Arab Angles on Mon, 25 Sep 2006 16:32:28 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime-ann> Arab Angles, a blog for translations of analyses from the Arabic-language media

Arab Angles is an independent volunteer project that aims to present
English translations of analyses and opinions published in the
Arabic-language media in different countries, dealing with political,
social and cultural issues from a variety of viewpoints.  The
translations are published on a blog:

Each issue of Arab Angles will present articles that examine a single
topic from different perspectives. The first issue contains articles
from the independent Egyptian media on the underlying reasons for the
sectarian violence that broke out in Alexandria in April 2006, when a
Muslim attacked worshippers in three Coptic Christian churches there.
In addition to offering different explanations of sectarian violence
in Egypt, the articles in this issue have much to say about the
functions of religion in Egyptian society:

The Sword of Force and the Scales of Justice: 'The Citizen' Holds the Knife
   In the magazine Weghat Nazar [Points of View], editor Ayman
El-Sayyad argues that religion is not the main issue: rather, the
Egyptian state's violent repression of all dissent, and its refusal to
accept an independent judiciary, have created a climate in which
ordinary citizens have come to believe that they must resort to
violence in order to achieve their aims.

Unstable Nation
   The editor of the newspaper Al-Dustur [The Constitution], Ibrahim
Eissa (who was recently jailed for defaming the Egyptian president),
rails in his inimitable half-comical, half-serious style (to which the
translation cannot hope to do justice) against religious bigotry in
Egypt, which he sees as partly a way of compensating for a collective
inferiority complex, partly a cover for corruption, partly a result of
ignorance about religion, and partly a substitute for the political
competition that the state forbids.

One-Dimensional People
   Writing in the newspaper Nahdat Misr [The Rebirth of Egypt], Abd
El Moneim Said argues that Egyptians have become one-dimensional, that
religion has usurped the place of all the other ties that once held
Egyptian society together, and that this has divided Egypt along
religious lines.

Is Egypt Protecting the Rights of Minorities, or Paving the Way for
Civil Strife?
   In an article published on Ikhwan On Line, the web site of the
Muslim Brotherhood (Egypt's mainstream Islamist group, which is banned
but tolerated to an extent), Ahmad El Talawy expresses the view that
the US and Israel have provoked sectarian conflict in Egypt, as part
of a plan to divide Egypt and other Arab states into statelets along
ethnic and religious lines. He emphasises that the Muslim Brotherhood
is committed to full and equal citizenship for Christians and Muslims.

What is Behind the Incident in Alexandria?
   Writing in the Coptic newspaper Watani [My Nation], Samih Fawzy
argues that disruptions in Christian-Muslim relations elsewhere in the
world have been needlessly imported into Egypt by a self-serving
media, which encourages Muslims to be hostile towards Christians
rather than addressing the real problems Christians have faced for
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