The Alleged Opposition Emerges: Goals and Strategies of the Ikhawan Al-Muslimun vis a vis the State.

ILham El hamoumi

In discussing the political and intellectual nature of governmentsthroughout the Middle East, it is vital to pay attention to notions of definedliberties of the individual within the state in the way to democracy. It isalso imperative to attempt to understand the Islamic resurgence we have seen instates like Egypt. Acknowledging that this phenomenon has emerged as a reactionof failed and corrupt laic governments is important in order to comprehend howgroups such as the Muslim Brotherhood emerge and enjoy great popularity. Inthis paper, I will discuss the causes for the emergence of the MuslimBrotherhood of Egypt and the reasons behind its popularity. I will also discussits positives aspects in trying to revitalize and change the political system inEgypt, in addition to drawing attention to the negative externalities of itsreligiously tainted power.The social discourse on the blatant state infringement on their populacein the Arab world in general and more specifically in the case of Egypt,invariably bifurcates into a confusion on the part of the people between Islamand the state because of their lack of knowledge about their own political andreligious history, and state oppression. Fatima Mernissi’s discussion about thelack of awareness and understanding of history in the Arab world is quitereflective of the ta’a (obedience) of the Muslim populations to their unjustrulers, which initially might seem a little incomprehensible for a westernaudience. Yet, how can one expect people to rise against an Imam or vote out apolitical leader when they have no understanding of their religious and/orpolitical histories? On what grounds will they do that? The concept of ta’a orobedience implies a banning of reflection, personal opinion (ra’y) andeventually ihdah (innovation, modernization).

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