Political Islam: A 40 Year Retrospective
2. Political Islam in Power
3. Political Islam and Terrorism
One thing that has bothered me relates to a question that my colleague Mark Dubowitz [CEO of the FDD] asked Congressman [Ed] Royce. Mark said, “But what do we do about the ideological conveyor belt?” I’d note Bin Laden, Zawahiri, even Abu Bakar al Baghdadi, the Caliph of ISIS—all of them started where ideologically? As members of the Brotherhood. It’s no coincidence, I think, that the Muslim Brothers have been the gateway drug for a vast majority of violent Islamists the world over. So what do we do about that fact? Are we defenseless until they openly call for violence and start killing people? That just doesn’t sit particularly well with me.37
Early examples of post-Islamist parties include the reform movement in Iran in the late 1990s, Indonesia’s Prosperous Justice Party, Malaysia’s People’s Justice Party, Egypt’s Center Party (Hizb al-Wasat), Morocco’s Justice and Development Party (PJD), and Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) prior to 2013. Each of these groups emerged from the mainstream Islamist current in their country yet came to rethink the relationship between religion, state and society over time. The model of Christian Democratic Parties in Europe most closely approximates this transformation.49Rather, it represents an endeavor to fuse religiosity and rights, faith and freedom, Islam and liberty. It is an attempt to turn the underlying principles of Islamism on their head by emphasizing rights instead of duties, plurality in place of a singular authoritative voice, historicity rather than fixed scriptures, and the future instead of the past. It wants to marry Islam with individual choice and freedom (albeit at varying degrees), with democracy and modernity, to achieve what some have termed an ‘alternative modernity’.48
4. A Firewall, Not a Gateway Drug
A people brought up in a school that reminds one of the torments of hell on a small scale, a people accustomed to the clenched-fist, prison, and the whip, will not be blest with a tender heart. A people that the police agents have ridden over will be capable in their turn of walking over the bodies of others. In a country where unrest has reigned so long, it is difficult for the people to realize from one day to the next the power of right. One cannot demand from a man who has never known justice that he should be just.65
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(Ben Dor 1983).
Bernard Lewis was a key advisor to the Bush Administration in the lead up to the 2003 Iraq war. He famously predicted that public opinion in Iraq and Iran was extremely pro-American and that both peoples would rejoice if the United States liberated them. See (Buruma 2004).
“Comprehensive Interview with Ayatullah Mesbah-Yazdi on the Efficiencies and Successes of the Islamic Revolution”, Raja News, 29 December 2018. This interview was originally given to the hardline weekly 9 Day and (Radio Farda 2019).
“The Civil State (dawla madaniya)—A New Political Term?” IFAIR, 24 February 2014; https://ifair.eu/2014/02/24/the-civil-state-dawla-madaniya-a-new-political-term/. Also see (Gerges 2013).
The Israel–Palestine conflict is a perfect illustration of this point. For example, during the 2008–2009 war between Israel and Hamas, human rights groups documented nearly 1400 Palestinians deaths, of which four-fifths were civilians, including 350 children. Israeli deaths were 10 soldiers (four killed by friendly fire) and three civilians. The ratio of Palestinians to Israelis killed was more than 100:1, and the ratio of Palestinian civilians to Israeli civilians killed was 400:1. See (Finkelstein 2018).
Zachary Laub, “Backgrounder: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood”, Council on Foreign Relations, 15 August 2019, https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/egypts-muslim-brotherhood.
Abdelwahab El-Affendi traces the origins to Egyptian intelligence sources. In the late 1970s, Islamist militants were charged with “emerging from the cloak of the Muslim Brotherhood.” In the wake of 9/11, Saudi officialdom revived this claim to deflect attention away from the Wahhabi roots of the attackers. Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz, the interior minister at the time, frequently disseminated this charge. See (Al Jarallah 2002). Personal correspondence with Abdelwahab El-Affendi, 24 December 2020.
(Foundation for the Defense of Democracies 2017). Jonathan Schanzer is the Senior Vice-President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. See his testimony, “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Threat”, Hearing before the Subcommittee on National Security on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives, 150 Congress, second session, 11 July 2018.
(Shariatmadari 2015) and on the Hudson Institute see, Hillel Fradkin, “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Global Threat”, testimony before the Subcommittee on National Security on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives, 150 Congress, second session, 11 July 2018.
Ibid., p. 8.
Ibid., pp. 468, 480.
Ibid., p. 44.
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Hashemi, N. Political Islam: A 40 Year Retrospective. Religions 2021, 12, 130. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020130
Hashemi N. Political Islam: A 40 Year Retrospective. Religions. 2021; 12(2):130. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020130Chicago/Turabian Style
Hashemi, Nader. 2021. "Political Islam: A 40 Year Retrospective" Religions 12, no. 2: 130. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12020130