History of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria

History Of The Muslim Brotherhood In Syria

History of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria

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This article refers to the Syrian organisation called the Muslim Brotherhood; for other organisations that use the same name, see the Muslim Brotherhood article.


Muslim Brotherhood in Syria was founded in the late 1930s or mid 1940s. In the first decade or so of independence it was part of the legal opposition, and in the 1961 parliamentary elections it won ten seats. After the 1963 coup brought the secularist, pan-Arabist Baath Party to power, it was banned.Wright, Robin, Dreams and Shadows : the Future of the Middle East, Penguin Press, 2008, p.241 The Brotherhood played a major role in the mainly Sunni-based resistance movement that opposed the Baath Party, (since 1970 dominated by the Alawite Assad family, adding a religious element to its conflict with the Brotherhood). This conflict developed into an armed struggle in the late 1970s that climaxed in the Hama uprising of 1982, when thousands were killed by the military.

Since then, the Brotherhood has ceased to be an active political force inside Syria, but it retains a network of support in the country, of unknown strength, and has external headquarters in London and Cyprus. In recent years it has renounced violence and adopted a reformist platform, calling for the establishment of a pluralistic, democratic political system. The leader of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is Ali Sadreddine Bayanouni, who lives as a political refugee in London. Membership in the Syrian...
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