Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Mother of all theories | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A year on from the downfall of Egypt’s former President Hosni Mubarak, and attempts to analyze and interpret the way in which things turned out are still underway. As tension heightens and violence, bloodshed and anger increases, reactions are becoming stronger. Multiple “theories” and “perceptions” interpreting what has happened and the reasons for it have been proposed. Personally, I have considered many of them, but I must admit that the most interesting and surprising came from a friend of mine during a meeting one day. We were exchanging words and views about the situation in Egypt, its consequences and the relationship between the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the Muslim Brotherhood, whether in the present or in the past. Then my friend surprised me with a piece of information which serves as the focal point of an intriguing theory interpreting what happened in Egypt.

The information revealed that the half-brother and half-sister of Suzanne Mubarak, the wife of the former Egyptian president, are related to Ma’moun al-Hudaibi, a very important and historic leader in the Muslim Brotherhood movement. The half-siblings I am referring to here are Juheyna and Mohammed. According to my friend’s account, the Muslim Brotherhood realized at one stage that they would not be able to come to power through the traditional path they had been dreaming of, so they tried to change the plan and ensure that power was instead bequeathed to their “son” Jamal Mubarak, from within the ruling house. Ever since 2005, the influence of Jamal and his mother over Hosni Mubarak’s decisions became clear, as two contrasting lines began to steer the wheel of power in Egypt. They were loosely termed “the old guard” and “the new guard”. The man running the affairs of the latter for Jamal Mubarak was a family “friend” named Ahmed Ezz, whose father is a background leader in the Muslim Brotherhood.

Preparations for the power bequeathal plan were initiated by amending some clauses in the constitution. Then Jamal Mubarak became head of the National Democratic Party’s policies committee, an instrument effectively operating the country’s executive affairs, especially the economic aspects. But Hosni Mubarak, initially through pressure from the military, was facing increasing opposition to the succession idea. It was mainly the political left-wing that opposed this idea through political movements such as Kefaya [the Egyptian Movement for Change]. This is in addition to the brave newspapers and television shows that used to covertly and sometimes openly speak out against the power bequeathal project and its advocates, until the 2010 parliamentary elections exposed the hatched plot and matters began to deviate from the acceptable. It was clear here that the military felt that Hosni Mubarak’s reign had “come to an end”, and that the Muslim Brotherhood would rise to power through Jamal Mubarak. Hence, the pivotal question is: Did the military abandon Mubarak [during the January 25th revolution] in a move against the succession plan, as it appears on the surface, or was it actually a move against the Muslim Brotherhood’s imminent control over the military and the government? This might explain the “speed” with which the military moved to cut some sort of deal with the Muslim Brotherhood, without actually handing over power. The quickly-held March 19th referendum, supervised by former long-serving Brotherhood member Tarek el-Bishry, could also corroborate this interpretation.

At present, the upcoming political scene in Egypt will be based on the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood and their Freedom and Justice Party. However, they will not be in possession of the entire power package. The military and its symbols shall be playing a key, pivotal and indispensable role. In retrospect, this might explain the Muslim Brotherhood’s lack of enthusiasm to rise against Mubarak in the early days of the revolution. However, once they realized the regime would inevitably fall, they took to the streets to fully exploit the circumstances. Thus, they have reaped all the gains so far. It is worth noting that the Muslim Brotherhood were the most prepared for such an upheaval due to the popular foundation and political structure that they have developed over many years.

Of course this is just a theory. Nevertheless, it is quite an interesting one. This theory could pave the way for further discussions to discover the secrets of what actually happened, and what caused the fall of Hosni Mubarak. Up until this moment, many chapters of this story are yet to be revealed.