John R. Bradley, a British author and journalist best known for his 2008 book Inside Egypt: the Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution, identifies the Egyptian revolution of 1952 as “a failed revolution” that ended Egypt’s belle époque of the 1930s and 1940s’ cultural heyday. The author describes pre-Nasser Egypt as a historically tolerant country where heterogeneity and diversity were the respected norm. Egypt’s liberal intellectuals and Coptic Christians nostalgically tap into the glorious pre-Nasser era as a safe haven for its religious and political dissidents. That being said, the author is critical of ongoing marginalization of Coptic Christians.
Muhammad Mursī was declared president Sunday after several days of uncertainty that resulted from a presidential election that exposed deep polarization in Egyptian society - those who favor an Islamist civilian president and oppose a member of the Mubarak regime were pitted against those who fear Islamists but were willing to vote for a member of the old order.
In December 2009 I met with Paul Duffill, the 2008 recipient of the Isaac Roet Prize, at the conference: "Understanding Peace, Conflict and Violence" held at Institute for Social Studies, the Hague. Paul received his prize for his essay: "A Meta-Intervention for the Israel-Palestine Conflict Incorporating Economic and Social Justice Issues". His can be downloaded from (here "Paul Duffill"): We both share an interest in the intersection between media and peace.
Today the court postponed ruling on a case calling for the dissolution of the Muslim Brotherhood as an entity. It will be reviewed again on September 4, at which point the group may be declared illegal and forced to disband.
The following is an effort to understand the structure of the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as an effort to compare it to a more familiar Western expression of religion: The small group Bible study. Too often the Brotherhood is only seen from its top administrative levels, which fill the headlines of newspapers and command cries of conspiracy and caliphate. It is hoped a greater understanding of its organizational reach can provide perspective about the group as a whole, through which the current legal questions are being asked.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a difficult subject to tackle. Some of this is the fault of others – there appears to be significant bias against them in many quarters. Some of this is their own fault – they are a closed organization accountable to no government oversight.
This is a comment on an article with similar title published today on a blog called “Salamamoussa. Reclaiming Egypt,” named after Salāmah Mūsá (1887-1958), a well-known journalist, writer, and advocate of secularism and Arab socialism who was born into a wealthy, land-owning Coptic family in the town of Al-Zaqāzīq located in the Nile Delta. I earlier commented on previous articles of Salamamoussa that were also related to migration:
The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) presented two opposing opinions from editors of large London-based dailies, Tāriq Al-Humayid, editor of the Saudi Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, opposed to Muhammad Mursī, and 'Abd Al-Barī ‘Atwān, editor of Al-Quds Al-'Arabī, rejoicing over Mursī’s narrow victory. Atwan, MEMRI writes, is a harsh critic of Saudi Arabia. Both newspapers published their articles on June 25, 2012.
What is written about Christian citizens in Egypt is not subject in any case to the logic of journalistic treatment as it is subject in many cases to the logic of intimidation and exaggeration or underestimation and stultification.
Arab-West Report advocates accurate reporting about Islam and the different streams that exist among Muslims, including Salafīs who indeed often have been misrepresented in various media. On the other hand Arab-West Report expects that Muslim authors and leaders present an accurate picture of Christians and various Christian institutions such as the Vatican. This was unfortunately not the case with an article in the Egyptian newspaper, Al-Fath, founded by Salafi Shaykh, Muhammad Hasān, which appeared on 15 June 2012 (page 3): “The Vatican Calls for Recognizing Christians in Arab Constitutions and Christianization in Nigeria”.
On June 14th Al-Misrī Al-Yawm reported that on June 13th tensions between Christians and Muslims flared-up in al-Sawāqī, a district in the Upper Egyptian town of Luxor, after one Muslim man allegedly verbally harassed a Christian woman. A group of Christian men reportedly retaliated by beating the Muslim harasser who was sent to a hospital after subsequently sustaining several injuries. According to Al-Misrī Al-Yawm, “dozens” of Muslim men in turn began targeting and throwing rocks at Christian individuals and Christian-owned shops.