News Tip: Expert Available to Comment on Political Developments in Egypt

An equally plausible scenario … would be a government run by civilians headed by a military officer who would not be wearing a uniform but would have the army's backing

Three years after the revolution in Egypt that toppled Hosni Mubarak, and in an atmosphere of escalating political violence in the country, Egypt's defense minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been given the green light by Egypt's top generals to run for president. Abdeslam MaghraouiAssociate Professor of the Practice, Political Science, Duke University, and core faculty member of the Duke Islamic Studies Center  aem35@duke.eduhttp://polisci.duke.edu/people?Gurl=&Uil=6929&subpage=profileMaghraoui's research focuses on political identity, political institutions, and political behavior in the Middle East and North Africa region. Quote:"We can imagine several scenarios: The worst would be descent into major, violent civil strife pitting the military against armed, radicalized Islamist groups that became disillusioned with the Muslim Brotherhood and the political process. This is what I call the Algerian scenario."In 1991 in Algeria, the army intervened to stop the legislative elections that the main Islamist party in Algeria then, the Islamic Salvation Front, was poised to win with an overwhelmingly majority. They banned the Islamist party, arrested its leaders, and threw thousands of its supporters in desert camps."The generals' argument then was that with a two-thirds majority in the national assembly, the Islamists had the mandate to rewrite Algeria's Constitution on the basis of Islamic law. Well, we know what happened next: Splinter armed groups emerged out of hiding and a deadly civil war ensued during the following years leaving hundreds of thousands of deaths."Of course, Egypt is not Algeria, we are talking about two different contexts. Nonetheless, the Algerian scenario is still possible. "An equally plausible scenario, this one perhaps more likely, is what I call the Pakistani scenario: It would be a government run by civilians headed by a military officer who would not be wearing a uniform but would have the army's backing."But more importantly, the military, and in particular Gen. al-Sisi, just like Zia-ul Haq in Pakistan (president from 1978-88), could have strong ties to Islamic groups and proceed with an even more forced 'Islamization' of Egyptian society and state institutions."                                                                _        _        _        _Duke experts on a variety of other topics can be found at http://newsoffice.duke.edu/resources-media/faculty-experts.