Islam in Contemporary Egypt: Civil Society vs. the State

Islam in Contemporary Egypt: Civil Society vs. the State

Islam in Contemporary Egypt: Civil Society vs. the State

Islam in Contemporary Egypt: Civil Society vs. the State

Synopsis

This volume presents a picture of Islam in contemporary Egyptian politics and society, emphasising its diversity and heterogeneity. It traces the development of Islam as a social, political and economic force in Egypt.

Excerpt

This book has an ambitious agenda: to describe the various Islamist movements in contemporary Egypt with an eye on their historical evolution; to discuss issues of civil society and the role Islamist groups play in society as a whole; and to examine the conflict between the state and the society it seeks to control, not just govern. To be sure, we cannot fully cover all of these important topics in one short volume. However, neither can we attempt any one of them without including as much analysis of the others as possible. Islamist movements, civil society, and state-society relations are so intertwined that all must be addressed when analyzing contemporary Egyptian politics as well as contemporary Islam in Egypt.

In particular, we examine the pluralism and diversity of contemporary Islamic Egypt. Pluralism suggests multiple parties or institutions within the Islamic trend; by diversity, we mean various ideologies and tactics to achieve Islamic (or Islamist) ends (e.g., spiritual renewal, political power, or economic development). This plural diversity must be recognized by anyone interested in understanding politics and society in Egypt at the end of the twentieth century; it is a result of centuries of development and tradition, of progress and retrenchment, of cosmopolitanism and dogmatism on the part of Sunni Muslim Egyptian Arabs. There is no single Islamist group or movement in Egypt that represents the entire society, even if there is one group, al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun (the Muslim Brotherhood), that is more popular than others.

Our focus is on political subcultures and countercultures, primarily those of the Islamist movements, as well as on state-society relations. Our method of investigating Egypt's Islamist movements has not been that of traditional research projects of the political culture genre—that is, there has been no extensive survey research conducted . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.