“Allah is our objective; the Quran our constitution; the Prophet is our leader; struggle is our way; and death for the sake of Allah is the highest of our aspirations.”
In 1924, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey and the ascension of Ataturk to the leadership of a new secular government, ended the Islamic Caliphate. The Caliphate had been led by Istanbul for centuries, even though its power had steadily waned after the disastrous defeat of Muslim forces by the Poles at the siege of Vienna in 1683. With the establishment of secular rule in Turkey, there was no longer a single Islamic political power.
The reaction to the loss of the Caliphate led to two major Islamist movements, both of which, along with their successor groups, are still making their presence felt today. The first was the Wahabi sect in Saudi Arabia, which soon became the guiding ideology of the House of Saud, and remains the backbone of Salafist ideology to this day. Wahabism grew out of the tribal Bedouin society of the Arabian Peninsula and soon became what Walid Phares calls “Top-Down jihad.”
The second group to emerge in the pursuit of a new Caliphate was “al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen,” the “Society of Muslim Brothers.” Founded in 1928 by an Egyptian schoolteacher, Hassan al-Banna, it stated its purpose from the outset–shariah law and the restoration of the Islamic Caliphate. The quote at the top of the page is from the Muslim Brotherhood’s mission statement.
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