Quick Thoughts on Morsi’s Win

Jun 18

Morsi’s win came to me as a pleasant surprise, as I had been quite pessimistic going into  the runoff that he could muster enough support outside the base of the Muslim Brotherhood to prevail.  At the end of the day, however, all his victory means is that the people of Egypt did not decide to sign its own death warrant; however, it is still unclear whether Egyptians can achieve a stable political equilibrium grounded in some kind of pluralistic, democratic state.  To do so will require a coalition, first, between moderate Islamists and non-Islamists, both of which were active participants in the Jan. 25 Tahrir Coalition, but parted thereafter, the fact that encouraged the forces of the old regime to attempt a comeback. 

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Civil State, Islamic State, Mafia State

Jun 17

Many revolutionaries who voted for Shafik, or who abstained or nullified their vote, did so on the grounds that they were defending the idea of a “civil” state.  This suggests that, in their mind, there are only two kinds of states in the world: “civil” states and “religious” states. 

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What a Shafik Win Will Mean: A Quick Path to a Failed State

Jun 16

According to this report in the New York Times, voter turnout in Egypt is very low, and consists almost entirely of older Egyptians.  This suggests that Ahmed Shafik will likely win, perhaps by a very large margin.  What will the consequences be of a Shafik victory for Egypt? 

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A Foggy Day in Cairo Town . . .

Jun 14

Today’s remarkable decisions by the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt has dramatically upped the ante in Egypt’s runoff election between Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, and Ahmed Shafik, the self-styled populist, Egyptian nationalist and plutocrat.  I do not wish to engage in a forensic analysis of what happened between February 11, 2011 and today in order to explain how Egypt got to this point or point fingers of blame.  The crucial issue now is what is the best course for Egyptians who are anti-ancien regime and wish to see Egypt progress into something resembling a progressive and prosperous republic in which all its citizens enjoy respect and basic rights. 

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Why I voted for Mursi

Jun 05

With the second-round of the historical Egyptian presidential election fast approaching, Egyptian activists are deeply divided, with some arguing in favor of one or another of the two candidates, on the grounds of choosing the lesser of two evils with disagreements over which candidate is the “lesser” of the evils, another group advocating a boycott of the final round, and a third advocating voters indicate their support for a “revolutionary” candidate by intentionally invalidating their ballots.  I, for one, have no doubt that the best outcome for the run-off, the one that maximizes the likelihood that the revolution will achieve its goals, is that Muhammad Mursi, the presidential candidate for the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party, the Freedom and Justice Party (“FJP”), defeats Ahmad Shafiq, an old regime stalwart and Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister before being forced to resign by revolutionary forces. 

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