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The spiritual guide of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has died

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posted on Jan, 11 2004 @ 02:15 PM
CAIRO [MENL] -- The spiritual guide of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood has died in what could pave the way for a new era for the 75-year-old pan-Islamic organization.

Mamoun El Hodeiby, the leader of Egypt's banned Islamic opposition and inspiration for numerous Sunni insurgency groups, has died at age 83. El Hodeiby, said to have died of natural causes, served as spiritual guide of the Brotherhood since late 2002. He was buried on Friday.

The Brotherhood, regarded as the most powerful opposition group in Egypt, has spawned insurgency movements throughout the Middle East. The group, which has rejected attacks within Egypt and Saudi Arabia, has been banned by Egyptian authorities, but followers were allowed to run for parliament as independents in the elections in 2000. The group won 17 out of 454 seats.

Islamic sources said the death of El Hodeiby could renew the rift within the Brotherhood as it seeks to appoint a permanent leader. The Brotherhood has long been split by those who want to boycott the Egyptian government and advocates of integration into the larger society.

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