Sunday, March 25, 2007

Dancing to the authoritarian tune

Here two experts suggest that a dialogue with the Ikhwan is of the hour.
Hear out Muslim Brotherhood - The Boston Globe

Two observations:
1. By abjuring contacts with the Ikhwan, U.S. diplomats reduce the incentives for the Egyptian government to actually permit non-Islamist political groups to organize. With few if any contacts with the Ikhwan, the dictatorship is permitted to pursue its strategy of emasculating political space in Egypt.
2. The U.S. has reserved the right to maintain contact with elected members of the majlis al-sha'ab, whether Islamist or not. The problem is that it has not really exercised the principle.

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