Muhammad Mursi, representative of the Muslim brothers, was elected president of Egypt, and even if this movement does not last long in this country, the precedent has already been established. The association of Muslim brothers has become the best organized force in the country and the main U.S. partner.
All this is not accidental since the association has been in Egypt for already 80 years, and if we say a civil society is present in the Muslim country, we should state it is composed of the Muslim brothers.
Currently, the Association of Muslim brothers is a disorganized organization which has lost its traditional links and control measures. The formal structure of the Association still exists, some procedures are there but there is an independent organization of Muslim brothers in almost every country.
Anyway, in Egypt, some “lodges” of “brothers” are not only well-organized political forces but they also influence a lot of Muslim countries. Now the Muslim brothers cooperate with the Saudi government and other Islam organizations on issues relating to the line of contact. The organizations of the Muslim brothers in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are ideologically different from traditional ideas elaborated in Egypt’s Hasan al-Banna theological school. Now, the Muslim brothers have political influence on three Muslim states and pretend to political power in Egypt, Sudan and Syria.
In Egypt, the Association is the basis of the opposition and pretends to power. We need to understand that the Muslim brothers in some countries are too “nationalized”. They represent first of all the national interests. This has been proved by the position of the “brothers” in Jordan and Libya, as well as Qatar. For the “classic lodges” of the Muslim brothers, the Salafi ideas are unacceptable.
Now, the U.S. has close ties with the “brothers” of Egypt trying to establish principled relations. It is clear that any government of Egypt should try to ensure income from tourism, the U.S. economic aid, as well as strategic relations with the latter, which guarantee Egypt’s leading role in the Arab World. The Egyptian community has already felt what the withdrawal of the country from the state of a macro power means, as well as the loss of traditional regional positions.
The Egyptian community, which is diverse but nationalistic, will try to get back the country’s former role. The Arab countries have also felt discomfort due to Egypt’s loss of its role when Turkey and Iran had strong positions in the region. With the disruption of Iraq and Libya, the Arab world understood that only powerful Egypt may be leader of the Arab people. Despite its immense military and political expenditure, Saudi Arabia failed to become an Arab leader.
It should be noted that the social supporters of forces competing in Egypt are similar. Both representatives of the former regime and Muslim brothers are supported by bourgeoisie, intelligentsia, the clergy and the military. For this reason, a high level of nationalistic and political ambitions should be expected from the new elite of Egypt. Anyway, in regards to foreign policy, the Egyptian elite and the U.S. are interested in keeping other countries, especially Turkey and Iran, from gaining influence in the Arab world.