Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Tue109 2018

Last update19:14 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Archive > Reports
Elections in Egypt: Time to Back Up Our Rhetoric with Action
Elections in Egypt: Time to Back Up Our Rhetoric with Action Posted by Shadi HamidLorelei Kelly has asked me to guest blog this week. For more about me, click here. Over the course of the next few days, I will be discussing the upcoming Egyptian parliamentary elections and, more generally, the sorry state of democracy in the Arab world . The question I will be asking throughout is how t
Friday, November 4,2005 00:00

Elections in Egypt: Time to Back Up Our Rhetoric with Action
Posted by Shadi Hamid
Lorelei Kelly has asked me to guest blog this week. For more about me, click here. Over the course of the next few days, I will be discussing the upcoming Egyptian parliamentary elections and, more generally, the sorry state of democracy in the Arab world . The question I will be asking throughout is how the US, through various mechanisms, can more effectively promote democratic reform in what is the most undemocratic region in the world. I’m looking forward to reading your comments.

Egypt’s parliamentary elections are scheduled take place over the course of three weeks with November 9 as the first day of polling (mark your calendars). Egypt, of course, is one of our closest allies in the region and we give the the regime there nearly $2 billion in annual economic and military aid. Despite this, the elections have received barely any coverage in the American media.  

 

 

These elections provide an important test case for the Bush administration’s "forward strategy for freedom." One can only hope that the results turn out better than September’s presidential polls when strongman Hosni Mubarak was reelected with a ludicrous 88.5% of the vote. The Mubarak regime – which is a quarter-century old – has proven adept at fraud, intimidation, stuffing, and bribing its way to victory.


Is the Bush administration on its game or is dropping the ball on Egypt ? Let us backtrack a bit. In his inaugural speech earlier this year, President Bush used unprecedented language in describing America’s democratic imperative: “All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: the United States will not ignore your oppression, or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.” I know that with many Democrats, a built-in “neo-con” alert goes up whenever they hear this kind of language. I, on the other hand, was very much impressed. In the name of stability, we had supported Arab dictatorship for decades. Now, finally, there were signs that a change in policy was in the making. But it was not be. When less than two months ago, President Bush called Mubarak to congratulate him on his (rather lopsided) victory, the high-minded rhetoric of his inaugural address seemed particularly hollow.

 

The gap between words and deeds, rhetoric and policy has never been wider and our credibility continues to suffer as a result. This month’s elections in Egypt present US policymakers with an excellent opportunity to regain the initiative on democracy promotion. The response (or lack thereof) to the upcoming elections - and the voter intimidation and detention of opposition activists which will surely take place - will tell us a great deal about the current thinking in the Bush administration. I can’t say, however, that I’m particularly optimistic. Bush is embroiled in domestic controversies and has lost much of the political capital he might have still had just a few months ago.

 

 

Earlier this year, many commentators, on both the Right and the Left, were speaking of an “Arab spring,” “an autumn for autocrats,” and a “springtime for democracy,” and many other flowery, seasonal formulations. Since then, the euphoria has largely died down. Mubarak, with his September victory, has legitimized his illegitimacy for the next six years. Jordan’s King Abdullah has become increasingly authoritarian in dealing with an emboldened opposition and an increasingly restless civil society.  Tunisia and Algeria are dragging their feet as usual. Yet, if the Bush administration has the political will and starts to put real, sustained pressure on these recalcitrant regimes, then this negative trend can be reversed. In other words, we’ve got the rhetoric down. Now it’s time to back it up.

Other Topics:

Democracy also means that Islamists are allowed to vote
Ikhwanweb, London-UK
Time to take a stand on Egypt’s democracy
Ikhwanweb, London-UK
The Challenge of Democracy In the Muslim World
Ikhwanweb, London-UK
Ikhwan Complex:
Ikhwanweb -London, UK
MB Today [About MB]
Ikhwanweb -London, UK
Online Library
Ikhwanweb -London, UK
shifting political currents along the nile
Centre Daily Times - Centre County,PA,USA
Bracing for the final battle
Toronto Star - Ontario, Canada
Egyptian Islamist detained after acquittal
Independent Online - Cape Town,South Africa
A reluctant president?
Guardian Unlimited - UK
Open Sesamedia
TCS Daily - Washington,DC,USA
US Silence in Egypt Speaks Sad Volumes
Canton Repository (subscription) - Canton,OH,USA
Muslims and the West: Antipathy and mistrust
International Herald Tribune - France
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to make a movie
Middle East Times - Cairo,Egypt
The US and Egypt: Giving up on the ’liberty doctrine’
International Herald Tribune - France
The Future of the Muslim Brotherhood
Amr Al-Chobaki, Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies - Cairo, Egypt
The West Abandons the Push For Democracy In The Arab World
Ikhwanweb, London-UK
Presidents in perpetuity
Al-Ahram Weekly - Cairo,Egypt
’The battle is not over’
Al-Ahram Weekly - Cairo,Egypt
Back to square one
Al-Ahram Weekly - Cairo,Egypt
Not yet, thanks
Economist (subscription) - UK
This season’s footwear
Al-Ahram Weekly - Cairo,Egypt
Parliament Comes Down on Judiciary
Inter Press Service (subscription) - Rome,Italy
EGYPT: New law does little to liberalise judicial system, say Reuters AlertNet - London,England,UK
Egyptian Editor Gets Year in Jail for Insult
Voice of America - USA
Egypt justice law ’disappointing’
BBC News - UK
Jailed activists released in Egypt
Socialistworker.co.uk - London,UK
Egypt’s judges have struck a major blow for real democracy
Daily Star - Lebanon - Beirut,Lebanon
EGYPT: Journalists’ sentencing draws angry reactions
Reuters AlertNet - London,England,UK
egypt: Islamists detained in Alexandria
Monday Morning - Beirut,Lebanon
Who has an interest in destabilizing Egypt and weakening its role?
Monday Morning - Beirut,Lebanon
Rights Monitor Makes Statement on Cruelty
Los Angeles Times - CA,USA
Debate reignites cartoon row
Gulf News - Dubai,United Arab Emirates
Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria | Where America Meets the World
Newsweek - USA
The Ikhwan complex
Al-Ahram Weekly - Cairo,Egypt
Antinomies of power
Al-Ahram Weekly - Cairo,Egypt
Egypt’s new video guerrillas add a twist to social activism
Daily News & Analysis - Mumbai,India
OPT: International Media Seminar discusses impact of media on ...
ReliefWeb (press release) - Geneva,Switzerland
Ferry Report Blames Owners, Corruption
Egypt Today - Cairo,Egypt
US ambassador insists relations on track
Al-Ahram Weekly - Cairo,Egypt
Unlikely Reformers: Egyptian Judges Challenge the Regime
JURIST - USA
MIDDLE EAST: Weekly human-rights roundup
Reuters AlertNet - London,England,UK
Ikhwan Complex:
Ikhwanweb -London, UK


Posted in Reports  
Add Comment Send to Friend Print
Related Articles