Is Egypt headed for Islamist rule?
Front-runner in the Egyptian presidential election Amr Mussa speaks at a press conference in Cairo this week.
April 26th, 2012
01:21 PM ET

Is Egypt headed for Islamist rule?

Editor's note: Isobel Coleman is the author of "Paradise Beneath Her Feet" and a senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

By Isobel Coleman - Special to CNN

Egypt's presidential race has been a political roller coaster. After banning 10 candidates earlier this month, the country's election commission banned and unbanned this week yet another well-known candidate, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, although the constitutional court is still reviewing that decision. The remaining front-runners for president speak a similar language on the need for economic reform and political transition, but they hold very different positions on the role of Islam in a new Egypt.

In this sense, the presidential election will be an important indicator of how much weight Egyptians give to Islam as a factor in their political life. It will not be the only factor in their decision, which will no doubt turn on questions of personality and name recognition as much as anything. But a vote for a candidate with more conservative Islamist leanings - and there is evidence of strong support for such candidates - will likely influence the writing of the constitution, with potential for a long-lasting impact on the rights of minorities and women in particular.

Read on here.

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Topics: Egypt

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Well

    Of course they are. No one said towel heads were smart did they?

    April 26, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  2. deniz boro

    Egypt is a prolofic and self sufficient land. It never was in need for food or culture. Although it welcomed diffirent invading culture in its history, Those different cultures ended up learning the Egyptian ways. Like temples being built up in Rome for Ceasar after they learned of the possibility of being Gods from Egyptians. Egypt has a longer story of treatind their democratic "rulers" than any other country be it Azurit, Chrystin, Muslim or else.

    April 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  3. TOWEL HEAD

    THEY DID THE SAME IN LIBYA THOSE VILLAGE IDIOTS GOT RE OF THE GREATEST LEADER JAMA ABDEL NASER, AL QATHAFI AND SADDAM THOSE LEADERS REPLACED BY PUPPETS TOWEL HEADS,.......
    GRWO YOUR BRAIN BEFORE YOUR BEARD IDIOTS

    April 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • Marine5484

      Getting rid of Mohammar Qaddaffy was one of the biggest mistakes the Libyans ever made. Now they have a bunch of idiots in his place sitting around and waiting to carry out orders from Washington D.C., not to mention the fact that the West now owns 75 to 80% of their oil!

      April 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
      • Patrick

        I wonder Joseph if you could explain how the West now owns any Lybian oil; or, how anyone in Lybia is being told what to do by the USA?

        April 30, 2012 at 6:12 am |
  4. George Patton

    Whether or not headed for Islamic rule, the very last thing Egypt needs is another pro-Washington stooge leading that country into oblivion as had been the case under both Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak over the last 40 years!!!

    April 26, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Reply
  5. David

    Israel should be the focus here.

    Why are you arguing, when you could be invading Iran??

    WE NEED YOUR MILITARY SUPPORT NOW!!

    You think we can survive with the pitiful 3 billion you give us?? Your insane and greedy in that case...

    You can't spare a few bucks to Israel, but um sure you can all find money for mcdonalds...

    Yahweh remembers betrayal of his chosen, you will pay....

    April 27, 2012 at 12:05 am | Reply
    • ✠ RZ ✠

      Note to Amar. You should seriously consider enforcing the your terms of service on Rabbi, errr David. Whatever.

      April 27, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
  6. j. von hettlingen

    Amr Moussa is a remnant of the old regime, although he distances himself from the past by portraying himself as a liberal who believes in social justice. Economy is on top of his agenda and he will support peace with Israel and in the region. Aboul Fotouh would not have much support from its former party, the Brotherhood and the Salafists. He embraces democratic values and receives support from many young people. Is it enough? He might have a chance. Mohammad Mursi stands in the shadow of the two aforementioned candidates and doesn't have the personality of Fotouh and the experience of Moussa.
    Nevertheless who ever becomes president, he will have to make a deal with the devil – the military.

    April 27, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
  7. deniz boro

    Step by step...Or its another Arab Spring. There are 4 seasons in a year you know.

    May 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Reply

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