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A New Book from Transaction Publishers Explores Democratization of Violent Muslim Movements

Piscataway, NJ, December 19, 2008 --( As India and the world recover from images of the recent terrorist assaults on Mumbai, questions arise about who is responsible as well as the attacks’ consequences. No one is better equipped to answer these questions than David L. Phillips. In his just-published book, From Bullets to Ballots Phillips explores violent Muslim movements, with a chapter on India, Pakistan and Kashmir, as part of a larger exploration of sources of violence in Muslim movements, as well as prospects for change.

From Bullets to Ballots considers non-State Muslim organizations at different stages of abandoning violence and pursuing their goals through a political process. In strong criticism of the Bush administration, Phillips notes that the push for democracy may have increased conflict by giving violent groups “the ballot” which they use to gain power. Many groups could be case studies, but Phillips has selected the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, Hamas, Hezbollah, Kurdistan Workers Party, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, and the Free Aceh Movement, because they cover the spectrum. From Bullets to Ballots considers the relationship between ideology and policy. Phillips discusses their origin, ideology, structure and leadership and examines financing, activities, and communications. He assesses the groups’ commitment to elections and their acceptance of the responsibility that comes with governance.

“There are times when the United States must talk to bad guys. While precluding any quarter with Al-Qaeda, David Phillips outlines the shortcomings of a military-only strategy in the fight against terrorism. He persuasively argues that social and economic inequalities and the denial of political rights give rise to extremism. Phillips also offers a strategy for using confrontation, coercion and cooperation to convince violent Muslim movements that terror does not serve their interests—while entering the political process does.” —Commerce Secretary-designate, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson

About the author:
David L. Phillips is a visiting scholar at Center for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. Over more than two decades, he has been a proponent of democracy, human rights, and humanitarian action. Phillips has worked as a senior adviser to the United Nations Secretariat and to the U.S. Department of State. He has held academic positions at Harvard University’s Center for Middle East Studies, Columbia University’s International Conflict Resolution Program, and the American University.

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Transaction Publishers
Aileen Bryant-Allen

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