Tag: Egypt

One of the questions to be asked of a translated novel is ‘why was this translated?’  The answers can range from the author’s perceived importance, to providing foreign readers with cultural insight, or to publishing economics. (More…)

The year was 1942 and I was eighteen years old. I was in Cairo on holiday arranged by my mother. She ran a hostel for the expats in Cairo. If I go into detail about mother’s job, I’ll never get to tell how I encountered King Farouk. (More…)

The United States has always approached political Islam in a contradictory manner. Since the 1950s, when Washington first made common cause with anti-Communist religious leaders, US policy towards the Mideast has been characterized by a disconnect between rhetoric and politics, particularly in matters concerning Islamist mobilization. (More…)

In the very interesting account which Mrs. Devereux Roy has given of the present condition of Algeria, she says that France “is now about to embark upon a radical change of policy in regard to her African colonies.”  (More…)

At first glance, the idea of England as an arena where two great religious forces meet seems rather far-fetched, but there is more Moslem activity in some of our English towns than people imagine. Turning over some files of the Kibla (a Meccan newspaper), one comes across passages like the following: (More…)

Many analysts have become cynical about the Arab spring as a result of events in Egypt. There is certainly cause for it, especially since General al-Sisi is consolidating military rule while establishing a new cult of personality. Personally, I’m not hopeless. There is a trajectory to cults of personality that always has the opportunity to end abruptly, as was the case of Nicolae Ceaușescu in Romania.  (More…)

As I read the article, I started shaking. Tears streamed down my face. It was about an old man in Beit Hanoun, Gaza. On Friday night, eight members of his family, including his sons, daughters and grandchildren, had finished their Iftar meal and sat down to watch a popular television show. A few minutes into it, an artillery shell ripped through their home, killing them all, including children aged six, two, and one. (More…)

If you live outside the United States, let me begin by saying that I am very sorry for what is about to happen. Despite the damage that the Republican Party and their right-wing fellow travelers have done to this country and, worse, to the rest of the world, it seems the American public is once again leaning in their direction. (More…)

Like many people, I was too optimistic about the June uprising that toppled Mohammed Morsi. I assumed that it would make inevitable struggles for a wider democratization of Egyptian society, and with it, the rest of the Muslim world. (More…)

When I was a child, my mother used to blow on me gently after namaz. It was a folk custom meant to cleanse me of her transgressions, and protect me from the djinn. I did my Juma prayers at Berlin’s Türk Sehitlik mosque seeking that same type of maternal protection. (More…)

Every now and then, Tony Blair pops up out of nowhere and reminds us all he’s still out there on his private jet. It’s almost routine now. Of course, it should go without saying that politicians like Blair have never been as interested in combating genuine issues, like climate change, as they have been in waging wars in the Middle East.  (More…)

For all of Sayyid Qutb’s positive contributions to the Muslim world (and there were a few, despite his influence on figures like Osama Bin Laden) we cannot ignore the negatives. The most infamous is his pivotal role in inspiring modern Islamic anti-Semitism with his influential work Our Struggle Against the Jews (1950). The irony is that Qutb often sounds very Jewish. (More…)