Tagged with Azhar

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Crown Prince Visit

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Crown Prince Visit

God, It was a high-profile visit, with high-profile rhetoric. The Saudi crown prince took his first foreign policy travels, spending several days in Egypt. He spoke of economy. The joint megacity is a future boon. He spoke of terrorism. Turkey and Qatar need isolation. He spoke of religion. Copts are beloved and Azhar restored. He … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Rohingya

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Rohingya

God, The Azhar spoke out about the death and displacement of Muslims from Myanmar. It called on the world’s conscience to care, and the international community to do something about it. It also asserted—rightly or wrongly—that if they were Jews, Christians, or Buddhists, there would have been action already. God, some of the images are … Continue reading

The Burden of an Azhar Sheikh

The Burden of an Azhar Sheikh

Sheikh Saeed Ibrahim was very keen to see my parents. He canceled an appointment to meet them, making sure the opportunity was not missed before they returned to America. He wanted this picture taken, and he wants you to see it. He would be very pleased if you share. “I want the world to see … Continue reading

There is no ‘Nation of the Cross’

There is no ‘Nation of the Cross’

‘To the nation of the cross, we are back again.’ So boasted the black-clad narrator of the latest ISIS video, this time chronicling their slaughter of 30 Ethiopian Christians captured in Libya. Two months earlier, the victims were Coptic Christians, whose beheadings came entitled: A message signed with blood to the nation of the cross. … Continue reading

Where Tolerance is at Home

Where Tolerance is at Home

A scant eighty feet from St. Mina Coptic Orthodox Church in Port Said, two small bombs exploded last month. Despite the second detonation being delayed until after a crowd had gathered and police were summoned, no one was killed. Even so, it is one more mark of an insurgency aiming to destabilize Egypt. ‘It is … Continue reading

CARAVAN: Art as a Path to Grassroots Peace

CARAVAN: Art as a Path to Grassroots Peace

So much is wrong with the Arab world today, it can obscure all that is right. At the heart of both are interfaith relations, and the CARAVAN art exhibition showcases the good while addressing the bad. International in scope, its contributions stretch across continents, touching the famous and simple alike. “We know much more about … Continue reading

The Educational Initiative of the Family House

The Educational Initiative of the Family House

Dr. Rasmy Abdel Malak is the head of the educational committee of the Egyptian Family House, an independent institution created by government decree. It is run by the grand sheikh of the Azhar in partnership with the pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, involving Egypt’s other Christian denominations as well. The Family House is authorized … Continue reading

The Egyptian Family House: Early Structure and Activity

The Egyptian Family House: Early Structure and Activity

‘National unity’ has long been a part of Egyptian political discourse. Spun positively, it celebrates the equal contributions of Muslims and Christians as one people in the national fabric. Spun negatively, it is crass propaganda used by the ruling class to demonize Islamists and scare both Copts and international observers into supporting the status quo. … 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

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: Tidying House

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Tidying House

God, Egypt is trying to redecorate. But beware the house swept clean if it is left unoccupied. The police force had long been closed to the Muslim Brotherhood, but the revolution opened the door. This week forty students were expelled, for family ties to Brotherhood members. The state had always been wary of infiltration; after … Continue reading