Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s oldest Islamist political group, has named a conservative as its new leader, suggesting that the country’s biggest opposition group may lower its political profile and focus on a social agenda.
Mohamed Badeea’s appointment on Saturday followed a heated debate between conservatives wary of stepping up political activities that have already triggered repression from the state and many from a younger generation seeking more political activism.
The Brotherhood, which seeks to introduce Islamic rule by democratic means, is officially banned but grudgingly tolerated by the state, and took about a fifth of the seats in parliament in 2005 by fielding candidates as independents.
Following are questions and answers on the Brotherhood, which is Egypt’s biggest opposition group:
* WHAT IS THE POLITICAL ROLE OF THE BROTHERHOOD?
Founded in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood has grown despite periodic crackdowns through the decades when it was accused of plots to destabilise the state.