Dr. Nafeaa: Regime Rejects All Effective Parties Not Only MB

Muslim Brotherhood cannot be eradicated 

Dr. Hassan Nafeaa, head of the Political Sciences Department, Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Cairo University, wrote an article in which he reviewed the yearlong conflict of successive regimes in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood,

 citing the recent arrests which reached out to sixteen Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including MB second deputy Chairman, Eng. Khairat el Shater as well as a host of Azhar University students, professors, syndicate leaders and civil society activists.

Dr. Nafeaa quoted part of the statement released by the Interior Ministry to the effect that these arrests were made at arrest warrants by the State Security Prosecution after the police were tipped off that those leaders were implicated in riots staged in Azhar University on December 10, 2006. The professor also quoted the said statement as saying that these MB leaders formed deterrence committees, armed them with sticks and iron chains, and ordered them to stage sit-ins and demonstrations and riots in the university, and carry out acts of sabotage against public and private properties. The statement also said that the detained students” tried to do such acts and some of them smashed the university’s main gate and assaulted some professors and students. According to the statement, these incidents were established and referred to the Prosecution immediately”.

Egyptians tend not to believe Interior Ministry’s statements:
Commenting on the context of the statement, Dr. Nafeaa said that no neutral, unbiased observer can confirm or dismiss what came in the statement, adding that there is a tendency among Egyptians to dismiss statements made by the Ministry of Interior” especially that the arrests of the MB leaderships have been in full swing for years either there are reasons for the arrests or not”, he said, citing the recent release of two senior MB leaders, Dr. Essam Al Arian and Dr. Mohammed Mursi, who were detained for seven months without charges and were released without clear reasons.

Nafeaa briefly traced the history of the Muslim Brotherhood, founded by Hassan el Banna in 1928, saying that the group sustained a lot of ordeals at the hands of all successive regimes since it started to call for establishing a model society. The professor attributed this collision to ideologies adopted by these regimes, mainly the pro-West liberalism at the king’s reign, pro USSR socialism at Nasser’s era, and pro US- Israel policy at Sadat’s era based on the normalization of relations with Israel and further political and economic relations with the US. However, the writer said that while Mubarak’s regime has been and still is keen to steer clear of any direct confrontation with the group, the current escalation of tension between the two parties could lead to an inevitable, all out confrontation.

Reviewing the outcome of the confrontation of the group with the successive regimes throughout more than sixty years, the writer said that it is time to learn lessons from these yearlong confrontations, which he summed up as follows: 
First: The Muslim Brotherhood is here to stay and no one can eradicate it, now that the group has taken root within the political and social life in Egypt.
Second: The unabated crackdowns on the group only invigorated power into the group; incriminating its activities made it less communicative with others, which made
 it continue its activities even away from the eyes of the law.                                                                                       
Third: Imposing restrictions on the other political parties outside power eventually works in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood only, making the group the only alternative for the incumbent regime, especially when the latter lacks a national vision or project to rally the public around it, as is the case of Egypt nowadays.

The writer reinforced his assertion by inviting readers to have a look at the recent parliamentary election, when only 23% of the eligible electorate participated.  He pointed out that this led to a political polarization on the part of the two parties, with the writer warning that this could lead to an appalling political vacuum, as both parties is not a party in the full sense of the word. To hammer home this viewpoint, the writer said that the ruling party doesn’t take its power from the public support inasmuch as the awe and aura of its security agencies. Likewise, he added, the Muslim Brotherhood power doesn’t reflect the public support inasmuch as the influence of religion on the Egyptian society.
According to the writer, exchanged accusations between the ruling party and the Muslim Brotherhood make the silent majority uncertain of both parties. ” The ruling National Party relentlessly uses the media to exaggerate the threat of Muslim Brotherhood, to lead the people off its responsibility for the deteriorating situation and to consolidate its monopoly of power and wealth.” he said, adding that “the ongoing persecution of the MB members will turn them into victims who deserve to be the only alternative especially in the light of the political vacuum, taking the country to an untold chaos and unrest, ” to which the incumbent regime seems to take us “the writer warned. Concerning his outlook for the future of the political life in Egypt, the writer advised that no genuine political reform will materialize without the participation of the Islamic trend in general and the Muslim Brotherhood in particular.

Who is to blame for this political standoff?
After several meetings and talks with MB leaderships, the writer said he concluded that the problem doesn’t lie with the Muslim Brotherhood inasmuch as the incumbent regime. He lashed out at the regime for its refusal to make room for any party enjoying public support, citing the Al Wasat (centrist) and Karama (dignity) parties which have for ten years struggled to get an official license allowing them to exercise their activities. “If that is the case, why do we call on the group to go the same way while all of us know its result?,” he wondered.
However, he concluded by holding the civil society organizations responsible to seek a formula to dispel the doubts between the MB group and all political forces having a desire for reform” If we fail to eliminate the exchanged accusations between the Muslim Brotherhood and other political powers seeking change, there will be no hope for an alternative, genuine and democratic system, and in this way we, unaware, sit awaiting the coming disaster, which will inevitably come” he concluded.