Conflicting Currents in Egyptian Thought

Source: Hudson Institute

Author(s): Tarek Elgawhary

Original Link:

Two significant streams of Muslim thought flow through Egypt. One emanates from the scholarship of the al-Ahzar establishment in Cairo; the other from the legacy of Hasan al-Banna and the movement he founded.1

With that in mind, this article addresses two topics: the role of al-Azhar in the formation of orthodox Sunni Islam in contemporary Egypt, and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the transnational Islamism movement it inspires. Both of these have emerged as competing voices within Muslim orthodoxy.

It is my opinion that until now, these two subjects have been improperly defined and articulated, leading to confusion and ambiguity. Thus, it is necessary to address them both with a dose of history and context along the way. I hope the reader will allow me these detours.

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