One is a radical Islamist while another is a moderate Islamist. Not many muslims will find it easy to separate these two groupings made by media. Popularity of Hezbollah did not elevate their status just like democratically elected Hamas in Gazza has been demonised. Muslim League of Pakistan, Jamaate Islami of Bangladesh and Muslim Brotherhood of the Arab world considered to be ‘moderates’ due to their non rigid stand on Islamic principles of state administration and judiciary. In Bangladesh, Jamaate Islami was long considered US-Saudi-Pakistan friendly with huge muslim sentimental support in rural areas. Jamaat used political dependency of BNP to come to power. They remained in power for five years without any sign of rejuvenating any Islamic concept at the state level. They did not have the guts to criticise corrupt politicians and civil servants within their portfolios in the cabinet. What was Islamic about an Islamic party? Nothing, except they wore sherwanis, topis and kept long ZZ-top like beards. Their sole ambition was to form government and take power. After that, its all about one thing, holding on to power!! Al Jazeera reports on Muslim Brotherhood and Ennahda of Tunisia, who are holding promises for real change in system. For the moment, its at least a break from the old traditional plans.
The Arab Spring has catapulted Islamists onto centre-stage – in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Sooner or later, Syria will follow. This dynamic is not going to go away. It is therefore apposite to know how the Arab Spring has, if at all, transformed Islamism and how, in turn, Islamism is transforming the Arab Spring.
Illustrative of this dynamic relationship is the Ennahdha Party’s victory at the polls back in October 2011. Through democratic contests of power, Islamists, along with other democrats, are transforming the Arab Spring from an amorphous moral tumult to an institutionalised democratic process.
A comparison of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (EMB) and Tunisia’s Ennahdha Party (TEP) is useful in the context of the continuous rise of both groups. In particular, four areas must be highlighted when comparing the two, in order to fully grasp the roles of both powerful organizations