concerning the third methodological prerequisite, the question must be raised why a producer decides to make vast use of certain kinds of encoding while largely omitting others or only sporadically applying them. The specific media configuration of an Internet presence may of course be attributable to the technical skills of its producer, but it may also be understood as a conscious choice adapted to the owner’s communicational strategy and objective. In the end, however, both consciously as well as unconsciously chosen elements (among others of audio communication) contribute to the emergence of a certain style. This style can be seen as the realization of identity on an aesthetic level. Therefore, audio media are not only particularly suitable for analysis due to the additional layers of information they contain, but also because of their intrinsic value for identity formation. This intrinsic value partly derives from their potential to become a means for the translation of abstract concepts into aesthetic, and therefore sensual/physical, experiences. That the producers are conscious of this potential is shown by the fact that they frequently reflect upon the character and usage of different media in relation to the message they want to convey. For example, the ÌalÐfa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in his podcasted ÌuÔba entitled “Gloriously Extraordinary West African Visit”, dated 9th May 2008, praises the role of the broadcasting station “Muslim Television Ahmadiyya”:

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On YouTube for example, media can be found that neither fit the narrower definition of an audio nor a visual medium. Such media mainly contain audio information (music, sounds, speech), but – on the visual level – mainly feature a monochrome screen on which the sung or spoken text is displayed simultaneously with its acoustic accompaniment. For example the ÌuÔba available on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCtf4kjPydQ (8th December 2009), which constitutes an interesting case in its simulatenous use of Arabic as the language of the spoken text and English translation of the sermon as written text. Peter Koch and Wulf Oesterreicher, “Sprache der Nähe – Sprache der Distanz: Mündlichkeit und Schriftlichkeit im Spannungsfeld von Sprachtheorie und Sprachgebrauch”, in: Romanistisches Jahrbuch 36 (1985), pp. 15-43. Navid Kermani, Gott ist schön: Das ästhetische Erleben des Koran, München 1999, esp. pp. 9ff. and 171ff. and Kristina Nelson, The Art of Reciting the Qur’an, Cairo, New York 2001, esp. pp. 101ff.. The bibliography given in Udo Tworuschka, „Vom ‚Visible‘ zum ‚Auditive Turn‘ in der praktischen Religionswissenschaft“, in: Michael Klöcker and Udo Tworuschka (eds.), Praktische Religionswissenschaft: Ein Handbuch für Studium und Beruf, Köln 2008, pp. 79-80. For example iTunes Store, www.podcast.de, www.podster.de or www.podcastalley.com.

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“There is nothing concealed, nothing exaggerated [and] the camera captured the images and the world saw that the people of Africa have great love for the Messiah.”13 Hadschi Matthias Aladin, a German convert to Islam, summarizes the advantages of audio media when presenting to the public his project of a Muslim “talking forum”: “(...) Die Menschen – missverstehen sich, sie – schreiben aneinander vorbei. Warum ist das so? Weil ein Text, ein geschriebener Text, leicht missverstanden wird – woher soll ich wissen, wie der Schreiber das gemeint hat? Ich kann alles Mögliche zwischen die Zeilen hineininterpretieren; und aus dieser Problematik haben wir uns gedacht, müssen wir etwas tun. Am besten sind – Sprachantworten – und Ihr habt jetzt die Möglichkeit mit diesem Link (…)“14 In the following section, the “added value” of a media-specific analysis of audio media for describing the complexity of podcasters’ identities will be illustrated by taking a closer look at the specific auditory styles of a number of podcasts. II. Analysis Especially with regard to youth culture, the construction of identity has increasingly become performative.15 From the perspective of musical and media self-socialization, young people are increasingly choosing to appropriate the sets of knowledge, competences, as well as cultural objects of an audio-visual symbol-world. In that regard, the question of belonging ultimately becomes a question of performance. A notable example of one of these audio-visual symbol-worlds, which can be characterized with the term “hip-hop (sub-) culture”, seems particularly prominent in light of its repeated appearance on the available spectrum of podcasts. Historically, the re-interpretation and autonomous setting of (to a certain degree interchangeable) content by a minority against a majority society has been an integral characteristic of hip-hop culture.16 From a functionalist perspec13

tive, “Islam” falls into the same category, as the example of the Islampodcast by Dschunaid Salam, a young German Bosniak with a migrant background, shows. Islampodcast, which is accessible for example through http://mp3islam.de/, synthesizes a critical reflection on the various issues affecting the heterogeneous minority of Muslim immigrants in Germany with the characteristics of hip-hop culture. However, hip-hop is neither a necessary nor a sufficient marker of identity for Dschunaid Salam. Rather, it is part of a multi-layered patchwork of identities17 which seem to be relevant for Dschunaid and his peer group. The frequently occurring intro to his podcast „Islampodcast.de – den Islam von Muslimen hören und erleben“18, spoken by Dschunaid Salam himself in a calm voice with a slight Bosnian accent, is underlain with a slow hip-hop beat and thus establishes a first connection between both the sound elements of hip-hop culture and Islam. Furthermore, it explicitly addresses the aesthetic experience of hearing in contrast to the mere reception of written text. Dschunaid Salam himself emphasizes this connection between religiosity and sound as part of an aesthetic experience as he uses a musical metaphor himself to describe the meaning of the month ramaÃÁn: “Der Ramadan ist für mich so ‘ne Art Verstärker, Verstärker wie z.B. bei ‘ner Stereoanalage, der den Klang lauter macht.“19 Consequently, the interpretation of Islamic content in an identity-field that strongly draws on the musical aspect of hip-hop culture is a recurring element in his podcast. A further example for this finding is a hip-hop music video titled Muslim Rap: Wir wollen den Mohammed (s.a.s.) that does not feature Dschunaid Salam himself, but a young hiphop artist with a migrant background.20 The video is produced by styleislam.com, a firm that apart from being an online store which, among other things, sells clothing and accessories featuring Islamic designs21, specializes in web design and music production. Consequently, production and appearance of the video are highly professional and resemble music videos shown on MTV on

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Al-Islam, “Gloriously Extraordinary West African Visit”. http://www.alislam.org/archives/friday/FSS20080509-EN.html (16th September 2008). Islam – Deutschland Podcast, „1. Sprechforum Deutschlands“, (23rd May 2008), 02:09-02:47. Renate Müller et al., “Identitätskonstruktionen mit Musik und Medien im Lichte neuer Identitäts- und Jugendkulturdiskurs”, in: Lothar Mikos et al. (eds.) Mediennutzung, Identität und Identifikationen, Weinheim 2007, pp. 139–142. Gabriele Klein and Malte Friedrich, Is this real? Die Kultur des HipHop, (edition suhrkamp; 2315), Frankfurt a. M. 2003. H. Keupp et al., Identitätskonstruktionen: Das Patchwork der Identitäten in der Spätmoderne, Reinbek 2002. Islampodcast, “Abschied von Marwa”, (5th July 2009), 00:03-00:09. “Interview mit www.koelncampus.de“, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjrm19-8o-Q, 00:40-00:48. (10th December 2009). Islampodcast, “Muslim Rap: Wir wollen den Mohammed (s.a.s.)”, (23rd June 2009). Dschunaid Salam himself features a presentation of styleislam.com in his podcast, Islampodcast, “Die Styleislam Internetseite”, (16th April 2009) as clothing serves as an integral part of the cultural practice of hip-hop. Evidently, he interconnects Islamic content and the expectations of hip-hop culture in a manner that goes beyond the sound level to the appearance level, which in turn reinforces an identity patchwork that draws strongly on these two frameworks. Thus, this connection serves as a first hint that Islam in this field of identities becomes a post-modern symbol of consumption.

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both the phonic level in terms of e.g. recording technique and in the relationship of voice and beat, as well as the visual level in terms of e.g. graffiti-style pictures and a quick image sequence. Thus, it becomes instantly evident that for Dschunaid Salam, the question of generating authenticity and intimacy is a question of appearance as well as performance as the video on both auditory and visual levels fulfills the specific expectations of a group of listeners for whom hip-hop culture is an integral part in the construction of identity. In the video itself, phrases with a high recognition value in hip-hop subculture, are complemented with Islamic content that shares the same recognition value. The frequently used introductory phrase “this goes out to” is specified as “das geht an die umma” which at once places the Muslim listener in the hip-hop community, and establishes an intimate connection between him and the performing artist. Also, the standard “check this out” before the actual rap-part is amended with the Basmala.22 Subsequently, the artist merges Islam and hip-hop without contradiction. This is reflected on an audiovisual level as the video’s rhythm and overall character is complemented with Islamic symbols which in turn are portrayed in a hip-hop style. For example, the al-AqsÁ mosque is depicted in a style resembling paint-brush graffiti. Also on an audio level, the artist, in a 20 second span, implicitly and explicitly addresses the concepts of tawhÐd, salÁt, daÝwa, sawm in the ramadÁn, as well as the haºº in his lyrics.23 He does so on in language that should be familiar to Dschunaid and his peer group, stating: “Ich bring’s zu den Kids, der Islam kommt hammer an. Lasst uns gemeinsam fasten im Ramadan.”24 In this instance, the term ramadÁn even serves as the rhyming word which further reinforces the new patchwork of identity consisting of Islam and hiphop. Clearly, the aim of this video is the conveying of a general sense of religiosity through the oral performance in a hip-hop music-video familiar to the environment of Dschunaid Salam and his peer group. In accordance with hip-hop culture, this religiosity of the Muslim immigrant minority is re-interpreted in a self-aggrandizing manner. In that respect, Islam eventually becomes a symbol which can readily be consumed in a space whose boundaries are clearly set by the conventions and popcultural expectations of hip-hop culture.
22 23 24 25 26 27 28

This re-interpretation of stigmata is also taken on by the American duo Lota-Pani, two young artists of Saudi Arabian origin whose objective is “to provide quality entertainment for a diverse audience in accordance with Islamic standards” and “to establish an Islamically sound standard for the identity of Muslim youth in Western society”.25 They adapt whole songs from the American hip-hop or pop spectrum, specifically retaining sound elements with high recognition value such as melody, beat, and key parts of the lyrics, but re-interpreting them for their purpose, and very pointedly so. The song “SunnahBack”26, for example, adapts “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake, allowing the artists to criticize the lack of a lifestyle adhering to Islamic practices, even employing the English translation of the prophetic eulogy in the rhyme scheme, singing: “Peace be upon him’s what you gotta say.”27 Interestingly, and in contrast to the video featured in Dschunaid Salam’s podcast, the eulogy itself is not explicitly used after the mentioning of the prophet. The auditory level is of particular importance in this music video as the artists also address the issue of the Islamic permissiveness of music, replacing the beat and accompanying musical instruments with beatboxing and other vocal sound effects, thereby emphasizing the halal character of their performance while at the same time placing themselves and their listeners in an American pop-cultural context.28 (Self-) irony may be another element of this presentation. Eventually, the two demand in the chorus: “get your sunnah on” paralleling Justin Timberlake’s “get your sexy on”. It seems equally obvious that the presentation of the message – using sound systems familiar to their Western Muslim listeners – serves as both a means and an end with regard to above cited selfdescription of the artists. It is not only the pop-cultural expectations of hiphop, however, that shape the auditory level of Dschunaid Salam’s podcast. Rather, hip-hop seems to be a general mode of expression for Dschunaid Salam, which he uses to establish a common level of communication between him and his listeners. As this level of communication only accrues from the specific forms of hip-hop language e.g. articulation, choice of words, as well as rhyming scheme, which in turn almost exclusively exists only in oral or even performed form, it becomes evident that orality becomes almost a prerequisite for such an intimate level of communication. The episode “Abschied von Marwa”,29 which critically reflects on the murder of Egyptian Marwa al-ŠarbÐnÐ on July 1st, 2009 in Dresden, Germany,

29

Islampodcast, “Muslim Rap: Wir wollen den Mohammed (s.a.s.)”, 00:00-00:23. Ibid., 00:54-01:13. Ibid., 01:06-01:09. Official site of Lota-Pani, http://www.lota-pani.com/about/ (8th December 2009). “I’m bringing Sunnah back“, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVX7tU83E7E, (10th December 2009). Ibid., 00:40-00:43. It should be noted, however, that the highly controversial discussion on this issue on YouTube indicates that LotaPani’s position is far from being universally accepted among American users. Islampodcast. “Abschied von Marwa”. http://islam.podspot.de/post/abschied-von-marwa/ (5th July 2009).,

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completely avoids a typical hip-hop beat and instead features a homophonic “oriental” melody which alludes to the descent of Dschunaid, his listeners, as well as Marwa, and thereby creates a sense of belonging and unity on the sound level. Thus, with the musical hip-hop element missing, it is only Dschunaid’s hip-hop performance of his poem which establishes the said intimate level of communication. Hereby, his voice evidently supports the content of the message, as the podcast is delivered in a calm, but also emotional, manner. Evidently, Dschunaid’s objective is the evocation of aesthetic experiences for the listener. The authenticity of Dschunaid’s performance and the success in his attempt to generate an intimate relationship between producer and recipient through the auditory character of the medium is shown by the comment of a user stating: “Danke für diese gefühlvollen worte bruder [sic!]. ich höre deine betroffenheit [sic!] aus deiner stimme.”30 An interesting example for the influence of Dschunaid’s migration story on his identity is the episode “100% Vocal Dhikr”. The aesthetic experience of the ritual Æikr obviously holds a special meaning for Dschunaid Salam, as indicated by his comment on a video-cast that features the performance of a Æikr he attended in his home country of Bosnia and Herzegovina.31 Here, it becomes evident that his mode of expression differs with the local context. In Germany, hip-hop seems to be such an integral part of his identity that also the ritual undergoes a process of adaptation.32 This two-minute clip merely contains a simple, somewhat tattered hip-hop beat roughly resembling a heart-beat which is underlain with recurring whispered subhÁn AllÁh so that both beat and worship blend into two intimate and inseparable parts of the ritual. However, it is crucial to note that Islam does not seem to be the only discourse which enters the identity field of hip-hop in Dschunaid Salam’s podcast. This goes in line with the aforementioned argument, stating that any attempt to construct a specifically Muslim mode of media usage would be misguided. Having a Bosnian background, it is obvious that the Bosnian War from 1992 to 1995 heavily influences Dschunaid’s patchwork of identity, as the podcast “Ein Reim über Bosnien” indicates.33 Again, Dschunaid Salam employs the

characteristics of a hip-hop style to establish a common level of communication between him and the listeners, thereby making hip-hop seem to be a general mode of expression for Dschunaid Salam, rather than a specific means to transfer an Islamic message. In addition to the rapped lyrics, whose conceptual orality constitutes a very personal narrative, it is the whispered voice which becomes almost inaudible in the chorus over a dark reverberating hip-hop beat that evokes a threatening and, at the same time, empty atmosphere. The added value of this auditory presentation, which is especially important as Dschunaid Salam also offers a pdf-version of the lyrics on his website, as well as the success of the generated intimacy between producer and recipient, is again shown by the comment of a user stating: “Danke dir Bruder, diese grausame Geschichte kann man mit deinem Podcast besser verstehen und alles mitfühlen was die Menschen erlebt haben.“34 As has already been shown, the hip-hop track is certainly one of the podcasts’ dominant styles. Of course, this style and the identities associated with it are linked to other identities – within the same podcast as well as within the field of actors. Having dipped earlier into the international dimension by citing parallels between Dschunaid and Lota-Pani, we will now take into consideration the regional dimension. Again, we orient our analysis using the links established by the actors on their homepages as well as within their podcasts. “Marwa-poem”, spoken by Dschunaid, is referenced, for example, in a podcast of the previously mentioned producer Matthias Aladin. Dschunaid’s homepage also showcases videos by Germany’s perhaps most active convert to Islam, Pierre Vogel, who in turn is featured by Matthias Aladin.35 Even before reflecting on the producers’ differences in background, age or any other identityshaping factor, the listener hears them: Dschunaid’s cool, technically adept intro, nuanced language, and slight Bosnian accent are clearly distinct from Aladin’s jovial Bavarian dialect and variation with respect to his podcasts’ staging and content. While Dschunaid’s podcast conveys the thoughts of a critical young individual in his peer group’s tone with a base-line added by the melodies of his descent, Aladin’s podcasts (at least four channels are currently online) aim at bridging

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Islampodcast, “Abschied von Marwa”, (8th December 2009). „Die Atmosphäre war bezaubernd. Man kann es nicht in Worten ausdrücken, man muss so etwas persönlich erleben.“ Islampodcast, “Tekke in Bosnia 2009”, (11th November 2009). Cf. Islampodcast, “100% Vocal Dhikr”, (17th September 2009). Islampodcast. “Ein Reim über Bosnien.” (23rd October 2009). Ibid. Cf. Islam - Deutschland Podcast, „Fräulein Schmitta – ein deutsches muslimisches Kind“ (5th February 2008) and www.islampodcast.de (10th December 2009).

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being “German” and being “Muslim”36, which, in his perception, are two poles that one can alternate between. In the following quotation from the videocast “Krankheit im Ramadan”, he quite literally switches from one podcast to the other: „Ansonsten hatte ich auch meinen mp3Player dabei – und hab’ immer gewechselt zwischen – Umwelt und Inwelt. Inwelt, das bin ich, das betrifft mich, und äh, bezüglich der Inwelt geht es natürlich um islamische Predigten, die ich mir angehört habe (…) Und da gibt es also sehr viele, zahlreiche Podcasts, die man im Internet downloaden kann, zum Beispiel mit iTunes. Und diese, dieser Wechsel [sic!] von Umwelt- und Inwelt brauch’ ich. Ich kann nicht immer null, pfff, 360°, 24 Stunden Islam haben. Ich will immer Wechseln zwischen Umwelt, das heißt nicht-islamische Umwelt, so is’ eben in Deutschland, und Inwelt, die islamische Welt in mir drin, das heißt, ich hab’ immer gewechselt. Ich hör’ mir was über Islam an, einen Vortrag und dann wieder drauf hören [sic!] einen [sic!] Interview über Nicht-Islamisches. Ich brauch’ diesen Kontrast, na, und das ist gut für mich, ne.“37 Aladin’s means of establishing authenticity is very simple, yet effective: to convince his listeners that his podcasts indeed mirror his inner life. His podcasts are far from appearing deliberately staged. Rather, they seem to be a direct outpouring of his mental and bodily condition. In the aforementioned podcast, he not only talks about his sickness and strain, but also looks and sounds exhausted and tired. He always reproduces internally the mood that he is describing, not after reflection; he neither tries to avoid mistakes nor awkward situations. The listener can share his emotions, e.g. his shame when praying publicly or his astonishment about new discoveries. Aladin speaks in a slow, low-key voice, talking about himself and how the world appears from his point of view. His linguistic attitude and worldview can be interpreted as paralleling each other. Even before he verbally elaborates on his concept of tolerance, exchange and respect, the listener might deduce these positions from Aladin’s voice and habit. The impression of a very intimate and direct communication is greatly supported by Aladin’s Bavarian dialect, which seems to be so much a part of him that he sometimes struggles against it, but never successfully so. His dialect not only

makes him sound too innocent and simple to be play-acting, but also establishes him as a German. Thus, simply by listening to his dialect, one immediately knows that Aladin has remained a German even after his conversion to Islam. Aladin plays with this “fact” when he stages the “terrorist Muslim” that Germans, in his opinion, think all Muslims to be like – who is, stereotypically, speaking with a strong Middle Eastern accent. He also makes use of this assumption in his podcast Islam Interview, where he ventures out to randomly interview people on the street about their opinions about Islam. Aladin rejoices each time in the “surprise effect” after “suddenly” disclosing his identity as a Muslim to the interviewee. However, it is not only his familiar dialect and authentic way of speaking which establishes Aladin to be so typically German, as the “guy next door” rather than the “strange” Muslim. It is also his point of view on Islamic matters, which resemble that of the interested tourist rather than that of the learned insider. In the episode “Islamisches Ufo”, he tells the listener about his experience with a sticker he bought featuring an “al-Jazeera-Zeichen”38 Aladin knew from Morocco which “ein Türke” (in Aladin’s pronunciation sounds as if it were uttered by a prejudiced German conservative) had recommended him to buy via eBay. Having received “diese Kalligraphie, dieses Osmanische, mit osmanischer Schrift”39, Aladin immediately sticks it to his car windows using a hairdryer and a bank card before setting out to visit a mosque in Nuremberg. When entering the room adjacent to the prayer hall, Aladin is overwhelmed by a surprise so forceful that he still marvels about it while recording the episode: “Ich geh’ in des Zimmer rein, in dieses Wohnzimmer, was seh ich? Masha’allah [suddenly crying out]: das gleiche, die gleiche Kalligraphie hab’ ich vor drei Stunden auf mein Auto gemacht! Die glei-che Kalligraphie, die gleiche osmanische Schrift, dieses la’illahailallamuhammadarasulilla in Kalligraphie -form, - absolut identisch, ihr könnt’s ja nachprüfen, hier, - ich habe das Bild photographiert, mein Auto, und auch das Wohnzimmer, hab’ ich dann auch gleich photographiert in dieser Moschee, das [again crying out] glei-che, masha’allah, ich hab’ g’sagt, ich hab’ zu den g’sa [sic!] Türken gesagt, mash’allah, ich habe heute diese Kalligraphie, diese Kalligraphie habe ich heute auf mein Auto draufgemacht, —

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37 38 39

This is the declared goal of his podcast: „In einem Satz gesagt: Deutsche Innovation, deutsche Technologie, deutsche Pünktlichkeit, deutscher Islam und deutsche Moscheen, Land der Dichter und Denker, Goethe, deutsche Einheit, deutscher Fussball, Wirtschaftswunder, Nichtraucherschutz, Antisemitismus, GSG9, deutsche Kunst und Literatur, deutsche Vergangenheitsbewältigung, deutsche Klassik.“ (Description Islam-Deutschland Podcast auf www.podcast.de) Tagebuch eines Islamkonvertiten, „Krankheit im Ramadan“ (15th September 2009), 01:04-03:17. Tagebuch eines Islamkonvertiten, „Islamisches Ufo“, (13th October 2009), 01:35. Ibid., 02:07-02:10.

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und jetzt maschier’ ich in euer Wohnzimmer, und jetzt seh’ ich das: es hängt dort bei euch an der Wand - masha’allah — Wirklich, ‘s hat mich schon ein bisschen verwundert, muss ich ganz ehrlich sagen, vor allem in dieser kurzen Zeit, ne – zwei Stunden vorher auf’s Auto geklebt, und dann seh ich’s in der Moschee hängen – es hing sonst auch kein anderes Bild in dieser Moschee, in dieser, in diesem Wohnzimmer, kein anderes Bild (...) genau das gleiche Bild hängt in dieser Moschee, masha’allah.”40 Further deepening the impression of Aladin as an Islamic novice is his unfamiliarity with terminology related to Islamic matters. The dominance of his background as a German is demonstrated by his articulation. The few Arabic words Aladin uses become clearly Bavarian in character and are never stressed as part of an expert knowledge Aladin might possess. This amateur way of expressing his very personal encounter with Islam contrasts Aladin to Pierre Vogel, the third prominent actor in the field, who is admired mainly because of his frequently successful and well-documented efforts to convert mostly young Germans to Islam. While Pierre’s language is as dialected as that of Aladin (a Cologne dialect this time), his overall style definitely emphasizes the “Islamic” side of his identity. He always wears a taqiyya and a ºalÁbiyya, and grows an Islamic beard. Perhaps, most importantly, he not only knows and frequently uses Arabic expressions, but also performs them in a manner distinct from his usual speech. Thus, while Aladin sees himself as a beginner on the way to Islam (which does not at all mean that he really becomes more and more Islamic over time), Pierre Vogel already embodies Islam. Whereas Islamic elements are included in the Bavarian world of Aladin, for Pierre Vogel, it seems to work the other way round: Aladin himself dedicates a whole video to explaining that it is a mistake to continue linking Pierre to his identity as a boxer before converting, as he now “versucht – jeden – Konflikt, sei er noch so schlimm, wie zum Beispiel in Gaza – mit dem Mund zu lösen – [Aladin raises his hand to lay his finger on his lips] – oder mit dem Herzen (…) Er will die friedliche daÝwa, er will – die Welt mit dem Herzen ändern. – Bitte nehmt ihn so, wie er ist, – denn er ist mein Bruder.”41
40 41 42 43 44

Interestingly, Aladin’s main reference to the „boxer“ within Pierre was in a YouTube video42 where Pierre invites another group to take part in a theological debate. Despite his obvious efforts to remain calm and to maintain his adherence to an “Islamic” form, Pierre’s style reveals his underlying anger, corresponding with the duel-like set-up he tries to dictate to the meeting. It is exactly this style which prompts Aladin, being an admirer of Pierre Vogel for the reason of his “Islamicness”, to suggest a change in the latter’s behaviour towards a way of interacting that is more dialogue-oriented. Subsequently, he reports on the success of his suggestion: “Ich war grad’ auf der Seite von einladungzumparadies.de – was hab’ ich gesehen – unter den neuesten Videos steht plötzlich das Video – Pierre Vogel im Dialog! (…) Ich hab mir dieses Video angeschaut, und es war gut – es war genauso, wie ich mir das vorgestellt habe.“43 A certain shift can be observed when moving the focus from the German to US-American podcasts. While in Germany, there are non-institutional actors44 producing podcasts that enjoy wide reception, the US-American podsphere is quite different. Amateur podcasts, as those cited in the German examples, play a minor role, in contrast to some very professional productions distributed on a wide scale. An excellent example to point out the importance of how speaking and oral arguing styles as markers for a personal style create a certain identity is shown in the following satirical selfmade video.45 This video, posted on YouTube at the beginning of 2009 by the user muslimahnyc, is meant to criticise Hamza Yusuf, co-founder and chairman of the Zaytuna Institute California and, according to The Guardian “arguably the west’s most influential Islamic scholar”46, by making fun of him. On the visual level, a photo of Hamza Yusuf is taken, showing him with his typical white ºallÁbiyya combined with a beige waistcoat. He wears a white turban and holds a microphone in his left hand. The illusion of a moving mouth is produced by the alternation with a second modified photo, on which an open mouth has been painted which alternates with the original one. The satirical character of the video mainly operates at the auditory level: Having been accused by the caricature of a salafi radio

45 46

Ibid., 03:39-04:47. Tagebuch eines Islamkonvertiten, “Pierre Vogel ist kein Boxer mehr” (4th March 2009), 06:22-06:35 and 10:15-10:27. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h8VSPmkT3A (9th December 2009). Tagebuch eines Islamkonvertiten, “Pierre Vogel mach weiter so mit Dialogen!”, (27th February 2009), 02:06-02:35. As iTunes does not publish any data on the number of downloaded podcasts, YouTube is especially helpful in terms of seeing with which frequency videos are watched. It seems justified to deduce from the popularity of videos the popularity of associated podcasts, especially in cases where videocasts are published as videos on the common platforms, too. Salafi Talk Radio: Hamza Yusuf, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GBWLp4r03I (December 7th, 2009). Jack O’Sullivan, “If you Hate the West, Emigrate to a Muslim Country”, in: The Guardian, 8th October 2001. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2001/oct/08/religion.uk (10th December 2009).

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host – depicted with similar means – of being a deviant, Hamza Yusuf is shown defending himself against the accusation. While doing so, he constantly corrects himself. At this point, two major objects of the satire are discernible: Hamza Yusuf’s effort to never attack or even offend anybody,47 and his explicitly American accent. These linguistic aspects, which can be seen as general characteristics of Yusuf’s rhetorical style, are – of course – exaggerated in the improvised video: After only ten seconds, during which he complains in a very reticent way about the host “being so disrespectful” – a behaviour by which his constant effort to appear tolerant and to preach a gentle Islam is caricatured – he begins to stutter nervously and finally seeks refuge in “Arab culture”. In doing so, he implies that the good manners he expects from his interlocutor would not exist in the American context: “You know in, in, in,… in A-, Arabic culture there is so-, so, something called adab… Can you say adab? You know, ah, alif, dÁl, alif, bÁ … adab... and, ah..., it means manners and it’s very disrespectful what you, what you just said about me, but you know, you know, ah, it’s ok, ah, I mean I won’t, ah, I won’t sit here and talk…” 48 Yusuf is interrupted by the host who plays some sound effects. While the listener hears the typical fighting-sounds of an action-videogame, Yusuf still stutters something about adab – which in fact is the last word he utters – before he falls silent. The host apologises: “Uuuh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realise that you were finished... Hahaha!” Here, a well-known arguing structure and special speech-style is artfully caricatured. In Hamza Yusuf’s lectures or speeches – occasions from which a big part of the podcasts’ material49 is taken – he frequently refers to existing concepts, which have a certain theological weight, by citing the corresponding Arabic technical term. Usually, he explains their ‘exact’ meaning – or, in cases of polysemy, he spec-

ifies the intended meaning – by focusing on the term’s root or on other terms derived from it: “Çafla is a word in Arabic, it has a lot of different meanings. But generally, whenever you have a word that begins with Èayn, it has to do with some kind of covering or something being hidden, something being veiled, like Èayba and Èafara, to cover over… and so the, the, the basic meaning of it is that people are in a state of heedlessness, Èafla. The ÈÁfil is heedless, muÈaffal is a simpleton, a fool, somebody that can be easily tricked is muÈaffal, somebody that other people can fool them, it’s a simpleton. So, the idea that people are in a state of Èafla is a very strong qurÞÁnic idea (…).”50 In a speech given in the late 1990’s in Edmonton, Canada, Hamza Yusuf identifies what he calls an „Intellectual Foundation of Islamic Civilization“. He points out that the civilising aspect is the oral aspect, and subsequently concentrates on the fact that in Arabic, the term to describe illiteracy and the term for “mother” derive from the same root: „The civilization, the civilising aspect is the oral aspect and this is why the woman has traditionally been the oral element, in culture. The prophet [followed by a breathless eulogy] was called an-nabÐyy al-ummiyy. Now, ummiyy means ‘oral’ because it’s from the mother. Ummiyy – if you look at it as a yÁ-nisba, what’s called yÁ-nisba in the Arabic language – ummiyy also means ‘from the mother’ and the reason for that is: it’s as if... it’s like the day their mother gave them birth, they’re still in that pure state. And this is the oral aspect, that is transmitted through the knowledge of the mother, because the mother tends to have the..., the oral, she is… the..., the..., the vehicle for the oral transmission of culture, she’s transmitting culture orally to the child. And this is, you know, what was traditionally happening. Now, there can be no literacy without orality.“ 51

47

48 49

50

51

In an interview available as a podcast (Hamza Yusuf Podcast, “Hamza Yusef [sic!] and Islam in America”, 21st November 2007), the interviewer underlines citing a listener that Hamza Yusuf is admired, “because he is humble, he is one of us” (35:26-30) and because “he comes across like he’s one of us” (35:36-38). This perception can be paralleled with a series of commentaries on videos on other platforms. “Salafi Talk Radio: Hamza Yusuf”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBWLp4r03I (7th December 2009). The Zaytuna Institute Knowledge Resource Podcast published its last episode on 21st September 2008. However, a vast quantity of material is available as the podcast was among the earliest ones and was published regularly. The pod- and videocasts are still downloadable via the institute’s website as well as through iTunes. It seems that the growing importance of video platforms is at least one of the reasons for the production stop. In fact, Zaytuna Institute runs an own channel on YouTube where different videocasts are available as well as newer videos recorded on different occasions. Zaytuna Institute Knowledge Resource Podcast, “The Dangers of Heedlessness (AUDIO)”, (24th April 2007), 00:56-01:39. “Intellectual Foundation of Islamic Civilization 3/10”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Refjfv6cl34, 00:32-01:21 (7th December 2009).

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After pointing out that the QurÞÁn is ahsan al-qasas, he concludes that „If you take the narrative of the QurÞÁn, then you will create ahsan al-umam, the best... kuntum Ìairu ‘l-umma uÌriºat mina ‘n-nÁs.“ 52 In the opinion of Yusuf, this is the reason why the Muslim community has continued „to transmit orally the QurÞÁn“.53 Yusuf’s explanation can serve to exemplify the degree to which English oral performance can be structured by Arabic references. At the same time, other auditory aspects which could not be reproduced here have to be underlined: Yusuf speaks with great passion; in one moment, he excitedly raises his voice in terms of volume and pitch, while emphasizing with gestures his inner tension and the importance of his account. At the end of phrases or important citations, he often stops to let the action take its effect, then resumes a few seconds later, sometimes in an even more passionate manner, sometimes returning to calmness at the end of a logical section. The comment of a user on the quoted video proves that Yusuf’s artful performance does not fail its objective: “Shaykh Hamza Yusuf speaks with so much sincerity and love, he actually feels what he speaks...his cries and smiles are genuine. Alhumdulillah! [sic!]” 54 One of the main functions of the extended use of Arabic is to underline the speaker’s expertise, demonstrating his knowledge is not limited to the use of single words. He quotes longer passages from the QurÞÁn or the hadÐ× by heart frequently and with grace. His mastery is further highlighted by repeatedly proving his fluency in reciting and by his emphatic pronunciation of ‘typical’ Arabic sounds like qÁf or Ýayn. His linguistic skills and his mastery of the sacred text are not the only elements used to stress his religious authority. References to famous Islamic scholars, as well as knowledge of Islamic history, are also regularly emphasised. These shortly enumerated elements typical for a performative speech are obviously not only characteristic for Hamza Yusuf, who occupies the role of more or less a leading figure of US-American Islam, but also for other US-American actors making regular appearances on podcasts or video platforms. Suhaib Webb, whose biography shows

certain parallels with Hamza Yusuf’s, might be the clearest example for a Muslim convert credibly emphasising his American-ness. It is not only his slang that serves this purpose, but also the melody and rhythm of his speech and his vocabulary that become clear markers for an American identity: “I remember, man, I was a DJ, I know ‘bout Islam, and I used to look at him [a Muslim introduced previously] everybody had no respect for him, I don’t know what his real name is (…). You know why none respected him? ‘Cause he tried to be like us... I remember! He used to come to the parties and tried – he couldn’t dance either, man – tried to dance with girls. And everybody said: ‘That’s the buster Muslim, that’s a sellout Muslim, subhÁn AllÁh, man. Non-Muslims? That guy’s a Muslim, you’re not supposed to act like that (...).55 The fact that Webb uses a very different linguistic style for some occasions shows that speaking NYC-slang is a conscious choice, used in certain situations, and demonstrates a linguistic ability which is employed to create closeness between speaker and audience. We can see how the speech-mode or -style is skilfully adapted to changing audiences and circumstances. The fact that both Hamza Yusuf and Suhaib Webb speak fluent Arabic in front of an Arabic audience is not the only interesting element for our purposes.56 Giving a short account of his own biography, Suhaib Webb particularly underlines his American origins and his conversion, which also took place in the USA. Referring to his native state Oklahoma, he calls it bilÁd al-cowboys. The jocular effect of this detail is commented on by a user by writing “hahaha ‘bilad-alcowboys’.”57 A further example from the North-American podsphere testifying to another style that shows both parallels and differences to the previous examples are the podcasts of the ISGOC (Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City), which only recently started to publish. They employ a similar vocabulary as Zaytuna Podcast. Set phrases, especially at the beginning of the episodes, religious benedictions, quotations from the QurÞÁn, etc. appear alongside a very “American” way of expression. As Zaytuna has become a quite big organisation, several central figures can be identified within, Hamza Yusuf und Zaid Shakir being the most important ones. In the case of the ISGOC podcast,

52 53 54

55 56

57

Ibid.,02:11-02:22 (7th December 2009). Yusuf does not finish his phrase, but directly quotes the QurÞÁn. Ibid., 02:33-02:37 (7th December 2009). Commentary by the user mustafagtgt on “Intellectual Foundation of Islamic Civilization 3/10”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Refjfv6cl34, in April 2009 (7th December 2009). Suhaib Webb Podcast, “Hijab and Holding to the Truth” (16th September 2009), 04:16-04:43. The show is produced by the Saudi channel MBC and available on YouTube under the title “Hamza Yusuf and Imam Suhaib Webb (Rihla)”,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKtBi6-iDxI (7th December 2009). Ibid., commentary by the user mmaverick dating November 2009.

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Imad Enchassi, chairman of the society, appears as central figure. This is of course mainly due to the fact that the society’s podcasts consists merely of recorded Ìutbas.58 While the Zaytuna Podcast, as well as the MeccaOne Radio Podcast, clearly address a bigger community, i.e. everybody interested in their content, the ISGOC-podcast primarily addresses a group built on geographic proximity: „And finally, brothers and sisters in Islam, couple of announcements, in šÁÞa ‘llÁh taÝÁlÁ. ÝÏd, in šÁÞa ‘llÁh, ÝÏd day, there will be a – a potluck dinner breakfast, in šÁÞa ‘llÁh, h-here in the masºid, so bring whatever you can, in šÁÞa ‘llÁh, so you can share the food and the love with your brothers and sisters in šÁÞa ‘llÁh taÝÁlÁ – Frontier City, Saturday, October fourth, in šÁÞa ‘llÁh taÝÁlÁ, brother Said has some tickets –, and there is hennah party at twelve o’clock, uh hennah party today in šÁÞa ‘llÁh taÝÁlÁ, uh tonight in the masºid – hennah party for the sisters only in šÁÞa ‘llÁh.”59 This glance on charismatic actors, for which at least in the North-American context Hamza Yusuf can be seen as the central figure, shows that the oral dimension is essential for an understanding of both the identity and the popularity of these actors. Furthermore, it demonstrates how identities are communicated through identifiable markers, which can be paralleled with examples from outside the USA. Written material as a primary source for the actors in question can, in addition to statements on their websites, be found in form of books, which are mainly sold through several online stores. However, it is precisely through the popular podcasts as well as through video-platforms that the groundwork for every further popularity and appearance is laid: This is the “location” where the actors’ popularity begins, facilitated through the free and easy access and especially through the closeness of an oral experience. Up to now, this analysis has focused on the podcasts’ interaction with regional audiences, as well as on the diversity on the producers’ side. However, the podcasts of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, as well as those of two Naqšbandi branches, entitled Osman Nuri Topba¢ Hocaefendi Sohbetleri and Before Armageddon, point to identities constituted not so much around “locality and Islam” but rather around the central spiritual and organizational authorities. Consequently, all three podcasts do not transmit a plurality of voices but only feature the voice of each organization’s head,

i.e. of the ÝalÐfa in case of the AÎmadiyya, of Osman Nuri Topbaş in the case of the Turkish branch of the Naqšbandiyya, and of the Grandshaykh NÁÛim ḤaqqÁnÐ in case of the ḤaqqÁniyya. It is therefore no coincidence that each of the three podcasts uses a very traditionalistic format known from experience to be apt for the transmission of authority, which additionally reinforces the charisma that is present in the speaker’s voice. For the Aḥmadiyya, this format is the weekly Friday sermon, and for the two Naqšbandi podcasts, the sohbet, a casual lecture by the šayÌ to his disciples. Due to the centrality of the podcasts’ message, and the importance of a corporate style for the organizations, all episodes within each of the podcasts are edited in a highly uniform manner. Already the opening sequences of each of the podcast channels mark an audiosphere characteristic for the “corporate identity” of the respective organization. The thirty seconds of ney-flute not only evoke an association with Turkish Sufi practices among the listeners of the Osman Nuri Topba¢ Hocaefendi Sohbetleri podcast, but also give them the opportunity to attune to the spiritual space ahead. The Before Armageddon podcast’s “oriental” guitar-intro basically serves a similar function. However, its less specific evocation of the East “through Western ears” already hints at the Western orientation of the ḤaqqÁnÐ order60. Of course, as the beginning of the ÌuÔbas broadcasted by the Aḥmadiyya is to a great extent determined by the norms for this occasion, each ÌuÔba sets off with a recitation of the šahÁda and fÁtiÎa. However, the recitation’s unique “Aḥmadi” aesthetics reflect two highly important characteristics of the Aḥmadiyya in general: as the movement sets itself apart from other Muslims, so does the recitation style, which is immediately distinguishable from any other example of its kind; as the central line of QÁdiyÁnÐ ÌulafÁÞ has continuously been emphasized by the ºamÁÝat since the movement’s split in 1914 (lately also by the genealogy given on the website), it is equally strengthened on a performative level, as everyone knows that the same style was used by the current ÌalÐfa’s predecessors. Both the Naqšbandi and Aḥmadi podcasts situate the listener in a room acoustically thriving with life. Ambient noises do not at all impede the message brought across, but are part of the message, as the listener feels the presence and specific distance of the others joining with him in the congregation. The spatial relationship to the speaker’s voice as well as to the other listeners present can serve as yet another means to create a feeling of identification and participation.61 Thus, the children that can be

58 59 60

61

The three ÌuÔbas have been posted 1st October 2009. Khutba’s from ISGOC Podcast, “Khutbah 09/26/08 Part 2“ (1st October 2009), 11:05-11:36. On the order’s Western orientation since the 1970s, David W. Damrel, “Aspects of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani order in North America”, in: Jamal Malik and John Hinnells (eds.), Sufism in the West, New York, 2006, p. 117. On the relation of recording techniques and the spatial dimension of hearing, Rudolf Arnheim, Rundfunk als Hörkunst, Frankfurt a. M., pp. 37ff.

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heard passing and the door being closed in the episode “Bir mu’minin dikkat edeceºi dört husus” (The four things a believer should take care of) of the Osman Nuri Topba¢ Hocaefendi Sohbetleri podcast62 can very well be understood as important parts of the recording technique.63 In the case of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the acoustic dimension is obviously of such great importance that the ÌalÐfa’s soft and assured, never squealing, voice imbued with all his authority, as well as the congregation’s whispering and rustling, are both kept as auditory layers when adding the interpreter’s voice for the English version. In addition to the dimensions related to the ÌalÐfa’s voice and the background noise of the mosque, another specific characteristic of audio recordings is preserved by this procedure, namely the rigidity of the narrative time-frame. While reading, the reader controls the speed which he absorbs specific passages to a far greater degree than while listening. This has already played a vital role for the rhythm set by the opening refrains described above, but can also be used by the speaker within his sermon, e.g. through the dramatic use of pauses. This of course widely employed element of speech plays a particularly important role for the Osman Nuri Topba¢ Hocaefendi Sohbetleri podcast, as a high variation of pitch and sound level would disturb the speaker’s aura. A particularly striking example for such a usage are the very long pauses by Osman Nuri Topbaş Hocaefendi Sohbetleri underlining central passages, such as „—- Emanet çok mühim —-“64 (Trust is very important). Similarly, one of the most powerful means the head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community employs to dramatize his text is the variation of his reading speed. One last distinguishing characteristic of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s podcasts, though already implicit in the description above, deserves further contextualization as it strongly supports the argument of the podcast as an important channel for the transmission of a uniform worldwide “corporate identity”. Unlike the highly hybrid languages, dependent upon their local contexts described for most of the North American and German podcasts, the ÌalÐfa of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is not bound to the perspective of a specific locality. Although the podcasts might, as has been argued elsewhere65, be used for the establishment of the movement’s new centre in Lon-

don, their content as well as style does not explicitly point to this location. The ÌalÐfa neither speaks “Londonized Urdu” nor set contemporary England as the most important source for metaphors or modes of speech. The worldwide translation of the sermons underlines the unique position of his central authority, whose voice is never drowned by that of regional preachers addressing regional audiences. Every Friday, the worldwide community thus participates in the same event and is situated in the same sacral sonosphere. Recently, the Aḥmadi television station has begun to assume a similar function. The ÌalÐfa’s reflection on this is summarized on the homepage in the following words: “Huzur said last Sunday, with the grace of God, the UK Jalsa Salana concluded amidst great blessings. Not only did its conclusion spiritually satiate those who were present but also, all Ahmadis, the world over, felt this via MTA [Muslim Television Ahmadiyya]. For this we could not thank God enough. He has made the Ahmadiyya Community all over the world as one; this is what the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) aimed for.”66 The TV channel mentioned here emphasizes once more the multimedia-context in which podcasts are embedded. Interestingly (although hardly surprisingly), the soundspheres cited above do have close parallels in the pictorial self-representations by the respective groups. To mention only one example, the avoidance of hard cuts e.g. between the ney-intro and the sohbet in the case of the ONT podcast is paralleled in the layour of the associated webpage, which uses soft pastel tones and a font with rounded serifs to generate the same effect. III. Conclusion New networking technologies offer new opportunities which podcasters have quickly appropriated. One of the most prominent examples for the usage of these technologies is in the distribution of different forms of media, each of which possesses specific aesthetic dimensions. Therefore, the authors of this article consider an analysis of the aesthetic elements one of the most promising fields of research. In the above analysis, it has been illustrated that a media-specific approach is an inevitable prerequisite to gaining access to these

62

63

64

65

66

Osman Nuri Topba¢ Hocaefendi Sohbetleri, “Bir mu’minin dikkat edeceºi dört husus” (22nd November 2009), 00:41-00:42. The effects of room recordings can best be understood in a comparative perspective. The two episodes of anNasiha Podcast: “028: Khutbah October 16, 2009” (17th October 2009), in which the speaker’s voice is recorded with a close microphone and “013: Signs of the last day” (18th April 2009), which was obviously recorded with a room microphone. Osman Nuri Topba¢ Hocaefendi Sohbetleri, “Bir mu’minin dikkat edeceºi dört husus” (22nd November 2009), 12:00-12:08. Scholz et al., „Listening Communities? The Construction of Religious Authority in Islamic Podcast”, in: Die Welt des Islams 48 (2008), pp. 457-509. Al Islam. “Thankfulness on blessed conclusion of Jalsa Salana UK.” http://www.alislam.org/archives/friday/FSS20090731-EN.html (10th December 2009).

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very dimensions. Using the implications of audio aesthetics from a number of podcasts to gain additional perspective on the complexities of identity formation, aspects of identities became audible which otherwise could hardly be seen. This has been illustrated by the hip-hop layer in the patchwork of identities of a young Bosnian migrant to Germany expressed in his speech; by the specific use of language, particularly dialect, as a means for German converts to locate themselves between the self-constructed poles of being German and being Muslim; by the more profes-

sional American actors using the oral dimension to underline both their “American-ness” and expertise in Islam; and by the employment of speech and sound by the heads of worldwide religious orders to disseminate their “corporate identity”. As mentioned in the introduction, reflection on old categories of Islamic studies is of high importance for this young field of research. Hopefully, the methods to examine new forms of media suggested above will in turn contribute to the reassessment of established approaches.

IV. Bibliography ARNHEIM, RUDOLF. Rundfunk als Hörkunst. Frankfurt a. M. 2001. BAUER, MARTIN. Vom iPod zum iRadio: Podcasting als Vorbote des individualisierten Hörfunks. Mittweida 2007. BRÄUCHLER, BIRGIT. “Der Molukkenkonflikt im Internet: Globale Dimension eines Konflikts”. in: Slama, Martin (ed.): Konflikte – Mächte – Identitäten. Beiträge zur Sozialanthropologie Südostasiens. (Veröffentlichungen zur Sozialanthropologie; 11). Wien 2009. pp. 89-115. BUNT, GARY R.. iMuslims: Rewiring the House of Islam. London 2009. DAMREL, DAVID W.. “Aspects of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani order in North America”, in: Malik, Jamal and Hinnells, John (eds.). Sufism in the West. New York 2006. pp. 115-126. ISSING, LUDWIG J. and KLIMSA, PAUL. Information und Lernen mit Multimedia und Internet: Ein Handbuch für Studium und Praxis. Weinheim 2002. KERMANI, NAVID. Gott ist schön: Das ästhetische Erleben des Koran. München 1999. KEUPP, H.
ET AL.. Identitätskonstruktionen: Das Patchwork der Identitäten in der Spätmoderne. Reinbek 2002.

KOCH, PETER and OESTERREICHER, WULF. “Sprache der Nähe – Sprache der Distanz: Mündlichkeit und Schriftlichkeit im Spannungsfeld von Sprachtheorie und Sprachgebrauch”, in: Romanistisches Jahrbuch 36 (1985), pp. 15-43. MÜLLER, RENATE ET AL.. “Identitätskonstruktionen mit Musik und Medien im Lichte neuer Identitätsund Jugendkulturdiskurse”. in: Mikos, Lothar et al. (eds.). Mediennutzung, Identität und Identifikationen. Weinheim 2007. pp 135-148. NELSON, KRISTINA. The Art of Reciting the Qur’an. Cairo, New York 2001. PINK, JOHANNA and BRÜCKNER, MATTHIAS (EDS.). Von Chatraum bis Cyberjihad: Muslimische Internetnutzung in lokaler und globaler Perspektive. (Kultur, Recht und Politik in muslimischen Gesellschaften; 13). Würzburg 2009. SCHOLZ, JAN ET AL.. “Listening Communities? Some Remarks on Construction of Religious Authority in Islamic Podcast”. in: Die Welt des Islams 48 (2008), pp. 457-509. TWORUSCHKA, UDO. “Vom ‚Visible‘ zum ‚Auditive Turn‘ in der praktischen Religionswissenschaft“, in: Klöcker, Michael and Tworuschka, Udo (eds.). Praktische Religionswissenschaft: Ein Handbuch für Studium und Beruf. Köln 2008. pp. 76-83.

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Ein islamisches Tabakverbot? Untersuchung anhand moderner islamischer Rechtsgutachten
I. Einleitung Die Ächtung des Alkohols im islamischen Recht ist hinreichend bekannt, wenngleich schon das Alkoholverbot in islamisch juristischen Kreisen weder unumstritten ist, noch in den meisten Fällen als allumfassend betrachtet wird. Als Grundlage (‘Illa) für das Alkoholverbot wird im Allgemeinen die berauschende Wirkung gesehen.1 Schon beim Alkohol wird die Frage gestellt, ob der Genuss einer Menge, die nicht berauscht, erlaubt sei. Andererseits ist gerade die berauschende Wirkung die Grundlage, auf die rechtswissenschaftlich eine Analogie (Qiyas) gestützt werden kann. So haben islamische Juristen im Laufe der Geschichte nach den berauschenden Wirkungen von Kaffee, Tee, Qat (eine Art jemenitischer Kautabak), Haschisch2, Opium, Cola und auch Tabak geforscht. Je nach Ergebnis wurde ein Verbot des entsprechenden Genussmittels ausgesprochen. Ein flexibles Mittel der islamischen Rechtsentwicklung ist die Erstellung von Fatwas (Rechtsgutachten). Ein Laie stellt eine Frage und ein im islamischen Recht bewanderter Experte, der Mufti, beantwortet sie. Der Mufti muss nicht zum Ijtihad befähigt sein.3 Der Mufti und sein Fatwa sind nicht mit einem Kadi (Richter) und seinem Hukm (Urteil) zu verwechseln, da ein Fatwa im Gegenteil zu einem Urteil nicht bindend ist. Die Fragen an die Muftis kommen aus allen Lebensbereichen. So können auch Fragen zu religiösen Pflichten gestellt werden, die einem Urteil nicht zugänglich sind. Durch neuartige Anfragen werden dem islamischen Recht neue Themenbereiche eröffnet, z.B. die Beurteilung moderner Techniken und Technologien, die im Koran nicht ausdrücklich erwähnt sind. Auf diese Weise kann das Recht aktuelle Probleme berücksichtigen. Das Fatwa-Wesen ist zudem ein soziales Barometer, das anhand der gestellten Fragen zeigt, was die Menschen gerade
1 2

bewegt. Schon der osmanische Sultan Murad IV. ließ im 17. Jh. den Genuss von Tabak verbieten.4 Bekannt ist auch die Tabak-Revolte in Persien (1891-1892), bei welcher der Tabak jedoch nur der Anlass war: Der Schah hatte 1890 die gesamte iranische Tabakproduktion für 50 Jahre an eine britische Firma verkauft. Vor allem die iranischen Händler begehrten dagegen auf und ein Fatwa, wahrscheinlich erlassen von Muhammad Hasan Schirazi, damals höchster schiitischer Würdenträger, verbot daraufhin das Rauchen. Daraufhin gaben die Briten das nun nutzlose Monopol wieder zurück. Nach Erreichen dieses politischen Ziels erließ Schirazi ein neues Fatwa mit welchem er das Rauchen wieder erlaubte.5 Heutzutage eignet sich durch die interaktive Komponente das Fatwa-Wesen hervorragend für eine Durchführung via Internet. So sind seit 1995 viele sogenannte Fatwa-Online-Dienste entstanden. Selbst das Dar al-Ifta (Haus des Fatwa-Wesens), die höchste ägyptische Fatwa-Instanz, hat eine Präsenz im Internet eröffnet.6 Das Dar al-Ifta wurde bereits 1895 gegründet und veröffentlicht seine Fatwas seit 1980 in einer Buchreihe. Es vertritt eher liberalere sunnitische Traditionen. Auch der pakistanische Fatwa-Online-Dienst Dawat-eIslami7 gehört in etwa zu dieser Richtung. Der streng orthodoxen sunnitischen Tradition der in Saudi-Arabien vorherrschenden Wahhabija sind die Fatwa-Online-Dienste Islam – Question & Answer8 und IslamiCity9 zuzuordnen. Auch Gemeinden von Migranten betreiben solche Dienste, wie z. B. ehemals das Belfast Islamic Centre.10 Die Schiiten waren zunächst durch das Aalim Network11 vertreten, das seinen Dienst schon 2001 einstellte.12 In Zeiten vor dem Internet wurden Fatwas schon in Zeitungen publiziert, beispielsweise in der saudischen Zeitung Arab News und werden mittlerweile auch im Internet verbreitet. Hauptsächlich

3

4

5

6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Matthias Brückner: Fatwas zum Alkohol unter dem Einfluss neuer Medien im 20. Jhdt., Würzburg 2001, S. 69ff. Vgl. z. B. Islam – Question & Answer: Ruling on taking drugs, and do they come under the same heading as khamr (intoxicants)?, Nr. 66227; Ruling on smoking various types of hasheesh (marijuana), Nr. 115761. Brückner: Fatwas zum Alkohol, S. 22f. Jens Kutscher: Online-Fatwas – Islamische Rechtsgutachten und ihre Bedeutung für die politische Partizipation, in: Matthias Brückner/Johanna Pink (Hg.): Von Chatraum bis Cyberjihad – Muslimische Internetnutzung in globaler und lokaler Perspektive, Würzburg 2009, S. 135-153, S.137. Kutscher orientiert sich zu sehr an der reinen Theorie, denn an der praktischen Notwendigkeit, wenn er meint, die Ijtihad-Befähigung des Muftis sei die Regel. Reinhard Schulze: Die islamische Welt in der Neuzeit, in: Albrecht Noth/Jürgen Paul (Hg.): Der islamische Orient, Würzburg 1998, S. 333-405, S. 356. Heinz Halm: Der schiitische Islam, München 1994, S. 139f.; Moojan Momen: An Introduction to Shi’i Islam, New Haven, London 1985, S. 142; Schulze: Welt, S. 403. Dar al-Ifta, http://www.dar-alifta.org/home.html. Dawat-e-Islami, http://www.dawateislami.net. Islam – Question & Answer, http://www.islam-qa.com. IslamiCity, http://www.islamicity.com. Belfast Islamic Centre, http://www.belfastislamiccentre.org.uk/NR/. Aalim Network, http://www.al-islam.org/organizations/AalimNetwork/. Matthias Brückner: Der Ayatollah im Netz – offizielle zwölferschiitische Websites, in: ORIENT, 43. Jahrgang, Hamburg 2002, S. 537-557, S. 538.

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stützt sich dieser Artikel auf diese Quellen. Dabei wurden die Fatwa-Dienste bis Ende 1999 verfolgt, ausgenommen die beiden wahhabitischen Dienste Islam – Question & Answer und IslamiCity, die bis November 2009 ausgewertet wurden.13 Seit 2000 sind einige weitere, auch größere, Fatwa-OnlineDienste entstanden, die im Rahmen dieses Aufsatzes nicht in die Analyse einbezogen werden konnten. II. Rauchen gefährdet die Gesundheit Adil Salahi, der religiöse Editor von Arab News, vergleicht das Rauchen mit dem Essen von Knoblauch und Zwiebeln. Schon der Prophet Muhammad habe geraten, dann nicht zur Moschee zu gehen. Darüber hinaus habe das Rauchen nicht die Vorteile von Knoblauch und Zwiebeln. Rauchen könne Lungenkrebs oder Herzschwäche auslösen und sei teuer. Aus all diesen Gründen habe die Mehrheit der Rechtsgelehrten der islamischen Welt das Rauchen verboten. Folgerichtig sind somit auch der Tabakanbau, -handel und Werbung für diesen verboten.14 Im Gegensatz dazu stehen zwei ältere Fatwas des Dar al-Ifta, die zwar die Missbilligung von Tabak in der Moschee teilen, aber insbesondere den Handel mit Tabak erlauben.15 Das zweite Fatwa missbilligt auch das Hören einer Koranrezitation nach Tabakgenuss, was allerdings nicht mit dem schlechten Geruch, sondern mit der Verletzung der Würde des Korans gerechtfertigt wird. Gott habe jedoch das Rauchen nicht ausdrücklich verboten, so eine Nachfrage an Salahi. Daraufhin führt er an, dass das Rauchen zur Zeit der Entstehung des Islam noch nicht bekannt war.16 Das Tabakrauchen wurde in der Tat erst im 17. Jh. aus Amerika übernommen.17 In einem weiteren Fatwa versucht Salahi, das Rauchverbot aus Grundprinzipien herzuleiten: So werden neue Genussmittel

danach beurteilt, ob sie schädlich oder berauschend sind, einen verbotenen Stoff enthalten oder eine Wirkung auf den Geist haben. Er bezieht ein noch grundsätzlicheres Prinzip in seine Erwägung ein, nämlich, dass alles erlaubt sei, bis es einen Grund gebe, es zu verbieten. Das wird auch von IslamiCity gerne und oft angeführt. Ferner sieht Salahi in diesem Fall die Verbindung von medizinischer Forschung mit muslimischer Gelehrsamkeit als sachliche Grundlage an. Er bezieht sich auf eine medizinische Untersuchung des Royal College of Physicians (Großbritannien) von 1970. Dieser Bericht habe zu der Beschriftung von Zigarettenpackungen geführt, die auf die Gefahren von Tabakkonsum hinweisen. Ferner führt er verschiedene Berichte der Weltgesundheitsorganisation (WHO) an, welche u a. auch auf die Gefahren des passiven Rauchens eingehen. Nach einem dieser Berichte sei die intravenös gespritzte Nikotinmenge einer Zigarette absolut tödlich.18 Auch Islam – Question & Answer hält das Rauchen für verboten, weil es zu den schlechten Dingen gehöre und Geldverschwendung sei. Auch hier wird die Parallele zum Essen von Knoblauch und Zwiebeln gezogen.19 IslamiCity verbietet zwar das Rauchen, gibt aber darüber hinaus noch eine interessante Differenzierung: Im Gegensatz zum Alkohol, der in Form des Rausches am stärksten den Geist schädigt, zerstört der Tabak am stärksten den Körper.20 Außerdem sei die Nikotinabhängigkeit sogar stärker als die Abhängigkeit von Heroin oder Marihuana.21 In mehreren längeren neueren Fatwas wird das Rauchverbot vor allem mit Geldverschwendung und Abhängigkeit begründet. Gleichwohl seien starke Raucher, die ernsthaft versuchen, das Rauchen aufzugeben, dabei jedoch erfolglos blieben, rechtlich entschuldigt. Weiterhin sei das Rauchen zwar verboten, es sei aber nur eine kleinere Sünde, die durch die tägli-

13 14

15

16 17 18

19

20 21

Für Hilfe bei der Sammlung und Sortierung dieser Fatwas danke ich den Damen Cercel und Gralka. Die Fatwas aus Arab News und den Fatwa-Online-Diensten bis 1999 sind gesammelt in: Matthias Brückner (Hg.): Fatwaindex zum Alkoholverbot, neuen Medien u.a., Würzburg 2001, CD-Rom. Wenn nötig, habe ich die Fatwas mit Kürzeln und Nummern versehen, die hier in eckigen Klammern stehen: Arab News: Smoking and tobacco trading, Nr. [ArN 300], 5.8.1983 (Adil Salahi); Smoking, pork, tawaf, etc., Nr. [ArN 301], 30.11.1984; Selling what is forbidden, Nr. [ArN 305], 24.2. und 4.8.1989 (Adil Salahi); Verdict on smoking, Nr. [ArN 308], 18.11.1991 (Adil Salahi); Prohibition of harmful stuff, Nr. [ArN 313], 27.9.1993 (Adil Salahi); Islam – Question & Answer: Ruling on smoking, Nr. [IQA] 110, 11.7.1997 (Muhammad Salih al-Munadschid). Hukm Tidschara ad-Dukhan wa al-Kasb an-Natidsch minha, Nr. 629, 8.12.1947 (Hasnein Makhluf), in: Al-Fatawa alislamiyya min Dar al-Ifta al-misriyya, Bd. 1-20, Auqaf-Ministerium, Kairo 1980-1993, Bd. 4, S. 1306f. und ebendort: Hukm Schurb ad-Dukhan, Nr. 630, 30.3.1949 (Hasnein Makhluf), Bd. 4, S. 1308ff. und ebendort: Schurb at-Tumbak wa ad-Dukhan bi ‘l-Masdschid, Nr. 1089, 10.11.1959 (Hasan Ma’mun), Bd. 7, S. 2556f. Arab News: On smoking, Nr. [ArN 302], 1.2.1985 (Adil Salahi); [Smoking], Nr. [ArN 310], 6.11.1992 (Adil Salahi). Rudolf Gelpke: Vom Rausch im Orient und Okzident, Stuttgart 1995, S. 46. Arab News: How is smoking viewed in Islam, Nr. [ArN 303], 30.11.1987 (Adil Salahi); Role of scholarly discretion in legislation, Nr. [ArN 304], 30.9.1988 (Adil Salahi); On chewing tobacco, Nr. [ArN 309], 12.10.1992 (Adil Salahi); On health protection, Nr. [ArN 311], 15.1.1993 (Adil Salahi); Dar al-Ifta: [Cigarette’s company], Nr. [DaI 71], 15.10.1997 (Nasr Farid Wasel); Islam – Question & Answer: Food and drinks that are forbidden in Islam, Nr. [IQA] 2009, 3.6.1998 (Muhammad Salih al-Munadschid). Islam – Question & Answer: The reason why smoking is haraam, Nr. 10922 (Shaykh Sa’d al-Humayd); Ruling on smoking and coming to the mosque, Nr. 11286 (Ibn Baz). IslamiCity: Smoking, Nr. [ICi] 1380, 3.6.1997, [Smoking], Nr. [ICi] 3239, 19.5.1998. Ebd.: [Cigarettes], Nr. [ICi] 3004, 26.4.1998.

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chen Gebete und Ähnliches abgebüßt werden könne.22 Das Rauchverbot gelte ausnahmslos auch für die Wasserpfeife23 und nach Islam – Question & Answer ebenso für das Kauen von Tabak.24 Auch Jusuf al-Qaradawi, ein prominenter orthodoxer Gelehrter, und Mutawalli ad-Darsch vom Belfast Islamic Centre halten Rauchen für verboten.25 Dawat-e-Islami erlaubt das Rauchen, es sei denn, es führe zum Rausch, was bei Zigaretten aber nicht der Fall sei. Es könne maximal gesagt werden, dass Nichtraucher Gutes tun, Raucher aber nicht im Irrtum seien.26 Auch Baschir Rahim vom Aalim Network verneint ein absolutes Rauchverbot. Wenn dieses doch existiere, dann sei der Grund in der Verbindung des Rauchens mit Krebs und anderen Krankheiten zu sehen. So habe Ayatollah Khomeini zwar den Rauchern erlaubt, weiterhin zu rauchen, einem Nichtraucher aber verboten, das Rauchen zu beginnen. Nach Rahim hielt Ayatollah Khui, ein weiterer hoher schiitischer Geistlicher des 20. Jhs., Rauchen nicht für verboten, was auch daran gelegen haben könnte, dass er selbst Kettenraucher war. Rahim verweist an dieser Stelle darauf, ebenfalls zu rauchen.27 Dessen Kollege Asgharali Jaffer bezieht sich mit islamisch-juristischer Begrifflichkeit auf Rahim und Khomeini, der es als haram (streng verboten) bezeichnet hatte, mit dem Rauchen zu beginnen. Ansonsten sei es nur makruh, d.h. es unterliege der religiös-moralischen Missbilligung. Dies sind auch die Auffassungen von Ayatollah Khui und Ayatollah Sistani, einem der höchsten noch lebenden schiitischen Würdenträger. Allerdings sei es verboten, wenn der Arzt seinen Patienten auf die Schädlichkeit hinweise.28 Hier verweist Salahi darauf, dass viele Ärzte wider besseres Wissen selbst rauchen.29

III. Rituelle Fragen Das Rauchen mache die rituelle Waschung nicht ungültig, so Salahi. Wenn man geraucht habe, müsse man sich nicht nochmals waschen, um beten zu dürfen.30 Dar al-Ifta zufolge sei es zumindest im Gebet unschädlich, wenn man nichts über ein mögliches Verbot gewusst habe. Um den üblen Tabakgeruch zu entfernen, solle man sich den Mund waschen. Dies bedeute, dass unter Umständen keine wiederholte komplette Waschung mehr erforderlich sei.31 Islam – Question & Answer hält ebenso eine wiederholte Waschung nicht für erforderlich, sondern nur die Neutralisierung des Mundgeruchs.32 Auch IslamiCity zweifelt anscheinend nicht an der Gültigkeit des Gebets eines Rauchers, sieht aber ein Problem darin, dass der Raucher die anderen Betenden und die Engel mit seinem Mundgeruch belästige oder aber das Gebet in der Moschee wegen seiner Sucht nicht einhalten könne.33 Sogar das Gebet hinter einem Vorbeter, der Raucher ist, sei gültig, auch wenn dem Gläubigen empfohlen wird, sich einen besseren Vorbeter zu suchen.34 Allerdings mache das Rauchen das Fasten im Ramadan ungültig, da es einer Nahrungsaufnahme gleichkomme. Stattdessen dürfe man ein Nikotinpflaster benutzen, da dies das Fasten nicht beeinträchtige.35 Selbst al-Munadschid erlaubt den Gebrauch von Nikotinpflastern im Ramadan.36 Ergänzend sei auch ein Gebet mit Nikotinpflaster am Arm gültig, da der Oberarm bei der kleinen rituellen Waschung nicht gereinigt werden müsse.37 Weiterhin bliebe das Fasten gültig, wenn Tabak vom Vorabend, der sich bei Sonnenaufgang noch im Mund befinde, ausgespuckt werde.38 Begründet wird das Rauchverbot im Ramadan von Islam – Question & Answer damit, dass schon der Tabakrauch Partikel enthalte, die den Magen erreichen.39

22

23 24 25

26 27 28

29 30 31 32

33 34

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36 37 38 39

Ebd.: Halal and Haram: Smoking, Nr. 24999, 4.11.2007; Halal and Haram: Smoking, Nr. 29847, 1.11.2008; Halal and Haram: Smoking, Nr. 30234, 24.11.2008. Ebd.: Smoking, Nr. 5434, 8.3.2005. Islam – Question & Answer: Ruling on smoking and chewing tobacco, Nr. 9083. Jusuf al-Qaradawi: Erlaubtes und Verbotenes im Islam, München 1989, S. 74; Belfast Islamic Center (BIC): Social Issues, Nr. [BIC 1], 26.12.1997 (Mutawalli ad-Darsch). Dawat-e-Islami: [Smoking], Nr. [DeI] 7, 12.5.1998, [Smoking], Nr. [DeI] 440, 1999. Aalim Network: Imam Smoking, Nr. [AaN] 138 und 146, 16. und 21.4.1996 (Baschir Rahim). Ebd.: Smoking, Nr. [AaN] 545 und 627, 17.3.1998 (Asgharali Jaffer), Smoking & Talking to Boys, Nr. [AaN] 762, 23.9.1998 (Mustafa Jaffer). Arab News: The gradual prohibition of intoxicants, Nr. [ArN 110], 26.5.1989 (Adil Salahi). Ebd.: Marriage, debts, etc., Nr. [ArN 307], 2.8.1991 (Adil Salahi). Dar al-Ifta: [Smoking], Nr. [DaI 70], 26.2.1998. Islam – Question & Answer: Does smoking break one’s wudoo’?, Nr. 6679; Smoking is haraam but it does not invalidate wudoo’, Nr. 36301. IslamiCity: Smoking, Nr. 5434, 8.3.2005; Halal and Haram: Smoking, Nr. 30234, 24.11.2008. Islam – Question & Answer: Ruling on praying behind someone who smokes cigarettes and the narghile, Nr. 9596; Ruling on praying behind someone who smokes, Nr. 70305. Aalim Network.: Nicotine Patch, Nr. [AaN] 485, 15.11.1997 (Asgharali Jaffer); Dawat-e-Islami: [Smoking], Nr. [DeI] 7, 12.5.1998, [Smoking], Nr. [DeI] 440, 1999. Islam – Question & Answer: Ruling on skin patches in Ramadaan, Nr. 8226 (al-Munadschid). Ebd.: Ruling on nicotine patches, Nr. 103523. Ebd.: If a fasting person wakes up and finds food in his mouth, Nr. 95115. Ebd.: Smoking in Ramadaan, Nr. 37765; Smoking is haraam and invalidates the fast, Nr. 106450.

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Außerdem sei das rituelle Fasten eine gute Gelegenheit, ganz mit dem Rauchen aufzuhören, meint Salahi.40 Dabei könne auch das Gebet helfen.41 Das Rauchen während der Pilgerfahrt sieht Adil Salahi zwar kritisch, aber er kann sich nicht dazu entscheiden, eine solche Pilgerfahrt für ungültig zu erklären.42 Schließlich wäre es ungerecht, ein so teures Opfer im Nachhinein für ungültig zu erklären. Ähnlich beurteilt Islam – Question & Answer die Frage der Finanzierung einer Pilgerfahrt durch in einer Tabakfabrik verdientes Geld. So kann die Pilgerfahrt unternommen werden, wenn die Tickets schon gekauft wurden und nicht mehr umtauschbar sind. Allerdings soll ein Betrag in Höhe des dafür ausgegebenen Geldes gespendet werden.43 IV. Familienrechtliche Fragen Rauchen des Ehepartners kann grundsätzlich ein Scheidungsgrund sein, so sieht es jedenfalls Islam – Question & Answer.44 Allerdings sei notwendig, dass diese Bedingung in den Ehevertrag aufgenommen wurde.45 Selbst das reicht aber mitunter im Einzelfall nicht aus. So war es im folgenden Fall, in dem die Frau dem Mann die Bedingung gestellt hatte, für die Heirat mit dem Rauchen aufzuhören. Unmittelbar nach der Hochzeit entdeckte die Frau, dass ihr Mann weiterhin rauchte. Bis sich die Ehefrau an Islam – Questions & Answers wandte, waren jedoch fünf Jahre vergangen und bereits zwei Kinder aus der Ehe hervorgegangen. Unter diesen Umständen wurde eine Scheidung vom Mufti abgelehnt, denn die Frau hätte in den letzten Jahren das Handeln ihres Mannes akzeptiert oder stünde ihm zumindest gleichgültig gegenüber. Somit hätte sie auf ihre Bedingung verzichtet. Dabei wird betont, dass sie unmittelbar nach Entdeckung des Verstoßes gegen die Bedingung durchaus ein Recht auf Scheidung gehabt hätte.46 Al-Munadschid hält sogar den Kauf von Zigaretten für einen Anderen für verboten, selbst wenn es der

eigene Vater ist. In solchen Fällen sei kein Gehorsam erforderlich.47 Umgekehrt solle man auch nicht vor seinen Kindern rauchen.48 V. Geschäftsverkehr Nach Islam – Question & Answer ist schon der Anbau von Tabak verboten.49 Nach dem Dar al-Ifta solle man es jedenfalls vermeiden, in einer Zigarettenfabrik zu arbeiten und sich möglichst schnell eine andere Arbeit suchen. Wenn es keine andere Arbeit gebe, dann sei es erlaubt, solange mit dieser Arbeit fortzufahren, bis man eine andere erlaubte Arbeit fände. Das wird hier mit Darura (Notwendigkeit) begründet.50 Bei Darura handelt es sich um ein Konzept, das häufig in Zwangssituationen Anwendung findet und zur Rechtfertigung/Entschuldigung einer Tat führt, also in etwa mit dem Notstand im deutschen Recht vergleichbar ist. Eine ähnliche Auffassung wird auch in zwei Fatwas von IslamiCity vertreten, die betonen, dass Tabak verboten sei.51 Muhammad Ibn Salih alUthaimin wendet das Konzept auf das Rauchen am Arbeitsplatz an. In privaten Räumen solle man sich vom Raucher entfernen, am Arbeitsplatz dürfe man neben einem Raucher sitzen bleiben, ohne damit eine Sünde zu begehen.52 Nach einem Fatwa von IslamiCity vom 26.6.2005 ist konsequenterweise auch der Verkauf von Zigaretten verboten. Das wird mit einem Zitat des aus Mauretanien stammenden und derzeit ein lokales islamisches Zentrum leitenden Sheikh Muhammad al-Mukhtar al-Shinqiti53 begründet. Demnach entspreche der Verkauf von Zigaretten ihrem Konsum.54 Schließlich wird noch al-Munadschid wie in einigen anderen neueren Fatwas von IslamiCity als Autorität angeführt. Dieser hält den Verkauf von Tabak ebenso für verboten55, und zwar auch dann, wenn der Fragesteller nur in einer untergeordneten Position in einem Supermarkt arbeitet.56

40 41 42 43

44 45 46 47 48

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Arab News: Ramadan offers golden opportunity to break the smoking habit, Nr. [ArN 312], 12.2.1993 (Adil Salahi). IslamiCity: [Cigarettes], Nr. [ICi] 3004, 26.4.1998. Arab News: Is smoking permissible in pilgrimage?, Nr. [ArN 314], 31.10.1997 (Adil Salahi). Islam – Question & Answer: Doing Hajj with money he earned by working in a company that produces tobacco, Nr. 110902. Ebd.: Some causes of divorce, Nr. 13243; Divorce from a husband who is addicted to smoking, Nr. 13254. Ebd.: She stipulated that her husband would not smoke and he did not adhere to the condition, Nr. 111919. Ebd.: She stipulated that her husband should quit smoking but he went against that. What should she do?, Nr. 20757. Ebd.: His father asks him to buy cigarettes for him, Nr. 4270 (al-Munadschid). Ebd.: Is it counted as committing sin openly if a person commits sin in front of his children?, Nr. 11726 (Muhammad Ibn Salih al-Uthaimin). Ebd.: Ruling on growing tobacco, Nr. 7432. Dar al-Ifta: Cigarette’s company, Nr. [DaI 71], 15.10.1997, (Nasr Farid Wasel). IslamiCity: Buying and Selling: Tobacco, Nr. 33356, 15.11.2009; Buying and Selling: Tobacco, Nr. 33384, 17.11.2009. Islam – Question & Answer: Ruling on sitting with smokers when they are smoking, Nr. [IQA] 1812, 13.5.1999 (Muhammad Ibn Salih al-Uthaimin). Eine Biografie von ihm findet man auf der Website IslamOnline.net, http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?cid=1124781364116&pagename=IslamOnline-EnglishHajj_Umra%2FHajjCounselorE%2FHajjCounselorE. IslamiCity: Smoking, Nr. 7455, 26.6.2005. Islam – Question & Answer: Does smoking break one’s wudoo’?, Nr. 6679; Grocery store selling foods containing pork ingredients, Nr. 9941 (al-Munadschid); Selling cigarettes, Nr. 10204. Ebd.: It is not permissible to sell cigarettes even if you are working in the store, Nr. 87800.

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Ein islamisches Tabakverbot?

Nach einem Fatwa von IslamiCity vom 3.9.2008 und einem vom 15.9.2008 sei der Verkauf von Tabak allerdings nur missbilligt (makruh), und das, obwohl in diesen beiden Fatwas eingangs noch der saudische Gelehrte Ibn Baz zitiert wird, der den Tabakverkauf als verboten ansieht.57 Hierbei kann wieder einmal die Widersprüchlichkeit von Fatwas im Internet im Allgemeinen und insbesondere bei IslamiCity konstatiert werden, was möglicherweise darauf zurückzuführen ist, dass die Fatwas von unterschiedlichen Muftis erteilt wurden. Das wäre eine für den Dienst eventuell problematische Entwicklung, denn schon beim schiitischen Aalim Network konnte man erkennen, dass inhaltliche Differenzen wohl mit ein Grund für die Einstellung des Dienstes waren. Vielleicht kann man an den neueren Fatwas aber auch eine Loslösung vom wahhabitischen Establishment in Saudi-Arabien erkennen. Dadurch, dass die neuere Meinung zweimal bekräftigt wird, kann man jedenfalls eine unabsichtliche Abweichung weitgehend ausschließen. Auch in diesem Fall hätte das Internet Differenzen zutage gefördert. Nach Islam – Question & Answer ist es sogar verboten, ein Wasserpfeifencafé anzumieten, um dort Essen zu verkaufen.58 Dies gilt ebenso für die Eröffnung eines Cafés, in dem das Rauchen lediglich erlaubt ist.59 Umgekehrt ist auch das Vermieten eines Ladenlokals zu solchen Zwecken verboten, wenn der Vermieter hinreichend Kenntnis davon hat.60 Ebenso ist schon das Arbeiten in einem Café, in dem Rauchen lediglich erlaubt ist, verboten.61 Das Leben von den Profiten eines Verwandten in gerader Linie aus einem Café, in dem u. a. Wasserpfeifen angeboten werden, wird hingegen differenzierter beurteilt: So hängt die Legitimität zunächst davon ab, wie sich der Gewinn auf verbotene und nicht verbotene Geschäfte verteilt. Überwiegen Letztere deutlich, so bestehen keine Bedenken. Bei anderen Verteilungen wird der Bezug von Unterhalt aus diesen Gewinnen überwiegend nach Hadscha (Bedürfnis/Notwendigkeit) beurteilt, d. h. der unterhaltsbedürftige Verwandte darf in der Regel soviel von den Gewinnen nehmen, wie er zum Unterhalt benötigt.62 Nach Adil Salahis Meinung darf man jedoch immerhin Immobilien an Personen verkaufen, die im Tabak-

geschäft aktiv sind, auch wenn es nicht gern gesehen wird.63 Auch hieran kann man zumindest leichte Abweichungen unter den verschiedenen wahhbitischen Meinungen erkennen. VI. Schlussfolgerungen Die Gelehrten sind sich hauptsächlich nur darüber einig, dass Tabakgeruch in der Moschee gegen die guten Sitten verstößt. Für wen und unter welchen Umständen das Rauchen darüber hinaus verboten ist, wird unterschiedlich differenziert, wenn es überhaupt missbilligt wird.64 Problematisch ist zunächst die fehlende Rauschwirkung, die einen Transfer des Alkoholverbots verhindert. Stattdessen wird häufig auf die körperlichen Schäden abgestellt. Außerdem zähle Rauchen zu den schlechten Dingen. Es fehlt somit weithin an einer starken Grundlage aus dem klassischen islamischen Recht. Die Herleitung des Verbots, wenn man es denn als ein solches bezeichnen kann, fällt deshalb regelmäßig kurz aus. Mehr Aufwand verwenden die Muftis bei den feinen Verästelungen im Bereich der rechtlichen Konsequenzen. So kann man zum Teil sehr differenzierte Regelungen bei den rituellen Fragen, als auch bezüglich des Geschäftsverkehrs und familienrechtlicher Auswirkungen finden. Diese sind auch näher an starken Rechtsgrundlagen orientiert. Das Rauchen erscheint hier teilweise wie ein Platzhalter, der gerade von orthodoxen Geistlichen dort benutzt wird, wo sonst z. B. der Alkohol erschien. In diesem Bereich existieren mitunter Widersprüche innerhalb der orthodoxen Lehrmeinungen, die durch das Internet deutlicher zutage treten. Eine Hierarchie insbesondere zwischen Islam – Question & Answer und IslamiCity ist deutlich erkennbar. So bezeichnet IslamiCity die gegebenen Auskünfte ausdrücklich nicht als Fatwas, obwohl sie die formellen Kriterien erfüllen. In letzter Zeit ist an manchen Inhalten der Fatwas der Versuch zu erkennen, einen eigenen Weg zu gehen. Ob eine derart modern religiös-rechtlich fundierte Antiraucherkampagne erfolgreicher ist, bleibt (auch bei einem Blick in die Praxis) fraglich. Allerdings kann an der Frage nach der Legitimität des Rauchens gesehen werden, wie das Internet bestehende Grenzen aufweicht und die Vielfältigkeit der Diskussion vorantreibt.65

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IslamiCity: Halal and Haram: Tobacco, Nr. 28595, 3.9.2008; Halal and Haram: Lottery, Nr. 29002, 15.9.2009. Islam – Question & Answer: Is it permissible to rent a café that offers “hubble-bubble pipes” in order to sell food?, Nr. 45271. Ebd.: Ruling on opening a cafe in which people watch football (soccer) matches and smoke, Nr. 119839. Ebd.: Ruling on renting a shop to open an internet café, Nr. 98555. Ebd.: Ruling on working in a cafe which allows smoking and in which football (soccer) matches are shown on TV, Nr. 118353. Ebd.: Can he eat from his father’s wealth although its source is a café in which there are haraam things?, Nr. 72880; If a father needs money, can he take money that his son has earned in a café?, Nr. 82761. Arab News: Selling property to wrong people, Nr. [ArN 306], 17.8.1990 (Adil Salahi). Der Schwerpunkt der Untersuchung lag hier auf den orthodoxen wahhabitischen Meinungen und ist deshalb nicht repräsentativ. Gary Bunt: Islam in the Digital Age – E-Jihad, Online Fatwas and Cyber Islamic Environments, London 2003, S. 11.

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VII. Literaturverzeichnis Aalim Network, http://www.al-islam.org/organizations/AalimNetwork/. Al-Fatawa al-islamiyya min Dar al-Ifta al-misriyya, Bd. 1-20, Auqaf-Ministerium, Kairo 1980-1993. JUSUF AL-QARADAWI: Erlaubtes und Verbotenes im Islam, SKD Bavaria, München 1989. Arab News, Saudi Research and Marketing (SRM), Dschidda, Riad, Dhahran. Belfast Islamic Centre, http://www.iol.ie/~afifi/. MATTHIAS BRÜCKNER: Der Ayatollah im Netz – offizielle zwölferschiitische Websites, in: ORIENT, 43. Jahrgang, Hamburg 2002, S. 537-557. DERS.: Fatwas zum Alkohol unter dem Einfluss neuer Medien im 20. Jhdt., Ergon Verlag, Würzburg 2001 DERS. (Hg.): Fatwaindex zum Alkoholverbot, neuen Medien u.a., Ergon Verlag, Würzburg 2001, CD-Rom. GARY BUNT: Islam in the Digital Age – E-Jihad, Online Fatwas and Cyber Islamic Environments, Pluto Press, London 2003. Dar al-Ifta, http http://www.dar-alifta.org/home.html. Dawat-e-Islami, http://www.dawateislami.net. RUDOLF GELPKE: Vom Rausch im Orient und Okzident, Klett-Cotta, 2. Auflage, Stuttgart 1995. HEINZ HALM: Der schiitische Islam, C.H. Beck, München 1994. IslamOnline.net, http://www.islamonline.net. Islam – Question & Answer, http://www.islam-qa.com. IslamiCity, http://www.islamicity.com. JENS KUTSCHER: Online-Fatwas – Islamische Rechtsgutachten und ihre Bedeutung für die politische Partizipation, in: Matthias Brückner/Johanna Pink (Hg.): Von Chatraum bis Cyberjihad – Muslimische Internetnutzung in globaler und lokaler Perspektive, Würzburg 2009, S. 135-153. MOOJAN MOMEN: An Introduction to Shi’i Islam, Yale University Press, New Haven, London 1985. REINHARD SCHULZE: Die islamische Welt in der Neuzeit, in: Albrecht Noth/Jürgen Paul (Hg.): Der islamische Orient, Ergon Verlag, Würzburg 1998, S. 333-405.

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Dr. Abdel Hakim K. Al Husban, Dr. Mahmood Na'amneh

Primordial Ties vis-à-vis Citizenship: The particularity of the Jordanian City
I. Introduction The concepts of tribe, clan, or ethnicity represent essential elements of Western discourse, particularly in its attempt to analyze and understand the prevailing social constructions in the Middle East, to the extent that any Western researcher specialized in the Arab world usually bases his theoretical paradigms on concepts such as tribe and ethnicity. Western discourse, whether academic or popular, tends to reduce the Arab world to tribal and ethnic groups and communities which lack contractual societal relations. This in turn results in depicting Arab communities not as societies but rather as pieces of mosaics with none of the cohesion and integration found in modern societies. The concepts of tribe and ethnicity seem to reflect Western narcissism on the grounds that they reflect the characteristics of the other (the East in general and the Arab world in particular), unlike Western societies which are based on the concept of social class rather than the tribe. This results in the antagonistic dichotomy, represented by Kipling’s famous saying “West is West, East is East, and never the twain shall meet”, on which Western thought has survived, and still continues to survive, especially in the conservative right wing, which has sought to stress its uniqueness and particularity in the face of the economic and political global waves, which are perceived as a possible threat to its own cultural identity. II. Conceptual Framework It can be argued that many cultural phenomena appear in a specific cultural context to be deployed later in other larger cultural contexts. Put another way, they are developed in a global context after being initially constructed in a local context. The diffusion, temporal and spatial crosscut of these cultural phenomena result in comparisons between cultures and societies which seem to be alike. The concept of citizenship, which is the product of the evolution of the Western city, can be considered one of the cultural phenomena which evolved in a specific Western cultural context to be later developed into a global concept. It has changed from a concept that symbolizes Western modernity into a global concept that fits all societies regardless of the cultural or historical particularity of those human societies. The linguistic roots of the concept of citizenship in European languages are of special importance. The concept is used mainly to denote people’s affiliation, as members of a society, with their society and state, through a contractural relationship that equates all members in terms of rights and duties. On the other hand, the concept reflects new forms of relationships produced primarily by life inside cities. In this regard, the term citizenship in the English and French languages is derived from the terms “City” and “Cité”, respectively. One can assume that the association of citizenship, as a new style of social relations and political system tying people to each other, and the evolution of the phenomenon of the city and urban life, is in many ways due to the specificity of the modern form of the city in its Western European form. The village, rather than the city, constituted the focus of the economic, political, and social life of Europe for more than nine centuries of feudalism. Thus, the city formed a pattern of organization which was ideal for the post-feudal era of industrialisation and capitalism. The city worked to dismantle kinship ties as the emerging industrial capitalist mode of production stressed efficiency and qualification in individuals’ performance. Moreover, the European city weakened kinship structures through urban organization and the development of consumer practices among individuals. In sum, the European city led to the crystallization of new patterns of relationships between people themselves, and between people and the state, in a way that recognized man as an individual on legal, political, social, and moral levels. The recognition of the individual and his access to the symbolic and economic collective capital did not necessarily have to pass through traditional networks of primordial ties. Anthropologists of the 19th century, especially those in evolutionary anthropology, distinguished between two types of social organizations: family-based societies, and individual-based societies. Social, economic, legal, and political relationships were based on either type. Modernity, from the perspective of Sir Henry Main (1861), who was one of these 19th century anthropologists, is marked by the transition from societies in which the individual’s status is determined by inheritance, to those in which it is based on contractual relationships. In other words, two types of human societies existed throughout the history of mankind: status-based societies and contract-based societies. In the same context, Lewis Henry Morgan (1878) believed that human history was mainly marked by the transition from tribal societies based on blood relationships to political societies based on the principle of collective belonging to territory and property.

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Two conflicting paradigms or approaches concerning issues of nationalism and citizenship have existed and dominated Western thought (Gossiaux 1994). They disguise a theoretical and ideological conflict. On the one hand, there is the French understanding, which stresses the principle of the contract and contractual relations, and on the other hand, there is the German understanding, which stresses generative and cultural relations. This dichotomy reveals a substantial conflict between “Les Lumières” and “Le Romantisme”. Catherine Neveu explained that the history of the concept of citizenship and its accompanied concepts of loyalty and attachment may produce other forms of social configurations, such as nationality, gender, age, class, and ethnicity. She also points out that the concept of citizenship, especially in the French case, has led to minimizing the importance of other forms of individual and collective attachments (Neveu in Abélès,1997: 81). Max Weber, too, made a distinction between the European city and the Oriental–Islamic city. He explains that the Western European city provided the terms and conditions for the evolution of the concept of the individual, or the individual actor. He identifies three factors which facilitated the development of the concept of the individual: the lifting and the end of feudal law, the establishment of provincial communes, and the development of Christianity (Weber, 1982). In addition to economic factors, we can also talk about another factor which led to the weakening of primordial attachments and loyalties in the Western world: Religion, particularly the Catholic Church, played a pivotal role in developing the concepts of the individual, and therefore the concept of the citizen. Since the 4th century, A.D., the Catholic Church, through the prohibition of marriage between relatives, contributed to weakening primary kinship-based ties and strengthening the concept of individual instead (Goody 1985). Some scholars believe that the problem of the dominance of primordial loyalties in social relations and social institutions is a phenomenon particular to non-Western societies, especially in modern postcolonial nation-states. Clifford Geertz explains that primordial attachments prevail in most emerging states. He states that "a primordial attachment means one that stems from the givens – or more precisely, as culture is inevitably involved in such matters, the assumed givens – of social existence (immediate contiguity and kin connection mainly), but beyond them the given-ness that stems from being born into a particular religious community, speaking a particular language, or even a dialect of language, and following particular social practices. These congruities of blood,

speech, custom, and so on are seen to have an ineffable, and at times overpowering, coerciveness in and of themselves.” (Geertz, 1973: 259) Moreover, Geertz develops a typology of societies based on the pattern of loyalties and attachments through which social units and people-to-people and people-to-state relations are developed. He also notes that “there are many other competing loyalties in the new states as in any other state, ties to class, party, business, union, profession, or whatever. But groups formed of such ties are virtually never considered as possible self-standing, maximal social units, as candidates for nationhood” (Ibid: 261). Joseph Massad (2002) analyzes Jordanian identity by focusing on the role of colonialism, particularly the British colonial administration. He argues that the production of new national identities in the post-colonial era was linked in many ways to several colonial institutional mechanisms. Such mechanisms produced hybrid national identities and national cultures whose components were largely foreign but were imbued with national and traditional flavor. For instance, colonial powers demarcated borders in accordance with their strategic interests. In Jordan, mechanisms of law and military played a pivotal role in producing national identity. Following the footsteps of Partha Chatterjee (1993), Massad identifies several historical moments which helped produce the Jordanian national identity. The first took place in 1921, when the Emirate of Transjordan was established. The British colonial administration, in coordination with the sons of Sharif Hussein, helped set up a governmental structure and a national identity. The second moment took place when Transjordan expanded demographically and geographically through the annexation of the area extending in the south from Ma'an to Aqaba, previously part of the Hijaz, in 1928. The second expansion happened in 1950, when the West Bank and its population were annexed to the East Bank. Moreover, the Arabization of the army, which was under British administration, was achieved in 1956 with the expulsion of General John Bagot Glubb, the British commanding general of the army. It played a significant role in shaping Jordanian national identity. However, the historical moment which played a critical role in shaping and developing the Jordanian national identity was the 1970 civil war between the Jordanian army and Palestinian guerrillas. Like other Middle Eastern and Arab societies, Jordanian society is distinguished by the tribal lens applied by researchers when studying its social structure. Most social studies present Jordanian

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society as a segmented tribal society. The widespread local saying “my brother and I against my cousin; my cousin and I against the stranger; the stranger, my cousin, and I against the world” represents the basis of this segmented pattern. The application of the segmentary model in studying the Jordanian tribe, in particular, and the Arab world, in general, raises several questions. This model seems to deny, whether explicitly or implicitly, any fundamental distinction in the social structure of Arab societies and the Middle East. There are many variations in the social structures of the Arab region that are ignored by this model. However, the most important criticism which can be directed to the segmentary model is its lack of historicity. This model seems to escape the conditions of time and change. Although it was derived at the beginning of this century, it is still being used despite the changed economic and social conditions in the region, and despite the significant integration experienced by the region's communities in the global system. III. Primordial Attachments and Citizenship: the Particularity of the Jordanian City The transition to the phenomenon of citizenship in Europe was the result of several intertwined economic, social, and historical processes over a long period of time. Thus, citizenship was a direct product of historical transformations emerging from the internal conditions of European communities. However, citizenship in many other societies, including the Jordanian community, does not represent more than a phenomenon imported from abroad. This implies that citizenship in Jordanian society represents a special socio-cultural condition produced by historical, social, and economic conditions. Unlike citizenship in the European city, which is synonymous with the emergence of new forms of thinking in the use of space offered by the city, Jordanian citizenship emerged within a context characterized mainly by the absence of the historical foundations for the phenomenon of the city and urban life. This study is based on the assumption that the development of the European city provided the ideal context for weakening, and even destroying, primordial ties and loyalties, and thus for the emergence of the concepts of the individual and citizenship. In contrast, the Jordanian city did not provide a similar context. In other words, the Jordanian city has not yet contributed to the emergence of citizenship and the individual for economic, social, historical, political and architectural reasons. As has been mentioned before, the Jordanian city has led to the thriving of various forms of primordial ties and attachments.

The weakness of the concept of Jordanian identity in the broad sense is organically linked to the vulnerability and weakness of the concept of citizenship, which is a direct result of the control and dominance of primary affiliations and relationships in Jordanian society. The concept of citizenship in Western industrialized societies developed in a way that granted people who belong to the same territory and who are subject to the same political power have the same rights and duties. The principle of equal rights and duties is based not on tribal, sectarian, religious or territorial affliations, but rather on personal qualifications and achievements. Western society provides a different situation, as it organizes rights and duties on an individual, rather than on a collective level, and thus enables the individual to have access to political, social and economic gains regardless of his/her collective attachments and loyalities. As a result, the principle of the contract emerges and gains importance as it recognizes the individual as a separate and integrated unit, and organizes the relations between individuals, between a society and its individuals, and between the state and its individuals. In sum, the individual is enabled to develop contractual relations with other individuals, the state, and existing social institutions. Two primary cultural patterns dominate socio-cultural life in the Jordanian society. The first is the pastoral lifestyle led by large groups of people living in desert and semi-desert areas, who develop livelihoods based on pastoralism and are always on the move in search of water and food for themselves and their herds. The second pattern is based on the peasantry which dominates the Northern and Western regions, where the soil, amount of rainfall, and climatic conditions are appropriate for land cultivation and animal husbandry. During the Ottoman rule in the region, Jordan’s population was of two primary types: sedentary peasants and mobile pastoralists. In other words, one could claim that the roots of modern Jordanian society are either Bedouin-pastoral or in the peasantry. In those two dominant modes of subsistence, the need for a labor force is satisfied primarily by the use of humans and animals, as machines and other forms of complex technology were absent. This absence of the machine created a situation in which it was necessary to rely on other forms of labor to propagate the social and economic system. As a result of this situation, Jordanian society developed an ideal cultural response in the form of the tribe, in order to secure the necessary labor force to produce and reproduce itself. It should be stressed here that urban life is a very recent phenomenon in Jordanian society. Major cities such as

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Amman, Zarqa, and Irbid emerged only during the last seven decades or so, since they remained small villages for many centuries. Due to several political and strategic developments on both the local and the regional level, the population of major Jordanian cities has soared in the last few years. For instance, Amman was a small village during the long centuries of Ottoman rule. Its population in 1921 did not exceed 3,500. The newness of the city and its culture in the Jordanian collective conscience and socio-cultural life has constituted a major obstacle in the face of melting religious, tribal and territorial identities. It has not led to major changes in people’s attachments, relations, or lifestyles. Unlike the European city, which witnessed the development of industrial and craft activities in the post-feudal period, the Jordanian city maintained agriculture as its dominant economic activity. Most of its residents continued to perform the same agricultural activities they had performed before moving to the city. This played a role in reinforcing kinship ties, primarily to secure labor force. Oral narratives demonstrate that one had to travel to neighbouring cities in Syria or Palestine to trade agricultural products for some crafts. Put another way, the absence of craft industry in the Jordanian city, unlike in the European city, has produced and reproduced special forms of social relations and networks which in the end helped not only to maintain but also to strengthen primordial attachments and loyalties. In this same context, religion has also played a critical role in reproducing primordial attachments in Jordanian society in their tribal or sectarian forms. Some people believe that the role that Prophet Mohammed’s tribe, Quraish, played in the 7th century in preaching for, and spreading, Islam proves the positive role the tribe can have. On the other hand, one can pinpoint that the Jordanian social imaginary reproduces positive explanations of some Quranic verses on the tribe and its role. For example, the verse which states that “we have created you as different peoples so that you can know each other” is mentioned continually in people’s formal and informal gatherings. This and other verses stress the importance of collective groupings and entities rather than the individual ones. When the state does not perform its major functions and duties, the individual has no choice but to seek the support of relatives, especially when facing economic hardships. In a society which suffers from high rates of poverty and unemployment, primordial attachments seem to provide the individual with economic and social support and security. Moreover, urban planning and management in Jordan has played a major role in the production and reproduction of primordial loyalties and ties

rather than the concept of the individual. While urban planning in the Western world was an effective means for the production and reproduction of the concept of the individual and for the disintegration of group-based relationships, the Middle Eastern city, including the Jordanian city, facilitated the promotion of primary links and the dominance of tribalism, sectarianism, and ethnicity. The organization of the Jordanian city still lacks public spaces that allow a large number of people to gather and thus to create a collective conscience. The importance of public spaces lies in their ability to create forms of interaction between a large number of the city’s population and to create a set of symbols and feelings that can dissolve what is tribal, sectarian and regional, and replace it with what is national and cosmopolitan. The revival and commemoration of national and historical events in public spaces provide residents of the city with a great opportunity to form collective experiences and memories. The Jordan city is packed with houses and small streets, and this forces the individual to withdraw from the public space to the private domestic space. Along these lines, the Jordanian urban setting, particularly during the 1970s, reflected a social community divided into groups which were primarily tribal and religious, and only secondarily national and pan-national. Jordanian cities such as Amman, Irbid and Karak were divided into districts, and each district was inhabited mostly by relatives who belong to the same kin group. Consequently, the Jordanian city created a pattern of vertical units rather than horizontal, and social and cultural interactions remained exclusive to members of the same kin group. Thus, it can be concluded that the spatial organization that has prevailed for long historical periods in the Jordanian city has strengthened the collective structures based on primordial links. This in turn has formed a primary impediment to the development of the concepts of citizenship and the individual. One can also note that in several Jordanian cities, such as Zarqa and Irbid, complete outskirts are inhabited by people who belong to the same tribe due to waves of migration from the countryside to the city. This situation reflects the inability of the city to dismantle initial links and loyalties. This is illustrated through the construction of of a special guest house (madafah) by village people living in cities. In Irbid, for example, members of Al Malkawiya tribe are concentrated in the Northern part of the city, and have over time built a guest house inside the city to be used by all members of the tribe living in the city. Social configurations in European societies are based on the concept of socio-eco-

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nomic class. Social classification of individuals in Western societies is mainly based on the criteria of income, wealth, occupation, lifestyle, and shared economic and political interest. It can be argued that class is basically a Western historical phenomenon and the product of the special conditions experienced by Western societies. The political context reveals the dominance of the class in Western social configurations. The Western individual’s political behavior, whether in choosing a political party or in elections, is a behavior that reproduces the individual through the reproduction of class stratification. The political factor played and continues to play an influential role in the reproduction of primary loyalties, through curbing the development of the concept of citizenship. This role can be noticed on several levels, including the structure of the Jordanian state, tactics and strategies used by the government and the regime, and regional political factors, specifically the role of the Arab-Israeli conflict and its many influences on different areas, including citizenship. Historically, the Arab-Israeli conflict has had a huge impact on the phenomenon of citizenship in Jordanian society from different perspectives. On the one hand, it has changed the demographic structure of the Jordanian society and created a new basis for the classification of individuals and groups, and thus a new source for the production of primary links. Jordanian society, which was originally divided into tribal groups, became divided into Eastern Jordanians and Jordanians of Palestinian origin. The continuous tragic events in Palestine have over time contributed greatly to reproducing primordial loyalties in Jordanian society based on the dichotomy of Jordanian-Jordanian and Palestinian-Jordanian affiliations. Jordan is the main destination for millions of Palestinians displaced by Israeli policies. This has shifted the demographic character in Jordan, as more than 60% of Jordan's population is estimated to be of Palestinian origin. The impact of the political factor is also reflected in the nature of strategies and techniques of governance pursued by the Hashemite regime since the establishment of the Emirate of Transjordan. From the beginning, it adopted a policy that supported and reinforced the tribal factor. This in many ways represents an extension to the policy pursued by the British administration in the East of Jordan in terms of dealing with Jordanian society as composed mainly of tribal and territorial groups. The traditional policy used by the regime is based on the assumption that it would be easier to control a society made up of tribes and groups than to con-

trol a society made up of political parties and trade unions. The Jordanian political system has since the 1920’s adopted a policy of containment of political parties and trade unions of various orientations. In the fifties of the last century, a royal decree was issued to prosecute those who belonged to political parties and trade unions, and imposed the penalty of imprisonment and the denial of employment on people suspected to be members of a political party. The official system presented the political party as an enemy of the state and the Hashemite family, and the tribe as a friend and an ally. On the other hand, the Arab-Israeli conflict has also given a pretext for Arab political systems, including the Jordanian one, to abolish civil society (political parties, associations, and trade unions) and to limit liberty under the pretext of confronting the Israeli threat. Martial law was imposed for more than thirty years and parliamentary activity was banned. Parallel to this, tribal activity has been encouraged and the tribal elite has been supported by the regime. The Hashemite rule is usually presented as tribal rule, and a close friend to all tribes. This, of course, has led to weakening the phenomenon of citizenship and impeding its development in Jordanian society. IV. Reproducing Primordial Attachments (Tribal Attachments as an Example) It can be argued that there are several socio-economic forces which help to generate and produce the concept of the individual, while other forces help to stifle this concept by producing collective social units such as the tribe, ethnicity, and territory. In this section, we seek to focus on the process through which primordial attachments and loyalties are produced and reproduced, with special emphasis on the phenomenon of the tribe. Jordan offers a good example to highlight socioeconomic transformations and their influence on primordial attachments, in general, and on the structure of the tribe, in particular. Moreover, the Jordanian case reveals the various forces that play a vital role in producing and reproducing the tribe. This demonstrates the inability of most theoretical frameworks, the segmentary model in particular, to investigate the historical transformations in the structure of the tribe and its reproduction. The elements that are considered essential to the structure of the segmentary tribe can be summarized as follows: first, the existence of a bounded territory inhabited by people and recognized by other tribes. This territory exercises a dual role as it closely relates to the tribe’s economy, on the one hand, and determines the tribe’s identity, on the other. Second, all members of the tribe are descendants of a common ancestor, and this gives the tribe its name,

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and stresses the blood relationship as the basis of belonging to the group. Third, the tribe is divided into a number of sub-tribes, which all belong to the common ancestor and occupy a specific space in the tribe’s territory. Fourth, each sub-tribe has a special and unique political organization. What gives these sub-tribes a kind of political power is the absence of a strong central government. This means that the state’s functions – maintaining stability, security, and the protection of individuals from external invasion – are all performed by the subtribes rather than by the state. This segmentary nature provides the tribe with continuous processes of fusion and infusion, or fragmentation and integration. The most important characteristic of socioeconomic life in Jordan in recent decades, specifically during the 1970s, is the structural changes the Jordanian tribe has undergone as a result of many economic and social developments. These changes can be summarized in the claim that the tribe in Jordan has lost most of the elements that make it a material structure. The tribe is no longer a connected body which occupies a special space. Most of the tribe’s members are scattered in search of work due to the improved transportation network. As a result of this fragmentation in the physical body of the clan, the network of relationships that have already linked the individual to others have undergone major changes, and social relations are no longer determined by tribal affiliation. Moreover, the tribe no longer forms the basis for economic regulation in light of the transformation from the economy of subsistence farming towards services, industry, intensive agriculture, and the dominance of the huge financial transfers from the Gulf States. In addition, the tribe has lost some of its political functions, such as arbitration and dispute resolution, under the power of the Jordanian state and its excessive extension. Other factors also worked to bring about these structural shifts in the tribe, such as the expansion of education, and development of means of communication with the outside world through media, travel, or tourism. The tribe’s loss of most of the elements that have secured its production and reproduction for long historical periods makes it necessary to redefine the concept of the tribe under such transformations in order to understand all of the forces that produce the tribe in the new structure. The tribe, under these transformations, seems to be an entity that consists of a vast amount of generalized practices and strategies that are produced and reproduced in the market, the street, the bureaucracy, the mosque, the university and school, mass media, and other spaces which constitute the structure of the Jordanian society. To illustrate these points, we draw a few examples.

Many of the official transactions within the government, job appointments, and economic transactions at a bank or in the market are all done on the basis of tribal affiliations. Even the mosque does not escape these tribal practices, as members of the same tribe attend the same mosque. Media organizations deploy a series of rhetorical practices of tribal content through the repetition of arguments of the Jordanian tribe, the Jordanian family, and others. The public guest house (madafah) is considered one of the most important public spaces in the production of tribal practices, as it represents a space where individuals’ identification cannot be achieved without kinship links with the rest of the tribe’s members. The fundamental result of this structural understanding of the tribe is to dismiss both the principle of essentialism, and the view that things are defined by their internal relationship, with understanding the tribe. According to this new understanding, the tribe is conceived of as a structure whose production and reproduction depends largely on people’s daily practices. In this sense, the tribe does not possess an internal structure independent of social and economic conditions. It is not a fixed, static, or ahistorical structure. The definition of the tribe as a series of generalized practices that penetrate the entire Jordanian social body raises questions about the mechanisms and forces involved in the production of these practices within the society. This brings us to the philosophy of postmodernism, and specifically to the ideas of the French philosopher Michel Foucault (19261984), who was highly influenced by the concept of genealogy proposed by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). The philosophy of Foucault and Nietzsche assumes that the structure, institution, or society as a whole do not exist in isolation from what Foucault (1975) calls “Les relations du pouvoir”, which means power relations. By power relations, he means the ability of one party to produce, reproduce, change, or invoke the practices of another party. In this sense, a society is nothing more than the sum of the power relations which connect people to each other and organize their behavior in the different realms of economy, politics, and religion. According to Foucault, a society without power relations is nothing more than an abstraction of the mind. Power relations turn the abstract to concrete. Talking about power relations and power networks requires us to address the concept of power as proposed by the philosophy of postmodernism and that of Foucault. He (1975) rejected the assumptions, which had prevailed for a long historical pe-

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riod, which understand power as something that can be possessed. This view develops a “schématique” for the society by dividing it into two categories: one which possesses and practices power, and another which is subjected to this power. Foucault developed his ideas about the concept of authority and power by rejecting this static understanding of power. Power for him is the “Rapport et Relation”, and this means that power does not exist within the individual but rather within relationships that individuals develop among themselves. Power is nothing more than a relationship or a link. The first of the implications of this vision of power is its existence and presence in all spaces of society. Power is not concentrated at a specific point, but is generalized and can penetrate the social body as a whole. Violence cannot be considered equivalent to power as some people assume. Violence is a reflection of the impact or influence of power rather than power itself. The final outcome of power relations is the ability of its practitioner to produce and stimulate all of the behaviors and practices of another party. The question that must be raised here is how power is produced, and why some people practice it over others and thus are able to shape other people’s behaviors and practices (“Conduire les conduits”). The decisive factor in the production of power relations is the existence of discrepancies or inconsistencies (“Différenciation”) between individuals in any area of life, whether economic, political, knowledge, age or physical (Deleuze, 1986). Where there is disparity or contrast, power relations exist. The existence of disparities in scientific knowledge or wealth, for example, enables some people to exercise power over others with less knowledge or wealth. It can be argued that industrial and complex societies are based on various economic, political, and technological differences, and thus power relations are inherent to them. The tribe does not escape such an arrangement. The practices which produce the structure of the tribe are produced in most of the spaces that constitute the Jordanian society. They are the product of a complex network of power relations inherent in a series of variations on the economic, political, and religious levels. The economic and social forces responsible for the production of practices which in turn produce the structure of the tribe can easily be observed and noticed in the construction of the public guest house (madafah) and other practices that take place within the madafah, which is considered the best materialized embodiment of the tribe. The most influential groups in the production of the tribe in Jordan are: influential bureaucrats, the wealthy, religious figures, the elderly, educated

elites, the media elite, and those with distinguished family or kinship inheritance. These groups work to perpetuate tribal practices in Jordanian society not in certain or specific spaces but rather in generalized spaces. Tribal practices are produced by the occupants of key positions in Jordan when they marginalize the efficiency factor in the selection of staff. Tribal practices are also produced by bureaucratic employees when they facilitate or complicate the completion of an individual’s paperwork on the basis of tribal affiliation. There are other tribal practices produced by the media when they praise the tribe and tribal affiliations, and produce a social discourse which glorifies the tribe in all social spaces. Tribal practices are also produced by religious figures when they stress the importance of belonging to a tribe, and when the tribe is mobilized to win in parliamentary or municipal elections. There are other tribal practices produced by the wealthy when they donate land or money to build a public guest house for a tribe, or when they employ their relatives to work in their factory or shop. The university professor also produces tribal practices when he takes into consideration the tribal affiliation of the student in his grading. Finally, the judiciary produces tribal practices in court when it bypasses written legislation and seeks to settle disputes through tribal mechanisms. It could be argued that there is not a single space in Jordan – whether economic, social, or political – that does not entail practices that produce the tribe and tribal affiliations. V. Concluding Remarks As has been discussed throughout the paper, though more than 70% of Jordan’s population is living in urban centers, Jordan is usually described as a tribal society, ruled by a tribal leadership, and produced and reproduced by primordial attachments and loyalties. As Alon (2007:157) points out: “Membership of a tribe forms a significant part of one’s identity and a source of pride. Nevertheless, rather than undermining each other, the two notions of being a proud Jordanian and a proud member of a tribe complement and strengthen each other. The local, familiar, concrete and tangible tribal solidarity mediates the more abstract notion of an imagined national community.” The spread of tribal guest houses (madafah) in both rural and urban areas, the use and stress of tribal names, voting patterns, and tribal solidarities, attest to the fact that primordial attachments and loyalties, tribal ones particularly, play an influential

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role in the production and reproduction of the Jordanian national identity. Put another way, Jordanian nationalism is closely interrelated with tribalism. Moreover, several intertwined factors – political, socio-cultural, economic, religious, and urban – have over time contributed greatly to the dominance of primordial attachments. As a result, issues of identity, citizenship, and the individual are thorny and elusive. A case in point here is that despite the near-disappearance of the nomadic way of life in Jordan, tribal

socio-cultural structure and organization have not been transformed as drastically. The role of tribe and tribalism, although transformed, has remained a fundamental pillar of Jordanian society and political culture. In conclusion, it can be argued that social and political identities in Jordan are constantly shifting and being reconstructed through practices and discourses between tribes-people, urbanites, the monarchy, bureaucracy, the intelligentsia, Hashemite rulers, and Western social scientists (Layne 1994).

VI. Bibliography

ABELES, MARC; JEUDY, HENRI-PIERRE (1997). Anthropologie du Politique. Armand Colin. Paris ALON, YOAV (2007). The Making of Jordan: Tribe, Colonialism and the Modern State. London: I.B.Tauris. CHATTERJEE, PARTHA (1993). Nationalist Thought and the Colonial World: A Derivative Discourse. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. DELEUZE, GILLES (1986). Foucault. Les Editions de Minuit, Paris. GEERTZ, CLIFFORD (1973). The Integrative Revolution: Primordial Sentiments and Civil Politics in the New States. The Interpretation of Cultures. Selected Essays by Clifford Geertz. BasicBooks. USA. GOODY, JACK (1985). L’Evolution de la famille et du mariage en Europe. Trad. Fr. Paris. Armand Colin, 1985. GOSSIAUX, J.-F. (1994). “En Europe, la nation”. L’Homme, 129. Pp 175-180. FOUCAULT, MICHEL (1975). Surveiller et Punir: Naissance de la prison. Edition Gallimard, Paris. LAYNE, LINDA (1994). Home and Homeland: The Dialogics of Tribal and National Identities in Jordan. Princeton: Princeton University Press. MAINE, HENRY (1861). Ancient Law. London. Oxford University Press. MASSAD, JOSEPH (2002). Colonial Effects: The making of the national Identity in Jordan. Columbia University. USA. MORGAN, LEWIS (1878). Ancient Society. New York, H. Holt. RAULIN, ANNE (2004). Anthropologie Urbaine. Armand Colin. Paris. WEBER, MAX (1982). La Ville. Trad. Fr. Paris. Aubier-Montaigne/Champ Urbain

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Reviews

Murat Belge Genesis. „Büyük Ulusal Anlatı“ ve Türklerin Kökeni (deutsch: Genesis. „Große Nationale Erzählung“ und der Ursprung der Türken);
Belge, Murat: Genesis. „Büyük Ulusal Anlatı“ ve Türklerin Kökeni (deutsch: Genesis. „Große Nationale Erzählung“ und der Ursprung der Türken); £leti¢im Verlag, Istanbul 2008, 412 S., ISBN: 978-9-75050-625-3

Gemeinsam sei den nationalen Selbstthematisierungen die Suche nach dem Wesen beziehungsweise dem Ursprung der Türken, die Einteilung der Welt in „Wir“ versus die „Anderen“, „Freunde“ versus „Feinde“, bei gleichzeitiger Herabwürdigung und Stereotypisierung der „Anderen“ (S. 25). Wer aber sind die Türken? Woher kommen sie? Auf welches Jahrhundert lässt sich ihr Ursprung datieren und wo betraten sie zuerst die geschichtliche Bühne? Autoren wie der sozialistisch orientierte Kemal Tahir, der national-konservative Tarık Buºra oder der Marxist Erol Toy verorten den Ursprung der heutigen Türken im 14. Jahrhundert mit der Gründung des Fürstentums der Osmanen, beziehungsweise im 15. Jahrhundert mit dem Aufstand von Scheich Bedrettin. Während Tarık Buºra die Bedeutung des Islams hervorhebt, werten Kemal Tahir und Erol Toy diese ab. Für Kemal Tahir ist es die „asiatische Produktionsweise“, die die Lebensweise der Türken bestimmt und den anfänglichen Erfolg der osmanischen Herrschaft in Anatolien und auf dem Balkan erklärt und legitimiert. Die osmanische Herrschaft habe bei den autochthonen Ethnien „Zustimmung“ gefunden, weil sie die ebenfalls im Oströmischen Reich herrschende „asiatische Produktionsweise“ und den zentralen „Staatsverband“ nicht angetastet sowie die Region gegen die europäischen „Aggressoren“ geschützt habe. Europa ist in Kemal Tahirs Weltbild mit dem Feudalismus – verstanden als eine dekadente Gesellschaftsformation – identisch, welcher den Völkern Anatoliens und den Turkvölkern „wesensfremd“ sei (S. 56-61). Diesem gegenüber favorisiert Tarık Buºra die türkisch-islamische Synthese. Er glaubt im Islam das Wesen der Türken gefunden zu haben (S. 73ff.). Erol Toy dagegen sieht den Ursprung der Türken im 15. Jahrhundert und lässt die Geschichte der Türken mit einem „revolutionären“ Bauernaufstand beginnen. Dieser aus „marxistischer Perspektive“ geschriebene Roman steckt, ebenso wie die anderen von Murat Belge untersuchten Romane, voller Anachronismen. So erscheint zum Beispiel der Bauernaufstand von Scheich Bedrettin und seinen Anhängern als ein „Vorläufer“ der Oktoberrevolution und deren Herrschaft in einigen westanatolischen Städten als eine „Vorform“ eines sozialistischen Staates (S. 133f.). Necati Sepetçioºlu (aus dem Umfeld der Nationalistischen Aktionspartei) datiert den Ursprung der Türken auf das 11. Jahrhundert, beginnend mit den Seldschuken. Andere Autoren wie der bekennende Rassist Nihal Atsız, der national konservative Peyami Safa oder der nationalistische A. Ziya Kozanoºlu lozieren den Ursprung in Zentralasien.

Nationalistische Geschichtsinterpretationen vertreten unter anderem den Standpunkt, dass die (eigene) Nation so alt wie die Geschichte selbst sei und dies nicht nur in der alltäglichen Kommunikation, sondern häufig genug auch im „offiziellen“ Diskurs. Entgegen wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnissen wird in solchen nationalen Selbstthematisierungen versucht, in Konkurrenz mit anderen Nationen die Geschichte der eigenen Nation so früh wie möglich beginnen zu lassen, und neben Homogenität und Einheitlichkeit wird dabei auch eine historische Kontinuität für die eigene Nation beansprucht. In diesem Kontext ist die „Genesis“ der Nation ein zentraler Aspekt, der in nationalen Selbstthematisierungen tradiert wird. Murat Belge unterzieht die nationalen Selbstthematisierungen in der Türkei einer inhaltlich kritischen Analyse, diskutiert ihren Entstehungskontext und weist auf ihre sozio-politischen Funktionen hin. Die Auswahl des von ihm bearbeiteten Materials beschränkt sich auf historische Romane, die nach der Gründung der Türkischen Republik veröffentlicht wurden und die die Frage nach dem Ursprung der Türken behandeln. Dieses Buch ist von Bedeutung, weil es wichtige Erkenntnisse zum Verständnis des gegenwärtigen Nationalismus liefert. Seit den 1990er Jahren befindet sich der türkische Nationalismus im Aufschwung, und nach prominenter Lesart hat er einen konjunkturellen Charakter: Demnach sind es die „negativen“ Effekte der „Globalisierung“ und die indifferente bis „ablehnende“ Haltung der Europäischen Union gegenüber der Türkei, die dem gegenwärtigen Nationalismus Auftrieb geben. Problematisch sind solche Deutungen unter anderem auch deshalb, weil dabei aus dem Blick gerät, dass der Nationalismus in der (populären) Kultur der Türkei tief verwurzelt ist – dies wird von Murat Belge akribisch rekonstruiert und überzeugend demonstriert.

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Den Gegenpol zu dieser Gruppe bilden die Anhänger des „blauen Anatoliens“ (Mavi Anadoluculuk) wie der „humanistisch“ säkulare Cevat ¡akir – auch „der Fischer von Halikarnas“ genannt – oder Azra Erhat. Ihnen zufolge sind die Türken die Nachfahren früherer anatolischer Zivilisationen, wie etwa der hethitischen und ionischen. (S. 214f.) Neben den Unterschieden zwischen den Autoren verblüffen deren Gemeinsamkeiten, gleich ob sie sozialistisch, marxistisch, nationalistisch, rassistisch oder säkular-humanistisch orientiert sind. Dies zeigt sich beispielsweise an der normativ aufgeladenen und eindeutigen Grenzziehung zwischen dem „Wir“ und dem „Anderen“. Die „Anderen“ sind grundsätzlich die Bösen, Verschlagenen, Feigen, Unehrlichen und Unanständigen, die Türken hingegen grundsätzlich die Guten, die Tapferen, die Ehrlichen, die Anständigen und so weiter. Besonders deutlich machen dies Aussagen wie die folgenden: „Es ist schon erstaunlich, dass sie sich darüber beklagen (gemeint sind hier christliche Frauen, die an den Küsten des Mittelmeers leben, Anm. d. Verf.), „[von den türkischen Piraten] vergewaltigt worden zu sein, sich aber gleichzeitig danach sehnen.“ (S. 320). „In den Küstengebieten von Frankreich, Spanien und Italien leben orientalisch aussehende, leicht mandeläugige Menschen. Offenkundig sind die Rassen um das Mittelmeer durchmischt, und es gibt starke Indizien dafür, dass diese von den türkischen Piraten abstammen.“ (S. 327) Diese Sätze stammen von Cevat ¡akir, der in der Türkei als ein säkularer progressiver Humanist galt und in bestimmten Kreisen noch immer gilt. Ein zentrales Motiv der untersuchten historischen Romane ist die Rechtfertigung der türkischen Existenz in Anatolien. Murat Belge führt dieses Rechtfertigungsbedürfnis auf das nationale Trauma zurück, das im späten 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert durch die großen militärischen Niederlagen und den damit verbundenen Gebietsabtretungen an Russland (Ostanatolien), die Balkanstaaten und an Italien (Libyen) verursacht wurde und im kollektiven Bewusstsein der Türken noch immer tief verankert ist. Dies nicht zuletzt auch deshalb, weil dieses Trauma von nationalistisch-konservativen Politikern und Bürokraten immer wieder zu Propagandazwecken revitalisiert und instrumentalisiert wird. Murat Belge weist des Weiteren darauf hin, dass die Unterscheidung zwischen autochthon und allochthon im Zuge der Nationen- und National-

staatsbildung im 19. Jahrhundert immer mehr an Bedeutung gewonnen hat. Dass die Türken nicht zu den autochthonen Völkern Anatoliens gehören, wurde nicht nur von den Nationalisten christlicher Minderheiten thematisiert, die damit auch die eigenen Unabhängigkeitsbestrebungen legitimieren wollten, sondern auch von den Großmächten, die dadurch ihre Expansionspolitik zu rechtfertigen suchten. Auf diesen Atavismus wiederum reagierten die türkischen Nationalisten mit aggressiven nationalen Mythen und fiktiven Geschichtsbildern, mit dem Ziel, die Existenz der Türken beziehungsweise eines türkischen Staates in Anatolien zu rechtfertigen (S. 385). Die impliziten Botschaften nationaler Selbstthematisierung würden in etwa so lauten: „Wir Türken gehören zwar nicht zu den autochthonen Völkern Anatoliens, aber unsere Existenz ist legitim, weil wir Anatolien erobert haben und weil wir in Anatolien eine Zivilisation und eine gerechte Ordnung errichtet haben.“ (S. 394) Im Schlussteil seiner Studie prognostiziert Murat Belge, dass solche nationalistische Sichtweisen nunmehr ihren Höhepunkt erreicht hätten. Schließlich sei seit der Entstehung dieser „nationalen Traumata“ nahezu ein Jahrhundert vergangen und während dieser Zeit seien neue Generationen herangewachsen, die sich dem ideologischen Klima des Nationalismus und dem Jakobinismus des Komitees für Einheit und Fortschritt entziehen konnten (S. 396). Als Beispiel verweist er auf den historischen Film „Warum wurden Hacivat und Karagöz ermordet“, in dem die Problematik der Genesis der Türken thematisiert werde, ohne Feindbilder zu erzeugen, die „Anderen“ zu dämonisieren oder in Chauvinismus zu verfallen. (S. 359ff.) Ob sich diese optimistische Prognose bewahrheiten wird und ob türkische Schriftsteller imstande sein werden, sich der Genesis-Thematik frei von Paranoia und Fremdenhass anzunehmen, bleibt abzuwarten. Das Interesse für nationalistische Historienromane ist jedenfalls ungebrochen, wie es zum Beispiel die zahlreichen Auflagen für „¡u çılgın Türkler“ (dt. Diese verrückten Türken) oder „Dirili¢: †anakkale 1915“ (dt. Auferstehung: †anakkale 1915) dokumentieren. Dr. Ya¢ar Aydın

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Reviews

Jim Dobbins After the Taliban. Nation-Building in Afghanistan
Dobbins, Jim: After the Taliban. Nation-Building in Afghanistan, Potomac Books Inc., Dulles 2008, 192 S., ISBN: 978-1-597-97083-9

zu kritisieren. Dobbins behielt Afghanistan auch im Auge, nachdem er 2003 sein öffentliches Amt aufgegeben und die Leitung der RAND Corporation, einer wichtigen US-amerikanischen „Denkfabrik“, übernommen hatte. Er hebt in seinem Buch die Fehler hervor, die nach seinem Urteil bei der Durchführung der 2001 vereinbarten Politik begangen wurden und gibt einige Hinweise für das künftige Vorgehen. Die USA hatten nach den Anschlägen vom 11. September 2001 die einmütige Unterstützung des VN-Sicherheitsrates für das Vorgehen gegen Al-Qaida erhalten, die von afghanischem Gebiet aus operierte. Die Taliban, die sich geweigert hatten, Al-Qaida auszuweisen, wurden mit geringem militärischem Aufwand gestürzt. Es folgte der problematische Prozess der Regierungsbildung, bei dem sowohl die Nordallianz, die jahrelang gegen die Taliban-Regierung gekämpft hatte, wie auch die Paschtunen als größte Ethnie, die aber keinen Sprecher hatten, beteiligt werden mussten. Man versuchte, die vorhandenen politischen Kräfte an einem Tisch zu versammeln und Einigkeit über das weitere Vorgehen zu erreichen. Dass dies auf der Petersberg-Konferenz gelungen ist, bleibt eine große Leistung der Diplomatie, an der sowohl der Beauftragte des VN-Generalsekretärs, Lakhdar Brahimi, als auch Jim Dobbins großen Anteil haben. In seinem Buch zerstört Dobbins die weit verbreitete und oft wiederholte Legende, Hamid Karsai sei den Teilnehmern von den USA als Interimspräsident aufgedrängt worden. Es war vielmehr Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, für die Außenbeziehungen der Nordallianz verantwortlich, der Karsai ins Spiel brachte – derselbe Abdullah, der bei den letzten Wahlen 2009 gegen Karsai kandidierte. Es war ihm wie auch anderen Führern der Nordallianz klar, dass nur ein Paschtune für diese Funktion infrage kam. Wie sollte man nun die Macht zwischen den verschiedenen Gruppen aufteilen und der künftigen Regierung die Legitimität verschaffen, die sie brauchte? Wahlen und die Ausarbeitung einer demokratischen Verfassung schienen das richtige und für alle Beteiligten akzeptable Verfahren. Das Verfahren erwies sich zunächst als erfolgreich. Aber bei der Durchführung wurden, wie Dobbins zeigt, schwere Fehler begangen: Das amerikanische Verteidigungsministerium setzte zwar den Kampf gegen die verbliebenen Kämpfer von Al-Qaida fort, wollte aber zunächst amerikanische Truppen nicht zur Herstellung der Sicherheit in den afghanischen Provinzen einsetzen. Diese Aufgabe sollte den örtlichen Machthabern, den Kriegsherren, überlassen werden, zumal 2003 die Invasion in den Irak die Aufmerksamkeit und die Ressourcen auf dieses als viel wichtiger geltende „Projekt“ lenkte. Das aber bedeutete, dass sich die

Seth G. Jones In the Graveyard of Empires. America’s War in Afghanistan
Jones, Seth G.: In the Graveyard of Empires. America’s War in Afghanistan, W. W. Norton & Company, New York 2009, 448 S., ISBN: 978-0-39306-898-6

Die öffentliche Diskussion in den westlichen Ländern, die sich in Afghanistan engagiert haben, konzentriert sich oft auf die Ereignisse des Tages. Wenn man aber – wie in diesem Augenblick und im Vorfeld einer weiteren internationalen Konferenz – vor der Entscheidung steht, mit welchem Ziel, unter welchen Bedingungen und wie lange man sich noch engagieren will, muss man die komplexe Lage nicht nur Afghanistans, sondern seiner Region sowie ihre strategische und wirtschaftliche Bedeutung auf lange Sicht ins Auge fassen. Dabei können die vorliegenden kürzlich in englischer Sprache erschienen Bücher helfen. Jim Dobbins, ein amerikanischer Diplomat, war zunächst der Beauftragte der Vereinigten Staaten für die Beziehungen zur Nordallianz in Afghanistan. Er vertrat sein Land auf der Petersberg-Konferenz im Dezember 2001 und koordinierte schließlich von Washington aus die ersten Maßnahmen zum Wiederaufbau eines afghanischen Staates. In seinem Buch „After the Taliban. Nation-Building in Afghanistan“ schildert er die Entwicklung in dieser Periode aus seiner persönlichen Sicht. Er zögert nicht, die Bush-Regierung und insbesondere den damaligen Verteidigungsminister Donald Rumsfeld

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Macht der gewählten Regierung zunächst auf die Hauptstadt Kabul beschränkte. Erst 2005 wurde die Kontrolle durch die ISAF-Truppen auf die Provinzen ausgedehnt. Inzwischen aber hatten sich die Taliban in den südlichen Provinzen bereits wieder festgesetzt und ihre Macht konsolidiert. Die Zahl der internationalen Sicherheitskräfte blieb immer – im Verhältnis zur Größe und Bevölkerungszahl dieser Länder – geringer als in Bosnien (60.000 NATO-Soldaten) und Kosovo (50.000 NATO-Soldaten). Viel zu schwach war auch die Unterstützung durch internationale Polizeikräfte. Auch heute liegt deren Zahl noch unter 200, während in den viel kleineren Ländern Bosnien und Kosovo 2.000 bzw. 1.000 internationale Polizisten eingesetzt wurden. Auch die wirtschaftliche Unterstützung für Afghanistan blieb zunächst gering. Dabei war es für die neue Regierung entscheidend, wie schnell sich die Lage der Bevölkerungsmehrheit bessern würde, die auf dem Land lebt. Eine entschlossene Anstrengung, die ländliche Entwicklung zu verbessern, wäre auch die beste vorbeugende Maßnahme gegen den Drogenanbau gewesen, der 2004 in beunruhigender Weise zu steigen begann. Zu der Petersberg-Konferenz waren auch die Nachbarstaaten eingeladen geworden, von denen einige immer wieder eine wichtige Rolle in Afghanistan gespielt hatten: Sie unterstützten die Afghanistan-Politik der USA. Nach Dobbins Einschätzung wurde aber nicht genug getan, um ihre Kooperation für die Mission aufrecht zu erhalten. Das gilt gerade für Iran. Nachdem der ehemalige US-Präsident Bush das Land zur „Achse des Bösen“ gerechnet hatte, wurden die Kontakte, die Dobbins gepflegt hatte, abgebrochen. Inzwischen hat die neue pakistanische Regierung verstanden, daß die islamistischen Gruppen, die vom ISI unterstützt worden waren, eine ernste Bedrohung für die Stabilität des eigenen Landes bilden und dass es kurzsichtig war, sie nur als Instrumente der eigenen Außenpolitik zu verstehen: Sie sollten den pakistanischen Einfluss auf Afghanistan sichern und durch die Verbindung mit Terrorgruppen in Kaschmir Kräfte des traditionellen Gegners Indien binden. Ob es gelingen wird, die Aktivitäten radikaler Gruppen dauerhaft zu unterbinden, ist in diesem Augenblick noch nicht abzusehen.1 Es gilt, die Länder der Region für die Einsicht zu gewinnen, dass sie ihre Interessen durch Zusammenarbeit besser fördern können als durch Konflikte. Ein weiteres Buch über Afghanistan, verfasst von Seth G. Jones, erschien 2009 in den USA. Allerdings ist der Titel „In the Graveyard of Empires.
1

America`s War in Afghanistan“ nicht besonders glücklich gewählt. Afghanistan war zwar in der Geschichte mehrmals das Objekt imperialer Kriege. Aber gerade die Kämpfe, die jetzt dort geführt werden, entspringen – wie Jones in seinem Buch selbst ausführt – nicht dem Wunsch der USA, das Land auf Dauer zu beherrschen. Die Invasion von 2001 diente ausschließlich dem Zweck, Al-Qaida ihrer Operationsbasis zu berauben. Gerade das amerikanische Verteidigungsministerium wollte dort nicht auf längere Sicht Truppen in größerer Zahl stationieren. Jetzt wird überlegt, wie man die afghanischen Sicherheitskräfte so schnell wie möglich in die Lage versetzen kann, die Sicherheit im Land allein herzustellen und zu bewahren. US-Präsident Barack Obama hat in seiner Rede in West Point am 2. Dezember 2009 die Entscheidung zu einer vorübergehenden Verstärkung amerikanischer Truppen mit der Ankündigung verbunden, sie ab 2011 abzuziehen. Es wäre ein Missverständnis, die jetzige amerikanische Präsenz in eine Linie mit der des britischen Empire im 19. Jahrhundert und der Sowjetunion im 20. Jahrhundert zu stellen. Jones verwendet in seinem Buch eine enorme Menge an Material. Bemerkenswert ist dabei die Darstellung des Streits in der sowjetischen Führung über den Einmarsch in Afghanistan. Vor allem von Seiten des Generalstabes wurden dafür Bedenken geäußert. Von aktueller Bedeutung ist das Kapitel über die Struktur und die Ziele von AlQaida. Diese gehen, so führt Jones aus, weit über Pakistan und Afghanistan hinaus. Ein „islamischer Gürtel“ solle über Zentralasien, den Kaukasus und die Türkei bis in den Nahen und Mittleren Osten reichen. Die Gründe für das Wiederaufleben der Aufstände in Afghanistan bringt Jones auf eine kurze Formel: Teile der enttäuschten und frustrierten ländlichen Bevölkerung liefern ein Angebot an jungen Leuten zum Kampf gegen den westlichen Einfluss. Die Nachfrage kommt von den Taliban und AlQaida-nahen Gruppierungen, die den Kampf gegen die Regierung und die ausländische Präsenz auch mit ihrem Verständnis des Islam begründen. Allerdings: Diplomatische Bemühungen, wie die erfolgreiche Konferenz auf dem Petersberg, kommen in Jones’ Buch etwas zu kurz. Es enthält zwar viele Hinweise auf wirtschaftliche Probleme, aber keine zusammenhängende Darstellung der Lage und der sich bietenden Möglichkeiten. Im Vergleich dazu wird dem Militärischen und den amerikanischen Entscheidungsprozessen sehr großer Raum gegeben.

Hierzu äußert sich dezidiert Ahmad Rashid in seinem Buch „Descent into Chaos. How the war against Islamic extremism is being lost in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia”, das bereits in ORIENT III/2008, S. 78ff. von Julia Stratmann rezensiert wurde. Rashids Buch bleibt vor allem deshalb wichtig, weil es zeigt, dass die Stabilität Afghanistans nur im regionalen Kontext hergestellt und gesichert werden kann.

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Wie Dobbins und Rashid bilanziert auch Jones, dass ab 2002 die Chance verpasst wurde, der neu gebildeten Regierung durch rasche und wirksame Hilfe die Unterstützung durch die Bevölkerung zu verschaffen, die sie gebraucht hätte. Für die Politik der USA hat Jones drei Empfehlungen: Bekämpfung der Korruption in Afghanistan, Heranziehung von Stammesstrukturen zur Bekämpfung des Aufstandes auf lokaler Ebene, Ausschaltung der Rückzugsgebiete in der pakistanischen Grenzregion. Frieden wird in Afghanistan nicht einziehen, solange nicht der militärischen Kraft Amerikas eine umfassende diplomatische Strategie zur Seite gestellt wird, die breite regionale Unterstützung gewinnen kann, so die Bilanz Dobbins. Rashid drückt es noch konkreter aus: Süd- und Zentralasien können nicht stablilisiert werden, wenn es nicht zu einer Verständigung unter den führenden Mächten kommt. So muss das Kaschmir-Problem zwischen Pakistan und Indien gelöst und ein nachhaltiges Entwicklungsprogramm für das afghanischpakistanische Grenzgebiet auferlegt werden. Eine Möglichkeit wäre die Einrichtung einer Kontaktgruppe durch den VN-Sicherheitsrat, die den Dialog zwischen Indien und Pakistan sowohl über ihre Interessen in Afghanistan als auch über den Kaschmir-Konflikt fördern soll.2 Entscheidend ist, den Staaten der Region zu der Einsicht zu verhelfen, dass sie durch Zusammenarbeit ihre Interessen besser fördern können als gegeneinander zu agieren. Es gibt bereits eine große Zahl regionaler Vereinbarungen und Institutionen, die aber gestrafft und zusammengefasst werden müssten.3 Solche Anregungen mögen vielleicht kühn oder naiv erscheinen. Aber Mut und Weitsicht werden gebraucht, wenn über das weitere Vorgehen in der Region entschieden wird. Die detaillierten Darstellungen von Dobbins und Jones tragen zumindest beim interessierten Leser zum tieferen Verständnis der US-amerikanischen Absichten in Afghanistan bei. Aber die Lösung des Konflikts und die Stabilisierung der Region ist auf längere Sicht nicht nur für die USA von entscheidender Bedeutung. Dr. Rudolf Schmidt, Botschafter a. D.

Naif Bezwan Türkei und Europa. Die Staatsdoktrin der Türkischen Republik, ihre Aufnahme in die EU und die kurdische Nationalfrage
Bezwan, Naif: Türkei und Europa. Die Staatsdoktrin der Türkischen Republik, ihre Aufnahme in die EU und die kurdische Nationalfrage, Nomos Verlag, Baden-Baden 2008, 347 S., ISBN 978-38329-4000-3

In der deutschsprachigen Forschung über die Türkei hat das Thema „Türkei – EU-Beziehungen“ in den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten „Hochkonjunktur“. Meistens handelt es sich dabei um Dissertationen, deren Gliederungen inzwischen klassische Züge aufweisen. Zunächst fokussiert die Arbeit auf die geschichtlichen Aspekte der auf die Türkei bezogenen Themen, anschließend wird der Hauptgegenstand der Untersuchung im Zusammenhang mit den Türkei – EU-Beziehungen dargelegt und diskutiert. Naif Bezwan ist bei seiner Dissertationsarbeit an der Universität Osnabrück dieser Gliederung treu geblieben. Nach dem ausführlichen einleitenden Kapitel untersucht Bezwan das Thema in vier Teilen: 1. Teil: Die Entstehung des türkischen Verständnisses von Staat, Nation und „Europäisierung“ (1908-1918), 2. Teil: Das Verständnis der Türkischen Republik von Staat, Nation und „Modernisierung“ unter der Herrschaft Mustafa Kemals (1923-1938), 3. Teil: Post-kemalistischer Kemalismus – Das politische System der Türkei nach dem Tod Kemal Atatürks (1938) bis heute, 4. Teil: Die Türkische Republik und die Kurdistanfrage. Die Entstehung und Gestaltung des jetzigen Nationalstaates „Republik der Türkei“ führt Bezwan auf die türkisch-nationalistische Bewegung in der Endphase des Osmanischen Reiches zurück. Damit versucht er die weit verbreitete These zu widerlegen, dass die Idee eines Nationalstaates von Mustafa Kemal Atatürk stammt: „Für das Verständnis der gegenwärtigen Herrschaftsstrukturen der Türkischen Republik ist die Kenntnis dessen, was in der Literatur als ‚unionistische’ bzw. ‚jungtürkische’ Periode (1908-1918) gekennzeichnet wird, von grundlegender Bedeutung. Gemeint ist damit das Komitee Einheit und Forschritt (£ttihat ve Terakki Cemiyeti), das an der Wende vom 19. zum 20. Jahrhun-

2 3

Vgl. Ahmed Rashid, Barnett Rubin: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the West. In: Foreign Affairs, Nov./Dec. 2008 S. 30-45. Siehe dazu auch Rudolf Schmidt, Afghanistan and its regional role, in: ORIENT IV/2009, S. 57-60.

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dert entstand und sich rasch zum Träger des türkischen Nationalismus bzw. des ‚Türkentums’ (Türklük bzw. Türkcülük) im Osmanischen Reich entwickelte (…). Ich werde im Folgenden zeigen, dass die ideellen und die strukturellen Grundlagen dessen, was sich im Jahr 1923 in der Ausrufung der Türkischen Republik manifestierte, bereits von diesem Komitee gelegt worden sind.“ (S. 59) Mit der kemalistischen Ära der neuen Republik befasst sich Bezwan im 2. Kapitel unter mehreren Gesichtspunkten. Nach der Erläuterung der Entwicklungen bis zur Gründung der Republik legt er die ideologischen und politischen Zielsetzungen des Kemalismus und deren Durchsetzung dar. Als tragende Elemente des kemalistisch-nationalistisch geprägten Staates analysiert Bezwan das Führerprinzip und das Prinzip der Einheit von Partei und Staat, welche er für die totalitären Herrschaftsstrukturen als kennzeichnend hervorhebt und mit dem Nationalsozialismus in Verbindung bringt: „Die Charakterisierung des kemalistischen Regimes und der von ihm geprägten Herrschaftsverhältnisse als türkische Variante des Nationalsozialismus wurde in der Türkei nicht bestritten, sondern im Gegenteil positiv aufgenommen. Es war kein Geringerer als der Justizminister der Türkischen Republik, Mahmut Esat Bozkurt (18921943), der den Kemalismus in den Gesamtzusammenhang der Etablierung faschistisch-nationalistischer Bewegung Europas einordnete.“ (S. 169) Die post-kemalistischen Entwicklungen nach dem Tod Atatürks 1938 untersucht der Autor im 3. Kapitel, allerdings in Bezug auf die türkisch-europäischen Beziehungen und den EU-Beitrittsprozess. Ein weiterer Aspekt dieses Kapitels betrifft die türkische Verfassungswirklichkeit im Zusammenhang mit dem Beitrittsprozess. Dabei wird die Verfassung unter verschiedenen Gesichtspunkten wie ihre restriktiven Bestimmungen hinsichtlich der Grundrechte und -freiheiten, des „Laizismus“ und des „Separatismus“ sowie ihre nationalistische und kemalistische Orientierung betrachtet. Auch die Rolle des Militärs im politischen System erklärt er u. a. mit der Verfassung, deren bisherige Nivellierungen als Anpassung an die EU-Normen als unzureichend bewertet werden. Kritisch bemerkt Bezwan: „Zusammenfassend ist festzustellen, dass der türkische Gesetzgeber mit seiner bisherigen Reformpraxis weder die ideologischen Grundlagen tangiert, mit denen die

Armeeführung ihre Machtstellung und ihre ideologischen und politischen Funktionen im Staatsleben rechtfertigt, noch die institutionellen Strukturen abschaffte, mittels derer das Militär bis heute in das politische, gesellschaftliche, wirtschaftliche und juristische Leben eingreift.“ (S. 213) Die Forschungsarbeit ist im 4. Teil auf die Kurdenfrage fokussiert, wobei hier ein historischer Abriss der Entstehung des Kurdenkonfliktes vorgenommen wird und der aktuelle Stand in Bezug auf den Beitrittsprozess sehr kurz angeschnitten wird. Bei der Behandlung der Kurdenfrage in einem historischen Ursache-WirkungsZusammenhang werden Lösungsansätze der Konfliktparteien (Türkei und Kurden) bzw. eigene Vorschläge des Verfassers außer Acht gelassen. Dennoch weist Bezwan im letzten Absatz dieses Teils auf die Notwendigkeit der Kurdenfrage für die Demokratisierung in der Türkei hin: „Nur die Abschaffung einer solchen Herrschaft bietet eine Möglichkeit für die Etablierung der Demokratie in Kurdistan – damit unzweifelhaft verbunden – in der Gesamttürkei. Nur so kann eine wahre Demokratie gelingen: eine Demokratie, die – jenseits aller möglichen geopolitischen ‚Notwendigkeiten und machtpolitischer Kalkulationen’ – darauf ausgerichtet ist, eine ebenso wahre Europäisierung der Türkei zu realisieren.“ (S. 304) Bezwans Forschungsarbeit beruht auf zahlreichen Literaturquellen wie Monographien, Aufsätzen und Internetquellen in Deutsch, Türkisch, Englisch und Französisch. Primärquellen und europäische Dokumente, zumindest im Zusammenhang mit den europäisch-türkischen Beziehungen, wurden nicht verwendet. Zum Schluss bleibt festzuhalten, dass der Bezug zu den europäisch-türkischen Beziehungen und zum Aspekt des EU-Betrittsprozesses der Türkei zu wenig ins Gewicht fällt, wenn der Titel des Buches berücksichtigt wird. Bezwans Untersuchung handelt fast zur Hälfte vom Staats- und Nationsverständnis, Kemalismus sowie der Demokratie in der Türkei, wobei der Verfasser als Ausgangspunkt der Entstehung und Implementierung dieser Aspekte die Endphase des Osmanischen Reiches betrachtet und die Entwicklungen bis zum Prozess der europäischen Annäherung (Beitrittsprozess) konsequent analysiert. Der besondere Beitrag der Dissertationsarbeit von Bezwan liegt insbesondere in der theoretisch-fundierten und kritischen Analyse über die „Grundsätze von Atatürk und der Republik“ wie

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Einheitsstaat und Einheitsnation, damit verbunden auch die Behandlung der Kurdenfrage. Der Bezug zur Europäischen Union ist allerdings eher ein Exkurs und steht im disproportionalen Verhältnis zum Titel des Buches. Gerade die Integration der Türkei in die europäischen Strukturen seit über 40 Jahren und deren Einfluss auf die Themenbereiche der Dissertation würden dem Werk von Bezwan eine aktuelle und richtungweisende Bedeutung zukommen lassen. Dr. Nebi Kesen

erfüllte sich bisher nicht. Und so scheint Iran nach wie vor ein unverstandenes Land, ein Land, das sich durch Widersprüche auszeichnet, die kaum zu greifen scheinen und viele Analysten trotz ihrer Faszination oftmals ein wenig ratlos zurück lassen. Eva Patricia Rakel, promovierte Politikwissenschaftlerin und tätig an der Universität Amsterdam, unternimmt in ihrem Buch „Power, Islam, and Political Elite in Iran. A Study on the Iranian Political Elite from Khomeini to Ahmadinejad”, das im BrillVerlag erschienen ist, den politikwissenschaftlichen Versuch, einen neuen Erklärungsbeitrag zu Iran zu leisten und Ratlosigkeit durch analytische Erkenntnis zu ersetzen. Es gelingt ihr zwar, ein Gesamtbild der Islamischen Republik von der Revolution 1979 unter Khomeini bis heute zu zeichnen – allerdings bleiben ihre Erklärungsversuche eng angelehnt an die bestehenden Deutungsmuster.1 Interessant ist das Buch trotzdem: Ausgehend von einem theoretischen Rahmen über die politischen Eliten und die Natur des politischen Systems in Iran fokussiert ihre Studie vor allem auf zwei wesentliche Aspekte: Die Rivalitäten innerhalb der politischen Strömungen und deren Auswirkungen auf die iranische Außenpolitik. Denn: „The domestic and international levels are interlinked and cannot be analyzed in isolation from each other.“ (xxi)

Eva Patricia Rakel Islam, and Political Elite in Iran. A Study on the Iranian Political Elite from Khomeini to Ahmadinejad
Rakel, Eva Patricia: Power, Islam, and Political Elite in Iran. A Study on the Iranian Political Elite from Khomeini to Ahmadinejad, Brill, Leiden, Boston 2009, 302 S., ISBN: 978-9-0417-176-3

Es ist erstaunlich, was für eine Fülle von wissenschaftlichen, populärwissenschaftlichen oder belletristischen Abhandlungen, Analysen, Verurteilungen, Schmähungen, Verteidigungsschriften oder Anklagen über Iran geschrieben wurden. Die Gründe sind einfach: Das Land fasziniert, das politische System und seine Eliten irritiert und die Außenpolitik Irans schockiert. Dabei steht bei fast allen diesen Analysen der Islamischen Republik Iran vor allem eine Frage im Vordergrund: Wie können wir dieses Land verstehen? Oder anders: Was bewegt dieses Land? Was macht es aus? Ebenso erstaunlich wie die Fülle der wissenschaftlichen Beobachtungen auf Iran sind die oftmals unzureichenden Prognosen, die diese Beobachtungen ergeben. Die Wahl des jetzigen Präsidenten Mahmud Ahmadinejad im Jahr 2005 kam für die meisten Analysten und Experten nach einer Epoche der versuchten Reformen unter Mohammed Khatami (1997-2005) überraschend. Die inneriranische Opposition, die Demonstrationen und der zivilgesellschaftliche Widerstand, der Iran nach dem erneuten Wahlsieg Ahmadinejads 2009 erschütterte, überraschte die zumeist westlichen Beobachter ebenso. Während vorher vor allem die Unterdrückerherrschaft der Konservativen um Ahmadinejad in den Analysen überwog, war es nun die Hoffnung auf eine „zweite Revolution“. Diese

Dies macht sie in den ersten vier Kapiteln deutlich: Hier konzentriert sie sich auf die Untersuchung der verschiedenen Akteure im politischen System Irans und ihre Rivalitäten. Dabei ist die Basis des iranischen Systems auf Konflikte, Konkurrenz und Richtungskämpfe von Natur aus ausgelegt: Die Parallelität von theokratischen und republikanischen Elementen kennzeichne den Charakter des iranischen Systems nach der Revolution von 1979, so Rakel. Während unter Khomeini die Herrschaft durch seine charismatische Führung und den allumfassenden Herrschaftsanspruch totalitär geprägt war, erhielten nach seinem Tod 1989 autoritäre und demokratische Elemente mehr Bedeutung. Rakel schildert die Entwicklung der Islamischen Republik demnach als steter Kampf der verschiedenen Strömungen, Akteure und Richtungen um Macht und Legitimation. Hierbei konkurrieren seit Gründung der Islamischen Republik zwei Hauptrivalen um Einfluss: Auf der einen Seite behaupteten sich unter der Führung Khomeinis die klerikalen Anhänger der Velayet-e faqih (Herrschaft des Rechtsgelehrten), die die ideologisch-religiöse Grundlage der Islamischen Republik bildet und das „Islamische“ betont: Der Staat wird geführt von einer Gruppe von ausgewählten Geistlichen, die die politische Verant-

1

Vgl. hier auch Buchta, Wilfried: Who rules Iran? The Structure of Power in the Islamic Republic, Washington 2000; Abrahamian, Ervand: A History of Modern Iran, New York 2008; Crane, Keith, Lal, Rollie, Martini, Jeffrey: Iran’s Political, Demographic, and Economic Vulnerabilities, Santa Monica 2008.

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wortung für die Gesellschaft übernehmen. Sie sind direkt durch Gott legitimiert, die Gesellschaft zu führen und müssen sich daher nicht vor ihr rechtfertigen, sind also nicht abzuwählen. Dieser absolute Führungsanspruch der Geistlichkeit war die revolutionäre Neuerung des Aktivisten Khomeini in der schiitischen Tradition. Denn: Das Prinzip des aktiven politischen Engagements der schiitischen Geistlichkeit ließ den traditionellen apolitischen Opferhabitus der Schiiten obsolet werden. Auf einmal wurden aus Quietisten Kämpfer, aus Kämpfern Revolutionäre und aus Revolutionären Staatsherrscher.2 Dass die Islamische Revolution aber keineswegs so „islamisch“ war, wie ihr Name vermuten lässt, wird gern übersehen. Stattdessen bildeten Khomeini und seine geistliche Elite nur die Speerspitze einer breiten gesellschaftlichen Opposition, die aus Säkularen, Linken, Nationalisten, Demokraten, aus Klerikern, Frauen und Studenten bestand. Ihr gemeinsames Ziel: Der Sturz des Schahs. Rakel blickt demnach immer wieder in die Geschichte und gliedert ihre Studie konsequent chronologisch. Dabei sind vor allem die Entwicklungen in der Frühphase der Revolution wichtig, wenn Rakel die politischen Rivalitäten der unterschiedlichen Eliten in Iran analysiert: Denn der gesamtgesellschaftliche Konsens, der die Revolution vorantrieb, musste auch nach dem Sturz des Schahs gewahrt werden. Khomeini, angetreten als Vater aller, als Wohltäter, emanzipierter Mullah mit modernen und liberalen Vorstellungen, zeigte allerdings schon kurz nach der Revolution, dass es ihm um die Errichtung eines islamischen Staates ging, nicht um Gleichberechtigung, Demokratie und Frauenrechte.3 Trotzdem blieb er eine gewisse Zeit auf die säkularen, demokratischen Strömungen angewiesen und integrierte deshalb – widerwillig – republikanische Elemente in die iranische Verfassung. Erst durch die „Kulturrevolution“, die Geiselnahme in der US-amerikanischen Botschaft, den darauf folgenden Rücktritt des eher liberalen und demokratischen Premierministers Mehdi Bazargan und vor allem durch den religiös verbrämten Krieg mit dem Irak konnte der religiöse Charakter der Republik etabliert werden. Khomeini religiösisierte seine Gesellschaft, trug die Revolution auf die Schlachtfelder und schuf immer wiederkehrende Krisen, um seine Herrschaft, um sein System zu legitimieren und zu rechtfertigen.4 Parallel marginalisierte er die Opposition, so dass die republikanischen Elemente an Bedeutung verloren. Trotzdem blieben sie integraler Bestandteil einer iranischen Tradition. „The political power structure (…) is composed of connected, but also competitive, formal and informal political power structures.“ (S. 31)

Und so blieb der Widerspruch zwischen göttlich legitimierter klerikaler Herrschaft und demokratisch gewählter weltlicher Herrschaft bestehen. Daraus, so Rakel, speisen sich bis heute die inneriranischen Rivalitäten. Das Konstrukt der Velayet-e faqih sei ein Geburtsfehler. Es stelle die göttliche Autorität über die der Gesellschaft, negiere aber nicht vollständig demokratische Elemente. „This creates a continuous tension between the supreme leader and the religious supervisory bodies on the one hand, and the republican institutions on the other.“ (S. 251) Das Ergebnis seien konstitutionelle Versuche, die republikanischen Elemente weiter zu schwächen. Dies erfolgt durch den Experten-, Schlichtungsoder Wächterrat sowie die Protegierung semi-offizieller Akteure wie religiöse Stiftungen (bonyads), die traditionell einflussreiche Schicht der Händler (bazaaris) oder revolutionäre militärische Gruppen wie die Revolutionsgarden (sepah-e pasdaran). Gleichzeitig kann man nicht von einer vollkommen vertikal strukturierten Herrschaftshierarchie sprechen. So verfügt jedes der unterschiedlichen Machtzentren über eigene Autonomie, eigenen Einfluss, eigene Ambitionen. Dabei konkurrieren z. B. das Parlament mit dem Wächterrat oder die reguläre Armee mit den Sepah-e Pasdaran. Neben der intra-institutionellen Konkurrenz gesellt sich individuelle Rivalität: Patronagenetzwerke dominieren seit 1979 offizielle Hierarchien, Nepotismus und Vetternwirtschaft sind zu wesentlichen Merkmalen der iranischen Bürokratie geworden. Allianzen zerbrechen an Sachthemen und Koalitionen werden aus realpolitischen und wirtschaftlichen Erwägungen geschmiedet. Dabei trägt zur Heterogenität der politischen Strukturen in Iran die Autoritätsschwäche des Revolutionsführers in Person von Ayatollah Ali Khamenei bei. In der komplexen Hierarchie des schiitischen Klerus ist Khamenei keineswegs ein ebenbürtiger Nachfolger der Überfigur Khomeini. Seine religiöse Expertise wird von vielen schiitischen Geistlichen innerhalb und außerhalb Irans angezweifelt. Während Khomeini der absolute Führer war, der zwischen den unterschiedlichen Machtzentren moderieren und diese ausbalancieren konnte, fehlt Khamenei neben seiner religiösen Macht auch die Ausstrahlung, um als unangreifbar zu wirken. Dies äußerte sich in der pragmatisch, wirtschaftsliberalen Politik von Rafsanjani zu Beginn der 1990er Jahre und setzte sich fort unter Khatami, der durch seinen Reformkurs mehrmals die Legitimität Khameneis anzweifelte. Die Wahl Ahmadine-

2 3 4

Vgl. hier auch Halm, Heinz: Shi’a Islam. From Religion to Revolution, Princeton 1997. Siehe auch Schirazi, Asghar: The Constitution of Iran. Politics and State in the Islamic Republic, New York 1997. Siehe zu Khomeini auch Moin, Baqer: Khomeini. Life of the Ayatollah, London 1999.

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jads und dessen orthodoxer, ultrareligiöser Kurs wirken zwar von außen wie eine perfekte Symbiose mit dem Revolutionsführer, aber auch hier ist das Verhältnis keineswegs eindeutig: Ahmadinejads Frömmigkeit und sein Glaube, von „Gott erleuchtet zu sein“ sowie sein Verhalten als „Mann des Volkes“ machen den Nicht-Kleriker zu einem Vorzeigegläubigen gegenüber der herrschenden klerikalen Elite und damit auch gegenüber Khameneis. Dies erzeugt ein temporäres Konkurrenzverhältnis.5 Rakel gelingt es mit ihrer Analyse, einen innenpolitischen Rahmen für die Entscheidungsstrukturen in Iran zu setzen, die für die Außenpolitik von Bedeutung sind. Hierbei stellt sie die ambivalenten historischen Erfahrungen Irans mit ausländischen Mächten in den Mittelpunkt. Besatzung, Ausbeutung und Unterdrückung würden das Verhältnis zum Westen prägen. Mittlerweile sei der Hass auf die Vereinigten Staaten zu einem Identität stiftenden Dogma der herrschenden Elite geworden. Und so ist das Verhältnis zum Ausland auch nur zu verstehen, wenn es innenpolitisch analysiert wird. Das traditionell fragile Verhältnis der einzelnen Machtzentren untereinander lässt es notwendig werden, eine dauerhafte Situation der Krise nach außen zu generieren, um Einheit nach innen zu garantieren. Die Konfrontation mit dem Ausland wird zum politischen Instrument der Herrschaftskonsolidierung. „Since the Islamic revolution, the political fractions, especially the Conservative fraction, have used foreign policy to cover up social and economic problems and challenges at home.“ (S. 254) So ist der Konflikt um das Atomprogramm in diesem Zusammenhang zu sehen: Trotz der inneriranischen Kritik an Herrschaft, Regierung und System will die breite Mehrheit der Iraner an der Fortsetzung des Nuklearprogramms festhalten. Es geht hierbei um Stolz und um das nationale Recht, welches Iran zustehe. „They believe that the control of nuclear weapons would grant the country respect internationally (…).“ (S. 255) Die Wahrnehmung, das Ausland sehe Iran als potenziellen Weltterroristen oder als kulturlosen eifernden Fundamentalisten nagt an der Würde der iranischen Gesellschaft. Sie fühlt sich missverstanden und das Atomprogramm ist ein Symbol für ihren Wunsch, von der Welt wahrgenommen zu werden. Was hier als Isolationspolitik Irans verstanden wird, ist in Wirklichkeit das Gegenteil.

Daher kann eine Ausgrenzung Irans aus der internationalen Gemeinschaft keinen nachhaltigen Erfolg haben. Denn: Je höher die Ablehnung des Auslands wird, desto höher wird auch die gesellschaftliche Akzeptanz der iranischen Politik. Trotz aller Kritik, die an Ahmadinejad aus dem eigenen Land geübt wird: Selbst ein sich als Reformer generierender Oppositionsführer wie Hussein Mir Mussavi würde das nationale Atomprogramm weiterführen. So macht die Lektüre von Rakels Buch deutlich, dass Iran mehr ist als Theokratie, Atommacht und Fundamentalismus, sondern ein Land mit einer eigenen Geschichte, die bis heute das politische System, das Verhältnis zwischen Religion und Demokratie und den verschiedenen Akteuren prägt. Das spannungsgeladene Mit- und Gegeneinander zwischen den politischen Eliten und ihr Einfluss zum Ausland sind das faszinierende, aber auch das schwer zu verstehende an Iran. Und so ist Rakels Buch zwar kein neuer Wurf, aber eine gut strukturierte, sinnvoll argumentierende und lesbare Ergänzung zu der existierenden Literatur der Iran-Forschung unter Einbeziehung persischsprachiger Quellen. Sebastian Sons

Patricia Crone From Arabian Tribes to Islamic Empire. Army, State and Society in the Near East c. 600-850
Crone, Patricia: From Arabian Tribes to Islamic Empire. Army, State and Society in the Near East c. 600-850, Ashgate Variorum, Farnham 2008, 320 S., ISBN: 978-07546-5925-9

In ihrem Buch “From Arabian Tribes to Islamic Empire. Army, State and Society in the Near East c. 600-850” stellt Patricia Crone zwölf ihrer zwischen 1989 und 2006 veröffentlichten Artikel zusammen, die sich mit der gesellschaftspolitischen Entwicklung des frühen Islam auseinandersetzen. Zahlreichen Artikeln ist eine kurze Nachschrift (Postsript) angefügt, die zum Teil weiterführendes Material beinhaltet, mit dem Crone ihre Thesen untermauert oder korrigiert. Wie Crone selbst in ihrem Vorwort schreibt, seien einige ihrer Thesen auf eine missverständliche Weise rezipiert worden, weshalb es ihr ein Anliegen sei, diese zu überdenken oder in

5

Siehe auch Perthes, Volker: Iran. Eine politische Herausforderung, Frankfurt a. M. 2008. Siehe zu Perthes’ Buch auch die Rezension in ORIENT II/2009, S. 74-77.

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einer deutlicheren Weise zu formulieren. Crones Zusammenstellung ist in vier thematische Teile untergliedert: In einem ersten Teil behandelt Crone gesellschaftspolitische Hintergründe des Vorderen Orients in der vor- und frühislamischen Zeit. Ihr Fokus liegt hier auf einer Analyse der Organisation des Stammes im Vergleich zu der des Staates. Crone reflektiert, indem sie der Bildung und der Strukturierung von Institutionen besondere Beachtung schenkt, die voranschreitende gesellschaftspolitische Organisation eines Gemeinwesens, die, ausgehend von einem Stamm, gleichsam evolutionär, in einem staatenähnlichen Gebilde gipfelt. Für die frühislamische Zeit widmet Crone insbesondere der Institutionalisierung des Armee ihre Aufmerksamkeit, die in einem wechselseitigen Verhältnis mit den frühen arabisch-islamischen Eroberungen stehe. Die Institutionalisierung der Armee sei nur durch die Interaktion zwischen dem in seinen Stammesstrukturen verhafteten Individuum und der sich im Verlaufe der frühislamischen Geschichte transformierenden arabisch-islamischen Gesellschaft zu begreifen. Ihre These, dass sich die Loyalitäten und die an ihre Gemeinschaft gebundenen Interessen der Stämme im Zuge dieser Interaktion aufgelöst hätten, sei ihrer Ansicht nach in der wissenschaftlichen Rezeption dahingehend falsch interpretiert worden, dass sich die Stämme der Arabischen Halbinsel und der Syrischen Wüste durch ihre Integration in die Armee und durch ihre Stationierung in Heerlager aufgelöst hätten. Crone betont – gleichsam durch Überdenken ihrer These, dass die arabischen Stämme durch ihre Integration in die Armee lediglich ihre Fähigkeiten verloren hätten, als politische Einheiten zu fungieren. Die frühen Eroberungen leiteten eine tief greifende Transformation der alten Stammesgesellschaften ein. Diese Transformation ist sowohl durch Ansiedlungen in den eroberten Gebieten und in diesem Sinne auch mit einer zunehmenden Verstädterung als auch durch die Vermischung mit der autochthonen Bevölkerung der eroberten Gebiete gekennzeichnet. Die Quellenlage zur Geschichte der arabisch-islamischen Eroberungszüge bleibt bei Crone weitgehend marginal. Eine Analyse des Hiºra-Konzeptes in Quellen der frühen Umaiyadenzeit lässt Crone zu dem Schluss kommen, dass die Umaiyaden die im Jahre 622 stattgefundene Auswanderung des Propheten nach Medina – ein Ereignis, das zugleich den chronologischen Beginn der islamischen Zeitrechnung markiert – einer radikalen Umdeutung unterzogen haben. Mit der tendenziösen Umdeutung der Hiºra durch die Umaiyaden meldete Crone Zweifel sowohl an der Historizität der Hiºra als überhaupt auch an der historischen Rolle des Propheten an. In ihrer hierzu verfassten Nachschrift distanziert sich Crone –

wenn auch nur in kürzester Form – von den von Wansbrough und von ihr selbst vorgebrachten Zweifeln. Die im zweiten Teil ihres Buches zusammengestellten Artikel widmen sich dem Phänomen der mawÁlÐ und ihrer gesellschaftlichen Relevanz. Es ist bekannt, dass die Integration der autochthonen Bevölkerungen der eroberten Gebiete in das arabisch-islamische Gemeinwesen einen massiven Beitrag zu seiner Transformation – nicht zuletzt durch die Schaffung und Förderung einer Gelehrtenkultur – geleistet hat. Crone reflektiert in diesem Zusammenhang die soziale Position und die Identität der mawÁlÐ und betont ihre Heterogenität. Das bereits in der vor- und frühislamischen Zeit bekannte walÁ’-Verhältnis war im Zuge der gesellschaftlichen Transformation Veränderungen und Neuanpassungen an die durch die Eroberungen bedingten neuen Situationen unterworfen. Mit ihrer Differenzierung der mawÁlÐ in Freigelassene und in (konvertierte) Klienten bringt Crone jedoch wenig Neues in die Diskussion ein. Ihrer These, dass die selbstverständliche Verwendung des mawÁlÐ-Begriffes in Quellen aus dem frühen 9. Jahrhundert – insbesondere im Kontext der Šu‘ÙbÐya – als ein konzeptuelles Werkzeug mit oftmals polemischen Absichten der Autoren verbunden ist, kann jedoch durchaus zugestimmt werden. Im dritten Abschnitt untersucht Crone das in abbasidischen Geschichtsquellen vertretene tendenziöse Bild der Umaiyaden, das die Legitimität und moralische Integrität der Umaiyaden anzweifelt. Crone reflektiert auch in diesem Abschnitt ihre Thesen, die ihrer Ansicht nach dahingehend missverstanden worden seien, dass sie das Bild der Umaiyaden habe rehabilitieren wollen. Crone betont, dass sie das abbasidische Bild der Umaiyaden nicht in Frage stelle, sondern dass sie vielmehr die gesellschaftspolitischen Hintergründe analysiere, die zu einem negativen Bild der Umaiyaden beigetragen haben. Wie Crone selbst bemerkt, könne man das negative Bild der Umaiyaden, das dem Konzept einer als Heilsgeschichte begriffenen islamischen Geschichte zuwider laufe, nicht dadurch lösen, dass man den abbasidischen Historiographen polemische Absichten im Sinne einer Betonung ihrer eigenen Herrschaftslegitimation unterstelle. Nach Crone mussten die Umaiyaden vielmehr eine Gesellschaft bewältigen, die noch in den Werten der alten Stammespolitik verhaftet war. Im Zuge zunehmender, durch die arabisch-islamischen Eroberungen bedingten, Transformationen haben die Umaiyaden nach Crone zum Erhalt ihrer Herrschaft altarabische Stammesnormen übernehmen müssen, was das Bild der Umaiyaden in der späteren Reflektion nachhaltig beschädigt habe. Der abschließende von Crone diskutierte Punkt stellt

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die Genese der vorwiegend aus Sklaven bestehenden Armeen bis zur Mitte des 9. Jahrhunderts dar, als türkische Garden einen immensen Einfluss in Politik und Verwaltung des abbasidischen Reiches nahmen. Die gesellschaftspolitische Grundlage für die Entwicklung dieser Armeen sei, so Crone, bereits in den Strukturen der vorislamischen Gesellschaften der von den Muslimen eroberten Gebiete, insbesondere in denen des Sassanidenreiches, zu suchen. Die soziale Stellung der von machtpolitischen Positionen ausgeschlossenen nicht-zoroastrischen Religionsgemeinschaften hatte sich im Verlauf der Sassanidenherrschaft kaum verändert, allerdings waren ihnen ihre kulturelle und religiöse Unabhängigkeit weitgehend garantiert, wie Crone zur Untermauerung ihrer These anführt. Die gesellschaftspolitische Organisation des Sassanidenreiches blieb auch nach seiner Eroberung erhalten. Sowohl die Verwaltungs- als auch die Bevölkerungsstrukturen wurden im Zuge der arabisch-islamischen Eroberungen weitgehend im status quo belassen, was der autochthonen Bevölkerung auch hier eine religiöse und kulturelle Unabhängigkeit im Rahmen der islamischen Gesellschaftsordnung gewährte. Anders als zur Zeit der Sassaniden wurden hier jedoch eine zunehmende Integration der autochthonen Bevölkerung sowie eine reziproke Assimilation zwischen Eroberern und Eroberten gefördert. Während die arabischen Eroberer die politische Führung beanspruchten, nahmen die Eroberten den Status einer Kultur produzierenden Elite ein. Das Buch ist insofern interessant, als es ihre zum Thema relevanten Artikel systematisch anordnet und diese zum Teil mit einer kurzen Nachschrift erweitert, in der Crone zumindest einige ihrer Thesen überdenkt. Ob es dem Buch jedoch gelingt, diese Thesen in ein anderes Licht zu rücken, bleibt abzuwarten. Hans Peter Pökel

Der von Reidar Visser und Gareth Stansfield herausgegebene Sammelband “An Iraq of its Regions” liefert in vielerlei Hinsicht interessante Perspektiven für die Möglichkeiten einer föderalen Organisation des irakischen Staates über regionale Bezugspunkte. Damit setzt er einen sinnvollen Kontrapunkt zu der vielfach propagierten Teilung des vom Krieg zerrütteten Zweistromlands entlang konfessioneller bzw. ethnischer Linien. Der regionalistische Föderalismus wird hierbei zwischen dem Modell des unitarischen Zentralstaats und einem klassischen Föderalismus, der den Gliedstaaten weitreichende Freiheiten einräumt, verortet. Die Autoren begründen ihre Analysen mit ausgerechnet dieser Form der Staatsorganisation mit einem naheliegenden Grund: Die irakische Verfassung aus dem Jahr 2005 sieht genau dieses Modell vor. Die 18 Provinzen des Irak haben die Wahl: Sie können entweder unter der Zentralgewalt der Regierung in Bagdad verbleiben, oder sich per Volksabstimmung zur Region mit eigenen Gesetzgebungskompetenzen konstituieren, bzw. sich mit anderen Provinzen zu einer größeren Region zusammenschließen. Wenn man von der Ausnahme der historisch gewachsenen Autonomie der Kurdenregion im Norden des Landes absieht, hat jedoch bis zum heutigen Tag keine der Provinzen diese Möglichkeit genutzt. Der Aufbau des Bandes ist ein erster Ansatzpunkt zur Kritik, da das genannte Konzept zwar in der Einleitung und in verschiedenen Aufsätzen genannt und zusammengefasst, aber erst im letzten Aufsatz von Liam Anderson systematisch und kohärent veranschaulicht und in Bezug zum neuesten Stand der politikwissenschaftlichen Theorie zum Thema Föderalismus gesetzt wird. Dieser Aufsatz hätte am Anfang des Buches sicherlich besser gepasst. Anderson grenzt darin den regionalistischen Föderalismus vom ethnischen und vom territorialen Föderalismus ab und sieht in ersterem die zu bevorzugende Lösung für Staaten, die durch ethnische Spannungen geprägt werden. Er begründet dies damit, dass der ethnische Föderalismus, bei dem die Grenzen innerhalb des Bundesstaates entlang ethnischer Linien gezogen werden, zwar im Falle von explodierenden Gewaltkonflikten zwischen den unterschiedlichen Ethnien des betreffenden Staates als „Last Resort“ zur Konfliktbeilegung nützlich sei, in der Praxis aber zu zentrifugalen Tendenzen, weiteren Konflikten zwischen den Gliedstaaten und im schlimmsten Fall zum Staatszerfall führe. Währenddessen sei der territoriale Föderalismus, in dem die verschiedenen Ethnien absichtlich zur Verhinderung dieser Tendenzen in multiethnische Gliedstaaten aufgesplittet werden, in der Realität kaum zu finden, da die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass die konfligierenden ethnischen Gruppen einer solchen von oben oktroyierten Spaltung

Reidar Visser / Gareth Stansfield (Hrsg.) An Iraq of its Regions. Cornerstones of a Federal Democracy?
Visser, Reidar / Stansfield, Gareth (Hrsg.): An Iraq of its Regions. Cornerstones of a Federal Democracy? Hurst Publishers, London, 2007, 274 S., ISBN: 978-1-85065875-7

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zustimmen würden, sehr gering sei. Im regionalistischen Föderalismus hingegen würden die Grenzen als Ausdruck regionaler Vielfalt auf einer nicht-ethnischen Basis gezogen. Dies soll, wie in der irakischen Verfassung vorgesehen, in einem Bottom-Up-Prozess geschehen. Damit sich dieser Prozess vollzieht, müsste die angesprochene regionale Vielfalt auf nicht-ethnischer Basis auch vorhanden sein und sich in regionalen Identitäten unterhalb der Nationenebene manifestieren. Dies für die verschiedenen Regionen des Irak zu untersuchen, sollte konsequenterweise das Ziel der weiteren Aufsätze des Bandes sein. Unglücklicherweise geschieht dies jedoch nur bei knapp der Hälfte der Aufsätze. Diese sind namentlich der Beitrag von Reidar Visser über den Südirak, der von Fannar Haddad und Sajjad Rizvi über Bagdad und der von Gareth Stansfield und Hashem Ahmadzadeh über den Nordirak. Begrenzt gilt das auch noch für James Denselows Ausführungen über Mosul, die Jazira-Region und das syrisch-irakische Grenzland. Der Titel von Vissers Aufsatz lautet „The Two Regions of Southern Iraq“. Der Autor setzt darin auf überzeugende Weise der weit verbreiteten Annahme, dass es südlich von Bagdad einen monolithischen schiitischen Block gäbe, die schon im Titel deutlich werdende These entgegen, es ließen sich anstelle dessen eher zwei sich nicht vornehmlich schiitisch, sondern eher regional definierende Entitäten feststellen. Diese seien in der Mittleren Euphrat-Region um Najaf und in der südlichsten Region um Basra zu beobachten. Begründet wird dies unter anderem damit, dass die Grenze zwischen den alten osmanischen Vilayets Bagdad und Basra eben genau zwischen diesen Regionen verlief. Auch kulturelle Erwägungen und Unterschiede zwischen Stämmen und urbanen Zentren spielen eine Rolle. Diese Ergebnisse passen am ehesten in das vorgeschlagene Organisationskonzept des regionalistischen Föderalismus. Eher nicht der Fall ist dies für die Resultate, die Stansfield und Ahmadzadeh für die Kurdenregion im Norden konstatieren. Sie beobachten zwar den Versuch der politischen Elite der Autonomen Region Kurdistan, eine regionale „Kurdistani“-Identität, die auch Türken und Assyrer einschließt, zu konstruieren. Dieser Versuch stoße aber zum einen bei den Minderheiten, zum anderen bei der kurdischen Bevölkerung, die mittlerweile (wieder) eher eine pan-kurdische nationale Identität bevorzugten, auf wenig Gegenliebe. Was der Leser in diesem Aufsatz vermisst, ist eine eingehende Analyse des Verhältnisses zwischen Kurden und Arabern im Norden, zum Beispiel in der Region Kirkuk. Stansfield spricht dieses Thema zwar in der allgemeinen Zusammenfassung des Buches an, es

hätte aber gerade angesichts der Tatsache, dass die größten Auseinandersetzungen aktuell an dieser Konfliktlinie stattfinden1 eine weitaus eingehendere Analyse verdient. Im Kapitel über Bagdad zeigen Haddad und Rizvi mithilfe der Daten einer Telefonumfrage unter den Bewohnern der Hauptstadt deren Skepsis gegenüber jeglicher Form von Föderalismus auf. Interessant ist dabei erstens, dass dies nach den Ergebnissen der Umfrage sowohl für Sunniten, als auch für Schiiten gilt und zweitens, dass weite Unkenntnis über die sachliche Bedeutung von Föderalismus herrscht und dieser vielmehr als schlecht wahrgenommen wird, weil er als Import von Besatzern und ehemaligen Exilanten gilt, denen grundsätzlich misstraut wird. Als Konsequenz herrsche in Bagdad weiterhin die Präferenz für einen irakischen Nationalismus mit einer starken Zentralmacht vor. Diese Präferenz scheint, wenn man die Ergebnisse der Regionalwahlen von 2009 zu Rate zieht, in denen zentralistische Kräfte starke Zugewinne erreichen konnten, auch für den restlichen Irak, mit Ausnahme der Kurdenregion, an Bedeutung zu gewinnen.2 Die restlichen Beiträge des Buches beschäftigen sich nun kaum noch mit den durch die Einleitung und den theoretischen Rahmen vorgegebenen Fragen. Denselow postuliert in seinem Aufsatz über die Jazira-Region zwar eine grenzüberschreitende Identität der Bewohner dieser Region, belässt es aber dabei und setzt diese nicht in Bezug zu möglichen zukünftigen Staatsorganisationsprinzipien des Irak. Stattdessen beschäftigt er sich mit der Grenze zu Syrien, deren Geschichte und wie effektiv sie überwacht werden kann. Auch Richard Schofield konzentriert sich auf die Geschichte und Ziehung aller Grenzen des heutigen Irak. Währendessen legt Ronen Zeidel eine Darstellung der Geschichte Tikrits und seiner Bewohner als zeitweise vorherrschende Elite des ganzen Staates und deren lokale (nicht regionale) Identität vor. Alastair Northedge schließlich liefert eine historische Geographie des Iraks in vormoderner Zeit, die zumindest als Wissensgrundlage für ein besseres Verständnis der Aufsätze über die Regionen nützlich ist. Dies soll keine Kritik der Qualität der einzelnen Aufsätze sei. Sie sind in ihrer Mehrheit durchaus lesenswert und fundiert. Vielmehr wecken die Herausgeber andere Erwartungen, indem sie eine reine Untersuchung der Erfolgsperspektiven eines regionalistischen Föderalismus ankündigen. Um hierfür ein umfassendes Ergebnis zu liefern, fehlt die Einbeziehung des vornehmlich sunnitischen Westirak in die Analyse. Der Sammelband stellt jedoch eine erfrischende Alternative zu den weniger komplexen Darstellungen in den Medien und Teilen der Wis-

1 2

Vgl. International Crisis Group: Iraq's New Battlefront: The Struggle over Nineva, MENA Report 90 (2009). Vgl. Steinberg, Guido: Irakische Föderalisten unter Druck. Regionalwahlen, innenpolitische Konflikte und der amerikanische Truppenabzug, in: SWP-Aktuell 2009/a.

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senschaft über die sogenannte „Künstlichkeit“ des Irak und sein unvermeidbares Auseinanderfallen in naher Zukunft dar. Auch und gerade die eher geographischen Beobachtungen sind für denjenigen, der mehr über die politische Situation des Zweistromlands erfahren will, von hohem Mehrwert. Yahya Abu-Yahya

Antonio Giustozzi (ed.) Decoding the new Taliban. Insights from the Afghan Field
Giustozzi, Antonio (ed.): Decoding the new Taliban. Insights from the Afghan Field, Hurst Publisher Ltd., London 2009, ISBN: 978-1-85065961-7

authors is Thomas Ruttig, one of the few German experts in this field who explains the Haqqani network. Martine van Bijlert, a former diplomat from the Netherlands who has served and currently lives in Afghanistan, examines the Taliban networks in Uruzgan in detail. The essays on the role of the Taliban movements in the different provinces of Afghanistan make it clear that we have to analyse the movements in their specific regional context. The essay on the Pakistani Taliban movement and its relationship to Mullah Omar and the Afghan Taliban is particularly interesting and gives new insights into this important topic. Reading these essays, it becomes clear that there is no unified Taliban movement and that there are many specificities in the way of composition, leadership, tactics, ideology, and relationship to the local population and militants as well as political set-ups. Therefore, Bernt Glatzer described the Taliban movement as “a caravan, to which different people attached themselves for various reasons” (p.160). From the Taliban-e jangi to the more principled Taliban-e asli and the criminal Taliban-i-duzd we have to add the local Taliban, Taliban-e-mahali, and finally the Taliban-e khana-neshin, the former leadership staying put at home. The last group is the one with which the Karzai government has frequent contact, e.g., the former Foreign Minister of the Taliban, Mutawakkil, who now lives in Kabul and is regarded as somebody who might be reintegrated. All authors agree and clearly illustrate that the Taliban movement has different faces and has to be seen in the context of the different networks and their leaderships. The interaction of the Taliban movements with the drug mafia is also analysed in details by Gretchen Peters. Today we know about these interactions but also about the fact that the Taliban are not solely financed by the opium trade, but still receive financial support from abroad. It would indeed go to far here to analyse the different contributions in detail. The book is a real treasure grove of information on the specificities of the actions and ideology of the Taliban by eminent specialists in the field. It provides excellent inside views, acquired during first-hand exposure, on the role of the Taliban in the context of the contemporary socio-economic and political realities in Afghanistan today. The analyses and the many new, yet unknown data will allow the reader to come to a differentiated view which puts a big question mark on the usual stereotypes of the Taliban which are prevailing in the media. This book is a must read for decision-makers and experts dealing with Afghanistan and its Taliban movements, as well as researchers and the learned public. Dr. Gunter Mulack

In the discussions on how to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan, one of the most discussed, current topics is the question of how to deal with the Taliban movement. The majority of experts agree that a military victory against the Taliban is not achievable. Therefore, a political solution has to be found. But who are the Taliban and are negotiations with the movement or its different wings possible and realistic options? Are there so-called moderate Taliban? Will a reconciliation with or reintegration of parts of the Taliban insurgency ever be possible? What is the role of Pakistan? In order to find the right answers to these difficult questions, more in-depth knowledge about the Taliban in Afghanistan is absolutely necessary. There is still a lack of precise information on the Taliban movements which makes it so difficult to understand the complexity of the issue. The book “Decoding the new Taliban. Insights from the Afghan Field” with its wealth of information is closing a dangerous gap of knowledge and facilitates the understanding of the current insurgency in parts of Afghanistan. The book is edited by Antonio Giustozzi, Research Fellow at the Crisis States Research Centre at the London School of Economics, who has already written some interesting other books about Afghanistan.1 He is a well-known scholar in this field with first-hand experience in Afghanistan. His book is composed of a collection of analytical essays, written by acknowledged experts in this field who look into specific aspects of the new Taliban. The style of writing differs; some essays clearly address experts, others describe the general situation in a very understandable way. Among the
1

See some of his publications: Afghanistan. Getting worse before getting better? Writenet, Geneva 2009; Empires of mud. Wars and warlords of Afghanistan. Hurst, London, 2009; The pigmy who turned into a giant. The Afghan Taliban in 2009. In: LSE IDEAS Strategic Update, 1 (2009), pp. 9-11.

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New Publications

Aydin, Yasar: Topoi des Fremden. Zur Analyse und Kritik einer sozialen Konstruktion, UVK Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Konstanz 2009, 260 S., ISBN 978-3-86764222-4: Das Buch „Topoi des Fremden“, dem die Dissertationsarbeit von Yasar Aydin zu Grunde liegt, untersucht gesellschaftstheoretische und sozialwissenschaftliche Theorien sowie empirische Studien, die sich mit dem Thema der Fremdheit befassen. Dabei prüft der Autor die Theorien zunächst auf ihren Erklärungswert für die Fremdheitsproblematik allgemein und in der Folge anhand der Fallbeispiele Deutschland und Großbritannien. Der Autor bezieht Position gegen andere Lehrmeinungen, die negative Fremdheitszuschreibungen im Zuge von Identitätsbildung rechtfertigen oder als willkürliches Phänomen der Ausgrenzung sehen, die jeden Menschen gleichermaßen treffen könne. Arjomand, Saïd Amir: After Khomeini. Iran Under His Successors, Oxford University Press USA, New York December 2009, 256 pp., ISBN 978-0-19539-1794: Iran has kept the world and its analysts busy for decades – not only since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The apparent sequence of moderate government of President HashemiRafsanjani (1989-97) and democratic reform under President Khatami (1997-2005) was followed by the return of the hardliners and revolutionary populism coupled with an aggressive foreign policy, including a nuclear program. Still, Iran's political system and its government have proved remarkably resilient through all these changes, despite the growing discontent among the younger half of the population. Scott Meisami, Julie, Starkey, Paul: The Routledge Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature, Routledge, London January 2010, 880 pp., ISBN 978-0-41557-113-5: The Routledge Encyclopedia of Arabic Literature contains over 1,300 entries by world-renowned experts that combine current research with historical survey. Alphabetically organised and fully indexed, this volume offers useful suggestions for further reading after each entry and a glossary of key terms. The book combines both classical and modern Arabic literature in one work, includes diacritics and offers a broad geographical scope, including Africa, Arabia, Egypt, Persia, Spain and Turkey. Furthermore it contains chronological tables of the dynasties.

Mahfouz, Naguib: Before the Throne, American University of Cairo Press, Cairo 2009, 128 pp., ISBN 978-9-77416-291-6: In this book, Mahfouz summons nearly sixty of Egypt’s rulers to the afterlife Court of Osiris, from a king who unified Egypt for the first time, around 3000 BC, to a president assassinated by religious extremists in 1981. He includes names as familiar as the pharaoh Ramesses II and as obscure as the medieval vizier Qaraqush. Defending their behaviour before the divine tribunal, those who acted for the nation’s good are honoured with immortality, but those who failed to protect it leave the gilded hall of eternal justice with a very different verdict. Husain, Ed: The Islamist. Why I Became an Islamic Fundamentalist, What I Saw Inside, and Why I Left, Penguin, London 2009, 320 pp., ISBN 978-1-10104-735-4: Raised in a devout but quiet Muslim community in London, at sixteen Ed Husain was presented with an intriguing political interpretation of Islam known as fundamentalism. Lured by these ideas, he committed his life to them. Five years later, he rejected extremism and tried to return to a normal life. But soon he realized that Islamic fundamentalists pose a threat that most people simply do not understand. Kesen, Nebi: Die Kurdenfrage im Kontext des Beitritts der Türkei zur Europäischen Union, Nomos, BadenBaden 2009, 343 S., ISBN 978-383294-818-4: Der EU-Beitrittsprozess der Türkei kann einen entscheidenden Einfluss auf die Lösung der Kurdenfrage haben, die eine unabdingbare Voraussetzung für den erfolgreichen Abschluss der Beitrittsverhandlungen ist. Die Gründe für die Kurdenfrage, die Haltung der Türkei und der EU-Beitrag zur Konfliktlösung werden in diesem Buch hinterfragt und analysiert. Karagiannis, Emmanuel: Political Islam in Central Asia – The challenge of Hizb ut-Tahrir, Routledge, London 2009, 224 pp, ISBN 978-0-41555-399-5: This book offers one of the first comprehensive studies of the activities of one of the most feared – but least understood – international Islamist organizations in post-Soviet Central Asia: Hizb ut-Tahrir.

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Events

Events l Events l Events l Events l Events l Events l Events l Events l Events l Events l Events l Events

Wissenschaftliche Tagung: Wer sind die Taliban? Afghanistan und Pakistan im Regionalkonflikt Datum: 26. - 28. März 2010 Ort: Bonn Veranstalter: Evangelische Akademie im Rheinland und die wissenschaftliche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Afghanistan (AGA) Der Kampf gegen die Taliban ist längst nicht mehr auf Afghanistan beschränkt. Mit der Ausweitung des Krieges auf Pakistan ist der Konflikt zu einem Regionalereignis geworden. Doch wer sind die Taliban eigentlich? Diese Fragen stehen im Zentrum der Tagung. So soll diese Tagung den wissenschaftlichen Austausch über die Hintergründe des Phänomens „Taliban“ fördern.

Colloquium Ottoman Urban Studies Seminar on Post-Ottoman Cities Date: 2009 - 2010 Location: Berlin Organisation: Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) and “Europe in the Middle East - The Middle East in Europe” (EUME) Contact: Dr. Nora Lafi, Tel: (+49) (0) 30 80307- 0, Email: [email protected] What is the historical experience of cities in the former territories of the Ottoman Empire - in the Balkans, Anatolia, the Middle East, and North Africa - in dealing with the impact of global changes and the transformation from Empire to nation States? How did people of different cultural, social and religious backgrounds live together? These and other questions will be addressed in this year's Seminar in Ottoman Urban Studies. For further information see: www.zmo.de

Seminar Kapital und Moral – von „Bad Banks“ zur gerechten Finanzordnung Datum: vom 22. bis 26. März 2010 Ort: Kochel am See Veranstalter: Georg-von-Vollmar-Akademie e. V. Schloss Aspenstein Kochel (gefördert durch die Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung) Kontakt: [email protected] In diesem Seminar werden die Auswirkungen der internationalen Finanzkrise aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven analysiert und in Workshops beleuchtet. Referenten aus den verschiedenen fachlichen Disziplinen werden die Auswirkungen der Finanzkrise aus diversen Blickwinkeln beleuchten. Dabei widmen sie sich den Handlungsmöglichkeiten, der ethischen Dimension oder alternativen Finanzsystemen wie Islamic Banking. Weitere Informationen unter www.vollmar-akademie.de

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Authors
Matthias Brückner worked from 1996 to 2000 as system-administrator in the Oriental Seminar at the Freiburg University. Since 1999 he builds up an information website about fatwas (http://www.cyberfatwa.de). In 2000 he received the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Islam Science with a work about the distribution of fatwas about alcohol in the internet. In 2000 and 2001 he was working at the OMAR-database for oriental manuscripts. Since 2002 he builds up an information website about Shi’a in the internet (http://www.cyberschia.de). From 2002 to 2004 he introduced e-learning at the Oriental Seminar at Freiburg University. In 2004 he received the first state exam and in 2006 the second state exam in German law. Since 2007 he is working as a lawyer in Freiburg in the fields of IT-law, Copyright-law, Trademarks-law and legal questions regarding Islam. Dr. des. Bettina Gräf studied Islamic Studies, Arabic History, and Political Science. She worked as academic assistant to the director at the Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) in Berlin from 2003 to 2007. Gräf has handed in her Ph.D thesis on the production and adaptation of fatwas in the era of electronic media with reference to the works of Yusuf al-Qaradawi in October 2008, being Prof. Dr. Gudrun Krämer and Prof. Dr. Kai Hafez her supervisors. Currently she is working as a Postdoc Fellow at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, Freie Universität Berlin. An edited book (together with Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen) has been published by Hurst/London in 2009, it is titled The Global Mufti. The Phenomenon of Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Dr. Abdel Hakim Al Husban was born in 1965 in Zarqa, Jordan. He received his Ph.D in 1997 from The University of Bordeaux II (in France) in Social and Cultural Anthropology. He teaches social and cultural Anthropology in Yarmouk University in Jordan. Dr. Al Husban has led many field projects in Jordan in collaboration with Jordanian, German and French research teams. He also worked in the field of journalism and mass media. During the last years he published many articles the fields of power networks in Jordan, tribal oral history in Jordan, power and cultural heritage and State construction in Jordan. Dr. Mahmoud Na’amneh is assistant professor in socio-cultural anthropology at the department of anthropology, Yarmouk University, Jordan. His research interests include topics such as identity, collective memory, space-place, and globalization in the Middle East. Carola Richter is a teaching and research assistant for international communication and comparative media studies at the University of Erfurt, Germany. She received an M.A. in Arabic studies, journalism and political sciences from the University of Leipzig. Her main fields of research are Arab media systems and political communication in the Muslim world as well as she focuses on non-western communication cultures. Among her recent English publications are: “Has Public Diplomacy failed? The U.S. Media Strategy towards the Middle East” (In: Kaim, Markus (ed.), Great Powers and Regional Orders. Asghate, 2008), “The Effects of Islamist Media on the Mainstream Press in Egypt.” (In: Hafez, Kai (ed.): Arab Media. Power and Weakness. Continuum, 2008) and “International Broadcasting and Intercultural Dialogue: Deutsche Welle in the Arab World.” (In: Arab Media & Society, 6, September 2008). She is currently working on her Ph.D thesis on media strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Jan Scholz is currently studying Arabic Studies and Romance Studies at Heidelberg University. He is a member of the research group “Islamic Podcasts” at the Department for Languages and Cultures of the Near East (Heidelberg). Tobias Selge is currently studying Arabic Studies and Political Sciences at Heidelberg University. He is a member of the research group “Islamic Podcasts” at the Department for Languages and Cultures of the Near East (Heidelberg) and research assistant in the Heidelberg research group “Conflict Research in a Spatial Dimension - Conflict Models”. He is author of several contributions to Conflict Barometer 2006-2008, edited by the Heidelberg Institute of International Conflict Research. Dr. Eugenia Siapera is a Lecturer at Journalism and Media Dept of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She has written articles and chapters on the relationship between multiculturalism, Islam and the media, and on politics, journalism and the new media. She is the co-editor of Radical Democracy and the Internet (with Lincoln Dahlberg, Palgrave, 2007) and At the Interface (with Joss Hands, Rodopi, 2004). Her new book is titled Cultural Diversity and Global Media (Blackwell, 2010). Max Stille is currently enrolled as student of South Asian history and Arabic Studies at Heidelberg University and a member of the research group “Islamic Podcasts” at the Department for Languages and Cultures of the Near East (Heidelberg). Johannes Zimmermann studied Islamic Studies (Ottoman Studies and Arabic Studies), German Literature and History in Heidelberg, Ankara and Kazan. He is currently assistant at the chair of Islamic (Ottoman) Studies at Heidelberg University and is working on his Ph.D thesis on the life and work of the Cretan translator and publicist Ïbrahim Zeki Cafadzade. He is member of the research group “Islamic Podcasts”.

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Board of Trustees

Board of the German Orient-Foundation Chairperson of the Board Dr. Gabriela Guellil Scholar of Islamic Studies Member of the Advisory Board of NUMOV Federal Foreign Office Deputy Chairpersons of the Board Henry Hasselbarth Vice President North Europe Emirates Airlines Dr. Michael Lüders Scholar of Islamic Studies Member of the Advisory Board of NUMOV Michael Lüders Nahostberatung Helene Rang Dp. Chairperson and CEO of NUMOV Proprietor Helene Rang & Partner Members of the Board H.E. Ali Bin Harmal Al Dhaheri Chairman of the Executive Board of Governors Abu Dhabi University Martin Bay Chairman of NUMOV Speaker of the Board of Managing Directors of Deutsche Bahn International (German Railway Group) Prof. Dr. Christina von Braun Head of Chair for Gender Studies and Cultural History Humboldt University Berlin, Institute of Cultural Studies Elke Hoff, MdB Member of the Federal German Parliament Saffet Molvali Chief Financial Officer Eren Holding A.S. Dr. Gunter Mulack Director of the German Orient-Institute / Ambassador ret. Bernd Romanski Member of the Board of NUMOV Managing Director, Hochtief Facility Management Abdulaziz Sager Chairman Gulf Research Center Dr. Gerhard Schäfer Head of Economics & Politics Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG Prof. Dr. Susanne Schröter Professor of Southeast Asia Studies Institute of Anthropology / Cluster of Excellence “Formation of Normative Orders” Goethe-University Frankfurt Prof. Dr. Günter Stock President Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften Members of the Board of Trustees President Jens-Ove Stier Deputy Chairman of NUMOV Winterstein-Kontor GmbH Vice President Prof. Dr. Peter Heine Humboldt University Berlin Institute of the History and Society of South Asia

Members of the Board of Trustees Sheikha Abdullah Al Misnad, Ph.D. President of Qatar University Dr. Kilian Bälz, LL.M Regional Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Oliver Berben MOOVIE - the art of entertainment GmbH Peter Brinkmann Journalist Jürgen Chrobog Member of the Board of NUMOV Chairman of the Board BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt Thomas Ellerbeck Member of the Advisory Board of NUMOV Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Head of Governmental Relations, Vodafone D2 GmbH Dr. Peter Frey Head of ZDF-Hauptstadtstudio Berlin Hans-Joachim Fuchtel, MdB Parliamentary State Secretary Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Gehrmann Steinbeis University Berlin Institute “Global Consulting and Government” Dr. Peter Klaus Member of the Board of KfW ret. Dr. Christian Koch Director for International Relations Gulf Research Center Prof. Dr. Joachim Krause Institute for Social Sciences Christian Albrechts University Burkhardt Müller-Sönksen, MdB Member of the German Parliament Prof. Dr. Detlef Prinz Proprietor PrinzMedien Nico Christian Raabe McKinsey Berlin Gerold Reichle Executive Board member German Aerospace Center (DLR) Prof. Dr. Mathias Rohe Faculty of Law Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg Dr. Gerhard Sabathil Director for Strategy, Coordination and Analysis RELEX-L European Commission Prof. Dr. jur. Dr. phil. Peter Scholz Vice president District Court Tiergarten Free University Berlin Oltmann Siemens Representative of the Worldbank ret. Dr. Carl-Dieter Spranger Federal Minister ret. Dr. Max Stadler, MdB Parliamentary State Secretary Juergen Stotz Chairman World Energy Council / German Member Committee

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