Egypt Islam and Democracy Anatomy of Egypt’s Militant Islamic Groups
Militant Islamic Groups
Methodological Notes And preliminary finding 1980
The Islamic factor in all this should be studied with deserved care. It should not, however, be exaggerated. Mystified. Or metaphysicalized. The majority of American specialists on
Nothing can guard against such overreactions more than careful in depth observaltion of the indigenous scene. Specificities and local particularities have to be identified and correlated with the alleged Islamic revival. No matter how great the temptation to generalize. Such scientific quests must be checked until sufficient numbers of case particulars have been documented and analyzed. Only then will inductively based generalizations make sense. Otherwise how can we lump together what is happening in Saudi Arabia (where the regime is allegedly based on Islamic fundamentals) with what happened in Iran (where the former regime was secular and anticlerical) or what is happening in Egypt (where the regime prides itself on being based on faith and science [al-ilm wa-l-imanl] with what is happening in Afghanistan (where the antagonists are patriotism and tribalism on the one hand and allegedly progressive but Soviet-supported forces on the other) This is not to mention the Islamic eruptions in Turkey and Tunisia that have occurred recently- the regimes of these countries. As well as the problems facing them. Are quite diverse. Of course, there may be a common denominator underlying of these cases. But such vectors are not to be cavalierly ascertained without careful country case studies.
Motivated by these methodological considerations. My colleagues and I undertook, in the fall of 1977 a study of Islamic movements in
The three events are, in a curious way, intertwined. The January riots reflected the mounting frustrations of the lower and lower-middle classes in
My concern here is with only one of that year ’s three curiously interlinked events- the confrontation between the regime and RHF. Although known for some to exist, the size and organization of the group came as a surprise to the government and the public. The rounding – up operations, subsequent interrogations, and the trials revealed a sizable movement of between three thousand and five thousand active members who were highly organized and widely spread horizontally and vertically throughout Egyptian society.
Having been challenged by a popular uprising earlier in the year that was officially blamed on leftists, the regime was now in the embarrassing position of having to blame the religious right. Moreover, with an equally serious challenge from the liberal center, represented by the New Wafd party, the regime found itself in an even tighter positing 12. absurd as it may sound, the regime eccused
The violent confrontation mounted by RHF was not the first of its kind against the Sadat regime. Three years earlier (April 1974) another militant Islamic group. Known interchangeably as the Islamic Liberation Organization. Or “
There were further scattered confrontations between the authorities and other militant Islamic elements, but they attracted much less publicity than the two mentioned above.
Most Observers of the Egyptian scene agree on the following 15.
1. the rise of these religious movement dates back to aftermath of the Arab defeat of 1967.
2. the regime of President Sadat made a reconciliatory gesture toward these groups from 1970 to 1973 to counterbalance what the regime perceived as a Nasserist-leftist opposition.
3. these Islamic groups represent the small hard core of a broad but amorphous mass of religiosity in the society a whole.
The Islamic resurgence was further evidenced by landslide victories of Muslim groups in university student union elections from 1975 to 1979 – a fact that prompted the government to dissolve these unions by presidential decree in the summer of 1979 . Religious publications have. In addition. Increased in number and circulation. Two important periodicals. Al-Da’wa (the or the mission) and al-Itisam (per-severance) are run by former members of the Muslim Brotherhood (technically banned since its dissolution by the
In our research we approached the phenomenon of these emerging religious groups as social movements. The government labeled members of these militant groups as “deviants” “abnormals” “heretics, ” and Khawarij. When we applied for permission to interview the leaders of the two most prominent groups. We were first turned down because we had called them members of “revivalist movements.” After prolonged negotiation we reached a compromise on the label: our work was to be called a study of religious violence. The state nevertheless continues to treat members of these groups as common criminals, although prison wardens who are daily touch with them cannot help treating them as de facto political prisoners.
Our interest in militant Islaic groups was stimulated by a multitude of academic as well as existential factors. First, to a social scientist these groups represent a significant variant of social movements that have been proliferating all over the Third world in recent decades:
Some of the movements have developed into full-fledged revolutions. whose goal is to establish new social orders. Second, these Islamic social movements have not been sociologically studied before. Similar movements (for example, the Wahhabis, the Mahdiya. And the Muslim Brotherhood) have been studied by historians, often a long time after the event and with different emphases. The study of such movements. By employing a typically sociological perspective and sociological methods, would no doubt complement historical treatises. The sociological investigation. In this context at least, promises firsthand data (throughinterviews and questionnaires) and a quest for an explanation that would anchor them in their broader social structure.
The recent emergence of Islamic militant movements in
The sociological study of militant Islaic groups presents the researcher with a host of obstacles. There are political, ethical, and practical problems in carrying out empirical research on groups that are extremely polemical and whose activities are still unfolding. Both the protagonists and the antagonists may be tempted to use the research project for their own purposes. There are vast and continuously fueled reservoirs of suspicion concerning the motives of the social scientist. Furthermore, there is overall inhospitality to empirical research even when initial goodwill is established. The theoretical problems are equally complex.
Our interest in studying militant Islamic groups was translated into a simple research design. We defined Islamic militancy as actual violent group behavior committed collectively against the state or other actors in the name of Islam. Two groups of substantial size met this definition. The first is the Islamic Liberation Organization (Munazzamatal – Tahrir – al-Islami), known in the Arab mass media as Gama’at al-Fanniya al-Askariya (
After the arrest, trial, and sentencing of most their members in 1974 and 1977. the two groups had no legal existence, technically speaking. The two leaders of MA and the five leaders of RHF were exected. However, many of their second-echelon leaders were still in prison. Continued clandestine activities by both groups were rumored. The two groups seemed, from the preliminary information we gathered, to be typical of several others that have mushroomed under various names since the late 1960s. Many of the leaders of these groups, including the two in question, had some direct or indirect affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, 19 as we shall see shortly.
The approval of the authorities. Difficult and protracted as it was to obtain. Proved to be the easiest of a host of research problems we were to encounter. The initial refusal by the militants to see us was predicated on several grounds. For some of them we were simply part of a corrupt society, contact with which could only mean pollution (najasa). The majority, However, strongly suspected that we were working for the government. The prison officials had told us of earlier unsuccessful attempts by others, ostensibly religious clergy, to talk with the militants. After several weeks of negation with their leaders, frist through written messages, then in face-to-face contact, they agreed to cooperate with us.
Our objective, as we told them, was to hear their story in their own words and then to communicate it to the outside world as objectively as possible. We promised to draw a sharp line between the facts as stated by them on one hand and our analysis and opinions on the other. We stressed that they had been smeared so much by the government. We stressed that they had been smeared so much by the government – controlled mass media that whatever we said could not really be any worse.
Our promise to be neutral and objective did not mean much to them at first. The militants requested to be allowed to read every-thing the members of the research team had ever published. They read the material carefully and discussed some of these interviews were more like graduate seminar sessions, with lively and hot-tempered exchanges. In other words, they refused to play the conventional role of research subjects. They interviewed us as much as we interviewed them. At times they asked us to react to their views, something that goes against the grammar of social research. Some of them accepted our refusal to react; others made our reaction a condition for continuing the interview. They asked us some very personal questions and commentated critically on the dress and appearance of female members of the team. Some would not meet with women researchers; others would if these women wore veils or covered all parts of their bodies. The leaders subjected us to some “honesty tests” and ran their own security checks on us through their out-of-prison followers. We acquiesced to some of these measures, negotiated some, refuse others. One of the three women in the team rejected their veiling demand; and the militants finally tolerated her “sinful” behavior.
We must ultimately have seemed honest and credible enough to the jailed militants, for they allowed us to spend approximately four hundred hours interviewing them over a two-year period. This amounts to more than ten hours per person for the thirty-three militants we managed to interview. Some of the interviews, especially with RHF militants, were collective. As in other protracted research encounters, a human bond developed between the research team and the Muslim Militants. They became not only open but quite eager to talk. Some of them even dared to discuss their internal differences and to offer candid criticism of the movement. So deeply did they become committed to our research objective that when the government withdrew research permit, their leaders tried to reach us through secret channels, bypassing the prison authorities altogether.
In February 1979, the Egyptian authorities put an end to our prison interviewing. They did not give official reasons, but we attributed this action to the tense situation that prevailed in
Throughout the remainder of 1979 we attempted to obtain a permit to resume our interviewing but in vain. The research data, therefore, remain incomplete. What is reported here must be read with this caveat in mind.
The data reported in the following section were obtained primarily from interviews conducted inside prison, as well as some from outside prison with members who had been charged but acquitted. The information gained in interviews was supplemented by three additional sources of data. We tried to use questionnaires, but many of the militants refused to fill them out, preferring to be interviewed. Eleven people did respond to the questionnaire, however, and refused to be interviewed. Three people did both. Thus questionnaire data represent the second source of information. The third source was material written by leaders of the two militant groups on various issues – some of which was prepared for their rank – and file members and some especially written in answer to questions we raised in the course of our research. Finally we used official documents to obtain strictly factual data (dates, numbers, arrests, trial proceedings, and so forth).
The amount of data gathered from these four sources is staggering. No attempt is made here even to summarize it. Instead we have selected a few aspects of the two militant groups to analyze in light of our preliminary findings.
Sociologists who study social movements are invariably interested in the general societal conditions that give rise to a movement, as well as its ideology, leadership, membership recruitment, and membership profile ( that is, social base) its internal organization, strategy, and tactics. Some of these aspects are discussed below. One striking feature of the militants’ response to our questions is their uniformity. There was practically no variance among the responses of members of each group. A high degree of ideological discipline (or homogeneity) existed. On rare occasions where variance did exist, we report on it. But there were significant differences between the two groups, and these are pointed out in the text. Instead of quoting respondents at length, we have synthesized and paraphrased their answers to various questions, helped by the fact almost the same words and phrases, the same Quranic verses, and the same Hadith (Saying of the Prophet) were used by most members of each group in making their points regarding various issues.
Much has been written on what Islamic movements are seeking: the rebuilding of a new social order based on Islam. This has generally come to mean application of the
A vision of what ought to be, however, is one part of any ideology. Analysis of the past, the present, and the unfolding process that links them is often an integral part of an ideology. In describing the present, an ideology offers an assessment of the role played by major segments of society (classes, tribes, ethnic groups, institutions, and so forth). It also points out actual and potential enemies of the new social order envisioned by the ideology.
One most of the principal elements of ideology, we found a near consensus among members of the two militant groups, Typically they start with axiomatic statements to the effect that man was created for a purpose to embody the will of god by leading a righteous life and following the correct path (al-sirat al – mustaqima). The operational content of such life is well-detailed in the Quran and the Sunna (the Prophet Muhammad ’s words and deeds). It goes without saying that strict adherence to the five pillars of Islam is an irreducible minimum for every Muslim. But to become a good Muslim a person must do more: aside from observing the commandments, taboos, and other rituals, a good Muslim is one who sees to it that the will of god in creating mankind is truly fulfilled on the collective level as well. Phrased differently, the righteous Muslim cannot exist individually; he must strive to build and maintain a righteous community of the faithful (al-umma). Struggling to bring that about is a duty of every true Muslim.
It is this last component of their ideology that sets the militants apart from others in Muslim societies at present. Creating and sustaining a social order in the moral image outlined in the Quran is problematic, both intellectually and politically. Intellectually, most ruling regimes in Muslim countries,
Against this moral “relativism” the militants believe that it is their religious duty to see to it that a truly Muslim social order comes about. Such a belief sooner or later takes on an organizational form leading to confrontation with the ruling elite. The objective is to force the elite either to conform to the precept and edicts of Islam or to step down. In other words, a serious challenge to the status quo is a built-in component of militant Islamic ideology.
The way in which the two groups view the present is an integral part of their ideology. Both agree that the political system is corrupt and inept. The evidence is abundant. Externally it has been defeated by the enemies of Islam: the Christian West. Jewish Zionism, and atheist communism. The regime has made humiliating concessions to those enemies. The system. By deviating from the “straight path” has failed to prepare sufficiently to repel external assaults on Dar al – Islam (the homeland of Islam) Internally. The regime is oblivious to the
There were some differences between the two groups on these aspects of ideology. The
The Repentance and Holy Flight (RHF) group does make that distinction between the political system and the society at large. They see both as equitable and as manifestations one another, According to RHF . a corrupt society breeds a corrupt political system, and vice versa. Thus the present political and society in
There are also several doctrinal differences between the two groups but they are not as significant as the one mentioned above. These differences are reflected in the organizational, strategic, and tactical aspects of each movement, as will be seen shortly.
In order to go beyond ideological generalities, we built several probes into our research design about specific issues. In both the questionnaire and the freewheeling interviews, members of the two groups were challenged to answer their critics as to how an Islamic social order would handle some contemporary problems on which the
On the question of the status of women the consensus was that the
On economic issues, both capitalism and communism were dismissed as inhuman and ungodly. But or could give a complete and coherent answer. But one emerges from scattered incomplete answers and an overall impression. Excessive wealth and excessive poverty would have no place in a Muslim society- if the faithful respect religious edicts and taboos (muharammat). The edicts include payment of the zakat (alms tax) fair payment of wages to laborers, hard and honest work by every Muslim. And charitableness (aside from zakat) The taboos include cheating, extravagance (tabdhir) hoarding (iktinaz), and extracting or receiving usury interest. It is also clear that no single individual or group of individuals could monopolize or control public utilities (the analogy from early Islam is water, fire, and grazing land, or al-ma wa-l-nar wa –l-kala) Private property, profit, and inheritance are allowed. A Muslim government, however, could and should create something analogous to a public sector if the interest of the umma required it.
This last stipulation, interest of the community, seemed to perform two import ideological functions. First, it gives the Islamic state tremendous flexibility to engage in or refrain from engaging in major economic activities. Second, it accentuates the collective or communal nature of the envisioned Muslim society. We nothing about the interest of the individual; it was always that of the umma.
The militants perceive
The militants blueprint for dealing with
Building basic industries and developing appropriate technology are integral parts of Islamic economics.
An important component of the militants’ economic thinking is its pan-Islamic nature. This point raised interesting issues during the interviews. The excessive differential in the wealth of various Muslim countries is frowned upon by the militants. They believe that no true Muslim rulers would allow some Muslims to enjoy too much wealth (as in
On the question of classes and stratification the two groups readily concede social differentiation as an accepted pillar of the Muslim social order, as the Quran states, “we (god) have put some of you in classes above others. ” But the only acceptable mechanism of differentiation is man’s labor, not his race, color, tribal or family origin. As a matter of fact, this labor differentiating mechanism determines one’s standing. Both in this life and in the hereafter. The concepts of social justice (adala) and equity (al-qistas) are central in the envisioned Muslim society. It is the responsibility of the ruler, commander of the faithful (amir al-mu’minin, the caliph) to ensure that justice and equity are observed. This constitutes the essence of governance, al-adl asas al-hukm. Contless episodes were related by members of the two groups to show such principles were implemented and observed by the Prophet and the Guided Caliphs.
What the militants are calling for in the socioeconomic organization of Muslim society may come very close to a variety of moderate socialism (similar, say, to that of the British Labor party or even to Nasser’s socialism), but any suggestion to that effect invariably produced an outraged response. Islam is not be likened to any manmade doctrine or philosophy. It would be more acceptable to them if we were to say that British socialism resembled Islam. In fact some of them have attributed Mao Zedong ’s success in
As to the political system, the two groups expressed their conviction that the head of the community, the ruler, must be selected by the faithful, must be an adult, rational, pious male and must abide by the Shari’a. He must consult his fellow Muslims in all important decisions on which there is no clear-cut ruling in the shari’a.
But how would they organize matters related to selecting the ruler or ensuring his consultation with the community? The militants had not worked out the details of that, but when asked if they would go about it the same way as in western-type democracies, they agreed in essence. Aside from not liking to use the word democracy and preferring the term shura (consultative) both groups stipulated that elected shura assemblies would have no legislative powers in matters covered by the shari’a. Rather, these elective bodies would be responsible primarily for the enforcement of Shari’a they would choose among alternative interpretation and would issue rules on matters not directly dealt with in the Shari’a. Elective bodies would have the authority to check on the rulers, to hold them accountable, and to remove them from office if they to carry out their duties. So long as the rulers are dutiful to God and the community, it is the obligation of every Muslim to obey their orders.
The tradition of tolerating an unjust ruler for the sake of preserving the unity of the umma is completely rejected by Ma and RHF. In fact they believe it is the duty of every true Muslim to remove injustice (al-zulm) and misguidance (dalala), including that committed by a ruler.
How do the militants see the ulama ’ the learned men of religion? Here there was no consensus among members of either group or between the two groups. Attitudes ranged from indifference to hostility. None had anything positive to say abput the ulama as a group. Those who ignored or expressed indifference toward them tended to view the “ulama” as just a group of state employee bureaucrats who take no initiative and who are more interested in observing rituals and formalities than in the essence and spirit of Islam. The “ulama” were invariably described as babqhawat al-manabir (pulpit parrots) Most members of MA dismissed them as pathetic cases for whom pity rather than anger should be felt. Most RHF group members, however, were openly hostile toward the ’ulama’ especially their top leaders. They viewed such men as hypocrites and opportunists and described them as people who would reverse religious edicts (yuhallilun al-haram wa yuharrimun al-halal) to suit the whims of the rulers. So much were the ’ulama’ considered a disgrace to Islam that members of RHF were strongly advised not to pray behind them or in mosques where official ’ulama’ presided. As a matter of fact, when RHF decided to confront the Egyptian state. They kidnapped no less a person than one of Sadat ’s former cabinet members. The minister of religious endowment. The man, Husayn al-Dhahabi. Was one of
Underlying these negative attitudes is the Muslim militants’ belief that the ’ulama’ and al-Azhar have abdicated their responsibility toward Islam. Have emptied the religion of its sociopolitical component, and have therefore ceased to be qualified to lead the community of believers. Worse still. From the militants’ point of view, the ’ulama’ stand in the way of rebuilding a true Islaic social order.
If these are their attitudes toward
It is generally with the surviving members of the Brotherhood and their current practices that MA and RHF group members take some exception. They consider some of these surviving members either as weak, burned out, or as having sold out. Some of the early member-hood, seeking advice and offering support. They were advised to mind their own business, to stay out trouble, and to worship God. This was quite disillusioning to the youngsters, who then decided to form their own organization.
In closing this sketchy presentation of the militants’ ideology, it may be appropriate to say a word about the intellectual roots of their ideas. According to its members’ own testimony, MA has been primarily influenced by the literature of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially the writings of Hassan al-Banna and Sayid Qutb. Also important in shaping their ideas were the translated works of Abu al-Ala al-Mawdudi in
STRUCTURE OF THE MILITANT GROUPS
We have already indicated that following the Arab defeat of 1967, a tidal wave of religiosity swept the country. In an organizational sense, however, this religiosity remained by and large quite amorphous. Part of this religiosity took retreatist, mystical, or sufist forms- individual search for meaning and salvation by turning inward. What distinguished both MA and RHF in this ocean of generalized religiosity was precisely their organization and their outward turning, their desire to change not just their individual lives but also the world. To be sure, the climate of religiosity enabled to groups to recruit members and challenge the Egyptian regime, but their organization, as far we were able to determine from their testimonies, began with a single man in each case. The organizational evolution of both groups reflected to a significant degree the style and temperament of the two men responsible for their initiation. But the organizational structure and matters of strategy were just as much reflections of their respective ideologies. Below are some of the organizational features of both groups, their leadership, membership. Internal control, and strategy.
MA began on the initiative of Salih Siriya, a modern, educated man with a Ph.D.in science education. A Palestinian by birth and in his mid-thirties, he had been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood branch in
Interestingly enough, the initiator of RHF, Shukri Mustafa, was also in His early thirties and a veteran of the Muslim Brotherhood. He had been arrested in 1965, tried, and jailed for a few years on charges of being a member of the Brotherhood. In prison he became disillu-sioned with older members of the Brotherhood. As he saw some of them either breaking down under torture during interrogation or engaging in petty fighting. The prison experience nevertheless did not disillusion him as far as the Brotherhood’s ideology was concerned. If anything, it made him more of a true believer. The first RHF cell in fact was started while Mustafa was in prison. As soon as he was released, in 1971 , he launched a steady and relentless effort to expand his movement. Mustafa was also educated in
Thus the founder – leaders of the two groups had several characteristics in common: age, modern scientific education, previous membership in the Muslim Brotherhood. Prison experience. And a disposition toward secret organization. Both leaders had been hanged by the time we started our research. So personality characteristics of the two leaders could not be directly observed. We therefore relied heavily on what their closest lieutenants, the second-echelon leaders, told us. Both leaders were said to have possessed a great amount of charisma. They commanded tremendous respect from their followers, were considered exemplary Muslims, and were emulated. Besides the respect and admiration commanded by both leaders, Siriya reportedly elicited love and Mustafa elicited awe (some would say fear). None of the members of the two groups had anything negative to say about their fallen leaders. If there was criticism at all, it was self-criticism on the part of those interviewed for having failed or misled their leaders. This was especially true in the case of Ma members, some of whom considered themselves primarily responsible for pressuring Siriya into a miscalculated action against the Egyptian regime. Both leaders were perceived as extremely eloquent, Knowledgeable about religion, well-versed in the Quran and Hadith, and highly understanding of national, regional, and international affairs. Both were perceived as virtuous, courageous, fearless of death, and even eager for martyrdom (istishhad).
Siriya and Mustafa initiated their respective groups about the same time, in the early 1970s, but independently from one another. It was somewhat later, in early 1974, that each became aware of the other’s group. They made one attempt to join forces, but it ended because of differences in leadership style, ideology, organization, and strategy.
The leadership style differed significantly in the two militant groups. MA was fairly democratic in its deliberations and decision-making. An informal executive council of about twelve members was presided over by Siriya. All points view were expressed and discussed. Formal voting however, was quite rare. Consensus was always sought by the leader. His power of persuasion was often decisive in steering the views of the majority in one direction. As far as those interviewed could remember, there was only one occasion when Siriya was unable to persuade the council to adopt his point of view. The occasion involved the question of when to confront the regime violently in an attempt to take over power.
Siriya, as one those who was present, felt very strongly that the time was not ripe for such an attempt. His argument was predicated on several facts: that the regime was still riding a popular upswing following the October War, that MA had not perfected its organizational machinery, and that it had not thoroughly prepared a program of action for running the country in case of success and seizure of power. Siriya estimated their chances of success at the time as no more than 30 percent. The majority (all but one other member) saw otherwise. Even if success was not assured, they argued. Their action would be an “outrage for god” (ghadba li-llah) – propaganda by deed. The ideological justification for those who wanted to act immediately was the saying of the Prophet, “Any of you who sees something repugnant (Munkar) ought to remove it with his hands; if unable, then by his tongue; and if unable. Then by his heart. “The political justification was Sadat ’s apparent moves toward the West and toward an accommodation with
The leadership style of RHF, on the other hand, was quite autocratic. Mustafa, the founder, was established by his followers as the amir gama ’at al-mu ’minin (commander of the faithful group) Although he encouraged discussion and dialogue. The final word was always that of the amir. The multitude of issues on which he made such final judgments ranged from the very personal (marriage and divorce) to intergroup and international issues. He was considered by his followers as an authority on matters of doctrinal theology, Islamic jurisprudence, worship, and Islamic social transaction. His followers’ perceptions of the general competence of their leader was steadily reinforced by both leader and followers. Over time, the RHF leader was elevated in their eyes until he became an almost omnipotent figure. Even after the death sentence had been issued, Mustafa ’s followers would not believe that the government could take his life. For several weeks after he was hanged, his closest followers refused to believe the news. We asked them if they thought that Mustafa was immortal; they answered in the negative. However, they all believed that, because God had ordained him and his group to restore Islam, he would not die before accomplishing “divine mission.”
Both leaders recruited followers from among students or recent university graduates. Three recruitment mechanisms were employed: kinship, friendship and worship. RHF relied heavily on kinship and friendship, Mustafa began with close friends from prison days, and relatives, like his brother and a nephew. These in turn enlisted their close friends and relatives as members of the group. MA relied on friendship and worship. In the late 1960 and early 1970, with so many young people increasingly observing religion and attending mosques for prayers, members of the first cell formed by Siriya would find their potential recruits among the worshipers. Typically, the older members would observe young worshipers in the college or neighborhood mosque. If the young persons appeared to be deeply religious (especially if they observed the dawn prayer). They would be approached to attend religious discussion after regular prayers. It was during these discussions that the potential member was discovered already to be or capable of becoming politically conscious. Since plain religiosity was evident, it was ’politicizability’ that had to be ensured before a person was actually invited to be a member. More significant sociologically, of course, was the social selectivity of members, that is, their background and the segment of society they came from.
Since we studied only thirty-four members of both groups (twenty one MA and thirteen RHF members) generalizations on the social selectivity of members must be taken with extreme caution. It must also be borne in mind that those studied were among the most active in both groups, as is evidenced by the fact that the government considered them responsible enough to sentence them to imprisonment.
Regional background. There were some regional background differences. Most MA members were from
Age. Aside from these regional differences, the profile of membership in both groups was extremely similar. Age, a crucial veriable in most militant organizations, ranged from seventeen to twenty-six at the time of joining as a fully fledged member. The median age for Ma was twenty-two, and for RHF twenty-four.
The leader of MA, Siriya, was fourteen years above the median age of his followers, and the leader of RHF, Mustafa, was sixteen years older than the average member of RHF, Mustafa, was sixteen years older than the average member of his group. Thus, although youthful in both leadership and membership, followers were significantly younger than their respective leaders. This may suggest that, even in a radical movement such as we are discussing here, the age reverence tradition of Middle Eastern society still operates.
Rural and small-town origins. Another important component of the membership profile is the rural and small-town background of two-thirds of those interviewed (twenty-one of thirty-four). They were born in villages or small towns and were recent arrivals in big cities when they joined MA or RHF. Most of them had come to
Although women are not represented in our sample, RHF did recruit from both sexes. At the time of the government crackdown on the group, some eighty women members were arrested along with several hundred male members. Secondary analysis of the backgrounds of these women indicates that they were mostly relatives or wives of male members of RHF. Interestingly enough, RHF (as indicated earlier) was the more literal and dogmatic on women ’s inequality. The more flexible MA group did not recruit female members.
Class affiliation of the members was hard to establish directly, Broadly speaking we inferred it from the occupation and education of fathers, as well as of the members themselves. There was no significant difference between MA and RHF in this respect. With regard to fathers’ occupation , about two-thirds (two-thirds (twenty-one out of thirty four) were government employees, mostly in middle grades of the civil service. Four members had fathers who were in high-level professional occupations (two university professors, one engineer, and one pharmacist). Four members had fathers who were small merchants; three had fathers who were small farmers (owning between six and eleven acres); and two had working-class fathers. With regard to education, only seven fathers (20 percent) had a university education. A majority of nineteen fathers (56 percent) had intermediate education (ranging from secondary school to less than four years of college). Five fathers had below intermediate certificates, and three were illiterate.
Although fathers spanned both the educational and occupational spectrums, the central tendency was decidedly and occupational spectrums, the central tendency was decidedly in the middle-62 percent occupationally and 56 percent educationally. It is not unsafe therefore to conclude that the class affiliation of most members of these militant Islamic groups is middle and lower-middle class.
Achievement and mobility. The educational and occupational attainment of the members themselves was decidedly higher than that of their parents. All but five (twenty-nine out of thirty-four) were university graduates or university students who were enrolled in college at the time of their arrest. The rest were secondary school educated. Occupationally, only sixteen (147 percent) of the members were classifiable, the rest being students. Most of these were professionals (twelve out of sixteen) employed by the government: five teachers, three engineers, two doctors, and two agronomists. Three were self-employed (a pharmacist, a doctor, and an accountant), and one worked as a conductor for a bus company. Among those who were students at the time of their arrest (eighteen members. Or 53 percent), six majored in engineering, four in medicine, three in agricultural science, two in pharmacy, two in technical military science , and one in literature. It is worth nothing here that four of the above majors require very high grades in
Medicine, engineering, technical military science, and pharmacy. These four majors accounted for fourteen out of the eighteen students (80 percent). In other words, student members of the two militant Islamic groups were decidedly high in both motivation and achievement.
Incidence of family cohesion. Most members came from ’normal’ cohesive families, that is, families with no divorce, no separation. No death of either parent. None in ether group was an only child. And none reported any significant tragic events in his family history. Seven members (20 percent) had experienced what may be considered family strain. Of these, three had lost their fathers, and the mother of one had remarried. The parents of two had divorced, and one father had remarried. One member had lost both parents and was living with an older brother. One member reported having been “shocked” by the behavior of his westernized parents at a New Year’s party and had subsequently moved out and was living with a friend. Aside from these seven cases, everyone else reported what a friend. Aside from these seven cases, everyone else reported what may be generally considered a normal family background.
The typical member of the militant Islamic groups could therefore be described as young (early twenties), of rural or small-town back-ground, from the middle or lower-middle class, with high achievement and motivation, upwardly mobile, with a scientific or engineering education, and from a normally cohesive family. This profile, as we shall discuss later, poses theoretical problems, since it is sometimes assumed in social science that members of ’radical movements’ must be alienated, marginal, or must possess some other abnormal characteristic. Most of those we investigated would normally be considered model young Egyptians. If they were not typical, it was because they were significantly above the average in their generation.
Another aspect of organization worth looking into is membership control. Both MA and RHF demanded total commitment and ironclad discipline from their members. Decisions arrived at by the semi democratic MA leadership and orders given by the autocratic RHF leadership were by carried out scrupulously. Members in varying levels of the organizational structure did so with zeal and joy, in the unshakable belief that they were serving the cause of Islam. Thus the primary factors in controlling members’ behavior were the members’ own internal conviction and their exhilarating sense of mission.
RHF, however, employed additional secondary means of controlling its members. One such mechanism was the virtual absorption of all the members’ time in activities related to the group-worshiping, studying, proselytizing, exercising, or working in one of the group’s economic enterprises. This tended gradually to insulate the members from outside society, something that was urged and welcomed openly in any case. Indirectly, this total absorption and insulation made the typical member quite dependent one the group to satisfy spiritual, social. And economic needs. In fact at a certain point in the evolution of RHF, members were ordered to relinquish their jobs in the society at large, to desert their families, and to sever all relations with the outside world. In other words, RHF was to become the members’ total and only world.
Both groups were quite keen on preparing their members for maximum personal sacrifice of worldly possession as well as life itself. Simply expressed, the member was rigorously conditioned to be a martvr (shahid). The heavenly rewards awaiting martyrs are boundless. Fear or hesitation to die for Islam is the ultimate betrayal of fellow faithful Muslims, and among other things it means one’s exclusion from their spiritual communion in both livers. Thinking of the joy and rewards of martyrdom is said to make any physical torture by the enemies of Islam quite bearable. Several members reported that the stories they had heard about the torture of members of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1966 had a profound on them at the time and on their subsequent decision to join MA and RHF. The severe torture seems to have marked sharply the diving line in their minds between a “merciless jahiliya society and a community of self denying faithful.”
Another mechanism for controlling members is the threat of being excommunicated from the group should one fail fellow members or the movement. In several instances, RHF not only carried out such a threat but also meted out physical punishment to mrmbers31 .
What most of these control mechanisms amount to in the end is no. less than an attempt at total resocialization of their members. The individual member was asked not only to adhere to the ideas and principles of the group but also to in a serious transformation of behavior, attitudes, and relationships. In other words, both MA and RHF represented the kind of movements that fundamental, simultaneous transformation of both the individual and society. It was quite evident to us that typical members felt (and readily expressed) a moral superiority vis-à-vis people outside the movement. Their ability to impose self-discipline in accordance with the commandments and prohibitions of Islam while others cannot or will not was the source of this feeling. It was equally evident that, aside from the moral superiority, members felt deep joy in defying society and its physical means of coercion. Several who claimed to have been severely tortured reported having images and drams of prophets and saints welcoming them to the Garden of Eden or of the just Islamic society that would be established after their martyrdom.
The two groups, as should be clear by now, have one common objective: to topple
MA perceived the majority of Egyptians as basically religious people who were helpless victims of ungodly political regimes that had superimposed on them non-Islamic institutions. Such a situation was read as sinful and abhorrent, necessitating immediate removal of such regimes by those who are truly Muslims. One of the Prophet’s famous saying was invoked to justify direct and immediate action, we have already reported on the debate on the debate on this subject within MA. An ’outrage for god’ (ghadba li-llah) was the rallying cry for a violent confrontation designed to topple the regime. Of course they had to prepare well for the showdown. Arduous training in the use of various arms, infiltration of the army and the police, detailed study of the behavior and daily routines of the president and other leaders, map construction and map reading of all important strategic site in the capital, and communiqués to be aired on radio and television were all prepared long in advance. Several rehearsals of parts of the plan were carried out before the actual final countdown on 18 April 1974.
The RHF strategy on the other hand was a patient and long-range one. Their reading of the situation was quite different from that of MA. It was not just the political regime that was corrupt, but other social institutions as well. It was not only the rulers who were ungodly and sinful, but most members of the society were as well. Thus the moral revamping had to be done from the ground up. Their strategy was to build a nucleus community, a miniature society of believers who would act out the true life of Islam. This was to be a genuine alternative to the sinful ways of Egyptian society at large. Establishing this model community was the first step in RHF strategy. After its completion, this Islamic community of believers would grow in numbers and in spiritual and material strength. When it had reached a certain point the true believers would march onward to bring down the already crumbling sinful social order of
Like MA, RHF invoked a precedent from early Islam to justify this strategy. The prophet Muhammad, surrounded and harassed by the jahiliya people of
Thus while the Ma showdown with the regime followed logically from its strategy, the RHF confrontation did not. In other words, MA timed its move and planned a coup d’etat in April 1974. But RHF, when it clashed with the regime in July 1977, had no such intention in mind. RHF had long way to go in implementing the first component of its strategy-building the model community of believers somewhere in the unpopulated hinterland on edge of the
But there were signs of other influences of the Iranian example on the strategic thinking of both groups. The use of popular uprisings as a mechanism to topple the regime was more seriously looked into in late 1978 and early 1979. until then such organizational weapons were perceived by the Islamic militants as essentially “communistic.” Our interviewing was terminated before we could establish whether either or both groups had adopted popular uprisings as a strategic weapon in their fight against the regime. It is worth noting, however, that during 1979 and 1980 a host of Islamic groups began to stage sit-ins as well as campus and street demonstrations- protest activities similar to those that occurred during the early stages of the Iranian Revolution.
TOWARD AN EXPLANATION
In search of an explanation for the rising tide of Islamic militant movements, we would do well to place the phenomenon in its historical and comparative perspectives.
In modern Arab history, militant Islamic movements have sprung up in several countries –
In premodern time the Muslim world witnessed several such movements. As early as the middle of the first century of Islam, one such protest movement appeared on the Islamic landscape under the name of the Kharajites (al-khawarij, or the ’dissenters’ as the most establishmentarian Muslims were to call them). This was to be followed by one Islamic militant movement after another. In all these movements throughout the last ten centuries we find three common components: total change, change of the individual and society, and the use of violence.
Our investigation revealed that in modern times (that is, since 1800) ideological and organizational similarity has existed between MA and RHF on the one hand and the Wahhabi (
Since both the Muslim Brotherhood (1928-54) and the Mujahidin (1963- 80) are more recent, and since one appeared in the same society (Egypt) and the other in a structurally similar society (Iran), the sociological comparison between them and the two militant groups we studied is theoretically more promising. Our tentative investigation revealed that MA and RHF members. Neither MA nor RHF had the kind of leadership that could navigate its wa through the mainstream of Egyptian politics without becoming polluted by it. The Brotherhood, as a result of its more effective leadership, was able to survive much longer (about thirty years), to broaden its social base, to increase its membership (some say to over one million) and to organize at the grassroots level.
The Brotherhood kept a low profile politically until the early 1940s and did not use violence until the late 1940s and early 1950s. in other words, it had more than ten years to develop organizationally before its first confrontation with the regime. Neither Ma nor RHF had such a long organizational evolution. In internal control of membership there was more similarity between the Brotherhood and MA than between the Brotherhood and RHF. The Brotherhood never demanded of its members the kind of insulation and absorption that RHF insists upon.
In comparing MA and RHF with
Ideologically all four groups subscribe to Islam and believed that the implementation of the shari’a would be the fundamental solution to all existing societal ills. None of them had detailed operational plans or action programs to implement once in power. All had a primary social commitment to the poor (al-mustada afin fi-l-ard, ’the meek of the earth) and to social justice. All perceived their foreign enemies as western capitalist imperialism. Marxist communism, and Zionism. They perceived local political regimes in their area as explicit or covert allies or by-products of one or more of the external enemies of Islam. In brief, all four militant groups were ideologically hostile to any external encroachment (economic, military, political, or cultural) on Dar al-is-lam. Any outside influence is termed “imperialism” and considered inimical to Islam. The most apparent of the three archenemies of Islam at a particular point in time is usually the one that receives the harshest attack. Thus the enemy is
If such similarities exist between past and present militant Islamic movements in Egypt or between contemporary movements in countries like Iran that are structurally similar to Egypt, then we must move a step forward toward an explanation. What common structural features existed in all three situations –
As to the first set of questions it seems that all four comparable Islamic movements (MA, RHF, Brotherhood, and Mujahidin) have grown primarily out of the middle and lower sectors of the new middle class; they are of recent rural background, experiencing for the first time life in huge metropolitan areas where foreign influence is most apparent and where impersonal forces are at maximum strength. There seems also to be, in each case, an acute national crisis intertwined with social and psychological frustration. In
What we argue here is that a sense of national crisis, accompanied by a class factor interacting adversely with personal aspirations have been common structural features surrounding the rise of the four movements. The national crisis in all four cases has something to do with foreign encroachment. The class factor in all cases has to do with collective status incongruity (that is, strong achievement motivation, with justified high aspiration, yet little economic and political apportunity). In all four cases the middle and lower-middle classes felt this incongruity most sharply. The individual biography element sensitizes the confluence of both the national crisis and the class incongruity in a highly anomic, impersonal setting – the big urban centers.
It may be argued, however, that the combination of factors (national crisis class incongruity, and individual anomie) could lead individuals to join non – Islamic movements. In this quite possible. The social profile of those who join radical leftist movements seems quite similar to that of Islamic militants in all four cases. The only significant difference in profiles, at least the case of
Without more data and proper statistical controls than we have, this question cannot be satisfactorily answered. However, we submit that at least four factors in recent years have tilted the balance in favor of Islamic groups over their leftist or Marxist counterparts.
The first factor is the ability of the ruling elite to dismiss leftist and Marxist opposition as atheists or agents of a foreign power (usually the
The second factor has to do with recent historical setbacks suffered by quasi-socialist experiments in
The third factor has to do with the deep-rootedness of Islam in the entire
The fourth factor is the strong sense of communion that Muslim groups provide for their members. As we have seen, the typical recruit is usually of recent rural background, a newcomer to an impersonal city. Abu-Lughod found that in an earlier time relatives and fellow villagers who may have preceded him would offer the rural newcomer a soft landing in the city. This mode of adjustment still exists for some. But for an increasing number of migrants such adjustment mechanisms may not be there. In such cases the militant Islamic groups with their emphasis on brotherhood, mutual sharing, and spiritual support become the functional equivalent of the extended family for young people who have left theirs behind. In other words, the Islamic group fulfills a de-alienating function for its members in ways that are not matched by other rival political movements.
In the absence of a credible, secular national vision effective means to repel external encroachment, Islamic movements exert a strong attraction. To enhance the present and future socioeconomic prospects of the middle and lower classes, and to galvanize the imagination of the educated youth and give them a sense of being essential parts of a grand design, Islamic militancy offers the alterative. To their credit,
Two sets of factors will decide the future of
1- I wish to express my gratitude to the
2- See for example time magazine, 15 Jan. 1979 “the Crescent of Crisis”; in other stories on Iran the same theme, the resurgence of Islam, was central (see Time, 17 Feb, 26 Feb, 26 Nov, and 3 Dec. 1979) the New York Yimes, 2 June, 23 Nov. 9 Dec., 13 Dec 1968, 7 Jan and 11 Dec. 1979. The Guardian (
3-Zbigniew Brzezinski is reputed to be fond of these. Recent scholarly treatment of resurgence of Islam includes Bernard Lewis, “The Return of Islam, “Commentary, Jan 1976, P. 3949; John A. Williams, “A Return to the Veil in
4- See, for example, Manfred Halpern. Politics of Social Change in the Middle in the Middle East (
5- For a critical discussion of the limitation of the Orientalist approach see Ed-ward Said. Orientalism ( New York; Pantheon, 1978).
6- Writing some thirteen years later and taking note of what is happening in
7- The reference here is to the countrywide urban uprising on 18 and 19 January 1977. following an announcement that the government in effect would end the state subsidies of a number of essential consumer items (such as rice. Flour. Cigarettes, and sugar), thus raising their prices by 30 t0 50 percent. The rioting and clashes with the police left an estimated seventy-nine people dead and about eight hundred injured. The rioting subsided by 20 January after the government retracted its economic measure and restored the subsidies, declared martial law, and called in the army to enforce a curfew. See al-Ahram, 19,20,21January 1977; also Arab Reports and Records (henceforth ARR) 16-31 Jan 1977.p. 35.
8- Interior Minister Sayid Husayn Fahmi announced on 20 January 1977 that the authorities had uncovered a plot to burn
9- The Egyptian cabinet on 26 January 1977 issued an order banning all demonstrations and strikes, Le Monde, 27 Jan. 1977.
10- The group calls itself Gama at al-muslimin (the Muslim Group). But the security forces and the mass media call it al-Takfir wa-l-Hijra group (Repentance and Holy Flight’ (RHF). After initial resentment of this imposed name. members of the group began gradually to adopt it as their own.
11- The estimated number of those Killed in shootouts was six, and those injured in shootouts and explosions numbered fifty – seven, ARR, 1-15 July 1977. Eventually all top leaders of RHF as well as some 620 members of the group were arrested, of which 465 were to stand trial before military courts, al-Ahram, 21 July 1977.
12- See especially Sadat ’s statements in interviews published in the
13- The original wafd party was established in 1919 as a result of a popular uprising in that year. The founder and leader of the party until 1928 was the Egyptian nationalist Saad Zaghloul. The party continued under the leadership of his successor, Mustafa al-Nhhas, as a grassroots majority party until it was banned along with all other parties in 1953 by the new revolutionary regime. During 1977 some of the survivors of the old wafd began attempts to resurrect the party. The initial rallying of many young and prominent intellectuals took Sadat ’s regime by surprise. In 1978 regime was to resort to legal, constitutional, and plebiscite maneuvers to ban several of the leaders of the New Wafd from political life. In mid-1978 the party decided to dissolve itself rather than function without its prominent figures, namely Fu’as Sirag al-Din and Ibrahim Farag.
14- See Sadat ’s speech at
15- al-Ahram, 20 April 1974. reported that eleven people were killed and twenty seven wounded when the group, henceforth MA, attacked the
16- See for example Humphreys, “Islam and Political Values” ; Dekmejian. “The Anatomy of Islamic Revival”; Nazih Ayubi, “The Political Revival of Islam: The Case of
17- Al-Da’wa, unlike most Egyptian opposition publications, never veiled its outright disapproval. The reader can see the escalation of its criticism of the whole Sadat peace strategy, starting with its issue of December 1977 and continuing through 1979.
18- An example of the use of one incident as a pretext for an all-out crackdown on Islamic groups was the government ’s arrest of members of two other religious groups in the aftermath of the confrontation with RHF. Thus according to Uktubir magazine. 28 August 1977, security authorities had arrested 104 members of an extremist religious group calling itself Jund Allah (Soldiers of God) Two days later al-Ahram reported. 30 August 1977, that “security police had arrested eighty of the leaders of a group called Jihad (’Holy Struggle’) in
19- al-Khawarij, or Kharajites, were a group of early Muslim dissidents who sought strict adherence to Islamic egalitarian and pious principles as they saw them. They disapproved of the behavior and action of the fourth Guided Caliph Ali, as well as that of his challenger Mu’awiya. The Kharajites fought both at one time and never consented to the central authority of the Umayyad in
20- The Muslim Brotherhood was founded by Hassan al-Banna in 1928, One of its avowed principles was the creation of an Islamic society through the application of the Shari’a. it gradually grew until it became one of the largest mass movements in
21- These were later revealed to us by members of the two groups themselves. The honesty tests were designed to see if we were consistent and reliable. Different militants would ask us at various times the same questions about ourselves or other matters and then compare our answers.
22- The security checks, as the militants later told us. Put members of the research team under surveillance for several weeks. When they told us the kind of things they knew abut us (including some very personal information) we were quite impressed but also somewhat frightened by their intelligence network.
23- The veiling that the militants demanded of the female members of the team varied widely. Some militants insisted on complete covering of the body, including the face. Others were satisfied with long. Maxi-type dresses with full sleeves and with a covering for the hair.
24- President sadat ’s most violent attack on the Iranian Revolution and the ayatollah Khomeini came in a long television interview on 25 December 1979 (his birthday) which was reported fully in al-Ahram the following day. Among other things, he described Khomeini as a “lunatic madman … who has turned Islam into a mockery.” In the same interview Sadat renewed his invitation to the exiled Shah to reside in
25- See articles already cited: Mitchell, Husayni, Humphreys, Altman, and Dekmejian.
26- See Sadat ’s speech before
27- Husayn al-Dhahabi, who was kidnapped and assassinated by RHF, was a typical example of the establishmentarian ulama of al-Azher, While a minister of religious endowments and religious affairs, he mounted blistering attacks on militant groups. Calling them misguided. In that he echoes the line of the ruling elite toward these groups.
28- Sheikh ’Ali Abd al-Raziq especially was condemned by the militants for his famous book, al-Islam wa Usul al-Hukm (Islam and the Foundations of Governance) in which advocated a secular theory of state.
29- See al-Ahram, 7 July 1977. for more details about those arrested and their backgrounds see al-Ahram 7-20 July 1977.
30- This Kind of proposition is to be found. For example. Enic Hoffer. The True Believer: thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (New York: Harper, 1951) The Ordeal of Change (New York: Harper & Row, 1963) Reflections on the Human Condition (New York: Hark Harper & Row 1973) An exponent of similar arguments is Hadley Cantril, The Psychology of social Movements (New York: Wiley, 1941); The Politics of Despair (New York: Basic Books, 1958)
31- Most of the RHF enterprises were small in scale and in an embryonic stage at The time of the group ’s showdown with the government. These enterprises included bakeries, Bookshops, candy making and vegetable gardening.
32- It was such attempts to penalize former members that first drew government attention to the potential strength and danger of RHF. See al-Ahram. 7 July 1977.
33- The saying of the Prophet is addressed to all Muslims “Whom of you sees a repugnance (munkarun) he must remove it with his hands: if unable, then by his tongue; and if unable. Unable, then by his heart, and that is the least the pious can do.
34- For details on this early period of Islam. Consult any of the standard references on the history of Islam, the Arabs, or the
35- This strategy by the Prophet Muhammad is explicitly discussed by Fazlur Rahman in Islam, pp 18-29.
36- As those RHF members reported it to the research team, “The group debated several places to start its new community of believers. “The sites included
37- Three MA leaders (Salih Siriya, Karim al-Anaduli, and Tallal al-Ansari) and five RHF leaders (Shukri Mustafa, Mahir A.Bakri Zanati, Ahmad Tariq ’Abd al-’Alim, Amwar Ma’mun Saqr, and Mustafa A.Ghazi) were sentenced to death. All but one (Tallal al-Ansari, whose sentence was reduced to life imprisonment) were actually executed on 9 November 1976 and 19 March 1978, of the other ninety-two MA members tried by the state security court, twenty-nine were found guilty and sentenced to varying penalties (eight to life imprisonment; seven to fifteen years; eight to ten years; and six to four years). Of the 204 RHF members who were tried, thirty six were found guilty (twelve received life sentences, six got ten years with hard labor, and the remainder received sentences varying from five to ten Years) al-Ahram, I December 1977.
38- MA members who this contention claimed that one member of the group who was part of the plan betrayed them by informing the state security forces of the intended plot to overthrow the regime. Curiously enough the informant was not taken seriously for several hours, and that enabled MA to implement the first part of its plan successfully-that is, the occupation of the
39- A typical example of this was reported in al-Ahram, I April 1980 quoting the minister the interior’s account to the People’s Assembly of a student conference that began in a mosque in
40- For an account of these movements see Fazlur Rahman, Islam, pp. 193-254: and Zeinab al-Bakry, “Mahdiyya Movement in the
41- For the meaning of ’puritanical. Fundamental, and ’neotraditionalist, see John A. Williams, “A Return to the Veil in Egypt, pp. 51-55; Stephen Humphreys, “Islam and Political Values in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Syria, Middle East Journal, vol. 11,no. I, winter 1979, pp 1-19 Ali Dessouki, “The Resurgence of Islamic Movements in
42- Muhammad ’Abduh (1854-1905) an Egyptian religious thinker, was a disciple of Jamal al-Din Afghani, but he was significantly less militant in the latter part of his life. He is credited with serious attempts to modernize Islamic thought by showing that Islam is consistent with reason, science, and adoption of modern technology. Among his famous writings is Rasa ’il al-ghufran (Messages of Atonement’) For more on Muhammad ’Abduh see Malcolm Kerr, Islamic Reform: The political and Legal Theories of Muhammad ’Abduh and Rashid Rida (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966).
43- Al-Shubban al-Muslimin, literally Muslim Youth. Was established in 1927 in emulation of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). The founders, headed by a retired army general, Salih Harb , meant it to be a nonpolitical, social, and athletic organization.
44- This typology is an adaptation of that proposed by David F. Alberle in The Peyote Religion among the Navaho (Chicago: Aldine, 1966) Alberle ’s typology entails only four types (two by two) along the two axes of locus and amount of change.
45- The Kharajites (al-Khawary) were the first dissident group in Islam: see note 18. One fundamental tenet of the Kharajites is insistence on the unity of faith and deeds. Thus a tyrant a tyrant ruler is not to be obeyed, nor can there be obedience to a sinful command. This goes against the mainstream Sunni doctrine, which would tolerate a tyrant for the sake of preserving the unity the umma. See Fazlur Rahman, Islam, pp 168-70.
46- Other militant Islamic movements in premodern times include the Shia, on and off from the end of the first Islamic century to the present. One of the Shia sub-sects, the Isma’ilis, staged a revolt and a socioreligious campaign under the leadership of Hamdan Qarmat, after whom they came to be called Qarmatiyas (al-Qaramita). He established a post near Kufa (A.D. 890) in
47- The Wahhabi movement began in the latter decades of the eighteenth century. Its founder, Muhammad Ibn ’Abd al-Wahhab, a puritanical fundamentalist, allied himself politically with the house of al-Sa’ud of Najd in central
48- The data on the Muslim Brotherhood are derived from R . Mitchell, The Society of the Muslim Brotherhood; I.M. Husayni, the Moslem brethren: and Christina Harris, Nationalism and Revolution in
49- Our data on the Mujahidin in
50- The concept of the new middle class come to modern-educated university graduates, professionals, or salaried employees. For a full discussion of this social formation see Halpern, Politics of Social change. Pp. 51-68.
51- For substantiation and elaboration of this point is, the appeal of the Brotherhood to the lower-middle class in
52- The social profiles of those who joined militant leftist movements in both
53- On this point see R.S. Humphreys, “Islam and Political Values”
54- See Janet Abu-Lughod. Migrant Adjustment to city life: The Egyptian case,” American Journal of Sociology, 67/1, July 1961,
|Egypt Islam and Democracy||Saad Dean Ebrahem||164.00|
The articles and statements that are undersigned by the Muslim Brotherhood(MB) are only the ones that express the official opinion of the group.Those which are not only express the views of their authors.