March 07, 2005

A brother's keeper

Interesting piece in the Washington Post today on the thinking of Gamal Banna, the younger (and perhaps smarter) brother of Hassan--the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood:

The notion of an Islamic state, Banna contends with a laugh, contradicts the foundation of Islam as a community of believers. The use of old Islamic teaching to justify the rule of kings and dictators has made Muslims submissive as well as exclusionary toward women, he added.

The recent focus on jihad as a justification for violent means of change also departs from the emphasis in the Koran on jihad as a moral struggle, Banna asserts. In that vein, bin Laden is using the concept "to give a religious covering to a political struggle."

The whole article is of interest, as is Gamal's take on what his brother Hassan would think of him were he still alive:

He insisted that despite efforts to contrast him with Hassan, his brother's thinking would have evolved over time. "He wrote 50 years ago. He would agree with me now, if he had lived," he said. Hassan Banna, who had founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, was killed by Egyptian secret police in 1949 in retaliation for the Brotherhood's assassination of Prime Minister Mahmoud Fahmi Nuqrashi.

Maybe Gamal is right, I don't know -- perhaps, had he lived long enough, Sayyid Qutb would be an enthusiastic supporter of Iraqi democracy...

Posted by Ideofact at March 7, 2005 10:35 PM