Egyptian Aak-Week 29. The Brotherhood’s Nakba


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The Brotherhood’s Nakba

A few months ago, on one of the private TV channels, the presenter asked Hani Salaheddin (a presenter on the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Misr25 TV) what he thought of Tamarod. He smirked and replied that it is a positive step; at least it is peaceful, better than the violence of the Black bloc. He added that they should play politics, not violence. Ex-Jihadi Tarek el-Zomor, founder of the Building and Development Party, on the same program, agreed, hinting that if Tamarod has reached its target and collected millions of signatures, then President Morsi should listen to the public. Weeks passed and Tamarod announced it had collected two millions signatures. At this poing, Salaheddin changed his tune, and started to accuse Tamarod of forging signatures and deceiving the public. He remained uncomvinced that they would succeed, he was also full of praise for the army, dismissing any differences between General Sissi and President Morsi.

A week before June30, I wrote “for the Islamist, June 30 will be a chance to deliver a final blow to the opposition. A defeat for the opposition would be the political equivalent of 1967 military defeat that will take years for any sort of non-Islamist recovery.” What followed was the exact opposite; the army’s coup has delivered a heavy blow to the Muslim Brotherhood, a kind of a political “Naksa,” which they are still struggling to come to terms with.

Thus far, their response resembles Nasser’s response after the six-day war: A war of attrition by 1) flooding their followers with a propaganda campaign, accusing the others of being traitors, and full of sectarian narratives; 2) Organizing marches in various districts of Cairo and other regions, besieging media city, even attacking Cairo’s psychiatric hospital; 3) back-door negotiations with international mediators to clinch some sort of a face-saving deal.

The obstacles that are facing the Brotherhood are many. First, the sit-in is unsustainable. Local media are full of rumors of scabies and other infections at Rabaa sit in; residents are tired and fed-op. Second: Internal divisions, although not public are inevitable. If Baheyya is already listing Morsi’s unfortunate mistakes, then I am sure many others are already doing it, particularly inside the group’s senior ranks, or those of them who are still free; undoubtedly, they are pondering what to do next.

The Brotherhood needs to formulate immediate, intermediate, and long-term plans. It is a colossal task to say the least, for now, I doubt they think more than the next few weeks ahead. They need some sort of victory that they can sell to their tired, exhausted faithful followers. Their move to commemorate the 1973 victory is, in a way, a desire to achieve an equivalent political achievement even if it is symbolic or partial, but what would be that victory? Last week, there was a chance for a bargain; this chance is diminishing by the day. The army and the interim government are cementing facts on the ground that is getting harder to reverse. By cancelling a series of grants and loans to Egypt, the EU has already lost most of its leverage, and the Brothers’ EU mediators may not have many tools to twist the Junta’s hands. The idea floated by Omar Ashour for Obama to be a mediator or guarantors is highly unlikely to happen. At best, the Brotherhood may get a conditional release of their senior members, with a promise to release Morsi later, and a promise of fair elections

If mediations failed, which is a high probability, then a confrontation would be the other alternatives. The Brothers will continue to protest, and march in the street of Cairo until the army decides to end the sit-in forcibly. This scenario may sound disastrous, but can be ideal for the Brothers; as they already made the transition from “rulers to protestors,” it make sense to finish it of with another transition to an oppressed, under-ground movement. This will cement the image of bad Cops versus Good Democrats, and give a chance to the tired group to lick their wounds within their comfort zone, and away from scrutiny and blame.

On the other hand, the Junta is not necessarily wiser. I was taking aback with the many angry statements that many retired generals gave to local TV. They are as self-righteous as their Islamist enemies. The daily tension in Sinai has clearly had an impact on their psyche. The risk is they may grow impatient and try to end Rabaa’s sit-in by force. The writing is already on the wall; local residents have already had enough, rumors of health issues are already spreading in local media. Pardon my cynicism, but I fear a mini- Tiananmen in Rabaa. I hope and pray I will be proven wrong.

It is unfortunate that the Brothers do not have a crafty leader like Sadat, however, I think even if they have one, they will dismiss him, just as they dismissed Abdel Monueim Aboul Fetouh . I also doubt that even over the long term, the group will not be capable of reform, I humbly agree with analysts’ forecast of the future of the Muslim Brotherhood, there is no doubt that Islamism will survive in Egypt, but regarding the Muslim Brotherhood; at best, they will conduct some tactical reforms to keep them afloat, but a successful second coming need a major structural and ideological reforms that even if it happens, it will make them anything, but a Brotherhood.

On a different note:

I doubt the protestors in Rabaa would have a sit in during Ramadan, and relentless protests around Cairo if the army ousted a non-Islamist like ElBaradei. Let’s not kid ourselves that this sit-in is about legitimacy; if Army sided by Morsi and arrested the NSF leaders and Tamarod leaders o June30, Sissi would be hailed as the best General ever. So I hope the Islamists stop playing the “democrats.” Card.

It is tragic, and painful to admit, but democracy has failed in Egypt and we may never be able to regain it simply because we yet to have true democratic forces that cut the road on any military interference.

Nonetheless, there is a simple fact that all parties, including the mighty experts keep forgetting, no one ruled Egypt without the consent of its people. Baheyya asked a very good question: “If men with guns and tanks can simply arrest an elected president, then what’s to keep them from doing it again and again?” The answer is simple. The people will. The army will never has done it without the people; a fact that many chose to ignore. If Morsi responded to the demands of the public, he could avert the current stand off.

It is ironic that both our autocrats, fake democrats, observers, analysts, claim that Egyptians are great people, yet they patronize, mock, and accuse them of being either traitors or idiots. I beg to differ. I trust my people, and trust that the spirit of Tahrir has not died.

Good Read

Finally, here are Jayson Casper‘s prayers for Egypt.

About nervana111

Blogger and Commentator on Middle East issues
This entry was posted in Diary of Aak, Egypt, June30 and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Egyptian Aak-Week 29. The Brotherhood’s Nakba

  1. nedhamson says:

    Reblogged this on Ned Hamson Second Line View of the News and commented:
    Spot on! “Nonetheless, there is a simple fact that all parties, including the mighty experts keep forgetting, no one ruled Egypt without the consent of its people. Baheyya asked a very good question: “If men with guns and tanks can simply arrest an elected president, then what’s to keep them from doing it again and again?” The answer is simple. The people will. The army will never has done it without the people; a fact that many chose to ignore. If Morsi responded to the demands of the public, he could avert the current stand off.

    It is ironic that both our autocrats, fake democrats, observers, analysts, claim that Egyptians are great people, yet they patronize, mock, and accuse them of being either traitors or idiots. I beg to differ. I trust my people, and trust that the spirit of Tahrir has not died.”

  2. Crazed Censorship says:

    Why didn’t you include http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jul/18/cairo-republican-guard-shooting-full-story

    It has the the most detailed documentation of the events that killed 51 people. It was published on Thursday, June 18. Selective memory? (Is it because they are exposing your army benefactors?)

    When you said, “I doubt the protestors in Rabaa would have a sit in during Ramadan, and relentless protests around Cairo if the army ousted a non-Islamist like ElBaradei.” I think you completely missed the point. ElBaradei can’t win an election. In the last election, he got like less than 5% of the people’s vote.

  3. Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m definitely enjoying your
    blog and look forward to new posts.

    • nervana111 says:

      Hey
      Many thanks for your kind comments.
      Joining Twitter is easy. All you need to do us to sign up. By filling your details and choose a password.
      Then you start to follow people. I am under @Nervana_1.
      Thanks

  4. Margarita says:

    whoah this blog is great i love studying your posts.
    Keep up the great work! You already know, a lot of people are looking round for this info, you can help them
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