Ibrahim El-Houdaiby

Ibrahim El-Houdaiby (Arabic: ابراهيم الهضيبي, alternative spelling: Ibrahim al-Hudaiby; November 2, 1983-) is an Egyptian political activist and former member of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).

Ibrahim el-Houdaiby comes from a well-known and politically active family. His great grandfather, Judge Hassan el-Houdaiby, “became the MB’s second General Guide after Hassan al-Banna, the founder and theoretical godfather of the movement, was assassinated in 1949.” Hassan was one of those who “established within the MB a tradition of non-violent political engagement” with the government. He wrote Du`atun la Qudah (Preachers, not Judges) which is “seen by many as the authoritative counter-argument to the revolutionary ideas of the infamous Brotherhood ideologue Said Qutb.” Hassan’s son and Ibrahim’s grandfather, Ma’mun el-Houdaiby, would later become the MB’s sixth General Guide from 2002 to 2004.

Photo Johnny Leo johansen(c) Saladin days in Oslo Norway 2013

Johnny Leo Johansen(c)

Ibrahim often cites the Turkish experience as one to be emulated. He cites Turkish history as an example of how a political party can overcome the military junta. “When the military coup took place in Turkey in 1980, the army ruled supreme.” And the elected government had very few powers. The Turks chose a government they believed would oppose the military regime and bureaucracy, but the elected government instead collaborated with them and lost the people’s support. Every subsequent government that failed to oppose the military also failed to make changes in the state and eventually lost political sway. This was, of course, until the Justice and Development Party (AKP) rose to power in 2002. Ibrahim writes, “The AKP… still insists on calling itself an opposition party, because it continues to oppose the Turkish bureaucracy and army and is pushing them out of the political arena”.

Out of the presidential candidates, Ibrahim says he supports Abdel-Moneim Abol-Fotoh most. But he believes that the presidential election will eventually narrow down to two candidates: Amr Moussa or Ahmad Shafiq who will face either Abol-Fotoh or Muhammad Selim al-Awwa. He does not believe that any of the other presidential nominees have presented a clear presidential platform.

In February 2012, Ibrahim wrote that if democracy is truly to be upheld in Egypt, then the presidential election must come before the drafting of the constitution. The March 2011 “constitutional amendments that were passed and the provisional constitution drafted as a result of those amendments both dictate that the election comes before the constitution,” he writes. But, he says, there is also danger in keeping the military in power during the drafting process. “The prolongation of military rule means more bloodshed, economic failure, and will allow them [SCAF] to constitutionalize their sovereignty. Time is also needed for political and societal discussions surrounding the structure and main principles of the constitution.