Nine mistakes in nine months: where the Muslim Brotherhood is going wrong in Egypt

Muslim Brotherhood supporters chant pro-Mursi slogans in front of the Brotherhood's main headquarters in Cairo in March 2013. (Reuters)

After 85 years of struggle, the Muslim Brotherhood accessed power in Egypt as a result of the revolution, sweeping all the key positions in government and parliament. But while supporters are confident about the performance of the group, some say its light is fading. Here are nine mistakes the Muslim Brotherhood has made since President Mursi assumed office in June 2012.

1. The tendency towards unilateral power and monopoly

In spite of the Brotherhood's messages about running for the elections with less than 50 percent of the candidates and not running for presidency, the group changed its mind and preferred to play it solo. It brought its candidate to the presidency, sent the military council to retirement and sought a dominant voice in forming the government. It also attempted to protect the president with legislative and constitutional powers.

2. Excluding others

The president didn’t keep his promises to bring the revolution comrades to the table. Instead, he put Muslim Brotherhood candidates in key positions, along with academics and media personalities from within his own group of advisers. In doing so, he excluded those who paid the hefty price of the revolution. This created chaos to an extent that some of the rebels are seeking coalitions with the key members of the ousted regime, hoping to correct the political course.

3. Arrogance in spite of setbacks

The Muslim Brotherhood made many pledges when assuming power, only to realize later that it has limited resources, insufficient to fulfill their promises - especially those regarding the economy.

4. The ambiguous relationship between the president and the adviser to the Muslim Brotherhood

There is a mysterious relationship between the president and the Muslim Brotherhood's advisers. This casts a shadow on transparency of the relationship.

5. Not building links with the people

The Muslim Brotherhood neglected building links beyond their circle, except in the one incident when the president made a sermon to the crowds at Tahrir Square to be loyal to the martyrs. But this was the last time they heard from him, and the group missed the opportunity to honor the revolution and fulfill the aspirations of the ordinary people.

6. Bringing politics to the forefront of the agenda

The success of the Muslim Brotherhood for more than eight decades was due to their consistent work on religious preaching, but they forgot all this when they reached power, and started acting politically, just like any other faction.

7. The lack of a moral model

“We are your masters”, said one Brotherhood official on television. This illustrates the level of arrogance the party has reached. They didn’t do what they preached over decades, neither did they follow the moral path set by many historic leaders.

8. Between the revolutionary and the constitutional

Since the referendum of 19 March 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood failed in preserving the national unity at many stages, juggling between the revolutionary and the constitutional according to their own interests, which created a real gap between them and the revolution.

9. The absence of a national plan

The national plan proposed by former Muslim Brotherhood candidate Khairat El-Shater seemed promising, but he didn’t share it with the president as if it was his own property. In the absence of such a plan, the Muslim Brothers were only reactive in dealing with the pressing issues, from salaries to the pricing of vital goods.

The author Mahmoud Hamdi Abou el-Kassem is an Egyptian Political researcher

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 12:04 - GMT 09:04