Prospects for Democratization in the Arab World in Light of the Exclusion of Political Islam

May 01

The latest issue of al-Ruwaq al-`Arabi, a journal published by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, is dedicated to the question of the future of the Muslim Brotherhood.  The entire issue (in Arabic) can be downloaded as a pdf from here.

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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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Religion and the Arab Spring

Mar 11

The Islamic Monthly, the best news magazine published by Muslims in North America, recently published my essay on religion and the Arab Spring. It is now available on the web.

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Analysis of the Tunisian Election

Oct 24

For a terrific analysis of the results of the Tunisian election, read Malika Zeghal of Harvard and Khadija Mohsen-Finan of Université de Paris VIII.  I think the most interesting aspect of their analysis is that the two parties who made the strongest showing after the Nahda, the Takattul  and the Congress for the Republic, had each refused to engage in demonizing the Nahda.  The two authors conclude that, above all else, the Tunisian electorate voted for centrist parties that demonstrated independence from the dictatorship.  I hope that the success of the Tunisians will inspire the Egyptians to complete their transition successfully as well.

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Malika Zeghal on the Widening Secular-Islamist Rift in Tunisia

Jul 20

Malika Zeghal, a Tunisian-French political scientist at Harvard University, just posted an insightful piece on the growing secularist-Islamist rift in Tunisia.

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