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If they only read their history

By Inji Mounib History is always repeating itself in all possible ways, a fact that we are aware of and a truth proven throughout time in Egypt and around the globe. Mostly historians realise this, but we all like to talk about it. Going back in history, the 80 long years since the establishment of …

Inji Mounib
Inji Mounib

By Inji Mounib

History is always repeating itself in all possible ways, a fact that we are aware of and a truth proven throughout time in Egypt and around the globe. Mostly historians realise this, but we all like to talk about it. Going back in history, the 80 long years since the establishment of the Muslim Brotherhood speak of the real reasons for their existence, and the main objective of their continuous presence. Their late founder, Hassan Al-Banna, had the ultimate dream of establishing his own empire in a fashion that is similar to Abdel Aziz Al-Seoud. His methods relied on using tailored ideologies and the lure of ultimate power to convince people of his quest. He sold, at the time, a genuine product that found fertile ground in which to grow and win supporters. What could be better than religion to convince people to submit and obey?

Throughout history, Muslim Brotherhoods were legitimate tools in safe hands of different governments in power. They all used them to help with their own agendas and always ended up throwing them away. First supported by the British to counterbalance the power of the King and get rid of him, they were used again by late president Gamal Abdel Nasser who first belonged to them. They ended up with their leaders and active members all in prison during the 1960s, something that represents a black spot in their history. From Nasser to Sadat, the same scenario played out over and over again. Sadat used them to counterbalance the power and support of the Russians, enabling the successful restoration of his capitalist plans at the expense of the social movement, which was well-integrated within society and dominating the scene.

Mubarak was no exception. He allowed them to practice politics, get involved in business and get more involved in society. From syndicates to the parliament, they got more and more integrated, using their vicious slogans and rhetorical call for “The Return of Islam”. Successfully, they gathered supporters and enhanced their presence using Islam as a solution for the sins of the society. They tailored its sacred rules, in contrast to their mediocre aspirations, into a marriage between Islam as a religion and the Brotherhood as a political movement. Consequently, supporters increased in numbers and more civilian victims were added to the list. Based on nothing but empty words, dreams and illusions, they succeeded in mobilising millions of civilians, only seeking a must-have change for the ‘best’ of the country. At the same time, leaders of the Brotherhood made sure to keep their true goals hidden from the public.

Given the blessing of the United States, and following their success in establishing Islamic rule in Turkey, Tunisia and finally Egypt, they seemed to be going from one victory to another. There are doubts concerning their so-called success in the Egyptian presidential elections a year ago, with a legal case still pending and currently under examination, awaiting final verdict. For the very first time in history, they were in the spotlight, transformed from an underground organisation into a legitimate entity with a political party in one hand, and a president in the other.

True, they had a chance; probably their only chance to stabilise their power, contain the country and pursue reform procedures in order to rule the country for years to come. Instead, they sought to dominate all possible formal and informal channels, with key positions were only given to their supporters. The Mubarak regime was perfectly replaced by the Islamic one, rendering a copycat. Figures changed, titles altered, names were different, but the system remained the same.

Was that the core of the game? Absolutely not; those who went down in millions for social welfare, development, higher living standards and equality would never accept being caught in the same trap again for many years to come with more aggression, containment and suffering.

Obviously, an outlawed organisation which never practiced politics publicly would never be able to steer a country towards development and growth. Instead, the underground manoeuvres and dark practices would always remain in the back of their minds.

Reading thoroughly in the history of all secret organisations, the facts are always the same. Whoever works in the dark would never be able to earn the trust and credibility required to delivering and acquiring legitimacy and sovereignty. Instead, like Icarus, they would perish as soon as they reach their goal. The Brotherhood got burnt due to their total ignorance of the rules of the game.

The end therefore is inevitable. Whether today, tomorrow or after, it will happen sooner or later. Their dream of ruling the world and establishing the so-called “Islamic Caliphate” is one that already happened years ago, and would never happen again. Modern society ensures that their dream expires. They are close to falling in Turkey, with Erdogan finally revealing his true identity, and in Tunisia the oppressive government is facing anger and refusal from its people. Last but not least, they are facing harsh opposition in Syria despite all the US support to override the country and defeat Al-Assad.

In Egypt, the situation is more clear-cut and the end is coming hopefully sooner than later. They might stay after 30 June, but their real power is now revealed and their mediocre statements can no longer hold up. They could stay for a few more weeks until they fall apart but they will definitely fall apart. They cannot tolerate facing the collective anger of the people, who are demanding their departure and are ready for the battle no matter what it takes. In fact, they made it easy when they manages to turn all of the state’s apparatus against them; insulting the judiciary, making fun of the army, humiliating intellectuals, looking down at the opposition, destroying the country, exploiting its economy and threatening the entire populous. Thanks to their leaders and their harsh statements, the anger is increasing and the end is nigh.

However, do they realise that the same scenario is repeated yet again? The US and all other superpowers cannot compromise on losing Egypt as the major power in the region, and one of the most strategic powers in the world today. True, they supported them to a large extent, but they would turn against them the moment they lose ground. The game of politics has no emotions, no loyalty and no stagnant position. The seats change and the key of the game is to support the winner not those who fail to sustain it.

The fact remains the same; the US is protecting its interests and defending its own objectives. They did not learn the lesson from Obama’s position vis-à-vis Al-Assad in Syria in the aftermath of the pressure of the international community. Apparently, they do not read, neither history nor newspapers, and they only base their future plans on illusions and dreams that are hard to achieve.


Inji Mounib is a specialist of crisis management & public relations.

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  • Rana

    is there a Plan B if MORSI left and then called for an election then what ? who will be up against him in the election an what if the people elected another Brotherhood or a Taliban then what ? just curious ?

  • Rana

    I am Against the Brotherhood or any religious party trying to rule a government but if he was elected president and then another was elected and he is even worse called for burning all the media and TRULY closed out the Freedom of speech then what ? who is FIT enough to be president of Egypt ?

    • Issy

      “who is FIT enough to be president of Egypt ?”

      Anyone that isn’t a Muslim would be a good start.

  • Abdelrahman Mahmoud

    “History is always repeating itself in all possible ways, a fact that we are aware of and a truth proven throughout time in Egypt and around the globe.” This is a terrible assertion to take for granted and, worse, to start your argument with. According to historicists, history never repeats itself nor it did. You are simply rebuffing the different context, factors and actors who take part in any historical event which make it unique and unrepeatable.As if you are saying time never changes nor. It is still and continues to be so.

  • sam enslow

    A lesson in history should contain a little history.
    1. The Brothers were supported not by the British but by King Faud as a conservative force to be used against the “liberal” effendi class. He also wanted to be named caliph. But the Brothers were the rural part of the very long story of the urban/rural divide. See “Egypt Reinvisioned 1919-1952.”
    2. The Brothers here, like Hamas, obtained popular support by actually providing social services the state did not. There were many reasons for the rural and poor populations to support them.
    3. The Arab League at its request accepted the task of resolving the Syrian crisis. They had all the tools to do so. The matter was then turned over to the UN where any effective action was blocked by Russia and China. I believe if you go back over your editorials, you see many asking, “Why doesn’t the US stop Assad?”
    4. Erdogan was a hero in Egypt for his role in this crisis and the “Turkish” model was a dream for many Egyptians. When Erdogan was criticised by the US and the EU on human rights and freedom of the press, Egyptians would scream it was because he was Muslim.
    When I first settled in Egypt, there was a common saying to prove something was true, “You can tell that to Mubarak.” If Mubarak fooled the US, he also did a good job of fooling Egyptians. The Egyptian people did not vote for Morsy because of the US. They voted for him for four main reasons: they were Islamists; Morsy was not Shafiq; they got free sugar and oil; and “Let the Army and Brothers fight (the two elephants) and then we can have a liberal democracy.

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