Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Muslim Brotherhood and SCAF crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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More than 13 billion Egyptian pounds have been lost on the Egyptian stock market as a result of the repercussions of the recent crisis sparked by the Egyptian parliament with its Islamic majority, when it demanded that confidence be withdrawn from the current government, headed by Mr. Kamal Ganzouri.

The Egyptian parliament not only demanded that confidence be withdrawn from the current government, but the Islamists also demanded that the future government must be clear on the US aid that Egypt receives, on the grounds that America is exploiting this aid to interfere in internal affairs, attempting to undermine stability through its support and financing of civil organizations.

As everyone knows, the issue of overseas funding for civil organizations has become a major crisis that continues to cast a shadow on the political scene, because the recent achievements of NGOs in Egypt has led to accusations that their activists are in fact American citizens; a matter that concluded with the defendants paying bail and fleeing abroad. Yet this only exacerbated the internal problems, and following the previous crisis between the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the US, we can say there is now a crisis today between the Egyptian parliament and the government, after those wanted in connection with the overseas funding case were released and travelled abroad.

Through a closer examination of this case we can see that SCAF has been subjected to many pressures from the US, for example the threat of cutting off US aid to Egypt, which the Egyptian people rely upon. America sees this as the ideal weapon that can be used whenever the Egyptian government’s conduct is not commensurate with the will and desires of the US, and it finds a source of influence from this aid within Egyptian society.

It is worth mentioning that this aid, amounting to around US$ 1 billion, was initiated after the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel in 1979, under the auspices of the US. This deal has made Egypt – after Israel – the largest recipient of US aid since that time, and any cut or cessation in the payment of this aid may lead to a reconsideration of the peace agreement, as it was one of the commitments made by America as a price for continuing peace between Egypt and Israel.

From here we realize the differences beginning to appear between the Islamist parties and US policy, at a time when the US is stressing the depth of its long partnership with Egypt and its support for civil organizations to promote that partnership. It is also providing support for the democratic transition and assistance to Egyptian civil society and political parties, in order to prepare for the first truly democratic elections in Egypt. This comes in contrast to the accusations of some in Egypt that the same civil organizations are trying to destabilize Egypt and prevent the achievement of the revolution’s objectives, receiving illegal funds from abroad aimed at undermining security and stability. This is despite the fact that the Egyptian government utilized two American civil organizations to monitor the recent parliamentary elections, namely the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute.

It seems that we are dealing with a deliberate policy of escalation on the part of the Islamist parties, in an attempt to put pressure on other political parties and impose an Islamic candidate for the presidency, exploiting the sentiments of the masses and rejecting all things American by consecrating the longstanding concept of the “conspiracy theory”; deeming everything that comes from America or the West as a foreign plot. The radical Islamist parties are trying to exploit this in order to end the reign of the current government and install another, where the share of these parties will be large and influential.