Bad ideology leads to bad behavior: why Muslim reformers must present an authoritative, comprehensive, and compelling counter-narrative to Islamism
Belief affects behavior and rhetoric has the potential to bring about action. This paper is a critical content analysis of the ideology and rhetoric of key Islamist intellectuals and the Islamist organization Hizb ut-Tahrir, as stated on the website http://english.hizbuttahrir.org. The responses of specific Muslim Reformers are also analyzed. The central argument underlying this analysis centers on the notion that such Islamist ideology and its rhetorical delivery could be a significant trigger for the use of violence; interacting with, yet existing independently of, other factors that contribute to violent actions. In this case, a significant aspect of any solution to Islamist rhetoric would require that Muslim Reformers present a compelling counter-narrative to political Islam (Islamism), one that has an imperative to reduce the amount of violence in the region. Rhetoric alone cannot solve the many complicated issues in the region but we must begin somewhere and countering the explicit and implicit calls to violence of political Islamist organizations like Hizb ut-Tahrir seems a constructive step.