News and Analysis 5/25/12

“The central questions that Salafis and Islamists clash over today are those of liberal democracy, freedom and societal inclusion…. Both … have had an uneasy relationship with elections. At the time of decolonisation, they both hoped for a politico-spiritual revival instead of merely formal independence”:

“Out of a broad field of more than a dozen candidates, the runoff will pit the two most polarizing figures against each other in a reversion to the decades-old power struggle between Egypt’s secular-minded military elite and its longstanding Islamist opposition”:

“[M]y grandfather was able to buy back his own home — a cruel absurdity, but a better fate than that imposed on most of his neighbors, who were never permitted to re-establish their lives in their hometowns…. Israel barred Rabin from detailing in his memoir what he conceded was the ‘expulsion’ of the ‘civilian population of Lod and Ramle, numbering some 50,000’” :

“[T]he narrow, inadequate and reductive analysis of Dooley et al fall short of being able to accommodate a basic truth that so often gets forgotten about cultures that face widespread demonisation: that they are as human as we are” …

… “[T]hose who hate Islam paint the entire faith with the sins of … extremists. There is no nuance, no sophistication to their analysis – whatever the terrorists do is ‘real Islam,’and the actions of the overwhelming majority of peaceful Muslims is a ruse, or taqiyya (dissimulation)”:

“Egyptians have made it clear … that they are unconcerned about the color of the cat so long as it catches mice.” That is, can the MB “revive Egypt’s economy, create jobs for its youth, stimulate foreign investment, modernize its banks, rebuild its schools and infrastructure, and domesticate and professionalize its military”?

“City officials on Thursday recommended sensitivity training for all city inspectors of taxis, limousines and wrecker services after one of them said in an interview that most of the city’s drivers are Muslim and ‘a lot of them blow up places’”:

Abdo was foiled not by religious profiling or some sting operation, but because, in the words of his prosecutor, “The people who work in businesses like this are vigilant … and risked being embarrassed if their suspicions turned out to be nothing, but that’s what we want people to do”:

A Sufi teacher and author describes his experience with pluralism and mystic prayer this blog entry:

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