As Muslim Brotherhood Faces Challenges, Old Habits Die Hard

Article Summary
Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi is acting more like the leader of a secret organization than a statesman, writes Najad Berhi. Even as a legitimate ruling party, the Muslim Brotherhood is stuck in its antagonistic ways. Such a disappointment, says Berhi, to see a president break his oath just eight months into his term.

Although President Morsi has a distinguished history, he is not used to working openly or outside the confines of the Muslim Brotherhood. The decision to reconvene parliament to allow it to perform its duties confirms that the Muslim Brotherhood still operates in the way of secret organizations, despite the fact that it is now ruling Egypt. 

Morsi’s extremely dangerous decision could have led to the collapse of the legislative structure. It wasn’t discussed with other political actors, including the Brotherhood’s allies. Essam Derbala, head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Consultative Council, was quoted as saying that the Brotherhood welcomed the decision, but that it was expecting the president to discuss it with all political forces and actors. He added that the Brotherhood wants to avoid any dispute between the different authorities and forces at a time when the country needs to be unified to successfully pass through this critical period in its history.

Secret organizations always make decisions without dialogue and implement them by surprise. Holding broad dialogues before they make decisions is disadvantageous for them, because it removes the element of surprise necessary to confuse their opponents and produce a maximal effect.

Secret organizations do not admit that allies and friends must be consulted. They consider outsiders their enemies. However, they may deal with them if and when they find it necessary. These organizations may turn against their friends if it is in their interests and serves their objectives. In addition, they do not recognize state institutions, and even work to destroy them. Since they do not trust them, they view them as enemies that they must eliminate and replace with affiliated bodies.

Secret organizations do not respect the judicial system or its rulings. They believe that it simply one of many unjust state institutions, where judges apply laws that can only hinder their objectives. Secret organizations do not admit that they commit mistakes and believe that they possess the absolute truth. They think that those who criticize their decisions must be morally discredited or harmed — if not psychologically, then physically. President Morsi was unable to forget about his membership in the largest secret organization in Egypt. Every characteristic of secret-organization decision making was present in his move to dissolve the parliament.

Morsi’s decision to reinstate parliament is typical of one taken by the leader of a secret organization. The absence of a discussion before the decision was taken, the timing, the way it was announced and the Brotherhood’s reaction to the resulting critiques prove that this decision was not made by a statesman.

I believe the constitutional courts have never suffered so much as they have now. Moreover, I can't imagine that the judges have ever been more insulted as they have been under the Brotherhood era, which is not even a year old. I have not seen a president break his oath just eight months after his accession to power. This usually takes place during a president’s third mandate.

The Muslim Brotherhood must act as statesmen, not as members of a banned organization. They need to make their decisions publicly and openly after consultations with political forces. They need to know that striking terror and using the element of surprise will not succeed. Egypt will never be governed by a secret organization.

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Found in: supreme constitutional court, people’s assembly, order to reinstate parliament, muslim brotherhood, morsi, egyptian parliament
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