x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Muslims Brothers in UAE 'going bankrupt'

The Brotherhood has lost everything, writers for an Arabic-language newspaper say. Other topics: Nato's pledge to Turkey, and a disillusioned revolutionary.

Muslim Brothers in UAE going 'bankrupt' as their base in Egypt becomes weaker

Yesterday's edition of the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper Al Ittihad featured three opinion articles about the Muslim Brotherhood. Two of them suggested that the Brothers's model and rhetoric have gone "bankrupt" in the UAE and Egypt.

"In less than two years, the Muslim Brothers in the UAE have lost everything they had managed to accrue - secretly or in the open - over a period of 30 years," wrote Mohammed Al Hammadi, an Emirati journalist. The Brothers in the UAE have only themselves to blame for having lost all their earlier gains, he wrote.

"They started this with their continuous offensive against the state, followed it up with their attempts to import the Arab Spring to the Emirates, and later engaged in incitement against state institutions, disputing the integrity of the judiciary and government officials, and criticising regular citizens for not standing by their side," the writer added. "To top it all, they started collaborating with third parties on the outside."

And, recently, they resorted to the foreign press to level "unfounded accusations" at the UAE establishment, the writer noted.

"The Muslim Brothers have gone so bankrupt in the UAE that they are now certain they cannot rely on their shrinking support base. Even the help they were hoping to get from their fellows in other Gulf states was meagre … So, in despair, they decided to seek empowerment from foreign governments and funding from dubious sources," Al Hammadi wrote.

No one expected the Muslim Brothers in the UAE - who refer to themselves as Daawat Al Islah (Call for Reform) - to go down that road, he added.

Dr Abdul Hameed Al Ansari, a Qatari writer, argued that the Muslim Brotherhood had been running affairs in Egypt with a level of "opportunistic" pragmatism that was reminiscent of the old regime.

President Mohammed Morsi said last month that Egypt was not an enemy of the US, nor was it going to bow to Washington's wishes in the manner of the toppled Mubarak regime. But he made sure to add that Egypt and the US were "friends".

"How did yesterday's enemies suddenly become friends today? How can the leaders of the Brotherhood justify their courtship of the US and the West after having led boycott campaigns against them [when they were in the opposition]?"

The Brotherhood would usually counter this by saying that they are dealing with the West on the basis of mutual respect and not dependence; that they are making tactical concessions to bolster stability and favour domestic economic development; that they are looking ahead.

But, the writer argued, they never mention that these excuses had been used before by the regime they have long accused of being obsequious.

Turkey in dilemma over Nato's stand

Turkey and Syria continued to trade fire. Syria said its reported apology to Turkey after the attack that left five civilians dead in Turkey was inaccurate. This indicates that Syria is in no mood to put a pause to hostilities, commented Abdel Bari Atwan, in the pan-Arab newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi.

Turkey has fired on Syrian targets in retaliation for the shelling of the Turkish border town of Akcakale, although the Syrian authorities have not reported any damage.

"It is unknown whether Syria is being secretive over this [damage] or the Turkish mortars were fired on unpopulated areas to avoid further escalation," he noted.

However, it is certain that Syria has started to feel the heat of Turkey's backing of the Free Syrian Army, hence its decision to "harass" its neighbour.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey, has reiterated his country's preparedness for a war with Syria. He rebuked the opposition Republican People's Party over its stand on a possible war.

Mr Erdogan's disappointment was greater with the Nato that has only condemned the Syrian attacks and urged Turkey to avoid an escalation, the writer said.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Nato secretary general, expressed the organisation's readiness to stand by Turkey, but can Mr Erdogan count on this statement during a crisis?

Member of revolution migrates in frustration

"It was a big surprise to know that a respectable member of staff in a Copenhagen hotel was an Egyptian-educated young man from the generation of the January 25 revolution," wrote Wael Kandil in the Cairo-based newspaper Al Shorouk.

Omar, who decided to pursue his medical studies abroad, was a doctor who served during the Egyptian revolution, the writer mentioned.

He was member of a team of young men and women that set up hospitals in the heart of Tahrir Square to treat the injured, he added.

However, when the revolution ousted the head of the former regime, the young doctor, like millions of Egyptians, hoped for a new dawn. But the dream gradually waned as the policies of the old regime continued, bringing frustration among the youth.

This young man was one of thousands who would shout out, "We don't feel the change", before he headed to Denmark to work at a hotel to pay his tuition fees.

Omar has no regrets about supporting the Egyptian revolution, but he feels bitter about the tendency to turn victories into failures.


* Digest compiled by Abdelhafid Ezzouitni