This essay focuses on the underlying reasons for Islamist groups becoming politi-cally popular in the Middle East. The main objective is to explore whether Islamist movements in the Middle East, in general, have arisen due to common demand for a religious ideology or whether they developed as a response to failure of existing regimes to address a range of concrete problems. In this respect, this essay aims to demonstrate that Islam as a political ideology has become an instrument for the expression of popular political dissent against existing regimes. It is argued that the rise of political Islam in the Middle East is the consequence of a multi-dimensional crises experienced by the region including failed economic policies, widespread authoritarianism, increasing unemployment, corruption and rapid ur-banization. A number of Islamist parties are examined with particular focus on Hamas as the main case.