Where is the Muslim Brotherhood going?
After the end of Morsi's power through a coup d’état that divided the international public opinion, the Muslim Brotherhood has been persecuted and hundreds of its members died in the clashes with the Egyptian state police and the army. Legitimated or not their reasons might be, in these days it is very hard to understand where the Brotherhood is going. Is there a strategy? What is happening within the group that used to dominate Egypt until few months ago and that is now going through one of the most important crisis of its history? We asked these important questions to Abdelrahman Ayyash, a former member of the Brotherhood’s youth who has been very politically active inside and outside Egypt.
In your opinion, what is the current strategy pursued by the Muslim Brotherhood’s leadership? Is there one? Why keeping asking for Morsi’s reinstatement while there are increasing and concrete risks of being banned by any kind of political process for the years to come?
During the sit-in that was brutally dissolved by the security forces alongside with the army, I asked one of the MB leaders about their strategy.. he said " we are having a “day by day” strategy" I believe that the MB has no strategy at all in their attitude against the military coup.
They believe that (in terms of principles) Morsi has the right to be the President, so they will go for it .. at least this is how young people think .. maybe the leaders have different opinions but they are following the youth movement. For the first time in the history of the MB, the grassroots of the group are leading it. They also don't have a strategy but they will keep going for a long time I guess.
But I can call the MB's strategy as "reducing losses" or crisis management, as they are trying to get some of their rights such as political participation and the release of their detainees.
How have the several currents within the Brotherhood (moderates, salafi leaning) interacted in the long crisis and repression that followed the end of Mohammed Morsi’s presidency?
Well, In the doctrine based groups (such as the Muslim Brotherhood) crisis are the glue of the movement. They believe that they are walking in the right direction because for the very reason that they are facing such troubles. So you can see that every MB member right now is supporting the protests against the Military. Maybe some of them believe that Morsi will not return back as a president but they also support protests till they get the maximum profits from the army.
Some of them believe that it's the time now to talk to the army on another basis, for example, Essam Elerian is still demanding the return of Morsi and he refuses to accept any talks with the army unless they prosecute Sisi! On the other hand some of the leaders are talking already to the army and to the west such as Amr Darrag and Mohamed Ali Bishr
Recently the current Egyptian government has declared that they are in talk with some youth movement related to the Muslim Brotherhood. Is that true? What is the stance of the organization’s youth in the last months? What role for the prominent former MB-members such as Abul Fotouh in the current political scene?
Not true, This group came out during the last month and as I know they were not members of the Muslim Brotherhood, even if they were members, they are not now, so they are not representing the MB youth. As I'm telling you, the MB youth is leading the movement steps at the moment.
Aboulfotouh is kind of powerful at the moment. I mean there were some leaks during the last week about Sisi saying that Aboulfotouh is "extremist Ikhwani", Aboulfotouh is declaring what happened on July 3rd as a coup, He says he won't run for presidency and I still believe he won't, but there are some indicators that he is thinking about it and some members in his party are calling for it.
°Abdelrahman Ayyash is a former Muslim Brotherhood member. He is a journalist and a writer for several national and international magazines and newspapers. He is currently employed by the Hayat Convoy for Syria project that brings aid to the Syrian refugees in Turkey.