jump to navigation

Al Qaradawi reaching out to Shia 13, March 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Media in the ME, Middle East.
Tags: , , ,
1 comment so far

Here are some intelligent thoughts from Arabic Media Shack on Al Qaradawi and his apparent desire to try to reach out some kind of olive branch to Shia Muslims.

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi today issued a statement that’s sort of favorable to Iran.  Seems to me that there is some kind of attempt to improve relations between Al-Qaradawi and the Shia and part of its playing out on a new focus at Islam Online (his extremely widely read site).   Previously, there was a very noticeable lack of coverage of the Shia in the Islamist movements section.   Put it this way: if your site is called Islam Online and you don’t feature any coverage of the Shia I can see how the averge Shia might wonder “Gee, is there some kind of subtle message here?”    Over the past week, however,  there has been a sudden explosion of Shia coverage.  Since I first mentioned this two days, another article appeared on Iran and then this one on the Shia_in_Kuwait.  What other explanation for this sudden interest in the Shia is there than an attempt to repair relations?

Egyptian Army v Police 13, March 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Egypt.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

There is a very good piece of analysis of the recent army attack on the police in Egypt over at MEI Editor’s blog. The BBC reported that army cadets attacked a police station after one of their number was apparently mistreated. Michael Collins Dunn makes the following points:

– It is rare for the police and army to mix, usually being assiduously separated.

– The army are rarely used for internal order issues.  The few notable exceptions being after the 1986 Central Security Forces riot, after the 1977 bread riots and after the 1997 killing of tourists in Luxor.

– It suggests that police brutality/bullying is widespread in society. If they treat the army like this, this does not auger well for how they treat ordinary members of the public.

– The fact that the Egyptian government strictly ordered all the press in Egypt – independent and government alike – not to report the incident, highlights just how seriously they are taking the incident. Also, as Collins Dunn points out, it shows how the government “have yet to come to terms with cell phone cameras and video sharing media. The days when a government could keep this sort of news from leaking are gone, except in countries like Saddam’s Iraq or North Korea where computer ownership was tightly regulated.”

Excellent stuff.