Abdullah Al-Arian: Egypt's Democratic OutlawsRoundup: Historians' Take
tags: Egypt, Al Jazeera, Abdullah Al-Arian, Mahmoud Morsi, Egyptian Revolution
Abdullah Al-Arian is an Assistant Professor of History at Wayne State University, where he specialises in the modern Middle East.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been here before.
In the fall of 1954, the Muslim Brotherhood put its faith in the revolutionary transition in place after the 1952 military coup, backing the wrong horse in General Muhammad Naguib, and was ultimately outmaneuvered by Nasser. In one fell swoop, the organisation was outlawed, its offices burned down by angry mobs, its newspapers shut down, and its leaders imprisoned, executed, or exiled....
But if Mohamed Morsi’s rise to the presidency was a remarkable achievement for a once outlawed opposition movement, his sudden fall at the hands of a military coup backed by a mass revolt in some ways signifies an unprecedented low point in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood. Not only does it face the prospect of enduring banishment at the hands of a cold and calculating military regime yet again, it will do so to the thunderous applause of millions of Egyptians.
Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood are undoubtedly responsible for much of the unpopularity they generated over the course of the post-Mubarak transition. There is something to be said, however, of the ways in which large swaths of the Egyptian public seem to have internalised decades of demonisation of the group by the former regime and its propaganda arms, which continued to operate unabated throughout Morsi’s term in office....
Perhaps one of the many tragedies of these latest events is that we have lost, possibly forever, the opportunity to witness the Muslim Brotherhood humbled through its preferred method of political contestation. In sharp contrast to the present scenario, that development would have come with numerous advantages, not the least of which is the continued affirmation of democracy as the governing principle among all of Egypt’s political factions, and the continued semblance of unity, however fractious, in the face of relentless efforts to subvert the nation’s transition from authoritarianism....
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Humans Hard-Wired to Teach, Anthropologist Says
- Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month
- Maryland is once again considering retiring its state song
- One of the last remaining Nazis goes on trial in Germany
- Inside story finally told of the young US diplomat who cracked the case of the murder of 4 nuns in El Salvador in 1980
- A historian’s advice to students thinking of getting a PhD in a tough economic climate
- German historian Heinz Richter cleared of charges
- English professor uses literature to help cure historical amnesia
- WSJ features an article by a conservative calling for the abolition of Black History Month
- Mary Beard, herself a bestselling author, wonders why more women historians aren't