(Arabic) Review by Asharq Alawsat

The Arabic newspaper Asharq Alawsat published a review of the book.

To read it, click here. 

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Debate on Islam Channel

A debate on ‘Who Needs an Islamic State?’ was broadcast by the Islam Channel on Wednesday 19 March 2008, 7.00pm GMT, in their programme Politics and Beyond.

In the panel was the author Dr Abdelwahab El-Affendi and Taji Mustafa from Hizb-ut Tahrir. The chair was Anas Altikriti, chief executive of The Cordoba Foundation.

Thank you to a viewer who supplied us the video below.

Quote from Turkish Daily News

(… Abdelwahab El-Affendi(‘s) … newly reprinted book, “Who Needs An Islamic State?,” masterfully explains why Islamism is not a good idea from a Muslim point of view). That sort of Islamization — which has been in practice in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Afghanistan under the Taliban — is simply tyranny, and has no justification what so ever.

 Source: Mustafa Akyol, Turkish Daily News, 15 March 2008

Review by Asim Siddiqui: “Who needs a caliphate?”

Source: Comment is Free

A new edition of Who needs an Islamic State, by the Sudanese-born thinker Abdelwahab el-Affendi, has just been published.

The new edition provides a fascinating stock-take on the last two decades of political Islam. The goal of every Islamist group – known as “Islamic movements” in Muslim circles – is to create an “Islamic state”. Affendi’s book, first published in 1991, explored Islamic movements and their authoritarian ideas of how an Islamic state should function; essentially being built around “scholars of knowledge” who would be above the law and hence little more than dictators in reality.

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Quotes from Professor Ziauddin Sardar

“In this concise text, Abdelwahab El-Affendi critically explores the origins and development of the notion of ‘Islamic state’. He begins by looking at the role the state plays in western political thought and proceeds to examine how Islamic history and tradition tried to grapple with the question of political authority. The abolition of the Caliphate in 1922 galvanised modern Muslims thinkers to take the western idea of nation state more seriously and to produce new thoughts on how the Caliphate could be restored or what could take its place. El-Affendi looks at these debates and pin points where the whole exercise went terribly wrong.”

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Quote from Inayat Bunglawala, Assistant Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain:

“El-Affendi has a model in mind which may surprise you … A confederation of democratic states based on the model of the European Union. Now that would be a caliphate that I can imagine myself living in!” 

Quote from Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Director General, Malaysia Think Tank London

“Debates about the notion of an Islamic State are taking place everywhere ….  At first, I became convinced that the jihad to create an Islamic State is an obligation on all Muslims. While holding on to that belief, I started asking what an Islamic State actually meant. With all the emphasis on wala’ (obedience) in contemporary Islamic movements, I then went on to question how can we ensure an Islamic State does not become just another authoritarian state. This text by Abdelwahab El-Affendi provided answers to many of the questions I have been asking myself.”