Interpreting Islamic Political Parties by M. A. Mohamed Salih (eds.)

By M. A. Mohamed Salih (eds.)

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By M. A. Mohamed Salih (eds.)

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Philanthropy and Islamic Political Parties Recent research on Islamic social movement theory and its application to Islamic social movements provide useful insights into how Islamic political 22 M. A. Mohamed Salih and Abdullahi Osman El-Tom organizations and parties use these institutional arrangements as part of their socioeconomic activities and political networks. 50 For example, Clarke’s (2004) work could be used to trace the interfaces between Islamic political parties, social institutions, and movements in secular settings.

It is equally important for Islamist parties to win popular support and lasting influence as to implement aspects of Sharia. In that sense, they are like any other political party with a desire to reshape the social order. Second, it is vital to understand Islamists as strategic actors who take advantage of local opportunities and attempt to reduce the effect of government-imposed restrictions. Third, the strategic calculations involved in the decision to participate in (or defect from) electoral competition can be quite complex and multidimensional.

After all, democracy confers legitimacy, brings resources, attracts cadres, and opens the corridors of power for these organizations (Salih in Chapter 9 and Sinno and Khanani in Chapter 1). When in power, resources can be amassed, legitimately or otherwise, for the advancement of the cause, as in Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey (Ahmed in Chapter 6 and Akdogan in Chapter 10). Indeed, the use of public resources for partisan causes is common among Islamic parties but not necessarily confined to them.

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