Sociology of Islam: Volume 3 (2015) Issue 1-2
Sectarian Affiliation and Gender Traditionalism:
A Study of Sunni and Shi’a Muslims in Four Predominantly Muslim Countries
Authors: Gabriel A. Acevedo and Sarah Shah
This paper will add to the expanding scholarship in the sociology of Islam and explore the influence of Sunni-Shi’a affiliation on views of gender traditionalism. Using a subset of the World Values Survey, we contrast views towards women’s roles in society held by Sunni and Shi’a respondents in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Pakistan (n = 10,799). Our findings suggest that views of gender traditionalism are not solely a function of sectarian affiliation but that educational attainment, income, demographic factors and national culture are stronger and more consistent predictors of gender traditionalism than sectarian affiliation alone. We draw from theories of religious incongruence and discuss the theoretical implications of our findings. These findings suggest the need for additional research that links sociological theories of religion to the empirical study of Islam, as well as a greater emphasis on the role that social context plays in shaping Muslim public opinion.
Affiliations: 1: Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Texas at San Antonio, email@example.com ; 2: Doctoral Student, University of Toronto, firstname.lastname@example.org
Al-Qaida in Iraq Beyond Rhetoric: Visualizing an ‘Islamic State of Iraq’
Author: Christoph Guenther
In any contest for power, the multiple actors involved employ various strategies to convey their messages to national and international audiences. The contest for control over the state between the Iraqi government forces and Jihadist groups after 2003 has seen the latter deploy both rhetoric and particular forms of visualization to persuade their audience of the need to establish an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and beyond. This article evaluates the extent to which al-Qāʿida in Iraq ( aqi) and its successor the ‘Islamic State of Iraq’ ( isi) have tried to appeal to supporters by employing specific rhetorical and visual signs. It analyzes the group’s utopian prospects – a vision that is reinforced through rhetoric and images that play on emotions and inspire the adherents of the ‘Islamic State’.
Affiliations: 1: University of Leipzig Leipzig, GermanyRitterstr. 12, 04109 Leipzig (Germany) christoph.
The 1961 Constitutional Referendum in Turkey
Authors: Yunus Emre and Burak Cop
The 1961 referendum on the new constitution was the first referendum held in the history of the Turkish republic. However, no deeper analysis of this phenomenon has been conducted in the English-language academic literature. This paper undertakes that objective. The new constitution was drafted and adopted under anti-democratic conditions. The post-coup era was a missed opportunity for instituting a stronger democracy. The referendum was the last nationwide vote in which traditional actors played significant roles in determining voting behavior. The notables and major landowners of the under-developed provinces led the masses to vote in favor of the new constitution. Starting in 1965, politics in Turkey became ideology-centered and class-oriented, thus causing the influence of traditional actors to diminish. Although the campaign for votes to support the referendum dominated the political scene in 1961, the electorate showed its distance from the coup anyway.
Affiliations: 1: Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, Istanbul Kültür University, email@example.com; 2: Assistant Professor, Department of International Relations, Istanbul Kültür University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Globalization, Political Islam, and Moderation: The Case of Muslim Democratic Parties
Author: A. Kadir Yildirim
In this article, I examine the rising significance of a moderate kind of Islamist party emerging in the Middle East in recent years—Muslim democratic parties—and, the factors underlying their electoral success. In this, the manuscript takes a closer look at an important constituency of Islamist parties, the small and medium business owners ( smes). Briefly, I argue that smes’ support underlies the success of moderate Muslim democratic parties as opposed to more conservative Islamist parties, and what determines smes’ support for a moderate party is the change in their political preferences. The change in smepreferences, I show, is due to the form that economic liberalization takes, whether economic liberalization is more inclusive (what I call competitive liberalization) or exclusive/selective (what I call crony liberalization). Empirically, I rely on original field interviews I conducted with party officials and business owners in Egypt, Morocco, and Turkey. I also integrate primary sources such as party publications into the analysis.
Affiliations: 1: Baker Institute for Public Policy, Rice University, email@example.com