DARING OPINION

Welcome to Daringopinion.com
The Website of Elie Elhadj
 
 
Books by Elie Elhadj
 
The Islamic Shield
Arab Resistance to Democratic and Religious Reforms
 
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The Islamic Shield focuses on the interaction between political Islam and world politics. Washington’s "War on Terrorism" has used democratization of the Arab World as a justification and a weapon. The Islamic Shield contends that genuine religious and political reforms in the Arab World are sheer fantasy: they are not expected for a very long time, if ever.
 
The Islamic Shield argues that democratic ideology cannot defeat Islamic theology. A culture of blind obedience to autocratic authority at home, school, mosque, and work place has been turned into a form of piety by the ulama clerics.
 
The Islamic shield analyzes the likely causes behind 9/11 and the consequences of Arab resistance to political and religious reforms on the Middle East and beyond, especially the Arab-Israeli conflict. The book examines the factors, which might prompt young, sometimes affluent and educated men and women to self-annihilate. In addition to a deficit of freedom, extremist Islamist indoctrination as well as domestic and foreign political factors are identified. The book concludes that politically expedient solutions will fail to defeat Jihadism and terrorism.
 
The Islamic Shield examines why democratic institutions are a mirage in two profoundly different countries: Saudi Arabia, an Islamist monarchy, and Syria, a quasi-secular republic. Although the two countries differ in types of governance, ideologies, agendas, natural resources, and climate they share in common non-representative, non-participatory dictatorial regimes. The two countries approximate socio-political models found in other Arab monarchies and republics.
 
The Islamic Shield considers such questions as: How likely is it that a future Arab Martin Luther, or a Kemal Ataturk might emerge? Why do non-Arab Islamic countries elect women as prime ministers and presidents while Arab ulama and most Arab rulers treat women as lesser beings and condemn democracy as un-Islamic? Is benevolent dictatorship a viable alternative to Arab democracy?  Who shapes the Islamic persona? Is Islamic law changeable? If yes, who may change it? What might the legacy of the George W. Bush administration be in the Muslim world? What might be the eventual outcome of the "War on Terrorism"?
 
 
Experiments in Achieving Water and Food Self-Sufficiency in the Middle East. The Consequences of Contrasting Endowments, Ideologies, and Investment Policies in Saudi Arabia and Syria

Available on Amazon.com
Also, on Amazon.co.uk
 
This book is my Ph.D research conducted between 2002 and 2005 at London University's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Experiments... aims to quantify and analyze how two water scarce but ideologically different Middle Eastern political economies, Saudi Arabia and Syria, addressed water sector investment between 1980 and 2000. The study examines how narrow-coalitions of decision-makers obsessed by impossible-to-achieve food self-sufficiency goals, lacking environmental consideration, and safe political processes contributed to massively waste scarce resources and unsustainable water policies.
 
 
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