Morsi Flees, But Muslim Brotherhood Lives On

FrontPage Magazine 5 December 2012
By Robert Spencer

Thousands of pro-freedom protesters surrounded the presidential palace in Cairo Tuesday. Reuters reported Tuesday that "officers fired teargas at up to 10,000 demonstrators,” and that Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi actually fled the palace.

However, although the demonstrators chanted that "the people want the downfall of the regime,” they are unlikely to get it. Hussein Abdel Ghany, a spokesman for the secularists and Leftist opponents of Sharia who demonstrated on Tuesday, declared:

"Our marches are against tyranny and the void constitutional decree and we won’t retract our position until our demands are met.”

However, even though he and his colleagues could muster 10,000 demonstrators to the presidential palace, Ghany quite clearly represents a minority in Egypt. The transformation of Egypt from a Western-oriented state to one dominated by Islamic law has been proceeding for decades. The Muslim Brotherhood’s societal and cultural influence outstripped its direct political reach for decades, until the fall of Mubarak, and now is in the ascendancy, despite the unrest. One highly visible example of the pervasive Islamic supremacist influence in Egypt is the fact that while in the 1960s women wearing hijabs were rare on the streets of Cairo, now it is rare to see a woman not wearing one.

From the time of the presidency of Gamel Abdel Nasser (1956-1970), the Egyptian government practiced steam control with the Brotherhood, being aware of its broad base of popularity and thus looking the other way as the group terrorized Coptic Christians and enforced Islamic strictures upon the Egyptian populace — and cracking down only when the Brotherhood showed signs of growing powerful enough actually to seize power. Nasser’s successor Anwar Sadat (1970-1981) not only released all the Brotherhood political prisoners who had been languishing in Egyptian prisons, but also promised the Brotherhood that Sharia would be fully implemented in Egypt.

Sadat didn’t live long enough to fulfill that promise; he was murdered by members of another Islamic supremacist group that was enraged by his peace treaty with Israel. Sadat’s successor Hosni Mubarak didn’t keep that promise to the Brotherhood either, and today the Muslim Brothers have their best chance ever to see Sharia in Egypt. They may have overreached in the early stages of Morsi’s presidency, but that doesn’t by any means mean that they’re going to give up.(continue reading...)