Friday, January 28, 2011

One Sentence on Egypt (And a Paragraph on Tunisia)

By Barry Rubin

Keep in mind the following sentence:

Any mass movement in Egypt will be taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood.

That does not apply to Tunisia or Lebanon, for example, but it does apply to Egypt. Have no doubt about that.

Why is Tunisia different (though it might not remain so?)

--Because Tunisia has been the country where Islamists have been weakest.

--Modernizing and explicitly secular regime.

--Close ties to Europe and especially French cultural/intellectual influence

--Fierce and effective repression of Islamists

--Teaching of Islam in a totally different way from elsewhere

Islamists might catch up in Tunisia very fast and do well in elections there.

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