Liberalizing the Muslim Brotherhood

Mohamed Fayez Farahat |

Firstly, we must note that some object to the very question over whether the Muslim Brotherhood is turning into a liberal force. The notion contains a crucial flaw, since religious groups cannot be assessed based on shifting ideological frameworks. In other words, they argue that these groups be judged based on standards taking into consideration both the groups’ characteristics and the characteristics of the cultural framework in which they operate. Most likely, this reservation is due to the debate in the Arab and Islamic world over the relationship between liberalism and secularism, and the substantial overlap between the two concepts. At its essence, these people do not believe that the Islamist movements – including the social movements – have truly accepted secularism as a prerequisite of becoming a liberal movement. They argue that there is a limit to how far the Islamist movements can go with regards to secularism, and so we should not expect the Islamist movements to become completely liberal in the Western understanding of liberalism, since they will not give up their religious nature which distinguishes them from nonreligious political movements.
Međutim, with all due respect to this point of view, there are still others firmly believing in the compatibility of liberalism with a social movement retaining its religious character. One of the main prerequisites to transitioning from being a religious movement to a liberal religious movement is distinguishing between what is religious or evangelical, and what is political. This distinction is still lacking among many Islamist movements, including the Muslim Brotherhood.

Filed Under: EgipatIstaknutomuslimansko bratstvoStudije & Istraživanja


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