Skip to comments.Primer on Muslim Brotherhood
Posted on 12/22/2011 7:37:16 AM PST by Academiadotorg
Abroad and at home, on campus and off, the Muslim Brotherhood is an increasingly visible, yet enigmatic, presence in the world. The Muslim Brotherhood is the oldest and most influential Islamist movement, Lorenzo Vidino, author of The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West, said in a speech in Philadelphia on May 19, 2011. It was founded in Egypt in 1928. And, like most of the grassroots movements that appeared in Egypt at the time, it was strongly opposed to colonial rule and advocated Egyptian independence. But while most of the movements that opposed British colonialism at the time in Egypt took from Western ideologies, the Brotherhood based its discourse on Islam.
Moreover, from the start, the Brotherhood tried to marry its vision of Islam to the latest political strategies. In its ideology, the Brotherhood was looking at a mythical past as a solution for its current problems, Vidino said in the Templeton lecture which he gave in May. Yet its modus operandi was very modern, and used many methods of modern political movements to both spread its ideas and mobilize support.
The Brotherhood sought bottom-up Islamization of society for the creation of an Islamic state, through proselytizing, spreading the ideas of the group, and convincing people to buy into this interpretation of Islamism. Yet and still, making the case that this particular strain of Islam is a peaceful one would be difficult given the Muslim Brotherhoods past, or, for that matter, present.
If grassroots Islamization was the main method that the Brotherhood used from the beginning, it must also be said that violence was part of the original equation, Vidino avers. From the 1930s and 1940s, the Brotherhood used violence against its opponents, whether the British, the Jewish community or the Egyptian government.
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