I hope your weekend was great, happy new week too. First and foremost, I wish to differentiate between Islamism and ordinary muslims. I talk about Islamism here not ordinary muslims, had some great conversations with the latter. Watched a documentary yesterday about The Muslim Brotherhood, instantly reminiscing of my solo journey to Egypt three-four weeks prior to the Arab Spring there. An occurrence I could not have foreseen, due to the calm atmosphere in Cairo below. (I went on a guided bus tour from Hurghada, when traveling solo it´s better to be on the safe side. The Egyptian guide was attentive)
The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna, based on branches throughout the country. Each running a mosque, a school and a sporting club. 1948 saw the end of Hassan al-Banna who was assassinated. The Muslim Brotherhood however had by the late 1940s managed to spread and had 500 000 members across Egypt, gaining support from the Arab world. Banna also created a paramilitary wing, the Special Apparatus, who fought against the British rule at the time (ended in 1952) through bombings and assassinations.
Drawing attention to the 2011 events, the group achieved its best election results, when allied independent candidates won 20% of the seats, a result giving President Hosni Mubarak a shock. The constitution was rewritten among some measures stating “political activity or political parties shall not be based on any religious background or foundation,” the ban of independent candidates running for president and anti-terrorism legislation gave the security forces powers to detain suspects and also introducing restrictions on public gatherings.
Encouraged by the Tunisian street protest, anti-government demonstrations took place in the beginning of 2011. Many members of the Ikhwan (Arabic for Brotherhood or Brethren) joined the protests, keeping a low profile. The group´s traditional slogans were not seen in Cairo´s Tahrir Square. To read more about The Muslim Brotherhood click here, where I found the information. Images by: Kajsa J. Andersen