Questioning Power, Mobilization, and Strategies of the Islamist Opposition

Janine A. Clark

in Contentious Politics in the Middle East

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034744
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039077 | DOI:
Questioning Power, Mobilization, and Strategies of the Islamist Opposition

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This chapter critically examines the strength of Islamist opposition movements in terms of their social mobilization capacities. While the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)/Islamic Action Front (IAF) size and popularity cannot be determined with any certainty due to the lack of free and fair elections, among other factors, there are numerous indicators that the election results may indeed be reflective of a deeper loss of support for the MB/IAF. After providing the historical background of the MB/IAF and the above-mentioned polling results, this chapter examines Islamist victories in previous national elections and in those of the professional associations. This section argues that their apparent ability to mobilize large numbers of supporters may be more a reflection of regime policy and the population's lack of other political options than of the strength of the Islamists per se.

Keywords: Islamist opposition movements; Muslim Brotherhood; Islamic Action Front; polling results; Islamist victories

Chapter.  9516 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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