Islamic Fundamentalism in Egypt: U.S. Policy Recommendations
NATIONAL WAR COLL WASHINGTON DC
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Islamic fundamentalism is frightening to many Americans. It immediately draws reminders of the American hostages in Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeni, and the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York. The terror invoked by these images leaves Americans feeling threatened, powerless, and uncertain of how to stop the violence. But are Islamic fundamentalists terrorists or freedom fighters Do they offer economic prosperity and political enlightenment or social regression and political repression Why are people, particularly in the Middle East, so attracted to Islam as more than a religion as a form of Government and way of life And what should the U.S. Government do about it, if anything The Egyptian Government of President Hosni Mubarak is currently battling Islamic fundamentalism. They believe so called terrorists are disrupting Egyptian society, inflicting economic devastation, and planning to overthrow the Egyptian Government in the name of Islam. They have adopted tough rhetoric and harsh actions to check the violence and punish the perpetrators, but they have also taken actions to support and promote the teachings of Islam to appeal to religious moderates. The United States supports the Mubarak Government and also advocates conflict resolution, and stability and peace in the region. But the Egyptian Government says this is not enough. As our friend and ally, and importantly, as the first Arab nation to make peace with Israel, they expect increased public support for their actions, less emphasis on human rights, and more money to help them through the difficult economic changes occurring in Egypt. This paper discusses Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt specifically, who and what the Islamic fundamentalists are, the policy and actions of the Egyptian Government in response to the threats of the Islamic fundamentalists, and the U.S. reaction to and current policy on Egypt. Recommendations for improvements to U.S. policy are provided.
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