The Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East has always attracted widely divergent attention. Scholars have regarded it both as the source of terrorism, and, more recently as the potential harbinger of democratization. The Muslim Brotherhood in Europe has attracted far less attention. But heavily influenced by its ambiguous reputation in the Middle East it has led to widespread speculation about its character. Its critics regard the European organizations as part of a suspicious, secretive, centrally led world-wide organization that enhances the alienation of Muslims in Europe. Its sympathizers, on the other hand, regard the Brotherhood as a moderate movement that has been Europeanized and promotes integration. This volume brings together experts on the European Muslim Brotherhood who address some of the main issues on which the debate has concentrated. After an introduction dealing with the European debate in the press, the first section shows that Brotherhood consists primarily of a network of informal ties, which have developed a host of localized practices and contradictory trends. The second part deals with the Brotherhood organizations in different European countries and traces their highly specific trajectories and relations with the local non-Muslim press and authorities. The third section concentrates on the ideological developments of the movement in the Middle East and Europe.
Roel Meijer teaches modern Middle Eastern history at the Radboud University in Nijmegen and is Senior Researcher at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations, 'Clingendael'. He has published widely on Islamist movements, the latest book he edited being Global Salafism: Islam's New Religious Movement (Hurst, 2009). Edwin Bakker is Professor of (Counter-) Terrorism Studies at Leiden University and is director of the Centre for Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism in the Hague.