Opposition groups reject MB’s olive branch

Several revolutionary forces have spoken out against the Muslim Brotherhood’s statement calling for a unified coalition with opposition forces, issued Wednesday under the title “The Muslim Brotherhood calls for the unity of revolutionary powers.”

Deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s recent acquittal on charges of conspiring to murder protesters should unite political forces, just as they were united on January 25, 2011, so that Egyptians can regain “their real revolution and realize their demands for bread, freedom and human dignity,” the statement declared.

A group identifying itself as the Muslim Brotherhood Youth had issued a similar call earlier in the week. However, Wednesday’s statement clarified that they were not affiliated with the official Brotherhood organization.

The Brotherhood is committed to peaceful resistance, which it considers to be “the only path to break the coup,” the statement continued, adding that the group was dedicated to the unity of Egyptian society and rejected sectarian rhetoric.

The statement concluded by underscoring the Brotherhood’s intention to create a diverse alliance including political powers, human rights organizations and NGOs to oppose the current government.

However, most revolutionary powers said even if the statement was genuine, such a coalition would be difficult to achieve.

“When we talk about collaboration with the Muslim Brotherhood, we have to ask two essential questions: collaboration with whom? And on what?” explained Mahmoud Ezzat, a member of the Revolutionary Socialists political bureau.

It would be impossible for the Revolutionary Socialists to collaborate with a group that employs sectarian slogans and tactics to mobilize its followers, Ezzat told Mada Masr.

The two groups do not share any common goals, Ezzat continued. While the Revolutionary Socialists are opposed to the current administration, it does not agree with the Brotherhood’s demand to revive ousted President Mohamed Morsi’s government, and opposes their belief that Morsi is Egypt’s legitimate president, he argued.

Ezzat dismissed Wednesday’s statement as a rhetorical attempt to improve the Brotherhood’s image.

Mohamed Othman, a leading member of the Strong Egypt Party, also told Mada Masr that his party would not collaborate with the Brotherhood due to the discourse of its current leaders.

The situation now is much more complicated now than it was in 2011, when all political opposition forces worked together, Othman asserted.

“There are no guarantees that the Brotherhood will keep its word,” Othman said, “and there is no intention from other political forces, like the Nasserists, to apologize for their superiority in dealing with Islamic movements and their silence toward the vengeful and exclusionary policies used against the Brotherhood.”

Hamdy Keshta, a member of the April 6 Youth Movement, echoed these sentiments.

He told Mada Masr that the party rejected any dealings with the Brotherhood, though it would be possible for group members to collaborate at the individual level in their own personal capacity, as long as the Brotherhood representatives remained peaceful and did not demand Morsi’s return.

These, Keshta asserted, were the terms of collaboration dictated by the street. 

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