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Will Egypt’s Recent Economic Growth Erode MB Popularity?
Will Egypt’s Recent Economic Growth Erode MB Popularity?
The MB is not only supported by middle class and the poor for the social services it provides but it also has strong presence among the Egyptian elite including academicians, professionals and businessmen. In recent parliamentary elections in 2005, the MB candidates won in many affluent districts in major cities like Cairo and Alexandria where per capita income is the highest in the country, in addition of course to the poor areas.
Tuesday, October 9,2007 21:34
by Khaled Salam IkhwanWeb

Dr. Abdel Monem Said, director of Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, addressed the Crown Center for Middle East Studies about the political rise of the Muslim Brotherhood. He predicted that if socio-economic development continued to occur in Egypt at the seven percent growth rate for the next five years, "membership in the Brotherhood would significantly decrease. He stated that it is important to engage Islamists and compared the rise of Islamic movements within the framework of democracies, drawing specific parallels to Turkey. He argued stated that the process of modernization and economic liberalization has significantly moderated religious groups like the Brotherhood and isolated more of their extremist elements to the fringes of society.
Although I agree with Dr. Abdel Monem Said about the wide popular support the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) enjoys in Egypt and on the importance of engaging Islamists; but I disagree with him that the economic growth, if it continues, will significantly decrease the MB membership, as he put it.
The MB is not only supported by middle class and the poor for the social services it provides but it also has strong presence among the Egyptian elite including academicians, professionals and businessmen.
In recent parliamentary elections in 2005, the MB candidates won in many affluent districts in major cities like Cairo and Alexandria where per capita income is the highest in the country, in addition of course to the poor areas. I cannot deny the fact that poverty and bad economic policies make people resentful of the government and helps opposition in general as in any democracy.
However, the MB is not only fighting for better economy, but it is fighting to end corruption and hold government accountable, strengthen moral and social values, have a sound foreign policy that puts the country"s interests first, and establish a real democratic civil society where all citizens have equal rights and can freely express their opinions and choose their own governments.
That"s the main reason the MB"s call is resonating with many Egyptians regardless of their social status, religion or political affiliation

Khaled Salam
Ikhwanweb

tags: Middle Class / The Poor / Dr. Abdel Monem Said / Muslim Brotherhood / Socioeconomic / Cairo / Alexandria / Governments
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