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Carnegie: Islamist Movements and the Democratic Process in the Arab World: Exploring the Gray Zones

Authors: Nathan J. Brown, Amr Hamzawy, and Marina Ottaway, senior associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace's Democracy and Rule of Law Project
March 2006


This Carnegie paper reports on meetings held in November 2005 with representatives of mainstream Islamists groups from Arab countries and the conclusions drawn about attitudes regarding democracy and human rights.

This paper does not purport to be a summary of the discussions that took place during the Rome meeting; rather, it represents the authors' own assessment of the gray areas those discussions revealed. It also draws on other conversations with mainstream Islamists by members of the Carnegie team as well as on the writing by a variety of groups and individuals. We focus on six gray zones: Islamic law, violence, pluralism, civil and political rights, women's rights, and religious minorities.

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