Islam y Mundo Árabe

A member of a family that fled war in Syria and relocated to Michigan.CreditAndrew Renneisen/Getty Images

Dearborn, Mich., is the capital of Muslim America, and it is never more vibrant than during the holy month of Ramadan, which comes to an end this week. Authentic Yemeni cafes are packed with customers into the early-morning hours, colorful rows of desserts are displayed in Lebanese and Palestinian sweet shops, and the tables at private iftars — the traditional dinners where Muslims end their daily fast — overflow each evening with an abundance of food.

Here, as in many communities where Muslim Americans have climbed from the economic perils that can accompany immigrant status to the relative comforts of the ranks of the working class, the bounty of the evening and early morning provide a welcome juxtaposition to Ramadan’s daily fasts.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cuatro hijos asesinados por sus propios padres para contribuir a la causa del islam inspirados por la letra del Corán. ¿Cabe mayor barbarie?, como ha dicho el presidente de Indonesia ante los hechos producidos el pasado 13 de mayo en la localidad de Surabaya, segunda ciudad de Indonesia, esa nación de más de 17.000 islas, con más de 250 millones de habitantes, de los que un 85 % profesan la religión musulmana.

Esta atrocidad recuerda tantos y tantos hechos similares que la humanidad parece desesperanzada en lograr parar estos crímenes. En esta ocasión, al menos trece personas fallecidas y cuarenta y una heridas, han sido una vez más cristianos que asistían a los actos religiosos en tres iglesias, que fueron atacadas por los componentes de la familia suicida, organizados en tres grupos, con un coche bomba (padre), dos motocicletas (dos hijos adolescentes) y cinturones explosivos (madre y dos hijas menores).…  Seguir leyendo »

Ramadan decorations on display at a store in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn.CreditMohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency, via Getty Images

Ramadan is here. By now, many Americans know the basics. It’s the holy month during which healthy and able Muslims are commanded to abstain from food, drink (Not even water? Nope, not even water) and sex from sunrise to sunset and invest in intense prayer, charity and spiritual discipline.

In recent years, Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, has become part of mainstream American society. It is frequently cited in hip-hop and even made an appearance in Eminem’s epic freestyle takedown of President Trump at the BET Awards. In keeping with the tradition started by Thomas Jefferson, Presidents George W.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Reykjavík Mosque, in Iceland. During Ramadan, the sun will set at midnight there, only to come back in about two hours.CreditEgill Bjarnason/Associated Press

This year, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins on Tuesday. That means a big portion of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, my coreligionists, will be fasting for 30 days, which is really no easy task. Every day, from dawn till dusk, they will neither eat any food nor drink a drop of water. They will be hungry and thirsty but will wait patiently between the pre-dawn sahur meal and the iftar dinner at night — just for the sake of God. It is a great experience of self-discipline, devotion and piety. It is also a good opportunity, Islamic scholars often say, for reflecting about and developing empathy with those who starve because they are destitute.…  Seguir leyendo »

Demonstrating for women’s rights under religious law last month in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.CreditFethi Belaid/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Last month, Asma Lamrabet, a well-known Moroccan feminist, resigned from her position at the Mohammedan League of Scholars, where she headed a center of women’s studies in Islam. She was pushed to resign, she explained in a statement, by the backlash over her support for a demand that remains controversial in the Arab and Muslim world: an equal share for women.

In Muslim countries, laws governing inheritance are derived from verses in the Quran; men generally receive larger, sometimes double, the shares that women get. Distant male relatives can supersede wives, sisters and daughters, leaving women not just bereaved but also destitute.…  Seguir leyendo »

A young Pakistani woman named Sabica Khan wrote a Facebook post this month about her harrowing experience at Islam’s holy site in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. She wrote about being sexually harassed while performing the tawwaf — the circling of the Ka’aba, the cubical structure toward which Muslims pray five times a day. In response, hundreds of Muslim women shared similar experiences on her wall. Her post was shared at least 2,000 times. To support her, I started #MosqueMeToo and tweeted about my own experience of sexual assault during the Muslim pilgrimage, the hajj. In two days, my Twitter thread had been retweeted or liked thousands of times.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Lingering Dream of an Islamic State

It was inevitable, a young lawyer in Tunisia told me, that the first attempts at a modern Islamic state would flounder. Young Muslims had grown up under the paradigms of nationalism, European racism and harsh police states, he said. They carried these inherited behaviors into the caliphate formed by the Islamic State, a place that was supposed to be just and colorblind but instead reveled in violence and was studded with mini neocolonial enclaves, where British Pakistanis lorded over local Syrians, and Saudis lorded over everyone. It would take one or two generations to unlearn these tendencies and deconstruct what had gone so wrong, he said.…  Seguir leyendo »

In this photo, by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, students attend an anti-government protest Saturday inside Tehran University. (AP)

The protests that have broken out across Iran in recent days have generated remarkable excitement about the possibility of revolutionary change. The demonstrations, the largest since the crushing of the 2009 Green Movement, have surprised virtually all observers. They erupted in peripheral areas rather than in Tehran, and have been dominated by working- and lower-class Iranians rather than by the urban, educated middle class that drove the 2009 demonstrations. The slogans in these protests have notably featured revolutionary rather than reformist slogans.

Seasoned observers of Iran have been stunned by the ferocity, speed and scope of these protests. It is important to recognize that much remains uncertain about them, including their real size, endurance, leadership and political aspirations.…  Seguir leyendo »

«Féminisme musulman ?». L’expression, en France, fait figure d’oxymore. Peut-on revendiquer de suivre le Coran, et parler d’émancipation des femmes ? Choisir de porter le voile et lutter contre le patriarcat ? Si ces termes semblent si contradictoires, c’est parce qu’on ne compte plus, ces dernières années, les virulents débats sur l’islam et le sort qu’il réserverait aux femmes : voile, burkini, agressions sexuelles lors du réveillon de Cologne… C’est presque toujours au nom des femmes que les critiques les plus radicales de l’islam se construisent. Même le phénomène #Balancetonporc a muté, pendant quelques jours, en affrontement «islamogauchiste» versus «laïcards» (ou Plenel versus Charlie Hebdo) après la révélation des viols présumés de l’islamologue Tariq Ramadan.…  Seguir leyendo »

In Myanmar, one of the world’s most diverse, multiethnic nations, there is a rare consensus — the much-persecuted Rohingya Muslims are outsiders and not part of the country. A military operation to flush out Rohingya militants waging a hit-and-run campaign has led to an exodus of Rohingya residents from Rakhine state, creating a refugee crisis for Bangladesh and, to a smaller extent, India.

India, over the years, has generously admitted asylum seekers or refugees from a host of places, including Tibet, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and China. But the illegal entry of tens of thousands of Rohingya is seen in India as an internal security challenge, in part because of the threat the Indian government perceives from Rohingya jihadist activities.…  Seguir leyendo »

Una serie de acontecimientos inesperados sucedidos en noviembre reveló la gravedad del estado de cosas actual en el mundo árabe. El primer ministro libanés anunció desde el extranjero su renuncia (pero más tarde se desdijo). Un misil lanzado desde Yemen impactó en Riad, la capital de Arabia Saudita. El gobierno saudita desplegó una masiva campaña anticorrupción en la que cayeron numerosas personalidades de alto perfil. Egipto, en tanto, sufrió el peor atentado terrorista del que se tenga memoria, con más de 300 civiles muertos o lesionados. Filmaciones de presuntas subastas de esclavos en Libia pusieron de manifiesto el caos en el que se debate el país tras la total desintegración del estado libio.…  Seguir leyendo »

Her name is Henda Ayari. She is forty years old and a Muslim; she was a Salafist, meaning that she adhered to a pietistic form of Islam. She says she’s still a Muslim, but she has abandoned the headscarf she wore for a long time. In 2016, she became a cause célèbre when she published a memoir, J’ai choisi d’être libre (I Chose to Be Free), in which she described her experience of brutalization at the hands of a violent husband. She also alleged that she was sexually assaulted by a Muslim preacher, whom she called Zoubeyr.

In October 2017, she became a cause célèbre all over again—this time in the wake of the Weinstein Affair, the ever-widening wave of revelations about sexual harassment and sexual assaults carried out by famous and powerful men.…  Seguir leyendo »

The unending tide of accounts of sexual harassment and assault by powerful men that women are suddenly allowing themselves to share is a reminder of the ubiquity of sexual violence that women worldwide have long known too well — and that men in a few places are finally, albeit reluctantly, acknowledging.

It is a watershed moment finally to recognize the global reach and power of patriarchy, be it in entertainment, media, business or politics, whether in Hollywood, Washington, Paris or elsewhere.

In this month alone, terminations, resignations and accusations have starkly highlighted the prevalence of patriarchy’s crimes, for too long enabled by institutions that knew but failed to act.…  Seguir leyendo »

In a recent interview, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made headlines with a striking claim that he will try to return his country to “moderate Islam” as part of his broader reform efforts. Though it is unclear what, if any, tangible changes this will produce, his remarks are part of a growing trend among leaders in the Arab world to use elements of the state-sponsored religious establishment, or “official Islam,” to counter extremist ideologies.

Some countries have been far more successful than others at harnessing the power of official Islam to challenge popular Islamist movements and limit radical ideologies. In a new article, we examine how regimes have used official religious institutions in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia after the 2011 uprisings shook the region.…  Seguir leyendo »

L’affaire Tariq Ramadan vient succéder à celle autour d’un autre prédicateur musulman de renom, Nouman Ali Khan. Son nom ne vous dit peut-être rien, mais la notoriété de ce Texan pakistano-américain aux millions de vues sur YouTube, fondateur d’un Institut musulman, est internationale. Il y a quelques mois, il a été soupçonné d’utiliser son aura religieuse pour séduire de jeunes femmes (The Express Tribune du 23 septembre) – sans être mis en cause pour viols.

Cette actualité, loin de m’avoir surprise ou décontenancée, est venue renforcer des tendances de fond que, en tant que chercheuse en sciences sociales, spécialisée sur l’islam de France, j’ai pu constater.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hardly a day passes without a new survey promising insight into pressing issues facing the Arab world. Yet, owing to the unscientific and sometimes politicized nature of many of these polls, the result is too often confusion rather than clarity, to the detriment of the many researchers and practitioners working to carry out high-quality, nonpartisan surveys in the region.

Scientific survey research in the Arab world has made remarkable strides in recent years. Global interest in Arab public opinion has been spurred by dramatic events and trends, including the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the ensuing war in Iraq and more recently the Arab Spring uprisings.…  Seguir leyendo »

On Aug. 15, the Islamist National Alliance for Reform won a surprising number of seats in Jordan’s local elections, including the presidency of three municipalities. Their success mirrored that of Morocco’s Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), which won control of all of Morocco’s major cities, in the 2015 local elections. While many analysts have focused on the declining influence of Islamist parties in Egypt and Tunisia, these local electoral gains tell a different story.

However, we can neither assume Islamists’ inevitable success at the local level or dismiss their future prospects. Jordanian Islamists still polled poorly in Amman, Jordan’s capital and home to more than 50 percent of the country’s population.…  Seguir leyendo »

Ya pasaron más de seis años desde el inicio de la Primavera Árabe, y para la mayoría de los árabes la vida es peor que en 2011. El desempleo cunde en Medio Oriente y el norte de África, donde la edad de dos tercios de la población está entre los 15 y los 29 años. Y los regímenes regionales clausuraron los canales de expresión política y respondieron a las protestas populares con brutalidad creciente.

Los gobiernos de Egipto, Arabia Saudita y, hasta cierto punto, Marruecos, son el vivo retrato de la aparente incapacidad de los regímenes árabes para escapar de la trampa de la autocracia, en momentos en que hay señales de la inminencia de otro despertar popular.…  Seguir leyendo »

Three hundred and fifty years to the month since Paradise Lost was published, John Milton’s epic poem continues to cause controversy. An academic who taught it in Egypt has been accused, by her own university, of spreading “destructive ideas” that have disturbed “public order … in an anarchic call disguised as a comparative literature textual analysis”. Most strikingly, she is accused of “glorifying Satan”.

The 10,000-line poem, one of the most influential in English literature, displays the vanquished Satan’s attempt at revenge as he journeys through the universe towards Eden to tempt Adam and Eve, before all three are punished by God.…  Seguir leyendo »

Occidente afronta un grave problema y no es otro que el del terrorismo yihadista. Sin embargo, empieza a ser habitual que tras un atentado terrorista y pasados los primeros minutos de estupor, sorpresa y condolencias, los medios de comunicación y otros actores sociales se muestren también preocupados por el auge de la islamofobia, del odio y la aversión a todo lo islámico.

En ocasiones, los más escrupulosos se muestran hasta igual de preocupados, llegando a equiparar la islamofobia al terrorismo. A veces también tratan de encontrar una conexión del terrorismo con los pecados imprescriptibles de Occidente. Pascal Bruckner estudió este fenómeno de mortificación en La tiranía de la penitencia y André Glucksmann analizó esa misma pulsión autoinculpatoria en Occidente contra Occidente.…  Seguir leyendo »