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Civil Society in the Political Thinking of European Muslim Brothers

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It is generally assumed that the European Muslim brothers derive their concepts of state and society primarily from the traditional Islamic political theory that originated in the historical context of the Muslim Middle East. In contrast, this article asserts the hitherto scantily analyzed influence of liberal political theory, especially its idea of civil society, in the evolution of the political and social theory of the European Muslim Brotherhood within the context of the Muslim minority position in Europe. The article identifies the tendency of the European Muslim brotherhood towards the multiculturalist communitarian model of political and social accommodation, and does this by tracing the history of the conceptual interconnectedness between modern Islamic and liberal concepts of civil society as a privileged space of political action in the absence of realistic prospects for the seizure of state power.

Affiliations: 1: European University Institute San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy


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