For many, the Muslim Brotherhood embodies positive Islamic values and gives a voice to the Arab people. It is a movement that has long rooted for change – albeit a change it believes should lead to further Islamisation of Arab states and societies.
But others fear the spread of political Islam and see the movement as a threat to burgeoning democracy.
After decades in the political wilderness, the Muslim Brotherhood became an integral part of the popular upheavals that swept through the Arab world – and while they may not have initiated the recent revolution in Egypt, the overthrow of Mubarak’s regime leaves a power vacuum that the Brotherhood are now well-positioned to fill.
So will the Brotherhood’s Islamic principles garner them the popular support necessary in a newly-democratic Egypt? Are they united around one strategy? How will the Brotherhood reconcile their ideology with democracy and gain power in other, newly-liberated lands? And what about the younger generation of ‘brothers and sisters’ clamouring for reform; will they change the very nature of the Brotherhood?
Empire discusses with guests: Professor Gilles Kepel, chair, Middle East Studies, Sciences Po, Paris; Dr Azzam Tamimi, the director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought in London; Dr Khalil al-Anani, Middle East Institute, Durham University; Dr Katerina Dalacoura, Iternational Relations, London school of Economics.
Our interviewees are: Kamal el-Helbaw, FMR spokesman, Muslim Brotherhood; Professor John Esposito, International Affairs, Georgetown University; Dr Omar Ashour, director, Middle East Studies, Exeter University; Mohammed Mahdi Akef, FMR leader, Muslim Brotherhood.
This episode of Empire can be seen from Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 2030; Thursday: 1230; Friday: 0130; Saturday: 0630; Sunday: 2030.
(english.aljazeera.net / 30.03.2011)