A genealogical inquiry into early Islamism: the discourse of Hasan al-Banna

Mura, Andrea (2012). A genealogical inquiry into early Islamism: the discourse of Hasan al-Banna. Journal of Political Ideologies, 17(1) pp. 61–85.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13569317.2012.644986

URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/135693...


This article inquires into the ideological vision of Hasan al-Banna (1906-1949), one of the most influential figures of Islamist thought. By assuming a discourse theory perspective, I argue that al-Banna's Islamist discourse was genealogically caught between a traditional pan-Islamic vocation and modern ways of articulating political discourse, such as nationalism and Arab nationalism. Following the traumatic encounter between tradition and modernity that colonialism enacted, al-Banna increasingly integrated and valourized modern national `signifiers', downplaying early universalistic ethos. This denoted a growing reliance on the language of modernity over the language of tradition, though such reliance was instrumental to al-Banna's anti-imperialist political project, entailing the very preservation of tradition as a moderator principle in the appropriation of modernity.

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