Monday,18 December, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1178, (2 - 8 January 2014)
Monday,18 December, 2017
Issue 1178, (2 - 8 January 2014)

Ahram Weekly

Nour and the MB

More damaging than their disastrous rule, the failure of the Muslim Brotherhood to assume a role in peaceful opposition opens the way for others to lead the Islamist current, writes Mohamed Salmawy

Al-Ahram Weekly

In light of recent statements by the Nour Party leaders in support of the new constitution and urging people to vote in favour of it in the forthcoming referendum, one can not help but to compare the mature and professional performance of this Salafist party with the impetuous bullheadedness that characterises the performance of the Muslim Brotherhood, which persists in rejecting the legitimate political process, opting instead for the course of violence against the people and their institutions.
One is all the more struck by this contrast in view of the fact that not so long ago many analysts both at home and abroad believed that Muslim Brotherhood leaders had high degrees of political acumen and savvy and that the Salafis, relative newcomers to the political game, were green. Developments since 30 June have shown the reverse to be the case. It was the Nour Party that proved itself more acute to — and more prepared to respond to — the shifts in public opinion that profoundly altered the political terrain, while it was the Muslim Brotherhood that proved out of touch and blindly obstinate in its refusal to acknowledge the popular will that was manifested in unprecedented millions before the eyes of the world on 30 June.  
A key measure of political astuteness is agility, or the ability to respond quickly and deftly to new developments. The events since 30 June have shown that the Muslim Brotherhood, which had remained present in the political arena for more than 80 years, excels only in playing the role of the victim. Throughout all those decades, they never acquired the wherewithal to govern competently when they reached power, or the wherewithal to mount an effective political opposition when the people ousted them from power. If a political movement or party cannot perform either of these roles when they are in the government or the opposition, what do they have left?
The role of the victim of years of police pursuit and imprisonment is no longer a convincing political asset now that the Muslim Brothers have shown themselves a failure in power and, then, a failure in the opposition. In fact, I believe that the latter failure  the inability to mount an effective political opposition in the manner of any political party that is removed from power and then strives, in accordance with the political rules, to return to power in the following elections, as is the common practice around the world  is far graver than their disastrous performance in government. If their failure in government led to their fall from power, their current failure as an opposition movement threatens to eliminate them from the political realm entirely, which would be the end of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Not only did the Muslim Brothers fail to respond effectively to the popular will that expressed itself so loudly and clearly on 30 June; they then chose to confront it with violence and terrorism. Behind these choices reside those fatal traits that portend their tragic end, while other groups that fall under the general category of “political Islam” are demonstrating qualities that indicate that they will play an effective role in the forthcoming period as representatives of the Islamist trend.

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