The Economist: Can Political Islam Make It in the Modern World?

In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, Islamist parties across the Middle East and North Africa have achieved mixed results. As the Economist notes, the legacy of the Muslim Brotherhood, which began as an anti-imperialist social and educational movement in Egypt under Hassan al-Banna in 1928, gave way to Islamist offshoots, each iteration borne out of its own historical particularities and social contexts. “Modern Islamism [is] broadly defined as the pursuit of a state governed by Islamic principles,” and its “current incarnations and hybridisations include groups as diverse as Ennahda, a peaceful Tunisian political party, and Islamic State (IS), a violent jihadist group that calls the Brothers apostates.” Muhammad Morsi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, and his brief tenure as Egypt’s first democratically elected president was marred by social unrest, ending with a military coup in 2013. Tunisia’s Ennahda offered an alternative model to the insular political structure defining Morsi’s rule. The article analyzes Tunisia’s success: “Unlike Egypt and Turkey, Tunisia does not have a strong and politicised army. And whereas the state’s repression in Egypt before the revolution seemed to harden the Brotherhood, in Tunisia it led Ennahda members, who shared prison cells with other opposition leaders, to adopt a more liberal worldview.” – YaleGlobal

The Economist: Can Political Islam Make It in the Modern World?

Islamist parties work in Tunisia, but not Egypt – a mixed bag of success and failure for the Middle East/North Africa in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Copyright The Economist Newspaper Limited 2017

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