Interviews with Daniel Pipes
Predicting Middle Eastern Politics
Translations of this item:
The Australian: In Egypt, Islamist parties now hold about 80 per cent of the seats in parliament. Given the majority of demonstrators in Tahrir Square were liberal secularists, has Egypt's Arab Spring been hijacked?
Daniel Pipes: No, because the liberals of Tahrir Square did not force Mubarak from power. The military took advantage of their mass demonstrations to dispatch a president it had had enough of, in large part because of his intent on handing power to his son, Gamal.
Is the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood bad news for Egypt's Coptic Christians and secularists?
Yes, but the Copts have fared badly under the military as well, which engaged in a pogrom against them a half year ago. I doubt the Muslim Brotherhood has had a victory but rather see the parliamentary elections as basically fraudulent.
Is there a risk that the major beneficiaries of the mass demonstrations in the Middle East will be well-organised Islamic parties?
Yes, well-organised Islamic parties are in a position to seize power in a number of countries including Libya, Jordan, Syria and Yemen. But I see this less the result of fleeting economic tribulations than the consequence of a deep frustration about the weakness of the umma, the Muslim community, over the past two centuries. I call this the trauma of modern Islam.
Had the US not gone to war in Iraq, would Saddam Hussein have been toppled by his own people anyway?
No, because Saddam Hussein's regime was unique in its brutality and in his determination to hold on to power. The Syrian regime is probably the closest parallel to it. I doubt whether the Iraqis would have revolted against Saddam; if they did, I doubt whether they would have succeeded. Remember, Saddam used chemical weapons against his own people in 1988.
Is Iran's regime weakening?
It's certainly feeling the heat. The European oil boycott is having an effect and the current struggle between President Armadinajad and Supreme Leader Khamenei reflects serious internal divisions between the clerical elite and military veterans like Armadinajad. I see Iran as comparable to the Soviet Union in the 1970s: a powerful and bellicose state but a hollow one because most of its subjects are alienated.
What is the likelihood of a US and/or Israeli air strike against Iran's nuclear facilities?
I can't answer that but I do sense that the Iranians will be prevented from acquiring nuclear arms. Tehran is as dead set on building nuclear weapons as the North Korean leadership.
Wouldn't a military strike against Iran galvanise the population behind the theocratic regime?
Perhaps, but it might cause them to turn in anger against the government. This is hard to predict.
You're more pessimistic about Turkey than Iran, aren't you?
Yes. When the Islamist party, the AKP, came to power in 2002, it trod carefully around the military and did little to overturn the secular principles established by Ataturk in the 1920s. When it was re-elected in 2007 the AKP's Islamisation project became much more evident, especially weakening the military's political power. Since its re-election last year the AKP's gloves have come off and the bullying has increased.
Can Syria's President Bashar al-Assad survive?
No. Increasing resistance from the soldiers, growing economic problems and burgeoning international opposition doom the regime.
Is fundamentalist Islam increasing or decreasing in influence?
It is peaking about now. The collapse of the Islamic regime in Iran would be a key event in its decline.
|Problem of conflict between Palestine and Israel [165 words]||Sennari Masuya||Jan 26, 2013 06:52||202804|
|Akp is an islamist Party and a bunch of liars [1 words]||ALPER||Jul 27, 2012 10:46||197470|
|Future of Islamism [107 words]||stevias||May 12, 2012 18:51||195571|
|turkey? [105 words]||havas||May 14, 2012 12:59||195571|
|Declining influence of religious certitude [116 words]||Stephen Borkowski||May 24, 2012 15:28||195571|
|Fundamentalist loners [161 words]||stevias||May 24, 2012 18:56||195571|
|1||What are the problems? [564 words]||Alexandros||Apr 26, 2012 08:03||195264|
|More than one road [99 words]||David W. Lincoln||Apr 17, 2012 13:22||195129|
|Predicting Middle Eastern Politics [19 words]||steven L||Apr 16, 2012 17:51||195120|
|2||Islamic Threat to the World? [232 words]|
w/response from Daniel Pipes
|Dan Rusen||Apr 16, 2012 14:51||195118|
|9.11 was not enough [72 words]||sara||May 12, 2012 18:56||195118|
|6||Why the Revival of Islam [it seems redundant to use the adjective fundamentalist] has not yet Peaked [523 words]||Ron Thompson||Apr 16, 2012 10:35||195117|
|AKP and Turkey [54 words]||Taner Mersin||Apr 16, 2012 09:23||195116|
|4||View of Turkey [51 words]|
w/response from Daniel Pipes
|Nazim||Apr 16, 2012 09:04||195115|
|7||More than admiration [410 words]||Ianus||Apr 18, 2012 19:16||195115|
|Fulfillment of a Destiny Already Formed [241 words]||M. Tovey||Apr 20, 2012 15:18||195115|
|View of Turkey [164 words]||Nazim||Apr 22, 2012 17:49||195115|
|3||Turkey - a staunch traitor [90 words]||Ianus||Apr 25, 2012 16:25||195115|
|Turkey will always be considered a great Muslim nation [205 words]||slayhy||Apr 28, 2012 14:45||195115|
|1||Is it possible? [106 words]||Alexandros||Apr 30, 2012 06:47||195115|
|What was Turkey Before Constantine? [477 words]||M. Tovey||Apr 30, 2012 15:27||195115|
|3||Predicting Middle Eastern Politics. Truth is so important for man. [204 words]||Anne||Apr 16, 2012 08:56||195114|
|8||Changes are still coming [54 words]||Michael Hanni Morcos||Apr 16, 2012 06:34||195111|
You can help support Daniel Pipes' work by making a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum. Daniel J. Pipes