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...

The Rise and Fall of the Salafi al-Nour Party in Egypt (Part 1/2)

December 14, 2013

Al-Nour was providing an Islamist fig leaf for an adulatory, ultra-nationalist and oppressive military regime. When Mohamed Salmawi, the spokesman for the committee appointed to draft Egypt’s post-coup constitution, appeared before the press on October 29, the message was clear. There...

Beyond Islamism (Part 2/2)

September 27, 2013

Muslim-majority societies are crying out for an intellectual revolution. This is the last of a two part series. Read part one here. Perhaps it is time to review priorities, to shift the paradigm; perhaps it is time for political Islam to cease being intrinsically political. After a century of...

Beyond Islamism (Part 1/2)

September 15, 2013

Muslim-majority societies are crying out for an intellectual revolution. This is the first of a two part series. Islamism — or “political Islam” — is not dead. Those who have proclaimed its demise, or trumpeted the advent of a “post-Islamist” era, are...

Memo to El-Baradei: You Can’t Eat Neoliberalism

August 02, 2013

Morsi’s failure to radically depart from Mubarak-era economic policy, contributed to his downfall. Shortly before riding into the vice-presidency of Egypt on the back of military tanks, Mohammed El-Baradei told the Foreign Policy (FP) magazine, “you can’t eat Sharia”...

Can Islamic Law Evolve?

February 17, 2013

While many secular advocates, right-wing parties and orthodox Islamic groups hold tight to the idea of a static, unresponsive and irrational Islamic law, the traditional framework of Islamic Legal Theory boasts otherwise. Here, the neglected principle of ijtihād is analysed. The evolutionary...