As Egypt struggles its way through the worst political crisis after revolution a retrospective view to the principles of Muslim Brotherhood and events that took place since the fall of Mubarak can explain a lot of what is taking place there now.
Last year after presidential elections we met some liberal Egyptian activists who took part in 2011 revolution and we were shocked to know they voted for Morsi, preferring a representative of a religious party to a liberal statesman. Our friends were haunted with fuloul-phobia and any figure related to the old regime was rejected for the sole reason of being related to the old regime. What an “outsider” could see clearly seemed to be obscure for those involved in the events. Now Egyptians seem to be shocked with Morsi’s decree as if is it was not expected.
The Brotherhood didn’t fool the public. Its speech has been consistent all the way since the beginning of its political life more than 8 decades ago. The ultimate goal of the Brotherhood is to establish an Islamic rule with the Quran being the main source of legislation. This was no secret. It has always expressed its intolerance regarding views on emancipation of women, freedom of speech, Copts and other religious minorities. The mere name “brotherhood” conveys a philosophy of division between “brothers” and “others”. The commitment of members to the orders of The Leader (al-murshid) is also well known.
Though the movement officially claims to reject violent means to achieve its goals, a lot can be deduced from the slogan its flag carries “prepare” (arabic وأعدوا) from the Quranic verse “And make ready (prepare) against them all you can of power, including steeds of war to threaten the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allah does know” (al-Anfal 60). Under the light of what the movement considers to be “others”, any secular movement can consider itself threatened. No wonder, supporters of president Morsi are so harsh in speech and deed in clashes with anti-Morsi protestors.
Since the beginning, the movement had a lot of advantages over its opponents. It was already well established and organized even during Mubarak’s rule, it had wide venues to propagate its well formulated message while other groups were still busy organizing themselves into political entities. When the Brotherhood decided to ballot Morsi for presidency after a long period of silence while Egypt was boiling, it was clear the brotherhood has prepared to hijack the revolution. a scheme similar to that of Khomeini in Iran was expected. The Brotherhood soon started getting rid of major players on the political arena one after the other till the liberals lost all the capacity to resist Islamization of state and Ikhwanization of institutes. Egypt now is a state with no constitution, ruled by Muslim Brotherhood president and a brotherhood dominated parliament.
The crisis could be well foreseen and it would have been better to prevent it than to deal with it now. Muslim Brotherhood has been waiting for this historical moment since 1928. It has sacrificed and passed through all pains to evolve as a secret community yearning to power. Now that the fruit of the Brotherhood’s struggle is already nearer to hand than ever it will be a very hard job for liberals and secular groups to protect the 2011 revolution values of freedom and justice.