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Month: April 2013

The disgusted sheikh: The rise of sectarian discourse in Egypt

Published in Ahram Online on April 30, 2013 Is Egypt about to see a turn to fascism? If recent statements by self-proclaimed religious figures are an indication, the prospect isn’t entirely out of the question This is what a group of friends and I debated in a heated discussion last week. One of them was a British friend who teaches history and politics at a major US university, and who reminded us that a key feature of European fascism of the 1930s was a strong alliance between industrialists and the state, whereby the latter was willing to pass draconian anti-labour…

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The silence of the Muslim Brotherhood

Published in Ahram Online on April 21, 2013 Although the fact finding committee formed by Mohamed Morsi to investigate rights violations from January 2011 to June 2012 found horrid cases of abuse, the president and his backers appear disinterested in its findings Three weeks ago, I briefly reviewed here “Nostalgia for the Light,” Patricio Guzmán’s wonderful documentary about mass murders and forced disappearances in Chile under Pinochet. I was deeply touched by Guzmán’s sensitivity in showcasing the suffering of victims’ families and their relentless efforts to find out what had happened to their loved ones. My intention was to draw…

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The Muslim Brotherhood is turning a blind eye to the army’s torture record

Posted on Facebook on April 11, 2013 Yesterday’s Guardian article is big news. The first question of course is whether or not Morsy, and behind him the MB, will do anything about it and summon the courage to hold Egypt’s high brass accountable. There are those who say that time has not come yet for the revolution to take on the army. They point out that other countries, e.g. South Africa, many countries in eastern Europe and South America, took decades before they could be able to dismantle the former regime. We have to crawl before we are able to…

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Five scenes from Egypt’s revolution

Published in Ahram Online on April 10, 2013 Art and poetry, more than politics, express the true spirit of the Egyptian revolution, which cannot be concealed or silenced Scene I: Tuesday, 25 January 2011 at 7pm. Place: Tahrir Square. I had gone to Tahrir nearly two hours earlier to check on my sister. She had beaten me there and had succeeded in foiling an attempt by security forces to arrest her 15-year-old son. After I had made sure that she’d go home, and after I’d lied to her telling her that I, too, would go home, I joined a crowd…

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The Muslim Brotherhood’s sectarian inclinations

Posted on Facebook on April 9, 2013 This is the official comment from Essam el-Haddad, President Morsy’s Assistant on Foreign Affairs. It is a flagrant expression of how the President and his Muslim Brotherhood completely misread the dangerous situation in Egypt now, and how their discourse (and this statement is a good example of it), is biased and indeed incendiary. First, they are not even getting their facts right: al-Khosous is not in Giza, it is in Cairo next to Shubra. Second, the original incident had nothing to do with Christian symbols. Rather, it involved painting a swastika on a…

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