Radical Islam in Egypt and Jordan
The rise of the Islamic fundamentalist movement as a social and political force is the most important development in the modern Arab world. Beginning in the late 1970s, radical Islam directly affected Egypt and Jordan, neighbors and co-signatories of peace treaties with Israel. The radical Islamic movement in both these countries assumed two forms - non-violent, represented mainly by the Muslim Brotherhood, and violent, represented by various terrorist groups. Both groups shared the objective of replacing the existing regimes with Islamic theocracies. ... Egypt and Jordan responded firmly to the growth of radical Islam, quashing terrorist activity. Successive Egyptian regimes attempted unsuccessfully to arrive at a compromise for coexistence with the Muslim Brotherhood, and resorted to firm countermeasures to strip the movement of its social and political power. In Jordan, where the Muslim Brotherhood enjoyed legal status, the regime kept a strict hold on the movement so that its influence would not exceed government-imposed limits. ... By the end of the 1990s, the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist groups no longer posed an existential threat to the Egyptian and Jordanian regimes, since there was little chance of their seizing the government in the foreseeable future. Although they might succeed in toppling a head of state, it is unlikely that they would be able to establish an Islamic regime. At the same time, both regimes acknowledged that it was beyond their power to eradicate Islamic radicalism, and recognized that they would have to face its challenge for many years to come. Published in association with the Institute for National Strategic Studies
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