How the Muslim Brotherhood lost Egypt

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share

When Egyptians poured onto the streets in their millions to demand the fall of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, few thought they would return two years later demonstrating for the overthrow of the man they elected to replace him.

The stunning fall from power of President Mohamed Mursi, and the Muslim Brotherhood which backed him, has upended politics in the volatile Middle East for a second time after the Arab Spring uprisings toppled veteran autocrats.

Some of the principal causes were highlighted a month before the army intervened to remove Mursi, when two of Egypt's most senior power brokers met for a private dinner at the home of liberal politician Ayman Nour on the island of Zamalek, a lush bourgeois oasis in the midst of Cairo's seething megalopolis. It was seen by some as a last attempt to avert a showdown.

The two power brokers were Amr Moussa, 76, a long-time foreign minister under Mubarak and now a secular nationalist politician, and Khairat El-Shater, 63, the Brotherhood's deputy leader and most influential strategist and financier. Moussa suggested that to avoid confrontation, Mursi should heed opposition demands, including a change of government.

"He (Shater) acknowledged what I said about the bad management of Egyptian affairs under their government and that there is a problem," Moussa told Reuters. "He was talking carefully and listening attentively."

Shater, a thick-set grizzly bear of a man who is now in detention and cannot tell his side of events, replied that the government's problems were due to the "non-cooperation of the 'deep state'" - the entrenched interests in the army, the security services, some of the judiciary and the bureaucracy, according to Moussa's account.

"The message that I got after one hour was that OK, he would discuss with me, agree with some of my arguments, disagree with the rest, but they were not in the mood of changing," Moussa said. Nour gave a similar account, saying Shater did not budge. But he added that the talks might have started a process of political compromise had they not been exposed in the media.

"(Shater) is a normal person and his appearance does not do him justice. His appearance gives the impression of mysteriousness and ruthlessness, but he is well-mannered and gentle," Nour said.

Article continued on next page...

Related:
Topics
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Saudi Arabia's Yemen gamble may define its regional role for years

Saudi Arabia's Yemen gamble may define its regional role for years

Success in Yemen would establish Riyadh as de facto leader of...

Events that moved the markets

Events that moved the markets

What, if anything, have we learnt from past crises that have...

A country on hold: Oman's next step?

A country on hold: Oman's next step?

The Gulf state has been relatively stable under the rule of one...

2
Most Discussed
  • 16
    Nakheel PR: The toughest job in Dubai?

    @John...I actually laughed out load at that comment! Having said that..I still believe DAMAC hold the mantal for 'Redefining Trust'... more

    Sunday, 29 March 2015 6:06 PM - Simon
  • 8
    Post traumatic stress?

    I once had a Emirates Post employee hang up on me when I asked her to repeat something. That said, the worst is my management company, Kingfield Management... more

    Sunday, 29 March 2015 6:07 PM - Sarah
  • 8
    Drunk passenger who slapped air stewardess jailed in Dubai

    Really would help if some other commentators would understand the story and the airline.
    Flydubai doesnt give alcohol for free. They charge for it... more

    Sunday, 29 March 2015 9:07 AM - Ponder
  • 16
    Nakheel PR: The toughest job in Dubai?

    @John...I actually laughed out load at that comment! Having said that..I still believe DAMAC hold the mantal for 'Redefining Trust'... more

    Sunday, 29 March 2015 6:06 PM - Simon
  • 14
    Has Narendra Modi already lost the plot?

    Gaja - Anil is RIGHT this once! Modi stands for anarchy. Look at the way he is treating the minorities. Do you even for a second believe that he is innocent... more

    Sunday, 29 March 2015 1:42 PM - Ann
  • 8
    Post traumatic stress?

    I once had a Emirates Post employee hang up on me when I asked her to repeat something. That said, the worst is my management company, Kingfield Management... more

    Sunday, 29 March 2015 6:07 PM - Sarah