The Muslim Brotherhood

 

The Muslim Brotherhood is the world’s oldest and largest Islamist Movement.   Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna founded the brotherhood Muslim Brotherhoodin 1928.  The Brotherhood has always had a tense relationship with the Egyptian government. One reason is that member assassinated Prime Minister Mahmud Fahmi al-Nuqrashi in December of 1948 and other members were responsible for the death of one of Egypt’s most popular presidents, Anwar Sadat, in 1971. 

After the Arab Spring Revolution, there was more room for the Brotherhood to promote its agenda. The group created its own political party, the Freedom and Justice Party with Mohamed Morsy as its leader. Then, on June 30, 2012, Egyptians, in its first democratic election, voted to have Morsi as the next president with barely a majority of the popular vote – only 51.73 percent. Just over a year later, Egypt’s military threw him out of office, because they were displeased with his reign. Besides overturning some of the military’s policies, Morsy had also forced the resignation of top military officials. When Morsy left, any of the popularity the Brotherhood had garnered during that brief time after the Revolution, also disappeared. Egyptian Flag

The Muslim Brotherhood is known to follow strict, Islamic rules, especially when it comes to women’s rights.  One view is their strong support for female genital mutilation.  Although the surgery is illegal in Egypt, members, who are a part of the government, have tried to decriminalize it (Nowaira, 2013).  All of their attempts have failed.  They also support child marriages, where girls can be as young as 13 to be married.  In addition, group members did not see the women’s involvement as valuable as the involvement of the men (Di Giovanni, 2013).   Yet, once the revolution started, the Muslim Sister’s involvement became a valuable asset to the revolution.  For this reason, people who watched the revolution unfold on television wondered how women’s political participation would influence the new Egyptian government.  The question was: Would more women be involved with Egyptian politics?