12 Jun 2007

Political Islam in Syria

Salam Kawakibi

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Syria is almost unique among Arab states in that the only variant of political Islam to be found here is state–sanctioned. This paper observes how the trends, tendencies and central figures of political Islam in Syria have positioned themselves with regard to relations with Europe, the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and European Neighbourhood Policy. Based on a series of (anonymous) interviews with both ‘independent’ and more government-linked sources, Salam Kawakibi traces the evolution of political Islam in Syria, the growth of civil society agitation and the revival of practices of faith in this country. No party, no organisation and no individual within the country can claim to be both a representative of political Islam and independent, states this author in exile.