Egypt Moves Closer to Labeling Soccer Fans as Terrorists

April 15, 2015

The battle for political change in Egypt is not only hampered by the government’s relentless repression. Egypt has moved closer to labeling militant soccer groups as terrorist organizations. These groups form the backbone of opposition to autocratic rule, with the recent arrest of five alleged...

Lessons from the Egyptian Revolution

February 12, 2014

Egyptians psychologically need a strong national institution. Two sayings often come to my mind when I think about the Egyptian revolution these days. The first is attributed to Prophet Mohammed: "khayr al-amur al-wasat" (the best path is the middle one). The second is attributed to James...

Revolution Square One: Egypt Three Years On

February 11, 2014

Egyptian revolutionaries face an upward battle against the tides of the establishment. With the world watching, Egypt’s long-time intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, announced the departure of Hosni Mubarak from his presidential throne on February 11, 2011. The epic eruption of cheers, tears,...

Tunisia’s Democratization: Learning from the Disasters of Others

January 30, 2014

The Tunisian democratization process is an outcome of negative developments in Arab states. Once again, Tunisia is now considered to be the democratic frontrunner in the Arab world as well as the last remaining hope of the Arab Spring. Its new constitution, passed by the National Constituent...

The Muslim Brotherhood: Islam and Democracy in Egypt

January 24, 2014

Despite mounting pressure, the Muslim Brotherhood is unlikely to take up arms. Whether or not the Arab Spring heralded a democratic transition in the Arab world, it was significant in the sense that even political parties with a predominantly Islamic ideology took to the streets demanding justice...

Referendum in Egypt: International Monitoring Helps the Regime

January 11, 2014

The EU should not monitor the Egyptian referendum, but instead push for political inclusion. The military coup of July 2013 did not only topple the government of President Mohammed Morsi, but it also suspended Egypt’s constitution. The constitution had been adopted through a referendum in...

The Rise and Fall of the Salafi al-Nour Party in Egypt (Part 2/2)

December 29, 2013

Al-Nour was providing an Islamist fig leaf for an adulatory, ultra-nationalist and oppressive military regime. Read part one here. In January, al-Nour Party elected a new head, Younis Makhyoun. Tensions between al-Nour and the Brotherhood broke to the surface when Khaled Alam Eddin, a senior...

Is Qatar’s Love Affair with the Muslim Brotherhood Really Over?

December 24, 2013

Qatar’s relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood has not ended. Political analysts are looking at the seismic transfer of power from Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani to his 33-year-old son, Sheikh Tamim, in order to examine a number of issues. Sheikh Hamad's abdication occurred just...

Political Islam: Revival or Crisis? (Part 2/2)

November 07, 2013

In the absence of other alternatives, Islamists were elected by default. This is the last of a two part series. Read part one here. Fair Observer’s Middle East Editor, Manuel Langendorf, speaks to Mhamed Biygautane from the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government in Dubai — a renowned...

Political Islam: Revival or Crisis? (Part 1/2)

October 22, 2013

In the absence of other alternatives, Islamists were elected by default. This is the first of a two part series. Political Islam is among the most controversially discussed issues in the Middle East and North Africa. While modern Islamist political thought traces its origin back to a rejection of...

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