There was a new crackdown on high-ranking MB leaders on Saturday morning, including Dr Abdel-Monein Aboul Fotouh - sometimes described as a leader of the "reformist" trend within the movement and respected by many outside its ranks. The Arabist speculates that this has something to do with Gaza: "Considering all of these people were involved in the fundraising drive and aid effort to Gaza, and the Egyptian government has just reopened the border, one wonders whether there’s any connection."
On the other hand, blogger Mahmoud Abdel-Monein sees the crackdown as part of the ongoing attempt to weaken the movement ahead of the coming transfer of the presidential post from Mubarak to his son. He goes on to criticize the weak response of the movement to recent crackdowns, pointing out that even when high leaders received harsh prison sentences in military tribunals last year, the movement left the campaigning on their behalf to their female relatives and younger bloggers. "Why did the movement decide to turn the other cheek to receive another slap?" he asks.
Abdel-Monein doesn"t try to answer this question. But one of the commentators on his blog suggest that it is because of weakness: It is clear the Ikwhan doesn"t have a million active members as many use to claim. "Most of them are behind bars." Even if this is an exaggeration, it would surprise me if the passivity in the face of the governments repression didn"t cause considerable damage to the movement"s appeal among the younger generation.