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Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’s Challenge : Catch Up with the Times.

Presented by Amelia.

ARAB  REFORM  INITIATIVE

ARI is a consortium of policy analysis institutes, founded in 2005, that mobilizes research capacity to advance democratic change in Arab countries.

Their website: arab-reform.net .

Waseem HAFEZ

The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria: Illusion and Reality. 2015/11

 

 

Excerpts:

 

 

In addition to the generational organisational crisis, the Brotherhood has also failed to effectively incorporate women representatives, professionalise its elite, or establish a meaningful media presence. These trends represent a certain failure on the part of the organization to respond to the times.

Women representatives are clearly lacking in the Brotherhood’s leadership; there is often only one woman, if that, in Brotherhood offices, with very limited involvement. Despite the Brotherhood’s recent, and overdue, interest in improving this, they have not transformed theoretical interest into tangible results.

They justify the lack of female representation in the Brotherhood with long years of being prosecuted, banned, and forced into exile, saying that they do not want women to suffer the same harassment as men. Women have almost no participation in the Brotherhood organizationally, and as a result, the Brotherhood is not as popular in the community as other religious movements who do integrate women.

The Brotherhood also lacks political cadres with a vision, and who are skilled at debate. Although the Brotherhood is familiar with the latest communication technology, it does not have a distinctive rhetoric aimed at others, particularly their political partners or rivals. Their rhetoric has remained the preserve of the political leadership, which is made up exclusively of the elderly.

With the exception of a few policy papers and statements, they have not produced anything that explains their political position on many new issues in Syria. Overall, they have not presented any specific new programs or visions of note, nor given a clear impression of their position.

The Brotherhood also lacks a regular media presence that could present their views and define new directions. For example, it does not engage with current affairs, and is unable to express its position on issues such as al-Qaeda, the Brotherhood’s poor performance in Egypt, or the current US-led coalition.

They do not deny this, but neither have they taken any steps to remedy this weakness. Perhaps their neglect of the media is motivated by the same rationale behind many of their decisions: an aversion to transparency.

 

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