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Egypt’s Resurgent Authoritarianism: It’s a Way of Life
By Nathan J. Brown, Katie Bentivoglio - Carnegie

“..the Sisi government is laying the foundation for officials to act with sweeping powers—and little accountability.”

Since assuming office in June 2014, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has been making a series of slow but deliberate legal moves to restore and strengthen the authority of state institutions. In the absence of parliament, he has taken advantage of a constitutional vacuum to lay the groundwork for authorities to act with wide discretion and little public oversight.

 

Iran Appears to Fight ISIS, but Ultimate Goals Too Similar
By Lauren Gunias - WWM

Minorities caught in crossfire of ambitions driving extremist ideologies of both

It says something about the depths of worldwide revulsion to the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" that Western powers such as the US and the UK have been sitting at the same table with Iran to discuss how to defeat the deadly Islamist movement that has taken control of a large part of Iraq and Syria.

 

Did Someone Say ‘Conquest’?: Turkey’s Ottoman Obsession
By Burak Bekdil -
Hürriyet Daily News

Turkey’s terrible miscalculation in Syria has pushed its foreign policy rhetoric from "shallow arrogance" to "defensive bewilderment." Over the past five years, Ankara has claimed that "Syria, Palestine and Egypt [and other former Ottoman territories] are Turkey's domestic affairs."

 

Egypt’s NGO Laws Continue to Threaten Civil Society
By Ahmed Naje – TIMEP

In a paid advertisement published in Al-Ahram newspaper in September 2014, the Egyptian Ministry of Social Solidarity extended the deadline for NGOs to register with the government. This announcement extended the existing deadline by 45 days to mid-November; a July 2014 announcement had indicated that all NGOs must be registered with the government by September otherwise they will be subject to prosecution.

 


‘Complete Implementation of Sharia,’ Pledges Bassem Khafagi in Presidential Campaign in Egypt

Bassem Khafagi, Former Community Relations Director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and A Founder of Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA) – Who In 2003 Was Convicted In U.S. and Deported – Says In His Presidential Campaign in Egypt: I Pledge To 'Complete Implementation of Islamic Law'

In statements televised on March 12, 2012 on the Egyptian Al-Nas TV, Egyptian presidential candidate Bassem Khafagi said: "[A]s a Muslim Egyptian, I am convinced of [the need to] complete the implementation of Islamic law in Egypt. I do not hide this truth in any way, because it is in keeping with the inclination of the Egyptian people." He added, "As president, I will personally assist in the completion of the correct implementation of the shari'a, by consulting the experts [in Islamic law]."

Khafagi was sentenced in September 2003 in the U.S. to 10 months in prison and deported to Egypt, after pleading guilty to two counts of bank fraud and one count of visa fraud. He had been charged with funneling money to promote terrorist activities through the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA). At the time of his arrest, Khafagi was also community affairs director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

According to the FBI, Khafagi was a founding member and former head of the IANA. Federal prosecutors said that the group's objective was the "dissemination of radical Islamic ideology, the purpose of which was indoctrination, recruitment of members and the instigation of acts of violence and terrorism." Federal investigators said the IANA has funneled money to activities supporting terrorism and has published material advocating suicide attacks on the United States. The IANA said it was formed to promote Islam.

Khafagi was one of four former or current students at the University of Idaho at Moscow, ID and at Washington State University at Pullman, WA who were arrested in 2003 during an investigation of a suspected terrorist-related network in the Moscow-Pullman area.

According to school records, Khafagi earned a master's degree in civil engineering in August 1988 at the University of Idaho. After working as a teaching assistant and taking postgraduate classes there, he enrolled at Michigan State University, earning a doctorate in civil engineering in 1993. He later lived in Ann Arbor, Mich., operating a business called International Media Group from his home, court documents showed; according to the documents, it was not clear what kind of business it was.

Following are excerpts from statements by Egyptian presidential candidate Khafagi that aired on Al-Nas TV on March 7, 2012: To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/3356.htm

___________________________________________

MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4571—Egypt

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