From December of 2010 through the summer of 2011, political mobilizations spread like wildfire across the Middle East and North Africa. Mass movements in well over a dozen nations formed in protest to social and economic conditions, dictatorship, and corruption, though the movements took widely varying forms in different countries. The “Arab Spring” has been characterized in many ways: as the birth of a new era, as a radical turning point between past and future, as a popular but ineffectual effort towards political and social reform, and even as a conspiracy to bring about Western democratization and domination.
Tariq Ramadan presents his own analysis of these extraordinary events, focusing on the role played by Islam in the uprisings and considering what its position will be in the new societies taking shape. Unlike many sanguine observers, Ramadan sees the vulnerability of the movement to appropriation by forces opposed to the development of true Islamic democracies in the region. In addition to extensive analysis, Islam and the Arab Awakening includes an appendix of short pieces Ramadan wrote and posted online as the uprisings were taking place.
As one of the world’s most prominent Muslim intellectuals, Ramadan’s views on the ongoing transformation of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa will be of great interest both to his admirers and his many detractors.
Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University. He is the Director of CILE: Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics in Doha, Qatar and a Senior Research Fellow at Doshisha University (Kyoto, Japan). Ramadan holds a MA in Philosophy and French literature and PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the University of Geneva.
A Conversation with Tariq Ramadan
Trinity Institute’s Bob Scott talks with Muslim author and academic Tariq Ramadan about religion and violence.