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Sunday, 27 August 2017

The Economist says blanket repression of Islamists is not a solution

Blanket repression is the wrong way to deal with political Islamists, The Economist writes. “When jihadists kill—as they did again in Spain last week—it is indeed tempting to treat those who seek power in the name of Islam as a menace. Yet the blanket repression of all Islamists is the worst possible response. In the end, it will lead only to more resentment, more turmoil and more terrorism.” The newspaper says: “In Egypt the short-lived Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, seemed to govern for the Brotherhood alone. He installed Brothers throughout the bureaucracy and declared himself to be above the (dubious) judiciary. He alienated other parties, provoking mass protests. Critics assume that Mr Erdogan and Mr Morsi are flawed because they are Islamist. But there is another explanation: that they have mimicked the power-grabbing tactics of Turkish and Egyptian strongmen to pre-empt efforts by the “security state” to seize back power—for Mr Morsi, unsuccessfully.” They suggest that while “political Islamists are hardly the Christian Democrats of the Arab world,” they can be “pragmatic and they cannot be ignored.”

…Separately, the newspaper says it is “strange … that Egypt is now riding to Gaza’s rescue.” The Economist mentions the talks between Hamas representatives, Mohamed Dahlan, Egypt, and the UAE. “The talks, which resumed last week, have been surprisingly fruitful. The UAE has offered Hamas financial inducements worth [USD 15 mn] a month, aid it sorely needs to ease the suffering in Gaza. Hamas, in turn, has said that Mr Dahlan’s men can return … Hamas is also taking on the jihadists in its midst and policing a cordon it created on its side of the border with Egypt.” It believes that “a broader peace is unlikely” and says “Gaza’s siege might ease a bit, but a sweeping rehabilitation will probably have to wait.”

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