chapter  9
12 Pages

Oppositional Religiopolitical Underground Organizations and the Islam-legitimated Establishment in Egypt: The Roots of the Political Resurgence of Militant Islam

WithBassam Tibi

The politicization of Islam in Egypt, although it represents a microcosm within the Muslim world, is nevertheless historically singular in terms of the existence of specific, overall historical and structural factors. Parallel to the utilization of religion to legitimate the state and to ensure a loyal attitude toward the rulers among the Sunni ulema in particular against the al-Azhar University, and that mobilized Islam as an ideology for an oppositional underground movement. The al-ikhwan al-muslimin, an underground movement set up by Hassan al-Banna in 1928, is the most important religiopolitical movement within Sunni Islam, in view of the central position of Egypt in Sunni Islam, it acquired a political significance that extended far beyond Egypt's boundaries and remains to this day an important cross-regional movement. Not until Camp David, and since the Iranian revolution coming to a definitive end with Sadat's assassination by militant Muslim fundamentalists.