O Brotherhood Where Art Thou?

Debating Sisi's Strategy

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi hold pictures of him after he was overthrown by the Egyptian army, Cairo, July 2013. Khaled Abdullah / Reuters


By asserting that an obsessive vendetta against the Muslim Brotherhood animates all of the Egyptian government’s domestic and foreign policies, Steven Cook (“Egypt’s Nightmare,” November/December 2016) tries to force several square pegs into the same round hole. Such a simplistic approach overlooks key elements of the political and economic situation in Egypt and the region at large, as well as the history and true nature of the Brotherhood.

Cook argues that the Egyptian government’s animosity toward the Muslim Brotherhood has wreaked terrible damage, but many of his claims are based on flimsy evidence. For instance, he asserts that Egyptian security forces have “‘disappeared’ hundreds.” But a recent report by Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights revealed that of 267 reported disappearances, 238 involved defendants who were either awaiting trial or had already been released. Cook asserts that the government has “arrested more than 40,000

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