Inside the Muslim Brotherhood: Religion, Identity, and Politics
Faculty Research Colloquium
Khalil Al Anani, Associate Professor at Doha Institute, "Inside the Muslim Brotherhood: Religion, Identity, and Politics"
Moderator: Abdullah Al-Arian, GU-Q
Dr. Khalil al-Anani is an Associate Professor at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. He previously taught at Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, George Mason University, and Durham University. His research focuses on Comparative Politics, Democratization, Religion and Politics, Islamist Movements, Social Movements, Egyptian Politics, Identity Politics, and Arab Politics.
Over the past three decades, through rises and falls in power, regime repression and exclusion, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has endured, proving more resilient than any other Islamist movement in the world. In this book, I explore the factors that have enabled the Brotherhood to survive so long within an ever-changing political landscape. The book unpacks the principal factors that shape the movement's identity, organization, and activism. Investigating the processes of socialization, indoctrination, recruitment, identification, networking, and mobilization that characterize the movement, I argue that the Brotherhood is not merely a political actor seeking power but an identity-maker that aims to change societal values, norms, and morals to line up with its ideology and worldview. The Brotherhood is involved in an intensive process of meaning construction and symbolic production that shapes individuals' identity and gives sense to their lives. The result is a distinctive code of identity that binds members together, maintains their activism, and guides their behavior in everyday life. The book attributes the Brotherhood's longevity to its tight-knit structure coupled with a complex membership system that has helped them resist regime penetration. The book also explores the divisions and differences within the movement and how these affect its strategy and decisions. The culmination of over a decade of research and interviews with leaders and members of the movement, this book challenges the dominant narratives about Islamists and Islamism as a whole.