A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Egypt Arresting Islamist Bloggers

Happy Egyptian National Day. The major news has been the arrest of at least three well-known, moderate bloggers associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Since this has already been covered extensively by Menassat, commented upon at some length by Marc Lynch and by The Arabist, Global Voices, and a lot of other sites, I'll only comment briefly: this is going after the younger, moderate wing of the Brotherhood that, in fact, is seeking to provide a more mainstream and reformist face to the organization. Perhaps that's why the government considers them threatening. It also comes in the wake of the arrest earlier, as these links note, of ‘Abd al-Mun‘im Abu al-Fattouh, a senior Brotherhood moderate. For those who read Arabic an interesting interpretation by ‘Amr Choubki here. And, though it precedes the arrests of the bloggers, this piece in English by Khalil Anani offers some important reflections.

This adds to the sense of growing tension in Egypt. I understand many people did turn out for the Mulid of Sayyida Zaynab despite the government ban on religious festivals due to swine flu. Strikes in all kinds of industries have been increasingly frequent and confrontational. The crackdown on the Brotherhood's younger and more forward-looking bloggers isn't a good sign.


Al-Farabi said...

Would like to get your take/analysis on the resumption of Turkish mediated Israeli-Syrian indirect talks. Looking forward to a post in the near future.

Michael Collins Dunn said...

Al=Farabi: Good idea. I'll post something soon. I also have seen your blog and plan to add it to the Blogroll at some point soon, perhaps tomorrow.