RSSSvi unosi označeni: "Sayyed Qutb"

Islam in the West

Jocelyne Cesari

The immigration of Muslims to Europe, North America, and Australia and the complex socioreligious dynamics that have subsequently developed have made Islam in the West a compelling new ªeld of research. The Salman Rushdie affair, hijab controversies, the attacks on the World Trade Center, and the furor over the Danish cartoons are all examples of international crises that have brought to light the connections between Muslims in the West and the global Muslim world. These new situations entail theoretical and methodological challenges for the study of contemporary Islam, and it has become crucial that we avoid essentializing either Islam or Muslims and resist the rhetorical structures of discourses that are preoccupied with security and terrorism.
In this article, I argue that Islam as a religious tradition is a terra incognita. A preliminary reason for this situation is that there is no consensus on religion as an object of research. Religion, as an academic discipline, has become torn between historical, sociological, and hermeneutical methodologies. With Islam, the situation is even more intricate. In the West, the study of Islam began as a branch of Orientalist studies and therefore followed a separate and distinctive path from the study of religions. Even though the critique of Orientalism has been central to the emergence of the study of Islam in the ªeld of social sciences, tensions remain strong between Islamicists and both anthropologists and sociologists. The topic of Islam and Muslims in the West is embedded in this struggle. One implication of this methodological tension is that students of Islam who began their academic career studying Islam in France, Germany, or America ªnd it challenging to establish credibility as scholars of Islam, particularly in the North American academic
context.

Islam and Democracy: Text, Tradition, and History

Ahrar Ahmad

Popular stereotypes in the West tend to posit a progressive, rational, and free West against a backward, oppressive, and threatening Islam. Public opinion polls conducted in the United States during the 1990s revealed a consistent pattern of Americans labeling Muslims as “religious fanatics” and considering Islam’s ethos as fundamentally “anti-democratic.”1 These characterizations
and misgivings have, for obvious reasons, significantly worsened since the tragedy of 9/11. However, these perceptions are not reflected merely in the popular consciousness or crude media representations. Respected scholars also have contributed to this climate of opinion by writing about the supposedly irreconcilable differences between Islam and the West, the famous “clash of civilizations” that is supposed to be imminent and inevitable, and about the seeming incompatibility between Islam and democracy. For example, Professor Peter Rodman worries that “we are challenged from the outside by a militant atavistic force driven by hatred of all Western political thought harking back to age-old grievances against Christendom.” Dr. Daniel Pipes proclaims that the Muslims challenge the West more profoundly than the communists ever did, for “while the Communists disagree with our policies, the fundamentalist Muslims despise our whole way of life.” Professor Bernard Lewis warns darkly about “the historic reaction of an ancient rival against our Judeo–Christian heritage, our secular present, and the expansion of both.” Professor Amos Perlmutter asks: “Is Islam, fundamentalist or otherwise, compatible with human-rights oriented Western style representative democracy? The answer is an emphatic NO.” And Professor Samuel Huntington suggests with a flourish that “the problem is not Islamic fundamentalism, but Islam itself.” It would be intellectually lazy and simple-minded to dismiss their positions as based merely on spite or prejudice. In fact, if one ignores some rhetorical overkill, some of their charges, though awkward for Muslims, are relevant to a discussion of the relationship between Islam and democracy in the modern world. For example, the position of women or sometimes non-Muslims in some Muslim countries is problematic in terms of the supposed legal equality of all people in a democracy. Similarly, the intolerance directed by some Muslims against writers (e.g., Salman Rushdie in the UK, Taslima Nasrin in Bangladesh, and Professor Nasr Abu Zaid in Egypt) ostensibly jeopardizes the principle of free speech, which is essential to a democracy.
It is also true that less than 10 of the more than 50 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference have institutionalized democratic principles or processes as understood in the West, and that too, only tentatively. Finally, the kind of internal stability and external peace that is almost a prerequisite for a democracy to function is vitiated by the turbulence of internal implosion or external aggression evident in many Muslim countries today (e.g., Somalija, Sudan, Indonezija, Pakistan, Irak, Afganistana, Alžir, and Bosnia).

The Lives of Hasan al Banna & Syed Qutb.

The Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan al Muslimeen) was founded by Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949) in the Egyptian town of al- Isma’iliyyah in 1928. The son of an Azharite scholar, who earned his livelihood by repairing watches, Hasan al-Banna showed from his early
school-days an inclination and great zeal for calling people to Islamic values and traditions. His strong sense of religiosity and spiritual awareness drove him to join the Hasafiyyah tariqah, one of many Sufi tariqahs that were widespread in Egypt at that time. Even though he was not formally associated with this tariqah after he founded the Ikhwan, he, nevertheless, maintained a good relation with it, as indeed with other Islamic organizations and religious personalities, and persisted in reciting the litanies (awrad, pl. of wird) of this tariqah until his last days. Though Hasan al-Banna joined a modern-type school of education, he promised his father that he would continue to memorize the Qur’an, which he did, in fact later, at the age of twelve. While at school, he took part in the activities of some religious associations and clubs which were promoting it and calling for the observance of Islamic teachings .

Sejid Kutb: The Karl Marx of the Islamic Revolution

Leslie Evans

Sejid Kutb (October 9, 1906-kolovoz 29, 1966), the Egyptian literary critic, philosopher, and theorist of the contemporary jihadist movement is only becoming a familiar name in the West in recent years, but his voluminous writings have had and continue to have enormous impact in the Muslim world. It is not an overstatement to say that it is hardly possible to understand the reasoning and goals of the Islamic militants without some familiarity with the outlook Qutb (pronounced KUH-tahb) enunciated.
A search of Amazon.com returns no less than seven books in English about Sayyid Qutb as well as collections of his writings and many of his own books in translation. The two works touched on here are only a random sampling of a very large literature which is again but a minute fraction of what exists in Arabic. These two are quite different in scope and attitude. Adnan Ayyub Musallam, a Palestinian native of Bethlehem, holds a doctorate from the University of Michigan
and is currently professor of history, politics, and cultural studies at Bethlehem University in the West Bank. His generally sympathetic but critical biography concentrates on the evolving politics of Qutb’s affiliations and thought. The quite brief and more critical piece by Paul Berman for the New York Times looks at Qutb’s theology and helps to clarify his argument with Christianity and Western secularism.
Brilliant from his earliest youth, Sayyid Qutb was an unlikely figure to serve as the inspiration for a global revolutionary movement. Although for a brief period he was a member of the militant Muslim Brothers, where he served as an editor not as an organizer, he spent most of his life as a lone intellectual. Where Marx, the theorist of world communism, labored in the British Museum, Sayyid Qutb wrote his most influential works in an Egyptian prison, where he spent most of the last eleven years of his life, until his execution by the Nasser government in 1966. Even his turn to Islam in any serious way did not take place until he was past forty, yet in prison in his fifties he produced a controversial rethinking of the religion that reverberates around the world.
Qutb was born in the village of Musha, between Cairo and Aswan into a family of small landowners. He was sent to the local madrasa, the government school, rather than the still more religious kuttab, the Islamic school, but he won a contest between the two schools for the best memorization of the Qur’an. He recalled his life there in his only biographical work, “Child from the Village,” recording local customs and superstitions. From that period he acquired a belief in the world of spirits that he carried with him all his life

Ikhwan u Sjevernoj Americi: Kratka povijest

Douglas Farah

Ron Sandee


The current federal court case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) in Dallas, Texas,1 offers an unprecedented inside look into the history of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States, as well as its goals and structure. The documents discuss recruitment, organization, ideology and the development of the organization in different phases in the United States. The prosecution in the case has presented many internal Muslim Brotherhood documents from the 1980’s and early 1990’s that give a first-ever, public view of the history and ideology behind the operations of the Muslim Brothers (known as the Ikhwan or The Group) in the U.S. over the past four decades. For researchers, the documents have the added weight of being written by the Ikhwan leaders themselves, rather than interpretations of secondary sources.

ISLAMISM IN SOUTHERN EGYPT

James Toth

For years, religious violence and terrorism in Middle Eastern countries such as Egypthave splashed across the headlines and surged across the screen, announcing yet anotherround of senseless death and destruction. While Arabists and Islamicists attemptto pick their way carefully through the ideological and intellectual minefields to makesense of what is happening, the wider public generally disregards their insights andinstead sticks to what it knows best: deeply ingrained prejudices and biases. Egipćanin,Arapski, Muslim—all are painted in a very unfavorable light. Even in Egypt, manybystanders show the same sorry prejudices. In the end, people simply blame the brutalityon inexplicable backward religious ideas and then move on.Yet comprehending terrorism and violence in places such as Egypt by recourse toan unnuanced religious fundamentalism is generally acknowledged not only to begthe question of why these events actually happen, but also to lead to misunderstandingsand misperceptions, and perhaps even to exacerbating existing tensions.1 Mostscholars agree that such seemingly “irrational” social behavior instead needs to beplaced in its appropriate context to be properly understood, and hence made rational.Analyzing these actions, then, involves situating this violence and destruction in theireconomic, political, and ideological milieu as these have developed historically, forthis so-called Islamic terrorism does not merely arise, ex nihilo, out of a timeless void.What follows, then, is one case study of one portion of the Islamic movement as itemerged principally in southern Egypt and as it was revealed through anthropologicalfieldwork conducted in one of this region’s major cities. This account takes a completelydifferent direction from that of stigmatizing this movement as a sordid collectionof terrorist organizations hell bent on the senseless destruction of Egypt and itsIslamic civilization.2 Because this view is somewhat at odds with the perceptions oflocal spectators, Egyptians in Cairo, and non–Egyptians inside and outside the country,I go to some length not only to discuss the movement itself but also to shed lighton why it might have received such negative publicity.

The Muslim Brotherhood: Hasan al-Hudaybi and Ideology

Hasan Isma>il al-Hudaybi led the Society of the Muslim Brotherhood during a
time of crisis and dissolution. Succeeding Hasan al-Banna’, who was the founder
and fi rst leader of the organisation, al-Hudaybi was to be its head for more than
twenty years. During his leadership he faced severe criticism from fellow Brothers.
Following the Revolution of July 1952, he was pitted against the antagonism
of >Abd al-Nasir, who became increasingly infl uential in the council of
leading Free Offi cers. >Abd al-Nasir’s determination to thwart the cause of the
Brotherhood and its infl uence on society was part of his path to absolute rule.
Considering the signifi cance of al-Hudaybi’s years as leader of the Muslim
Bratstvo, it is surprising that there is little scholarly work on the subject.
When taking into account that his moderate ideas continue to have a strong infl uence
on the policy and attitude of today’s Muslim Brotherhood, e.g. his conciliatory
position towards the state system and his refutation of radical ideas, the fact
that so little attention is paid to his writing is even more startling. Certainly, there
has been interest in the Muslim Brotherhood. There are quite extensive studies
available on Hasan al-Banna’: the founder and fi rst leader of the Muslim Brotherhood
has been described as a model fi gure of Islamic campaigning; others depict
him as the originator of threatening political activism in the name of Islam. There
has been even more interest in the ideas of Sayyid Qutb; some see him as the
ideologue of Islamist radicalism, whose concepts trained extremist groups; others
describe him as a victim of state persecution who developed a theology of liberation
in reaction to his maltreatment. No doubt, it is important to examine the
work of these thinkers in order to understand currents of Islamist ideology and
Islamist movements. Whatever the verdict on al-Banna’ and Qutb, it is a fact
that certain ideas of the two thinkers have been incorporated into the modern-day
muslimansko bratstvo. However, this focus has led to an incorrect perception that
the Islamic movement is necessarily radical in its thinking and/or militant in its
deeds, an assumption which has, in recent years, been questioned by a number
of scholars, among them John L. Esposito, Fred Halliday, François Burgat, and
Gudrun Krämer. 1 The following study of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood under the
leadership of Hasan al-Hudaybi will form an addition to these theses, addressing
and reassessing the viewpoint that political Islam is a monolithic block, all in all
disposed towards violent means.
2 Introduction
There are reasons why al-Hudaybi is hardly mentioned in the literature on the
muslimansko bratstvo. The fi rst that comes to mind is the observation that Islamist
movements are, by defi nition, seen as fundamentally radical, anti-democratic and
anti-Western. This reasoning questions any distinction between moderate Islamism
and its radical counterpart. The argument goes that both have the objective
of establishing an Islamic state system, that they both aim to replace existing
secular governance and that they therefore differ only in the degree of their methods,
but not in principle. This book, however, clearly joins the scholarly circle on
politički islam, which identifi es arguments such as these as neo-Orientalist. As
Esposito shows, this approach to political Islam is based on what he terms ‘secular
fundamentalism’.
The external view of political Islam is focused primarily on radical thought,
and this may be due to the creation, on the part of power politics, of a fear of
Islam as a religion, which is different, strange and seemingly in opposition to
Western thought. Alternatively, it may be because radical or even militant groups
are constantly appearing in the media by reason of their actions. In fact, militant
Islamists actually seek such publicity. While radical thought and militant action
make it necessary to study extremist groups, the focus on terrorism in the name
of Islam marginalises moderate Islamists. It also makes it diffi cult to explain the
differences between radical and moderate Islamism. In effect, the scholarly focus
on radical or militant groups reinforces the generally negative public perception
of Islam in the West.
A further reason why al-Hudaybi in particular has not been studied by Western
scholars has to do with the internal affairs of the Brotherhood. It is astonishing
that his name is not mentioned much by the writers of the Muslim Brotherhood
itself. There is no simple explanation for this. One reason may be that members
particularly stress their sympathies for al-Banna’, depicting him as an ideal
leader who died for his activist convictions. However, as many Brothers endured
imprisonment, hard labour and even torture inside >Abd al-Nasir’s prisons and
camps, their personal histories have resulted in a dearth of discourse on Hasan
al-Hudaybi. Thus, there is a tendency to remember al-Hudaybi’s period of leadership
as a time of near defeat and destruction. Still, the experiences of the
persecuted are caught in the ambiguous relationship between forgetting and reappraisal.
Many personal accounts of the time have been published since the mid
1970s, 2 narrating stories of torture and stressing steadfastness of faith. Only a
few of the books written by Muslim Brothers take a broader approach, which
includes discussion of a crisis within the organisation and of al-Hudaybi’s part
therein. Those authors who do tackle this issue not only reveal the society’s weak
position vis-à-vis >Abd al-Nasir, but also expose signs of disintegration within the
muslimansko bratstvo. 3 This has led to differing attitudes towards al-Hudaybi, with
most portraying him as an incompetent leader lacking the charismatic personality
of his predecessor, al-Banna’. In particular, he was accused of not commanding
the authority to bring together the different wings of the Muslim Brotherhood
or to adopt a strong position in relation to the authoritarian state system. In the
latter view lies an ambiguity, for it would appear to show al-Hudaybi not just as a
Introduction 3
failure, but also as a victim of the political situation. Finally, these accounts reveal
an ideological gap which opened at the beginning of the period of persecution in
1954. To a certain extent, Sayyid Qutb fi lled this gap. During his imprisonment
he developed a radical approach, rejecting the then state system as illegitimate
and ‘un-Islamic’. In developing a revolutionary concept and explaining thereby
the reasons underlying the persecution, he turned the condition of victimisation
into one of pride. Thus, he gave many imprisoned Muslim Brothers, particularly
young members, an ideology that they could hold on to.
It has to be said that al-Hudaybi did not react decisively to the situation of
internal crisis and dissolution. Indeed, to a certain extent his indecisiveness triggered
this situation. This was especially obvious during the period of persecution
(1954–71), when he omitted to provide any guidelines to help in overcoming
the feeling hopelessness ushered in by >Abd al-Nasir’s mass imprisonments. His
reaction to the radical ideas which fl ourished in the prisons and camps among
certain, especially young, members came fairly late. Even then, his scholarly and
juridical argumentation did not have the same sweeping effect as Sayyid Qutb’s
writings. In 1969, al-Hudaybi proposed a moderate concept in his writing Du<at
la Qudat (Preachers not Judges). 4 This writing, which was secretly distributed
among fellow Brothers, is considered the fi rst substantial refutation of Sayyid
Qutb’s ideas. 5 Qutb, who was hanged in 1966, was by then considered to be a
martyr, his thoughts already having a considerable infl uence. This does not mean
that the majority of Muslim Brothers did not pursue a moderate approach, but the
lack of guidelines left them voiceless and reinforced the perception of al-Hudaybi
as a weak leader.
Nevertheless, al-Hudayb’is moderate thought had an impact on his fellow
Muslim Brothers. After the general amnesty of 1971, al-Hudaybi played a major
part in the re-establishment of the organisation. Although he died in 1973, his moderate
and conciliatory ideas continued to be relevant. The fact that close companions
such as Muhammad Hamid Abu Nasr, >Umar al-Tilmisani and Muhammad
Mashhur, who died recently, succeeded him as leaders shows the continuance of his
thought. Furthermore, his son Ma’mun al-Hudaybi has played a major role in
his capacity as the Brotherhood’s secretary and spokesman. Another reason why
his thinking became important lies in the changed attitude towards the Muslim
Brotherhood since Anwar al-Sadat’s presidency. Al-Sadat, who succeeded >Abd
al-Nasir, released the imprisoned Brothers and offered the organisation a half-legal
though not offi cially recognised status. A period of reorganisation (1971–77) followed,
during which the government lifted the censorship of books written by
Muslim Brothers. Many memoirs of formerly imprisoned members were published,
such as Zaynab al-Ghazali’s account or al-Hudaybi’s book Du<at la Qudat
(Preachers not Judges). Dealing with the past, these books did not merely preserve
the memory of the cruelties of >Abd al-Nasir’s persecution. Al-Sadat followed
his own agenda when he allowed these publications to fi ll the market; this
was a deliberate political stratagem, implying a change of direction and aimed at
distancing the new government from the old. The posthumous publication of
al-Hudaybi’s writings was not merely aimed at providing ideological guidance to
4 Introduction
the Muslim Brothers; they were distributed because of their statements against
radical thought, and were thus used to address a new and rising problem, namely
the establishment of Islamist groups, which began to fi ght actively against the
political system in the early 1970s. In these terms, Du<at la Qudat remains an
important critique of radical thought.
Hasan al-Hudaybi’s main aim was to change society, i.e. Egyptian society,
which, in his view, was not aware of the political nature of Islamic belief. Thus,
real change could only be brought about through creating awareness and by
tackling the issue of Islamic identity (as opposed to a Western perception). Only
through developing a sense of Islamic consciousness could the ultimate goal of the
establishment of an Islamic society be reached. Given this approach, al-Hudaybi
refuted revolutionary overthrow, instead preaching gradual development from
within. A major point was therefore education and social engagement, as well as
participation in the political system, appealing by means of mission ( da<wa ) to the
consciousness of the individual believer.
This path of his is now followed by today’s Muslim Brotherhood, which endeavours
to be recognised as a political party and which infl uences political decision
making by infi ltrating the political participatory structures (parliament, uprava,
non-governmental organisations). This study of the Muslim Brotherhood
from the 1950s until the early 1970s, therefore, is not only a piece of research into
the modern political history of Egypt and an analysis of a religious ideology, but
has also a relationship to current politics.

Barbara H.E.. Zollner

HasanHasan Ismail al-Hudaybi led the Society of the Muslim Brotherhood during a time of crisis and dissolution. Succeeding Hasan al-Banna’, who was the founder and first leader of the organisation, al-Hudaybi was to be its head for more than twenty years. During his leadership he faced severe criticism from fellow Brothers.

Following the Revolution of July 1952, he was pitted against the antagonism of Abd al-Nasir, who became increasingly infl uential in the council of leading Free Officers. Abd al-Nasir’s determination to thwart the cause of the Brotherhood and its infl uence on society was part of his path to absolute rule. Considering the signifi cance of al-Hudaybi’s years as leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, it is surprising that there is little scholarly work on the subject.

When taking into account that his moderate ideas continue to have a strong infl uence on the policy and attitude of today’s Muslim Brotherhood, e.g. his conciliatory position towards the state system and his refutation of radical ideas, the fact that so little attention is paid to his writing is even more startling. Certainly, there has been interest in the Muslim Brotherhood.

There are quite extensive studies available on Hasan al-Banna’: the founder and fi rst leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has been described as a model figure of Islamic campaigning; others depict him as the originator of threatening political activism in the name of Islam.

There has been even more interest in the ideas of Sayyid Qutb; some see him as the ideologue of Islamist radicalism, whose concepts trained extremist groups; others describe him as a victim of state persecution who developed a theology of liberation in reaction to his maltreatment.

No doubt, it is important to examine the work of these thinkers in order to understand currents of Islamist ideology and Islamist movements. Whatever the verdict on al-Banna’ and Qutb, it is a fact that certain ideas of the two thinkers have been incorporated into the modern-day Muslim Brotherhood.

However, this focus has led to an incorrect perception that the Islamic movement is necessarily radical in its thinking and/or militant in its deeds, an assumption which has, in recent years, been questioned by a number of scholars, among them John L. Esposito, Fred Halliday, François Burgat, and Gudrun Krämer.

The following study of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood under the leadership of Hasan al-Hudaybi will form an addition to these theses, addressing and reassessing the viewpoint that political Islam is a monolithic block, all in all disposed towards violent means.

There are reasons why al-Hudaybi is hardly mentioned in the literature on the Muslim Brotherhood. The fi rst that comes to mind is the observation that Islamist movements are, by defi nition, seen as fundamentally radical, anti-democratic and anti-Western.

This reasoning questions any distinction between moderate Islamism and its radical counterpart. The argument goes that both have the objective of establishing an Islamic state system, that they both aim to replace existing secular governance and that they therefore differ only in the degree of their methods, but not in principle.

This book, however, clearly joins the scholarly circle on political Islam, which identifi es arguments such as these as neo-Orientalist. As Esposito shows, this approach to political Islam is based on what he terms ‘secular fundamentalism’.

The external view of political Islam is focused primarily on radical thought, and this may be due to the creation, on the part of power politics, of a fear of Islam as a religion, which is different, strange and seemingly in opposition to

Western thought. Alternatively, it may be because radical or even militant groups are constantly appearing in the media by reason of their actions. In fact, militant Islamists actually seek such publicity.

While radical thought and militant action make it necessary to study extremist groups, the focus on terrorism in the name of Islam marginalises moderate Islamists.

It also makes it difficult to explain the differences between radical and moderate Islamism. In effect, the scholarly focus on radical or militant groups reinforces the generally negative public perception of Islam in the West.

A further reason why al-Hudaybi in particular has not been studied by Western scholars has to do with the internal affairs of the Brotherhood. It is astonishing that his name is not mentioned much by the writers of the Muslim Brotherhood itself. There is no simple explanation for this.

One reason may be that members particularly stress their sympathies for al-Banna’, depicting him as an ideal leader who died for his activist convictions. However, as many Brothers endured imprisonment, hard labour and even torture insideAbd al-Nasir’s prisons and camps, their personal histories have resulted in a dearth of discourse on Hasan al-Hudaybi.

Thus, there is a tendency to remember al-Hudaybi’s period of leadership as a time of near defeat and destruction. Still, the experiences of the persecuted are caught in the ambiguous relationship between forgetting and reappraisal.

Many personal accounts of the time have been published since the mid 1970s, 2 narrating stories of torture and stressing steadfastness of faith. Only a few of the books written by Muslim Brothers take a broader approach, which includes discussion of a crisis within the organisation and of al-Hudaybi’s part therein. Those authors who do tackle this issue not only reveal the society’s weak position vis-à-vis Abd al-Nasir, but also expose signs of disintegration within the

muslimansko bratstvo. 3 This has led to differing attitudes towards al-Hudaybi, with most portraying him as an incompetent leader lacking the charismatic personality of his predecessor, al-Banna’. In particular, he was accused of not commanding the authority to bring together the different wings of the Muslim Brotherhood or to adopt a strong position in relation to the authoritarian state system.

In the latter view lies an ambiguity, for it would appear to show al-Hudaybi not just as a failure, but also as a victim of the political situation. Finally, these accounts reveal an ideological gap which opened at the beginning of the period of persecution in 1954.

To a certain extent, Sayyid Qutb fi lled this gap. During his imprisonment he developed a radical approach, rejecting the then state system as illegitimate and ‘un-Islamic’. In developing a revolutionary concept and explaining thereby the reasons underlying the persecution, he turned the condition of victimisation into one of pride.

Thus, he gave many imprisoned Muslim Brothers, particularly young members, an ideology that they could hold on to.

It has to be said that al-Hudaybi did not react decisively to the situation of internal crisis and dissolution. Indeed, to a certain extent his indecisiveness triggered this situation.

This was especially obvious during the period of persecution (1954–71), when he omitted to provide any guidelines to help in overcoming the feeling hopelessness ushered in by Abd al-Nasir’s mass imprisonments. His reaction to the radical ideas which fl ourished in the prisons and camps among certain, especially young, members came fairly late.

Even then, his scholarly and juridical argumentation did not have the same sweeping effect as Sayyid Qutb’s writings. In 1969, al-Hudaybi proposed a moderate concept in his writing Duat la Qudat (Preachers not Judges).

This writing, which was secretly distributed among fellow Brothers, is considered the fi rst substantial refutation of Sayyid Qutb’s ideas. 5 Qutb, who was hanged in 1966, was by then considered to be a martyr, his thoughts already having a considerable infl uence.

This does not mean that the majority of Muslim Brothers did not pursue a moderate approach, but the lack of guidelines left them voiceless and reinforced the perception of al-Hudaybi as a weak leader.

Nevertheless, al-Hudayb’is moderate thought had an impact on his fellow Muslim Brothers. After the general amnesty of 1971, al-Hudaybi played a major part in the re-establishment of the organisation. Although he died in 1973, his moderate and conciliatory ideas continued to be relevant.

The fact that close companions such as Muhammad Hamid Abu Nasr, Umar al-Tilmisani and Muhammad Mashhur, who died recently, succeeded him as leaders shows the continuance of his thought.

Furthermore, his son Ma’mun al-Hudaybi has played a major role in his capacity as the Brotherhood’s secretary and spokesman.

Another reason why his thinking became important lies in the changed attitude towards the Muslim Brotherhood since Anwar al-Sadat’s presidency. Al-Sadat, who succeeded Abd al-Nasir, released the imprisoned Brothers and offered the organisation a half-legal though not offi cially recognised status.

A period of reorganisation (1971–77) followed, during which the government lifted the censorship of books written by Muslim Brothers. Many memoirs of formerly imprisoned members were published, such as Zaynab al-Ghazali’s account or al-Hudaybi’s book Du<at la Qudat (Preachers not Judges).

Dealing with the past, these books did not merely preserve the memory of the cruelties of Abd al-Nasir’s persecution.

Al-Sadat followed his own agenda when he allowed these publications to fi ll the market; this was a deliberate political stratagem, implying a change of direction and aimed at distancing the new government from the old.

The posthumous publication of al-Hudaybi’s writings was not merely aimed at providing ideological guidance to the Muslim Brothers; they were distributed because of their statements against radical thought, and were thus used to address a new and rising problem, namely the establishment of Islamist groups, which began to fi ght actively against the political system in the early 1970s. In these terms, Duat la Qudat remains an important critique of radical thought.

Hasan al-Hudaybi’s main aim was to change society, i.e. Egyptian society, which, in his view, was not aware of the political nature of Islamic belief. Thus, real change could only be brought about through creating awareness and by tackling the issue of Islamic identity (as opposed to a Western perception).

Only through developing a sense of Islamic consciousness could the ultimate goal of the establishment of an Islamic society be reached. Given this approach, al-Hudaybi refuted revolutionary overthrow, instead preaching gradual development from within. A major point was therefore education and social engagement, as well as participation in the political system, appealing by means of mission ( dawa ) to the consciousness of the individual believer.

This path of his is now followed by today’s Muslim Brotherhood, which endeavors to be recognised as a political party and which infl uences political decision making by infi ltrating the political participatory structures (parliament, uprava, non-governmental organisations).

This study of the Muslim Brotherhood from the 1950s until the early 1970s, therefore, is not only a piece of research into the modern political history of Egypt and an analysis of a religious ideology, but has also a relationship to current politics.