Interview with a Salafi Sheik







Had my interview with salafist Sheik Abdel Moneim Al-Shahat published over at the New Humanist website recently:

As the dust clears on Egypt’s remarkable Spring transformation and the country looks ahead to Parliamentary and Presidential elections, the tough business of negotiations for a democratic future takes centre stage. It is still far too early to tell the outcome, but threats to a secular democratic future abound. Those concerned that the revolution will open the door to Islamists have spent a lot of time worrying about the Muslim Brotherhood and neglected a potentially far bigger threat. For all their bellicose rhetoric, it is entirely possible that the Brotherhood could become a modern political party with an Islamic identity, in the model of Turkey’s ruling AKP. Meanwhile the Salafi movement, allied with Saudi Arabia, though they have accepted the need for elections and pledged to participate in them, are openly hostile to democracy at the ideological level…

Click here to read the rest.


About Austin G. Mackell

I am a freelance journalist who has worked for a variety of corporate and community outlets from my hometown of Sydney and from the Middle East, including from Lebanon during Israels 2006 invasion and from Iran during the tumultuous presidential elections there in 2009. I have recently moved to Cairo to watch the revolutions in Arab world unfold.
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2 Responses to Interview with a Salafi Sheik

  1. Nick T says:

    Hi Austin – ever since the latest upsurge in protest in Egypt I been jonesin’ for your take on the sitch. C’mon man – if u really got love for the streets, throw us a ‘lil sumthin’ sumthin’! U been down to Tahrir lately? What’s your take on the (re)upsurge? Has the new spirit of resistance (assuming it’s a widespread phenomenon) taken hold of the labour movement and made it in to the workplace in the form of strikes, sit-ins etc? What of the social-democratic party u reported on earlier – do you know how that project’s going?

    I know it’s a lot to ask, so I’ll just patiently sit back and wait for your latest.

    In union


  2. Hey nick…

    been a bit slack recently… my laptop died while i was in libya (which was during the big recent protests unfortunately). and since i got back i haven’t even had a regular place to flop till the last few days… having no home and no computer is only a partial excuse i know… and yes i have been down to tahrir… but apart from the big days on the 28th and 29th of june, and a couple of fridays after the protests havent been huge… whats more they dont get much sympathy from a lot of egyptians.. the labour movement is rocking on… but doesn’t have the unity that would be nice.. the yellow Egyptian Federation of Trade unions still has a lot of member organisations… there is a lot happening but the unity of purpose is gone… i am still optimisitic but we are looking at a much messier situation than was the case in the early days of the revolution.. i should be writing all this up in more detail for New Humanist soon, and also be doing another citizen radio interview about all this…stay tuned…

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