Tendencies within political Islamism

John Esposito“John Esposito and other scholars assert there are at least two trends within political Islam:

“A mainstream reformist trend that accepts democratic process, and believes in gradual change internally and coexistence externally. The majority of the Islamic movements belong to this category; including the eldest and largest ones, like the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and its branches all over the Arab world; and the Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan, the leading Islamic movement in southern Asia.

“A radical confrontational trend that believes in violence as the only efficient means, and does neither believe in democracy within their countries nor in coexistence with the Western world, especially with the US. Al-Qaida is the most obvious example of such movements. Although this trend is highly publicised in the American media, it is statistically very marginal element within the religious revival and activism spreading across the Islamic world today.”

Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti at Aljazeera.net, 27 December 2005