MB and regimes… eternal clash
In Egypt, detentions, military tribunals are the fate of Muslim Brotherhood…In Jordan, a clash between MB and the governments….In Syria, execution is the doom of who ever affiliates to MB….in Palestine a squeezing siege against Hamas movement…this is the current status of the Islamist movements in the Arab and Muslim world.
The only beam of light for Islamists was the rise of Justice and Development Party in Turkey where some attribute its ideologies to secularism rather than Islamism while others describe it as the Secular Islamist.
This bitter reality of Islamist movements bring forth the 80-years asked question…when does the clash end between MB and the governments!!!?
Of course it is not hard to detect the evidence of this eternal struggle that escalated recently. In Jordan, the stance became aggravated when the Jordanian government decided arresting the representatives Muhammad Abu Faresand Ali Abu Sukar, then the government started closing several charity societies affiliate to MB and finally violated the elections that MB ran. It was known that Jordan was the single country in the region that dealt with Islamist movements in King Hussein Ibn Talal time.
In Egypt, there is a frequent escalation between MB and all successive regimes since the date of association in 1928; however, the peak of this clash was with the late President Jamal Abdul Nasser in 1954, 1965.
Since President Mubarak has assumed power, the relation between MB and the regime varied but it reached the peak recently as president Mubarak believed that MB are the major threat for his rule. This was evident on recent series of detentions against many leading figures and referring them to military trials besides blocking their assets.
The American role in this escalation
Egyptian regime became absorbed with obsessions as Bush”s administration showed a different stance with moderate Islamists and decided to open channels with them in order to neutralize them, however, this short while stance changed completely after Hamas came to power in Palestine and Arab regimes succeeded in depicting MB as scarecrow when they deal with the American administration.
As a result, the American diplomacy in the region became active after Bush”s discourse in January 2004, where he spoke about the efforts of democratizing Mid-East and he pointed to the clouded future of an important region from earth in order to keep the interests of US and its security.
After a month, the secretary of state Condoleezza Rice stated to the Washington Post that it is necessary to induce a state of “full fledged anarchy” in the region. This means that US wants to induce core changes in the social and cultural and political structures of the region.
She declared that she personally wants MB assume power in Egypt rather than the current status and she added that when they assume power,. ..their true face will appear and their ideologies will prove to be void.
Anyhow, although American administration”s enthusiasm started to fade in course of time along with the pressures from the part of Arab regimes, the second term of Bush allowed only one thing which is leaving a room for moderate Islamists to participate in elections in order to contain them in the new American set of values and to marginalize Islamist movements who adopt the ideologies of Al-Qaeda.
Since that time, MB” success in Egypt in 2005, where they won one-fifth of the seats despite all acts of rigging for votes, was welcomed without any objections from the part of US.
US was keen to leave a room for Islamists in the political life but not to the extent of an overwhelming victory.
However, the Palestinian elections in 2006 that resulted in an all-sweeping success for Hamas against Fattah was a slap on the face of the American ideologies absolutes and their theorists from the new conservatives.
These new conservatives always argued that opening the atmosphere for democracy and freedom in Middle East would result in the rise of pro-Americans and liberals through ballot boxes as these countries need a third alternative rather than the dictatorship of current regimes and “the comprehensiveness” of Islamists.
This never was true, because any free and fair elections in the region would result inevitably in the rise of Islamists. Thence-after the Palestinian elections- American Administration discourse changed when dealing with democracy in Middle East.
Washington became unconvinced with the its grave results of its policies in the region, and in order to resolve the errors it called for new rules for the game with the regimes in the region. This is Evident in the example of Egypt since the Egyptian regime decided to abandon its role –especially in the Palestinian case –in order to guarantee an American silence before the potential scenario of Gamnal Mubarak”s succession.
This was clear as US remained silent before the rigging that took place in the Shura Council elections in 2007, where the elections witnessed many violations, this resulted in the failure of Islamists-MB- in even winning one seat.
The file of moderate Islamists was left to the regimes to deal with through security although this choice is disputed among the circles of decision making in US as excluding Islamists would result in affecting the interests of US in the region.
However, the loudest voice is “security” rather than “policy” when dealing with “moderate Islamists” especially in some Arab countries, thus we can understand the reasons behind what happened in the Jordanian elections.
It became clear that the rules of the game changed in the region between regimes and Islamists after the recent development we said before.
Islamists felt happy after the great achievements they did in different countries (Egypt-Palestine-Morocco)
The regimes felt afraid from the rising threat of Islamists under their failure in solving the problems of their people and their excessive use of power in order to maintain their posts.
Of course both parties whether MB or regimes are governed by interests and both of them are not expert in dealing with each other an can not deal effectively with international developments that represent the major part in the policies of the ruing regimes.
MB has to re-devise their policies to deal with governments in a new frame that is accordant to new developments in the region, and to make good use of the Turkish experience that succeeded in taming the secular system of the state. MB should deal with realistic political practice away from the religious aspirations that we can not deny their effects in MB ideologies and to bring the battle to politics and not religion.
Of course, the suppressive Egyptian regime since the revolution of July 1953 does not want a real opposition within the Egyptian streets and succeeded in quelling all opposition forces. MB has a role as well in the quelling of opposition as most of MB leaders believe in that the movement is unique. Perhaps if MB leaders tried to make themselves a strong alliance away from formal co-operation in order to beautify its picture and perhaps if MB leaders abandoned the concept of individuality and uniqueness; this would lead to a real strong opposition affecting the future of Egypt.
MB should seek activating the Egyptian opposition rather than quelling it because real opposition will be in the favor of MB rather than the regime. MB should abandon the policy of accounting others on their intentions for seeking power and to conclude a strong accordance with other opposition forces away from contradicting ideologies as both have one target; the future of Egypt.