President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi is not afraid to use faith to push the state's narrative – but the climate and the rhetoric have cooled
When protesters successfully called for the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi last year, part of their rhetoric played on fears that Egypt's first democratically elected president and his Muslim Brotherhood were seeking to turn the country into a theocracy. Yet 14 months on, religion and politics are as interwoven as ever – and Morsi's successors in government are leading the way.
This was not a coalition that will defeat ISIS; it was a coalition that will end up reinforcing Islamic State as the one true answer to the crimes being committed against the Arab people by its own leaders.
“We are looking at any conversation, any interaction, we might find worrying or would want to keep a closer eye on.”
Egyptians’ online communications are now being monitored by the sister company of an American cybersecurity firm, giving the Egyptian government an unprecedented ability to comb through data from Skype, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, among others.
See Egypt, the sister company of the U.S.-based Blue Coat, won the contract over the summer, beating out the British Gamma System, and the Israeli-founded Narus System. See Egypt has begun monitoring Egyptians’ online communications, according to several Egyptian government officials who spoke to BuzzFeed News.
While many have rightfully criticized U.S. President Obama’s recent assertion that the Islamic State “is not Islamic,” some of his other equally curious but more subtle comments pronounced in the same speech have been largely ignored.
Consider the president’s invocation of the “grievances” meme to explain the Islamic State’s success: “At this moment the greatest threats come from the Middle East and North Africa, where radical groups exploit grievances for their own gain. And one of those groups is ISIL—which calls itself the Islamic State.”
Systematic discrimination and harassment against religious minorities in Egypt and the surrounding region often goes unreported as it does not catch international headlines such as stories of brutality and violence. The broader picture of life for minorities in Egypt is one of daily submission under Islamic Sharia. It has rightly been called daily martyrdom.
To lose one’s life for your faith is far more glamorous than daily persevering for your faith. Yet, such is the case for the vast majority of Egypt’s Christians. Imagine waking each day to the knowledge that you do not have the same rights as your neighbors in worship, at work, in school, and even in the privacy of your home. Such is their life.
Dr. Muhammad Badi, supreme leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, said: “The Brotherhood is getting closer to achieving its greatest goal as envisioned by its founder, Imam Hassan al-Banna. This will be accomplished by establishing a righteous and fair ruling system, with all its institutions and associations, including a government evolving into a rightly guided caliphate and mastership of the world.”
Badi added in his weekly message yesterday [12/29/11]: “When the Brotherhood started its advocacy [da’wa], it tried to awaken the nation from its slumber and stagnation, to guide it back to its position and vocation. In his message at the sixth caucus, the Imam [Banna] defined two goals for the Brotherhood: a short term goal, the fruits of which are seen as soon as a person becomes a member of the Brotherhood; and a long term goal that requires utilizing events, waiting, making appropriate preparations and prior designs, and a comprehensive and total reform of all aspects of life.”
The leader of the Brotherhood continued: “The Imam [Banna] delineated transitional goals and detailed methods to achieve this greatest objective, starting by reforming the individual, followed by building the family, the society, the government, and then a rightly guided caliphate and finally mastership of the world.”
Badi linked this greatest goal to the Arab spring revolutions. He said: “In this Arab spring, the revolutionary people were determined to achieve particular, obvious goals. They were adamant and uncompromising about goals such as the end of unjust regimes and the ousting of unfair rulers, to rid our countries of all corrupt systems that usurped our resources and thwarted our progress. And today we are very close to achieving a major goal by establishing a righteous and fair ruling system with all its institutions and guiding principles.” The leader of the Brotherhood accused “adversaries and contenders” of trying to deter the Brotherhood by distracting them with peripheral disputes using flamboyant calls to tear up the unity of the nation, in order to slow down their progression, to eviscerate the revolution, and to distract the Brotherhood from attaining its greatest goals.
He said: “With the blessings of Shura we are on the path of achieving the goals of the nation and the revolution through a candid and genuine representation of the people in the parliament to start building the institutions of good governance and a rightly guided state.”
Translated by CS from: http://www.almasry-alyoum.com/article2.aspx?ArticleID=322837
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Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.