Never lose faith in Egypt, the land of the faithful
A hundred years ago, the Muslim Brotherhood did not exist. In terms of history, the movement with all its splinters is a relatively young one, in terms of its effectiveness and ability to spread underground, it is relatively successful. The times have changed; the Brotherhood is now challenged to operate as effectively out in the open. The challenge is grave. Indications so far are that they have bitten off more than they can chew. One must admit that, to them, this must be a cherished triumph; to have legitimately assumed the leadership of Egypt. To maintain it, however, is a totally different matter. Their widely advertised credentials - a claim to piety and a cult organizational ability based on the total loyalty of its members - were not what brought them to power in Egypt and may very well end up being the reason for their fall.
For starters, the millions of Egyptians who had quietly endured poverty, illness, injustice and humiliation under Mubarak, the many millions who came in jubilation hoping for a major change to their lives, are still waiting. They might have taken the bait as the sheer hope for a better life intoxicated them. Two years down the line, they are not waiting anymore. What had really given the Brotherhood a chance was their connectedness with the ground. Attending to the basic needs of food and health, as well as their own brand of education, is a well known and time tested strategy to cultivate followers in impoverished communities. It was one used over many years by a “banned” group in Egypt, and they were paying up front. Nevertheless, their credit has been seriously eroded, as their bloody blunders in power devastate more and more families and communities.
Were they fulfilling an agreed role by their predecessors, who gave them more space and reason to operate on the ground at that time? Their aspirations for power are no secret, their tactics and strategies never included a revolution. They joined the January 25th revolution as faithful Egyptians. They seem to have easily managed to frame themselves as the only option for Egypt’s rule and stability. Stability is certainly not what people got. In six months of official rule, the country seems more unstable than ever. The Brotherhood’s allies are turning their backs one at a time. The political opposition has been growing and gaining more momentum, not because they have much to offer but because the president is failing his constituents every step of the way.
Egyptians have strong faith. They unconsciously carry the heritage of mankind. They have claims to be the oldest civilization, the oldest faith known to mankind. It is almost impossible to conceive that a small subset claiming God to be on their side will last very long. In Egypt, all are faithful not to one religion, one race, one creed or even one nation state - Egyptians carry the faith of humanity, theirs is a fusion of all religions, deities and faiths. The end result is a unique Egyptian faith, a blend that has matured over thousands of years - a faith in justice. Deep inside, Egyptians have a different bond. Any group within or without that underestimates the power of such a bond and attempts to divide Egyptians will be futile. Never lose faith in Egypt, for it is the land of the faithful.