How cutting off the Internet backfired on Hosni Mubarak.

Opinions about events beyond our borders.
May 23 2011 12:15 PM

How Cutting Off the Internet Backfired on Hosni Mubarak

An interview with Egyptian dissident Saad Eddin Ibrahim.

Saad Eddin Ibrahim. Click image to expand.
Saad Eddin Ibrahim

Dissident Saad Eddin Ibrahim recently returned to Egypt from exile. Washington Post senior associate editor Lally Weymouth talked with him in Cairo. Excerpts follow:

L.W.: How many years have you been out of the country?

SEI: Four years.

L.W.: You weren't allowed to come back to Egypt or you would have been arrested?

SEI: Yes, there were about 28 cases against me [brought by the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak]. This time when I landed, there were thousands of people waiting for me. I have dominated the news. ... This bodes ill for the future of democracy in this country.

L.W.: Because the other liberal forces are in disarray?

SEI: They were suppressed under Mubarak and ... they don't have the infrastructure that the Muslim Brothers and the Salafis have.

L.W.: Are the Salafis as numerous as the Muslim Brotherhood?

SEI: No, but they are more vehement.

L.W.: More Islamist?