"What Tocqueville Would Tell Egypt's Muslim Brotherhhood"
Professor Loconte on the freedom of association
The French intellectual Alexis de Tocqueville once observed that the tendency for Americans to form associations to solve problems is one of the many characteristics that make America an outstanding republic. In “What Tocqueville Would Tell Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood,” Professor Joseph Loconte argues that the hostility toward the freedom of association showed by Egypt’s ruling authorities is dangerous and counterproductive.
Loconte observes that the Egyptian revolution against the dictator Hosni Mubarak has installed a government dismissive of democratic ideals. “The Islamist regime that has replaced it, the Muslim Brotherhood,” Loconte writes, “shows growing contempt for the exercise of this democratic power: the freedom of association.” Indeed, governing authorities have arrested workers at non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like the National Democratic Institute, the International Centre for Journalists, and Freedom House.
Loconte laments the ineffective response that has characterized the Obama administration’s interactions with political Islam. “There was no hint in Kerry's statement of any diplomatic consequences to Morsi's crackdown,” Loconte writes. “There was no warning about Morsi's proposed law to tighten state control over all NGO activities. There will be no interruption in the $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid to Egypt or the $250 million in U.S. economic aid.”
If the United States continue to take the back-seat in international affairs, Loconte fears that the right to associate in Egypt will continue to dissolve in “the acid bath of political Islam.”
Click here to read the full article on Huffington Post.
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