This week’s interview features part two of a conversation with Shadi Hamid, a Middle East expert and fellow in Foreign Policy at Brookings. Hamid discusses the perception that Islam and democracy are incompatible. Plus, he goes into more detail about what to expect from Egypt’s President Sisi, and why it’s a cop-out for Americans to look at Middle East violence and say that there’s nothing we can do about it because the hatreds are so ancient and deep seated.
(In part one, Hamid talked about meeting Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including Mohamed Morsi before he became Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, about the power of social media, and about why Islamists are willing, literally, to die for their cause.)
Hamid is the author of the new book, Temptations of Power: Islamists & Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East.
Also in this episode: a new segment, “Out of the Archives,” where we find research from the last century of Brookings history that touches on how we see the world today. During a week in which we observe the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, we take a look at Brookings’s 1960 report for NASA.
• Islamists, Democracy, and the Roots of Middle East Violence (part one of podcast)
• Temptations of Power: Islamists & Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East, by Shadi Hamid (Oxford University Press, 2014)
• The End of Pluralism, by Shadi Hamid
• “Why Sayed Kashua is leaving Jerusalem and never coming back“ (registration required)
• “The Enduring Challenge of Engaging Islamists: Lessons from Egypt,” report by Shadi Hamid
• Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World
Have a question or comment about this podcast, or a question for a scholar? Send it to BCP@brookings.edu and we may address it in an upcoming episode.
ISIS is also keen to target Italy now because it’s one of the few major European countries it hasn’t yet struck. They’re hoping to inspire violence there so that they can say, in effect, 'we’ve already attacked your capitals in London, in Paris, and in Barcelona, and now we’ve attacked Rome. There’s nowhere we can’t reach.'