Is it an inevitable clash?

By Fahed Khitan

Both parties hide behind their bulwark-position; the government from one end and the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood from the other — though I do not know if the name is appropriate, after the group has been licensed legally through a new leadership. The first party is determined to organize celebration and events at the place and time specified. The second party, represented by the Ministry of Interior, authority on events and public gatherings, vowed to stop them.

اضافة اعلان

What will happen then? The two sides go to the site and then the clash happens?

Maybe the Ministry of Interior is considering a pre-emptive step that is to seal-off the entire area, preventing participants from accessing the site.

But that does not negate the possibility of confrontation between security forces and the group’s activists.

There are those who believe that the parties want that. Why?

The government wants to take advantage of the group's determination to break the law to settle accounts with it permanently. And to take all necessary steps to ban the "illegal leadership" in one move, rather than wait for a series of judicial and official procedures put in place by the legitimate leadership.

Some of the most conservative symbols within the group’s leadership find it sufficient — at this hard time — to publicize a few pictures and video segments for their supporters dispersed by force and tear gas to gain sympathy internally and externally, and embarrass the government before the public and global human rights organizations.

It is clear from the interior minister's remarks that the government is willing to pay the price, in exchange for preventing the march of the Brotherhood. The government is aware that the session held in a public place, with the presence of a large audience will serve as a display of power of a leadership whose legitimacy has been revoked by a government decision.

Is it possible to avoid the test done in public?

Before attempting to answer, the cost of a clash in public should be considered. The group, and since almost two years, moved — due to internal and regional developments — from attacking, which was its landmark position at the beginning of the "Arab Spring", to self defense. The conditions did not change the least, not even the balance of power. The best we can do now is close the door on the leadership of the group itself and looking for exits from its internal crisis.

The state is not in an internal war position, but it is on high alert. Compromises were always key to overcome internal crises. But before we reach Friday, we should employ all our efforts to avoid a clash. For example, the parties should consider the proposal to organize the event in a closed room, rather than in a public arena.

There is another option the government can resort to in the end; it can allow event at the same place, especially that the organizers have filed a formal request. The government has said from the outset that it is not a party in the internal crisis of the Brotherhood. If this is their position, it should allow both sides of the brotherhood to fight it off peacefully, and that who wins the majority wins.

In all cases, the government will watch the show.

@fahed_khitan

 

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition