The Muslim Brotherhood, Its Youth, and Implications for U.S. Engagement

The Muslim Brotherhood, Its Youth, and Implications for U.S. Engagement

Jeffrey Martini
Dalia Dassa Kaye
Erin York
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 96
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Muslim Brotherhood, Its Youth, and Implications for U.S. Engagement
    Book Description:

    Since the 2011 revolution in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has emerged as a key political player. Although individuals under the age of 35 make up a large share of the membership, the group’s strict hierarchy has led to disaffection among its youth. These members merit attention not only as a challenge to the Brotherhood’s organizational cohesion, but as a potential conduit for expanding U.S. engagement with the group.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-7712-7
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Summary
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  6. Note on Transliteration
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  7. Abbreviations
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    This study is intended as a guide to help policymakers better understand who Muslim Brotherhood (MB) youth are, how generational divides challenge the Brotherhood, and how MB youth can be integrated into U.S. engagement efforts. The study is not intended as a broad treatment of the Brotherhood, an organization on which much has already been written.¹ Instead, it addresses an important but understudied cohort within the Brotherhood: the youth wing that is estimated to comprise between 35–50 percent of the organization’s total membership. As Egypt grapples with a new reality in which youth have emerged as important agents of...

  9. CHAPTER ONE Who Are the Muslim Brotherhood Youth?
    (pp. 5-28)

    Although youth have played an important role in the MB since the organization’s inception in 1928,³ it was their role in the January 25 Revolution that has focused the attention of the West on this actor. During the 2011 uprising that led to the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak, MB youth garnered interest as a pressure group within the Brotherhood, a key player in organizing and sustaining demonstrations, and a potential threat to the organization’s unity and cohesion. This has given rise to a narrative that MB youth are more “revolutionary” than their cautious senior leadership, a dynamic that could...

  10. CHAPTER TWO The Muslim Brotherhood’s Generational Challenge
    (pp. 29-50)

    Given that Hasan al-Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood when he was just 22 and its membership has always been tilted toward younger generations, it is ironic that today MB youth pose the greatest challenge to the Brotherhood’s organizational cohesion. While the Brotherhood is not yet threatened by large-scale defections, an aged leadership and strict adherence to hierarchy is having a stultifying effect on the development of the youth wing. So far, the organization has lost a relatively small number of young adherents, but those who have left are arguably some of the best and brightest. In addition to organizational practices,...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Engaging the Muslim Brotherhood and Its Youth
    (pp. 51-70)

    With the Muslim Brotherhood emerging as the most prominent political actor in post-revolutionary Egypt, the question is no longer whether the United States will engage this Islamist organization, but how. Despite some early caution from both sides, engagement between U.S. officials and MB leaders is quickly becoming the norm. One former high-level U.S. official called the shift in engagement after the fall of Mubarak a “revolution in U.S. policy.”¹ Indeed, the tempo and level of U.S. engagement has expanded rapidly, reaching up to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in July 2012. Because the MB is the strongest political force...

  12. References
    (pp. 71-78)