Amel Pain/European Pressphoto Agency

Among my Egyptian friends (most decidedly on the liberal side) there is now tremendous worry about a future in which politics is ruled on the one hand by identitarian Islamist politics and on the other by a populist, hyper-nationalistic army. I don’t think it has to be so, and we could very well see a transition to a democratic (but not liberal) system which allows for rotation of power. Liberals now also have to make some tough choices about consolidating their presence, making alliances with both Islamists and people associated with the former ruling party.

Issandr El Amrani: Don’t Panic. Not Yet.


We need to seperate religion from politics. Not in the way many atheists argue but by not identifying FJP or Ennhada or such like as the Islamic party. They may havwe an islamic ethos but their policies are simple fallible policies and anyway who ever liked politicians. They represent us, not Islam. If God Forbid a senior MB member is found in bed with a Latvian hooker will that be proof Islam is wrong? The sooner we stop referring to such parties as Muslim/Islamist the better. – Latifa

Let’s get real. Most of the educated and monied classes from Egypt are either already in the West, or are actively planning to leave. The idea that large numbers of cultured, multi-lingual, well-educated Egyptians will choose to continue to live in what will assuredly become an increasingly dirt poor, intolerant, misogynist, uber Islamic society is dubious, to say the least, if not completely absurd… Meawhile, the economic problems of Egypt are basically insoluble, until the population declines to sustainable levels. This may never happen. Until then, it will continue to be kalb eating kalb or kalba. In other words, everyone for him or herself. In the meantime, the freeloading Islamists in places like the UK and Northern Europe are welcome to leave immediately and peddle their hate in their own home countries. Let them see how that will work out. Egypt was one of the most beautiful countries in the world, until Nasser and his acolytes destroyed her. We should have stopped Nasser in ’54, instead of running away, with tears in our eyes. We believed, then, in the lie. And we became strangers in our own country and we said nothing. Now that the tide is again turning, Egypt shall reap her just rewards. Pity, that. – An Egyptian

This is the dominant story now – Islamists are winning all over the Arab world. It is not being mentioned that there are many factors working in their favor. They have been organized for decades while some leftists and liberals have just started. It is not mentioned that Islamists have been benefiting from Gulf money and have utilized that external funding effectively. It is also not being mentioned that they have been striking deals under the table with the US and European governments to reassure them not only regarding the pro-capitalist (neoliberal) policies that they would pursue, but also regarding not antagonizing Israel… But the Islamists are in a bind. The demise is rather inevitable. They can’t fulfill their promises and win. They have been striking deals with GCC countries and Western powers in contradiction with their own ideology and earlier promises. On the “morality” front, the Islamists know that they can’t push for a religious agenda as extreme as the one promised by the unelected NATO government in Libya (`Adbul-NATO could not wait before announcing this desire for the return of polygamy). They know that a morality agenda would alienate many voters (as already happened in Tunisia regarding the issue of niqab on campus) and for that they would veil their true intentions, at least for a while.

By As’ad AbuKhalil: Why Islamists Won’t Win (Even If They Do)

There is a swift and changing discourse regarding the Islamists in Tunisia and Egypt in particular, with a more open and accepted tone in western media, which makes my alarm ring. Suddenly they are now ‘moderate’ and not to be feared – as much. (Anything the west approves of now makes me jumpy). Unfortunately, not much is written or said about their roles during the uprisings or why they are not to be trusted. What would really be good, is an article of their history, especially in Egypt, in order to see them in better perspective today. One more thing, the Islamists in Egypt capitalise mainly on the votes of the poor – who are plentiful there unfortunately – this says a lot about their outdated support amongst the youth of the revolution many of whom campaign for equal opportunities for Copts as well. With the brotherhood’s support for the military council, it’s becoming clearer to the politically disabled, to finally see the links to their agenda. – Anonymous


One thought on “Egypt: What Next?

  1. Pingback: From Dhaka to Cairo (and beyond) « Mukti

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