Sunday,22 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1136, 21 - 27 February 2013
Sunday,22 October, 2017
Issue 1136, 21 - 27 February 2013

Ahram Weekly

Social media

No longer allies

The crisis between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist Nour Party dominated the debate among Egyptians over the last week on social media networks. While some people considered the row the end of the honeymoon between the two groups, others saw it a result of the ongoing political turmoil in Egypt.
Mohamed Ezzat said that it seems that the Nour Party is “fed up” of playing second fiddle in the transition from the former military rulers to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Ezzat added that two years after the revolution the Nour Party feels that it got nothing and that the Muslim Brotherhood got everything including the presidency, the constitution and the parliament.
Hager Mustafa says that it is clear that the Muslim Brotherhood has no friends in politics and that they only care about their interests; now they are losing their best and only ally.
“There is an internal war between the two sides and Khairat Al-Shater has lost his influence over the big guys in the Salafis’ community including Yasser Burhami and Sheikh Mohamed Hassan,” Mustafa said.
However, Hassan Abdel-Latif saw it from another angle, saying what the Nour was doing was a tactic to put the Brotherhood under pressure before the parliament election in order to get more seats than what they won the last time.

Time for opposition to give protests a tactical rest

Nervana Mahmoud wrote in her blog an analysis of the political turmoil in Egypt, calling on the opposition to give the protest a “tactical rest”, and to focus instead on building a solid unity and strategy.
“In an interview with CNN, opposition figure Mohamed Al-Baradei said, “I don’t want President Mohamed Morsi to step down. He [Morsi] can reform himself.”
While Al-Baradei urges Morsi to reform, the front page of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party paper on 11 February summarised the Muslim Brotherhood’s mindset: “Two years after Mubarak stepped down, the counter-revolution has failed”. In other words, “We are here to stay.”
In addition to the ongoing Brotherhoodisation of Egypt, President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to send a strong message that they were not willing to compromise. Support from Prime Minister Hisham Kandil and the current government and Friday’s rally “against violence” are part of this strategy.
Although the Brotherhood announced only a symbolic support for the rally, a prominent member of the Brotherhood Mohamed Al-Beltagui spoke at the rally. The aim of the rally was not just to blame the opposition, but Islamists also wanted to create a perception of “perfect protests” that are well organised, peaceful and thug free.
This perception is fundamentally flawed. Islamist rallies are non-violent because they are member-only rallies. Each participant is expected to conform to a desired code of conduct (which is currently non-violent). Non-members are welcome to join only if they adhere to the same code, otherwise, “informal thugs” within the organised group will deal with them promptly.
Opposition rallies by nature are completely different, as they focus on enticing all of the non-Morsi protesters to join in. Many are angry, unemployed youth with simmering grievances, exactly as Islamists youth were during the Mubarak era. In short, the Islamist rally mainly aims to show off, while the opposition rally tries to force a change.
The problem for the opposition is not just that their rallies have become synonymous with violent confrontation, but also the dwindling numbers of participants and the changing dynamics among the various groups that participate. Both demonstrations on the anniversary of the overthrow of Mubarak and Friday’s protest at Qubba Palace were marked by minimal participation, and I also find Wael Eskandar’s account about the Ultras very disturbing. Whether they like it or not, the stigma of violence and unpopularity has started to catch up on the opposition, and it will be difficult to shake it. They have fallen into the Brotherhood’s trap, and ordinary Egyptians will think twice before joining a violent protest.
It’s time for the opposition to give protests a tactical rest — it is overused and, frankly, pointless. Instead, it should focus on forging a wider alliance against the Brotherhood, even if that includes agreement with Salafist parties, like the Nour, whose members are no longer willing to give Morsi an easy ride. The political outcome of this is by far more substantive than what protests can achieve at this stage of the struggle. As Ibrahim Al-Hudaibi aptly explains: “opposition forces should focus on what they would do if the Brotherhood didn’t exist, to present an alternative the people can believe in.” I think we should not be over optimistic about the meeting between the Brotherhood’s Saad Al-Katatni and Al-Baradei. I doubt that one meeting will bridge the wide gap between the two sides. If anything, this meeting indicates that the Brotherhood’s leadership is worried by the ongoing deliberations between the Nour Party and the non-Islamist opposition.”

Tweets

“If Morsi’s adviser was sacked for abusing his power, the president should resign because of his government’s alleged involvement in killing peaceful protesters over the last few weeks.”
@Nader Bakkar

“If it is true that Aboud Al-Zomor, the leader who helped the murder of Al-Sadat, is in the human rights council, so it is possible to see singer Saad Al-Soghayar appointed in the Al-Azhar Senior Scientists Authority.”@Mohamed Gama

“The lesson that we should learn from the Muslim Brotherhood and Nour crisis is that the MB does not have a friend and can destroy anyone who criticises them.”@Medhat el shazly

“Morsi appointed 17 advisors and four aides, 21 in total. About 10 of them have so far resigned. What does that mean and say?”@ Alaa Bayoumi

“Morsi needs to move away from his reactive policies of repression and towards fair justice and economic development.”@Ahmad Sarhan
“The crisis between the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafist Nour Party is hitting a fascinating climax. Seems like all the dirty laundry will be aired for everyone to see soon.”
@Dalia Ezzat

“When Egypt’s lawmakers pin blame on rape victims for protesting — this is a quasi-legislation to justify rape as a political deterrent.”
@Wael Nawara

“Two years ago today Mubarak was ousted. Down south in Minya: long bread, gas queues line the Nile, people ask, where’s the change?”
@Lauren E. Bohn

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