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by: Shadi Hamid 2011-1-13
One month ago, Tunisia seemed quiet, stable. Quiet and stable is generally what Western governments like to see in the Middle East. But Tunisia may be on the brink of the first genuine Arab revolution in recent memory...

by: Shadi Hamid 2011-1-12
Neoconservatives are likely to be wrong on any number of issues. But there is one critique of theirs that, somewhat to my dismay, has struck me as more compelling than I would have originally hoped...

by: Stephen McInerney 2010-10-7
In a recent article for the Foreign Policy Middle East Channel, Tarek Masoud makes the provocative claim that a rigged succession from President Hosni Mubarak to his son Gamal may in fact be “the best hope for Egyptian democracy.”..

by: Shadi Hamid 2010-9-10
People often ask me how Muslims can get so worked up about symbolic acts but have trouble summoning the same anger over the killing of innocent civilians. It is understandable, if somewhat loaded, question. It is also difficult to explain. This is a civilization under siege and so its reactions and preferences become distorted. The slow, difficult work of understanding how this distortion occurred - and what we can do about it - is more critical than ever...

by: Shadi Hamid 2010-5-4
I was just at the pro-democracy protest in Tahrir Square, Cairo, which finished up about 30 minutes ago (although I think many of the protestors are still trapped in by police)...

by: Shadi Hamid 2010-4-20
Daniel Larison has made one of the strongest arguments I’ve seen for the structural hopelessness of US policy toward the Middle East. In response to my piece calling on Obama to focus more on democracy promotion, he writes...

by: Posted by Shadi Hamid 2010-4-4
Tareq al Hashemi, is an Islamist and, until recently, led the Iraqi Islamic Party, effectively the political arm of the Iraqi Muslim Brotherhood...

by: Posted by Shadi Hamid 2010-3-9
There is a trend in progressive circles toward separating support for democracy abroad from any explicit national security rationale...

by: Posted by Shadi Hamid 2010-3-6
If it's "difficult to gauge" why Islamist parties are popular, we can deduce that at least some of their supporters are motivated by an interest in good governance. In other words, some people support these groups because they're effective political parties who happen to be Islamists, and not the other way around...

by: Shadi Hamid 2010-3-2
There is another issue that sanctions advocates never address: what if their proposal results in a new government, but the new government wants to pursue a bomb and continue Iran’s foreign policy? As far as they are concerned, nothing meaningful will have changed.....

by: Shadi Hamid 2010-2-14
If you've ever wondered whether we've engaged with Islamists, whether we can, and, perhaps more importantly, whether we should, then you're in luck...

by: Shadi Hamid 2010-1-28
As some of you know, the Muslim Brotherhood, the largest and most influential Islamist group in the Middle East, recently elected a new leader...

As some of you may have heard, yesterday, the Muslim Brotherhood announced the election of a new general guide, Mohammed Badie..

In the article, I criticized the Obama administration for cutting assistance to Egyptian NGOs. As I argue toward the end of the piece, civil society assistance has too often been used as a sort of default policy stand-in, in the absence of bolder, more effective strategies. Increasing civil society assistance in the Arab world might very well be the most regurgitated, unimaginative policy proposal at our disposal. TBE argue that “democratization aid tends to go toward things like workshops to teach people about democracy and paying native English speakers to write the reports about how money is being spent that funders demand.” Too often, this is true. But I’m more concerned with what the reduction of assistance says about our priorities in Egypt. Budgets, after all, speak louder than words...

by: Shadi Hamid 2010-1-5
Al-Qaeda was never the threat some thought it was, and others wanted it to be. Al-Qaeda was never going to become mainstream, because other organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, that were strong opponents of al-Qaeda were already quite popular, commanding the loyalty of millions in the region. These were the mainstream, nonviolent Islamists, and it was never coincidental that Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s no. 2, had written an entire book accusing the Muslim Brotherhood of betraying the Islamic cause by, among other things, participating in elections...

by: Shadi Hamid 2009-12-19
A new article of mine on Obama's Middle East strategy has just come out in Democracy..

by: by Shadi Hamid 2009-12-16
To my surprise, I found myself feeling quite uncomfortable during certain sections of the Obama’s Nobel speech...

by: Shadi Hamid 2009-7-2
The issue of the burqa (or the niqab) is one that I’ve struggled with because it forces us to choose between competing goods. It cuts to fundamental questions of the limits of tolerance and free speech. Mona Eltahawy is a courageous advocate for women’s equality and I enjoy her columns a great deal, but I find her most recent piece for the New York Times somewhat perplexity. ..

by: Shadi Hamid 2009-6-25
Even Islamist leaders activists – those most concerned with distancing themselves from the U.S. – regularly call on America to meddle, by putting more pressure on Arab autocrats (see here for an interesting example). Mainstream Islamists also regularly express their desire to engage in dialogue with Americans. Presumably, this would be the ultimate “kiss of death.”..

President Obama leaves tonight for his third major international trip, stopping first in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a recently announced addition. From Riyadh, he will travel to Cairo, where he’ll give a major speech on U.S.-Middle East relations, a talk he promised to stage from a Middle East capital sometime in his first hundred days in office (he’s a little..

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