Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Brotherhood of Egypt should join opposition

By Joanna Bidar 

The Brothers of Egypt cannot play politics unless they understand that in this time and age Egypt is facing dangers from all sides and must rule beyond religious doctrine.


Egypt is now facing existential threats to its Nile waters, with Israel having already moved towards a pact with South Sudan. It so happens that Egypt is placed at a strategic geographical location with its Suez canal placed next to the world's largest oil reserves to say the least, this location places Egypt in a delicate position.The Islamic rulers of Egypt have big decisions to make, it is easy to maintain ideological purity but once they come to power, things will become complicated. Having taken control, we might be expecting what has been predicted by many activists and politicians, that"violent confrontation will ensure between the military and the Islamist bloc, as a tug-of-war for power and influence, particularly in the drafting of Egypt's new constitution, engulfs the months ahead." They should withhold their chance to lead and if they want to be true to their Islamic roots, and please their supporters who elected them to deliver clean government, they should join the opposition.

In the next 10 years, the new democracies of the Middle East will find themselves between a stone and a hard rock of global realignment of power and dominance.

The political world is in need of politicians who can master realpolitik, experienced in games of power balances, forging alliances that protect national interest.

People will say that the Prophet Mohammad and the four caliphs all practiced politics with "pure Islamic principles".That is absolutely true but when the capital of Islam moved from the protected security of the desert to Damascus, Baghdad, and Istanbul, they were no longer protected by the desert from the empires of the Byzantine or the rule of the Persians. No super power of the time of the Prophet had the slightest interest in what went on behind the endless dunes of the Arabian Desert. Those days of Islamic utopia are over, behind the endless dunes, covers vast lakes of precious oil. When Islam entered global politics it lost the protection of the desert.

The story of one of the shrewdest and most talented caliphs from Damascus was Caliphate Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, a Muawiya protégé. Abd al-Malik was ahead of Machiavelli. As he read the Quran, when he received the news of his father's death, he promptly closed the holy book, lifting it to his forehead and placed it away with the words " this is our last time together.

Abd al-Malik anticipated Machiavelli by a long time for it was Machiavelli's advise to Lorenzo De'Medici: "If a king tries to rule by pure Christian values, he will eventually be killed by his external enemies or his own people." Ironically, three out of four wisecaliphs after the Prophet were killed of course ruling by pure Islamic principles.

As such the question must be asked: how much dirty hands will the brothers have while ruling by Islamic principles?

On closer look, America can indeed claim at least on aspect of "exceptionalism": What made the American Revolution so successful and exceptional in its longevity and continuity was the creation of the American constitution and the nature of the American people. This includes the constitution's multiple layers of checks and balances.

Thomas Jefferson's intent was not for personal protection but amazingly enough, "for the right of the free citizens to organize an armed militia should dictatorship arise in America." The absolute separation of powers is ensured among the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government on federal or state levels.

The opposition in American Congress exercises a full share of power in which it also exercises enables concurrent majority to pass legislation and can therefore prevent the president from enacting laws that contravene the will of various minority groups by allowing them to veto power over laws.

The cabinet cannot function without every nominee going through questioning. One example is Herman Cain's campaign that was overshadowed by allegations of sexual harassments.

Another is Newt Gingrich who was mercilessly exposed and criticized for his family values and three consecutive marital affairs.

The advancement and credibility in the American constitution was learnt since events that led up to Nixon's impeachment and instant resignation over the waterloo scandal and conversely Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Like congress can veto any law, the president cannot pass any peace treaty, declare war or sign any agreement without the consent of Congress.

Whereas Mubarak could and did. Congress is an important function in transparency and accountability of governance to approve which class of society is paying which amount. If the Brothers exercise their position well, they will have greater power by withholding confidence.

For claiming religion and indeed concerned in solving the Muslim conflict, the Brotherhood should act as guidance and arbiters of morality by joining the opposition.

For the past 300 years, the Middle East has never experienced a revolution that did not end in dictatorship within the next 10 years. Dictators always come from within, the lower rank of revolutionaries. Saddam Hussein, Bin Ali, and Gaddafi were all young and zealous revolutionaries who had the hope of changing things. They all got intoxicated by the glory of politics and inevitably turned into dictators.

As such the youth of Tahrir Square should be aware that their future dictator is sitting among them right now unless they stand up andtransform their constitution.

Joanna Bidar