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Beyond the Arab SpringThe Evolving Ruling Bargain in the Middle East$
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Mehran Kamrava

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199384419

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199384419.001.0001

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Islamist Movements And The Arab Spring

Islamist Movements And The Arab Spring

(p.99) 4 Islamist Movements And The Arab Spring
Beyond the Arab Spring

Abdullah Al-Arian

Oxford University Press

This chapter charts the evolution of political Islam in the Arab world and, in particular, highlights its growing engagement with the state. The decades of experience of groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood provide a rich pool of data from which one can draw more careful conclusions regarding the movement’s posture in a post-authoritarian setting. Some Islamist groups, long considered to be revolutionary forces in Arab societies, have transformed into reform-minded organizations and found some accommodation with the region’s authoritarian regimes. Islamic movements by and large broadened the scope of their missions and adopted the popular refrain of “dignity, freedom, and social justice,” around which millions of fellow citizens had united. This chapter also looks at long-term trends developing out of the contributions of Islamist movements to the emerging governance structures across the Arab world. Specifically, the interpretations of the Shari’a, the understanding of the nature of the civil state, and the shape of democratic participation are set to define future modes of governance. Internally, the Islamist movement faces its own challenges, attempting to temper its traditional ideology to the changing political realities, while also adapting its organizational structure to meet the needs of a democratic society.

Keywords:   Muslim Brotherhood, Islamist movements, Islamist groups, Shari’a, social justice

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