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Reuse this content. Consistency also demands we recognise that challenges to a more progressive, democratic future in the Middle East are not solely borne of Islamist movements.
The first views all Islamist groups as more or less the same as al-Qaida in terms of their beliefs, seeing only differences in tactics.The Meaning of "Islam" and "Muslim" - Fadel Soliman
At the other end of the spectrum, there are those who see Islamists as broadly pluralistic and progressive. Before the widespread brutal crackdown on the Brotherhood, public intellectuals such as Ibrahim El Houdaiby and human rights defenders including Heba Morayef engaged with and criticised Islamists. The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest Islamist movement, is a broad church, as it were. An increasing number of political figures in the Arab world share this view.
Show 25 25 50 100 All. But are such groups genuinely progressive?
Likewise, political upheaval in Egypt produced many faux liberals but it also gave rise to principled voices, some of whom were at the heart of the 25 January revolutionary moment. Topics Islam Opinion. It includes the Muslim Brotherhood and other political groupings that engage in public life, as well as extremist organisations such as Daesh Isis that rely solely on violence. Order by newest oldest recommendations.
Indeed, in Syria, the forces of Bashar al-Assad have taken far more lives than Islamists everywhere. The flaw in both approaches is that they generalise far too much.
Groups that tended towards sectarianism and flirted with vigilantism needed to be critiqued, but with nuance, without automatically equating them to al-Qaida. On Wednesday, in the midst of a summit on extremism, Barack Obama said: Consistency is not easy, but it is possible.
But that tendency did not dominate, and it was naive to believe that movements based on reactionary ideas, raised in environments of oppression, would automatically be reformist or progressive once in power.
On a number of issues some of them are not, but to prevent them contributing to civil society is not the right strategy either. In Britain, two broad approaches to Islamism have been in evidence.
In 2002, Edward Said and others formed the Palestinian National Initiative — an effort to carve out a third way that rejected both the radical reactionaries of Hamas and the corrupt Fatah movement. Islamism incorporates a wide range of viewpoints.