“In much of the Middle East, the situation looks far worse today than a year ago. The question facing these troubled countries right now is not whether they can become democracies or resolve fundamental identity questions. It is much more basic: Can they produce a minimum of competent governance and order, so that they can begin to deal with the galactic political and economic challenges they face?”
“The Bosniak community is deeply frustrated with the dysfunctional government, flawed constitution and economic stagnation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), as well as renewed Croat and Serb challenges to the state’s territorial integrity. The Islamic community has taken a leading role in channelling popular anger, filling a vacuum left by Bosniak political parties, whose leadership seems adrift. Political Islam is a novelty in Bosnia, and its rise is seen as threatening to secular parties and non-Muslims. On the margins of society, a plethora of non-traditional Salafi and other Islamist groups have appeared, raising fears of terrorism. They are small, divided and largely non-violent, however, and the state and the Islamic community should work to integrate them further into society. Real instability and violence are more likely to come from clashing nationalisms. The Islamic community’s best contribution would be to help craft a vision for Bosnia that Croats and Serbs can share.
The Islamic Community (Islamska zajednica, IZ) in BiH, is a religious organisation as well as an important political actor that has shaped Bosniaks’ national identity, though it has recently become more divided and disorganised. Its still influential and charismatic former leader, Mustafa ef. Cerić, ensured that Islam became a strong element in the post-war Bosniak nationalism of which he was a main author and promoter. He likewise linked the Bosniak cause to BiH, which, though also multi-ethnic, he argued, should be a nation-state for the Bosniaks, since Croats and Serbs already had countries of their own.
The threat of fundamentalist Islam has been evoked repeatedly in Bosnia since several thousand mujahidin arrived in the early 1990s, though it is foreign to the great majority of the Muslim population.”
“Why don’t we hear about Arab Jews?
I hold responsible both Zionism and Arab nationalism. Zionism has always looked at the people of the East as inferior, including Jews from Arab countries. From the turn of the century, Zionists tried to bring Arab Jews to Palestine as cheap labor. Up to now, there are Arab Jews in Israel who are discriminated against within the Jewish population. It is largely the European Jews who set the tone. The rise of Arab nationalism and the forceful rise of Islam did not create a less problematic condition for diverse minorities, who have also suffered, but for the Arab Jews, it has been one of the most complicated stories, precisely because of the establishment of the state of Israel. For the first time in their history, Arab Jews had to choose between being Jews and being Arabs.” …. another excellent link from bint jbeil…
“When my grandmother first encountered Israeli society in the ’50s, she was convinced that the people who looked, spoke and ate so differently–the European Jews–were actually European Christians. Jewishness for her generation was inextricably associated with Middle Easterness. My grandmother, who still lives in Israel and still communicates largely in Arabic, had to be taught to speak of “us” as Jews and “them” as Arabs. For Middle Easterners, the operating distinction had always been “Muslim,” “Jew,” and “Christian,” not Arab versus Jew. The assumption was that “Arabness” referred to a common shared culture and language, albeit with religious differences. “
“Marianne embodies not just the form of ancient Greek models — Winged Victory of Samothrace is perhaps the most powerful inspiration — but also channels the many instances of (fully clothed) women in the streets who helped the wounded and hauled paving stones to the barricades. In fact, Delacroix was in part inspired by the contemporary account of Marie Deschamps, who took her fallen brother’s place on a Parisian barricade. Tunisian women have acted with similar courage. There is the example of Khaoula Rachidi, a university student in Tunis beaten by Salafists when she tried to prevent them from replacing the Tunisian flag with the black Salafi banner on her campus, and that of Besma Khalfaoui, the wife of Belaid, who declared that her husband’s assassination “gives us reason to hope” — hope, of course, that those who believed the revolution did not need to be defended will now wake up.” … inspirational.
“The religious market seems to be thriving these days, though at the expense of quality. If we use the economic theory of supply and demand to explain the rise and fall of the Islamist current in Egypt, we can comfortably say that even though there is high demand for religion, the supply also seems to be high, which explains why the content presented by Islamist media is often poor.
If this supply continues to increase, one of the likely outcomes is that certain sectors of society will be repel ed by the discourse and perhaps question religion altogether.”
…My point is.. if salafi jihadists are growing as it’s said here,…. and islamist political offer is empty… isn’t there a real risk of those who have no real political program to attempt to reach power by force?
“Reporting “garbage” is a strong suit of most Egyptian media outlets, when they don’t even need to. The truth is much worse, if only they dig a bit deeper. The truth of what Copts go through in this country is worse than a fight in Fayoum. The truth about the Morsi’s and the Muslim Brotherhood’s finances is so much worse than his son’s salary. The truth about this country is so much worse than the rumours. Why do people insist on denying the ugly truth and exaggerating a rumour?”