Return of the Brothers: Student Activism and Islamic Politics in 1970s Egypt

A lecture on April 10, 2013 by Abdullah Al-Arian,Wayne State University

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Duration: 33:28

This talk examines the means by which the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was reconstituted during the turbulent decade of the 1970s, following a lengthy period of dismantlement and suppression. By tracking the rise of a vibrant student movement and the linkages it formed with veteran Islamic activists recently released from prison, this paper attempts to present a more accurate picture of the so-called "Islamic resurgence". Rather than the early organization founded by Hasan al-Banna, or the underground movement inspired by Sayyid Qutb, the contemporary Muslim Brotherhood is most prominently a reflection of the intellectual and organizational developments of this era, as witnessed in the recent rise of a wide array of figures, from 'Esam al-'Erian to 'Abd al-Mone'im Abul Futuh, and even Egypt's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, all of whom were the products of this era.

Abdullah Al-Arian is an assistant professor of history at Wayne State University in Michigan. In 2011, he received his doctorate from Georgetown University, where he wrote his dissertation on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during the decade of the 1970s. His research interests include: Islamic social movements, US policy toward the Middle East, and Islam in America. He received his Masters degree from the London School of Economics and his BA from Duke University. He is a contributor to the Al-Jazeera English network and website. His first book will be published by Oxford University Press later this year. It is entitled "Answering the Call: Popular Islamic Activism in Egypt (1970-1981).

Talk was co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of History and the Arab Studies Institute (ASI).