You’ve seen the headlines. Riots In Cairo and Alexandria are again the front page story across the world. The Muslim Brotherhood gathered up an army of people and came marching toward The Army. The military shot to kill and scores of the demonstrates died in the streets the weekend of July 26-28. The Brotherhood had an army of screaming people; the army had the guns. Bullets won a decisive victory.
In an earlier blog, I indicated this scene was a distinct possibility. Muslim fundamentalist have a blind fanaticism that results in not caring if they are killed. After all, martyrdom is a sure-fire ticket to heaven and all the goodies the leaders at the mosques promised. Either way, the local boys figure they can’t lose.
At this moment, the Brotherhood is pitching itself as the unfortunate victim of military abuse and takeover. Never mind the truckload of mistakes they made during the past year. The only drum they are beating is the one marked “the election was stolen.” Such short-sightedness has been a hallmark of the Brotherhood for decades. They believe their religious perspective is all that counts.
Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, voices of reform were slowly pushed out the back door of the organization. These moderates recognized that the leadership’s confrontational mind-set and suspicion of outsiders were not positive. Disdain for the rights of women and Christians would keep them from obtaining a secure position in the political system. The old guard won this internal scrabble and ultimately Morsi came from of this negative viewpoint. When he was elected, Morsi did nothing to protect the rights of Christians and Shiite Muslims. Blatant gender discrimination continued and left the country’s prejudicial divorce and inheritance laws untouched. It quickly became obvious Morsi was using democratic authority for nondemocractic purposes. The military then said, “we’ve had enough!”
The quashing of demonstrators this past weekend indicated that the crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood wasn’t going to stop. Soldiers were shooting at the head and chest. One pop under were those circumstances and its all over. At the same time, the govrnment is taking the first legal steps against Morsi. He is charged with conspiring with militant Palestinians in a prison break that freed him along with thirty others. He will now be charged with murder and kidnaping. Right, wrong, or indifferent, the government intends to put him out of business.
General Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi has now emerged as Egypt’s de facto leader. With millions rallying behind him, Sisi is calling the Brotherhood “terrorist” and claims a popular right to stop them. Now that 200 have been killed in the streets, all hopes are fading for any compromise between Sisi and the fundamentalist. The Brotherhood is being characterized as “those who preach and incite violence.”
The violence and deaths caused by this weekend’s explosive confrontations demonstrate that the Brotherhood has no where to go. They do not have an armed militia and there only options will lead to annhilation if they continue to press the government.
Is there any hope in this situation? Not if you’re a Brotherhood member.