2002 年 2 巻 p. 318-328
The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, which is the most prominent Islamic movement in the Syrian Republic, has rarely been examined, whether in its organisational or its ideological dimensions. This can be attributed to the fact that the Brotherhood has been outlawed and militarily suppressed by the Ba‘thist regime since the early 1960s. In order to move towards a more comprehensive understanding of the movement, this research note will try to explore the ideological dimension of the Syrian Brotherhood, focusing on the inner logic of the movement during its formative period. This will be done by studying its most influential ideologue, Muṣṭafā al-Sibā‘ī (1915-64), during the formative period of the movement from the 1940s to 1960s. The aim of this research note, however, is not only to fill a blank in the study of the Syrian Brotherhood, but also to consider a methodological approach to it. Since most scholars of “Republican Syrian Studies” perceive the Syrian Brotherhood as an anti-establishment sub-actor to the regime, one can say that the analytical framework for the study of the movement as a subject in itself has not yet been established. The present task is thus to make case studies and derive from them some theoretical arguments.
Accordingly, this research note suggests that “Contemporary Syrian Studies,” when understood as Area Studies, can facilitate proper understanding of the Syrian Brotherhood under the leadership of al-Sibā‘ī. The Syrian Brotherhood thus should not be exclusively dealt within the context of the Syrian Republic, but within that of Syria (Greater Syria, al-shām) as an ‘area' still undergoing various attempts at state-building, which include “Syrianism” and Arab nationalism. This drive towards state-building is traced back to the time of the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the interwar period when the present nation states (the “Lesser Syrias” such as Republican Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine/Israel) emerged as a result of the geographical division of Syria by Britain and France. To observe al-Sibā‘ī and the Syrian Brotherhood through the prism of the dynamics and interrelations of these various ideologies surrounding the question of ‘how Syria ought to be' will help to overcome the established recognition of the dichotomy between the Syrian Brotherhood vs. the Ba‘th party or, by extension, Islam vs. secularism, and to draw a more sound picture of the movement.