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A sociological analysis of religious educational institutions, policies and discourses in Egypt

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2007
Aşık, Mehmet Ozan
In thesis, I intended to sociologically examine the perceptions and practices of the state and different Islamist groups about the religious education in Egypt from the 1970s onwards. I define the religious education as a religious course to which several hours a week are devoted in the curriculum of mass education, and which teaches moral instructions based on the Qur'an, and basic information about Islamic culture and history. Since the 1970s, the rise of Islamism in Egypt has created strife between the ruling elites and dissident Islamist groups to capture the religious discourse and control the religious socialization in the mass education. This strife has resulted in the emergence of alternative Islamic educational areas (private Islamic schools and Al-Azhar schools). In this context, I used hermeneutic method to analyze the religious educational discourses and institutions of these two main agents ruling elites and Islamist groups. The Mubarak regime in Egypt seeks to institutionalize a particular state discourse in religious education in accordance with its own interests. However, the important thing is the reactions of different Islamist (moderate and radical) groups to this state discourse and institutionalization; because, today, these reactions of opponent Islamist groups generates unintended consequences which are subversive to the legitimacy of the regime.