The mainstream Western view of the election is bizarre and very damaging. In this fantasy, Aboul Fatouh is portrayed as the liberal candidate. If he wins, everything will be just fine and dandy. You can go back to sleep.
What evidence is adduced for this picture? Basically, none. The idea is that his moderation was proven because he defied the Brotherhood to run for the office. Yet the reality is the exact opposite. The Brotherhood refused to run a candidate at a time when it was following a cautious strategy, wanting to show that it wasn’t seeking total power and could co-habit—at least for five years—with a non-Islamist president.
By declaring his candidacy, Aboul Fatouh was in fact taking a more radical approach. Later, when the Brotherhood felt more confident after winning almost half the parliamentary seats it became more aggressive. (Read more…)