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The Dangers of Political Exclusion: Egypt's Islamist Problem

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The Egyptian government has allowed the religious establishment to increase its control on Egyptian politics and society in an attempt to tighten the influence of more radical Islamist organizations. In this new Carnegie paper, Bassma Kodmani writes a case study on the relationship between religious authority and political authority in Egypt.

Kodmani outlines the motivations, interests, strategies, and agendas of the institutions that represent and speak for Islam and those that represent the state and act in its name. She concludes that, "Conservative Islamic authorities that claim to be nonpolitical are more problematic and dangerous for social progress than legally recognized parties participating in the democratic process would be." Therefore, in order to secure responsible behavior from the state, the religious establishment, and the citizenry, Kodmani advocates greater space for political parties, including Islamist ones.