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HomeGeopolitical CompassNile Valley & N.AfricaEgypt: ‘The Muslim Brotherhood has never been more disconnected from society’

Egypt: ‘The Muslim Brotherhood has never been more disconnected from society’

Author: Ariane Lavrilleux

Affiliation: Freelance Journalist

Organization/Publisher: The Africa Report

Date/Place: December 8, 2020/U.K.

Type of Literature: Analysis

Word Count: 1700


Keywords: Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt, Disconnect from the base


Some ten years after the ouster of ex-President Morsi, and the ensuing authoritarian reverberation, where does the centenarian Muslim Brotherhood stand? Founded in 1928 on the mouth of the Suez Canal, having seized political power in Egypt through popular election, and viewed by many in the Muslim world as a symbol of success for popular revolution and the Arab Spring, the Muslim Brotherhood is in a critical juncture which may be the worst crisis in the political movement’s history. Following political failures in Egypt, the Brotherhood was banned and branded as a terrorist organization, its members have left Egypt and have been hunted by the military regime, but above all it is disconnected from its social base and facing sharp decline. Though the Brotherhood has a long history of being banned, its members prosecuted and executed, this is the first time it has experienced such extensive suppression. The current reading of the organization’s status is characterized by a ‘survival’ mode whereby the primary focus of its leaders is on saving the Brotherhood—and no disagreement is tolerated within the organization. Additionally, the Brotherhood is facing a leadership crisis as most of its leaders are getting older, often between 70 and 80 years old, much older than the majority of members of the movement, and have become incapable of producing new ideas to inspire the existing members or attract new ones. Moreover, the enduring principle of the organization, ‘listen and obey’ and its inability to support most members of the younger generation have driven away the latter from the movement.

By: Jemal Muhamed, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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