Part of Foreign Affairs Report: Morsi and Beyond

Why the Brotherhood Won't Back Down

The Battle for Cairo

Army soldiers don gas masks before clashes with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, July 8, 2013.
Army soldiers don gas masks before clashes with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, July 8, 2013. (Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Courtesy Reuters)

After only one year in power, during which its blatantly autocratic behavior alienated millions of Egyptians, the Muslim Brotherhood is back where it started. For six decades before the 2011 uprising, the group sat in the opposition, under fire from a military regime. This time, even after security forces unseated President Mohamed Morsi, detained top Muslim Brotherhood leaders and reportedly issued arrest warrants for about 300 more, shut down the group’s television station, closed some of its offices, and then killed 53 and wounded hundreds at a demonstration outside of the Republican Guard headquarters in Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood does not seem ready to go quietly. It has called for an intifada and has repeatedly vowed escalate its protests until Morsi is reinstated.

To some extent, the Muslim Brotherhood’s determination to keep fighting is a product of how it views the events of the past week. Morsi, the organization argues, was an elected president with three more years left in his term. Therefore, it says, he should be allowed to complete that term and then face the voters in the next elections, whether he was a good president or not.

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