Egypt Has Second Thoughts on Muslim Brotherhood
Relaxing in a vast outdoor cafe, Ahmed Awes puffed on a flavored smoke as many others here do and voiced his remorse over voting for the Muslim Brotherhood in recent parliamentary elections.
Talking politics: Egyptians discuss the country’s future in Cairo. Citizens overwhelmingly backed the Muslim Brotherhood at first, but its new political stance has given some pause.
“The main reason I don’t support the Brotherhood anymore is because they say something and do something else,” says Awes, who fixes air conditioners for a living, his skin rough and aged.
That something was the Muslim Brotherhood’s announcement that it will run a candidate for president despite a vow during the parliamentary elections that it would not. Egyptians overwhelmingly supported the Brotherhood in those elections, but some express hesitation about handing total control of their government to the party by giving it the presidency in elections slated for May.
The reaction of Awes and others who voted for the Brotherhood is a sign that some Egyptians are not yet sold on the party as the answer to all of the country’s ills, and are wary of concentrating power in one group following a 30-year dictatorship.
Uncertainty about the Brotherhood, whose Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) is one of two strong Islamist groups dominating parliament, could be found recently among many patrons in crowded tea shops and the cafes where tobacco is smoked from water pipes known as shisha.
“We don’t understand their intentions anymore,” says Mahmoud Youssef, a tailor, drinking tea and playing cards on his day off in the Abdeen neighborhood.
Mahmoud voted for the FJP in winter’s parliamentary election but no longer trusts them. Still, he says, the party has the right like any other to control the presidency and parliament.