Talk about the “Brotherhood-ization” of the state has gone beyond the borders of Egypt and is now a hot topic in Western press. One journalist even made fun of this phenomenon and said it has actually replaced the alleged renaissance project.
Talk about this trend has transcended sheer criticism, usually met with denial, to confrontation and defiance coupled with indifference and determination to continue no matter the price. Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood took advantage of major national problems—disasters in fact—to oust several moderate figures and replace them with others from the group. This happened when Egyptians were killed in Sinai and we have not yet known who did that. Along with train accidents and the Port Said deaths. Whoever examines these times will realize that many moderate leading figures in different entities were replaced with members of the Brotherhood.
Compared to Obama
The new leaders compare Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi with his American counterpart Barrack Obama in the sense that the latter appointed 40,000 employees in different positions in the Administration in order to be able to implement his policies. Therefore, Mursi has the right to do the same thing. Others argue that the purpose of this policy is purging state institutions from the remnants of the former regime. This means we should be optimistic, for the prosperity they are brining to Egypt is not complete yet.
Some of those who found a place for themselves inside the Brotherhood’s web-like administration deceive themselves into thinking that they have become part of the new regime, but they are mistaken. The presence of any figures in the upper levels of the state from outside the Brotherhood is temporary, for there are some people they cannot do without at a certain stage or to whom they are unable to find an alternative from the group at the moment. Yet, as soon as this changes, they will immediately dismiss everyone who assumes a leading position from outside the group. This is basically related to the intellectual and psychological makeup of the Brotherhood’s current leadership which does not trust anyone from outside the group and is extremely keen on monopolizing power.
Some reports confirm that the Brotherhood appointed around 15,000 of its members in different positions in state administration. This means we have 25,000 positions left so that Mursi can be equal to Obama. Despite the fact that there have been demands for de-centralization through electing governors and changing municipal laws so that a larger number of citizens would be allowed to play a role in their local communities, the Brotherhood was quick to appoint its members in executive positions in different governorates as soon as it came to power. Deputy governors, who were appointed directly by the president, were given actual administrative powers in their respective governorates.
It did not stop at governors and their deputies, for 13 members of the Brotherhood also became advisors to the governors and 12 were appointed mayors in the governorates of Sohag, Minia, Kafr al-Sheikh, and Fayoum in addition to other local positions in hospital administration, the water, sewage, and electricity sectors, the media, and education, most of which by governors’ decisions. This becomes especially clear in the governorate of Kafr al-Sheikh, which is headed by one of the Brotherhood’s leaders. Salafis complained about this phenomenon in the meeting they held with Mursi last week, for they were yesterday’s allies who are now getting no privileges. In the meeting, Salafi leaders pointed out that the “Brotherhood-ization” process includes creating new positions for advisors in some ministries and governorates. The Salafi delegation expressed its discontent and gave the president a chance to intervene. Meanwhile, Mursi promised to have a firm stance on “Brotherhood-ization,” yet I think everyone knows by now that it is not up to him.
The Egyptian daily independent al-Masry al-Youm ran in the past few days an important report about this issue and which clarifies the matter for everyone who still questions the truth of this systematic plan that they insist on going ahead with. This report only reveals a drop in the “Brotherhood-ization” sea towards whose bottom they are pushing the entire country.
Abdel Latif al-Menawy is an author, columnist and multimedia journalist who has covered conflicts around the world. He is the author of "Tahrir: the last 18 days of Mubarak," a book he wrote as an eyewitness to events during the 18 days before the stepping down of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Menawy’s most recent public position was head of Egypt’s News Center. He is a member of the National Union of Journalists in the United Kingdom, and the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate. He can be found on Twitter @ALMenawy