A preparatory workshop for the task force “Transformation of Political Islam Movements since the Arab Uprisings” was organized in Istanbul on May 6, 2018. It aimed to find a common ground on some conceptual and intellectual challenges for the upcoming studies to be conducted. Several experts on Political Islam movements with different case studies and different perspectives attended the workshop.
The purpose of the workshop was twofold: to reach an agreed-upon definition of the concept of “Political Islam” to be used in defining the organizations included in the research project and to find appropriate approaches to discussing the transformation of the nature of Political Islam movements since the Arab Uprisings.
As for the first goal, scholars discussed how to categorize organizations as part of the Political Islam phenomenon. This entailed defining the characteristics of Political Islam movements and then specifying organizations that fit into the categorization of Political Islam in each case study.
In the beginning, the concern of Islamic movements and parties not using the concept of “Political Islam” was raised. It was argued that this “label” is a western concept and that the Islamic movements felt the term denotes a secular orientation.