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Muslim Brotherhood's failure in Egypt frustrates Islamic current

By Marwa Yahya (Xinhua)

12:32, July 13, 2013

Story Highlights:

• The MB aborted term in Egypt frustrates the political Islamic current, and creates uneasiness.
• On July 3, MB-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military after mass protests.
• The failed experience of the MB movement will negatively affect Islamic forces in other Arab countries.

CAIRO, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The Muslim Brotherhood's (MB) aborted term in Egypt frustrates the political Islamic current for sure, and creates uneasiness for the Islamic forces in other Arab states.

On July 3, MB-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi was ousted by the military after mass protests demanded in vain his stepping down for his poor first-year rule. A transitional roadmap was then announced, supported by politicians, religious leaders, and representatives of the youth, the bellwether of many street demonstrations against Morsi.

In swift responses, Islamic parties in the region, such as the Yemeni Islah Party and Tunisia's Ennahda, condemned the overthrow as a "coup" and a "blow to the democratic process," while the Jordanian offshoot of the MB said "it's not the end of the road."

By contrast, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a long-time foe of the MB setup, hailed the Egyptian army's move as an "ouster of the so-called political Islam," warning that whoever uses religion in politics or for the benefit of one faction "will face the same destiny."

"The failed experience of the MB movement in Egypt will negatively affect the Islamic forces in other Arab countries such as Sudan, Tunisia, Jordan and Palestine in particular," said Nabil Abdel Fatah, a researcher with al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo who foresees a "shrinking role" of the MB's participation in the political arena of the region.

"Political Islam" will gradually lose its sway, and "The MB's will lead the Islamic project to lose its attractiveness in the street," he said, while predicting "a period of disagreement" within the Islamic movements, particularly between the MB and the ultra-conservative Salafists in Egypt, as some may since then prefer violence and extremism, when others seek a way of moderation.

Palestinian political expert Abdel Qader Yassin agrees that the MB's descent in Egypt will be followed by a fall of popularity across the region.

Yet he said the MB's failure in Egypt will not affect the Islamic resistant movement Hamas which did not benefit from Morsi' s rule.

Neither Hamas nor the Palestinian Islamic Jihadist group were allowed to establish bureaus in Cairo, in addition to the destruction of the tunnels leading to Gaza, he said.

But Yassin, at the same time, holds that it could be a time for the Islamists in the region to learn lessons from Cairo to adjust their way of doing things.

For his part, Syrian politician Gaber el-Shoufy believes that the rule of the MB in Egypt once revived the Islamic current in other countries, whereas their setback could recede it again.

"Imposing sovereignty, isolating other political forces and struggling with the press and judiciary, without developing an economic model to solve the country's problems, are lessons for the MB in Syria to learn," said the leading figure in the oppositional Syrian National Council.

Thinking simply that the election boxes gave them mandate to practice "democracy" as they wish was the fatal mistake of the MB in Egypt; they did not understand that democracy should be turned into culture and practice, said el-Shoufy.

"MB's ouster in Egypt isn't a definitive or complete fall for the Islamic trend, but will bring it back to the first square, from which Islamists should come with political programs, and statesmen, not religious leaders," he said.

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