The War Within Islam
Transformation of the Syrian conflict into a Shia vs. Sunni sectarian
confrontation across the Middle East has been aggravated by extremists within
both religious factions. The patron of Assad in Syria, Iran, and its Shia
followers in numerous countries, have appealed insistently for support to the
Damascus dictatorship, although the Alawite sect that rules Syria has only been
considered within Shia ranks since the 1970s, and until the 20th century was
viewed as outside Islam altogether…….
Could the recent overthrow of Morsi lead to widespread violence by Islamist groups as some have suggested? There have been rumblings in the social media lately that some Islamists have felt betrayed after accepting democracy and have questioned whether it was the correct decision to get involved in politics in the first place. ...
Khaled Abou El Fadl
In short, after a revolution that overthrew one of the oldest dictatorships in the Middle East, and after six different popular elections, Egyptian intellectuals seem to be hopelessly chaotic in their understanding of what legitimacy is, and how one goes about acquiring it in a democratic system....
I never shared the widespread "revolutionary" enthusiasm. Nor did I believe that events in Egypt, any more than in Tunisia, were the result of a sudden historical upheaval. The peoples of these two countries suffered from dictatorship, from economic and social crisis; they rose up in the name of dignity, social justice and freedom. Their awakening, their "intellectual revolution" and their courage must be saluted….
General AlSissi will realise soon that with most things in his favour,
hard coercion will take him a long way until he could turn to soft coercion,
which is easier to hide and to fool people in believing that the military has
the country’s best interest at heart. This way he can ensure that a “superman”
is never born in Egypt.....
If the overthrow of President Mubarak by the mass of protesters in Tahrir Square in 2011 was a surprise, the ouster of President Morsi by even larger protests in Tahrir Square and across Egypt in recent days is equally dramatic….
The electoral victories of Islamists after the Arab Spring were not surprising in light of the organisational superiority possessed by Islamist groups. The question for many was not whether Islamists would score impressive electoral victories, but whether or not they would live up to the democratic ideals they voiced and promised to support….
As soon as the Egyptian military asked President Mohammed Mursi to step down and dismantle his Muslim Brotherhood regime, millions in the streets of Cairo and other Egyptian cities and towns celebrated the end of what they felt was a dangerous fascistic regime. But despite an overwhelming popular support for the ousting of the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) from power, some U.S. leaders, starting with President Barack Obama and later...
Yasmin Alibhai Brown
Ramadhan starts tomorrow, a month of fasting and giving, a good time for such charities and to reaffirm the best aspects of our faith. But events intervened as always, and instead of tranquillity and goodwill in the room, at many tables people were arguing heatedly about the crisis in Egypt, some supporting the military takeover, others lamenting the quick, callous demolition of a freely elected government.....
The Egyptian army, with its extensive corporate interests and sense of entitlement, was probably glad of a pretext to return to centre stage. Even though it has installed a judge to be the interim president, nobody is fooled by the façade. Egyptians should be careful what they wish for: many in Pakistan welcomed the army and believed their promise of early elections....
...military did not act alone; the meeting which approved the ‘road map’ which started with the removal of Mohamed Morsi, included the Sheikh of al Azhar, the Coptic Patriarch, el Baradei, representative of the Salafi al Nour Party, a member of the judiciary and a representative of Tamarod, the youthful rebel organisation behind the protests. The Brotherhood Freedom and Justice Party refused to attend. Power was handed over to the chief justice immediately and the army has made clear its mandate to protect all Egyptians, including Islamists and members of all parties. Clearly not the usual ‘military coup!’...
Khaled Abou El Fadl
A recent image coming from Egypt shows a large group of people praying in the city of Arish, and suddenly, as they lie on the ground, prostrate, the security forces unleash a volley of live bullets at them, injuring and killing several people. Still more recently, security forces shot into a group of people as they prostrated in prayer at dawn in Cairo...
The Salafist jihadist threat in Tunisia is taking on a new dimension, pitting the moderate Islamist government against Salafists of all stripes – groups long suspected of posing a serious threat to the country’s security. But in the problem may lie part of the solution. Non-jihadist Salafists, particularly those who have a real inclination toward moderation, can play a key role in minimizing the jihadist threat and in addressing the future of Salafism...
The most striking aspect of the second Egyptian revolution has been that it has laid bare the falsity of the notion propagated by the bourgeois media and intelligentsia that the Arab Spring was about a democratic change. In fact, the self-immolation of Boazizi in Tunisia that ignited the mass revolutionary movements was a protest against unemployment and socio-economic injustices....
Khaled Abou El Fadl
As incredible as it might sound, in the year leading up to the overthrow of the Egyptian President, countless intellectuals and journalists insisted that President Morsi was brought to power by the United States, and that he received his orders from the White House. More incredibly still, intellectuals on the right and on the left speaking in opposition television channels portrayed the United States and the Muslim Brotherhood as partners in a devilish scheme…
The circumstances in Egypt should make the democratic forces of Egypt cautious as there are great possibilities that in near future the Muslim Brotherhood may try to spread anarchy and political mayhem because they still enjoy the support of political Islamist outfits like Hamas. The unity of revolutionary democratic forces is extremely necessary. If it happens, it will have its positive effects in other countries of the region.
Syed Mansoor Hussain
It is indeed true that Pakistan is not Egypt. The one lesson our new Prime Minister (PM) has hopefully learnt from his own past experience, of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto before him, and from Mohamed Morsi now, it does not matter whom you appoint as the new head of the army. The new head of the army will not be ‘loyal’ to you but to the force he leads....
When considered in the light of the 'off with his head' chants on both sides, the protests have been astoundingly peaceful. Instead of a bloodbath, there is a festival atmosphere. Instead of bread riots, we are witnessing an uprising of the strangled middle classes....
Much of the Western media has tended to describe the divide in Egypt as one between secularists and Islamists, and portray ousted Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi as having pursued a radical Islamic agenda in his year in office. There is certainly a strand of truth to this narrative, though the story is more about grabbing power than enacting Shariah….
Dealing with the region, Morsi did nothing to change the status quo, but maintained what his predecessors constructed. Despite over 80 years touting 'Islam is the solution,' when the opportunity presented itself the MB failed to meet the challenge governance posed. As a result, despite winning the elections, they were always on the back foot defending their rule. The demonstrations against their rule grew in scope as the MB failed to placate the opposition, eventually bringing the country to a standstill, which was when the army moved in....
Abdel Latif el-Menawy
The Brotherhood launched a real influential attempt to carve out features of the Egyptian character. It began imposing a new reality with different features. I think this metaphor is the most expressive term of the feeling Egyptians have. It partially explains this huge number of Egyptians who decided to take to the streets to protect their features from distortion that the Brotherhood began but had no time to implement....
Closer to home Pakistan and Afghanistan exchanging mindless and petty insults and Pakistan, as ever, unable to get out of its Afghan obsession. Only recently we used to protest we had nothing to do with the Afghan Taliban. Now we aren’t exactly rejecting insinuations that we may have helped bring them to the Qatari table....
People of Fata
The people of Fata have suffered immensely and for too long, not just at the hands of militants, but also by the neglect and ill-advised policies of successive governments, which have historically treated Fata as a strategic fault-line. The government must take steps to prepare the rehabilitated areas for integration into the mainstream political system....
Arabs Need a New Islam
Nastik Durrani, New Age Islam
For a long time, the Arabs were the rulers, not the ruled. They were the masters, not the slaves; they were the judges, not the accused, they were the oppressors, not the oppressed. But in this modern world, their condition is the opposite. Their name features at the bottom in the list of nations. Above only the southern desert of Africa.
The Brotherhood doesn’t have the qualified people, who hail mostly from liberal and leftist parties. You need to form a grand coalition, and you need to put your ideological differences aside and work together to focus on people’s basic needs. You can’t eat Sharia....