For centuries Egypt has been a citadel of Islamic learning and thought, and since the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty in 1979, it has been of immense strategic importance to American interests in the Middle East. But Egypt is also a country in crisis, torn between the old and the new, between unsettled religious revival and secular politics. President Hosni Mubarak favors a secular society. But Mubarak's government faces constant conflict with militant clerics such as Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. In A Portrait of Egypt, Mary Anne Weaver argues that an Islamist victory in Egypt is almost inevitable, and, unlike that of Shi'ite Iran, its impact on the Islamic world will be truly profound.
Based on exclusive interviews with militants and front men, generals and presidents, A Portrait of Egypt is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the far-reaching consequences of the growing impact of Islamist politics and policies on the West.