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First Test of Egyptian Voting Power Sees Muslim Brotherhood Triumph over Youth Movement Leaders

COMMENT: In the first electoral contests following the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, the highly organized Muslim Brotherhood has successfully shepherded into being constitutional  changes that were opposed by the young leaders of the youth movement.

In my editorial observations on the Piggy-Back Coup, I quoted former Speaker of the House of Representatives John McCormack (D-MA), who co-chaired the McCormack/Dickstein committee that investigated the 1034 coup attempt in the United States. “An organized minority can always defeat an unorganized majority.”

Are we witnessing the beginning of the ascension of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?

“Fears Egypt Vote to Benefit Islamists” by Jailan Zayan [AFP]; Google News; 3/21/2011.

Egypt’s first exercise in democracy in decades was hailed as a success on Monday, but the result of a key referendum has raised fears in some quarters that Islamists will hijack looming elections.

Egyptians on Saturday voted 77% in favour of proposed constitutional amendments intended to guide the Arab world’s most populous nation through new presidential and parliamentary elections within six months.

The Muslim Brotherhood threw its huge influence and grassroots organisation behind a “yes” vote, although youth groups that spearheaded the protests that forced Hosni Mubarak to resign last month had called for a “no” vote.

They argued the timetable set by the military was too tight for them to organize at grassroots level, that the Muslim Brotherhood would benefit and that the changes to the Mubarak-era constitution were too limited. . . .

. . . “The referendum, while it was free of fraud, was not free of ‘influence’, especially by the Muslim Brotherhood and the religious trend in general,” wrote Suleiman Gouda in the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm.

“The mosques were used by these groups to influence the voters,” he said.

The Muslim Brotherhood, the largest opposition movement in the country and officially banned in the Mubarak era, used its new found freedom — and organisational skills — to campaign for a “yes” vote.

The group, and other more fundamentalist religious movements, presented the “yes” vote as a religious duty, while many at polling stations said they voted “yes” for the sake of “stability” rather than religious inclinations. . . .


Discussion

3 comments for “First Test of Egyptian Voting Power Sees Muslim Brotherhood Triumph over Youth Movement Leaders”

  1. […] shows what are the real « values »  of the Brotherhood. As well, here is Dave Emory‘s latest blog entry analyzing the results of a recent election exercice in Egypt and how in […]

    Posted by The 50-Point Manifesto of Hasan al-Banna: where catholic bigotry meets Soviet Russia and Mussolini’s Corporate State | lys-dor.com | March 26, 2011, 5:33 pm
  2. The US media has been focusing quite a bit on the question of President Obama’s legacy this inaugural weekend and there was a moment on this morning’s Meet the Press that captured one of the critical challenges facing the US and the rest of the world going forward:

    NBC
    Meet the Press
    January 20: Chuck Schumer, Ted Cruz, David Axelrod, Joe Scarborough, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Tom Brokaw, Richard Engel, Chuck Todd

    updated 1/20/2013 1:40:30 PM ET

    MR. DAVID GREGORY: And, good Sunday morning. This is Inauguration Day for President Obama, the public ceremony is tomorrow. But according to the Constitution, his second term officially begins today. Moments ago, the vice president was officially sworn-in. And at noon today, the president will take his official oath of office during a small private ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House. So the stage is set as well at the U.S. Capitol for the inaugural address and public swearing-in tomorrow. The president kicked off the weekend festivities yesterday with a day of service, and the first lady hosted a special concert for children of military families last night.

    (Videotape)

    MICHELLE OBAMA (The Kids Inaugural: Our Children, Our Future/Last Night): This is what inauguration is all about. It’s about celebrating who we are as Americans and all the things that make this country so great. And when I think about who we are, when I think about what makes America great, I think about all of you.

    (End videotape)

    MS. DORIS KEARNS GOODWIN (Presidential Historian/Author, Team of Rivals): I’m not sure that’s true. I mean, I think gun control. He came out with sweeping proposals. I mean, that’s certainly out on a limb. You’re not going to get a lot of support, perhaps, from Republicans. But his idea, I think, is that if you educate the country– you know, when he talked to you, he mentioned Lincoln’s quote. There’s a second sentence to Lincoln’s quote. Lincoln’s first quote was, “Without public opinion, nothing can happen, with it, everything.” But then he said, “He who molds sentiment goes deeper even then he who makes laws or makes decisions.” So, I think the second term what he’s understood from the first term is that he was inside Washington too much, that you have to use the bully pulpit. You’ve got to get out among the people. You have to mobilize. He has got that base out there. He has a coalition that voted for him, pretty actively came to the polls. And the best presidents have been able to mobilize pressure from the outside in. And what four years has told him, maybe he’s tried to get Republicans over. Some of them don’t come. He should keep trying. And he has to really keep trying with the Democrats. I agree. Those are the ones he should schmooze or whatever that word is. Schmooze. I didn’t say right.

    GREGORY: You got it, you got it. Come on. Don’t pretend like you don’t know it.

    MS. GOODWIN: (Unintelligible) old Catholic, but anyway.

    MR. AXELROD: That’s between smooching.

    GREGORY: Yeah, exactly. Ri– Richard, I want to pick up on that point. You–

    MR. ENGEL: I mean, listening to all of this and saying, although this sounds very good…

    GREGORY: Yeah.

    MR. ENGEL: ..but then, of course, there is the world that comes knocking.

    GREGORY: Right.

    MR. ENGEL: And the world is going to come knocking a lot.

    GREGORY: Well, we’ll talk more about that in few minutes in terms of U.S. and the world, but just as somebody who lives abroad, and I talk about, you know, as– as The Economist did, America’s ability to have influence in the rest of the world, how– how do you see the challenges he faces?

    MR. ENGEL: Well, it’s greatly diminished. I think the Chinese model is one that appeals more and more in the developing world. People see that an authoritarian state can hold onto power, can hold on to stability and can drive the economy forward. When you look at– when you talk to people in– in– in Africa and across the Middle East, they’re not satisfied with the way things are going. Sure this idea of democracy was injected into the region, but it has brought mostly chaos. So, I think the U.S. role, the U.S. example, is not the one that is on the– on the mind of the youth internationally. People are looking more to– to different kinds of models.

    MR. SCARBOROUGH: Well, the Soviet model seemed pretty attractive– to some of the same regions in the 1950s. So I– I– I would be skeptical that an authoritarian model is going to…

    (Cross talk)

    GREGORY: And the Chinese model has its issues.

    MR. ENGEL: Certainly has its issues.

    MR. SCARBOROUGH: And it’s slowing down.

    MR. ENGEL: But you don’t hear people talk about the United States the way they used to. You don’t hear them talk about the U.S. in this idea that, sure, people would like to come here and set up their– you know, get– you know, get visas and green cards. But the U.S. just doesn’t seem to have that kind of clout.

    MS. GOODWIN: We still have the most successful economy in the whole world, though, right?

    MR. ENGEL: Maybe it’s a perception…

    MR. AXELROD: If we go by our treasuries, people…

    GREGORY: Well, let– let me inject with this, Tom. One of the– one of the issues…

    MR. ENGEL: People aren’t that depressed anymore.

    GREGORY: …the president– the president’s opposition. How do Republicans use this moment, the president has just been re-elected, but so has Congress and the House held onto Republican rule. How– how do they use this moment?

    Richard Engel’s concerns about the global youth’s opinions on the viability of democracy to secure their futures gets to the heart of why the US urgently needs to deal with the serious “mental health” issue of collective insanity. The US doesn’t need to heal its own civil society simply for its own sake. It’s a global issue. The whole world is in desperate need of social paradigms that will give their people real futures with real opportunities for meaningful and enjoyable lives. Eco-collapse and the growing appeal extremist militant ideologies are going to literally kill the future for large numbers of people and as things get worse more and more people around the world are going leaning towards extreme solutions like an authoritarian social contract. If the US – a country with nearly nearly every material advantage one can imagine combined with a constitution that has enshrined freedom of speech – can’t talk and reason its way out of collective socioeconomic/political gridlock what reason will the youth of the world – the vast majority of which are living in nations with far more significant immediate problems than the US has ever had to deal with – have to believe that democracy is the way forward?

    So if the president wants to leave a legacy that counters the growing trends that are going to be driving more and more of the world towards extremist thought, he really needs to figure out how to deal with this and this using paradigms that can be applied to this and this and this. Something involving a national discourse that first addresses and then finds workable solutions for the many root causes of extremism might help…especially if those solutions are rooted in the many extremely reasonable reasons for extreme global kindness.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 20, 2013, 9:42 pm
  3. Well that was definitely a great way for President Obama to start off his second term and having it take place on MLK day made it that much better.

    Along those lines, the Virginia GOP wants to wish you all a happy MLK Day ‘Stonewall’ Jackson Day?

    TPM
    Virginia GOP Pulls ‘Dirty Trick’ On Inauguration Day

    Evan McMorris-Santoro January 21, 2013, 5:38 PM

    Updated at 7:05 ET

    Democrats in Virginia are accusing state Republicans of taking advantage of a prominent civil rights leader’s trip to Washington for the presidential inauguration to pull a “dirty trick” in order to take control of the state Senate in the 2015 elections.

    The state Senate is split 20-20 between Republicans and Democrats. On Monday, while state Sen. Henry Marsh (D) — a 79-year-old civil rights veteran — was reportedly in Washington to attend President Obama’s second inaugural, GOP senators forced through a mid-term redistricting plan that Democrats say will make it easier for Republicans to gain a majority.

    With Marsh’s absence, Senate Republicans in Richmond had one more vote than Senate Democrats and could push the measure through. The new redistricting map revises the districts created under the 2011 map and would take effect before the next state Senate elections in Virginia and would redraw district lines to maximize the number of safe GOP seats.

    The move was a surprise to just about everyone, including Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell who has not yet pledged to endorse the new district lines, which must now go through the GOP-controlled House of Delegates and finally across McDonnell’s desk before final approval.

    Some of the sparse details from the AP:

    After the measure was sprung on unsuspecting Democrats, its sponsor, Republican Sen. John Watkins of Powhatan, defended it as an effort to create another majority black Senate district. What he didn’t say is that it would create even more GOP-dominant districts.

    Democrats are outraged.

    Politically, the move coud derail McDonnell’s ambitious agenda for his last year in office ahead of a rumored run for higher office. Optics-wise, the state Senate GOP’s move could reverberate far beyond the Commonwealth: after using the absence of civil rights leader Marsh to push through the legislative changes, the Senate adjourned in honor of a well-known Confederate general.

    “On motion of Senator Stosch, the Senate adjourned in memory or [sic] General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson at 4:10 p.m. to convene Tuesday, January 22, 2013,” read the official minutes of the legislative day.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 21, 2013, 8:05 pm

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