Blog archive: Egypt

  • 19th November 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Islamic State has issued a photograph showing parts of what it says was an explosive device that brought down the Russian airliner over Sinai on October 31 with the loss of 224 lives. IS also claims to have exploited a loophole at Sharm el-Sheikh airport to smuggle a bomb on board the plane...
  • 15th November 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The cockpit voice recorder of the Russian airliner that crashed in Sinai is unlikely to settle the question of what caused the disaster that killed 224 people. According to Ayman al-Muqaddam, the chief Egyptian investigator, a "noise" can be heard in the final second of the recording....
  • 5th November 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Marks on the Airbus door. Do they show shrapnel damage? President Sisi of Egypt arrived in London yesterday – just in time for the 409th anniversary of Britain's most famous bomb plot. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn denounced his visit and demonstrators angered...
  • 2nd November 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A brief update on the Sinai air disaster. A statement by the head of Russia's Air Transport Agency that the Airbus which crashed on Saturday "disintegrated in the air at a high altitude" has renewed media speculation about a jihadist attack. An editorial in today's Daily Mirror, for...
  • 1st November 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Initial reports of the Russian airliner crash over Sinai yesterday were quick to point out that the disaster occurred in an area where Egyptian security forces are fighting an Islamist insurgency. Several hours later a statement ostensibly issued by the Islamic State claimed to have shot the...
  • 16th October 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In its latest annual survey of religious freedom, the US State Department highlights the kidnapping and extortion of Christians in Egypt. Church leaders say this is on the increase and according Pope Tawadros, head of the Coptic church, it is among the most significant problems faced by...
  • 9th July 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      Since the US Supreme Court decided that same-sex couples in America have a right to marry, more than 26 million people have welcomed the news by adding a rainbow tint to their Facebook photo.  One of those who did so was the popular Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga....
  • 11th June 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Anne-Marie Lizin, the disgraced Belgian politician and "High Commissioner" of the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) was in Cairo recently, hobnobbing with President Sisi. She seems to have been so thrilled by her handshake with the Egyptian dictator that she posted a photo of it...
  • 9th June 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A few days ago I wrote about a newly-emerging concept in Sisi's Egypt: the concept of "faith security". In essence this means suppressing unorthodox religious ideas in the name of security or the "protection" of society. It also harnesses al-Azhar, Egypt's supreme religious...
  • 4th June 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A new and dangerous term is being deployed in Egypt to legitimise the suppression of debates about religion: "faith security". The phrase was used this week by al-Azhar's Dean of Sciences in connection with the trial of TV presenter Islam El-Beheiry who has been sentenced to five years' jail on...
  • 1st June 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In Egypt the Sisi regime's campaign against "religious extremism" has claimed another victim. On Saturday, TV presenter Islam El-Beheiry was sentenced to five years in jail on blasphemy charges. The court case followed a complaint from al-Azhar that his show,...
  • 11th May 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Egyptian rights group backs NGO restrictions No problem for those who have "nothing to hide" Last week 20 rights organisations in Egypt issued a joint statement condemning "increasingly aggressive actions" by the Sisi regime to crack down on civil society activities. "The ongoing...

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