Blog Entry #5


Article 1: Egypt: Passive Aggression and Counter-revolution: Voters, Youth Stay Home by Juan Cole of Informed Comment

Article 2: Islamic State: Egyptian militants pledge loyalty by BBC News. 

For this blog, I looked at two articles, one by a private blogger expressing his thoughts on Arab Spring and the second one by an established news media, BBC News. In the first article, Cole talked about a low turn out on voting day in Egypt. He goes on to explain how the unexpectedly low turnout was not due to people being uninterested in voting, but because of a rule that was implemented that they had to register to vote in their places of origin. He emphasized that, for many Egyptians who have come to Cairo or Alexandria in search of work, that is a long and expensive train ride. Cole stated that a rule rewarded long-term urban populations and discriminates against rural labor migrants. The author believed that labor migrants were more likely than the urban population to support either the banned Muslim Brotherhood or the socialist candidate, Sabahi. Cole states that many Egyptians acknowledged that the election was fixed and al-Sisi would be the winner. The writer expresses how the youth of Egypt were not fore al-Sisi, but because of the unfairness of political games themselves, they will be forced to continue with their revolution.

The second article was written in November 2011, about 8 months after the Cole’s blog. It focuses on the Islamic State and how Ansar Beit al-Maqdis’ pledge of loyalty to IS is being seen as a further sign of IS’s growing appeal to other Muslim militant groups. Moreover, Militants in Sinai have stepped up their attacks on Egyptian security forces since the military’s overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013. As a response to this attack, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gave the military extra powers in October to combat militant groups in Sinai. In return, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis called on Egyptians to rebel against President Sisi, who led the overthrow of Former President Morsi and said to have fixed his succession in an election earlier this year.

The article by Cole present a point of view sympathetic to the Egyptian people. He seemed to belong in the category of perspective somewhat represented by radicalism. He wanted what was best for the people of Egypt, without political parties forcing their beliefs only on people (i.e. by fixing elections). The second article presented by BBC News seemed neutral and had a political liberalism point view, seeming to wanting “all parties to be present at the table” to resolve the issue of ISIS.

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