Since the rise of the Islamist movement in 1970s and its gradual moderation, the intellectual aspect of Islamism has acquired great importance. This paper explores the political and legal thought of Ṭāriq al-Bishrī, a retired judge and renowned Islamic thinker in Egypt. To clarify the genealogy, intellectual interest, and characteristics of his thought in the Egyptian Islamist landscape, this paper focuses on his discussions on religion-state relationships and his attitudes toward the application of Islamic law, one of the biggest issues in the latter decades of 20th-century Egypt.
As an intellectual deeply interested in national unity, al-Bishrī’s approach seeks to affirm social, political, and legal realities in Egypt. While he attaches importance to Islam as the foundation of fundamental values in Egyptian society and defines the relationship between culture and state through the constitution as a modern tool, he leaves the choice of polity, the incarnation of Islamic principles, and reliance on legal schools within Islamic jurisprudence to each community.
He believes in the superiority of Islamic law due to its ethical commitments and traditional presence in the community and supports its unceasing renewal. However, he deconstructs the epistemological dichotomy between positive law and Islamic law through the approach of finding historical points of negotiation between them. In this way, based on his community-based approach as well as his pragmatic perspectives as a jurist, al-Bishrī attempts to overcome fruitless conflicts between secularists and Islamists, which locates him in a distinguished and unique position in the Egyptian intellectual scene.
This article examines how Israeli publicity for LGBT friendliness works effectively in the international arena from the perspective of gender and sexuality studies. This publicity, which is also criticized as “pinkwashing,” is to be regarded within homonationalism by Jasbir Puar. This term succinctly describes that political attempts practiced by some countries to advocate protections for the human rights of sexual minorities are related to Islamophobia. The publicity by Israeli government should be regarded not only as a result of the practical politics in which certain nations use their attitudes toward sexual minorities as a strategy for the images of their nations, but also as a result of the politics of representation. By analyzing some cases of the publicity, it is concluded that although the perspective of homonationalism describes the Israeli publicity, there is a characteristic in Israeli publicities. It is the twisted use of “liberal” in Israeli publicity, which enables to pull the image of homophobia in Islamic countries out from the readers and to posit its own country distinctive from other Islamic countries as well. This twisted use of “liberal” is one of the results of not only homonationalistic actual politics but also the representative politics.
Despite her birth in Jordan and upbringing in the US, Palestinian poet Suheir Hammad sees ‘Palestine’ as ‘home.’ In her poem ‘broken and beirut,’ this ‘home’ is imagined not as an existing geographical or political entity, but as a place of complete belonging which is to be brought into existence in the future realm. In another poem titled ‘On Refuge and Language,’ Hammad tackles the quest for ‘home,’ this time by focusing on ‘people’ in the world today. Being a poet who has continuously written about the commonalities between the experiences of being Palestinian in the present world and being ‘black’ in the US, Hammad states that the victims of Hurricane Katrina are ‘refugees,’ just like the Palestinians. She describes such ‘refugees’ as ‘my people’ and that ‘we’re finding our folk’ beyond existing racial/national boundaries, thereby encouraging cross-racial/-national solidarity of the ‘homeless’ in the face of an unjust social structure. Hence, ‘home’ in the poetry of Hammad can be described as someplace to be realized through transgressive solidarity of oppressed ‘people,’ and ‘Palestine’ emerges as an imaginary hub for forming this solidarity. Such an image is solidly based upon Hammad’s transgressive identity as both ‘Palestinian’ and ‘black.’
This paper reevaluates the relationship between religion and politics in the early era of the Constitutional Kingdom of Egypt through analyses of perceptions or interpretations among the 1923 constitutional committee members about the relationship between the nation-state, freedom and religion.
It is concluded that religious considerations were found in the discussions of the constitutional committee members even though its goal was to establish the nation-state and the equal citizens under law. And freedom stipulated in articles of the 1923 constitution was reinterpreted and regulated by the constitutional committee members taking Islam, the religion of the majority, into consideration. This essay can present an image of the relationship between religion and politics in the Constitutional Kingdom of Egypt beyond the framework of regarding it just as being segregated or unsegregated.