Friday Prayers for Egypt: More Deaths

Friday Prayers for Egypt: More Deaths

God, The week opened with numerous protesters and a few policemen dead after clashes on the revolution anniversary. It ended with many soldiers dead following terrorist attacks on their positions in Sinai. God, be merciful to Egypt. Pretentions are dropping as pro-Brotherhood and pro-state media openly incite against one another. Beyond the lives lost the … Continue reading

The Sharia of ISIS and Azhar

The Sharia of ISIS and Azhar

Does the so-called Islamic State represent the essence of Islam, or its perversion? The answer supplied often closely aligns with one’s ideology. But what does ISIS say for itself? Here is testimony gathered by the Guardian on what is taught in the training camps: Unlike previous incidents of stoning adulterers and crucifixion, throwing people from … Continue reading

Orthodox Priest: Better to Abandon Christianity

If this quote is accurate, it is a terrible indication of the divide between the Coptic Orthodox Church and members who wish a divorce for other than adultery: Orthodox priest Abd al-Masih Basit told Al-Monitor that the church would not interfere in politics and would not take any actions against Christian parliamentary candidates on the Nour list, … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: National List

Friday Prayers for Egypt: National List

God, What value is there in praying over the squabbling of politicians? President Sisi gathered representatives of the political parties and asked them to agree on one national list to present to the people for upcoming parliamentary elections. Many have met to discuss, but so far they have fully failed. But does it matter to … Continue reading

Islamism or Jihadism: A False Choice

Islamism or Jihadism: A False Choice

In the year 1321 Muslim mobs, with tacit allowance from the Mamluk Sultan, destroyed 60 churches in Egypt and openly attacked Copts on the roads and in their homes. Incitement included accusations Christians supported the invading Mongols in their ‘coup’ attempt against the state. According to UK-based Fadel Soliman, these days may soon return. Coptic … Continue reading

MLK for Egyptian Revolutionaries

MLK for Egyptian Revolutionaries

A day late, but in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. day in the United States, here is a list of principles to which he had his fellow non-violent activists commit. I hereby pledge myself—my person and body—to the nonviolent movement. Therefore I will keep the following ten commandments: 1. Meditate daily on the teachings … Continue reading

A Color (Printed) Revolution?

A Color (Printed) Revolution?

With decent regularity pro-Morsi supporters have conducted small protest marches around our Maadi neighborhood since his removal from office in July 2013. They do not tend to be violent but usually result in ugly graffiti insulting now-President Sisi. Recently, new graffiti has emerged, calling the people to ‘man up’ and protest on January 25, the … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Atheism and Insult

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Atheism and Insult

God, Words injure. Ideas have consequences. Give Egypt wisdom and strength of character to tread righteously in irreligious waters. For Charlie Hebdo insists on staying in the headlines. The head of the Azhar called for Muhammad cartoons to be ignored, while a pro-Brotherhood scholar called for demonstrations and international blasphemy laws. Many expressed anger and … Continue reading

The Religious Reformation of Islam

The Religious Reformation of Islam

Given the terrorism practiced by certain Muslim groups at the head of which is the so-called Islamic State, many are saying – wishing – that a Reformation might come to Islam. An article in the Revealer does an excellent job of explaining it has already come. For centuries four traditional law schools defined sharia in … Continue reading

Voices against Charlie

Voices against Charlie

Muslims and Muslim majority nations, including Egypt, have roundly condemned the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo satirical newspaper. But the ideology that informs such an attack is present not just among those with access to weapons. This Mada Masr article contains a full survey of Egyptian reactions, most of which stand against the murders. … Continue reading

Translation: President Sisi at Christmas Eve Mass

Translation: President Sisi at Christmas Eve Mass

Last night on Christmas Eve according to the Coptic Orthodox calendar, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi became the first ever Egyptian head-of-state to attend the holiday mass. His appearance lasted for about ten minutes, during which he gave a short speech. The video selection and translation is provided kindly by Paul Attallah. It was necessary to … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: A New Year

Friday Prayers for Egypt: A New Year

God, Every new year brings new possibilities. But old issues linger. Help Egypt to find resolution. What should become of Islamism? Criminals can be prosecuted, but what of citizens? What will become of human rights? Stability is necessary, but is it sustainable without them? What can become of the economy? Tourism and investment may return, … Continue reading

Darwin in Arabia (and America)

Darwin in Arabia (and America)

From the Times Literary Supplement, a book review on the reception of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary ideas in the Arab world. First, and especially for Arabic students, the trouble of language: For a long time, the reception of Darwinism was bedevilled by the need to find either neologisms or new twists to old words. As Marwa … Continue reading

Testing the Salafis

Testing the Salafis

Who should be allowed to preach in Egypt’s mosques? A recent exam offered by the Ministry of Religious Endowments is accused of seeking a selective answer: Over the last two months, the Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments held two such exams. Many of the questions used are known for being disputed by Salafists, most notably those about the ruling … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: China, Elections

Friday Prayers for Egypt: China, Elections

God, Two fronts are brewing, and both received a push. Egypt is trying to stabilize through its economy and elections. For the first, President Sisi traveled to China and signed a number of trade agreements. For the second, just before leaving he signed into law the mechanisms for parliamentary elections. In March is scheduled a … Continue reading