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How Did Michel Aflaq’s Baath Ideology Differ From Hasan Al-Banna’s Ideology in Terms of Its Approach to Islam?

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For almost eight decades, the Society of Muslim Brothers, or Muslim Brotherhood, has been an integral part of the Egyptian political body. It was established in 1928, by Hassan al-Banna in the northeastern Egyptian city of Ismailia with the goal of restoring the Caliphate and implementing Sharia law

It quickly spread in Egypt and throughout the Islamic world at large. During this period, the Muslim Brothers acted as a political movement challenging the modern Egyptian state.

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The Third Shi'i Imam, Husayn (d. 680), became an important symbol of both the sacrifice of the family of the Prophet and the necessity that each man and woman of conscience stand against injustice

Read the late Ayatallah Mutahhari's essay discussing Husayn ibn Ali's death at Karbala in 680 C.E. "The Truth About Al-Hussain's Revolt". How does this author transform the story of Husayn's decision to take a stand against injustice into a universal lesson for modern men and women? Imam Husayn is regarded as a man of profound quality and justice among the Islamic leaders from the history. His objection and the revolt against Mu’aawiyah was in alignment with the Islamic teachings and more importantly was not carried out as an anger burst. Rather it included peaceful course of actions to clarify his stance in front of Mu’aawiyah. The role and actions that he took in his quest all imply in one direction showing him as a responsible and cautious leader. The Imam had a good majority of followers but he did not attempt to affect anyone for his cause. The Imam sent letters to Mu’aawiyah and Yazid as well as gave sermons to clarify and present his stance on Mu’aawiyah decision of changing the Islamic khalifa rule into dynasty model by pre selecting Yazid as the nest Khalifa. During all this time and even at the time when Imam Husayn was on the verge of the Karbala war he announced and allowed the people to go and leave the war if they wish so. Unlike any other leader, Imam Husayn did not give any false hopes to his people that might have discouraged them later nor did he gave them any hope of a monetary gain as that would be a lie anyway.

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Political Islam re-emerged out of Arab nationalism’s failure to liberate Palestine in 1967, after the lost June war against Israel (Shulze 2015). At this moment, Islamism wins the ideological battle on the same issue on which it lost after World War II: the ability to represent a credible anti-Western force

Critiquing Arab nationalism for being a mere imitation of European institutions, it was then able, to position itself as the only authentic way to get rid of Western influence. A similar argument could be made in the field of political economy. When in the 1970’s Arab nationalist powers, facing the economic crisis, proved unable to fulfill their socialist promise of economic equality, Islamism rose in prominence as an alternative, proposing a new Islamic model of socio-economic justice (Shulze, 2015). It would be tempting to infer from this seeming system of “connected vessels” that Pan-Arabism and political Islam are in fact two aspects of the same phenomenon (or “two sides of the same coin”), this phenomenon being the rejection of Western hegemony. Although both movements are indeed two different expressions of an anti-West sentiment, reducing them entirely to this framework would be unsatisfactory. Such a model would totally overlook the actual content and internal ideational drivers of the two ideologies –which elements do matter a lot, both in terms of their relations to each other and in terms of their effects on regional and global international relations.

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Given these points, islam were born in this region and are very important global factors. Bernard Lewis was consistent in his effort to emphasize the violent aspect of the Islamic religion and to point to the deep differences accumulated between Christianity and Judaism on one side andIslam on the other6. As a matter of fact, Bernard Lewis is credited of being the firstscholar to offer this new paradigm of world politics and open a debate that lasted through the 90s

He contends that the Arab World’s essential crisis is its failure to achieve modernity, due to its lack of curiosity about the West and its reluctance to have contactwith non-Muslims and the so called infidel

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Matthews, W. (2003). Pan-Islam or Arab nationalism? The Meaning of the 1931 Jerusalem Islamic Congress Reconsidered. Inter. J. Middle East Stud., 35(1), pp.1-22.

Mellon, J. (2002). Pan-Arabism, pan-Islamism and inter-state relations in the Arab World. Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, 8(4), pp.1-15.

Messick, B. (1993). The calligraphic state. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Nasr, S. (2001). Islamic leviathan. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Roff, W. (1965). The origins of Malay nationalism 1900-1941. [Canberra]: [A.N.U.].

Shulze, K. (2015). The Rise of Political Islam. In: B. Antony, ed., International History of the twentieth century and beyond, 3rd ed. New York: Routledge.

Tibi, B., Farouk-Sluglett, M. and Sluglett, P. (1981). Arab nationalism. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

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