It goes without saying that the Egyptian crisis is now beyond repair. None of the parties involved, including the military, have the power to resolve the conflict that the country seems destined to engage in. At some point there was hope for such a solution, but it now all seems that we are heading to an unprecedented economic and political disaster of epic proportions, with the complete collapse of all state institutions, alongside with the economy.
On the flipside, such disasters offer some unique opportunities for those entrepreneurially minded; for example, anyone starting a private security company now will be making insane money in the near future.
Given that I mainly work in the area of social media, my new business of choice will be a dating website for former Muslims to find like-minded partners in their countries. I bet that by the end of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule of Egypt, I can have as many users as Facebook does in this blessed country. As the old saying (that I just made up) goes “Wherever there is a crisis of faith, there is an opportunity”.
I am not the first or the last person to write about Egyptian Muslims’ crisis of faith that started the moment Islamists took power and enlightened Egyptians on the fantastic legislations and policies they wanted to implement in the name of Shari’a, with Islamic jurisprudence to back it up. I also will spare you anecdotal evidence on the rise of atheists in Egypt, or the kind of conversations that are now acceptable to have in Egyptian society.
I will simply propose the following argument: What is happening in Egypt, no matter how unfortunate, seems to have a single silver lining, which is the complete and utter defeat of the political Islam project worldwide. At this point, it seems that Egypt’s destiny is to either defeat or contain Islamism, thanks to the Muslim Brotherhood, who is now officially the most ferocious enemy that Islam as a faith has ever seen.
Locally it is easy to make that case. The utilisation of Islam and Shari’a as the sine qua non for all political events and legislation- no matter how absurd, corrupt or self-serving- was bound to run out of effectiveness eventually. Once that started happening, the intellectual bankruptcy of the Islamist ideology became clear.
Their Islamic state is nothing but a reshuffling of the Mubarak state, without actually reforming or fixing it in any real way, nor an actual vision of how an actual model for an Islamic state would function. Their “Shari’a constitution”, while centralises power, preserves corruption and removes checks and balances, does not truly represent or openly preach Shari’a, much to the chagrin of many Salafis.
Their Islamic economic plans and policies are notions or fantasies that show that they have the understanding of economic policy of an eighth grader, and their social policies, especially when it comes to women, seems to truly aim at bringing back the middle ages.
Having that level of failure associated with Islam generally, and political Islam specifically, is bound to make them both lose credibility even amongst the truest of believers, half being in shock of what can be done in the name of their religion and the other half openly wondering where is the divine blessings that are supposed to be showered upon them from heaven due to supporting Allah’s people. As disenchantment with political Islam grows, so does disenchantment with the religion itself, which many believers are finding both distressing and inescapable. Secularism would have saved you that trouble.
On the international level, it is safe to say that what is happening in Egypt is destroying the international Muslim Brotherhood project, as Egypt is becoming less of a role model and more of a cautionary tale. While Pakistan infamously announced that they do not intend to follow the Egyptian model, this was only the harbinger of what was to come.
Moroccan politicians have openly warned of the Egyptianisation of Morocco as they attack talking points against the Moroccan Brotherhood. The UAE government is now openly at war with Brotherhood cells, along with Kuwait, who are calling the local branch as agents of Egypt.
The Jordanian government has effectively used what is happening in Egypt to discredit and marginalise their local branch, and the Syrian opposition is becoming equally wary with aligning with any Islamist, whether Brotherhood or others.
When it comes to the west, the damage is even greater. In the US, the myth that the Muslim Brotherhood are democratic reformers is all but dead, and the notion that they are reliable partners is also being equally challenged. Europe, on the other hand, only had one question that they needed answered: Is Islam compatible with Democracy and human rights? The answer that they received from observing the situation so far has been “No”.
The effect of them reaching that realisation will have serious consequences in regards to European immigration policies and laws, let alone elections of parties with extreme, if not prejudiced views, towards Muslims. A friend of mine who is a professional Islamic apologist, who spent the past 10 years jet-setting Europe being invited to inter-faith dialogue conferences where he would argue Islam’s democratic heritage and values, informed me that the invites to such conferences have stopped coming for a while now. “They are not interested in listening anymore,” were his exact words.
Of all three Abrahamic religions, Islam seemed to be the one with the most staying power, and the one destined to take over Europe over the next half century. This is no longer the case, with every enemy or critic of Islam or Islamism now has all the evidence they ever needed to back their fair or unfair arguments thanks to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.
As for Egyptian citizens, they are very close to an open civil conflict with the Islamist forces, which will either end in the defeat of the Islamists and their rhetoric forever, or with the Islamist forces hanging by a thread to power here as the entire society shifts away from the religion, much like Iran did, but on a much faster pace.
Egypt’s Islamists have waited 80 years to get into power, and now that they have, the countdown to their now-inevitable fall has begun. One day we will all live in a secular Egypt, and it will all be thanks to the Muslim Brotherhood.