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The future of the Muslim Brotherhood

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6-2 Ziad AklAlmost nine months have passed since Mohamed Morsi was declared President. Nine months went by with the Muslim Brotherhood on top of state institutions, state authorities and in charge of political policies. Last summer when Morsi went to Tahrir Square for the first time, I was debating with a friend whether this experiment would be a successful one.

One of us saw that Morsi would be a powerful president who would set an example of how efficient Muslim Brotherhood governance could be. The other saw that Morsi’s presidency is hardly an experiment in the first place and that the Muslim Brotherhood, together with their grand projects, is doomed to failure.
Come to think of it, this is where most Egyptians found themselves, torn between the fear of failure and foolish hopes of efficiency. I would argue that ever since Morsi took office, Egyptians have been divided into three main groups, supporters of Morsi and the Brotherhood, skeptics who couldn’t make up their mind to be for or against and finally non-believers, those who thought that nothing good could come out of the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, nine months later, the “skeptics” category has disappeared. Those who had tints of hope that the Brotherhood’s renaissance project will actually take place now realise that the project is nothing but nonsense that’s not worth the price of the paper it is printed on.

Day after day for the past nine months, the political administration of the Muslim Brotherhood has moved steadily from one failure to the other. It became clear to anyone following up what happens in Egypt that the Muslim Brotherhood will not be able to rule without acute problems created by their closed mindedness, short vision and power hungry aspirations.

The ongoing hardships and crises make us wonder and speculate about where will all that end. In other words, what are the possible outcomes of the current situation, what kind of scenarios does the future hold for the Muslim Brotherhood?

Indeed one of the possible outcomes is open violent confrontation. The events of Moqattam on Friday are but a small taste of what could take place because of the Brotherhood’s inefficient administration and their unrestrained attachment to power. The persistence of grievances will make thousands of unsatisfied protesters direct their protests towards the Brotherhood after it has proved that real power is no longer within state institutions, it is embedded in the guidance bureau.

In the same manner that Morsi does not want to be held accountable until his term is over since he was elected, the Muslim Brotherhood does not want to be held accountable for their abuse of power. And since the political tools of the Brotherhood are all being used at the moment to draft enabling laws and prepare for fake elections, tools of violence are the only ones available to the Muslim Brotherhood since they have stricken out the possibilities of dialogue long time ago. Therefore, it is very possible for the current situation to end in episodes of violence that very much resemble civil war.

Another possible outcome is the involvement of the army. The army’s position until now seems to be somewhat vague. So far the army has demonstrated that it will not interfere in domestic politics, but it has also clearly signaled that it will not tolerate any threats to its strategic interests.

While the Brotherhood is unlikely to try and tamper with the regional order at the moment, its hunger for power is likely to direct it towards the two domestic interests of the army, state-owned land and energy trade. With the current Brotherhood performance, it will not be long before their businessmen and their cronies decide to invade those two resourceful avenues.

With growing popular discontent and an interest-based conflict between the army and the Brotherhood, it would be very likely that the army will interfere to either limit the Brotherhood’s involvement in its interests or simply to support the thousands of dissatisfied protesters.

The third possible outcome could very well be determined by economics rather than politics. The bleak economic future that threatens Egypt does not just constitute a threat to the Muslim Brotherhood; it is a threat for the political process as a whole. The administration’s failure to stop the economic decline could very well revert the political process back to square one destroying both the Brotherhood and the opposition.

Does that mean that there are no chances for the Muslim Brotherhood in a promising future? I believe that as long as the Brotherhood remains unable to give compromises and govern efficiently, as long as it remains in denial, as long as it hides behind the blood of its youth who are manipulated by dogma, as long as it refuses to be held accountable by the very people who brought them to office; prospects of a promising future for the Muslim Brotherhood will remain very low.

About the author

Ziad A. Akl

Ziad A. Akl

Ziad A. Akl is a political analyst and sociologist. He is a senior researcher at the Egyptian Studies Unit in Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies.

  • Rosie

    Thanks God, people in Egypt woke up from their never existing dream!I hope it is not too late for the change…As Mr Zaid said before, the Muslim Brotherhood is like cancer!
    Still, what if the best solution (in my opinion) happens and the army takes over?What will happen after?I’m writing my thesis about this current situation…Your answer would really help me!
    God bless Egypt!


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