Op-eds on Egypt suck, Part LXVIII

I go to the wrong cafés and don't spend enough time in bazaars. Or perhaps my hearing is just not what it was:

The question whispered in the bazaars and cafes of Cairo these days is who will be the successor to President Hosni Mubarak.
Strange, though, that I see this issue being discussed out loud in newspapers and on TV. Wonder why everyone is whispering in the café. Maybe they only pretend to like me and then talk behind my back about succession.

But then again, perhaps a little Orientalist cliché is nothing compared to implying the Muslim Brotherhood of being linked to the Gamaa Islamiya, Islamic Jihad and Al Qaeda:

The challenge to the Mubarak succession comes from the infamous Muslim Brotherhood which holds roughly 20 percent of the seats in Parliament. Although technically illegal, the Brotherhood continues to attract supporters with its goal of establishing a fundamentalist Muslim state ruled by Islamic law.

The U.S. approach has been "democracy, yes; theocracy, no." But the Egyptian paradox is that the former will surely beget the latter. The military arm of the Muslim Brotherhood has a record of horrific violence. Hosni Mubarak became president in 1975 after Islamic militants assassinated his predecessor, Anwar Sadat. In 1995, Sudanese government sponsored Islamic militants unsuccessfully attempted to take the life of Mr. Mubarak while he was on a state visit to Ethiopia. Four of the 19 hijackers of September 11, 2001, including the ringleader, were Egyptian.
He even got the year Mubarak became president wrong. And this man is on the Council of Foreign Relations. What standards does the CFR have, exactly? My conspiracy theorist friends tell me it runs the world along with the Bilderberg Group and the freemasons. Not very impressive.
6 Comments

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.