The Muslim Brotherhood, which was established in Egypt in 1928, played a significant political role, especially prior to the 1952 revolution. Since that date, the Muslim Brotherhood party has been prevented from participating in the political arena of Egypt, which began during the J. Abed el Nasser government.
However, they stayed in contact with the Egyptian grass roots, providing a wide range of educational, healthcare services and economic aid to the poverty-stricken segment of the population.
Since the January 25th revolution, the Muslim Brotherhood has committed many political blunders by trying to take over nearly all governmental authorities, despite the fact that they were not the ones who initiated the revolution.
I would like to illustrate and focus on some points that reflect the mistakes of their negative political strategy.
First, the Muslim Brotherhood joined the young people’s revolution on the 5th day after it started. This reflects that when they were assured of its success, they joined the protestors.
Second, after they joined, they began to demand the fall of Mubarak’s regime like the other groups, but began to assume the major role in al-Tahrir square.
They tried to send a message that they are the major political force that led to the fall of Mubarak’s regime on February 11, 2011.
Third, the Egyptian Higher Military Council played a constructive role by not turning their guns against the protesters. The military was eager to remove Mubarak in order to prevent his son Jamal from inheriting his position. The young protestors did them a big favor. Furthermore, the military also has their own secret political agenda to maintain their political influence that they established during the previous six decades.
Fourth, the Muslim Brotherhood is the largest and best-organized political group in Egypt. The military council was aware of it and began to plan with the Muslim Brotherhood leaders to stop the revolution.
Fifth, the political greed of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood led them to disregard the young Egyptians who were the vanguards of the revolution. They have joined the military council by ignoring the revolutionary demands for further reforms. The negative reactions of both the military and the Brotherhood were reflected in the harsh treatment the protestors experienced at the following sites: Masparo Square, Mohamed Mahmoud Street, the Ministry of Interior, and the headquarters of the prime minister. In all of these clashes, many young protestors were killed by the security forces.
Sixth, the Muslim Brotherhood insisted on having the parliament election before drafting the new constitution. They predicted that they will have a large share of the parliament seats and that it would put them in a better position to draft the new constitution according to their political-religious philosophy. As a result of the election, they were demanding the appointment of 50-60% of the members of the committee in charge of writing the constitution, which is supposed be written by 100 members. Their demands contributed to the delay of the drafting of the constitution.
Seventh, the blunder committed by the newly elected president Morsi, who issued a decree to the members of the dissolved parliament to return and conduct their duties as usual. President Morsi’s decision was a challenge to the Egyptian Constitutional Higher Court who issued its verdict that the parliamentary election was conducted in violation of the election law.
Even when the members of parliament met, they sent a request to the appeals court to revoke the decision of the Constitutional Higher Court authority regarding dissolving the parliament. The Court of Appeals rejected that request by saying it is not pertinent to their jurisdiction.
Dr. Morsi’s decision was inspired, in my view, to test the authority of the Egyptian Higher Military Council’s authority. However, the impact of his decision led to more resentment on the part of the general public, who began to lose more confidence in the Muslim Brotherhood’s sincerity and political ability to run the country.
President Morsi’s decision to reinstate the parliament was not only a challenge to the legality of Egyptian Constitutional Higher Court, but an insult to the judicial system and an act of defiance of Egyptian law. President Morsi violated the oath of office according to the Egyptian constitution.
Many of Egypt’s constitutional experts have opposed President Morsi’s decision, and much of Egypt’s mass media has allied itself with the judicial system and the Egyptian military. President Morsi should resent that order and should start focusing on many of the problems facing Egypt, especially the deteriorating economy that is at the edge of collapsing.
President Morsi should detach himself from the Muslim Brotherhood and start acting as the political leader of all Egyptians. After all, he only received less than one third of the eligible Egyptian votes. I wish President Morsi the success he needs badly.