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الإخوان al-Ikhwani (The Brotherhood)

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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In the shadow of the Ottoman collapse, the Brotherhood was founded with a nonviolent reformist stance in Egypt in the 1920s by a schoolteacher named Hassan al-Banna to protest British imperial rule in his country. الإخوان The Brotherhod worked peacably to advance social welare and justice and the cause of Islam. Imam Hassan al-Banna mobilized Muslims around al-Afghani and Abdouh's principles, founding the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; pronounced al-Ikhwan, it is known as the Ikhwan branch of Islamism. He wrote a number of works, including the Risalatu Ta'alim in which he explains the objectives and mechanisms of action for the Brotherhood.

Sayyid Qutb

Qutb joined the Brotherhood and developed revolutionary ideas, including that Islam was the solution to all problems. Muslims had to liberate themselves by rejecting Jahiliya (ignorance) and coming closer to Islam. According to Qutb, Islam provided all the ideas needed for an Islamic state -- it was not only din (religion) but also dowla (state).

Abul-Ala Al-Mawdudi

Al-Mawdudi has written much Ikhwanist literature -- Political Theories in Islam; Islamic State; Let Us Be Muslims; and This Religion.

British Response

The British responded with the standard techniques of oppression, alternately trying to court or to crush the organization.

Cold War Role

Gamal Adbel Nasser applied even more vigorously the same tactics of cooption and repression. Nasser also turned to the Soviets for aid and arms, prompting the US to send covert assistance to الإخوان The Brotherhood, initiating a Cold War flirtation with radical Islam that lasted until 9/11.


Unholy Wars.

Armstrong, Karen. The Battle for God.