The Challenge of being Muslim

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘The Challenge of being Muslim’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed), Challenging Identities: Muslim Women in Australia (Melbourne: MUP, 2010). pp. 1-8
Publication year: 2010

Muslim women in Australia are at the forefront of a culture war, and not necessarily by choice. As visible representatives of Islam, veiled women face discrimination and abuse, and carry the stigma of a culture frequently deemed unacceptable and inferior. Despite these adverse conditions, Muslim women have demonstrated a remarkable resilience by maintaining their presence in the public domain and by continuing to make a positive contribution to Australia. The experiences of Muslim women in Australia cannot be typecast as a sisterhood of oppressed females. Challenging Identities questions the assumption of incompatible ‘Australian values’ and ‘Islamic values’, and provides valuable first-person accounts from the lives of Muslim women in Australia.

Living Islam in Australia

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Living Islam in Australia’ in Australia and the Arab World (Abu Dhabi: Emirati Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, 2010). pp. 117-132.
Publication year: 2010

Australia’s contribution to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and its subsequent withdrawal in 2009 have made Arab-Australian relations a controversial and complex issue. They are further complicated as each side seeks not only to secure and maintain strategic and diplomatic relations, but also the perennially important trade and energy relations. This book explores and analyses this relationship using a number of approaches, looking at Australia’s diplomatic and economic ties with the Arab states, as well as the cultural exchange that occurs with the Muslims and Arabs who live inside Australia, and their contribution towards a growing multicultural society. This important analysis will be of interest to students, researchers and policymakers in a range of fields, such as International Relations, Middle East studies, multiculturalism and trade relations.

Islam and political violence: Muslim diaspora and radicalism in the West.

Edited research books
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Fethi Mansouri
Akbarzadeh, Shahram, and Fethi Mansouri. Islam and political violence: Muslim diaspora and radicalism in the West. Vol. 34. IB Tauris, 2010.
Publication year: 2010

Acts of violence by extremist groups and the resultant state responses (both national and international) have added fresh uncertainties to an already complex global order and heightened a widely felt sense of insecurity in the West and the Muslim world. Just as terrorism and counter-terrorism are locked in a mutually re-enforcing symbiosis, the sense of insecurity felt by Muslims (in both Muslim majority and minority states) and non-Muslims is mutually dependent and has the potential to escalate. The pervasive sense of being under attack by the United States and its Western allies, has contributed to a growing unease among Muslims and re-enforced deep-seated mistrust of the ‘West’. The subsequent policies that have emerged in this context of fear and mutual distrust have contributed to xenophobia and a vicious cycle of insecurity. ‘Islam and Political Violence’ seeks to redress the current debate on the uneasy and potentially mutually destructive relationship between the Muslim world and the West. It explores the modern concept of Islamism and the re-invention of Islam by political elites and counter-elites to advance temporal objectives. This book provides us with a new angle from which to examine the range of challenges to social cohesion and multiculturalism in Western societies and the future of Islam in the West.

Challenging identities: Muslim women in Australia.

Edited research books
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Akbarzadeh, Shahram, ed. Challenging identities: Muslim women in Australia. Vol. 5. Academic Monographs, 2010.
Publication year: 2010

Muslim women in Australia are at the forefront of a culture war, and not necessarily by choice. As visible representatives of Islam, veiled women face discrimination and abuse, and carry the stigma of a culture frequently deemed unacceptable and inferior.

Despite these adverse conditions, Muslim women have demonstrated a remarkable resilience by maintaining their presence in the public domain and by continuing to make a positive contribution to Australia. The experiences of Muslim women in Australia cannot be typecast as a sisterhood of oppressed females.

Challenging Identities questions the assumption of incompatible ‘Australian values’ and ‘Islamic values’, and provides valuable first-person accounts from the lives of Muslim women in Australia.

Obama and the US policy change on Iran

Refereed Journal articles
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Obama: Policy Change on Iran,’ Global Change, Peace & Security, Vol. 21, No. 3 (2009). pp. 397-401.
Publication year: 2009

US Foreign Policy in the Middle East - The Roots of Anti-Americanism

Scholarly books
Kylie Baxter, Shahram Akbarzadeh
Baxter, K., Akbarzadeh, S. (2008). US Foreign Policy in the Middle East. London: Routledge.
Publication year: 2008

Over the last sixty years, Washington has been a major player in the politics of the Middle East. From Iran in the 1950s, to the Gulf War of 1991, to the devastation of contemporary Iraq, US policy has had a profound impact on the domestic affairs of the region. Anti-Americanism is a pervasive feature of modern Middle East public opinion. But far from being intrinsic to ‘Muslim political culture’, scepticism of the US agenda is directly linked to the regional policies pursued by Washington.

By exploring critical points of regional crisis, Kylie Baxter and Shahram Akbarzadeh elaborate on the links between US policy and popular distrust of the United States. The book also examines the interconnected nature of events in this geo-strategically vital region. Accessible and easy to follow, it is designed to provide a clear and concise overview of complex historical and political material. Key features include:

  • maps illustrating key events and areas of discontent
  • text boxes on topics of interest related to the Arab/Israeli Wars, Iranian politics, foreign interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the wars of the Persian Gulf, September 11 and the rise of Islamist movements
  • further reading lists and a selection of suggested study questions at the end of each chapter.

Prospects for Feminism in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Refereed Journal articles
Rebecca Barlow, Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Rebecca Barlow: ‘Prospects for Feminism in the Islamic Republic of Iran,’ Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 1 (February 2008). pp. 21-40.
Publication year: 2008

Islam and Human Rights

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Benjamin MacQueen
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Benjamin MacQueen: ‘Islamic reformism and human rights in Iraq’ in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Benjamin MacQueen (eds), Islam and Human Rights (London: Routledge, 2008). pp. 52-74.
Publication year: 2008

Islam and Human Rights

Edited research books
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Benjamin MacQueen,
Akbarzadeh, Shahram, and Benjamin MacQueen, eds. Islam and human rights in practice: Perspectives across the ummah. Vol. 8. Routledge, 2008.
Publication year: 2008

Questions over the compatibility of Islam and Human Rights have become a key area of debate in the perceived tensions between ‘Islam and the West’. In many ways, discussion over the stance of Islam in relation to such factors as gender rights, religious freedom, social and political freedoms, and other related issues represents a microcosm of the broader experience of how Muslim and ‘Western’ communities interact and relate.

This volume seeks to engage with the various debates surrounding Islam and Human Rights, in particular, challenging assumptions of a ‘standard’ or ‘essential’ Muslim perspective on Human Rights. Through a survey of the experiences of Muslim communities across the globe (the ummah), this volume highlights the dynamic way Muslims understand and incorporate Human Rights into their personal, social and political experiences.

From conceptual discussions on the issues of gender rights and religious freedom, to examining Muslim communities from South East Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, leading global experts bring forth key insights into the way in which Muslim communities live and experience Human Rights. The potential for deeper engagement with this issue is critical, as it opens possibilities for more profound understanding and tolerance.

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Benjamin MacQueen
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Benjamin MacQueen: ‘Framing the debate on Islam and human rights’ in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Benjamin MacQueen (eds), Islam and Human Rights (London: Routledge, 2008). pp. 1-11.
Publication year: 2008

Uzbekistan and the United States: Friends or Foes?

Refereed Journal articles
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Uzbekistan and the United States: Friends or Foes?,’ Middle East Policy, Vol. 14, No.1 (Spring 2007). pp. 107-116.
Publication year: 2007

The Rise of Anti-Americanism

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Kylie Baxter
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Kylie Baxter: ‘The rise of anti-Americanism in the Middle East’, in Brendon O'Connor (ed), The Global Rise of Anti-Americanism Volume 3 (London: Greenwood Press, 2007). pp. 281-302.
Publication year: 2007

An Introduction to International Relations

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Globalization of Islam’, in Richard Devetak, Anthony Burke and Jim George (eds), Introduction to International Relations: Australian Perspectives (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2007). pp. 307-317.
Publication year: 2007

There are in excess of 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. The great bulk of this population lives in South and Southeast Asia, where Muslims constitute the largest religious group. States with Muslim population majorities are often called Muslim states, regardless of the system of government and political system. But there are also significant Muslim populations in other states. Population movement in the second half of the twentieth century has led to the growth of Muslim communities in Europe, the US and Australia. Muslim migration to Europe seems to have closely reflected colonial links, so that the biggest Muslim community in the UK is from South Asia where the British Empire held sway, while Muslims from Algeria constitute a significant community in France. This picture, however, is fast evolving and Muslim minority groups in non-Muslim states are becoming increasingly heterogeneous in ethnic background and creed.

The demographic spread of Muslims has led to some key questions about identity, community and citizenship. Islam emerged in the Arabian Peninsula in the seventh century, but was not tied to that geography.

Islam and Political Violence

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Fethi Mansouri
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Fethi Mansouri: ‘Contextualising New Islamism’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Fethi Mansouri (eds), Islam and Political Violence: Muslim Diaspora and Radicalism in the West (London and NY: IB Tauris, 2007). pp. 1-12.
Publication year: 2007

How do we engage with the pressing challenges of xenophobia, radicalism and security in the age of the “war on terror”? The widely felt sense of insecurity in the West is shared by Muslims both within and outside Western societies. Growing Islamic militancy and resulting increased security measures by Western powers have contributed to a pervasive sense among Muslims of being under attack (both physically and culturally). Islam and Political Violence brings together the current debate on the uneasy and potentially mutually destructive relationship between the Muslim world and the West and argues we are on a dangerous trajectory, strengthening dichotomous notions of the divide between the West and the Muslim world.

Women's rights in the Muslim world: reform or reconstruction?

Refereed Journal articles
Rebecca Barlow, Shahram Akbarzadeh
Barlow, Rebecca, and Shahram Akbarzadeh. "Women's Rights in the Muslim World: Reform or Reconstruction?" Third World Quarterly 27, no. 8 (2006): 1481-494. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4017691.
Publication year: 2006

The issue of gender inequality is an acute problem in countries where women’s lives are governed by laws, and configured by customs and traditions, said to derive from Islam. In the second half of the 20th century, two Muslim feminist paradigms have emerged in response to this malaise. Islamic feminists aim to establish women’s rights within the Islamic framework by re-interpreting Islam’s holy sources. In contrast, secular feminists challenge the particularistic nature of the Islamic framework and advocate the application of a set of standard universal rights for Muslim and non-Muslim women. This article focuses on the writings of the Moroccan feminist Fatima Mernissi, tracing her evolution from advocating secular reconstruction of Muslim societies to a position that resembles Islamic reformism.

Political Islam & Human Security

Edited research books
Fethi Mansouri and Shahram Akbarzadeh (eds): Political Islam and Human Security (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006).
Publication year: 2006

In the wake of the September 11 and subsequent terrorist attacks, the academic and media commentaries on Islam the religion and Islam the basis for political ideology haves received an unprecedented high level of exposure and attention. The acts of political violence by extremist groups and the omnipresent war on terror have added fresh uncertainties to an already complex global order. Just as terrorism and counter-terrorism are locked in a mutually re-enforcing symbiosis, the sense of insecurity felt by Muslims and non-Muslims alike is mutually dependent and has the potential to escalate. This general assessment holds true for Muslims living in the Muslim world and beyond. The pervasive sense of being under attack physically and culturally by the United States and its allies has contributed to a growing unease among Muslims and re-enforced deep-seated mistrust of the ‘West’. Public articulation of such misgivings has in turn, lent credence to Western observers who posit an inherent antipathy between the West and the Muslim world. The subsequent policies that have emerged in this context of fear and mutual distrust have contributed to the vicious cycle of insecurity.The present volume is anchored in the current debates on the uneasy and potentially mutually destructive relationship between the Muslim world and certain West countries. It brings together leading international scholars in this interdisciplinary field to deal with such inter-related questions as the nature of Islamism, the impact of the ‘war on terror’ on the spread of militancy, the growing sense of being under siege by Muslim Diasporas and the many unintended ramifications of a security-minded world order. This volume deliberately focuses on these issues both at a broad theoretical level but more importantly in the form of a number of prominent case studies including Indonesia, Algeria and Turkey.

Political Islam and Human Security

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Fethi Mansouri
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Fethi Mansouri: ‘Islamism and Political Violence in the New World Order’, in Fethi Mansouri and Shahram Akbarzadeh (eds), Political Islam and Human Security (Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006). pp. 3-14.
Publication year: 2006

Islam in Global Politics

Refereed Journal articles
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Islam in Global Politics,’ Keynotes, (June 2006). pp. 1-7.
Publication year: 2006

Islam and Globalization,

Edited research books
Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed)
Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed): Islam and Globalization, 4 volumes. Routledge series on Critical Concepts in Islamic Studies. (London: Routledge, 2006).
Publication year: 2006

Globalization has opened up non-Western societies to forces of economic, political and cultural liberalism for the first time, and this process has had a profound effect upon Islamic societies, causing unease and concern among many Muslims. Moreover, this apprehension has been exacerbated by the fact that globalization as a concept and as a process seems to originate from the West, and because many Muslims equate globalization with colonization.
The conflict between Islam and globalization and the West is perhaps the most pressing issue in the post-September 11th era, and this set seeks to represent the shape of international relations – conciliatory and otherwise – between the two `civilizations’ in the late-twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
With a general introduction by the editor, the volumes include articles by leading scholars that will initially examine the various ways in which Islam has tried to protect itself against the encroachment of the West, before investigating a more outward-looking Islam that encourages religious reformism and evolution in order to contend with the new challenges and priorities of a global community.

Geopolitics versus Democracy in Tajikistan

Refereed Journal articles
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Geo-politics versus Democracy in Tajikistan,’ Demokratizatsiya, Vol. 14, No. 4 (Fall 2006). pp. 563-¬578.
Publication year: 2006

The convergence of international attention on Central Asia in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks offered hope for Tajikistan’s fragile democracy. Washington’s commitment to enhancing civil society and democratic rule was cause for celebration among the opposition activists. This was a peculiar experience as the Islamic Renaissance Party has been a mainstay of the opposition movement. Tajikistan is the only Central Asian republic that has allowed the open political engagement of an Islamic party. This has been a novel, albeit difficult experiment. But the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan and ongoing security concerns appear to have diverted Washington’s attention from Tajikistan’s democratic state building. The United States has edged toward a policy aimed at preserving the status quo for fear of destabilizing the region. This policy is not dissimilar to that of Russia. Consequently, the prospects of an external boost to Tajikistan’s novel democratic experiment are fading fast.

Islam and Globalization

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘General Introduction’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh (ed). Islam and Globalization, Volume 1, (London: Routledge, 2006). pp. 1-14.
Publication year: 2006

Globalization has opened up non-Western societies to forces of economic, political and cultural liberalism for the first time, and this process has had a profound effect upon Islamic societies, causing unease and concern among many Muslims. Moreover, this apprehension has been exacerbated by the fact that globalization as a concept and as a process seems to originate from the West, and because many Muslims equate globalization with colonization. The conflict between Islam and globalization and the West is perhaps the most pressing issue in the post-September 11th era, and this set seeks to represent the shape of international relations – conciliatory and otherwise – between the two `civilizations’ in the late-twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
With a general introduction by the editor, the volumes include articles by leading scholars that will initially examine the various ways in which Islam has tried to protect itself against the encroachment of the West, before investigating a more outward-looking Islam that encourages religious reformism and evolution in order to contend with the new challenges and priorities of a global community.

Does the Hamas victory advance peace in the Middle East?

Refereed Journal articles
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: 'Does Hamas Victory Advance Peace in the Middle East?,' Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 60, No. 2 (2006). pp. 201-6.
Publication year: 2006

Where is the Islamic republic of Iran heading?

Refereed Journal articles
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Where is the Islamic Republic of Iran heading?’ Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 59, No. 1 (March 2005). pp. 25-38.
Publication year: 2005

The ‘war on terror’ has had significant repercussions for the Islamic Republic of Iran in both international and domestic arenas. In the international context, Iran is finding itself isolated. Gains made by the moderate leadership of President Khatami in normalising relations between Iran and the West appear to have been lost. In the domestic arena, the moderates seem powerless against the concerted advances of the hardliners, most evident in the February 2004 Parliamentary election.

Uzbekistan and the United States: Authoritarianism, Islamism and Washington's Security Agenda

Scholarly books
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh (2005). Uzbekistan and the United States: Authoritarianism, Islamism and Washington's Security Agenda. Zed Books Ltd., London.
Publication year: 2005

Uzbekistan, the most strategically situated Central Asian country, has exhibited the most appalling record on human rights and democratic reforms. Yet, post-September 11, a transformation in US policy has suddenly taken place: US troops are now stationed there; Washington has put the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan on its list of terrorist organizations; and the Bush administration has promised to triple aid to President Karimov‘s highly authoritarian regime. This unique study explores the central question from a longer-term Uzbek point of view: to what extent are closer ties between Washington and Tashkent contributing to political reforms inside Uzbekistan? Dr Akbarzadeh describes political events since independence, including the emergence of a radical Islamic opposition. He analyses how September 11 has catalysed a transformation in Washington‘s attitude as it perceived a common Islamic enemy, and he examines the possible beginnings of a retreat from Soviet-style politics

The Organization of the Islamic Conference: Sharing an Illusion

Refereed Journal articles
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Kylie Connor: ‘The Organization of Islamic Conference: sharing an illusion,’ Middle East Policy, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Summer 2005). pp. 79-92.
Publication year: 2005

Among Dr. Akbarzadeh’s latest publications are Uzbekistan and the United States: Authoritarianism, Islamism and Washington’s Security Agenda (London: Zed Books, 2005) and Islam and the West: Reflections from Australia (Sydney: UNSWPress, 2005). Ms. Connor researches Islamic militancy in the West.1

Stock Image View Larger Image Islam And the West: Reflections from Australia

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘Islam on the global stage’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Samina Yasmeen (eds), Islam and the West (Sydney: UNSWPress, 2005). pp. 1-12
Publication year: 2005

The September 11 attacks on the US stunned Australians, as well as people all over the world, and the consequences have been far-reaching for both the West and the Muslim world. The subsequent War on Terror and its extension to Iraq, assaults on Muslims in many Western countries, and the recent bombing in Jakarta have brought to the fore many issues deserving attention and analysis. These include the prospects of conflict and co-operation between the Muslim world and the West—including Australia—and the future of Muslim communities in Australia. Islam and the West addresses these and other issues from aspecifically Australian perspective.

Islam and the West : Reflections from Australia

Edited research books
Shahram Akbarzadeh, Samina Yasmeen
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Samina Yasmeen (eds): Islam and the West (Sydney: UNSWPress, 2005).
Publication year: 2005

The September 11 attacks on the US stunned Australians, as well as people all over the world, and the consequences have been far-reaching for both the West and the Muslim world. The subsequent War on Terror and its extension to Iraq, assaults on Muslims in many Western countries, and the recent bombing in Jakarta have brought to the fore many issues deserving attention and analysis. These include the prospects of conflict and co-operation between the Muslim world and the West including Australia and the future of Muslim communities in Australia. Islam and the West addresses these and other issues from a specifically Australian perspective.

Islam and the West

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Kylie Baxter: ‘In search of the Caliphate’, in Shahram Akbarzadeh and Samina Yasmeen: Islam and the West (Sydney: UNSWPress, 2005). pp. 26-44.
Publication year: 2005

The September 11 attacks on the US stunned Australians, as well as people all over the world, and the consequences have been far-reaching for both the West and the Muslim world. The subsequent War on Terror and its extension to Iraq, assaults on Muslims in many Western countries, and the recent bombing in Jakarta have brought to the fore many issues deserving attention and analysis. These include the prospects of conflict and co-operation between the Muslim world and the West–including Australia–and the future of Muslim communities in Australia. Islam and the West addresses these and other issues from a specifically Australian perspective.

US-Uzbek partnership and democratic reforms

Refereed Journal articles
Shahram Akbarzadeh
Shahram Akbarzadeh: ‘US-Uzbek partnership and democratic reforms,’ Nationalities Papers, Vol. 32, No.2 (June 2004). pp. 271-287.
Publication year: 2004

Conflict Prevention from Rhetoric to Reality: Organizations and Institutions

Scholarly book chapters
Shahram Akbarzadeh and Rafis Abazov: ‘The Politics of Status Quo in Central Asia’, in Albrecht Schnabel and David Carment (eds), Conflict Prevention from Rhetoric to Reality: Organizations and Institutions (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, June 2004). pp. 81-102.
Publication year: 2004