RSSTë gjitha Hyrje në "Hamasit" Kategori

Islami politik në Lindjen e Mesme

A Knudsen

This report provides an introduction to selected aspects of the phenomenon commonly

referred to as “political Islam”. The report gives special emphasis to the Middle East, në

particular the Levantine countries, and outlines two aspects of the Islamist movement that may

be considered polar opposites: democracy and political violence. In the third section the report

reviews some of the main theories used to explain the Islamic resurgence in the Middle East

(Figure 1). In brief, the report shows that Islam need not be incompatible with democracy and

that there is a tendency to neglect the fact that many Middle Eastern countries have been

engaged in a brutal suppression of Islamist movements, causing them, some argue, to take up

arms against the state, and more rarely, foreign countries. The use of political violence is

widespread in the Middle East, but is neither illogical nor irrational. In many cases even

Islamist groups known for their use of violence have been transformed into peaceful political

parties successfully contesting municipal and national elections. Megjithatë, the Islamist

revival in the Middle East remains in part unexplained despite a number of theories seeking to

account for its growth and popular appeal. In general, most theories hold that Islamism is a

reaction to relative deprivation, especially social inequality and political oppression. Alternative

theories seek the answer to the Islamist revival within the confines of religion itself and the

powerful, evocative potential of religious symbolism.

The conclusion argues in favour of moving beyond the “gloom and doom” approach that

portrays Islamism as an illegitimate political expression and a potential threat to the West (“Old

Islamism”), and of a more nuanced understanding of the current democratisation of the Islamist

movement that is now taking place throughout the Middle East (“New Islamism”). This

importance of understanding the ideological roots of the “New Islamism” is foregrounded

along with the need for thorough first-hand knowledge of Islamist movements and their

adherents. As social movements, its is argued that more emphasis needs to be placed on

understanding the ways in which they have been capable of harnessing the aspirations not only

of the poorer sections of society but also of the middle class.

Partive islamike : pse ata nuk mund të jetë demokratike

Bassam Tibi

Noting Islamism’s growing appeal and strength on the ground, many

Western scholars and officials have been grasping for some way to take

an inclusionary approach toward it. In keeping with this desire, it has

become fashionable contemptuously to dismiss the idea of insisting on

clear and rigorous distinctions as “academic.” When it comes to Islam

and democracy, this deplorable fashion has been fraught with unfortunate

consequences.

Intelligent discussion of Islamism, demokraci, and Islam requires

clear and accurate definitions. Without them, analysis will collapse into

confusion and policy making will suffer. My own view, formed after

thirty years of study and reflection regarding the matter, is that Islam and

democracy are indeed compatible, provided that certain necessary religious

reforms are made. The propensity to deliver on such reforms is what

I see as lacking in political Islam. My own avowed interest—as an Arab-

Muslim prodemocracy theorist and practitioner—is to promote the establishment

of secular democracy within the ambit of Islamic civilization.

In order to help clear away the confusion that all too often surrounds

this topic, I will lay out several basic points to bear in mind. The first is

se, so far, Western practices vis-`a-vis political Islam have been faulty

because they have lacked the underpinning of a well-founded assessment.

Unless blind luck intervenes, no policy can be better than the assessment

upon which it is based. Proper assessment is the beginning of

all practical wisdom.

STRATEGJITË PËR Angazhimi ISLAMI POLITIK

SHADI HAMID

Amanda KADLEC

Political Islam is the single most active political force in the Middle East today. Its future is intimately tied to that of the region. If the United States and the European Union are committed to supporting political reform in the region, they will need to devise concrete, coherent strategies for engaging Islamist groups. Akoma, the U.S. has generally been unwilling to open a dialogue with these movements. Në mënyrë të ngjashme, EU engagement with Islamists has been the exception, not the rule. Where low-level contacts exist, they mainly serve information-gathering purposes, not strategic objectives. The U.S. and EU have a number of programs that address economic and political development in the region – among them the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Union for the Mediterranean, and the European Neighborhood Policy (PPE) – yet they have little to say about how the challenge of Islamist political opposition fits within broader regional objectives. SHBA. and EU democracy assistance and programming are directed almost entirely to either authoritarian governments themselves or secular civil society groups with minimal support in their own societies.
The time is ripe for a reassessment of current policies. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, supporting Middle East democracy has assumed a greater importance for Western policymakers, who see a link between lack of democracy and political violence. Greater attention has been devoted to understanding the variations within political Islam. The new American administration is more open to broadening communication with the Muslim world. Ndërkohë, the vast majority of mainstream Islamist organizations – including the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Fronti i Veprimit Islamik i Jordanisë (IAF), Morocco’s Justice and Development Party (PJD), the Islamic Constitutional Movement of Kuwait, and the Yemeni Islah Party – have increasingly made support for political reform and democracy a central component in their political platforms. Veç, many have signaled strong interest in opening dialogue with U.S. and EU governments.
The future of relations between Western nations and the Middle East may be largely determined by the degree to which the former engage nonviolent Islamist parties in a broad dialogue about shared interests and objectives. There has been a recent proliferation of studies on engagement with Islamists, but few clearly address what it might entail in practice. As Zoé Nautré, visiting fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations, puts it, “the EU is thinking about engagement but doesn’t really know how.”1 In the hope of clarifying the discussion, we distinguish between three levels of “engagement,” each with varying means and ends: low-level contacts, strategic dialogue, and partnership.

Islamist parties : Three kinds of movements

Tamara Cofman

Between 1991 dhe 2001, the world of political Islam became significantly more diverse. Today, the term “Islamist”—used to describe a political perspective centrally informed by a set of religious interpretations and commitments—can be applied to such a wide array of groups as to be almost meaningless. It encompasses everyone from the terrorists who flew planes into the World Trade Center to peacefully elected legislators in Kuwait who have voted in favor of women’s suffrage.
Megjithatë, the prominence of Islamist movements—legal and illegal, violent and peaceful—in the ranks of political oppositions across the Arab world makes the necessity of drawing relevant distinctions obvious. The religious discourse of the Islamists is now unavoidably central to Arab politics. Conventional policy discussions label Islamists either “moderate” or “radical,” generally categorizing them according to two rather loose and unhelpful criteria. The first is violence: Radicals use it and moderates do not. This begs the question of how to classify groups that do not themselves engage in violence but who condone, justify, or even actively support the violence of others. A second, only somewhat more restrictive criterion is whether the groups or individuals in question
accept the rules of the democratic electoral game. Popular sovereignty is no small concession for traditional Islamists, many of whom reject democratically elected governments as usurpers of God’s sovereignty.
Yet commitment to the procedural rules of democratic elections is not the same as commitment to democratic politics or governance.

Partive islamike : A boon or a bane for democracy?

Amr Hamzawy

Nathan J. I nxirë nga dielli

What role do Islamist movements play in Arab politics? With their popular messages and broad followings within Arab societies, would their incorporation as normal political actors be a boon for democratization or democracy’s bane? For too long, we have tried to answer such questions solely by speculating about the true intentions of these movements and their leaders. Islamist political movements in the Arab world are increasingly asked—both by outside observers and by members of their own societies—about their true intentions.
But to hear them tell it, leaders of mainstream Arab Islamist movements are not the problem. They see themselves as democrats in nondemocratic lands, firmly committed to clean and fair electoral processes, whatever outcomes these may bring. It is rulers and regimes that should be pressed to commit to democracy, say the Islamists, not their oppositions. We need not take such Islamist leaders at their word. Me të vërtetë, we should realize that there is only so much that any of their words can do to answer the question of the relationship between these movements and the prospects for democracy.
While their words are increasingly numerous (Islamist movements tend to be quite loquacious) and their answers about democracy increasingly specific, their ability to resolve all ambiguities is limited. I parë, as long as they are out of power—as most of them are, and are likely to remain for some time—they will never fully prove themselves. Many Islamist leaders themselves probably do not know how they would act were they to come to power.

Islami politik: Gati për Angazhimi?

Emad El-Din Shahin

The voluminous literature on reform and democratization in the Middle East region reveals a number of facts: a main obstacle to reform is the incumbent regimes that have been trying to resist and circumvent genuine democratic transformations; political reform cannot be credible without integrating moderate Islamists in the process; and external actors (mainly the US and the EU) have not yet formulated a coherent approach to reform that could simultaneously achieve stability and democracy in the region. This paper explores the possibilities and implications of a European engagement with moderate Islamists on democracy promotion in the region. It argues that the EU approach to political reform in the Middle East region needs to be enhanced and linked to realities on the ground. Political reform cannot be effective without the integration of non-violent Islamic groups in a gradual, multifaceted process. It should be highlighted that the process of engagement is a risky one for both the EU and the Islamists, yet both stand to gain from a systematic dialogue on democracy. To reduce the risks, the engagement with political Islam should come within a broader EU strategy for democracy promotion in the region. Në të vërtetë, what the Islamists would expect from Europe is to maintain a
consistent and assertive stand on political reforms that would allow for a genuine representation of the popular will through peaceful means.
In this regard, a number of questions seem pertinent. Does the EU really need to engage political Islam in democratic reforms? Is political Islam ready for engagement and will it be willing to engage? How can an engagement policy be formulated on the basis of plausible implementation with minimal risks to the interests of the parties involved?

LËVIZJET islamike dhe procesit demokratik në botën arabe: Eksplorimi i Zonat Gray

Nathan J. I nxirë nga dielli, Amr Hamzawy,

Marina Ottaway

During the last decade, Islamist movements have established themselves as major political players in the Middle East. Together with the governments, lëvizjet islamike, moderate as well as radical, will determine how the politics of the region unfold in the foreseeable future. Th ey have shown the ability not only to craft messages with widespread popular appeal but also, and most importantly, to create organizations with genuine social bases and develop coherent political strategies. Other parties,
by and large, have failed on all accounts.
Th e public in the West and, in particular, Shtetet e Bashkuara, has only become aware of the importance of Islamist movements after dramatic events, such as the revolution in Iran and the assassination of President Anwar al-Sadat in Egypt. Attention has been far more sustained since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As a result, Islamist movements are widely regarded as dangerous and hostile. While such a characterization is accurate regarding organizations at the radical end of the Islamist spectrum, which are dangerous because of their willingness to resort to indiscriminate violence in pursuing their goals, it is not an accurate characterization of the many groups that have renounced or avoided violence. Because terrorist organizations pose an immediate
threat, megjithatë, policy makers in all countries have paid disproportionate attention to the violent organizations.
It is the mainstream Islamist organizations, not the radical ones, that will have the greatest impact on the future political evolution of the Middle East. Th e radicals’ grandiose goals of re-establishing a caliphate uniting the entire Arab world, or even of imposing on individual Arab countries laws and social customs inspired by a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam are simply too far removed from today’s reality to be realized. Th is does not mean that terrorist groups are not dangerous—they could cause great loss of life even in the pursuit of impossible goals—but that they are unlikely to change the face of the Middle East. Mainstream Islamist organizations are generally a diff erent matter. Th ey already have had a powerful impact on social customs in many countries, halting and reversing secularist trends and changing the way many Arabs dress and behave. And their immediate political goal, to become a powerful force by participating in the normal politics of their country, is not an impossible one. It is already being realized in countries such as Morocco, Jordan, and even Egypt, which still bans all Islamist political organizations but now has eighty-eight Muslim Brothers in the Parliament. Politikë, not violence, is what gives mainstream Islamists their infl uence.

ISLAM, Islamistët, DHE PARIMI ZGJEDHOR në Lindjen e Mesme

James Piscatori

For an idea whose time has supposedly come, ÒdemocracyÓ masks an astonishing

number of unanswered questions and, in the Muslim world, has generated

a remarkable amount of heat. Is it a culturally specific term, reflecting Western

European experiences over several centuries? Do non-Western societies possess

their own standards of participation and accountabilityÑand indeed their own

rhythms of developmentÑwhich command attention, if not respect? Does Islam,

with its emphasis on scriptural authority and the centrality of sacred law, allow

for flexible politics and participatory government?

The answers to these questions form part of a narrative and counter-narrative

that themselves are an integral part of a contested discourse. The larger story

concerns whether or not ÒIslamÓ constitutes a threat to the West, and the supplementary

story involves IslamÕs compatibility with democracy. The intellectual

baggage, to change the metaphor, is scarcely neutral. The discussion itself has

become acutely politicised, caught in the related controversies over Orientalism,

the exceptionalism of the Middle East in particular and the Muslim world in general,

and the modernism of religious ÒfundamentalistÓ movements.

Partive islamike , A janë ata të demokratëve? A ka rëndësi ?

Tarek Masoud

I shtyrë nga një ndjenjë se "islamistët po vijnë,"Gazetarët dhe krijuesit e politikave kanë qenë të angazhuar kohët e fundit në spekulime ethe mbi nëse partitë islamike të tilla si Vëllazërinë Myslimane të Egjiptit (MB) ose Hamasi Palestinës me të vërtetë besojnë në demokraci. Ndërsa unë të përpiqet të përshkruajë kufijtë e angazhimit islamik demokratike, Mendoj se duke i hedhur sytë në shpirtin islamik është një keqpërdorim i energjive. Islamikët nuk po vijnë. Për më tepër, si Adam Przeworski dhe të tjerët kanë argumentuar, angazhimet për demokracinë janë të lindur më shpesh i kufizimeve mjedisore sesa e besimit të vërtetë. Në vend të shqetësuese nëse islamistët janë demokratët e vërtetë,
qëllimi ynë duhet të jetë për të ndihmuar pasuroj institucioneve demokratike dhe liberale dhe aktorët në mënyrë që asnjë grup-islamike ose ndryshe, mund të shkatërrojnë ato.
Por çfarë është kjo lëvizje gjatë fides demokratike bona cilit ne merak? Islamizmi është një koncept i rrëshqitshëm. Për shembull, në qoftë se ne etiketë si islamike ato parti që bëjnë thirrje për zbatimin e sheriatit, ne duhet të përjashtojë Partisë për Drejtësi dhe Zhvillim të Turqisë (e cila është konsideruar gjerësisht islamike) dhe përfshijnë Partinë Demokratike Kombëtare në pushtet të Egjiptit (e cila në mënyrë aktive represses islamistët). Në vend të duke u bërë të zhytur në çështje përkufizuese, ne do të bëjmë më mirë të përqëndrohet në një grup të partive politike që janë rritur nga rrënjët njëjta historike, nxjerrin shumë prej qëllimeve dhe qëndrimeve të tyre nga i njëjti organ e ideve, dhe për të ruajtur lidhjet organizative me njëri-tjetrin, që është, ato parti që burojnë nga MB ndërkombëtare. Këto përfshijnë organizimin nënë egjiptian (themeluar në 1928), por edhe Hamasi, Fronti i Veprimit Islamik i Jordanisë, Lëvizja Algjerisë për një shoqëri paqësore, Partia Islamike e Irakut, Grupi islamik Libanit, dhe të tjerët.

ISLAMIC RULINGS ON WARFARE

H Youssef. Abul-Enein
Sherifa Zuhur

The United States no doubt will be involved in the Middle East for many decades. To be sure, settling the Israeli–Palestinian dispute or alleviating poverty could help to stem the tides of Islamic radicalism and anti-American sentiment. But on an ideological level, we must confront a specific interpretation of Islamic law, histori,and scripture that is a danger to both the United States and its allies. To win that ideological war, we must understand the sources of both Islamic radicalism and liberalism. We need to comprehend more thoroughly the ways in which militants misinterpret and pervert Islamic scripture. Al-Qaeda has produced its own group of spokespersons who attempt to provide religious legitimacy to the nihilism they preach. Many frequently quote from the Quran and hadith (the Prophet Muhammad’s sayings and deeds) in a biased manner to draw justification for their cause. Lieutenant Commander Youssef Aboul-Enein and Dr. Sherifa Zuhur delve into the Quran and hadith to articulate a means by which Islamic militancy can be countered ideologically, drawing many of their insights from these and other classical Islamic texts. In so doing, they expose contradictions and alternative approaches in the core principles that groups like al-Qaeda espouse. The authors have found that proper use of Islamic scripture actually discredits the tactics of al-Qaeda and other jihadist organizations. This monograph provides a basis for encouraging our Muslim allies to challenge the theology supported by Islamic militants. Seeds of doubt planted in the minds of suicide bombers might dissuade them from carrying out their missions. The Strategic Studies Institute is pleased to offer this study of Islamic rulings on warfare to the national defense community as an effort to contribute to the ongoing debate over how to defeat Islamic militancy.

Islamit dhe Perëndimit

Preface

John J. DeGioia

The remarkable feeling of proximity between people and nations is the unmistakable reality of our globalized world. Encounters with other peoples’ ways oflife, current affairs, politics, welfare and faithsare more frequent than ever. We are not onlyable to see other cultures more clearly, butalso to see our differences more sharply. The information intensity of modern life has madethis diversity of nations part of our every dayconsciousness and has led to the centrality ofculture in discerning our individual and collectiveviews of the world.Our challenges have also become global.The destinies of nations have become deeply interconnected. No matter where in the world we live, we are touched by the successes and failures of today’s global order. Yet our responses to global problems remain vastly different, not only as a result of rivalry and competing interests,but largely because our cultural difference is the lens through which we see these global challenges.Cultural diversity is not necessarily a source of clashes and conflict. Në të vërtetë, the proximity and cross-cultural encounters very often bring about creative change – a change that is made possible by well-organized social collaboration.Collaboration across borders is growing primarily in the area of business and economic activity. Collaborative networks for innovation,production and distribution are emerging as the single most powerful shaper of the global economy.

why are there no arab democracies ?

Larry Diamond

During democratization’s “third wave,” democracy ceased being a mostly Western phenomenon and “went global.” When the third wave began in 1974, the world had only about 40 democracies, and only a few of them lay outside the West. By the time the Journal of Democracy began publishing in 1990, there were 76 electoral democracies (accounting for slightly less than half the world’s independent states). Nga 1995, that number had shot up to 117—three in every five states. By then, a critical mass of democracies existed in every major world region save one—the Middle East.1 Moreover, every one of the world’s major cultural realms had become host to a significant democratic presence, albeit again with a single exception—the Arab world.2 Fifteen years later, this exception still stands.
The continuing absence of even a single democratic regime in the Arab world is a striking anomaly—the principal exception to the globalization of democracy. Why is there no Arab democracy? Me të vërtetë, why is it the case that among the sixteen independent Arab states of the Middle East and coastal North Africa, Lebanon is the only one to have ever been a democracy?
The most common assumption about the Arab democracy deficit is that it must have something to do with religion or culture. Pas te gjithave, the one thing that all Arab countries share is that they are Arab.

Muslim Civil Society in Urban Public Spaces: Globalization, Discursive Shifts, and Social Movements

Paul M. Lübeck
Bryana Britt
Cities are processes, not products. The three Islamic elements that set in motion the processes that give rise to Islamic cities were: a distinction between the members of the Umma and the outsiders, which led to juridical and spatial distinction by neighborhoods; the segregation of the sexes which gave rise to a particular solution to the question of spatial organization; and a legal system which, rather than imposing general regulations over land uses of various types in various places, left to the litigation of the neighbors the detailed adjudication of mutual rights over space and use. (Janet Abu Lughod 1987: 173)
Framing: Muslim Movements in Urban Situations We live in an intellectual moment when the complexity of the global Islamic
revival renders it difficult to generalize about Muslim institutions, social movements, and discursive practices. While diversity and locality remain paramount features of Muslim cities, globalization has inadvertently nurtured transnational Muslim networks from the homeland of Islam and extended them into the web of interconnected world cities. Quite opportunistically, urban-based
Muslim networks and insurrectionist movements now thrive in the interstitial spaces created by the new global communication and transportation infrastructures. What, atëherë, are the long-term patterns for Muslims in cities? Since the last millennium, as Janet Abu-Lughod reminds us, “the Islamic cityhas been the primary site for: defining power relations between ruler and subject, specifying the rights and identities of spatial communities, and regulating urban social relations between genders. Today’s Muslim city remains the epicenter of a burgeoning public sphere in which informed publics debate highly contested Islamic discourses regarding social justice,

Demokraci, Terrorizmi dhe Politika amerikane në botën arabe

F. Gregory Gause

The United States has embarked upon what President Bush and Secretary of State Rice has called a “generational challenge” to encourage political reform and democracy in the Arab world. The Bush Administration and other defenders of the democracy campaign contend that the push for Arab democracy is not only about spreading American values, but also about insuring American security. They hypothesize that as democracy grows in the Arab world, anti-American terrorism from the Arab world will decline. prandaj, the promotion of democracy inthe Arab world is not only consistent with American security goals in the area, but necessary to achieve those goals.
Two questions present themselves in considering this element of the “Bush Doctrine” in the Arab world: 1) Is there a relationship between terrorism and democracy such that the more democratic a country becomes, the less likely it is to produce terrorists and terrorist groups? Me fjale te tjera, is the security rationale for democracy promotion in the Arab world based on a sound premise?; dhe 2) What kind of governments would likely be generated by democratic elections in Arab countries? Would they be willing to cooperate with the United States on important policy objectives in the Middle East, not only in maintaining democracy but also on
Arab-Israeli, Gulf security and oil issues?
This paper will consider these two questions. It finds that there is little empirical evidence linking democracy with an absence of or reduction in terrorism. It questions whether democracy would reduce the motives and opportunities of groups like al-Qa’ida, which oppose democracy on both religious and practical grounds. It examines recent trends in Arab public opinion and elections, concluding that while Arab publics are very supportive of democracy, democratic elections in Arab states are likely to produce Islamist governments which would be much less likely to cooperate with the United States than their authoritarian predecessors.

Hamasi mund të vendosë një shembull

Khader Khader

Perhaps the single most important aspect of Hamasoverwhelming victory in Palestinian Legislative Council elections last month is that it was the first time in the contemporary history of the Middle East that democracy was exercised for real without any direct external or internal interference. The ramifications of such free elections may well reverberate around the region for years to come and might mark a new phase in the geopolitical map of the Middle East.
This, megjithatë, was not the first time an Islamic political party showed its popularity at the ballot box. Algeria’s Islamic Front appeared headed to certain victory in elections in the mid-1990s before external intervention on the part of the “demokratik” West and its allies in Algiers nipped that experience in the bud. In Algeria, the result of burying democracy has been an extremely bloody conflict that still drags on, much to the embarrassment of western countries, which prefer not to comment. For the ordinary citizen in the Arab world, it was an experience that only added to the sense of oppression and frustration felt in every corner of the region.
Thus Hamaselectoral victory has sparked widespread hope among the Arab masses that they have another chance to find out if an Islamic party can rule better than the current regimes in the Arab world. Hamasit, in this sense, carries the hopes of millions of Arabs and Muslims all over the world.
But with such expectations comes a time fraught with danger. Hamas and the way it runs matters in the Palestinian territories can set a very interesting example: if it succeeds; if it proves it can run Palestinian affairs more transparently and to the benefit of more ordinary Palestinians than previously, while at the same time managing tough negotiations with Israel, the experience will encourage other Islamic movements in the Arab world to use it as an example to convince their citizens that Islamic political movements are a viable alternative.
But if Hamas fails in its difficult and challenging task, the setback will strike a devastating blow to all Islamic movements and parties in the region. A Hamas failure could perhaps send the entire region into another period of political wilderness akin to the era after the failure of the pan-Arabists.
Kështu, Hamas in power is an interesting and illuminating phenomenon, and one that will be followed closely by all concerned parties. According to a leading Hamas figure in Khan Yunis, Dr. Younis al-Astal, the International Muslim Brotherhood has already expressed its readiness to assist Hamas with all the needed expertise to make it succeed in its mission. The Brotherhood will of course be the principal benefactor of any Hamas success.
By the same token, megjithatë, the West may feel itself forced now to exert all possible efforts to make Hamas fail even if the movement proves successful in meeting the needs of the people. The issue in question here is not how efficient a government is but how loyal a government shows itself to be to the West. This is the measure the West has generally used to assess the Middle East, where billions of US dollars have been spent on keeping Arab regimesmoderate and realistic”, especially in relation to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
There is a curious parallel to the Cold War now in the dynamic that is developing between the West and the Muslim world. During the Cold War, the West was confident that democracy would bring the Eastern Bloc to its knees and forcefully spread the message that individual freedom and the right to vote were human rights par excellence.
Now, megjithatë, that same message is likely to backfire on the West. If real elections were held in Egypt and Jordan, it is highly likely that Muslim Brotherhood movements would come to power and cast into doubt the peace treaties between those countries and Israel, in which the West has invested so much effort.
Everyone knows that democracy comes at a cost in the Middle East. Is the world ready to engage in this game? The key is likely to be the success or otherwise of Hamas, which is operating under extremely adverse conditions. Arabs and Muslims across the region, so often let down by political promise from various quarters, may well be disappointed again. But in the meantime their hopes are with a political movement that is posing the first serious challenge in decades to Arab regimes everywhere.

Europe’s Engagement with Moderate Islamists

Kristina Kausch

Direct engagement1 with Islamist political movements has typically been a no-go for European governments. In recent years, megjithatë, the limits of the European Union’s (EU) stability-oriented approach towards cooperation with authoritarian rulers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to defend EU strategic interests in the region have become increasingly obvious. Incumbent MENA rulers’ attempts to portray the European choice of interlocutors in the region as either stabilising governments or de-stabilising Islamists are increasingly perceived as short-sighted and contradictory. Recent debates suggest that the search for viable alternative policy approaches is leading to a shift in European policy makers’ attitude towards moderate2 Islamist actors.
There is no shortage of incentives to redirect the course of EU policies in the region. Preventing the
radicalisation of Islamist movements in the region is an integral part of the EU’s counter-terrorism strategy. It
has become common wisdom that substantial political reform will only happen through effective pressure from
brenda. Non-violent, non-revolutionary Islamist parties that aspire to take power by means of a democratic
process have therefore often been portrayed as potential reform actors that carry the hopes of a volatile region
for genuine democratic development and long-term stability