Book. From her preamble, Florence Bergeaud-Blackler takes care to parry the accusation of conspiracy. A sign that she suspected that her work would not fail to raise controversy and controversy. The title itself, The Brotherhood and its networks, the investigationindicates that the book contains revelations, the fruit of an investigation that is intended to be thorough.
In order to set the scene, the author summarizes, in a first part of 35 pages, the history of the brotherhood of the Muslim Brotherhood, from its birth, in 1928 in Egypt, to the beginning of the 1980s, a period which she considers pivotal because, according to her, these years saw the beginning of the internationalization of the movement. It’s very short compared, for example, to the reference work by Olivier Carré and Gérard Michaud (the pseudonym of sociologist Michel Seurat, a former hostage in Lebanon who died in captivity in 1986), The Muslim Brotherhood. 1928-1982 (Gallimard/Julliard, 1983). Above all, the work totally lacks historicity since it presents the doctrine of the Brethren as an immutable block, while the years of persecution under Ner considerably hardened the doctrine of certain elements. like Sayyid Qutb, who borders on jihadism. While others argue for openness and democratization.
The book really begins where Carré and Michaud left off, in the early 1980s, when repression in Syria and Egypt and the oil boom pushed many of the movement’s thinking heads to emigrate either to the Gulf monarchies or to Europe and the United States. Lands of refuge, these countries will quickly turn into mission lands. This story is also well known.
“Salafization” rather than “frerization”
According to Florence Bergeaud-Blackler, taking advantage of the spaces for intercultural dialogue opened up by a naive Europe, the brotherhood would have invested the whole field of institutional Islam by presenting itself as the guarantor of a pious and moderate path, before moving on to offensive to modify Western values from within in a direction favorable to its vision of society, the State and religion, which form a whole. It would therefore be a question of Islamizing knowledge and bending science to faith, of subverting history by invoking the decolonial paradigm all the time, and of using individual freedoms to impose conservative community norms, such as the veil or the abaya, the halal, the separation of the sexes, etc.
The definition of Brotherhood adopted by Florence Bergeaud-Blackler is so broad that any Islamic conservatism, including what pertains to cultural tradition, is imilated to it. In doing so, it misses its object, which is much more a “Salafization” of Islam than its “frerization”. Salafism is, in fact, on the rise, where Brotherhood, which believes in political action, is overtaken in a West in accelerated depoliticization.
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