It’s time for the person most consistently wrong about the Muslim Brotherhood to admit that just about everything he said about the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s Arab Spring was wrong, including:

Already we hear the predictable warnings from Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu: This could be Iran 1979, a revolution for freedom that installs the Islamists. But this is not 1979, and Egypt’s Facebook-adept youth are not lining up behind the Muslim Brotherhood, itself scarcely a band of fanatics.


But having watched Egypt’s extraordinary civic achievement in building the coalition that ousted Mubarak, having watched Tahrir Square become cooperation central, and having watched the professionalism of the Egyptian army, I’m convinced the country has what it takes to build a decent, representative society — one that gives the lie to all the stereotypes associated with that dismissive shorthand “The Arab Street.”

In fact, post-Tahrir, let’s retire that phrase.


I said I was inclined to give Morsi the benefit of the doubt on his motives.


Egypt’s post-revolutionary political turmoil is obvious. Less obvious is how the wisdom and humor of the world’s oldest nation state temper and shape events….

Yes, wisdom and humor were on full display:

A campaign of intimidation by Islamists left most Christians in this southern Egyptian province too afraid to participate in last week’s referendum on an Islamist-drafted constitution they deeply oppose, residents say. The disenfranchisement is hiking Christians’ worries over their future under empowered Muslim conservatives.

Around a week before the vote, some 50,000 Islamists marched through the provincial capital, Assiut, chanting that Egypt will be “Islamic, Islamic, despite the Christians.” At their head rode several bearded men on horseback with swords in scabbards on their hips, evoking images of early Muslims conquering Christian Egypt in the 7th Century.

Look who’s laughing now:

An Islamist-backed Egyptian constitution won approval in a referendum, rival camps said on Sunday, after a vote the opposition said would sow deep social divisions in the Arab world’s most populous nation.

The end of civil society in Egypt was cheerled by columnists at The NY Times, and Cohen was not alone in that regard. 

“Sorry” won’t help the women of Egypt, the Coptic Christians, Muslims who cherish modernity, or the “Google guys” who columists like Cohen naively thought would control the streets.

But it would be a start.


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