English Translation of the Tunisian Draft Constitution (post revolution)

The Tunisian National Constituent Assembly issued a draft constitution on Dec. 14, 2012. Civil society representatives in six of Tunisia’s 24 municipalities met with assembly members to discuss the text later that month. The National Constituent Assembly launched the initiative with the United Nations to “enhance citizens’ participation in the debate.” The following is a […]

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Syria’s rebels’ premature harvest and the moral crisis of militarism

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia*   ISIS fighters executing a civilian     On November 14, 2013, Abd al-Kader al-Saleh, commander of the powerful Tawhid Brigades, died. He was injured in an earlier airstrike that killed several of his group’s top leaders. In a matter of days, al-Tawhid Brigades—one of the armed wings of the Muslim […]

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Text of constitutional amendments: First three parts (articles 1-83) of Egypt’s constitutional amendments adopted by the 50-member committee

(Arabic Text) Part 1: The state Article 1 The Arab Republic of Egypt is a sovereign state, united, indivisible and inalienable. Its governance system is democratic and based on citizenship and the rule of law. The Egyptian people are part of the Arab world, work toward its integration and unification. Egypt is a part of […]

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One cannot ignore religion in social policy-making in the Middle East

by Rana Jawad* At long last governments and international development agencies are interested in social welfare and social protection issues in the MENA region (particularly in the Arab and Muslim-populated countries). Ten years ago this was a very different story. No one spoke of the need to protect citizens in the MENA region (except perhaps […]

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Why would Putin be happy with or without a U.S. war in Syria?

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* Talking to reporters after the conclusion of the G20 meeting, the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, declared that any military intervention in Syria without UNSC authorization is an illegal act of aggression. He also said that his country will supply (sell, that is) the Syrian government with weapons to defend itself. […]

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Egypt’s scorched earth: What is suggested here is that these assaults comprise an orchestrated plan to avenge by and for the Brothers

by Mariz Tadros*  Thursday was a day of funerals in Egypt. Most international actors have rightly condemned the ruthless violence witnessed against the pro-Morsi protestors, but with the exception of Catherine Ashton of the EU, they have turned a blind eye to the violence witnessed across the country over the course of the same day. […]

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A Media Microscope on Islam-Linked Violence: Selective reporting misrepresents Muslims as prone to killing

By Steve Rendall and Sara McCloskey The murder of British soldier Sgt. Lee Rigby on a London street in May received massive U.S. media attention. The brazenness of the attackers—who allegedly struck Rigby with a car in broad daylight before hacking him to death with bladed weapons—guaranteed coverage. That the crime was captured on videotape […]

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Islam and democracy

Tunisia at a crossroads  by Genevieve Theodorakis* A primary driver of the Tunisian revolution was the unanimous call for freedom of expression and mass participation in national politics. With the demise of the Ben Ali regime, Tunisians hoped their liberation would remove controls on freedom of speech and freedom of the press and further expand […]

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Iran New President: Breaking Hard diplomatic Moves of the Past

by Henelito A. Sevilla, Jr.* Recent development in Iranian presidential election demonstrate that socio-economic forces in the country were invisibly making serious efforts to make sure that a newly- elected president will address the pressing economic hardship being experienced by Iranian people. Such an economic hardship was a result of both Iranian previous government misguided […]

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Narratives of War in Islamic Societies–Whose side is God on?

Whose side is God on? by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* Abstract: The so-called Arab Spring ushered in a new era of conflict that is transforming Islamic societies in unprecedented ways. In the past two years, peaceful protests ousted some of the most ruthless dictators of the Arab world. Then, violent rebellions destroyed communities in Libya and […]

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Syrian opposition leader offers to talk to Assad regime

The president of the foreign-based opposition coalition, Mouaz al-Khatib, said on Wednesday that he was ready to hold talks with representatives of President Bashar al-Assad outside Syria (in Turkey, Egypt, or Tunisia) if authorities released 160,000 detainees and renewed expired passports to Syrians outside the country.  “I am prepared to sit down directly with representatives […]

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Analysis: The failings of the process of drafting and adopting the Egyptian constitution

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* The most convincing argument for rushing the vote on the new constitution is that having a new constitution will move Egypt from the transition stage into permanence and stability. True, a country governed by elected leaders under legitimate constitutional authority will shift the focus from politics to rebuilding. However, the constitution […]

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Virtues of a Constitution Written from Behind the Veil of Ignorance

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* Tunisian governing partners are engaged in a sterile debate over the form of government for the post authoritarian regime era. During its ninth congress, Ennahda threw its support behind a parliamentary system whereas leaders of other political parties prefer a modified presidential model. Subsequently, the interim government threatened to hold a […]

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Why did the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood change their mind about fielding a presidential candidate?

Kairat al-Shater News analysts and political commentators characterized the Muslim Brotherhood’s decision to field a presidential candidate as evidence that the group is willing to betray its own promises for political reasons. They point out other instances of flip-flopping. Immediately after the fall of Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) announced that it welcomed the democratic […]

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The End of Religious Idealism: Islamists bring religion down to earth

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* For decades, Tunisian Islamists, like their brethren in the rest of the Arab world, have preached an economic, social, and educational policy rooted in religious ethics. They taught that adhering to the ideals of Islam would ensure economic and social prosperity. For them, giving up on religious values for economic gains […]

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Turkey and Iran navigate the Middle East tense issues

via RCReadersFeed Ali Akbar Salihi and Ahmet Davutoğlu  Turkish Foreign Minister held a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salihi, in Tehran and reiterated his fear that the volatile Middle East might be headed for a new Cold War era unless a sectarian rift in Iraq is immediately mended. Ahmet Davutoğlu has urged Iranian […]

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The women of al-Nahda: faces of the new Tunisian republic

by Ahmed E. Souaiaia* Before January 14, 2011, al-Nahda was the main opposition group in Tunisia. No one, even its most severe critics, could question the fact that it was the most persecuted group in terms of the number of political prisoners, exiles, and disappearances. Its politics aside, al-Nahda did not shy away from challenging […]

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