Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Thu93 2020

Last update18:06 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Issues > Islamic Movements
Violent Islamists vs. Non-Violent Islamists
Violent Islamists vs. Non-Violent Islamists
[Our administration will be] very clear in distinguishing between organizations like Al Qaeda — that espouse violence, espouse terror and act on it — and people who may disagree with my administration and certain actions, or may have a particular viewpoint in terms of how their countries should develop. We can have legitimate disagreements but still be respectful.
Thursday, January 29,2009 11:16
by Shadi hamid Democracy Arsenal

There was one part of Obama"s Al-Arabiya interview which really struck me. For me, this realization - this willingness to make careful distinctions in the Middle East - is paramount, and perhaps even key to a general re-orientation of America"s policy in the region:

[Our administration will be] very clear in distinguishing between organizations like Al Qaeda — that espouse violence, espouse terror and act on it — and people who may disagree with my administration and certain actions, or may have a particular viewpoint in terms of how their countries should develop. We can have legitimate disagreements but still be respectful.

Maybe it"s because I specialize on Islamist parties, but when I think of "people who may disagree with [the Obama] administration and certain actions" or have a "particular viewpoint of how their countries should develop," I think of Islamist groups and parties, the vast majority of whom are both nonviolent and committed to the democratic process, organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Islamic Action Front in Jordan, Morocco"s Justice and Development Party, Turkey"s AKP, Kuwait"s Islamic Constitutional Movement, Yemen"s Islah Party, the Islamic Salvation Front in Algeria, and al-Nahda in Tunisia (sorry, it"s a long list).

I obviously don"t know what Obama had in mind here. However, the basic point is crucial and should really be one of the underlying principles animating our Mideast policy. There are violent groups which seek to attack and harm America, and nonviolent groups which may dislike or even hate American policies, but are legitimate political actors with large constituencies, massive grassroots support, and religious legitimacy.

There is an Islamist dilemma. It has paralyzed our policy toward the region for decades, and most acutely since the tragedy of 1991 Algeria. Perhaps we can move now toward resolving it and freeing our policy from the false choice between ideals and interests. It will take time, and it will be difficult, but we should begin.

Posted in Islamic Movements  
Related Articles
Mumbai Is Quiet, But What’s Next?
Editorial: Not In Defense of Obama
Zawahri’s Statements Are Racial and Contradict Islam, Says Analyst
Syria Muslim Brotherhood Denies Links to "Extremists"
AQ and IT
Al-Qaeda supporters back John McCain for president
Europe should speak to Hamas now
Muslim Brotherhood Denounced 9/11, U.S. Reaction Fueled Anti-Americanism
The Muslim Brotherhood and KSM, Financial Times Fatal Error
Cracks in the Foundation
“Crystal Clear Difference between the MB’s Ideology and that of the Al-Qaeda Network
The heretic
Assessing the Muslim Brotherhood "Firewall"
Score one for the Muslim Brotherhood
’Jihadist’ booted from government lexicon
Keeping Up With Ayman
Al Qaeda fears mount
Al Qaeda to Iran
Al Qaradawi Urges Al-Qaeda Release Two Austrian Hostages
The path of centrist political Islam
Hamzawi: Muslim Brotherhood Denounces Violence, Seeks Political Participation
The Middle East, Al Qaeda or Peace?
Arab Stereotypes in American Film
Q&A: Public diplomacy at the Pentagon
Islamists emerge in stifled Tunisia
Calls for Intervention in Pakistan
The Power of Nightmares Part II
The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other
They Don’t Blame al-Qa’ida. They Blame Musharraf
Bin Laden Issues Warning on Iraq, Israel
MB Executive Bureau criticizes Bin Laden’s latest Audio Release
IUMS Denounces Bombings in Algeria , Lebanon and Iraq , Sees them Unholy War
MB condemned the heinous crime which terrorized Pakistan today
MB Condemn the Tragic Attack that killed Benazir Bhutto
Islamist Pragmatists Ripe for Engagement?
How’s al-Qaeda doing? You decide
Senior Qaeda Theologian Urges His Followers To End Their Jihad
Jihad revisions
Morsy: MB Never Exercised Violence And Always Condemned it, No Relation with Al-Qaeda
In Focus: Jihad Revisions: Is it too late?
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood: Political Islam Without al-Qaeda
Jihad Reviews …Aspirations and Reality
El Erian Welcomes Jihad Group Reviews
El Erian Welcomes Jihad Group Reviews
Al Qaeda hijacking the Palestinian cause
The full bin Laden tape on Iraq
Letters: Engaging the Muslim Brotherhood
MB responds to Marc Lynch’s Memo Published in Foreign Policy
Between the Near and the Far Enemy: Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
Al-Qaeda: Beginning of the End, or Grasping at Straws?
Al Sameraie: Al-Qaeda in Iraq about to End
Morsi: 9/11 a global calamity, not only for U.S.
MB Demands Taliban Release SKorean Hostages
Interview With Ayman Al Zawahri’s Uncle
Muslim Brotherhood Condenms Attack on Tourists in Cairo
Rise of the anti-Osama,Amr Khaled as an Example
Zawahri criticised Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, for believing in Western-style democracy
Muslim Brotherhood Rejects Al Zawahri Statements and Stresses on Peaceful Reform
Muslim Brotherhood Condemns Killing of Journalists in Iraq
Hamas dismisses Qaeda call on Israel
Morsy: Mr. Ragab Hilal Hemida Not A Member of Muslim Brotherhood
The Gun or the Ballot Box? Hamas or Al Qaeda?
Hamas: We Are No Al Qaeda
Muslim Brotherhood Condemns Heinous Bombings in Dahab
Better Mainstream Islamists Than Al-Qaeda
Iraqi Islamic Leader: Al Zarqawy Can only Represent Himself
Al-Zarqawi’s Importance Was Exaggerated
Habib Denounces Al Zawahri’s Criticism of The Judges
Hamdan: Hamas and Al Qaeda Are Incompatible
AlTekriti: Most Iraqi Resistance Disavows OBL statements
Middle East: Al Qaeda takes a back seat
Zawahri: Egyptian Islamic Group Leaders Joined Qaeda
How the Plot Underscores al-Qaeda’s Weakness
Al-Qaeda (and US) eclipsed by rise of Iran
Dr. Tamimi: Zawahri Capitalizes On Hatred Against US & Israel
An interview with Ayman Al Zawahri’s uncle
Zawahri’s Statements Highlight Ideological Differences With MB
Habib: Muslim Brotherhood Rejects Al-Qaeda’s Ideology
Dr. DeLong-Bas: MB Is Not Jihadist or Extremist Movement
Jihad by other means
Zawahiri’s latest
The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood
How can we deprive al-Qaeda of an Iraqi base? Arm moderate Sunnis
Islamist diversity is al-Qaeda’s enemy
Dilemma of Al-Qaeda In Iraq
Jihad and human rights
Six Questions for Marc Lynch on Iraq, the “Surge,” and Al Qaeda
Iraq: Sunni Tribes Rise Up Against Al-Qaeda, Without Giving Up Guerilla Action
MB Leaders: We Will Maintain Our Peaceful Reformist Method
Documents show Dahlan was working with AlQaeda
Aboul-Fotouh: We Fully Reject Hakaima’s statement
Egypt-Hamas rapprochement said to be helped by AlQaeda intelligence
Internet as a Forum for Conflict Between MB and Al-Qaida
The War of Words between Hamas and al-Qaeda
MB Denies Al Zawahiri Was Ever a Member
Hamas Rejects Al Qaeda, Rebuts Abbas Claims
DR Morsi : MB has a Peaceful agenda
Hamas versus Al-Qaeda
Ayman Al-Zawahiri No MB Member: Leader
Future of Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Egypt
Hamas Dismisses Zawahiri’s Criticism
WH On Wrong Side Of Muslim Brotherhood
Abu Marzouk: Hamas Rejects Al Zawahri Statements
The Debate About The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood Continues
Al Zawahiri Should Reconsider Political Views on Hamas - Hamdan