Charitable activities of the Muslim Brotherhood

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Jonathan CM Benthall


Some recent scholarly studies of the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, have focussed exclusively on its political and doctrinal aspects. These have undoubtedly shaded into violence at times. and indirectly through the writings of Sayyid Qutb and others had some influence on the rise of Al-Qaida. The movement is now at its lowest ebb following the failure of the presidency of Mohamad Mursi in 2015, and is split between hard-liners and a younger generation more disposed to compromise. There has been in fact an emphatic commitment to welfare and social programmes, making up for the deficiencies in State provision. This commentary sets out to give due attention to the charitable activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates., without ignoring the political dimension. The author's conclusion, following Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim, is that it is important to try to capture the symbolic imagination of the same populations who are targeted by the militants. This includes the tradition of zakat and cognate Islamic principles.

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How to Cite
Benthall, J. (2018). Charitable activities of the Muslim Brotherhood. Journal of Muslim Philanthropy & Civil Society, 2(2). Retrieved from