The height of the Arab Spring saw Hosni Mubarak deposed in Egypt, and for the first time, the country and its people looked forward to the implementation of the democratic process.
Free and fair elections took place, and Muhammad Morsi of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood was elected into office. That should have been the beginning of a transitional time for Egypt, a new leader had been put into place which a recognised democratic mandate from the people. However, the situation soon deteriorated and Morsi was then overthrown in what can only be considered as a coup d’état.
During protests at the time and since, both sides have made allegations seeking to consolidate their position at the cost of the other. However, it is clear that the momentum and indeed much of the international support is behind that of the regime of el-Sisi.
The reality however is that the criticism and scaremongering of the Morsi administration and therefore the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing more than propaganda; aimed at trying to grain credibility for an illegitimate regime. Much is made of Morsi’s Islamists credentials, and the fact that he brought a brand of ‘Political Islam’ to Egypt. This is a fact seized upon by the media and political classes alike.
The Middle East seize upon such factors in an effort to de-legitimise what is seen as the most powerful opposition to their well established autocratic and intolerant regimes. The West seizes upon the issue so as to continue to foster the suspicion and mistrust which greets many Muslims.
We as a society however need to look deeper, go beyond the rhetoric and see the situation for what it is in reality
It is deeply regrettable that the euphoria that surrounded the end of the Mubarak reign was short lived. Egypt today has reverted to an autocracy back by an all-pervasive military, and any dissent or challenge to that ruling military administration will seemingly be quickly silenced. Democratic rule must return to Egypt. A process of justice, accountability and reconciliation must find a place in Egypt’s next chapter whether it be in Alexandria, Cairo or ultimately The Hague.
The immediate recent history of the Middle-East, North Africa and Gulf region right through to present day, has seen a period of extreme instability, the rise and fall of groups, of political parties, and the establishment of entities that are a cause for significant concern within those host nations, and within the international community at large.
This period of instability, highlighted by the Arab Spring, has been inappropriately characterised by many western media outlets, as being as a result of Islam and its followers, thus fostering a deep mistrust and suspicion of any of those individuals or groups who identify themselves as Muslim or following an Islamic or Islamist ideology.
The word ‘Muslim’ is no longer simply synonymous with a religion of the Middle East, as Christianity and Judaism is in the West; it has become synonymous with the emergence of radical and extremist groups that espouse a wholly warped and unrecognisable interpretation of Islam.
It appears that any action can be justified if announced that it is under the auspices of the ‘War on Terror’. Actions such as the removal of the most basic of human rights and fundamental freedoms such as a fair trial. Actions that many of us take for granted such as the freedom of speech and the freedom to protest have effectively been removed all under the anti-terror rhetoric. Rhetoric that in reality is nothing other than the thinnest of veils over a nationwide power grab; rhetoric solely designed to attempt to lend credibility to a regimes anti-civil society, anti-human rights, and ultimately anti-democratic policies.
‘Integration’ or the supposed lack of it by British Muslims has been a ubiquitous feature in political, media and policy discourses over the past decades, often with little or no evidence base. This book is particularly timely as it draws on empirical research amongst both Muslim school students and parents to examine the question of ‘self-segregation’ in the light of key policy developments around ‘race’, faith and citizenship. It aims to contribute towards a national debate on segregation, schooling and Muslims in Britain through deconstructing the received wisdom of ‘Muslim separateness’
Occasional Papers is a publication of The Cordoba Foundation that provides a medium for diverse opinions, presenting a comprehensive view of the myriad perspectives pertaining to dialogue and cross-cultural exchange. This is done by publishing important contributions by experts and world leader
This issue explores the role of civil society in post-2015 dvelopment architecture from the perspective of equitable growth and inclusive development through insights from Dr Jemilah Mahmood, founder of MERCY Malaysia.
This issue of the Cordoba Papers addresses the Palestinian question from another and arguably unique angle. The whole question of Palestinian independence from an Islamic legal point of view is one that is very rarely posed, and even more so addressed adequately and thoroughly. Such an examination is crucial for the understanding of the question of Palestine for young academics, Palestinians, Muslims and others, keen on getting to grips with this issue away from the domination of the pure political narrative.
Ismail Adam Patel is an expert on this issue. His leadership for two decades of Friends of al-Aqsa; the leading UK organisation in education, information, campaigning, and advocacy on Palestine, as well as his own insights and understanding of the Islamic legal perspective on this complex issue, are invaluable to his excellent critique.
Authored by Ayse Kadayifci-Orellana (Salam Institute for Peace and Justice & Georgetown University, USA), Mohammed Abu-Nimer (Salam Institute for Peace and Justice & American University, USA) and Amjad Mohamed-Saleem (The Cordoba Foundation)
This paper discusses Islamic traditions of peace and conflict resolution, and argues that nonviolent and the peaceful resolution of conflicts has been an integral aspect of Islamic tradition since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
This paper also discusses various community conflict resolution mechanisms that have been developed and effectively applied to resolve conflicts in the Muslim world such as wasata (mediation), sulha (reconciliation) and hewar (dialogue). With this focus the paper seeks to identify the principles which can be used to justify Islamic teachings against violence and a process of resolving conflict.
This publication includes discussion of:
• Broad ethics and teachings from an Islamic perspective on avoiding violent conflict.
• How the peaceful resolution of conflicts has been an integral aspect of Islamic tradition since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
• How Peacebuilding and conflict resolution mechanisms in the Muslim contexts are informed by assumptions common across religio-cultural traditions
• Examples of community conflict resolution mechanisms that have been developed and effectively applied to resolve conflicts in the Muslim world
Aimed at European and Western readerships, the MENA Report aims to provide impartial, accurate and authoritative content and analysis, through The Cordoba Foundation’s unique access to rare and highly important primary sources in the Middle East and beyond
The MENA Report seeks to unpick and unravel some of this, and provide objective and strategic insights into events and developments in the region.
In this edition, we examine the complex relationship between Iran and the West in the light of the new nuclear deal that has taken place and the challenges for regional security