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Civil Societyand Democratization in the Arab World Generational Rifts within the Muslim BrotherhoodPlus: Unity Governments in Lebanon and PalestineIbn Khaldun Center for Development StudiesMarch 2007 Vol. 13 No. 147
Opposition MPs Denouncing the Constitutional Amendments
THE CONSTITUTIONAL FARCE
Amendments Pose Huge Setback for Political Reform
Civil Societyand Democratization in the Arab World ContentsRegional News
March 2007 Vol. 13 No. 147Senior Consultant Moheb Zaki Arabic-language Editor Mokhtar Qassem English-language Editor Neil Durnan Contributing Editors Alexander Bruce, Amanda Craig, Maria Dayton, Matthew Devlin, Hussein Gaafar, Brent Giannotta, Matthew Hall, Bryce Loildolt, Rachel Sekinger
Civil Society News From Around the Region ..........A round-up of important developments in democratization and human rights in the Arab World.
Ibn Khaldun Center News
Al-Rewaq ......................................Ahmed Shaaban summarizes hot debates at the Ibn Khaldun Centers Open Forum. ICDS inaugurates new facilities with conference on constitutional reform and reception attended by US Ambassador Ricciardone. The Ibn Khaldun Centers new initiative to increase democratic awareness in rural Egypt gets underway.
Ibn Khaldun Center Opens New Wing ..............
Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim Chairman of the ICDS Board of Trustees and Professor of Political Sociology at the American University in Cairo Mr. Gamal El-Banna Chairman, the International Islamic Federation for Labor Dr. Barbara Ibrahim Director, the Gerhart Center at the American University in Cairo Mr. Bahie El-Din El-Ebrashi Lawyer Amb. Hassan Eissa President, the Egyptian Diplomatic Club Dr. Mohtak Halouda Former Chairman, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics Mohamed Farid Hassanein Businessman and former MP Mr. Hisham Kassem Chairman, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Dr. Medhat Khafagy Professor of Surgical Oncology, National Cancer Institute at Cairo University Mr. Mohamed Nouh Artist and Musician Dr. Ayman Nour Chairman of El Ghad Party and former MP Amb. Mohmoud Qassem Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, Wafd Party Eng. Ahmed Rezk Businessman Hassan Elsawaf Businessman Morsy El Sheikh Counsellor Eng. Youssef Sidhom Chief Editor, Watani Newspaper
ICDS Board of Trustees
Grassroots Democratization Program to Begin This Spring ........................................
Egypt News and Views
A Plea to the Egyptian People ....................
Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim on the constitutional amendment farce. A Setback for Democracy .............................
Neil Durnan and Bryce Loidolt discuss the constitutional amendments and the referendum. Not Your Fathers Brotherhood .....................Matthew Devlin explores generational rifts within the Muslim Brotherhood.
Street Politics and the Battle for a New Lebanon ...Hebah Farrag examines the complexities of political advertising in Lebanon.
Regional Cooperation Perspectives ...................Ambassador Mahmoud Kassem on Mediterranean partnerships.
A Story of Fraud ...............................
Hassan Elsawaf on misdealings in Egypts business community. In the Arabic Issue ................................. Keep Your Eye on These Arab Unity Governments .........
Rami G. Khouri on political compromises in Lebanon and Palestine.
Iliya F. Harik, July 20, 1934 - February 24, 2007 ....
Civil Society News From Around the Region
Constitution passed by parliament onface fines of up to 10,000 dinars i Bahrain March 21. The amendments passed 14,114) and prison terms ranging from The vice-president and president of one the Bahrain Center for Human Rights with 75.9 percent of the vote. Officials day up to three years. The put amendment also places the licensing (BCHR) have become the latest victims voter turnout at 27 percent, while independent monitors, including the of new publications under the of a government campaign to suppress Ibn Khaldun Center, have asserted jurisdiction of the Ministry of Industry dissent. that actual turnout was much lower, and Trade. The Jordan Press Association deplored the adoption of On 14 March, BCHR vice-president at about four percent nationwide. the draft amendments and urged the Nabeel Rajab was called before upper house of parliament, where the criminal investigators looking into The referendum was boycotted by the a political opposition, who walked out draft now goes for further discussion, case filed against him by a health to amend the legislation. ministry employee. BCHR believes this of parliament in protest on March 19. The nations judges also boycotted investigation and any resulting criminal In other news, on March 2, King oversight of the referendum; Ahmed charges are part of a government Abd announced that Sabr, a spokesman for the judiciary u l l a h attempt to silence activists who parliamentary elections will take place was quoted by Qatari satellite news publicized the so-called "Bandargate" by report. The report, released last channel Al-Jazeera, The judges wash the end of 2007, ending speculation fall, that their hands of the referendum results...he would delay elections until next named the health ministry employee We will no longer be a fig leaf to year. Parliament's four-year term ends cover as having been paid by a senior in April. something shameful. government official to set up anti-Shia internet forums. Amendments eliminating judicial The report, by Salah Al Bandar of oversight of elections, banning the London-based Gulf Centre for religiously based parties, and Democratic Development, cited enshrining draconian anti-terrorism government documents purportedly powers in the Constitution itself, have drawn the most criticism within showing a network of high-level government officials working to Egypt and abroad. maintain the economic and political oppression and disenfranchisement of On February 27, Ibrahim Eissa, editor of the independent weekly AlBahrain's Shia majority. Al Bandar was Dustoor, had his one-year jail sentence deported from Bahrain last fall after for giving his report to the media, and the insulting President Hosni Higher Criminal Court banned all news Mubarak overturned, though he was still fined 22,000 Egyptian pounds and discussion of it. ($4,000). In a related case, BCHR president Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and two The case stemmed from a story that was activists who continue to highlight the printed in Al-Dustoor about a Bandargate scandal face criminal court case filed against the President.Mauritania h by The charges that carry prison terms of up suit against Eissa was broughtMauritanians went to the polls on a the to 15 years. Websites that have private citizen on behalf of March 11 for their countrys first free President, a tactic that Eissa claims the discussed the scandal, including government is increasingly employing presidential election since Mauritanias BCHR's, have been blocked inside independence from France in 1960. Bahrain. The BCHR itself was in order to curtail freedom of the press. dissolved by the government in 2004, After the votes had been tallied, it See but continues to operate as a human pages 4,5, and 15 for more information on the constitutional amendments. became clear that no candidate had rights NGO. been able to achieve 50% of the vote, necessitating a runoff. Sidi Mohamed After the BCHR president and Al Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, who is Bandar participated in an American i Jordan supported by the largest political bloc Enterprise Institute seminar in in On March 4, the Jordanian parliament the Parliament, was the front-runner Washington, DC in February, an passed controversial amendments to after the first round, winning 25 editorial in the Gulf Daily News percent of ballots cast, with Ahmed suggested the meeting was an act the nations press laws that contain of clauses allowing imprisonment of Ould Daddah of the Rally of conspiracy and treason. Democratic Forces (RFD) Party journalists for violations relating to garnishing a close second with 21 defaming religion, offending religious i Egypt percent. prophets, inciting sectarian strife or On March 26, a referendum was held racism, slandering individuals, and to approve controversial amendments spreading false information or rumors. When Civil Society went to press it was to 34 articles of the Egyptian still unclear who had won the runoff, Journalists convicted of such offensesMarch 2007
held on March 25. Preliminary results lawmakers, including 37 from Hamas, show Mr. Abdallahi ahead with 52 could not attend because they are in percent of the vote to Mr. Daddahs Israeli jails. "This national unity 48 percent. A former cabinet minister, wedding has received an Arab and Mr. Abdallahi is supported by international welcome, which we hope a coalition of 18 parties previously loyal be transformed into practical steps will to for mer President Maaoya to end the siege," Palestinian President SidAhmed Ould Taya, who was Mahmoud Abbas told lawmakers. He overthrown in 2005. Mr. Daddah, on added the Palestinian people "reject the other hand, is a well known violence in all its forms" and seek a opposition figure who unsuccessfully comprehensive peace "based on ran against former President Taya in negotiations." Prime Minister Ismail 1992 and 2003. Haniya contradicted Abbas, however, stating that Palestinians had a right to Voter turnout in the first round of all forms of resistance, but that he the presidential election was approximately looked forward to expanding the truce 70 percent, with turnout decreasing between Hamas and the Israeli security to 60 percent of eligible voters for forces. the Omar al-Bashir second round. Elections were deemed free and fair by domestic and While Israel has already announced jurisdiction over Sudanese citizens international observers. because Sudan hasn't ratified the it won't deal with the new Palestinian convention creating the international government, the unity government has The current interim President, Col. achieved one of its goals, namely court. Sudanese President Omar althe Ely Ould Muhammad Vall, had easing of the Western embargo.Bashir had chaired a meeting of continuously pledged to not seek Cabinet ministers and high-ranking France, Norway, and Russia have election to the presidency in order expressed interest in working with the for judicial officials before, that decided a new government to have increased government. to cancel cooperation with the court. new legitimacy. He also barred members Thereon, a senior UN official lamented of his junta from seeking elected office. on Monday a lack of understanding between the government of Sudan and the international community over iSudan h Palestine what On March 18, Sudans Justice Minister, to do in the case of Darfur. "We On March 17, the Palestinian still have unfortunately a long way to Parliament approved a unity Mohammed Ali Al-Mardi, and a progo, said UN Under Secretary-General government newspaper said, Sudan government aimed at halting factional for has decided to suspend all cooperation Peacekeeping Operations Jeanfighting and easing a crippling Western He went on to add with the International Criminal Court Marie Guehenno. financial embargo. Eighty-seven of that (ICC) in response to its accusations there had been an improvement the 132 Palestinian Legislative Council's in members gathered in Gaza andthat Sudanese officials were involved the security situation, but that "fundamentally the situation remains in Ramallah in a video-linked session, war crimes in Darfur. Al-Mardi extremely bad in Darfur." reiterated his government's stance that voting 83 to three in favor of the new the Hague-based ICC has no unity g over nment. For ty-one
The Ibn Khaldun Center hosts a dicussion forum, open to the public, each Tuesday evening. The following is Mokhtar Qassems summary, translated by Civil Society Staff, of the topics covered in March.
The months first lecture was delivered by ICDS board member Hassan Elsawwaf. It focused on the polit conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and the government. Mr. Elsawwaf examined the role of the const amendments in this conflict, particularly the proposed amendment to Article Five banning religiously influenc parties. He also stressed that liberals should show solidarity with the Brotherhood when it faces governmen as to do otherwise is to support the regime.
Marchs second lecture, delivered by Dr. Moaheb Moelhy was entitled Sexual Education, and focused on a of womens issues in Egypt today, such as the political role of women under the current system and va concerns.
2 Civil Society
Ibn Khaldun Center Opens New Wing
By Civil Society Staff
n March 18, the Eg yptian Democracy Support Network (EDSN) hosted a conference on the proposed constitutional amendments, as well as Articles 76 and 77, which President Hosni Mubarak has refused to discuss, in the Ibn Khaldun Centers new conference facilities. The new wing includes a number of meeting rooms as well as a 100-seat conference ha equipped with the latest multimedia technology.
Following the days debates, there was a panel discussion on the importance of substantive constitutional reform. The speakers included Democratic Front Party co-founder Osama El-Ghazali Harb, prominent judge and activist Hisham Bastawisi, and Ibn Khaldun Center Chair man Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim. The evening ended with a reception attended by United States Ambassador to Egypt Francis Ricciardone and his wife, Dr. Marie Ricciardone, that featured a performance by From left: Eng. Ahmed Rizk, Amb. Francis Ricciardone, and Dr. Saad Egyptian vocalist Azza Balba. Eddin Ibrahim
Grassroots Democratization Program to Begin This Spring
By Civil Society Staff
et to begin this spring in three carefully chosen enlightened local clerics will help to explain that the essenc governorates outside the capital, the Grassroots freedom and human rights are already firmly grounded of Democratization Project has grown from the Eg yptian cultural and religious traditions. in realization that, while the current efforts to promote liberal democratic values and increase the demand for democratic program will begin with the distribution of literature The reform among the Egyptian elite are important, these explaining fundamental liberal democratic concepts for efforts will remain largely ineffective unless a simultaneous, serious discussion at home and in the community context. Afte effort is made to propagate these values among the rural the introduction of the literature into the community, th and urban poor who make up more than 80 percent of Khaldun Center and affiliated NGOs will conduct biIbn the Egyptian population. monthly meetings open to the public to discuss libera democratic ideals, as well as the compatibility of these ide Funded by USAID, the Grassroots Democratization Project with moderate religious interpretations espoused by the aims to increase demand for democratic reform amongst and supported by the teachings of Egypts prestigious state the Egyptian poor through the utilization of all available institutions. The project will also convene quarterl religious channels, both religious and secular. In this way, workshops in each governorate to assess the projects the project will increase understanding about how core Egyptian values progress, as well as annual conferences to discuss the proj are compatible with democracy. This approach is modeled with beneficiaries, donors, and local government officials. in large part on the successes of the Muslim Brotherhood in disseminating its message among the popular masses, the project seeks to effect a large-scale change Though though our ideological platform is very different. cultural mores at the grassroots level, an undertaking tha will take years if not decades, the initial timeframe for In order to accomplish this goal, the Ibn Khaldun pilot project is two years. Center This will serve as a trial p will work with religious leaders and NGOs in these both to evaluate the overall viability of the project and areas to further local knowledge of democratic values and to the programs structure before expanding beyond perfect increase citizen mobilization and participation in open three initial governorates. the debates regarding democracy and freedom. Reputable andMarch 2007
A Plea to the Egyptian People
By Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim; trans. Neil Durnan
he National Democratic Party (NDP) parliamentary doubts aside, reasoning that we had much more to lose majority passed the constitutional amendments the President was indeed genuine and we abstained from requested by President Hosni Mubarak withouttaking part than if we took him at his word and changing a single word. Indeed the only change deceived. made to I was part of the group that decided t the amendments submitted by the executive branch was a organizing four conferences and publishing five articles (in grammatical correction in Article One that changedAl-Masry Al-Youm, Al-Dustoor, Al-Hayat, and other Arabic a comma to a period. newspapers) on the constitutional amendments.
This means that four months of effort, since the President But after the scene we witness in the Peoples Assembly proposed amending 34 articles of the Constitution in last week, that was recorded in the Egyptian press on Mar December, 2006, including dozens of proposals19, it was clear to me that the doubters were right. and hundreds of seminars and conferences that consumed began with the Presidents speech to the Peoples Assembly Egypts political parties, civil society, and academia, on December 26, 2006 and ended with a meeting of did not affect decision of the ruling party (or rather the Mubarak same chamber on March 18, 2007, was nothing more t family) one iota. theater, closer to comedy than tragedy.
The Presidents request that civil society organizations It became clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt that and opposition parties contribute to the dialogue regardingconstitutional amendments serve three unmentioned the amendments was merely a diversion, accomplished by the purposes, which a viewer of average intelligence could hav slightest suggestion that there would be popular participation determined. easily in the constitutional amendment process. He emphized this by stating that these amendments were the realization the amendments to the constitution can be employe Firstly, of the promises made during his reelection campaign two to prevent prominent public figures from running for the years ago. The people wholly trusted their president, and presidency, but at the same time they can be manipulat he betrayed their trust with equal vigor. to allow for rather innocuous individuals to run for offic This can be used to give future contests a semblance What happened in the two chambers of parliament competitiveness, though none of these paper candidates was pure theater, with the opposition parties and civil would actually stand a chance against the NDP candidate, society organizations as extras, in a production by acclaimed most observers agree, will be Gamal Mubarak. who, writer, producer, and star, President Hosni Mubarak, with supporting roles by Dr. Fathi Suror (in the Peoples Assembly) the constitutional amendments allow the NDP Secondly, and Mr. Safwat Al-Sharif (in the Shura Council and rig elections whenever and wherever they like, withou to the party itself), and a chorus made up of NDP MPsany oversight or accountability. in both The government had bee chambers. True to theatrical and cinematic form, the an increasingly difficult time interfering in elections having director remained out of sight, where he pulled since the Supreme Constitutional Courts July 2000 decision, all the strings with the help of his assistants. The director in this it ruled that judicial supervision was a necessa in which case is the Presidents son, assisted by members of the NDP for the legitimacy of any election. condition Although th Policy Committee, who kept quiet about his role in the prevent the NDP from rigging elections, judicia did not decision making process. oversight made counterfeiting more difficult, especially with regards to figures on voter turnout. Low figures cast do Despite the demands, shouts, and protests of a quarter oflegitimacy of any elected president, especially whe on the the Parliament, who went so far as to withdraw themselves below 10 percent, as was the case in the they are completely from the chamber, the will of the majority was presidential election. not shaken; they continued to play out the scenario prepared for them in advance. In addition, the majority paidInnoMubaraks first four elections (1981, 1987, 1993, heed to the proposals of Egypts top constitutional scholars: 1999), which were not supervised by the judiciary or Salama Ahmed Salama, Salah Montassir, Makram society organizations, it was declared that participation was Muhammad Ahmed, Abd al-Moneim Said, Muhammad alabove 70 percent and that President Mubarak had garnered Sayyid Said, Osama Ghazali Harb, Magdi al-Jalad, Magdi 99 percent of the vote. In the absence of any indepe Mahna, and the great constitutional thinker Dr. Yehya al- such fabrications were easy. oversight, On the contrary, Gamal. The efforts of these great men were simply throw the 2005 election, which benefited from judicial and c into the trash. society oversight, voter turnout figures ranged between three and 10 percent, and therefore the president receiv Many doubted the Presidents request for constitutional more than three million votes from a pool of 35 m no amendments from the beginning, claiming that it was registered voters. nothing but deceptive nonsense. However, some of us put these The constitutional amendments third purpose is the This article was originally written in Arabic and translated into elimination of the last remaining fundamental freedoms under the pretext of new anti-terrorism legislation touted English. It was refused publication in Al-Masry Al-Youm on March (Contd page 15 24, 2007, and was printed instead in Al-Dustoor on March 28.as an alternative to the Emergency Law.
4 Civil Society
Egypt News and Views
A Setback for Democracy
By Neil Durnan and Bryce Loidolt
n December 2006, President Hosni Mubarak proposed controversial measures that were set forth by the Emergency that the Peoples Assembly amend 34 articles of the 1981. Law in Egyptian Constitution, a move characterized by the government as a positive step towards democracy. ItThis therefore no surprise, when on March 19 membe was immediately sparked debate among various members ofof the Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition parties Egyptian civil society, as well as foreign observers, who out of parliament, calling on Egyptian citizens t walked expressed a sincere hope that these amendments, thedemonstrate against the proposed amendments, which were most comprehensive constitutional reforms since 1971, would passed by parliament soon after the walkout. The governmen enact desperately needed improvements to Egypts political further criticism when it advanced the referendum drew system. date by a week, causing the opposition bloc to call Egyptian citizens to boycott the vote. The Kifaya movement The proposed amendments addressed a number echoed this call, organizing various sit-ins and demonstration of constitutional issues. On the one hand, the amendments what they perceived to be an assault on Egyptia against altered the Nasser era socialist language of the constitution, As a result, the days prior to the referendum w rights. maintaining, The Arab Republic of Egypt adoptsmarred by a number of clashes between demonstrators and a democratic system based on citizenship, rather than a Egyptian authorities, often ending in the arrest of oppositio system based on an alliance of the people's workingactivists. forces. Similar changes were made throughout the constitution, synchronizing its articles with the contemporary political Despite the efforts of the opposition, the amendments and economic realities facing Egypt. Such amendments approved with 75.9 percent of the vote in a plebi were have of course been necessary for decades, given on March 26. Sadats While Justice Minister Mamdouh Marei departure from Nassers socialist agenda. claimed that voter turnout was 27 percent, the Independen Committee for Democracy Support (ICDS), a coalition of However, such superficial changes could not hide NGOs led by the Ibn Khaldun Center, put the figure at the controversial amendments made to a number of articles of four percent nationwide. around According to the the constitution, all of which were heavily criticized by Committees findings, turnout did not even reach one Egyptian opposition parties, civil society organizations, percent in some areas, such as the North Sinai governora and foreign analysts as being an assault on Egyptian rights. Thethe first voters did not show up until well into where amendment made to Article Five solidified the governments afternoon. ban on parties based on religious identity, further specifying that political parties with a mere religious reference the face of such overwhelming public apathy, as well In or symbol will be barred from undertaking any political an opposition boycott of the referendum, the government activity. This clarification is largely being analyzed was an as forced to take a number of measures in order attempt to end the participation of the Muslim Brotherhood encourage participation. These ranged from the relatively in Egyptian political life, coming in the wake mundane, such as the mobilization of government employees of the legalization of a number of Islamist parties in the Arab en masse, to the bizarre; in Dakhiliya governm to vote world who managed to gain legal status by claiming that for example, there were numerous reports of cars drive their party uses Islamic values as a reference, rather than a by members of the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) basis for party ideology. driving through the streets broadcasting messages that citizens who abstained from voting would be fined LE 20 Furthermore, the suggested amendment to Article ($ 35). 88 nullified judicial supervision of elections, instead granting this power to a supreme commission. This is also beingprevious voting exercises, judicial oversight was Unlike criticized as a government attempt to close the door on conspicuously absent during the March 26 referendum. political dissent, by giving the executive the power to create judiciarys involvement did not prevent widespread While the and control these commissions. Additionally, the executive tampering in past elections, the lack of judicial oversigh was permitted by amendment 136 to dissolve the Peoples this referendum provided a grim preview of the ne during Assembly without a popular referendum. system enshrined by the amendment to Article 88. In t judges place, committees made up of government employees Perhaps the most egregious consolidation of executive to the ruling NDP oversaw referendum operations loyal power was the amendment made to article 179 and the tallying of votes. of the Constitution. The amendment states that the governments authority to maintain security and public order should notlack of judicial oversight, coupled with tight NDP This be hampered by Articles 41, 44, and 45 of the control over the polling stations, allowed for massive votin constitution, which guarantee basic individual freedoms, including irregularities. the Some polling stations opened late or close humane treatment of prisoners and the right to privacy. while others allowed some citizens to vote multip early, This sweeping power essentially institutionalizes the most times or without ID cards. In a similar (Contd pageMarch 2007
Not Your Fathers Brotherhood
By Matthew Devlin
The Muslim Brotherhood is widely hailed as intense repression in which their elders had come of ag the most powerful opposition group in Egypt, both result of President Anwar Sadats bid to court allies A by its supporters and detractors. Yet as the Brotherhood his leftist critics, Islamists were allowed greater against approaches its 80th anniversary, it is also facing its on university campuses across the country and latitude second generational transformation. The results of reaped a period of flourishing growth throughout the 1970 this shift must not be taken for granted; such moments of university leaders began to engage in an open Islamist transition can prove pivotal in the history of even the most with other student groups and so cultivated an dialogue deeply entrenched ideologies. For all its missile silos and ever-increasing respect for the value of debate and th armored divisions, the simple act of procreation famously constructive potential of an open exchange of ideas. Among shook the Soviet Union to the core as the state these students was Abd el-Moniem Abou el-Futouh, head failed to adequately meet the rising expectations of second-generation of the student union at Cairo University from 1974 to 19 comrades in the decades preceding its fall. From Stettin subsequently a chief strategist of the Brotherhoods and in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, the iron curtain billowed successful bid to capture the powerful professional ultimately in the winds of generational change. syndicates during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Abou Futouh would go on to rise within the movement an The Muslim currently sits on the Brotherhood is no executive Guidance exception. Though Council. Like Abou some commentators el-Futouh, many of ascribe a near his generation have immutability to the also risen to the Brotherhood, this upper reaches of assumption stems in the Brotherhoods large part from the hierarchy and are idea that the similarly hailed as movements religious promoting a cohesion will moderate and inevitably be tolerant current reflected in a unified within the political program. movement. Brothers in Islam they may be, but the One might members of Egypts therefore ask just Brotherhood are what experiences more often than not are shaping the third fathers and sons, generation of the uncles and nephews, E g y p t i a n grandfathers and Brotherhood and grandsons. As with how this bodes for Dr. Abdel-Moniem Abu el-Fatouh all social and political the future movements, the Brotherhood will evolve. The question is development of the group. Ibrahim Houdaiby can offer how. unique insight into the mindset of these young Brothers. His great-grandfather and grandfather lead the Brotherhood When analyzing differences of age within the Brotherhood, a combined total of more than 25 years and while for it makes sense to speak in terms of a loose framework Ibrahim has been an active member of the Brotherh 23, of three generations. Mohamed Fahrid Abd el-Kahlik hails some time and is currently a board member o for from the first generation and was a close confidant ikhwanweb.com, the movements website. It is amongs of the Brotherhoods founder, Hassan al-Banna. In a Ibrahims peers that the broad outlines of a generationa long conversation at his Cairo apartment, the aging Abd el-Khalik are materializing. To see this, we must return o trend vividly recalled the Brotherhoods militant resistance to more to Egypts universities. the British occupation, the role its volunteer units played in the 1948 war against the nascent Israeli state, and its weathering To appreciate the difference between the university of President Gamal Abd el-Nassers fierce 1954 crackdown. experience of the 1970s and today, a visit to Abou These tumultuous events fashioned the hardened political Futouhs alma mater is truly instructive. These days Cairo identity of the Brotherhoods founding generation and University is perpetually ringed by hundreds of riot police, still reverberate through their lingering hold on the movements equipped with shields, truncheons, and shotguns. Plainclothes leadership. state security agents hover at the entrances, vetting all w attempt to enter the gated grounds. As Ahmed Zaghloul, The formative experiences of the Brotherhoods second member of the Brotherhood and a fifth year medic a generation crucially diverged from the environment student at the university, told the weekly Al-Ahram, it of
Egypt News and Views
state security that has the upper hand on campus, not the university authorities. Emad Mubarak, a leftist lawyer and executive director of the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, concurred that what goes on outside the university is mirrored inside. The security and administration have created a vacuum on campuses and students are frightened away from politics. At the end of last year hundreds of candidates, mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood, were barred Mahdi Akef, Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood from contesting Student Union elections on campuses across the country. In response, Palestinian Hamas movement, their faces shrouded in ski those declared ineligible established the Free Student Union masks, the students performed various martial arts exercises. (FSU), an un-official organization to run parallelThe Brotherhood would later insist that the students had to the heavily vetted Student Union. November elections forbeen conducting a peaceful sit-in only to be told by sec the FSU turned bloody when armed thugs attacked students that, just as happened at Ain Shams, armed thu forces after having been allowed through the otherwise impermeable be allowed in to disperse them, should they refu would state security cordon around campuses such as Ain Shams to remove themselves from university property. The martial University in Cairo. exercises were supposedly a show of defiance against this attempted intimidation. Speaking shortly after these events, Houdaiby acknowledged certain differences between his opinion and that of the the few things the Al-Azhar incident actually clarified One of older Brotherhood leadership: I would be morethat Houdaibys frustration at the lack of confrontation is confrontational with the government. [We need] more shared by other young Brothers. During a mid-Janua is appearances on the street because youre not speaking interview, Houdaiby went to great lengths, however, t about a democratic government that would respond to the people that the events at Al-Azhar had overstepped the stress if only it realized what they wanted. Youre speaking about of what he was calling for. What the Al-Azhar boundaries a tyrannical, oppressive regime that has to be faced. Rights did was wrong, said Houdaiby who believes they students have to be earned. Since its success in the 2005 election, protested but in a proper civil way. He rema should have the Brotherhood has abstained from any significant show convinced that we need escalation, but not this type. of force, preferring to focus its opposition through parliamentary channels. Less than a week before the Justified or not, the Egyptian new media was awash student elections, for example, the Brotherhoods parliamentary photos of the demonstrations balaclava-clad students by bloc became the first group to challenge Speaker the next morning. Al-Watani Al-Youm, the mouthpiece of Fathi Surour for the position he has held for the last the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) ran a full pa 17 years. Garnering 79 votes to Surours 319, several Brotherhood interview with a former head of state security, Major Genera MPs hailed this as an indicator of a newly invigorated Allam, who claimed the Brotherhood still maintained Fouad program of confrontation. This seems a world away from its military wing. The last proven operation of the arm what Houdaiby was advocating in the wake of special section (al-nizam al-khass), known outside the the clampdown his peers had just been subjected to: When Brotherhood as the secret apparatus (al-jihaz al-sirri), wa people are arrested there will be mass demonstrationsin until 1950s. Nevertheless, the pro-government Al-Ahram the they are released, when there are political prisoners for its part, claimed that Deputy Supreme Guide Khayrat we will defend them. We would escalate it and continue to escalate el-Shatir was behind the alleged reconstitution of the it until the demands are met. Of course we would like to military capabilities. movements do that in a gradual, peaceful way but you have to have tools to pressure the government because they are not end of December, security forces had arrested By the willing to give you anything unless you pressure them for of Muslim Brotherhood students and leaders, hundreds it. including el-Shater and five of the movements most prominent financiers, thus kicking off what political analyst On 10 December, Muslim Brotherhood students at Amr Shobaki described to the Los Angeles Times as the AlAzhar University faced off against riot police and state brutal campaign against the Brotherhood since most security agents. Dressed in uniforms reminiscent of the [Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak came to power. (ContdMarch 2007
Street Politics and the Battle for a New Lebano
By Hebah Farrag
hat is so alluring about street propaganda? Maybe understanding the unique and innovative power that identity it is the guerilla feel of the art form,politicsthe or carry in Lebanon today. To him, what he labels individuality of expression it allows; maybe iconography of identity' is one of the fastest growing it is the creative use of public space or the accessibility newest components to power not only in Lebanon but of the medium to the masses. Whatever it is, street propaganda the region as a whole. It is the symbols that move p captures the imagination, and in the Middle East there are and incite them to action that are increasingly being foug few places where this fascination is more apparent than in over and renegotiated in public space. Lebanon. The questions, Which symbols move people, and, How Despite the tanks and barbed wire, bombed out buildings do people see themselves? are slowly becoming the mos and broken bridges that dominate public space and the important questions in the political game, and it is oft visual scene in Lebanon, people find a way to express their street propaganda that you glimpse not only how through voice. From the most conventional to the most the powerful view their populations but how they in tu radical, every voice finds its way into the artistry that is street view themselves. propaganda - turning the freeways, avenues, bridges, and streets themselves into a sort of canvas for political Ingames Lebanon, what allows for such an open arena is the to play out. margin of freedom given to expression in the public spac Lebanon, probably the freest in this respect in the regio What remains unique about the political situation in Lebanon not impinge on the right of the people to expr does is the way that political tensions translate into thethemselves, whether through independent media channels, visual landscape as expressions of many and varied political broadcast or print, or even on the highways. The Leban actors; whether through PR campaigns, graffiti, posters, flags, oraffords its public and political participants the state sit-ins, the streets of Beirut are, beyond a doubt, part and to express freely without fear of repercussion. opportunity parcel of the political scene. This right has evolved with Lebanons democratic development, and over time the government has conceded Rami Khoury, the Director of the Issam Fares Center for its control over the avenues of information and coercion Public Policy and International Affairs at the American more and more players. In fact, the public space has to University of Beirut, a journalist and long-time observer so much that it seems as though the state no lo opened of the political scene in the region has aided many in the use of mobilizing symbols. controls
Opposition (left) and government I Love Life billboards. The opposition sign reads: We Want to Live... In Lebanon, in reference to Lebanons high rate of emigration.
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A potent example of this phenomenon is the cooptation Dialogue through Rebuttal of the Lebanese flag. Once called the Maronite flag and rarely used by Islamic opposition parties, today the flag Love Life has followed this string of government/Futur I has never sold as quickly and covers the streets in neighborhoods Movement-sponsored ad campaigns and has devoted itself all over the city, flying at protests for every side of the to the same cause, yet this most recent campaign broug political spectrum, representing the government, with it not only interest but controversy. the opposition, and the ones caught in the middle, all at once. The Lebanese flag, the nations anthem, the colors and When investigating the meaning of the simple slogan, symbols of the Republic are no longer a monopoly written in Arabic, French and English, one only has to lo of the state for its exclusive use. Now these symbols are to their impeccable website to learn that this "I Love Li imbued with various meanings by various different actors. As Mr. slogan-driven campaign is a private sector campaign in Khoury commented, the fear barrier has dissipated cooperation with USAID driven by the specific aim of and as such more voices must be included on the political scene. indoctrinating the population with a political message. The "I Love Life" mission statement reads: "I Love Life" "We believe that Lebanon stood up to all angst because The I Love Life campaign and counter-campaign, dubbed has always embraced the Culture of Life. We understand Poster Politics by Time magazine, is a clear and vivid the Culture of Life, as opposed to the Culture of Deat example that i m a g e r y, as a deep, well-developed sense propaganda, and the capable of discerning true values iconography of identity are being and interpreting authentic needs taken seriously by key players in in our communities and society." Lebanon. This campaign seeks to pit those After the assassination of former that understand a culture of life Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in against those trying to spread a 2005, stark black billboard culture of death, in very specific posters appeared demanding terms. With this PR campaign, "The Truth" about who killed Cedar Revolution activists are him. Still to this day posters, attempting to counter what they billboards, signs, and count-'ups' see as the defining feature of the recording the time passed since current political crisis in Lebanon. the assissination, are devoted to As the ad executive and campaign the memory of Hariri, using his leader has said "We want to tell image as the ultimate martyr, the world that, regardless of evoking feelings of forgotten whatever they see on their TV justice, unity and, of course, screens, the Lebanese want to live retribution. and move ahead."
On March 14, 2005, a large "What the world sees on the TV percentage of the Lebanese screens" in this context seems to population hit the streets of mean the ongoing demonstrations Beir ut, protesting Syrian against the Lebanese government. domination of its political and economic infrastructures. The demonstrations, which arose Now the country is awash in dueling "I Love Life" campai after the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, the controversy surrounding the slogan has peaked. Th as coincided with the almost immediate emergence slogan, created by pro-government groups to raise awarenes of "Independence '05" banners, stickers and other merchandise the risks of sectarianism in Lebanon, has bee about like flags and hats. Designed collectively by some of interpreted by the Hizbullah-led opposition as blaming Beirut's top ad agency talents, the red, white and green logo soon the destruction caused by the past summer's them for appeared everywhere. Not missing a beat, the U.S. State with Israel; the implication being that Hizbullah loves death Department renamed the locally known Intifada and martyrdom. of In response, the opposition decided Independence as the Cedar Revolution, and the ad campaigns the theme and launch its own version but this ti copy reflected the hope that Lebanon was soon to go down therainbow of colors representing the opposition groups with a road paved by other "branded" revolutions, such as those and slogans like "I Love Life Undictated." in Georgia and Ukraine, also underwritten by American NGOs. This new campaign has been funded by the opposition with the expressed aim of the government supporters USFor the past two years, however, a series of bombings, campaign, which, in their view, attempts to po funded ad assassinations and all-out warfare has redefined those original who resists the government as a lover of death a anyone ideas of "Independence" and has led to the surreal its allies as lovers of life. situation where the absence of dialogue on the governmental level is contrasted by an endless stream of unmediated messages.March 2007
"The campaign is a response to those who are accusing us that we do not want to live and that we do not love life," say representatives of Hezbollah and Aoun Parties on a NTV television broadcast in defense of their rebuttal campaign. "Unlike the 'private sector' we are saying we want to live all together, opposition as well as the pro-government parties in a Lebanon for all of us," says the Hezbollah representative, "We love life too, but we want to define what kind of life we love to live.
The counter-campaign features a few additional features to the original I Love Life symbol, including a rainbow, representative of all colors used by political participants, including the colors of pro-government parties. Written under the original I Love Life slogan is the addition of another catchphrase, or set of catchphrases, written as if graffiti, an effacement of the original Ad, saying anything We Want To Live... In Tents from I love life, with dignity (bi karama) to I love life, in all its colors (bi kul alwanha). These additions refer to the oppositions program describing the type of lifeThe main slogan of this postwar Hizbullah public-relations they hope to live; with dignity, equality, justice, religious campaign, 'The Divine Victory,' was lifted from a vers diversity the Quran. The rhetoric has also used by Iran's supre and economic stability. leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently in describing Hizbullah's performance. "We are not exclusive; claims a Hizbullah representative, we want to live all together; and rather than what the Hizbullah private sector campaign suggests, we love life, what is needed is getting across those messages through printing is to sit and define what kind of life we want to the slogansa onto pins, hats, stickers, banners, flags, ligh live -life t-shirts, with dignity, security, economic prosperity; a life that will and pretty much anything they can get made provide Lebanese youth with work and allow them into live streets. to the in Lebanon and not emigrate; a life with no debts, a life for Culture of Death' a l l o f u s t o g e t h e r . " What has dominated more than any other force in the The rebuttal campaign seeks to define concepts and iconography of identity today in Lebanon is the use o open up debate by creating dialogue. No longer is it simply, we symbols of mobilization. The Shia districts o martyrs as love life - this campaign takes a step further byBeirut are awash in posters memorializing Hizbullah fighters defining exactly what it is the opposition is looking for. Both killed during last summers war with Israel. That said, campaigns have created binary divisions and exclusionsopposition does not have a monopoly on this weighty but also they have opened the debate and helped to define the image; government supporters have been equally symbolic dialogue. Everybody seems to love life in Lebanon, but enthusiastic in putting the memory of their fallen comrades how and what they expect from that life is the question. use. The significance of such symbols is read to political apparent to anyone walking the streets of Beirut. In th T he Mar keting of a National Resistance respect, the culture of death is transformed from a slur cast at your enemies into the ultimate form of devotio Aside from dueling poster politics, each voice in Lebanonfirmest call to action. and also has independent campaigns, ranging from the extremely well planned and organized, to guerilla art work. Hizbullah pro-government side, it is images of Hariri th On the itself runs a huge public relations wing and the evidence dominate their display of death and martyrdom. Cars, of that is everywhere. sometimes mini-vans, plastered with posters of Hariri and the Lebanese flag drive around Hariri-friendly parts of th It was not too soon after the fighting stopped between city with loudspeakers mounted on the roof playing a Hizbullah and Israel over the summer, that bright red stream of speeches, songs, and other Hariri-relate constant banners began appearing amid the rubble of southern auditory memorabilia. Beirut's devastated Shia suburbs. Another advertising project reminiscent of the "Independence '05" campaign has appeared as well, featur "Made in USA," proclaims one. "Extremely accurate "martyr" Christmas trees. These Christmas trees, lining the weapons," states another sarcastically. streets downtown in the very same district made famous by Hariris Solidre and now the infamous sit-in, stood Other banners superimpose, over Lebanon's national colors, as photographs of injured civilians, or Hizbullah soldiers symbols not only of death and re-birth, but also movement aimed at transforming cultural and religious targeting an Israeli settlement with Katyusha rockets; slogans symbols, such as the Christmas tree, into political one which employ irony and accusation to convey a message of defiance toward Israel and the US.
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The Many Histories in turn react and reflect their own meaning of mainstrea Aside from the big players, activist of all sorts get political messages. In this way, and largely due to to have their fun with images and iconography and spin offaccessibility, acceptability, and availability of technology and these information, the popular speaks to the powerful. very public campaigns to reflect more individualized voices. Many activists have added their own messages to the mix is of visual propaganda with such slogans as "I [heart] ItAishti"in this reinvented use of political messages that begin to see the invested interests of not only politic (both a reference to the local chain fashion outlet, the Arabic actors, but word for cream and a play on aish, the Arabic root for "to the masses themselves in these message battle live") and "I [heart] Capitalism," both references to and more importantly, the meanings that lie behind them the profor governemnt camps social status, expressing their opposition the population. through a focus on economic and social differences. The On the other side has of course invented their own opposition- streets of Beirut, a vernacular of graffiti, politi like slogans, circulating caricatures of the billboardsposters, cloth banners and stenciled portraits of leaders an that read anything from "We want to live ... in tents"martyrs as well as the effacement thereof, whethe to "They intentionally or through natural causes - produces a live hate life," again focusing on the values they find intrinsically debate. Various individuals and groups effectively claim incompatible with their vision of life. existence, label their territories, as well as write and re. their Circulating these copycat caricatures on the internet, through histories, through art, slogans, effacement and mor making email, or stickers on the streets, independent people get toclear to any observer that Lebanon has not on history, but many.
(Brotherhood, continued from page 7) page 11) The crackdown continues apace with many cause another wave of terrorism that will last 30 o will denouncing it as too conveniently timed, taking theyears, although he was quick to add that while this wind out of opposition sails as the NDP pushes through happening apace in wider Islamic circles, he is only seei its 34 controversial amendments to the constitution. seeds of it amongst his fellow young Brothers and the fully confident that the Brotherhood, as an organization, The reaction to the current crackdown seems to have been will stay true to its message of peaceful opposition. relatively calm amongst the two older generations of the contrast, Fahrid, whose generation of Islamists included Brotherhood. Hisham el-Hamami, a member in his the infamous radical groups of al-Jihad and al-Takfir walfifties, wastes no time in decrying the regimes exploitation of what would only say that the current crackdown coul Hijra, he sees as a rather trivial youthful blunder. Nevertheless, radicalization but that he bases this conjecture o lead to he promptly dismisses the current bout of repression as past experiences of state repression and not on any concre ordinary, not too difficult, and simply part and parcel of development he is seeing today. the periodic cycles of persecution the Brotherhood must endure. Though quick to condemn the numerous arrests With little experience of such hardships, one might hope and detentions, older Brotherhood members seem more young Brothers would look to the older ranks of that concerned with refuting the charges of militancy Brotherhood, who have gone through such trials before, than condemning the regimes reactions. Abd el-Khalik, jailed guidance. Yet in response to questions about the for for six years between 1965 and 1971, was also the head of Azhar demonstration, General Guide Mahdi Akef told the the Brotherhoods Student Department. When asked about independent Al-Masri Al-Youm that we have no information the current crackdown on young members he chose instead what the students at Al-Azhar do. Contrary to about to speak at great length about the Brotherhoods disavowal common perceptions of the Brotherhood being rigidly of violence, repeatedly insisting that there is no [military structured, its lower levels actually enjoy a relatively hig wing], no, it is finished. Osama Fahrid, an activedegree of autonomy, which Brotherhood members say is member of the middle generation, likewise concentrated on distancing intentionally done to foster leadership skills. The events a the Brotherhood from its historical ties to militancy. Al-Azhar would suggest that this autonomy may inadvertently be compounding the difficult situation on Houdaibys take on things proved somewhat different. university campuses by distancing young Brothers from the Unlike his elders, Houdaiby apparently does not harbor any of their elders. counsel insecurity about being a member of an organization laboring under the stigma of a once-violent past. When asked, convergence of the student union election disruptions, The he certainly and unequivocally renounces all violence, yet this the Al-Azhar demonstration fallout, and the proposed disavowal was not at the top of his concerns. amendment to effectively enshrine the oppressive Emergency Rather, Houdaiby focuses on the abuses of the regime and Law toll the within the Constitution represents a definitive moment they were inflicting on the Brotherhood. Additionally, his in the development of the emerging generation of the impression that the crackdown brings up memories of Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. While the legacy of the what life was like under Nasser for the oldest generation 1970s is being realized today in the increasingly moderat did not seem to ring true with the elderly Abd el-Khalik. platform pushed by second-generation Brothers as they take over the reins of the movement, we would do we Interpretations of the crackdown also diverged on the ask ourselves what lessons the young members of the point of potential radicalization. When asked what the legacy of Brotherhood are learning today, and how they will act the current repression will be, Houdaiby asserted thatthem tomorrow. thisMarch 2007
By Ambassador Mahmoud Kassem
he Middle East is home to a number of local and end of the Cold War, bipolar spheres of influenc By the international conflicts. In addition, and alliances melted into US world hegemony including the there are numerous ethnic and religious differences Middle East, with Israel as the chief US surrogate. The that have been used to contribute to social tension and of Iraq that is now foundering left Arab regime invasion occasionally burst to the surface in acts of limited communal Persian Gulf and the Middle East completely helpless, in the violence. Political events across the region are intertwined for some political bleating here and there. Leadin except with each other. A political ailment that develops in one Arab countries were cowed by the overwhelming force of part of the region quickly metastasizes throughout the invasion and the much-mooted New Middle East initiative other countries of the region. While the Middle East is not the called for democratic reforms, implying regime which, worst or only region suffering from violent conflict, its The recent lip service support by some leadin change. strategic location often gives local conflicts greater countries were of President Bushs last-ditch endeavour Arab international impact. to save the US from itself, named the New Way Forwar in Iraq, is more like a tacit recognition of US failure The concept of security is hardly precise or self-evident an effective show of solidarity. particularly when used differently to refer to national, regional, international or global security, western security Inevitable US withdrawal will leave Iraq worse off than and NATOs security. The gaining and preserving of security before the invasion, with continued sectarian violence was either against political, economic or military threats political uncertainty. and is It will also leave behind the only important problem of international relations. dangerously unstable region. Hence, the region needs a However, we must not lose sight of the fact of the linkage new, home grown security regime. between security and development. The developing countries are viewed as different from the developed ones becausewe turn to Europe, the northern flank of the Middl When of their particular status in the development equation. It East including the whole Mediterranean basin, we find that follows that the developing quality of these states no sooner was the mantle of the Cold War lifted from must have its implications on their security policy structures and international relations, than the extent of the problems o behaviour. the Mediterranean became highlighted. With time, the purpose of the Conference on Security and Cooperation From the above, one can understand the complexity Europe (CSCE) was to foster security through cooperation in of security concept when used differently to refer to regional in Europe, is now recognizing that the security problem and global security, and the broad scope of the notion toMediterranean appear somehow interlinked with of the include any aspect of life. Thus, the concept is anthat of Europe. For better or worse, the future amalgam of political, economic and strategic factors that will have Mediterranean security will continue to be intimately bound an impact on the way changes will, if ever, takewith European security. The question of which security place on the Middle East region or any other region such structure will prevail in Europe would seem to be centr as the European continent. to the future of Mediterranean and the whole of the Midd East security. Equally relevant is the nature of the relationsh Given such a theoretical description, it is important to tackle evolve between Europe and the United States that will regional security in the Middle East from a different perhaps also between China, India and Russia. The and perspective than only that of the Arab/Israeli conflict. question comes down to a simple one: will Europe formula Here, it might be relevant to examine ways and means of its security in collaboration with its southern neighbours, security and cooperation around the Mediterranean Sea, will it formulate it in confrontation or disregard wi or and to come to some conclusions about the future them? image of the state of regional security in the Middle East and Europe. In the face of globalization, the future of Europe depen on the ability of Europeans to define the other, the al or the stranger, and then to accept and integrate him, well as to transform themselves from ethnic states into civ Ambassador Mahmoud Kassem is a Former United Nations Assistant and multicultural states. Within the framework of Secretary-General and a member of the Ibn Khaldun Center Board globalization, challenges and opportunities, European Union of Trustees. enlargement will be shaped by Europes cultural and geographical identity. This identity is the result of This article was originally presented at the Athens International combination of Europes geographical and historical Conference on Prospects for Stability and Prosperity in the Middle characteristics and peoples aspirations, constrained by those East, held from March 15 to 18, 2007. characteristics. In recognition of this truth the E.U. decid
Regional Cooperation Perspectives
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to develop a neighbourhood policy. The choice or acceptance Western Sahara, Somalia are on top of the agend Sudan, of this neighbourhood whenever possible speaks in favor of the EUs geopolitical ambitions and responsibilities US and China are not sitting idle. Both the US a The which is, to say, its global status. China have expressed growing interests to the region. Washington is drawing up plans to establish a regional With 27 European member states, more than 500 million command centre for Africa, while China gathered in Beijing inhabitants and a contribution to world GDP of 26%41 African leaders for a ground breaking summit las the EU belongs among those actors which influence globalNovember 2006. governance processes and can help to deal with global problems. The EU articulated its readiness to assume Arab Middle Eastern and Gulf countries need a regionglobal responsibilities in the European Security Strategy based new paradigm for collective security. It would b of December 2003. It initiated the European Neighbourhood founded on the primary and collective interest of these Policy (ENP) action plan, which will be implemented over and the EU in the new world order. This n countries the next five years promising to give momentum to long should formulate a collective regional approach paradigm standing ties between the Mediterranean and the EU. to all pending issues such as the non-functional first a This initiative followed partnership agreements with the second tracks mentioned above. This could be done throug EU which contained three tracks, the first of which was theup: setting establishment of just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East. The second track delineated the initiation ofA Strategic Partnership Plan with the Middle Eastern a) a dialogue between different civilizations, cultures countries; and religions. The third was the economic cooperation. In reality, the economic track was the only functional track among A Strategic Par tnership Plan with Africa. b) the three. The reason is that European foreign policy is still in the process of development. A common perspective on two plans could address problems that are badly These central global issues, as well as definition of pan-European to be solved for the benefit of all countries needed interests which must go beyond the sum of the interests the Middle East, and Africa. The most urgent Europe, of member states remain to be attained. problems to be solved are accelerating sustainable development, growth and jobs, unemployment, regional The EU is the most developed regional cooperation project demographic change, tackling the root causes of migration, in the world, but still work in progress: no longer merely counter-terrorism, climate change and sustainable energy. the sum of nation states, more than an association of states, but still clearly not a federal state of Europe. Moreover, of the region with, temporarily, the exception o Countries with the crisis of the European constitution the project of need to convene a conference that would negotiat Israel, a more effective common EU foreign policy remains blocked draft a blueprint for regional security. Israel could n and for the time being. If the blockade and the loose cooperation be associated with any such arrangement until it has between the foreign policies of the member states, concluded peace treaties with all Arab countries on the as well as of the Commission, remains in place the EUs basis of a satisfactory settlement of the Palestinian problem. global influence will ultimately remain very limited. Only a common The status of Turkey as a potential partner would b European foreign policy would provide the opportunity to determined by the nature of its relations with NATO and play a major role in global politics. the European Union.
There is a danger that Europe, in the transition from light of the above, it is clear that the transition In the US-dominated western world order to a multi-polar quasi-unilateral, US-dominated power constellation to a power constellation, with China and India and others as newmulti-polar one can lead to a creeping erosion of multilate world powers, will be marginalized. At the same time, the institutions. Neither the old world power the USA, nor th transformation also offers opportunities for Europe torising global powers in Asia are investing in the stabilization be a leading player. As champion and catalyst of a or even the further development of the multilateral order fair and effective multilateralism the EU could play an important At present the EU is the most important actor in worl role, on condition it understands that it must enter into which is firmly pursuing a multilateral concept o politics very close political cooperation with its neighbouring world order. The EU could therefore, in th the countries in the Middle East and Africa and develop strategic developmental phase of the multi-polar power constellation partnerships. These close partnerships or quasi-alliances the central protagonist of an effective and fair become will serve as a strategic depth for the EU in an Asia-Pacific multilateralism. Century which is full of challenges not only for Europe but certainly for the United States. However, this will require enormous efforts on Europes part because there is nothing resembling a senior partner The structure of the 21st century security challengesby need whose side the European Union could stand as junio to adapt to the new dangerous situations in the partner in the stabilization and modernization of the multi world, particularly, in the Middle East and Africa. The 21st lateral global governance architecture. The EU must be century really requires that Europe in general and EU in particular grownup about foreign policy and establish alliances for a figure out to get economic, diplomatic and political elements order based on compromise, human rights, and world of power synchronized and coordinated to solve, by peaceful cooperation or it will become peripheral region in a means, specific dangerous problems wherever they exist. Asia-Pacific century. Iraq, Iran, Palestinian problem, Lebanese problem theMarch 2007
By Hassan Elsawaf
A Story of Fraud
spicy story is currently catching the attentioninofa country that seems to have lost the basic ingredie the Egyptian public. It involves a well-known con to define it as a country. Fact is we no longer needed artist, posing as a respectable businessman, selling a country. It has become everyone for himself, with real estate to thousands of unsuspecting victims drawn in interested in no more than fending off criticism regime by the reputable name of a large foreign contractor. The and trying to appear to be doing something while sole deal is a masterpiece of fraud. concerned with remaining firmly entrenched. Any threat is dealt with efficiently and ruthlessly. Any action taken is First, the contractor, having been skilfully wooed, avoidtold is problems not to make life better for the public. that an investment in Egypt requires an Egyptian partner, made is a lie with the intention of buying tim promise a lie. Second, the customers down-payments mysteriously left of Egypt is a shambles and we are all watch What is find their way into the Egyptian partners bank account and passively. are surreptitiously used to obtain a bank line of credit to finance the operation. Third, the foreign partner failsprobably sounds boring to keep ranting about the nee It to gain access to his share of the funds deposited. Fourth, a a system that would send the businessman to build strong dispute arises between the two sides and rumours question to prison or that would deal with traffic violato circulate about the local businessman being bought out a way that might deter imitators. Yet is it not tim in by the foreign side for an astronomical sum. Fifth, the begin to deal with those devastating scourges destroying we local partner appears on Egyptian television claiming all isthe name and reputation of this once proud nation in a fine and denying any collapse of the partnership, insisting that superficial manner? Is it not time to tell our rulers that the whole thing is no more than a simple argument over happy with what they have done to us and tha are not percentage share ownership. Sixth, uneasy investors do not trust them to do any more? Is it not time to begin to pull out their money, having been issued cheques. corrupt regime to go away and give us a chance to reb Seventh, bouncing cheques begin to emerge. Egypt and be able to call it a country once aga Amid all this brouhaha, the government takes no firm action to reassure the market and confusion spreads like wildfire. It transpires that several top government officials are protecting the Egyptian businessman for reasons few In the Arabic Edition would have trouble guessing and the investment climate has been dealt another severe blow, putting paid to any 1. prospects to attract more foreign investment for quite some Why are Sunni Muslims Behaving as if they are a Panicking Minority? time. 2. The invariable comment one hears when discussing the The Religious State and the Reasons behind its Existence incident is that the business community has reached frightening levels of corruption and that one wonders why the eminent members of that thriving community do 3. Shalom Alekheim, Arabs not show more responsibility and integrity and how business has become cutthroat in Egypt. People talk about all 4. The Complete Text for the Documentary that as though the system would have worked just fine if Concerning the Killing of the Egyptian Soldiers those wealthy businessmen had been endowed with more integrity and had done things the morally correct way, pretty 5.The Activities of the Egyptian Democracy Support much Network the way they talk about how appalling traffic has become and how it would have been much better if Egyptian drivers 6.The Celebration of the 4th Anniversary Ibn were more disciplined. Few point out the outrageous deficiencies of the system and how easy it is to Khalduns Opening avoid punishment even when committing the most flagrant transgressions. Even fewer have the courage to point 7.Two Presidential Terms is Enough out what everybody is fully aware of. High officials are usually on the payroll of the business moguls and offer many 8. The Ibn Khaldun Center Monitors the layers of protection and immunity. Life in Egypt is now all Constitutional Amendment Referendum about testing new limits of wrongdoing and knowing you can get 9 .Ibn Khaldun Forum (Full Summary) away with it! In dealing with the worrying phenomenon of high level If you would like a copy of the Arabic issue, please business skulduggery in Egypt, as usual, blame is entirely misplaced. The same applies to all other defects and email [email protected] every single complaint we all share about how difficult it is to live
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(Plea, continued from page 4) In fact, this change grants the security forces sweeping discretionary powers to eavesdrop, search houses, and This package of constitutional amendments, approved by arrest and detain individuals without any approval from a the ruling NDP at the behest of President Mubarak, i judge or prosecutor. This has been achieved by amendingintended to wipe out the last of the very limited freedo Article 179 to include a clause stating that the rights afforded enjoyed by the Egyptian people. still by In short, they Articles 41, 44, and 45 of the Constitution - namely that shackle generations of Egyptians. intended to The one the sanctity of a citizens home and private correspondence these amendments want to confer legitimacy upon behind can only be breached with a court order obtained in therefore they were approved by the Parliament an them, accordance with strict guidelines - cannot be invoked to submitted to the public for a referendum. In the abse curtail the powers of the security forces. of any judicial oversight, the government will inflate vote turnout statistics, in order to imply that the Egyptian peop While the War on Terror has been used as justificationchose servitude for themselves, and their descendents, fo for the amendment to Article 179, most commentators believelong as the Mubarak family reigns in Egypt. as otherwise. Rather, this amendment is widely viewed as a response to the political vitality and loud opposition that Therefore, we warn every Egyptian man and woman agains has characterized the political scene in Egypt over the last participating in the Farcical Referendum so that we do three years, as embodied, for example, by Kifaya not submit our children and grandchildren to slavery at th and the Judges Movement. The aim of the ruling party is to update the Mubarak dynasty. hands of Egyptians, we ask rath their system of control in order to clamp down that civil stand with Kifaya, our honorable judges, and t on you society, which has flourished of late, not only among the 110 members of parliament who have called for a boyc middle class and elite, but among the urban and rural travesty. of this working classes as well.
The following is a translation of the most contentious constitutional amendments, prepared by Bryce Loidolt. italics
Added text appears in
Article 5: The political regime of the Arab Republic of Egypt is based on a multi-party system within the of the fundamental basics and principles of Egyptian society as stipulated by the constitution. Political parti be regulated by law.
Citizens have the right to form political parties in accordance with the law. Any political activity or creation of political parties cannot include any reference to, or foundation on, religion; nor can it include any racial or gender discrimination.
Article 88: The necessary conditions stipulated for becoming a member of the People's Assembly shall be by law. The rules of election and referendum shall be determined by law. and the ballot shall be condu the supervision of members of the judiciary authority.
The ballot shall be conducted in one day. A supreme commission characterized by independence and impartiality will supervise the elections as regulated by law. The law shall define the functions of the commission and the way it is formed and ensure its member are either current or retired judges. The commission will take charge of forming the general committees to supervise the elections at th level of voting districts and committees, which will supervise polling and vote-counting. The general committees should be formed of members of the judicial authorities in accordance with the rules and measures regulated by law.
Article 136: The president shall not dissolve the People's Assembly unless it is necessary after consulting with minister. and after a referendum to be put to the public. The president shall issue a decision terminating of the assembly and conducting a referendum within 30 days. If the total majority of voters approve the of the assembly, the president shall issue the dissolution decision. If the assembly is dissolved for a specific reason, be dissolved again for the same reason.
The decision dissolving the assembly shall include an invitation to voters to participate in new parliamentary e within a period not exceeding 60 days from the date of the declaration of the dissolution decision.
Article 179: The socialist prosecutor-general shall be responsible for assuming the procedures necessary to the peoples rights, the safety of society and its political system, the preservation of socialist gains, and c to socialist behavior. The law shall define his other functions. He shall be subject to the purview of th Assembly in accordance with what is prescribed by law. The state will assume the responsibility of safeguarding security public order in the face of the dangers of terrorism. Special rules of identification and investigation required for combating such dange shall be regulated by the law under the supervision of the judiciary and in a way that cannot be hampered by the measures stated articles 41, 44 and the second paragraph of Article 45 of the constitution. The president of the republic is empowered to refer an terrorist crime to any of the judicial authorities stated in the constitution or the law.
By Rami G. Khouri
Keep Your Eye On These Arab Unity Government
ark this third week of March 2007 as potentially that are high on the priority of ordinary citizen issues a historic moment of clarity on one of the most in Palestine has just announced its national unity Hamas important political questions in the contemporary government with Fateh. It hopes to unblock the foreig Arab world: How will this troubled, turbulent region financial boycott, and thus have more money with whic make the transition from dictatorships and autocracies to more to govern normally. democratic, accountable systems of government, while the Islamist parties are the most popular forces around? these major Islamist parties had gained power and Both respect over the years essentially by catering to thei The answer seems to be: through coalition governments constituencies, which form minorities of their countries' and transitional governments of national unity in which populations -- and by resisting Israeli occupation an Islamists have a major but not the totally defining role. aggression. Hamas and Hizbullah both have some experience in local politics and service delivery, but not in natio In recent months, Islamists and Arab governments in several beyond one or two narrow ministries that were alwa office lands have confronted one another politically and occasionally constrained by the majority will. They now must make tw fought it out in the streets. Now, having fought to crucial transitions that they had toyed with in recent year a standstill and shown themselves to enjoy roughly equal power in dabbling in politics to full national governance, an from society and among foreign supporters, they are trying theexternally directed military resistance to internally from different approach of national unity or coalition directed social, political and economic ser vices. governments. Lebanon and Palestine are the most interesting examples, and should be watched closely. They have both met fierce opposition in making this chang from their three principal foes: domestic opponents among This may be the most important political test that Islamist their fellow citizens, the Israeli government and people, an movements have experienced in the Arab world in the United States with other leading Western governments. their modern history: trial by the fire of incumbency and are formidable odds to work against, but Hamas an These accountability. We have had very few examples of Islamist Hizbullah have made headway and are now moving into groups winning power democratically, and being given the coalition governments. They continue to succeed because chance to exercise power by freely governing. A few cases credible at home, their domestic opponents ar they are of Islamists at local or municipal level can be studied from often corrupt and incompetent, and their foreign foes ar recent years, and they show mixed results; other examples unfair and inconsistent. grossly include Islamist party cabinet ministers in governments in Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen and other countries, and their Two aspects of the Islamist transition to mainstream experience is also mixed. democratic governance are important to watch: First, it much more important to assess the local verdict on th Nowhere in the Arab world have we had a comparable Islamists in government than to ask what Israel, the Unite experience to the ongoing incumbency of the Justice and or Europe feel about all this. Second, at the dom States Development Party that heads the Turkish government. the Islamists will be judged primarily by their reco level, There, the party's Islamist credentials and rallying cry have in formulating and implementing sensible policies and been put to the test of actually governing, and responding to their constituents needs, rather than in mere responding to national needs. The party continues to adjust to the reality popular grievances and repeating the ills of expressing of incumbency and national accountability, seems likely to imperialism and the injustices of Zionism. win another election, and will probably see its leader become president soon. The weakness of Hamas, Hizbullah and other mainstream Islamists is their lack of coherent, detailed policy program Arab Islamists will now be subjected to the same test and and practical answers to the pressing national challenges o reality check. Hizbullah in Lebanon is on the verge of Lebanon, Palestine and other Arab societies. These include agreeing with its political foes on a national unity government and relevant education, job creation, investment quality that gives it and its allies (including some Christians)promotion, equitable and sustainable economic growth, around one-third of all seats. In return for its ability to shape or protection, human rights enforcement, and environmental block decisions on major, strategic issues, it will also find peace and stability, among other issues. regional itself pressured to deliver practical answers to daily life Rockets, rifles, resistance, and communal self-assertion brought Hamas and Hizbullah to the point where they are now Rami G. Khouri is an internationally syndicated columnist, the director entrusted with a major share of governance. The must quickly show that they have answers and policies f of the Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut, editor-at-large of the Beirut-based Daily Star, and co-laureate of the socio-economic and political issues that will improve the the well-being of all their citizens. 2006 Pax Christi International Peace Award. This article was originally published on March 17, 2007 on www.ramikhouri.com and has been reprinted with the authors permission.
16 Civil Society
In Memoriam: Iliya F. Harik July 20, 1934 - February 24, 2007
liya Harik, professor emeritus of political science at of absence, he served as director of the America leaves Indiana University, died unexpectedly at his home on Research Center in Egypt (1990-92), was a visiting profe February 24. at Cornell University (1978-79), and directed the educatio and social science program of the Ford Foundation in Born on July 20, 1934, in Lebanon, he grew up in a family North Africa (1974-75). He served on the first board of modest means in the beautiful mountain village of the newly founded Middle East Studies Association (1973Dhour Shwier. After graduation from Shewir Secondary School, the Middle East Journal, and Journal of Arab Affairs. 76), he attended the American University of Beirut where he earned a B.A. in philosophy in 1956 and an M.A. in retiring from academia, Dr. Harik continued a varied After Arab Studies in 1958. and vigorous program of writing, with a new book progress at the time of his death. He undertook occasion A British Council scholarship funded him for a year at the teaching in Lebanon, lectured at the summer institute o London School of Economics, after which he studied with the European University in Florence, Italy, and participated the Committee on Social Thought at the Universityin ofat least on conference every year. His most rece Chicago, receiving his Ph. D. in 1964. His dissertation (later consultancies focused on the establishment of a center on published by Princeton University Press) was on Politics democracy at the American University in Beirut, and the and Change in a Traditional Society: Lebanon 1711-1845. of Kuwait American University. A new project founding From 1964, until his retirement from teaching in just getting started at I.U., of which he was one o 1998, he was affiliated with Indiana University in Bloomington, original planners, is a series of lectures promoting dialogu with frequent sojourns to the Middle East and North Africaand conflict resolution in the Middle East. for research, teaching, consultancies, and other projects. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Elsa Martson Har Dr. Harik taught courses on Middle Eastern government, three sons: Ramsay, a teacher living in Boston; Amah and political theory, the politics of development, and comparative a fitness studio proprietor in Providence, Rhode Island, politics. A hallmark of his work was the creative exploration and Raid, a software engineer in Austin, Texas. Other clo of new approaches to political theory and reality. He family members are his granddaughter, Savannah Harik, of sought to challenge conventional wisdom and to stimulate Walpole, MA; his sister Fadia in Medford, MA, who holds new thinking on contentious issues. a Ph. D. from Indiana University, and several nephews nieces in the U.S., most of whom studied at Ind Along with his U.S.-based career, Dr. Harik felt University. In Lebanon, he is survived by his mother Saleem called to contribute to intellectual and political discourse in the Middle his sisters Linda, Laudy, Angel, Illham, and Laura, and East, especially Lebanon. Towards this end, he published Kamal Abi-Saleh and niece Hala Abi-Saleh, also nephew several books in Arabic, including Who Rules Lebanon? I.U. graduate. His family losses are his father Farid, an Democratic Theory and Challenges of Modernity: Westernbrother Najib, and his sister Muna, a former I.U. stud and Islamic Perspectives, and The Arabs and the New International Economic Order. He served as visiting Hariks family are exploring ways to commemorate hi Dr. professor at universities in Lebanon and Cairo, and career a as teacher and scholar, probably by furthering was frequent participant and speaker at conferences in education in Lebanon - especially for students who, li the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S. His poetry and Iliya Harik himself, would not have been able to pursu fiction, published in Arabic, reveal a further dimension of his education without substantial help. Those who would their engagement with the cultural life of his homeland. make a gift in his memory for a project of th like to may contact Elsa Harik (1926 Dexter St. Bloomington, I In addition to his teaching, Dr. Harik helped establish and 47401; [email protected]; 812-332-3881). directed I.U.s Middle East Studies Center (1980-83). On
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vein, some citizens complained that their names had beenagainst democracy, freedom, and the Egyptian people crime left off of voter lists, while others were included on a single suffer under the rule of a corrupt government who now list multiple times or appeared on a number of different this, the amendments are expected not to have Despite lists. In addition, bribery on the part of NDP officials was impact on political life in Egypt. Indeed, th immediate widely reported. While cash bribes were apparently controlled government has long enjoyed an enormous NDP distributed throughout the capital, there were also outlandish of autonomy from the constitution, in many case amount reports of party members buying votes with candy. the luxury of ignoring it all together. However, having institutionalization of these amendments demonstrates the During a press conference on the steps of the Egyptian regimes desire to once and for all solidify an Mubarak Peoples Assembly, the President of the Muslim Brotherhood already suffocating grip on political life in Egypt. Parliamentary Bloc declared these