The Islamist Challenge in the Middle East and North Africa
AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL
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The Islamist movements in the Middle East and North Africa have caused a great deal of concern for many in the West, as they are seen as a monolithic, fundamental religious phenomenon run by fanatical terrorists. The fact is most Islamist movements develop along local or national lines in response to a variety of social, economic, and political problems. While Islamists do want to increase the importance of their religion in the secular sphere, it is not obvious their goals are antithetical to democracy, their own national interests, or those of the United States. Algeria and Egypt provide two interesting and different examples of the development of national Islamist movements and possible futures. Unfortunately, while it is in the United States interest to help mediate the conflicts between Islamists and regional governments and alleviate the conditions which give rise to radical Islamism, there is actually very little that the West has the power or influence to do.
- Sociology and Law