MIDEAST CRISIS: Muslim Brotherhood Playing Important Role In Egyptian Demonstrations


The news website GlobalPost has a one-of-a-kind report on how the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is playing an important role “on the ground” in the current unrest. According to the report:

Inside the traffic circle that is the spiraling center of Egypt’s protest movement, there is an organizational structure that says a lot about who will lead the new Egypt and what style they might bring to the task. First, all roads that lead to the traffic circle are flanked by army tanks and troops, making it very clear that it’s the army that is truly in charge in these uncertain days in Egypt. Hard to argue with a tank. But after the army control posts, it’s largely the Muslim Brotherhood that is bringing its organizational acumen to sustaining the demonstrations. And they do it with a calculated and well-rehearsed humility. The Brotherhood are providing the vast majority of volunteers who’ve been manning several layers of informal checkpoints where these men, check I.D. cards and search bags while smiling and bantering with their fellow Egyptians. And just past the checkpoints on the sidewalks are still more Brotherhood volunteers, many with thick beards and calluses on their foreheads from prostrating in prayer, chanting slogans and shouting “Welcome to Free Egypt!” A bit further in there are tables where Brotherhood youth serve hot tea to demonstrators as they go deeper into Tahrir (or Liberation) Square, which was still packed yesterday with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators. Leaders of the Brotherhood, which has been outlawed in Egypt but has thrived as an underground movement for decades, adamantly deny this leading role at the demonstrations. Many of the volunteers, when asked if they are Brotherhood, just smile and wink and say they are “Egyptian Brotherhood.” This is a classic example of the Brotherhood’s disciplined and self-effacing style of governing. They see themselves as a social-service network more than a political machine. The reality is they are both. The Brotherhood is intent on keeping a low profile in these demonstrations.

I should be noted that this is the first media report that we are aware of with this kind of detail about the role played by the Muslim Brotherhood in the unrest.

To see all GMBDW coverage of developments, go here.

For GMBDW coverage on the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, go here.

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