Avoiding Algeria in Egypt

Like their Algerian counterparts – who in 1992 approved of the army’s suppression of an Islamist electoral victory, leading to years of brutal fighting that left perhaps a half-million dead – many Egyptians don’t mind repressing Islamists. To avoid that fate, Muslim Brotherhood members’ fundamental rights must be protected.

PORTO – The military coup that has overthrown Egypt’s first democratically elected president and led to the arrests of Muslim Brotherhood leaders across the country poses an enormous danger not only for Egypt’s democratic transition, but for the democratic hopes of the entire Arab world as well.

The fact that the coup was undertaken with massive popular support is a sign of the enormous difficulties faced by the Muslim Brotherhood during its first turn in power. President Mohamed Morsi’s government struggled to address Egypt’s inherited economic and social crises in the face of the enormous public expectations created by the 2011 revolution, whose protagonists sought not only freedom, but also economic development and social justice.

Of course, the Muslim Brotherhood was also a victim of its own mistakes, particularly the failure of Morsi and his government to reach out to the secular opposition, elements of which had contributed to his election. The Morsi government seemed incapable of understanding that a slim electoral majority is not enough, especially nowadays.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

http://prosyn.org/eizFqeM;
  1. haass102_ATTAKENAREAFPGettyImages_iranianleaderimagebehindmissiles Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

    Taking on Tehran

    Richard N. Haass

    Forty years after the revolution that ousted the Shah, Iran’s unique political-religious system and government appears strong enough to withstand US pressure and to ride out the country's current economic difficulties. So how should the US minimize the risks to the region posed by the regime?

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.