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The Draft Party Platform of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood: Foray Into Political Integration or Retreat Into Old Positions?

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Abstract:

The production of a political platform by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is a sign that real developments--some encouraging, some worrying--are occurring in Egyptian politics. While the Muslim Brotherhood is prevented by Egypt's government from forming a political party--a ban unlikely to be overturned in the near future--the release of a platform signaled what sort of party they would found if allowed to do so, according to a new report from the Carnegie Endowment.

In The Draft Party Platform of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood: Foray Into Political Integration or Retreat Into Old Positions?, Senior Associates Nathan Brown and Amr Hamzawy analyze the draft platforms mixed signals--surprising progressive reforms; regressive, controversial stances; and the chances of achieving a consensus on the anticipated final document.

Encouragingly, the platform advances notions of freedom of religion and expression, pluralistic politics, property rights, women's enfranchisement, and state sovereignty. Yet it also called for the establishment of a council of elected senior religious scholars, effectively placing the government under the scrutiny of an extra-constitutional entity--a regression from more moderate positions upheld by the movement's leadership in recent years.