The Truth Shall Set You Free…It might piss you off first, but it will set you free.

The Unowned Cake and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on February 6, 2011

Whose cake is it anyway?

The world is glued to Egypt and the outcome with good cause.  The fall out effect of this is certainly rocking the middle east and the world, a new paradigm is in motion, and it cannot be stopped.  There are a million reasons why this happened, and there will be plenty of time to analyze those reasons, but I want to address the fear card of the Muslim Brotherhood, the fears around it, and what the average every day Egyptian thinks.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been around since 1928.  Like all groups it has evolved.  They are not a recognized political party in Egypt.  The Brotherhood has renounced violence.  There are plenty of sites, including their own for you to do research on..but I want to focus on the views of the average Egyptians that I know.

Popular statistics say 30% of the people support the Brotherhood, in my demographic breakdown of adult Muslims I personally know range from ages 18 and  up, included are illiterate to highly educated people.   I know of  NOT one who supports the Brotherhood.  I know some  very devout Muslims.  One in particular is so conservative, when he shakes my hand he pulls his shirt sleeve all the way down to cover his hand, so our skin never touches.  This is simply out of respect, nothing more, nothing less.  Having said all of that, let me try to put things in perspective.

There were a variety of miscalculations on the part of the government starting  from under estimated the anger of the people.  Was this Mubarak’s fault?  Or was he so heavily insulted that he was truly unaware?  I don’t have that answer.  Shutting off the internet and cell phones.  I recall a young man in my neighborhood who said he was not going to participate in the demonstrations until his cell phone and internet connection went dead.  That enraged him.  I think it enraged alot of people and added fuel to the fire.  The anger toward the police which has been building for decades.  Much like a dog who is kicked and beaten daily, sometimes that dog gets tired of being kicked and bites back, the people bit back.  The list goes on…

This revolution, uprising, revolt – what ever term you want to call it was started by the youth of the country, just as most revolutions are, and they did a damn fine job.  Their voices were heard,  their cause was and is legitimate.  The demands are being met, compromise has been made, the government obviously has a a credibility issue, but let’s capsulize what has happened:

  1. Mubarak appointed a Vice President, something he had never done in 30 years was a significant event.
  2. The old cabinet being sacked.
  3. Members of the old cabinet being investigated, accounts frozen, travel restricted – significant.
  4. Opening of dialogue between opposition leaders and government.
  5. Mubarak’s speech, which arguably was delivered about 4 days too late, did in fact have an impact.  Here was their President of 30 years, a proud man, humbled and doing something nobody ever thought they would see – he said he would not stand for election again.
  6. Gamal Mubarak resigning from the NDP – this would have been better had it happened earlier.
  7. Omar Sulieman addressing the nation, answering questions of the press.  I don’t recall that type of press conference in Egypt.

Given the above mentioned events, I think the average Egyptian, the silent majority as they have been called, those not down in Tahrir Square, but those watching from their home were satisfied.  Gas was poured on the quieting fire with the thugs in the street, the violence of the Pro Gov’t protesters (who let’s be honest nobody is quite sure who or where they came from  and that will be an interesting story to watch that develop.)

As I said before this was the youth that started this protest – the Muslim Brotherhood was no where to be seen.  A friend of mine said…this is the unowned cake – this revolution, there is no one clear leader, and now everybody wants to claim it as their own.  Only once the momentum took hold did the Brotherhood bother to show up.  The average Egyptian has absolutely no use for the Brotherhood, they view them as a pariah, opportunists.  They are the ones that are not willing to meet with Omar Sulieman, they are towing the hard line.  Latest  news indicates they may in fact be willing to talk..a fluid situation to be sure.

If you look at the crowds today in Tahrir, they are not the same faces they were in the beginning, it is an older crowd, there are more banners that are showing up saying “Islam is the way.”  Yes, a Muslim would agree that Islam is the way, just as a Christian would agree that Christianity is the way, and a Jew would say Judaism is the way.    The average Muslim Egyptian I know will say …yes Islam is the way, but not the way the Brotherhood applies Islam.  It should not be imposed on people,  Islam was never intended to be forced on anybody.  They believe that this movement is starting to be hijacked by people who had no “skin in the game” to begin with, as one Egyptian told me the rats are starting to come from the holes, seeing an opportunity.  While the Egyptian streets are ripe with rumors, there does seem to be a consensus that  the people in the square are being used by the Brotherhood.   El Baradei has chosen to align himself with the Brotherhood, I think he just shot himself in the foot politically with the people.  To begin with  he is viewed as an outsider – he has lived outside of Egypt for too many years…and his chosen alignment further alienates main stream Egyptians.

If free and fair elections were held today in Egypt, the Brotherhood would in fact take some votes, but certainly not the majority.  If given the chance to run for parliamentary seats they would in fact take some – just like in the US, we have right wing nut jobs and left wing nut jobs, Egypt would have the Brotherhood.  They are in fact part of the population, but NOT the  majority of the population.  In a true democracy, all voices are represented, whether you agree with them or not.  The fear card of the Muslim Brotherhood is being played by those who have the most to lose or gain.  Politics are indeed strange bedfellows.

Egypt must create her own brand of democracy, it is not Iran, it is not Iraq.  This democracy is being born from the children of Egypt.  Those children are from all walks of life and faith.  In every society there are undesirable elements.  I have great faith in the Egyptian people, they have watched Iran and Iraq, they do not want to follow them.  The cost of this revolution economically and socially has been great, blood and lives have been lost.  The price has been dear.

Egypt will be back, it will be back stronger and more vibrant.

By the way…if I were a betting Munky, I’d put my money on Amr Moussa if he runs..


One Response to “The Unowned Cake and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt”

  1. […] The Unowned Cake And The Muslim Brotherhood In EgyptI recall a young man in my neighborhood who said he was not going to participate in the demonstrations until his cell phone and internet connection went dead. That enraged him. I think it enraged alot of people and added fuel to the ……[Read More about Egypt Dead Underestimated ] […]

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