Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood

Topics: Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt, Politics Pages: 5 (2475 words) Published: December 16, 2012
The Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood is the largest Islamist organization in Egypt. It was founded in the 1920s by Hassan Al-Banna. The movement was a model of political activism combined with Islamic charity work. At first, it only aimed to spread Islamic morals, but soon became involved in politics. While the Muslim Brotherhood claims that it supports democratic principles, it aims to create a state ruled by Al Shariaa. Al Shariaa is the Islamic law stated in the Quran. The Brotherhood's mostly used slogan is "Islam is the solution", and it is known worldwide. It officially opposes violence to achieve goals; however, some of the movement's members were involved in massacres, bombings and assassinations of political opponents. In 1954, the movement was blamed and banned after trying to assassinate President Gamal Abdul Nasser. In the 1980s, they attempted to rejoin the political mainstream. It lead public opposition to the National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak ("Profile: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood"). The movement had different positions through the years. The Muslim Brotherhood's position has radically changed and this has political, social and economic implications for Egypt. It is impossible to completely understand the importance of the Muslim Brotherhood's position today without denoting its violent past. The Brotherhood has made many efforts since the 1970s to position itself as a conventional religious and political movement in Egypt. In the 1940s, its members had risen to more than 500,000 supporting three major causes: "battling British colonialism, resistance to a new Jewish state and fighting corruption in Egypt" (Gerges). Even though the movement was supposed to be political and religious, it established a paramilitary wing. Its main concerns were prominent Jews and targeting political leaders in Egypt. In 1948, the Egyptian Prime Minister Mahmoud El-Nokrashy was assassinated by one of the Brothers. As a result, the security services killed Al-Banna, which created conflicts in the Muslim Brotherhood between the political and paramilitary wings (Gerges). After several assassination attempts, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned. In the 1980s, it attempted to rejoin the political mainstream ("Profile: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood"). The Muslim Brotherhood at that time was seen as a violent movement. Though the Muslim Brotherhood was seen earlier as violent and unaccepted by most Egyptians, it was keen to participate in the revolution that expelled President Hosni Mubarak. It recognized the importance of young people in organizing the mass protests and called for all opposition groups to unite against the corrupt regime (Gerges). The Muslim Brotherhood along with the Egyptian youth who participated in the revolution demanded that President Hosni Mubarak stands down as soon as possible. They also necessitated that those who marred the protests of Egypt must be brought to trial, the old parliamentary and local councils to be disbanded, and the immediate termination of the emergency law (Mursi). Although they did not have a very active role in the 25th of January revolution, the deporting of Mubarak and the change in power that took place after the revolution was an opportunity for the Muslim Brotherhood to legitimize its power (Holden). This was the main aim of the movement when participating in the revolution. Post revolution, Mohammed Badie, the Muslim Brotherhood leader, was anxious about losing the support of the youth. As a result, the Muslim Brotherhood's political party was formed, known as the Freedom and Justice Party, with Mohammed Saad al-Katatni as the head (Munish). The Muslim Brotherhood proved their strength after the revolution in the 2011 elections by their dominance over the People's Assembly and Shura Council; however, their true color is now known to many people even to some of their supporters. The Freedom and Justice Party won a total of 235 seats in the...
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