A couple days ago (June 24 2012), after 84 years of mobilization, protests, and struggle, the Muslim Brothers have opened a new page in Egypt’s history.
In his book Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements, James DeFronzo tells us stories of revolutionaries who succeeded to grab the power. According to DeFronzo, from the Russian revolution to the Iranian revolution, we see a similar trend: the regime was collapsed by joint social forces (including a variety of groups that are even at conflict one another), and soon after the breakdown, the radicals eliminate their rivals and get the control.
Now, what is your take? Is it the story of current Egypt?
Here is my two cents: Continue reading
The Journey to Tahrir: Revolution, Protest, and Social Change in Egypt, by Jeannie Sowers and Chris Toensing (eds). Verso, 2012.
Since the overthrow of Tunisia and Egypt’s entrenched dictators, pundits and academics have scrambled to keep up with the surprising and fast-moving events across the region. Much of the journalistic coverage gravitated towards the dramas and spectacle of the protests and the immediate concerns and checkered outcomes of these revolutionary moments. Much ink was spilled on notions of twitter revolutions, the leaderless and youth-dominated movements, the potential for Islamist “hijacking the revolutions,” and the consequences for the US-led regional order. Meanwhile, the bulk of the academic community studying politics in the Middle East were caught flat-footed. In the last decade and half this scholarship was deeply invested in a paradigm that sought to explain “the lack of democratization” in the region by focusing on the vigor of the region’s authoritarian systems. Continue reading
As Nicholas Kristof notes, Egypt’s oldest and most popular Islamic movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, is now transforming into an inclusive political party after its electoral victory. Kristof’s field conversation with the activists reveal how the Muslim Brotherhood’s future is discussed in terms of “Iran versus Turkey,” a growing discursive trend that I underlined in my previous post. The first round of election results have provided not only a big self-confidence for the Brotherhood but also a discursive opportunity: surprising many, conservative Salafis had a remarkable vote for their party, Al-Nour (second place after the MB). Continue reading
Latest developments in Egypt and subsequent scholarly comments indicate that there is quite a way to reach the Arab “Spring.” If the pro-Islamic party has a sweeping electoral success, we will delve into recent post-Islamism debate. Can Islamists be sincere Muslim Democrats? At the center of these debates, we often see two non-Arab countries, i.e. Iran and Turkey, which are generally depicted in a mutually exclusive duality in the Western media: can the Muslim Brotherhood internalize liberal democratic values as the Muslim reformers in Turkey did or will it be the engine of another Islamic Republic? Continue reading