The Muslim Brotherhood and the Double Siege

Each victory achieved by the Muslim Brotherhood on the public level is accompanied by procedures that aim at putting the movement under siege, preventing it from forming a popular base.

All these attempts to put the movement under siege emit from the ruling regime’s mentality that imposes its domination and supremacy over the political field. This ruling regime does not reconsider its methods, but rather it exaggerates whatever the consequences might be.

Especially after the elections of 2005, it was proved that the procedures followed by the ruling regime towards the movement did not affect its popularity; however, these procedures probably enriched the Muslim Brotherhood’s reputation. The ruling regime has not realized yet that its continuous attack against the Muslim Brotherhood does not affect the image drawn in the minds of the broad categories of the Egyptian society. On the contrary, it reinforces the positive image created, since it is clear that the antagonism of the ruling regime to the Muslim Brotherhood is comprehended for the good of the movement. Many people perceive that this sort of attack is but a strong evidence for the positive attitude of the movement against corruption and tyranny, and that the movement is the one that stands against political corruption and despotism.

Also, the ruling regime has not realized yet that the continuous arresting campaigns against the members of the movements are -according to the people’s point of view – but a proof that it is a movement which has a message and which can sacrifice for its sake. In other words, the movement represents the attitude that stands against the ruling regime which makes the best use of its unlimited authority. This comparison between the ruling regime and the Muslim Brotherhood goes for the good of the Muslim Brotherhood that seems – for those who follow its activities – as a movement that offers sacrifices, aiming not to achieve personal gains. All these factors confirm the credibility of the movement in the minds of the people.

Although arresting people is the most effective weapon upon any movement or political party, the ruling regime tries to turn that weapon to a means of political and financial blackmail. The ruling regime does not make only arresting campaigns, but also terrorizing ones in which the arrested members are described as a threat to the public security to justify the use of excessive violence and force in dealing with them during the arresting campaigns. In addition to these campaigns, the force that carries out the arrest tries to collect the largest sums of money in the area of arrest as a sort of financial depletion for the movement and its members. In addition, they try also to ruin the business of the arrested members especially those who are self-employed trying to strike the members’ personal life and to damage their professional future. Moreover, the ruling regime tries to terrorize those who deal with the movement’s members like the customers of a company or the patients of a clinic.
Moreover, the members of the people’s Assembly who represent the Muslim Brotherhood are put under siege; the citizens who deal with them are being terrified and prevented from offering requests or complaints to them. The ruling regime wants to send a message to the people; this message concludes that electing the Muslim Brotherhood members will not achieve them the services they need since the movement opposes the ruling regime and is put under siege. All these messages are supposed to prevent the people from electing the members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the next elections.

The picture of this siege is completed through putting restrains on the work opportunities against the members of the movement. This actually took place with the company that sells the mobile phones, and was closed until their owners had to dismiss the staff who belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood including the managing director and the co-founder. All these procedures take place in order to frighten the businessmen from dealing with the members of the Muslim Brotherhood. This surely affects the freelance business of the members of the Muslim Brotherhood in a bad manner; also, they are deprived from stepping into certain work fields such like enlisting in the army, teaching in universities, or any other field controlled by the security forces.

All these procedures aim at isolating the members of the movement and enforcing them to take the narrow path of life. The ultimate goal of this is to make the movement lose its supporters and members, since joining the Muslim Brotherhood or even dealing with it becomes a risky decision to take.
In addition to this siege, the ruling system tries to impose an iron curtain upon the movement that starts with restraining the media of the movement in all possible ways. At the same time, it tries to create an image through the official media, which is – in fact – a wide spread huge tool. Through the TV channels and the official newspapers, especially those specialized in attacking the Muslim Brotherhood, the ruling regime draws an image about the Muslim Brotherhood that is completely different from reality. Because the movement does not have any other means to respond but the internet sites, the Muslim Brotherhood is surrounded by an overflow of falsehood that distorts reality mixing it with lies in order to misguide the one who follows the media to comprehend the reality of the movement.

As a matter of fact, the media gathers some fragments of facts and picks up some parts of announcements and speeches where expressions can be misused in the material of the media so as to portray a distorted picture for the reality. He who follows the various incidents does not analyze what lies between lines, but rather forms an image in his mind through false headlines.

This is how the double siege is fulfilled; it is intended to paralyze the Muslim Brotherhood’s ability to react in the daily life and to lose control over its image formed in the minds of the public. Nevertheless, it is crystal clear that people figure out their impression out of the direct dealing with the movement, and that the movement’s conflict with the ruling regime is but a decoration that honors its status and reputation

Rafik Habib, Protestant Christian, who argues that Egyptians–Muslim and Christian alike–are members of an Islamic society