Monday, December 5, 2011

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Already Signaling Rivalry With Salafis

I'd like to follow-up on my article on PolicyMic about why the Muslim Brotherhood wouldn't dominate Egypt's Parliamentary election.

The secular/liberal factions didn't eat into the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party's gains, but the Salafis' sudden rise has already pushed the FJP towards a publicly moderate position.
Despite the rivalry, Saad el-Katatni, the secretary general of the Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, said he didn't expect election competition to spill over into parliament. 
He said his party will work to form a broad coalition that includes liberal trends, and "absorbs" the Islamist parties who are new to the political scene.
"Some of the new parties wanted to be alone, to get as many seats as possible and to be seen as powerful in the parliament," he told the AP. "They will need to be part of the group (once in parliament). If they work alone, it will be a big loss for them." 
He said it was too early to speak of specific parliamentary alliances, but so far, the major Salafi party has signaled it won't join, and has already walked out on a pre-election coalition with the Brotherhood.
Hot Air notes that Salafis may gain an even higher proportion of seats in the coming rounds of voting, and speculates that whoever the FJP forms a coalition government with will get dragged down with them when the economy tanks, benefiting the opposition.

However, there's still the liberal coalitions, the young protesters still at Tahrir Square, the ex-Mubarak party members, and the ruling military council to all factor in.

So far, it looks like my thesis about the Brotherhood has proven correct. But what that means for the future of Egyptian politics remains to be seen.

I'll wait to comment further on my OWS and Gingrich/Groupon articles to see how they play out.

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