The Coup Watched ‘Round The Arab World, Ctd

Adam Shatz runs down how news of Morsi’s ousting is going down across the Middle East:

Qatar, which invested heavily in the Brothers, has lost a major ally. (The Saudis, who supported the more extreme Salafis against the Brothers, played their hand much better: the Salafis sided with the army and are likely to have a say in the transition.) Hamas, which reshuffled its regional alliances when its parent organisation came to power in Egypt, leaving its offices in Damascus for Doha, must be weighing its options. Bashar Assad is already gloating. Morsi was a passionate champion of the Syrian insurgency; only two weeks before his overthrow, he infuriated Assad (and, more fatefully, Egypt’s secular-minded generals) by appearing at a rally where one cleric after another called for jihad against the regime in Damascus. In an interview with the official Thawra newspaper, Assad said: ‘The summary of what is happening in Egypt is the fall of what is called political Islam.’ That autopsy might have come as news to his Islamist allies in Tehran and in Hizbullah, without whom he could not have defeated the rebels in Qusayr. Still, the Sunni trend in Islamism has suffered a serious blow in Cairo, and its effects are likely to be far-reaching.

Madawi Al-Rasheed zooms in on Saudi Arabia in particular, whose rulers always saw the Brotherhood as a rival brand of Islamism:

The failure of the Muslim Brotherhood to hold on to power for a year is now celebrated in the official Saudi press. So-called liberal journalists congratulate the Egyptian people on getting rid of the so-called religious dictatorship while forgetting their own plight under a regime that was equally if not more oppressive. In contrast, Saudi Islamists spread the rumor that Saudi Arabia, together with the United Arab Emirates, was behind Morsi’s fall. While there may be some truth to this, such rumors undermine the Egyptian crowds that assembled to press for his downfall. If the outcome so far pleases the Saudi regime, it should not obscure the fact that Egypt remains diverse, volatile and may not unquestionably succumb to the rule of Islamists or other governments eager to patronize them. The Egyptian crowds got rid of their Islamists and will not become clients of the Saudi regime. They have staged two revolutions so far and will continue to do so until they reach a post-revolutionary equilibrium in which all are politically represented.

William McCants gauges the Salafi reaction:

[N]o Salafi is likely more pleased with the turn of events in Egypt than Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of al Qaeda. For decades, Zawahiri has argued that the Muslim Brotherhood’s engagement in party politics does nothing more than strengthen the hands of its adversaries and ratify an un-Islamic system of rule. Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, he has continued to make his argument that the West and its local proxies will never allow an Islamist government to actually rule. He doubtless views the coup last week as a final vindication of his argument.

More Dish on the regional reaction Egypt’s coup here.