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The system of government in Egypt's draft constitution

Others | 19 September 2012
The formation of the Constituent Assembly has been described using largely the same term; haphazard.. More

Why thugs are just not into hospitals

Others | 18 September 2012
If thuggery were a profession, it would make little sense for thugs to do business in hospitals over other places.. More

Key questions about debt under Brotherhood rule

| 17 September 2012
The sales tax in the 1990s, income tax reform in 2005, and proposed property tax in 2010: while Mubarak’s regime was politically stagnant.. More

Conspiracies of convenience: what's behind the film fracas?

Others | 14 September 2012
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I strongly sense conspiracy in the whole sordid "film maligning the Prophet" fracas.. More

September 11th, Islamophobia, and the ‘Persecution Industry'

Others | 13 September 2012
On one of the last pieces he published at Salon before moving to The Guardian, the American columnist Glenn Greenwald mounted a devastating critique of what he labeled, in the article’s title, “The Sham ‘Terrorism Expert’ Industry.” In his inimitable style, Greenwald proceeded to discuss the work of several so-called terrorism experts — among them, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross,.. More

Mohamed Morsi: Egypt's Obama?

Others | 12 September 2012
In Egypt, no one dismissed Morsi because of race or colour, but because the Brotherhood had historically always been politically scorned.. More

A businessman state

Others | 12 September 2012
Prejudice towards businessmen is apparent in the separation of production and distribution.. More

Islamists Took Over Years Ago

Others | 11 September 2012
I would suggest, by way of contrast, that Islamists could not have adopted a better strategy than to focus on that social and cultural realm... More

Sectarianism of the Syrian Revolution

Others | 11 September 2012
“We are all brothers, but it seems impossible to live side by side in peace,” .. More

Back to the future

Others | 10 September 2012
Groups of fanatical, desperate and poorly-educated adolescents can hold a nation's future hostage is outrageous.. More

The crisis of renewing Islamic thought

Others | 7 September 2012
Most trends in political Islam stipulate that the Islamic state protects freedom of creed. “So let whoever wishes believe and whoever wishes reject,” says the Quran. Several, however, consider those who disbelieve after accepting Islam an exception to this rule (apostates), even if the convert in question has inherited the religion. .. More

Watching the demise of journalistic form

Others | 6 September 2012
I am no wordsmith, but I have a fascination with language. I am no grumpy grammarian, but I admire clean prose. I am no adherent to structure, but I appreciate good form... More

Egypt: From Dismissal to Transition

Others | 5 September 2012
President Mohamed Morsi’s decision to dismiss several military leaders is a key transition in the history of civilian and military relations in Egypt... More

The Weakness of Non-Islamists: A Disaster to Egypt

Others | 5 September 2012
Non-Islamist political forces are showing signs of being troubled by Islamists' domination - and this monopoly could be harmful for Egypt.. More

The revolution and the brothers

Others | 4 September 2012
The recent presidential decisions by President Mohamed Morsy to send Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and former Chief of Staff Sami Anan to early retirement, to appoint Mahmoud Mekky as vice president, and to cancel the supplementary constitutional declaration have been applauded by many commentators as revolutionary achievements. .. More

The weakness of non-Islamists: a disaster to Egypt

Others | 3 September 2012
Non-Islamist political forces are showing signs of being troubled by Islamists' domination - and this monopoly could be harmful for Egypt. This needs urgent action by non-Islamist forces to avoid the uncertain future of democracy in Egypt. If this does not happen soon, it will be more difficult to tackle this unhealthy political environment in the future and then put the country on the path of democracy and prosperity. .. More

Egypt: From dismissal to transition

Others | 31 August 2012
President Mohamed Morsi’s decision to dismiss several military leaders – most importantly the minister of defence, the army’s chief of staff, the commander of military police and the chief of intelligence – is a key transition in the history of civilian and military relations in Egypt. .. More

Revolution: The search for a new future

Others | 30 August 2012
Revolution began life as a simple word, describing the completion of a circuit. In those pre-Copernican times, lexicographers used the example of the Sun completing its “revolution” around the Earth. By the middle of the 18th century, the Earth now completed its “revolution” around the Sun, but European dictionaries also defined the word as a “change in the state of a government or country.” The Académie Française’s 1768 edition referred to the “memorable and violent changes that agitate” a country; the “revolution” of a given country was “the most memorable” change, “which brought in another order.” The Académie waited until its 1835 edition to admit that meant 1789 in France. Émile Littré, in his 1872 French dictionary, took a far more unequivocal stance: for a Frenchman, the revolution meant “the first revolution, the great revolution, that of 1789.” .. More

The future of Al-Azhar

Others | 29 August 2012
Promulgated a couple of weeks before the first sitting of the post-revolution parliament, an assembly now disbanded, the law granted Cairo's prestigious religious institution considerable autonomy and gave the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar wide-ranging scope to manage internal affairs after after six decades of it being essentially annexed to the Egyptian state. .. More

The cultural project of the revolution

Others | 28 August 2012
Anxiety is running high among Egypt’s liberals and secularists. President Mohamed Morsy and the Islamist constituency that elected him pose a threat to the character of the Egyptian state, according to such figures as Tahani al-Gebali and Mohamed Abou Hamed. And the threat has apparently become significantly greater now that former Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Chief of Staff Sami Anan have departed the political scene. No matter that, until recently, the purported liberal bulwark against Muslim Brotherhood dominance was military rule. No matter that the Egyptian state has not had a secular character for decades, if at all. Such inconvenient particulars cannot obscure the broader imperative of ‘saving’ Egypt from the Brotherhood, one is told. .. More

The fall of the officer state in Egypt

Others | 27 August 2012
A few days before Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, minister of defence, commander of Egypt’s armed forces and chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), along with a large number of SCAF members were retired on 12 August, I received via email a paper by the prominent political science professor Yezid Sayigh who works at the US’s Carnegie Centre, titled "Above the State: The Officers’ Republic in Egypt," which expertly summarises the abundant literature about the nature of the Egyptian state since Anwar Abdel-Malek published his famous book about Egypt as a “military society.” .. More