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Political Systems in the Middle East and North Africa - Essay Example

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Title: POLITICAL SYSTEMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA and number: Date submitted: POLITICAL SYSTEMS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Islam constitutes a source of both legitimacy and illegitimacy to some Arab regimes”, discuss this statement…
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Political Systems in the Middle East and North Africa
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Political Systems in the Middle East and North Africa

Download file to see previous pages... To this end, there is no single form of political rule that or political system that can be considered to be better than the other. What is generally important is how applicable the said political system is in the premise and setting in which it is being used. In most Middle East and North Africa countries, democracy and authoritarian rules are predominant. But within these key facets of political rules or systems, there is what seems to be a centralized inculcation of Islamic rule, where in some cases is referred to as political Islam. By implication, Islamic religious practice has been made to dominate in most contemporary political systems in the Middle East and North Africa. Historians and political analysts have sought to find the impact of political islam on contemporary political rule. There are several schools of opinion, two of which can be generalized as those who opine that Islam constitute a source of legitimacy to some Arab regimes, and others opining that Islam constitute a source of illegitimacy to some Arab regimes. A very careful consideration of the claims may render the two opinions as both accurate, depending on the perspective from which the argument is taken. Generally, most Arab regimes come into play from two major perspectives. These perspectives are military and ideological perspectives of Arab regimes. The Iranian Revolution in 1979 is perhaps considered as the biggest military success in an Arab regime, even though some other examples of military regimes exist in other parts of the Middle East and North Africa (Ghalioun and Costopoulos, 2004). Saudi Arabia on the other hand can be viewed as an example of Arab regime that came into force as a result of ideological perspective. As far as Islam is concerned, both those who take up their regimes from military perspective and those who does so from ideological perspective use Islamic religious contexts to argue their reason for coming into power. The various forms of military revolutionary movements which were experienced in the 1970s are examples of regimes that came into force with Islamic political persuasion that the corrupt and ineffective economic structures of existing regimes needed to be made better by use of Islamic principles. However, even though the military regimes in places like Iran was successful in their constitution, those in places like Sudan failed woefully in 1989. From this understanding, it can be said that the debate that Islam constitutes a source of both legitimacy and illegitimacy to some Arab regimes could be true, depending on the outcome of the regimes that are in place. Even with those who have taken political power through ideological persuasions, the fact remains that not all of them have legitimized their regimes because they failed woefully. A typical example of such regime is the Muslim Brotherhood style democratic take-over, which came with the argument that secularism could not be accepted because it was based on Western liberalism but ended up being a more oppressive and corrupt regime (Pape, 2003). How has the oil wealth affected the prospects of democratization in the Arab Gulf? Oil is a natural resource that accounts for a gross domestic product contribution for most countries in the Arab Gulf. Indeed, countries in the Arab Gulf benefit from oil as a contributor to their gross domestic product than any other source of wealth (Pupcenoks, 2012). It is for this reason that the term, oil wealth ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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