September 18, 2007, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM - Hudson Institute, Washington, D.C. Headquarters
lLeft to Right: Zeyno Baran, Olivier Guitta, F. Stephen Larrabee and Salameh Nematt
At opposite ends of the Mediterranean, in Turkey and Morocco, political forces named Justice and Development Parties competed in recent national parliamentary elections. Both were considered “moderate Islamist” parties, both were viewed as favorites prior to the election, and both were competing in countries that are distinguished from most other majority-Muslim nations by their moderation and tolerance. Yet, in Morocco, the Justice and Development Party’s performance fell short of most expectations. Is “moderate Islamism” the correct framework within which to understand these two parties? Moving beyond the coincidence of their names, what substantive similarities and differences exist between the Turkish and Moroccan Justice and Development Parties? What lessons should the United States draw from the differing results of these elections?
On September 18, Hudson Institute’s Center for Eurasian Policy hosted a panel discussion to address these and other key questions resulting from the two elections. Zeyno Baran, director of Hudson's Center for Eurasian Policy, moderated the discussion.
First, Rusen Cakir's primer on the two Justice Developments Parties was presented. Then, Olivier Guitta presented his examination of the Moroccan elections and its implications for the PJD. Next, F. Stephen Larrabee gave an overview of the rise of religion-based politics in Turkey, as well as his analysis of the implications of the AKP's recent victory for US policy. This was followed by
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