Tagged with Salafi

An Unfortunate Song with a Catchy Tune

An Unfortunate Song with a Catchy Tune

This popular Egyptian song by Ali al-Haggar is titled ‘We are a People’. It was created around the time of the military action to remove President Morsi from power, showing scenes from the protests against him. Fair enough, but the lyrics do not stop at the title. The refrain continues ‘… and you are a … Continue reading

Another Coup, A Salafi Hope

Another Coup, A Salafi Hope

From my recent article in Egypt Source: In order to reverse a coup d’état, Egypt needs a coup d’état. This, in brief, is the solution to Egypt’s crisis offered by Hani Fawzi, general secretary of the Cairo-based Salafi Asala Party. It must be prompted, however, by massive protests. No longer simply the domain of the … Continue reading

A Sense of International Attention

One of the privileges of studying Egypt is to be able to be a resource for others who are studying and writing about the region. In recent weeks a few have inquired about my opinion or made use of resources here at A Sense of Belonging. If you wish, and if you have the language, … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Easter Greetings

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Easter Greetings

God, There is much that Egyptian Muslims and Christians agree upon, much which unites the two and allows them to pray similarly. But at one point the religions are rather irreconcilable: Jesus was not crucified, and therefore was not resurrected. There is no Easter, celebrated by Copts this coming Sunday. Fair enough. There are plenty … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Poisoning the Azhar

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Poisoning the Azhar

God, So much of Egypt’s identity is tied up in the Azhar. The pinnacle of Islamic learning among Sunni Muslims, the Azhar was one of the world’s first universities. Always straddling the line between fidelity and challenge to the ruler, the institution was muzzled by Egypt’s successive military governments. Now, the controversy is back. But … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Election Law

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Election Law

God, Help Egypt rebuild her political institutions. Help her to do so wisely, and justly. The law to set regulations for parliamentary elections meandered all week. A first draft was partially declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Amendments were made, but then bypassed the court lest it find further flaws, only postponing the crisis. Accusations … Continue reading

‘No’ to Political Violence, Because…

‘No’ to Political Violence, Because…

From my recent article on EgyptSource: Cynics throughout Egypt could only smirk. Thousands of Islamists protested against the recent wave of political violence, answering the call of one of its most notorious perpetrators, the Jama’a Islamiya. Throughout the 1990s they led an armed campaign against the Mubarak regime, as well as targeting tourists in a … Continue reading

Profile of a Modern Salafi

Profile of a Modern Salafi

From my latest article in Arab West Report: The popular image of Salafi Muslims in Egypt is of a lower-class, older generation, perhaps limited in educational achievement. This is not their fault, many might patronizingly sympathize, as President Mubarak is blamed for letting the school system rot to keep the population ignorant, poor, and non-threatening … Continue reading

Egypt Conflict Alert

From the International Crisis Group, trying to find a solution to the current political mess: Reversing these dynamics requires efforts on two fronts. Politically, the key is mutual acceptance of two realities: that the Brotherhood’s electoral victories give their rule legitimacy, but that a historic, complex transition in a challenging security and economic context requires … Continue reading

Who are the Salafi-Jihadis?

Who are the Salafi-Jihadis?

From my recent article in EgyptSource, following up on the last post of pictures: Zawahiri is the leader of what has been dubbed the Salafi-Jihadis. Long associated with Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Group, following his release from prison in March 2012 he has positioned himself to the right of the now politically engaged Islamists … Continue reading

The Growing Pains of Salafi Politics

The Growing Pains of Salafi Politics

From my latest article in EgyptSource: The Salafi political movement experienced massive transition in the past two weeks, enduring splits, recriminations, and leadership changes. Having long foresworn the political process, it is right and natural for growing pains to characterize their apparent embrace of democracy. Taking stock, three observations describe their current standing. These are: … Continue reading

Protest and Prayer in Egypt

Protest and Prayer in Egypt

Rarely has a constitution so divided a nation. Protests, both for and against and sometimes violent, have filled the street. Egypt’s Christians, meanwhile, are caught in the middle. Though united against the proposed draft, their responses have varied considerably. “It was definitely right for Christians to protest,” said Youssef Sidhom, editor-in-chief of the Coptic newspaper … Continue reading

Proposed Constitution Opens Door to an Islamic State

Proposed Constitution Opens Door to an Islamic State

The proposed Egyptian constitution offers something to everyone, and its supporters know how to address the audience. Article 3 gives Christians and Jews the right to govern their communities according to the internal rules of their religion. Articles 31-80 give liberally-minded citizens assurances on a litany of basic rights, including expression, belief, education, and even … Continue reading