A message from Tarek Heggy 

I write these words while surrounded by hundreds of thousands of the sons and daughters of Egypt in one of today's demonstrations (in Tahrir Square, the Abbasia square and Heliopolis).

The demonstrators' loud voice says "no" to the Ikhwan's attempt to sallow the Egyptian state, and says "no" to the Constitutional declaration of November 22nd that combined the legislative, executive and judicial powers in Morsi's hands.

While congregants days ago in front of Cairo university represented nothing but a set of 7th century (AD) values, today's crowds were combined of the best sons and daughters of Egypt. On Tuesday (27 November) I realized that the spirit of Egypt did not die. Today, I realized that the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood (that started five months ago) would soon vanish.

My advice to many of demonstrators was not let the fear of MBs to infiltrate there hearts and minds, and to have the courage to reject all their corrupt intellectual wares ... Even sensitive matters (such as the application of Sharia), we MUST have the courage to say it clearly: yes, we refuse that Sharia replaces our modern laws ...

I kept repeating my advice : Beware of despair or exaggerating the strength of this current obscurantist that is a sheer humiliation to Egypt's glory: Egypt of the great Pharaohs ...

Tarek Heggy.

Financial Times


Morsi has left Egypt on the brink

It is Friday evening in Tahrir Square. The smell of tear gas hangs in the air. We have completed three protest marches in a week, and many are settling down to spend the night. I find myself asking, “After 23 months of struggling to bring democracy to Egypt, is this the best we can do? A president claiming dictatorial powers. A parliament packed with Islamists. And a draft constitution, hastily cobbled together without basic protections for women, Christians and all Egyptians?”

What has gone wrong? The army, keen to protect its perks and to avoid prosecution, botched the post-revolutionary transition. It allowed the Muslim Brotherhood, eager to take advantage of its 80-year-old field organisation, to rush parliamentary elections. The outcome was a landslide victory for the Islamists, far beyond their real power base. The constitutional court, after review, dissolved this non-representative parliament.

The Liberated Shall stand in solidarity with those aspiring Liberation


Anonymous can not, and will not stand idly while people are being denied their basic rights and human liberties. The people of Egypt have shown to the world the power of their struggle. Indeed they could force the ex-president, Mubarak, to step aside, and also force the ruling generals to conduct the sought elections, yielding the current president of Egypt, Dr. Muhammad Morsi. However, Dr. Morsi has repeatedly shown how lack of care about the core values of democracy. Through elections he has reached to power because the people had to choose between him and the old regime. But now, Dr. Morsi is gradually grasping more and more authoritarian powers in his hands, attacking the whole concept of democracy. His latest constitutional declaration has given him the powers of a pharaoh and appointing him as the new God of Egypt.

The Economist 

The Egyptian president, Muhammad Morsi, is doing great damage to his country’s democracy



THE bespectacled Mohamed ElBaradei is a serious man with a pile of degrees in constitutional law and a Nobel Prize for running the UN’s nuclear agency. Last winter he warned of grave trouble if his country elected a president before defining the powers of the office in a new constitution. The generals in charge of post-revolutionary Egypt failed to listen.

That is something many Egyptians will now deeply regret. Muhammad Morsi, the Muslim Brother and winner of presidential elections in June, shocked the country by issuing a decree that assumes vastly widened powers for his office, including virtual immunity against judicial oversight. He then ordered the assembly that is drawing up the country’s new constitution to cram a month’s work into a single day—so as to produce a draft on November 29th, ready for a referendum in mid-December. All this has met with furious protests. The courts have gone on strike and demonstrators have taken to the streets in numbers not seen since last year’s revolution.

Morsi Following Khomeini’s Gameplan

Clare Lopez

Hamas jihadists in Gaza celebrate Morsi's election to the Egyptian presidency. (Photo: Reuters)


Clearly emboldened by U.S. validation of his role in handling Hamas during the Pillar of Defense operation, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi wasted no time in issuing a decree granting himself dictatorial powers. On November 22, 2012, Morsi sacked the prosecutor general and replaced him with his own man, thereby brushing aside the last branch of government that stood between him and the status of a “new pharaoh.”



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Western media is the new Al Jazeera Arabic

Over the past 24 hours Western channels have been repeatedly saying that Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsy has "agreed to limit|" his news powers. This is simply untrue. Not even by a long shot. Morsy gave himselfunprecedented powers over the past few days resulting in demonstrations and clashes that killed two young Egyptians. Morsy is now the absolute ruler of Egypt supported, once again, by the US government and media channels. Previously Morsy's blind support came from Al Jazeera Arabic but we are now seeing Western media being complicit in the same folly.

The Independent


Egypt's leader has, according to a reasonable majority of international opinion, had a bad fortnight. Speaking to those around Tahrir Square, the New Yorker's Peter Hessler finds a young, eager, and frustrated population confronting the dashed hopes of the Arab Spring - and profoundly disappointed at the failures of the country's nascent democracy.


Egypt Mursi crisis prompts shares dive


Protester in Cairo faces dozens of Egyptian police (25 November 2012)

 Stones were thrown at police on Sunday as clashes resumed near Tahrir Square

Protests against the president's decision have continued in Cairo, while the Muslim Brotherhood is planning rallies backing him later.

Trading was suspended for 30 minutes as shares slumped in the first session since the president's announcement.

But the slide continued as soon as share dealing resumed.

The Washington Times Online Edition 

Egypt's new Pope faces major challenges

Pope Tadrous II  was appointed to lead the community through a critical time, as Copts worry over the intentions of the Islamic government. 

Anwaar Abdalla

CAIRO, November 16, 2012 - On Sunday November 4th, 2 012 at Saint Mark's Cathedral in Abbassiya ,Cairo, Egypt’s Coptic Christian Church elected a new pope to succeed the late Pope Senouda III. Pope Tawadros II who will be ordained November 18th, 2012 was appointed lead the community through a critical time, as Copts worry over the intentions of the Islamic government and seek to forge a new relationship with their Church.

Pope Tawadros II, a 60 years old former pharmacist who became the auxiliary to the acting head of the Coptic Church and a monk from Alexandria, was chosen in a ceremony where a blindfolded child put his hand into a chalice and took out his name.

Verbal Bullets

by Tarek Heggy

1) Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year old Pakistani pupil at a girls' high school in Mingora, the largest town in Pakistan's northwestern Swat
Valley, was the target of a failed assassination attempt as she rode the school bus home. According to local police officials, two Taliban gunmen stopped and boarded the bus where they asked for Malala by name. One of them shot her twice in the head and then both fled the scene. The Pakistani Taliban movement, Tehrik-e-Taliban, claimed responsibility for the shooting, which they said was to stop her and others like her from campaigning for girls' education.

The Economist

Relations between religion and state

A bad week for Salafists



LAST Friday a big crowd filled much of Cairo’s Tahrir Square to call for strict imposition of shari’a law. The mostly cheerful protesters, many of them bearded or fully veiled and bussed in from the provinces, want Egypt’s under-construction constitution to declare the country an Islamic state, based on divinely revealed rather than man-made laws. Such demands are not new, but the debate over relations between religion and state had been muted during Egypt’s six decades of gloved military dictatorship. It is now, testily, out in the open.

Puritanical Salafists denounce their detractors as secular "extremists", foreign agents or infidels. But plenty of Egyptians, among them pious Muslims, doubt the wisdom or practicality of using shari’a, a scanty and contested body of divine or long-sanctified rulings, to order the complexities of modern life. To them, the hard-core Islamists are simply a dangerous and uncouth rabble.


Barack Obama and radical Islam: The invisible elephant

With the re-election of Barack Obama, the world has become more dangerous. Radical Islam is emboldened and there may be more trouble in Iran and Syria. 

Photo: http://kendrickworks.blogspot.com/

CHARLOTTE, November 9, 2012 – With the re-election of Barack Obama, the world has suddenly become a more dangerous place. Most Americans do not even know it.

The candy store owner is handing out free goodies to unsuspecting and unconcerned masses while buildings just down the street are surrounded in flames.

Following the president’s Benghazi cover-up combined with the media’s refusal to report details of the terrorist attack in Libya, there can be little doubt about the enormity of American apathy for events in the Middle East. Apathy that will most assuredly increase Islamic radicalism.

Middle East ForumMiddle East Forum 

Muslim Persecution of Christians

by Raymond Ibrahim

The aftermath of collective punishment for Pakistan's Christians—the inevitable byproduct of the notorious Rimsha Masih blasphemy case, concerning a Christian girl falsely accused of desecrating a Quran—was more dramatic than the blasphemy case itself. Indeed, knowing what was in store for them, some Christians even held a symbolic funeral procession, carrying a Christian leader in a coffin and digging a grave for the "deceased."

Their morbid predictions proved too true—especially after another pretext for Muslims to riot emerged: the Youtube Muhammad movie. After Friday prayers, Muslims attacked, killed, and robbed the Christians in their midst, who account for a miniscule 1.5% of Pakistan's population. St. Paul's Church in Mardan was attacked by hundreds of Muslims armed with clubs and sticks. After looting and desecrating it, they set the church on fire (see picture here). Next Muslims raided a nearby church-run school, looting and torching it as well, and burning down a library containing more than 3,000 Christian books. Although the library also contained thousands of books on Islam—making the Muslim mobs' actions blasphemous under Pakistan's law—"the attack continued for more than three hours, with minimal efforts by the authorities to stop it."

51 articles by Tarek Heggy on Religion & Politics in the Middle East.

01- Islam Between Copying And
02- Tolerant & Intolerant
03- The Future of the Moslem Mind. <http://www.tarek-heggy.com/future.htm>
04- The Drama of "Islamists". http://www.tarek-heggy.com/the_drama.htm



Pope Tawadrous II

Congratulations to Egypt and the Egyptians

Sunday, God choose a new Pope for the Copts in Egypt, and the next day it was revealed that God also choose a new Leader for Egypt and the Egyptians, Men and Women, Moslems and Copts.

The very next day Pope Tawadrous II spoke against the Islamization of Egypt.  No man will affect the directions in egypt more than Pope Tawadrous II, no man will neutralize the effects of the Islamists and the Moslem Brotherhood more than Pope Tawadrous II, no man will be more effective to influence and correct this dangerous and destructive constitution more than Pope Tawadrous II, and no man will fight for the legimate human rights of minorities more than Pope Tawadrous II. 

Pope Tawadrous II needs us the people who are calling for democracy, civil rights, human rights, and sacred equality for all the Egyptians, Men and Women, Moslems and Copts. 

We must rally for him, support him, send him our voices and demands for the better Egypt we all need, want, asking for and dream of.  Pope Tawadrous II will deliver.  That is why God choose him.

Draft of the Egyptian Constitution


The new draft of the Egyptian Constitution reminds me of the National Geographic in which after you see a creature handled by the rest in the “Wild Kingdom” it becomes unrecognizable any more. I wrote, in the past, that Egypt is not ready yet to write a new Constitution. I argued that a chosen handful of Egyptian scholars, noted for their competence and knowledge, write a “Bill of Rights” that applies to ALL Egyptians, and that Egypt can live for now with its flawed amended 1971 Constitution until the informed Egyptians appreciate a new one that will affect the lives of future generations.

I was hopeful that humanity could prevail over the deadly consequences of religious fervor. This draft is flawed and should never be ratified.

Egypt's draft constitution, translated

The Arab Republic of Egypt is an independent unified and sovereign State that shall not accept division. The Republic enjoys a democratic system of government. The Egyptian people are part of the Arab and Islamic nation and are proud to belong to the Nile Basin and Africa and of its connections to Asia, and contribute positively to human civilization.

It forgot to mention that they are ahsan nas and that their hair smells really good.

I wish I had time for more serious commentary — the bits where it contradicts itself, the runway conservative populism, and many grey areas — but I simply don't.

Update: The Atlantic Council's Egypt Source has an alternative translation.

This Irrational Fury: An Attempt to Interpret

Tarek Heggy


Until a couple of years ago, and for many years before that, I was of the opinion that directing any criticism at certain aspects of Islamic ideas, texts or personalities would cause us, the advocates of modernity, to alienate some or most of those we were trying to help draw out of the quagmire of primitiveness and backwardness in which they were trapped. Today I must admit I was wrong. Although I expressed this opinion repeatedly in all good faith, the events that have unfolded in the Arab world over the last two years have forced me to revise my view and to conclude that I was mistaken. Science teaches us not to exempt any subject, person or idea from scrutiny and criticism. Thus I have come to realize that my belief in the need to keep certain areas of the Islamic experience outside the scope of critical thinking – a belief based on purely pragmatic reasons – did not, as I had once thought, serve any useful purpose.

The Economist 

Egypt’s constitution

Make it tolerant

Egypt needs a constitution that protects all its citizens



AFTER six decades of military dictatorship, Egypt sorely needs a constitution to set it on the path to democracy. So far the post-revolutionary establishment, dominated by the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood and Muhammad Morsi, their new president, has been making a hash of it.

Mr Morsi needs to reassure Egyptians of all religious and ideological stripes that they will be governed by a set of rules everyone can respect. Until then, Egypt will fail to cope with its many economic and social difficulties, let alone its political ones. Egypt has 85m people, making it by far the most populous country in the Arab world. It is squandering the chance to become a constitutional model for the entire region.

Living in Fear: Coptic Christians in Egypt
Dr. Ashraf Ramelah
After a long history of persecution as a minority in Egypt, in these days the nonetheless resilient Copts face a dire moment. The ominously Sharia-leaning Muslim Brotherhood government of Egypt, headed by President Mohammed Morsi, has taken over the country from the oppressive - but slightly more tolerant - Mubarak regime.

Adding to this crisis is the absence of spiritual and political leadership for the 18 million-strong Coptic community, namely a Pope. The church is still in the throes of a longstanding selection process to name a new spiritual head to permanently replace the interim administrator, a bishop, who has been the caretaker leader since the death of Pope Shenuda III earlier this year.

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