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Blasphemy case highlights devastating impact of Saudi ultra-conservatism on Pakistani society

This week’s decision by Pakistan’s supreme court to delay ruling on an appeal in the country’s most notorious blasphemy case and the thousands of security personnel deployed in its capital, Islamabad, in anticipation of a verdict, lay bare the degree to which Saudi Arabia supported ultra-conservative worldviews abetted by successive Pakistani governments have changed the …

James Dorsey

Egyptian-Saudi tension: the honeymoon is reaching its end

I, like many others, was surprised by the sudden decision taken by Saudi Aramco to stop supplying Egypt’s needs of petroleum products, despite the agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia stating that the latter will secure Egypt’s requirements for petroleum products at 700,000 tonnes per month for five years. The value of the agreement between …

Hany Aboul Fotouh

Can Trump fix corporate tax loopholes that make him richer?

  Donald Trump believes that he is smart for paying no taxes, given that his business has been compliant with the tax codes. Recently, the debate about how to manage corporate tax loopholes has been on the rise, and many companies, such as Apple, came under fire. But the responsibility of addressing any backdoors in …

Ashraf El Khatib

A study in soft power strategy: Iceland 1, Qatar -1

The soccer soft power contrast between Qatar and Iceland speaks volumes. A comparison of the strategies of both countries demonstrates that it takes more than money to leverage soccer to create political, geopolitical, and economic opportunity. Money and world soccer body FIFA’s desire to take one of the world’s foremost sporting events beyond Europe and …

James Dorsey

JASTA could open a can of worms on 9/11

Now that congress has passed the ‘Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act’ (JASTA) into law, permitting individuals, including the family members of 9/11 victims, to sue a sovereign state for the actions of its nationals in contravention of international law, the door is open for a comprehensive independent investigation into events surrounding that earth-shattering day. …

Khalaf Al Habtoor

The other side of the coin: Arab Spring revolutions

I can say with a great deal of certainty that several years after the start of the Arab Spring, it has turned out to be a bitter winter. We would wake up every day as if nothing was around us except a dreadful nightmare. I call on you to look carefully at the economic conditions …

Hany Aboul Fotouh

Maspero: the rubbish of the Copts

The story of 28 Christians who were killed under the tanks or by the bullets of the Egyptian military the night of 9 October 2011 has already been told. Demonstrators moved from the Cairene neighbourhood of Shubra and along the shore of the Nile before they were violently dispersed in front of the state television …

Mina Ibrahim

Angela Merkel: crazy woman receives assistance from competitors

It is clear for those visiting Germany, reading about it, or working in or with it over recent years, that the refugee issue is no longer an internal matter only related to experts or whoever is interested. The issue seems to be an obsession, illness, or symptom of an incurable illness that will sweep all …

Hala Kindelberger

The Egyptian opposition and the illusion of the ‘unknown’ revolution

It seems that nearly seven years after the 25 January Revolution, some forces, elites, and platforms still have not absorbed the learned lessons. They have not given themselves the chance to reconsider their options in terms of dealing with the developments of the Egyptian political situation, as well as its security and objective aspects. Moreover, …

Walaa Gad Elkarim

The banks and the sinking boats

Who among us did not suffer when hearing the news of the over 200 souls who drowned in the sinking of an illegal migrant boat off Egypt’s coast? Most of them were young men who were desperate to realise the dream of becoming rich in Europe. In the end, they did not come to realise …

Hany Aboul Fotouh

Fighting for the soul of Islam: a battle of the paymasters

Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, an Islamist with close ties to Russian president Vladimir Putin, recently convened some of Islam’s most prominent leaders to determine the theologically and politically explosive question of who is a Sunni Muslim. Professing to be a Sufi, a more mystical interpretation of Islam, Kadyrov lacks the religious credentials beyond his native …

James Dorsey

Will Egypt fail?

Soaring prices—the topic du jour in every conversation across all social classes—is just one indicator of the dire economic situation in Egypt. Such pressures are accompanied by stagnant wages, companies laying off employees, and extreme difficulties for someone trying to find a new job. This is compounded by tough measures that are on the way, …

Noaman Khalid

Israeli-Palestinian struggle returns to the soccer pitch

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused world soccer body FIFA of allowing FIFA-sanctioned matches to be played on occupied land in the West Bank in violation of FIFA rules and has demanded that the group ensure that future games be staged within the borders of Israel prior to the 1967 Middle East war. The HRW …

James Dorsey

Judiciary: fighting graft needs muscles

When a survey on corruption was carried out in Ghana two years ago, more than eight out of every 10 Ghanaians (85%) said judges and magistrates were some of the most corrupt public officials in the country. On top of the list was the police (89%), while national government officials (86%) came second. The judiciary …

Franck Kuwonu

India and Africa rekindle trade ties

Until she travelled abroad when she started college, Zara Mwanzia had thought that chapati—the delicious bread she ate while growing up, which most Kenyans still eat—was a local delicacy. “I was surprised to find out that chapati actually originated from India,” she said, musing at how she had been wrong all those years. Zara could …

Pavithra Rao

Egypt hopes soccer will help polish its tarnished image

An Egyptian businessman with close ties to general-turned-president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has submitted a bid for the broadcasting rights of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in a move that is widely seen as an effort to polish the image of Egypt, tarnished by massive abuse of human rights, failing economic policies, and a military …

James Dorsey

Opinion: VW caught in the Dieselgate vortex

A year ago, Volkswagen had to admit it had rigged emissions in its diesel models in the US. Since then, the German carmaker has been fighting to win back lost confidence. A long road lies ahead, writes Henrik Böhme.

Deutsche Welle

IT leaders: from operator to innovator

IBM is one of the oldest companies in the IT industry, and they have become pioneers in the field. As pioneers, they are always leading the market towards huge transformations and revolutionary trends. IBM will introduce a glimpse of the next transformational era: the cognitive era. Cognitive technology means the ability of IT infrastructure to …

Miguel Vega

Turkey’s travails: purges worsen Ankara’s democracy deficit

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds Fethullah Gulen, the self-exiled conservative leader of Hizmet, one of the world’s biggest Islamic movements, responsible for the attempt to overthrow his democratically elected government. Erdogan asserts that Gulen’s followers infiltrated the military, police, judiciary, bureaucracy, and education system as well as the media. In response, he has arrested …

James Dorsey

A historic opportunity for Egypt with India and China

India learned its lesson from China, and knows that industrial development is the best way for India’s economy to grow. Prime minister of India Narendra Modi knows this very well. After he implemented this strategy in Gujarat, he ruled for 13 years and achieved a great deal of success. Therefore, after his appointment as prime …

Ali Waly