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Title: The Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait, 1941-2000 : a social movement within the social domain
Author: Alkandari, Ali
ISNI:       0000 0004 5346 2532
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2014
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This is the first focused study of the Society of the Muslim Brotherhood, the most influential and organised social and political movement in Kuwait, from its beginnings in 1946up to2000. It focuses on the circumstances surrounding the emergence and development of the Muslim Brotherhood as part of a general Islamic revival in Kuwait. It argues that the Muslim Brotherhood was driven first and foremost by cultural considerations and that Kuwaiti secularists regarded it as a challenge to their growing influence in both the political domain (traditionally controlled by the ruling family) and the social domain (historically under the control of the religious establishment). The resulting conflict with secularists over the social domain posed a serious threat to the Muslim Brotherhood who considered themselves an extension of the traditional religious establishment. They also viewed the secularists’ attempts to reshape Kuwaiti identity as a threat to Kuwait’s Islamic identity. This prompted the Muslim Brotherhood to channel all their social, educational and political efforts towards reclaiming the social domain. This study focuses also on the mechanisms adopted by the Muslim Brotherhood, ones which combined Islamic values with modern mobilisation strategies producing a dynamic Islamist movement seeking to revive the golden age of Islam through modern means. The movement maintained a pyramid hierarchy and it refashioned modern economic theory to make it more compatible with Islamic teachings. It also established a Muslim Boy Scouts movement and an Islamic press, while it reformed other organisations to make them compatible with Islamic values. All this was done in an effort to implement Hasan al-Banna’s vision of fashioning a pious Muslim individual, a virtuous family and, finally, a true Muslim state. The Muslim Brotherhood’s comprehensive and sweeping agenda seeks the complete transformation of social conditions. The Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait was not very different from its mother organisation in Egypt. It played a pioneering role in revising Islamic banking, developing charity work and challenging secularism. The Kuwaiti political system supported the Muslim Brotherhood in its struggle against secularists, but the Muslim Brotherhood nonetheless stayed out of politics, focusing on rehabilitating the social domain, in the interests of maintaining on good terms with the ruling family.
Supervisor: Onley, James Sponsor: Kuwait University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History ; Social Movements ; Islamic Movements ; Kuwait