Thursday, March 31, 2011

Section 1 -- short ID

In Section I (worth 25%) you will be asked to identify five terms and briefly explain their significance.
The terms on the exam will be chosen from the following list:

Nasser (Nasir)
Arab-Israeli War of  1967
Suez Crisis
Ayatollah Khomeini
Arab nationalism
Mehmed Ali (Muhammed Ali)
“Arab” (Palestinian) refugees
White Revolution (Iran)
World War I

Section 2 -- question 1

In section 2, you will write a short essay on one document. Not all of these choices will appear on the exam. 37.5%


The Young Turks: Proclamation for the Ottoman Empire, 1908

1. The basis for the Constitution will be respect for the predominance of the national will. One of the consequences of this principle will be to require without delay the responsibility of the minister before the Chamber, and, consequently, to consider the minister as having resigned, when he does not have a majority of the votes of the Chamber.

2. Provided that the number of senators does not exceed one-third the number of deputies, the Senate will be named as follows: one-third by the Sultan and two-thirds by the nation, and the term of senators will be of limited duration.

3. It will be demanded that all Ottoman subjects having completed their twentieth year, regardless of whether they possess property or fortune, shall have the right to vote. Those who have lost their civil rights will naturally be deprived of this right.

4. It will be demanded that the right freely to constitute political groups be inserted in a precise fashion in the constitutional charter, in order that article 1 of the Constitution of 1293 A.H. [Anno Hegira=] be respected 

7. The Turkish tongue will remain the official state language. Official correspondence and discussion will take place in Turkish. 

9. Every citizen will enjoy complete liberty and equality, regardless of nationality or religion, and be submitted to the same obligations. All Ottomans, being equal before the law as regards rights and duties relative to the State, are eligible for government posts, according to their individual capacity and their education. Non-Muslims will be equally liable to the military law. 

10. The free exercise of the religious privileges which have been accorded to different nationalities will remain intact.

11. The reorganization and distribution of the State forces, on land as well as on sea, will be undertaken in accordance with the political and geographical situation of the country, taking into account the integrity of the other European powers.

Section 2 -- question 2

President Nasser:
Denouncement of the Proposal for a Canal Users' Association, 1956

Speech by President Nasser of the United Arab Republic, September 15, 1956
In these decisive days in the history of mankind, these days in which truth struggles to have itself recognized in international chaos where powers of evil domination and imperialism have prevailed, Egypt stands firmly to preserve her sovereignty. Your country stands solidly and staunchly to preserve her dignity against imperialistic schemes of a number of nations who have uncovered their desires for domination and supremacy.
In these days and in such circumstances Egypt has resolved to show the world that when small nations decide to preserve their sovereignty, they will do that all right and that when these small nations are fully determined to defend their rights and maintain their dignity, they will undoubtedly succeed in achieving their ends. . . .
I am speaking in the name of every Egyptian Arab and in the name of all free countries and of all those who believe in liberty and are ready to defend it. I am speaking in the name of principles proclaimed by these countries in the Atlantic Charter. But they are now violating these principles and it has become our lot to shoulder the responsibility of reaffirming and establishing them anew. . . .
We have tried by all possible means to cooperate with those countries which claim to assist smaller nations and which promised to collaborate with us but they demanded their fees in advance. This we refused so they started to fight with us. They said they will pay toward building the High Dam and then they withdrew their offer and cast doubts on the Egyptian economy. Are we to declaim [disclaim?] our sovereign right? Egypt insists her sovereignty must remain intact and refuses to give up any part of that sovereignty for the sake of money.
Egypt nationalized the Egyptian Suez Canal company. When Egypt granted the concession to de Lesseps it was stated in the concession between the Egyptian Government and the Egyptian company that the company of the Suez Canal is an Egyptian company subject to Egyptian authority. Egypt nationalized this Egyptian company and declared freedom of navigation will be preserved.
But the imperialists became angry. Britain and France said Egypt grabbed the Suez Canal as if it were part of France or Britain. The British Foreign Secretary forgot that only two years ago he signed an agreement stating the Suez Canal is an integral part of Egypt.
Egypt declared she was ready to negotiate. But as soon as negotiations began threats and intimidations started. . . .

Section 2 -- question 3

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1900-89):
The Uprising of Khurdad 15, 1979

Your opponents, oppressed people, have never suffered. In the time of the taghut, they never suffered because either they were in agreement with the regime and loyal to it, or they kept silent. Now you have spread the banquet of freedom in front of them and they have sat down to eat. Xenomaniacs, people infatuated with the West, empty people, people with no content! Come to your senses; do not try to westernize everything you have! Look at the West, and see who the people are in the West that present themselves as champions of human rights and what their aims are. Is it human rights they really care about, or the rights of the superpowers? What they really want to secure are the rights of the superpowers. Our jurists should not follow or imitate them. You should implement human rights as the working classes of our society understand them. Yes, they are the real Society for the Defense of Human Rights. They are the ones who secure the well-being of humanity; they work while you talk; for they are Muslims and Islam cares about humanity. You who have chosen a course other than Islam--you do nothing for humanity. All you do is write and speak in an effort to divert our movement from its course.

But as for those who want to divert our movement from its course, who have in mind treachery against Islam and the nation, who consider Islam incapable of running the affairs of our country despite its record of 1400 years---they have nothing at all to do with our people, and this must be made clear. How much you talk about the West, claiming that we must measure Islam in accordance with Western criteria! What an error! It was the mosques that created this Revolution, the mosques that brought this movement into being. The mihrab was a place not only for preaching, but also for war--war against both the devil within and the tyrannical powers without. So preserve your mosques, O people. Intellectuals, do not be Western-style intellectuals, imported intellectuals; do your share to preserve the mosques!

Section 2 -- question 4

Hamas Covenant 1988

The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day. This being so, who could claim to have the right to represent Moslem generations till Judgement Day?

This is the law governing the land of Palestine in the Islamic Sharia (law) and the same goes for any land the Moslems have conquered by force, because during the times of (Islamic) conquests, the Moslems consecrated these lands to Moslem generations till the Day of Judgement.

Section 3 -- question 1

In section 3, you will write a short essay on one question. Not all of these choices will appear on the exam. 37.5%

Explain what “secularism” or “modernism” has meant to reformers in the recent history of the Muslim world.  Give some specific examples of “modernist” reforms.  Why have such ideals failed to satisfy many people?

Section 3 --question 2

The Arab countries, like Islam as a whole, are politically divided even though many people believe that they should be united.   Focusing on the twentieth-century situation, why has the Arab Middle East remained divided despite so many calls for unity?

Section 3 --question 3

Ataturk was perhaps the most successful and radical ruler of a Muslim country during  the period between the two World Wars.    In what ways was he radical?   Why and to what extent was he successful?   Why has his approach not been more imitated?

Section 3 -- question 4

 Why has the situation of Palestine been such a symbolic issue for Arabs and Muslims in the modern period? What is it a symbol of?  Why have Arabs or Muslims been unable to work together to resolve that issue?

Section 3 --question 5

 Explain the success of the Islamic forces led by Khomeini in overthrowing Shah Muhammed Reza of Iran and replacing his regime with an Islamic Republic.  What has this success meant for politics in the rest of the Muslim world? What have the limits of that success been, and why? 

Section 3 -- question 6

Discuss one element (your choice) of the controversy about the role of women within 20th-century Muslim societies.