Monday, September 22, 2014
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The Islamist factor

There were many religious folks at the demonstration, but the Muslim Brotherhood is treading very carefully lest anyone think they wish to hijack the revolution. I will write in more detail about them in a future column. But at the demonstration one could see that Islamists will be a factor in the new Egyptian polity.

The Islamist factor

There were many religious folks at the demonstration, but the Muslim Brotherhood is treading very carefully lest anyone think they wish to hijack the revolution. I will write in more detail about them in a future column. But at the demonstration one could see that Islamists will be a factor in the new Egyptian polity.

The once-banned salafi group Gamal Islamiya had a group of supporters in the square with banners calling for the release of the blind sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, who was convicted of involvement in the first trade center bombing.

His followers and his son Mohammed insisted to me that he had been framed by the Egyptian secret police and the CIA and that the United States should send him home. They are also calling for the release of dozens of their followers in Egyptian prisons.

Gamal Islamiya renounced violence in 1997, after being smashed by Egyptian security, and one of their leaders told me that, were Islamist parties in power, they would adhere to international treaties (meaning the peace with Israel). Their presence in the square, however, as the Egyptian political scene opens up, reminds one that in a democracy, all kinds of voices will clamor to make themselves heard.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. In 2009-2011 she has made four lengthy trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Over the past seven years, she visited Iraq eleven times, and also wrote from Iran, Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, China, and South Korea.

She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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