Muslim Brotherhood

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An Islamic fundamentalist movement created by the pious Egyptian Muslim schoolteacher Hasanal-Banna (b. 1906, d. 1949) in 1928. Aiming to rejuvenate Islam, it sought to impose Islamic law (Shariah) upon all social and political activity. Although it expanded to other Arab countries, most notably Syria, the Brotherhood's political influence was mostly confined to Egypt, where its membership grew to some one million during the 1940s. Because of its increasing militancy, which developed very much against Hasan's original ideas, it was banned in 1948. It survived as an underground terrorist organization, which was both strongly anti-Western and against involvement with the USSR. In 1948, one of its members killed the Egyptian Prime Minister, in response to which Hasan was assassinated by government agents. An alleged assassination attempt on President Nasser in Egypt in 1954 led to the execution of some of its most prominent members and further wide-scale arrests. Although formally banned since then, independents have represented the Brotherhood in the Egyptian parliament. In the 2005 elections, its representation increased from 18 to 88 seats.

Subjects: Islam.

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