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EGYPT'S DIRECTION

THE ISLAMIC DIRECTION OF EGYPT




According to initial report, on Saturday 01/07/2012, the Egyptian Muslims Brotherhood won in the third round of elections to the Egyptian Parliament lower house, which took place last week, about 37% of the votes. The more extreme religiously but more moderate politically Salafist al-Nour party won about 27% of the votes. Concluding all the three rounds of elections the Islamists won over 66% of the 498 seats. Unlike in Tunisia or Morocco the Islamists in Egypt does not need to form a coalition not only because they have a large majority but also because all other secular or liberal parties are divided to a dozen small parties (see - Arab Indication).

Furthermore the Egyptian Army did its outermost to put liberal and NGOs organizations under pressure. Independent journalists or bloggers were arrested and investigated, sometimes beaten by security forces and 17 NGOs, partially financed by the USA or Europe, considered as liberals and democrats, were raided by the Army, on Thursday 12/29/2011. Only USA intervention the next day stopped a crackdown on the Non Governmental Organisations but severely undermined their efforts to influence the Egyptian society. The affair suggests a deal between the Islamists and the Army about political power sharing in future Egypt in which the model of democracy will be an Islamic democracy in between the old Turkish model and the Iranian Islamic Republic model.

Egypt is in a very fragile situation. They need foreign aid to restore the economy, they need western tourists in their resorts, including those with bikinis, and the army is fully dependant on American technology and military aid. Therefore the changes in foreign affairs will be not dramatic but more in the nuances. With Israel they will not, most likely, null officially the peace process but will freeze it and ask for changes in the agreement. Instead of mediating between Hamas in Gaza Strip and Israel, the new Egyptian regime will, probably, side with Hamas against Israel and it remains to see whether the future Islamic government of Egypt will restore their sovereignty and responsibility on Sinai Peninsula, now a safe haven for Al Qaeda elements, or turn a blind eye on the situation in the Sinai Peninsula (see -Ansar al-Jihad).

While it is hard to imagine Egypt drawing away from the West, it is reasonable that Egypt will lean more and more on Saudi resources because both share a common disappointment from America, worries of growing western influence on their Islamic societies, a common fear of Iran and a common discontent of the growing intervention of Turkey in what they consider internal Arab affairs. A Saudi-Egyptian axis (with a prospect of Syria joining in after Bashar Assad’s regime will collapse) will be most likely the Sunni counterweight to Shiite Iran and an Arab counterweight to the Turkish Ottoman aspirations. In the longer run the prospect of true democracy in the Middle East is very slim and the same splits and controversies between Shiaa and Suna (see - ABYSS IN ISLAM), between Islam and secularity, between Muslims and non Muslims and between Arabs and non Arabs will continue to shape the region and not in democratic methods.
 
* Indeed, in the final count, published on Saturday 01/21/2012, the Islamic Brotherhood’s party, the Freedom and Justice Party - FJP won 47% of the votes with 235 seats. The hardline Islamist Salafi al-Nour party has won 24% with 121 of all seats on offer. Together the Islamists have 356 seats out of 498 in the lower house of parliament.

 
* Related topics ;

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08/01/2012 10:43:45

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