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Islamic Studies Muslim Brotherhood
by
Marion Boulby

Introduction

The Muslim Brotherhood was established in Egypt in 1928 by a schoolteacher, Hasan al-Banna, with an educational, reformist agenda to challenge European influence on Egyptian society by the revival of Islam. The fundamental idea of al-Banna was that Muslims should live according to Islamic law and throw off the Western influences that had contributed to the decay of society. The group’s initial aim was to educate its members in a correct understanding of Islam, and it set up branches along the canal zone. After al-Banna was transferred to Cairo in 1932, he and his followers became more politicized, holding mass youth demonstrations to demand the implementation of Sharia. During World War II the brotherhood took part in anti-British plotting, with the result that they were temporarily jailed and banned. As a result, al-Banna formed the Special Apparatus, also known as the “Secret Apparatus,” a secret paramilitary group. After the war the brotherhood’s Special Apparatus actively attacked British, Jewish, and Egyptian targets. The brotherhood’s assassination of Prime Minister Mahmud al-Nuqrashi led to al-Banna’s own assassination. His death plunged the movement into a period of crisis, with a retired judge, Hasan al-Hudaybi, emerging as the next general guide. In July 1952 the Muslim Brotherhood supported the Free Officers’ coup but was quickly disillusioned with a regime that would not implement Sharia. The group’s opposition culminated in a crisis when a young member of the brotherhood attempted to assassinate Egypt’s president, Gamal Nasser. Members of the movement were then executed and imprisoned. Among these was Sayyid Qutb, who wrote extensively in prison, devising a revolutionary ideology for the overthrow of despotic Muslim leaders and the introduction of Sharia rule. Qutb was hanged in 1966, but his legacy lived on not only in Egypt but also abroad in the formation of more radical Islamist groups. The brotherhood itself has retained a reformist agenda and has evolved into the largest and most popular Islamist organization in Egypt, with broad participation in civil society institutions. The Muslim Brotherhood also spread beyond Egyptian borders, as branches were established in Jordan, Syria, and Palestine by the mid-1940s. The Jordanians made a partnership with the Hashemites, maintaining a commitment to pursuing its goals through legal, nonviolent means; establishing a network of civil society institutions; and serving in parliament and on the cabinet from 1989 to 1993. In Syria a Muslim Brotherhood uprising erupted against the secularist Baathist regime. The insurgency was quickly put down, but clashes resumed in the late 1970s until the brotherhood was brutally crushed and eradicated by the Baathist regime in Hama in 1982. In Palestine the Muslim Brotherhood remained active in the West Bank and Gaza with a reformist educational and charitable platform. In 1988 the Muslim Brotherhood formed Hamas in order to abandon its policy of reformism and join the intifada (uprising). The Muslim Brotherhood can be seen as the “parent” of contemporary Islamism, spawning numerous and ideologically disparate Islamist organizations in the Middle East, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq; Europe; and North America.

General Overviews

There exists one international overview of the Muslim Brotherhood—in the edited volume of Rubin 2010. This work takes a comparative approach to a variety of Muslim Brotherhood organizations, with contributors writing on the movement in Middle Eastern, European, and North American countries. The contributors focus on organization, tactics, and ideology. Otherwise, information and analysis pertaining to the Muslim Brotherhood is found in a variety of general overviews of the history of Islam and Islamism. On Islamism, Kepel 2006 offers a comprehensive overview of the rise of political Islam globally, with references to the Muslim Brotherhood throughout. Ayubi 1991 also provides an overview of the rise of Islamism, but this work is more analytically grounded in comparing Islamic movements in six Arab states. Esposito 2002 is a straightforward introduction to the modern history of Islamism, explaining the many different ideological and organizational elements in the rise of al-Qaeda, including the role of the Muslim Brotherhood. Calvert 2002, written for a more advanced audience, points to the conjunction of factors favoring the rise of al-Qaeda, and in so doing discusses the radicalization of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s. Roy 1996 argues in an overview of the 20th century that Islamism, as founded by the Muslim Brotherhood, has lost its political ground. Lewis 2003 is an introductory overview of thirteen centuries of Islamic history, focusing on the theory that Islamism reflects a clash of civilizations with the West. Voll 1994 is a seminal text and an introductory overview of the history of Islam globally from the 18th century, with the penultimate chapter focusing on Islamism and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Islam and Politics special edition of Third World Quarterly (1988) provides a series of articles by eminent scholars on Islamism throughout the world. Noteworthy articles are by Shahid on the Muslim Brotherhood and Saad Eddin Ibrahim on Islamism in Egypt.

  • Ayubi, Nazib. Political Islam: Religion and Politics in the Arab World. London: Routledge, 1991.

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    Analytically strong comparative overview of Islamic movements’ evolution in six Arab states. Features the Muslim Brotherhood as the oldest modern political movement of Islam. Suitable for graduate students.

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  • Calvert, John. “The Islamist Syndrome of Cultural Confrontation.” Orbis 60 (Spring 2002): 333–349.

    DOI: 10.1016/S0030-4387(02)00112-6Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

    Scholarly overview of the rise of al-Qaeda in the context of half a century of disparate Islamist thought. Highlights radicalization of Sayyid Qutb and other Muslim Brotherhood members in the 1950s. Suitable for graduate students.

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  • Esposito, John. Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

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    Highly accessible introductory text on political Islam, suitable for undergraduates. References to the Muslim Brotherhood throughout.

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  • Kepel, Gilles. Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam. Translated by Anthony Roberts. London: I. B. Taurus, 2006.

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    Comprehensive introductory overview of the origins and resurgence of political Islam. References to the Muslim Brotherhood throughout. For all levels.

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  • Lewis, Bernard. The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror. New York: Random House, 2003.

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    Geopolitical overview spans thirteen centuries. Focus on 20th-century Islamism. For all levels.

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  • Roy, Olivier. The Failure of Political Islam. Translated by Carol Volk. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996.

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    A sophisticated overview of 20th-century developments. Argues that Islamism has morphed into neofundamentalism and lost its political ground. Suitable for graduate students.

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  • Rubin, Barry, ed. The Muslim Brotherhood: The Organization and Policies of a Global Islamist Movement. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

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    Comparative edited volume containing contributions on the Muslim Brotherhood’s different ideologies, tactics, and organization in European, North American, and Middle Eastern states. For all levels.

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  • Special Issue: Islam and Politics. Third World Quarterly 10.2 (April 1988).

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    Issue includes a wide array of articles from respected scholars on Islamist movements in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Contributions by Saad Eddin Ibrahim and Shadid on the Muslim Brotherhood. Useful source for getting scholars’ perspectives on Islamism in the 1980s. Suitable for graduate students.

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  • Voll, John. Islam, Continuity, and Change in the Modern World. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1994.

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    Seminal text on the development of Islam throughout the Muslim world since the 18th century. Penultimate chapter on Islamic resurgence includes Muslim Brotherhood. Useful for all levels for understanding Muslim Brotherhood in the Islamic history context.

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Biographies

The primary source on Hasan al-Banna’s life is his own autobiographical material, which, according to Mitchell 1969 (see Egypt), was compiled from the Muslim Brotherhood’s newspapers and magazines. The first collection of memoirs, published in Beirut, was Mudhakkarāt Hāsan al-Bannā n.d. A second edition, Mudhakkarāt al-da’wa wa’l da’iyya n.d., appeared in Cairo, with additions taking the story up to the beginning of World War II. Calvert, et al. 2004 is an edited English translation of Sayyid Qutb’s childhood memoir. Moussalli 1992 is primarily devoted to Qutb’s thought, but the first chapter provides a brief twenty-page account of his life. Musallam 2005 provides a carefully written account of the life and ideology of Qutb with an emphasis on his transformation from a secular man of letters into a radical Islamist. Esposito and Voll 2001 includes a chapter detailing the life and ideology of Hasan al-Turabi based in part on their personal interviews with him, hence it is an excellent source.

  • Calvert, John, William E. Shepard, and Sayyid Qutb. A Child from the Village. Translated and edited by John Calvert and William E. Shepard. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2004.

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    Autobiography focusing on Sayyid Qutb’s childhood. Suitable for graduate students.

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  • Esposito, John L., and John O. Voll. “Hasan al-Turabi: The Mahdi Lawyer.” In Makers of Contemporary Islam. By John L. Esposito and John O. Voll, 118–149. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

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    Chapter based on authors’ interviews with al-Turabi. Discusses his life and writings. Suitable for graduate students.

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  • Moussalli, Ahmad S. The Ideological and Political Discourse of Sayyid Qutb. Beirut: American University in Beirut, 1992.

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    Chapter one provides a brief, useful account of Qutb’s life. For all levels.

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  • Mudhakkarāt al-da’wa wa’l da’iyya. Vol. 1. Cairo.

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    Original text of the Beirut edition of Hasan al-Banna’s biography with additions by an Egyptian. Takes the story up to World War II.

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    • Mudhakkarāt Hasan al-Banna. Vol. 1. Beirut.

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      A compilation of Muslim Brotherhood newspaper and magazine sources published in Beirut that tells the story of the life of al-Banna and the first few years of the movement.

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    • Musallam, Adnan A. From Secularism to Jihad: Sayyid Qutb and the Foundations of Radical Islamism. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2005.

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      Careful historical account of the life and ideology of Sayyid Qutb with an emphasis on his transformation from a secular literary figure in the 1930s and 1940s to his emergence as a radical Islamist in the early 1950s and in the prisons of Gamal Nasser.

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    Reference Resources

    The majority of the works in this section, including online sources, are general reference works on Islam that are of use for undergraduate or graduate students new to the Muslim Brotherhood topic. The Oxford Dictionary of Islam (Esposito 2003) is designed for readers with the little or no knowledge of Islam. Its authoritative, vividly written entries include the Muslim Brotherhood in different states and biographies of leading Muslim Brotherhood figures. A more detailed research source is The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (Esposito 1995), which contains entries limited to the 19th and 20th centuries. Calvert 2008 is a unique and excellent guide presenting forty-one documents, written by Islamists themselves, translated into English. It includes coverage of the founding, goals, and strategies of the Muslim Brotherhood. Other specialized bibliographies are Haddad, et al. 1991 and Haddad, et al. 1997. These are useful annotated bibliographies on Islamic revival organized by geographical area, with Haddad, et al. 1997 including entries on democracy and women. The Index Islamicus (Pearson 1958), available online and in print, provides a major index to worldwide literature in European languages on Islam, the Middle East, and the Muslim world past and present, useful to any researcher. Witness-Pioneer provides a useful collection of texts by well-known Islamist authors.

    Muslim Brotherhood Online

    There is a variety of online sources that may be helpful in researching the Muslim Brotherhood. Ikhwan Web is the official website of the Muslim Brotherhood containing statements by Muslim Brotherhood leaders and members and an online library with diverse works by the Muslim Brothers and on topics related to the Muslim world in general and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular. IslamOnline is Shaykh Yusuf Qarawadi’s site, which includes discussion forums on family and marriage, culture and art, and Muslim affairs, and which welcomes questions about Islam from Muslims and non-Muslims alike. The Hamas site, the Palestine Information Center, is similar in content to the Ikhwan site, although it tends more toward news coverage and political statements from leaders. Project for the Research of Islamist Movements is the website established by Reuven Paz, an Israeli academic affiliated with the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA Center) in Herziliya, Israel. It contains project information and articles on Islamists (including the Muslim Brotherhood) by a wide variety of academics. Coming from a different perspective, the Hudson Institute site for the Center on Islam, Democracy, and the Future of the Muslim World contains reports by the Hudson Institute staff on Islamism. The site declares its agenda to be contributing to American policy options in the Muslim world and, most importantly, to support democratic and moderate alternatives to Islamism of any form. The website of the semiofficial US think tank Rand Corporation produces reports on Islamist activities in its research sections on international affairs and terrorism and counterinsurgency. The report on building moderate Muslim networks advocates the United States building connections with moderate Islamists to stave off the threat of terror. Biblioislam is a useful library of Islamic studies–related material, including the Muslim Brotherhood. The site also incorporates information on conferences having to do with Muslim affairs. It is in English and Arabic and owned by al Balagh Cultural Society in Qatar.

    Historiography

    Historiography has been dominated by two trends: first, the Orientalist views of writers such as Bernard Lewis (see Lewis 1990) and other post–Cold War theorists who see the rise of Islamist movements as a product of a clash of civilizations. They also tend to see Islamic movements as monolithic representations of a culture in conflict with the West. Second, the crisis approach (see Dekmejian 1995) has emphasized socioeconomic factors and cultural alienation due to Western modernization as triggers for Islamist reaction. In Castells 1997, Islamic identity is reconstructed by fundamentalists in opposition to nationalism, socialism, and capitalism; in other words, this is not a traditionalist movement. Despite Islamists’ efforts to ground their identity in history and holy texts as they engage in resistance and insurgency, they have undergone a hypermodern reconstruction of cultural identity. In the early 21st century, social movement theory became popular as a tool for analysis of Islamist movements. Wiktorowicz 2004 incorporates the study of Islamic activism into social movement theory. Eminent scholars demonstrate how social movement theory can be applied to a wide variety of Islamist movements. Hafez 2003 puts forward a political-process approach to Islamist rebellions, using analytical tools of social movement theory to examine the political environment in which Islamists operate, the mobilization structures through which they gather and allocate resources, and the ideological frames used to justify action. Bayat 2005 points to some limitations the author sees with the application of social movement theories grounded in technologically advanced and pluralistic societies to sociopolitical activism in Muslim societies. Asef Bayat proposes the concept of “imagined solidarities,” or “imagining commonality,” as a way of understanding what binds internally fluid Islamist movements together.

    • Bayat, Asef. “Islamism and Social Movement Theory.” Third World Quarterly 26.6 (2005): 891–908.

      DOI: 10.1080/01436590500089240Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Argues for modification of social movement theory to take account of the diversity and fluidity of Islamist movements in authoritarian regimes. Analyzes the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as an example of an Islamist movement with internal diversity. For advanced researchers.

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    • Castells, Manuel. The Power of Identity. Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.

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      Describes the origins, purpose, and effect of social movements across a global spectrum. Short insightful section on emergence of Islamic fundamentalist movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood, and their identities with reference to state and society. Suits advanced researchers.

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    • Dekmejian, R. Hrair. Islam in Revolution: Fundamentalism in the Arab World. 2d ed. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1995.

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      This second edition examines Arab Islamists through an analysis of an extended database of 175 groups. The author examines the Muslim Brotherhood in cyclical responses to crisis in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Sudan, and Syria. For all researchers.

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    • Hafez, Mohammed M. Why Muslims Rebel: Repression and Resistance in the Islamic World. London: Lynne Rienner, 2003.

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      Political-process approach to Islamist movements using social movement theory tools. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jordan are discussed. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Lewis, Bernard. “The Roots of Muslim Rage.” Atlantic Monthly, September 1990, 47–60.

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      Sees clash of civilizations as a result of the irrational reaction of ancient rival Islam against Judeo-Christian heritage and secularism. For all levels.

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    • Wiktorowicz, Quintan, ed. Islamic Activism: A Social Movement Theory Approach. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004.

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      Eminent scholars analyze Islamist movements with social movement theory. For the Muslim Brotherhood, see the chapter by Wiktorowicz and Mohammed M. Hafez on Egypt.

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    Historical Narratives

    The narratives in this section, mostly in monograph but some in article form, have been organized by country. They share the goal of presenting material on the historical evolution of Muslim Brotherhood organizations.

    Egypt

    Mitchell 1969 is a seminal work providing an in-depth history of the Muslim Brotherhood from its founding by Hasan al-Banna to its dissolution in 1954. This detailed study is essential reading for researchers at any stage wishing to become acquainted with the Muslim Brotherhood, including the brotherhood in countries other than Egypt, as the Egyptian organization and tactics have been adopted elsewhere. A second edition, Mitchell 1993, includes a foreword by John Voll in which he discusses the relevancy of the reprint to the challenges posed to scholars studying the resurgence of religion at the end of the 20th century. Mitchell portrays the Muslim Brotherhood as having a reactionary response to Westernization. This interpretation has been challenged, however, in Lia 1998, which sees the Muslim Brotherhood as a facet of the modernization process, much less critical of the West than previously thought, and trying to adapt Islam to changing times. Kepel 1985 takes up the situation for the Islamists in 1954, when many members of the Muslim Brotherhood who had not been executed by Gamal Nasser found themselves in concentration camps. Gilles Kepel dwells on the radicalization of the Muslim Brotherhood, the ideology of Sayyid Qutb, the creation of brotherhood offshoots (one of these offshoot organizations conspired to assassinate Anwar el-Sadat in 1981). Kepel’s work is theoretically important in emphasizing the need for independent case studies of Islamist movements rather than generalization. Khalil 2006 is a good introductory article to the ongoing debate about whether or not the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood would be moderated by coming to power: Magdi Khalil suggests that this moderation would not occur. Munson 2001 examines the emergence and growth of the Muslim Brotherhood from the 1930s to the 1950s. This article uses social movement theory to show how the successful mobilization of the Muslim Brotherhood was made possible by the way its message was tied to the everyday lives of Egyptians. Zollner 2009 traces the history of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt under Hasan al-Hudaybi from 1951 to 1973. This work makes an important contribution, as al-Hudaybi has received scant attention in the literature.

    • Kepel, Gilles. Muslim Extremism in Egypt: The Prophet and the Pharaoh. Translated by Jon Ruthschild. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

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      Study of Islamism in Egypt from 1954 to the assassination of Anwar el-Sadat by al-Jihad in 1981. Profiles Sayyid Qutb and diverse emergent Islamists along with the Muslim Brotherhood. Useful for all levels.

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    • Khalil, Magdi. “Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Political Power: Would Democracy Survive?” Middle East Review of International Affairs 10.1 (March 2006): 44–52.

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      Article discusses the debate over whether or not the brotherhood would be moderated by sharing or achieving power. Khalil doubts this would be the case.

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    • Lia, Brynjar. The Society of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt: The Rise of an Islamic Mass Movement 1928–1942. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998.

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      This impressive research into the formative years of the Muslim Brotherhood challenges the conventional portrayal of the organization as a reactionary response to modernization. The author argues that the Muslim Brotherhood is a product of modernization in terms of its novel organization and an ideology seeking to relate Islam to Western life. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Mitchell, Richard P. The Society of the Muslim Brothers. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969.

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      Essential reading for all researchers interested in the Muslim Brotherhood. Seminal work providing an in-depth historical narrative with detailed analysis of the movement’s organization and ideology from the movement’s founding up to its dissolution in 1954. Appropriate for all levels.

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    • Mitchell, Richard P. The Society of the Muslim Brothers. 2d ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

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      Voll notes in his introduction that the reprinting of this book provides an appropriate occasion to look at the changing roles of religion as reflected in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood, and also to consider the challenges posed to scholars trying to explain the resurgence of religion in the late 20th century.

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    • Munson, Ziad. “Islamic Mobilization: Social Movement Theory and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.” Sociological Quarterly 42.4 (Autumn 2001): 487–510.

      DOI: 10.1111/j.1533-8525.2001.tb01777.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Examines the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood from the 1930s to the 1950s using social movement theory to explain the movement’s success in spreading its message in a repressive environment. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Zollner, Barbara H. E. The Muslim Brotherhood: Hasan al-Hudaybi and Ideology. New York: Routledge, 2009.

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      The brotherhood under al-Hudaybi from 1951 to 1973. Shows al-Hudaybi as a moderating force.

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    Syria

    There are few works on the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood movement, originally founded in the 1930s and 1940s, emerged as the major significant opposition to the Baathist regime and met its demise at Hama in 1982. There some five thousand Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters were slaughtered, and many others were imprisoned. The Syrian regime then began to effectively co-opt and isolate Islamists. The most wide-ranging historical account of the rise of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and its subsequent confrontation with the Syrian regime is Abd-Allah 1983. This text provides a detailed narrative account and a postscript following the massacre at Hama. Batatu 1988 explores the socioeconomic base of the Muslim Brotherhood and the roots of its ideology in the Sunni small-scale trading class. Talhami 2001 addresses the isolation of the Islamists from other political forces, arguing that not only was the brotherhood marginalized by Baathist and nationalist ideologies, but that there was also an implied contradiction between its revolutionary message and its acquiescence to the parliamentary process. Van Dam 1996 traces profound social change in Syria from the Baathist takeover in 1963 to 1996. The author focuses on sectarian tensions within the state that reached their climax with the insurrection of the Muslim Brotherhood and its virtual eradication at Hama.

    • Abd-Allah, Umar. The Islamic Struggle in Syria. Berkeley, CA: Mizan, 1983.

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      Detailed introductory account of the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1940s and its evolution into the broader Islamic Front after 1980 in the context of confrontation with the regime. Appendix includes English text of the Manifesto of Islamic Revolution.

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    • Batatu, Hannah. “Syria’s Muslim Brethren.” In State and Ideology in the Middle East and Pakistan. Edited by Fred Halliday and Hamza Alavi, 112–132. New York: Monthly Review, 1988.

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      Advanced exploratory interpretation of the base and ideology of the Muslim Brethren in the Sunni small-scale trading class.

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    • Talhami, Ghada Hashem. “Syria, Islam, Arab Nationalism, and the Military.” Middle East Policy 8.4 (December 2001): 110–127.

      DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4967.2001.tb00012.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Sets the Muslim Brotherhood’s history in the context of other Syrian political forces. Argues that the brotherhood was marginalized by Baathist ideology and by the 1980s had failed to rally other groups.

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    • Van Dam, Nikolaos. The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society under Asad and the Baath Party. London: I. B. Taurus, 1996.

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      Excellent analysis of the Baathist regime from 1963 to 1996. In-depth examination of sectarian and tribal loyalties. Chapter on the Muslim Brotherhood’s sectarian challenge to the state.

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    Jordan

    Most research on the Muslim Brotherhood has been done by political scientists rather than historians, and for this reason this section is quite short. For historical narratives, see Cohen 1982, which is based on material seized by Israel from Jordanian security archives when the Israelis occupied the West Bank in 1967. Amnon Cohen devotes an informative chapter to the structure, membership, and ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, noting the symbiotic relationship with the Hashemite regime. In this regard, see also Boulby 1999, which discusses the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood from the 1940s to 1993, when the historically symbiotic relationship with the state came under strain as the movement pushed for democratization. Wiktorowicz 2001 analyzes the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis through social movement theory and extensive fieldwork. Quintan Wiktorowicz concludes that the state has been masterful in managing these organizations and also in hampering the functionality of the Islamic nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

    Sudan

    There is a shortage of historical case studies of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan. A possible explanation for this could be a tendency to focus on Islamist movements that are closer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Another factor may be a tendency for scholars to underestimate the ideological differences between the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots in other states. Although there was direct Egyptian influence on the Sudanese, their brotherhood’s ideology has developed in a unique direction due not only to the guidance of Hasan al-Turabi, who has taken an inclusive approach to Islamism in society (in stark contrast with Sayyid Qutb’s rejectionism), but also due to neo-Mahdist, Sufi, and socialist elements. For a detailed scholarly history of the development of the brotherhood in Sudan, consult El-Affendi 1991. Abdelwahab El-Affendi provides a detailed historical examination of the rise of the brotherhood from 1949 to its emergence as a major political party in the 1986 elections. This work usefully sets the brotherhood in the context of modern Sudanese history and also discusses the unique influences on its ideology. Abdelwahid 2008 discusses the movement from 1945 up to the 1989 coup. This work pursues two themes: the unique Islamist discourse of al-Turabi, which reconciles rather than rejects society, and the organizational dynamics of a modern mass social and political movement. Chiriyankandath 1987 analyzes the 1986 election in the context of the legacy of Gaafar Numeiri and the impact of the Muslim Brotherhood. James L. Chiriyankandath discusses the emergence of the Islamic National Front under al-Turabi, seeing the front’s appeal in Muslims’ alienation from modernization. Deng 1991 discusses the ramifications of the 30 June 1989 coup that endorsed and significantly reinforced the Islamic national agenda of the National Islamic Front. Fluehr-Lobban 1991 looks at how the Islamization process aroused deep historically embedded fears in southern Sudan.

    • Abdelwahid, Mustafa. The Rise of the Islamic Movement in the Sudan (1945–1989). Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 2008.

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      Thorough study of the factors influencing the rise of political Islam in Sudan using social movement theory. Considerable discussion of Hasan al-Turabi’s ideas regarding ibtilah (challenges posed by God to test Muslims’ faith) and ijmā (consensus). Suitable for graduate students.

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    • El-Affendi, Abdelwahab. Turabi’s Revolution: Islam and Power in Sudan. London: Grey Seal, 1991.

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      Detailed historical overview of the emergence of the Ikhwan in the 1940s leading up to the National Islamic Front’s success in the 1985 elections. Focus on unique Ikhwan ideology and neo-Mahdist, socialist elements. For all research levels.

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    • Chiriyankandath, James L. “1986 Elections in the Sudan: Tradition, Ideology, and Ethnicity; And Class?” Review of African Political Economy 38 (April 1987): 96–102.

      DOI: 10.1080/03056248708703720Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Analysis of the election and its results. Useful examination of the legacy of Gaafar Numeiri and the impact of Islamism on politics.

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    • Deng, Francis Mading. “War of Visions for the Nation.” In Sudan: State and Society in Crisis. Edited by John O. Voll, 24-42. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.

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      Discusses ramifications of the 30 June 1989 coup in the context of competing visions for the Sudanese nation. The coup endorsed and significantly reinforced the Islamic national agenda of the Muslim Brotherhood’s broad-based political party, the National Islamic Front.

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    • Fluehr-Lobban, Carolyn. “Islamization in Sudan: A Critical Assessment.” In Sudan: State and Society in Crisis. Edited by John O. Voll, 71-89. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991.

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      Article examines how Muslim Brotherhood Islamization efforts aroused fears and tensions having deep historical roots in Sudan. Author makes the important point that issues raised by Sudanese Islamization (including the issue of the status of non-Muslims) would benefit from greater analysis.

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    Palestine

    There is much written on the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine because of the Israeli-Palestine conflict and the brotherhood’s transformation into Hamas. The few works cited here point to issues related mostly to the rise of political Islam. Gershoni 1986 argues that the rapid increase in the Muslim Brotherhood’s strength in Egypt was closely linked to the development of its position on Palestine, leading to its politicization through its involvement in activities during the Arab Revolt. Paz 2003 analyzes the role of higher education institutions in Palestine in increasing Muslim Brotherhood support. Milton-Edwards 1996 adopts a political-ethnographic approach to a study of the rise of political Islam among Palestinians from the mandate era to the mid-1990s. This text provides considerable detail that relies on extensive interviews and primary source material. Likewise, Abu Amr 1994 is based on interviews with movement leaders and primary documents and traces the evolution of Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Underlying Ziad Abu Amr’s analysis is the assumption that the Islamists pose a threat to the unity of Palestinian society. Abu Amr 1993 provides excellent historical background on the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine from the 1930s and analyzes in detail the transition to Hamas during the 1987–1993 intifada.

    • Abu Amr, Ziad. “Hamas: A Historical and Political Background.” Journal of Palestine Studies 22.4 (Summer 1993): 5–19.

      DOI: 10.1525/jps.1993.22.4.00p00027Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Excellent article on the formation of Hamas from its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, with the outbreak of the first intifada in 1987.

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    • Abu Amr, Ziad. Islamic Fundamentalism in the West Bank and Gaza: The Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad. Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 1994.

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      Traces the origin and evolution of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic Jihad, analyzing ideologies, political programs, support bases, and the impact on Palestinian society, including the struggle between Islamists and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

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    • Gershoni, Israel. “The Muslim Brothers and the Arab Revolt in Palestine, 1936–39.” Middle Eastern Studies 22.3 (July 1986): 367–397.

      DOI: 10.1080/00263208608700671Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Gershoni argues that studies on the Muslim Brotherhood have not properly explained its growth from a small peripheral religious organization in the 1930s into the most powerful political force in Egypt. He argues that the brothers’ involvement in the Jewish-Arab conflict is essential to understanding the movement’s spectacular growth.

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    • Milton-Edwards, Beverley. Islamic Politics in Palestine. London: I. B. Taurus, 1996.

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      Comprehensive analysis of the evolution of Islamic organizations in response to the political changes in Palestine from the mandate period up to 1996. Extensive references to Muslim Brotherhood activity and ideology throughout, including the formation of Hamas. For the advanced researcher.

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    • Paz, Reuven. “The Development of Palestinian Islamist Groups.” In Revolutionaries and Reformers: Contemporary Islamist Movements in the Middle East. Edited by Barry Rubin, 23–40. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2003.

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      Analyzes the development of Islamist groups, with a focus on the role of higher- education institutions in Palestine creating Muslim Brotherhood support. For all levels.

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    Iraq

    There has been relatively little written on the history of the Muslim Brotherhood in Iraq, perhaps because the brotherhood was disbanded for three decades following the Baathist rise to power. Al-ʿAzami 2002 is most informative in setting the background for and giving details of the movement’s founding and historical development until its repression by the Baathists and self-marginalization, with its leadership in London, after 1970s. Fuller 2003 is a short but useful analytical report dealing with the question of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Iraqi Islamist organizations in the post–Saddam Hussein era. The report predicts the reemergence of the Muslim Brotherhood as a strong Sunni Islamist organization with an interest in electoral politics and also raises questions about the brotherhood’s relationship with Shiʿa Islamists.

    • Al-ʿAzami, Basim. “The Muslim Brotherhood: Genesis and Development.” In Ayatollahs, Sufis, and Ideologues: State, Religion, and Social Movements in Iraq. Edited by Faleh Abdul-Jabar, 162–174. London: Saqi, 2002.

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      Useful chapter in describing the crystallization of the Muslim Brotherhood organization after 1945, the founding of the Islamic Brotherhood Society in 1951, the establishment of the Iraqi Islamic Party in 1960, and the party’s repression by the Baathists and post-1970 self-marginalization. For all levels.

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    • Fuller, Graham E. “Islamist Politics in Iraq after Saddam Hussein.” Special Report 108. Washington, DC: US Institute for Peace, 2003.

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      Looks at the emergence of trends in Shiʿa and Sunni Islamist politics. Concludes that Sunni Islamism, long suppressed by Saddam Hussein, is likely to emerge dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, which would seek electoral representation. Particularly useful for analysis of Muslim Brotherhood relations with Shiʿa Islamists. For all levels.

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    Kuwait

    The Muslim Brotherhood’s role in parliament since the 1991 Gulf War has drawn considerable interest from scholars. Brown 2009 suggests that the brotherhood, now the Islamic Constitutional Movement, has integrated more fully into the political system that any other Arab Islamist party. He does, however, agree with Bakalini, et al. 1999 that the Islamists and others have found the limitations on parliamentary democracy imposed by the Kuwaiti royal family to be trying.

    • Bakalini, Abdo, Denoeux Guilain, and Robert Springborg. Legislative Politics in the Arab World. London: Lynne Rienner, 1999.

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      Comparative work that includes a discussion of the dynamics of parliamentary politics in the Kuwaiti elections of 1992 and 1994. Examines the role of the Islamic Constitutional Movement in successfully contesting elections but also deals with the limitations placed on democracy by the royal family. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Brown, Nathan J. “Kuwait’s Islamic Constitutional Movement: A Model or a Warning for Democratic Islamism?” In Interpreting Islamic Political Parties. Edited by M. A. Mohamed Saleh, 117–128. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

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      Useful analysis of Islamists in parliament, arguing that the Muslim Brotherhood, now the Islamic Constitutional Movement, has integrated more as a normal policy actor than any other Arab Islamist party. Yet the party has been frustrated by the limitation of the parliament by the monarchy and the difficulties of forming a coalition. Suitable for graduate students.

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    Saudi Arabia

    Very few studies have treated Saudi Islamism as having internal dynamics and a variety of politically minded actors, choosing instead to see Saudi Arabia as a source from which Wahhabi radicalism has been pumped out into the global system. However, Hegghammer 2010 is the first history of Saudi extremist jihadism based on extensive fieldwork and use of Arabic primary sources. The work focuses on the rise of more extremist elements, such as al-Qaeda, but also includes an excellent discussion of the Muslim Brotherhood in the context of its influence on Saudi involvement in Afghanistan. Ayoob and Kosebalaban 2009 focuses on the history of Wahhabism in its historical, social, and political contexts, providing analysis of the ideological hybridization between Qutbist political radicalism and Wahhabism that took place when, after Sayyid Qutb’s death, his brother Muhammad and other disciples took refuge in Saudi Arabia, becoming teachers at seminaries and universities. Kostiner 1997 documents the rise of a new, young, educated Islamist opposition in the 1990s, a generation influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood along with a multitude of other Islamic trends.

    • Ayoob, Mohammed, and Hasan Kosebalaban, eds. Religion and Politics in Saudi Arabia: Wahhabism and the State. London: Lynne Reiner, 2009.

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      This edited volume focusing on the history of Wahhabism in its historical, social, and political contexts provides analysis of the ideological hybridization between Qutbist political radicalism and Wahhabism that took place when after Sayyid Qutb’s death.

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    • Hegghammer, Thomas. Jihad in Saudi Arabia: Violence and Pan-Islamism since 1979. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

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      This work discusses the Muslim Brotherhood in the context of its influence on Saudi involvement in Afghanistan, Shaykh Abdallah Azzam’s fatwa on jihad, and the flow of Arab volunteers to Afghanistan.

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    • Kostiner, Joseph. “State, Islam, and Opposition in Saudi Arabia: The Post Desert-Storm Phase.” Middle East Review of International Affairs 1.2 (July 1997): 75–89.

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      Article discusses the emergence of sustained Islamist opposition in the 1990s, composed primarily of a new, young, and educated generation influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood and many other Islamist trends. For all levels.

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    Europe and North America

    There is a lack of serious scholarly research on the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and North America. The most substantive work on the movement in Europe to date is Marechal 2008, which provides an overview of the organization and discourse of the Muslim Brotherhood. Brigitte Marechal argues that the most dominant discourse among the Muslim Brotherhood is based on a model of possible integration, where the valorization of citizenship coexists with a collective Muslim identity. The Muslim Brotherhood is referred to in many newspapers and online articles. One of the more thoroughly researched of these, although relying primarily on secondary sources, is Vidino 2005. Lorenzo Vidino argues that although the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe has a moderate public rhetoric, the movement contains strong radical elements and links to terror. Khosrokhavar 2010 contains a short chapter, based on secondary sources, that discusses the brotherhood’s influence in France at the institutional and individual levels, concluding somewhat in agreement with Vidino that the brotherhood has evolved a double discourse: using democracy to effect creeping Islamization of society while recognizing the compatibility of God’s sovereignty with parliamentary government. Rich 2010, in examining the Muslim Brotherhood in the United Kingdom, concludes, again from mainly secondary sources, that the Muslim Brotherhood, while completely opposed to liberal democracy, does not have sufficient organizational support in the United Kingdom to threaten conspiracy against the regime. Wine 2005 takes a different point of view, pointing to the Muslim Brotherhood’s successful efforts at influencing Britain’s diverse Muslim population. Michael Wine argues that the movement’s ideology is not ideologically monolithic and contains some jihadist tendencies, although there is also strong interest in mobilizing the Muslim vote to play a role in parliamentary democracy. Wine also argues that the movement’s ideology is not ideologically monolithic, as it contains both revolutionary and reformist tendencies. Steinberg 2010 notes the strengthening of the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany since the end of the 1990s but argues that it has gained no mass following. Guido Steinberg says that, while the movement has sought both the creation of a parallel Islamic society and has demanded participation in federal government, it remains peripheral in Germany because of a lack of transparency. Cesare 2004 is an extensive work on Muslim immigrant communities in Europe and North America that notes the considerable influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on both continents and sees the movement’s philosophy as committed to the reconciliation of a secular system with Islamist norms. By contrast, Lappen 2010 gives the history of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America since 1963 and argues that, although the organization maintains a moderate facade, its true goal is the destruction of Western civilization through armed jihad. Roald 2001 makes a significant contribution to research on women in the Muslim Brotherhood. Anne Sofie Roald’s book on the experience of Muslim women in Europe includes a detailed discussion of women’s roles, emphasizing that the movement has advanced considerably in embracing women’s activism but still remains committed to the primacy of the patriarchal family and hence the role of woman as a wife and a mother.

    • Cesare, Jocelyne. When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.

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      Examines Muslim immigrant communities in Europe and North America in the context of transcultural space. The author devotes considerable discussion to the key influence of the Muslim Brotherhood on local leaders and organizations in the West in light of its philosophy, which attempts to reconcile Islamic practice with secular life. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Khosrokhavar, Farhad. “The Muslim Brotherhood in France.” In The Muslim Brotherhood: The Organization and Policies of a Global Islamist Movement. Edited by Barry Rubin, 137–147. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

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      Article based on secondary sources discussing the brotherhood’s influence in France at the institutional and individual levels. It concludes that the brotherhood has evolved a double discourse: using democracy to effect Islamic change in society but also recognizing the compatibility of God’s sovereignty with parliamentary government. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Lappen, Alyssa A. “The Muslim Brotherhood in North America.” In The Muslim Brotherhood: The Organization and Policies of a Global Islamist Movement. Edited by Barry Rubin, 161–179. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

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      Lappen maintains that the Muslim Brotherhood has developed a large number of institutions and supporters since the 1960s, when it reached North America through the Muslim Students’ Association. The author maintains that while the brotherhood’s fronts keep a moderate facade, its actual goal is to bring down Western civilization through armed jihad. Most useful for discussion of institutional connections.

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    • Marechal, Brigitte. The Muslim Brothers in Europe: Roots and Discourse. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2008.

      DOI: 10.1163/ej.9789004167810.i-354Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      A detailed and scholarly socio-anthropological study of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, including a brief historical survey and examination of the contemporary movement from the perspectives of both important figures and discourses. Concludes that the brotherhood remains important in Europe thanks to its dynamism but, conversely, the movement also lacks political momentum. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Rich, David. “The Very Model of a British Muslim Brotherhood.” In The Muslim Brotherhood: The Organization and Policies of a Global Islamist Movement. Edited by Barry Rubin, 117–138. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

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      Overview of the Muslim Brotherhood’s organization and policies since the influx of Islamist exiles to London in the 1990s. Argues that although the movement rejects liberal democracy, it lacks the cohesion to mount a conspiracy against the government. Features the brotherhood’s alliance with the Left and its radical influence on what the author terms “anti-Israeli campaigning.”

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    • Roald, Anne Sofie. Women in Islam: The Western Experience. London: Routledge, 2001.

      DOI: 10.4324/9780203278369Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Examines the encounter between Islam and the West in the context of gender attitudes of Arabic-speaking Islamists in Europe. The Muslim Brotherhood’s ideological approach to women, women’s primary roles as mothers and wives, and women’s activism in the movement in Jordan and Europe are analyzed in detail. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Steinberg, Guido. “The Muslim Brotherhood in Germany.” In The Muslim Brotherhood: The Organization and Policies of a Global Islamist Movement. Edited by Barry Rubin, 149–160. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.

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      Notes the strengthening of the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany since the end of the 1990s, placing it as one of the main actors among Muslims in Germany. Argues that even though the movement has close links with the Turkish Islamists, it has not generated any mass following. For all levels.

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    • Vidino, Lorenzo. “The Muslim Brotherhood’s Conquest of Europe.” Middle East Quarterly 12 (Winter 2005): 25–34.

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      Discusses the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe since the 1960s, focusing on its success in Germany. Argues that although the movement uses moderate rhetoric, it has a radical Islamist agenda and links with terrorism. Suitable for all levels.

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    • Wine, Michael. The Advance of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK. Current Trends in Islamic Ideology 2. Washington, DC: Hudson Institute, 2005.

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      This article—based on secondary, mostly journalistic, sources—points to the Muslim Brotherhood’s successful efforts to influence Britain’s diverse Muslim population. Argues that the movement’s ideology is not ideologically monolithic and contains some jihadi tendencies, although there is also strong interest in mobilizing the Muslim vote to play a role in parliamentary democracy.

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    Comparative Politics

    There is a considerable literature in comparative political science on the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements regarding their roles in civil society and their relationship with the state. Clark 2004 examines the structure and dynamics of Islamic institutions and their social and political impact through three case studies: the Islamic medical clinics in Egypt (mostly run by the Muslim Brotherhood), the Islamic Center Charity Society in Jordan (also run by the Muslim Brotherhood), and the Islah Women’s Charitable Society in Yemen. Schwedler 2006 makes an excellent contribution with comparative work on the Islamic Action Front (Muslim Brotherhood political party) in Jordan and the Islah of Yemen. Jillian Schwedler uses these case studies to address which factors affect the moderation of Islamists, emphasizing state-managed political openings and internal group structure. El-Ghobashy 2005 provides an analysis of how the Muslim Brotherhood’s participation in authoritarian Egyptian politics has affected both its organization and its ideology with the rise of middle-aged professionals making a decisive move away from Sayyid Qutb’s radical ideology. Sullivan and Abed-Kotob 1999 provides an excellent examination of the relations among Islamist movements, civil society, and the state (in the case of Egypt). The authors demonstrate the diversity of Islamists in Egypt and also that many of them, including Muslim Brotherhood members, promote democratization through their role in civil society. By contrast, Tal 2005, in a comparative study of the brotherhood, militants, and the government in Egypt and Jordan, argues that by the end of the 20th century the Islamists in both countries had failed in their primary goal of instituting a theocratic state. Nachman Tal de-emphasizes the social role of the brotherhood, differentiating it from the militants mainly by its nonviolent approach.

    • Clark, Janine A. Islam, Charity, and Activism: Middle Class Networks and Social Welfare in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004.

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      This excellent analysis includes an examination of Muslim Brotherhood charitable institutions in Jordan and Egypt, demonstrating how these institutions strengthen social networks binding middle-class professionals, volunteers, and clients. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • El-Ghobashy, Mona. “The Metamorphosis of the Egyptian Muslim Brothers.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 37 (2005): 373–395.

      DOI: 10.1017/S0020743805052128Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Analysis of how the Muslim Brotherhood’s participation in authoritarian electoral politics has affected both its organization and its ideology with the rise of middle-aged professionals moving away from Sayyid Qutb’s radical ideology and toward a cautious reinterpretation of Hasan al-Banna and other moderate, prodemocracy Islamist thinkers. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Schwedler, Jillian. Faith in Moderation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

      DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511550829Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Comparative study of the Islamic Action Front in Jordan and the Islah of Yemen leads the author to conclude that the Jordanian Islamists have moderated while those in Yemen have not.

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    • Sullivan, Denis, and Sana Abed-Kotob. Islam in Contemporary Egypt: Civil Society vs. the State. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1999.

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      Excellent introduction to relations among Islamists, the state, and civil society. Chapter 3 provides in-depth coverage of the Muslim Brotherhood. For all researchers.

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    • Tal, Nachman. Radical Islam in Egypt and Jordan. Brighton, UK: Sussex Academic, 2005.

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      Examines the relationship between the brotherhood and the Egyptian and Jordanian regimes. Sees the brotherhood as a group of nonviolent radicals sharing a common outlook with militants. Suitable for graduate students.

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    Women

    While there is a considerable literature on women and Islamism, there is a dearth of publications on women in the Muslim Brotherhood. One major reason for this may be the hierarchical dominance of the movement by men. However, Clark and Schwedler 2003 puts together excellent fieldwork on why women’s participation in two conservative parties, the Jordanian Islamic Action Front (Muslim Brotherhood) and Yemeni Islah, increased dramatically in a decade. The authors conclude that this increase has taken place not because of strategic and ideological considerations but because women have seized opportunities created by internal party tensions that may be unrelated to feminine issues. Abdel-Latif 2008 gives a detailed overview of women’s roles in the Egyptian movement, noting both the absence of “sisters” in the brotherhood hierarchical structure and women activists’ considerable political contribution to the brotherhood’s struggle. Omayma Abdel-Latif argues that a younger generation of educated women is demanding more representation and participation in brotherhood structures. Shehadeh 2000 examines women’s roles on a more theoretical level, from the perspective of Sayyid Qutb’s ideology. She finds a glaring dichotomy in Qutb’s position, which appears to be revolutionary in campaigning for dynamism and freedom and progress for men while subjecting women to stasis and domestic subjugation.

    Ideology

    For the study of the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, even at the graduate level, translated and annotated works can provide a useful introduction. Al-Banna 1978 is the classic translation and annotation of selections from Majmūʿ at Rasāʾil al- Imām al-Shahīd Ḥasan al-Bannā (Beirut: Dar al-Andalus, 1965). Also very useful is Bergesen 2008, an edited and annotated selection of Sayyid Qutb’s writings translated into English. The book includes two introductory essays providing a summary of Qutb in historical and ideological context. Moussalli 1992 gives a clear analysis of Qutb’s ideological and political discourse in the wider context of Islamist ideology. March 2010 presents an interpretation of Qutb’s political theory as one that seeks an egalitarian and nonhierarchical Islamic modern utopia. Qutb 2003 is a thirty-volume commentary on the Qur’an that serves as a foundation for Qutb’s later declarations in Milestones (Qutb 1960). Qutb 1960 is a manifesto calling for the Muslims to form a revolutionary vanguard to eliminate jahiliyya (pre-Islamic ignorance) and install Sharia rule. Qutb 2000 points to the injustices in most Muslim societies, the decadence of the West, and the need to comprehensively implement Islamic rule. Shepard 2003 argues that Qutb’s concept of jahiliyya is not as original as previously thought and differs from other understandings at the point where Qutb considers jahiliyya to have negated the existence of Islam. Weisman 1997 analyzes the conceptual and ideological framework of Saʾid Hawwa’s thought: his disagreement with Qutb’s radical methodology and choice of grassroots organization of Islamist forces for a long, restrained attempt at reviving Islam in Syria.

    • Al-Banna, Hasan. Five Tracts of Hasan al-Banna (1906–1949). Translated from the Arabic and annotated by Charles Wendell. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978.

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      Classic translation of selections from Majmūʿ at Rasāʾil al-Imām al-Shahīd Ḥasan al-Bannā (Beirut: Dār al-Andalus, 1965). Introductory and suitable for all levels.

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    • Bergesen, Albert J., ed. The Sayyid Qutb Reader: Selected Writings on Politics, Religion, and Society. New York: Routledge, 2008.

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      Includes opening chapters on Qutb in historical context. Selections from Qutb’s famous works: Milestones, In the Shade of the Qurʾan, and Social Justice in Islam. Introductory; for all levels.

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    • March, Andrew. “Taking People as They Are: Islam as a “Realistic Utopia” in the Political Theory of Sayyid Qutb.” American Political Science Review 104.1 (February 2010): 189–207.

      DOI: 10.1017/S000305541000002XSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Interpretation of Sayyid Qutb’s political project as an account of how and why Islam needs politics and how humans can be both free and governed. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Moussalli, Ahmad S. The Ideological and Political Discourse of Sayyid Qutb. Beirut: American University in Beirut, 1992.

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      Clearly set out discussion of Qutb’s discourse, showing the evolution of his thought, the goals of his polemics, the intellectual content of his philosophy, and how he differs from other Islamic thinkers. For all levels.

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    • Qutb, Sayyid. Milestones. Chicago: Kazi, 1960.

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      Translation of Maālim fī al-Tarīq. Revolutionary manifesto calling on all Muslims to fight jahiliyya rule with a revolutionary vanguard. For all levels.

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    • Qutb, Sayyid. Social Justice in Islam. Oneonta, NY: Islamic Publications International, 2000.

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      Translation of Al Adālah al-Ijtimaīyyah fī al-Islām. Discusses the persistence of inequality in Muslim societies, depicts the West as a crusading force, calls for implementation of Sharia. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Qutb, Sayyid. In the Shade of the Qurʾan. Translated and edited by Adil Salahi. Leicestershire, UK: Islamic Foundation, 2003.

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      Translation of Fī Zilāl al-Qurʾān. Thirty-volume commentary on the Qurʾan that outlines Qutb’s vision of an ideal Islamic society. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Shepard, William E. “Sayyid Qutb’s Doctrine of Jahiliyya.” International Journal of Middle East Studies 35 (2003): 521–545.

      DOI: 10.1017/S0020743803000229Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Author argues that Qutb’s doctrine of jahiliyya is not as innovative as previously thought. He also demonstrates where the innovation does lie in Qutb’s post-1964 writings, where he sees jahiliyya so omnipresent that Islam no longer exists. Suitable for graduate students.

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    • Weisman, Itzhak. “Sa’íd Hawwa and Islamic Revivalism in Ba’thist Syria.” Studia Islamica 85 (1997): 131–154.

      DOI: 10.2307/1595874Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

      Analysis of the conceptual and ideological framework of Hawwa’s thought, demonstrating diversity in Muslim Brotherhood ideology. He shared the views of his contemporaries on the decay of Islam but rejected the solution in Qutb’s concept of jahiliyya. His approach was a grassroots organization uniting Islamic forces in Syria for long preparation and restraint. Suitable for graduate students.

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    Documentaries

    There are few documentaries that put the Muslim Brotherhood in a historical perspective. Maiotti 2004, a History Channel production, is a short, fifty-minute presentation on the history of the Muslim Brotherhood focusing on the Secret Apparatus, also known as the Special Apparatus, to show the movement as the ideological parent of modern radical Islamist groups. It contains documentary footage, interviews, and several dramatizations to capture critical points in history. Curtis 2004 is a series of BBC documentaries written and produced by Alan Curtis that compare the rise of American neoconservatives with radical Islamists. The series is well researched historically and includes considerable documentary footage and an interview with the Sayyid Qutb expert John Calvert. Siegel 2003 is a National Public Radio (NPR) documentary on Qutb’s 1949 visit to Greeley, Colorado, where what he saw prompted him to condemn America as a materialistic, soulless place. Ironically, NPR’s Robert Siegel notes that Greeley was a very conservative town even for the 1950s.

    LAST MODIFIED: 05/25/2011

    DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195390155-0137

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