Egypt: Democracy with a Bite

Sadat cracks down hard on an unfocused but growing opposition

"In Egypt you will find an island of love, friendship and democracy—an open country with happy people who have hope for the future." So said Anwar Sadat just two years ago. Today the President of Egypt might have trouble locating many knowledgeable Egyptians who would endorse so sanguine an assessment of the national life.

Concerned by rising militancy among Islamic fundamentalists who object to his secular and pro-Western policies, Sadat has launched a crackdown on dissidents of all persuasions. Over the past two weeks, more than 1,600 of the regime's most...

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