Three months after June30, the Brotherhood leaders are either in prison, hiding, or in exile. Following the massive crackdown, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has decided to move its media center to an undisclosed address in London. This announcement has coincided with news of alleged meetings held by the Muslim Brotherhood’s international organization in Istanbul and Lahore to look at ways to escalate action against the regime in Egypt. There is also an Islamist gathering in Doha chaired by Qatari-based Azmi Bishara to discuss the Islamist movement and democracy.
The Muslim brotherhood has experienced two major waves that have risen and fallen. The first wave was in 1928 in its original launch by group founder Hassan el-Banna and then the ruthless crackdown of president Nasser beginning in 1954. The second wave started in 1971 with the release of their leaders from imprisonment, and ended this year with the collapse of Morsi’s rule and the subsequent crackdown.
The collective movements along the axis of Doha – Istanbul – London -Lahore can provide refuge to the Brotherhood diaspora and another chance to regroup and launch a third wave. Many analysts have already written passionately that the group is down, but not finished as an organization. They argue that ideas do not die, particularly, as in the Brotherhood case, where the ideas are fortified by deeply rooted social structures, including medical charities and extensive student networks.
While this is true, the question still remains if the outside mushrooming of the Brotherhood will help or hinder the group’s activities within Egypt. There is the potential for negative impacts from this new flux of outside support. A successful rise of a third wave is challenged by several factors.
The loss of support from most Gulf states
Unlike the time during the 70s, the current Brotherhood has lost important backers in the Gulf region like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. Their members and supporters in these countries will have to tread carefully in order to prevent a similar crackdown. Saudi Arabia’s support of the current leadership in Egypt and its hostile stance against the Muslim Brotherhood is well known. In the UAE, the battle against the Muslim Brotherhood continues along with the imprisonment of 69 Islamists for sedition. Undoubtedly, Qatar will try its best to fill the void, but despite its endless financial resources; history and geography is against this tiny, rich Arab state. Qatar has simply never won when its neighbors actively stood up against its interests. Therefore, a revival of 70s survival tactics in the Gulf would be a hard and tricky task for the Muslim Brotherhood and its patron Qatar.
The elusive support of the Ottomans
Turkey is another emerging patron of the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has repeatedly rejected the ousting of Morsi, and openly criticized the army leader Sisi, even hinting that one-day Sisi may be assassinated. The manufactured yellow and black Rabaa hand gesture was invented in Turkey and exported to Egypt. Istanbul is a haven for many Brotherhood cadres. There is a mutual romantic vision shared by the Muslim Brotherhood and the neo-Ottomans; both consider the collapse of the Ottoman empire as the root of the many problems and challenges that have plagued Middle Eastern societies. This is misplaced romanticism for many reasons
- The new Ottomans view the region from the prism of their collapsed empire, but they lack knowledge and expertise in modern Arab history that can help them to engage positively with regional players in the post-Arab-spring era. This is precisely why they failed to grasp the reasons behind the rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
- The new Ottomans are heavily focusing on fighting the coup in Egypt, rather than helping the Brotherhood to emulate their own Turkish transformation after the 1997 coup in Turkey. Ottoman anger is feeding the Brotherhood’s emotional jittery behavior, rather than helping to spur a more sober recovery and transformation of the group’s 85-year-old senile structure.
- Ottoman Islamists have no clear theory regarding the role of religion in political life. Their own experience is mainly a slow introduction of religious teaching and symbols to replace the kemalist doctrine. They have not developed a clear strategy to buttress against Islamic radicalism, or to strengthen liberalizing Islamic thoughts. Therefore, their role in modernizing the Muslim brotherhood will always be limited to the tactical and not the ideological front.
As Bel Trew has explained, London is an important destination outside of Egypt for the Brotherhood. There are already various Brotherhood activists who live in London that have developed close links with traditional UK media outlets, and they are heavily involved in lobbying for the Muslim Brotherhood cause. Hesham Shafick aptly explained why did the Muslim Brotherhood survive in London. But again, links with the UK have limitations:
- Although London was the head office for the Brotherhood’s English-language website, “Ikhwanweb,” since 2005, currently, however, the web site is under more scrutiny and exposure, any press release is meticulously checked by opponents. Moving to London may maintain the group’s freedom, but it will not give the movement any breathing space to expand upon clichés or doublespeak.
- London is also a base for other non-Islamists Egyptian expats, and of many Gulf-sponsored outlets that are openly against the Muslim Brotherhood.
- As Shafick explained, moving to London will leave Cairo with the less skilled elite.
- All the cadres who move to the UK will be exposed to financial and legal scrutiny, as the British government has recently tighten the laws regarding permanent residency, financial links, and tax declaration. Unlike the 80s and 90s, Islamists cadres may not find London to be the same friendly place it once was to them.
The choice of Lahore for a Brotherhood meeting may came as surprise to some, but the link between the Muslim Brotherhood and Pakistan is as old as the group itself; this historic photo is just one example. Following June30, many Pakistanis have protested against the coup, and in support of the Brotherhood. They drew similarities between events in Egypt with their own 1999 coup by General Musharraf. Can Pakistan help Egypt’s Brotherhood? The short answer is an emphatic no. Other than moral support, and some protests holding the Rabaa sign, Pakistan has no political or financial impact in Egypt that qualify it to offer fundamental support to their Egyptian Brothers. It also values its relation with Saudi Arabia and may not wish to compromise that relationship.
While countries like Turkey and Pakistan may want to help the Muslim Brotherhood, they also need to focus on their own domestic front. Such a clash in interests may affect the long-term strategic alliance between the Brotherhood and these countries.
To sum up, the new Doha – Istanbul – London – Lahore axis may provide the Muslim Brotherhood with moral, residential and financial support, but it will not help the group to re-boot or launch its third wave of incarnation inside Egypt. The organization may find a surge of non-Egyptian supporters, but this will only be associated with a decline or no change in Egyptian affiliations. Ideas do not die, but its survival may depend on various mutations. The Brotherhood in its third wave may inherit many English, Turkish, and Urdu traits, but at root they have to solve the conundrum of how to channel these new traits into a strategy to save and reinvigorate their social and political roots inside Egypt in a post-Morsi era.
Reblogged this on Ned Hamson Second Line View of the News.
Embassy of Pakistan
October 2, 2013
Commenting on news stories appearing in the media about a meeting of some religious groups in Lahore concerning the situation in Egypt, Ambassador Manzoor ul Haq said that the position of the government of Pakistan on the situation in Egypt is clear. Pakistan pursues the policy of non interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Egypt and Pakistan enjoy close and friendly relations based on bonds of fraternity, mutual respect and aspirations of the people of the two countries. It is the earnest hope of the Government and people of Pakistan that the brotherly people of Egypt would be able to overcome their current challenges in a manner that ensures smooth transition to democracy, political stability and sustained economic development while ensuring wellbeing of the people.
* Coups are not something internal but external. Foreign powers(especially WEST) use it to control a country when things are not going well for them. (see external roots in Turkey’s coups)
* Saying OK to coups and making problems solve by calm down by time without rejecting them firmly makes Egypt lose not months, years but 10s of years. No army general will let muslimbrotherhood after seeing what Erdoğan did their own coup generals. After failing to control Erdoğan, neither west nor Israel will let Mursi back again. So making MB calm down is nonsense.
* Not letting political Islam to rule their own countries even with the ballot box and using minorities, coups to make them away from government will empower al quada’s claims, increase the number of their members. Because nobody wants to play a game in which there is not a possibility to win for him/her.
* Generals of 28 feb. 1997 coup in Turkey said, it will continue 1000 years. After 5 years they were surprised with the events and deep support for Erdogan. Erdogan did not have foreign supporters like Arabia or current Turkey. But managed to achieve his goal. So nobody can make a guess that muslim brother can’t be back for a third time.
* You tweeted “Morsi did a coup”. The definition of coup does not contain the term “ballot box”.
* As a person having sympathy to neo-Ottomanism, I can clearly say you don’t understand me: I don’t want to rule Middle East under my control but I want Middle East not to be milked by western powers any more. I lost too much with coups, divide and milk stuff, synthetic problems created to control Middleeast and safeguard Israel. I am affected from the lack of stability, growth around me. (an EU model in middle east) Is there a muslim country not being milked and suffered, cried, humilated today? I am hesitated with that not as an Ottoman but as a muslim. World is introduced as a garden by West. (democracy, human rights,etc). But in fact it is a wild jungle. Values and principals of west is a huge lie. To see it, you just need to make some big players lose. You will see the lions appearing in your garden.
* And yes, problems in middle east occured after the collapse of Ottoman Empire, and searching for unity and stability in middle east is not ROMANTICISM. (I don’t want to rule but want middle east not be ruled/milked any more externally)
Thanks for your reply. You clearly did not read the piece, just regurgitate your beliefs. I cited three problems with turkey that you did not answers. wanting good things for the Middle East is good, but not enough, you have to fortify it with wise plan, and deep understanding of the differences among the nations. God did not create us as smiler harmonious cult, human beings differ just as the fingers of one hands differs. These differences are sources of clashes, and even enmity. The Ottomans , whether you like it or not were tyrants that oppressed Arabs, as well as Greeks and others. You think your grand parents were angels?
Here another question for you, why Turkey did not raise any concerns when Morsi’s government killed opponents. or was that halal?
Furthermore, Turkey reckless policies in the region has facilitated the entrance of al-Qaeda in Syria. Finally, you said I do not understand you, but I am not riffling in the Turkish domestic policy. If you opt to manipulate the Egyptian politics, at least by supporting rabaa, you MUST understand all Egypt, and not just your fellow Islamists.
Yes, you are not romantic, you just live in a denial, and refuse to read, except what suit your ideology. Shame.
Firstly, I read your piece before answering. And I also re-read the necessary points again. You could easily catch up my implicit answers.
* “lack knowledge and expertise in modern Arab history that can help them to engage positively with regional players in the post-Arab-spring era”
Can you open what was missed by Turkey as “knowledge and expertise in modern Arab history” with a few sentences? Because it is something nobody can object with a closed meaning. So I would be really kindly pleased to learn something new.
* “The new Ottomans are heavily focusing on fighting the coup in Egypt, rather than helping the Brotherhood to emulate their own Turkish transformation after the 1997 coup in Turkey.”
In Turkey from 1997 to 2002, there is no transformation/agreement but mis-calculation by coup generals who were sure from their victory (see “it wont last 1000 years”)
Kindly, if I were Sisi, I won’t ever never negotiate with MB after I saw what Erdogan did and what MB will do to coup generals if it is back. So there is no single chance of transformation. Sisi knows he won’t be safe if he loosen his control.
* “Ottoman Islamists have no clear theory regarding the role of religion in political life. Their own experience is mainly a slow introduction of religious teaching and symbols to replace the kemalist doctrine. They have not developed a clear strategy to buttress against Islamic radicalism, or against liberalizing Islamic thoughts.”
Half right, half wrong. Half right: Erdogan is Islamist indeed. But he failed to show a consistent theory how to govern atheist, secular, ultra-nationalist, kemalist, hedonist guys making them content with his governance. But also atheist, secular, ultra-nationalist, kemalist, hedonists have problem in their governance of muslims, kurds, etc. So this is not the problem of only Islamists. Nobody proved that there is an absolute solution to that, also.
Half Wrong: “They have not developed a clear strategy to buttress against Islamic radicalism, or against liberalizing Islamic thoughts”
So now after the coup we have more liberal islamic thoughts, less radicals. I think you will end up with either more radical muslims or muslims in liberal apperarence but having “secret agenda”.(münafık)
By the way, which of the regional Arab players are really “Regional” and Arab in middle east?
Saudi Arabia governed by a family who fears of his own community and MB roots in his community and relying on US support to stay in power, milked by the west. Jordan also afraid of MB. Lebanon is western designed state of having christians in power. Thanks to Hizbullah, currently a puppet of Iran. Syria is France designed Nusayri minority governing weak state strongly allied with Iran and Russia. Besar usually using brute force, muhaberat to empower his authority against majority. Syria is using covert tactics to balance his power against his neighbours. (see PKK Esad relation, Hezbollah-Esad Relation, etc). Mubarak was a dictator to make control Egypt easily and safeguard Israel. Iraq: We know Saddam was puppet of west used to balance the Iran after 1979 until his crossing the line in Kuwait and changing his oil bank account into euro from dollar.
Sure there is differences among the nations. But I am not curious about the natural ones, I am curious about the synthetic ones. We have to find a way between Salafi Islam and Sufi Islam (Esari or Maturidi) as in golden ages of Islam where such a man had to opportunity of freedom of speech. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Ma%CA%BFarri
By the way, nationalism is something leading to war, leading to micro-level nationalism. It is endless.
No human is angel as long as human nature is sloped to make faults by creation.
Ottomans are no exception to that by definition, whether I come accross some historic realities or not. I am not a denier of events as long as they rely on strong documents and there exist better, softer solutions to handle problems that was missed.
Also power has an evil side, as mentioned in the experiment:
But Allah created evil, so we need to live with that, if there is no better solution, your solution is not questionable.
I questioned why did not Ottoman help Andalucia, I questioned the missing support of Ottoman to caucasian islamic army who sought their freedom against russia, I questioned validity of waging war against Egypt under Selim the Grim, acc. to Islam. I even asked do we really need to invade europe, conquer Constantinople, kill that much man, lose that much man…
I also found some answers. In an era of crusades and brute force, you have to be strong, you have to earn much, control strategic territory and make a big army before someone get stronger than you and crush you. There was no UN no strong alliances no diplomacy. (They even not work in those days, you can’t rely on them)
By the way, could a single towned state grow and become empire and survive for more than 600 years by only tyranny? Did not it respected regional leaders and communities? What was the sadrazam’s(second man) nationalities? Did they milked the lands they conquer or build them up? What was your alternative to the so called Ottoman tyranny? Is current middle east better then ottoman era? (let me send you a drawing of palestinian children smiling in an Eid during 1900s, do they smile now)
You are not bothered with an european/crusade invasion for ages until one day France step into Egypt and Syria, Italians crushing Libyans under their tanks and English general insulting to Salahaddins grave, Israel killing Paletinians. Your grandfathers could trade easily along broad united lands safely and easily.
You know what I am proud of my grandfathers. We did not milked other lands and collected the gold to enjoy theirselves. You can see Ottoman investments and structures in Balkans and everywhere. Anatolia is bare by means of that. My grandfathers sent ships full of food to Ireland during famine, they sents ships to Ace (Indonesia) to help them defend theirselves agains invading Portuguese. They are sure not angels but it is questionable for me if they are merciless or would it be better if they don’t hold these lands without explicit docs and judgement not standards of now but standards and options of their era.
“Turkey did not raise any concerns when Morsi’s government killed opponents. or was that halal?”
I read it here:
But I haven’t seen a video about it. If Morsi did that, sure he have to pay for it.
And Turkey must warned Mursi for it.
But it must be proved first. It is not halal, as what I know from Islam.
But Is its penalty making a coup, who will be the next governer when coup general also kills protesters? Or is he immune to that? How can we differentiate opportunists who want to use excuses to hijack the governance? Your solution to the problem brings more problems with it.
Like “A part of the cure is another part of the disease”. So we must rely on ballot box and social conscience to solve things by time.
Again, with respect, your have two problems ( like many Ottoman Turks, and Islamists in general): First, you see things with black and white lens, good versus evil. That is simply not true. I life there are fifty shades of grey. Who killed Caliph? Muslims.Who Killed Caliph Ali? again Muslims. and Muslims who thoughts they were good fighting bad.
Second, you think Arabs problems are similar to Turkey. Here is a surprise for you. Non-Islamistsin Egypt are not Kemalists, although I have nothing Kemalists, and I feel sick that you despise you fellow Turks just because they have different ideology. But back to the topic of Egypt, the vast majority of Egyptians are devout Muslims who reject secularism. we have 10-15% Christians and the are all devout. The joke in Egypt is, even thieves and belly dancers pray to God.
1971 Constitution enshrined Islam as the ONLY source of legalisation, and NO One in Egypt, including Morsi’s opponents reject that. It may even surprise you that Sissi’s wife wear wide black gown from head to toe, and his daughter cover her face ( niqab), hardly a character of Munafiq. his disagreement with Morsi is political and has nothing to do with religion. The Muslim Brotherhood has deliberate label their opponents as secular to tarnish them in front of their Ottoman friends.
As for me, I have turkish blood, follow Turkish politics from the age f 10, ad I toured most of Turkey including astern Anatolia and the kurdish region, so when I write about Turkey, i write after a formulated a clear thoughts. I am also liberal and secular, but I also studied the quran, and know most of it by heart, and recite it every Friday. if you go to Cairo, you find millions pray every Friday.
In addition, you need to differentiate between the knowledge of individuals, and the knowledge of governments. facts, none of Erdogan advisors has studied ( as political scientist ) modern Egyptian history, or the evolution of the Egyptian army. Fact: we never had an equivalent of Ataturk. Our army is so different than yours.
As for the Ottoman empire, I am afraid your history books are only tell half truth. Ottoman did rule and MILK the Arab world. Simply look at cities like Cairo, Damascus, and Baghdad, all were shining before the Ottoman empire, and gone into neglect and poverty after. Education has deteriorated during Ottoman rule, that is why Arab nations were easily colonised by the West. the Ottomans were not evil, but were not good. The best description of the Ottoman rule is a step father, who do the basic minimum to his sons of law, but never care about their welfare. We, arabs, paid a hefty price for the long, dark era of Ottoman era.
* “Non-Islamists in Egypt are not Kemalists, although I have nothing Kemalists,
and I feel sick that you despise you fellow Turks just because they have different
Kemalists comprise of these groups:
* Some atheists, seculars, positivists who hates religion and believes only science can guide humanity
* Some communists and ultra-leftists
* Some ultra-nationalists(they claim they are leftists 🙂 ): they want pure homogenous turkish nation, ignores kurds and others
* Some hedonists: they want to defend their lifestyles (alcohol, sex, etc), they resist even scientific facts for their joy.
* Some of the kemalists respect Ataturk as a half-God, some are aware, some not of that, but they look like idolaters.
* There are some muslims who don’t know unofficial/real history 1920-2000, because of the official history told them. They see Ataturk as a normal person who wanted good for them.
So I don’t have respect on them, not because of they are simply different thinking but they made many fitna and they waged a covert war against Islam. PKK terror where 30000 people killed and billions of dollars lost have deep roots in Kemalism. Kurds started to rebel when khilafah is cancelled and a nationalistic state tried to be founded. Because they were told they were major for the state as Turks, but they realised they did not have same rights.
* “I am also liberal and secular, but I also studied the quran, and know most of it by heart, and recite it every Friday”
You know some liberal authors like Mustafa Akyol, tweeted to you that “you are not liberal”. A liberal always defends the ballot box, rights of minorities, freedom of speech. All together as one. He/She never supports a coup. Also I can’t imagine someone both being a secular and a muslim who believes Quran is the words of Allah. It really contradicts but I don’t want to blame anyone for that.
* “Our army is so different than yours.”
Sure I heard that Egyptian army’s characteristic of never ever attacking its own people on Turkish media via commenters. I respected to that when Mubarak was ousted. But that image collapsed for me after these videos.
For my sight of black and white, I ask you a simple question:
Is it better after the coup? Do you have solution or more problems? You can’t use a clean ballot box without tricks to decide new governer. So you step back from democracy. What will be Egypt’s new method to select a governer?
Sis will have to give concessions to external powers to stay in power. So Egypt will lose time, money and everything. I know that from my country. Egypt will be another country like Saudi Arabia, where governers gain their validity by external powers and maintain strong authority.
* “Ottoman did rule and MILK the Arab world. Simply look at cities like Cairo,
Damascus, and Baghdad, all were shining before the Ottoman empire,
and gone into neglect and poverty after. ”
I read Fuat Sezgin’s excellent book about Islam Scence history and know the scientific superiority of Arab-Islamic community between 8th-12th century in golden age of Islam. (Sorry it is turkish)
They were 5 centuries ahead of their westerns neighbours. They already sent ships to America from Morocco and Andalucia in 10th century. Many scientific progress which happened in europe around 17th century already happened in Islamic world in 12th century.
Thanks for the info. I will re-read my history with these ideas in my mind. I am not a blind patriot. But I asked these questions long before to myself. And here is my answers:
What shadowed the shine over Cairo, Damascus, and Baghdad was not the Ottoman Empire but was Genkhis Khan, who sacked Baghdad, killed many citizens and scholars, made them run away (also Damascus) (13th century)
Seljuk dynasty also collapsed. Islamic world huffed to the outside world, concentrated on building army rather than argueing new ideas, Instead of generating new ideas they started repeat old ideas. Esari ecole dominated Maturidi ecole of Islam which was dominant during golden age. That is the main reason Islamic world downed. See: http://www.amazon.com/Islam-without-Extremes-Muslim-Liberty/dp/0393070867
Ottomans came to arab middle east in late 15th century. So Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo was not shining at that time. Ottomans was an empire relying on holding trade routes for making strong armies. They have nothing with science to empower their state. So when you are talking about milking arabs and leaving them uneducated, you must show something that Ottomans have but did not share with Arabs. Ottomans could not keep up with the era by 17th century, they can’t modernise themselves, stop corruption and nationalism, so they also collapsed. Turks and Arabs were at the same level when Ottoman collapsed by means of welfare and education.
* “We, arabs, paid a hefty price for the long, dark era of Ottoman era.”
Have you thought that, you did not fought with each other in middle east for 4 centuries and lived in unity because of Ottomans? You now have many countries but no unity.
Sorry I am too much tired of that conversation, that I can’t continue any more. Hope you understand.
It is sick and outrageous that you attack me despite that I politely replied to you. Akyol never attacked me, or claim that I am personally not liberal. He was talking in general, not me personally. Plus you again write about the coup, while I am pleading for understanding. It is a joke that you deny how Ottomans mistreated their subjects. Fact, Cairo was shining when Selim conquered it. So Sezgin wrote about the shinning Arabs, but somehow they were backward before the Turks came. how cosy! and somehow the Turks are not responsible for heir disintegrated states. again how convenient. deny it as much as you want, but it is the truth. Of course you are tired, you cannot continue.
Only people with no answers who start to attack persons not ideas! Your mighty Erdogan claims he is secular or his secularism is better than an Arab woman Arab secularism? Also Akyol claim he is secular. I guess I am a lower cast. May be I should not have bothered to reply. I was raised to have manners, and I was taught not to ignore people. Therefore I left my work to reply to you, because I value every reader. My bad.
“Turkey reckless policies in the region has facilitated the entrance of al-Qaeda in Syria”
Nowadays if you ask a moderate pro-rebel Syrian who oppose Al-Qaeda on twitter, he/she will be explicitly blame WEST instead of Turkey for the rise of al-Qaeda. WEST declared that it will support Syrian rebels by arms, etc, but did not surprise me as changing his decision in the middle of the game and leaving Syrians open to a massacre by Esad as father Esad did in 1980s Hama. In the lack of arms, bullets, even a moderate secular Syrian had to left FSA and join Nusra where there was guarantee of arms to survive. “There is a documentary on youtube that a FSA logistics officer declaring that he had only 6 packets of bullets left to his curious fighters on the front in Aleppo who are saying we are out of bullets, can’t hold our lines”. I believe in control of motivation and reasons other than borders. It is not lack of border control but betraying policy of WEST, who forced Syrians to ally with al-Qaeda.
As I am saying you don’t understand Turkey’s motivation, I don’t expect you to understand Turkey’s domestic policy but Turkey’s foreign policy against Egypt. Because you are already judging/criticising it and somebody who judges something must first undertand it for sure.
By the was, I never supported the Coup, but I understand how it happened and why. Big difference!
But also you did not condemn the coup and its killings? Did I miss it? Coup is not something valid for anyone for what ever its reason is. Condemning coup does not make you support MB. You can still be neutral or criticize MB for its actions.
And sorry but I did not try to offend you, hope you forgive me. I tried to tell you that you don’t fit in the definition of liberalism. Also thanks for replying and taking it serious.
I DID… And wrote here on this blog that authorties should not disperse Rabaa, also wrote that Sisi will not save Egypt’s non-Islamists. There is a third way movement in Egypt, an anti-Brotherhood, anti-coup movement. Independent Robert Fisk even mentioned me http://t.co/Jwx6V74FRN
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