The Islamist forces are enthusiastic about the uprisings throughout the Arab world, knowing they will offer an opportunity to begin gradually recreating an unofficial Caliphate. Oppressive pro-Western governments, nationalist sentiments and secular forces stand in their way, but the Islamists’ organizational capabilities and clerical support give them an advantage. The Muslim Brotherhood suddenly has a chance to rapidly come to power throughout the entire
Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, who Robert Spencer has appropriately dubbed “
The Muslim Brotherhood is trying to modify its image by saying it is a moderate force in favor of democracy and will not seek a parliamentary majority or even participate in presidential elections. This is a political trick. The group probably concluded it would not win a majority in parliament and even if it could, it will still be better to form a bloc with parties that arouse less suspicion. The reason it isn’t going to run a candidate in the presidential elections is because it already has a candidate: Mohammed el-Baradei.
The alliance between Mohammed el-Baradei and the Muslim Brotherhood is welcomed news in
Luckily, the Wall Street Journal says political parties in
The revolution in
The main opposition group in
The Islamists are also in a good position in the Gulf. The majority of the population in
The Yemeni President has taken an anti-American turn in his rhetoric since facing his own uprising. The main opposition bloc is the Joint Meetings Party, of which the Islamist Islah Party is the strongest component. Islah is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood and it has won support from tribal chiefs and Salafists. It supports creating a religious police like that in
The situation is less clear in
Radical Islamic anti-Western governments are already in power in
As these governments become unstable, a struggle will ensue between those who favor secular democracy and the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists that view separation of mosque and state as a heresy and jihad against the West as a command from Allah. The stakes could not be much higher.