Last Update 19:24
Thursday, 18 July 2019

Three years after Egypt uprising, Brotherhood more outcast than ever

Saturday's third anniversary of the 2011 uprising highlights political downfall of Muslim Brotherhood

Sherif Tarek , Sunday 26 Jan 2014
MB
A supporter of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi holds a banner with Morsi's image, during a march against Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, Friday, Aug. 2, 2013. (Photo: AP)
Share/Bookmark
Views: 5425
Share/Bookmark
Views: 5425

The third anniversary of the 25 January Revolution has once again clearly demonstrated how wide is the gap between the Muslim Brotherhood-led Islamist camp and its opponents, three years after all political forces were once united against former president Hosni Mubarak.

The Brotherhood, from which ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi hails, played a major role in the 2011 uprising that put an end to the 30-year rule of Mubarak, having at its side hundreds of thousands of protesters mobilised to bring him down.

However, political disputes soon caused a rift in Egypt in the months following the revolution, with the Brotherhood and its Islamist allies on one side, and liberal and leftist forces on the other.

Events on each of the uprising's three anniversaries have shown that the tense relationship between the two sides has taken several turns for the worse.

Demonstrators in 2012's anniversary were angry with the Brotherhood for supporting the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) during its post-Mubarak interim rule. Many other political forces at the time were outspoken in their condemnations of how the military was "ignoring revolutionary demands."

On 25 January 2013, when Morsi was still in power, demonstrators more blatantly hit out at the Brotherhood, deploring what they described as the "rule of the supreme guide," the group's spiritual leader Mohamed Badie who many felt was the country's de facto ruler, with Morsi simply serving as a conduit for his commands.

Saturday's 2014 anniversary, which comes months after Morsi's 3 July ouster following nationwide protests against his rule, saw mass rallies in support of army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the Brotherhood's arch-foe, as well as another round of deadly clashes that have continued for months between Brotherhood supporters and police forces as well as civilian opponents.

Brotherhood lost ground in build-up to 3rd anniversary

The months leading up to 25 January 2014 saw the Muslim Brotherhood lose massive political ground in developments that further shattered Egypt's already-restive political scene.

The interim government put forth a military-backed political road map following Morsi's ouster, which was agreed upon by a wide variety of political forces including Mohamed El-Baradei and religious institutions such as Al-Azhar, the high seat of Sunni Islam and  the Coptic Orthodox Church, as well as the main Salafist party, Nour.

According to the road map, the Brotherhood-dominated Shura Council (Egypt's parliamentary upper house) was dismantled and the 2012 constitution was frozen and re-enacted after amendments made by a 50-member committee.

Also, pro-Morsi sit-ins at Cairo's Rabaa Al-Adaweya Mosque and Giza's Nahda Square were forcibly dispersed by security forces on 14 August, leaving hundreds dead, with most of the slain protesters hailing from the Islamist camp. Most importantly, many Brotherhood and Islamist leaders were arrested for an array of criminal charges.

With violent clashes continuing between Morsi's supporters and opponents, burning of police stations and churches, and bombings taking place across the country sporadically, the Brotherhood was declared a terrorist organisation in December.

The crackdown on the Brotherhood and its allies as well as the arrest of its leadership took a toll on the group's mobilisation, although it continued to stage regular rallies in defiance of a protest law passed by interim authorities late last year which bans all demonstrations not pre-approved by the police.

Brotherhood-led protests were already anticipated for Saturday's anniversary, with the group announcing plans to "reignite the 2011 revolution" and overturn what it deemed a military coup.

What added fuel to fire, however, were the four bombings that took place the day before, 24 January, in different areas across Greater Cairo, leaving six dead. Fifteen more died that day in ensuing clashes between Brotherhood supporters and their opponents.

Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, an Al-Qaeda-inspired group whose name means Partisans of Jerusalem, has claimed responsibility for Friday's largest bomb attack at Cairo's central police headquarters. The group, which has claimed the deadliest militant attacks in Egypt following Morsi's ouster, warned Egyptians in a statement not to take to the streets on Saturday.

Festive atmospheres, Brotherhood snub on 25 January, 2014

Despite Friday's violence and Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis' warning, hundreds of thousands still headed the next day to Tahrir Square, Ittihadiya palace and around the country to commemorate the anniversary and voice their support for the army and interim authorities amid festive atmospheres.

Egyptians flags were waved, but most prominent were banners and posters for El-Sisi, who has grown immensely popular since reading out the statement announcing the end of Morsi's rule. The signs urged him to run for the presidency in this year's upcoming elections, and the square was filled with nationalist chants in favour of the army.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim had previously encouraged citizens to "celebrate" the anniversary after liberal political groups like the Wafd Party and Free Egyptians Party, along with Tamarod, the group which spearheaded the protests leading to Morsi's ouster at the hands of the army, called for Egyptians to join festivities on Saturday in Tahrir Square.

Continuing attempts to gain supporters for its demonstrations on Saturday's anniversary, the Muslim Brotherhood claimed Friday that "most people have put their differences aside and are calling to revive the 25 January 2011 revolution."

Ahmed Ban, a researcher specialised in Islamist groups, believes that the numbers that hit the streets while supporting El-Sisi on Saturday has ruined "the false image the Brotherhood has been trying to convey to the international community."

He explained to Ahram Online: "They have been trying to convince western countries that Egyptians were up for another revolution on the 2014 uprising anniversary, but after such massive support for El-Sisi, that image is no longer plausible."

And although the Way of the Revolution Front staged protests against the interim authorities on Saturday, the umbrella group refused in more than one statement to stand side by side with the Brotherhood.

The Front is a coalition of political parties such as Strong Egypt Party, 6 April (Democratic Front), Ahmed Maher's 6 April Youth Movement, the No to Military Trials Movement, the Revolutionary Socialists, as well as other groups. It is considered to be the only potent non-Islamist opposition group, with their protests usually against the Brotherhood and the military.

Deadly clashes continue, status-quo remains

Meanwhile, as expected, Brotherhood members and supporters held counter protests which resulted in deadly confrontations on the third anniversary of the 25 January Revolution.

In Cairo's Mataria Square, clashes went for many hours with 2000 supporters of Morsi trying to stage a sit-in, according to eyewitnesses. Ensuing confrontation with the police reportedly resulted in a number deaths.

Saturday's death toll from the clashes rose to at least 29, according to Egypt's health ministry, as violence erupted in Cairo, Giza, Upper Egypt's Minya governorate, and Alexandria, among other cities.

Ban believes that much as the mobilisation of Morsi's supporters intensifies the security crackdown on them, they are not likely to change their approach. "They will carry on with what they do; staging protests that turn violent, in hopes that in one incident many people would die and prompt international interference."

He added: "Unfortunately, a political solution seems anything but possible these days. The Brotherhood with their continuous protests and refusal to be involved in negotiations have locked all doors."

"Also, the Brotherhood and the interim authorities have been constantly demonising each other for quite some time, which makes a peaceful solution nearly impossible."

Short link:

 

Email
 
Name
 
Comment's
Title
 
Comment
Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.
10



Um_zienab, Cairo
27-01-2014 02:59am
0-
1+
Great Thift of Islam
Thanks Mr. Morsi and US for exposing the Takfeer groups, including BH of Kazabeens. Do you want Morsi back to play US second game to split the country? Please ask Allah (SWT0 for forgiveness of your stupid sin.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
9



Khaled
26-01-2014 08:50pm
3-
0+
Egyptian Media
"Shame" is the word that have been deleted by Egyptian media in their dictionary.Since over throw of an elected president by the Coupt junta every day events revealed and exposed media's lies but they are shamlessly spreading lies.Whole world has seen how the goverment and police servent brought into Tahrir Square and revolutionaries & islamist were prvented thru tanks and bullets.Caling few thousands govt employees in tahrir srounded hundreds of thousands is the bigest lie of the century.CC killed more people in since 3rd July than the servant he gathered in Tahir square y'day.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
8



Amir, Assuit
26-01-2014 03:40pm
1-
52+
The Misguided
I feel sad for people to believe in Mr. Morsi. He is US agent came to power to expose BH rotten core and contribute to its demise. they are using simple-people now to split the country. How ignorant we can be? the shareha law is currently applied in Egypt. What else you want?
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
7



long-term resident
26-01-2014 11:43am
188-
10+
Viva la Revolucion!
It is not just a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies. It is a systematic attack on the right to express any opinion that varies from the narrative of the Army. Xenophobia inspired by officials (from Nabil Fahmy to security spokesmen)to blame "foreign elements" for Egypt's troubles will only ensure that no foreigner will think to come to Egypt. Why would they? I used to say that the only two immediate outcomes from the revolution of Jan 25 was that the people were no longer scared of the Police and that there was a space for dialogue between the different factions and opinions. Both of these have been reversed and the arrest of any dissenting voice is worse even than the years under Mubarak. The general will have a hard time delivering anything substantial to the people, the ruling elite will go back to raping the country and the rule of law outlined in the new Constitution will be applied selectively if at all. Viva la Revolution!
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
6



Allen
26-01-2014 10:14am
3-
143+
The Muslim brotherhood terrorists major contributions to humanity.
Death, destruction, brutality, violence, vandalism, ignorance, hate, bigotry, abuse of Islam, and the abuse of Egypt, and it's people.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
5



Allen
26-01-2014 09:59am
1-
52+
The Muslim brotherhood terrorists major contributions to humanity.
Death, destruction, brutality, violence, vandalism, ignorance, hate, bigotry, abuse of Islam, and the abuse of Egypt, and it's people.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
4



Allen
26-01-2014 09:42am
2-
37+
The Muslim brotherhood terrorists major contributions to humanity.
Death, destruction, brutality, violence, vandalism, ignorance, hate, bigotry, abuse of Islam, and the abuse of Egypt, and it's people.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
3



Pro-Democracy
26-01-2014 06:21am
164-
5+
Down with Coup and Ahram Online
If any loser in this situation is the Egyptians. How can Ahram come to state that there is Mass support for Sisi ? to their credit Brothers are keeping under presuure on the coup leaders in both here in Egypt and abroad. Seculars,leftists etc cannot stand up to coupists. Reason these never had to live under any princibles. BH have Islam. Islam is the Solution and it will prevail allah willing.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Nadia
26-01-2014 04:41pm
0-
69+
It is enough
There is overwflowing support in Egypt for Sisi and nobody can deny that, the great numbers of celebrating Egyptians in the streets yesterday confirm that. Never were Ekhwan hated by Egyptians more than now and this will stay for a long time, hopefuly for ever. The God will never allow those who abuse Islam to destroy Egypt with their hate and ignorance. It is time to stop lies, Ekhwan are finished ! But they will carry on their acts of lillings and destruction and
Farida
26-01-2014 12:49pm
1-
48+
Hilarious ignorant "Muslim" Brother
"Princibles"!? PrinciBles!? How any one in their right mind believe that the ignorant Muslim Brotherhood can rule Egypt is beyond me! And yes there is mass support for Sisi, don't try to paint Egypt with your brush only.
2



Samantha Criscione
26-01-2014 04:29am
6-
20+
More anti-government propaganda from Al Ahram
With this article, Ahram has outdone itself in its ongoing effort to slander the government by portraying police efforts to quell violent pseudo-protests as government repression. Case in point: the picture shows what appears to be a vehicle in flames, apparently set on fire by a Molotov Cocktail. The caption reads "Police attack anti-government protesters." Is Ahram telling us that the police threw that firebomb? And do so-called peaceful protesters come to so-called protests armed with firebombs? --Samantha Criscione
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
1



Omar, Tanta
26-01-2014 02:35am
6-
30+
USMorsi
It was a big strategic game by embedded Mr. Morsi to expose and undermine BH fanatical group. He is US agent; do not you understand simple minded Egyptians? Thanks US and Mr. Morsi for exposing the ugly face of Islamists.
Email
 
Name
 
Comment's Title
 
Comment
Latest

© 2010 Ahram Online.