The Illusions of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

Article Summary
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood may be under the same same sorts of illusions that led to the downfall of Hosni Mubarak and his National Democratic Party, writes Ali Sayyed.

“Let them have fun," said Hosni Mubarak, failing to realize that the opposition would end up being the one playing with his life at a later stage. Mubarak's era is over. His word, however, was followed like a constitution by those who succeeded him. Mubarak did not see anything worth acknowledging in the opposition. All he saw was a group in need of entertainment.

This is how the Muslim Brotherhood and those working at the Republican Palace reacted to the great million-man demonstration held on Tuesday, Nov. 27. The group found shelter in the United States position.

“The US administration believed that what is happening in Egypt is an internal affair,” and it is indeed an internal affair, but the group perceived it as a powerful US weapon and a substantial support for its stance toward the opposition. Before that, no one had asked: Why the war on Gaza? And how did it stop? And for what did the US thank the Egyptian president?

Needless to say, the US never offers anything without receiving something in return, and it can't possibly offer something to Egypt at the expense of Israel. The war started without any motive or goal, and it ended without results or agreements that would prevent the recurrence of aggression.

If we relate this to the timing of the constitutional declaration, which was announced a couple of hours after the end of the war, and with the amount of praise and lauding that the president received regarding his influential role in ending the war — the shortest in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict — then we would understand the mystery behind the president and his group's clinging to the constitutional declaration. The constitutional declaration is thus far the only justification and result of this war. The president used this contrived and fabricated war ​​to make a strong push at the internal, external and Arab levels.

This push granted the president and his assistants absolute power when it comes to issuing laws. More importantly, it consolidated his status as a new tyrant similar to Saddam Hussein during his war with Iran. At the time, Hussein received international tribute and forgot that war had paralyzed his people and made ​​him a megalomaniac. His people and the Arab world fell into a maze that we are still lost in.

President Mohamed Morsi is adopting an intransigent and stubborn attitude even though he is fully aware that granting rights to others is a virtue. The president knows that the constitutional declaration gives him divine rights that are unparalleled in modern history. He knows that what he issued repeals the judiciary and puts it under his own control alone.

He knows that this does not suit a president elected based on a constitutional declaration that defines his powers and functions and does not give him the right to fortify his decrees and laws as if they were a flawless Quran that evil shall never touch.

Finally, he knows that the people will not accept a constitution according to which the president is the absolute ruler.

But why should it matter if the Brotherhood is more powerful than the president? Why should it matter if this is an irreversible divorce between the regime and the revolution?

The group is confident that wealth and power are within its grasp regardless of what people opine and say, thus following the principle of "let them object and demonstrate and let us rule."

The Muslim Brotherhood and the president function with one heartbeat when it comes to the imposition of the brutal constitutional declaration on the Egyptian people, who rejected it completely.

Many leaders justify the refusal, but the arguments are the same. They use words they’ve learned by heart. They never give themselves a chance to think or speak differently. This leaves the group and its followers on one hand, and all of the people of Egypt on another. Although the group failed to mobilize a demonstration against "the revolution has people protecting it" million-man march, they learned nothing from this eloquent lesson. They started to justify their non-staging of a demonstration on that day with the excuse that they wanted to “spare bloodshed.”

However, researcher Tharwat al-Kherbawi was frank. He revealed that the group canceled their demonstrations because of the small number of participants and out of fear that their headquarters could be burnt if it were left without protection. The group's branches in the provinces refused to come to Cairo to protect the headquarters of the group and the party.

According to Kherbawi, the number of group members who would have turned out in Cairo and Giza along with the Salafist supporters would not have exceeded 7,000 people. Consequently, the group would have appeared weak. Moreover, residents of the district of Abdeen and Giza opposed the Brotherhood demonstration in the Abdeen Square or in front of Cairo University. Yet still, the group dealt with this as a victory for the voice of reason and a way to spare bloodshed.

The Brotherhood began its rule right from where the National Democratic Party (NDP) had ended its own: It only sees itself, and it only recognizes what serves its own benefit without paying any respect to the law or the constitution. The proof is its flagrant violation of the rule of administrative justice concerning the return of Jamal Abdul Rahim as editor-in-chief of Al-Gomhuria newspaper. It even sacked him, further disrespecting the court rulings.

The group does not recognize that it is making serious mistakes, and every time it commits a sin, it finds reasons that no one can believe and no logic can accept. All of this emanates from the group's belief that it is ruling with an iron fist, forgetting that those who preceded it were also mired in this illusion. The illusions of the group are similar to those of the NDP; regardless of the amount of time, oppression, injustice or bullying, they will remain mere illusions doomed to disappear.

Found in: protests, muslim, million-man march

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