A study on the Future of the MB: Five Potential Scenarios

A study on the Future of the MB: Five Potential Scenarios

A study on the future of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt expected the group to turn to the “militarization” style that is to become an isolated security group that stands at the threshold of terrorism and organized crime.

The study, prepared by Dr. Ammar Ali Hassan, Director of the Middle East Research and Studies Center, attributed the possibility of this transformation to the regime”s insistence to continue governing without a popular mandate and its desire to remove the Brotherhood by the security persecution, after the group began to respond to politics and understand pluralism.

The study said banning political activity on religious basis is part of a package of measures taken by the Egyptian government to whittle away at the Muslim Brotherhood”s influence following their victory in the 2005 legislative elections, stressing that such measures; including arrest, confiscation and cracking down on the Brotherhood”s economic pillars, do not benefit Egypt’s democratic progress and that the solution lies in giving free rein to form political parties and create legal legitimacy for the Muslim Brotherhood away from the religious basis in a way that restores its normal size to become part of the whole.

The study reviews factors that are to affect the future of the Muslim Brotherhood, stating that it is difficult to imagine the disappearance of the Brotherhood in the future as long as it includes open-minded followers, besides it continues to play the service-oriented role, which plugs a gap the State has failed to fill. Nevertheless, the group is facing major challenges as a result of political and social modernization vis-à-vis its slow performance that does not meet all the requirements of an Egyptian State.

The study criticizes the Brotherhood”s persistent wagering on the public and ignoring the elites, indicating that this would put more obstacles in their way to power, while the ruling regime has been relying on a considerable sector of these elites for survival in spite of its low approval rating.

The study shows that the Brotherhood”s tendency to declare a political party a step toward betting on the future, particularly the post-Mubarak phase. The Brotherhood is still being held captive to its bitter experiences with the ruling regimes. This has made it lost desire for adventure and made it completely afraid of confrontation with the regime, despite the erosion of its popularity.

On the other hand, such experiences have strengthened their faith in peaceful activity and the need for dialogue with the political forces, which is a sufficient guarantee for the international powers to obtain international legitimacy that will help them accomplish their project as a force that presents itself as a political alternative to the incumbent regime.

The study draws out five scenarios of Egypt, the first of which is that the regime quickly reforms itself, reuniting the society and the State and providing healthy atmosphere for a new political life. The second is that the regime continues its current performance, causing the Egyptian State to fall like a rotten fruit into the lap of the Muslim Brotherhood, who may, in turn relish the idea of taking advantage of the authoritarian legacy and tend to make gradual reform. They may even take backward steps.

The third scenario depicts an alliance between the regime and the Muslim Brotherhood. To the regime, such alliance is like drinking a chalice of bitterness, but it will not hesitate to drink it to the last drop since it is the only way that will keep it stable. As for the Brotherhood, history tells us that they have instinctive willingness to ally with anyone and any party as long as this will achieve their interests.

The fourth scenario the regime may adopt is the power inheritance scenario for which there is mounting evidence.

The fifth scenario is represented in a sudden change where the rules of the political game will be reformulated and those of different mindset and new classes will be given opportunity to rise.

The study said that the power inheritance scenario will likely tower over all other scenarios in the future, pointing out that Gamal Mubarak”s political ascendancy may not mean that the regime will completely dispense with the Muslim Brotherhood, as the regime may need the group, even temporarily, for mobilizing popular and social support for Gamal Mubarak.

Some members of the group claim that the reason for the recent arrests of the group”s leaders and the reference of some of them to military court, was that it refused to promise the regime with supporting the “hereditary rule” project.

If the regime needs the Brotherhood their road for establishing a political party will be open, but it regime is confident about its popularity, or the factors in its continuation away from the Muslim Brotherhood, the group will remain banned facing crackdowns and arrests