Blog archive: Egypt

  • 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
    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 harassment of civil society in Egypt contradicts all claims...
  • 30th April 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    British supermarket chief Mike Coupe: sentenced to jail by a court in Egypt without his knowledge   Egypt's repressive Sisi regime held a glitzy conference in Sharm el-Sheikh last month designed to attract foreign investment. More than 1,700 investors, government officials...
  • 8th April 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Since seizing power in Egypt, the Sisi regime has been cracking down on NGOs and homosexuality (among other things), and the latest move by the curiously-named Ministry of Social Solidarity strikes both targets in a single blow. The ministry is investigating a Giza-based NGO which is said to...
  • 5th April 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Sisi: trying to avoid "wrong calculations". Photo: Erin Kirk-Cuomo   Amid speculation that Egypt may send ground troops to Yemen, and numerous reminders that the last time it did so – under Nasser in the 1960s – the adventure proved disastrous, President Sisi sought to allay...
  • 8th March 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A European politician who has been banned from public office because of electoral malpractice was involved in monitoring the 2014 presidential election in Egypt. Last Thursday, an appeals court in Belgium confirmed a suspended prison sentence and a five-year ban from holding public office...

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