Ed Husain

The Arab Street

Husain examines politics, society, and radicalism in the greater Middle East.

Can Russia Shift on Syria?

by Ed Husain Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Russian president Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference on the second day of the G20 Summit in Los Cabos (Andres Stapff/Courtesy Reuters). Russian president Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference on the second day of the G20 Summit in Los Cabos (Andres Stapff/Courtesy Reuters).

This week I took part in a New York Times debate on the Syria stalemate between Russia and the West. I argued that Russia can play a pivotal role in ending the conflict if the Syrian opposition and the West can reassure Putin that the benefits of Assad’s departure will outweigh any potential burdens for Russia. Read more »

The Week Ahead: Morsi to Be Sworn In, Putin Visits the Region, Sudan Protests Continue

by Ed Husain Monday, June 25, 2012
President-elect Mohammed Morsi prepares for his first televised address to the nation in Cairo (Stringer Egypt/Courtesy Reuters). President-elect Mohammed Morsi prepares for his first televised address to the nation in Cairo (Stringer Egypt/Courtesy Reuters).

Egypt. President-elect Mohammed Morsi is to be officially sworn in this week, and has already moved into former president Hosni Mubarak’s office. The current cabinet, led by Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri, is expected to submit its resignation soon. The location of Morsi’s swearing-in ceremony remains unconfirmed—it has been reported that he may take the oath before Egypt’s High Constitutional Court, and that he may appear before parliament, in defiance of its dissolution by SCAF. Read more »

After the Arab Spring, the Junta’s Summer

by Ed Husain Thursday, June 21, 2012
Protesters chant slogans in front of policemen standing guard at the parliament building in Cairo (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters). Protesters chant slogans in front of policemen standing guard at the parliament building in Cairo (Asmaa Waguih/Courtesy Reuters).

The following article was published today in the Times, and can be read on their site here.

In Egypt, there is no Aung San Suu Kyi. The liberal youth who won our hearts with their mass demonstrations for freedom in Tahrir Square have, for the time being, at least, lost. In February 2011, they overthrew the Mubarak regime. The old pharaoh himself might be near death, but his successors are anything but. Nearly 18 months later the exhausted and leaderless revolutionary youth seem powerless to stop the old regime from reasserting itself. Read more »

The Week Ahead: Crown Prince Named in Saudi Arabia, Parliament Suspended in Kuwait, Uncertainty Persists in Egypt

by Ed Husain Monday, June 18, 2012
Newly appointed crown prince Salman of Saudi Arabia reacts upon the arrival of the coffin of Crown Prince Nayef at Jeddah airport (Handout/Courtesy Reuters). Newly appointed crown prince Salman of Saudi Arabia reacts upon the arrival of the coffin of Crown Prince Nayef at Jeddah airport (Handout/Courtesy Reuters).

Egypt. Although official election results are not due until Thursday, the Muslim Brotherhood has claimed victory for its presidential candidate, Mohammed Morsi. His challenger, former prime minister Ahmed Shafik, has not yet commented, but his spokesperson has emphasized that the results are not final. The election has been overshadowed by court decisions and a declaration by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces giving it the final word on most political matters, and complete independence from civilian oversight. Read more »

On Iraq and the Jews

by Ed Husain Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Two children carrying food and water walk in front of the shrine containing the tomb of Jewish prophet Ezekiel in the Iraqi town of Kifl, south of Baghdad (Stefano Rellandini/Courtesy Reuters). Two children carrying food and water walk in front of the shrine containing the tomb of Jewish prophet Ezekiel in the Iraqi town of Kifl, south of Baghdad (Stefano Rellandini/Courtesy Reuters).

What’s the latest anti-American complaint from Iraq? The United States has allegedly stolen Jewish artifacts from the Iraqi ministry of tourism. In this Arabic article in al-Hayat newspaper, the Iraqi tourism minister makes blusterous noises about ending cooperation with the United States due to his new love for Jewish history. Read more »

The Week Ahead: Egypt’s Runoff Election and a New Leader for Syria’s National Council

by Ed Husain Monday, June 11, 2012
The new president of the Syrian National Council, Abdelbaset Sieda, speaks during a news conference in Istanbul (Osman Orsal/Courtesy Reuters). The new president of the Syrian National Council, Abdelbaset Sieda, speaks during a news conference in Istanbul (Osman Orsal/Courtesy Reuters).

Egypt. The runoff election between presidential candidates Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq is scheduled for June 16 and 17. Meanwhile, calls for an election boycott are gaining strength among voters who identify with neither candidate or who believe Shafiq, as a former Mubarak regime official, should not be permitted to participate in the election. Whether the boycott will affect the legitimacy of the vote’s outcome remains to be seen. Read more »

By Voting, Muslims Disregard Hard-Line Clerics

by Ed Husain Thursday, June 7, 2012
An Egyptian man shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote at a polling station in Cairo (Suhaib Salem/Courtesy Reuters). An Egyptian man shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote at a polling station in Cairo (Suhaib Salem/Courtesy Reuters).

Two prominent Muslim clerics recently issued fatwas, or religious edicts, forbidding Arab Muslims from voting in secular electoral processes. One is an Iraqi Shiite, Grand Ayatollah Kadhim al-Hairi, and another is a jihadist theoretician, Sheikh Abu al-Mundhir al-Shinqiti, who is struggling to provide guidance to Sunni Arabs embracing elections and democracy from Tunisia to Egypt. Read more »