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November 28, 2008

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Ali

Marc,
As a graduate student of International Relations with primary focus in Middle East politics and political Islam, I find this post very helpful and insightful. I have done some preliminary research on globalization and the Muslim Brotherhood, interviewed several of its prominent leaders in Egypt to listen to their views on globalization, and the results were interesting. Although the MB equates globalization with Americanization, which it considers a threat to Islamic civilization, it’s interesting to observe that the contemporary MB itself is a product of globalization, which began in 1970 (interdependence) and produced the MB more moderate second generation, and heightened in 1989 with the end of cold war producing the third and the more technologically savvy MB youth generation. The MB evolved because of globalization and they themselves don’t recognize it!

I have also found from my research and interviews with MBs that "glocalization" offers middle ground between cultural identity and globalization, and can reduce tension between political Islam and the West.

Finally, I totally agree with you that the Middle East is at the heart of globalization, not outside it. The generations of Internet bloggers, Facebook and YouTube are playing an increasing role in the Middle East politics. However, whether or not this phenomena will be sustained or crushed as it happened in China is yet to be determined.

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