Societal challenges to the state. Part I: Islamic Organizations in Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood. Important points. Diversity of Islamic “scene” Some accommodationist (Muslim Brotherhood), some radical (Jama’a al-Islamiyyah)
Societal challenges to the state
Part I: Islamic Organizations in Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood
Program: traditional and innovative
social and political regeneration of Egypt tied to restoration of Islam as guiding force in national life
West as political, economic, cultural threat
Hostile to westernization but NOT modernization
used modern institution building, promoted health, used technology and modern communication to promote message.
Re-implementation (and re-interpretation) of Sharia and Quran
More radical interpretations of Jihad
Merging of Quranic definitions of fighting (qital) and the inner spiritual struggle against evil (jihad)
call to engage in holy war against infidels, Christians, and Jews.
Advocated social welfare programs and land reform. Strong supporters of social reform and social responsibility
In this Tradition, there is a clear indication of the obligation to fight the People of the Book, and of the fact that God doubles the reward of those who fight them. Jihad is not against polytheists alone, but against all who do not embrace Islam...
Today the Muslims, as you know, are compelled to humble themselves before non-Muslims, and are ruled by unbelievers. Their lands have been trampled over, and their honor besmirched. Their adversaries are in charge of their affairs, and the rites of their religion have fallen into abeyance within their own domains, to say nothing of their impotence to broadcast the summons [to embrace Islam].
Hence it has become an individual obligation, which there is no evading, on every Muslim to prepare his equipment, to make up his mind to engage in jihad, and to get ready for it until the opportunity is ripe and God decrees a matter which is sure to be accomplished...
Know then that death is inevitable, and that it can only happen once. If you suffer it in the way of God, it will be your profit in this world, and your reward in the next.
- Hasan al-Banna, “On Jihad,” in Five Tracts of Hasan al-Banna, trans. by Charles Wendell (Berkeley, 1978)
Phase Two —1939-1960s
“Mankind today is on the brink of a precipice, not because of the danger of complete annihilation which is hanging over its head - this being just a symptom and not the real disease - but because humanity is devoid of those vital values which are necessary not only for its healthy development but also for its real progress.
Even the Western world realizes that Western civilization is unable to present any healthy values for the guidance of mankind. It knows that it does not possess anything which will satisfy its own conscience and justify its existence...
It is essential for mankind to have a new leadership...
It is necessary for the new leadership to preserve and develop the material fruits of the creative genius of Europe, and also to provide mankind with such high ideals and values as have so far remained undiscovered by mankind, and which will also acquaint humanity with a way of life which is harmonious with human nature, which positive and constructive, and which is practicable.
Islam is the only system which possesses these values and this way of life.
- From Sayyid Qutb, Milestones (Beirut: 1980)