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Brotherhood leaders must choose how they will be remembered

There are two options ahead for the Muslim Brotherhood; acceptance or confrontation

Nader Bakkar , Monday 12 Aug 2013
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Anxiety and armed confrontation are useless. The case of the sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya requires wisdom, or else it will be repeated at similar sit-ins with small numbers around Cairo, which makes the situation more complicated.

The leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood have only two options; one option is to understand the nature of what happened on 30 June as an expected result of their year-long mistakes.

This would allow them to think about limiting their losses and being more flexible to allow themselves to return to politics. That’s exactly what the Nour Party proposes in its initiatives, proposals and negotiations.

But this option is difficult because of the increasing emotional mobilisation of participants at the pro-Morsi Rabaa sit-in. It will be hard to convince them to disperse and accept negotiations that would lead to the Brotherhood approving a transitional roadmap, especially as this mobilisation has raised their demands beyond what is possible.

The other option is to focus on the historiography of the Brotherhood and the Islamic current in general, and to take into account what will be written about the current leadership of the group in the future.

In this view, the current situation is a new ‘Battle of Karbala’ in the history of the Brotherhood. This means reaching a non-negotiable dead end, speeding up the confrontation with the army, seeing many people die, and ultimately the end of the democratic path through the imposition of a state of emergency, with a popularly-supported military controlling the political scene.

This would cover up the Brotherhood’s political and administrative failures with victimisation, justifying the downfall through claims of oppression and recalling memories of 1954.

However, this option is not applicable, as many political groups, including some Islamists, are keen on continuing the political process and achieving the goals of the January 25 revolution, which have yet to be met two years later.

While the interim government has rushed into proclaiming all efforts at international mediation a failure, let’s try once more with domestic negotiations, either direct or indirect, before rushing to the serious option of confrontation.

For the first round of negotiations with all parties around the same table to succeed, we should consider offering some compromises, like the release of some leadership figures. 

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