Others | 11 October 2010
You may get a hundred different answers from a hundred American Muslims about what it means to be an American Muslim. The controversial Islamic center near ground zero, while pouring salt in a yet widely open national wound, did begin to awaken us to the yet unfought war of ideas within the "House of Islam." Many of us reform-minded Muslims have been waging that war of ideas for most of our adult life, long before 9/11. But time has shown that we cannot wage this battle alone. ..
Youseef Sidhom | 10 October 2010
With his typical wisdom Pope Shenouda III extinguished the flames of sectarianism which flared last month in the wake of the bitter verbal exchange between the Islamic scholar and lawyer Mohamed Selim al-Awa and Secretary-General of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Church Anba Bishoi. The media capitalised on the incident and, what began as a war of words, threatened to turn into full-scale sectarian ..
Others | 10 October 2010
The Kingdom of Jordan is usually considered to be one of the most Christian-friendly countries in the Middle East but, according to a Catholic News Service report this week, even there Chaldean Catholic refugees from Iraq are being forbidden to work...
Youseef Sidhom | 3 October 2010
I am in no way opposed to exposing corruption or reforming whatever aftermath it may bring. But I am opposed to trifling with the stability of the community or jeopardising economic development. Given the slow and stumbling political reform, economic reform remains our only chance to rescue the needy and underprivileged, and give them hope for a better tomorrow...
Others | 3 October 2010
In an already tumultuous election year, which has seen frustrated Egyptians take to the streets in protest over everything from low wages to police brutality, the country’s most prominent reform activist is attempting to stage what could be its largest political demonstration yet...
Others | 26 September 2010
Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germans have failed to grasp how Muslim immigration has transformed their country and will have to come to terms with more mosques than churches throughout the countryside, according to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily...
Others | 26 September 2010
A conference entitled Nos Familles, Nos Fondations (Our Families, Our Foundations) will shortly take place on Sept. 25 at the Palais des congrès de Montréal (the convention centre). The conference, sponsored by Islamic Relief Canada, a well-known organization which is headquartered in Great Britain, is the product of the alliances of the broad Muslim Brotherhood movement. The Muslim Brotherhood is a ..
Youseef Sidhom | 26 September 2010
Sameh Mahrous, a journalist with the State-owned daily al-Gomhouriya, came to me carrying a complaint so bitter it is almost impossible to believe. But worse, it documents—thus makes it imperative to believe—a level of appalling official irresponsibility. Mr Mahrous has raised his complaint to the Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and prosecutor-general Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, demanding justice...
Youseef Sidhom | 19 September 2010
With the upcoming parliamentary elections approaching, and coverage of all that pertains to it occupying a sizeable portion of media coverage, I thought of checking my voting card in preparation. Not surprisingly, years of use had left their mark on the paper, hand written card. Let me remind the reader that in Egypt voting cards are issued in paper form and are hand written, which makes them difficult to read owing to normal handwriting flaws and because of the predictable erosion with the passage of time...
Others | 19 September 2010
One Enclave at a Time It seems almost unthinkable, but Islamist groups are, as we speak, hard at work creating Muslim states-within-states in the U.S. Indeed, this process has been unfolding for a long time across the Western world, through the creation of isolated Muslim enclaves in both rural and urban areas, as well as through the designation of "no-go zones" where governments admit to having little authority over Muslims living there, essentially leaving them to function as autonomous regions...
Youseef Sidhom | 12 September 2010
The year 2010 has seen Egypt celebrate three strongholds of progress and development in its modern history. It has been 50 years since the first spark which marked the beginning of the construction of the Aswan High Dam; 50 years on the establishment of the first Egyptian national TV channel; and 50 years since the erection of the Cairo stadium. All three national projects have positively affected the life of Egyptians in an irrevocable manner. Precisely for this reason, it is time to assess what each has achieved in terms of ameliorating the life of Egyptians. While the first two projects have had their fair share of appraisal by the media, I intend to focus on the third project...
Others | 12 September 2010
I. Overview:Islam has played an important role in the making of history and culture of the Arabic speaking peoples. While the “Muslim mind” has known periods of prosperity (according to the norms of the Middle-Ages) until the twelfth century A.D., it has also known, since that time, a course of decline, stagnation, and isolation, of which one cannot hide the features. Since the interaction of the peoples of this region with the West (since the first day of the French Campaign in Egypt in 1798), the problematic ..
Others | 12 September 2010
When a German banker and former government official spoke publicly about a unique “Jewish gene,” when he attacked Islam as a source of violence and stunted development and when he espoused genetic theories that evoked the fright of the Nazi past, the political leadership here quickly condemned him as racist and called for him to be fired...
Youseef Sidhom | 5 September 2010
I harbour no sympathy for the calls to reopen the file of constitutional amendments. It would disrespect the Constitution, which was amended as late as 2007, to reconsider it every now and then for no urgent reason. If some politicians and pundits have aspirations to introduce fundamental changes to the ..
Youseef Sidhom | 29 August 2010
Wit November only a few weeks away, competition among candidates who will then be running for the People’s Assembly (PA)—the lower house of Egypt’s parliament—is rapidly heating up. Once the running candidates are officially approved, they will be scrambling to familiarise voters in their constituencies with their respective electoral platforms, in a bid to win. The contest is expected to be a fierce one, and not without its hazards. ..
Others | 29 August 2010
I was planning to resume my articles this week on schizophrenic Muslims, who are doing much injustice to themselves and their religion. But I rapidly changed my mind when a masterpiece by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh was cut out of its frame in the Mr & Mrs Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Giza last week and simply disappeared..
Youseef Sidhom | 22 August 2010
Dr Ahmed Fathy Sorour has been Speaker of the People’s Assembly (PA)—the lower house of Egypt’s parliament—for some two decades today. Throughout this extended period he has succeeded in winning the general respect of Egyptians for what was seen as his objectivity and impartiality, as well as his utmost decency in tongue and pen. He took care never to take sides with the government or the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP); his only loyalty appeared to be for the Constitution, law and regulations. ..
Others | 22 August 2010
John L. Esposito, professor of religion and international affairs and director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, is America's best-known apologist for Saudi Wahhabism, the Turkish fundamentalist Justice and Development Party (AKP), and Islamist ideologies in general. To many, he personifies all that's wrong with Middle East studies in America today...
Others | 16 August 2010
I have often tried to imagine a scenario in which what I call the 'Islamists' will have achieved all their objectives. The scenario assumes that Osama bin Laden or someone like him get their way and proceed to impose their vision of what the Muslim world should be on the rest of us...
Youseef Sidhom | 15 August 2010
A major problem in Egypt is that the average Egyptian has an unfailing sense that official authorities have no better business but to lie in wait for any successful project or effort that the average Egyptian has achieved, ready to pounce and stamp it out at the first viable opportunity. And it takes no genius to guess ..
Others | 15 August 2010
Back in November 2001, just a week after Kabul fell to the U.S.-led invasion forces in Afghanistan and just as the city of Kunduz began to capitulate, the air filled with the steady drone of C-130 transport aircraft landing at the dusty airstrip...