Saturday, October 20, 2012

We Are Yearning For A Viable Alternative

Last week, after the clashes in Tahrir, the Muslim Brotherhood Facebook account wrote a status saying that the MB supporters were not present in Tahrir after 6 pm. I clicked the comments button to know what people on the MB’s official fanpage thought of the MB’s attempt to distance themselves from what their supporters did on that day.

IPad has a very interesting feature, it refreshes comments on Facebook automatically. I held my IPad, rested on my bed pillow and watched commenters as they accused the MB of lying. Several expressed themselves by using cuss words. Not a single comment was positive! And that was the official MB fanpage.

The above story is just one example of how the MB is now losing support, especially among middle class university students who make up the majority of social media users. There is no clear data as to how much support the MB did loose, but any observer of Egyptian politics will tell you that “MB the victim” is definitely not like “MB the ruler”. The last presidential elections, especially round one, proved that there are million of Egyptians who are willing to vote for an alternative to the MB. A viable alternative though.

Does that mean that the MB will not be the majority in the upcoming parliament elections? No, because up till now we don’t have a viable alternative to the MB and the Islamists. We do ‘t have an alternative that is 1) organized 2) has money 3) and can convince people. If the opposition fared well in the upcoming elections, it will only be because the MB and the Islamists have messed up and not because the opposition has presented a convincing counter plan.

Nevertheless we have to admit that the opposition is starting to get their act together. For example, I have been watching the Dostour party very closely. I can see that their active members are working frantically to break the middle class bubble they’re cocooned in and reach out to other social classes in Egypt. Yet finances remain to be a major issue for these nascent parties and coalitions.

It won’t be enough to criticize the MB. An alternative must arise. Millions of Egyptian voters in the last presidential elections said it loud and clear: we are yearning for an alternative.

  Posted by BP at 8:11 pm Comments (1)
Tuesday, October 2, 2012

MB’s First Mass Defiers: The Doctors

Yesterday something profound happened. Thousands of doctors, many of them from governorates outside Cairo, joined the nationwide partial strike to push for their demands. The strike faced considerable opposition from the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), however, judging from news reports yesterday, the strike was widespread and included doctors in regions where the MB wield considerable influence.

Ironically, the MB supported previous strikes before such as the workers’ strike in 2008. But ahhh, that was during Mubarak. Now strikes are bad bad. The MB are the rulers now!

What made yesterday so special was this fact: the MB had always controlled the doctors’ syndicate and yet they failed to prevent thousands of doctors from striking. I consider this to be the first time the MB faced an organized challenge to their power since they took over. This is the beauty of having the MB in power. Now you can gradually see their true colors. During Mubarak they had the luxury to be disguised. Today the rules of the game are very different.

  Posted by BP at 3:09 pm Comments (1)