Are secular forces being squeezed out of Arab Spring?

Secular and liberal elements in Arab countries made the running at the start of the Arab Spring, but in the post-revolutionary age, they have all the work to do if they are to capitalise on their success, says Middle East analyst Gerald Butt.

The huge rally organised by Islamists in Tahrir Square in Egypt on a Friday at the end of July and the growing influence of Islamic groups in Tunisia are evidence of this.A very different state of affairs prevailed during the previous era of Arab revolutions in the 1950s. Syria, at this time, experienced a series of military coups; King Farouk of Egypt was ousted by a group of army officers in 1952; and the monarchy in Iraq was overthrown in a bloody revolution in 1958.


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