RSSArchive for August, 2010

Speech of Dr,MUHAMMAD BADIE

Dr,Muhammad Badie

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate Praise be to Allah and Blessing on His messenger, companions and followers
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I greet you with the Islamic greeting; Peace be upon you and God’s mercy and blessings;
It is the will of Allah that I undertake this huge responsibility which Allah has chosen for me and a request from the MB Movement which I respond to with the support of Allah. With the support of my Muslim Brothers I look forward to achieving the great goals, we devoted ourselves to, solely for the sake of Allah.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
At the outset of my speech I would like to address our teacher, older brother, and distinguished leader Mr. Mohamed Mahdy Akef, the seventh leader of the MB group a strong, dedicated and enthusiastic person who led the group’s journey amid storms and surpassed all its obstacles, thus providing this unique and outstanding model to all leaders and senior officials in the government, associations and other parties by fulfilling his promise and handing over the leadership after only one term, words are not enough to express our feelings to this great leader and guide and we can only sayMay Allah reward you all the best”.
We say to our beloved Muslim brothers who are spread around the globe, it is unfortunate for us to have this big event happening while you are not among us for reasons beyond our control, however we feel that your souls are with us sending honest and sincere smiles and vibes.
As for the beloved ones who are behind the bars of tyranny and oppression for no just reason other than reiterating Allah is our God, and for seeking the dignity, pride and development of their country, we sincerely applaud and salute them for their patience, steadfastness and sacrifices which we are sure will not be without gain. We pray that those tyrants and oppressors salvage their conscience and that we see you again in our midst supporting our cause, may Allah bless and protect you all.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
As you are aware, the main goal of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement (MB) is comprehensive modification, which deals with all kinds of corruption through reform and change. “I only desire (your) betterment to the best of my power; and my success (in my task) can only come from Allah.” (Hud-88) and through cooperation with all powers of the nation and those with high spirits who are sincere to their religion and nation.
The MB believes that Allah has placed all the foundations necessary for the development and welfare of nations in the great Islam; therefore, Islam is their reference towards reform, which starts from the disciplining and training of the souls of individuals, followed by regulating families and societies by strengthening them, preceded by bringing justice to it and the continuous jihad to liberate the nation from any foreign dominance or intellectual, spiritual, cultural hegemony and economic, political or military colonialism, as well as leading the nation to development, prosperity and assuming its appropriate place in the world.

BETWEEN YESTERDAY AND TODAY

HASAN AL-BANNA

The First Islamic State
On the foundation of this virtuous Qur’anic social order the first Islamic state arose, having unshakeable faith in it, meticulously applying it, and spreading it throughout the world, so that the first Khilafah used to say: ‘If I should lose a camel’s lead, I would find it in Allah’s Book.’. He fought those who refused to pay zakah, regarding them as apostates because they had overthrown one of the pillars of this order, saying: ‘By Allah, if they refused me a lead which they would hand over to the Apostle of Allah (PBUH), I would fight them as soon as I have a sword in my hand!’ For unity, in all its meanings and manifestations, pervaded this new forthcoming nation.
Complete social unity arose from making the Qur’anic order and it’s language universal, while complete political unity was under the shadow of the Amir Al-Mumineen and beneath the standard of the Khilafah in the capital.
The fact that the Islamic ideology was one of decentralisation of the armed forces, the state treasuries, and provincial governors proved to be no obstacle to this, since all acted according to a single creed and a unified and comprehensive control. The Qur’anic principles dispelled and laid to rest the superstitious idolatry prevalent in the Arabian Peninsula and Persia. They banished guileful Judaism and confined it to a narrow province, putting an end to its religious and political authority. They struggled with Christianity such that its influence was greatly diminished in the Asian and African continents, confined only to Europe under the guard of the Byzantine Empire in Constantinople. Thus the Islamic state became the centre of spiritual and political dominance within the two largest continents. This state persisted in its attacks against the third continent, assaulting Constantinople from the east and besieging it until the siege grew wearisome. Then it came at it from the west,
plunging into Spain, with its victorious soldiers reaching the heart of France and penetrating as far as northern and southern Italy. It established an imposing state in Western Europe, radiant with science and knowledge.
Afterwards, it ended the conquest of Constantinople itself and the confined Christianity within the restricted area of Central Europe. Islamic fleets ventured into the depths of the Mediterranean and Red seas, both became Islamic lakes. And so the armed forces of the Islamic state assumed supremacy of the seas both in the East and West, enjoying absolute mastery over land and sea. These Islamic nations had already combined and incorporated many things from other civilisations, but they triumphed through the strength of their faith and the solidness of their system over others. They Arabised them, or succeeded in doing so to a degree, and were able to sway them and convert them to the splendour, beauty and vitality of their language and religion. The Muslims were free to adopt anything beneficial from other civilisations, insofar as it did not have adverse effects on their social and political unity.

Roots Of Nationalism In The Muslim World

Šabir Ahmed

The Muslim world has been characterised by failure, disunity, bloodshed, oppression and backwardness. At present, no Muslim country in the world can rightly claim to be a leader in any field of human activity. Indeed, the non-Muslims of the East and the West
now dictate the social, economic and political agenda for the Muslim Ummah.
Furthermore, the Muslims identify themselves as Turkish, Arapski, African and Pakistani. If this is not enough, Muslims are further sub-divided within each country or continent. For example, in Pakistan people are classed as Punjabis, Sindhis, Balauchis and
Pathans. The Muslim Ummah was never faced with such a dilemma in the past during Islamic rule. They never suffered from disunity, widespread oppression, stagnation in science and technology and certainly not from the internal conflicts that we have witnessed this century like the Iran-Iraq war. So what has gone wrong with the Muslims this century? Why are there so many feuds between them and why are they seen to be fighting each other? What has caused their weakness and how will they ever recover from the present stagnation?
There are many factors that contributed to the present state of affairs, but the main ones are the abandoning of the Arabic language as the language of understanding Islam correctly and performing ijtihad, the absorption of foreign cultures such as the philosophies of the Greeks, Persian and the Hindus, the gradual loss of central authority over some of the provinces, and the rise of nationalism since the 19th Century.
This book focuses on the origins of nationalism in the Muslim world. Nationalism did not arise in the Muslim world naturally, nor did it came about in response to any hardships faced by the people, nor due to the frustration they felt when Europe started to dominate the world after the industrial revolution. Rather, nationalism was implanted in the minds of the Muslims through a well thought out scheme by the European powers, after their failure to destroy the Islamic State by force. The book also presents the Islamic verdict on nationalism and practical steps that can be taken to eradicate the disease of nationalism from the Muslim Ummah so as to restore it back to its former glory.

A Muslim Archipelago

Max L. Bruto

This book has been many years in the making, as the author explains in his Preface, though he wrote most of the actual text during his year as senior Research Fellow with the Center for Strategic Intelligence Research. The author was for many years Dean of the School of Intelligence Studies at the Joint Military Intelligence College. Even though it may appear that the book could have been written by any good historian or Southeast Asia regional specialist, this work is illuminated by the author’s more than three decades of service within the national Intelligence Community. His regional expertise often has been applied to special assessments for the Community. With a knowledge of Islam unparalleled among his peers and an unquenchable thirst for determining how the goals of this religion might play out in areas far from the focus of most policymakers’ current attention, the author has made the most of this opportunity to acquaint the Intelligence Community and a broader readership with a strategic appreciation of a region in the throes of reconciling secular and religious forces.
This publication has been approved for unrestricted distribution by the Office of Security Review, Department of Defense.

Democracy in Islamic Political Thought

Azzam S. Tamimi

Democracy has preoccupied Arab political thinkers since the dawn of the modern Arab renaissance about two centuries ago. Since then, the concept of democracy has changed and developed under the influence of a variety of social and political developments.The discussion of democracy in Arab Islamic literature can be traced back to Rifa’a Tahtawi, the father of Egyptian democracy according to Lewis Awad,[3] who shortly after his return to Cairo from Paris published his first book, Takhlis Al-Ibriz Ila Talkhis Bariz, in 1834. The book summarized his observations of the manners and customs of the modern French,[4] and praised the concept of democracy as he saw it in France and as he witnessed its defence and reassertion through the 1830 Revolution against King Charles X.[5] Tahtawi tried to show that the democratic concept he was explaining to his readers was compatible with the law of Islam. He compared political pluralism to forms of ideological and jurisprudential pluralism that existed in the Islamic experience:
Religious freedom is the freedom of belief, of opinion and of sect, provided it does not contradict the fundamentals of religion . . . The same would apply to the freedom of political practice and opinion by leading administrators, who endeavour to interpret and apply rules and provisions in accordance with the laws of their own countries. Kings and ministers are licensed in the realm of politics to pursue various routes that in the end serve one purpose: good administration and justice.[6] One important landmark in this regard was the contribution of Khairuddin At-Tunisi (1810- 99), leader of the 19th-century reform movement in Tunisia, who, in 1867, formulated a general plan for reform in a book entitled Aqwam Al-Masalik Fi Taqwim Al- Mamalik (The Straight Path to Reforming Governments). The main preoccupation of the book was in tackling the question of political reform in the Arab world. While appealing to politicians and scholars of his time to seek all possible means in order to improve the status of the
community and develop its civility, he warned the general Muslim public against shunning the experiences of other nations on the basis of the misconception that all the writings, inventions, experiences or attitudes of non-Muslims should be rejected or disregarded.
Khairuddin further called for an end to absolutist rule, which he blamed for the oppression of nations and the destruction of civilizations.

Sekularizam, Hermeneutika, and Empire: The Politics of Islamic Reformation

Saba Mahmood

Since the events of September 11, 2001, against the

backdrop of two decades of the ascendance of global religious politics, urgent
calls for the reinstatement of secularism have reached a crescendo that cannot
be ignored. The most obvious target of these strident calls is Islam, particularly
those practices and discourses within Islam that are suspected of fostering fundamentalism
and militancy. It has become de rigueur for leftists and liberals alike
to link the fate of democracy in the Muslim world with the institutionalization

of secularism — both as a political doctrine and as a political ethic. This coupling
is now broadly echoed within the discourse emanating from the U.S. State
Department, particularly in its programmatic efforts to reshape and transform
“Islam from within.” In this essay, I will examine both the particular conception
of secularism that underlies the current consensus that Islam needs to be
reformed — that its secularization is a necessary step in bringing “democracy” to
the Muslim world — and the strategic means by which this programmatic vision is
being instituted today. Insomuch as secularism is a historically shifting category
with a variegated genealogy, my aim is not to secure an authoritative definition of
secularism or to trace its historical transformation within the United States or the
Muslim world. My goal here is more limited: I want to sketch out the particular
understanding of secularism underlying contemporary American discourses on
Islam, an understanding that is deeply shaped by U.S. security and foreign policy
concerns in the Muslim world.

Hizbollah’s Political Manifesto 2009

Following World War II, the United States became the centre of polarization and hegemony in the world; as such a project witnessed tremendous development on the levels of domination and subjugation that is unprecedented in history, making use and taking advantage of the multifaceted achievements on the several levels of knowledge, culture, technology, economy as well as the military level- that are supported by an economic-political system that only views the world as markets that have to abide by the American view.
The most dangerous aspect in the western hegemony-the American one precisely- is that they consider themselves as owners of the world and therefore, this expandin strategy along with the economic-capitalist project has become awestern expanding strategythat turned to be an international scheme of limitless greed. Savage capitalism forces- embodied mainly in international monopoly networks o fcompanies that cross the nations and continents, networks of various international establishments especially the financial ones backed by superior military force have led to more contradictions and conflicts of which not less important are the conflicts of identities, cultures, civilizations, in addition to the conflicts of poverty and wealth. These savage capitalism forces have turned into mechanisms of sowing dissension and destroying identities as well as imposing the most dangerous type of cultural,
national, economic as well as social theft .

IZAZOVI PREMA ISLAMSKOM BANKARSTVU

MUNAWAR IQBAL
AUSAF AHMAD
TARIQULLAH KHAN

Islamic banking practice, which started in early 1970s on a modest scale, has shown tremendous progress during the last 25 years. Serious research work of the past two and a half decades has established that Islamic banking is a viable and efficient way of financial intermediation. A number of Islamic banks have been established during this period under heterogeneous, social and economic milieu. Recently, many conventional banks, including some major multinational Western banks, have also started using Islamic banking techniques. All this is encouraging. However, the Islamic banking system, like any other system, has to be seen as an evolving reality. This experience needs to be evaluated objectively and the problems ought to be carefully identified and addressed to.

It is with this objective that the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) presents this paper on Challenges Facing Islamic Banking, as decided by the IDB Board of Executive Directors. A team of IRTI researchers consisting of Munawar Iqbal, Ausaf Ahmad and Tariqullah Khan has prepared the paper. Munawar Iqbal, Chief of the Islamic Banking and Finance Division acted as the project leader. Two external scholars have also refereed the study. IRTI is grateful for the contribution of these referees. The final product is being issued as the Second Occasional Paper.

It is hoped that serious consideration will be given to the challenges facing Islamic banking identified in the paper. Theoreticians and practitioners in the field of Islamic banking and finance need to find ways and means to meet those challenges so that Islamic banking can keep on progressing as it enters the 21st Century.

Islamic Political Culture, Demokracija, and Human Rights

Daniele. Cijena

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the

values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes

in Muslim nations. Consequently, scholars, commentators, and government

officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next

ideological threat to liberal democracies. This view, however, is based primarily

on the analysis of texts, Islamic political theory, and ad hoc studies

of individual countries, which do not consider other factors. It is my contention

that the texts and traditions of Islam, like those of other religions,

can be used to support a variety of political systems and policies. Country

specific and descriptive studies do not help us to find patterns that will help

us explain the varying relationships between Islam and politics across the

countries of the Muslim world. Hence, a new approach to the study of the

connection between Islam and politics is called for.
I suggest, through rigorous evaluation of the relationship between Islam,

democracy, and human rights at the cross-national level, that too much

emphasis is being placed on the power of Islam as a political force. I first

use comparative case studies, which focus on factors relating to the interplay

between Islamic groups and regimes, economic influences, ethnic cleavages,

and societal development, to explain the variance in the influence of

Islam on politics across eight nations.

The Prelude to the Islamic State

Muhammad Ibn Katebur Rahman

We have been given Islam as guidance and his guidance is divided in to, acts of worship wholly between Allah and His servants and acts of achieving aims to attain the Islamic sovereignty on earth. Acts of worship are Salat, Saum, Zabh, etc which have no rational reasons for its existence. Then there are acts which have reasons for its existence such as spending wealth, Džihad, speaking truth, fighting injustice, preventing zina, drugs, interests, etc which are there for the benefit and well being of societies and nations. Each intelligent worshipper in order to achieve these goals of universal benefits therefore must always seek ways to attain it and one of it is theological and political unity. In order to envision the gateways in the world to implement and realize these universal interests we then must know about the changing world, we must know about the age of information. We must know about its nature, behavior, progression which includes knowing about politics, history, technology, science, vojne, cultures, philosophies, psychology of nations, people of power and values, places of interest and value, resources of earth, international law, Internet, humanity with its divisions on basis of wealth, power and their place in history and progression. Our Prophet (saas) stated that the knowledge is a lost property of a believer and indeed this knowledge is all those knowledge which by knowing benefits Islam and the Muslims both in world and hereafter. The intelligent among us especially the clerics, therefore study books and organizes people of knowledge on basis of their respective expertise so that they can give efficient and effective solutions for the attainment of those Islamic universal benefits. The Islamic politics is just there to realize these universal benefits, to humanity on whole and Muslims in particular

The Islamization of Pakistan

The Middle East Institute

Od 2007, Pakistan, though not on the verge of becoming a failed state, nonetheless has been gripped by a series of interrelated crises. As the contributors to this volume demonstrate, Pakistan’s current travails have deep and tangled historical roots. They also demonstrate that Pakistan’s domestic situation historically has been influenced by, and has affected developments in neighboring countries as well as those farther afield.
The origins of many of Pakistan’s troubles today lie not just in the circumstances in which the state of Pakistan emerged, but in the manner in which various domestic political forces have defined and sought to advance their competing visions of the state since independence. Over the years, successive national political leaders, the military, and other actors have appropriated the symbols, institutions, tools of statecraft, and even the rhetoric of Pakistan’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in order to advance their own narrow agendas.
As the contributors emphasize, much of the present turmoil in Pakistan dates from the late 1970s, when the rise to power of General Zia ul Haq and his Islamization program intersected with the momentous events of 1979, most importantly, the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
The 18 essays comprising this volume examine the tight interplay between these domestic and regional factors, discuss the key domestic and foreign policies adopted during the Zia years, and disclose the heavy cost that Pakistan and its people have borne as a consequence. Taken together, the essays present a grim, tragic account of the past 30 years — of a country’s founding creed violated, much of its resources misspent, and its social fabric rent. And they suggest an uncertain future. At the same time, however, they point hopefully, if not confidently, to what Pakistan’s fragile civilian government must seek to reclaim and can achieve — provided that its leaders prove to be moderate, resourceful, and determined, and that the West (especially the United States) implements policies which support rather than undermine them.
In his Eid-ul-Azha Message to the Nation on October 24, 1947, Muhammad Ali Jinnah declared: “My message to you all is of hope, courage and confidence. Let us mobilize all our resources in a systematic and organized way and tackle the grave issues that confront us with grim determination and discipline worthy of a great nation.” More than a half-century has elapsed since Jinnah made this statement, yet the issues facing Pakistan are no less grave. One hopes that the current and next generation of Jinnah’s successors, together with Pakistan’s friends will be able to summon the necessary will and bolster the state’s capacity to deal with these issues effectively.

Islamic Political Culture, Demokracija, and Human Rights

Daniele. Cijena

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the

values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes
in Muslim nations. Consequently, scholars, commentators, and government
officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next
ideological threat to liberal democracies. This view, however, is based primarily
on the analysis of texts, Islamic political theory, and ad hoc studies
of individual countries, which do not consider other factors. It is my contention
that the texts and traditions of Islam, like those of other religions,
can be used to support a variety of political systems and policies. Country
specific and descriptive studies do not help us to find patterns that will help
us explain the varying relationships between Islam and politics across the
countries of the Muslim world. Hence, a new approach to the study of the
connection between Islam and politics is called for.
I suggest, through rigorous evaluation of the relationship between Islam,
democracy, and human rights at the cross-national level, that too much
emphasis is being placed on the power of Islam as a political force. I first
use comparative case studies, which focus on factors relating to the interplay
between Islamic groups and regimes, economic influences, ethnic cleavages,

and societal development, to explain the variance in the influence of

Islam on politics across eight nations.

ISLAMIC FAITH in AMERICA

JAMES A. BEVERLEY

AMERICA BEGINS A NEW MILLENNIUM AS ONE OF THE MOST RELIGIOUSLY diverse nations of all time. Nowhere else in the world do so many people—offered a choice free from government influence—identify with such a wide range of religious and spiritual communities. Nowhere else has the human search for meaning been so varied. In America today, there are communities and centers for worship representing all of the world’s religions.
The American landscape is dotted with churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques. Zen Buddhist zendos sit next to Pentecostal tabernacles. Hasidic Jews walk the streets with Hindu swamis. Most amazing of all, relatively little conflict has occurred among religions in America. This fact, combined with a high level of tolerance of each other’s beliefs and practices, has let America produce people of goodwill ready to try to resolve any tensions that might emerge. The Faith in America series celebrates America’s diverse religious heritage.
People of faith and ideals who longed for a better world have created a unique society where freedom of religious expression is a keynote of culture. The freedom that America offers to people of faith means that not only have ancient religions found a home
here, but that newer ways of expressing spirituality have also taken root. From huge churches in large cities to small spiritual communities in towns and villages, faith in America has never been stronger. The paths that different religions have taken through
American history is just one of the stories readers will find in this series. Like anything people create, religion is far from perfect. However, its contribution to the culture and its ability to help people are impressive, and these accomplishments will be found in all the books in the series. Meanwhile, awareness and tolerance of the different paths our neighbors take to the spiritual life has become an increasingly important part of citizenship in America.
Today, more than ever, America as a whole puts its faith in freedom—the freedom to believe.

Islamist Opposition Parties and the Potential for EU Engagement

Toby Archer

Heidi Huuhtanen

In light of the increasing importance of Islamist movements in the Muslim world and

the way that radicalisation has influenced global events since the turn of the century, it

is important for the EU to evaluate its policies towards actors within what can be loosely

termed the ‘Islamic world’. It is particularly important to ask whether and how to engage

with the various Islamist groups.

This remains controversial even within the EU. Some feel that the Islamic values that

lie behind Islamist parties are simply incompatible with western ideals of democracy and

ljudska prava, while others see engagement as a realistic necessity due to the growing

domestic importance of Islamist parties and their increasing involvement in international

affairs. Another perspective is that democratisation in the Muslim world would increase

European security. The validity of these and other arguments over whether and how the

EU should engage can only be tested by studying the different Islamist movements and

their political circumstances, country by country.

Democratisation is a central theme of the EU’s common foreign policy actions, as laid

out in Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union. Many of the states considered in this

report are not democratic, or not fully democratic. In most of these countries, Islamist

parties and movements constitute a significant opposition to the prevailing regimes, and

in some they form the largest opposition bloc. European democracies have long had to

deal with governing regimes that are authoritarian, but it is a new phenomenon to press

for democratic reform in states where the most likely beneficiaries might have, from the

EU’s point of view, different and sometimes problematic approaches to democracy and its

related values, such as minority and women’s rights and the rule of law. These charges are

often laid against Islamist movements, so it is important for European policy-makers to

have an accurate picture of the policies and philosophies of potential partners.

Experiences from different countries tends to suggest that the more freedom Islamist

parties are allowed, the more moderate they are in their actions and ideas. In many

cases Islamist parties and groups have long since shifted away from their original aim

of establishing an Islamic state governed by Islamic law, and have come to accept basic

democratic principles of electoral competition for power, the existence of other political

competitors, and political pluralism.

A SHARED PAST FOR A SHARED FUTURE

Martin Rose

the response by both muslim and non-muslim scholars, intellectuals

and religious leaders to the Clash of Civilisations theory has been

swift and astute, not only at theoretical but also practical levels. The

Alliance of Civilizations and the Common Word initiatives, among

many others, have developed a large number of projects and encounters

not only of inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue but also of active

engagement and participation of people of different faiths, cultures and

communities working together in a manner and at a scale that may be

unprecedented in the history of humanity. Much more sustained work

is, however, needed to bring about a better understanding and more

peaceful co-existence.
The British Council has recently celebrated its work with the Muslim

community and the Association of Muslim Social Scientists (UK).

In 2006 the AMSS and the British Council’s Counter-Point jointly

produced the British Muslims: Media Guide, the first ever such guide

to be produced in the West describing Britain’s Muslim communities,

their history, and present and future aspirations. The success of the

Guide, which was positively received at all levels in the UK and which

inspired similar initiatives in other countries, was one of the factors

behind the British Council’s new and ambitious Our Shared Europe

Project. This project seeks to find common ground and build shared

values, perspectives and behaviours based on mutual respect and trust.

Its aim is to create a shared understanding among all Europeans of

Islam’s past and present contribution to European societies and identities.

If the Our Shared Europe Project engages and fully reflects the

many myriads of our shared diversity then it will have come a long way

towards realising the new era of respect and peaceful coexistence that

is challenging the suppositions of the old. By giving its 2009 Building

Bridges Award to this project the AMSS is stressing the importance of

creating a climate of respect, dialogue, hope, and real engagement,

along with initiatives that build bridges and promote universal ethical

values and an inclusive view of our shared planet .

Democratization and Islamic Politics: A Study on the Wasat Party in Egypt

YOKOTA Takayuki

The aim of this article is to explore the often contradictory correlation between democratization and Islamic politics in Egypt, focusing on a new Islamic political party, the Wasat Party (Ḥizb al-Wasaṭ).
Theoretically, democratization and Islamic politics are not incompatible if Islamic political organizations can and do operate within a legal and democratic framework. On the other hand, this requires democratic tolerance by governments for Islamic politics, as long as they continue to act within a legal framework. In the Middle East, however, Islamic political parties are often suspected of having undemocratic agendas, and governments have often used this suspicion as a justification to curb democratization. This is also the case with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (Jam‘īya al-Ikhwān al-Muslimīn) under the Ḥusnī Mubārak regime. Although the Brotherhood is a mainstream Islamic movement in Egypt, operating publicly and enjoying considerable popularity,
successive governments have never changed its illegal status for more than half a century. Some of the Brotherhood members decided to form the Wasat Party as its legal political organ in order to break this stalemate.
There have been some studies on the Wasat Party. Stacher [2002] analyzes the “Platform of the Egyptian Wasat Party” [Ḥizb al-Wasaṭ al-Miṣrī 1998] and explains the basic principles of the Wasat Party as follows: democracy, sharī‘a (Islamic law), rights of women, and Muslim- Christian relations. Baker [2003] regards the Wasat Party as one of the new Islamist groups that have appeared in contemporary Egypt, and analyzes its ideology accordingly. Wickham [2004] discusses the moderation of Islamic movements in Egypt and the attempt to form the Wasat Party from the perspective of comparative politics. Norton [2005] examines the ideology and activities of the Wasat Party in connection with the Brotherhood’s political activities. As these earlier studies are mainly concerned with the Wasat Party during the 1990s and the early 2000s, I will examine the ideology and activities of the Wasat Party till the rise of the democratization movement in Egypt in around 2005. I will do so on the basis of the Wasat Party’s documents, such
as the “Platform of the New Wasat Party” [Ḥizb al-Wasaṭ al-Jadīd 2004]1), and my interviews with its members.