Current Trends in Islamist Ideology, Volume 12
October 20, 2011
by Samuel Tadros
The extraordinary scenes broadcasted from Tahrir Square in Cairo during the eighteen days that led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February, 2011, were met with great enthusiasm and support in Western countries. Politicians and numerous scholars were hopeful that the revolution, with the young liberals who were portrayed as leading it, would lead to a better future for Egyptians. They were also hopeful that Egypt's politics would finally break free from the struggle between dictatorial regimes and Islamists that has paralyzed the country as well as the modern politics of other countries in the Arab world. Finally, the gridlock was broken and the blossoms of the Arab Spring were flourishing.
Contrary to initial hopes, however, the role of Islamists has not regressed; indeed, seven months after the revolutionary euphoria wore off, the Muslim Brotherhood remains at the forefront of Egyptian politics. In fact, the erosion of the state's security apparatus gave Islamists an unprecedented opportunity to shape the country's political debate. With elections now scheduled for a parliament that will form a constitution writing committee, many have begun to fear that the Islamists will not be merely one among many actors on Egypt's new political scene. Instead, many fear that we may face a future when Islamists write the rules of Egypt's new politics, putting their long-term mark on the new system to ensure their continued control.
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Samuel Tadros is a Research Fellow at Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom.
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