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


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


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 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



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:

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How Not to Toast a Tyrant

Manufacturing 'Terrorists' The Indian Way

Madrasas: Reforms a Must


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


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


Muslim Ghettoisation

Hurting their cause

Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an

Allah's Miracles in the Qur'an

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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
Western Sahara Roundtable on Jadaliyya
On the Religious Duty of Cursing the Clergymen/Sheikhs of the Terrestrial Religions of the Muhammadans
Is The Reward of Goodness Anything But Goodness? (Quran 55:60)
Egypt's Facebook showdown
The ban takes effect immediately.
suicide operations in Israel
Quranic Terminology: Wombs
A Message from A Very Shrewd Sunnite Man
A Statement From
About This Egyptian Disgrace of the Detention and Torture of Esraa Abdel-Fattah!
Fatwa :It Is Better to Die.
The Egyptian president: Secular or Sharia?
To define its missions: Facing the terrorist bloody culture in order to terminate its danger
The Quranists as persecuted Muslim scholars
Pieces of Advice Addressed to the Palestinians for the Fourth Time: The Victims of the Vociferous Devils
Fatwas Part Ninety-Four
Quranic Terminology: The Root (k/a/d)
Quranic Terminology: Between to Love and to Would Like
The Sheep and The Vet
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Egypt beyond Mubarak

  by: : Maria Golia


I’ve sometimes wished I was a fly on the Mubaraks' living-room wall watching the drama unfold. I pictured the former president, his customary tenacity perforated with moments of genuine bewilderment, his sons’ and wife’s urgent counsels, the disagreements, the fraternal and conjugal strife, the small gestures of tenderness (a glass of tea, a cushion for the back) to mitigate the irritability, tension and bitter resentment in the face of such perceived betrayal. I wondered if they watched TV and saw the masses calling for their prosecution, and had reached the point of self-questioning, regret and/or fear. It’s the stuff that Ramadan musalsalaat is made of, and I’ll bet someone’s writing one or half a dozen right now.

The creative impulse unleashed in Tahrir Square has spread far and wide, or perhaps it’s more accurate to say it’s been diffused. It has reached the conference rooms of corporate advertising departments, with the mobile phone companies who profited so richly from protest-related communications mounting huge patriotic (and logo-bearing) posters. Glossy magazine covers feature Egypt’s valiant youth, and colorful albeit bloodless sentimental accounts of the events. Egypt’s uprising has been commercialized but also mythologized in exhibitions and documentaries. It already exists outside of itself, although it has yet to be self-realized, self-aware. It came into being only half formed, the angry part, shaped by decades of disappointment and injustice.  

"On what does the survival of oppression depend? On us! On whom must we depend for its demolition?  On ourselves!"  Bertolt Brecht, chronicler of human nature, was right but the trick is to demolish oppression on an individual and societal level. From the start, the uprising’s focus on Mubarak was personal; he embodied the public’s disillusionment and contempt for power. Yet this also externalized the problem. A cleansing albeit symbolic patricide was called for, but emphasizing Mubarak’s responsibility for Egypt’s impoverishment obscures the people’s role in that same process.  "Has he some power over you other than that which he receives from you?" asked Étienne de La Boétie, in his Discourse on Voluntary Servitude. As disenchantment with the army grows, the question must be asked again, and unless the space is created for alternative leadership to emerge, Egypt will be asking it for decades.   

The emphasis remains on bringing Mubarak to justice, with effigy burnings and mock trials awarding him an importance he no longer merits, when there is so much else to be done. Mubarak and his henchmen’s fate continue to overshadow the larger issues behind this uprising, namely the acquisition of personal and civic freedoms and the restoration of due process. With parliamentary elections looming, the Emergency Law is not just in force, but amplified by the curfew and protest ban. Mubarak’s imprisonment has taken precedence over demands for basic human rights, which continue to be abused. When you live in a police state for so long, some of it’s bound to rub off if you’re not careful. But the defensiveness, divisiveness, belligerence and utter lack of imagination with which Egypt has been governed in the past must indeed be relegated to history.

Yes, if there’s money floating around that Egypt can get back, by all means encourage the process. And arrest those against whom substantial allegations of corruption have been raised (a move which would necessitate the replacement of virtually every high-official in every governorate). Compose lists detailing each one’s offenses and publish it widely. But why should they get swifter justice than average Egyptians?  Let them wait their turn. The days before parliamentary elections are numbered and each one spent following the drama of Mubarak and his sons’ incarceration, hospital interrogations etc., is time lost. How will the public prepare for these elections? Who will stand as their representatives, and on what platforms? Or should these hasty, quasi-forced elections be aborted or boycotted, with the public demanding instead to elect an interim ruling council, whose participants it nominates?

It’s time to get really personal, forgetting "them" and affirming "us", exploring the options that have been opened. More than the past, the future is at issue now, and the present with its urgent business of survival. The daily struggle that ignited this uprising will not be over any time soon. How can we meanwhile help one another and prevent the unscrupulous from profiting from this moment of vulnerability through crime and fraud? We hear sensational accounts of growing violence, but instances of people sharing information and resources, presenting alternative ways forward, cleaning and securing neighborhoods (in other words replicating the self-organization that characterized the best moments in Tahrir) should be publicized and imitated. Right now there are citizens with leadership qualities taking actions within and outside of the framework of civil society. Who are they? What are they doing? How can we help them? We need to know.

The creative force unleashed this year is the revolution, if it’s kept alive and nurtured so that beyond the anger, people can see themselves whole, as they wish to be. It takes imagination and resourcefulness to relinquish a self-image to which you’ve grown accustomed. Who will "the new you" be? Only when the change is visualized can the process of transformation begin. Likewise, on the level of society, how do you picture a reinvented Egypt? How would it work, what would it be like to live there? Whoever seeks a place in government should possess the clarity of vision to answer these questions, and citizens should have the sense to ask them or else be content with the Egypt they get by default.

When you’ve been denied the right to speak and act with confidence to shape and embellish society these powers may seem remote, yet they are present in everyone, awaiting the chance for expression. That chance is now. Personally, I don’t care about Mubarak and his family, however rich their drama. We’ve grown old watching them and they’ve wearied us. We care about Egypt, and the Egypt we see in our mind’s eye looks nothing like them at all.

Maria Golia, a long-time resident of Egypt, is author of Cairo, City of Sand andPhotography and Egypt, permanent correspondent for The Middle East(UK)and columnist for the New Internationalist (Oxford).