Sunday, May 13, 2012

Abu El Fotoh and the Brotherhood : The defector !!

The problem of Abdel Moneim Abu El Fotoh is that he is trying to win everybody’s vote in a very polarized society , he is trying to win the liberal vote but many of them believe that he is an Islamist candidate claiming to be liberal friendly yet he got this secret Muslim brotherhood agenda. For Islamists and Salafists he is just a man who is ready to sell his principles to get the liberal vote and for the revolutionaries , he is seemed to be soft when it comes to the army and SCAF where as for the army and their supporters he is a Pro-revolutionary anarchist who wants to destroy the army and used to be supportive of militant Islamist terrorist groups in the past.
It is hard to please everybody indeed despite his attempt to appear as the moderate candidate who units all Egyptians with all their political, social and religious differences behind him and his team. His attempts unfortunately is making him appear as if he were contradicting himself in many instances with different statements in interviews and public meeting.
The major problem facing the popular presidential candidate is many liberals as many non politicalized Egyptians believe that he is the secret candidate of the Muslim brotherhood despite he left it in 2011 officially after years of not only being a leading member in the famous Islamist political group but also a part of the reformist branch in the group. In this post I will try to shade some light about the relation between the Muslim brotherhood.
Just to make it easier for those who do not know anything about the MB and their history except from biased media , Abu El Fotoh is considered from the reformist branch of MB that adopts the teachings of Umar Al-Tilmisani, the 3rd general guide of MB whose teachings were moderate more than the radical teachings of Siyad Qutb.
Al-Tilmisani teachings affected Abu El-Fotoh since young age when he was leading figure in the Islamist movement in universities in Egypt in 1970s. It was mentioned in the book of Hossam Tamam “Abu El Fotoh’s testimony about the Islamist movement in Egypt”  how Al-Tilmisani changed young Abu El Fotoh’s views regarding the use of violence that was imported from abroad .
Abu El Fotoh and El Shater in jail during 1990s
Before leaving the group Abu El Fotoh has had a long fight with the Qutbists branch in brotherhood for years especially with Khairat El Shater that turned in to a personal matter between them two according to several sources and friends from inside and outside the brotherhood. The fight was obvious and clear to everybody when Abu El Fotoh slammed Khairat El Shater and Mahmoud Ezzat by name specifically on Al Naher TV’s special “A meeting with the president” Show and accused them of betraying their old friendship.
It was the first time that Abu El Fotoh would attack leaders of Muslim brotherhood like that but it came just after few hours on the same day an inflammatory attacking Op-ed written by Mahmoud Ghozlan , the official spokesperson was published in Ikhwan official website as an open letter to the Salafist calling group for choosing Abu El Fotoh. In Brief Ghozlan was reminding the Salafist calling how the group refused to endorse the MB in the elections because of his statements regarding the right of the women and Christian to lead the State and his views concerning on literature censorship.
Ghozlan used quotes of a brochure the Salafist calling issued during than with religious references to show not only the double standards of the famous group in Alexandria but to make any Salafist think twice when it comes to elect Abu El Fotoh.
Side Note : Ghozlan is the brother in law of Khairat El Shater
The attack of Ghozlan is no surprise for those who were following the escalation between the brotherhood and its famous defected member will know that it was reaching this , a MB leader claimed  from couple of weeks ago in one of the Nile Delta governorates  that if Abu El Fotoh is elected as a president , the MB will face hard times much more than the times of Nasser !! In another instance you find a leading figure in the brotherhood in Behaira telling the ladies of the brotherhood that Abu El Fotoh will ban veil in the country if he is elected !!!
Choosing the Nile delta governorates to attack Abu El Fotoh is not a surprise as conservatism is higher there than in Cairo with less media exposure.
Yesterday in Giza at that huge rally for Mohamed Morsi of Muslim brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party candidate , the moderator of the rally bashed Abu El Fotoh directly. I will recount how many times I find the MB boys attacking Abu El Fotoh on their twitter accounts in the past weeks.
Another point recently brought up is the Muslim brotherhood oath of loyalty as something from here to eternity , will Abu El Fotoh be loyal to the general guide of the MB as a president or not ?? I will not lie that I am not concerned despite the huge team of Non MB advisers of MB but there is something called logic.
Logically Abu El Fotoh broke that oath when he defied the orders of the general guide and decided to run for presidency in 2011. According to the MB they expelled him and according to him he resigned , thus I do not know what kind of oath commitment we are speaking about now from logic point of view here.
Abu El Fotoh made it clear over and over that he refuses the continuity of the Muslim brotherhood as a political group insisting that it should continue as religious preaching group.
Defections happen in the Muslim brotherhood and I do not know why people trust someone like MP Essam Sultan or Abu Ela Mady of Al Wasat Party when they are famous defected members of the Muslim brotherhood and yet they do not want to believe Abu El Fotoh.
Now regarding his years in the university as a leading figure in the Islamist movement heading the Cairo university’s Al Gama’a Al Islamiyya and all the fuss about it. There are two Al Gama’a Al Islamiyya we are dealing with, the first one was student movement formed in early 1970s by Abu El Fotoh and leading figures of Islamist movement in Egypt in Egyptian universities like MP Essam El Arian and Abu Ela Mady that joined the MB starting from mid 1970s after being taught by the old generations of MB members from professors in the Universities. This group of men has nothing to do with Al Gama’a Al Islamiyaa’s Islamic Jihad militant branch. Already Abu El Fotoh is not the only man in the world that started as radical young man but changed his mind , you got numerous examples in the West and East from leftists and Socialists.
If anyone bothered to read Hossam Tamam’s book “Abdel Moneim Abu El Fotoh’s testimony about Islamist movements in 1970s-1980s” , you will know that the man went from Ultra-conservative to conservative to moderate enough to be open for other opinions. Already Abu El Fotoh was among members of the brotherhood that opened a dialogue with other political powers and groups in Egypt starting from 2005 after years of rivalry. 
Another point that scares the liberals and the centrists from Egyptians from Abu El Fotoh is the endorsement of Al Nour Party and the Salafist Calling for his presidential bid. Of course tabloid newspaper “Al Dostor” which is owned by Al Wafd Party leading member “Reda Edward” claims that Abu El Fotoh will appoint A Salafist VP , well unfortunately it is a big fate lie and despite Al Dostor had become untrustworthy newspaper , I find people who used to attack it and attack its own repeat these lies.
Abu El Fotoh told the Salafist sheikhs in the Salafist calling that he will not choose a Salafist VP because he made it clear in all his appearances that he will appoint a VP from the Youth.
The big promise Abu El Fotoh to the Salafists revolves around the Sharia and its implementation in the country , now this is a big issue because we do not know if we are speaking about implementing the principles of Sharia or the rulings of Sharia here. 
I believe that Abu El Fotoh contradicts himself ironically because if we are going to speak about the rulings we can fall in to trap as the rulings’ interpretations differ from one religious School to another thus the principles are more stable throughout time. He himself got a very different view regarding the apostasy in Islam from the usual view spread among Salafists and other conservatives
Abu El Fotoh believes that implementing Sharia in the society should be on gradual basis like What Hassan Al Banna said. Of course in an interview on CBC last night , Abu El Fotoh said that when it comes to Islamic Sharia and legislation, it is the role of the parliament as an advocate of the semi-presidential system.
Of course the question we should ask ourselves is will Salafists lobby for Abu El Fotoh for elections  on the ground for real ??
Unlike the Muslim brotherhood , we are speaking about fragmented conservative groups and on the other hand I know that many of Abu El Fotoh’s ideas and openness to other political and social groups in the society will not appeal to the Salafists. Already in many of the Salafist Facebook Pages you will find comments attacking him for having Marxist unveiled woman “Rabab El Mahdi” as his political adviser.
Knowing how most Salafists think , I would not be surprised that many of them will vote for Mohamed Morsi. Already it does not make sense how they vote for someone who sees that there is no problem to elect a Christian or a woman as a president or that there is freedom in worship and people can convert as they want. 
I believe that the Salafist Political leaderships seemed to be keen enough to distance themselves politically from the Muslim brotherhood specially the MB’s popularity was going down in the street from one side and MB got clashes with SCAF from another side.  thus they chose Abu El Fotoh but when it comes to voting day , Al Nour Party and Salafist calling said that they only recommend Abu El Fotoh as candidate for their supporters but it is not an obligatory matter.
I do not defend Abu El Fotoh as he got his campaigners to defend him but I am speaking about information and data I got for weeks and I felt I should share.

3 comments:

  1. I can't believe he completely diverted from MB, he said his heart is with them but his mind isn't

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  2. That Abul Fetouh wants to please everyone already makes him a liar, that he thinks of implementing sharia means that he is not a visionary or a tolerant man at heart but a very old school who has not learned that implementing sharia is impossible because there are many schools, sects, views that go back to the start of Islam...sharia has never been implemented justly and will never be implemented justly and all the major crimes such as murder, stealing, etc are banned in all religions...it is only the punishement which is disputable. Sharia does not include personal freedoms such as veiling women or curtailing freedom of speech etc, it does not entail forced FGM or specific schools for my children....personal freedoms are no one's business but mine as long as my freedom doesn't hurt anyone then it's between God and me, and God sent down the Qur'an for each of us to be held responsible for our own actions and for no one, no one to intervene between God and me and to tell me to do what he believes God orders us to do,thats his point of view, not mine and each will be held responsible for their own actions.In other words, I don't need Abul Fetouh or Morsi or Shater or Badie or Katatny to tell me what God wants or doesn't want because I can read, listen and decide for myself, which is what God ordered us to do on Earth, be tested, God also tells us that on Judgement day, Satan will tell us "I am not responsible for your sin for I fear God Almighty". Yes I always get the impression that Abul Fetouh is at heart still part of the cult of the Ikhwan who believe that they are always right and only their point of view is right & for whom the MB Cult is number one, not Egypt....and I think anyone who wants to be president of Egypt,must have Egypt's welfare at the centre of his being.....

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  3. I think Salafis would support the strongest against MBs in general

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