A wave of religious fervour and a backlash by secular liberals has left some ordinary Egyptians feeling like strangers in their own country, and civil rights activists warn of a dangerous drift into sectarianism.
Egypt has temporarily shut 12 satellite channels and warned 20 others for reasons ranging from insulting religions to broadcasting pornography, although an analyst said the real target seemed to be strict Islamic trends.
(Photo: Presidents Christian Wulff (R) and Abdullah Gül, followed by wives Bettina (R) and Hayrünnisa, during official welcome in Ankara October 19, 2010/Umit Bektas)
When German President Christian Wulff recently declared that Islam “belongs to Germany,” Christian Democratic politicians there howled and Muslims living in Germany and Turkey cheered. Now Wulff, on an official visit to Turkey, has told the Turkish parliament that “Christianity too, undoubtedly, belongs to Turkey.” This time there was applause in Germany, and silence from the Turkish deputies listening to him in Ankara on Tuesday.
Hamburg may soon become the first German state officially to recognize Islam as a religious community and give its Muslims the same legal rights as Christians and Jews in dealing with the local administration.
Germany’s inflamed public debate about Islam and integration risks serious overheating as politicians compete to make ever tougher statements criticizing Muslims immigrants they accuse of refusing to fit in here.
(Photo: An imam leads prayers at Central Mosque in Hamburg October 8, 2010/Christian Charisius)
Radical Islamists from a shut down Hamburg mosque linked to the September 11 attacks on the United States are now trying to infiltrate other mosques in and around the German city, according to officials and Muslim leaders.
(Photo: Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan watches his wife Emine voting in a constitutional referendum, in Istanbul September 12, 2010/Osman Orsal)
Turkey has to re-interpret its principles of secularism to adapt to a changing society, an AK Party member in charge of drafting a new constitution said, joining a growing debate over the Muslim country’s identity.
Germany has announced it will fund Islamic studies at three state universities to train prayer leaders and religion teachers more in tune with Western society than the foreign imams preaching at most mosques here.
from Pakistan: Now or Never?:
Amil Khan has a post up at Abu Muqawama about last week's bombing at a Sufi shrine in Karachi and its implications for intra-Sunni conflict between Deobandi Taliban militants and people of the majority Barelvi sect: