al-Ikhwān al-Muslimūn. ‘The Muslim Brotherhood’, a religio-political movement founded in Egypt by Ḥasan al-Bannāʾ (1904–49) in 1928. Its adherents urge a return to the fundamentals of Islam. The Ikhwan's main objectives were to free Egypt from British domination and then to establish an Islamic state in accordance with the Qurʾān. A parallel women's movement, ‘The Muslim Sisters’, seeks to restore the Islamic status of women. All attempts by the authorities to liquidate the Ikhwan have met with failure, for as soon as one group is eradicated, another springs up and takes its place. Moreover, persecution has increased their prestige and popularity amongst Egyptians, for they are honoured as martyrs in the defence of Islam and enjoy grassroot support.
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