This article is a personal account of U.S. Army Colonel Norvell DeAtkine’s experience in dealing with Arab militaries for over 40 years. Based on observation and study of Arab military establishments, he concludes little of significance has happened to change the deeply embedded character of the Arab military mindset. While there is some evidence that […]
For Westerners, Egypt’s revolution is seen as a wonderful development, a victory for democracy. Yet the enemies of America and the West view it is a defeat for the United States and the West, and as a step forward for anti-democratic revolutionary Islamism. It is possible that both sides could be right. Egypt may be […]
This article addresses sectarian violence and discrimination against Egypt’s Coptic minority, including the January 2010 attacks in Nag Hammadi as well as other incidents during the previous years. It also points to the government’s failure to acknowledge the situation and take action or responsibility. It argues that rather than protecting its citizens, the regime’s first and foremost priority has been its own survival. In order to appease Islamist groups (its main contenders), the government has thus encouraged an Islamization of Egyptian society, which in turn has resulted in further discrimination against the Coptic minority.
The compatibility between Islam and democracy has been a controversial topic. While empirical studies since 2000 confirm the prevailing notion that Muslim majority states offer fewer political rights than non-Muslim countries, the question as to why such a phenomenon exists remains unsatisfactorily answered. One key element is how the interpretation of Islam itself has been so effectively used by Arab regimes to indoctrinate subjects into believing that blind obedience to their absolute rule is a form of Islamic piety. This article will also argue that Islam, combined with the security forces and the poverty of the masses render the majority of Arabs politically quietist.
This article surveys compulsory Arabic language curricula of the Egyptian education system. Extracts are presented and analyzed to show how these lessons are often infused with Islamic religious texts that emphasize Islam as the basis of all societal relations. All students, regardless of religion, are indoctrinated to uphold “obedience to God and His Prophet [Muhammad].” Lessons promote that leadership positions should be held by “believers” only; that any ruler who “disobeys God and His Prophet” can be himself disobeyed; and that the believers should take a firm position against those who “do not submit to the orders of God and His Prophet.” There is little mention of the constitution or laws. The article concludes that this government-endorsed curriculum is breeding intolerance and extremism among the new generations.
DRY AQUIFERS IN ARAB COUNTRIES AND THE LOOMING FOOD CRISIS Elie Elhadj* As water volumes in Arab lands dwindle, as per capita income in the large and heavily populated non-oil producing states remains low and narrowly diversified, as high population growth rates persist, a food disaster will sooner or later strike. These countries will have […]