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United for Peace of Pierce County - BACKGROUND: The Muslim Brotherhood; Islamism
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Below, for what they are worth, are English translations of the entries on the Muslim Brotherhood[1] and Islamism[2] to be found in the 1996 revision of Le Mourre, as the Dictionnaire encyclopédique d'histoire by Michel Mourre (1928-1977) is commonly known.  --  The division into paragraphs does not appear in the original text....
1.

[Translation]

MUSLIM BROTHERS, Ikhwan el-Mouslimin

By Michel Mourre

Dictionnaire encyclopédique d'histoire: nouvelle édition
Paris: Bordas, 1996 (original edition 1978)
Volume 2
Page 2301

Politico-religious confraternity founded in Egypt in 1929 by Hassan el-Banna, favoring a complete return to observance of the Koran and Islamic tradition, considered as the necessary and sufficient basis of all private and public life.

The Muslim Brothers struggled against Western influence, but they did not at all reject modern progress in the scientific and technological realm; they aspired to a socially just order as far from capitalism as from communism. 

Because of their opposition to England, the Muslim Brothers in 1940 were in contact with agents of the Axis powers.  It was during this period that the "supreme guide," Hassan el-Banna, created a parallel secret organization of saboteurs and terrorists; it included the commandos who assassinated Prime Minister Ahmad Mahir (Feb. 1945) and Prime Minister Nukrashi Pasha (Dec. 1948).  As a reprisal for the latter attack, the Saadist government had Hassan el-Banna assassinated by special agents (Feb. 1949).

The Muslim Brothers, who had branched out into the entire Arab world (their numbers have been variously estimated to be from 200,000 to 2,000,000), helped prepare the ground for the fall of King Farouk in 1952. 

Their theocratic ideas were soon at odds with those of the army officers of the Revolutionary Council.  Their confraternity was dissolved in Jan. 1954, and, after a failed assassination attempt against Col. Nasser (Oct. 1954), several of their leaders were executed.  The Muslim Brothers have nevertheless remained active underground both in Egypt and Syria.

In 1981, the assassination of President Sadat was attributed to them.  The wave of fundamentalism that threatens the stability of the entire Muslim world cannot be dissociated from the activity of the confraternity.

--
Translated by Mark K. Jensen
Associate Professor of French
Department of Languages and Literatures
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447-0003
Phone: 253-535-7219
Webpage: http://www.plu.edu/~jensenmk/
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2.

[Translation]

ISLAMISM
By Michel Mourre

Dictionnaire encyclopédique d'histoire: nouvelle édition
Paris: Bordas, 1996 (original edition 1978)
Volume 3
Page 2893-2894

Political and religious movement that advocates that the conduct of public life, the functioning of institutions and law, and individual ethical values be founded on strict observance of the most conservative Islam. 

The first Islamist movement was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan el-Banna and theorized by Sayyid Qutb.

Several explanations are given for this political phenomenon:  the very nature of Islam, in which the union of temporal and spirutual is said to favor the emergence of a religious ideology; the failure of development in the countries involved; the presence of authoritarian regimes that are said to have left only the religious sphere as a mode of expression; and the rejection by populations of imported Western modes of thought said to have eroded traditional, national, and cultural identities (especially Arab identities). 

The Islamist movements present themselves as having an international aim, and many attempts to unify them occurred in the 1980s.  However, the extremely strong nationalist domination of these movements, as well as their use of simple instruments of a more global strategy by various funding sources (Iran, Saudi Arabia) have limited these attempts.

Iran, in the aftermath of the 1979 revolution, was the first country with an Islamist regime, and was followed, thanks to a military coup d'état, by Sudan in 1989. 

This ideology has also taken strong root in Egypt and, especially, Algeria, where at the end of the 1980s its activists entered into an armed confrontation with the regime in power.

--
Translated by Mark K. Jensen
Associate Professor of French
Department of Languages and Literatures
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA 98447-0003
Phone: 253-535-7219
Webpage: http://www.plu.edu/~jensenmk/
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.