Kirkpatrick and the Myth of Egypt’s “Liberals”

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 If you would like to read a perfect example of a monochromic simplification of the complex Egyptian political scene, take a look at David Kirkpatrick’s piece in the New York Times: Egyptian Liberals Embrace the Military, Brooking No Dissent.

 His opening paragraph begins with, “In the square where liberals and Islamists once chanted together for democracy, demonstrators now carry posters hailing as a national hero the general who ousted the country’s first elected president, Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

 Like many western analysts, Kirkpatrick has redefined the various shades of non-Islamism in Egypt as liberalism. It has become a lazy way to lump together anyone with the slightest unease about the Muslim Brotherhood’s failed policy within one broad, simple definition. In a rather absurd way it labels in one big condescending swoop both ex-regime supporters and army supporters as “liberals.”

 He continued by saying, “Liberal…

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