Is the Muslim Brotherhood on the verge of losing out in Egypt?
posted at 12:41 pm on August 26, 2013 by Bruce McQuain
Fox has an interesting report about the mood in Egypt. It appears the Muslim Brotherhood has lost the sympathy of many key constituencies in Egypt because of the movement’s violent actions.
As their nation descends into violent chaos, Egyptians are increasingly blaming the Muslim Brotherhood, despite attempts by the Islamist group to scapegoat Christians and the military, according to several sources who spoke to FoxNews.com from Cairo.
“The Muslim Brotherhood has lost all sympathy with their points due to their violence,” said a Long Island, N.Y., Egyptian-American, who is in a Cairo suburb for a family wedding.
In fact, many Egyptians seem to be both supportive and thankful that the military did what it did to remove the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi from office:
A Muslim woman named Nina told FoxNews.com most citizens – Christian and Muslim – are solidly behind the military, which has been criticized by the west for its decisive crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
“I am Muslim and I am against terrorism and I support the revolution [which ousted Morsi] and I support all the decisions of the Egyptian army forces,” she said. “We love Egypt so much and we hope the foreign countries stop misunderstanding about us and the situation now in Egypt.”
Of course the Brotherhood’s propaganda machine is in full gear and as mentioned, the West has not been particularly supportive of the military’s actions. However, it appears the Egyptian on the street may see the military’s action as the best way to return to some level of normalcy. It seems clear that the extremist path is not what the country as a whole feels comfortable embarking upon. It also appears the thin veneer of respectability the Brotherhood cultivated over the years (with a helping hand from numerous Western apologists) has worn thin and the real Brotherhood has become evident to most Egyptians now, to the point that the Brotherhood is not receiving the reception or the support they formerly received:
Even at mosques, the tide seems to be turning against the Muslim Brotherhood, according to one man who spoke from Cairo.
“They gather around mosques, from five to 100 of them, to show they are important and the goal is to go and cut off the roads and rally to get more supporters,” he said.
“Sometimes during Friday prayers, the sheikh wants to push people to support the Muslim Brotherhood, but modern Muslims are dominant and not deceived anymore with fake words that defending the Muslim Brotherhood is defending Islam,” he said.
One former jihadist and Salafist cleric who spoke to MidEast Christian News said the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to focus anger against the nation’s Christian minority, which did not support Morsi, but was hardly alone in that stance.
“The Brotherhood lost everything, politically and economically,” Osama el-Quossi told MCN. “They lost the citizens’ sympathy, so they used religion to gain support of ordinary people.”
The scapegoating of Coptic Christians in Egypt appears to be backfiring finally. The fact that the military has forcefully stepped in to stop the Brotherhood’s violence against the Christians has met with the approval of most Egyptians.
The irony, of course, is this doesn’t help the US in Egypt one bit. In politics, perception is reality, and in Egypt the perception is that the Obama administration backs the Muslim Brotherhood:
Yet Egyptians remain convinced that President Obama is backing the Mohamed Morsi. At a lunch at the Egyptian Ambassador’s residence on Thursday, Dr. Mohamed Abou El-Ghar, head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, bluntly warned a small gathering of journalists and policy wonks that he fears, “America is losing Egypt…There is a very strong perception that they are supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and they are against other parties,” he said.
How, you ask, was this perception generated? It came to be via the US reaction to the Morsi election and subsequent ouster:
The perception began even before the Egyptians elected Morsi, Abou el-Ghar said, when Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican and 2008 GOP presidential nominee, met with members of the Muslin Brotherhood in February 2012 but not representatives from competing parties. The headlines were: U.S. Warms to the Muslim Brotherhood. It was furthered when U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson criticized Egypt’s military for interfering in July when opponents deposed Morsi. That view has become more widespread since, with the Pentagon’s decision to defer delivery of F-16 fighter jets to Egypt and the Administration’s review of aid to Cairo.
And more recently:
The latest evidence of Obama’s purported proclivity towards the Brotherhood came in Thursday’s State Department briefing, which has made headlines in Egypt. In it, spokesman Jen Psaki says that the choice to detain of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarakis an “internal Egyptian legal matter,” but in the next breath calls for the release of Morsi, who is accused of many serious crimes. Egyptians took this as further evidence that America is intervening on behalf of the Brotherhood still.
Consequently the US is extremely unpopular in Egypt, despite President Obama’s Cairo speech – go figure.
Diplomacy is something which requires careful thought and should have a goal or goals. It should always serve the best interests of the nation, not a President. It should be based in reality and should be presented in such a way that it is clearly understood by all. None of those important factors seem to be present in the US diplomatic effort in Egypt. And that has led to the perception the US now labors under.