Rubin Reports: Egypt’s Elections – Titanic of Western Interests Meet Iceberg of Islamist Revolutionary Zeal
There are now a total of 23 candidates, though it is possible there will be a few more before registration closes April 26. Aside from Mursi and Moussa, they include two other Islamists, three moderates, and a leftist.
In all of this, there is a hugely important point that’s been generally missed: Unlike the Brotherhood, the radical Salafists have not yet produced an alternative candidate. A lot of its members are endorsing Mursi. Now the Salafist al-Nour party has genuine differences with the Brotherhood, though more over timing and the desire for power than anything substantive. Still, al-Nour may be splitting over the party’s support for Mursi. But if the dissidents don’t have a candidate at all, who will the 25 percent of al-Nour’s supporters in the parliamentary ballot support?
In theory, then, Mursi can depend on 75 percent of the electorate — the Brotherhood and al-Nour voters — based on the parliamentary vote! He won’t get that many because a lot of those who voted for Islamists may want some balance in the government or just happen to like Moussa, whose anti-Western, anti-American, and anti-Israel credentials are strong.
Still, will enough voters switch to Moussa to tilt the balance? Moreover, in a run-off between Mursi and Moussa, the former should be able to depend on stronger support from any al-Nour supporters who are ambiguous about how they will vote in the first round.
So nobody can predict the victor. Still, overall, one might better assume that Egypt is going to have an Islamist president and parliament just eight weeks from now, to be followed by an Islamist constitution.
As far as I can tell — and amazing as this might seem — there has been no preparation in the West for such an outcome. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed we can read:
What is poorly understood in the West is how critical fundamentalists are to the moral and political rejuvenation of their countries. As counterintuitive as it seems, they are the key to more democratic, liberal politics in the region.
Of course, there is a grain of truth in what Reuel Gerecht said in his op-ed. If Islamists weren’t allowed to participate, there couldn’t be fair elections. And if they do participate and win, one can call the resulting system democracy.Barry Rubin
About the Author: Professor Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. See the GLORIA/MERIA site at www.gloria-center.org.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.
If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.
- IAF Targets Hamas in Air Strikes on Gaza After Mortar Attacks [video]
on May 4, 2016 8:13 PM
- Jewish Human Rights Watch Suing 3 Councils in High Court over BDS
on May 4, 2016 8:00 PM
- Tensions Rising: 6 Mortar Attacks Fired at Israel From Gaza in 24 Hours
on May 4, 2016 7:50 PM
- IDF Declares Nahal Oz Closed Military Zone, Searches for Terror Tunnels in Southern Israel
on May 4, 2016 7:41 PM
- Brilliant Landscape Architect Roberto Burle Marx at the Jewish Museum
on May 4, 2016 5:11 PM
- Norwegian Foreign Minister Tells Abbas Paying Killer Prisoners ‘Unacceptable’
on May 4, 2016 3:30 PM
- Israel to Open Permanent Office at NATO Headquarters in Brussels
on May 4, 2016 3:18 PM
- Israel’s Material Well-Being and National Wealth Stats Up Across the Board
on May 4, 2016 2:59 PM
- Israel, Egypt Fight US Plan to Trim Troops in Sinai Multinational Force
on May 4, 2016 2:55 PM
- Officials Facing Wildfire in Alberta, Canada Order Entire City Evacuated
on May 4, 2016 2:14 PM
- Chief Rabbi of Britain Says Labour Has ‘Severe’ Problem with Anti-Semitism
on May 4, 2016 1:32 PM
- Hillel International Publishes Guide to Perplexed Jewish College Students
on May 4, 2016 12:45 PM
- Israeli Students ‘Strike’ to Protest Driving Examiners’ Walkout
on May 4, 2016 12:01 PM
- Israel’s Justice Ministry to Criminalize Torture in Interrogations
on May 4, 2016 11:52 AM
- Jordanian Parliament Boycotts Israeli Delegation: “We Don’t Recognize the Peace Treaty”
on May 4, 2016 11:48 AM