Muslim Brotherhood near collapse
The world’s most influential Islamist movement is in danger of collapse in the land of its birth – its leaders imprisoned, its supporters slain and its activists branded as terrorists in what many are describing as the worst crisis to confront Egypt’s 85-year-old Muslim Brotherhood.
In the week since Egypt’s new military-backed rulers ordered a brutal crackdown on camps filled with protesters calling for the reinstatement of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, the group that used its organizational muscle to win the country’s first democratic elections, held in late 2011 and early 2012, has been cast into disarray.
Analysts worry that its members, bitter and angry after the deaths of more than 1,000 of their supporters in the past week, could abandon the Brotherhood’s decades-long commitment to nonviolence, particularly as its leadership loses its grip on them. Some pro-Morsi demonstrators have been spotted with weapons, and attacks against security forces in the volatile Sinai Peninsula have intensified since Morsi was deposed July 3.
Meanwhile, the movement is battling a level of popular hostility perhaps unprecedented in its history. The Brotherhood’s strategy of confronting the government with sit-ins and marches in recent weeks seems to have only inflamed public opinion.
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