Egypt’s moderate Islamic TV extends reach with new languages

By Reuters Staff
June 6, 2010

azhar (Photo: Al Azhar mosque in Cairo, 10 March 2010/Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Egypt’s al-Azhar’s satellite channel that seeks to promote moderate Islam launched four language services to extend its reach to millions of Muslims worldwide, its designers said on Sunday.

Egypt court says Copts can remarry, church objects

May 31, 2010

Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo, December 11, 2005/Tara Todras-Whitehill

Egyptian Christians want action on “insulting” novel

May 6, 2010

Egyptian Copts celebrate the Feast of Assumption in Dronka, 400 km (310 miles) south of Cairo on August 21, 2008/Amr Dalsh

Film champions liberalism in conservative Egypt

By Reuters Staff
April 28, 2010

The great Giza pyramids and the Sphinx on March 27, 2010/Amr Abdallah Dals

A new film exploring issues of sexual freedom, polygamy and individuality has drawn media praise in Egypt, but its liberal message remains on the margins in the country’s conservative society. The appearance of Rasayel El Bahr, or Messages from the Sea, in Egyptian theatres is the latest indication of an easing of censorship rules, which film critics say reflects government efforts to counter Islamism.

Al-Azhar leader Sheikh Tantawi dies in Saudi Arabia

By Reuters Staff
March 10, 2010

Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi in Cairo September 16, 2006/Nasser Nuri

Sheikh Mohamed Sayed Tantawi, who as the head of Egypt’s most prestigious seat of Islamic learning al-Azhar was Sunni Islam’s top authority, died of a heart attack on Wednesday on a visit to Saudi Arabia, religious officials at al-Azhar said. He was 81.

Muslim Brotherhood to Egypt: Don’t squeeze out moderates

January 27, 2010

Mohamed Badie in an interview with Reuters in Cairo, 26 Jan/Asmaa Waguih

The new leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has said that  government efforts to squeeze Egypt’s biggest opposition group out of politics would only spur on “deviant” and potentially violent Islamic movements.  Mohamed Badie, 66, told Marwa Awad and Edmund Blair of the Reuters Cairo bureau the group would campaign in this year’s parliamentary election, but a state crackdown would likely prevent a repeat of its success in 2005 when it secured a fifth of the seats.

Shooting at Coptic Christmas highlights Egypt’s sectarian tensions

January 18, 2010
Nagaa Hamady

Ramadan decorations and a Coptic Orthodox church cross in Nagaa Hamady, 9 Jan 2010/Asmaa Waguih

Q+A-The Muslim Brotherhood’s influence on Egyptian politics

By Reuters Staff
January 17, 2010
badeea Mohamed Badeea at news conference in Cairo 16 Jan 2010/Asmaa Waguih

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the world’s oldest Islamist political group, has named a conservative as its new leader, suggesting that the country’s biggest opposition group may lower its political profile and focus on a social agenda.

Egypt Christian group seeks to change Muslim status

December 11, 2009

Egyptian Copts pray in a Cairo church , 21 April 2006/Goran Tomasevic

Ayman Raafa, an Egyptian born a Christian, was nine months old when the father he never knew converted to Islam. Now 23, Raafa is fighting to get the Christian faith he professes recognised by the state and registered on his identity documents vital to daily life.

IAEA’s ElBaradei bows out with prayer of St. Francis

November 28, 2009

elbaradei (Photo: ElBaradei addresses IAEA board of governors, 27 Nov 2009/Herwig Prammer)

Mohamed ElBaradei, a Muslim from Egypt, has finished his 12-year term as director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) quoting one of Christianity’s most popular prayers. In a short meeting at IAEA headquarters in Vienna on Friday, the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize laureate said that “the moment of departure is an opportunity to reflect upon a journey of joy, challenges, pleasure and fulfilment.” At the end of his career at the IAEA, which began in 1984 as a legal adviser, the world was “finally returning to its senses. People are speaking of a world free of nuclear weapons, of one human family and of a world that lifts people out of poverty.”