News / Middle East

Analysts: Acts of New Government to Determine Fate of Political Islam in Egypt

Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists gesture from the defendants cage as they receive sentences after they were convicted of murder, rioting, and violence in a mass trial in Alexandria, Egypt, May 19, 2014.
Supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists gesture from the defendants cage as they receive sentences after they were convicted of murder, rioting, and violence in a mass trial in Alexandria, Egypt, May 19, 2014.
Heather Murdock
Egyptians on Monday are expected elect a pro-military leader as president. Analysts say the Muslim Brotherhood, once the most powerful party in Egypt may appear to be defeated and divided. But they say Islamist parties will always play a role in Egyptian politics. 
 
For the past year, Egypt has been described in the news as “polarized,” with supporters of the military on one side and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood on the other.  
 
This week marks the ultimate victory for the military, with the country’s de-facto leader, former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, widely expected to be elected president.  
 
The Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist party of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, is now banned as a "terrorist organization."
 
Wael Eskandar is an Egyptian blogger who focuses on human rights and politics.  He said Morsi's rule was deeply unpopular and the public has not forgiven the Brotherhood.

“Right now they’re still rejected by the Egyptian public because they are a threat to their own identity.  They handled the time they were in power really horribly- did not bring about any change,” said Eskandar.

He said for the Brotherhood to stay relevant it would first need to regain the public’s trust.  In the current political climate, he said, this largely depended on the new government's failure or success in two main areas. He said if the new government failed to rescue Egypt’s economy or respect human rights, the public may look back to the Muslim Brotherhood for support.

“It will take failure from the state for them to sympathize with them politically because they will be the opposition they turn to when the police has arrested you, assaulted you and you cannot get what’s rightfully yours, which is justice, through the legal channels,” said Eskandar.  
 
Presidential hopeful Abdel Fattah el-Sissi arrives to a polling site to cast his ballot on the first day of voting in Cairo, Egypt, May 26, 2014.Presidential hopeful Abdel Fattah el-Sissi arrives to a polling site to cast his ballot on the first day of voting in Cairo, Egypt, May 26, 2014.
x
Presidential hopeful Abdel Fattah el-Sissi arrives to a polling site to cast his ballot on the first day of voting in Cairo, Egypt, May 26, 2014.
Presidential hopeful Abdel Fattah el-Sissi arrives to a polling site to cast his ballot on the first day of voting in Cairo, Egypt, May 26, 2014.

Under Sissi’s rule, thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members have been killed or imprisoned.  Opposition groups affiliated with the Brotherhood have been banned, journalists have been jailed and protests have been severely restricted.  
 
Mohammad Othman is a member of the political bureau of Strong Egypt, a political party that identifies with neither the military nor the Brotherhood.  
 
He said the crackdown on the Brotherhood could also empower the group.  Even if the public were politically unsympathetic to the Brotherhood, he said, they were increasingly personally sympathetic.
 
However, alliances in Egypt are shifting, with Islamist party Al-Nour and Coptic Christian leaders supporting Sissi.  The Muslim Brotherhood, along with some non-Islamist parties, have called for members to boycott the elections.  
 
Ishak Ibrahim, a researcher who specializes in religious freedom issues for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said Sissi’s popularity has been waning in recent months.  But, he said these divisions could help cement his power base.  
 
Ibrahim siad while political Islam had and would always play a role in Egyptian politics, the Brotherhood also needed to re-shape its image if it wanted to gather allies.  
 
In 2011, youth activists groups partnered with the Brotherhood in the revolution.  But after the disappointment of Morsi’s rule, many youth activists initially supported Sissi.  Nowadays, many of these same activists have since changed their minds, saying they support neither the military, nor the Islamists.

You May Like

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs