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Studies 02 October, 2013

The Muslim Brotherhood after Morsi

Khalil Al Anani

Dr. Khalil al-Anani is an Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. He has previously taught at Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and George Mason University. He also served as a Senior Scholar at the Middle East Institute and a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC. His research interests include Authoritarianism and Democratization, State Violence, Religion and Politics, Islamism, Egyptian Politics, and Middle East Politics.

Prof. al-Anani published several books (in English and Arabic) including "Inside the Muslim Brotherhood: Religion, Identity, and Politics" (Oxford University Press, 2016), "Elections and Democratization in the Middle East" (co-editor, Palgrave MacMillan, 2014), and "The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt: Gerontocracy Fighting against Time?" (Cairo: Shorouk Press, 2007). He also published several peer-reviewed papers in leading research and academic journals such as Politics and Religion, Democratization, The Middle East Journal, Sociology of Islam, Digest of Middle East Studies, etc. He also published policy papers and op-ed pieces in leading newspapers and news outlets including The Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, CNN, Al-Jazeera, and Al-Monitor, and Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. Prof. al-Anani holds Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations from Durham University (UK), Master’s and Bachelor in Political Science from Cairo University.


Introduction
The July 3 coup that removed Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi from power represents a pivotal moment in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood not just because of the coup’s implications for the organizational and political structure of the Brotherhood, but also because it happened just one year after [President] Morsi assumed office, ending with his imprisonment at the hands of the military.

This paper argues that three key reasons account for the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood: first, the Brotherhood failed to effectively and positively handle power; second, organizational problems muddled the Brotherhood’s calculations and exposed its weakness and lack of political vision; and third, the deep state successfully lured the Brotherhood into peripheral battles that exhausted the Brotherhood and caused it to fail. This was achieved by means of vicious campaigns of incitement and distortion that significantly contributed to turning public opinion against the Brotherhood, and led to a large turnout for the demonstrations of June 30, 2013 demanding an end to Morsi’s rule.

The analysis reaches two main conclusions: first, it argues that attempts to exclude and eradicate the Muslim Brotherhood from Egyptian political life are not just bound to fail, but will push the country towards darker political, security, and strategic scenarios. Second, it stresses the urgent need for the Brotherhood to re-examine its mistakes, ideology, and political discourse in order for it to survive as an active and influential force and avoid internal divisions and schism.

*This study was originally published in the September 2013 issue of Siyasat Arabia (pp. 17-23), published by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS).

It was translated by the ACRPS Translation and English Editing Department. The original Arabic version can be found here.

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