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Subject: Mustafa Mashhour, Leader of Banned Muslim Group

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Date Posted: November 17, 2002 7:14:09 EDT

Mustafa Mashhour, 81, a leader of Egypt's banned Muslim Brotherhood who spent more than 20 years in jail, died Thursday in Egypt after suffering a stroke and going into a coma Oct. 29.

The Brotherhood, founded in 1928, advocates turning Egypt into a strict Islamic state. Although once known for violence, it says it now seeks change only through peaceful means within the political process.

Born in a village in Sharkiya province, Mashhour joined the group in 1938 when he was 17. He received a bachelor's degree in science in 1943 and worked for the Egyptian government's Meteorological Department. In 1948, he was sentenced to three years in jail after police seized guns allegedly belonging to the Brotherhood.

In 1954, after the group was blamed for a failed attempt on the life of President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Egypt outlawed the organization and jailed or executed scores of its leaders. Mashhour was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was arrested again in 1965 and held without charges until President Anwar Sadat pardoned political prisoners in 1971.

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