The International Crisis Group strongly condemns the detention of Mohamed ElBaradei in Cairo today.
The Society of Muslim Brothers’ success in the November-December 2005 elections for the People’s Assembly sent shockwaves through Egypt’s political system.
Terrorism returned to Egypt in 2004 after an absence of seven years with successive attacks and the emergence of a heretofore unknown movement in Sinai. The government’s reaction essentially has been confined to the security sphere: tracking down and eliminating the terrorists.
Originally published in The Independent
Egypt's first multi-candidate presidential election, a response to U.S. pressure, was a false start for reform. Formal pluralism has never seriously limited the dominance of President Mubarak's National Democratic Party (NDP); extension to the presidential level is a token so long as the opposition is too weak to produce plausible candidates.
Islamism, terrorism, reform: the triangle formed by these three concepts and the complex and changeable realities to which they refer is at the centre of political debate in and about North Africa today.
Important changes in the outlook of Egyptian Islamic activism in recent years have opened up possibilities for progressive political development, but these have gone unexploited because of the conservatism of the Egyptian government's policies.
This briefing is one of a series of occasional ICG briefing papers and reports that will address the issue of political reform in the Middle East and North Africa. The absence of a credible political life in most parts of the region, while not necessarily bound to produce violent conflict, is intimately connected to a host of questions that affect its longer-term stability: