Throughout the Middle East, Islamist groups are gaining support and momentum at the expense of secular nationalism. Among the groups at the forefront of this trend are the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jordan, and the Congregation for Reform in Yemen. The strengthening of these religious-political groups has the potential to alter the political and strategic landscape of key U.S. allies in the region. While some have blamed U.S. policies in Iraq, and its strong relationship with Israel, for increasing public support of Islamist groups and others are calling for engagement of these groups, little primary source data exists on the motivations, goals, and beliefs of these groups.
A transcript of the Luncheon discussion with Hiam Nawas and Michel Zogby, authors of an extensive survey of Islamist Groups — Beyond the Rhetoric and Peter Mandaville, Director of the Center for Global Studies at the George Mason University is attached.