Activist groups reject MB call to unite

Following a statement issued by the Muslim Brotherhood apologizing for its mistakes and inviting revolutionary forces to unite on the anniversary of the January 25 revolution, activist groups refused to join forces with the group.

In a statement issued Tuesday commemorating the third anniversary of the 25 January revolution, the Brotherhood called on all groups to unite their efforts. The Islamist organization apologized for its mistakes, but set them within the wider context of a trap, which they maintained all revolutionary groups fell for.

The current situation “is a result of international, regional and local conspiracies that made use of the mistakes that we, the various revolutionaries of January 25, made by deviating from the spirit of the revolution — which is symbolized in unity and selflessness — and when we allowed animosity and competition to fester between us. And though everyone made mistakes, we do not absolve ourselves of our mistake when we trusted the military council,” the statement said.

The Brotherhood invited “everyone” to honor the revolution and its martyrs by uniting again and continuing the path, so as “not to be fooled again by the attempts of the military to create divisions and conflicts between revolutionaries,” the statement continued.

Hesham Fouad, spokesperson for the Revolutionary Socialists, said that the group cannot cooperate with the Muslim Brotherhood because they differ in their motives and goals.

He added that while the Revolutionary Socialists oppose Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and military rule, they do not share the Muslim Brotherhood’s demand for the return of former President Mohamed Morsi to power.

Fouad said that the Revolutionary Socialists would participate in the January 25 protests as part of the “revolution path coalition.”

“Our goal is to create a third option so that people are not stuck between the military and the Brotherhood. There has to be a third way for those who want to continue the path of the revolution,” he said.

Fouad added that the group’s experiences in cooperating with the Brotherhood have been negative to date, and that, while they reject the return of the military stronghold and Mubarak-era figures, they blame the Brotherhood for allowing it to happen while they were in power.

The Brotherhood and all other revolutionary forces collaborated against the Mubarak regime in the early days of the revolution. Many revolutionary groups supported Brotherhood candidate Morsi in the presidential runoffs against Mubarak-era figure Ahmed Shafiq.

However, several of these groups have accused the Brotherhood of selling them out once they reached power by abandoning the demands of the revolution, focusing on consolidating their own power, and participating in a crackdown on revolutionaries in collaboration with the military.

April 6 Youth Movement also issued a statement on Wednesday rejecting the call for cooperation and reminding the Brotherhood that this time last year they had celebrated the triumph of the revolution following the election of Morsi and announcing that the revolution was over, even though its demands were yet to be realized.

“This means that the revolution for you is power. Sorry, our revolution is not the same as yours. You revolt for your own interests, we revolt for the demands of the people. This is the difference between us, how can we stand on your side?” the statement said.

Some members of the Brotherhood have started to individually offer their apologies for the mistakes made while they were in power.

Amr Farrag, head of Brotherhood-affiliated Rassd News Network, wrote an apology on his Facebook page to “January 25 revolutionaries,” apologizing for mistakes that he and the group made, “mistakes that led to a lot of catastrophes,” he said.

A design placing the logos of the Brotherhood, April 6 and the Revolutionary Socialists next to each other with the line “unite again, why not?” has started circulating on Facebook in the last few days.

Some activists met this proposal with sarcasm, saying that the last time these powers united, the Brotherhood sold them out when they reached power.

Fouad speculated that the Brotherhood resorted to this call for unity as an act of desperation after the severe crackdown and isolation that the group has been subjected to in recent months.

“Experience proved to them that they cannot fight against the current situation alone, especially in the absence of popular support, so they are trying to enlarge their circle of allies,” he said.

Since the removal of Morsi, the Brotherhood has been the target of a severe crackdown by the authorities. The Cabinet designated the Brotherhood a terrorist organization in December, and hundreds of members have been arrested since Morsi’s July 3 ouster. 

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