If you thought the Muslim Brotherhood would sit back and watch this golden opportunity in Egypt pass them by you were horribly mistaken. The disciplined and organized Islamist groups are already stealing the revolution from the youth groups.
An Egyptian protester shouts slogans at Tahrir Square in Cairo April 1, 2011. Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Tahrir Square calling for the demands of the revolution that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak from power to be met. (REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El-Ghany)
Today thousands of protesters rallied in Tahrir Square in Cairo. But it may be too late.
Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Cairo’s famous Tahrir Square on Friday, as part of an effort by liberal activists to revive their movement after a series of perceived political set-backs. Dubbed the “Friday to Save the Revolution,” the rally is an effort to show opposition to a recent proposed law which would criminalize protests. It is also an effort to re-assert the youth movement which drove former president Hosni Mubarak from power.
Many liberal activists fear they have been side-lined since Mubarak’s February 11 overthrow by Egypt’s ruling military council and by more politically-experienced Islamist groups, well disciplined after operating for decades in secret while facing harsh persecution.
“We want to ensure that our revolution is not stolen from us,” The group denounced a recent raid by soldiers to break up a sit-in at Cairo University. It also demanded the prosecution of several former allies of Mubarak and the removal of Mubarak supporters from top positions at Egyptian television stations and newspapers.
In a recent interview with CNN, a spokesman for the Youth Coalition conceded that liberal groups were scrambling to catch up with better-established political organizations like the 83-year old Muslim Brotherhood ahead of parliamentary elections, scheduled to take place in September.
“We are in a competition with time,” said Mohamed Taman, an artist who suffered a bullet wound to the eye from security forces during the protests that began on January 25th. “For the next parliament elections we are sure that we will not be able to be ready.”
Unfortunately, Obama Administration officials won’t be much help to these Egyptian freedom fighters. They’re too busy fighting a kinetic military operation in Libya to notice that Egypt is being lost to the Islamists.
Good luck kids.