The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Houdaiby: The Bureaucracy Wins

Ibrahim Houdaiby writes on the "bureaucratization of Morsi" (I prefer to use "statification" to mean the same thing), the success with which the Egyptian state has imposed its rules on the Muslim Brotherhood rather than the reverse. But he makes an even stronger point in discussing the Brotherhood's response to being in power — creating the impression that it is in fact under siege by an opposition it at once inflates and belittles:

Today, the focus on survival, the tendency to resort to vague formulae, a lack of political savvy, and a willingness to compromise are key factors in Morsi’s positions. Maintaining unity requires no more than the (re)creation of an external threat to divert attention from political and strategic failures and deficits. The group’s new threat is created through the reintroduction of the notion of conspiracy. The organization has attributed its failure to push forward a relevant legislative agenda to deal with questions of economic development and distribution, judicial reform, and security sector reform to the government’s “irresponsiveness,” which it says is meant to embarrass the Brotherhood-led parliament.

The Party’s parliamentarians also blamed SCAF for misusing its de facto presidential legitimacy to counter democracy, claiming that filing a presidential candidate became the only remaining solution to curb the military’s power. After Morsi became president and dismissed senior SCAF leaders and abolished the declaration that gave SCAF legislative authority, he continued to blame the judiciary for his failures though he retained both executive and legislative powers until the new constitution was ratified in December 2012. Even now—with the presidency, a majority in the legislative body, and the ratification of its approved constitution—the Brotherhood blames the opposition and the media for its lack of achievement.

Worth reading, keeping in mind that Houdaiby is a former member of the Brotherhood once close to its leaders (Khairat al-Shater in particular) and comes from a family that has produced two General Guides.