The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Egypt's Military Knocks Air Out Of Muslim Brotherhood

mubarak_supporters

The Egyptian military’s crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood was brutal and perhaps excessive, but it also appears to have been exceedingly effective. The Muslim Brotherhood had tried to pull together another day of mass rallies and protests on Friday, and the turnout was unimpressive:

A group of about 1,000 people, some carrying Mr Morsi’s picture, marched through a street in the Cairo district of Mohandiseen. “I came to restore legitimacy and freedom,” said Mohamed Ali, who said he was not a member of the Brotherhood. “We have been robbed of our revolution and our democracy.’ [...]

“Usually following a bloody event like that the Brothers would be able to mobilise a huge turnout,” said Mohamed Salah, a journalist and expert on Islamic groups.

“They often capitalised on suppression but the low number, lack of banners and supplies, like water bottles, for example, showed that the group was hit at its organisational core and demoralised.’’

Egypt military gamble seems to be paying off. While reportedly cracking down on other opposition figures by lumping even some moderates and secular activists together as “Islamists”, the generals also announced that they would be easing the 11 hour curfew in place since Morsi was deposed by two hours. For now, at least, they seem to be most mindful of retaining the trust of a quiet majority of Egyptians who yearn for a return to security and normalcy above all else.

[Supporters of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak chant slogans and wave his portrait outside the Police Academy ahead of his trial on August, 25 2013 in Cairo. Photo courtesy Getty Images.]

 

Published on August 25, 2013 10:30 am