Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-cjp7w Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-20T22:13:36.870Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

2 - The Muslim Brotherhood and the Environment

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 October 2023

Emmanuel Karagiannis
Affiliation:
King's College London
Get access

Summary

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) was estab-lished by Hassan al-Banna in 1928. He was a primary school teacher and preacher in the town of Ismailiya, near the Suez Canal. Although he lacked formal religious education, al-Banna was a charismatic leader with organisational skills. The Brotherhood grew rapidly in the 1930s and 1940s, building cadres in towns and rural areas. Al-Banna denounced the British involvement in Egyptian domestic affairs and mocked the country’s nominal independence.

From the beginning, the Brotherhood’s relationship with the Egyptian authorities was confrontational and antagonistic. Following the end of the Second World War, it challenged the Egyptian political establishment and its foreign patrons. The Arab–Israeli War of 1948 led to civil disturbances in Egypt. As a result, thousands of Muslim Brothers were imprisoned and tortured. The founder of the Brotherhood himself was assassinated by unknown gunmen in February 1949.

The army coup of 1952 was initially welcomed by the Brotherhood because the Free Officers, under Gamal Abdel Nasser, overthrew the pro-British King Farouk. Yet the new leader suppressed the Brotherhood because it was viewed as a threat to his regime. In 1966, the intellectual leader of the organisation, Sayyid Qutb, was executed for plotting to assassinate Nasser. Nasser’s successors, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, followed a less aggressive and more engaging policy towards the Brotherhood in spite of its illegal status.

The ideology of the Brotherhood has not been static and unchanging over time. Indeed, it has proven dynamic and adaptive in response to political developments and societal changes. Al-Banna professed an ideology combin-ing anti-colonialism, pan-Islamism and social justice, but he was a political entrepreneur rather than a theorist. It was Qutb who truly influenced the ideological identity of the Brotherhood. He claimed that many Muslims still lived in the age of jahiliyya (pre-Islamic ignorance) because they did not practise their religion. More importantly, he proposed the collective condemnation of unbelief (takfir). After his execution, the then leader of the Brotherhood, Hasan al-Hudaybi, attempted to moderate the ideology of the movement. In his book Duʾat la Qudat (‘Preachers, not Judges’), al-Hudaybi argued that the concept of jahiliyya does not apply to modern conditions and that only God can judge who has committed a major sin.

Type
Chapter
Information
Why Islamists Go Green
Politics, Religion and the Environment
, pp. 46 - 72
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×