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Evolution through Revolution? The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the Syrian Uprising

Nasser, Sumaya Gamal El Din (2017) Evolution through Revolution? The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and the Syrian Uprising. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Syria’s peaceful uprising turned into an armed conflict with Assad’s lethal response to demonstrations demanding dignity and freedom. Looking for an oppositional Syrian political power who might have influenced dynamics on the ground, light was shed on the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood (SMB). As dictatorships toppled in 2011 in the region and were replaced by MB-related parties such as in Egypt and Tunisia, the interest into the previously exiled SMB increased as a Syrian alternative. Research in this area was predominantly concerned with SMB’s history, and did not examine how the SMB’s shaped the ongoing events in Syria, and how in return, the conflict shaped the SMB. This thesis analyses, mainly through exclusive interviews, the SMB’s evolution as a prominent Syrian opposition group both on the domestic and international level. Findings show a shift in priorities within the organization from the hierarchal system to a wide-spectrum approach through various charitable, social and political activities enabling the SMB’s reintegration into the Syrian society. Nevertheless, due to pressures from international and domestic powers, the SMB diluted into the wider opposing bodies and lost the forefront position within the political stage. The international scrutiny facing the SMB increased as the Egyptian MB experienced political damage following the military coup in 2013. This was followed by the threat- driven apathy from the Gulf states towards the MB. Western Governments also did not support the SMB despite the democratic and pluralistic vision for a future Syria being inherent in the SMB’s principles. Eventually, the SMB kept itself over water as Turkey and Qatar acted as a lifeline. The above-mentioned issues including wider historical links and the internal structures of the SMB creates a fascinating angle to the Syrian crisis which had not been researched before and provides the basis for future research on this ever-evolving situation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Arab Spring, Syria Uprising, Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Social Movement, Islam and Politics
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Politics & International Studies (POLIS) (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.745507
Depositing User: Mrs Sumaya Gamal El Din Nasser
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2018 12:30
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2018 09:57
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20244

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