After the constitution referendum has ended its two phases, columnists are debating the situation of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2005 and now in 2012. Some writers are calling upon the opposition groups to unite up in serious political parties.
The Muslim Brotherhood between 2005 and 2012
Mohamed Abul Ghar
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper
Abul Ghar compares the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2005 and in 2012. He argues that although the Brotherhood was practicing politics without any legal context in 2005, the group was capable of gaining public support as one of the strongest opponents to Mubarak. Many Egyptians empathized with the members who were repeatedly arrested and subjected to countless military trials.
“The Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood was the noblest symbol of the group and used to gain the respect of many Egyptians”, writes Abul Ghar. When one looks into the current situation of the Brotherhood today, it is clear that the once-banned group has lost much of the support it once gained.
After the 25 January 2011 revolution, those in Tahrir have denounced the Brotherhood’s political maneuvers to reach power. Their backroom political deals with former Vice-President Omar Sulieman have negatively affected their image. The Brotherhood’s popularity significantly dropped after they held secret meetings with the then-ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces to pass the March 2011 constitutional declaration.
“They were not part of the uprising, but a fake player who sought authority”, writes Abul Ghar. For the Brotherhood, the revolution was only a means to one end: power. Thanks to the recent support of the Salafists and voter fraud marring the referendum, the Brotherhood is succeeding in accordance with their plan. Abul Ghar says the group is fascist, which starts off with superficial acceptance of democracy and later holds power through of militias and various forms of institutionalized violence.
Six million votes, waiting for the serious ones
Emad Al-Din Hussein
“As six million voters marked ‘no’ in the constitution referendum,” Hussein writes, “the number represents opposition or anti-Islamists in the country”. Hussein calls upon the opposition groups to seriously consider those six million votes, use them properly, and organize serious political parties that represent anti-Islamism in Egypt.
During Mubarak times, opposition groups used to complain against the tight margin of available freedom. Now that the right of freedom of expression appears larger, the writer encourages opposition to untie and practice proper politics.
Hussein argues that secular groups should start their mobilization by approaching the ordinary citizen in the street. The writer suggests that mobilization of secular groups should continue for longer periods of time. Opposition has the option of going to villages and small towns to convince inhabitants to vote for them in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Hussein believes that the best way to reach the Egyptian people is to open up public dialogue, rather than igniting meaningless fights and chaos. The Egyptian opposition has a hard mission to undertake. In order to most effectively spread their ideology, they have to start by approaching the people first.