Friday, March 25, 2011

Muslim Brotherhood March 2011

Dear readers:

Due to the enormous interest in the topic, I will be updating what I know on the Muslim Brotherhood regularly. What I will do to keep the conversation flowing, is to post one post on the Muslim Brotherhood monthly, with updated news and analysis, from both Egyptian and American sources, and of course, my favorite, Al Jazeera.

March 25, 2011
12:33 p.m.

In a long article in the New York Times on March 24, 2011, Michael Slackman and Nadim Audi argue that the Muslim Force is in a secret coalition with the military. I read this article with some surprise. It was my perception that Egypt seems predominantly secular, and most people are not comfortable with the MB slogan, "Islam as a Way of Life." My friend Manal Samra, who is a development expert with GTZ, tells me, however, that she is concerned some prior arrangement has been struck. 

When I reposted this article on Facebook, and wrote "I do not agree," Daniel Epstein, a Professor of Comparative Politics and a Fulbright Scholar asked me 

Does "do not agree" refer to the prediction that it will thwart fundamental changes? Or just that you do not agree with the goals and direction of the Brotherhood? Or that you don't think it's really taking the leading role?" 

Good questions, Dan. Well, I do not agree with the MB, that is obvious, but who cares, I am not Egyptian. I did not think they were taking the "leading role." Perhaps I am wrong on that, but let me keep researching. The Muslim Brotherhood certainly will attempt to thwart fundamental change. Rushing through the amendments, and rushing the elections helps the MB and NDP and hurts other democratic organizations in Egypt. I was also surprised that they were allowed to give voters food and oil while encouraging them to vote yes. This strikes me as bribes for votes, and seems like a serious violation of free and fair elections.  

1 comment:

  1. I think it is also important to highlight that the Muslim Brotherhood are the most "well organized" group on the ground. This is in terms of the communities in which they work with and support, as well as in how they divide themselves across areas in Egypt. Of course, they have a good financial position as well. Of course they do want to lead at a point in time, even though they declared that they have no intention to have any candidates for Presidential elections. I think they have intentions to do so, but they are following the "take it slowly approach", in the hope of mobilizing and influence more people. They are already establish six (6), yes six political parties, and this does scare me as an Egyptian