Islamic Radicalism: Shifting Approaches to Power But Not to Islamic Goals
Author(s)Yaphe, Judith S.
KeywordsGovernment and Political Science
AbstractIslamic activists, using religion to validate their political demands, are gaining political power in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Once known for their opposition to the state, Islamists in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon are competing for seats in parliament and power in government. Although they subscribe to a politics of inclusion now, it is not clear that these Islamists have given up on their basic principles of opposing what they see as unjust, un-Islamic political systems, or their demand for the elimination of foreign-especially U.S.-influence and interests from the region. Islamist activism in Lebanon, Israel, and the Palestine Authority retains its dark side. Lebanese militants of Hizballah, who once were involved in terrorism against U.S. interests, will continue to target Israeli and Jewish interests worldwide. Hamas, a militant Palestinian-Islamist organization operating in the West Bank and Gaza, has been responsible for terrorist attacks in Israel. The risk of more terrorism against the United States, Israel, and moderate Arab states supporting the peace process is high, especially if peace talks stall.