40. Coptic migration figures of EUHRO disputed

A press release of the Egyptian Union for Human Rights Organizations claimed on September 27 2011 that between February and September 2011 100,000 Christians had left Egypt in fear for violence and uncertainty. The claims of EUHRO were accepted in English language media without much questioning while Egyptian spokesmen and newspapers were more critical of the migration figures as presented by EUHRO. Jaco Stoop provides an overview.

Full text here

 

39. Widespread Nostalgia for the Pre-Nasser Era – a Book Review of “Inside Egypt: the Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution” by John R. Bradley

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.

 

17. Engagement, not Fear Needed with Egyptian President Mursī

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.

14. Peace Journalism

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.

47. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Organizational Structure: Any Christian Similarity?

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.

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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.

 

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Newsclippings from International Sources

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This video, aired by Egypt's al-Tahrir, shows two journalists with Al Jazeera English.

CAIRO — A private Egyptian television channel has aired what it called exclusive footage of the arrest and interrogation of two foreign journalists, who are now being held in a high-security prison awaiting trial on terrorism-related charges.

The 22-minute video, broadcast Sunday night by the satellite channel al-Tahrir, appeared to have been taken by police forces on Dec. 29 as they stormed a pair of hotel rooms that the Qatar-owned Al Jazeera English satellite network was using as temporary offices. Among those detained were Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Australian Peter Greste, who stand accused of conspiring with “terrorists” to fabricate news about Egypt.

 

(Erin Cunningham & Abigail Hauslohner, Washington Post, Feb. 3, 2014) Read original

 

 

As security restrictions clamp down on means of freedom of speech, humor has emerged as the only weapon of resistance. Humor is common across all cultures over time. Philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, Immanuel Kant and Blaise Pascal before them, as well as Greek philosophers, dedicated long, serious works to the topic of humor.

The situation can be quite aptly summarized by what the famous French comedian and activist Michel Gerard Joseph Colucci — better known as Coluche — once said: "Humor has always been anti-authority."

Humor and sarcasm are well-known as means to confront harsh dictatorships that fail to suppress what is being said and circulated through jokes and mockery. Satire underlines the contempt of people for power and offers a way to break the grip of tyranny.

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IT IS an unlikely setting from which to launch a fightback against Egypt's new military rulers.

But a cramped flat above a disused kebab shop in North London has become the focal point of the Muslim Brotherhood's effort to regroup after President Mohamed Morsi was forced from office and his movement declared a terrorist organisation.

In Cairo the organisation is facing one of the toughest crackdowns in decades: thousands of supporters have been arrested, while organisations linked with the Brotherhood have had their assets confiscated. Mr Morsi, who was Egypt's first democratically elected president, faces trial for alleged treason, and he has been joined in the country's notorious jails by the group's supreme guide and most of its senior leadership.

The handful of senior figures that remain free have fled into exile, and have chosen London as a base from which to rebuild the organisation.

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GENEVA, Switzerland, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said Friday he was frustrated by reports of an Egyptian crackdown on the media.

"We are extremely concerned about the increasingly severe clampdown and physical attacks on media in Egypt, which is hampering their ability to operate freely," he said in a statement.

Colville said his office was monitoring reports that journalists covering last week's anniversary of the 2011 revolution were injured by live fire and rubber bullets. He said pro- and anti-government forces may be to blame for the shootings.

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Alaa Saad left work at Shorouk News on the evening of Jan. 28 and walked to Tahrir Square. After arriving at the square, she walked to nearby Mohamed Mahmoud Street and took out her mobile phone to take a few photos of some graffiti. Such drawings fill the walls along the street and are a testament to the numerous events that Egypt has witnessed since the January 25 Revolution.

She said she had only taken one photo when she noticed someone forcefully pulling her shirt from behind, asking her, "What are you doing here?" When she turned around, she saw a woman dressed in a police uniform. She was a member of the women's police, and she grabbed at Alaa's mobile phone, trying to take it from her. She then grabbed Alaa herself and tried to pull her into a police car parked nearby.

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