The Egiptian Revolution Of 2011 Essay

3367 words - 14 pages

After the events of Egyptian Revolution in 2011, in which civilians inspired by the Arab Spring rebelled against thirty-year President Hosni Mubarak and removed him from office, Egypt had the first true opportunity in more than 150 years of struggle for independence to elect a truly democratic representative as their leader. In a presidential election, Egypt voted to elect the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohammed Morsi, to presidential office. However, President Morsi was removed in a military coup just one year after taking office, and both he and the Muslim Brotherhood have faced political, police, and public persecution ever since. In order to understand why Egypt so willingly turned ...view middle of the document...

Though al-Banna supported Egypt’s nationalism and attempts to emancipate itself from colonization, he was concerned that Egypt was leaning too heavily towards modern secularization and was losing its Islamic roots and principles. [2] The Brotherhood was based on the goal of pan-Islamism, which is a movement that seeks the uniting of all Muslims, regardless of country, location, culture, or ethnicity, under a single Islamic state. This would involve the use of Islamic Sharia as a basis for Egyptian law and culture. The Brotherhood sought to achieve these goals through a combination of social and political movements. Initially, it focused on building neighborhood mosques, religious educational institutions, hospitals, industrial and commercial enterprises, social organizations, and other charitable grassroots programs. Little educational and social opportunities existed for the lower classes, and al-Banna ensured that Muslim Brotherhood was well positioned to fill that gap and provide a voice for all Egyptians. He declared that:

Islam is equal for all people and prefers nobody to others on the grounds of differences in blood or race, forefathers or descent, poverty or wealth. According to Islam everyone is equal... However, in deeds and natural gifts, then the answer is yes. The learned is above the ignorant... Thus, we see that Islam does not approve of the class system. [3]

A key idea that al-Banna focused on was Islamic jihad. While he acknowledged that armed struggle against the enemies of Islam was sometimes necessary, the instigation of unprovoked violence was prohibited. Additionally, an internal jihad was necessary for each Muslim on an individual level in order to fight against baser instincts in the interest of religious purity and duty. Under al-Banna’s leadership, the Brotherhood advocated openness and tolerance to various forms of Islam, and insisted that the imposing of Islam on the unwilling or uninterested was strictly prohibited. [4] Through community outreach and service, as well as a focus on Egyptian nationalism through a return to Islamic ideals, the Brotherhood quickly built a strong and loyal base among the poor and working class in Egypt, believed to number more than half a million by 1948. [5] During the early 1930s, the Muslim Brotherhood first began to expand into a political organization, which gained them the support of many young educated Egyptians.

In the late 1930s, against al-Banna’s wishes and better judgment, a significant number of Brotherhood members began to advocate for the formation of a military branch, whose main goal would be the armed fight against imperial British rule. He specifically argued against terrorist and revolutionary activities, and believed that armed struggle must be used only as a last resort when all other peaceful alternatives had failed. In 1939, several of the more belligerent members of the Brotherhood broke away and formed a rival group called Muhammad’s Youth. In...

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