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The Other Face of the Islamist Movement

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Since September 11, discussions of political Islam have been distorted by the tendency to identify political Islam with Osama bin Laden, his associates, and organizations involved in violent actions in places such as Chechnya, Kashmir, Algeria, and Egypt. In reality, such violent, militant groups constitute only a small minority among political Islamists. Another, non-violent face of Islamism exists and is often ignored in current debates. In this working paper, Mustapha Kamel Al-Sayyid describes Islamism and examines how the international community should deal with the movement's non-violent majority.