Saturday, February 4, 2012

Are Egypt's Islamists Heading for a Fall?

by Daniel Pipes

Terrified of the secular/modern/liberal demonstrators who made their presence known in Tahrir Square, as well as of the soccer hooligans, Mohamed Tantawi and Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces have forged a mutually beneficial relationship with the country's Islamists, thereby blocking their joint opponents from power. Very clever – but maybe too clever by half. Here's why:

Over half of Egypt's caloric consumption comes from abroad, leaving the country vulnerable to international staple prices.

In Egypt, which imports more than half its caloric intake, wages must keep up with the price of food or people begin to starve. Yet the country appears to be heading for a monumental financial collapse in 2012, and perhaps by the summer. If Islamists strut about as though they rule Egypt, the population will blame them and their SCAF allies – not the Tahriris – for its hunger. The anger could quickly turn ferocious. After waiting 84 years to attain legitimacy and power, the Muslim Brotherhood may find it got suckered into taking over the ship's help just as it heads into an iceberg.

Daniel Pipes


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