Islamic Movements or Islamists as they are termed have played a vital role in the political as well as socio-economic development of West Asia. The Arab Spring paved the way for the consolidation of their agendas even though their coming to power didn’t showcase much political experience. An analysis of the changes and alterations in the inner scaffolds of these movements that had happened soon after the descent of the Arab Spring is the motivation behind this paper which will also be helpful in understanding their recent policies and programs.
The Arab uprising has in fact coloured the Islamists in the new jasmine world. They were brought to power through the democratic process but their electoral victory didn’t stay on for long before the military coup came hard upon them. Their lack of political experience also added to their fall. The emergence of the Islamists in the Post-Arab spring period can be considered as a re-birth of their identity in the Arab world. It also brought about huge changes in their policies and activities which made them adapt to the rapidly changing scenario.
The democratic victory showcases the influence of the Islamists among the people of the Arab World. In the October 2011 elections, Al-Nahda of Tunisia gained more than 40% of the seats and became the largest party having gained 89 seats. The next month witnessed the elections in Morocco where the Islamists gained (Justice and Development Party) 107 out of 395 seats. In Egypt, the Freedom and Justice party of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Nour party of the Salafists gained first and second positions in the elections.
The Islamic movements have tuned their policies with the changes that had taken place during the Arab uprisings. This has also added to their popularity and acceptance in their respective societies. Dr. Robert Satloff says: “The demise of Hosni Mubarak raised, for the Brotherhood, the prospect of returning to the political stage as a fully legitimate actor. This has required the Brotherhood to adopt a very delicate balance between, on the one hand, embracing the ideals of change, democracy and revolution and, on the other hand, redefining and updating the tacit arrangements with the military, which remains (if uneasily) in control of the pace, content and direction of political change in Egypt. The result is complexity, contradiction and paradox. Brotherhood workers and sympathisers have been deeply engaged in all political dialogues with the post-Mubarak military government; …………………..At the same time, elements within the Brotherhood build important political coalitions with key leftist and liberal activists; fought bravely against the Egyptian security forces when the regime used force and violence against Tahrir square protestors during and after the events of January-February; and called for swift justice against mainstays of the Mubarak regime. If these positions are, at times, contradictory, that is the nature of politics in post-Mubarak Egypt.”
Islamism – a brief introduction
Before entering into the main points of neo-Islamism, a brief introduction of Islamism and its related themes will clearly understand neo-Islamism. Different scholars have come up with a definition of Islamism among which Mohammed Ayyob’s definition describes Islamism as “a form of instrumentalisation of Islam by individuals, groups and organisations that pursue political objectives”. Another description of Islamism given by Antonie Sfeir is “In more specific terms, Islamism is a political and religious ideology that aims to establish an Islamic state under the Sharia law and reunify the Muslim Ummah (i.e. the Islamic community). Behind this relatively simple definition lies a complex picture where the situation varies in different countries or interpreted by different ideological movements, such as the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood and the radical Shi’ites. Also, Islamist movements vary between the ambition to maintain literal fidelity to the tradition on the one hand and the desire for change on the other, whether achieved through reform or revolution”. In the beginning, the prominent advocates of Islamism were Jamal Eddin al-Afghani, Mohammad Abdu and Mohammed Rashid Rida. This revivalist trend very much influenced Hassan Al Banna after coming close to Rasheed Rida’s thoughts and initiated the steps for the launch of the Muslim Brotherhood to spread the notions of Islamism. The main argument forwarded by Afghani and Abduh was that “Islam was a rational religion and should be interpreted in ways that could be applied directly to modern life. They believed traditional bound Muslim leaders had led society astray and that religious thinking should instead be reformed and used as a vehicle for progress.”
Modern Islamism can be identified with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in West Asian politics. It advocated for a more significant role for Islam in public and private life in opposition to the secularist demand for religion’s curtailment in the public sphere. Anti-imperialist sentiments and socio-economic concerns focused on Islamism during the late nineteenth century from the 1940s to 1970s. The contemporary discourse has changed, and more focus can be seen on family values, nation-state, internal affairs, traditional sexual mores, democratic transition and cultural authenticity.
Neo-Islamism – main characteristics
The term neo-Islamism refers to the changing character of political Islam, especially in West Asia following the break out of significant protests which lead to the phenomenon of ‘Arab Spring’. The word has been used without a proper definition as the changes happening are not unique or the same everywhere. Mark Levine says, “What makes the people and situations I have encountered ‘new’, ‘post’ or ‘beyond’ the traditional boundaries of what scholars describe as ‘Islamism’ (that is, religiously-grounded politics or social activism) is that they involve a redefinition of Islam and Muslim practice in which the bona fides of a particular action or believe from an orthodox Islamic legal or theological perspective, is no longer the primary criterion for judging whether it is properly ‘Islamic'”. In the words of Robin Wright neo-Islamists are described as “more flexible, informed, and mature in their political outlook. For them, Sharia is about values, civilisation, and political context. Neo-Islamists are seeking the ultimate objectives of Sharia but without bonding each situation to a certain religious text. They believe that Islam is dynamic and not a set of fixed rules and tenets, but rather an organic belief system that can adapt to or live with the times. Neo-Islamists can be progressive and, on some issues, even liberal, neo-Islamists trust the reform scholars”.
The earliest form of neo-Islamism can be found in the Islamic movement experience in Sudan and Turkey. In Sudan, the Islamist leader Hassan Turabi led the neo-Islamism experiments while in Turkey it was lead initially by Nejmudin Arbakan and later on by his disciple Recep Tayyib Erdogan. Tarek Chamki states, “The Welfare Party (Refah Partis, or RP), headed by the father of modern Turkish Islamists, Necmettin Erbakan (1926-2011), entered a coalition in 1996 with Tansu Çiller’s Correct Path Party (Doğru Yol Partisi, or DYP) which lasted one year before the Turkish army and secular elite demolished the RP. Shock and political failure led the way to a younger leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the successful mayor of Istanbul, to review the coalition’s methods and pave the way for Turkey’s version of Neo-Islamism”. The case of Morocco is worth studying as it exposes how PJD (Justice and Development Party), the party affiliated to the Islamists in Morocco, paved their way during the transition period. The growth of PJD has been gradual and cautious. They never came as a threat or did not deliberately try to dominate the political sphere. The party took care not to lessen their relation with the king and thus alienated from him. In the 2015 September regional council elections, PJD gained 25 per cent of the seats. PJD has declared as their top priority to solve the problems, especially corruption.
Islamic Movements have changed their membership policies as they have begun to incorporate and accommodate individuals beyond their membership criteria. They have formed political parties which accommodate other groups under one umbrella. These political parties have given enough space for ladies, non-Muslims and minorities and even brought them forward to the leadership. Tarek Chamkhi says, “The nature of this new generation of political parties focuses on quantity rather than the quality of its members’ religious devotion. It is no surprise then that Ennahda in Tunisia, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in Egypt, the Development and Justice Party (DJP) in Morocco, and the AKP in Turkey have opened their doors for membership to any citizen regardless of their religion or religious practice. Under these new rules, Tunisian and Egyptian Jews and Christians are free to join these parties. That was not the case under old-fashioned MB procedures.”
Today the Islamic Movement is not speaking about ‘Theocratic state’ but of a civil state and society. The Freedom and Justice Party declared its aim as the formation of a robust democratic political system. Al-Nahda in Tunisia declared that the power is in the hands of the people which the selected members of the parliament will execute. In Morocco, the Justice and Development party’s constitution also aims for a democratic country and the fight against corruption.
Their stands towards democracy and secularism have been rechecked. They had begun to absorb democracy while being kept in prisons and jails of the tyrants. Twenty years before Rashid al Ghanooshi had commented that the best way to face the tyranny is democracy and the Islamists should struggle for democracy rather than Sharia’s implementation. Today they have realised that democracy is not the system while only the tool decides the system. Democracy stands as the watch-dog of freedom of expression. Islamists were the benefactors of democracy in the tyrant’s world. Oliver Roy observes that moderate Islamic thinkers who lived in exile during the last twenty years, such as Rashid Ghannnouchi, cofounder of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, concluded almost twenty years before the Arab uprisings that democracy was a better tool to fight dictatorship that the call for either jihad or Shariaa. Oliver Roy says, “In the 1990s, exiled activists increasingly framed their agendas in terms of democracy and human rights. They acknowledged that simplistic slogans such as “Islam is the solution” were not enough to build programs or coalitions capable of removing dictators. Rachid al Ghannouchi, cofounder of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, concluded almost twenty years before the Arab uprisings that democracy was a better tool to fight dictatorships than the call for either jihad or Sharia.” In secularism, Islamists consider it a form of pluralism in contemporary times, and Islam has long approved the principles of pluralism in its teachings and dealings with other communities and religions. A question that can spring up is how committed are the Islamists to the values of democracy and secularism. Though there can be two opinions on this matter, the Islamists’ engagement in the democratic political setup has exposed their commitment to upholding human rights, demanding good governance. In some cases, their presence in the parliament has caused the ruling regime to alter their policies and programs and make them more citizens-friendly.
Islamists declared that the priority is not in the implementation of Sharia’ but in solving the people’s problems. Ghanooshi declared this first in Tunisia. Soon after the elections, he declared that he does not consider prohibiting liquor, covering the tourists (with purdah), or implementing the Islamic punishments as the top priority. Al-Nahda believes that there is no need to scripting in the Constitution that Islamic Sharia’ is the source of laws. The present constitution has Islam as the official religion of the nation, and that is enough. The objectives of the Sharia’ (Maqasid al Sharia’) should be attained. Whether to carry out the Sharia’ or consider the interests of the masses is not at all significant because public interest is itself, Sharia’. It is full of justice, kindness, and public interest and entirely reasonable. In Egypt, the Freedom and Justice Party had also declared that they would not take policies that harm the capitalist market economy in their manifesto. In Morocco, the Progressive and Justice Development party of the Islamists agreed that Islam is the state’s official religion, and some of them titled it as a civil state with an Islamic reference.
Islamists are now raising the politics of inclusiveness. Even though they have played vital roles in executing the Arab Spring peacefully and making it a success, they have not claimed this. During the elections, the Islamists did not try to dominate it. They only aimed for a share in the government. Hence they did not go for the presidential elections. Later on, when they realised that the revolution was to be sabotaged they changed their decision. In Tunisia, where Al-Nahda had a clear majority, they allied with secular and left parties like CPR – Congress for Republic and ‘Al-Takkathul’. Ghanooshi had declared that even if Al-Nahda gains the majority, the party prefers a coalition government. Post- Islamism emerged as a frame within which Islamic politics have a chance to become more inclusive. Muslims may confidently remain pious Muslims but also be eager for a democratic state. Asef Bayat comments, “This new way of doing politics in the post 9/11 era eventually influenced the inner circle of Islamism, compelling activists and ideologues, such as the youth in the Muslim Brotherhood, to rethink their political project. Many groups — including the reformers in Iran and Indonesia’s Prosperous Justice Party — explicitly departed from their earlier vision of Islamism. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood took piecemeal and pragmatic steps toward recognising the legitimacy of democracy, the separation of powers, and minority rights — when the Kefaya movement and former U.S. President George W. Bush’s rhetoric of democratisation pushed it to do so in the late 2000s. Post-Islamism emerged as a frame within which religious politics could become more inclusive. Muslims could confidently remain Muslim but also have a democratic state — as Turkey’s example indicated.
Moreover, as electronic media expanded, Muslim and secular activists alike had an unprecedented opportunity to communicate, mobilise, and place their democratic demands on the agenda. Thus, by late 2010, an invigorated new public with a novel political vision and means of achieving it had emerged; ready to lead the current revolts.” The case of Al-Nahda showcases the flexible nature applied by Ghannouchi in taking the transition period smoothly. Fahmi Huweidi comments, “While we are examining the detail, we cannot ignore the wide margin of flexibility afforded by Al-Nahda, represented by Shakih Rashid Al-Ghannouchi, who kept his sights set on the unity of the national group and the need to continue the path of revolution. This flexibility drove him not to insist on mentioning the legitimacy reference in the constitution, as well as to concede the sovereign ministries, gained by Al-Nahda due to the majority vote, to other parties. It also drove him to positive intra-android map put forth by the Quartet, which prevented the tunnels of political dialogue from being closed off.”. Al-Nahda’s case from the rest of the West Asian region’s Islamic movements is distinguished by its concessionary moves in its political career. Larbi Sadik says, “This is where Tunisia’s Islamists outclass Islamists across the Arab region: phases of democratic reconstruction are no time for seeking power monopoly or being driven by majoritarian political equations. Saving democracy from itself meant, at one level, by-passing rules of democratic engagement such as being dogmatic about majority rule. Nahda also knew when to make concessions. As a result of concessionary and bargain politics, Nahda has improved its position whilst its main rival, Nidaa Tounes, is so racked by internal dissent.”
Islamists have taken this step in the national affairs, but their foreign policy also exposes this fact. They did not consider the anti-Islamic policies and stands of America and Europe that they had till recently. They contacted America at the start of the Arab Spring. The Muslim Brotherhood leadership visited America and had discussions with the concerned. In Tunisia, soon after the elections Ghanooshi toured the American and European states and made their stands clear.
A giant step in the policy changes was from the Salafists. They had to alter head to foot in their new policy and response to the Arab Spring. The formation of Hizb-al-Nur is their new policy manifestation. In the early times, they had criticised Muslim Brotherhood for their political activism and kept themselves aloof from rising against the tyranny and dictatorship. Oliver Roy comments, “The transformation is visible even among young Egyptian Salafis, followers of a puritanical strain of Islam that emphasises a return to early Islamic practices. They may wear baggy trousers and long white shirts in imitation of the Prophet Mohammed. However, they also often wear shiny sunglasses and sport shoes. They are part of a global culture.
For decades, the Salafis opposed participation in politics. After the uprisings, they completely reversed course. They jumped into politics, hastily registering as political parties. At universities, clubs of young Salafis — including females — have joined public debate forums.
The influence of the current baby-boom generation will be enduring. Their numbers are likely to dominate for much of their lives — potentially another 30 to 40 years — because the fertility rate has plummeted almost everywhere in the Arab world since their birth.”
The case is not similar in Tunisia as the Salafists have still to embrace democracy and elections in its complete sense. They have raised freedom of expressions like stopping the Sufi musicians and other actors from performing. They have been giving a tough time to Al-Nahda since the dawn of the Arab Spring. Robin Wright says, “In Tunisia, Salafis started the Reform Front party in May and led protests, including Sidi Bouzid. This summer, they have repeatedly attacked symbols of the new freedom of speech, ransacking an art gallery and blocking Sufi musicians and political comedians from performing………….. Other more modern Islamists fear the Salafi factor. “The Salafis try to push us,” said Rachid al-Ghannouchi, founder of Ennahda, the ruling Islamist party in Tunisia. The two Islamist groups there are now rivals. “Salafis are against drafting a constitution. They think it is the Koran,” grumbled Merhézia Labidi, the vice chairwoman of Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly and a member of Ennahda.”
Causes of policy changes
A look at the reasons for these changes will shed more light on this issue. The situation in which the Islamic Movements arose has changed completely. They originated in the ambience of grief and sorrow in 1924 when the CaliphateIslamic world’s Caliphate had been uprooted. Hassan Al Banna’s revolutionary thoughts had sprouted in British occupied Egypt, and Moudhoodhi in British occupied India. The restoration of the lost Caliphate was the desire of Islamic consciousness. The Islamic Movements represented this aspect. The colonial forces created obstacles in their paths. Democracy and secularism represented the colonial ideologies that gave the green signal to carry out troubles and mischiefs. In this regard, Banna and Moudhoodhi are building the Islamic Movement’s pillars based on the Islamic Caliphate’s restoration. Their fight and struggle have been providing the catalyst for the last eight decades for the Muslim World to shield Islam and confront the modern world’s ideologies.
The gap between 1928 and 2012 is not a small one. There had been many instances where the Islamic movements had exposed their flexibility to the changing circumstances. Hasan-al-Banna had spoken of a uniform tradition of the Islamic system. However, the Muslim Brotherhood had corrected Banna from the sixties itself. They accepted the pluralistic approach in their activities and participated while they were banned in the elections under the label of Wafd, Ahra. Parties. Shadi Hamid says, “Over the decades, Islamists had changed. They did not become liberals – if they did, they’d no longer be Islamists.
Nevertheless, if we compare their positions on critical issues, such as women’s and minority rights and political pluralism in one time period to a previous one, there was a relative moderation process. In effect, they diluted their Islamism in order to reach out to leftists and liberals (who offered a layer of protection against regime repression) and to appeal to the international community, something which became increasingly important after September 11, 2001, and particularly during George W. Bush’s “freedom agenda.” The movement broke itself from its narrow structure and came out. It formed independent political parties which ensured public participation. It happened in Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Tunisia, Turkey, Sudan and Palestine. In Turkey, Algeria and Jordan, the movement shared the power. The words such as freedom, justice, construction, and peace in naming the parties reflect their policy change. The Islamic principle that the fatwa changes according to the change in the situation applies to the Islamic Movements. Oliver Roy comments, “As a result of their experience with the power of government repression, Islamists increasingly compromised to get in, or stay in, the political game. In Egypt, the Muslim Brothers ran for parliament whenever allowed, often making tactical alliances with secular parties. In Kuwait and Morocco, Islamists abided by the political rules whenever they ran for parliament, even when it meant embracing those monarchies. Morocco’s Justice and Development Party recognised the sacred dimension of the king in order to participate in elections, while Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood publicly supports the king despite growing discontent among the Arab Bedouin tribes.”
It is what is happening to the Islamic movements. Following the Arab Spring, they opened their eyes to a new world. It all happened even before they had expected anything. The spectrum that they had sacrificed their blood and sweat made it easy for the Spring to gush forth. However, the uprising was not only theirs but also of the people. The Islamists hesitated to claim the credit of the revolution and kept themselves from the administration arena. It is because they had not done much homework in this respect. Therefore the Muslim Brotherhood had first retreated from the political process and advocated for participatory politics.
At the same time in Tunisia, Rashid al Ghanaushi had other plans. He too predicted the uprisings to begin from Egypt. Even before the Arab Spring, he had been formulating policies following the changes in the global arena. So it was not difficult for him to determine the direction of the Islamic movement in the Arab Spring scenario. He had the Erdogan model in front of him. His interventions showed promising results, and the Islamic movements quickly adapted themselves to the new change.
The Islamic movements quickly realised that the slogans and theories they had raised in the streets were not enough. Not only that those theories and slogans were not practicable while in power. They comprehended that they had been handed over the responsibility of a world where they represent and a world of plural societies. They have to provide food to poverty has stricken 40% of the Egyptians, 60% of the Moroccans and 30% of the Tunisians. There is no use in chatting to them of the beauty of Sharia’. They have been given a country run amok by dictators filled with unemployment, health problems and pollution to huge debts. The letdown to address these economic challenges will lead to a backlash of the achievements of the Islamists. Abdullah Elmaazi says, “The timings of the Muslim Brotherhood’s electoral success might not be to their advantage. To the average voter, the government is not about ideology; it is about delivering public services. They risk failing to meet the revolutions’ high expectations by assuming power during the challenging transitional period. If so, a disappointed electorate will most certainly confine them to the political wilderness in the next parliamentary elections”.
This situation required the combined efforts and this call for the policy of inclusive democracy and coalition governments and the Islamic movements have realised and implemented them in their administration. They have to extend the hand of co-operation so that the broader coalition can take up the criticism together instead of a single group taking the blame on themselves only. They could not ignore the democracy, which provided them back the freedom and the rights of the citizens. Islamists have also realised that these uprisings have removed the barrier used to stop people from standing up for their rights against dictatorship and autocracy. They are not ready to accept any autocracy or dictatorship, even under a religious outlook. Sheikh Khalifa comments, “Islamists are aware that their priority was strengthened by a platform of social work and public welfare programs. They filled the social service vacuum created by a negligent government and earned massive support as a consequence. Islamists are thus aware that reliance on religious rhetoric will not be sufficient as the loyalty of those who voted for them will always be conditional on the services they can continue to offer while in power.”
In a world where the term Sharia only brings the imagination of capital punishments to the people’s minds, Islamists in Tunisia decided not to use the term. Nevertheless, in Egypt, we can see that the constitution has included the article that Sharia’ would be the legislation source.
In short, these situations are the causes of the policy changes of the Islamists. It can be seen only as of the beginning of the policy changes. They cannot be stagnant in the midst of the high-speed altering world. A time will come when the new policies will not be seen as the strategy, compromise, or diversion from the basic policy. This change is not confined to the states where the Arab Spring happened, but all of them in different states and regions will have to accept this fact. According to Olivier Roy, the changes that led to post-Islamism in the last twenty years do not mean that Islamists disappeared, but that their Utopia did not block social, political or even geostrategic realities. He says, “All these changes gave way to what I called “post-Islamism” (Asef Bayat first used the expression)—it does not mean that the Islamists disappeared, but that their Utopia did not block social, political, or even geostrategic realities. They have no blueprint for an “Islamic economy,” and although they run many charities in deprived neighbourhoods, they tend to become socially conservative, opposing strikes and approving of the rescinding of agrarian reform in Egypt; they have never been able to articulate a coherent supranational program of mobilising the “ummah” (the Islamic world), leaving the concept in the bloody hands of Al-Qaeda and standing in the Middle East in an uneasy status quo between the strategic ambitions of a supposedly Islamic, but Shia, Iran and Arab dictators (from Saddam Hussein to the Saudis) who claim to protect the Sunnis from the “Shia threat.” They favour elections because they do not support armed struggle even when unable to strike a deal with authoritarian regimes. However, they are uneasy about sharing power with non-Islamic groups and turning their “brotherhood” kind of an organisation into a modern political party. They have not given up formal support for Sharia (except in Tunisia and Morocco) but are unable to define a concrete ruling program that would go beyond banning alcohol and promoting the veil or some other petty forms of shariatisation.”
The kinds of literature that have come up during the last few decades before the Arab uprisings also changed the Islamic movements’ policies. Many of them called for a revision of the previous and traditional stands on political matters. The writings of contemporary scholars such as Yusuf al Qardhawi, Fahmy Huweidi, Tarek al Beshri, Kamal Abu Magd and others advocated for a synthesis between Islam and democracy. Sherif Khalifa says, “Their proportions corroborated by proper Islamic reference, acknowledged that proper participation in a democratic process is an acceptable way for selecting leadership in an Islamic context. In their discourse, there is no contradiction between patriotism and religious conviction. Their writings settled the idea that nationalism, instead of pan-Islamism, is not inconsistent with Islamic belief.”
A significant feature of the Islamic movements’ transition is that they have made them capable of going beyond their mentors and founders’ teachings according to the change in situations. Their mentors’ teachings have made it clear to them not to accept them as the last word in any circumstance. Hence we see differences in the policies of Al-Nahda in Tunisia and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt even though they are from the same school of thought.
The transition of Islamists or Islamic movements is something they have succeeded because they welcomed the change as a blessing to be celebrated and not as something to be hidden. This policy has helped them present Islam as the aptest ideology to be followed in the world’s current scenario and solve the world’s problems. Oliver Roy comments, “The process of change will undoubtedly be long and chaotic, but one thing is certain: the age of Arab-Muslim exceptionalism is over. Events during Arab Spring point to profound transformations in Arab societies which have been underway for some time, but which until now have been obscured by the distorting optic of western attitudes towards the Middle East. The convulsions in Egypt and Tunisia show that people in those countries have drawn their history lessons. We have not finished with Islam that is for sure, nor is liberal democracy the “end of history” but we must at least learn to think of Islam with an “Arabic-Muslim” culture that today is no longer closed in on itself – if it ever was.”
- Robert Satloff; ‘The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Current, And Prospects for Post-Mubarak Egypt: An Early Assessment’, (The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, 2011), 3
- Mohammed Ayyoub, The Many Faces of Political Islam: Religion and Politics in the Muslim World (USA, University of Michigan Press,2008)
- Antonie sfeir, The Columbia World Dictionary of Islamism (Trans.) John King (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007)
- Geneive Abdo, No God but God: Egypt and the Triumph of Islam, (Oxford University Press, 2000)
- Amel Boubekeur and Olivier Roy, Whatever Happened to the Islamists? Salafis, Heavy Metal Muslims and the Lure of Consumerist Islam ( New York, Columbia University Press,2012)
- Tarek Chamkhi, Neo-Islamism – Post Arab Spring (Australian Political Studies Association – Murdoch University, 2013), 19
- Asef Bayat, “The Post-Islamist Revolutions”, Foreign Affairs, April 26, 2011
- Fahmi Huweidi, “There is no fear over the Arab Spring in Tunisia”, Middle East Monitor, October 9, 2013
- Larbi Sadiki, “Tunisia’s constitution: A success story?”, Al Jazeera, January 27, 2014
- Robin Wright; “Don’t Fear All Islamists, Fear Salafis”, The New York Times, Washington, August 12, 2012
- Shadi Hamid, “Islamists Struggle to Match Religious Values to Politics”, http://www.wilsoncenter.org/islamists/article/islamistsstruggletomatchreligiousvaluestopolitics, May 28, 2014
- Robin Wright and others, The Islamists Are Coming: Who They Really Are, (Washington, DC: U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 2012), 15.
- Abdullah Elmaazi, “Political Islam: From the Trenches to Parliamentary Benches”, The Tripoli Post, September 21, 2012
- Sheikh Khalifa, “The Neo-Islamists”,Foreign policy Journal, January 29,2012
- Oliver Roy, “The Paradox of the Re-Islamisation of Muslim Societies” Social Science Research Council (blog), September 8, 2011
- Olivier Roy, “This is not an Islamic Revolution”, New states man, February 15, 2011
- Adel Abdel Ghafar, “Five years later lessons of the uprisings in North Africa”, Brookings Institute,February 5, 2016