The die still to be cast for Egypt’s revolution

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood likes to portray itself as the vanguard of the revolution that toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

In a new article, “The Counterrevolution”, Arab affairs analyst Magdi Abdelhadi examines how, following the fall of the Mubarak regime, the Brotherhood colluded with the military – the self-same military it nowadays never misses an opportunity to denounce – in order to derail the people’s revolution.

Immediately after the fall of Mubarak, the youth staged an unprecedented action of civic awareness that stunned everyone: to demonstrate their love and commitment to change society, they formed local action groups to clean and decorate the streets of their rubbish-ridden city. While they were doing that the MB [Muslim Brotherhood] delivered their first deadly blow to this revolutionary idealism.

The MB leaders were busy cutting a secret deal with the military to adopt a road map that was opposed by all the revolutionary forces. It was this road map that rushed Egypt into elections under the false promise of return to stability and prosperity: all the votes held under that road map brought nothing but instability and turmoil…

And it didn’t stop there, Abdelhadi says, for today the Brotherhood and the remnants of Mubarak’s regime – the Mubarakistas, as he calls them – are on one and the same trajectory.

Today the Muslim Brothers and the Mubarakistas have a lot in common, more than they will ever admit. Both want to turn the clock back. Both denounce the revolution as a foreign conspiracy. The MB considers the second wave of the revolution that toppled their man [Muhammad Morsi] as a plot backed by Washington, Israel and the Gulf states. The Mubarakistas still maintain that the Jan 25 uprising was the work of the strangest of allies: Hamas, US, Israel and Iran. Can there be more deranged people in denial of reality!

Part of the blame for where the revolution went wrong lies with the revolutionary youths themselves, Abdelhadi argues. This is because they failed, and are failing,

to coalesce into any cohesive political organization that connects with the wider masses. High on Tahrir Square adrenaline , they never managed to climb down and begin the boring and dull work of building bridges with the rest of the country. Blinded by initial success and the limelight, their arrogance and self-indulgence prevented them from seeing the necessity of fanning out to Egypt’s towns and villages to win the confidence of the masses whom they claim to represent; to explain to them why the revolution was such a good idea, and that it was in every one’s interest…

As to the future, the obstacles cannot be overestimated.

The challenges facing the revolution now are enormous. It cannot fight on two fronts at the same time: the pernicious ideology of the MB and its rearguard manoeuvres to come back, and the Mubarakistas who have regrouped and are trying to recreate the corrupt and brutal police state of the old patriarch. It [the revolution] should try to benefit from any damage inflicted upon the organizational capacity of the MB. At the same time, it should thwart any attempt by the MB to reap the fruit of any gains from the battle against the old regime. This requires focus and great tactical skills.

Whether or not it succeeds, we’ll have to wait and see. As Abdelhadi says, “The third chapter of the Egyptian revolution is about to begin.”

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