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86 Foreign Aff. 107 (2007)
The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood

handle is hein.journals/fora86 and id is 303 raw text is: The Moderate
Muslim Brotherhood
Robert S. Leiken and Steven Brooke
THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD is the world's oldest, largest, and most
influential Islamist organization. It is also the most controversial,
condemned by both conventional opinion in the West and radical
opinion in the Middle East. American commentators have called the
Muslim Brothers radical Islamists and a vital component of the enemy's
assault force ... deeply hostile to the United States. Al Qaeda's Ayman
al-Zawahiri sneers at them for lur[ing] thousands of young Muslim
men into lines for elections ... instead of into the lines ofjihad.
Jihadists loathe the Muslim Brotherhood (known in Arabic as
al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen) for rejecting global jihad and embracing
democracy. These positions seem to make them moderates, the very
thing the United States, short on allies in the Muslim world, seeks.
But the Ikhwan also assails U.S. foreign policy, especially Washington's
support for Israel, and questions linger about its actual commitment to
the democratic process.
Over the past year, we have met with dozens of Brotherhood lead-
ers and activists from Egypt, France,Jordan, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, and
the United Kingdom. In long and sometimes heated discussions, we
explored the Brotherhood's stance on democracy andjihad, Israel and
Iraq, the United States, and what sort of society the group seeks to
ROBERT S. LEIKEN is Director of the Immigration and National
Security Programs at the Nixon Center and the author of the forthcoming
Europe's Angry Muslims. ST EVEN BROOKE is a Research Associate at
the Nixon Center.


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