On Starting Point today, Jamie Rubin, former U.S. assistant Secretary of State, and Robin Wright, a Middle East analyst at the Woodrow Wilson Center, weigh in on the violent protests that have occurred in Egypt and explain what the protests might signal for the future of the nation.
“On the streets in Egypt – you’re seeing in a sense – the first wave of protests was democracy, the second wave of protests is Islamic extremism. And it’s those two forces that will determine how they interact, how they develop, who wins,” Rubin says. “The battles of the politics of extremism inside Egypt will determine for us whether Egypt ends up a success story or not. But, so far they seem to be moving in the right direction.”
Wright adds that the big question for Egypt is how the Muslim Brotherhood responds to the protests.
“So far, I think the thing that’s striking is the numbers that have turned out in the streets are still comparatively small. This is a stark contrast to tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands — in some countries millions of people – who actually put their lives on the line to challenge autocrats,” Wright explains. “That means that the majority of people have actually signaled that they want no part in this kind of demonstration [and] that they’re looking for a different kind of era – the post-revolutionary phase.”