Is This the End of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood?

In the blistering heat of a Cairo courtroom in May, a resolute looking Mohammed Morsi listened as the judge announced a death sentence for charges of corruption and torture against the ousted president, which allegedly took place during his one year in power in 2012. Alongside Morsi, hundreds of his fellow Brotherhood members, many senior leaders within the organization were also assigned Continue reading

Egyptian Doctors’ Strike and the Quest for Bread, Freedom, and Social Justice

A small yet significant meeting takes place directly across the street from the Cairo central union office for healthcare professionals. It is a meeting of the strikers’ central committee for the Doctors Syndicate, in which the General Secretary Amr Bakr personally describes the divisions within the syndicate as an “extreme clash,”[1] between the Muslim Brotherhood-led leadership Continue reading

Tunisia’s Success Heralds a Testing Time for Egypt

On October 23rd Tunisians made history with the first free and fair election to take place in the region in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Lessons can be learnt from the run-up to the election, the practices of contesting Islamist parties and the way the election was conducted on this historic day. These lessons indicate the beginnings of an optimistic future for Tunisia, but also point to the possible dangers facing a precarious democratic transition in a post-Mubarak Egypt Continue reading

New Arab Landscape: Israel’s Regional Isolation?

On 18th August, a cross border incident between the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) and Palestinian militants took a new turn. Although sporadic armed clashes are nothing new between the two sides, by letting the situation seep across the Egyptian border the Israelis have jeopardized an already tenuous ´cold peace´. In responding to the deadly attacks in Eilat, the Israelis killed five Egyptian soldiers. Egyptian politicians from all sides, secular, leftist, and even Islamists fell over themselves to condemn the attacks. Needless to say, President Peres was pushed to express regret for the incident after his defense minister had already done so. However, this could be a costly mistake for the Israelis Continue reading

Mubarak’s Trial: Arab Authoritarianism On Its Knees

As the trial of Hosni Mubarak begins in Cairo this week, the last death throes of Arab authoritarianism are echoing around a turbulent region that is striving to put an end to tyranny and to start afresh with a new democratic era. This time last year, few academic experts on the Middle East would have predicted such a swift upheaval across the Arab world.

Not many would have foreseen the dramatic images of Hosni Mubarak appearing before a court bedridden, but a year is a long time in politics and undoubtedly 2011 will go down in Middle Eastern history as one of the most spectacular in contemporary times Continue reading

Don’t be Afraid of Egypt’s Muslim Brothers

The West’s political leaders must not be afraid to engage with the Muslim Brotherhood. They are not seeking an Iranian style theocracy, but rather a democratic system with conservative Islamic norms. The younger generation of Muslim Brothers is even open to dialogue with Israel. In no other country is there an Islamist movement so experienced with working with a coalition of broad based groups. Continue reading