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What do Egypt's Islamists Want? Moderate Islam and the Rise of Islamic Constitutionalism

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What type of political order do Egypt's Islamists seek to create? This question is examined by studying two types of sources: the theoretical works of Egypt's most prominent contemporary Islamic thinkers and the documents issued by the Muslim Brotherhood during its 2005 parliamentary campaign. These sources indicate that a distinctively Islamic conception of constitutionalism has emerged that legitimates many of the key goals of liberal governance, including constraints on state power, governmental accountability, and protection of some civil and political rights. However, the institutions of Islamic constitutionalism support a conception of political order that differs from liberalism in important respects. These differences are most apparent with regard to the purpose of the state, the role of the individual in politics, and the function of law.

Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: October 1, 2006

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