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May 25th, 2012
11:52 AM ET

Fawaz Gerges: The U.S. 'has very little to fear' from the Muslim Brotherhood

Tensions are high as the Egyptian ballots are counted and the world waits to see who the country's citizens elect as their new president.

While the Muslim Brotherhood claimed a lead in the historic election yesterday, saying that its exit polls show Mohamed Morsi leading the pack of thirteen candidates on the ballot, Morsi isn't expected to win outright.

If no candidate garners 50% of the vote in the country's first round of voting, a run-off between the two leading contenders will be held June 16-17th.

Responding to concerns that the election of a member of the Muslim Brotherhood would not be in America's interest, Fawaz Gerges emphasizes that the United States "has very little to fear" from the Islamist movement on Starting Point this morning.

Gerges, considered a top expert on the Middle East, acknowledges that the pluralistic democracies to be established in the Middle East in the aftermath of the Arab Spring will not look like the American system.

Gerges says that countries in the Middle East will develop their own models of democracy, emphasizing that he believes that the Islamists in Egypt are looking to Turkey, not Iran, as a model for the democratic system they'd like to establish.

Gerges calls his new book, "Obama and the Middle East," an indictment of American foreign policy while stressing that President Obama was faced with a "bitter inheritance" in international affairs when he took office.

Responding to various sources that have used his book as a negative referendum on Obama's foreign policies, Gerges stresses that "Obama has gone out of his way to try to repair the damage" to America's international relationships.

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Filed under: Arab Spring • Egypt
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