I predicted earlier this year that the Arab Spring would likely result in further Islamic radicalization of the Arab world. According to The New York Times, the “mainstream” Muslim Brotherhood has captured about forty percent of the Egyptian vote, based on early election results. “Mainstream” in Egypt is a decidedly relative term. It is important to note that the teachings of Muslim Brotherhood “scholars” like Sayyid Qutb inspired folks like current al-Qaeda leader and terrorist mastermind, Ayman al-Zawahiri. To make matters worse, a second, ultraconservative group of Islamists captured a further twenty-five percent of the vote; the combined Islamist bloc therefore represents 65 percent of the total.
According to The New York Times:
“That victory came at the expense of the liberal parties and youth activists who set off the revolution, affirming their fears that they would be unable to compete with Islamists who emerged from the Mubarak years organized and with an established following. Poorly organized and internally divided, the liberal parties could not compete with Islamists disciplined by decades as the sole opposition to Mr. Mubarak.”
While voting has taken place in only about a third of Egypt’s provinces, these areas included some of the nation’s most liberal areas. As such, the representation of Islamist groups is more likely to increase as the voting continues. Given that Egypt is the largest Arab country by population, this development is likely a major blow to regional stability and American interests.