Photo: Courtesy of @Gsquare86
Egypt may be on the brink of Tunisia-style toppling of its government, if today’s street protests are anything to go by.It’s in no way a certainty yet, but the end of dictatorial President Hosni Mubarak’s reign could be near. The result would be a new political dynamic dominated by the political force that is the Muslim Brotherhood.
While it’s technically banned in Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood members, forced to run as independents, won 20% of Parliament’s seats in the 2005 elections. In the country’s most recent elections, party members won no seats, possibly a result of vote rigging by the government.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s leader in Egypt, Dr. Mohamed Badie, said the group would participate in the protests. That participation is not without its risks.
From the Muslim Brotherhood website:
Badie highlighted that despite threats by the regime which continues to enforce tyrannical methods it will not be phased. Security personnel have summoned all MB administrative officials nationwide to security headquarters threatening them with arrests, violence and detention if they insist on taking to the streets and participate in the march planned for Tuesday January 25th.
The group has also recently called for the dissolution of Parliament.
There is some debate as to whether or not the Muslim Brotherhood is connected to terrorist activities. But its interest in forming an Islamic Republic is clear.
From a 2005 Foreign Affairs piece:
A widespread Islamist organisation founded in 1928, the Brotherhood seeks to Islamize societies from the ground up and compel governments in Muslim countries to adhere to sharia, or Islamic law. At various times in its history, the group has used or supported violence and has been repeatedly banned in Egypt for attempting to overthrow Cairo’s secular government. Since the 1970s, however, the Egyptian Brotherhood has disavowed violence and sought to participate in Egyptian politics. The U.S. State Department does not include the group on its list of terrorist organisations.
Whether or not the result of the protest movement in Egypt will be a government led by the Muslim Brotherhood is still very much in doubt, but it’s certainly an organisation you should have on your radar as the situation develops.
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