Egypt Muslim Brotherhood Serves as Good Lesson to Other Islamic Movements

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hossein Kebriaeizadeh
Expert on Middle East Issues

What we have been witnessing since the start of the Egyptian revolution in January 2011 up to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s grab on power and the subsequent downfall of their favored president [Mohamed Morsi] was, in fact, an endeavor by a movement to establish a new government and administration. However, the Muslim Brotherhood’s confusion after facing myriad problems handed down to it, and the absence of a theoretical school of governance within the ranks of the movement to help it overcome those problems, joined hands to accelerate its overthrow.

Mohamed Morsi, as the elected president of Egypt, was witness to escalation of internal tensions with the new generation of the Muslim Brotherhood members, while having to handle external tensions and challenges posed by Salafi figures who were supported by the Saudi Arabian government, secular politicians and nationalists. The remaining elements of the former regime, who at times occupied sensitive political and security posts, as well as the politicized approach taken by the country’s Judiciary, should be also added to the aforesaid collection of tensions.

The Muslim Brotherhood tried to launch an outright campaign against that faulty structure ignoring the fact that the movement was devoid of a practical school of governance based on the values of January 2011 revolution. The absence of ideological preparedness in the movement to confront difficult conditions, which it had to counter, created countless obstacles on the way of reforming political structure of the Egyptian government and hindered a healthy process of state building to be accomplished by the new Egyptian government.

At the same time, economic and social problems nagging the revolutionary Egypt were relentlessly escalating. The situation became so grave that the rate of poverty in the country hit 25.2 percent, which was 10 percent higher than the average figure for the past decade.

As put by Mustafa El-Labbad, the head of Al-Sharq Center for Regional and Strategic Studies, the Muslim Brotherhood had become politically and economically bankrupt because they did not have suitable theoretical and practical configuration to bring about appropriate changes inside the Egyptian society.

Despite its long history and apparently consolidated structure, the Muslim Brotherhood lacked theoretical maturity as well as sufficient practical and ideological support which are needed to run a powerful government. As a result, it failed to get dissident and opposition currents attuned to its political agenda or absorb them.

This problem had a tangible effect on the ability of the Muslim Brotherhood for the mobilization of the masses in order to fight social and economic maladies of Egypt, and subsequently depicted the government formed by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as inefficient.

This is why, as put by Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the process of the conversion of an Islamic movement into an Islamic administration, and finally into an Islamic government and society, was not completed in Egypt due to the absence of an ideological system of governance in the North African country.

The Islamic movements, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, should learn a lesson from the recent developments in Egypt and, by going through the aforesaid process, achieve necessary theoretical and ideological maturity which is needed to build a state and also to come up with their own specific philosophy of governance. Otherwise, both the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic movements will remain stalled in the stage of making political currents and Islamic movements. In this way, they will never find their way into the higher stages of creating an Islamic administration, government, and society.

Key Words: Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Movements, Mohamed Morsi, Islamic administration, Kebriaeizadeh

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