Supporting Dissidents in Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood, Ayman Nour

On Democracy Arsenal, POMED“s Shadi Hamid answers NRO writer Stanley Kurtz in their recent exchange (links on Hamid”s post) over whether the U.S. should engage political Islam. Hamid challenges Kurtz to offer compelling reasons to not engage the Muslim Brotherhood, and other political dissidents like Ayman Nour, who he calls “as close to a pro-Western liberal as you’ll find in the Middle East.”

Freedom House has also published a recent press release calling on Secretary Rice to demand Nour”s release during her latest meeting with Egyptian President Mubarak, as part of an effort to reassert U.S. commitment to democratic reform. In a press conference following their meeting, Rice stated that she had “raise[d] the issue of Ayman Nour, talk[ing] about it extensively with President Mubarak.”