X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Blogs

Reasons for cheer – and concern – in Egypt

31 January 2011

6:58 PM

31 January 2011

6:58 PM

One of the most wonderful of many wonderful aspects of the anti-totalitarian uprisings
in Tunisia and Egypt is that they have nailed the myth that Islamism represents the “authentic” voice of the Arab street. This was always a pernicious nonsense and the diversity of
those demonstrating across the Maghreb and Egypt has been one of the most noticeable features of the revolt.

This must be particularly galling for the Foreign Office, which has spent considerable resources in cultivating the Muslim Brotherhood and other revivalist groups across the Middle East. It is
gratifying for those of us who warned against this orthodoxy that Islamist fellow-travellers such as Frances Guy, the UK’S blogging ambassador
to Lebanon, have been proved so wrong. The Arabist experts of the FCO failed to see this coming, just as they failed to predict the rise of radical Islam in the late 1970s.

[Alt-Text]


Those such as the Conflicts Forum crew who have argued for outright engagement with the totalitarians with the slogan “listening to political Islam,
recognising resistance” have been left with considerable egg on their faces. The resistance, as it turned out, came from enlightened, forward-looking young people looking for the political
reform and modernisation that would allow their countries to take their place in the 21st century.

There remains a real concern, however, that Islamist opportunists will move into the political vacuum. Indeed, this is a once-in-a-generation moment, for which some Muslim Brothers have been
preparing for a lifetime. Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of the Tunisian Islamist party An-Nahda, has returned from exile after 22 years in Britain to a welcome from crowds of thousands. He could yet take advantage of the situation in which
there is no obvious successor to President Ben Ali.

Clearly, many thousands are also attracted by the Islamism of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood – this is not an organisation without support. But it should come as a huge relief to those who
care about the Arab word that it has not  become the dominant force on the streets. The brave people of Tunisia and Egypt are looking to free themselves from tyranny rather than embrace
another form of authoritarian rule.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close