In an interview with Ezzat Ibrahim, John L. Esposito*, a leading American scholar of Islamic affairs, examines the aftermath of the upheavals of the Arab Spring and the rise of the Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia
Al-Ahram, 29 December 2011 - 4 January 2012; Issue No. 1078
What was your reading of the results of the first rounds of the Egyptian parliamentary elections?
A couple of things, I think. As many expected, the Muslim Brotherhood did well, and this was the case for a variety of reasons. You don't have a strong multi-party system yet in Egypt, for example. I wrote earlier that in both the Tunisian and Egyptian cases, the Islamists could be expected to get around 40 per cent of the vote. However, what has surprised many people was the rise of the Salafis, which had been relatively politically invisible for many of us in terms of the political scene. I think that with the emergence of the Salafis, we have seen them emerging politically and there has bee…