Muslim Brotherhood Ideology For Change
|Saturday, March 11,2006 00:00|
|By Dr. Rafeeq Habeeb, Ikhwanweb|
Since its foundation, the Muslim Brotherhood has adopted the educational methodology as its mechanism for attain the long-desired change. However, the group has undergone various stages since its fifth conference. The Brotherhood has attempted to bring about change through military coup when sponsored the Free Officers organization that has appeared in the Egyptian army. However, the Brotherhood disagreed with the organization which adopted views that did not correspond to the group. Outside Egypt, the idea of military coup obsessed the group for while. Virtually, all attempts of coup have been brought tragic consequences on the group.
Since 1984, the Brotherhood experienced a new stage when its engagement into elections has begun. It, in addition, tried to expand its presence in syndicates and universities. At this phase, the group developed a secondary methodology of change which is based on ballots. However, education and gaining more supporters remained the group’s primary ideology.
In 2005, the Brotherhood launched a wave of reform-pressing demonstrations and cooperated with other reform-seeking powers. This stance marked a new medium for change, namely, the peaceful political protest. Meanwhile, it paid maximum attention to the parliamentary polls which gave it very considerable gains, put it at the vanguard of the Egyptian opposition and turned it into the most popular power.
Recently, Hamas, regarded the Palestinian Brotherhood, achieved a landslide victory in the elections. This success consolidates the effectiveness of ballots as a mechanism of change.
In fact, the Brotherhood faces a serious challenge where the Egyptian regime is one of the most autocratic systems in the Arab world. It is, in addition, unwilling to perform genuine political reform. Therefore, ballot-based change seems unattainable. Facing these challenges, the Brotherhood turned back to its educational ideology.
Some may wonder why the group does not employ the political rebellion though it possesses its tools. Actually, the concept of political rebellion, alike to military coup, contradicts with the Brotherhood’s essential philosophy, unlike polls.
Primarily, ballots are related to the scope of populace support for certain power. Where the Brotherhood focuses on social and educational activities, it aims to attract grassroots to know the group’s ideologies. Accordingly, the more supporters the Brotherhood musters the more possible to put its philosophy in place. Subsequently, the group’s vision of reform essentially depends on changing people’s outlook; to provide them with an end to seek.
The more supporters the group gains, the more its chance of success in polls, if fair, increases. Thus, ballots grow a fixed ideology of the Brotherhood whereas it seems a supplement for its educational doctrine. Meanwhile, the political protest looks a transitional tool. For illustration, the Brotherhood launched a series of demonstrations in May, 2005 yet it abandoned this action soon. Hence, protest was not a mechanism for reform but an introductory procedure for the parliamentary elections.
In order to get better understanding of the Brotherhood’s political stances, we should regard the group from the prospective that it is an education-based social group that aims to change people firstly. Accordingly, it neither spares its educational role for sake of political prospect nor accepts a political gain that eventually takes it away form this role.
Virtually, the real problem springs form the fact that the educational ideology can not impose political reform on the regime. While education role and its influence persist, reform becomes a postponed end. In fact, the Brotherhood needs to apply an educational system that directs grassroots to perform a combination of social, economic, and political action that causes true change in the social structure which in return reshapes the political fabric.