The Untold Story of the Muslim Brotherhood
|Saturday, December 15,2007 14:19|
|By Salah Al-Nasrawi|
As the political conflict between President Hosni Mubarak"s secular government and its arch rival, the Muslim Brotherhood, goes on to dominate politics in Egypt, there is more interest than ever in the eighty-year-old group which has always see in itself the sole representative of Islamic renaissance in Egypt.
In his book “Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, An Aging Movement in Fight with Time” which so far is published only in his home country Al-Anani provides a thorough look at the strategy, ideology and organization of the Muslim Brotherhood. He has studied hundreds of documents and interviewed dozens of the MB members, including prominent leaders, at length, to try to trace in great detail the group which is known to be secretive and rarely opens up even to well-intended researchers.
In the process he sheds considerable light on more than a three quarters century of the Brotherhood’s difficult history. It is a fascinating investigative account of what went wrong and right in the movement’s ceaseless endeavor to trigger an Islamic awakening as it claims it, and grab power as its enemies charge.
One of the book"s most important themes is how disconnected the Brotherhood is from Egypt’s current reality, or as Al Anani putd it, its “superficiality, shallowness and confusion” in renewing its political and religious discourse. To the contrary, he asserts, the Brotherhood has alienated itself to a corner of isolation, stagnation and disharmony with reality.”
Although, Al-Anani tries hard to be fair, for example, by accrediting the group for being “the mother of all political forces” in Egypt for its deeply rooted support among Egyptians, he, nevertheless concludes, as his book"s title suggests, that the Brotherhood is destined to reach its twilight if it fails to reform its discourse and structure.
The book is by far the best critique of the Muslim Brotherhood and indeed of political Islam as a whole. It is a wonderfully clinical dissection of the group’s eighty years’ efforts to convince Egyptians to take political Islam as the only solution for their political, economic and social ills. It is a book recommended to all those who look for deep insight beyond the usual clichés about the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest and most powerful opposition movement.