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Egyptian turmoil snowballing

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January 31, 2011
Middle East collapse?
SFU political policy expert Doug McArthur, who has been instrumental in helping Afghanistan grow solid democratic roots after its political collapse, is intensely watching Egypt’s implosion. McArthur fears the political chaos in Egypt will soon lead to violent internal anarchy that will be far more difficult to manage than the aftermath of the United States-led dismantling of Afghanistan’s government. McArthur says: “What is happening in Egypt could trigger the collapse of other Middle East governments.”

Doug McArthur, 604.786.0016 (cell), dmcarthu@sfu.ca

Eyes on Egyptian chaos
Civil chaos is closing Egyptian banks and stores. Food supplies are running short. Canadians and other foreigners are being evacuated. And plans are under way for a million-man march in Cairo to demand President Hosni Mubarak step down. Tamir Moustafa, an associate professor in SFU International Studies, is a real expert on Egyptian affairs, and is available to talk about the situation as it continues to develop today.

Tamir Moustafa, 604.771.1379 (cell); tmoustafa@sfu.ca

What's behind the stunning silence of President Barack Obama on the Egyptian situation? SFU political scientist Alex Moens analyses the United States’ take on world affairs, including its views on the spread of Islamic fundamentalism. Moens says, given that Egypt is one of the oldest hotbeds of Sunni Islamism: "The potential collapse of Egypt’s relatively stable military regime poses a real threat to the United States. A half-decent military dictatorship in a state known for Islamic fanaticism is far more reassuring for the Americans than having a Muslim brotherhood takeover wreak violence, death and destruction.”

Alex Moens, 778.782.4361; moens@sfu.ca

Andre Gerolymatos, an SFU international security expert, shares Moens’ view. “The primary arbiters of power in Egypt are the military—who historically have launched coups and installed dictators—and the Muslim brotherhood, that represent the extreme religious movement from which al-Qaeda has sprung. What will happen in Egypt will depend to what degree the extreme Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated officers of the army.”

Andre Gerolymatos, 778.782.5597, 604.778.2712 (cell); andre_gerolymatos@sfu.ca

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