Author: Dr Mohammed El-Katiri
Regime change during the Arab Spring allowed Islamist political forces that had long been marginalized to achieve political influence in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Morocco’s first government led by an Islamist party has been in power since January 2012. This trend caused widespread concern over the future direction of these states; but despite the tragic example of Egypt, few negative predictions have yet been borne out. The author cautions against an overly simplistic assessment of this rise in the influence and power of political Islam. He shows that the political crises besetting each of these Islamist governments are not necessarily of their own making, but instead are determined by objective circumstances. Dr. El-Katiri describes how, in several key respects, the aims of Islamist parties are in line with U.S. aspirations for the region.