Thursday, March 09, 2006
The Egyptian government arrested a number of Muslim Brotherhood leaders and closed down the organization's newspaper "Afaq Arabiya".
These actions are aimed at tightening the rein that the government loosed during last year's parliamentary elections. I believe the government just aims at reminding the MB that it is still "the boss" and to prevent them from presuming that life has changed after they enjoyed considerable freedoms during the elections.
Once again, our regime fails to understand the simple fact that arresting the MB will only portrays them as the regime's main victim and thus enhancing their appeal. Jailing MB members and banning their newspaper will do nothing to curb their influence because it is apparent now that they have more much more support in the street than any political entity in Egypt including the government itself. These measures worked well with former president Gamal Abdul Nasser simply because the majority of Egyptians back then were not so geared towards the MB ideology as they are now. So the government must come up with a new approach to deal with the MB.
So instead of jailing the MB, the regime could work on improving the standard of living or ending the massive corruption we're in. The MB use the frustration many people are feeling in order to promulgate their influence. The regime could encourage and finance reform minded religious leaders and fill the media with reformed Islam. Nasser fed us socialism and Pan-Arabism, Sadat fed us Islamic fundamentalism, why can't Mubarak feed us reformed Islam? or is it too late?