Friday Prayers for Egypt: New Proposals

Friday Prayers for Egypt: New Proposals

God, Egypt is debating significant changes. Give her the wisdom to walk the right path. Some have proposed the constitution be amended to allow the president a six-year term. Others say leave the constitution alone, and implement it. Some have proposed the marriage age be lowered to 16 to legalize longstanding practice. Others say there … Continue reading

“Why Call for Having a Church Now?”

“Why Call for Having a Church Now?”

From Open Democracy, a translation of local sheikhs in Upper Egypt who led a campaign against the construction of a church in their village. In late February 2017, a major international conference hosted by Al-Azhar concluded with the issuance of an important declaration affirming Muslim and Christian religious institutions’ commitment to the principle of equal … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Ag, HR

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Ag, HR

God, Egypt used to be a breadbasket. Now she imports her food. But vegetables are still desired abroad, if only they would accept them. Several nations have put a ban on Egyptian agriculture, wary of pesticides. Egypt had been hoping for boom harvest sales, having recently devalued the currency. Now they may face a domestic … Continue reading

A Primer on Salafism III

A Primer on Salafism III

Salafism is often wrongly criticized. But it can be rightly criticized also. The first post in this series emphasized how it is often a popular (meaning of the people) expression of Islam. The first essay here shows how this happens, though I think it errs in conclusion. The second doesn’t even err, because it doesn’t … Continue reading

A Primer on Salafism II

A Primer on Salafism II

  If you have been introduced to Salafism in the news or in often critical analysis, two figures are generally named. The first is Ibn Taymiyya, who you won’t likely know much about but may understand he is the source of all Muslim things violent. The second is Mohamed ibn Abdel Wahhab, and you may … Continue reading

A Primer on Salafism

A Primer on Salafism

Muftah recently published a special collection of essays on Salafism, under the premise that the popular, conservative, and terrorism-linked interpretation of Islam is often misunderstood and unfairly judged. I agree, though there are certainly aspects to judge thoroughly. Six essays were provided –  most helpful, some mixed, and one awful. I’ll provide excerpts to save … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: More Reform

Friday Prayers for Egypt: More Reform

God, Two more price categories are now set for increase: Water, by up to 50%, and bus tickets, the same. Subsidies are being slashed across the board, and inflation is rising. The government has implemented procedures to help the poor, who are many. The economy is struggling, and has been imbalanced for a long time. … Continue reading

What the Azhar Believes

What the Azhar Believes

I recently attended a gathering at al-Azhar University, where the World Organization of Azhar Graduates presented with Egyptian Radio about the work and need to spread “Ashari, Wasati” Islam, and define the parameters of true religion. This is done, they said, to help combat terrorism and extremist interpretations of Islam. That is all well and … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Base, Council

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Base, Council

God, Terrorism is defeated neither by force nor ideology. Yet they dare not be neglected. Egypt took a step in both directions this week. God, give her success. A military base was inaugurated toward the Libyan border. And the president formalized an anti-extremism council, with representatives also from the Azhar and Orthodox church. May the … Continue reading

Hijabs, Burkinis, and Assumptions

Hijabs, Burkinis, and Assumptions

A quick word to not judge by appearances, or to make assumptions about religious values. Our family took a vacation to the Red Sea recently, at a hotel with a healthy mix of European speedos and Egyptian burkinis. It was quite the contrast. From what we could tell, everyone behaved respectfully and enjoyed themselves. While … Continue reading

The Importance of ‘Nizam’

The Importance of ‘Nizam’

This quote is taken from an Iranian, but I think the sentiment — and language — would be the same for many Arabs: On July 4, Mahmoud Esmaeili, a 33-year-old software engineer, became an American citizen. Here’s why: “I like the system here. I like the rule of law. You know what to expect and … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Death and Cancelation

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Death and Cancelation

God, Five more policemen were killed today. Several high-profile militants were killed this week. And to avoid adding their number to the roll, Egypt’s churches canceled summer activities for the next three weeks. The intelligence services are finding material – warning the Christians and raiding the hideouts. Yet extremist elements are finding recruits – threatening … Continue reading

Strengthening America in Egypt

Strengthening America in Egypt

Many Egyptians believe the United States is out to get them. Yet at the same time, the United States is the primary supplier of the Egyptian military, and ties between the two armed forces are strong. Samuel Tadros wrote an engaging history of post-Arab Spring Egypt for the Hoover Institute, entitled “The Follies of Democracy … Continue reading