“The Brotherhood beats the drums of victory,” headlined Egyptian newspapers Thursday morning as the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) anticipates a win in the country’s first free elections in 60 years. And while results won’t be announced Thursday as planned, the FJP is expected to secure at least 40 percent of the vote.
The results will not give an overall picture of Egypt’s state of affairs, however, as the voting this week in Cairo and Alexandria will determine only a portion of the seats for the lower house of parliament. The remaining two rounds of voting are scheduled for January, and elections for the upper house of parliament will be held upon their completion. Nevertheless, a win would certainly be a morale boost for the Brotherhood.
Muslim Brotherhood supporters campaigned heavily outside of polling stations on Nov. 28.
While the Brotherhood’s FJP proposes that it strives for a “civil state, defined as a non-military non-religious state… that respects human rights,” these words actively conflict with last Friday’s anti-Semitic Muslim Brotherhood rally held in Cairo. The 5,000 attendees of the event pledged to “one day kill all Jews” and were also reported chanting, “Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv Judgment Day has come.” Speakers at the demonstration condemned Israelis, calling them “Zionist occupiers” and “treacherous Jews.” An elementary school teacher attending the rally explained, “All Egyptian Muslims are willing to embark on jihad for the sake of Palestine.”
Meanwhile, on Thursday a leading member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP) accused the Muslim Brotherhood of voter fraud. According to Farid Zahran, the Brotherhood engaged in ballot stuffing, harassed non-veiled women, barred Coptic citizens from voting, campaigned in front of polling stations, and entered polling stations with illiterate voters to direct them towards FJP candidates.
It’s clear the Muslim Brotherhood movement is not the moderate, peaceful, democratic organization it wants Washington to believe. The White House should make clear to the Egyptians that there are consequences for their decisions at the ballot box when it comes to their relations with the U.S.