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Culture & Religion

"The Square": Documenting Egypt’s revolution

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The Square, a documentary about Egypt’s January 2011 uprising, provides glimpses of most of the players but gives short shrift to the Muslim Brotherhood, the main player that was then targeted by the deep state headed by the military.

The Square, the Academy Award-nominated Egyptian-American documentary film by Jehane Noujaim, depicts events in Egypt from January 2011 focusing on Tahrir Square. It is neither “Egyptian” nor “American” in any meaningful sense, as the Egyptian “government” has banned it, Noujaim’s mother is American, and she was raised more in Kuwait, has lived in Boston since 1990, and as such is far from typically American in outlook.

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Interview on Radio Islam: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization

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Interview with Eric Walberg on Radio Islam: Re-emerging Islamic Civilization

https://soundcloud.com/radioislam1450/2014-01-08

Re-assessing Political Islam: Part II

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The Pinochet-style coup in Egypt in July 2013, 40 years after the Chilean coup, gives pause to reconsider Islamic political strategy.  It took Chile 25 year before Pinochet was arrested (ironically, in Britain on a Spanish warrant), and he died eight years later without being convicted at the age of 91. Chilean socialists retook power 27 years after the coup, but their party was no threat to capitalism, a pale ghost of Allende’s revolution. Is this the fate of the Arab Spring?

Muhammad’s political legacy

Reflecting on the state of political Islam in the post-1979 world, in Stages of Islamic Revolution (1996), Kalim Siddiqui looks for guidance to Muhammad’s political legacy:

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Interview on No Lies Radio: Political Islam after Egypt's coup

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Interview with Kevin Barrett: The near future looks bleak for Muslims who struggle to free the umma from its neocolonial straightjacket. But the revival of Islamic civilization continues.

http://noliesradio.org/archives/69928

if you are asked for password, it is coup

Re-assessing Political Islam: Part I

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Now that the smoke is clearing in Tahrir Square after two and a half years of upheaval—and thousands of deaths—the meaning of the Arab Spring and the intent of the Islamists is becoming clear. First, the Arab Spring was/is an Islamic Awakening, as confirmed in five elections/ referenda in Egypt, where Islamists consistently won two-thirds of the vote in the freest elections in any country in recent times.  Money was not a significant factor thanks to limits on candidates’ financing (no corporate or Super PACs a la US, or foreign donations), the brainwashing of the old order no longer worked, and the Mubarak thugs who stuffed ballot boxes were hiding in their holes. We can only envy the Egyptians.

The strategy of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) for 80 years has been to patiently build alternative social structures to the corrupt ‘soft state’ (especially in education, health, charity), and eventually overthrowing the old corrupt order peacefully through the ballot box. Then to work with other forces, both left and right, to usher in a new Islamic order based on their grassroots experience, where—just as in the first Islamic state under Muhammad in Medina—all facets of society would have their place, where laws and government would conform with sharia, as confirmed by senior Islamic scholars. Foreign relations were shifting towards a more confrontational stance with Israel, and more cooperation with other Islamic governments and movements, in particular Iran, but throughout the Muslim world. President Morsi’s first stop was Saudi Arabia, which initially promised support. Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad sent a whopping $8b in aid ($2b of which was since returned by the coupmakers).

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Canadian Eric Walberg is known worldwide as a journalist specializing in the Middle East, Central Asia and Russia. A graduate of University of Toronto and Cambridge in economics, he has been writing on East-West relations since the 1980s.

He has lived in both the Soviet Union and Russia, and then Uzbekistan, as a UN adviser, writer, translator and lecturer. Presently a writer for the foremost Cairo newspaper, Al Ahram, he is also a regular contributor to Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Global Research, Al-Jazeerah and Turkish Weekly, and is a commentator on Voice of the Cape radio.

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