Islamic Revivalism in Syria: The Rise and Fall of Ba'thist Secularism

Islamic Revivalism in Syria: The Rise and Fall of Ba'thist Secularism

by Line Khatib
     
 

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Contemporary studies on Syria assume that the country’s Ba’thist regime has been effective in subduing its Islamic opposition, placing Syria at odds with the Middle East’s larger trends of rising Islamic activism and the eclipse of secular ideologies as the primary source of political activism. Yet this assumption founders when confronted with the

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Overview

Contemporary studies on Syria assume that the country’s Ba’thist regime has been effective in subduing its Islamic opposition, placing Syria at odds with the Middle East’s larger trends of rising Islamic activism and the eclipse of secular ideologies as the primary source of political activism. Yet this assumption founders when confronted with the clear resurgence in Islamic militantism in the country since 2004.

This book examines Syria’s current political reality as regards its Islamic movement, describing the country’s present day Islamic groups – particularly their social profile and ideology – and offering an explanation of their resurgence. The analysis focuses on:

  • Who are today’s Syrian Islamic groups?
  • Why and how are they re-emerging after 22 years of relative silence as an important socio-economic and political force?
  • How is the Syrian state dealing with their re-emergence in light of Syria’s secularism and ideologically diverse society?

Bridging area studies, Islamic studies, and political science, this book will be an important reference for those working within the fields of Comparative Politics, Political Economy, and Middle Eastern Studies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Line Khatib’s book is an excellent overview of the Syrian Ba’th regime’s relations with Islam and especially of Syria’s creeping Islamization under Bashar al-Asad’s first decade. She shows how the regime’s attempt to foster a moderate Islam to counter secularists and radical Islamists inadvertently undermined secularism, leading to the Islamization of the anti-regime opposition after the Syrian Uprising.'

Raymond Hinnebusch, University of St Andrews, UK.

'In this remarkably prescient book, Line Khatib examines the erosion of Ba’thist secularism in the decade prior to the current civil war. Under Bashar al-Asad, she argues, the regime had sought to stabilize its position by reaching an accommodation with Islamist groups—thereby creating the political space for their growth and proliferation. Her analysis accurately predicts both the fragility of the regime and the foundations for Islamic radicalization since 2011, and is unquestionably important reading for anyone interested in contemporary Syrian politics.'

Rex Brynen, McGill University, Canada.

'Dr. Line Khatib has written a fascinating book, predicting and making clear in various ways what is going on in Syria today. Her in-depth study fills a (huge) gap in our knowledge of why Islam went through such a strong revival and became a potential political power threatening the regime of Bashar al-Asad. She convincingly explains how the regime itself gave a lot of space to the Islamic movements to the detriment of secularism.'

Nikolaos van Dam, author of The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society in Syria and the Ba'th Party (Routledge).

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781138789340
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
05/29/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.90(d)

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