Focus on Egypt's Elections

Sent On: 
Wed, 2014-05-28
Newsletter Number: 

Our previous newsletter on the elections and tensions at the Azhar University resulted in discussions with different professors at the Azhar. We were asked to add information which we will do since it clearly reflects how polarized Egypt is.

On May 16 we visited with students and board members of the Center for Arab-West Understanding the festival at the Monastery of Dimyana in the northern Delta. Intern Weston Trent Bland wrote that the visit “provided a welcome and much-needed break from the bustle and politics of Cairo, and served as an important reminder of the need to find time for the spiritual within our busy and chaotic lives.  Ultimately though, unlike the nuns of the monastery, our separation from the world of Egyptian political affairs would only be temporary; immediately upon leaving the sacred space of the monastery, we were given a not-so-subtle reminder of what awaited us upon our return to Cairo.”

Read Weston's report about St. Dimyana's Monastery here.

Cornelis Hulsman was obviously not so happy to see Church leaders endorse presidential candidate Abdelfattah al-Sisi since he strongly believes in the separation of religion and state. In the view of Hulsman religious leaders of course should encourage the faithful to vote but they should never publicly support one particular candidate. It is also highly risky. An alliance with al-Sisi makes them the target of al-Sisi’s opponents, Muslim Brothers and other Morsi supporters. If one day Islamists would come to power again they might see Christians as those who once supported their enemy.

AWR researcher Yosra el-Gendy produces daily news overviews from Arabic media with a focus on the influence of religion in society, also in the elections. Please find hereby the links to some of her most recent overviews.


Cornelis Hulsman

Editor-in-chief,  Arab-West Report