The downfall of Muslim Brotherhood
MASSIVE protests against former President Muhammad Mursi of Egypt have erupted across the country which prompted the military to intervene to preserve the country’s national security by unceremoniously removing Mursi from power and installing Adly Mansour, the top judge of Egypt’s constitutional court, as interim leader.
Both the massive protests and the removal of the president, which were televised live by the world’s media, are the most devastating setbacks that could ever be imagined to happen to the Muslim Brotherhood across the Islamic world. Essam Al-Haddad, a senior adviser to President Mursi, made a poignant reminder: “The message will resonate throughout the Muslim world loud and clear: Democracy is not for Muslims.”
In 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood was established and it was believed to be a highly organized political and social movement in terms of management skills, and political and economic structures. However, on assuming power, the Brotherhood’s professional expertise hasn’t materialized into tangible benefits for Egyptians on any level. On the contrary, it has proved to the entire world that it was not suited to hold power and achieve the aspirations of the masses, especially the new generation of youth that brought them to power.
That sentiment was evident in Turkey and Tunisia, and recently in Syria and Egypt. In Turkey the youth that protested against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan believe that he would change the country’s secular identity into a purely Islamic one without consulting them.
In Tunisia, Ennahda Party (an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood) threatened to impose Islamic laws, which Chokri Belaid, the opposition leader of the Unified Democratic Nationalist party, criticized along with the violence carried out by radicals. He was assassinated outside his home in the capital and this triggered unprecedented protests against Ennahda and forced it to shuffle the government to meet the opposition’s demands.
The Brotherhood, be it Islamists, failed to realize the difference between their stated objectives and those of the masses — specifically the youth — which are either pressing or viable to achieve. This shows that both sides are living in their own worlds and times, facilitating between the ideas of past and that of the modern present. The youth in Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt share two important reasons to protest against the rule of the Brotherhood or its affiliates: firstly, the unconventional imposition of Islamic views on the population without a referendum; secondly, putting conservative officials to head political, economic, social and cultural institutions leading to active domination of the entire society. Both factors would automatically lead to a total autocratic government with absolute power and free will to manage society regardless of peoples’ wishes.
While Egyptians were still discussing the articles to include in their newly-drafted constitution, Mursi forced the committee to write up a constitution and — with little consensus — called for a referendum on it; he then ended discussions and excluded the interests of various groups.
In the new constitution, Mursi granted himself more power by putting his directives above the judicial review and canceled an amendment that allowed the military to veto legislation pertinent to security issues. Alongside that he removed Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi who assisted him to hold power and appointed Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi who ousted him out of power. These moves are considered by many analysts as being excessive use of power.
Moreover, Mursi sought quickly to wield power for the Brotherhood in local government by assigning 17 provincial governors who were affiliated with them. To solidify his grip on power, he appointed a new minister of culture and replaced many news editors with individuals from his group.
Mursi’s gravest mistakes were that he didn’t fathom the idea that he came to power through the electoral process as a second choice for his party (Freedom and Equality Party) and for the youth; Egyptians were accordingly divided on his leadership. In the first round of the election, secularists had more than 55 percent of the vote, and in the second round (the runoff) he had 51.7 percent, which was barely a majority of the votes. More importantly, he hasn’t come to grasp the reality that the youth were the ones who set the revolution in motion.
On the economic level, the government hasn’t achieved anything of significance but quite the opposite. Living conditions have deteriorated and the economy has plummeted to a serious level. With all that has happened in Egypt, Turkey is monitoring the situation very closely as it is the most affected by the turn of events in Egypt, because Turkey share the exact elements with respect to the political agenda, the role of the military in politics, and the demographic composition of the society.
As for the rest of the Islamic world, they should realize that there is a wide gap in the ideas of the past and the present. We are living in the era of the youth, with varying perspectives about living life.
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