Bonus: The Muslim Brotherhood Part 2


The Muslim Brotherhood: From Mubarak to Morsi

Muslim Brotherhood’s status did not change much under Hosni Mubarak

Though not responsible for Sadat’s assassination, they were still illegal in Egypt

However, like Sadat’s regime, Mubarak’s also chose to tolerate the Muslim Brotherhood

  1. In the beginning, Mubarak did not have much political power. So he released many people arrested by Sadat to increase his popularity
    1. This included members of the Muslim Brotherhood
    2. The Muslim Brotherhood took advantage of Mubarak’s overtures and began growing their influence
    3. Throughout much of the 80’s, Muslim Brotherhood worked on various social causes
    4. They could not participate in politics but became influential in various industry and trade organizations
    5. This allowed them to influence Egyptian society without going into politics
    6. In 1984 Muslim Brotherhood allied with a legitimate political party called Wafd; Wafd wanted Muslim Brotherhood’s popularity and Muslim Brotherhood needed Wafd’s legitimacy
    7. Mubarak’s seemed to want to placate the Muslim Brotherhood, but never let them get too much political power
  2. The Muslim Brotherhood candidates were successful; but soon the Wafd party and Muslim Brotherhood had disagreements
    1. In 1987, Muslim Brotherhood broke from the Wafd party and threw their support behind the Labor party
    2. This shows how the Muslim Brotherhood was learning to use their political influence, even though they were technically illegal and couldn’t form a party of their own
  3. Mubarak was still too weak politically to stop the Muslim Brotherhood and his own rule was fragile
    1. In the next elections, the Labor party won 60 seats in parliament and Muslim Brotherhood candidates had 36 of them.
  4. In 1992, the Salsabil Affair convinced Mubarak that he had to change strategies with the Muslim Brotherhood
    1. The Egyptian military signed a contract with a computer company named Salsabil
    2. Later discovered that it was run by members of the Muslim Brotherhood; led to government raids and arrests
    3. Government claims they found proof that Muslim Brotherhood had plans to take over the government

Mubarak Changes Strategy

  1. In 1993 Mubarak won another term as President; now had political power to move against Muslim Brotherhood
    1. The government place all trade and professional orgs under their oversight
    2. Most of those org leaders who were affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood were fired or replaced
  2. In 1995 there was an assassination attempt on Hosni Mubarak in Ethiopia
    1. The government cracked down on Muslim Brotherhood and over a thousand members were arrested.
    2. The government didn’t trust the civil courts so they had them tried in military tribunals
    3. Some members got 5 years, but most were sentenced to 3 years
    4. This weakened the Muslim Brotherhood and let them know there were certain lines they couldn’t cross
  3. In 1998, hundreds of student Muslim Brotherhood activists were arrested
    1. This led to a split between the older and younger generations in Muslim Brotherhood
    2. Many of the younger leaders left Muslim Brotherhood to join with secularists and Copts to form a new political party Al-Wasat
    3. Al-Wasat was an Islamic organization like Muslim Brotherhood but portrayed themselves as more liberal and open
    4. Still, Mubarak’s regime never allowed Al-Wasat to run as an official political party either

The Brotherhood Gets Political

  1. In 2000 as the older members were replaced by younger members, Muslim Brotherhood began to change tactics
    1. Several Muslim Brotherhood members were elected to parliament as independent candidates
    2. Muslim Brotherhood publicly renounced their anti-Semitic beliefs from the past
    3. Despite Mubarak’s crackdown in the 90’s, Muslim Brotherhood still won 17 seats in the 2000 elections
  2. Over the next 5 years, international events began to shape Egypt’s future
    1. The attacks of 9-11 led to the U.S. toppling the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2002 and attempt nation-building
    2. Then the U.S. invaded Iraq; politicians in the West were talking about bringing democracy to the Middle East
    3. The U.S. put pressure on Mubarak to hold fair elections in Egypt
    4. However, during this period, Mubarak was grooming his son Gamal Mubarak for leadership
    5. The Muslim Brotherhood was vehemently against this
  3. With pressure from outside and inside Egypt, Mubarak allowed free and open elections in 2005
    1. The government thought Muslim Brotherhood would win no more than 30 seats
    2. Both were surprised when the Muslim Brotherhood won 128 of 444 parliamentary seats
    3. The government then tampered with the results so Muslim Brotherhood later had only 88 seats
    4. The results rocked both the Egyptian and the US governments who thought Muslim Brotherhood were marginal
    5. Coupled with Hamas winning open elections in Palestine, the U.S. government realized they couldn’t allow this much democracy
  4. US government turned a blind eye as Mubarak tried to the destroy the Muslim Brotherhood
    1. In 2006, Muslim Brotherhood organized a sporting event that looked a lot like military training
    2. The government used this to arrest several members
    3. Government and Egyptian media collaborated to spread propaganda against Muslim Brotherhood
    4. Mubarak wanted to both crush the Muslim Brotherhood, and make it easy to pass power to his son
    5. He changed laws, manipulated elections, and arrested people to make this possible
    6. The 2010 parliament elections were rigged by the Mubarak government and Muslim Brotherhood didn’t win any seats
    7. In the process, he made himself appear more and more like a dictator; which ultimately led to his downfall

The Fall of Hosni Mubarak

  1. The Arab Spring hit Egypt in late January 2011 and thousands of protestors rallied in the streets
    1. Mubarak was so used to fighting the Muslim Brotherhood he was unprepared for a popular uprising
    2. The Muslim Brotherhood itself did not take an official position during these protests
    3. But several of their members did partake; they used their years of organization and resistance to push revolution further
    4. Finally, on February 11, 2011 Mubarak stepped down as President and the Egyptian military took over running the government
    5. Four days after Mubarak resigned, Muslim Brotherhood announced they would form a new political party called the Freedom and Justice Party
    6. A few weeks later, Mubarak and his family were placed under house arrest
    7. Mubarak and his two sons were arrested and tried on various counts; ultimately they were only found guilty of embezzlement
  2. With freedom to move and organize, the Muslim Brotherhood became heavily involved in the post-revolution protests and rallies
    1. But with no common enemy, there were some fractures; in June some of the younger members again split with the main Muslim Brotherhood body
  3. Even though the protestors got Mubarak to step down, they continued to hold regular rallies
    1. From the next 12 months after Mubarak stepped down, there were constant protests, rallies, sit-ins, and demonstrations in Egypt
    2. There were demonstrations against the military rule, demonstrations against the courts, demonstrations to remove vestiges of Mubarak’s rule, demonstrations for quicker elections, demonstrations commemorating earlier demonstrations.
  4. In June 2011, the ban on the Muslim Brotherhood from participating in politics was lifted and they began preparing for Egypt’s election the next year
    1. From November to January 2012, parliamentary elections were held in Egypt and the military handed over legislative control. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party won 235 of 498 seats.
    2. Even though the parliament was voted in, Mubarak’s old cabinet were still in control; most had not stepped down.
    3. In March 2012, Muslim Brotherhood and FJP accused the military of protecting them. The military responded with this statement: “be aware of history’s lessons, to avoid past mistakes we do not want to see repeated, and to look to the future with the spirit of cooperation.”

The Muslim Brotherhood Takes Over….Sort Of

  1. The military announced that Presidential elections would be held in May 2012.
    1. At first the Muslim Brotherhood declared they would not put forth a candidate from their own ranks.
    2. But now that they had won so many seats in parliament, the Muslim Brotherhood began to press their advantage.
    3. They pushed for a new post-revolution constitution and they also decided to field a Presidential candidate.
    4. Their first choice was the Muslim Brotherhood Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat Al-Shater. But he was disqualified as having been imprisoned just a year earlier.
    5. Their next choice was Mohamed Morsi who was a former member of Parliament and President of the Freedom and Justice Party
  2. But despite the Muslim Brotherhood’s successes, they were beginning to have some problems.
    1. Their decision to create a new Islamic constitution brought out more protestors who thought the Muslim Brotherhood would turn Egypt into a theocracy
    2. In April 2012, Egypt’s Supreme Court said the Muslim Brotherhood’s dominance over the creation of a new constitution was unconstitutional
    3. Presidential elections took place in May 2012, and Morsi came out ahead of his primary rival, Ahmed Shafik, who was Hosni Mubarak’s Prime Minister.
    4. On June 14, 2012, the Supreme Court dissolved the parliament that was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. The military immediately retook legislative authority
    5. The military then sent soldiers to surround the parliament building to prevent anyone from entering.
    6. The parliament just moved to another building and continued to operate in defiance of the order
    7. 10 days after parliament was dissolved, Morsi was announced as the new President.
    8. He won just under 52% of the vote
    9. However, since the military had taken legislative power back, Morsi was a President with no real power.
    10. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood didn’t understand or couldn’t do anything about the reality of Egyptian politics. As one university professor put it: “One of Morsi’s mistakes during his presidency was that he led people to assume that he’d taken the reigns of the state when in fact he hadn’t. He was simply put in a position to give people the idea that a real revolution had occurred. The state, meanwhile, was very much in the hands of the same people as it was under Mubarak”
  3. Over the next 6 months, Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood began working on a new Constitution for Egypt.
    1. The draft Constitution was put to a popular vote in December and was approved in two rounds. But there was a low turnout indicating the public was feeling cynical.
    2. The new Constitution brought out protests against Morsi and the political opposition, National Salvation Front, charged him and the Muslim Brotherhood with fraud.
    3. The Constitution was drafted in a way to give the President broad political power and remove authority from the military. But the Egyptian people saw it as an attempt to create a dictatorship.
    4. This sparked more protests and clashes between Morsi’s supporters, mostly Muslim Brotherhood, and his opponents, mostly Mubarak cronies, secularists, and Christians. The clashes led to several deaths.

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Bonus: The Muslim Brotherhood Part 2

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