Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution

In a special report this week, the Monitor’s Dan Murphy, staff writer and Middle East correspondent, asks whether the government of President Mohamed Morsi can survive. Murphy, who covered the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, examines what the country’s struggles mean for the region, and an Islamist political movement that seems to be on the rise. 

"As long as there is no justice, we are not going to stop protesting," Mohsen al-Domiati says. "This is going to end only when they give us [our] rights. We are eventually going to die, but we are not going alone. We’re going to take lots of them with us."

Domiati’s words are a harsh reminder to Morsi of one of the truisms of history, particularly in the modern Middle East: Taking power is one thing. Governing is something far different.

Read more:

Dan Murphy’s cover story

Ahmadinejad visits Cairo: How sect tempers Islamist ties between Egypt, Iran

In the new Egypt, the police still hew to their old torturing ways

Think you know Egypt? Test your knowledge with this quiz.

Follow Dan Murphy on Twitter @bungdan or read his blog, Backchannels, on the Monitor’s site.

Photos: (Top) A protester opposing Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi gestures at riot police during clashes as a fire is seen at the French Lycee School along Mohamed Mahmoud street, which leads to the Interior Ministry, near Tahrir Square in Cairo, last month. Photo by: Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters

(Left) In this image released by the Egyptian Presidency, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, (center) and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (center r.), participate in an arrival ceremony at the airport in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Feb. 5. AP Photo

Egyptian protesters run from tear gas fired by riot police during clashes next to the presidential palace in Cairo, Friday. Photo by Khalil Hamra/AP

"Now, Qaddafi as a rallying figure has been removed. While there is some hand-wringing today among pundits and supporters of international justice that he wasn’t caught alive and brought to trial, thousands have died on both sides of the battle since the war began – and many more died in his torture chambers and prisons during his decades in power. As the architect of a capricious, one-man rule – and of the civil war itself, when he refused to step down amid the public eruption of anger that started on Feb. 15 in Benghazi – his death can be seen as perhaps the least tragic of the whole war."

— International reporter Dan Murphy encapsulate news of Qaddafi’s death in the Backchannels blog. 

"Perhaps Brievik’s inexcusable act of vicious terror should serve not only as a warning that there may be more elements on the extreme Right willing to use violence to further their goals, but also as an opportunity to seriously reevaluate policies for immigrant integration in Norway and elsewhere. While there is absolutely no justification for the sort of heinous act perpetrated this weekend in Norway, discontent with multiculturalism’s failure must not be delegitimatized or mistakenly portrayed as an opinion held by only the most extremist elements of the Right."

Monitor reporter Dan Murphy identifies commentary that points to sympathy for the views of the Norwegian man alleged to have murdered 76 people last Friday. 



Most interesting in the coming days and weeks will be the question of why this information was shared. Senior US officials don’t usually provide stories like this to the press on a freelance basis. Such leaks are used to signal displeasure, or to put pressure on governments the US is upset with, in this case Pakistan.

Going forward, if stronger evidence emerges that at least some senior members of the ISI were concealing Bin Laden’s location from the US, the relationship is going to be severely strained.

Pakistan remains crucial to the US effort in Afghanistan, and billions of dollars have been given to them in recent years to help them build up their military.


— Dan Murphy, BackChannels blogger, on report that bin Laden contacts in cell phone used by courier may include 2nd degree contacts in Pakistan’s ISI.



Monitor World Headlines

World headlines from Monitor correspondents and writers:

Terrorism & Security: Fatah-Hamas leadership dispute could jeopardize Palestinian statehood campaign - Fatah and Hamas are meeting in Cairo today to choose the leader of the Palestinian unity government. But strong disagreements could derail their reconciliation pact.

Asia Pacific: Thailand’s PM fights uphill reelection battle - Polls suggest that Thailand’s opposition Puea Thai Party (PTP), which is loyal to former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and led by his sister, will win the largest share in a divisive July 3 parliamentary vote.

India: Pressure grows for India to bring back ‘black money’ stashed overseas - The embattled Indian government says the challenge is getting notorious tax-haven nations to help. But international experts say the most common obstacle nations face in trying to recover money is their own governments.

Backchannels Blog: Libyan rebels make gains; Qaddafi plays chess - Germany recognizes the Libya rebels while Qaddafi plays chess with a man who claims intergalactic connections.

Africa Monitor: Africa and the Internet: a 21st century human rights issue? - African leaders could allow freedom of expression, or they could mimic the Chinese model of building a ‘Great Firewall of China’ to shut down Internet systems that allow critical thinking.

"Terrorism is about drama, myth, and a narrative designed to capture media attention and set the agenda of world politics. That is something that bin Laden accomplished brilliantly after 9/11. He appeared to be the strong horse (in his words), and his survival fostered the myth of invincibility that added value to the Al Qaeda franchise. His demise punctures that myth. It is not the end of terrorism, but it is an important milestone."

— Joseph S. Nye, contributing to the Pulling down the bin Laden myth – and brand on the Backchannels blog on

"As a writer, I go to dangerous places, but usually limit my time at the front lines. In Libya, I went up to the fighting to have a sniff from time to time, but high-tailed it whenever mortar fire threatened to get in range. For the photographers, the luxury of piecing together what happened by visiting hospitals and interviewing survivors just isn’t there. Every time I pulled back from the fighting in towns like Ras Lanuf, Brega, and Ajdabiya in eastern Libya, there were photographers in my rear-view mirror."

— Dan Murphy, Monitor world news reporter.

From the Backchannels blog - Hetherington, Hondros, and the risks journalists take


Dan Murphy has landed

CSMonitor reporter Dan Murphy is on the ground and reporting in Libya. Two new posts fresh on within the last hour, take a look: Silenced for decades crowds in ‘Liberated Libya’ berate Qaddafi and Scorn for Qaddafi explodes from ecstatic Libyans


An Iran-style outcome for Egypt? Why there are key differences

The Monitor’s Scott Peterson looks at potential results of the recent unrest, such as the threat of a takeover by Islamic militants, similar to the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran. There are some distinct differences, however, including militant groups taking a smaller role in the protests up to this point. Find the full story here.

Plus, keep checking back to the Monitor’s Backchannels blog as our writers and correspondents watch events unfold on the ground in Egypt.