The complete lack of perspective in U.S. media coverage regarding Egypt’s plight to manage the domestic insurgency of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) requires insight into the small industrial base Cairo has, along with its bilateral relation with Riyadh. A more sympathetic view of Al-Sisi’s troubles would provide needed clarity.
The facts are that the ‘deep state‘ in Egypt is winning. The Muslim Brotherhood leadership is imprisoned, most have death sentences, many will be commuted but the challenge for Al-Sisi is grave. Egypt has no productive economy, the largest, most populist Arab nation state has favorable relations with all its neighbors. This is unusual given the domestic political trends of the region.
If you’re a member of the MB, where do you go? The Saudi’s have long had strong sympathetic ties to its leadership, but Turkey and Gulf States, the funders of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, now possess MB leadership.
Al-Sisi’s Hobbesian fist has driven residing MB leadership into profound fracture. In 2015, the leaders group Muhammad Montasser was publicly removed from leadership. The rift has grown since. What plagues MB after decades of underground stewardship and solidarity is the very trait that garnished its supremacy prior to Morsi: organization.
The conflicts raging the organization are over tactical, strategic priorities and organization. After 88 years the MB grew but its relation to the seat of power was always removed. Since Morsi, the MB is now in the crosshairs of Egypt’s deep state and it is floundering.
Even the likes of Mahmoud Ezzat, Mahmoud Hessein, Ahmed Abdel-Rahman who resides in Istanbul and Muhammad Kamal in Cairo all admit that prior tactical achievement under Gamel Abdel Nasser or Anwar Sadat isn’t useful with al-Sisi.
The polarizing divide does not fold along generational lines, its the complete, total destruction of Hassan al-Banna, decades after his death.
Perhaps the west can begin to sympathize with the challenges al-Sisi grapples with in a region besieged by insurgencies and failed states. Its ugly, but the if the State is to survive, civil society must emerge. For this happen, the cohorts of revolutionaries must be confronted and defeated.