Muslim Brotherhood

Grasping the Syrian Quagmire

March 7, 2012 by

One of the most significant and enduring consequences of the Arab Spring has been the bloody uprising in Syria. For almost a year cities across the Levant have been defying the iron grip of the Assad regime and challenging the police state of the Ba’ath party. Of all the countries engulfed by the revolutionary fever encompassing the Arab World, Syria, a country of 23 million, epitomizes the toughest case.

The Post-WWI Years and the 21st Century

February 24, 2012 by

The world today and the world immediately before the Second World War are strikingly similar. The military and foreign policy of the United States today is comparable to the close-minded introversion of isolationism. European countries are teetering on the brink of economic collapse. The German industrial juggernaut has reignited. The announced rearmament of Russia resembles that of the former Soviet Union, during and immediately after the First World War.

The Syrian Crisis: A View from Damascus

February 23, 2012 by

It would be no exaggeration to say that the Syrian crisis has become the most important international issue of the day. Dramatic changes are sweeping a huge region where the interests of many countries, including Russia, the United States, China and EU nations intersect. Temperatures are rising in the Middle East, and may soon reach the boiling point. It was interesting, therefore, amid the blizzard of global media reporting based sometimes on less than direct sourcing, to hear about events in Syria directly from officials in Damascus with whom the author of this article recently met.

Now Is Not the Time for Intervention In Syria

February 20, 2012 by

As pressure mounts on foreign powers to consider intervening militarily in Syria, analogies are being drawn between what NATO accomplished in Libya and whether something comparable may be possible in Syria. Military intervention would perhaps make the West feel better — knowing that it attempted to do something concrete to end the bloodshed — but it is unlikely to be successful for several reasons.

When is an ‘NGO’ not an NGO? Twists and Turns Beneath the Cairo Skies

February 15, 2012 by

A confusing controversy between the United States and Egypt is unfolding. It has already raised tensions in the relationship between the two countries to a level that has not existed for decades. It results from moves by the military government in Cairo to go forward with the criminal prosecution of 43 foreigners, including 19 Americans, for unlawfully carrying on the work of unlicensed public interest organizations that improperly, according to Egyptian law, depend for their budget on foreign funding.

Can Political Islam Co-exist with Modernity?

January 4, 2012 by

Thanks in no small part to the Arab Spring, now commonly referred to as the Arab Winter – observers and politicians in the liberal leaning west and elsewhere are wary as parties with an Islamic ideological bent ascend to the political pulpits throughout the Middle East and North Africa. From an empirical perceptive, their suspicions are justified. Firstly, little is known of Islamists’ capacities as seasoned, mature, responsible, and effective leaders. Secondly, their discourse, at least in the last two or three decades, has been non-pluralistic in tenor and outlook at best, and inimical to liberalism and democracy at worst.

Hamas and the Brotherhood: Reanimating History

January 4, 2012 by

There was an unmistakable hint of triumph in the comments made by Ismail Haniyeh, Prime Minister of the elected Hamas government in Gaza when he was hosted by Mohammed Badie, Supreme Guide of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

The ABC of Egypt and Western Hegemony

December 21, 2011 by

Since the popular uprising of 25 January, 2011, protestors have not just challenged the figureheads of the old regime, but the very fundamental power structure upon which Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorship had been built. For thirty years the army, bureaucrats and capitalists collectively formed an oppressive alliance against any kind of social justice, economic equality and political freedom for ordinary people.

Islamic Parties Win 75 Per Cent of Seats in Egyptian Elections

December 9, 2011 by

Ever since the fall of deposed president Hosni Mubarak last Feb. 11, the unity the Egyptian people had displayed during the previous 18 days has been slowly eroding. This fracture began to emerge during the nationwide referendum on March 19. Shortly after assuming power, the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) formed a committee of constitutional scholars to propose a roadmap towards the transition to democracy.

Why Leaving Syria Alone Is A Good Idea

December 7, 2011 by

Last week’s combined victory by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists in the first phase of elections in Egypt should have sent a shudder down the spine of every government opposed to the rise of radical Islam.

The Mubarak Hangover: Explaining Egypt’s Turbulent Transition

November 28, 2011 by

On April 21st, the Cairo Emergency Court decreed that the name of former President Hosni Mubarak be removed from all government buildings and public infrastructure in Egypt. This diktat authorized what had already been taking place since the beginning of the January 25th Revolution. From the outset of popular demonstrations, Egyptians set out to expunge all traces of the Mubarak name from the country.

On Power, Morality and Courage

November 27, 2011 by

My reflections last week were about the United States grand strategy anchored in the energy resources and Israel’s defense in the Middle East. How that grand strategy, offering a validation for the Cold War in Asia and Africa, has lived on since the end of the Soviet threat two decades ago gives us plenty of food for thought.

American Compass and the Egyptian Revolution

November 27, 2011 by

Oversimplifying the Arab Spring, by portraying it as a struggle between the masses and their dictators, is misleading and an oversimplification. Let’s take a step back and ask: what kept these dictators in their positions of power to begin with? On the internal front, there are security apparatus’s with the abilities to manage public opinion, control resources and broadly speaking, control the entire government.

Back to Tahrir Square

November 24, 2011 by

When former Vice President (and intelligence chief) Omar Suleiman announced on state television last February 11 the transfer of power from Hosni Mubarak to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), millions of Egyptians began celebrating in the streets the culmination of their revolution that rid them of their dictator.

Egypt: the Arab Spring 2.0

November 23, 2011 by

Recent days have seen a return to Cairo’s Tahrir Square by thousands of Egyptians concerned by what they see as a delay by the ruling military council in implement full democracy in Egypt. With reports of dozens of people killed by the security forces during the protests, are we seeing a new more violent uprising by the Egyptian people, or is this the inevitable second phase of the revolution that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak in February this year.

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