In the last several decades, particularly since the rise of terrorism, the New Islamists and Muslim Democrats groups have evolved into distinctive groups that have come to be very pivotal and influential in the Islamic world. The New Islamists are comprised of Egyptian scholars and other intellectuals, which may include judges, lawyers, writers, and journalists. This group has strived to set forth both the intellectual and moral bases for a more solid community of Islam (Baker 144).
Additionally, this group believes in the practice of open mindedness, particularly with regards to granting rights to women. The New Islamists have faced considerable challenges as a result of Islamist extremists since their rise in the late 20th century, and have endeavored to constructively engage in economics, politics, and education, despite the harsh political environments they must face with radical Islam (Baker 277). This group could be quite pivotal in redefining Islam, particularly with the challenges of terrorism and the fight for peace within the realm of Islam.
Muslim Democrats’ values may frequently overlap with those of the New Islamists; however, more and more Muslims across America and worldwide are identifying themselves as Democrats, particularly in recent election years. Muslim Democrats are comprised of Muslims that believe in the worldwide movement for a critical reflection on the underpinnings of Islam, especially in a time where radical Islam seems to be spreading at an alarming rate (Marquardt 1). Thus, this group strives to provide Muslims worldwide with a clearer understanding of where Islam begins and ends. Additionally, Muslim Democrats call for a global stand against ISIS and Boko Haram, and firmly denounce all terrorist acts that are committed in the name of Islam, and thus do not represent what Islam truly stands for. Muslim Democrats also believe that through consistent reformist approaches in all aspects of Muslim life (governance, education, religion, etc.), clear directives can be established with regards to the interpretation of scriptures of Islam (Marquardt 1).
- Baker, Raymond William. Islam without Fear: Egypt and the New Islamists. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2003. Print.
- Marquardt, Felix. “Muslim Democrats of the World, Unite!” The Huffington Post. 9 Feb. 2016. Web. 06 July 2016.