Is the banned Muslim Brotherhood organization trying to return to power in Egypt?
Many Egyptians believe that the Muslim Brotherhood was behind calls to Egyptians to hold nationwide protests during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27), which is now in progress at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh. The Islamists, they say, justified their call by arguing that the planned demonstrations were designed to protest human rights violations and bad economic conditions in Egypt.
Fortunately for the majority of the Egyptians, only a few people heeded the Muslim Brotherhood supporters' call to take to the streets on November 11. The Islamists, in other words, failed in their latest attempt to instigate unrest and violence in Egypt with the hope of returning to power.
The Muslim Brotherhood regime of former President Mohammed Morsi ended in 2013, when the Egyptian army stepped in to prevent the country from being engulfed in anarchy.
The current regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is undoubtedly not an ideal model for Western-style democracy and public freedoms. Yet, al-Sisi and many other Egyptians seem to prefer less democracy and freedom of speech to the return of the Islamists to power. Moreover, many Egyptians know that without the tough security measures imposed by the authorities, the Muslim Brotherhood would have succeeded in sowing sedition and re-seizing power.
Egypt remains a key and stable ally to both Israel and the US in the Middle East. The regime of al-Sisi has outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood, arrested hundreds of its leaders and members, and waged a relentless war on Islamist terror groups, especially in the Sinai Peninsula.
The regime has also been more forthcoming towards Israel and has not shied away from hosting Israeli leaders and senior officials in Egypt over the past few years — in addition to the Egyptian regime continuing to adhere to its peace treaty with Israel.
The Muslim Brotherhood's efforts to make a comeback worry many Egyptians. For now, these Egyptians are pleased to see that the Islamists failed in their attempt to send people to the streets during the COP27 conference. The reactions and comments of many reflect the widespread concern over the Islamists' attempts to spread chaos and violence. They also demonstrate the extent of the contempt and wariness that a good number of Egyptians continue to hold towards the Muslim Brotherhood.
"The failure of the November 11 protests show that the Muslim Brotherhood is emotionally and mentally isolated from the Egyptian people," remarked prominent TV host Ibrahim Eissa. "The quiet, peaceful streets on Friday, November 11 were a slap in the face of the Muslim Brotherhood."
Eissa added that the Muslim Brotherhood's failure to attract most people "reinforces the political stupidity that has dominated the organization since its inception in 1928."
"The Muslim Brotherhood is addicted to failure," Eissa stated. "The Egyptians have buried their dream of instigating chaos in Egypt."
Egyptian counter-terrorism expert Moneer Adib emphasized that the Muslim Brotherhood was one of the most dangerous religious organizations of all time.
"Its role was not limited to the practice of terrorism, but it has become the main instigator of violence everywhere," Adib wrote, expressing satisfaction that the organization had failed in its attempt to send Egyptians to the streets during the climate conference.
"The people responded only to the conscience of their state and its stability, while the instigators sat outside in front of the screens, following the illusions they had planned over the past weeks... The Egyptians will remain in a state of revolution, but it is a revolution against the organizations of political Islam, and the Muslim Brotherhood is the first, until this malicious tree is cut down."
Adib recalled that it was the Egyptian people who removed the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood in the June 30, 2013 revolution and since then, have not allowed this terrorist entity to return to power. "The terrorist Muslim Brotherhood did everything possible to succeed in its chaos scheme on November 11, but not a single Egyptian came out," he said.
"The Islamists claim that they are not competing for power, all the while they are working to bring down the regime and cause chaos in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood's eyes are on [wanting] the authority to control the people who rejected them. They pursue any lie to achieve their dreams of ruling, even if the price is the demolition of entire countries. Therefore, it is important for Egyptians to remain alert to the Muslim Brotherhood's devices, and not to listen to their poisonous speech."
Tareq Al-Bashbeshi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said that one of the organization's most common weapons is spreading rumors and lies. "This organization, since its establishment, has been in permanent bias against the interests of the nation," al-Bashbeshi said.
"The terrorist organization's betrayal of Egypt does not need evidence, but rather needs continuous and permanent exposure to reveal their means, which include the use of rumors. The Muslim Brotherhood has a large and extended organization that can repeat rumors on a daily basis until ordinary people think that they are real."
He added that the lies and rumors spread by the Islamists are often based on the pretext of human rights. "They play the human rights card and claim that they are detainees and prisoners of conscience who don't receive any care," Al-Bashbeshi said.
"There's a need to eliminate the effectiveness of these means by increasing the people's awareness and revealing the danger of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose goal is to destroy the minds and consciences of the people before it destroys institutions and the state."
Another former Muslim Brotherhood member, Ahmed El-Messiri, said he shared the view that the organization relies on lies and rumors to advance its goals. "The terrorist group hates Egypt and the Arab world," El-Messiri said.
"They used to lie until it became their way of life. They lied to the Egyptians when they said that they were good for Egypt and when they claimed that they had magical solutions to the economic, social and religious problems."
Egyptian author Mohammed Habusha denounced the Muslim Brotherhood and its leaders as "liars playing with fire." Habusha too said that the organization regularly resorts to lies and rumors to confront its opponents.
He said that the Muslim Brotherhood has recently increased its use of lies and rumors, especially after the political leadership in Egypt "refused to cooperate with those whose hands were stained with the blood of Egyptians."
"Whenever the political leadership and the government inaugurate new projects and inspect projects that are being implemented, the flames of hatred and malice of this organization start burning."
Habusha warned that the Islamists' "desperate attempts" to undermine Egypt and its people are not accepted because the Egyptians said no to the organization 2013.
"Nevertheless, the group has been practicing all kinds of wars to strike the stability of Egypt by spreading lies and falsifying facts and using methods of incitement against the Egyptian state."
Egyptian political analyst Tareq Abu Al-Saed wrote that in the past decade, the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group has devoted all its efforts to painting the achievements of the Egyptian state with distortion, lies and rumors.
"What is the secret behind the Muslim Brotherhood's determination to target the climate conference on the land of Egypt in this intense way?" Abu Al-Saed asked.
"Why did the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood exploit the conference as a platform to attack the Egyptian state? The nature of the Brotherhood's mentality is not subject to the nature of logical thinking, simply because the individual's mind and conscience are formulated to be a tool in the hands of the leaders of the terrorist group. The individual has nothing but hearing and obedience. The intellectual and psychological formation of all members of the group is based on obedience to the leadership and hatred of society and arrogance over it."
The collective sigh of relief expressed by Egyptians over the failure of the Islamists to ruin their country and return to power is a refreshing approach in Egypt and other Arab countries. It shows that an increasing number of Arabs are growing disillusioned with Islamists, who have brought disaster upon them. It is good to see that the Egyptians are eager to keep the Muslim Brotherhood away from their lives and centers of power.
It now remains to be seen whether the Palestinians will follow suit and get rid of the Iranian-backed Islamists in the Gaza Strip, where they have destroyed the lives of tens of thousands of Palestinians. Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad continue to hold the two million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip hostage, offering them terror attack tunnels and weapons instead of schools and hospitals.
It also remains to be seen whether the apologists in the West who continue to search for ways to appease Iran's mullahs and other Islamists will learn from the Egyptians' horrific experiences and distance themselves from the terrorists.
Khaled Abu Toameh is an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem.