Political Islam and Europe
WJC Policy Study: Political Islam and Europe – Pinchas Inbari
27 October 2011
The World Jewish Congress Institute for Research and Policy has it’s latest policy study, entitled ‘Political Islam and Europe’, written by WJC Middle Eastern Affairs advisor Pinhas Inbari. An outline of the study is below and you may also download the complete study.
‘Political Islam’ is the name of a school of thought that posits that the West and Islam can coexist—that Islam is multifaceted and that its political side can be engaged by the West.The most outspoken personality representing this school of thought is Alistair Crooke, who established an institute called Conflicts Forum.
However, beneath the ostensibly positive message of religious dialogue, tolerance, and coexistance lurks an ominous threat to European security. The Arab Spring facilitated the emergence of extremist Islamic elements, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, and gave them new-found vigor. and legitimicy. Unfortunately, the Western world—Europe in particular— has not understood the dangers of these forces. Indeed, nowadays, there is a widespread belief in the idea of forging a strategic alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood to combat al-Qa’ida and its allies. This has further empowered Islamic forces which, in the long run, have an agenda inimicable to Western democracy. As a result, the secular liberal and democratic elements that attracted the enthusiasm of the West during the Egyptian revolution have became marginal players in prevalent Islamic discourse. Consequently, the status of women and the safety of Christians have deteriorated immensely.
The ascendancy of Political Islam is also a direct threat to the Palestinian Authority, the existence of which has come under attack by these extremsts.