A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Writing the Brotherhood's Obituary: Not So Fast: Remember the Past

The Washington Post suggests that "Egypt's Brotherhood Seems at Risk of Falling Apart." They assert:
CAIRO — The world’s most influential Islamist movement is in danger of collapse in the land of its birth — its leaders imprisoned, its supporters slain and its activists branded as terrorists in what many are describing as the worst crisis to confront Egypt’s 85-year-old Muslim Brotherhood.
Obviously they didn't read my post of earlier today about 1954, when Nasser dissolved the Brotherhood and jailed the Supreme Guide. It was 20 years before the Brotherhood emrrged from underground, and nearly 30 more years before it won the Presidency. And 1954 wasn't even the first time it was banned; it had been banned in 1940-42 and again in 1948. Its first Guide was assassinated, its second spent much of his tenure in prison, and Anwar Sadat, who had tolerated the Brotherhood, jailed the third in 1981.

They are comeback champions, and I suspect this latest obituary may be as premature as all the others.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unlike Nasserism which did not outlive its founder, the Brotherhood despite repeated repressions survives.

Now what on earth could be the cause?

Gihan Rashad said...

The logic does not hold this time for the MB. While they were enemies of the regime(s) in 1954 & 1981.. they depended on the people of Egypt to protect/hide them from the injustice they claimed they are facing from the regimes. This time it is very much different. The people of Egypt who have previously sympathized with the MB have now ACTUALLY tried them for one year and had first hand experience with their rule and accordingly now the MB are fighting both the PEOPLE of Egypt and the regime. This is why they are turning to foreign countries to sympathize, hide/protect them.

Al Moxtar said...

The same way a year of MB rule rehabilitated Mubarak to an extent undreamed of before their election, a year (two? a decade?) of Military rule (started in style, with so much bloodshed) could do wonders for the MB.