Thursday, December 26, 2013

Forbidding the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood

Egypt has forbidden the Muslim Brotherhood. The move comes a day after an suicide bombing attack on a police headquarters where 16 people were killed by a splinter group from the Muslim Brotherhood.

The events remind me to the Aleppo Artillery School massacre in 1979 where a Muslim Brotherhood splinter group killed some 70 Alawite cadets. That too proved a watershed that resulted in oppression of the Brotherhood. Then too the Brotherhood denied involvement but nobody really believed them as their whole attitude was such as to encourage such actions.

The Aleppo attack was the beginning of a major Brotherhood uprising that ended with the Hama massacre in 1982. It has to be seen what the Brotherhood will do next. Since the coup by Sisi they have been on collision course with the military government.

The Syrian Brotherhood chose the path of violence. Syria is still paying the price. The Egyptian Brotherhood can do better by openly rejecting violence - in the interest of the country. They will still stay forbidden for some time. But in the longer term it will open the road for them to become an active player in the political process. On the other hand, when they choose violence the Egyptian government has no choice but to forbid and persecute them.

The slogan that government violence forces them to their own violence work nicely in propaganda - and is often used by the US government - but in reality it is not how things work. The monopoly of violence for the government is an essential part - not only from every democracy but from every state.

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