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Rubin Reports: Does Power Moderate Radicals? Where’s the Proof?

A Palestinian woman holds a picture of Egypt's new president, the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi

A Palestinian woman holds a picture of Egypt's new president, the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi
Photo Credit: Wissam Nassar/Flash90

And don’t miss the interview  in the documentary with Gemal al-Banna, brother of the Brotherhood’s founder, Hasan al-Banna, and himself a Muslim moderate, comparing the Brotherhood to the Communist movement and rejecting the idea that women must wear a hijab. Those who believe in timeless, unchanging, monolithic Islam might note that Hasan’s own sister refused to wear a hijab. As the film shows–in a sequence also available elsewhere–the proportion of women students at Cairo University who wore a hijab went from zero to ninety in 50 years. That’s not changeless theology but politics and a battle over how to interpret Islam. And the radicals who have successfully brought about these changes are not about to become moderate when they believe themselves to be on such a historical march forward.

About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.


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