__There_was_no_ Arab_Spring__

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OPINION by Prof_Tariq_Ramadan – There has been no “Arab spring;” the perfume of its revolutions burns the eyes like tear gas. For two years now I have often been asked why I have not visited Egypt, where I had been forbidden entry for 18 years. Just as often I repeated that on the basis of the information I was able to obtain — confirmed by Swiss and European officials — the Egyptian army remained firmly in control and had never left the political arena.

I never shared the widespread “revolutionary” enthusiasm. Nor did I believe that events in Egypt, any more than in Tunisia, were the result of a sudden historical upheaval. The peoples of these two countries suffered from dictatorship, from economic and social crisis; they rose up in the name of dignity, social justice, and freedom.

Their awakening, their “intellectual revolution,” and their courage must be saluted. But…

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