Islamists win two-thirds of Egyptian vote

Let’s face it – this is a demoralizing defeat

The final results of the Egyptian parliamentary elections are in, and they’re exactly what we liberals didn’t want to believe could happen, and what most conservatives predicted. The Muslim Brotherhood won 38%, the even more radical Islamist Nour party won 29%, and liberal parties finished third and fourth. As for the team the whole world was rooting for, Reuters reports:

“The Revolution Continues coalition, dominated by youth groups at the forefront of the protests that toppled Mubarak, attracted less than a million votes and took just seven of the 498 seats up for grabs in the lower house.”

I don’t regret siding with the protesters against Mubarak one bit; knowing what I knew then, I didn’t see that a democrat had any choice. But if I’d known then what I know today? I would have supported Mubarak. I know the road to democracy and reform was never going to be easy in Egypt or any other Arab country, but let’s face it – this is terrible. Before we were worried about the Muslim Brotherhood; now we’re rooting for them against Nour and hoping they’ll take the liberal parties into the coalition to soften the blow. 

There’s no sense denying it – this is a demoralizing defeat for one of the most inspiring movements anyone’s ever seen. It takes the Middle East a giant leap backward.