Thu, 23 July 2009
In recent years a number of Muslim movements have started transitioning from taking up arms to partaking in politics. David Phillips joins the Council for an analysis of non-state Muslim organizations abandoning violence at different stages and pursuing their goals through a political process. Some have successfully made the transition while others are in mid-stream. Some have tried but backtracked, splintered, or simply abandoned the political process and reverted back to violence. Phillips considers six case studies: Hezbollah, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Kurdistan Workers Party, Free Aceh Movement, and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front. Phillips will discuss the origin, ideology, structure and leadership of each organization and assess each group’s commitment to elections and its acceptance of the responsibility that comes with governance. Looking at past mistakes by the US government, particularly following 9/11, Phillips offers a strategic global template aimed at transforming groups from violence to politics, from bullets to ballots.