Islamists are Coming
Political Islam in Egypt has suffered a tremendous blow, its biggest setback since its emergence as a formidable ideology and political movement in the early 20th century. But it is not yet clear if other Islamist groups, particularly Salafi groups such as the Nour Party, are in or have benefited from the Brotherhood’s declining fortunes.
Saudi Arabia’s standing among some of its neighbors has faltered substantially since 2007, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. For example, favorability ratings fell 13 percentage points in Egypt and the Palestinian territories between 2007 and 2013. Overall opinion of the kingdom, however, varied widely in the Middle East.
Tunisia’s ruling Islamic party, Ennahda, has made repeated compromises on religious issues to meet secularist demands for a new constitution, according to Woodrow Wilson Senior Scholar David Ottaway. But Ennahda’s moderate leadership has lost secularist trust by showing too much deference to its own militant Islamic wing and fundamentalist Salafis outside the movement.
President Barack Obama outlined his past and future policies toward the Middle East in his September 24 U.N. General Assembly speech. He committed to ensuring the free flow of oil from the region to world markets, dismantling terrorist networks, and stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He also promised that the United States would “continue to promote democracy, human rights, and open markets” to achieve peace and prosperity in the Middle East.
A majority of both Libyan men and women prefer Islamic law to be adopted as a main source of governance rather than the sole source, according to a new survey by the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Some 54 percent of women think Sharia law would improve women’s rights, compared with 68 percent of men.
More than two years after the Jasmine Revolution, nearly three quarters of Tunisians are dissatisfied with how democracy is working, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. Tunisians are especially critical of their political leaders. Both secular and Islamist political parties also suffered declines in popularity.
Concern about Islamic extremism is rising among many of the world’s Muslims, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. In five of the 11 surveyed countries — Indonesia, Jordan, Pakistan, Tunisia and Turkey — worries about extremism have increased since 2012.
The political map of Egypt is slowly changing. As events continue to unfold following the June 30 and then the July 3 coup, there are emerging new realities that may have an impact on the future of the country for years to come.
Dalia Ziada is an award-winning human rights activist and the executive director of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies in Cairo, Egypt. She analyzed the ouster of the Islamists in the following interview.
In stark contrast to the euphoria after elections two years ago, Islamist political parties across the Middle East now face escalating challenges to their rule. The main drama is playing out in Egypt between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood. But Islamist parties in Tunisia, Libya are also under pressure from emboldened opposition movements.