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Geneive Abdo is quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald on the Muslim Brotherhood

August 02, 2013

Shrouded in white cloth, their names and home towns carefully printed on the fabric in black pen, the bodies lay side-by-side on the floor at a field hospital in Cairo's Nasr City.

Their deaths - five of the 72 supporters of the deposed Muslim Brotherhood-led government killed this week at the hands of Egyptian security forces and the armed thugs who fight beside them - marked another crisis point for the Islamic movement that in just one year had risen to the heights of political power and then crashed back to earth.

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Indeed many who are disappointed in the Brotherhood's performance in government will simply vote for another Islamist party next time, says Geneive Abdo, a Middle East fellow at the Washington-based Stimson Centre.

"I would argue that the Brotherhood will still do well in parliamentary elections because they are extremely well organised on the ground.

"They failed in a leadership role but they are back in the underdog role that they have historically played very well," she says. "We shouldn't underestimate them. It is the largest Islamist group in Egypt and Egypt is a very, very religious and socially conservative society."

Hand-in-hand with the Brotherhood's failure comes the failure of US foreign policy, Abdo says.

"The US has lost the Islamists, Egyptian society and the military," she warns.

"This shows Islamist groups that they should never trust the US, because they are just backing whoever is on top."

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