Home
Loading...
You are here:  Home  >  Politics  >  Egypt  >  Current Article

A spectacular fall from grace for Egypt’s Brotherhood

  /   4 Comments   /   1995 Views

It is a spectacular fall from grace for the Islamist movement, which saw its candidate Mohamed Morsi become the first president in Egypt’s history with a non-military background.

Residents walk through debris and rubble inside the burnt down mosque of Rabaa al-Adawiya on August 15, 2013 in Cairo (AFP/File, Khaled Desouki)

Residents walk through debris and rubble inside the burnt down mosque of Rabaa al-Adawiya on August 15, 2013 in Cairo (AFP/File, Khaled Desouki)

By Mohamad Ali Harissi (AFP)

CAIRO — Just two years ago, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood won the country’s first free elections, but now many in the country call its supporters “terrorists.”

It is a spectacular fall from grace for the Islamist movement, which saw its candidate Mohamed Morsi become the first president in Egypt’s history with a non-military background.

The victory was based on the support of a fragile and reluctant coalition, that splintered as the group alienated non-members in the alliance, paving the way for the July 3 coup against Morsi.

Now it faces powerful anti-Brotherhood sentiment, fanned by comments from government and military officials, and state television.

Even the deaths of nearly 600 people as police cleared two pro-Morsi protests on Wednesday has failed to sway public opinion, with many happy that security forces moved in.

On Saturday, as police dragged Morsi loyalists from a Cairo mosque after an armed standoff, residents cheered and beat the Islamists with sticks and iron bars.

“A small part of the population rejects the use of excessive force against the Brotherhood, but the majority supports it because some Brotherhood supporters are armed,” said Ahmed Zahran, an activist.

Zahran took part in the 2011 uprising against then-president Hosni Mubarak, and voted for Morsi when he ran for president in May 2012.

He wasn’t a Brotherhood supporter, but was willing to give the group a chance, and was eager to keep Morsi’s opponent — former regime member Ahmed Shafiq — out of power.

“Morsi’s victory was achieved on the basis of an alliance in the second round of the elections between the Brotherhood and the revolutionary forces and supporters of the (2011) revolution,” Zahran said.

But that alliance quickly began to strain, and reached breaking point in December 2012, with a constitutional declaration that granted Morsi broad new powers.

“The constitutional declaration totally changed the game,” Zahran added.

It was adopted in a referendum with 64 percent of the vote, but only 33 percent participation.

It turned nervous Christians as well as liberal and political activists who had been willing to give the Brotherhood a chance against them.

The broad coalition that had been expected to participate in drafting a final constitution gradually dwindled to an uniformly Islamist panel.

“The middle class in particular became scared that their way of life would change because Egyptians are religious but certainly not radical and the Brotherhood seemed to be taking the path of radicalism,” Zahran said.

Wael Khalil, a leftwing activist, voted for Morsi to keep Shafiq out of power, but quickly became disillusioned.

He “cried with joy when the results were announced because we avoided the disaster of electing a candidate from the old regime,” he said.

“But afterwards, we discovered the scale of the damage caused by the Brotherhood.”

For writer Fahmy Howeidy, the Brotherhood’s downfall was of their own making, and partly a result of how quickly they came to power.

“Leading a brotherhood means speaking to your supporters, but leading a nation requires that you speak to your opponents as well,” he said.

“And that was not the case.”

The army saw its reputation damaged by abuses during the 16 months it ruled Egypt after the ouster of president Mubarak.

But now most Egyptians seem to have forgiven them, and insist Morsi’s ouster was simply a response to popular demands, rather than a military coup.

Ali Hassan, a doorman, freely acknowledges that he regrets having voted for Morsi, and now says he hopes “the Brothers will be wiped out and won’t come back.”

Gamal Eid, director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, said he saw anger against the Brotherhood growing by the day “because they refuse to admit their mistakes.”

“They are the best organised force in the country, but they still function like a clandestine organisation,” he said.

“They could end up worse off than in 1954,” he added, referring to the year their leaders first went on trial before military courts.

The group was allied with the Free Officers military group that overthrew the British-backed monarchy in 1952.

But they quickly fell from grace then too, earning the wrath of president Gamal Abdul Nasser, who pursued them ruthlessly.

  • AzzaSedky

    ِAgree. It is a fall from grace. Yes, Egyptians mourn the death of everyone; however, the reason why you see only MB members on the streets today is because Egyptians are relieved and satisfied with the goings on.

    See “Egypt, an embattled land” http://azzasedky.typepad.com/egypt/2013/08/egyptian-battered-and-embattled.html

  • Fulan Kishwar

    The idea that all secular people are good is rubbish – Assad’s regime is secular, so was Saddam’s and Mubarak’s. So is the Yemeni government.
    So were Pol Pot and Stalin.

    The military and police and secret police and hired plain clothes thugs who are massacring anti-coup and pro-Morsi protesters now are the same ones who were killing secular and Islamic protesters protesters alike, men, women and children and massacring Christian protesters the last time they were in power in 2011 to mid-2012

    And the idea that any Islamic party is so evil that it can’t be allowed to win elections or even to share power with secular parties is also nonsense. The Muslim Brotherhood include extremists and moderates, but the majority of them are nothing like as extreme Al Qa’ida or the Taliban.

    Al Qa’ida and other armed jihadist groups mostly hate the Muslim Brotherhood for taking part in elections and democratic government which Al Qa’ida and some other armed jihadists (e.g many of the Jihadists in Sinai) consider ‘unIslamic’

  • abdul .a. shaiky

    THE TITLE TERRORIST FOR MUSLIM BROTHER HOOD IS NOT NEW.
    AT THE TIME THEY WERE AGAINST NASISR BUT AMERICA AND SAUDI ARABIA WAS SUPPORTING THEM.!!! WHAT A SHAME.
    HUSSAINI MUBARAK KILLED THEM AND PUT IN JAIL.!!!
    NOW EGYPTIAN ARMY PRO WEST SECULAR CALLING THEM TERRORIST.!! SHAME ON OUR HYPOCRACY.
    POLITICS OF GREEN CARD AND AID NOT FOR PEOPLE OF EGYPT.!!
    HOPELESS.. MORE BLOODSHADE LIKE IRAQ IS COMMING.!!

    • zarzoor

      you’re misinformed…the brotherhood is over, they are and will always be terrorists. shame on you.


You might also like...

Shoukry heads to Algeria for Libya crisis discussions

Read More →