Op-eds

Egypt's Opposition to Opposition: Op-Ed by Zack Gold (F09)

The National Interest

On Wednesday, December 18, Egypt’s prosecutor-general issued charges for what it called “the biggest case of conspiracy in the history of Egypt.” The statement of charges wraps deposed president Mohamed Morsi, members of his presidential staff, and leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and its political party into a grand international plot of sabotage, espionage and terrorism, beginning in 2005. Simply put, the charges basically blame the Muslim Brotherhood—with help from Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps—for all the antistate violence and chaos in Egypt.

The prosecutor-general’s statement announced that a total of thirty-six Islamist leaders were involved in “collaborating with foreign organizations to commit terrorist acts in Egypt, revealing defense secrets to a foreign country, funding terrorists and military training to achieve the purposes of the international organization of the Brotherhood.”

“Conspiracy” is the appropriately descriptive term for these charges. Without the benefit of evidence, which would be expected to be produced during a future trial, these charges rehash many of the anti-Brotherhood conspiracy theories that have circulated in the Egyptian press since the January 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak. In his own trial for crimes committedduring the January 25 Revolution, former Egyptian interior minister Habib al-Adly blatantly blamed the Brotherhood and Hamas for violence and terror in Tahrir Square.

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