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Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood versus SCAF – the Fall of the Masks?

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

“A million men march to demand the fall of Ganzouri's cabinet” read the official newspaper of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood) after events that have left the Egyptian population baffled. “How did it all start?” was the question being asked by everyone. How did the close relationship between Egypt's military council (SCAF) and the nearly controlling political majority lead to a “bad breakup”?

The series of accusations erupted when the FJP issued a statement [ar]:

Reasons given by the Freedom and Justice Party for opposing the current government.

Reasons behind our refusal of Ganzouri's government
- Keeping the government will raise suspicions about the fairness of the elections and the referendum on the constitution
- Does SCAF want to thwart the revolution, make the people despair, and rig the elections?
- SCAF has threatened to dissolve parliament by appealing against the Head of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
- SCAF's insistence on keeping a failing government in power means they want to thwart the revolution, make the people despair, and rig the elections

SCAF's response was as provocative as the Muslim Brotherhood's statements, bringing to mind the events of 1954 when the Muslim Brotherhood were blamed, banned, thrown into prisons, and tortured by the authorities. SCAF has stated that accusations of rigging the elections were a slander. They also used a threatening tone when they asked “certain political forces” to learn the lessons of the past.

The public was left wondering what will happen in this game of rivalry between the people in power and the people yet to be handed power. Will they clash or was it just one of the acts in the political play Egypt is enacting nowadays?

Simultaneously, the Muslim Brotherhood tried to step up their game, and announced that Khairat Al Shater, former deputy supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood and businessman tycoon, is their choice in Egypt's alternating Presidency act. The decision was shocking, even for members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party.

Many people viewed it as the wrong one, with some claiming it to be a sign of “the beginning of the end”. Others referred to the Muslim Brotherhood as the new NDP, where authority and money become a dominating factor for control.

Social media users have been on a mission to act as analysts and give their opinions and views regarding the bizarre choice:

Khaled El Baramawy [ar] compared Shater to Aboul Fotouh (a leading Brotherhood figure who was expelled after announcing his intention to run for president) and sarcastically tweeted:

@Egypress : مره واحد رشح نفسه اتفصل … قام اللي فصله رشح نفسه سبــــــــــــــــحان الله.. يعنى قاله ماعنديش وهو كان عنده جوة ! ‎‬#Egypt‪‏ ‎‬#Ikhwan‪

Once upon a time, someone nominated himself and was expelled, then the person who expelled him…nominated himself

Taqadum El Khatib [ar] tweeted:

@Taqadum : الإخوان ..كاذبون كاذبون كاذبون كاذبون كاذبون كاذبون …إلى شباب الإخوان استقيلوا يرحمكم الله واتركوا القيادات الكذابة ‎‬#ikhwan‪

The Muslim Brotherhood are…liars liars liars liars liars. To the Brotherhood youth: resign and leave your lying leaders

Wael Eskaner had a more balanced view:

@weskandar: If Al-Shater is the consensus candidate then the #SCAF is the #Ikhwan. It's very unlikely that he is.

Ahmed Aggour tweeted:

@Psypherize: The oppressed have become the oppressors. #Ikhwan

Hassan El Shater, one of Khairat El Shater's 10 children, was not the happiest with his dad's nomination when he tweeted:

@Hassan_elShater : Unfortunately dad is running for presidency! :s

No one really knows what the conclusion of the political play in Egypt will be, but one thing is certain, Egyptians are witnessing an exciting period and they alone will determine their history.

This post is part of our special coverage Egypt Revolution 2011.

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