Religious movements apply the principle: “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is oppressed.”
In the Muslim world, all religious movements — radical or moderate, jihadist or reformist, active participant or boycotter in politics, integrated or marginalised in the political scene — share the same political objectives; establish the Islamic state, apply Sharia, and rule by God’s law.
These movements, however, use different methods and tactics to achieve their goals.
Extremist and jihadist movements believe that violence hastens the collapse of authoritarian regimes and the establishment of an Islamic caliphate.
Moderate Islamic movements that are active in politics and the electoral system claim that political participation enables them to access state institutions in order to achieve major political objectives such as hindering legislation deemed contrary to religion and enacting laws derived from the Sharia.
These moderate movements believe in the gradual Islamisation of society, the state, and eventually the system of governance.
Such is the case in Morocco, where the Justice and Development Party (PJD) integrated state institutions.
Moderate movements believe in progressive change starting with society and laws that do not affect the essence of the governance system until first reaching all sectors of public policy.
Radical movements, however, believe in change starting from the top of the regime and resort to violence as their only option.
The Moroccan and Tunisian political experiences have shown that religious movements support each other despite their different work methods and attitudes towards the political regime.
In Morocco, the PJD played a major role in defending the Jihadist Salafist movement, as it established human rights bodies focusing solely on the cases of Salafist detainees held on terrorism charges.
In return for the support and services of the PJD, members of radical religious movements voted for its candidates in the legislative elections. This support enabled the PJD to obtain additional parliamentary seats, consequently win the elections, and ultimately lead the government.
Islamic parties consider supporting other religious movements a “religious duty” to strengthen Islamic unity against westernisation and secularism.
Tunisia experienced the same thing as Salafists voted for Ennahda candidates.
Mutual support between these movements is governed by dogma, not politics.