The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Links for March 24 to April 3 2010

I have been lax in posting links, sorry. They're after the jump, but first I wanted to talk about one ElBaradei piece among the many written lately (see below as well as here) that irked me.

It's a completely baseless assertion in Ilan Berman's article on ElBaradei in Foreign Policy:

Politics can offer some strange second acts. Just ask Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate turned would-be presidential candidate who is now flirting with joining Egypt's main Islamist party.

So it doesn't matter that ElBaradei keeps expressing secularist ideas and keeps insisting he won't join any party, suddenly he wants to join the Muslim Brothers?

The rest of the article deals with Ikhwan support for ElBaradei, which is at best — and it's really a stretch — partial, only because ElBaradei advocates certain reforms that the Brothers and virtually every other component of the Egyptian opposition agrees with. And the rest of the analysis is full of bromides and unsubstantiated assumptions, notably lending tremendous power to the Brothers, who have been pummeled into a retreat for the last few years. If he was so interested in the Brothers, why does he endorse secularist positions such as not putting religious restrictions on eligibility for public function? Just because he went to the mosque one Friday?

It's all terribly shoddy, esp. as Berman seems to be writing this purely from following the news wherever he's based. It's almost as bad as Bret Stephens' moronic idea that Lagy Gaga inspires Islamist terrorists, much ridiculed this week (see below).

Now for the links.