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The Muslim brotherhood is an Egyptian political organization that was founded in 1928 (Laub, 2013). During the founding days, the organization was constituted as a religious and social movement that did not have political agendas. It was founded by Hassan al-Banna, an Islamic scholar (Wickham, 2013). The popularity of the organization grew rapidly after its formation and by the end of the World War II, it had more than 2 million members.
Its main goals include promotion of political activism and Islamic charity work (Laub, 2013). The group emerged on the global arena during the Arab spring that rocked several Arab countries. It was legally recognized in 2011 after Hosni Mubarak was overthrown. After Mubarak was ejected from power, the organization won several elections. However, its popularity and power waned after the military overthrew the government of Morsi.
Founding of the organization
The organization was founded as a social and religious group whose goal was to promote Islamic teachings and precepts. Its main activities included education of illiterate people in the society, construction of social amenities such as hospitals and schools, and propagation of Islamic teachings (Wickham, 2013). However, it gradually morphed into a political organization during the British rule in Egypt (Laub, 2013).
It was against the rule of the Britons and used crude methods to express its views. Its influence spreads across many continents including Africa, Asia, and Europe. The Muslim Brotherhood dissolved in 1952 after supporting the Egyptian Revolution (Wickham, 2013). It was banned after its failed attempt to assassinate the president. The activities of the organization have been criticized in many countries leading to its suppression in nations such as Syria.
The organization’s core beliefs include the preeminence of Quran as the law, Allah as the ultimate truth and goal, Muhammad as their leader, pursuance of Jihad for justice, and accepting death for Allah (Laub, 2013).
The actions of members are based on their stringent beliefs that are considered by many as going against contemporary societal values. For example, they believe in jihad. This was the main cause of the Arab spring that led to the demise of thousands of innocent citizens. The brotherhood aims to introduce sharia law in Arab nations and use it to govern the state and society (Wickham, 2013).
Members believe in democracy and reforms, even though their actions are contrary. Moreover, they believe that societal reforms should be preceded by political reforms. Their view of reforms includes public and press freedom, freedom for demonstrations, freedom for assembly, and freedom of expression (Wickham, 2013). Finally, they believe that the Quran and Sunnah contain teachings and precepts that guarantee quality lives.
The organization’s influence
The organization’s political influence grew after the 2011 Egypt revolution. After the revolution, the United States government reopened diplomatic relations with the organization (Nada, 2012).
The U.S and other countries had suspended diplomatic relations with the group after it was linked to terrorism. It became more influential after it won parliamentary elections under the leadership of Mohammed Morsi, who was later deposed (Wickham, 2013). The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) is an Islamic organization that is linked to the brotherhood (Nada, 2012).
It has become a pillar of establishment of diplomatic relations between America and the Muslim world. The leader of the society has assumed the role of administrative advisor to president Obama on several occasions on matters regarding immigration and terrorism. The group plays critical roles in mediating peace talks between warring countries in the Middle East and Europe. For example, ISNA held a meeting with the U.S government to discuss the possibility of mediating between Palestine and Israel (Wickham, 2013).
The leader of ISNA, Mohamed Magid has assumed the role of Obama’s advisor on matters concerning terrorism and immigration on several occasions (Nada, 2012). However, critics argue that the main aim of the society is to promote the agendas of the brotherhood by cooperating with the government through affiliate groups. The brotherhood has been accused of giving rise to groups such as al Qaeda and Hamas.
It aims to eliminate western civilization from Arab countries through jihad (Wickham, 2013). The organization is present in America, Asia, and Africa. In West Asia, it is present in countries that include Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, and Oman. In Africa, the organization is present in Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Egypt, Somalia, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania (Nada, 2012). Its influence is based on its popularity and presence in many countries of the world.
The Muslim brotherhood is a political organization founded in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna in 1928. Initially, it was formed as a social and religious group but later morphed into a political outfit. It is present in several continents including Africa, America, Asia, and Europe.
Members of the organization believe in bringing reforms through introduction of the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah. It aims at using these laws to govern the society and the state in which it successfully gains control. Its popularity soared when its candidate Mohamed Morsi took power through parliamentary elections in 2011. However, he was later overthrown by the military, leading to decrease in popularity and influence of the organization.
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Laub, Z. (2013). Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Retrieved from https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/egypts-muslim-brotherhood
Nada, Y. (2012). Inside the Muslim Brotherhood: the Truth about the World’s Most Powerful Political Movement. New York: Metro.
Wickham, C. (2013). The Muslim Brotherhood: Evolution of an Islamists Movement. New York: Princeton University Press.