The relation between the religion of Islam and politics is hot topic that got even hotter after September 11. Sometime ago The Freedom House Organization issued an alarming report about democracy in Muslim countries. The question is: Is it Islam as a religion that is against democracy? or the fact that most of Muslim countries are dictatorships for historical / political reasons and religion is not a direct factor?
(Originally published in Cairo, 2001)
Freedom of expression in Egypt is a sensitive issue linked as it is to time-honored taboo subjects: sex, religion and politics. Suppression of freedom of expression by government authorities in Egypt covers literature and art. Most of the time it is unofficial, but whether expressed in writing or verbally, it is all-pervasive. From children’s songs as in the case of David and Goliath to serious writing as in the case of AUC professor Samia Mehrez’s book For Bread Alone, censorship affects society as a whole.