The Muslim Brotherhood’s first women’s division, the Muslim Sisters Group, was created in 1932. Since then, women activists have been at the forefront of the social and political struggle of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt.
The Obama administration can find a positive new way forward on democracy promotion by changing how the United States supports democracy abroad rather than what emphasis to place on it relative to other interests.
Barack Obama's election was celebrated throughout the Middle East. But enthusiasm could quickly turn to hostility if the new administration does not back up its rhetoric with concrete changes to U.S. Middle East policy on three key issues: Palestine, Iraq, and political reform.
President-elect Obama emphasizes the need for greater diplomacy and a willingness to engage with hostile regimes. This commitment to “return to diplomacy” will not be enough to end the deadlock in the Middle East. Obama should break from traditional U.S. posture and support peace initiatives originating with Arab countries.
In a special live broadcast of the BBC’s The World Tonight program, Carnegie experts assessed the foreign policy priorities facing President-elect Barack Obama. The wide-ranging discussion focused on issues from Iraq, climate change, and the Middle East peace process, to Russia and Iran.
Amid the overwhelming popular enthusiasm and unprecedented media coverage in the Arab world that accompanied the 2008 U.S. presidential elections, the Carnegie Middle East Center provided an open forum for distinguished Arab observers to share their thoughts on future American policies in the Middle East.
Islamist women, increasingly restless with their subordinate status in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, are pushing for greater representation and a wider role. Their call for broader participation in decision-making bodies are not signs of a “rebellion of the Sisters,” but part of the normal dynamics of change.
Free trade agreements between the West (U.S. and EU) and Middle East and North African (MENA) countries, while containing beneficial elements, have strengthened negative perceptions of “western-led globalization” because they benefit unpopular elites and impose serious short term economic adjustment.
Arab governments tempered public anger at rising food prices by increasing wages and subsidies, but their approach is not sustainable without raising taxes. Instead they should revise agricultural policies, expand social safety nets, and curb excessive energy consumption, argues Carnegie Middle East Center economist Ibrahim Saif.
There is perhaps no leader in the world more important to current world affairs but less known and understood than Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran. In a unique and timely new study Carnegie’s Karim Sadjadpour presents an in-depth political profile of Khamenei based on a careful reading of three decades' worth of his writings and speeches.