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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 1934 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. . . .



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:

    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.


    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?

    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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