Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Fatimid Brotherhood | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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In this Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 file photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, center, and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, center right, participate in an arrival ceremony at the airport in Cairo, Egypt. (AP Photo)

Those busiest in Egypt today are the lawyers and the judiciary, in light of the rapid pace in which successive court rulings are being issued for a variety of different cases, particularly those involving past supporters and affiliates of the Hosni Mubarak regime. Intriguingly, the Egyptian judiciary has recently set about releasing the former officials who formed the backbone of the former regime, such as Ahmad Fathi Sorour, Safwat El-Sherif, Zakaria Azmi, Sameh Fahmi, and so on. Today, the Egyptian people anticipate that a ruling will be issued in less than two weeks overturning the sentence against former president Hosni Mubarak, imprisoned for killing demonstrators. Many are expecting that Mubarak will be declared innocent and be released.

Some influential lawyers in Egypt are now talking of a legal way out: The current regime is well aware that President Mursi “in theory and in practice” could be prosecuted for the same charge of killing demonstrators that Mubarak was prosecuted for. Indeed, Egypt has witnessed the deaths of scores of people in various scenes and situations under Mursi. Thus, today the regime is keen to close old files that have only wasted precious time and opened up new fronts, and is seeking to rearrange its priorities.

Perhaps the strangest of the regime’s current priorities is its political rapprochement with Iran. It is unclear whether the Mursi regime’s recent inclination towards Iran comes in response to the promised economic carrot of considerable Iranian investments and tourism, which Egypt is in desperate need of, or whether it is merely an act to provoke the Gulf states, which have adopted preemptive stances and are harboring doubts about the Muslim Brotherhood’s political positions.

I asked an experienced Egyptian politician in a bid to understand the Muslim Brotherhood’s position towards Iran in particular. He brushed off the significance of recent events, stating that “it is a matter of two guides sounding each other out.” Yet, when reading between the lines, I could not help but feel deeply concerned about the intentions and agendas of the two sides, and how in their case, the end seems to justify the means. Iran is yearning for Fatimid Egypt, and is seeking to revive it in its own manner, style, intellect, and culture. The Brotherhood want to benefit from Iran’s desire to dominate Egypt and occupy the heart of the Arab world, and they are exploiting this greed to fund their own plans and projects whether in Egypt or abroad. This is a highly suspicious partnership that goes beyond normal limitations. This ‘rapprochement’, being conducted for all the wrong reasons, will have a negative impact on several regional issues and relations, and will further increase the overall state of concern, tension, and fear. Some parties are only too happy for the situation to develop in this way, because it will help them to accomplish their private goals and aspirations.

Difficult days lie ahead, and we must be aware of what is going on.