Muslim Brotherhood Failure Goes beyond Tunisia

There is a lot of talk about the MB’s future in Tunisia, especially with the increasing split within Ennahda movement, which represents the group. The talks are mainly about the recent internal splits and the loss of confidence in Rached Ghannouchi, the movement’s leader, as there have recently been demands for his dismissal. The movement’s leaders have been throwing responsibility on each other for the shock the movement suffered from and made its authority in in the country meaningless.

With the movement offering the option of early elections as a solution to the current crisis, Badr al-Din Traboulsi, Tunisian political analyst, says: “the movement is currently in its worst conditions in decades, which makes it unable to engage in any electoral battle, especially since the ongoing crisis has divided its members instead of gathering them.” He adds that the movement’s call for early elections is nothing but a political evasion and an attempt to save what can be saved from its remaining authority.

It is noteworthy that a youth group of Tunisian Ennahda movement has called on the current leadership to dissolve the movement’s executive office, blaming it for the situation that the country has experienced in terms of social tension, political and economic crisis and failure to achieve the people’s demands. All of these matters are due to its poor choices over years of failed participation in government.

In addition, Traboulsi draws attention that the presence of a segment of the Tunisian people rejecting the Tunisian president’s decisions related to suspending parliament does not necessarily mean their support for the Ennahda movement or voting for it in any possible elections. He points out that the controversy over the decisions of Kais Saied comes from Interpreting the articles of the constitution differently, not from the stand on Ennahda movement as its leaders are trying to demonstrate.

Beyond Tunisia.. an empire collapsing, and an era that will not recur

As part of his discussion of the political future of the Ennahda, Trabelsi notes that the discussion here cannot be about the Ennahda movement alone or Tunisia, but rather about the MB’s project in the region as a whole. Especially since all political currents loyal to the group are affiliated with the international administration of the MB and work for its agendas.

 “Until now, it cannot be considered that the Ennahda has fallen completely in Tunisia, despite the continuous collapse of its power. However, if it is excluded from the Tunisian political scene, it can be said that the project of the MB in North Africa as a whole has collapsed completely, after their loss of power in Egypt and Libya,” Traboulsi says.

He further indicates that a belief prevailed among the MB’s senior leadership that the Arab Spring revolutions would be a turning point in the shape of Arab regimes, but it proved the failure of political Islam in the Arab region as a whole. 

Away from politics, close to conspiracy

The most prominent factor in the collapse of governments loyal to the MB, according to Abd al-Salam Abdullah, an expert in religious movements, lies in the way they deal with political opponents inside the country and consider them as enemies and loyalists to the outside. Abdullah considers that this view reflects the state of the group’s political insufficiency, which it had to address and understand the political work methods before it entered the arena of government and official work.

Abdullah also points out that this view was the basis for the downfall, given that the parties affiliated with the MB were not able in any of the countries they previously ruled to reach an alliance with any party outside that system. Moreover, that the group’s leadership has not yet been able to read the Arab political scene and its requirements after 2011.

“The movement worked to establish alternative regimes based on a religious basis after the Arab Spring revolutions, without noticing that the new political conditions no longer accepted the system of a single or exclusionary political spectrum,” Abdullah adds.

Abdullah indicates that the movement’s handling of the demonstrations against its rule, whether in Egypt, Tunisia or Libya, on the grounds that they were part of a conspiracy against the religious state, contributed to the movement’s failure to listen to other political currents or popular demands.

Justice and Development.. and inapplicable experiment

Hossam Youssef, a political analyst, adds a new factor  for the failure of the MB to rule, which is an attempt to re-implement  the Turkish AKP government’s experience in Arab countries, without taking into account the differences and circumstances between Turkish and Arab people. Youssef also points out that the AKP established its project in Turkey over a period of more than 20 years, taking advantage of the high level of religious feelings among a large segment of Turkish people, while Arab people were going through a transitional phase after 2011, with the growth of patriotic feeling at the expense of religious sentiments.

Youssef also believes that the Arabs, after the Arab Spring, were looking for the establishment of democratic systems, while the group has tended to impose the guardianship system on the people and impose certain lifestyles in the countries that it controlled. For example, the MB’s attempts to control the Syrian revolution politically and militarily were one of the factors behind its decline and its inability to maintain its political and military gains, which it achieved during the early years of the revolution.

Youssef presents a final point, in which he points out that the continuation of the MB in power threatened many of the countries in which they ruled by repeating the experience of the Iranian velayat-e faqih, especially with the almost ideological congruence between the group’s ideology and the Iranian regime in terms of loyalty to the Leader and the reference. As this issue was one of the reasons that led to Morsi’s overthrow in Egypt after the Egyptians accused him of being just a cover through which the group’s guide rules the Egyptian state.

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