Summary – Islamic Resurgence

Emmanuel Sivan, Arab Nationalism in the Age of the Islamic Resurgence. Emmanuel reports that there are no easy times for the pan Arab nationalism. Sivan uses three key myths in the explanation of the difficulty that has been experienced in the pan Arab nationalism movements(Gershoni 206). Emmanuel Sivan is a writer who has done a lot of literature on Islamic resurgence as well as done research on the Arab nationalism in this age of the Islamic revival.

Out of the three myths, the first was “Arab Piedmont and Prussia” that got inspiration from 19th century European nationalism which was inspirations from the German and Italian experiences. The second myth was on “artificial borders.” It is the mean through which the Pan-Arabists referred to the demarcation lines that separated the political entities that were created in the Middle East during the Ottoman rule(Gershoni 207). They are known as artificial because they were nothing but a product of Imperialism which was advanced by the henchmen. The third myth is “common interests.” After the debacle that happened in 1967 as well as the rise of the territorial states of Arab, there was an alternative path to unity that was proposed – this required tabling of the common interests so that the issue at hand would be analyzed critically and a deal proposed.

Sivan in his book was interested in understanding what the current Arab-Islam reality is all about. Arab-Islamic reality presently is comprised of separate territorial states that have fixed as well as rigid borders that are basically governed by regimes that are self-centered and rely on intermeshing the various special interests as well as the local tribal allegiance. However, beyond this, there exists an Arab culture that has been built around proximity, interest as well as social interactions. Beyond, there additionally exists an Islamic framework which is made of individuals that appertain to a community of believers as well as share in the Arab creed, heritage as well as beliefs. It has been quite challenging to achieve Pan-Arabism because of lack of passion as it was exhibited by the fathers of radicalism back in the 1950s and 1960s (Gershoni 209). Several aspects from the article have struck me, but the most significant one has been the rise of nationalism which was primarily championed by the Arabs towards ensuring that unity is achieved. Unity was going to be achieved through ensuring that there has been unity through establishing common interests and elaborating on the importance of collaboration. However, this is an element that to some extent has been affected by the rise in extremism as well as radical factors that in a way has up-to-date thwarted the unity process. Based on my assertions, the extremist Muslims who have been radicalized always use Arab in their communication which in itself exposes the Arab culture as one that is radicalized.

As a result of myths that have been presented by Sivan, that Saddam Husayn did justify theinvasion of Kuwait as well as subsequent annexation in 1990. There has been the need to ensure that there is the Arab-Islam unity, but there are efforts that have been always championed by extremists to thwart the unity and vouch for violence. The rise of Arab nationalism was fuelled by the need for identity as well as the desire to be autonomous and unified.

Work Cited

Gershoni, I, Israel Gershoni, James P. Jankowski, and James P. Jankowski. Rethinking Nationalism in the Arab Middle East. New York: Columbia University Press, 1997. Print.

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