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A historical presidential election is set for next month in Egypt following -- -- ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
Now there are growing concerns that the outcome may turn Egypt into a -- Islamic state based on.
Strict Sharia law which could undercut Washington Kyra relations.
Much of this has been fueled with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood who is also -- its own candidate in the presidential race.
Recently White House officials held meetings in Washington with members of the brotherhood.
The US also sent one point three billion dollars in aid.
Egypt despite the uncertain political future amid the backlash the White House defending those decisions.
What I would say view is that we believe it is in the interest of the United States.
To engage with all parties in Egypt and to engage to continue to engage with -- Egypt because -- has been.
An important ally the United States and an important has played a significant role.
In the region.
Joining -- data give us an insight on issues Egypt is facing leading into the election Hoover institution senior fellow -- Johnny.
And former New York Times correspondent in Tehran and Harvard fellow.
-- your -- you welcome to the both of you thank you for joining us.
-- let me Begin with you several the presidential candidates in Egypt.
Are now openly talking about adopting -- -- law as a foundation of that nation going forward.
What impact could this have.
On the Egyptian landscape.
What it's a good question with the fundamental law and the good news is that the egyptians are voting definitely decisions or not that is not the bloodbath.
In Egypt -- there's limited and infineon the landscape the political landscape and Egypt is very interesting.
Seven candidates were disqualified unless -- man who was more bought it Mubarak's if you will intelligence none.
Was disqualified ones clever member of the Muslim Brotherhood was disqualified.
One man who was very anti American was disqualified he's my favorite.
He was disqualified because his mother was the US citizen as he was -- in the United States so we do have -- candidates.
There's one secular candidate.
Who seems to have some from -- -- -- Who is 76 years old former foreign minister at a former head of the out of league and -- -- -- -- -- candidates and that's what the landscape -- -- -- -- the US is giving over a billion dollars in aid following its meeting with the Muslim Brotherhood.
And this raises some real concerns from some that the US is gambling with members of the brotherhood.
Who have openly condemn the US and the west many say it's a big mistake that we're doing this do you agree.
Well I'm not in a position to judge about that but.
What when of the concerns is.
As a -- -- and he mentioned that.
The -- ally law might be introduced -- -- into state law and that is a big threat for both minority.
And and women's and women's rights.
Office -- -- -- in addition to Muslim Brotherhood there are sake clerics.
Who I'm meeting -- -- three generals.
To unite over a single candidate -- they're meeting with the candidates themselves and they are asking them how they intend to introduce the -- -- -- Into into state law and and that that is in major concern for women who took part overwhelming -- In in the revolution.
They they -- empowered by it they were emboldened by -- -- asking what's gonna happen to some of -- cultural practices.
That we're bound by the previous regime that might be sanctioned.
Under under the new regime.
We're -- definitely have a swing votes.
And and let's not forget that late last year they managed -- in about 70% of the votes in parliament election someone let me ask you.
The question about giving this kind of money -- virtue of government that still has no.
Real solid foundation at this point is it a mistake in the United States to get involved at the stage of the game giving that kind of money.
To a country that is supporting perhaps.
An Islamist government.
-- -- whom I think visited no tourist and one administration after another for the love that thirteen or fourteen years has made a bet.
That we have to work with the egyptians.
-- product played one administration after another Republicans and Democrats would stuck with the fact that he just insisted that states Indonesian.
And actually -- the aid we give to the egyptians -- in -- foreign military sales it's it's -- -- to American companies this is the unappreciated part of the story.
It doesn't give -- that much leverage in in Egypt that the -- for Egypt has doesn't go to his way that is soft -- or does it go Iran's way.
That's the hardest and that's and that's the issue to be decided in the next you know so.
As you know we're talking about Syria -- you pointed out.
The big concern is that it will have a direct impact on marriages divorce inheritance.
And it may severely impact minorities and women's rights because injury a -- for example they talk about stoning women is.
Is perfectly acceptable to do so.
And that is true that is true.
I I mean that they they are similarities with the 1979 revolution in the end -- states hijack -- abolition and implement try to outline.
For 32 years Iran is are fighting against that but I think I mean there are some positive signs as well.
Egyptians are much much more educated and -- -- were in 1979.
More than half of the university students are women and they have access to much better communication -- -- To inform people about the consequences.
Of the decisions that they will make and when people have access to information they can make much wiser choices.
Is so and there is there -- it is serious divisions among.
As long as that sounds among those -- clerics.
Between Saudi -- and Islamic Muslim Brotherhood.
I hope they would be able to.
Chooses the more -- logical candidates.
Write to him on that -- we have to go but I thank you so much for joining us with your insights and I Johnny and brazile thank you very much -- know we'll be checking back with you.
As an election draws near have a great day.
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