Egypt Muslim Brotherhood Must Accept Prevailing ChallengesProf.R.A Ipinyomi Friday, August 16th, 2013
By Prof. R.A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
While Cairo is becoming more quiet since Thursday August 15, 2013, ousted President Mohammed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood supporters vowed to continue to oppose the interim military regime. In fact they are calling out for supports and campaigning for new protests. The interim government is warning that it will not tolerate further unrests. It is likely that the government may back its threat in forestalling further unrest using more violent crackdowns. Any violence is undesirable for Egypt at the moment.
Our worries and concerns resurfaced again from the attacks on more than 20 churches and Christian institutions in Egypt on Wednesday. This has also reflected the growing radicalism of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt MBE and its determination to target groups that supported Morsi’s removal, especially the Christians in that land. This has remained our concerns ever since the MBE got to power in 2012. The fear is whether their driving force is their love for democracy or their hatred for Christians. Egyptian officials said 525 people were killed during Wednesday’s crackdown on MBE protest camps in Cairo but we are yet to equally know how many innocent Christians had been killed silently since they won their elections in 2012.
We must try and understand the compassion, priority and loyalty of the MBE so that we can adequately assess the situation and profile possible solutions. There is a compassion that feeds the ego and there is another compassion that humbles it. Compassion that feeds the ego is a sense of pity for those who stand beneath you. Compassion that humbles is born of a deeper understanding of the order of things: When you understand that your fellow man is suffering in order that you may be privileged to help him—then you are truly humbled. Therefore the MBE has only the compassion of ego and pride these many weeks they chose to live on the streets. They still do not understand their enemy let alone trying to identify or attach such an enemy. The Christians in Egypt or in deed anywhere in the world are not the enemies of MBE. They are also not what MBE should or even could fight. This may be one major reason why they are losing the whole thing and may stay long vainly on the streets of every city in Egypt. There must come a realisation time when individuals or groups would have to accept responsibility and throw in the towel.
Therefore it should be globally accepted that Egypt is in a deep social, economic and political turmoil. There is a crisis of leadership and there is another of priority assessing. What started as a simple social revolution, to unseat the age-long tradition of Pharaoh-Style rule that had endured several generations, ended up in the installation of a government led by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. If the MBE simply understood the equation and its expected functions there would have been no crime committed. They failed to understand their social problems let alone the economic nor the social relationships needed for peaceful co-existence management. Egypt is both an African country and also it speaks Arab. Some of them have Arab skins but many have African skins, some of them are Muslims but a significant number of them are Christians. It is a typical country but it shall not defile solutions.
It is becoming more obvious that MBE neither understood the situations facing Egyptians nor the role MBE was supposed to play. The script that went into their head and became most paramount in their thinking and operation during the one year length allowed them by Military guys was the implementation of the agenda hashed since the 1950s and which led to their ban. They forgot current and prevailing socio-economic issues. The true fact is that Egyptians are slaves in their own country and MBE did not see that as a crime. Similarly, Nigerians are slaves to different inept and insensitive governments over the years.
Our sole objective remains to model, establish and practice a democracy in Africa such that the system shall profit, benefit and promote the well being of our people and not just for a few lords hijacking and feeding fat on the system. Feeding fat may main stealing public money, forcing your own narrow views on the majority, taking extra judicial measures without general consensus, and any forms implying insensitivity to majority yearning. The MBE has been accused of all.
Whether the MBE knew the implications involved in accepting leadership is now an open question. The fact is, each of our leaders should be asking, “Do I know what I’m doing?” It’s a normal and expected part of being in a role where you influence people. You first have to know and accept one major thing that you are doing as a leader. You are messing with people’s lives. The different regimes in Africa countries, and all parts of the Global, have been messing up with our precious lives in the names of anything called politics. It is a crime enough to be limited as an individual by locality, nationality or by regional space but adding local bad governance is an avoidable crime. If Egyptians refuse to correct their mistakes now we could end up with a society where there would be loss of human freedom, of association, of free expression and human dignity.
The day President Obama of the USA, President Jonathan of Nigeria, former President Mohammed Morsi of Egypt, or somewhere up in your organization, decided to join the ranks of leaders, they also decided that they had the willingness and ability to tell other people what to do. Such a decision should not be to mess up with our lives. Whatever the case, the decision to take leadership ought to be driven by something noble, including a need to build and help others, to organise the community and society wherein we live, to preserve our disappearing and decaying environment, to save the world and its ever increasing human population and disappearing other species, to boost your self-esteem, to make more money and fame, to make a difference, or some other reason.
Regardless of your reason, your choice resulted in one simple fact: You began messing with people’s lives. You may not have realized it or wanted it, but that’s what happened. Unfortunately, most leaders do not start with that knowledge. The MBE and Morsi might not have started with a clear and compelling understanding of the real challenges facing Egypt. They were in the opposition for many years and had been banned from participating in politics as a group. Their emergence was a miracle but their understanding must have been diluted with operational plans and narrow group goal setting. They lacked the courage it takes to accept the challenge of influencing another person positively. They had also underestimated that challenge.
It’s time to adjust your perspective and run inclusive governance as a leader. The Americans were careful not to call the removal of Morsi a Military coup but the Americans were only playing politics rather than reality show. We cannot allow a group of people driven only by hatred and dislike for others to lead in any international arena, whether they are majority or not. Therefore Egypt Muslim Brotherhood must accept prevailing challenges.
Prof. R.A. Ipinyomi,
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