Blog archive: Egypt

  • 5th October 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On August 14, hundreds of Egyptians died when security forces  violently dispersed sit-in protests against the military takeover that ousted President Morsi. One week later, hundreds of Syrians died in the chemical attacks near Damascus. Both these massacres were on a similar scale, and...
  • 13th August 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The tragedy of the Egyptian revolution, as reflected in yesterday's appalling carnage, is that two-and-a-half years after the uprising against the Mubarak regime so many people still hanker after authoritarian solutions. This is not altogether surprising since for decades they have known no...
  • 6th August 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    As far as Arab society is concerned, openly declaring a disbelief in God is a shocking and sometimes dangerous thing to do. It can lead to being ostracised by family, friends and the local community – as well as charges of apostasy which in some countries carry the death penalty. Arab atheists...
  • 29th July 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      Libya is about to embark on the drafting of a new constitution. Depending on how this process is handled, it can either stimulate a constructive debate about the future system of government and move the country forward from the Gaddafi era, or it can simply exacerbate existing divisions...
  • 27th July 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Protesters take over the Muslim Brotherhood's Justice and Development Party building in Tripoli. Photo posted on Twitter. All three of North Africa's "Arab Spring" countries are now in a state of crisis. While media attention, for obvious reasons, is focused mostly on the carnage...
  • 17th July 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      The rights and wrongs of President Morsi's overthrow – and its political repercussions – continue to dominate discussion of Egypt. But beyond the turmoil on the streets, and attracting far less attention so far, is the country's floundering economy.  At some point, someone will...
  • 10th July 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      The overthrow of President Morsi has prompted new debate about the future of Islamist movements in Egypt and beyond. To some, it signals the beginning of the end for political Islam. Writing in the London Review of Books, for instance, Hazem Kandil suggests“the country that invented...
  • 4th July 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      It is a sad testament to the failure of Mohamed Morsi's presidency that his claim to remain in office has been based on right rather than merit.  Almost everyone accepts that he was legitimately elected, and that is certainly a strong point in his favour. But once a leader has...
  • 3rd July 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      With the Egyptian army’s ultimatum due to expire this afternoon there are obvious reasons to be fearful. Yesterday’s outbreaks of street violence – at least 23 reported dead and some 200 injured in clashes between supporters and opponents of President Morsi – brought a taste of...
  • 2nd July 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      For Egyptians who oppose the Muslim Brotherhood, the run-off in last year’s presidential election posed an unenviable choice. Much as they might dislike Mohamed Morsi, the Islamist candidate, the key question was whether they disliked him enough to vote for his opponent, Ahmed Shafik...
  • 24th June 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    At least four Shia Muslims – including a prominent religious figure – were killed yesterday when a mob attacked homes in an Egyptian village yesterday. About 30 more are said to have been injured. Ahram Online reports: Not less than 3,000 angry locals attacked houses of Shias in the...
  • 20th June 2013
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Dancers perform 'Zorba' ballet in protest outside the Egyptian culture ministry "In a dictatorship," the Sudanese-born intellectual Abdel-Wahab al-Effendi once  remarked, "the role of the minister of culture isn't to protect culture, but to stifle culture and to protect...

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