Religion and Volunteering

Type Book Section - Faith-Based Organizations and Civic Engagement in Egypt
Title Religion and Volunteering
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Publisher Springer
This chapter examines the role of voluntary Islamic Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) in shaping the political scene during the transition to postrevolutionary Egypt. It uses qualitative data from three volunteer-based FBOs in Egypt to understand how some Islamic FBOs have invested their religious background not only for mobilizing volunteers and resources into their community service work; but also for contributing to the ongoing political transformation in a volatile and turbulent post-revolution Egypt. The chapter case studies reveal the rarely captured variations between Salafi FBOs aiming to promote their conservative views and the Muslim Brotherhood that applied religion specifically as an “image” that can acquire wide public approval and acceptance for a its political agenda, which is not necessarily religious. This chapter deconstructs the theory suggesting that Islamists win political support by buying the loyalty of poor classes in return for social protection and poverty assistance. Instead, it shows how the three FBOs potentially or actually contributed to political transformation in various levels either by facilitating the public’s sympathy for the Salafi religious agenda, providing the venue for political campaigning activities or influencing community values by enhancing concepts such as justice, accountability and participation.

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