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Brotherly Intentions? The Egyptian Muslim Brothers and the Politics of a Debate



This article surveys the contemporary debates on the Egyptian Society of Muslim Brothers. It argues that the debate focuses on the unknowable question of the Islamists’ governing intentions or assessing their ‘democratic’ character. This article takes issue with these analytic points of departure and, instead, makes a case for contextualizing the organization’s policies against the backdrop of contemporary Egyptian society. I achieve this by reviewing the group’s philosophical development under the late period of the Mubarak presidency. As such, the Brothers’ recent party platform draft and policies on prominent issues, such as women and minority rights, reveal the Brothers as an organization that appeals to and emerges from national and domestic bases in Egypt as opposed to courting a strictly Islamic constituency.