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Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiyya Cessation of Violence: An Ideological Reversal

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2006/12/al-gamaa-al-islamiyya-cessation-of.html

TO VIEW THE NEW MEMRI BLOG VISIT: www.thememriblog.org

Inquiry & Analysis-Egypt
December 22, 2006
No. 309

The Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiyya Cessation of Violence: An Ideological Reversal


By Y.Carmon*, Y. Feldner*, and D. Lev*

 http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=IA30906  .

The Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiyya organization, which perpetrated terror attacks in Egypt throughout the 1980s and '90s, has in recent years undergone an ideological reversal exceptional among Islamist organizations. The leaders of the organization have undertaken to forsake violence and have apologized for past attacks and now promote a new ideology of coexistence with the regime. In addition, they have gone to great lengths to argue against Al-Qaeda's ideology and to restrict its influence on Muslims.

The Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiyya leadership's ideological reversal is an outstanding example of a collective shift away from violence by leaders of a prominent radical Islamist organization. This paper has been an attempt to detail the chronological and ideological development of this reversal, to map the changes in the group's thought, and to explain the reasons for this change. The story of Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiyya has an importance that extends well beyond Egypt, as it provides insight into the ideological structure of radical Islamism on the whole and the potential found in Islam itself to defuse the Islamist trend.

This paper reviews Al-Gama'a's cessation of violence and its aftermath as reflected in the Arab media.

TO READ THE ENTIRE PAPER (30 pages) PLEASE VISIT: http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=IA30906  .
  
* Y. Carmon is the president of MEMRI; Y. Feldner is the director of the MEMRI TV project; and D. Lev is a research fellow at MEMRI.






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