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Parasites In The Lands Of The Infidels

Egypt’s Resilient and Evolving Social Activism

Why did Trump strike Syria?

In an interview, Amr Adly discusses his recent Carnegie paper on Egypt’s large private enterprises.

It’s Time to Take a Hard Look at the U.S. Relationship With Egypt

As we work to eradicate ISIS, Iraq's Christians, Yizidis need our help now more than ever

Should America’s Refugee Policy Put Persecuted Christians First?

Muslims Were Banned From the Americas as Early as the 16th Century

Review: ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Will Make You Rethink Race

Inside Trump’s shadow national security council

Turkey in Transition (?): Before and After the Attempted July Coup

Trump Signs Executive Order Curbing Obamacare

Lion's Den :: Daniel Pipes Blog

Ur-Fascism

Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries

35 Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in the Arab World

Trump could cause ‘the death of think tanks as we know them’

The Arabs had a country

The Islamic State is attaining its key goal, and U.S. media find the story of “limited interest

While the Muslim Brotherhood gets all the ink, the Salafists go on a rampage.

Egypt, I like your style

The warning bells are ringing

To the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces

A test for the Muslim Brotherhood

Egypt’s changing foreign policy

Egypt beyond Mubarak

The dissolution of the NDP

Remaking Cairo from below

Why Egypt should join the ICC

No citizenship without social justice

Mubarak's message

A new era for US-Egypt relations?

The old regime must be prosecuted

Revolution Interrupted? Liberating the media

The Brotherhood on the edge of reform

Brother-tarianism

Buying the People’s Assembly

What do Salafis really want?

A state of counter-emergency

Minimum wage a cure for 'corruption'

Beyond the referendum

Reform security, secure reform

The Tunisian Revolution: Initial Reflections

The Egyptian Revolution: First Impressions from the Field

Lest the revolution turn into a wasted opportunity

The U.S. Should Not Get Involved in Libya

Five positions on the revolution

Urbanised Islam behind Pakistan's Sufi shrine bombings

Rethinking Internal Security in Egypt

Leo Strauss and the Grand Inquisitor

Push ahead now for a solution in Palestine

The Ongoing Attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christians

SAUDI ARABIA'S ECONOMIC NEEDS AND THE PRICE OF OIL

Saudi Arabia and the Spectre of Protest

America Quiet on the Execution of Afghan Christian Said Musa

Egypt’s Copts in Al-Qaeda’s Sights

The Worldwide Danger of Religious Fundamentalism

Tread Softly

RECLIMING WOMEN'S RIGHT TO DIVORCE IN ISLAM

HOW SHARIA LAW PUNISHES RAPED WOMEN Hasan Mahmud

The global force behind Mumbai’s agony is in our midst

Some Discussions about Qur’an, Violence and Fitnah

Terror in the Name of God

The Adventure of an Islamic Reformer at Oxford, London, and Istanbul

Thank God for Justice

Using C hristian Principles to Enhance Economic Theory and Practice:

Worldwide Hate Speech Laws?

Freedom Agenda In Flames

Commentary: Candidates should seek votes of Muslim-Americans

Why Barack is Winning?

Indian Muslims and 'Terrorism': Some Searching Questions

Taqlid, Ijtihad, and Democracy

Election 08: Senator Obama, American Muslims and IslamophobiaStatement of Concerned Scholars about I

Struggling against sectarianism: Shia-Sunni ecumenism

“Happy Eid” from Turkey

Book Review: Islam in Post-Modern World

The Concept of Jihad in Islam

Downhill in Afghanistan:

> How Not to Toast a Tyrant

How Not to Toast a Tyrant

Manufacturing 'Terrorists' The Indian Way

Madrasas: Reforms a Must

AZERBAIJAN-TURKEY-ISRAEL RELATIONS: THE ENERGY FACTOR

Fort Lauderdale's Anatolia Cultural Center endeavors to 'show the real Islam'

The Balance of Tomorrow:

Book Review: Aurangzeb Revisited

America wants Iraq’s last drop of oil

Terrorising Muslims in the Name of Countering Terrorism

A proposal for new Iraqi/US co-operation and a suggestion of how this can be achieved

How will the Georgian struggle affect Iraq?

Is Obama a man of action as well as words?

Can moderate Iraqis believe Obama’s promises?

Can Iraq be ruled successfully by a Shia/Kurdish coalition?

Name of the Book: Issues in Madrasa Education in India

Dangerous Portents in Jammu and Kashmir: A View From Doda

London School of Islamics

Rethinking Kashmir Politics

Norman G. Kurland, J.D

Sir Salman Rushdie's fatwa against freedom of expression

You Still Can't Write About Muhammad

Muslim Women: The Dangerous Triangle

Judeo-Christian "Rights of Liberty" (and Muslim "Rights of Justice," as well ???)

Turkey's dangerous message to the Muslim world

Captive to a Discarded Cause

Egypt's sexual harassment 'cancer'

The Origins and Legacy of the Movement to Fight Religious Persecution

LEBANON'S MILITIA WARS

A secular state must deliver

“Islamic Economics” – Islam less, economics more-1

Exploiting the Muslim- Jewish divide is the wrong way to win votes.

How To Win The War Of Ideas (Glassman, WSJ)

The Olympic Games—Political Games?

Me without my Hijab

The changing face of American Islam

An Islamic case for a secular state

Getting a read on moderation

RETHINKING THE REVOLUTION?

Muslim Ghettoisation

Hurting their cause

Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an

Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an

Things are calm, time to talk

Awaiting China ’s implosion

The view from Bali

Why Blame Muslims Alone for Terrorism?

Consequences of Religious Extremism and the Lack of Democratic Principles

Cultural Accumulation and Modern Reading

Liberation Without War

Gaza's New Residents: Terrorists from all over.

Turkey in radical revision of Islamic texts

From the Archive
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The Saudis’ PR ‘Roads’ Show
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Quranists and Bokharists
The Quranic Terminology: Egyptian Prison
A Message of New Comers to Our Quranism Website
Bosnian Religious Leaders Fill Political Void
The Lie of”The Grave torture and the bald serpent”( part three)
Unbelievers in the Quranic Context Signifies a Description
Bush's appointment to the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Islamic Tolerance: A Comparison between Egypt and the USA:
Jewish Sorrow Justifying the Sorrow of Others
Reforming American Muslims by the American Islam
Fatwas: Part Thirty-Nine
The Introduction to the Book Titled "The Falsehood of Al-Aqsa Mosque of Jerusalem"
Stop Abusing Islam
Quran Alone Is More Than Enough
Refuting the So-Called 'Moderate Islam' of the Saudi Crown-Prince
Fatwas: Part Thirty-Five
Fatwas Part Ninety-Seven
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Rethinking Internal Security in Egypt

  by: : By Michele Dunne and Mara Revkin

 

Egypt�s transitional leaders announced yesterday the most important step they have taken yet to sever ties with the Mubarak regime since the former president�s forced resignation: dismantling the hated State Security Investigations Sector (SSIS). Recently-appointed Interior Minister Mansour Eissawi said that a new �National Security Sector� would be created within the ministry to combat terrorism and protect domestic security in accordance with the constitution and human rights principles. He specified that the new service would not interfere in the political activities or personal lives of Egypt�s citizens.
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Developments over the coming days and weeks will show how serious and thorough this change in internal security will be and whether it will be implemented effectively. What is clear already is that the change was badly needed. While Egypt�s diverse opposition and protest groups differ on many subjects, they are united in their determination that internal security forces must get out of the business of harassing, manipulating, and torturing peaceful political and civil society activists.
The initial steps taken by Mubarak and later on by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces�dismissing former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, referring him for prosecution, and appointing a less-known officer from the security apparatus in his place�did not send a clear enough message of change. The March 5 appointment of Eissawi�a retired military officer who enjoys credibility with opposition and protest groups�as part of a new cabinet constituted a further step. But when Prime Minister Essaf Sharaf delivered his first public speech in Tahrir Square on March 4, several audience members loudly interrupted him to demand that SSIS be radically restructured immediately. Twenty-four hours after Sharaf�s inaugural address, hundreds of protesters stormed SSIS offices in Cairo, Alexandria, and other cities to prevent personnel from destroying documents that might have implicated them in corruption and human rights violations.
Rumors began to circulate in early March that the SSIS was beginning to reemerge after going underground for several weeks, and specifically that SSIS officers were fanning the flames of sectarian discord in order to prove the need for their services. Thirteen people were killed in sectarian clashes on March 8 and there were violent clashes between protestors and security-employed thugs once again in Tahrir Square.
Minister Eissawi said on March 15 that officers for the new security service would be selected in the coming days, leaving it unclear whether all SSIS officers will be dismissed (and perhaps have the ability to reapply for their jobs) or whether just the top leadership will be changed. Demobilizing a security force as massive as Egypt�s is no small feat. Over the course of his thirty-year rule, Mubarak steadily increased the size of the SSIS as well as the scope of its powers. In 1974, police personnel numbered only 150,000, but by 2009, analysts estimated that the Egyptian Interior Ministry commanded a total of 1.7 million employees, including some 400,000 SSIS officers as well as 850,000 regular policemen and interior ministry staff and 450,000 Central Security Force troops. To put these figures in perspective, Egypt�s internal security personnel outnumber its active-duty military troops by a ratio of three to one and by 2002 accounted for one-fifth of all central government employees.
Throughout the 1990s, during which Egypt experienced a wave of domestic terrorist attacks, Mubarak sponsored a series of laws that curtailed civil and political rights and also steadily expanded the SSIS, which he justified as a necessary counterweight to Islamic extremism. The declared targets of the crackdown were the domestic terrorist groups al-Gama�at al-Islamiyya and al-Gihad, but in practice, the security forces also employed their sweeping powers to neutralize political opponents of the regime.
Along with suspected militants, the government detained opposition activists including thousands of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had not used or advocated violence in decades. Stripped of legal recourse by a sweeping emergency law, hundreds of political prisoners were tortured or killed without ever facing criminal charges. Only rarely were perpetrators of these abuses prosecuted. As of January 31, 2011, no SSIS officer had ever been convicted on torture charges, according to Human Rights Watch, although in at least three cases officers had appeared before a court.
Beyond the most egregious abuses, the SSIS perpetuated and enforced a police state culture in which Egyptians involved in politics or civil society were called on to inform on their neighbors and colleagues in one way or another. It was understood that government employees and private citizens needed an informal SSIS clearance for a wide range of actions deemed sensitive, such as allowing a nongovernmental organization to accept a grant, renovating or constructing a church, or appointing the new dean of an academic program.
It was widely known, but rarely spoken, that the SSIS worked to besmirch the reputations of civil society activists who had aggravated the regime, as did sociologist Saad Eddin Ibrahim in 2000. SSIS also had a reputation for fostering rifts inside opposition groups that it saw as transgressing informal red lines; among the better-known cases are the Socialist Labor Party (whose license was frozen in 1999) and Ayman Nour�s al-Ghad Party (which has been embroiled in a leadership dispute since 2005).
Redefining the mission of internal security forces away from torture, abuse, political manipulation, and unwarranted interference in private affairs and toward preventing terrorism and crime is now essential. Minister Eissawi�s announcement was the clearest articulation of such an intention so far.
Now the hard part will begin, as decisions are made about what size force is needed, how to retrain officers, and how to prevent retaliation from those who will be dismissed (as it seems unlikely that such a large secret police force will be needed if their functions are far more limited than in the past). None of this will be easy, but neither is it avoidable. Even if Egypt were to hold completely free presidential and parliamentary elections, there is no way for it to make a transition to real democracy if the internal security services resume their pre-January 25 mode of operation.