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Islamic organizations in Egypt and the Iranian revolution of 1979: the experience of the first few years.

The Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran has had a far reaching impact, direct as well as indirect, throughout the region. This has been the case whether at the level of other governments' policy-making options or at that of various groups and/or organizations upholding the banner of Islam as a political ideology and program in their quest for political control in different countries of the region.

This study confines itself to the examination of the positions of various self-declared political Islamic actors in Egyptian politics in the late 1970s and early 1980s toward the events in Iran, namely the triumph of its revolution in 1979 and the subsequent declaration of an Islamic republic there, all related developments including the position toward Shiism(1) as well as the eruption of the Iran-Iraq war in September 1980.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Before dealing with the period under study, however, this study will briefly highlight some aspects of the position of the Muslim Brotherhood(2) of Egypt toward Iran and the Shiite doctrine in an earlier period, namely before its banning in 1954.

In the 1940s, Shaykh Hasan al-Banna, the founder and first General Guide (al-Murshid al-'Am) of the Muslim Brotherhood, joined a group aimed at bridging the gap between Sunnism and Shiism as a means to achieve doctrinal unity among Muslims. Such efforts reflected the Muslim Brotherhood's conviction that any Islamic unity should be based on Quranic principles and doctrinal unity; a goal to which it had worked since its establishment in 1928. The same group included, beside al-Banna, the Shiite Mulla al-Sayyid al-Qummi. Hasan al-Banna believed that the Muslim Brotherhood should join any effort that would prevent the enemies of Islam from manipulating doctrinal differences among Muslims in order to pre-empt any attempt aimed at the achievement of Islamic unity.(3) On several occasions, al-Banna said that divisions among Islamic sects should be brought to an end so that Islamic law (Shari'a) would be applied and, therefore, the glory of Islam would be restored.(4)

At that stage, it was reported that the Muslim Brotherhood had developed links with Nawab Safawi's Fedayan-Islam organization in Iran. In fact, shortly after the 1952 revolution, the pro-Muslim Brotherhood students invited Safawi to participate in a conference organized by them at Cairo University. They held him on their shoulders and introduced him as an Islamic leader.(5)

IRAN'S REVOLUTION OF 1978/79

Since 1978, most political Islamic actors in Egypt have, implicitly or explicitly, criticized official stands expressing support for, or at least sympathy with, the Shah of Iran and criticism of the Iranian revolution and its leader Ayatollah Khomeini. Some of those actors in fact interpreted the official position as a provocation, the ostensible purpose of which was to spread feelings of hatred against the Islamic model in Iran. Successive invitations extended to the deposed Shah to reside in Egypt as well as the position on the question of the American hostages in Teheran in the period from 1979 to 1981 helped exacerbate differences between the State and various groupings of the Islamic movement in Egypt and antagonized an increasing number of Islamic groups in Egypt.(6)

Some political Islamic actors challenged the official argument that the help provided for the Shah was an expression of gratitude for the substantial oil, military and economic assistance he gave to Egypt in 1973 and thereafter.(7) Instead they referred to the oil the Shah had provided for Israel at the time of the 1973 oil embargo and the close military and intelligence relations he had established with Israel. Furthermore, political Islamic actors charged that there were attempts to project Egypt as an alternative regional power to the Shah's Iran. The movement also charged that the underlying objective of the Egyptian media campaign against Khomeini and the new regime in Teheran was to widen the gap between Sunnis and Shiites.(8)

There is no doubt that the Iranian revolution gained the sympathy of many political Islamic groups in Egypt. Pictures of Ayatollah Khomeini appeared in Cairo and in some provincial cities, and demonstrations were organized against the arrival of the deposed Shah in Egypt.(9) Despite different perceptions of the Iranian revolution by political Islamic actors in Egypt, the success of the Iranian revolution meant for most of them the triumph of Islamic ideology and its establishment in a state structure. The Iranian revolution proved for those actors that it was still possible for a government to be established on an Islamic basis.(10) And finally, the Iranian revolution seemed to seek to project an independent model free from foreign influence.(11)

It was argued that the Iranian revolution tried to instigate Islamic groups in Egypt to topple the government, in a Khomeini-style Islamic revolution.(12) It is true that the Iranian revolution contributed to a revival of the political role of mosques in the mobilization of politically-oriented Islamic elements throughout the Muslim world.(13) Some Islamic actors in Egypt were impressed by the proposed Iranian project of Islamic renaissance with its extranational dimensions. For those actors, the Iranian revolution represented a new reality to which all Muslims could relate their history, ideals and the objective of reviving the Islamic Umma. That revolution meant for them that, in practice, Islam could win against imperialist powers and oppression. Even though some political Islamic actors in Egypt did not support post-revolutionary developments in Iran, they did learn an important lesson from the Iranian revolution; namely that the traditional leadership was not passe, and that it could still lead a revolution and win.(14) Moreover, it was argued that the increase in the use of the hijab (veil) and niqab by the female members of Jama'at Islamiya (Islamic Associations) in Egyptian universities and among other groups of Egyptian women was encouraged by Iranian Islamic propaganda.(15) However, such phenomenon could be equally attributed to the influence of Gulf countries particularly for millions of Egyptians who spent years living there before returning to Egypt.

Journalists belonging to political Islamic organizations in Egypt gave a favorable coverage to the Islamic Republic of Iran and its developments in their publications as well as in other opposition papers.(16)

All Islamic actors in Egypt praised the demand of the Iranian revolution for the withdrawal of Israel from all of Palestine occupied in 1948 in contrast to the increasing trend among Arab states to limit their goal to Israeli withdrawal from territories occupied in June 1967 and granting the Palestinian people their national rights. Those actors who remained supportive of the Iranian revolution accused the United States, the former Soviet Union, Israel and the former Shah of conspiring to thwart that revolution.(17) In fact, the belief in an international conspiracy against Islam has been a recurrent theme in the political literature of Islamic movements, that of Egypt being no exception. It was consistently used to explain a number of events and developments.

At the ideological level, the Iranian revolution influenced the thoughts of various political Islamic actors in Egypt. Increasingly, the moderate elements in the Islamic movement argued that nationalism and confessional tendencies had become outmoded and should be replaced by Islamic unity.

Some radical components of the Islamic movement in Egypt were influenced by the Iranian revolution's views on nationalism when they considered that Arab nationalism was a racist ideology which was opposed to any collective framework grouping Muslim countries together.(18)

Just as many Islamic elements in Egypt believed that the differences between Sunnis and Shiites should be discarded as a matter of the past, they called for the inclusion of both Sunnis and Shiites in the prospective unified Islamic State. However, years after the Iranian revolution, some political Islamic actors in Egypt began to revise their positions on the revolution. A negative attitude toward Shiism even began to merge with a variety of anti-Shiite publications which started to discredit the Islamic credentials of Shiites and to question the intentions of the "Shiite" Iranian revolution. It was argued that Iraq had encouraged some individual Islamic figures in Egypt such as the late Shaykhs Salah 'Abu Isma'il and 'Abd al-Mun'im al-Nimr to adopt stands opposed to Shiism and to the Iranian revolution.(19)

If we move now to analyze the positions of Islamic organizations and figures in Egypt toward the Iranian revolution, we shall find the following:

THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

The Muslim Brotherhood had initially declared its explicit support of the Islamic revolution in Iran and had criticized the Shah's arrival in Egypt.(20) Its General Guide, 'Umar al-Tilmisani, supported the Islamic Associations (al-Jama'at al-Islamiya) opposition in the Egyptian universities to the Shah's arrival in Egypt. The organization particularly criticized the Shah's revival of pre-Islamic Persian traditions at the expense of Islamic ones,(21) and frequently cited the Iranian revolution as evidence of the eventual victory of those who followed the path of God. While it urged Muslims everywhere to emulate Muslims in Iran, it made it clear that it was not calling for revolution but rather for the unity of the rulers and the ruled under the banner of Islam.(22) The Iranian revolution, it is clear, gave the Muslim Brotherhood greater self-confidence.

It was argued that the Muslim Brotherhood had renewed contacts with Islamic organizations in Iran after the success of the Iranian revolution.(23) Although that claim has not been substantiated, General Guide al-Tilmisani had been invited to Iran by the new authorities there and had actually visited Teheran more than once.

In response to accusations that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Associations were imitating Khomeini, both argued that this was not the case because they had their own program outlined by Imam Hasan al-Banna. The Muslim Brotherhood justified its support of the Iranian revolution on the grounds that the new Iranian leaders declared it to be an Islamic revolution aimed at applying Islamic law (Shari'a) and that the revolution liberated the Iranian people from an oppressive rule which ignored Islam.(24)

The Muslim Brotherhood was explicit in distinguishing its position toward the Iranian revolution from that of clandestine Islamic organizations in Egypt during that period. It had reservations regarding the 'Iranian government's call for the adoption of jihad by the Muslim masses, particularly Islamic movements elsewhere in the Muslim World, against their governments.(25) In that regard, the Muslim Brotherhood criticized the rivalries which erupted among various segments of the Iranian revolutionary leadership, particularly the one that developed in late 1980 between President Bani Sadr and the Islamic Republican Party, because they tarnished the image of Islam. Those reservations can be interpreted in the light of the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood was keen at that period to project itself as a moderate political force which sought a legal presence within the framework of the existing status quo in a number of Muslim countries. Therefore, it wanted to avoid antagonizing rulers or being identified as a radical organization aimed at destabilizing that status quo.

In fact the Muslim Brotherhood's position evolved in a direction so distant from Iran that its General Guide 'Umar al-Tilmisani declared at a later stage that Iran was opposed to the Muslim Brotherhood and to al-Tilmisani in particular. Al-Tilmisani was offended when Iran accused his organization of being a group of American agents. That accusation came after United States President Carter asked al-Tilmisani to mediate with Tehran in order to help free the American hostages there. Al-Tilmisani tried, but the Iranians pre-empted his attempt by declaring that anyone attempting to liberate the hostages was a U.S. agent. In response, he said that taking diplomats as hostages was sinful. Moreover, a group within the Muslim Brotherhood revised its earlier support of the Iranian revolution.(26) That position can also be explained, inter alia, by Iran's rejection of several peace initiatives during the Iran-Iraq war, some of which involved Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and by the antagonistic position toward Iran adopted by Saudi Arabia with whom the Muslim Brotherhood had close connections.

Moreover, the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt blamed Imam Khomeini for collaborating with President Asad of Syria who was described as an enemy of Islam.(27) The change in the Muslim Brotherhood's position toward the Iranian revolution could, therefore, be also partly due to Iran's support of the Asad government in Syria.

On the Iran-Iraq war of 1980, the Muslim Brotherhood invoked Quranic verses to denounce Iraq as the aggressor. Simultaneously, the organization rejected the behavior of some Muslim states which supported one or the other of the two belligerents instead of attempting to mediate between them. At the outset of the war, the General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, 'Umar al-Tilmisani, called for a meeting of all Muslim leaders in order to put an end to the war. He accused the United States, the former Soviet Union and Israel of planning the war in order to exhaust the two Muslim belligerents. The organization considered the war a device which Israel used in order to protect itself from both Iranian and Iraqi military threats. Consequently, it utilized the notion of an international conspiracy against Islam to explain the war between the two Muslim countries. At a later stage, the Muslim Brotherhood expressed its concern over the continuation of the war, and stated that the war was disapproved by Shari'a.(28) At one stage, the late parliamentarian Shaykh Salah Abu Isma'il attempted to give the impression that the Muslim Brotherhood was siding with Iraq on the question of the war once Iraq agreed to a cease-fire while Iran insisted on continuing the war. However, 'Umar al-Tilmisani declared that 'Abu-Isma'il was expressing his personal point of view.(29)

At the level of doctrines, one has to bear in mind that the Muslim Brotherhood's mainstream has always adopted a moderate position toward Shiism as a doctrine and has refused to nurture the doctrinal differences between Sunnis and Shiites despite acknowledging the presence of clear differences between the two doctrines. It considered existing differences between Sunnis and Shiites as of secondary importance. In the 1979s and early 1980s, 'Umar al-Tilmisani rejected any attempts to multiply differences between Sunnis and Shiites as those attempts would only serve the enemies of Islam. He even refused to discuss doctrinal differences between al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin and Shiites.(30)

THE ISLAMIC ASSOCIATIONS:

The great majority of those Associations and the religious preachers of their mosques and zawiyas (small mosques) supported the Iranian revolution. Some of them tried strenuously to argue away Shiite/Sunni differences. In 1979 and 1989, they sponsored mass demonstrations, published political statements, distributed leaflets and organized book and photo exhibitions on university campuses in support of the Iranian revolution and against the reception of the former Shah of Iran in Egypt. They particularly praised the role of the Iranian masses during that revolution and its firm opposition to any form of dependence on the United States. Those Associations said that they derived four lessons from the Iranian revolution. Those lessons included the impact of faith on the Muslim peoples; how Islam taught dignity; that Islam constitutes a continuum incorporating both religion and state; and that the destiny of the Shah was a warning for traitors among Muslims who were serving the interests of the East and the West. The Islamic Associations called the Shah a blood-thirsty butcher. Specific examples of their activities included student demonstrations in Cairo and violent skirmishes by students in Alexandria and Asyut during March and April 1980. Moreover, it was argued that some student demonstrations opposing the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty of 1979 were encouraged by the victory of the Islamic revolution in Iran a month earlier and the position that the revolutionaries adopted against the peace treaty. At the level of tactics, the Islamic Associations emulated activities that occurred during the Iranian revolution such as sit-ins as well as street demonstrations and other protest activities.(31)

However, it is interesting to note that some Islamic Associations in Egyptian universities affirmed their ideological differences with the Shiite nature of the Iranian revolution and said they would reject receiving support offered by Iran because such support might well be tied to attempts to impose ideological hegemony. That position reflected the persistence of opposition to the Shiite character of the Iranian revolution among some pro-Salafi(32) Islamic Associations.

CLANDESTINE ISLAMIC ORGANIZATIONS:

At the level of political tactics, and similar to the Iranian revolutionaries, clandestine Islamic organizations in Egypt made use of nongovernmental mosques as preferred places to recruit cadres and members.(33)

At the political level, the Society of Muslims (Jama't al-Muslimin)(34) opposed the Iranian revolution because it contradicted the organization's philosophy of isolation and emigration from society and its belief that it was the only true Islamic movement. In addition, the organization was opposed to the notion of bridging gaps between Sunnis and Shiites and had its own reservations toward the Shiite doctrine.(35)

On the other hand, the Holy Struggle (al-Jihad) organization firmly supported the Iranian revolution and considered it an Islamic experience that should be seriously studied. It refused to discuss doctrinal differences between Sunnis and Shiites. In fact, the organization believed that the rise of nationalism among Muslims, including Arabs and Persians, was the result of the "criminal" practices of the Ummayyad dynasty - that followed the rule of the Prophet Muhammad and the Rashidun - which restricted Government posts to Arabs and discriminated against non-Arab Muslims, particularly Persians, thereby giving rise to violent reactions by Persians and other non-Arab Muslims.(36)

Al-Jihad organization praised the popular nature of the Iranian revolution and the fact that segments of the armed forces in Iran joined the revolution. It argued that the Iranian revolution had its roots in the thought of Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb.(37) Some leaders of al-Jihad considered Khomeini's revolution a model to be emulated by Islamic organizations in other Muslim countries whether at the political or the organizational levels, or in terms of the utilization of mass-produced speeches recorded on cassette tapes.(38) Al-Jihad supported Khomeini's goal of exporting his revolution to the rest of the Muslim world. The organization issued leaflets and cassette tapes and some of its leaders asked Sunni Muslims to adopt Khomeini's thoughts. It called upon all Islamic organizations in Egypt to support the Islamic revolution in Iran. Some segments in al-Jihad even hoped Iran would defeat Iraq in the 1980 war and would thereafter move to seize Jordan and proceed to liberate Palestine. It perceived differences between the Iranian revolution and the Islamic movement in Egypt as minor considering that they had common positions toward the enemies of Islam. It considered the Iranian revolution to be the first Shiite revolution based on righteous Islamic beliefs.(39) It was claimed, but never established, that leaders of al-Jihad attempted to get in touch with the leadership of the Iranian revolution through some Palestinians in Gaza.(40) However, it is important to refer to a traditional wing within al-Jihad which continued to consider the beliefs of Shiites as perversions of righteous Islam. That wing mentioned that the Shiite concept of the imamate was unclear and that the unity between Sunnis and Shiites should be based on a righteous faith. That stand did not stop that wing from occasionally extending its support to the Iranian revolution and agreeing with it on some issues.(41)

INDEPENDENT MOSQUE PREACHERS

The independent mosque preachers exerted some influence on the Islamic Associations and clandestine Islamic organizations as well as on the Muslim public, particularly through their Friday sermons. One of those who belonged to that group was Shaykh 'Ahmad al-Mahalawi. He was the Imam of the mosque of al-Qa'id Ibrahim in Alexandria. In a Friday sermon on 23 January 1981, al-Mahalawi congratulated Khomeini and the Iranian people for what he considered to be the humiliation Iran inflicted on the United States during the hostage crisis. He continuously praised Imam Khomeini and the Islamic revolution in Iran. He called upon all Muslims to follow that revolution which supported the oppressed all over the world. Al-Mahalawi denounced President Sadat's reception of the Shah and said that Egypt should not receive criminals and butchers. However, it was reported that al-Mahalawi was advised by the Muslim Brotherhood not to project himself as another Khomeini, and to adopt a moderate position.(42) Shaykh 'Abd al-Hamid Kishk of al-Qubba mosque in Cairo and Shaykh 'Id of Alexandria gave Friday sermons in opposition to the asylum given the former Shah of Iran in Cairo, and in support of the Iranian revolution. It is also possible that the effective role played by the recorded cassette tapes of Ayatollah Khomeini in overthrowing the Shah of Iran influenced Shaykh Kishk's conception of his sermons. Later, Shaykh Kishk appealed for an end to the Iran/Iraq war and proposed the establishment of an Islamic Court of Justice that would take up the Iraq-Iran war as its first case.(43)

THE SALAFI MOVEMENT (AHL AL-SUNNA)

The Salafi movement had close contacts with Saudi Arabia. The group attacked Khomeini and accused him of attacking, in his early and clandestine writings, the Caliphs (the rulers who succeeded the Prophet Muhammad), Sunni jurisdiction and all Sunnis. It argued that the Shiites' Qur'an and Prophet were different from those of the Sunnis. It referred to the persecution of Sunnis in 'Arabistan (named Khuzistan by Iran); to the provocations of Khomeini against Arab states in the Gulf; to his ambitions in Bahrain; to his refusal to return the three islands to the United Arab Emirates(44) and to his war against Iraq as evidence of the presence of a Shiite plan to control the region and to convert its people to Shiism. The Salafi movement suspected that attempts to bridge the gap between Sunnis and Shiites were no more than conspiracies aimed at converting Sunnis to Shiism.

It rejected Khomeini's fatwa (religious judgment) in 1980 allowing Shiites to perform Haj (pilgrimage) along with Sunnis as nothing but an implementation of the Shiite principle of Taqiya (concealment of one's real religious beliefs in times of danger).(45) The Salafi movement particularly criticized the leading role of Shiite clergymen in the Islamic Republic.(46) However, a minority within the ranks of the Salafi movement had become increasingly open minded toward Shiism and the Iranian revolution and tended to ignore sectarian sensitivities.

As far as the position of al-Azhar was concerned, the Shaykh of al-Azhar issued a statement in January 1981 against the Iran-Iraq War arguing that it contradicted all that Islam called for.(47)

Finally, one has to refer to the fact that the earlier positions of political Islamic actors in Egypt toward the Iranian revolution were close to some Nasserite and leftist groups and intellectuals in Egypt. Those, at the early stages of the Iranian revolution, considered it a reinvigoration of the Nasserite ideals of anti-Zionism and a progressive anti-imperialist revolution. Those groups criticized, at that period, other Nasserite, leftist and Arab nationalist groups for their indifference, or even negative positions, toward the Iranian revolution.(48)

CONCLUSION

The preceding analysis has shown that the earlier common position shared by most political Islamic actors in Egypt in the late 1970s in support of the Iranian revolution finally gave way to differences among them on that question and even differences within the ranks of each group. They also differed on the means of expressing their views; varying from the statements and writings of the Muslim Brotherhood to the demonstrations, conferences and statements of Islamic Associations, to the clandestine publications and trial testimonies of leaders of the clandestine Islamic organizations, and to the Friday sermons of both independent mosque preachers and the Salafi movement.

The mainstream of al-Jihad, the Islamic Associations affiliated with it and the independent mosque preachers maintained their support of the Iranian revolution throughout the period of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The positions of the mainstream of the Muslim Brotherhood, many Islamic Associations and of a segment of al-Jihad were affected by either the position of Saudi Arabia toward the Iranian revolution, the Shiite nature of the revolution, Iran's alliance with the Syrian ruling Ba'th Party, the developments in the Iran-Iraq war; or all of those factors. The first two factors shaped, from the beginning, the negative position adopted by the Salafi movement toward the revolution. The ideology and strategy of the Iranian revolution antagonized the Society of Muslims (Jama't al-Muslimin) from the early stages of the revolution. However, political Islamic segments in Egypt employed political and organizational tactics introduced and experimented with by the Islamic revolution in Iran and, consciously or not, were influenced by some ideological tenets upheld by that revolution. In addition, the success of the Iranian revolution boosted the morale of the Islamic movement in Egypt and its hope for success in its struggle.

It is interesting to note that nearly all political Islamic actors in Egypt in the late 1970s and early 1980s expressed views on the Iranian revolution. This meant that they accorded equal importance to domestic developments in other Muslim countries as they did to domestic issues in Egypt. Moreover, it displayed the extensive influence the Iranian revolution exerted on Islamic movements throughout the Muslim world and the degree to which the controversy over that revolution became a lively issue in debates among the various Islamic groups in Egypt. Along with Saudi Arabia, the Iranian experience was the Muslim country experience which had the most profound impact on the Islamic movement in Egypt,

It is worth mentioning here that although most political Islamic actors in Egypt in the late 1970s and early 1980s attempted to ignore sectarian divisions within Islam, particularly those between Sunnis and Shiites, one of the main reasons which made some of those actors retreat from earlier support of the Iranian revolution was their emphasis on the Shiite character of the revolution.

The position toward the Iranian revolution was a question on which the views of various political Islamic actors in Egypt differed. However, all of them, to varying degrees, borrowed political tactics developed by the Iranian revolution. Moreover, the success of the Iranian revolution enhanced the morale of Islamic actors in Egypt, particularly more militant ones, by proving the feasibility of establishing an Islamic Republic through violent action.

Political Islamic actors in Egypt, to varying degrees, blamed external non-Muslim forces for the problems of the Muslim world. Therefore, the notion of an international conspiracy was used to explain both the attempts to thwart the Iranian revolution and the eruption of the Iran-Iraq war. Israel, the West, particularly the United States, and the former Soviet Union(49) were all perceived as parties to that conspiracy. Moreover, the Islamic actors in Egypt increasingly tended to link their positions on the Iranian revolution to the question of the liberation of the Muslim world, particularly the liberation of Palestine, and to the confrontation of the Muslim world with its enemies, in the forefront of which lay Israel, the West and the former Soviet Union.

NOTES

1. Shiism constitutes, along with Sunnism, the two main doctrines along which the Muslim community has been divided since early Islamic history. The Shiite Twelver doctrine, which represents the majority of today's Shiites, is the official doctrine in Iran today.

2. The Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) has been the main political Islamic organization in Egypt. It was established in the Egyptian city of Isma'ilia in 1928 by Shaykh Hasan al-Banna.

3. Farid 'Abdil Khaliq, al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun fi Mizan al-haq (The Muslim Brotherhood in the Balance of Truth) (Cairo: al-Sahwa Publishing House, 1987), (in Arabic), p.27. See also: Abdel Moneim Said Aly and Manfred W. Wenner "Modem Islamic Reform Movements: The Muslim Brotherhood in Contemporary Egypt", The Middle East Journal, vol.36, no. 3, September 1982, pp.340-341, 352. See also: Tariq al-Bishry, Al-Haraka al-Siyasiya fi Misr 1945-1952 (The Political Movement in Egypt 1945-1952), 2nd ed. (Cairo: al-Shuruq Publishing House, 1983), (in Arabic), pp.36, 44, 45, 55. See also: Hasan al-Banna, Mudhakirat al-Da'wa wa al-Da'ya (The Memories of the Call and the Preacher), (Cairo: al-Shihab Publishing House, n.d.), (in Arabic), p. 145. See also: Hasan al-Banna, Majmu'at Rasa'il al-Imam al-Shahid (The Collected Messages of the Martyr Imam), 2nd ed. (Cairo: al-Shihab Publishing House, n.d.) (in Arabic), pp. 178-179. See also: Islam Mahmud, al-Sunna wa al-Shi'a: Tawatur Mufta'al (Sunnis and Shiites: An Artificial Tension), (Cairo: al-Mukhtar al-Islami Publishing house, n.d.) (in Arabic), p.2.

4. Hasan al-Banna, Islamuna: Risalat al-Mu'tamar al-Khamis (Our Islam: The Message of the Fifth Congress), (Cairo: al-I'tisam Publishing House, n.d.) (in Arabic), p.50. See also: Hasan al-Banna, Ahadith al-Jum'a (The Friday Sermons) (Alger: al-Shihab Publishing House, n.d.) (in Arabic), pp.47-48, 55, 58. See also: al-Banna, The Collected Messages . . . op. cit., pp.57, 102, 198-199, 269. See also: al-Banna, The Memories. . . . op. cit., pp. 230, 312.

5. Al-Bishri, op. cit., pp.167, 256-257. See also: 'Abd Allah Imam, 'Abd al-Nasir wa al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun (Nasser and the Muslim Brotherhood), (Cairo: al-Mawkif al-Arabi Publishing House, 1981), (in Arabic), pp.60, 174.

6. Aly and Wenner, op. cit., p.358. See also: Imy 'Ilun, Israel Altmann, Hegay Arkikh, Ahud Tulidanu and Martin Cramer, The Ruling Regime and Opposition in Egypt During the Sadat Era, the Arabic translation (Cairo: Public Information Service, n.d.), p.106. See also: Hasan Naf'a, Misr wa Sira' al-'Arabi al-Isra'ili (Egypt and the Arab-Israeli Conflict) (Beirut: Center for Arab Unity Studies, 1984), (in Arabic), p.91. See also: Ni'mat Jinina, Tanzim al-Jihad: Hal Huwa al-Badil al-Islami fi Misr? (Al-Jihad Organization: Is it the Islamic Alternative in Egypt?), introduction by Sa'd al-Din Ibrahim (Cairo: al-Hurrya Books, 1988) (in Arabic), p.98.

7. Maridi Nahas, "State-Systems and Revolutionary Challenges: Nasir, Khomeini and the Middle East", International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, vol.17, no.4, November 1985, p.521. See also: Anwar al-Sadat, al-Bahth 'An al-Dhat: Sira Dhatiya (In Search of Identity: An Autobiography), sp. ed. (Cairo: al-Maktab al-Misri al-Hadith, 1980), (in Arabic), p.226.

8. Nader Entessar, "Egypt and the Persian Gulf", Conflict, vol.9, p. 119. See also: Hasan Hanafy, al-Din wa al-Nidal al-Watani (Religion and National Struggle), (Cairo: Madbuli Bookshop, 1988), (in Arabic), pp.173, 181, 309-14. See also: Muhammad Heikal, Autumn of Fury (New York: Random House, 1983), p.159.

9. Henry Munson, Jr., Islam and Revolution in the Middle East (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1988), p. 135. See also: Salih al-Wirdani, al-Haraka al-Islamia fi Misr: Ru'ya Waqi'ya Li Hiqbat al-Sab'inat (The Islamic Movement in Egypt: A Realistic View of the Era of the Seventies), (Cairo: al-Bidaya Publishing House, 1986), (in Arabic), pp. 197-202.

10. Al-Sayyid Zuhra, "Harakat al-Ihya' al-Islami: Mu'ashirat wa Dawafi'" ("The Islamic Revival Movement: Indicators and Motives") al-Siyasa al-Dawliya, no.61, July 1980 (in Arabic), pp. 85-88. See also: al-Sayyid 'Iliwa, "al-Tahdid al-Irani Li al-Amn al-Qawmi al-'Arabi" ("The Iranian Threat to Arab National Security"), al-Bahith al-'Arabi, no.13, October-December 1987, (in Arabic), p. 52. See also: Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "Anatomy of Egypt's Militant Islamic Groups", in Ali E. Hilal Dessouki ed., Islamic Resurgence in the Arab World (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1982), p. 535.

11. 'Imy Ilun, op. cit., p. 36.

12. Hasan Hanafy, op. cit., p. 315. See also: Aly and Wenner, op. cit., p.355. See also: 'Iliwa, op. cit., p. 51. See also: Entessar, op. cit., pp. 116, 117. See also: Amir Taheri, The Cauldron: The Middle East Behind the Headlines (London: Hutchison, 1988), p. 194. See also: Hasna Hanafi, "Relevance of the Islamic Alternative in Egypt", Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 4, nos. 1 and 2, Spring 1982, p. 67.

13. Entessar, op. cit., pp. 116, 117. See also: Nabil 'Abd al-Fattah, al-Quran wa al-Sayf (Quran and the Sword), (Cairo: Madbull Bookshop, 1984), (in Arabic), p. 81.

14. Ziauddin Sardar, Islamic Futures (London and New York: Mansell Publications, 1985), pp.46, 48, 49. See also: Dalal al-Barzy, "'Ula'ik alladhin Yaftaridun al-Tanaqud Bayn al-'Uruba wa al-Islam Yajhalunahuma Ma'a" ("Those Who Are Assuming Contradiction Between Arabism and Islam Are Ignorant about Both of Them"), al-Qabas, 8-9 October 1988 (in Arabic), p. 3.

15. Al-Hay'a al-'Amma Li al-Isti'lamat (Public Information Service), Hadith Ma ' a al-Ra'is al-Sadat (An Interview with President Sadat), 24 October 1986 (in Arabic).

16. Dilip Hiro, Islamic Fundamentalism (London: Paladin, 1988), p. 83.

17. Hasan Hanafy, Religion and National Struggle, op. cit., pp. 178, 302, 338-39.

18. Ibid., pp.386, 398. See also: Sardar, op. cit., pp.66-67, 149, 151, 153. See also: 'Abd al-Fattah, op. cit., p. 113.

19. Al-Wirdani, op. cit., pp. 197-202.

20. Madiha El-Safty, "Youth, Religion and Violence: The Case of an Egyptian Militant Group: A Sociological Perspective", unpublished study, p. 6.

21. Aly and Wenner, op. cit., p. 355. See also: 'Umar al-Tilmisani, "Al-Haqiqa Hadafuna wa al-Saraha Wasilatuna" (Truth Is Our Aim and Frankness Is Our Means), al-Da'wa, no.34, June 1979 (in Arabic), p. 5.

22. 'Umar al-Tilmisani, Ayam Ma'a al-Sadat (Days with Sadat), (Cairo: al-I'tisam Publishing House, 1984), (in Arabic), pp.77,78.

23. Daniel Pipes, "This World Is Political! The Islamic Revival of the Seventies", Orbis, vol.24, no.1, Spring 1980, p.35.

24. Al-Tilmisani, Days with Sadat, op. cit., pp.110-111.

25. Al-Wirdani, op. cit., p.199.

26. Issues of al-I'tisam of October 1980, December 1980 and January 1981 (in Arabic). See also: al-Wirdani, op. cit., p.198. See also: Barry Rubin, Islamic Fundamentalism in Egyptian Politics (London: Macmillan, 1990), p.105. See also: 'Umar al-Tilmisani, Thikrayat La Muthakirat (Memories Not Memoires), (Cairo: al-Islamiya for Publishing, 1985), (in Arabic), p.228.

27. Al-Wirdani, op. cit., p.198. See also: al-Tilmisani, Days with Sadat, op. cit., p. 111.

28. Al-Wirdani, op. cit., pp.198, 203. See also: al-Tilmisani, Days with Sadat, op. cit., pp.94-95. See also: al-Tilmisani, Memories not Memoires, op. cit., pp.24, 180, 229. See also: "Al-Khomeini Bayn Amal al-Muslimin wa al-Mu'amarat al-Shuyu'iya wa al-Salibiya" (Khomeini Between the Hopes of Muslims and the Communist and Crusading Conspiracies), al-Da'wa, no. 24, March 1979 (in Arabic), p. 18.

29. Al-Wirdani, op. cit., p.203.

30. Al-Tilmisani, Memories not Memoires, op. cit., pp.242-250. See also: Rubin, op. cit., p. 116.

31. Al-Wirdani, op. cit., pp.443, 452. See also: al-Da'wa, June 1980 (in Arabic). See also: "Tahqiqat" ("Investigations"), Mayu, 16 November 1996 (in Arabic). See also: Saad Eddin Ibrahim, "Egypt's Islamic Activism in the 1980s", Third Worm Quarterly, vol.10, no.2, April 1988, p.641. See also: Rubin, op. cit., p.116. See also: Kalimat Haq, an irregular publication of the Islamic Association in Egypt, n.d., p.9.

32. A reference to strict Sunni groups who tend to emphasize differences between Sunnis and Shiites, and are close to the Wahhabi doctrine, the official doctrine in Saudi Arabia.

33. Saad Eddiin Ibrahim, "Anatomy of Egypt's Militant Islamic Groups", op. cit., p. 443. See also: 'Abdil-Fattah, op. cit., p.46.

34. A clandestine Islamic organization which was known in the media as the Group of Repentance and Holy Flight (Jam'at al-Takfir wa al-Hijra). It was held responsible in July 1977 for the kidnapping and subsequent assassination of a former minister of religious endowments in Egypt. Its leader, Shukri Mustafa, was executed and hundreds of its leaders and members were imprisoned.

35. Al-Wirdani, op. cit., p.199. See also: al-Markaz al-Qawmy Li al-Buhuth al-Ijtima'iya wa al-Jina'iya (The National Center for Social and Criminological Studies), al-Mash al-Ijtima'y al-Shamil Li al-mujtama' al-Misri 1952-1980: al-Mujallad al-Thamin: al-Anshita al-Dinya (the Comprehensive Social Survey of the Egyptian Society 1952-1980, vol.8: Religious Activities), (Cairo: The National Center for Social and Criminological Studies, 1986), (in Arabic), p.63.

36. 'Abu al-Fida', Falsifat al-Muwajha (The Philosophy of the Confrontation), (in Arabic), p.6. See also: 'Usama Hamid, 'An al-Nasiriya wa al-Islam: Min Mangut Jama't al-Jihad al-Islami (On Nasserism and Islam: From the Perspective of Islamic Jihad Group), (in Arabic), p.4. The texts of both sources were included in Rif'at Sayyid 'Ahmad, al-Nabi al-Musalah (The Armed Prophet), (London: al-Saqi Bookshop, 1991) (in Arabic).

37. Sayyid Qutb was a prominent Islamic ideologue who was executed in 1966 after being accused of planning to overthrow the government in Egypt. His famous book Milestone on the Road has been considered a basic reference for most militant political Islamic groups in Egypt since the 1970s.

38. Jinina, op. cit., p.37. See also: Gilles Kepel, The Prophet and the Pharaoh, trans. Jon Rothschild (London: al-Saqi Bookshop, 1985), p.213. See also: Muhammad Mahfuz, Alladhin Zulimu: al-Tanzimat al-Islamiya fi Misr (Those to Whom Injustice Was Done: the Islamic Organizations in Egypt), (London: Riad al-Rayyis Bookshop, 1988), (in Arabic), p. 273. See also: Heikal, op. cit., pp. 424, 427. See also: Abu al-Fida', op. cit., p. 6.

39. 'Usama Hamid, op. cit., p.5. See also: "Investigations", op. Cit. See also: 'Abbud al-Zummur, Minhaj Jama't al-Jihad al-Islami (The Methodology of the Islamic Jihad Organization), (Cairo: n.p., 1986), (in Arabic), p. 17. See also: Hamied Ansari, "Islamic Militants in Egyptian Politics", International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, vol. 16, 1984, p. 127. See also: Rif'at Sayyid 'Ahmad, Zahirat al-Ihya' al-Islami fi al-Sab'inat: Dirasa Muqarana Li Misr wa Iran (The Phenomenon of Islamic Revival in the Seventies: A comparative Study of Egypt and Iran), An Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Cairo University: Faculty of Economics and Political Science, 1988 (in Arabic), p.278.

40. Haythiyat al-Hukm fi al-Qadiya al-Jina'ya Raqam 48 Li al-am 1982 - Mahkamat Amn al-Dawla al-'Ulya: Qadyat Tanzim al-Jihad (Reasons of the Verdict on the Penal Case No. 48 for the Year 1982 - Supreme State Security: the Case of al-Jihad Organization) (Cairo: n.p., 1985), (in Arabic), pp. 955-957.

41. Al-Wirdani, op. cit., pp.231, 237. See also: 'Umar 'Abdil Rahman, Kalimat Haq (A Word of Truth), (Cairo: al-I'tisam Publishing House, n.d.), (in Arabic), p. 106.

42. 'Ilun, op. cit., p.175. See also: Muhammad 'Ali Ahmad, "Shaykh al-Mahalawi wa Fa'alyat al-Nidal al-Siyasi" (Shaykh al-Mahalawi and the Effectiveness of Political Struggle), al-Tali'a al-Islamiya, May 1983 (in Arabic), p. 49.

43. Al-Wirdani, op. cit., p.214. See also: al-Nur, no. 252, January 1987 (in Arabic), p. 5.

44. Those islands are Abu Musa, Tanab al-Kubra, and Tanab al-Sughra. They came under Iranian military control in 1971. Whereas the United Arab Emirates called that control "occupation," Iran called it "recovery."

45. Muhammad Mal-Allah, Mawkif al-Khomeini Min Ahl al-Sunna (The Position of Khomeini toward Sunnis), (Cairo: al-Muslim Publishing House, 1982), (in Arabic), pp.6, 11, 13-14, 23, 25, 30-31, 35, 49, 57-58.

46. Al-Wirdani, op. cit., p.45.

47. Mijallat al-Azhar, January 1981 (in Arabic).

48. Hanafi, Religion and National Struggle, op. cit., pp. 200, 203.

49. It was believed that the former Soviet Union was suspicious of the Iranian revolution's propaganda in the Central Asian Muslim republics, as well as its support of the Afghan rebels opposed to the Soviet presence in their country.

Walid M. Abdelnasser received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Geneva. He is also a graduate of the American University of Cairo.
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