Between Islam and the State: The Politics of Engagement

Synopsis

Throughout the Middle East, the clash between Islamic forces and authoritarian states has undermined many democratization efforts. But in Turkey, Islamic actors- from the Gülen movement to the pro-Islamist Justice and Development Party- have been able to negotiate the terms of secular liberal democracy. This book explores the socio-political conditions and cultural venues in which Islamic movements cease to confront and start to cooperate with secular states.

Though both the Gülen and JP have ambivalent attitudes toward individual freedoms and various aspects of civil society, their continuing engagements with the state have encouraged democracy in Turkey. As they contest issues of education and morality but cooperate in ethnic and gender politics, they redraw the boundaries between public sites and private lives. Showing opportunities for engagement between Islam and the state, from Turkey to Kazakhstan to the United States, Between Islam and the State illustrates a successful means of negotiating between religion and politics.

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