Journal: Egypt Elections–Muslim Brotherhood Loses, Internet Wins

08 Wild Cards, Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Cultural Intelligence, Government, Mobile

Philip N. Howard
Philip N. Howard

Professor and Director of Project on Information Technology and Political Islam

Posted: December 3, 2010 10:57 AM

EXTRACT:

But Mubarak’s real enemy is no longer the Muslim Brotherhood. It is a complex, fractured umbrella group, and the practice of faith and opposition to Mubarak may not be enough to hold it together much longer. There is also the Kefaya movement, a loosely organized network of cosmopolitan Nasserites, Islamists, and leftists, that has organized some successful protests but has lost some momentum.

Mubarak’s real opponents are tech-savvy activists and wired civic groups.

In the last few years, the internet has become the primary incubator of democratic political conversation. The state has never had this role, and the Muslim Brotherhood is no longer the exclusive provider. Instead, civil society in Egypt has moved online, using the information infrastructure of digital media as the place for difficult political conversations about regime change, gender and political life, and transnational Islamic identity.

This infrastructure is beyond the reach of the state.

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