Military Lets Muslim Brotherhood Take the Heat Understanding Egypt in Year Three

By Carl Finamore

.workers and youth fill the streets leading into Tahrir Square after Mubarak resigned

Workers and youth fill the streets leading into Tahrir Square after Mubarak resigned(Photo by Carl Finamore)

The Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), gets most of the attention these days when discussing Egypt. Criticism flows easily and the FJP’s reputation has definitely been sullied and bloodied because of their numerous sectarian and undemocratic policies.

But, what appears most remarkable is that the military establishment has been relatively unscathed in the polarized battles that have erupted the last several months. In fact, this is not accidental. It is the result of very clever political maneuvering by the country’s military leaders.

It is certainly true that FJP leader, President Mohamed Morsi, made himself an easy target by recklessly misusing his extensive constitutional authority to appoint cronies and to issue unilateral decrees.

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Tunisian & Egyptian Women Place Hope in their Revolutions

by Carl Finamore

Tunisian and Egyptian women unionists in California

Several women union leaders fresh from the frontlines in Tunisia and Egypt visited California at the invitation of the Sacramento Labor Council, AFL-CIO. They first appeared at the August 16 Women of Labor conference attended by 200 women union leaders throughout the state.

In the days following, there have been other fruitful exchanges between the overseas guests and their American audiences who were quite eager to learn and, perhaps, shed some Western misconceptions about the role of women in the rebellions marking the region.

“Until now men have always considered us second class,” explained Nahed Ben Dakhla, a Women’s Committee member from Tunisia’s powerful national trade union federation, UGTT.

But in both Tunisia and Egypt, she emphasized to a August 18 meeting in San Francisco‘s Mission district, “men saw us in the front lines preventing the police from making contact. We stood between them and police bullets.

“As a result of mass participation by both men and women struggling together, the revolution has changed everything. There has been an awakening of a communal spirit. We are not going back.”

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