Why We Need Political Islam
US President Donald Trump has put on the back burner an executive order that would designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. He should leave it there permanently, for a simple reason: political participation is a vital tool in the fight against global jihadism.
MADRID – US President Donald Trump has put on the back burner an executive order that would designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. He should leave it there permanently. Inclusive governments that are seen to represent the overwhelmingly devout Muslim societies of the Arab world are a vital antidote to global jihadism.
To be sure, the Muslim Brotherhood has not always fully embodied democratic values. In Egypt, for example, President Mohamed Morsi’s government treated democracy as a winner-take-all proposition – and was ousted after little more than a year.
But addressing such shortcomings by ostracizing legitimate religious-political options merely reinforces jihadist recruiters’ argument that violence is the only way to secure reform. That’s what happened when Abdel Fattah el-Sisi – Morsi’s successor after the 2013 coup d’état – adopted a zero-sum approach to the Muslim Brotherhood.
We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.
To continue reading, subscribe now.
Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.
Already have an account or want to create one to read two commentaries for free? Log in