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.
After months of tension, Egypt’s political crisis imploded July 3 when the army ousted President Mohamed Morsi, the only civilian president ever democratically elected in the Arab world’s largest country. The coup marked one of the most troubling turning points in modern Egyptian history, deepening the political schism.
The Middle East faces even bigger challenges in 2013 than it did during the first two years of the so-called Arab Spring. So far—a pivotal caveat—the Arab uprisings have deepened the political divide, worsened economic woes and produced greater insecurity. Solutions are not imminent either.
President Barack Obama outlined his past and future policies toward the Middle East in his September 24 U.N. General Assembly speech. He committed to ensuring the free flow of oil from the region to world markets, dismantling terrorist networks, and stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He also promised that the United States would “continue to promote democracy, human rights, and open markets” to achieve peace and prosperity in the Middle East.
The second in an NPR series on ultra-conservative Salafis, the new political force in the Middle East, focuses on Tunisia.
The United States and Saudi Arabia appear to have different visions for solving the Iranian nuclear dispute. Saudi Arabia, much like Israel, wants Iran to relinquish its uranium enrichment capabilities or at least cap enrichment at 5 percent – far below weapons grade, or 90 percent. But the United States and the other five major world powers negotiating with Iran may be open to allowing Tehran to keep limited enrichment capabilities.
International Women’s Day will celebrate economic, political and social achievements of women on March 8. Female leaders in five Arab countries were asked to discuss women’s achievements from the last year.