The Draft Party Platform of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood

Nathan J. Brown
Amr Hamzawy

In the late summer 2007, amid great anticipation from Egypt’s ruling elite and opposition movements, the Muslim Brotherhood distributed the first draft of  a party platform to a group of intellectuals and analysts. The platform was  not to serve as a document for an existing political party or even one about to  be founded: the Brotherhood remains without legal recognition in Egypt and  Egypt’s rulers and the laws they have enacted make the prospect of legal recognition  for a Brotherhood-founded party seem distant. But the Brotherhood’s  leadership clearly wished to signal what sort of party they would found if  allowed to do so.

With the circulation of the draft document, the movement opened its doors  to discussion and even contentious debate about the main ideas of the platform,  the likely course of the Brotherhood’s political role, and the future of its relationship  with other political forces in the country.1  In this paper, we seek to answer four questions concerning the Brotherhood’s

party platform:

1. What are the specific controversies and divisions generated by the platform?


2. Why and how has the platform proved so divisive?


3. Given the divisions it caused as well as the inauspicious political environment,

why was a platform drafted at this time?


4. How will these controversies likely be resolved?


We also offer some observations about the Brotherhood’s experience with

drafting a party platform and demonstrate how its goals have only been partly

met. Ultimately, the integration of the Muslim Brotherhood as a normal political

actor will depend not only on the movement’s words but also on the deeds

of a regime that seems increasingly hostile to the Brotherhood’s political role.

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Filed Under: ArticlesEgyptEvents & NewsFeaturedMiddle EastMuslim BrotherhoodRegionsSyrian MB

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