Following the arrest of Muslim Brotherhood terrorist and acting general guide Mahmoud Ezzat in August, the Brotherhood’s fugitive leadership abroad scrambled in its attempts to keep the terrorist group intact. A faction within the group declared UK-based 83-year-old Brotherhood leader Ibrahim Munir as its new general guide, a declaration that has not boded well for other fugitive leaders in Turkey, the US and other places, as each has claimed he is more eligible for the position.
The London decision was not received well by the crumbling group, especially because of Munir’s lack of charisma and his feuds with younger group members. Munir declared in 2019 that the group’s leadership was not responsible for the imprisoned Brotherhood youth in Egypt, as they had chosen to be Brotherhood members “out of their own free will,” as he put it, meaning that they were responsible for their imprisonment.
The Muslim Brotherhood group, which has seen its hierarchal structure dismantled day after day over the past seven years after its involvement in brutal terrorist acts against the Egyptian state and people, has now rushed to try to save its face with a new hoax in the shape of a hypothetical “revolution” against President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s administration. Due to the dire state that characterises the group’s affairs, its leadership has not even tried to be creative, but has used the same tactics as in last year’s similar hoax “revolution” and even involved the same puppet figures.
Leading these is a fugitive contractor and unknown actor by the name of Mohamed Ali. He used to be cast in extra or minor roles in some Egyptian films, and through the real-estate company that belonged to his father he managed to flee the country to Spain after borrowing $16 million from Egyptian banks. A semi-educated man, he then managed to get into contact with the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey and the UK, including Munir.
The extreme political ignorance shown by Ali in the videos he has been uploading to the Internet, showing him unable to string together a complete sentence without using multiple profanities and swear words, is shocking, even if this profanity has garnered him popularity among online Brothers.
The situation was exacerbated when the Brotherhood organised a press conference for Ali in London in its attempts to build support, but Ali’s lack of any political awareness or knowledge of current affairs turned the press conference into a farce suitable for a comedy film. Even so, Aljazeera and some Turkish-based Egyptian-Arabic TV networks still joined in efforts to galvanise Ali’s comic image in their attempts to garner popularity for this unknown contractor.
In September last year, Ali called for Egyptians to “rise up” against the Egyptian president, but his supposed “revolution” turned into a fiasco with barely a couple of thousand Brotherhood members showing up in the streets. These then committed acts of vandalism, which resulted in multiple arrests. This slap in the face by the Egyptian people to the Brotherhood call put out by Ali did not seem to awaken the group from its daydreams of returning to power in Egypt, however. Political scheming and the spread of false rumours continued throughout the year through the Brotherhood media, though with no tangible effect.
In a feat of the kind of foolishness that characterises the Brotherhood’s leadership, the group decided to repeat the same failure again last week by calling for similar protests against the government and President Al-Sisi. This time round, it cited fines on those building houses on agricultural land as a reason, with these targeting both the builders and the owners of unlicensed dwellings that have formed ghettos particularly around the capital. These ghettos have effectively destroyed nearly 93,000 acres of arable land within a single decade.
Much to the terrorist group’s misfortune, the call for a new uprising failed, and the public ignored the calls despite the Brotherhood’s incessant pleading and begging for people to take to the streets. The despair of the Brotherhood media led by Qatari terrorist-supporting network Aljazeera meant that it even used fake videos of older protests in Egypt to pretend that there were riots in the streets.
Not content by the failure of the calls for a revolt on 20 September, the Brotherhood called for another uprising on 25 September, calling this the “Friday of Fury.” Once again, no one showed up, and the streets and traffic flowed normally across the country.
The failure of such calls then led the group’s leaders to lose their marbles, with videos appearing on YouTube cursing the Egyptian people for not answering their calls. Indeed, if the events of the past week show anything, they only show that the group is in dire straits both on the organisational and practical levels. Relying on washed-up actors on Turkish-based TV networks and unknown actors or contractors to put out online calls for “revolt” in Egypt only goes to show that the group has no political driving force. Such attempts are not only pathetic, but also prove that the remaining group leaders have lost any effect on the Egyptian public.
The Brotherhood’s decades of terrorism and lies have been manifested in its open war against the government, army, police and people of Egypt over the past seven years. The fact that this has resulted in the deaths of thousands of Egyptians is a matter that the public in Egypt will never forget or forgive.
The Brotherhood’s attempts to sow discord and create chaos in Egypt have become its only aspiration, aiming to put hurdles in front of the rapidly developing economy and social stability that Egypt has witnessed over the past three years. Egypt is among the handful of countries worldwide that are projected to have positive GDP growth this year, and the country has been making tangible economic gains at a time when many of the world’s economies are struggling to survive.
Moreover, Egypt saw years of economic stability after a period of high inflation following the floating of the Egyptian pound in 2016. This year was marked as the one when all Egyptians would start to reap the benefits of the government’s economic reforms, but these have been hampered because of the impact of the coronavirus crisis worldwide. Nevertheless, the Egyptian economy is still doing well, and it is projected to grow further on all levels.
Recent events in the Brotherhood group have shown that the billions of dollars squandered by the Qatari and Turkish regimes, coupled by their media and political support, to support the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have gone to waste. The terrorist group’s alleged unity and support are already in tatters, and attempts to deflect attention away from its internal issues by calling for revolt in Egypt have failed once again.
Islamist political tactics, including those used by the Muslim Brotherhood, have seen an eclipse in Egypt, also displayed in the Senate elections held last month, when the last remaining Islamist party, the Al-Nour Party, won no seats. This was another indication that Islamist political power is waning, even if some of these groups remain active online and in some mosques and religious institutions.
As a result, vigilance must remain intact in order for Egypt to close this dark chapter in its history. Until that happens, we shall still unfortunately need to brace ourselves for more hoax calls for “revolution” by a desperate Brotherhood abroad. The fact that these calls will be rejected as steadfastly as the earlier ones by the people of Egypt just goes to show that the Brotherhood leaders are slow learners.
The writer is a political analyst and author of Egypt’s Arab Spring and the Winding Road to Democracy.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 1 October, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.