The Muslim Brotherhood and Crises after July 3rd

EPC | 01 Apr 2015

Deposing MB from office in Egypt after July 3, 2013 has been reflected on the regime’s structure such as causing internal confusion. In turn, this confusion had an impact on public performance and the nature of challenges facing MB’s political future. These challenges can summarized in three themes: thought, organization and performance.

As for the crisis of thought, MB has been known for reconciling mainstream Islamic ideas. Regimes’ practices against the movement caused changes on its intellectual trajectory in a way that led the movement to fall hostage to two contradictory ideas: the Qotb idea and the Salafist one. Deposing MB from power has fueled these two ideas that dominated the movement’s march. On the other hand, the Salafist discourse, which is widespread in the movement, represents a prominent feature in MB’s crises and regression in its intellectual aspect. The use of Salafist thinking was reflected in MB’s assertion that it has moved to preserve Islam, while the movement sought to promote this discourse to attract more of the fluid Muslim masses.

As for the organizational crisis, toppling the movement has revealed some features of the crisis faced by MB. This crisis was a reflection of a series of crises, notably, centrality of the organization in the movement’s conscious and the relationship between generations within the movement. Avoiding clash with the regime was a priority in previous stages to preserve the structure of the growing organization. But after breaking up the sit ins at al-Nahda and Rabi’a al-Adawiya Squares, MB decided to continue escalation to confront the new regime. This decision was motivated by keenness to protect the psychological cohesion of MB’s members after the two incidents to avoid any organizational confusion, protests against leadership or calls for holding those who caused MB any human or symbolic losses responsible.

As for the crisis of performance, we see that the political stand towards MB has pushed it to stop the logic of politics and call in favor for the logic of revolution and declaration of mobilization against the new regime. MB has also changed its discourse to underscore that it is revolutionary out of desire for rapprochement with the revolutionary forces that refuse shifts on the political landscape, as well as, preserve cohesion within the movement. But this has not materialized due to the lack of any serious steps on the ground.

Finally, the paper points out that MB’s crises is likely to continue, as well as, the possibility of shifts on its positions as long as there is no agreement among all political factions about a political settlement for the crisis in Egypt.

Image Source: Reuters Pictures

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