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.
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.
argue that the Brotherhood will still do well in parliamentary elections
because they are extremely well organised on the ground.
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.”
with the Brotherhood’s failure comes the failure of US foreign policy, Abdo
“The US has
lost the Islamists, Egyptian society and the military,” she warns.
Islamist groups that they should never trust the US, because they are just
backing whoever is on top.”
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