Le Moyen-Orient et la Méditerranée sont aux portes de l’Europe, et les bouleversements qui les traversent agissent sur le Vieux Continent telle une onde de choc, alertait déjà Gilles Kepel dans Sortir du chaos . Aujourd’hui, l’accélération des événements de part et d’autre de Mare Nostrum pose de tels défis qu’il a jugé nécessaire, pour la première fois, d’écrire « à chaud ». Ainsi est né Le Prophète et la pandémie. De fait, la crise sanitaire ...
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Engagé jusque dans sa personne physique du fait de la sentence de mort prononcée par le califat de Daech à son encontre, Gilles Kepel livre ici une analyse dense et documentée des différentes étapes de la radicalisation de l’islam politique au Moyen-Orient. Dans un style narratif mêlant illustrations et références, il nous fait partager le récit contemporain de la lente dégradation de la situation géopolitique de cette région qui aura connu, en moins d’un demi-siècle, davantage de bouleversements ...
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Politologue et directeur de recherche à l’Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD), Marc-Antoine Pérouse de Montclos analyse les conflits et les phénomènes de violence en Afrique. Son récent ouvrage L’Afrique, nouvelle frontière du djihad ? met l’accent sur l’émergence et l’enracinement de mouvements djihadistes africains. L’ouvrage s’intéresse à trois d’entre eux : les Chebabs en Somalie, Al-Qaïda au Maghreb Islamique (AQMI) au Mali, et Boko Haram au Nigeria et plus largement dans la ...
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International surveys of personal values have existed for almost 40 years (since 1981) in most European countries (the European Values Study or EVS) and in many countries of the world (the World Values Survey), enabling us to observe the evolution of the values of the citizenry in many areas (religion, family, politics, trust, tolerance etc.). Only in much more recent times (for some 10 years or so) have studies of this type been carried out in the Arab countries, but they are worthy of particular attention in the post-2001 context (after the attacks claimed by Islamist terrorism) and post-2011 (after the “Arab springs”). Having regularly reported the results of European and Western values studies, it was only natural for Futuribles to do the same with surveys relating to public opinion in countries in the Arab world.
Hence Pierre Bréchon, who coordinates the French strand of the EVS, has examined these surveys, the Arab Barometer in particular, whose most recent findings in a dozen Arab countries he analyses here. These confirm the attachment of Arab peoples to very traditional values in religious (Islam) and family matters, but attest also to advances with regard to democratic values. With this article, Pierre Bréchon shows, with supporting statistical evidence, the main values to which the peoples of these countries subscribe. Most importantly, he shows the considerable disparities that exist between one country and another and the impact certain events (such as the Arab springs) have had on the evolution of opinion.
Depuis 2003, « Ahl al-Sunna li-l-Da’wa wa-l-Jihad », mieux connu sous le nom de Boko Haram et qui signifie « l’éducation occidentale est un péché », exerce la violence sur des cibles gouvernementales comme civiles. Le plus souvent, les victimes sont musulmanes. Au nord du Nigeria, au Cameroun, au Niger et au Tchad, Boko Haram est, directement ou indirectement, responsable de dizaines de milliers de morts. Cette secte, qui nie autrui dans sa singularité et son humanité, stigmatise l’éducation occidentale, avatar ...
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Dès qu’il s’agit de population musulmane, les chiffres les plus fantaisistes ont droit de cité. Le crédit qui leur est accordé tient plus aux a priori qu’ils confirment qu’au sérieux avec lequel ils ont été établis. Ainsi, les données diffusées à partir de l’enquête téléphonique de la TNS-Sofres de 2007 auprès des 15 ans ou plus  plaisent beaucoup à ceux qui veulent à tout prix minimiser la présence musulmane en France : 3 % dont 32 ...
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Après la bataille de Mossoul, le groupe État islamique (EI) va tenter de se refaire en Asie où vivent près d’un milliard de musulmans. Une stratégie fondée non seulement sur l’action violente mais sur l’utilisation missionnaire des combattants du Moyen-Orient et des travailleurs du Golfe de retour dans leurs pays d’origine, et le recrutement de jeunes musulmans discriminés, notamment en Inde. Le chemin sera tortueux, car sans même compter les armées occidentales, l’EI devra affronter ...
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L’ouvrage commence fort opportunément, mais de manière peut-être trop longue et exagérément conceptuelle, par une critique des modèles nationaux de citoyenneté et d’intégration des immigrés qui distinguent par exemple un « républicanisme à la française », un multiculturalisme néerlandais », un « ethno-nationalisme allemand ». Si on considère le vécu des sociétés et les valeurs des individus, on n’arrive pas à distinguer ces modèles qui relèvent plutôt de l’histoire des idées qui a autrefois nourri les imaginaires nationaux. Ainsi le multiculturalisme ...
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In late 2010/early 2011, the various “Arab Springs” brought a glimmer of hope for democracy and human rights in North Africa and the Near East, but, with these developments coming to a sudden end in a number of countries (Libya, Egypt and Syria in particular), a period of instability and violence has opened up, enabling Islamist groups to prosper against a backdrop of civil war in Syria and declining government power in Iraq. In this regard, the case of Daesh is emblematic. Created in 2006 and almost unknown until 2012, this self-proclaimed Islamic State group has gradually expanded across Iraqi and Syrian territory, establishing a caliphate in the various regions conquered and becoming, partly through very vigorous media activity and propaganda, a major regional actor, albeit a pariah organization that many states would like to see disappear.
Yet, as Matthieu Anquez shows here in this piece of political fiction, the worst-case scenario cannot be ruled out. What would happen if, for want of adequate international coordination, Daesh were, by exploiting the chaotic state of the region, to overturn the current political order and take power in Saudi Arabia, for example? In unfolding the script of such a scenario, Anquez points up the failings and weaknesses that might possibly enable it to come about. However, this foresight exercise may also serve as a warning and encourage the various regional and international actors to equip themselves to combat Daesh. Given the reactions to the Paris attacks of 13 November 2015 (which occurred after this article was accepted for publication), let us hope that it will strengthen their conviction and motivate them to act as quickly as possible.
Ce bref ouvrage de réflexion philosophique, apparemment suscité par les événements terroristes de janvier 2015, s’insère dans une vision beaucoup plus large de l’histoire nationale, d’où ce titre très vague et un peu discutable puisqu’on ne trouve pas dans l’ouvrage un diagnostic documenté et précis sur la situation présente de la France au plan économique, social et politique. Selon l’auteur, alors que de Gaulle invitait la France à toujours combattre le renoncement, comme après ...
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Le mardi 13 janvier 2015, M. Malek Chebel, anthropologue des religions, psychanalyste et philosophe, introduisait à Futuribles International une table ronde intitulée « Pour un islam des Lumières».
Since entering the market economy, China has proved to be staunchly pragmatic, ranking first among the world’s most dynamic and thriving economies, while retaining a political regime which is, to say the least, authoritarian. The intensification of China’s presence on the continent of Africa in recent years is an illustration of this, as is the increasingly marked use of its Muslim minority to strengthen its commercial links with the Arab world. How it does so is described for us here by Jacques Varet.
He shows, in particular, how the Chinese authorities progressively created areas of (admittedly still heavily controlled) religious freedom among the Hui minority, so as to make the autonomous region in which they are the majority community, Ningxia, an economic and commercial shop-window. Investing heavily in the region, the Chinese government has set about an enormous project of modernizing Ningxia, bringing to centre stage the advantages of a “Muslim China” and using this very skilfully to attract or reinforce economic and commercial cooperation with the Islamic world from the Western Mediterranean to Micronesia, by way of Africa and South-East Asia.
In this March-April 2013 issue, which Futuribles is devoting very largely to the social and political impact of religions, Jean-Paul Burdy and Jean Marcou analyse the role played by Islam and Islamists in the “Arab Springs” of the last two years and the role they are playing today in the ongoing political transitions. They first remind us that the Arab revolutions were unleashed by protest movements that were primarily social and political, and that Islamists (generally well established within the lower strata of the countries concerned) joined in with these after the event. Burdy and Marcou then show how the Islamists, following the example of the Muslim Brotherhood, took advantage of these uprisings to gain power (in Tunisia and Egypt in particular). However, they also show the extent to which the Islamists’ ideological line merely played into a social and political body that had actually long been dominated by Shari’a law. They outline, too, the various divergences in this regard between the various Arab countries concerned in the “Arab Springs” and the reference models on which they drew etc. In particular, they study the denominational issues (Shiite/Sunni rivalries) that have emerged in states like Bahrain or Syria and the way these have been made use of by certain players, while nonetheless disputing the “simplistic interpretation” that sees a “Shiite arc” emerging over against a “Sunni bloc” within the Arab world, when the positions and actions of states are in many cases motivated very classically by Realpolitik.
Lastly, Burdy and Marcou warn against what are sometimes rather over-hasty readings of current developments, recalling how important the part played by political, economic and social processes has been and pointing out how difficult it will be, in this context, for the Islamist parties which have gained power (democratically) to reconcile their ideological imperatives with the aspirations of their fellow citizens.
In this March-April 2013 issue, which Futuribles is devoting very largely to the social and political impact of religions, Franck Frégosi studies the place of Islam in European societies. After a short account of the history of the presence of the Muslim religion in Europe (from Arabic settlement in Spain in the Middle Ages to the Ottoman Empire and the migrations which followed the end of colonialism), Frégosi presents the various faces of Islam in Europe, which involves ethnic divides ensuing from the different regions of origin of European Muslims, a generation gap between the Islam practised by the younger generations and that of their elders, and ideological rifts.
He then explores the three avenues of Islam’s current expression in Europe and the prospects for these: a minority Islam which favours a certain orthodoxy; a relatively radical, standardized Islam laying claim to universal applicability; and a trend towards secularization. Frégosi also stresses the limited character of the economic integration of Muslims in Europe and the difficulties they encounter in the area of employment –in France, for example, given the recurrent concern that manifestations of religion should be excluded from the public sphere and calls for the same to apply in the arena of private business. In his view, these various elements suggest that European Islam is in a mature phase, a phase of adaptation to the prevailing tradition of secularism in Western Europe.
Religious fundamentalism is not a new concept – far from it – and most of the world’s great religions are affected by it to a greater or lesser extent. However, among those fundamentalisms, Islamism has a special place, given the means it uses to implant itself in Muslim communities, particularly in Europe.
As Jean-François Drevet stresses here, the implantation of Islamism as a political tendency is perceptible in all European countries and is very often characterized by a large-scale propaganda effort (largely financed by the Gulf monarchies) among Muslims living on European soil, through a quasi-systematic exploitation for political ends of the right to religious freedom and a highly inadequate capacity on the part of Muslims to protect themselves from extremist preaching. It does, however, seem possible to erect a barrier against it through anti-racist and human-rights legislation which exists in many European states, if not indeed across the entire continent. If we wish to avoid the entire Muslim community – only a tiny minority of which is genuinely tempted by radical Islamism – being ostracized in Europe, and given that there is no real prospect of Islam undergoing modernization in the medium term, it is becoming urgently necessary, argues Jean-François Drevet, to have recourse to this body of law to block the development of radical Islam.
It was just over a year ago that the popular revolts in Tunisia and Egypt began which were to lead to the fall of the two major authoritarian regimes in North Africa and cause other peoples (the Libyans and the Syrians) to rise up in turn against the dictatorships in place there. Much was expected of that “Arab Spring”, supported as it was by various European countries (including France) – not least the establishment of genuine democracies in the countries concerned. However, democracy cannot be established by decree and democratic elections may bring to power leaders who are not greatly inclined to respect it. Is this what we are in danger of seeing in the countries of the southern Mediterranean, where the first democratic votes seem to be paving the way for Islamic regimes that might radicalize to a degree that is as yet unclear?
Jean-François Drevet raises that question here, briefly examining the situation of those Arab countries with links to the European Union and the prospects for the Islamists of developing their influence in those countries. Lastly, he shows how the new political situation in that region could change the Union’s diplomatic relations with those countries and particularly how the Union could attempt to forestall excessively radical developments.
Depuis les années 2000, les talk show dans lesquels s’illustrent de jeunes prêcheurs islamiques, partisans d’un islam modernisé, emportent l’adhésion de nombreux téléspectateurs musulmans à travers le monde. Le discours de ces télévangélistes rompt, sur le fond et sur la forme, avec la prédication traditionnelle, et l’influence des nouveaux prêcheurs pourrait s’accroître dans les pays du « printemps arabe », actuellement en phase de transition politique.
The re-election in June 2011 of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an in Turkey, confirmed the rootedness in Turkish society of the AKP, the Islamic party that has commanded a majority in the country since 2002. It has to be said that the “Turkish model”, so often advocated by Western countries in the 20th century, has undergone major development and is arousing growing attention on the part of Turkey’s Arab neighbours. Given the geopolitical upheavals affecting North Africa and the Middle East for almost a year now, can this non-Arab border-nation between East and West, with its secular, democratic state led by an Islamic party enjoying broad popular support, become a source of regional inspiration ?
Jean Marcou examines this question within the framework of the series of articles on the Mediterranean initiated by Futuribles in 2011. He begins by reminding us how much the image of Turkey has changed in less than a century, with the “Turkish model” evolving from that of a modernized, secular Muslim country – which, despite a relatively flimsy layer of democracy and the domination of politics by the army, became an ally of the West – into a democracy asserting its Muslim identity and exercising an independent diplomacy. This has been a course of development that has left the country no longer an estranged “brother” to its Arab neighbours, but a power with renewed autonomy vis-à-vis the West and an example that might inspire those countries which have just emancipated themselves from the yoke of dictators. Quite clearly, as Jean Marcou reminds us, a number of internal ambiguities and difficulties remain, beginning with the Kurdish question, but the former “Sick Man of Europe” has undoubtedly become a key actor again in this region that stands the crossroads of Africa, Europe and Asia.
Prenant acte de l’essor récent et remarquable des investissements de certains pays du monde islamique dans les secteurs de la science et de l’innovation, la Royal Society a lancé en 2010 un projet sur trois ans d’Atlas de la science et de l’innovation dans le monde islamique. Une première étude, consacrée à la Malaisie, a été publiée en mars 2011, et met en lumière les réalisations remarquables de ce pays en matière de science et d ...
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Le nombre de musulmans pourrait augmenter de 35 % entre 2010 et 2030, passant de 1,6 milliard à 2,2 milliards de personnes. La croissance de cette population serait deux fois plus rapide que celle des non musulmans. En 2030, les musulmans pourraient représenter 26,4 % de la population, contre 23,4 % aujourd’hui et 20 % en 1990. Les sunnites représenteraient toujours près de 90 % des musulmans. En 2010, 49 pays hébergent 74 % des musulmans de la planète, dans lesquels ...
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Depuis le 24 août 2010, la France dispose d’un cadre juridique, fiscal et réglementaire pour le développement de la finance islamique. Elle entend devenir une place forte de la finance islamique en Europe, et ainsi concurrencer Londres. Le gouvernement estime à 120 milliards d’euros le potentiel d’attraction de capitaux à l’horizon 2020.
Almost 10 years after the 11 September 2001 attacks carried out by the Islamist Al-Qaeda group in the United States, and in an economic context that has been difficult in some European countries for almost 40 years, it would seem that a wave of Islamophobia is developing in Europe. This is attested by the rise of populist or extreme right-wing parties even in countries with relatively peaceable reputations, such as Sweden. But this tendency for public opinion to show a certain tension towards Muslims, described here by Jean-François Drevet, also has its origin in additional pressure from part of the Muslim population of Europe (a minority part, but a very “visible” one) that increasingly wants to impose sharia law on European nationals of Islamic faith.
Now, in a great number of its precepts, sharia (Islamic) law comes into contradiction with the broad principles of European law, beginning with those of the European Convention on Human Rights. There seems, then, to be an urgent case, as this column stresses, for reflecting, on a Europe-wide basis, on possible “accommodations” between the religious practice of Europe’s Muslims and the application of European laws, and for clarifying the various points where problems arise. This is probably the only way to discourage fundamentalist initiatives and enable Muslims to practice their religion in keeping with the democratic principles of the European Union.
In late November 2009, the Swiss voted in a referendum to ban the construction of new minarets on their territory. That event, Jean-François Drevet reminds us, may be interpreted as an “[alarm] signal to the whole of Europe”, which still has “complex and uncertain relations with its Muslims and the [largely Muslim] countries on its eastern and southern periphery”.
In this context, Drevet asks what led the Swiss people to vote as they did, in order to draw significant lessons at the European level. He then reflects on the dimension to be accorded to religion and, more specifically, Islam, in the European Union’s foreign relations.