The Muslim Brotherhood has been an important religious and political organization in Egypt for decades and is one of the major participants in the ongoing Egyptian Revolution.
NPR provides a brief history of this important Islamic organization, which was founded in 1928. The article points out that “The Muslim Brotherhood, which has a presence in dozens of Muslim countries, has been banned, repressed or restricted for much of its more than eight-decade history in Egypt, the place where it was born.” So, although current reporting has focused on violence by members of the Muslim Brotherhood against Coptic churches in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has been targeted for violence by Egyptian military and police forces throughout much of its existence. The photo below shows the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters being burned in 1954.
The NPR article quotes Vidino Lorenzo, the author of The New Muslim Brotherhood in the West, on the development of the Muslim Brotherhood: “The history of the Brotherhood is different phases where you have crackdowns and then a slow softening of the policy where the Brotherhood can operate, find some modus vivendi with the government, and operate through the crevices and the gaps that the regime allows them to operate under.” Vidino Lorenzo is a senior researcher at the Center for Security Studies in Zurich, Switzerland.
NPR has published its report on the Muslim Brotherhood online.
NIU graduate students in HIST 740 Religious Politics and Sectarian Violence will be interested in this article and related stories about the Muslim Brotherhood.