Current Research Seminar (Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University

Current Research Seminar (Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific
University: January 28, 2015)
“Re-Configured Islamist Geopolitics in the Arab Spring:
Emergence of new Islamic Community in Muslim
Brotherhood’s International Nexus”
Takuro Kikkawa (Associate Professor, College of Asia Pacific Studies)
• Re-configured geopolitics image and practice in the Middle East with
special reference to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) movements in
Egypt, Jordan and Syria
• Comparative, cross-national research in regard to
- the essence of trans-national / regional idea in the discourse of MB
- geo-political interactions among the three MBs before / after the
Arab Spring
MB founder Ḥasan al-Bannā (1906-1949)
• Al-Bannā founded the MB, the first mass-based
Islamic movement in the world
• Da‘wa (Islamic calling)
• Al-Bannā tried to counter the Western colonialism and the de-islamization
in the society
• Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (EMB) and local branches
• Syria (SMB), Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan (JMB),
and the Sudan
al-Bannā’s Thought
Boundaries: From
• Geopolitical images in al-Bannā’s Writing “To the Youth.”
• Bottom-up
Muslim individuals
Muslim families
Muslim people
Muslim government
• Da‘wa beyond national boundaries
• Islamic countries
• Islamic “lost lands”
• making the MB's da‘wa well-known throughout the world
The EMB after al-Bannā
• The EMB was outlawed and dissolved under the Nasser regime.
• The EMB was allowed to reconstruct in the 1970s then became one of
the most influential socio-political forces.
• 25 January Revolution in 2011 and the EMB’s rise as a dominant
political party.
• The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) was established/
• Mohammad Mursi won the presidential elections.
• Military coup in 2013
The EMB’s Geopolitical Views Today
• “Reform Initiative” in 2004
• Four circles
Arab circle
African circle
Islamic circle
the international circle
• The EMB's geopolitical view had evolved from al-Bannā's Islamoriented program to more concrete agendas.
• Mursi’s foreign policy
The Jordanian MB (1945 – )
• JMB’s privileged status as a perfectly legal organization made it
- playing the role of an established organization in line with the
- never construct its original Islamic interpretation
• JMB’s limited boundaries: Eastern Arab, Palestine outside / inside Jordan
• JMB’s failed mobilization in 2011
- other oppositions preferred Hashemite monarchy to JMB’s “democracy”
- fluctuate regional transformation surrounding MBs makes JMB choose
The Syrian MB (1945 – )
• SMB’s transnational geopolitical image and (un)practice
- Ideologically, Islamization of Syria, Greater Syria, Arab & Islamic umma
- Practically, anti-secularist force within Syrian
de facto local actor
• However, 2011 Arab Spring fostered “internationalization” in
positive/negative aspects
- (1) enjoying financial and material aids through MB “int’l nexus” (11-13)
- (2) stigmatized as “terrorists” and targeted in new “war on terror” (13-)
• →rise and fall, eventually losing int’l credibility and support
• The MB network after al-Bannā
- has gradually diffused as a nexus of local and state-based
- were localized as time passed, albeit they continued to be
• The Arab Spring as a catalyst
- pushed MBs toward both localization and internationalization
- brought revitalization of the “international nexus” in a different
manner from al-Bannā’s original vision, as well as new agendas and
even obstacles to MBs