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Between hammer of Tawreeth and Anvil of detentions
Many people weren’t optimistic towards some of the conflicting statements issued by the Muslim Brotherhood group leaders; most of the statements seemed to be adopting a radical approach towards the file of Tawreeth (hereditary transfer of power), and seemed to be ready for paying an expensive political price for stopping it (like the controversial statement o
Friday, November 3,2006 00:00
by Amr Al-Chobaki, Al-Masrey Al-Youm

Many people weren’t optimistic towards some of the conflicting statements issued by the Muslim Brotherhood group leaders; most of the statements seemed to be adopting a radical approach towards the file of Tawreeth (hereditary transfer of power), and seemed to be ready for paying an expensive political price for stopping it (like the controversial statement of (over our dead bodies)), and they appeared in other times to be accepting the situation with a balances of fait accompli and that its opposition to Tawreeth is more of a discharge of responsibility and show of a situation rather than an option of a real struggle against this project .

The controversy that has been recently raised around the statements of Mohamed Al Sayed Habib- the group’s deputy chairman, in which he declared that the Tawreeth will not be approved except over our dead bodies, and he retreated from them, opening the door for predictions an a controversy over the group’s real attitude regarding this file, although most of the attitudes of the group leaders topped by the MB chairman have been confirming the group’s rejection to Tawreeth.

As a matter of fact, the refusal of this file by the Muslim Brotherhood, along with other political opposition powers, has become one item of " a traditional agenda" repeated by the opposition spectrum, like dpeaking about free elections and limiting presidency to two terms, issues whose repetition does not reflect any practical ability to achieve them on the ground or to bear their responsibilities and repercussions.
We can discuss the topic of the Muslim Brotherhood and Tawreeth through two main questions: The first is: will the Muslim Brotherhood go through a fierce annihilating battle against the regime to prevent Tawreeth, paying a high price in it in terms of victims and detainees? or will it oppose this file to discharge responsibility in press statements here and there, in a conference in Cairo and in an another in the regions?

The second question is: will the battle of Twreeth will take place in the street, inside the regime and state institutions? Or will the public opinion take to the street to stop this file, or will it- the public opinion- remain motionless?; consequently, how far will the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement in a fierce annihilating battle against the regime originally benefit relying on " the public opinion in the street" if the latter is not present, and it seems that this latter side will be a party in that battle; this does not mean that the Muslim Brotherhood will adopt " a discharge of responsibility opposition", but it will mean their involvement as an effective party in a coalition that rejects Tawreeth that will- if it takes place- send the country more decades back, ending the political and moral legacy that the Muslim Brotherhood made in the last two decades, if it ignored the Tawreeth (the hereditary transfer of rule).

When the Tawreeth file appeared, exactly after the NDP conference held in September 2002, when Gamal Mubarak’s role was soaring high, and the division among the lines of the political powers and elites started to recede around this project, till it reached a quasi consensus on rejecting it.

The political background of every movement had at first a decisive role in forming its attitude towards Tawreeth; there were some who considered this project a beginning for getting rid of " the military rule" and that there is no chance for " a civil ruler" to assume power except through Tawreeth; most of the Muslim Brotherhood cadres seemed to be adopting this latter point, specially if we take into consideration that their political culture was so much affected by a historical enmity towards the July Revolution which was led by the military.

At the beginning, there was an obvious public neutrality among a considerable section of the members of the group regarding the early controversy around the Tawreeth file, with an effective section of them affected and sympathized with the saying of a civil rule as an alternative for the military rule .

Also sympathized with this- at the beginning- was a considerable section of liberals, previous and current communists ( if any); as for the Nasserists, they remained- since the beginning- the most important movement to refuse this project, supported by the dominant political culture inside them, which is sympathizing with the presence of a political role in the military institution due to the historical role of Gamal Abd An-Nasir who founded the Free Officers Organization and led the revolution.
With the pssage of time, the size of support to the Tawreeth project retreated, extending to include powers that did not show enmity in the beginning, topped by the Muslim Brotherhood, as eventually all dreams that this project has a real reformist prospect was dealt a blow, especially after amending Article 76 and its final form, Gamal Mubarak’s ties with a group of businessmen who are hated by most Egyptian people, and after " new thought group" failed to yield a single inspiring idea that may help in carrying out a gradual reform process in the country .

However, the Muslim Brotherhood’s "cold" rejection to the Tawreeth project is attributed, on the other hand, to the fact that it hasn’t felt in any stage "an ideological defeat " like other political powers, in case the Tawreeth project is materialized; this is because the Muslim Brotherhood feels that the republic that this project will demolish, hasn’t done justice to it.

However, this point isn’t the only one in the Muslim Brotherhood’s calculations, but it is an important factor in understanding the way with which they manage the Tawreeth battle; there are political calculations and there are complications on the ground, and the extent of the Muslim Brotherhood’s desire in launching an open battle against Tawreeth an the chances of its success.

One of the raised scenarios in the political circles is that there may be a deal between the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Tawreeth group inside the policies committee led by Gamal Mubarak, according to which the Muslim Brotherhood get some gains- in the maximum limit will be getting a legal legitimacy for the group and in the minimum will be easing security crackdowns and releasing its detainees, and perhaps giving a greater margin of movement for the group, specially on the Da’wa level .

It is certain that this scenario that was repeated for some time, is proved to be impossible to happen now, after it became clear that the policies committee’s project is not a reformist project but it is keeping the status quo with its tyranny and corruption, and that the Muslim Brotherhood will lose- if it got satisfied with just a ceremonial opposition to the Tawreeth- a big part of the confidence that it got inside effective sections of the Egyptian elite, and this will mean that they did not learn from the lessons of history regarding losing bets; this is because the Tawreeth project is just an extension of the current regime that will depend- in turn- on political and international coalitions while keeping the Muslim Brotherhood in the same current square " as a scarecrow " for Europe and The United States, so that they stop exercising any pressures on the Egyptian regime for a political reform .

What is certain is that the minimum limits mentioned in this scenario, a margin of movement for the group, is already gained under the current regime, and it can remain under any new regime, without a need for " a big deal" to approve the Tawreeth; the Muslim Brotherhood has initiated negotiations, and conflicts with the current regime, advancing too much sometimes and retreating too much at others, but the political situation remained as it is "illegal and outlawed"; those waiting to inherit power in the current regime can’t offer a new political view for opening the Muslim Brotherhood in a way that may lead to merging it in the political life as a legitimate civil and legal party.

As for the second scenario, it is that the Muslim Brotherhood launches a wide political and popular mobilizing campaign to oppose the Tawreeth project, something that the Muslim Brotherhood won’t- most probably- do, because it will enter " an uncalculated confrontation " with the regime if it carries out a Tawreeth of the rule, not carrying out protests and demonstrations like those that took place during the crisis of the judges when the Muslim Brotherhood offered a political and propaganda support to the reformist judges, but stopped short of launching an open confrontation with the current regime through rallying tens of thousands of its supporters in Cairo and other areas in the republic, something that the government considered a red line that the Muslim Brotherhood mustn’t cross, and sent strong messages to it regarding this affair, pressing for its retreating from demonstration in specific places ( in front of the Abdeen Palace, Tahrir Square and others), and  not gathering more than 5 thousand demonstrators in any march that it participates in.

It is certain that an open confrontation with the regime has unsafe repercussions except when they take place in coordination with some wings inside the country, which is also something impossible according to indications, specially that arresting and torturing a Brotherhood cadre doesn’t trigger any international reactions under the US double standard policy; the liberals, leftists and all other powers and civil movements- not the Muslim Brotherhood- receive an indirect support from America through exercising pressures ( which are different in strength according to regional and International situations ) on the Egyptian regime to release them or improve dealing with them, while the US institutions doesn’t voice any condemnation when it is related to Islamic movement detainees- including peaceful ones .

While wide sections of the political elite are confident that the Egyptian people will not move against the Tawreeth issue or any other issue related to the political reform process (constitutional amendment, presidential terms and others), it will be absurd that the Muslim Brotherhood (or others) gets involved in an open confrontation with the regime, and pays a high cost alone while the public opinion watches them, with both sides losing its results.

The MB’s strict refusal to the Tawreeth file, and a readiness for entering " a calculated confrontation " with the Tawreeth wing inside the Egyptian regime, will remain an impending matter for aborting the project and to preserve the MB’s political role, through making a coalition with reformist powers inside and outside the regime, including aside of the country’s technocrats, some businessmen and public figures and intellectuals, to confront the Tawreeth project; this will consequently lead – if " the reformist alliance" succeeds to a dominating rational discourse that will curb the slogans of isolation on reality raised by some powers which are crying out motionless for decades and contributed to putting all opposition groups on the same start line .

What is expected is that the Tawreeth battle will be settled inside the regime and inside the state institutions; for this project to succeed, it requires be completed under the rule of president Mubarak, something that he hasn’t accepted till now; if he passes before completing the Tawreeth, this will mean spontaneously the end of the project.

The decisive role that the Muslim Brotherhood can play to foil the Tawreeth project lies in keeping contacts with the reformist trends inside and outside the country to confront the danger of a coercive Tawreeth; because keeping these contacts will mean- on the one hand- creating a wide front for democracy and reform, in which the Muslim Brotherhood will turn entirely into a civil political movement shielded by those movements, for putting better conditions of a political action that the Muslim Brotherhood and other powers can benefit from .

It is important that the political opposition powers, topped by the Muslim Brotherhood (the biggest opposition group) realize that their next battle will be in how to declare the voice of reform and the feelings of the public opinion to some the country’s elite wings which are the ones (no one else) that will settle the battle of Tawreeth (hereditary transfer of rule), and that holding contacts with these reform-leaning wings may thwarts the project of inheriting corruption and tyranny.
 

Another Topics:

 

MB Today [About MB]
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