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Islamic Political Culture, دموکراسی, and Human Rights

دانیل E. قیمت

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes in Muslim nations. در نتیجه, عالمان, 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. I argue that much of the power
attributed to Islam as the driving force behind policies and political systems in Muslim nations can be better explained by the previously mentioned factors. I also find, contrary to common belief, that the increasing strength of Islamic political groups has often been associated with modest pluralization of political systems.
I have constructed an index of Islamic political culture, based on the extent to which Islamic law is utilized and whether and, if so, how,Western ideas, institutions, and technologies are implemented, to test the nature of the relationship between Islam and democracy and Islam and human rights. This indicator is used in statistical analysis, which includes a sample of twenty-three predominantly Muslim countries and a control group of twenty-three non-Muslim developing nations. In addition to comparing
Islamic nations to non-Islamic developing nations, statistical analysis allows me to control for the influence of other variables that have been found to affect levels of democracy and the protection of individual rights. The result should be a more realistic and accurate picture of the influence of Islam on politics and policies.

Political Islam in the Middle East

می نادسن

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, که در

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. Nonetheless, 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.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

ویلیام توماسون

Is Islam a religion of violence? Is the widely applied stereotype that all Muslims are violently opposed to “infidel” Western cultures accurate? Today’s world is confronted with two opposing faces of Islam; one being a peaceful, adaptive, modernized Islam, and the other strictly fundamentalist and against all things un-Islamic or that may corrupt Islamic culture. Both specimens, though seemingly opposed, mingle and inter-relate, and are the roots of the confusion over modern Islam’s true identity. Islam’s vastness makes it difficult to analyze, but one can focus on a particular Islamic region and learn much about Islam as a whole. Indeed, one may do this with Egypt, particularly the relationship between the Fundamentalist society known as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian government and population. The two opposing faces of Islam are presented in Egypt in a manageable portion, offering a smaller model of the general multi-national struggle of today’s Islam. In an effort to exemplify the role of Islamic Fundamentalists, and their relationship with Islamic society as a whole in the current debate over what Islam is, this essay will offer a history of the Society of Muslim Brothers, a description of how the organization originated, functioned, and was organized, and a summary of the Brother’s activities and influences on Egyptian culture. Certainly, by doing so, one may gain a deeper understanding of how Islamic Fundamentalists interpret Islam


International Consultation of Muslim Intellectuals on Islam & سیاست

مرکز استیمسون & موسسه مطالعات سیاست

This two-day discussion brought together experts and scholars from Bangladesh, مصر, India,اندونزی, Kenya, مالزی, پاکستان, the Philippines, Sudan and Sri Lanka representing academia,non-governmental organizations and think tanks. Among the participants were a number of former government officials and one sitting legislator. The participants were also chosen to comprise abroad spectrum of ideologies, including the religious and the secular, cultural, political andeconomic conservatives, liberals and radicals.The following themes characterized the discussion:1. Western and US (Mis)Understanding There is a fundamental failure by the West to understand the rich variety of intellectual currents andcross-currents in the Muslim world and in Islamic thought. What is underway in the Muslim worldis not a simple opposition to the West based on grievance (though grievances there also are), but are newal of thought and culture and an aspiration to seek development and to modernize withoutlosing their identity. This takes diverse forms, and cannot be understood in simple terms. There is particular resentment towards Western attempts to define the parameters of legitimate Islamicdiscourse. There is a sense that Islam suffers from gross over generalization, from its champions asmuch as from its detractors. It is strongly urged that in order to understand the nature of the Muslim renaissance, the West should study all intellectual elements within Muslim societies, and not only professedly Islamic discourse.US policy in the aftermath of 9/11 has had several effects. It has led to a hardening andradicalization on both sides of the Western-Muslim encounter. It has led to mutual broad brush(mis)characterization of the other and its intentions. It has contributed to a sense of pan-Islamicsolidarity unprecedented since the end of the Khilafat after World War I. It has also produced adegeneration of US policy, and a diminution of US power, influence and credibility. Finally, theUS’ dualistic opposition of terror and its national interests has made the former an appealing instrument for those intent on resistance to the West.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Pursuit of Legal Existence and Intellectual Development in Egypt

Manar Hassan


In the wake of the devastating earthquake that trembled the congested capital of Egyptand its neighboring cities in October of 1992, the Private Voluntary Organizations – dominatedby Islamists – managed to considerably lead the relief efforts within hours, leaving theincumbent regime afflicted with its bureaucratic inefficiencies. The government’s ownlimitations in providing the type of crucial operative services at time of mayhem is a mereexample of its declining credibility among the masses. Moreover, its response to this publicembarrassment was even more austere – passing a decree to ban any direct relief efforts by thePVOs therefore forcing all aid to materialize through the government only. But withgovernmental impediments still looming, the regime struggled to meet the needs of the victimsin time which led to riots and posed as a mere reminder of the incessant exasperation thatEgyptians have faced in their recent history. Hence, it became apparent that Mubarak’sattempts to salvage his image in order to corroborate his grip on power had by and largealienated vital forces within Egypt’s civil society.The civil society has, therefore, been a crucial source through which oppositionists –predominantly the Muslim Brotherhood – derive the power of popular appeal. Being one of thelargest and most influential oppositionist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood cuts acrossestranged social structures such as the modern working class, the urban poor, the young, and thenew middle class, which form a support base. Some of the most prominent Brotherhoodmembers themselves pertain to the new middle class and therefore network through al-niqabatal-mihaniyyah (Professional Associations). One example is Dr. Ahmad el-Malt, who was theformer Deputy Supreme Guide to the Brotherhood and also President of the Doctors’ syndicateprior to his death

Brothers in Arms?

جاشوا Stacher
Within and between western governments, a heated policy debate is raging over the question of whether or not to engage with the world’s oldest and most influential political Islamist group: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. In 2006, publication of a series of leaked memos in the New Statesman magazine revealed that political analysts within the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommended an enhancement of informal contacts with members of the Brotherhood.
The authors of these documents argued that the UK government should be seeking to influence this group, given the extent of its grassroots support in Egypt. The British analysts further suggested that engagement could provide a valuable opportunity for challenging the Brotherhood’s perceptions of the West, including the UK, and for detailed questioning of their prescriptions for solving the challenges facing Egypt and the wider region.
The Bush administration in the United States has been far less open to the idea of direct engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood, arguing that it would be inappropriate to enter into formal ties with a group that is not legally recognised by the Egyptian government. با این حال, there are indications that the US position may be starting to shift. In 2007, it emerged that the State Department had approved a policy that would enable US diplomats to meet and coordinate with elected Brotherhood leaders in Egypt, عراق, Syria and other Arab states.

Within and between western governments, a heated policy debate is raging over the question of whether or not to engage with the world’s oldest and most influential political Islamist group: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. In 2006, publication of a series of leaked memos in the New Statesman magazine revealed that political analysts within the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommended an enhancement of informal contacts with members of the Brotherhood.

The authors of these documents argued that the UK government should be seeking to influence this group, given the extent of its grassroots support in Egypt. The British analysts further suggested that engagement could provide a valuable opportunity for challenging the Brotherhood’s perceptions of the West, including the UK, and for detailed questioning of their prescriptions for solving the challenges facing Egypt and the wider region.

The Bush administration in the United States has been far less open to the idea of direct engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood, arguing that it would be inappropriate to enter into formal ties with a group that is not legally recognised by the Egyptian government. با این حال, there are indications that the US position may be starting to shift. In 2007, it emerged that the State Department had approved a policy that would enable US diplomats to meet and coordinate with elected Brotherhood leaders in Egypt, عراق, Syria and other Arab states.

محمود عزت در مصاحبه ای جامع با احمد منصور از الجزیره

Mahmoud Ezzat

دکتر. محمود عزت, دبیرکل اخوان المسلمین, در یک مصاحبه جامع با احمد منصور ، الجزیره ، تأیید کرد که انتخابات اخوان المسلمین برای ریاست جمهوری که قرار است در دوره آینده توسط اعضای دفتر ارشاد برگزار شود ، برای هر کسی که مایل است مقالات نامزدی خود را به عنوان یک کاندیدا ارائه دهد ، آزاد است..

در بیانیه خود به برنامه گفتگوی بیلا حدود (بدون مرز) در تلویزیون الجزیره, عزت توضیح داد كه مقالات نامزدی معمولاً نباید برای نامزدهای اخوان المسلمین مورد استفاده قرار گیرد بلكه لیستی كامل از كل شورای صد نفره اخوان برای انتخاب رئیس اخوان المسلمین و دفتر راهنمایی ارائه می شود. وی انکار کرد که راهنمای عمومی اخوان برای رهبری شورای عمومی شورا به او اجازه آزادی کار در تصمیم گیری نهایی خود را نمی دهد. وی همچنین فاش کرد که شورا اختیار دارد رئیس را در برابر هرگونه کوتاهی مسئول بداند و در صورت نیاز هر زمان وی را برکنار کند.

وی تأكید كرد كه این جنبش آماده است تا نهایت فداكاری را برای عملی كردن اصل شورا انجام دهد (مشاوره) در صفوف, با اشاره به اینکه شورای شورا رئیس و دفتر راهنمایی جدیدی را در سال آینده انتخاب خواهد کرد.

وی در مورد پوشش رسانه ای آنچه واقعاً در پشت صحنه دفتر راهنمایی اتفاق افتاده اظهار نظر کرد, با استناد به اینکه کمیته متشکل از چهره های برجسته ای مانند دکتر. عصام الریان و تعدادی از اعضای اداره ارشاد مسئول چاپ بیانیه هفتگی رئیس با آقای. مهدی عاکف آرزو دارد که اختلاف نظری جزئی داشته باشد. اولین دوره ریاست Akef در ژانویه به پایان می رسد 13, 2010 با این حال او قبلا اعلام کرده است; او هنوز تصمیم خواهد گرفت که آیا برای دومین بار به عنوان راهنمای عمومی گروه در سمت خود باقی بماند.

وی ادامه داد که عاکف 81 ساله اعضای دفتر ارشاد را قبلاً مطلع کرده بود که قصد استعفا دارد و برای دوره دوم خدمت نخواهد کرد. اعضای دفتر بلافاصله پاسخ دادند و از او خواستند که در سمت خود بماند.

در پیام هفتگی خود, مهدی عاکف به طور مبهم به نیت خود برای عدم اجرای دومین دوره اشاره کرد و از اخوان المسلمین و اعضای اداره ارشاد که مسئولیت مسئولیت را با او به اشتراک گذاشتند گویی که قصد دارد این سخنرانی خداحافظی او باشد. روز یکشنبه, اکتبر 17 رسانه ها ادعا کردند که رئیس اخوان استعفا را اعلام کرده است; با این حال رئیس بارها و بارها ادعاهای رسانه ای را رد کرد جایی که روز بعد به دفتر آمد و با اعضا دیدار کرد. وی بعداً با صدور بیانیه ای واقعیت را افشا کرد. ادعاهای رسانه ای در مورد عدم تمایل اداره ارشاد برای انتصاب دکتر. عصام الریان کاملاً دروغ است.

دکتر. محمود عزت اطمینان یافت که جنبش خوشحال است که فرصتی را در اختیار اعضا قرار می دهد تا نظرات خود را به اشتراک بگذارند, تأکید بر آن تجلی تطبیق قدرت با اندازه بزرگ و نقش اصلی موجود است, نشان می دهد که رئیس اخوان المسلمین از این کار بسیار خوشحال است.

وی تأكید كرد كه همه موضوعات برای تصمیم نهایی به اداره ارشاد برمی گردند كه در آن قطعنامه ها برای همه لازم الاجرا و رضایت بخش است, صرف نظر از اختلاف نظرها.

“من آنچه قبلاً اتفاق افتاده را دست کم نمی گیرم یا به سادگی می گویم هیچ بحرانی وجود ندارد, همزمان, ما نباید همه چیز را از متن آن خارج کنیم, ما مصمم به استفاده از اصل شورا هستیم”, او اضافه کرد.

قبلاً در جلسه بعدی اداره ارشاد بحث شد که شورای شوراهای این گروه تنها حق انتخاب عضویت در اداره ارشاد را برای هر عضو دارد, او توضیح داد. دکتر. خود عصام موافقت كرد كه انتصاب عضوی جدید در دفتر راهنمایی اخوان از زمان نزدیكی به انتخابات مناسب نیست.

عزت اظهار داشت که این اپیزود به دلیل پیشنهاد اداره ارشاد در میان دستگیری ها و بازداشت های مکرر امنیتی دولت به شورای شورا ارائه شده است.. ما تلاش زیادی می کنیم تا شورای شورا را برای انتخاب رئیس بعدی و اعضای دفتر راهنمایی درگیر کنیم. انتظار می رود کل موضوع حل شود, به خواست خدا, قبل از ژانویه 13.

در این جلسه توسط رئیس و اعضای اداره ارشاد MB تصمیم گرفته شد كه نامه ای به شورای شورا ارسال كنند, با تأکید بر اینکه تاریخ این انتخابات دیرتر از ماه ششم نخواهد بود. فرض بر این بود که مراحل پیش از انتخابات یا در طی آن برگزار می شود 5 اعضای جدید سال گذشته انتخاب شدند. این تصمیم شورای شورا است و نه اداره ارشاد MB. در نتیجه, شورای شوراهای گروه عمومی سرانجام به تصمیم اتفاق نظر خود در مورد برگزاری انتخابات در اسرع وقت رسید.

وی تأکید کرد که اخوان المسلمین, با اجرای قانون توسط آیین نامه داخلی آن سازمان یافته است. آیین نامه هایی که توسط قوانین مجلس شورا به تصویب رسیده و از آن حمایت می شود و قابل تغییر است. آخرین اصلاحیه در حال انجام با یکی از بندهای آن مدت دوره عضویت یک عضو اداره ارشاد است به این معنی که یک عضو نباید بیش از دو دوره متوالی خدمت کند.

برخی از اعضای اداره ارشاد به پایبندی خود به ماندن در دفتر برای سالها متهم شدند; دکتر. عزت ادعا كرد كه دستگيري هاي مكرر كه هيچ موردي را از سوي دفتر اجرايي مستثني نمي كند ، ما را بر آن داشت تا ماده ديگري را در آيين نامه داخلي اصلاح كنيم كه به عضو عضويت خود را حتي در صورت بازداشت نيز حفظ كند.. فقدان کار شریف برای رفاه کشورشان و مأموریت متعالی ما را بر آن داشت تا بر حفظ عضویت خود اصرار ورزیم. مهندس خیرات الشاطر به عنوان معاون دوم رئیس MB و دکتر باقی خواهد ماند. محمد علی بیش از اعضای دفتر اجرایی MB. انتظار می رود بیشر ماه آینده منتشر شود.

دکتر. محمود عزت شایعات مربوط به درگیری های داخلی گروه مخالف در رابطه با رهبری را کاملاً انکار کرد, با تاکید بر اینکه مکانیسم, مقررات و شرایط راه را برای انتخاب رهبران جنبش هموار می کند. وی همچنین اشاره کرد که وضعیت جغرافیایی مصر و وزن اخلاقی قابل توجهی که در جهان اسلام دارد ، نیاز مصری بودن رئیس MB را توجیه می کند.

“اداره ارشاد در حال بررسی روند کلی شورای صد نفره اخوان در رابطه با معرفی کاندیدای مناسب واجد شرایط تصدی ریاست است.”, او گفت.

“پیش بینی اینکه رئیس بعدی چه کسی خواهد بود بسیار دشوار است, توجه داشته باشید که 5 دقایقی قبل از انتصاب آقای. Akef به عنوان رئیس هیچ کس نمی دانست, آرا فقط تصمیم می گرفتند که چه کسی رهبر جدید باشد”, او گفت.

دکتر. محمود عزت گزارش های متناقض آشکار رسانه ها درباره ادعاهای آنها در مورد اظهارات رهبران عالی اخوان را ناشی از همان ناسازگاری گزارش های رسانه ها درباره رهبران ارشد دانست که از روزنامه ای به روزنامه دیگر متفاوت است.

دکتر. محمود عزت با حمله به ارقام امنیتی که منجر به دستگیری برخی شد ، ارقامی را روشن کرد 2696 اعضای گروه در 2007, 3674 که در 2008 و 5022 که در 2009. این امر منجر به عدم توانایی شورای شورا در برگزاری جلسات و شرکت در انتخابات شد.

وی همچنین تأکید کرد که اخوان المسلمین علاقه زیادی به حفظ امنیت ملی مصر و امنیت آن دارند’ علاقه به دستیابی به اصلاحات مسالمت آمیز در جامعه. “ما به خوبی می دانیم که جلسات اداره ارشاد توسط امنیت بررسی می شود ، اگرچه ما فقط قصد داریم دموکراسی را تمرین کنیم. در حقیقت, ما نمی خواهیم خصومت و خصومت دیگران را تحریک کنیم”.

وی همچنین تأکید کرد که اختلافات درون سازمانی ناشی از نفرت یا اختلافات شخصی نیست ، زیرا خلق و خوی شایسته ای که توسط تعالیم متعالی اسلام تشویق می شود ، ما را ترغیب به تحمل اختلاف عقاید می کند.. وی افزود که تاریخ ثابت کرده است که جنبش اخوان المسلمین بسیار دشوارتر از بحران موجود بوده است.

رسانه ها تصویری منفی از اخوان المسلمین ارائه داده اند كه در آن آنها برای اطلاعات به تحقیقات SSI اعتماد می كردند. ضروری است روزنامه نگاران در صورت داشتن نوعی اعتبار حقایق را از منابع اصلی دریافت کنند. در حقیقت قوه قضاییه تمام اتهامات گزارش شده در تحقیقات دولتی را باطل اعلام کرده است, او گفت.

دکتر. محمود عزت خوشبین بود که بحران سیاسی فعلی تصویب خواهد شد و اظهار داشت که وقایع اثبات می کنند که اخوان المسلمین با تمام آداب و رسوم اش, عینیت, و عمل به دموکراسی با رنگهای درخشان درخشان خواهد شد.

منتشر شده در Ikhwanweb

The Internet and Islamist Politics in Jordan, Morocco and Egypt.

The end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first saw a
dissemination of the Internet as a center of communication, information, entertainment and
commerce. The spread of the Internet reached all four corners of the globe, connecting the
researcher in Antarctica with the farmer in Guatemala and the newscaster in Moscow to the
Bedouin in Egypt. Through the Internet, the flow of information and real-time news reaches
across continents, and the voices of subalternity have the potential to project their previously
silenced voices through blogs, websites and social networking sites. Political organizations
across the left-right continuum have targeted the Internet as the political mobilizer of the future,
and governments now provide access to historical documents, party platforms, و
administrative papers through their sites. Similarly, religious groups display their beliefs online
through official sites, and forums allow members from across the globe to debate issues of
eschatology, orthopraxy and any number of nuanced theological issues. Fusing the two, Islamist
political organizations have made their presence known through sophisticated websites detailing
their political platforms, relevant news stories, and religiously oriented material discussing their
theological views. This paper will specifically examine this nexus – the use of the Internet by
Islamist political organizations in the Middle East in the countries of Jordan, Morocco and
مصر.
Although a wide range of Islamist political organizations utilize the Internet as a forum to
publicize their views and create a national or international reputation, the methods and intentions
of these groups vary greatly and depend on the nature of the organization. This paper will
examine the use of the Internet by three ‘moderate’ Islamist parties: the Islamic Action Front in
2
اردن, the Justice and Development Party in Morocco and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
As these three parties have increased their political sophistication and reputation, both at home
and abroad, they have increasingly utilized the Internet for a variety of purposes. First, Islamist
organizations have used the Internet as a contemporary extension of the public sphere, a sphere
through which parties frame, communicate and institutionalize ideas to a broader public.
Secondly, the Internet provides Islamist organizations an unfiltered forum through which
officials may promote and advertise their positions and views, as well as circumvent local media
restrictions imposed by the state. Finally, the Internet allows Islamist organizations to present a
counterhegemonic discourse in opposition to the ruling regime or monarchy or on display to an
international audience. This third motivation applies most specifically to the Muslim
برادری, which presents a sophisticated English language website designed in a Western
style and tailored to reach a selective audience of scholars, politicians and journalists. The MB
has excelled in this so-called “bridgeblogging” 1 and has set the standard for Islamist parties
attempting to influence international perceptions of their positions and work. The content varies
between the Arabic and English versions of the site, and will be examined further in the section
on the Muslim Brotherhood. These three goals overlap significantly in both their intentions and
desired outcomes; however, each goal targets a different actor: the public, the media, and the
regime. Following an analysis of these three areas, this paper will proceed into a case study
analysis of the websites of the IAF, the PJD and the Muslim Brotherhood.
1

اندرو هلمز

Ikhwanweb

The end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first saw a dissemination of the Internet as a center of communication, information, entertainment and commerce.

The spread of the Internet reached all four corners of the globe, connecting the researcher in Antarctica with the farmer in Guatemala and the newscaster in Moscow to the Bedouin in Egypt.

Through the Internet, the flow of information and real-time news reaches across continents, and the voices of subalternity have the potential to project their previously silenced voices through blogs, websites and social networking sites.

Political organizations across the left-right continuum have targeted the Internet as the political mobilizer of the future, and governments now provide access to historical documents, party platforms, and administrative papers through their sites. Similarly, religious groups display their beliefs online through official sites, and forums allow members from across the globe to debate issues of eschatology, orthopraxy and any number of nuanced theological issues.

Fusing the two, Islamist political organizations have made their presence known through sophisticated websites detailing their political platforms, relevant news stories, and religiously oriented material discussing their theological views. This paper will specifically examine this nexus – the use of the Internet by Islamist political organizations in the Middle East in the countries of Jordan, Morocco and Egypt.

Although a wide range of Islamist political organizations utilize the Internet as a forum to publicize their views and create a national or international reputation, the methods and intentions of these groups vary greatly and depend on the nature of the organization.

This paper will examine the use of the Internet by three ‘moderate’ Islamist parties: the Islamic Action Front in Jordan, the Justice and Development Party in Morocco and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. As these three parties have increased their political sophistication and reputation, both at home and abroad, they have increasingly utilized the Internet for a variety of purposes.

First, Islamist organizations have used the Internet as a contemporary extension of the public sphere, a sphere through which parties frame, communicate and institutionalize ideas to a broader public.

Secondly, the Internet provides Islamist organizations an unfiltered forum through which officials may promote and advertise their positions and views, as well as circumvent local media restrictions imposed by the state.

Finally, the Internet allows Islamist organizations to present a counterhegemonic discourse in opposition to the ruling regime or monarchy or on display to an international audience. This third motivation applies most specifically to the Muslim Brotherhood, which presents a sophisticated English language website designed in a Western style and tailored to reach a selective audience of scholars, politicians and journalists.

The MB has excelled in this so-called “bridgeblogging” 1 and has set the standard for Islamist parties attempting to influence international perceptions of their positions and work. The content varies between the Arabic and English versions of the site, and will be examined further in the section on the Muslim Brotherhood.

These three goals overlap significantly in both their intentions and desired outcomes; however, each goal targets a different actor: the public, the media, and the regime. Following an analysis of these three areas, this paper will proceed into a case study analysis of the websites of the IAF, the PJD and the Muslim Brotherhood.