Subjects we select

The following represents the selection criteria for Arab West Report/Dialogue Across Borders. Articles for AWR/DAB are selected according to the subjects listed below, not according to the political, religious, or other opinions represented in an article. Each category below is linked to the index numbers of our Electronic Documentation Center under construction.

1. Arab-West Report/Dialogue Across Borders
1.1. Editorial

1.2. News from the Board
2. Religious Freedom and Freedom of Expression

Sometimes there is no clear-cut margin between articles on religious freedom and freedom of expression. They can intermingle and so we combined them into one category. 
All religions and denominations in Egypt believe that certain borders defined by faith and tradition cannot be crossed. Some of these borders are enforced by the State. These articles explore what these borders are and where they lie.

Articles that fall under this category deal with:

  • Apostasy in Islam.
  • Conversions from Islam to Christianity and vice versa. 
  • Hindering the expression of specific religious beliefs, such as, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints), and Ba'hai.
  • Proselytizing or missionary activities.
  • Excommunication and threats of excommunication.
  • Accusations of heresies.
  • Advocacy for freedom of expression.
  • Calls to limit freedom of expression for whatever reason.
  • Opposition to the violations of specific traditions.

3. Relations between the Arab and Islamic World with the non-Arab and non-Islamic World

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Articles in the Arabic press about the image of Arabs and Islam in Western media.
  • Perceived and actual misconceptions of Islam.
  • Western interference in the Arab World, including the Iraqi crisis.
  • Articles about Western interference in the policies of the Arab world. For example, an article on US interference in the Egyptian educational curricula would be cross-referenced with education.
  • Activities of Westerners in Arab countries, cultural organizations, and activities.
  • Discussions on globalization.
  • Discussions on translation as a vehicle for mutual understanding between the Arab and non-Arab worlds.
  • Organizations working on Arab-West relations.
  • Discussion on the clash of civilizations.

4. Developments in Islam in the Arab World
4.1. & 4.3 General Islamic Issues and Developments, Traditions, and Feasts

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Modern Islamic preachers (such as Amr Khaled).
  • Bank interest.
  • Inter-Islamic dialogue.
  • Conservative Islam such as fatwas about men not allowed to shake hands with other men, girls not allowed to wear trousers.
  • Advocacy to apply the Shari'a in Muslim countries.
  • Fatwas, Islamic society, and al-Azhar
  • Front of al-Azhar scholars (a group of scholars by this name, not part of al-Azhar as institution).
  • Traditions and feasts.

4.2. Political Islam

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Islamic groups and movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the Jihad group, and the Gama'a Al-Islamiya.
  • Ayman Al-Zawahri and others.
  • Calls for the use of violence.
  • The concept of jihad in Islam.
  • Wahabism.
  • Martyrdom operations.
  • Terrorist and/or militant attacks justified by Islamic arguments.

Only articles on political Islam in the Arab world and political Islam in general will be classified here. Political Islam in the West is classified under "Arab media reporting on Islam in the West." Christian comments on these subjects will be cross-referenced with relevant categories.

4.4. Discussions about Reform in Islamic Thinking

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Discussions whether reform or renaissance in Islam is needed.
  • Authors advocating reform or renaissance or writers opposing suggestions for reform. It does not matter whether the authors in this discussion are liberal, Islamist or of whatever other color.

4.5. Arab Media Reporting on Islam in the West
5-6. Developments in Muslim-Christian Relations in the Arab World

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Formal interfaith relations between Muslims and Christians, leaders, meetings, congratulations on the occasion of feasts, citizenship, mixed marriages.
  • Discussions on kafir, fitna ta'ifiya, dhimmi-status, gizya.
  • Muslim views on Christians, views of Christians on Muslims in the Arab World, and non-polemical views (Bayoumi, Nabil Abd al-Fattah, Nabil Luqa Bebawi, etc.).
  • Bible and Qur'an text criticism and Muslim and Christian apologetics.
  • Muslim-Christian incidents.
  • Building mosques and churches.
  • Disputes about building mosques and churches.
  • Reporting discrimination of Muslims or Christians.
  • Claiming or denying discrimination on basis of religion (Muslim or Christian) in work or elsewhere. Discrimination on basis of higab and niqab (example of the Champolion school in Alexandria).
  • Muslim/Christian/Jewish conferences, meetings, agreements.

7. Education in the Arab World

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Islam, Christianity and Judaism in school curriculum.
  • Education and curricula of al-Azhar.
  • Western interference in school curriculum.
  • General discussions on the development of school curriculum.

8. Media
8.1-8.7 Religion, Ethics, and Freedom in the Media

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Films, TV programs, Internet, and press freedom.

8.8 Media Criticism

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Criticizing media, press releases, and reports for factual errors, distortions, sensationalizing, generalizing, misrepresentation.

(The articles may be obtained from Arab media or AWR special reports that critique media in general or specific media. Media critique is not the difference in opinion between two or more authors, but involves factual errors, distortions, sensationalizing, generalizing, misrepresentation.)

9-10 Judaism/anti-Semitism/Other Religious Convictions

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Jewish communities in the Arab world.
  • Jewish-Muslim and Jewish-Christian relations.
  • Anti-Semitism and defense against such accusations.
  • Criticizing Jewish faith and Jews in the media.
  • Jewish Messianism.
  • Jewish antiquities in Arab countries.
  • Arab writers writing or arguing about the history of the Torah and Talmud.
  • Samaritans, Jehovah Witnesses, Baha'is, Mormons, Gnosticism, Secularism.

11-12. Women, Gender Relations, Children, and Refugees

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Women in unconventional high-ranking positions such as female judges, discussions about a female mufti, etc.
  • Personal Status Law, higab, niqab, women in Islam.
  • Arab refugees in non-Arab countries.

13-14. Developments of Christianity in the Arab World and Relations with Western Christianity

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Discussions about Christian theology, internal church developments, or relations between Christian churches.
  • Discussions about Christian thinkers, such as Dr. Milad Hanna.
  • Reform, differences between churches.
  • Traditions and feasts such as Holy Family, mulids, and apparitions.

15. Political and Social Context in the Arab World

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Arab or Egyptian nationalism, the Egyptian government, political parties, foreign relations of Egypt (if related to Islam), Arab-West relations, and Muslim-Christian relations.
  • Discussions about human rights, specific human rights organizations, or activists in Arab media.
  • Advocacy for democratization.
  • Ibn Khaldoun Center and court rulings in relation to it.
  • Claims that such advocacy is dishonest, harmful, or misused for other purposes.
  • Social Issues and consequences for development.
  • Rumors and conspiracy theories.
  • Honor and shame.
  • Morality and general religiousness in society.

(Arab-West Report does not have the capacity to focus on all these articles but if articles in the above-mentioned categories are referring to the political context of the Arab World, cross-references will be made.)

16-18. Other subjects

Articles that fall under this category deal with: 

  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict, if related to any of the above-mentioned subjects.
  • Discussions about Middle East Media Research Institute.
  • Muslims and Christians in Israel and occupied territories, if related to religion.
  • Muslim and Christian monuments and art in Arab countries, and their discoveries, protection, and restoration.