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Egypt: Competing for Corpses

The Muslim Brotherhood seems to be willing to sacrifice any number of its supporters to regain the upper hand in Egypt’s standoff.
Religious scholars and supporters of deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi take part in an anti-army rally that started from their sit-in area around Raba' al-Adawya mosque, east of Cairo, July 30, 2013. Europe's top diplomat, Catherine Ashton, shuttled between Egypt's rulers and the Muslim Brotherhood on Monday in a mission to pull the country back from more bloodshed, but both sides were unyielding after 80 Islamist supporters were gunned down. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih (EGYPT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

More than a month has passed since the supporters of deposed Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi began their sit-in at Rabia al-Adawiya mosque. The Muslim Brotherhood succeeded in repositioning themselves once again as victims in the international public eye. They have also managed to infect the Western media ironically with the “conspiracy theory” virus to explain the popular movement that overthrew Morsi and ended the Brotherhood’s rule.

These are skills that the organization has mastered for decades, but the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership has begun realizing that it is fighting a losing battle. They realized that it was necessary for them to resort to yet another skill in which they excel: their ability to make deals to get themselves out of this existential dilemma with the least possible amount of damage and save what remains of the Muslim Brotherhood’s prospects in Egypt and the world. At the same time, these leaderships are careful to hide from their supporters the frustration caused by this defeat. Toward this end, they are infusing them with bravado and bluster meant to ensure the continuity of their sit-ins and marches, harassing the new regime, and disrupting the lives of ordinary citizens. The more disruption and damage the better their negotiating power would be.

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