A “newborn” country has had to wait for a revolution to make itself heard. The political crisis in Tunisia had been smouldering for some time under the ashes. However, as explained by Reporters Sans Frontières’ Maghreb correspondent Soazig Dollet , reporting on this country in “normal” times was all but easy for local journalists and for foreign correspondents. With censorship unmatched in other Arab countries, Ben Ali’s regime had managed to hide behind the “cover of women’s emancipation and the fight against terrorism.”
Freedom and Democracy
This history of the Copts “is a long history of suffering that has lasted since the days of the Islamic invasion in Egypt.” Sounding exasperated, Ashraf Ramelah, president of the Voice of the Copts association, speaks of how the conditions experienced by Christians in Egypt “have constantly worsened” since the coup d’état carried out by Gamal Abd el Nasser. “His nationalisation policies,” says Ramelah, “were addressed at discriminating against the Copts.”Interview by Ernesto Pagano
The attack in Alexandria emphasises a problem the seriousness of which goes far beyond the despicable act of terrorism seen as a threat involving the Islamic world’s cultural self-mutilation through the progressive annihilation of Eastern Christianity. And Alexandria is not an isolated case; in just two years the number of Christians present in Iraq, often members of some of the most ancient communities in the world, has halved. For those who kill in the name of purity the most serious provocation is the integration that takes place in the most natural way, without fear, the one on which the great strength of open societies is founded.
Post-2003 Iraq was conceived as a federal country, with a strongly decentralised framework. However, when it comes to the exploitation of oil, then what is at stake are “the interests of all the Iraqi people.” It is a pity that Kurdistan, at the moment “the only strictly federal region,” has for sometime been exploiting its black gold, signing agreements with foreign oil companies without bothering to consult with the central government in Baghdad. On the contrary, as we are reminded by Ornella Sangiovanni, a journalist and the founder of the news website Osservatorio Iraq, the Kurds also lay claim to control over Kirkuk, “their Jerusalem” to be liberated with all the oil that surrounds it.Interview by Ernesto Pagano
The predominant majority of Iraqis identify themselves primarily as Iraqi nationals. However, it is the disagreement over what ‘Iraq-ness’ means that has perpetuated the internal conflict, and prevented Iraqis from defining their political community in an inclusive and pluralistic way. The country has been deeply affected by the lack of an inclusive national narrative and effective political system, and the ‘democratic’ system that emerged in post-Saddam Iraq did not improve the situation.
The June 1st elections held in Egypt for partially renewing the Shura Council (parliament’s Upper House) marked the beginning of an electoral process that will end with the 2011 presidential elections, which may result in the appointment of a successor to Hosni Mubarak, in power since 1981. The homecoming of the former IAEA secretary and Egyptian diplomat Mohamed El Baradei, who many believe will be the next president, the doubts concerning the elderly Mubarak’s re-election (this would be his sixth consecutive term), and the recent campaign of arrests against the main opposition group, the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood movement, are fuelling many questions about the future stability of this, the most highly populated Arab country. We discuss the matter with the Italian historian and journalist Paola Caridi – author of Hamas. Che cosa è e cosa vuole il movimento radicale palestinese published by Feltrinelli – who for years has followed the evolution of the situation from nearby Jerusalem.
The challenges posed by globalisation, the AKP’s foreign policy, the Kurds and the Armenians. The 2010 Istanbul Seminars ended with a debate on Turkey, a country that in the immediate future will be called upon to face increasingly difficult challenges, not least that of the tricky process of joining the Club of 27. There are still a number of problems to be solved. There is Northern Cyprus, the Armenian and Kurdish issues, but also the completion of modernisation plans to prevent Turkey from drifting towards radical nationalism and religious extremism.
The fragility of the agreements signed is there for everyone to see and contradicts President Al Bashir’s triumphant statements, when, speaking on State television and to the international press, he declared that the civil war in Darfur was “over.” Not all the players in the Sudanese political scenario wish for reconciliation. On the contrary, there have been violent clashes between government troops and the rebels of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA/SLM), a group that has not signed the truce.
Reset-DoC carries on the debate about Europe and its future with a new essay by Hauke Brunkhorst, Director of the Institute of Sociology and of the Department of European Studies at the University of Flensburg, Germany. The following paper has two parts: in the first part the author outlines an evolutionary model for analyzing the relation of democracy, cosmopolitanism and conflict. In the second part he applies this model it to the case of European constitutionalization, and its failure.
In an unprecedented statement, over forty senior academics and career diplomats including more than a dozen former presidents of the most important professional association for scholars of the Arab and larger Muslim world, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), have signed a letter to US President Obama and Secretary State John Kerry calling for the Administration to demand the immediate release of blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah and other political detainees in Egypt, for Egyptian officials to suspend the protest law of 2013 and end the repression of free speech rights guaranteed by the Egyptian Constitution and international law, and end the regime of violence, including torture and extra judicial execution, that still governs Egypt after the electoral victory of Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as President. Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations endorses this campaign and encourages readers to subscribe to it as well by posting a comment to this article in the designated section below. It is our hope that this cause will receive the attention it deserves through media across the world. The original letter was published by Jadaliyya.
Rio de Janeiro - “The giant has awoken.” This was the mantra that, one year ago, accompanied the beginning of the phase of upheaval of the Brazilian people against their own ruling class and social injustice in a country of fierce inequalities. Never before had hundreds of thousands of people paraded down the streets of Rio de Janeiro and of other cities. Never, since the time former president Collor was impeached in the 90’s. Never, to cry out to the world the suffocating reality of the country, so victimized by its own preconceptions and by a shiny and unreal image, that it cannot show itself in its deepest aspect of tragedy. Certainly not from abroad, where the “myth” of the ever-happy Brazilian has finally had to stand face to face with the images of the enormous protests.
Original article published on CNNWhen religion is used, or misused, as a violent tool against the innocent, then it is the user not the tool that is the source of violence. The mere idea of traumatizing a human soul violates all values on Earth. Whether based on religious texts or human interpretations, no value in the history of mankind justifies any brutal act against any of God's creation.