Egyptians are on the verge of civil war because they cannot seem to agree on the text of a constitution. For the most part, the disagreements that threaten to tear the country apart center around rights, more specifically, the role of religion in the modern Egyptian state. This debate essentially finds most traction in two contexts, gender rights, and freedom of religion.Read More
Or so says Mormon theology, if this article from TruthOut is to be believed. So it turns out that Romney was not only kissing Sheldon Adelson’s butt for money, but also because he thinks they are part of a holy if not sacred lineage. Adelson’s holy lineage apparently makes it OK for the family values party to accept millions of dollars from a casino magnate: who cares what you do if you have the right descent? This is just another good reason, I’d say, to favor the exclusion of religion from public debate.
And, I will happily say, thank God I am a Muslim, where God teaches us that the only relevant distinction among human beings is in moral excellence:
“Ya ayyuha al-nasu, inna khalaqnakum min dhakarin wa untha wa ja`alnakum shu`uban wa qaba’ila li-ta`arafu inna akramakum ‘inda allahi atqakum” — “O people! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. The noblest among you in God’s sight is the most mindful of God.” Quran, al-Hujurat (the Chambers), 49:13.Read More
Many revolutionaries who voted for Shafik, or who abstained or nullified their vote, did so on the grounds that they were defending the idea of a “civil” state. This suggests that, in their mind, there are only two kinds of states in the world: “civil” states and “religious” states.Read More
As Mahmoud Salem observed in a prescient piece published by The Daily Beast on May 23, 2012, he believed that candidates who were perceived as tacking to the center, such as `Amr Musa, Egyptia’s former foreign minister and head of the League of Arab States, and `Abd al-Mun`im Abu al-Futuh, the breakaway candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood, were not likely to do well in the context of Egypt’s fractured electorate.Read More
While it is not clear who will win the runoff between Ahmed Shafik, the unabashed champion of the old regime, and Muhammad Morsi, the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood, almost everyone believes that Shafik, by hook or crook, will win. Assuming this is the case, how did it come to be that the beautiful Egyptian Revolution was so successfully contained, undermined, and then captured by the regime?Read More