Since the transitional period that followed the fall of former President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, numerous alliances have been widely observed between the Muslim Brotherhood and various left-wing movements. These alliances stepped to the fore during elections and other political processes and evolved later to become mostly integral. In hindsight, and given all events that followed, these alliances took the unstable political landscape in Egypt on a slippery slope. It is enough to refer to the votes the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamic and leftist parties gained, who had no shame announcing their support, a thing which came so far out of left field at the time.
Egypt paid the price of this alliance and it wouldn’t have been able to weather the storm except with the strong will of Egyptians in the 30 June 2013 Revolution and the political path Egypt pursued which seems to have weakened the rapprochement between the Muslim Brotherhood and leftist currents, although not yet put an end to it.
The left bloc have their own logic and doctrine, that despite false, pushed them to further proceed with their alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, believing that such alliance would create a different political landscape free of violence and physical or intellectual terrorism, opposed to the established doctrine of the Muslim Brotherhood. On the other hand, the Brotherhood were skilled at living the lie, hiding their conventional doctrine during the revolution in 2011 and the period that followed. Yet, soon their mask were off once they took office and after they were overthrown in the wake of 30 June Revolution, exposing their deeply entrenched roots that remained there for years yet have been tactically hiding underground. In fact, the deranged conduct of the left bloc can be explained in light of Leon Trotsky’s principle of “United front” under the slogan of “March separately, strike together” on the basis that rallying allies along a wide front will enable the left bloc to achieve its goals as long as it remains independent with a clear program and strict internal discipline.
This aberration of Brotherhood-left rapprochement have been analyzed by observers and attributed to the Muslim Brotherhood’s desire to give its anti-state strategy a civilian character and to show themselves as unbiased and open to alliances across the political spectrum. Indeed, the other party of this mischief, i.e. the left bloc, is most keen on taking advantage of its alliance with the Muslim Brotherhood, regardless of previously describing Islamic groups as “full-fledged fascists”. Indeed, interests have a louder voice. After being out of the spotlight for decades with no base of popular support, the left thought that getting under the hood of this broad entity would help it get through to new supporters and it kept drooling over every electoral victory of the Islamists. The left’s behavior wasn’t new, indeed. They have considered the Iranian revolution of 1979 “a revolution of the vulnerable” simply because Khomeini called it so and fully supported it regardless of the price the Iranian communist party paid. After participating in the revolution against the Shah, the communist party’s reward was the punishment of Cenmar’s. Given this, it seems like the left bloc will continue to see their involvement with political Islam movements in any act against the authority of the state and the state’s institutions as a “progressive act” thus it makes sense to them to classify these movements under “progressivism”, a false term in as much as the Brotherhood’s fundamental doctrine is.
Today, such alliances have begun to receive global attention, particularly in countries which have been proliferated by political Islam, or at least which it have strong presence in, as in France that has recently woke up to this aberration of the Brotherhood-left rapprochement which it labeled as “Islamo-leftism”, in reference to the left wing allying with Islamists. Concerns of such alliances were brought to surface by French minster of higher education who warned about the spread of Islamo-leftism in universities and its negative impacts on values of the French society, ordering an investigation into the issue. The minister warned that the impacts of such alliances will not be less dangerous or little wider than alliances in Arab countries. After her statements, the minister received plenty of criticism that university professors called for its resignation on the background of criticism France is facing due to the rise of Islamophobia following the beheading of teacher Samuel Patty. However, aside from these criticisms, “Islamo-leftism” and the trepidation it induces remain threatening there despite the West accused of being the biggest promoter, if not the theorist, of this rapprochement assuming it will contribute to building bridges between the progressive left who holds a deep critical view of social and political phenomena and radicals of political Islam movements, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood who enjoys considerable freedom in Western countries.
Why these misgivings now? And why we are going beyond theoretical discussion to dig up the foundations and pillars of these bridges? In fact, there is considerable evidence that confirms existence of such alliances in many European countries, and these alliances are being formed behind closed doors in far remote places hidden from observers’ eyes where allying parties sit together and form electoral alliances (between the left wing and Islamists who are ready to negotiate any such deals) that directly targets existing regimes. This coincides with Biden’s administration taking office, and their belief of the importance of creating such bridge between the left wing and Islamists, an approach that the Obama administration was the first to adopt, being the main supporter of radical leftist relations with institutions known to have a relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood. And here, things come full circle despite the various exposures that were prevalent in the last few years.