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Al-Ahram Weekly

34. Handing Religious Tensions the Modern Way

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Article title: 
34. Handing Religious Tensions the Modern Way
Article pages: 
6
Date of source: 
December, 30 2010
Author: 
Samīr Marqus
Summary
Article summary: 

According to the article, one year ago Samīr Marqus predicted the consequences of religious tensions in Egypt, which resulted in the Naj‘ Hammādī incident. Political leadership then decided to reinforce the principles of the civil state and equal citizenship, in in order to encourage coexistence.

The author also references an article he wrote one year ago regarding religious tensions and visions for the upcoming decaden in Egypt. In the article, Marqus observed that the "safety level" of religious tensions had been exceeded and that some could not even admit what he sees as the evident deterioration of Muslim-Christian relations over the past 40 years. He discussed three approaches to fixing the problem: treating Copts as a class with specific rights; seprating the population depending on their religious affiliation (sectarian state); or full equality among citizens (a civic state).

Marqus claims that the Naj‘ Hammādī incident proved just how acute religious tensions had become, as well as their interconnectedness to other political and regional interests. According to the author, last year's Christmas shooting was a wake up call for many people who realized that they could no longer live with such a situation.

The editorial says that the most important outcome of Naj‘ Hammādī was political leadership's commitment to the modern civil state, along with its principle of equal citizenship and resolution to combat religious tensions.

Although 2010 opened on a very sobering note, each new incident brought on transformations in thought and behavior; some positively, others negatively.

The result of years of religious tensionis is on the one hand, the trand to drum up Islamic fervour, and on the other, the trend of erecting the bulwarks of a religious community's  seclusion. In the middle stands the mainstream trend, which supports the equal citizenship and which the political leadership promised to promote. Of course, it is Egyptians' task to respond effectively to this call.

Marqus claims that the starting point is to renew the Egyptian national partnership and accept diversity and pluralism. In order to do this, the media should first stop provoking the people and start insisting on professionalism and integrity. Next, it is important to take advantage of the principle of freedom of worship. Third, it is necessary to strengthen commitment to the rule of law. Finally, people must be actively engaged in public and political spheres.

According to the writer, by taking these steps it is possible to create a modern civil state on the basis of equal citizenship, equality of opportunity, and the rule of law.

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57. Messages from ‘Umrāniyyah

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Article title: 
57. Messages from ‘Umrāniyyah
Article pages: 
7
Date of source: 
December 2, 2010
Author: 
Jamāl Nkramah
Reviewer: 
Not given
Summary
Article summary: 

In this editorial in Al-Ahram Weekly, Jamāl Nkramah claims that incidents such as the ‘Umranniyah riots are “few and far between,” arguing that Egypt is “a much safer society than most.”

 

The problem, rather, is a “culture of hatred” that takes advantage of underprivileged and discouraged youth, says veteran columnist Salāmah Ahmad Salāmah, who also blames the violence on a failure to implement a unified law for houses of worship, despite a constitutional mandate to place construction of mosques and churches on equal footing.

 

However, Muhammad Fāyiq of the Arab Organization for Human Rights says that the ‘Umrāniyyah riots weren’t only about the rights of Christians. “The uproar over ‘Umrāniyyah was essentially about strengthening the citizenship rights of all Egyptians,” says Fāyiq, “Both [Muslim and Christian] communities are yearning for the improvement of the country’s human rights record.”

 

Nkramah referred to media coverage of the events as “sensationalism and cheap melodrama.”

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22. Thin veils of terror

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22. Thin veils of terror
Article pages: 
12
Date of source: 
November 14, 2010
Author: 
Editorial
Reviewer: 
Ahmad al-Ghaz&#363l&#299
Summary
Article summary: 

The article says that extremists and terrorists are hiding behind their claims of fighting injustice and protecting the weak. The author blames the CIA for the formation of al-Qā‘idah in attempts to drive the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan. He says that members of al-Qā‘idah are like hired assassins who kill and maim to advance the agendas of others.

Key Words: al-Qā‘idah – CIA – Usāmah Bin Lādin

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13. Terrorist attacks in Morocco and Algeria ring the bell of Islamic extremism

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13. Terrorist attacks in Morocco and Algeria ring the bell of Islamic extremism
Date of source: 
18-04-2007
Author: 
Katia Saqqa
Summary
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The latest terrorist attacks in Algeria and Morocco were a considerable warning of the increasing power of the Islamic groups in general and that of al-Qā‘idah in particular. The attacks sparked world wide protests and many people attributed them to the U.S. strategy in the Middle East.

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2. In their footsteps

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2. In their footsteps
Date of source: 
December 25- 31, 2003
Author: 
Rif‘at al-Sa‘id
Summary
Article summary: 

The weekly mentions AWR´s work in organizing Holy Family pilgrimages. the purpose of the Holy Family pilgrimages is to create an understanding between different cultures. AWR wants to encourage the visits of expatriates to any of the Holy Family locations because this will greatly enhance their understanding of Egypt´s most prominent Christian tradition. Not many traditions in the world are as old as this one, the first record of which comes from the fourth century. This tradition is the link between the Gospels and the church in Egypt and is still very much alive today

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30. Flimsy on facts

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30. Flimsy on facts
Article pages: 
p.3
Date of source: 
November 27, 2003
Author: 
Jaylan Hallawi
Summary
Article summary: 

The new press campaign against Saadeddin Ibrahim has been as flimsy on evidence as previous allegations against the prominent democracy activist ..questioning his integrity. News coverage of a potential US decision to allocate $2 million to Ibrahim´s Ibn Khaldoun Centre for Development Studies (ICDS), has re- ignited media allegations against the activist. [See http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2003/666/eg5.htm]

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4. Democracy and décor; A Saudi-funded institute with a remit to engineer a "renaissance in Arab thought" held its first conference in Cairo this week

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4. Democracy and décor; A Saudi-funded institute with a remit to engineer a "renaissance in Arab thought" held its first conference in Cairo this week
Article pages: 
0
Date of source: 
2002-10-31
Author: 
Amirah Huwaydi
Summary
Article summary: 

The Al-Ahram Weekly provided an article giving the background of the Arab Though Institute Tareq Heggi had been asked to join.

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44. Protecting the profession

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44. Protecting the profession
Date of source: 
November 18-24, 1999
Author: 
Muná al-Nahhas
Summary
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Dozens of journalists staged a sit-in at the headquarters of the Press Syndicate on Sunday afternoon to protest the continuing imprisonment of Magdi Hussein, chief editor of Al-Shaab, mouthpiece of the Islamist-oriented Labor party, and journalist Salah Bedewi. The two are serving two-year jail sentences and have been fined LE 20,000 each for slandering Minister of Agriculture Youssef Wali.

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17. Crackdown continues

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Article title: 
17. Crackdown continues
Date of source: 
November 18-24, 1999
Author: 
Not mentioned
Summary
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Eight suspected members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood were arrested on Saturday in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Minya.

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14. Here she lies buried

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Article title: 
14. Here she lies buried
Date of source: 
November 18-24, 1999
Author: 
Muná al-Nahhas
Summary
Article summary: 

Over a thousand years ago, the site on which the mosque is built, currently the scene of major renovation efforts, witnessed Sayeda Zeinab’s advent to Egypt. She was described as the "heroine of Karbala’," rallying troops at the battle, providing them with water and food, treating the injured and taking care of children. In 681, the Egyptian governor welcomed Sayeda Zeinab and received her in one of his palaces -- in the district that now bears her name. She spent almost a year there; when she died, she was buried nearby, on the site where the mosque stands now.

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