Michael Slackman has a fairly extensive article in The New York Times on the Muslim Brotherhood’s apparent consolidation of power in post-revolutionary Egypt, where, he writes, “religion has emerged as a powerful political force, following an uprising that was based on secular ideals. The Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group once banned by the state, is at the forefront, transformed into a tacit partner with the military government that many fear will thwart fundamental changes.”
Posts Tagged ‘Muslim Brotherhood’
Olivier Roy, writing in the New Statesman, argues that the uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa show how secular Islam has become in the region.
“January 28th marked a major rupture in Egyptian history: it is the day Egyptians truly broke the fear barrier created by Mubarak’s regime,” SSRC-IDRF fellow Mohamed Elshahed writes. He goes on to discuss how the protesters have overcome Mubarak’s divide-and-rule tactics and brought the country one step closer to realizing its “potential.”
The term ‘secular’ and its conceptual affiliates are doing a lot of work in misrepresenting the uprising in Egypt. ‘Secular’ politics has been taken to mean ‘good’ politics (limited democratization, stability, and support for the peace treaty with Israel), and ‘Islamic’ politics is being translated as ‘bad’ politics (the myriad dangers allegedly posed by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies). Accounts of the current situation in Egypt are handicapped by an inability to read politics in Egypt and Muslim-majority societies outside of this overly simplistic and politically distorting lens.