The dramatic events in Egypt since 30 June have brought the traditional conflict between political Islam and Arab nationalism to the fore. The confrontation is taking place at a critical juncture for both movements. Arab nationalism, at its lowest ebb since the Nasser era in the mid-20th century, has lost power in most Arab countries and is facing a severe challenge in its last stronghold, Syria.

Political Islam has scored a string of victories, the most important being its rise to power in Egypt. The overthrow of Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi may have dealt a major blow to political Islam just as it was about to extend its power throughout the region. (CONTINUED - 760 WORDS)