London/Southern France – The GEW Reports and Analyses Team, a renowned research group based in Southern France, has announced the release of their latest publication, Islam And Global Politics: Understanding the Intersection of Faith and Power. This groundbreaking book, part of the collection “social sciences”, offers a fresh and comprehensive analysis of the complex relationship between Islam, diplomacy, and international relations.

With global attention increasingly focused on the role of religion in shaping geopolitical dynamics, “Islam And Global Politics” comes at a critical juncture. By delving into the intricate interplay between faith and power on the world stage, this book sheds light on the multifaceted impact of Islamic principles on diplomatic decision-making and global governance. Under the editorial guidance of Dr Hichem Karoui, the authors provide insightful perspectives that are sure to provoke thoughtful discourse among scholars, policymakers, and individuals interested in understanding the complexities of international relations.

As a timely contribution to the ongoing dialogue surrounding Islam’s influence on global politics, Islam And Global Politics: Understanding the Intersection of Faith and Power is poised to become an essential resource for academics, practitioners, and anyone seeking a deeper understanding of contemporary international affairs.

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[GEW Reports and Analyses Team] is a leading research group that provides insightful analyses of global events and trends.

Preface of the Editor

Despite the presence of terrorism among various groups, such as both left-wing and right-wing organisations, it is common in the Western world for many individuals, including media figures, politicians, and lawmakers, to perceive Islam as a global threat to Western societies. This perception has contributed to the emergence of extreme-right movements in several Western countries. Unfortunately, little attention is given to the diverse aspects of Islamic diplomacy, conflict resolution, international cooperation, and the potential it holds for the future. In this book, our aim is to offer readers a deeper understanding of how Islam shapes global political landscapes, all under Islamic principles.

In the complex landscape of global terrorism, it’s essential to move beyond the narrow focus on Muslim extremists and acknowledge the diverse spectrum of ideological motivations fuelling these acts of violence. While Islamic terrorism has dominated media coverage, it’s crucial to recognise that extremist ideologies span across the political spectrum. From left-wing groups to right-wing organisations in Western societies, acts of terrorism committed by individuals adhering to various ideologies cannot be overlooked. The prevalent tendency to solely associate terrorism with Islam not only perpetuates a biased narrative but also hinders our ability to address the root causes and complexities of this multifaceted global challenge.

Furthermore, by shifting our attention solely toward Muslim extremists, we risk overlooking and underestimating the threats posed by other extremist factions. This myopic approach not only undermines efforts toward countering terrorism but also fosters divisive narratives that hinder collective action against all forms of extremism. To effectively combat global terrorism, an inclusive and holistic approach is imperative—one that transcends narrow categorisations based on religion or ethnicity and instead focuses on addressing extremism in all its manifestations across ideological spectrums.

By broadening our understanding of terrorism beyond religious affiliations, we can more effectively engage in comprehensive strategies aimed at rooting out extremism wherever it exists—regardless of its ideological orientation. This expanded perspective enables us to confront the underlying issues driving radicalisation and violence while fostering a more united front against all forms of extremism—ultimately contributing to a safer and more secure global society for all.

Islam’s place in global politics

Islam’s place in global politics is a topic rife with complexity and nuance. As the world’s second-largest religion, with over 1.8 billion followers, Islam exerts significant influence on international affairs. One of the key challenges in understanding Islam’s place in global politics lies in recognising the diversity of Muslim perspectives and practises across different regions and cultures. While some view Islam as a force for stability and justice, others see it as a source of conflict and division.

In recent decades, the intersection of Islam and global politics has been marked by geopolitical tensions, religious extremism, and cultural clashes. The rise of political Islam movements has reshaped the political landscape in many Muslim-majority countries, challenging established power structures and fostering a more assertive Islamic identity on the world stage. Additionally, issues such as terrorism, human rights violations, and the politicisation of religious beliefs have underscored the complex relationship between Islam and global politics. Understanding this intricate dynamic is essential for navigating contemporary international relations with sensitivity and insight.

Historical Background

The historical background of Islam and its influence on global politics is a rich and complex tapestry that spans over fourteen centuries. From its inception in 7th century Arabia to the present day, the Islamic world has played a significant role in shaping geopolitical dynamics. The spread of Islam through conquest and trade routes brought it into contact with various cultures, influencing art, architecture, and governance systems.

The early caliphates established Islamic empires that stretched from Spain to India, creating lasting legacies in science, philosophy, and law. One cannot discuss global politics without acknowledging the impact of Islamic civilisation on the development of modern society. However, it’s essential to recognise that this historical background is not static; rather, it continues to evolve as contemporary events shape the intersection of Islam and global politics. Understanding this historical context helps us appreciate the complexities of current geopolitical issues involving Muslim-majority nations and communities worldwide.

Islam’s influence on early civilisations

Islam’s influence on early civilisations was a significant factor in developing global trade and cultural exchange. The expansion of Islamic empires facilitated connections between the East and West, leading to the transfer of knowledge, technologies, and goods across different regions. The translation movement in Islamic societies was critical in preserving and transmitting ancient Greek, Persian, Indian, and Chinese texts, which later contributed to the European Renaissance.

Moreover, the Islamic caliphates introduced innovations in agriculture, architecture, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, and navigation. These advancements profoundly impacted early civilisations by fostering economic growth, urbanisation, scientific progress, and artistic patronage. Additionally, We can see Islam’s influence through its architectural design, including mosques with intricate geometric patterns reflecting mathematical precision alongside ornate calligraphy displaying artistic expression, all while serving as centres for social integration and spiritual fulfilment.

Contemporary Influence

Contemporary Influence: In today’s global political landscape, Islam significantly influences various spheres, including politics, economics, and social dynamics. The rise of political Islam as a powerful force has reshaped the geopolitical map and has had a profound impact on global affairs. From the Arab Spring to the emergence of Islamic banking and finance as key players in the world economy, contemporary Islamic influence is undeniable.

Furthermore, the integration of Islamic principles and values into various aspects of governance highlights the ongoing impact of Islam in shaping international relations. This can be seen through diplomatic efforts by Muslim-majority countries to address conflicts within and beyond their borders based on Islamic principles such as justice and equality. Additionally, global issues such as environmental conservation, poverty alleviation, and human rights are increasingly being addressed with an Islamic perspective, showcasing Islam’s contemporary influence on global politics.

Islamic political movements and international relations

Islamic political movements have been a significant force in shaping international relations, especially in the Middle East. These movements often seek to assert their cultural and religious identity while navigating complex geopolitical dynamics. Their influence extends beyond national borders, impacting global alliances and strategies.

In recent years, Islamic political movements have posed challenges to traditional Western powers by advocating for alternative models of governance rooted in Islamic principles. This has led to tensions between these movements and secular governments, as well as with non-Muslim-majority countries. Moreover, the rise of social media has enabled these movements to project their message globally, amplifying their impact on international affairs.

The intersection of Islamic political movements and international relations underscores the complexity of negotiating power structures across diverse cultural and religious contexts. Understanding the motivations and aspirations of these movements is crucial for fostering diplomatic solutions that promote stability and cooperation on the global stage.

Impact on Conflict

Conflict has always played a significant role in shaping global politics, and the impact of Islam on conflict cannot be ignored. The diverse interpretations and practises within Islam have often been used to justify political and military actions, leading to longstanding conflicts in various regions. Furthermore, Islamic movements and organisations have, at times, become key actors in regional and global conflicts, further complicating the geopolitical landscape. It is crucial to understand the multifaceted influence of Islam on conflict dynamics, taking into account historical contexts, ideological differences, and power struggles.

Moreover, the intersection of religion and politics within Islam has contributed to complex power dynamics, exacerbating existing tensions between different religious groups. Understanding how these factors contribute to conflict provides insights into ongoing disputes and helps formulate strategies for peace-building and reconciliation efforts. By acknowledging the multifaceted impact of Islam on conflict, policymakers can develop more nuanced approaches that address not just the symptoms but also the root causes of these conflicts.

Islamic involvement in global conflicts

The involvement of Islam in global conflicts is a complex and multi-faceted issue that cannot be painted with broad strokes. While some groups have used Islamic ideology to justify violence and conflict, it’s important to recognise that the majority of Muslims around the world are peaceful and reject extremist ideologies. However, a small minority have exploited religious rhetoric to further their political or ideological agendas.

We must distinguish between the actions of extremists who claim to represent Islam and the beliefs and practices of the broader Muslim community. It’s also worth considering the geopolitical factors at play in many global conflicts and historical grievances that predate religious tensions. By understanding these nuances, we can move away from oversimplified narratives about Islamic involvement in global conflicts and work towards promoting peaceful solutions based on mutual respect and understanding.

Extremism vs. Moderation

Extremism vs. moderation is a critical dichotomy in the context of Islam and global politics. While extremism often generates headlines and fuels fear, it’s essential to recognise that the vast majority of Muslims worldwide adhere to moderate interpretations of their faith. Extremism, whether it manifests as violent acts or intolerant rhetoric, tarnishes the rich tapestry of Islam and alienates the global community. Embracing moderation does not mean diluting one’s beliefs; rather, it reflects a commitment to coexistence, peace, and understanding.

It’s crucial to acknowledge that the battle against extremism is not just a military or security issue; it’s also an ideological and theological challenge. The fight against extremist ideologies within Islamic communities requires a multi-faceted approach that includes education, empowerment of moderate voices, and addressing socio-economic grievances. By promoting tolerance and inclusivity while rejecting divisive rhetoric and actions based on extreme interpretations of Islam, we can pave the way for a more harmonious global society anchored in mutual respect and understanding between different cultures and religions. Balancing Islamic ideology in politics

Role of Muslim Countries

The role of Muslim countries in global politics is a complex and multi-faceted one. On the one hand, these countries have a responsibility to represent the interests of the global Muslim community and promote Islamic values on the international stage. However, this has often been met with challenges, as internal conflicts, competing ideologies, and geopolitical rivalries can hinder their ability to act cohesively.

Moreover, Muslim countries also significantly shape global policies on human rights, economic development, and security issues. Their collective voice carries weight in international forums, and their alliances can have far-reaching implications for global affairs. As they navigate the complexities of being Islamic nations and global players, they must balance advocating for their interests and contributing positively to broader international objectives. This duality presents opportunities and challenges that will continue to shape the role of Muslim countries in years to come.

Influence of Islamic states on world affairs

Islamic states have played a significant role in shaping world affairs, particularly in politics, economics, and security. With their large populations and strategic geographic locations, these countries have exerted influence through diplomatic alliances, economic partnerships, and religious affiliations. Furthermore, Islamic states often serve as key players in mediating regional conflicts and promoting peace initiatives. Their impact on global politics is also evident through their participation in international organisations such as the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Additionally, Islamic states have influenced world affairs through their energy resources, particularly oil. These countries have wielded considerable power over global markets and geopolitics as major oil producers. Their decisions regarding production levels or pricing can have ripple effects on economies worldwide. Moreover, some Islamic states with strong religious ideologies have sought to export their beliefs globally through missionary work or by supporting religious movements in other countries. This has contributed to shaping cultural dynamics on an international scale.

The future of Islam in global politics

The future of Islam in global politics is a topic of immense significance as the Muslim population continues to grow and assert its presence on the world stage. One prominent aspect of this future is the potential for a more diverse representation of Islamic perspectives in global decision-making. With a wide range of cultures, traditions, and political ideologies within the Islamic world, there is an opportunity for a more nuanced understanding of global issues from an Islamic standpoint. This could lead to greater diplomatic efforts and collaborations, considering the complex tapestry of Muslim societies.

Furthermore, the role of young Muslims in shaping global politics cannot be underestimated. With increased access to education and technology, young Muslims are poised to bring fresh ideas and approaches to challenges facing their communities and the wider world. Additionally, increasing integration of Muslim-majority countries into regional and international alliances may shift traditional power dynamics, leading to new alignments and cooperative ventures that reflect evolving geopolitical realities rather than outdated stereotypes. As Islam adapts to modernity while staying true to its inherent values, its influence in global politics will undoubtedly continue to evolve unexpectedly.

Hichem Karoui

Quillan , Janvier, 2024.


Preface Of The Editor
1. Introduction
2. Background And Significance
3. Historical Foundations Of Islamic Diplomacy
4. The Early Caliphates And Diplomatic Practices
5. Islamic Empires And Cross-Cultural Interactions
6. Contributions To Diplomatic Protocols
7. Contemporary Islamic Diplomacy
8. Diplomatic Strategies Of Islamic Nations
9. The Role Of Islamic Organisations In International Relations
10. Case Studies: Islamic Diplomacy In The Modern Era
11. Islam And Global Conflict
12. Examining Religious Dimensions In Global Conflicts
13. Impact Of Islamic Principles On Conflict Resolution
14. Case Studies: Conflict Zones And Islamic Perspectives
15. International Cooperation And Islamic Values
16. Humanitarian Diplomacy: Islamic Contributions
17. Islam And Multilateral Organisations
18. Collaborative Efforts For Global Stability
19. Challenges And Opportunities
20. Addressing Misconceptions And Stereotypes
21. Navigating Tensions Between Islamic Principles And Global Realities
22. Future Prospects For Islamic Influence In International Relations
23. Conclusion
24. Synthesis Of Key Findings
25. Implications For Future Research And Policy
References For Further Reading