Islamists are Coming
April 18, 2012 // 12:30pm — 2:00pm
As dictatorships fall, parties tied to the Arab world’s conservative religious tradition are getting stronger. An expert panel looks at what this means for the US, Israel, and the world—drawing on the new book, The Islamists Are Coming, by Center expert Robin Wright.
In an interview with CNN, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to be tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court. Morsi also pledged to respect Egypt’s treaty with Israel while supporting Palestinian efforts to attain “their full-fledged rights.” He outlined his new attempt to reconcile Hamas and Fatah, the two dominant Palestinian parties that have split up the West Bank and Gaza since factional fighting in 2007.
On June 21, senior State Department officials called on Egypt’s government to take a “very politically inclusive approach” and find ways to reach out to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Tunisians want their government to focus on employment, economic development and security, according to a new poll by The International Republican Institute. Some 77 percent of respondents said Tunisia is moving in the wrong direction.
President Obama said Syrian President Bashar al Assad has lost his legitimacy and “must go,” during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 20. Obama, on his first presidential visit to Israel, warned that the Syrian regime “will be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons or their transfer to terrorists.”
On Sept. 13, Gallup released a poll showing that 95 percent of surveyed Libyans want militias to turn in their weapons immediately. Gallup conducted more than 1000 face-to-face interviews with adults during March and April 2012.
Grand Mufti Mohammed Ali Goma’a has warned that the rising tide of sectarianism threatens to tear Egyptian society apart. Egypt’s highest authority on Islamic law has argued that religious leaders have a responsibility to challenge extremist narratives. He discussed challenges to Christian-Muslim relations with Bishop Mouneer Hanna Anis, the Anglican bishop of Egypt and North Africa, at a June 14 event hosted by the United States of Peace.
Following the massive Arab and Muslim demonstrations and attacks on American embassies in Libya and Egypt in reaction to an anti-Muslim video, the Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland and the Program on International Policy attitudes conducted an American public opinion poll to study how the American public reacted to these events. A majority of Americans said the attacks were supported by extremist minorities but also thought the Egyptian and Libyan governments did not protect American diplomats and their staff. About three in ten Americans wanted to completely cut aid to Egypt and four in ten wanted to reduce aid.