MB series the Group fails to have state’s desired negative impact
With approaching parliamentary and presidential elections politics has become the focus of all conversations in Egypt . Unsurprisingly, any discussion about politics rarely comes without a mention of the , referred to by officials in state-owned media as the “banned or outlawed group."
The TV series "The group" written by Wahid Hammed a script writer who is known for his secular views and disdain for Islamic political groups, is currently being aired in what was initially an effort meant to tarnish the group’s image. The series which hoped to shed a harsh light on the country’s strongest political opposition has somewhat backfired gaining the group much respect and securing the interest of both the younger and older generations alike as sales of MB books and their ideology have increased.
Despite attempts to portray the current MB leaders in a negative light, some viewers have grown to respect the group’s founder. Viewers have described him as extremely charismatic and influential admiring the fact that someone who grew up in a small village in a countryside goes on to create one of the biggest movements in Egypt, and the .
According to Political Scientist Ashraf Sheriff and lecturer at the
"What the series has done is turning a dinosaur into a living political phenomenon," said el-Sherif, who lectures at the American University in Cairo . "Now, the Brothers are no longer a banned group, as the government insists. They have entered every house, street and coffee house in Egypt .
The MB which is sometimes viewed with disdain has succeeded in gaining a measure of popular support with its wide network of social services. It has been widely described as the largest and most organized political opposition movement. The ruling regime has continued to target its members and leaders by arresting and detaining them indefinitely going as far as referring its members to a military tribunal.
The group has, stretched its international presence and become involved in Egyptian elections fielding its members as independents. Despite oppression and frequent crackdowns by the security’s apparatus the group has remained defiant to its call for peaceful, reform and constitutional change. In fact the group has succeeded in acquiring 88 of the 454 seats in the 2005 and was not met with lightly by authorities who jailed more than 5,000 of its members. The recent launching of the Facebook-style social networking site known as Ikhwanbook, which advertises a goal to "spread awareness of moderate Islamic values" has also stepped up efforts to publicize its image.
Highlighted in the series but inaccurately portrayed were the security officials who were depicted in the series as peaceful interrogators who care for the group and want to impose justice and freedom.
According to critics the plot which inaccurately centers on a recent court case expresses the views and policies of Egypt ‘s apparatus who attempt to portray the group as a breeding ground for extremists.
Abdul Galil al-Shernouby, of the Brotherhood’s website noted that
"What was meant to be a work of drama has turned into flagrant political propaganda."
The group’s chairman Dr. Mohamed Badie highlighted that the Egyptian population understands the lies of the government and its media allegations and the TV series will not have the negative impact the regime and producer are bidding on.