The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt pursuing moderation within an authoritarian environment
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The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is one of the biggest Islamist movements in the Middle East and North Africa, and its role in the future of Egyptian politics deserves careful consideration in light of the recent overthrow of Hosni Mubarak's regime. Over the past decades, the MB has changed their relationship with successive Egyptian authoritarian regimes by continuously renouncing violence and abiding by a moderate path as a means to achieve their objectives. This study uses competing theoretical approaches to understand the reasons behind the Muslim Brotherhood's decision to abide by a moderate strategy. The major finding of this study is that, over time, a combination of external and internal factors, such as regime repression and constraints and leadership, organizational and generational structures, as well as ideological influences, have shaped the organization's decision making. Furthermore, this study highlights the stagnation of this moderate development in the face of both regime constraints and internal leadership and generational issues, and demonstrates that the mode of recovery from this stagnation will be critical in the Muslim Brotherhood's future orientation as a movement.
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