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Intelligence Squared
U.S. Debates: Better
Elected Islamists
than Dictators

Thursday, October 04, 2012  |  6:45pm


Topic: Better Elected Islamists Than Dictators.

Reuel Marc Gerecht, Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Brian Katulis, Senior Fellow at Center for American Progress

Daniel Pipes, President, Middle East Forum

Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, Founder & President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy

More than a year after the Arab Spring swept through Tahrir Square the Muslim Brotherhood or Islamist party have filled Egypt's leadership void to become its most powerful political force, winning the presidency and nearly half the seats in parliament. The U.S., a longtime supporter of former strongman Hosni Mubarak, now faces the uncomfortable result of Arab democracy -- the rise of an Islamist party that is less amenable to the West than its autocratic predecessor. Founded over 70 years ago, the Brotherhood has successfully combined religion, social welfare and politics to become the most influential Islamist organization in the world. Will the Islamists, which once embraced violence, slowly liberalize as it faces the difficulties of state leadership? Or will it mean the growth of anti-Americanism and radicalization in the region?

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