English | Italian

"Egypt's Muslim..." (Theme) The lastest total: 100+. you can read with page flip.

show list
related videos
Egypt election Sisi vows end to Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood brother Obama & Erdogan Talks in Turkey about future Egypt
Obama's Brother Linked To Muslim Brotherhood
Tensions Swell Between Brotherhood, Egypt's Military
Egypt two brothers divided over Brotherhood
Continue »
Pop theme

John Cantlie,Republican Party,Ebola Virus,San Francisco Giants,Oscar Taveras,Ukraine gas,David Cameron,Nizami,Lloyds Bank,Marvel Comics

Related theme

middle eastern,new islamist,politics egypt,present

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood: reform or relapse?

brothers brotherhood egypt

2013-08-20 07:19:03
COMMENTEgypt's Muslim Brotherhood: reform or relapse?By Mohamed Yousry and Michael Gasper

In the immediate aftermath of the coup that deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, it looked as though the Muslim Brothers had decided to embrace all options, including violence, to regain their footing and demand Morsi's reinstatement. In the heat of the moment, some Brotherhood members and their supporters waved flags associated with militant Islamist groups, such as al-Qaeda, and issued rampant threats against the deposed president's opponents.

After a quick recalibration, however, the Brothers wrapped themselves in Egyptian flags and brought women and children with them to demonstrations, proclaiming that their resistance to

the military-backed government would be non-violent.

To many, this seemed to be a welcome departure for the group, which did not shy away

from espousing violence through much of its earlier history. However, a closer look at the Brothers' strategy offers insight into the extent that the group's past continues to weigh heavily on its decision-making in the present. The group's history is a burden that severely handicaps its ability to reach a political settlement that would secure a legal place for the movement in Egypt's political future.

Delusions of grandeurIndeed, the parallels between the past and the present are striking. For example, as they have often done, the Brothers fundamentally overestimated their support among the general population while underestimating the strength of their opponents.

In 1953, Brotherhood luminaries Sayyid Qutb and Hassan al-Hudaybi confidently declared that the Brothers would destroy their opponents (in this case the Free Officers, the military regime that had ousted the monarchy in 1952). There are echoes of this now, as many leaders of today's Brothers confidently declared their ability to defeat the opposition and to reinstate Morsi within a few short days. In both instances the Brothers seem oblivious to the range of forces arrayed in support of the new regime.

This inability to grasp the political significance of the moment might be traced to a second factor that has marked the Brothers' self-perception since they became a significant player in Egyptian politics in the 1930s. The group continues to present its discourse as synonymous with Islam and as such distances itself from any other political movement or trend. Brotherhood rhetoricians portray their political struggle not as competition for political power but as martyrdom in the service of God.

This is not new. In 1965, Qutb and those in his immediate circle declared themselves al-'Usba al-Mu'minah, or the "Faithful Core". This reflected their view of the 1960s as a battle against the "infidel" regime of President Nasser, whom they saw as a lackey of the West conspiring with the Jews and the Soviet Union to destroy Islam. Similarly, we now hear echoes of this dusty rhetoric from many Brothers who stridently assert that their group represents the only vision of Islam writ large. To them, their enemies are criminals determined to extinguish God's light on earth.

Similarly, the Brothers continue to depict themselves as victims protected by angels facing off against non-believers. Longtime Brotherhood activist Zayneb al-Ghazali claimed that while she was imprisoned in the 1960s, God's angels appeared in her cell to feed, clothe, and protect her. In recent weeks, a number of Brotherhood speakers have claimed to have seen the angel Gabriel at their encampment in Rab'a al-'Adawiyya that was so brutally attacked on the morning of August 14, 2013.

A few have gone so far as to claim that they have received divine visions of the Prophet of Islam requesting that Morsi lead him in prayers. In fact, even during Morsi's presidency, the Islamist writer Fahmy Howeidy characterized Morsi's opponents as Pharaohs and non-believers, and the Brothers and president Morsi as Moses and his Godly people.

And finally, some Brotherhood rhetoricians continue to do what they do best: muddy the facts. For example, 'Umar al-Tilmissani, a former head of the Brothers, declared that the movement's founder, Hassan al-Banna, was the true initiator and the real architect of the 1952 coup that toppled Egypt's monarchy and brought Nasser to power.

This complete rewriting of reality is parallel to the current leadership's claims that not only did Morsi challenge US-Israeli hegemony in the region (a powerful populist position that is not supported by facts) but also that he had agreed to hold early presidential elections after the military's ultimatum of June 30, 2013. Again this is not supported by facts. Moreover, the Brothers also continue to argue that the deposed president Morsi included the opposition in all his decision-making processes. Regardless of one's view of the military coup, no serious observer could reasonably assert that Morsi's government was inclusive.

Limited appealIf history is any indication, these delusions of grandeur will serve the Brotherhood poorly.

One need look no further than their misreading of the 1954 political situation that led to Nasser detaining thousands of Brotherhood members. Eventually, more than 1,500 were sentenced to long prison terms and six were hanged. This inability to fully grasp the limits of their power greatly weakened the movement at a time when it was facing increasing repression from the Egyptian state. The frightful violence recently perpetrated by security forces against Brotherhood sit-ins may serve as a new analog to this theme.

With all of this in their history it is perplexing that the current leadership has not learned from the past. Even more inexplicable is that despite the caution from a prominent and ardent supporter, Salafi preacher Hazem Salah Abu Ismael, that the Brothers had lost much of their ability to mobilize the masses, they still don't have a realistic view of the present. Indeed it is quite clear that their support, even among Islamists, is dwindling, and their popularity among ordinary citizens is very low. This explains at least in part the so far muted response among Egyptians about the violence of August 14.

No one can question the fact that the Brothers enjoy enthusiastic support from their followers and are a disciplined and organized force. But facts on the ground indicate that the movement's current strategy - its attempt to mobilize the "street" against the military-backed government - has not worked.

The Brothers have organized numerous marches in an effort to attract others to join them, but so far they've failed to attract support from outside their ranks. In the run-up to the military's brutal assault on its sit-in encampments, ordinary citizens seemed to grow impatient towards what they saw as the Brotherhood's disruptive tactics. Even now, despite hundreds of fatalities among Brotherhood supporters, there seems to be scant evidence of sympathy for the movement.

One incident sums up much of the sentiment on the street. On July 9, under the leadership of longtime Brotherhood activist Mohammed Abdel Qudus, a handful of Brothers attempted to organize a protest against the death of the Brother's photographer, who was killed during the first massacre perpetrated by the Egyptian army in the wake of the July 3rd coup. Almost instantaneously, dozens of ordinary Egyptians harangued them, calling them traitors and in turn blaming the Brothers for the events at the Republican Guards Club that resulted in the deaths of 51 people. One wonders if the same will now happen on an even larger scale after the violence of August 14.

While some ill will may be inherited from the Mubarak era, much of the anti-Brotherhood sentiment can be traced to its divisive tactics during Morsi's unsuccessful year in power. Instead of offering immediate plans to ease the sufferings of Egypt's poor or its struggling middle class, the Brothers engaged in what many believed to be avoidable battles with Egypt's entrenched institutions (such as the judiciary and the media) and with secular forces and minorities. While the Brothers claimed these battles were aimed at fighting corruption, many ordinary Egyptians perceived them as an effort to assure the Brothers' control over every aspect of state and society.

The massive anti-Brotherhood demonstrations of June 30 and July 26 indicate that many Egyptians pin the Brotherhood's failure on its archaic ideology, outdated policies, and seeming lack of interest in social and economic justice. And in the wake of a particularly virulent anti-Brotherhood media campaign by state outlets, many Egyptians are now questioning the group's loyalty to Egypt. According to this view, the Brothers only consider Egypt a stepping-stone towards the establishment of a new Muslim Caliphate in the broader Middle East.

Reform or relapse?The leaders of the Muslim Brothers have a choice: continue on the same path as they have throughout their history, or initiate painful but necessary reforms to begin a new future within Egypt's diverse political landscape. Unfortunately, early indications are that powerful voices from the Brothers' past will prevail - take Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the influential Qatar-based Egyptian cleric who recently called on Muslims from every part of the Arab and Muslim world to join the struggle of the Muslim Brothers in Egypt in order to obtain martyrdom, for example.

Still, what might reform look like? There may already be some indications. Youth-led Brotherhood factions like the Ikhwan Bila 'Unf (Brothers Without Violence), Shabab al-Ikhwan (Youth of The Brotherhood), and Ahrar al-Ikhwan (The Free Brothers) are calling for a comprehensive review of the movement's ideas and practices. These young activists appear to have realized that the Brothers' old strategies are outmoded and belong to a different era. Some leftist and liberal activists are calling upon the Brotherhood leadership to join with their younger members and to abandon the discordant ways of their puritanical past in order to secure a place in Egypt's future.

The Brothers must recognize that their old ideas are not suitable for today's diverse political landscape. They must acknowledge that for any Islamist (or indeed any other) political project to succeed it must be inclusive - Christians, Jews, Shi'a, and other minorities must be treated equally under the law. The movement must abandon the notion that it represents God's faithful core and disavow secrecy, deception, and violence. It must also entertain the possibility, however unjust it may seem in light of current circumstances, that Brotherhood leaders were deposed and imprisoned precisely because of their intolerance and their past tendency to express this intolerance with acts of violence.

Yet even if the movement adapts all of these changes, it still might not be enough to ensure a place for the Brothers as a legal political force in Egypt's future. Many liberal and leftist activists are demanding the dismantling of the Brothers' Freedom and Justice Party (and all other religious parties for that matter). This position seems to be gaining popular momentum.

To avoid further marginalization, the Brotherhood's leaders must agree to join the current political process or risk returning to the margins as an underground group. Most importantly, if the Brothers think that this crisis is similar to others in their troubled history, they are badly mistaken. This time is different. The movement is not only facing the wrath of a military regime; it is also facing the anger and distrust of a large segment of the population. For the Brothers to have any voice in Egypt's political future, the movement must abandon its past and look for a new path forward before its too late.

Michael Gasper is an Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern History at Occidental College in Los Angeles. He is the author of The Power of Representation: Peasants, Publics and Islam in Egypt. Mohamed Yousryis a former expert witness and interpreter for Shaykh Umar Abdel Rahman's defense team. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University and is writing his dissertation on Islamist politics in Egypt from the 1950s to the present.

Used with permission of Foreign Policy in Focus.

View Original Article: atimes.com
Disclaimer statement: The point of this article or rights belongs to the authors and publishers. We take no responsibility for the content of this article and legitimacy.
Do you have any questions about this article, please contact the news source atimes.com.
Or contact us


Write an article relevant this topic share on facebook share on twitter share on google plus share on oknews share on linkedin share on digg share on reddit share on newsvine share on pinterest share on netlog share on tumblr share on delicious send email print add to favorite

"Egypt's Muslim..." IN THE COMMUNITY!



        No results related
      Share one Sentence

      Manage my submission

      [{"b":"a","i":"1356896","t":"Barnidge: Contra Costa Supervisors have to stomach a 33 percent raise","a":1},{"b":"a","i":"1356888","t":"Bellevue in the national rankings","a":2},{"b":"c","i":"1894380","t":"Tips for Baby Boomers Re-Entering Today\u2019s Real Estate Market","a":3},{"b":"c","i":"1894385","t":"Kerry: 'The Cold War Was Easy Compared to Where We Are Today'","a":4},{"b":"b","i":"1293865","t":"HK: Asia's wine-and-dine capital","a":5},{"b":"b","i":"1293851","t":"Thomas Menino, Longest Serving Boston Mayor, Dies at 71","a":6},{"b":"b","i":"1293856","t":"Thomas Menino, Longest-Serving Boston Mayor, Dead at 71 - Bloomberg Politics","a":7},{"b":"b","i":"1293863","t":"Complete Press Release - WWE Announces Their Q3 Financial Results","a":8},{"b":"b","i":"1293819","t":"Northern Virginia Technology Council Delivers Pro Bono Assessment of Scheduling Processes and Systems at VA Medical Centers","a":9},{"b":"b","i":"1293832","t":"October 30, 2014","a":10},{"b":"b","i":"1293834","t":"Osha Liang LLP: Peter C. Schechter Elected Vice Chair of AIPPI-US Division of AIPLA","a":11},{"b":"b","i":"1293835","t":"JiLin Business Center Holds Grand Opening Ceremony With Chicago and China Officials","a":12},{"b":"e","i":"533947","t":"Sessions: 'The World Has Turned Upside Down'","a":13},{"b":"e","i":"533948","t":"Bandits Over Latvia","a":14},{"b":"b","i":"1293845","t":"Prophix announces partnership with Rivet Software, an industry leader in financial reporting","a":15},{"b":"a","i":"1356837","t":"Ebola-Fighting Health-Care Workers Get New York Job Protection","a":16},{"b":"f","i":"1170285","t":"You Can Be Fired in 29 States For Doing What Tim Cook Did Today","a":17},{"b":"b","i":"1293793","t":"OnLive to Expand Gaming Service in Europe","a":18},{"b":"b","i":"1293765","t":"Bombardier Shelves Russian Plane Venture on Sanctions","a":19},{"b":"b","i":"1293778","t":"MSA to Present at Baird Industrial Conference","a":20},{"b":"e","i":"533925","t":"The Gayest Show on Television Is About Two Straight Men. (Video.)","a":21},{"b":"a","i":"1356803","t":"NATO Baltic Jets Intercept Russian Military Planes for Third Day","a":22},{"b":"a","i":"1356808","t":"Bloomberg: Ukraine struggles for Russian gas deal as parties wrangle","a":23},{"b":"a","i":"1356799","t":"Maharashtra Chief Minister-designate Devendra Fadnavis meets Narendra Modi, Amit Shah","a":24},{"b":"a","i":"1356762","t":"Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Live-Action \u201cDiscover Your Power\u201d Trailer Debuts Tonight - Yahoo Finance UK","a":25},{"b":"e","i":"533907","t":"Protesters Storm, Burn Burkina Faso Parliament","a":26},{"b":"b","i":"1293763","t":"iPayment Announces Conference Call To Discuss Unaudited Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results","a":27},{"b":"a","i":"1356773","t":"Horizon Media Appoints Jake Phillips as Senior Vice President, Managing Director","a":28},{"b":"a","i":"1356778","t":"Silver Wheaton (SLW) Stock Is Sinking Today After Silver Hits 55-Month Low","a":29},{"b":"b","i":"1293743","t":"Government committed to raising savings; new products on anvil: FM Arun Jaitley","a":30},{"b":"f","i":"1170307","t":"MLB: Free agent pool is deep","a":31},{"b":"a","i":"1356748","t":"TYLT introduces VU wireless Charging Car Mount & VU SOLO","a":32},{"b":"a","i":"1356712","t":"A Headless Ranger? Mystery at Colonial burial site","a":33},{"b":"a","i":"1356725","t":"30% of shrimp products misrepresented, study says","a":34},{"b":"a","i":"1356726","t":"A Headless Army Ranger? Mystery at Colonial burial site","a":35},{"b":"c","i":"1894308","t":"Yahoo Poaches Amazon Ad Exec Lisa Utzschneider, Ned Brody Takes Ad Tech Role","a":36},{"b":"c","i":"1894303","t":"Eurozone inflation: Germany puts a lid on hopes","a":37},{"b":"f","i":"1170256","t":"Daniel Radcliffe proves rap skills with perfect rendition of Blackalicious' 'Alphabet Aerobics'","a":38},{"b":"a","i":"1356681","t":"Sweden recognises Palestinian state in hope of reviving peace process","a":39},{"b":"a","i":"1356686","t":"Barrick looking to cut debt to $7-billion as industry cuts costs\nAdd to ...","a":40},{"b":"b","i":"1293714","t":"9 news snippets you may have missed","a":41},{"b":"b","i":"1293716","t":"QUAKER STEAK & LUBE HEATS UP THE HOLIDAYS WITH SPECIAL GIFT CARD PROMOTION - Yahoo7 Finance Australia","a":42},{"b":"b","i":"1293718","t":"Free Wi-Fi Offered For Marriott Rewards Members Worldwide\r\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\tBenefit Available to Members Who Book Direct","a":43},{"b":"b","i":"1293696","t":"Sweden\u2019s recognition aimed to to boost \u2018moderates\u2019","a":44},{"b":"c","i":"1894287","t":"Featured Stories","a":45},{"b":"a","i":"1356633","t":"Rock Group Expands Mgmt. Platform with TA Realty Buy","a":46},{"b":"a","i":"1356642","t":"Albany mayor: Citywide zoning will have many benefits","a":47},{"b":"c","i":"1894278","t":"Will Coca-Cola Be Around 100 Years From Now?","a":48},{"b":"b","i":"1293641","t":"First Hyatt Place Hotel Opens in Panama","a":49},{"b":"a","i":"1356656","t":"Reports: Spring Hill ISD goes on lockdown","a":50},{"b":"a","i":"1356611","t":"Horizon Media Appoints Jake Phillips as Senior Vice President, Managing Director - Yahoo Finance UK","a":51},{"b":"b","i":"1293626","t":"Teenager charged with causing death of father-of-three Andrew Corfield remanded in custody","a":52},{"b":"b","i":"1293622","t":"Emerging Money Daily Audio Preview Call \u2013 October 30","a":53},{"b":"c","i":"1894254","t":"stltoday.com","a":54},{"b":"a","i":"1356577","t":"Molecular Tumor Markers Could Reveal New Therapeutic Targets for Lung Cancer Treatment","a":55},{"b":"a","i":"1356578","t":"Library of Birmingham statue unveiling: Two mums immortalised in 'ordinary' family sculpture","a":56},{"b":"b","i":"1293603","t":"Sweden recognises Palestinian state, draws Israeli anger - Yahoo News UK","a":57},{"b":"a","i":"1356567","t":"EmLogis Online Employee Scheduling Announces Two Tools to Help Reduce the Use of Sick Days","a":58},{"b":"e","i":"533818","t":"Menino, Thomas, Longest Serving Boston Mayor, Dead at 71","a":59},{"b":"e","i":"533820","t":"Beware Overfitting Models Even if They Win Baseball Bets","a":60},{"b":"b","i":"1293574","t":"Billboard Touring Awards Finalists Announced","a":61},{"b":"b","i":"1293577","t":"MEDIA ALERT - Ricoh and mindSHIFT Technologies to present at Commonwealth Legal's Technology in Practice international conference - Yahoo Finance Canada","a":62},{"b":"b","i":"1293578","t":"Tecogen to Hold Earnings Conference Call and Webcast on Thursday, November 13, 2014","a":63},{"b":"c","i":"1894242","t":"Tonawanda News to close in January","a":64},{"b":"e","i":"533808","t":"The Secret to Celeb-Worthy Winged Liner","a":65},{"b":"b","i":"1293590","t":"Change the Mascot Campaign Releases New Ad in MN in Advance of Washington \u2013 Vikings Game","a":66},{"b":"b","i":"1293557","t":"The Definitive History of Sexy Halloween Costumes","a":67},{"b":"a","i":"1356559","t":"LIVE: Ottawa Senators host Chicago Blackhawks","a":68},{"b":"a","i":"1356535","t":"Junior speedskaters off to face the best","a":69},{"b":"a","i":"1356548","t":"Chanticleer Holdings to Open Third South Africa Hooters Restaurant in Johannesburg","a":70},{"b":"b","i":"1293539","t":"Amnesty: Libyan militias committing war crimes","a":71},{"b":"b","i":"1293543","t":"A Headless Ranger? Mystery at Colonial burial site","a":72},{"b":"a","i":"1356502","t":"Review calls for sweeping changes across Nova Scotia's education system - Local - Cape Breton Post","a":73},{"b":"d","i":"973769","t":"Equality watchdog\u2019s consultation perverts family values, school heads say","a":74},{"b":"d","i":"973773","t":"Cantonese restaurants recognised in latest Michelin guide to Hong Kong","a":75},{"b":"a","i":"1356525","t":"MMAjunkie Radio (noon ET): Khabib Nurmagomedov, Alex Enlund, Jim Wallhead","a":76},{"b":"a","i":"1356479","t":"Daytona International Speedway Names Florida Hospital as a Founding Partner Of Historic DAYTONA Rising Project\r\n\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\t\tFlorida Hospital Becomes Official Healthcare Provider of Daytona International Speedway","a":77},{"b":"a","i":"1356484","t":"Table Trac, Inc. Signs Deal with Cool Casino Group For Costa Rica Casino at the RIU Guanacaste Hotel","a":78},{"b":"b","i":"1293515","t":"Celebrity dinner today in Kingsford - IronMountainDailyNews.com | news, sports, business, jobs - The Daily News","a":79},{"b":"f","i":"1170145","t":"San Francisco Giants claim third World Series","a":80},{"b":"a","i":"1356439","t":"SEC and FINRA Warn Investors About Penny Stock Scams Hyping Dormant Shell Companies","a":81},{"b":"e","i":"533756","t":"The Greatest: Remembering Muhammad Ali’s Rumble in the Jungle","a":82},{"b":"d","i":"973742","t":"French Finance Ministry Says Conditions Not Met to Hand Over Mistral to Russia: Agency","a":83},{"b":"d","i":"973743","t":"Ukraine Promises Russia to Find Funds to Pay for Winter Gas Supplies: Novak","a":84},{"b":"c","i":"1894139","t":"About.Me Launches App That Aims To Replace The Business Card","a":85},{"b":"f","i":"1170113","t":"Gazelle(R) Introduces Smarter Way to Buy Smart Devices; Launches Site to Sell Gazelle Certified Pre-Owned Phones and ...","a":86},{"b":"f","i":"1170099","t":"Black Bean Deli starts serving at Amway today","a":87},{"b":"f","i":"1170083","t":"What's Trending: Could you live in 242 square feet & Harry Potter rapping?","a":88},{"b":"e","i":"533731","t":"Is China \"Buying a Part of America's Soul\" with the Waldorf Astoria?","a":89},{"b":"c","i":"1894055","t":"A Headless Ranger? Mystery at Colonial burial site","a":90},{"b":"f","i":"1170080","t":"Kick Off: New LA club announcement | New York-Sporting KC tonight | FCD down Caps on late PK","a":91},{"b":"f","i":"1170027","t":"MotoGP: Casey Stoner Completes Honda Test","a":92},{"b":"f","i":"1170028","t":"Carnival Cruise Lines CEO Gerry Cahill To Retire","a":93},{"b":"f","i":"1170037","t":"New JPMorgan Chase & Co. Report Reveals Solutions to Fill Vital Healthcare and Technology Jobs in New York City","a":94},{"b":"f","i":"1170036","t":"JPMorgan Chase & Co UK Regulatory Announcement: New JPMorgan Chase & Co. Report Reveals Solutions to Fill Vital ...","a":95},{"b":"c","i":"1894028","t":"Featured Stories","a":96},{"b":"c","i":"1894029","t":"UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw","a":97},{"b":"f","i":"1170044","t":"Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd \u2013 Japanese DLC Roster Coming to the West","a":98},{"b":"e","i":"533716","t":"Shake Shack’s Crinkle Fries Make Their Official, Triumphant Return Today","a":99},{"b":"c","i":"1894019","t":"Candlelight vigil to mark two months since woman went missing in Plano","a":100}]


      Barnidge: Contra Costa Supervisors have to stomach a 33 percent raise