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Rise and Struggles of the Islamist Movements in North Africa

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The North Africa Journal | By Arezki Daoud | The popular movements that have toppled dictatorial regimes in North Africa have unwillingly paved the way for Islamists and conservative factions to take over governance. With the Islamists front and center, divisions and differences in ideas have emerged among them, dominated by four distinct factions.

Among these factions are those in governments that generally tend to be moderate Islamists. These moderate figures are surrounded by factions that are pushing for more conservative policies through constitutional reforms. Outside of these two groups are the Salafists who have shown willingness to use violent methods to reach their goals. Then are the extremists terrorist groups that may be (or not) part of the broader globa Jihadist movement, coordinated at the regional or international level to inflict greater damage to existing governments and Western interests. In this context, those who took part to the Arab Spring, from students and youth to labor unions and rights organizations, although initially felt sidelined, they continue to work hard to insure that their voices are not drowned.

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