December 4, 2011 |
Islamist parties won more than 60% of the vote in the first round of Egypt's parliamentary elections, according to official results reported Sunday by state media. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party won 36.6% and the Salafis of the Al Nour party won 24.4% of the 9.7 million votes cast. The Brotherhood's dominance was expected, but the strong showing by the Salafis was a surprise, suggesting Egyptians were heavily influenced by the religious message and grass-roots organization of the Islamists.
July 22, 2011 |
After philosophy students and faculty members rallied to denounce heavy-handed efforts to separate male and female students, Islamists on campus struck back: In the dead of night, witnesses say, the radicals showed up at a men's dormitory armed with wooden sticks and bicycle chains. They burst into dorm rooms, attacking philosophy students. One was pistol-whipped and hit on the head with a brick. Gunfire rang out, although no one was injured. Police were called, but nearly a month after the attack, no arrests have been made.
July 11, 2009 |
Islamist fighters beheaded seven prisoners accused of abandoning the Muslim faith and spying for the government in the largest mass execution since the militants were pushed from power 2 1/2 years ago. The public killings in the southwestern town of Baidoa followed weeks of fierce fighting as the Islamists tried to seize the capital, Mogadishu, amid mounting concerns about the influx of hundreds of foreign fighters. The beheadings may be linked to the Shabab group's failure to take Mogadishu in a 2-month-long offensive, said a senior analyst at global intelligence company Stratfor.
October 23, 2011 |
At a conference two years ago, I sat in on a meeting between U.S. officials and young Islamist politicians from Tunisia, Jordan and other countries in the Middle East. The Islamists wanted to know: Would the Americans allow them to run in free elections, even if it meant they might come to power? The Americans turned the question back at them: Would the Islamists, if they won, allow free and democratic elections, even if it might mean losing power? At the time, it was mostly a theoretical discussion — but now those questions have become very real.
October 22, 2011 |
This nation that inspired revolution across the Arab world is facing another bellwether moment that may again foreshadow what happens throughout the Mideast in the intensifying battle between secularists and Islamists over the role of religion in shaping public life. Tunisians will vote Sunday for a constituent assembly that will set the course for a new government and write the nation's laws. Islamists, suppressed for decades by autocratic rule, are poised to win big, a prospect that has liberals and secularists worried about the future of civil liberties.
January 22, 2013 |
BAMAKO, Mali - The commander of Mali's army is so confident of a swift French and Malian military victory against Al Qaeda-linked militias in his country's north that he declared that the war would be over in a month. Taxi drivers and shopkeepers listened to Ibrahim Dahirou Dembele on crackly radios across this dusty capital Tuesday after the French military had driven militants out of the key central towns of Diabaly and Douentza on Monday. But on one shady street corner in Bamako, university lecturer Yacouba Diallo, 30, who'd come for his customary afternoon glass of foamy bittersweet tea, wasn't sure that the Islamists could be so easily eliminated.
December 11, 2012 |
CAIRO - Egypt's volatile political fault lines were shaken Tuesday as rival protests echoed across the capital over the fate of a proposed constitution drafted by Islamists nearly two years after the overthrow of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Tens of thousands of Islamist supporters of President Mohamed Morsi rallied at a mosque in Cairo to back a constitutional referendum set for Saturday. Two miles away, mainly secular opposition groups marched to the barricaded presidential palace in what increasingly appears to be an improbable task of blocking the vote and forcing Morsi to order the writing of a new charter.
December 12, 2012
A vote by millions of Egyptians on a new constitution should have been an occasion for national celebration. But overreaching by Islamists, including the country's president, has made the referendum that begins Saturday a source of division. Even if the document is approved, President Mohamed Morsi will need to reach out to Egyptians - including Christians, secularists and women - who feel they have been excluded from a revolution they helped create. Yes, Morsi was legitimately elected, but that doesn't relieve him of the responsibility to preside over an inclusive government.
February 6, 2013 |
TUNIS, Tunisia - The assassination of a leading opposition figure in Tunisia on Wednesday triggered protests across the nation and raised fresh concern about the legacy of the "Arab Spring," the pro-democracy movement now threatened in several countries by turmoil between Islamists and secular liberals. Chokri Belaid, head of the Democratic Patriots party, was shot on his way to work in Tunis, the capital, the day after he predicted a wave of political assassinations. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but it came amid a democratic transition endangered by Islamist hard-liners with caches of smuggled weapons.