Summarise the main argument of the chapter ‘The Muslim Brotherhood and Violence: Porous Boundaries and Context’, in no more than 250 words.

Please write this discussion post in very very very simple language because English is not my first language please keep in mind that I am a Qatari muslim male living in the middle east and I am with the country’s political stance. Please make this paragraph very simple in language and very straightforward.

word limit 250

Examples of students responses. Please look at them and try to reword them into one response. :

Example 1:

The chapter on “The Muslim Brotherhood and Violence: Porous Boundaries and Context” by Professor Khaled Hroub focuses on the Muslim Brotherhood and the use of violence. The author begins with introducing the two perspectives from literature that are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. These are the ‘incubator’ and the ‘firewall’ perspective (pg. 28). The former one argues that the MB is the one responsible for nurturing Islamists and brainwashing them with “Islamism and Jihadi ideas” preparing them for extremists’ groups (pg. 28). These views are often said by secularists and anti-Islamists. On the other hand, the firewall perspective believes that the MB advocates against the violent groups that use force under the name of religion. This perspective is agreed upon by the supporters of the MB. However, the author argues that these two perspectives are limited and requires “deeper explanation” with the porous boundaries and context perspectives which “contains rather than negates the incubator/firewall binary.” Moreover, the ambiguity associated with the use of force is laid within the foundations of the MB such as in their motto. As they explicitly state that “Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest priority” (pg. 30). This means that the MB calls for its supporters to be ready to die for Allah and that “the ultimate and the highest aspiration for a Brother is to die for the sake of God” (pg.31). Furthermore, the use of violence is also evident in the “insignia” of the MB (pg. 33). As it contains swords and the Quranic word ‘waiddu’ which means to prepare and that the MB calls Muslims to fight against the enemies (pg. 33). However, the MB use of violence in action was clear with the establishment of the Security Apparatus which fought against the British as a colonial power and the Zionism. They also began targeting Egyptian officials including assassination of the Egyptian Prime Minister and at failed attempt on the President Nasser in 1954 and these violent attacks led the organization to be less influential in the Egyptian politics as many of its members were jailed and executed. Moreover, the use of force was also encouraged within the MB with the radical ideas of Sayyid Qutb as he viewed the “Muslim societies as jahili” and advocated “jihad as the unavoidable and most effective means in the fight against jahili system” (pg. 39). This demonstrates that the existence of violence within the MB is based on the context and the space and time. It is evident that repression contributes to violence and being able to participate legally eliminates the tendencies of violence. 

Example 2:

In the text, Khaled Hroub is examining the ambiguity and the contradiction of the MB’s literature and principles regarding violence, which he call Ikhwani ambiguity . Although the MB fosters the notion of non-violence, it is seen that the organization has been using force and violence-oriented acts along the way. In order to examine the relationship between the porous boundaries and the usage of violence by MB, he explains two dominant and contradicting approaches, “incubator” which connotes that MB is directly linked to extremism and violence, and “firewall” which connotes that MB uses politics and religion to avoid any space for violence. Hroub argues that this debate is very partisan and bypasses the diverse perspectives and point of views. He also argues that the only way to objectively examine the porous boundaries is through understanding the context, for it gives a clearer explanation of the MB actions and behavior when it comes to violence or non-violence. Hroub, to assert his argument, suggests the different interpretations, whether if violence should or should not be practiced, of several verses of the Qur’an as one of the reasons that made the MB literature ambiguous. Thus, Hroub believes that instead of considering both perspectives as contradictory, we should deem them as coexistent, where both ideas and thoughts can be present and exchanged. Hroub suggests that according to the context, one can understand how MB can be more violent than peaceful at times and vice versa. Hroub calls this the porous boundaries/context dynamic, where context controls the porous boundaries. 

Example 3:

The article The Muslim Brotherhood and Violence: Porous Boundaries and context by Khaled Hroub can be summarized by the following points. Firstly, the Muslim brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hasan Al Banna and their main mantra was to convince people that Islam is a religion and a state. The ongoing debate about the MB is whether they tend to use violent/jihad or peaceful strategies to reach their results. Hroub highlights that it is not a black or white matter or a controversial issue but rather the MB is an incubator for violence and a firewall against violence and these depend on the context given. In other words, this means that the Ikhwan have two ways for their activism and this is using force when they are put in a situation that requires force such as imprisonment or fierce actions and can also use peaceful ways when given a context that is diplomatic or passive. The main argument here is that both coexist within the MB culture and activism.  Moreover, Hroub argues that in both cases, Violent or non-violent, there are historical and intellectual evidence that support the both and that is due to the prominent intellectual previous leaders, Hasan Al Banna who always advocated for peaceful ways which contrasts to Qutb’s strategies as he emphasized a more violent way to reach the ultimate goal of Islamizing the world and to put an end to the disease of ignorance.

Example 4:

In the chapter “The Muslim Brotherhood and Violence: Porous Boundaries and Context,” Professor Khaled Hroub highlights the ambigueties presented in the text of the Muslim Brotherhood and in their actions. These ambiguities mainly revolve around the question of the MB’s support for violence as a form of resistance – and whether the MB are thus responsible for extremist “Islamist” groups who use violence as a primary objective. He demonstrates this through two perspectives: the “incubator” perspective – which supports the notion that the MB breeds extremist groups, by essentially nurturing “Islamists for a long period of time, indoctrinates them with Islamism and jihadi ideas at the theoretical level and then hands them over well prepared intellectually to violent and extremist groups,” (Hroub, 2019). The second being the “firewall” perspective, which directly opposes the ideas presented in the previous perspective. Here, it is described that the MB stops people who would become extremists from doing so by controlling them and maintaining Islamic ideas against violence. This perspective argues that without the MB, such “angry” groups of people would then form or join extremist groups. He also brings to the foreground how a person can argue for or against the utilization of force by using the group’s text to support each perspective. However, he argues that through the “porous boundaries” perspective, each notion – the incubator and the firewall – can be used together in a “complementary” way (Hroub, 2019) to contextualize the actions of the MB. This brings depth to the “text” vs “context” tool – instead of contrasting both, they can be used together to understand the actions of the group as one that is multilayered, rather than viewing the MB as one single entity with one perspective.

Example 5:

The Muslim Brotherhood is the most influential Islamist party and the main representative of Islamist political, social, and economic movements in the region. Founded by Hassan Al-Banna in Egypt in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood’s principals have encompassed all aspects of life; societal change, equality, political confrontation against tyranny. Yet, al-Banna’s aim was to perpetuate change through gradual social and religious development from within the roots of the society. He condoned violent or radical revolutionary actions to accomplish the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood community. Even though there are two prevalent point of views regarding the Muslim Brotherhood, professor Khalid Hroub in this chapter discusses a different approach that revolves around context and shall be referenced to when observing the aforementioned Islamist movement in academia. Mainstream literature and media have considered the Muslim Brotherhood as either a community that plays a role in encompassing passionate Muslim members and preventing them from being provoked to join extremist groups or a movement that has inspired radical militant and religious groups through its motto. These two approaches, according to professor Hroub, lack necessary contextualization in which the Muslim Brotherhood can only be explained through two hard lines. The ambiguity of the Muslim Brotherhood’s religious philosophy and aspirations have lead to unlimited interpretations by both moderate and radical members. Muslim Brotherhood have inspired moderate societal changes from within communities when the state imposed less political and social restrictions on them. As a result, the movement was able to have positive impact, mostly moderate, on Muslim societies. However, the movement’s literature also inspired radical groups due to the ambiguity of its motto (God is our objective. The prophet is our leader. The Qur’an is our constitution. Jihad is our way) and its famous symbol that include “large crossed swords, encompassing a Qur’an in the middle, with the Qur’anic word wa’iddu, ‘Make ready [your strength].” Both effects often intertwine and usually influence each other, which is the core argument of professor Hroub’s porous boundaries/context approach.

Example 6:

ambiguities of the Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin) that was founded in Egypt by Hasan Al Banna. Ikhwan ambiguity, that Hroub names, examines the ambiguity of the MB’s literature in regards to violence. Although the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is known to opt for religious, social, and political activism, it has been seen that violence and force has occurred from the MB when organizations have come against them. Hroub states the notion of external and internal porous boundaries in relations to the use of violence by the MB. This is explained through two contradicting approaches, the “incubator” which relates to extremism and violence, and “firewall” where the MB uses politics and religion to maintain its state from violence. He relates the text/context tool where he argues that to understand the porous boundaries, we should look at its context and what is underneath it, which gives a much clearer idea of the MB’s behavior when violence and non-violence is the issue. Hroub considers the notion of coexistence instead of having contradictions in both perspectives, which is whether violence or non violence should or shouldn’t be practiced. Different interpretations were made on many verses of the Quran, which stressed on the reason of ambiguity of the MB literature. Therefore, he believes that these thoughts should be coexistent and explained. Having this context and porous boundaries work effectively would allow the context to have control over the porous boundaries and according to the context, Hroub suggests that the MB can be understood as more violent than peaceful at specific occasions and vice versa.