Few subjects incite more of a debate among policy makers and Middle East experts than the issue of whether the United States should engage with Islamist movements. These movements continue to hold mass appeal in the region and appear set to remain influential players for the foreseeable future, shaping their political environment as much as they are shaped by it.
On Monday, September 8, we had the opportunity to hear more about the role Islamist movements in the Arab world play from Khalil Al-Anani, the Saban Center’s 2008 Todd G. Patkin Fellow in Arab Democracy and Development. Mr. Al-Anani is Senior Analyst at the Al-Ahram Foundation in Cairo and Deputy Editor of the journal Al-Siyassa Al-Dawliya. His research explores the potential benefits of US engagement with Islamist groups and the most productive means by which the US can influence these groups to play a constructive role in political development in their countries.