Although Islamic fundamentalism has received increasing attention following the September 11 attacks, it had been in the making for well over half a century, especially in Egypt. The Islamist movement began in Egypt in the early part of the twentieth century, during the British occupation. But no sooner had the movement found its footing under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood than it was suppressed by Nasser's despotic regime and his nationalist ideology. The Islamists made a comeback under Sadat's permissive policies and continued to make gains under Mubarak, whose recent ouster left a power vacuum that the Islamists eagerly filled.

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