Islamic fundamentalism, or Islamic radicalism, has its roots in the so-called “Muslim Brotherhood” ( Al Ikhwan Al Muslimun ) , an organization founded by Hassan Al-Banna in Egypt in 1929. In recent years, the name of the Muslim Brotherhood has been various press agencies due to events such as the Arab Spring and the Civil War in Syria. The defense of Sharia (Islamic Law) and the extremist interpretation of Jihad , the Holy War for Islam, are fundamental characteristics of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Al-Banna’s organization emerged after the fall of the Ottoman Turkish Empire in 1924, a political organization that gave unity to Muslim Arabs. Al-Banna was an Egyptian professor who denounced the situation in which the Islamic community found itself at the beginning of the 20th century, which, for him, could abandon its values and conduct after the fall of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. He then intended to bring about moral and spiritual reform in the Middle East and North Africa, revisiting the Qur’an and radically interpreting Koranic principles.
In the 1940s, the Muslim Brotherhood had more than 500,000 members. One of the characteristics of this period was the fight against the presence of foreign European influence in Egypt and the project to build a caliphate (an Islamic state inspired by the first heirs of Muhammad), that would unify the Arab nations. In 1948, the Muslim Brotherhood participated in the war against Israel. However, that same year he attempted a coup d’état against the Egyptian monarchy, which was rejected by government forces. The “Muslim brothers” retaliated by assassinating the prime minister, Pasha. Since then, the Egyptian government has been pursuing the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and murdered Al-Banna on February 12, 1949.
Don’t stop now … There’s more after the publicity;)
After the murder of its founder, a new leader emerged in the Muslim Brotherhood, Sayyid Qutb, even more radical than Al-Banna. Qutb had lived in the United States and Europe and knew the Western way of life. His hatred for the West developed mainly after the support that democratic countries, like the USA, gave to the creation of the Jewish state in Palestine. He entered the Muslim Brotherhood with the aim of putting his ideas into practice, developed mainly in the books “Os Marcos” and “Our struggle against the Jews”.
The fundamental concept developed by Qutb was jahilya , which means ignorance, or revolt. Revolt on the part of Western peoples who, according to Qutb, had perverted the values and morals derived from religion. Islamic radicalism was born out of this understanding that Qutb developed. Freedoms and rights, according to this ideologue, come from God (Allah) and are contained in the Qur’an, from which Sharia is interpreted , a set of laws that are expressly anti-democratic. Another characteristic of the Muslim Brotherhood is pan-Islamism, which presupposes Islamic Jihad , that is, the “holy war” against behavior that does not take into account the Islamic tradition and the precepts of the Koran.
Currently, the Muslim Brotherhood operates in countries such as Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, among others. The radical Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and al-Qaeda, responsible for the September 11 attacks, as well as the Islamic State, which operates between Iraq and Syria, have their ideological basis in the ideas of Sayyid Qutb and support from a large part of members of the Muslim Brotherhood.