Monday, April 02, 2012

Egyptians have learned the wrong lessons from the revolution

After months of insisting that they will not field a presidential candidate, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood nominated their deputy supreme guide Khairat al-Shater to be Egypt's president.

Liberals who were trounced in the parliamentary elections are upset. So what are they doing?

The number fans of a Facebook page against the Muslim Brotherhood’s nomination of its former deputy supreme guide, Khairat al-Shater, surpassed that of Shater’s official fan page on Monday.

Shater’s official campaign page has attracted 62,300 fans, while the page against him, “I will not vote for Shater,” has gained 76,500.

The official page supporting Shater for president was first created on Saturday after the Brotherhood announced his nomination. Hours later, an opposing Facebook campaign also emerged.

“The number of our fans surpassed that of Khairat al-Shater’s official page in less than 24 hours,” the opposing campaign said in one of its posts on Monday. The response is considered a strong message of disapproval for the Brotherhood.

An even stronger message, the page’s organizers said, would be if the number of fans doubles that of Shater’s official page.
Hey, Egypt: Facebook isn't what brought down Mubarak. It was merely a tool to help organize rallies, and once the ball got rolling the newspapers and other media took over. Putting up a Facebook page against Shater is literally meaningless if you don't have an alternate candidate.

And you don't. There are hundreds of potential candidates for president. If all the MB supporters vote for Shater, and liberal votes get split among the remainder, then Shater wins. The only credible non-Islamist candidate seems to be Amr Moussa, and even if there was a runoff, the Islamists win anyway. (Before Shater entered the race, the Salafist candidate had a very good chance of at least making it to a runoff vote.)

Egyptian liberals seem to think that if they don't like the new leader, they just need another couple of big rallies in Tahrir Square and they can get another chance. They are not organized nearly as well as the Islamists.

Egypt is doomed to become an Islamist state. The liberals have learned nothing from their huge loss in the parliamentary elections. In the end, the liberals will flee to the West rather than fight for Egypt, where they can congratulate themselves on their ability to create Twitter trending topics and do absolutely nothing real.