Events in the Middle East and North Africa have been unfolding at a dizzying pace over the past month -- a revolt in Tunisia, the release of a cache of confidential Palestinian records with their damning revelations on the Mideast peace process, the fall of a pro-Western government in Lebanon, and now the uprising in Egypt.
Monday morning, amid ever-changing reports on the protests in Egypt, NCR spoke with John Esposito, a professor of religion and international affairs and Islamic studies at Georgetown University, and author of The Future of Islam. Esposito is currently in Oman. The following is an edited version of that phone conversation.
NCR: Can you talk about the Egyptian popular uprising in the context of what has been happening in the region over the past month?
Esposito: Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia are countries that have governments that are authoritarian, repressive, very limited freedom of the press, etc.