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 […]
Middle East Review of International Affairs Published by the GLORIA Center, Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya Volume 11, No. 3, Article 1/8 – September 2007 Total Circulation 25,000 FAMILY STATUS ISSUES AMONG EGYPT’S COPTS: A BRIEF OVERVIEW Adel Guindy* The following article discusses the impact of the Egyptian Family Status Law of 1955 (which is still in […]
The banner of the Islamist revolution in the Middle East today has largely passed to groups sponsored by or derived from the Muslim Brotherhood. This article develops an introductory examination of three key Muslim Brotherhood groups and compares their politics, interrelations, and methods. Each, of course, is adapted to the conditions of a particular country. […]