Prof Mansur on the continuing islamist turn of the arab spring.
Revolutions are known to devour their children, and popular uprisings driven by the promise of change for the better have been notorious for turning into nightmares.
The so-called Arab Spring is another dark night unfolding across the Middle East.
This was predictable, and inevitable.
The Tunisian fruit-seller who sparked this Arab Spring by self-immolating was a man driven to despair by the very culture into which he was born, and from which he knew there was no escape.
The act of self-immolation was a terrible display of despair of a desperate man.
And so is the political drama in Arab streets — from Tripoli to Cairo to Damascus — an uncoiling of desperation among people trapped in a tribal culture stamped by authoritarianism.
But the culture is unforgiving, for it has been made by hard men and handed down from fathers to sons.
The history of this region, from the earliest years of Islam to the present time, is one relatively unbroken record of authoritarian rulers.
This is the closed circle where politics move from bad to worse, not good to better.