n African Security Review - Understanding Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood : commentary

Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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The disentangling of liberalism from democracy is one of the great paradoxes of our time, and the group that embodies this dichotomy more than any other is Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is the one of the oldest and most influential Islamist movements in the world and seeks to impose a fundamentalist vision on Egyptian society. The Brotherhood's most important theoretician, Sayyid Qutb, developed a coherent ideology of radical Islam that inspired Osama bin Laden, and the Brotherhood's 'secret apparatus' carried out attacks for decades (Munson 1988:77). The Brotherhood's history and rhetoric make the West nervous. But within the context of modern Egyptian politics - and Islamic fundamentalist movements in general - the most striking thing about the Brotherhood is its commitment to moderation, in methods if not ends. How should such a group be treated?

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