Since September 11, discussions of political Islam have been distorted by the tendency to identify political Islam with Osama bin Laden, his associates, and organizations involved in violent actions in places such as Chechnya, Kashmir, Algeria, and Egypt. In reality, such violent, militant groups constitute only a small minority among political Islamists. Another, non-violent face of Islamism exists and is often ignored in current debates. In this working paper, Mustapha Kamel Al-Sayyid describes Islamism and examines how the international community should deal with the movement's non-violent majority.
About the Author
Mustapha Kamel Al-Sayyid is professor of political science and director of the Center for Developing Countries Studies at Cairo University in Egypt. In July and August of 2002, he was a visiting fellow at the Carnegie Endowment with the Democracy and Rule of Law Project.
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