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Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood: a dead end road

After many years put apart or even expelled from politics, the new political situation in the Arab world have enabled them to access and have experience as actors of development, for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the main objective of the party has always been to establish an Islamic state, based on Sharia and on the rejection of Western influence in the country. Religion and state being inseparable, they are then the pioneers of political Islam in the Arab world.

Banned and suppressed since 1954 by President Jamal Abd Ennasser, the Brotherhood has lived since the presidency of Anwar Sadat to date in a legal vacuum, generally tolerated by the state, but sometimes illegal and punishable.

In the 70s, the group has experienced a period of renewal, reinforced with massive integration of a thriving movement of Islamic students and absorbing other organizations such as al-Gama'a al-Islamiya. The group's strategy is based on creating a kind of a parallel state: Private takeover of the brotherhood, as would-inspired by the clean-brotherhood Palestinian Hamas is dedicated to the creation of a network of social services (education, health, sports) covering the shortcomings of the central government and managing to attract the movement of the impoverished masses. He has taken his fight to the era of Hosni Mubarak (Egyptian President) which, under external pressure, agreed to the inclusion of the group in a political party, and in the elections of November 28th 2010, Hosni Mubarak swept the elections, leaving the Islamist party offside, although there are reasonable grounds to consider the elections as fraudulent, as they have always been since Mubarak came to power.


The time has finally come, after the departure of Hosni Mubarak and after fully democratic and transparent elections June 24th 2012, Place A-Tahrir (typical square protests in Egypt) exploded with joy after experiencing its new leader.

But after a year in power, things seem to go against what the Egyptians wanted and against the demands of screaming youth at Attahrir Square (Liberation Square).

The question in this case is imposing itself: What Egyptians hoped from Morsi? What is wrong with the political process in Egypt?
WHY is this brotherhood popular? An estimation of between half a million and a million of the 80 million people of Egypt are members or supporters of the octogenarian brotherhood. Their popularity is such that Mubarak himself had granted them the status of main opposition to his regime and its social action. The Muslim Brotherhood, which derives their income from rich members, provides schools, clinics and pensions to poor Egyptians. This intense model of social action was followed by other Islamist groups. Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas movement, which can be called nationalist Islamic resistance and branded by Occident as terrorists, have also gained popularity through the provision of a system of social protection that even states did not managed to cover.

This popularity is the fact that the party is currently located between Khomeini's Iran and Turkey's Erdogan's moderate and democratic Islamic party.


The current situation is quite different; Egypt is still erupting with protests, forcing the interim government to give a clear warning to the soldiers who continue to postpone the transfer of power.

Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the army, with a few cosmetic changes, wanted to design a progressive democracy following a schedule of elections from next November 28, with the intention to remain as guarantor of the process, including the ability to veto any future government as they have done since the end of the monarchy in 1952.

Siince the military has assumed the function meeting presided over by a close collaborator of Mubarak, General Mohamed Tantawi, all government actions, including the drafting of the next constitution, sought to limit the risk of establishing a state under Islamic law. With this intention, they banned religious slogans.

The Muslim Brotherhood, as a mainstream, and other sectors regarded the Islamic political power delivery extended until 2013 as unacceptable. Actual demands are an immediate call to the presidential election as a clear demonstration that the armed forces have exhausted the limited trust received after Mubarak.

The question is to know if generated protests in Tahrir Square in Cairo will strengthen secular and representative solutions or impose Sharia law. The most radical Islamist sectors reject any military tutelage.

While the legislative elections of November 28 will be the first elections in 60 years, the paradox is that while the dictator was tried by a civil court, all other events were held before military courts, and in many cases subject to the same tortures of the previous era.

Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's legitimate president

Morsi's Egypt has taken a new leap towards Islamism, and made it through the Muslim Brotherhood. President and former Muslim brother Mohamed Morsi, who had promised a cabinet reshuffle, kept his word, even if the movement has included the introduction of new members of the Brotherhood of the executive governing the lives of Egyptians. The shift towards Islamism seems unstoppable, especially since the implementation of Sharia law in the country of the Nile under an adjusted referendum.

It also seems that Morsi does not have political perspectives relevant to the new challenges he’s facing, both in economic and geo strategic issues, Ethiopia announced a few days ago that it will alter the course of Nile as a preliminary motion to build a mega dam to reduce the water flow which Egypt could need. The current president of the country announced at one point that he would address the problem with African countries that have an interest in the subject, and yet there was no result that the people can get profit from.
The situation is tense A verdict which sentenced 43 human rights activism NGO staff and caused an immediate reaction from civil society and the diplomatic representatives of European countries disturbed the president even more.

In this context, the Egyptian people suffers the loss of value of the Egyptian pound, repeated power cuts, lack of wheat for bread, messy transit and inactivity of law enforcement among others. This led to a campaign that generates "anti-Morsi," in which they collect 15 million signatures to withdraw confidence in order to ask for his resignation and call for elections as soon as possible. 

It should be noted that President Morsi only have the approval of the legislative support of the Shura Council, an organization that was recently declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court of Justice. In addition, the Administrative Court challenging the legitimacy of the appointment of the Attorney General (imposed by the president) and a number of bills presented to the Shura Council are resisted and rejected by civil society and the judiciary. In addition, the cultural community has revealed herself, Medias are antagonists, economy goes through a fragile stage and politics are highly polarized.

All this makes people wonder how President Morsi will survive the 30th June onslaught, as the frustration of the Egyptian people against the government's inaction could hatch any that day in the streets Cairo and other cities of the interior, demanding his resignation.
The worst: the incapacity of the President to realize the magnitude of the political moment that Egypt is living today Squandering the 13 million votes, trying to impose the Muslim Brotherhood as the only vanguard of the revolt, and containment methods of social protest reminiscent of the crackdown by Mubarak, in a country that is aware of its ability to mobilize, the "Morsi" strategy to neutralize Tantawi and the military to subordinate judges to continue the opposition and declare a state of emergency is about to fail, and tensions exist even in the ranks of the Brotherhood, while many young people do not share the decisions of Morsi.
It seems that the country fails to carry out a democratic way, but without them, today, Egypt would be unmanageable.

To overcome this crisis, the President should take to the streets, listen and keep what he promised in his campaign, share his ideas with the opposition and learn from past mistakes, because so far, Morsi is only stumbling on the same stone, making Egypt doing nothing more than becoming a social chaos, which could potentially lead to a new "Spring" in Egypt.

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt's Illegitimate President

The situation has worsen after the took over of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the former head of the military that overthrew Egypt’s legitimately elected president Mohammed Morsi in a 2013 coup d’état. Morsi supporters are demonstrating against the unligitimate president, reasoning that they already have a legitimate president, even if he has been illegally locked away in the regime’s prisons. Under Sisi’s leadership, the military government has massacred thousands of demonstrators who took to the streets in protest against the coup. It has also jailed tens of thousands of other Morsi supporters, banned demonstrations, and discouraged dissent by locking up journalists who oppose the military take-over.

If you’ve forgotten how closely Sisi cleaves to the model of the brutal authoritarian tyrant that Western governments and media profess to abominate, think back to last summer. Here are New York Times reporters Kareem Fahim and Mayy el Sheik describing one Sisi-led massacre:

The Egyptian authorities unleashed a ferocious attack on Islamist protesters early Saturday, killing at least 72 people in the second mass killing of demonstrators in three weeks and the deadliest attack by the security services since Egypt’s uprising in early 2011.

The tactics — many were killed with gunshot wounds to the head or the chest — suggested that Egypt’s security services felt no need to show any restraint.

In the attack on Saturday, civilians joined riot police officers in firing live ammunition at the protesters as they marched toward a bridge over the Nile. By early morning, the numbers of wounded people had overwhelmed doctors at a nearby field hospital.

Accordingly, Sisi’s brutal rise to power is tolerated by Western governments and his undemocratic and illiberal methods passed over in near silence by the Western media, because he can be counted on to maintain Egypt as a reliable agent of US influence in the Arab world, provide valuable services to the US military, and fatten the bottom lines of US arms manufacturers with weapons orders. None of this is to say that Morsi wouldn’t have performed the same valuable services. The reality of US domination would have structured the decision-making environment to hem Morsi in and limit his room for manoeuvre. But it’s doubtful he could have been counted on to be as reliable a servant as Sisi, who trained at the US Army War College, and has extensive connections to the US military. Hence, rather than denouncing Sisi, Western politicians and media mobilize the energies of social justice-advocates against countries whose leaders reject the international dictatorship of the United States and refuse to provide valuable services to the Pentagon, not against those that do.

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