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Archive for April, 2017

Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah- Part – I-A. G. Noorani

Posted by admin On April - 15 - 2017 Comments Off on Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah- Part – I-A. G. Noorani


Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah’s record symbolizes, in its tragic rise and fall, the tragedy that befell the State of Jammu & Kashmir to which he was devoted. The people’s awakening and self-assertion are due to his brave leadership in revolt just as their bitter resentment is due to his abject surrender in the accord he concluded with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in February 1975. It is, of course, utterly unfair and unhistorical to view the past through the prism of today ignoring the changing contexts and compulsions he faced, particularly the roles of the leaders of the Indian National Congress and the All India Muslim League and their policies after the partition in India.

“Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah is the symbol of our aspirations”, his right hand man Mirza Afzal Beg exclaimed in 1968 on their release from interment since 1965. Sheikh Saheb’s record also symbolizes, in its tragic rise and fall, the tragedy that befell the State of Jammu & Kashmir to which he was devoted. The people’s awakening and self-assertion are due to his brave leadership in revolt just as their bitter resentment is due to his abject surrender in the accord he concluded with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in February 1975. It is, of course, utterly unfair and unhistorical to view the past through the prism of today ignoring the changing contexts and compulsions he faced, particularly the roles of the leaders of the Indian National Congress and the All India Muslim League and their policies after the partition in India.
The rival protagonists entered his life roughly around the same time, in the late 1930s, only to be disenchanted with him. Jawaharlal Nehru imagined that the Sheikh would emerge as an Indian Nationalist.
Quaid-c-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah wrote him off for the same reason. For all the twists and turns in his leading role in Kashmir’s politics, the Sheikh remained from the beginning to the end a staunch Kashmiri nationalist. Unlike some upstarts of today, he did not ride on a wave generated by others. He himself created a wave which exists to this day, despite subsiding momentarily at times.

A demeaning Stalinist rewriting of history began. Its authors fall into two groups. One is led by a leader whose ambition is to emerge as Sheikh Abdullah the second; Kashmir should accede to Pakistan and Pakistan should become an Islamic State. But Abdullah was great despite his grave flaws, failings and mistakes. They are petty and mean despite whatever few qualities they might possess. Unlike them, he stood for the unity of all the three parts of the State – the Valley, Jammu and Ladakh. It is no secret that at least one leader of the Hurriet secretly desires trifurcation of the State – in company with the RSS. The other group comprises the common people and the intelligentsia who are justly and deeply resentful of Abdullah’s goonda politics, authoritarian behaviour and corruption.
In 1947 the composition of the population province-wise was as follows: Kashmir Province 16,15,600 Muslims and 1,13,000 non-Muslims – 93.5% and 6.5% respectively: Jammu Province (excluding Poonch) had 8,34,000 and 7,27.480 – 53.4% and 46.6%, respectively; the Poonch Jagir had 3,82,700 Muslims and 39,000 non-Muslims; Gilgit-Baltisian together had 2,70,000 Muslims and 41,000 others -77% and 13% respectively. Ladakh Province was and is predominantly Budhist. The Kargil district – predominantly Muslim – was separated in 1979. In 1947, under the ruler Hari Singh’s leadership and that of his wife, Muslims of Jammu were brutally subjected to ethnic cleansing.
The 2011 census showed the Muslim population at 85.67 lakh {68.31% of the total population of 125.41 lakh) – and the Hindu population at 35.66 lakh (28.43% of the total).
Jammu and Kashmir originally had 14 districts – 6 each in the Kashmir and Jammu divisions, and 2 in Ladakh. Ten of these districts were Muslim-majority – 6 in Kashmir, 3 in Jammu and 1 in Ladakh (Kargil). Three districts had a Hindu majority and 1 had a Buddhist majority.
In 2006, 8 new districts were created, taking the total number of districts to 22. Of these, 17 have a Muslim majority – 10 in Kashmir, 1 in Ladakh. and 6 in Jammu. Hindus arc the majority community in 4 districts of the Jammu division; Buddhists arc the majority in Leh.
In the six districts in the Kashmir Province – Kupwara, Badgam, Baramulla, Srinagar, Pulwama and Anantnag – Muslims constitute between 94.59 to 98.24 per cent of the population. In the Jammu Province – Poonch, Rajouri and Doda have a Muslim majority (90.44, 62.71 and 60.71 per cent respectively). In the Jammu, Udhampur and Kathua districts, they comprise 7.02,30.21 and 8.82% of the population, respectively. However, as the then Chief Minister of State Dr. Farooq Abdullah pointed out, on 22 October 2000, a tehsil in Udhampur, Gool Gulab Garh would go to the Valley. So will three in Rajouri. In the Ladakh district 14.27% of the people are Muslims; in Kargil they are 76.87% (Zeeshan Sheikh: Indian Express: 30 December 2016).
There was a time when M.K. Gandhi wrote to the Kashmiri leader Pandit Prem Nath Bazaz, once an associate of Abdullah, in a letter on 15 May 1934 as follows: “I have gone through your paper. We are sowing as we have reaped. Seeing that Kashmir is predominantly Mussalman it is bound one day to become a Mussalman State. A Hindu prince, therefore, can only rule by not ruling i.e. by allowing the Mussulmans to do as they like and by abdicating when they are manifestly going wrong. This is ideal. What is expedient is more than I can judge.” (Bazaz; Kashmir In Crucible; Pamposh Publications, New Delhi; 1967; p. 176).
Given the communal diversities, Abdullah risked losing support in Jammu and Ladakh if he accepted the two-nation theory. He was genuinely opposed to it given his leftist ideological orientation. But he was also a devout Muslim. His main platform was the Hazralbal Shrine. Bazaz. who later fell out with him, persuaded him to convert the Muslim Conference to the National Conference. His pen-portrait of his colleague bears quotation in extenso.
“By far the most important of all the Conference leaders is Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, the man who has been the chief hero of the Kashmir movement and has been primarily responsible for the politics of the State during several years in the past. It would be no exaggeration to say that Sheikh Abdullah is the National Conference. Many legends came to be woven round his personality when he was at the zenith of his fame. At one time he was the most respected man among the Muslims, who conferred on him the title of ‘The Lion of Kashmir.’ I have seen people kiss the hand that touched his body. He was often mobbed by his devotees and at times had a narrow escape on such occasions. No one in the history of Kashmir has enjoyed so much popularity with the masses as he.
“Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was born in 1905 at Suwara, a village which is at a distance of only four miles from Srinagar. His parents died when he was a boy and he was brought up by his elder brothers. The family occupation was trade, and his father was a shawl merchant. But, like one of his elder brothers, young Abdullah was educated for some suitable Government job. He got his M.Sc. degree from the Muslim University, Aligarh, in 1930 and soon after found himself in the whirlpool of Kashmir politics.
“Mr. Abdullah has made supreme sacrifices for the national cause. Unlike so many of his earlier Muslim colleagues, he disdained to use his political influence for building his future career. When he could have easily become a high official of the Government if he had desired to become one, he chose to be a humble worker for his down-trodden countrymen. The nobility of his character will be valued very highly when one knows that all along he lived a poor life with no income except the small monetary help that his brothers continued to give him out of their earnings from the family trade. Sheikh Abdullah even denied himself the well-deserved membership of the Legislature, to which he could have been elected unopposed from any Muslim constituency in Kashmir. This supreme self-abnegation was really commendable and raised him in the estimation of all.
“Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah started his political career as a communalist. But he displayed a marvelous capacity to carry the Muslims on a path of progress. In this he had to face tremendous difficulties of great magnitude, but he proved equal to the task. His courage in changing the outlook of the Muslim politics was amazing. The conversion of a communal organization. lock, stock and barrel, into a national body is unparalleled in contemporary politics, and will remain unique feat in the political history of Kashmir….
“As a friend he is very lovable and sociable. He has no false sense of prestige; and when his pocket did not allow him to maintain a car, he began to ride a bicycle. But Mr. Abdullah has proved a great disappointment to his intellectual and progressive colleagues in the National Conference. He is a hater of books and no admirer of intellectual movements. Believe it or not but this is a fact that he has not read any history of Kashmir. …
“Mr. Abdullah is a devoted Mussalman and believes that much of his success has been due to the fact that he has been a true follower of Islam. In politics he is not sure where he is. He is tossed between communalism and nationalism and, oddly enough, sometimes even professes to be a socialist and gives a sermon to his audience on the subject of “Haves and Have-nots”. lie is a good mob-orator, though his speeches are not always responsible and balanced. He can indeed get angry in public and denounce and threaten and abuse like any dangerous demagogue. He hardly cares for facts and figures and, therefore, at times, comes to grief…
“Sheikh Abdullah showed a marvelous aptitude for progress till 1939. but when, soon after the formation of the National Conference. Muslim upper classes became vociferous, it appears that his faculty for further growth deadened and decay set in. The indifference of his Muslim colleagues, and his own. towards the intellectual side of the movement is mainly responsible for this set-back.” (Inside Kashmir: The Kashmir Publishing Co., Srinagar. 1941, pp. 344-350, a collector’s prize today). Razaz’s ego was not aiiy smaller than Abdullah’s. I le aspired to guide, if not control, the Sheikh. 13azaz was a follower of M.N. Roy, a former Communist who espoused “Radical Humanism1” Abdullah had his leftist friends like B.P.L. Bedi. He allowed Communists to claim his support, as Nehru did. But both pursued their own goals which conflicted and led to a bitter parting in 1952-1953..
The All India States People’s Conference was established in 1927 since the Indian National Congress officially disavowed any interference in the princely States; a policy which it soon discarded. Sheikh Abdullah was drawn towards it and its leading light. Jawaharlal Nehru who had emerged as a socialist and a strong opponent of the princely order.
By then the Sheikh had emerged as the foremost leader of the Kashmiris, with significant support in Jammu as well, The State’s educated youth was restive. Political parties were banned. On 12 April , 1930 Abdullah returned to Srinagar after an M. Sc. from the Aligarh Muslim University. Kashmir’s top leadership was educated there. A small Reading Room was set up in fulfillment of plans laid in Aligarh. Newspapers from Lahore were avidly read there. Greater Kashmir, a leading daily published from Srinagar. carried articles on its birth. Those by the historian Prof. Fida Muhammad Hussain on 11 August 2009 and by Tabassum Kashmir on 14 August 2009 were  very informative. Apparently the Reading Room was formally inaugurated on 8 May 1930. The best guide is Kashmir’s Fight For Freedom by Muhammad Yusuf Saraf, former Chief Justice of Azad Kashmir High Court, in 2 Volumes, published by Feroz Sons, Lahore in 1977-1979. They cover the period 1819- 946 in Vol. 1 and 1947-1978 in Vol. 2. It is a definitive study. The author was educated in Baramulah. Kashmir and at Aligarh. There soon emerged a Reading Room Party. Its members were politically aware and sought Muslims’ entry into the administration. Another account is in Ghulam Hassan Khan’s Freedom Movement in Kashmir (1931-1940); Light & Life Publishers: Jammu and New Delhi; 1980.
In response to its representation, the Cabinet Secretary invited a delegation for discussion. On 16 October 1930 Sheikh Abdullah and Abdul Aziz Fazili met him. Three milestones were crossed before Abdullah emerged as the sole leader. One was the killing often Muslims and injuries to a few others on 13 July 1931 in Srinagar which is still observed as Martyrs’ Day in Kashmir. A fateful fault line emerged.
Hindus were displeased at the revolt against Maharaja Hari Singh. A communal cleavage was palpable. Once the ban on political associations was lifted, an All Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference was formed. It held its first annual session at Srinagar on 15-17 October 1932.
The next milestone marked a change in the character of the movement. It was the conversion of the Muslim Conference into the National Conference. Baza/, claims, not altogether wrongly, to be a co¬author of the moves “for reorienting Kashmir politics on secular lines1′ with Abdullah since 1935. “On 1 August 1935, they jointly started a weekly Hamdard in Urdu to popularize the ideology and to lay the foundations of progressive nationalism in the State”. (P.N. Bazaz; The History of Struggle for Freedom in Kashmir, Pamposh Publications; 1954; p. 167. Most informative; but tinged with personal feelings of disappointment after the fall out with Abdullah).
The Sheikh made the proposal at the Sixth Annual Session of the Muslim conference as its President on 25 March 1938. “The demand for responsible government is not meant for eighty per cent Muslims alone but for all the inhabitants of the Slate therefore it is necessary to march together with the twenty per cent non-Muslims.” The Working Committee endorsed the proposal on 28 June 1939. So did a Special Session of the Muslim Conference on 11 June 1939. Chaudhari Ghulam Abbas supported the change despite his reservations. He changed his stance later. (Vide Saraf; Vol. 1; p. 539). Abdullah was also disappointed at the lack of the expected support from the Hindus (ibid., p. 547).
Abdullah became an enthusiastic supporter of the State’s Peoples’ Conference. It was in 1937 that he first met Nehru at the Lahore Railway Station. (Sheikh Abdullah’s autobiography Aatish-e-Chinar (1982) English translation The Blazing Chinar: Gulshan Books, Srinagar, Kashmir; 2013. p. 160). His amanuensis was one Mohammed Yusuf Teng. It bears huge and questionable traces of extravagant defamatory and embittered reckless aspersions on all and sundry. Remarks in bad taste tarnish the work. It was dictated when Sheikh Sahab was in declining health while Teng’s ambitions were on the rise. A strong bond was forged. Nehru’s claims to be a Kashmiri were false. His family had migrated to Delhi “during the reign of the Mughal King Farukh Sayyef.” Nehru was a true Allahabadi.
Abdullah first met Jinnah earlier in 1935 (Vide Abdullah: Chapter 30, Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Myself; p. 220). Jinnah had come to Srinagar as counsel in a case relating to a contested marriage which he won. Their paths diverged. In a speech at the Aligarh Muslim University Union on 6 April 1939. Jinnah said: “I have been to Kashmir and have seen the miserable lot of the Muslims. Some Muslim leaders specially Mr. Abdullah have been misled; they have fallen not into the hands of their friends but their foes just as many of our brethren in British India have fallen into the trap. Our first task is to rescue Muslims from falling into the clutches of their opponents. When you go to Kashmir ask your leader to spare the Muslim League and confine himself to the betterment of his own people. Many people who used to say that the Muslim League was in the wrong, today admit that it is right. I hope Mr. Abdullah for whom I have great respect, will also realize that we are right. We will help the Kashmiris but you must make the League stronger and avoid falling into the hands of our enemies. I am fully alive to the problem of Kashmir. I am sure with the co-operation of the Muslim League and the Muslims of Kashmir we shall yet rescue Kashmir.” (Waheed Ahmad: The Nation’s Vice, Speeches and Statements, March 1935 – March 1940; Quid-i-Azam Academy, 1992; p. 363. An invaluable volume).
By then, the All India Muslim League had begun taking a keen interest in the affairs of Hyderabad: especially the Muslim minority and the ruler the Nizam. Bahadur Yar Jung addressed annual sessions of the League. Criticising the League’s policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of the States, the Sheikh said: “How can we tie ourselves to you? You are the people who in a resolution in Patna threatened to create difficulties for the Congress in the affairs of the States. While we were in greater stress the Congress came to our rescue. It was the Congress which voiced our grievances and supported us. Maulana Zafar Ali has in a speech at Kapurthala declared that the Congress is an enemy of the Princes and they in the League are their friends and protectors. If that is right let me say clearly that we cannot be with those who want the present state of affairs to continue.”
He argued that there was no material difference in the position as it then existed in British India and Kashmir. Referring to Jinnah’s observation that for the achievement of India’s independence the majority community must win the confidence of the minority, Sheikh Abdullah said: ‘”Will anybody tell me how am I wrong, representing a majority community as I do, in trying to win the confidence of the minority community which happens to be the Hindus, the Sikhs and others in Kashmir? May I know what irreligious act am I committing in trying to take the minorities with me to have self-Government for the people? Is it not absurd that what is right here becomes wrong in the case of Kashmir?” (The Tribune; 14 April 1939; G.H. Khan; p. 371).
Saraf has documented Jinnah’s visits to Kashmir. The first was in the mid twenties with his wife Rattanbai, (affectionately called Ruttie; (Vol. 1; p. 619). The next visit was in 1936 for the civil suit. The last visit was in 1944, from May to 25 July. He stayed for two long months. It sadly led to a breach with Abdullah. He tried to bring about a merger of Abdullah’s National Conference and Chaudhri Ghulam Abbas’ Muslim Conference but failed. Both the parties had extended a royal welcome to him.
Jinnah spoke at the annual session of the Muslim Conference, held under the Presidentship of Ghulam Abbas, in the compound of the Jamia Masjid on 17 June 1944. He said: “I have also found that among the people who met me, 99% supported the Muslim Conference”. (Saraf s Vol. 1, p. 629). In truth Sheikh Abdullah held sway over the Valley while Ghulam Abbas held sway over Jammu. Nor had the Sheikh any significant support in the areas that now comprise Azad Kashmir (Saraf has a most detailed account of Jinnah’s trip not found elsewhere). He was present when Abdullah denied “using derogatory language about the Quaid-e-Azam” (p. 63). Saraf acknowledges that the Muslim Conference lacked “a presentable Kashmiri-speaking leader”.
Neither the Muslim League nor the Congress was impressed by Abdullah’s impetuous Quit Kashmir movement in 1946 which fizzled out earning him a long term in prison. At the trial he was defended by a Congress leader, Asaf Ali (Vide A.G. Noorani; India’s Political Trials’.Oxford University Press. New Delhi. 1999: for Abdullah’s account vide The Blazing Chinar; pp. 255-265).


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Frantz Fanon: Decolonisation through revolution-Chris Newlove

Posted by admin On April - 12 - 2017 Comments Off on Frantz Fanon: Decolonisation through revolution-Chris Newlove


A review of Peter Hudis, Frantz Fanon: Philosopher of the Barricades (Pluto Press, 2015), £12.99, Lewis R Gordon, What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to His Life and Thought (Fordham University Press, 2015), £28.49 and Leo Zeilig, Frantz Fanon: The Militant Philosopher of Third World Revolution (I B Taurus, 2016), £14.99

The last few years have seen a renewed interest among activists and within academia in the life and work of Frantz Fanon. The recent arrival in French of many of his previously unpublished letters, plays and writings will only add to this. Previous waves of interest have interpreted his work in completely divergent ways. Steve Biko, Che Guevara and Bobby Seale and Huey P Newton of the Black Panther Party were all inspired by Fanon in the 1960s and 1970s. The 1990s saw what became known as “Critical Fanonism” within academia in which Fanon’s revolutionary politics were downplayed, making him a thinker of “difference” and an opponent of a “unified theory of oppression”. The titles of two of the recent biographies under review, “Philosopher of the barricades” and “The militant philosopher of third world revolution” are clearly a reaction to this distortion. All three books skilfully mix details of Fanon’s life with his central ideas. This review will focus on Fanon’s major works on racism and decolonisation and his relationship with Marxism rather than the details of his extraordinary life, which can found elsewhere.1
Black Skin, White Masks
Black Skin, White Masks (BSWM), published in 1952, was originally intended as Fanon’s medical dissertation but was rejected by his professors for its unorthodoxy. It is both semi-autobiographical and transdisciplinary, engaging with philosophy, novels, autobiographies, poems, and psychological theory and case studies. The theorists discussed are similarly wide ranging, including Hegel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, Jean-Paul Sartre, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Anna Freud, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Alfred Adler and Jacques Lacan. BSWM, like all of Fanon’s work, focuses on the experiences of the oppressed in the context of wider structures of racism and colonialism. The book details black people’s experience of racism both in colonies such as Martinique (one of the so-called “overseas departments” of France) and imperial centres such as France itself.

Lewis Gordon spends a large part of his book discussing this influential work; similarly Peter Hudis gives a detailed overview while Zeilig gives a briefer introduction. Both Hudis and Gordon capture important aspects of this work but, typically of studies of Fanon, they differ in the themes they focus on. Hudis highlights how Fanon saw racism as arising from the profit motive that began to drive colonialism and slavery. Fanon states: “The Negro problem does not resolve itself into the problem of Negroes living among white men but rather of Negroes exploited, enslaved, despised by a colonialist, capitalist society that is only accidentally white”.2 As Gordon notes, BSWM has many descriptions of the “infernal hell” of the individual lived experience of racism.3 However, as Hudis points out, this should not obscure the fact that Fanon saw racism as structural discrimination built into capitalism.4 Both colonies that practise legal discrimination and so-called democracies like France were described as “racist societies” by Fanon. Gordon, putting a Freudian psychoanalytical spin on the term “failing”, shows how BSWM documents different responses to racism and point out the various “failings” of these responses.5

However, I prefer to see these “failings” as “strategic”. In BSWM we get accounts of racism mainly based on autobiographies or Fanon’s experience of “assimilationist” responses to racism. These include black people from France’s colonies learning to speak French well, becoming formally educated, using psychoanalytical techniques and marrying white partners. These strategies of attempting to be accepted into a racist society or even to be accepted as white are shown to fail for two main reasons. One reason is that they do not take into account black people’s experience of racism—this is the case with many of the psychoanalytical theories mentioned. The second reason which unites all the failed strategies of BSWM is that they are individual solutions to a structural problem. Fanon inverts Sartre’s phrase from Anti-Semite and Jew when he says “I am overdetermined from without”.6 In other words, black people cannot avoid being seen as black in a racist society regardless of the “assimilationist” strategies employed. Some people have read Fanon’s descriptions of black people attempting to be “white” through marrying white partners as evidence of opposition to “interracial relationships”. But, as Gordon highlights, only when the basis of the relationship is seen as achieving “whiteness” is the effort seen as a form of failure.7 I would also add the autobiographical detail that Fanon’s partner Marie-Josephe Dublé-Fanon, who transcribed the majority of his works, was a white woman.

One of the most important aspects of BSWM is its discussion of Négritude. Négritude could be described as a proto-black pride movement centred around the poetry of black intellectuals from France’s colonies. Particularly important is Aimé Césaire who, like Fanon, came from Martinique and whom Fanon met.8 BSWM outlines the pride felt by Fanon as he discovered African sculptures or the inversion of stereotypes about black people envisioned as positives for example black people as being closer to nature or able to understand rhythm in a way white people cannot.

Both Gordon and Hudis suggest that Fanon, who was particularly influenced by Sartre, broke from him at this point; they state “Sartre seemed unforgiveable”9 and that Fanon felt “shocked” and “betrayed” by him.10 Sartre wrote a supportive preface to a collection of Négritude poetry, Anthology of the New Negro and Malagasy Poetry in French that has since been known as “Black Orpheus”.11 Fanon accuses Sartre of destroying “black zeal”12 for describing Négritude as “the minor term of a dialectical progression”,13 from the concrete and particular term of racial identity to the abstract and universal term of the proletariat.

However, Fanon’s response is not actually a rejection of Sartre’s central argument, but an expression of dismay that he is right. As Fanon says, “I needed not to know”14 and Sartre “shattered my last illusion”.15 What Fanon does criticise Sartre for is not being Hegelian enough in neglecting the fact that each term of a dialectical progression has to be lived out “absolutely”.16 “Black Orpheus” itself is predominantly positive about Négritude, its criticisms being on a par with Fanon’s in BSWM although taken out of context; Sartre’s phrase “minor term” can confuse the overall tone of the preface. That being said Sartre’s phrasing of the relationship between class and race is a regression compared to Anti-Semite and Jew. In this work Jewish people are supported in living a Jewish identity and Sartre demands that the wider working class fight antisemitism. Hudis interprets Fanon’s anger at Sartre skipping over Négritude to mean that in trying to achieve a world without racism “any effort to reach such a goal by skipping over the particular demands, struggles and subjectivites of specific forces of revolt” would be a dead end.17

BSWM ends with a call to revolutionary action to destroy racism. Fanon challenges the idea that there is anything essential about a person’s “race” stating “there is no Negro mission, there is no white man’s burden”.18 He looks forward to the day when there will be “mutual recognition” among black and white people, the day when the struggles of black people in America result in a “majestic” “monument” of a “white man and a black man hand in hand”.19 He references the Viet-Minh’s statement in their fight against French colonialism that has more recently become famous through the Black Lives Matter movement: “It is not because the Indo-Chinese has discovered a culture of his own that he is in revolt. It is because ‘quite simply’ it was, in more than one way, becoming impossible for him to breathe”.20

Fanon sees the cultural pride of Négritude as a first step in fighting racism; however, he ultimately rejects it for reinforcing stereotypes about black people. He is fighting for a world in which black people are recognised as humans. Fanon says “it is the racist who creates his inferior” just as the antisemite creates the Jew in Sartre’s work.21 Zeilig sees a tension between individual and collective strategies within BSWM; he reads the phrase “I am my own foundation” as a sign of individualistic solutions. The phrase, however, means Fanon does not want to be trapped into being a “black” person with essential characteristics as defined by a racist society. It is clear that Fanon sees collective struggle as the only way to fight racism. What form this collective struggle would take only becomes apparent with Fanon’s critical involvement in anti-colonial struggle within Algeria.


Studies in a Dying Colonialism (originally published in French as Year Five of the Algerian Revolution) is a lesser known work compared to BSWM or The Wretched of the Earth. The work represents Fanon’s experiences as a member of and journalist for the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN), who were fighting an armed struggle against French colonialism from 1954 until 1962 when Algeria became independent. The book was dictated in 1959 in just three weeks. Its central theme is how people’s consciousness changes in struggle. People join movements with a variety of contradictory ideas; it is during collective struggle that people become confident and open to new possibilities.

Zeilig highlights the importance of the chapter on the veil: “Algeria Unveiled”. Fanon describes how “servants under threat of being fired, poor women dragged from their homes, prostitutes, were brought to the public square and symbolically unveiled to the cries of ‘Vive l’Algérie française! [Long Live French Algeria!]’”, with the result that “Algerian women who had long since dropped the veil once again donned the haik, thus affirming that it was not true that woman liberated herself at the invitation of France and of General de Gaulle”.22 The veil was used as a sign of resistance to French colonialism. As the military and police eventually realised, women in the FLN hid weapons under their veils. Then they switched to dressing in “European” fashion to avoid suspicion when coming through checkpoints to carry out attacks. The book documents the growing role of Algerian women involved in the struggle and is clearly a rejection of the now familiar rhetoric of imperialist powers attempting to “save” Muslim women espoused at the time.

Fanon’s involvement in the Algerian struggle meant he was well placed to observe aspects of what we now call Islamophobia. In an earlier speech he made in 1956 at the First Congress of Black Writers and Artists Fanon discussed the shift to cultural racism after the Nazi regime discredited biological racism.23 He talks about how racism has to “adapt itself, to change in appearance”,24 about how “cultural style” is attacked, blending “with the already famous appeal to the fight of the ‘cross against the crescent’”.25 Hudis unconvincingly attempts to portray Fanon as a critic of Islamism (which was not a dominant trend in national ­liberation movements at that point), stating he is in no way “uncritical” of the wearing of the veil and he would not have formed a united front with Islamists.26 The fact that the FLNs’ foundational statement in 1954 called for an independent Algeria “consistent with Islamic principles” is left out of Hudis’s account. When in power sections of the FLN encouraged Islamism from the mid-1970s onwards, the rise of which and the regime’s efforts to suppress it would eventually lead to civil war in the 1990s.

In Studies of a Dying Colonialism we see in somewhat exaggerated form the effect struggle can have on everyday life in relation to the family, radio, medicine and the veil. However, as Zeilig points out, we get little sense of the contradictions and difficulties of decolonisation. These themes would be taken up in Fanon’s most famous work The Wretched of the Earth, dictated while he was dying of leukaemia. Zeilig describes its scope as “massive” encompassing “the degeneration of national liberation movements, military coups, national culture and case notes from patients undergoing psychiatric treatment”.27 The overarching themes are the potential pitfalls that national liberation movements can run into. It is based on Fanon’s experience of the FLN and his tours of newly independent nations during his role as ambassador to Africa for the provisional government of Algeria (GPRA). Fanon described himself as a Pan-Africanist, seeking political unity of independent states and movements fighting colonialism. In the chapter “On National Culture” based on his speech to the Second Congress of Black Artists and Writers he outlined the nature of this unity. He was against attempting to make a homogenous black or African identity based on culture: “there is no common destiny to be shared between the national cultures of Senegal and Guinea; but there is a common destiny between the Senegalese and Guinean nations which are both dominated by the same French colonialism”.28 Similarly, he pointed out the different problems Langston Hughes from the United States faced compared to Léopold Senghor from Senegal. He angrily noted the hypocrisy of those like Jacques Rabemananjara, a minister in the Madagascan government, who spoke about African cultural unity but voted against Algerian independence in the UN. Fanon calls for the political unity of those who suffer racism and colonialism, a unity based on struggle rather than a cultural unity based on a mythologised past or present.

This unity, however, does not encompass the capitalists of the colonised country after independence who are described variously as “numerically, intellectually and economically weak”29 or in slightly stronger terms as “flesh-eating animals, jackals and vultures which wallow in the people’s blood”.30 Fanon saw how the capitalist class could not be expected to lead a struggle for independence but also how they would be willing to make compromises with former colonial powers to maintain their profits after independence. He described the situation in which governments are economically dependent on former colonial powers as “neo-colonialism”. In more recent times the term captures well the role of the US in imposing IMF loans on African and Latin American countries in exchange for extortionate trade deals and neoliberal “structural readjustment” in which welfare is privatised. However, the term has also been used to let off the hook “indigenous” capitalists in former colonies who exploit their own people and weaker states—hardly an outcome Fanon would have been likely to support.

Much of the discussion of The Wretched of the Earth focuses on the chapter “Concerning Violence” and Fanon’s advocacy of armed struggle against colonialism. As Zeilig points out, part of this focus can be put down to Sartre’s over-enthusiastic fixation on the question of violence in the preface to the book. In line with his consistent focus on how people change through struggle, Fanon states that “at the level of individuals, violence is a cleansing force. It frees the native from his inferiority complex and from his despair and inaction”.31 He is in no way blind to the negative consequences of violence as is highlighted in the psychological case notes at the end of The Wretched of the Earth. His main mistake on this question is to have believed that a violent struggle against colonialism would make compromise with former colonial powers less likely. As has been shown by Zimbabwe and South Africa this is not the case. Fanon is more accurate when he points to the lack of “ideology” of national liberation movements as a central weakness. The struggles, sometimes fatal, within the FLN tended to be about control or tactical considerations rather than competing worldviews, their statements remaining vague on what an independent Algeria would look like. Was this call for ideology a call for Marxism? It is on the question of Fanon’s relationship with Marxism that Gordon, Zeilig and Hudis diverge the most.


While Gordon sees Fanon as a critic of classical Marxism, Hudis refers to him as a humanist Marxist and Zeilig describes Fanon “engaging” with Marxism. The accounts vary to some extent but most agree that Fanon was around the French Communist Party (PCF) and potentially Trotskyists in Lyon. One of the main influences on him as a psychiatrist was François Tosquelles, who was a member of the POUM (Workers Party of Marxist Unification) during the Spanish Revolution. Fanon also had discussions with Jean Ayme and Pierre Broué, Trotskyists involved in the International Communist Party, and the anarchist Daniel Guérin. Fanon was said to have read the proceedings of the first four congresses of the Third International.32 As Hudis points out, Fanon’s work contains frequent references to Marx, particularly The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.

Hudis also notes that the other major influence on Fanon’s work is Sartre who was developing his brand of Marxism at the time. Gordon attempts to put distance between Fanon and Sartre with the “break” in BSWM, even describing how Sartre might have come across as a “white reaper”33 when he was at Fanon’s bedside while he was dying. Gordon rightly makes the point that works about Fanon often reduce him to the influence on him of white philosophers. However, his book tends to stretch too far in the opposite direction, downplaying Sartre’s and Fanon’s mutual admiration. Fanon, after being diagnosed with leukaemia, chose to speak to FLN fighters about Sartre’s book Critique of Dialectical Reason. Zeilig gives the political context to why Fanon rejected organisations of the French left. The Socialist Party (the Labour-style party) and the French Communist Party both voted for “special measures” violently to suppress the movement for Algerian independence. The Trotskyist groups were small in number, although one did support the FLN materially. The other supported the FLN’s rival, Messali Hadj’s Algerian National Movement (MNA).

Gordon explains that Fanon’s identification of the peasantry and the lumpen-proletariat as revolutionary subjects goes against the classic Marxist focus on the working class. Zeilig highlights the influence examples of guerrilla armies in Vietnam, China and Cuba—theoretically based on the peasantry—and the shift in FLN tactics to rural warfare had on Fanon’s views. This led Fanon to downplay the role of the working class within colonies, stating that it has the power to shut down the country but is bought off through its greater living standards compared to the peasantry. However, as Hudis and Zeilig both point out, the working class often did play a key role, for example in overthrowing colonialism in Nigeria and apartheid in South Africa. Furthermore, Algerian independence came on the back of protests and riots by the Algerian working class.

Fanon’s version of “New Humanism” represents a mix of ideas. He both rejects the free market and criticises nationalisation for changing one elite for another. Instead he favours direct democracy as based on rural communities. Zeilig’s work is the strongest on Fanon’s relationship with Marxism, placing it in historical context without being uncritical. Zeilig’s book draws on Tony Cliff’s concept of “deflected permanent revolution”, which is crucial to understanding how the high hopes of decolonisation often resulted in undemocratic and unequal regimes.


All three biographies add to our understanding of Fanon’s life and work. Gordon presents an illuminating account of Fanon’s life and BSWM from a psychoanalytical perspective. He engages with other works and interpretations in a useful way. As with many of Fanon’s readers, Gordon uses a more orthodox psychoanalytical approach than Fanon used in BSWM, for example. Occasionally this can lead to speculation about Fanon’s motives which can be jarring.

Hudis’s and Zeilig’s accounts are better places to start for those less familiar with Fanon’s life and work. Hudis describes Fanon’s main philosophical influences as Hegel, Sartre and Marx. As Mercier points out sometimes this can be reductionist, for example when he attempts to fit the structure of the argument of BSWM into the “Hegelian” schema of singular-particular-universal.34 All of the biographers neglect the fact that Fanon’s version of Hegel is based on Alexandre Kojève’s reading of the master/slave dialectic in Hegel’s The Phenomenology of Spirit. Zeilig puts Fanon in historical and political context utilising the Marxist tradition associated with this journal. From South Africa to France and Britain, activists are again making use of Fanon’s work and taking inspiration from his revolutionary life. All three books show that Fanon has many lessons for movements against racism, imperialism and capitalism for today.


1 Zeilig, 2012.

2 Fanon, 2008, p156.

3 Gordon, 2015.

4 Hudis, 2015.

5 Gordon, 2015.

6 Fanon, 2008, p87.

7 Gordon, 2015, p35.

8 Zeilig, 2016.

9 Gordon, 2015 p57.

10 Hudis, 2015, p49.

11 Sartre, 1951.

12 Fanon, 2008, p103.

13 Fanon, 2008, p101.

14 Fanon, 2008, p103.

15 Fanon, 2008, p105.

16 Hudis, 2015, p45.

17 Hudis, 2015, p54.

18 Fanon, 2008, p178.

19 Fanon, 2008, p173.

20 Fanon, 2008, p176.

21 Fanon, 2008, p69.

22 Fanon, 1989, p62.

23 Fanon, 1967, p29.

24 Fanon, 1967, p32.

25 Fanon, 1967, p33.

26 Hudis, 2015.

27 Zeilig, 2016, p180.

28 Fanon, 2001, p188.

29 Fanon, 2001, p142.

30 Fanon, 2001, p154.

31 Fanon, 2001, p74.

32 Jean Ayme the Trotskyist gave him the transcripts. They “reportedly held a great fasciniation for Fanon”—Hudis, 2015, p79.

33 Gordon, 2015, p134.

34 Mercier, 2016.


Fanon, Frantz, 1967, Toward the African Revolution (Grove Press).

Fanon, Frantz, 1989 [1959], Studies in a Dying Colonialism (Earthscan).

Fanon, Frantz, 2001 [1961], The Wretched of the Earth (Penguin).

Fanon, Frantz, 2008 [1952], Black Skin, White Masks (Pluto).

Gordon, Lewis R, 2015, What Fanon Said: A Philosophical Introduction to his Life and Thought (Fordham University Press).

Hudis, Peter, 2015, Frantz Fanon: Philosopher of the Barricades (Pluto Press).

Mercier, Lucie, 2016, “Fanon’s Pantheons”, Radical Philosophy (July/August), www.radicalphilosophy.com/reviews/individual-reviews/fanons-pantheons

Sartre, Jean-Paul, 1964 [1951], “Black Orpheus”, Massachusetts Review, volume 6, issue 1, http://massreview.org/sites/default/files/Sartre.pdf

Zeilig, Leo, 2012, “Pitfalls and Radical Mutations: Frantz Fanon’s Revolutionary Life”, International Socialism 134 (spring), http://tinyurl.com/j9exk3e

Zeilig, Leo, 2016, The Militant Philosopher of Third World Revolution (I B Tauris).

Note: This article is for educational purposes. Its reproduction, in any form, can be had with the permission of the author/publisher whose original link ,from where it is reprodced, is given above.

Egypt’s Resilient and Evolving Social Activism-AMR HAMZAWY

Posted by admin On April - 12 - 2017 Comments Off on Egypt’s Resilient and Evolving Social Activism-AMR HAMZAWY

With the decline of party politics in Egypt, social activism is becoming increasingly relevant in the fight against the government’s new authoritarian policies and tactics. While Egypt’s ruling generals have developed a tight grip on power in virtually every sector of society, various activist groups have had at least some success in holding the government accountable for human rights abuses. It will take many more victories to counteract the entrenched repression, but these groups offer the best hope for changing Egypt’s current reality.

The Struggle
Since 2013, four anti-authoritarian platforms—led by young activists, professional associations, student groups, and workers and civil servants—have shaped social activism in Egypt.
Spontaneous eruptions of popular anger have also become politically significant.
In contrast, opposition parties have become less significant. Unable to carve out a stable, independent role in Egyptian politics, they are gradually turning to activist initiatives to exert some influence.
Young activists remain committed to single human rights causes, primarily focused on extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, or torture in places of custody.
Certain professional associations—particularly the Syndicate of Doctors and Syndicate of Journalists—have ramped up their demands for autonomy and freedoms of expression and association.
Students are challenging the security services’ interference in their affairs and the presence of government and private security forces on campuses.
Workers and civil servants remain highly engaged, continuing to voice the economic and social demands of organized labor.
Citizens have frequently taken to the streets to protest specific government policies and practices, as well as accumulating human rights abuses.
The Impact
The government is using repression, undemocratic legal frameworks, and aggressive judicial tools to try to extinguish social activism. A large number of activists have been detained and arrested.
Yet, the activism has restored pluralist politics to professional associations and increased popular awareness of the daily instances of repression.
Labor activism has not been quashed, despite the banning of independent unions and the frequent referral of protesters to military courts; nor has the government’s renewed co-optation of the General Union of Egyptian Workers silenced the protesting of deteriorating economic and social conditions.
The government’s tactics have also failed to vanquish student activism. Students continue to hold protests and have successfully mobilized against pro-government candidates in student union elections.
The frequency of popular protests has resulted in a relatively effective push back against the impunity of police personnel implicated in human rights abuses.
Amr Hamzawy
Senior Fellow
Middle East Program
Democracy and Rule of Law Program

More from this author…
How Sisi Is Destabilising Egypt
Egypt’s Secular Political Parties: A Struggle for Identity and Independence
Legislating Authoritarianism: Egypt’s New Era of Repression
Egypt’s ruling generals are cracking down on civil society and secular opposition parties and severely inhibiting Islamist movements. The regime has empowered the security services to exercise outright repression and since 2013 has enacted numerous undemocratic laws with little resistance from a submissive legislature. Meanwhile, the media has propagated populist rhetoric that legitimates the unchecked power of the generals and ridicules demands for democratic alternatives.

In the face of this holistic repressive campaign, various pro-democracy politicians and opposition parties have grown demoralized and lost hope. For them, the current Egyptian reality offers few opportunities to effect democratic change and protect human rights. Thus, at first glance, it seems that the new authoritarian government has succeeded in equating the post-2011 brief democratic opening with chaos and the worsening of social and economic conditions. Egypt’s civil society appears to be dominated by the military establishment and overshadowed by the double-sided image of an authoritarian government and a powerless opposition—reflecting just how effective the crackdown on liberal, leftist, and Islamist parties has been.

Since 2013, popular protests spearheaded by young activists, professional associations, student groups, and the labor movement have been shaping Egypt’s reality.
However, this picture ignores another crucial narrative: the emergence of resilient and adaptable social activism. Since 2013, popular protests spearheaded by young activists, professional associations, student groups, and the labor movement have been shaping Egypt’s reality as much as individual initiatives taking on human rights abuses and police brutality. These actors are linked by the absence of ideology and partisan banners and by their resilience to authoritarian tools and tactics. They hold the promise of restoring a degree of openness in the public space and of reviving pluralist politics despite the generals’ stiff resistance.


Parties on the right and left have taken one of two positions since the 2013 coup: either endorse or condemn the policies of the new authoritarian government. Neither position has prevented the decline of the parties’ political roles.1 Egyptian parties—facing a government that interferes systematically in elections to organize comfortable majorities and a security apparatus determined to restrict their outreach activities and to drown them in internal conflicts—have not been able to carve out a stable and independent space for their role in politics. The reality of marginalization has pushed some parties to deprioritize politics and move closer to collective actors such as student groups and the labor movement in the hopes of escaping the authoritarian grip. However, there too the government has limited the parties’ role using intimidation and prosecution.

Signs of Unwavering Support
Despite the current landscape, some political parties have opted to collaborate with the ruling generals to embed themselves in the legislative and executive branches of government. Their positions are not changing, even as the hegemony of the military establishment and security services is rising within the state apparatus and in key sectors of society. This trend is manifested most clearly in the ascendancy of the former minister of defense, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to the presidential office in 2014 and in the expansion of the army’s role in the economy.

Some political parties have opted to collaborate with the ruling generals to embed themselves in the legislative and executive branches of government.
Notable among these groups are the New Wafd Party, the Free Egyptians Party, the Congress Party, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, the Nation’s Future Party, the Democratic Front, and the National Progressive Unionist Party. The Wafd and Social Democratic parties led the formation of the first cabinet after the 2013 coup and enjoyed strong representation in the Constituent Assembly tasked with amending the country’s constitution. Other parties, including the Free Egyptians, Nation’s Future, and Congress parties, have endorsed governmental policies without equivocation and have been rewarded with parliamentary representation.

In the 2015 parliamentary elections, the pro-authoritarian parties nominated candidates and won seats in the House of Representatives.2 The Free Egyptians Party gained sixty-five seats, while the Nation’s Future and Wafd parties won fifty-three and thirty-five seats, respectively. Smaller parties also won seats: for example, twelve seats went to the Congress Party, four seats to the Social Democratic Party, and one seat to the Unionist Party.3 Although the security services promoted non-party-affiliated candidates and made sure they earned a majority of the seats, the pro-authoritarian parties, apart from the Social Democratic Party, have not faltered in their support for the ruling generals.

These parties also continue to tout the government’s populist rhetoric.4 They describe the 2013 coup as a revolution against Islamist fascism, deny the role of the military establishment and security services in human rights abuses, and frequently blame the Muslim Brotherhood—and less frequently pro-democracy groups—for sowing the seeds of violence and instability in Egypt.5 The leftist Unionist Party, for example, issued a statement in June 2015 lauding the 2013 coup:

[It] was an unprecedented popular revolution that aimed to save the Egyptian society and the nation from the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood and to end the rule of the Brotherhood’s Guidance Office. It saved Egypt from conspiracies (put forward by domestic, regional, and international enemies) to break up the state and destroy the nation’s army. It saved Egypt from the terrorist militias of the Muslim Brotherhood that violently tried to tear our society along sectarian, religious, and ideological dividing lines.6

The liberal-leaning Free Egyptians Party has employed similar rhetoric to mythologize the coup as a revolution and to portray the ruling generals as saviors and modernizers.7 The party stated that it was necessary to maintain the 2013 revolutionary spirit to “carry out the more important revolution: the revolution of work, production, knowledge, and social revolution and the revolution in religious discourse.”8 In various other statements, it frequently used the government’s assertions that Egypt was on the path to a democratic transition and that the creation of a modern civil state and the emancipation of politics from religion were in sight.9 The party has even accused the Muslim Brotherhood of being driven by fascists and supporting terrorism, while claiming that the military establishment and security services are being unjustly implicated in human rights abuses.10

Signs of Opposition
While some parties have shown unwavering support, others have opposed the generals from the beginning or have switched to emerging opposition platforms over time. Several liberal and leftist parties have distanced themselves from the new authoritarian government as of early 2017, after initially siding with the generals as they performed the 2013 coup and remaining silent about their crackdown on voices of dissent and pro-democracy groups.

While some parties have shown unwavering support, others have opposed the generals from the beginning or have switched to emerging opposition platforms over time.
For example, the Constitution Party participated extensively in the immediate post-coup power arrangement. Mohamed ElBaradei, the party’s founder, was appointed vice president on July 9, 2013.11 Other key figures participated in the first cabinet after the coup and in the Constituent Assembly.12 However, ElBaradei resigned on August 14, 2013, in protest of the forced dispersal and mass killing of Muslim Brotherhood supporters during their sit-ins. He accused the government of violating basic human rights and shedding blood instead of searching for political solutions to the Islamist opposition to the coup. Since the founder’s resignation, party leaders have gradually begun to oppose the ruling generals and their new authoritarian tactics.

Other parties have found themselves in similar situations, most notably the left-leaning Socialist People’s Alliance Party and the Nasserist Dignity Party. Along with several smaller liberal and leftist parties, they coalesced to form a platform named the Democratic Current.13 Since late 2013, the Democratic Current has grown more vocal in its opposition. It has issued several statements to condemn the passing of undemocratic laws, such as the Protest Law and the Terrorism Law, and to call on the government to end human rights abuses, including torture, forced disappearances, and the referral of civilians to military trials.14 In the 2014 presidential election, the Democratic Current refused to support Sisi and instead backed Hamdeen Sabahy, a leftist political veteran and a founding member of the Dignity Party.15

The opposing platform has pushed back against the government’s repression, condemning the detention for political purposes of scores of young Egyptians, the involvement of the security services in torture, and the use of excessive force against peaceful demonstrators and protesting workers.16 It has supported independent nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) facing rising pressure from the government—including forced closures and the banning of various activists from travel.17 And it has stood in solidarity with workers’ groups and members of professional associations defending the freedoms of association and expression.18

As a result of its efforts, the Democratic Current continues to garner the support of other disenchanted parties, such as the Social Democratic Party.19 This party repositioned itself after severe internal tensions and resignations en masse, led by the party’s foremost pro-authoritarian members.20 The opposition also includes parties that did not endorse the 2013 coup from the beginning. As the ruling generals were ascending to power in 2013 and 2014, these parties moved from reserved opposition to full-fledged rejection. The Strong Egypt Party, with semi-liberal and semi-religious leanings, emerged in this context, as did the Bread and Freedom Party that has garnered the support of young leftist activists and students.21 Both parties boycotted the 2014 presidential and 2015 parliamentary elections because of the government’s systematic interference that undermined any democratic potential. They have also criticized the government’s involvement in human rights abuses and collaborated with young activist protesters, student groups, professional associations, and the labor movement.22

In a formal political arena controlled by the military establishment and security services, making critical statements about official policies has become the opposition’s primary tool. Some independent parliamentarians, as well as the few parliamentarians representing the Democratic Current and the Social Democratic Party, have used their seats to establish a parliamentary coalition that has become an opposing voice in the House of Representatives.23 Yet, the sweeping pro-government majority has sustained the rubber-stamp character of Parliament and has ensured that the body’s legislative and oversight roles remain limited.24 The government’s tight grip on power continues to successfully marginalize political parties and quell their opposition efforts.

Little Challenge to the Authoritarian Surge
The growing opposition of some liberal and leftist parties has not prevented the generals from closing the pubic space or mocking formal politics. Statements condemning undemocratic laws have not forced the government to change its position.25 Similarly, increased criticism of human rights abuses has not discouraged the security services from conducting wide-scale repression.26 The Democratic Current and other opposing political parties have been unable to stymie the oppression of independent NGOs, professional associations, and organized labor. In other words, the actions of opposition parties have not elicited any real change in the policies that the government has implemented since 2013, nor in the power arrangement that emerged to subjugate citizens and society to the domination of the military establishment and security services.27

The growing opposition of some liberal and leftist parties has not prevented the generals from closing the pubic space or mocking formal politics.
In fact, the government’s response has been to implement even harsher policies. For example, in 2016, members of the Syndicate of Doctors publicly protested repeated police attacks on physicians and nurses administering medical support in public hospitals.28 To demonstrate solidarity and support, representatives of various opposition parties attended a general assembly held by the syndicate.29 Immediately after the meeting, citing the politicization of the doctors’ protests (through party involvement), the government moved legally and judicially to crush the syndicate.30

Similar events unfolded in the spring of 2016. The Syndicate of Journalists was at the core of peaceful protests against a maritime border agreement signed between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, based on which the Egyptian government recognized Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty over the Egyptian-administered Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir. The agreement sparked popular protests, led by young activists and various liberal and leftist opposition parties that for the first time since the 2013 coup seemed willing to confront the government. The syndicate’s headquarters became the geographical focal point for the opposition.31 In response, and once again citing the politicization of the syndicate’s role by the opposition parties, the government ordered the security services to encircle the syndicate for several days and to close all roads leading to it. Security forces arrested journalists participating in the protests, accused the elected board of the syndicate of inciting violence, and drummed up litigation against three members of the elected board.32

Aware of the limitations imposed on their roles in the public space and in formal politics, opposition parties have sought new outreach activities. Some parties, especially the Strong Egypt and Bread and Freedom parties, have attempted to organize loyal student groups. Other parties, such as those part of the Democratic Current, have focused their actions on preparing candidates for the municipal elections scheduled for 2017, articulating bold plans to contest the presidential elections in 2018, and highlighting the ongoing economic and social failures of the ruling generals as well as their human rights abuses.33

However, even these activities have not altered the structural weakness of opposition parties. Targeted constituencies—such as young activists, students, and the urban middle class, particularly affected by the deteriorating living conditions in Egypt—have lost their trust in parties and party politics. Contributing factors have been (1) the flip-flopping of some parties between legitimating the 2013 coup and later rejecting the policies of the generals, (2) the initial silence of several opposition parties regarding human rights abuses, and (3) the continued failure of all opposition parties to articulate concrete policy platforms that offer sound solutions for the country’s economic and social problems.

Perhaps realizing the parties’ incapacity to effect change and loss of constituency support, Egypt’s ruling generals have focused more on cracking down on Islamist movements, independent NGOs, and other emerging activist groups.
Perhaps realizing the parties’ incapacity to effect change and loss of constituency support, Egypt’s ruling generals have focused more on cracking down on Islamist movements, independent NGOs, and other emerging activist groups.34 Only a few cases of detention and a limited number of arrest warrants have been reported in relation to members of opposition parties. Also, party leaders have not faced the ongoing defamation campaign from the government-controlled public and private media.


Different Islamist movements have exhibited different trajectories since 2013. Some have experienced the full brunt of government-sponsored repression because of their opposition to the authoritarian power arrangement. Others have sided with the government and accepted co-optation to avoid being targeted. While opposition Islamists have been forcefully pushed out of politics, co-opted Islamists have held on to what slivers of legitimacy and spaces for activity they can find. However, the splintering of Islamist movements has resulted in a tangible decline in their political significance.

The Muslim Brotherhood has been one of the regime’s prime targets. In the summer of 2013, the Brotherhood was at the core of what the government called “enemies of the nation.”35 Several Brotherhood leaders were arrested either a few hours before the coup or in its immediate aftermath. The Brotherhood’s protest sit-ins—which were organized following the coup to demand the return of the former elected president, Mohamed Morsi—were forcefully dispersed by the military and security forces.36 As of early 2017, arrests of the Brotherhood’s rank and file have continued in large numbers.37 The security services have been systematically involved in human rights abuses, including the extrajudicial killing of Brotherhood members, the torture of some prisoners and detainees, and the neglect of the medical needs of others in custody.38

The government has also used various legal and judicial instruments to repress the Muslim Brotherhood. In September 2013, a court ordered that the movement be banned and its financial assets be frozen.39 In December 2013, the government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, mandating its dissolution and again calling for the freezing of its financial assets.40 In August 2014, the administrative court system revoked the license of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and mandated its dissolution.41

All this has been unfolding in a public space void of freedom of expression and injected with government-backed hate speech and hostility toward the Muslim Brotherhood.42 Charges of undermining Egypt’s stability, sabotaging the national economy, and disrupting developmental efforts have been leveled against the Brotherhood.43 The government has also intentionally conflated the Brotherhood’s agenda with that of jihadist groups to stigmatize the movement with labels of extremism and terrorism.44

In part as a result of this, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political significance has declined. Its exclusion from formal politics, the ban of the movement and its party, and the government-sponsored branding of the movement as a terrorist entity have shaken its popular base.

In addition, the Brotherhood’s organizational capacities have weakened considerably due to various fissures within the movement between the elders and the youth, the pragmatic doves and the ideological hawks, and the nonviolent and violent factions.45 In particular, the elders have used their financial influence to retain control over the movement and, in doing so, have alienated the young and middle-aged rank and file.46 Young leaders have gradually become more forceful in their opposition to the elders.47 A key issue of contestation is the use of violence, which some young leaders regard as a legitimate tool in the struggle against the new authoritarian tactics.48 The result has been the emergence of violent splinter groups within the Brotherhood, such as the Revolutionary Punishment Movement and the Egypt Arms Movement.49 Due to the sustained and systematic government repression of the Muslim Brotherhood, the probability of internal conflicts and defections within the movement will continue to rise.50

Due to the sustained and systematic government repression of the Muslim Brotherhood, the probability of internal conflicts and defections within the movement will continue to rise.
Other opposition groups in the Islamist spectrum have exhibited similar trends. Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya (the Islamic Group) and its political party, Construction and Development, along with the Center Party have faced internal conflicts and defections of young members—some of which have become more amenable to radical ideas and toying with violence as a legitimate tool.51

However, neither the Muslim Brotherhood nor other opposition Islamist groups have completely disintegrated. Some of their mobilization and organizational capacities have remained intact. Between 2013 and 2016, Brotherhood members carried out different protest activities across the country to demand either the release of their imprisoned leaders or to voice economic, social, and political concerns.52 As of early 2017, the Brotherhood has continued to mobilize some of its members to participate in popular protests against the government’s economic policies.53 Also, the fact that mass resignation of the Brotherhood’s and other opposition Islamists’ rank and file has not happened since 2013 testifies to the continued presence of some organizational capacities.54 Sweeping generalizations regarding the total eradication of opposition Islamists are misplaced.

Meanwhile, Islamist movements that chose in 2013 to support the coup and side with the generals have also lost political significance and presence in society. And they are in no better position than the Islamist opposition to counter this erosion.

Pro-government Salafis did not face the fate of the Brotherhood and other Islamists that chose to defy the will of the new regime.55 They avoided being banned and were given stakes in the post-2013 power arrangement. For example, after the Alexandrian Salafi Missionary Group and its political party, al-Nur, assisted the military establishment and security services in preparing for the 2013 coup,56 they were included in the Constituent Assembly and allowed to have access to the government-controlled media.57

The Salafi group and its party endorsed the former minister of defense for president in 2014.58 In return, they were free to field candidates in the 2015 parliamentary elections. These pro-government Salafis expected to gain a significant number of seats in the legislature, but that expectation proved to be misguided. The regime’s need for Salafi support has declined as its crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood has ramped up and the government has gained more control over official religious institutions.59 As a result, al-Nur was given only twelve seats in the House of Representatives.60 This is in stark contrast to the 2012 parliamentary elections, in which the party landed nearly 111 seats.61

Against the backdrop of declining party politics and the inability of both pro-government and opposition parties to influence government policies, other collective actors have advanced to articulate democratic demands and contest the unchecked power of the ruling generals. Egypt’s political reality has been shaped by the activism of these actors and by their resilience when faced with authoritarian tools and tactics.


Since 2013, young activists, students, and human rights groups have taken the helm of numerous advocacy initiatives. They often lack organizational capabilities and remain committed to a single cause related to human rights abuses, such as extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, or torture in places of custody. In aiming to raise citizens’ awareness and mobilize them to demand an end to human rights abuses, these initiatives have to navigate a social and political environment in which large segments of the population are either resigned and less interested in standing up for the victims of abuses or simply fearful of being targeted themselves by an increasingly repressive government. This represents a significant departure from the pre–2013 coup environment in which similar advocacy initiatives were able to mobilize citizens with less fear.

For example, before the 2011 revolution, the We Are All Khaled Said Facebook page was instrumental in drawing public attention to the death of the young Alexandrian Khaled Said at the hands of the security services. It focused on two demands: ending torture and holding accountable the security officials implicated in acts of torture. The page administrators called for the popular protests on January 25, 2011, that culminated in the revolution.62 In the fall of 2011, the Maspero Youth Union was formed to demand justice and accountability for Egypt’s Coptic Christians after army and police forces killed dozens of them during a rally to protest increased sectarian violence and attacks on churches.63 The union’s activism has sustained public awareness about the incident and challenged the government’s attempts to erase the memory. However, army and police officers implicated in the Maspero killing have yet to be held accountable.64

In post-2013 Egypt, Freedom for the Brave represents the most significant example of a single-cause initiative.65 A group of lawyers, young activists, students, and journalists launched the initiative in 2014 to support victims of political detention and prisoners of conscience and to improve conditions in prisons and other places of custody. The group formed primarily in response to the mass arrest of more than 1,000 citizens by the security services on the third anniversary of the 2011 revolution.66 The press statement announcing the initiative refers to its members’ determination to carry out “vigils and marches to demand the release of all political detainees and prisoners,” including those victims affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements whose involvement in acts of violence or terrorism remains unsubstantiated.67 Since 2014, Freedom for the Brave has spearheaded attempts to shed light on human rights abuses committed against young activists, students, and members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

In particular, Freedom for the Brave has been a champion for the rights of victims of forced disappearances. The group has documented several cases of both forced disappearances and police detention without judicial investigations. The reports have been informed by direct contact with victims’ families and information provided by human rights and legal assistance organizations.68

Freedom for the Brave has also been attempting to raise public awareness about the gravity of human rights abuses and the deteriorating conditions for prisoners and detainees. For example, in February 2014, the group launched a campaign called Support Them, in which interested citizens send telegrams to the general prosecutor and the National Council for Human Rights to inquire about the treatment and health status of prisoners and detainees and to demand that prisoners’ complaints investigated.69 In June 2016, the group also started a media campaign to draw attention to the negative psychological and physical repercussions of solitary confinement, a widely used punishment in prisons.70

Freedom for the Brave depends primarily on social media networks to disseminate information about specific victims and to organize activities designed to demonstrate solidarity with them. Lawyers associated with the initiative have taken up several cases for imprisoned victims, identified the litigation against them, and argued in their defense in court. Additionally, these lawyers have documented human rights abuses in prisons, such as torture, solitary confinement, and denial of medical treatment. Although these efforts have neither led to the release of prisoners nor improved prison conditions, they have made the prisoners’ stories accessible to the public and have revealed the details of the injustice they have faced.71

Individual group action [as opposed to collection action] is too limited and too fragile to take on the new authoritarian government in the streets and public spaces.
Freedom for the Brave has not been able to organize peaceful protests to draw attention to its cause. The government’s wide-scale repression and the draconian laws passed to criminalize freedoms of expression and association have made the cost of protesting immensely high.72 Fearing the arrest of its young activists and students, the group has refrained from calling for rallies or demonstrations. Individual group action, which lies at the core of Freedom for the Brave, is too limited and too fragile to take on the new authoritarian government in the streets and public spaces. But, organized collective action stemming from professional associations, student movements, and labor activism is not.


Some professional associations have also been pushing back against the new authoritarianism on issues related to their autonomy and freedoms of expression and association. The Syndicate of Doctors and the Syndicate of Journalists in particular have taken on larger roles in the resistance since 2015.73 The elected boards of both syndicates have been instrumental in mobilizing the base—either by calling for emergency general assemblies or by other means—and in motivating members to peacefully oppose authoritarianism. The resulting activism has restored pluralist politics to professional associations, created new spaces for the resistance of authoritarian policies and practices, and significantly increased popular awareness about the details of daily repression in which the government is implicated. The role of Egypt’s professional associations today is reminiscent of the one they played in the 1980s and 1990s, in which they were at the forefront of challenging autocratic control over civil society and pushing for their autonomy by defending the right of members to elect the syndicates’ boards without security interference.74

The Syndicate of Doctors
In 2015 and 2016, there was a profusion of incidents, documented on social networking and other media sites, in which police personnel attacked doctors, nurses, and other individuals administering medical care in public hospitals. One event involved the arrest, assault, and death of a veterinarian in a police station.75 In another incident, two policemen attacked medical doctors at the government-run Matariya Teaching Hospital.76

In the wake of the Matariya incident, doctors at the hospital organized a full strike and closed the facility pending legal action. The two doctors who were attacked filed a legal complaint in a police station, accusing nine security agents of physical assault.77 The elected board of the syndicate issued a public statement to detail the incident and the reasons for the Matariya hospital strike. The board also filed a complaint with the general prosecutor, demanding that the security agents implicated be held accountable.

In response, the general prosecutor ordered the arrest of the security agents, but they were released a few hours later. The board perceived this action as a manifestation of the government’s arrogance and disregard for the legitimate demands of the syndicate.78 Consequently, nearly 10,000 doctors congregated at an emergency session of the General Assembly on February 12, 2016.79 Leading the protest and articulating the demands were two charismatic figures of the board: the president, Dr. Mohamed Khairy Abdel Dayem, and the vice president, Dr. Mona Mina.

Under the board’s directive, the doctors unanimously approved a package of decisions and demands to pass on to government officials. The syndicate called on the government to recognize the right of doctors to refrain from work if medical staff or facilities came under attack. The doctors also demanded that the general prosecutor act quickly to investigate police personnel implicated in attacks. The syndicate also lobbied both the legislature and government to immediately pass legislation clearly criminalizing attacks on medical staff and facilities, pushing for harsher punishments for such crimes.

Further, the syndicate asserted its right to hold protest vigils on February 20, 2016—known as vigils of dignity—for doctors who were victims of attacks.80 The vigils were held in numerous public and private hospitals;81 they were also supported by many pro-democracy groups, NGOs, and individual activists. The syndicates of journalists, teachers, engineers, and public transportation workers all expressed their solidarity with and support for the doctors’ protests.82 The protests garnered sympathetic attention from the general populace and placed their demands at the center of debates about rights and freedoms.

Caught off-balance by the scale of the protests and the evolving public interest in the matter, Prime Minister Sherif Ismail announced that the government was committed to accountability and intended to punish those involved in the attacks on doctors and hospitals.83 He confirmed his readiness to meet with the syndicate’s elected board and respond to its demands.84 These official statements were followed by the commencement of criminal investigations and subsequent trials against police personnel involved in the Matariya hospital incident. The unprecedented popular rally around the syndicate’s board caused the government to rein in the security services by instigating criminal proceedings and promising no further attacks on medical staff and facilities.85 The board celebrated this as a step toward rule of law, a guarantee of rights and freedoms in a society marred by repression and human rights abuses, and a milestone in the effort to end the impunity of the unruly security services.86

The government’s initial retreat, only disguised its long-term strategy to inhibit the doctors’ protests and intimidate the syndicate’s elected board.
The government’s initial retreat, however, only disguised its long-term strategy to inhibit the doctors’ protests and intimidate the syndicate’s elected board. Over the last year, the government has used its judicial, executive, and media tools to contain the syndicate’s activities. The administrative court system, which governs the syndicate’s affairs, issued a ruling annulling the decisions of the emergency General Assembly. And the government blocked the legal amendments that would have introduced harsher punishments for attacks on medical staff and facilities.87 The government-controlled public and private media launched a campaign aimed at discrediting the syndicate’s elected board, especially Abdel Dayem and Mina.88 The government’s intimidation of Mina went even further; the general prosecutor interrogated her about the statements she made regarding the government’s health policies that were described as being based on wrong information, inflammatory, and threatening to Egypt’s national security.89

Still, the government’s initial retreat in face of the doctors’ protests demonstrated that collective action aimed at defending rights and freedoms could to a degree restrict the government’s repressive behavior and limit the security services’ transgressions. The campaigns to discredit the syndicate’s elected board have failed to undermine popular sympathy for its actions; after interrogating Mina, the general prosecutor decided not to pursue charges against her.90

The Syndicate of Journalists
Since 2013, Egypt has become one of the world’s worst jailers and abusers of journalists91—currently only second to China in the number of journalists serving jail time.92 The elected board of the Syndicate of Journalists has (1) repeatedly demanded the release of its imprisoned members, (2) described the prosecution of journalists as an authoritarian policy aiming at undermining the free flow of information and freedom of expression, and (3) exposed the systematic interference of the security services in the affairs of the syndicate to discredit the board and spread discord between it and its members. In response, the authoritarian government has ignored the demands of the syndicate’s board and pursued a confrontational course.

In the spring of 2016, the syndicate’s headquarters in downtown Cairo was the site of major protests against the maritime border agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Thousands of journalists, students, and young activists, along with public figures, gathered at the syndicate on April 15, 2016, to peacefully demand Egypt’s withdrawal from the agreement.93 They denounced the agreement as the sale of Egyptian land to the wealthy oil kingdom.94 The April 15 gathering was larger than the doctors’ emergency General Assembly meeting. In fact, it was the largest assembly of citizens in any public site since the dispersal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s sit-ins on August 14, 2013, and it garnered broad popular support.95

While thousands of people peacefully protested and rallied in front of the syndicate,96 the security services arrested 110 demonstrators, including journalists.97 Further protests were held on April 25, 2016, but the security services surrounded the syndicate and closed roads leading to it, preventing the demonstrations. During the dispersal of the protests, they arrested hundreds of citizens, once again including journalists.98

Stepping up their repression, the security services got the general prosecutor to issue two arrest warrants for Amr Badr and Mahmud el-Saqqa, two journalists at the website January News Gate.99 In the arrest warrants, Badr and el-Saqqa were accused of violating the law and endangering national security by inciting violent demonstrations and gatherings.100 A few days after the warrants were issued on April 30, 2016, they started an open-ended sit-in at their syndicate’s headquarters. The security services responded by raiding the two journalists’ homes, prompting Badr and el-Saqqa to ask the syndicate’s elected board to express solidarity with them and publicly state that they were being targeted by the security services for political purposes. Although the board refrained from issuing a collective statement, some of its members spoke out in defense of the two journalists.101

On May 1, 2016, the security services stormed the syndicate and arrested Badr and el-Saqqa102—an unprecedented incident in the syndicate’s long and often rocky relationship with Egypt’s various authoritarian regimes. Never before had the syndicate’s headquarters been stormed.103 During their interrogation in the general prosecutor’s office, Badr and el-Saqqa were served with additional charges, including “attempting to change the constitution of the country and to undermine its republican system as well as its current government,” “violating the stipulations of the constitution and existing laws,” and “preventing state authorities and public institutions from carrying out their work”—violations that could land them prison sentences, if not death sentences.104

Many journalists perceived these actions as an attack on their independence. Yehia el-Qalash, president of the syndicate’s board, expressed strong dissatisfaction with the security services’ actions. He called on Egypt’s president to take the necessary steps to resolve the crisis and restore the dignity of journalists.105 Other board members also raised their voices in protest. The most prominent of these journalists included Gamal Abdel Rahim, the syndicate’s secretary general;106 Khaled el-Balshy, the chairman of the syndicate’s freedoms committee;107 and Mahmud Kamel, the secretary of the syndicate’s cultural committee.108 They sharply criticized the security services’ provocative actions and attempts to surveil and control the syndicate. They also called for the release of Badr and el-Saqqa and demanded an apology from the minister of interior, who had ordered the raid on the syndicate.

Additionally, on May 4, 2016, an emergency session of the General Assembly convened to address the security services’ raid and to articulate collective demands. Similar to the Syndicate of Doctors, thousands of journalists attended and rallied around the cause of defending their independence.109 The list of demands included the resignation of the minister of interior, an apology from Egypt’s president for the raid, the passage of legislation that eliminates existing jail sentences for so-called publishing crimes, and the release of all journalists imprisoned or detained under this pretext.110 Pro-government journalists largely boycotted the assembly.

The security services meddled in the syndicate’s internal affairs to create a rift between the elected board and pro-government journalists.
In contrast to the relatively subdued way it initially handled the demands of protesting doctors, the authoritarian regime dealt with the protests of journalists with a full arsenal of repressive tools and tactics. The security services meddled in the syndicate’s internal affairs to create a rift between the elected board and pro-government journalists. On May 8, 2016, for example, a group of journalists known to have close connections to the security services organized a so-called journalistic family meeting at the state-owned and state-run Al-Ahram newspaper.111 They issued a statement accusing the syndicate’s board of placing itself above “state authorities and public institutions,” practicing “politics,” and acting “as a political party that monopolizes the syndicate as a platform for its objectives.” These pro-government journalists tried to split the embattled board from the inside by highlighting that five board members attended the family meeting because they resented the board’s actions and its manipulation of the General Assembly.112

On May 28, 2016, the authorities summoned the board’s president, vice president, and secretary-general for questioning and interrogation by the general prosecutor on charges of aiding the escape of journalists Badr and el-Saqqa and publishing false news related to the details of their arrests.113 After the investigation, the general prosecutor referred the board’s members to a criminal court.114 The court sentenced them to two years in prison, but the sentence is being appealed.115

The bold position taken by the syndicate’s elected board has added a significant space for activism and resistance in Egyptian politics.
The government continues to escalate its campaign against the Syndicate of Journalists by ignoring the board’s well-founded demands for the repeal of jail sentences handed down for publishing crimes. It also continues to use pro-government journalists to sustain internal conflicts within the syndicate and to undermine the board’s authority. Moreover, journalists continue to be imprisoned. For example, on October 26, 2016, the general prosecutor issued arrest warrants for sixty-three journalists associated with news websites and media production companies allegedly affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.116 However, the bold position taken by the syndicate’s elected board has added a significant space for activism and resistance in Egyptian politics. More than in the case of the Syndicate of Doctors, the elected board of the Syndicate of Journalists has combined activism in defense of its members’ rights in the face of repression with a broad challenge to the government’s authoritarian policies and practices.


Despite its repressive tactics, the government has also failed to vanquish student activism. Students have continued to hold protests and mobilize against pro-government candidates in student union elections.117 Still, the crackdown has been harsh. Egypt’s ruling generals have used laws, regulations, procedures, and security tools to subdue student dissidents. The government has employed private security companies to patrol public university campuses and has pushed university administrations to enforce harsh penalties against noncompliant students. The general prosecutor has transferred hundreds of student dissidents to criminal courts, and even more have remained in police detention.

In the wake of the 2013 coup, students affiliated with and sympathetic to the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrated at public universities to demand the return of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi. Their demonstrations unsurprisingly led to altercations with the new regime and its security services. The security forces responded to a few instances of student verbal and physical violence with excessive displays of force and the mass imprisonment of students.118 In the first semester of the 2013–2014 academic year, there were 1,677 student protests at public universities across Egypt, with the largest numbers occurring at Al-Azhar University (whose campuses are scattered across several provinces of the country), Cairo University, Ain Shams University, and Alexandria University.119

In the face of increasing state-sponsored violence, several student groups gradually began to call for the wholesale rejection of the constitutional, legal, and political measures adopted by the government. Students’ demands gradually shifted away from emphasizing the return of Morsi to denouncing Egypt’s ruling generals for their crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, liberal and leftist parties opposed to them, and independent NGOs. Students began to mobilize around the condemnation of human rights abuses and advocacy for students who experienced repression.

Between 2013 and 2016, student groups protested the ban of the Muslim Brotherhood and its branding as a terrorist entity. They condemned the mass killing of Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters during the violent dispersal of sit-ins on August 14, 2013. Students also took bold stances regarding the security services’ implication in human rights abuses on university campuses and elsewhere. They demanded trials for police personnel involved in student murders and forced disappearances and insisted on the immediate release of students imprisoned and detained for political purposes. Some student protests decried the provision in the 2014 constitution that referred civilians to military courts and the passage of undemocratic laws such as the protest and terrorism laws.120

Several student groups gradually began to call for the wholesale rejection of the constitutional, legal, and political measures adopted by the government.
In addition, efforts to restrain the role of the security services on campuses moved up on the student agenda. Between 2013 and 2016, students held vigils to oppose the September 2013 decision of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Universities that made administrative security units operating on campuses responsible for “maintaining security and preventing riots, violence, and bullying.” They also protested the legal right given to security units to issue arrest warrants and initiate litigation against students.121 The council’s decision essentially overruled a 2010 court ruling that banned the presence of any security units or forces on university campuses.122 Despite student protests and doubts about the legality of the decision, the security services have sustained their presence on campuses.123

Egypt’s authoritarian regime has engineered a far-reaching set of tools to repress student activism. In 2014, the interim president, Adly Mansour, amended the Organization of Universities Act to give presidents of public universities the authority to dismiss, without litigation, students charged by university administrations with subverting the educational process, endangering university facilities, targeting academic and administrative staff members, or inciting violence on campuses.124 Mansour’s amended law still allows dismissed students to appeal to academic disciplinary boards and even allows the appeal of dismissal decisions before the high administrative court.125 But since the amendment was made, university administrations have demonstrated a high propensity to take punitive action against students involved in protests. For example, in the 2013–2014 academic year, 1,052 students were referred to university disciplinary boards for investigation and more than 600 students were dismissed.126 Dozens more were prevented from completing exams.127

The judiciary has been supporting the repression of student activism by issuing harsh sentences, such as imprisonment and exorbitant fines for students arrested at protests and charged with endangering university facilities, rioting, attacking staff members, inciting verbal violence, and possessing weapons. The charges are typically based solely on statements by the security services.128

This campaign of repression continued in the 2014–2015 academic year and resulted in a decrease in the number of student protests. During the first semester, student groups organized 572 protests—most of which occurred, once again, at the universities of Al-Azhar, Cairo, Ain Shams, and Alexandria.129 Students participating in the protests included members of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as liberal- and leftist-inspired student groups, which gradually began to oppose the regime’s repressive tactics. These latter groups drew their members from parties such as the Egypt Strong, Bread and Freedom, Constitution, and Movement of Revolutionary Socialists parties.130

Frequent clashes on campuses between students and administrative security units and between students and private security units facilitated a dramatic increase in the overall number of security forces operating in university spaces. Violent dispersals of peaceful vigils became the norm, and they often resulted in mass arrests and even the killing of a few students.131 The regime continued to employ its other repressive tools to crush student activism, such as dismissal from universities, arrests, and court proceedings resulting in harsh sentences.132

In the 2015–2016 academic year, the political scene at Egyptian universities changed drastically. Vibrant student activism, which had characterized the two preceding years, seemed to largely disappear, revealing the efficiency of the government’s authoritarian tools.133 The few student protests to occur during this period consisted of vigils and demonstrations designed to show solidarity with imprisoned and detained students. But they did not go unpunished by university administrations and the security services. Thirty-two students were arrested during the first semester and fifty-two during the second.134 The arrests were made by either the administrative security units, private security forces, or police forces, whose visible presence on campuses continued. University administrations punished ninety-seven students by either dismissing them, preventing them from taking exams, or referring them to disciplinary investigations.135

The judiciary has been supporting the repression of student activism by issuing harsh sentences, such as imprisonment and exorbitant fines.
Despite the decline in student activism, two significant incidents in the 2015–2016 academic year demonstrated that student groups were not completely quashed. First, in late 2015, the government, through the Ministry of Higher Education, attempted to exert control over student union elections in public universities but was relatively unsuccessful. In October 2015, the Ministry of Higher Education instructed university administrations to exclude certain students from running in the elections. The effort targeted those allegedly affiliated or sympathizing with the Muslim Brotherhood and those who led or participated in antigovernment protests and faced disciplinary punishment. On October 8, the ministry issued a decree to enter these changes into law.136 The decree stipulated that union candidates should not be affiliated with organizations or entities that are criminalized under the law or declared terrorist. It also stipulated that candidates’ university records should be free of any disciplinary punishment.137

In November 2015, student union elections were held in public universities across the country, and three main student platforms participated. The Voice of Egypt’s Students Coalition, with strong ties to university administrations—and through them to the security services—pushed for the depoliticization of universities. Mostly liberal and leftist students aspired to oppose the new authoritarianism and reinvigorate student activism. And groups of independent students rejected ties to both the government and opposition; they portrayed student unions as being responsible for representing the rights and interests of the student body. The Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, was banned from fielding candidates, and it decided not to participate in the vote.138

These unanticipated [student union] election results demonstrated that student opposition to the government remained strong and that the government’s assault on student activism neither took politics out of university campuses nor silenced student groups.
Liberal, leftist, and independent students won most of the unions’ seats, much to the chagrin of pro-government candidates.139 Ties to university administrations, the security services, and promotion campaigns managed by the Ministry of Higher Education had failed to ensure the success of the Voice of Egypt’s Students Coalition.140 Two independent members of the student unions were elected to head the executive office of the General Union of Egyptian Students, an umbrella union. Abdallah Anwar, who was a student in the Faculty of Mass Communication at Cairo University, was elected president;141 and Amr al-Helew, who was a student in the Faculty of Engineering at Tanta University, was elected vice president.142 Both were known for their commitment to students’ rights and interests, their advocacy efforts for students who faced government-sponsored repression, and their rejection of governmental and security interventions in public universities.143

These unanticipated election results demonstrated that student opposition to the government remained strong and that the government’s assault on student activism neither took politics out of university campuses nor silenced student groups. These were the only elections in which pro-government candidates lost. Further, the security services had failed to control the process, as it had done during the presidential elections in 2014, the parliamentary elections in 2015, and the elections of professional association boards.

However, following the student union elections, the Ministry of Higher Education refused to ratify the results and therefore denied the elected union the legal basis for its existence.144 In December 2015, the ministry dissolved the executive office of the General Union of Egyptian Students, citing a procedural error.145 These steps underscore the ruling generals’ dedication to keeping public universities under their tight control. The regime continues to pursue student groups that resist its clampdown and that mobilize against security interventions in universities.

The second incident in the 2015–2016 academic year occurred in April 2016, when students joined other activist groups in holding vigils and demonstrations to protest the signing of the maritime border agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The protests highlighted that universities remain, to a degree, a site of opposition to the authoritarian government and its policies. Protests against the agreement originated in universities and later spilled into the broader public. Student groups and unaffiliated students organized massive protests between April 15 and April 25 in several public universities across Egypt, in tandem with the broader mobilization centered around the Syndicate of Journalists.146 As they did with the syndicate’s protests, the security services used excessive force to crush the student protests and arrested scores of students who later faced court proceedings.147

This response aside, students’ active participation in the April 2016 protests served as yet another indicator that their interest in public affairs and political matters has not been quelled and, more broadly, that the generals’ clampdown has not achieved the complete depoliticization of public universities. In different ways, today’s student activism revives the activism of earlier periods on university campuses. Egyptian students were part of the global student movement against authoritarian politics in the second half of the 1960s. And in the 1970s, they spearheaded the local democratic movement, articulating its demands for citizens’ rights and freedoms and for enshrining modern conceptions of government accountability in Egyptian politics.148 Throughout the long rule of former president Hosni Mubarak (1981–2011), universities—besides being the primary space for ideological contestation between secular and Islamist groups—continually challenged the government’s undemocratic policies and practices, and university students were plugged into political activism beyond the walls of their campuses.149


Despite security surveillance, forced dismissals of labor activists, and referrals of labor activists and protesters to military trials, labor activism remains at the forefront of societal resistance to authoritarian policies and practices. Unionized workers in public and private industrial facilities, as well as civil servants in the state bureaucracy and local government, continue to demonstrate and organize strikes to articulate their economic and social demands and to defend workers’ rights to freedoms of expression and association.150 Protests by labor activists have even impacted key service sectors, such as public transportation and healthcare.

Over the last several years, labor activism has primarily focused on Egypt’s growing economic and social crises and the ongoing deterioration of living conditions for a majority of Egyptians.151 Workers and civil servants have been using different tactics to make their voices heard: formal complaints, gatherings and rallies, protest vigils, media campaigns, sit-ins, work strikes, and hunger strikes. Work strikes and protest vigils remain the most widely used tactics.152 While the total number of protests declined from 1,655 in 2014 to 933 in 2015, the frequency will likely hold steady, given that 493 were recorded between January and April 2016.153

Work strikes and protest vigils remain the most widely used tactics.
Economic and social demands were at the center of the majority of protests in all three time periods: 49 percent in 2014, 27 percent in 2015, and 27 percent between January and April 2016. These protests called for the payment of workers in public and private facilities who have had their salaries withheld, wage increases to balance the rising inflation rate, improvements in working conditions and safety benchmarks, and safeguards for the rights of temporary workers and civil servants. Other protests called for ending punitive measures (especially dismissals and arbitrary transfers), improving transparency and accountability standards and introducing systemic anticorruption measures in the workplace, increasing efficiency and productivity standards, and recognizing the right to enjoy freedoms of expression and association without fear of intimidation or repression.154

In response, the regime has used various administrative, security, legislative, and judicial tools to reject most of the protesters’ demands and to punish protest leaders. While the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration has settled some formal complaints and requests filed by workers and civil servants, most cases have been referred to labor courts in the absence of acceptable settlements with public and private employers. In the first quarter of 2016, the ministry settled 1,392 of 5,322 individual complaints and 303 of 1,561 collective complaints, referring the rest to courts.155 This equates to low rates of settlement for individual and collective complaints: 26 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Furthermore, in line with common governmental practices in Egypt, the ministry has resorted to providing temporary financial assistance and other short-term benefits to appease some workers and civil servants during times of frequent labor protests.156

Since 2013, authorities have arrested dozens of workers and civil servants for demonstrating and have enabled the arbitrary transfers and dismissals of dozens of others involved in protests in both public and private facilities.157 The government has co-opted the General Union of Egyptian Workers, which has helped the regime attack labor activists and suppress their protests. In 2015, the security services–controlled leadership of the union asked the president to issue a decree that criminalizes all work strikes for a year.158 Several union leaders also announced their intent to form so-called committees of workers to resist sit-ins and strikes and to participate in counter-protest activities aimed at safeguarding the stability and security of the nation.159

No presidential decree criminalizing strikes was issued, so in 2016, the union’s leadership reinforced its anti-labor-activism position. Union leaders continued to ignore the well-founded economic and social grievances of workers and civil servants.160 Of particular note, the union backed the government’s decision and various court rulings161—and later the Labor Unions’ Act162—that banned the formation of independent labor and trade unions and ordered the dissolution of existing independent unions. All of these unions have helped organize labor activism since 2011.163

Since 2015, the new authoritarian government has been undermining labor activism, using the same legislative and judicial tools it has used against professional associations and student movements. In 2015, the government built on the legislative prerogatives of the president to pass a new Civil Service Law, which significantly changes the employment conditions of civil servants. The law, approved in 2016 by Parliament after the insertion of a few minor amendments, makes civil servants’ jobs easier to terminate and undermines their right to regular wage increases.164 It affects more than 5 million Egyptians within the state bureaucracy and local government.

The judiciary, like Parliament, has enabled the regime to surveil, repress, and punish protesting workers and civil servants. Reportedly, criminal courts have handed down various prison sentences for labor activists, and administrative courts have issued rulings that allow workers and civil servants who participate in protests to be forcibly retired.165

The government has also used the security services to disperse vigils, demonstrations, sit-ins, and work strikes; and the security forces have occasionally resorted to excessive force, using live ammunition and rubber bullets. Instead of holding them accountable, the general prosecutor has issued arrest warrants for protesters and referred them to criminal trials with ambiguous charges that include violent bullying, blocking public roads, disrupting public and private transportation, refraining from work, demonstrating without formal authorization, preventing public and private facilities from carrying out their work, and disrupting public security.166 For example, in September 2014, a workers’ vigil that was protesting management practices in the government-owned Alexandria Spinning and Weaving Company and demanding the payment of late salaries ended in clashes with the security services. Fourteen workers were arrested, and some of them were injured due to the excessive use of force by the police.167 Similar protests have continued to happen elsewhere in government-owned companies across the country, either inspired by economic and social demands or in response to the termination of workers’ contracts and their subsequent dismissal.168

The judiciary, like Parliament, has enabled the regime to surveil, repress, and punish protesting workers and civil servants.
Additionally, on May 24, 2016, the general prosecutor referred twenty-six Alexandria Shipyard workers who had been arrested to military trials; the charges included refraining from work and protesting without formal authorization. This measure was the government’s response to a series of peaceful protests and vigils at which workers demanded wage increases, job security, workplace safety, and the improvement of efficiency and productivity.169 The Alexandria Shipyard workers demanded independent arbitration between them and the company’s management to reach a settlement, but the army-controlled management rejected this demand. The company has been classified as an industrial facility of the Ministry of Defense since 2007, so the management used the military police to quell the protests and arrest the labor activists who were later referred to military trials.170 This was a clear violation of constitutionally enshrined rights and freedoms that include the right of civilians to be tried in civilian courts.171

Despite the government’s continued targeting of protesting workers and civil servants, labor activism has remained resilient. The banning of independent unions, referrals of protesters to civilian and military courts, and state-sponsored violence have not dissuaded labor protests; nor has the government’s renewed co-optation of the General Union of Egyptian Workers silenced the economic and social demands of organized labor activists.


Popular anger about specific government policies and practices has frequently erupted since 2013. Groups of citizens have mostly taken to the streets to protest the accumulating human rights abuses committed by the security services. These protests are different in that demonstrators are not part of discrete initiatives that have a lasting presence. The demonstrators rather come and go in response to various incidents of abuse. However, the frequency of these protests since 2013 has resulted in an effective push back against the “no limit to repression” policies implemented by the security services and against the impunity of police personnel implicated in human rights abuses.

Police brutality against citizens has been the major catalyst of popular anger. As of early 2017, extrajudicial killings and torture in places of police custody have topped the list of causes pushing citizens—living as far apart as the capital Cairo and small southern city Luxor172— into the public space.173 As the new authoritarian regime has tightened its control over traditional forms of media, both publicly and privately owned social media networks have played a more central role in raising citizens’ awareness of police brutality.174

In November 2015, hundreds of angry Luxor residents gathered to condemn the killing of a fellow resident, Talaat Shabib, inside the city’s police station.175 Police personnel had arrested Shabib on charges of possessing narcotic substances and taken him to the police station where he was tortured and ultimately killed. The police officers and agents involved attempted to cover up their crime by moving the victim’s body to the Luxor Governmental Hospital and claiming he had suffered a fatal heart attack. However, popular anger and social network activism in solidarity with the victim and his family forced the security services to yield. The Ministry of Interior announced the arrest of several policemen on charges of torture and murder and referred them to the general prosecutor.176 One officer was sentenced to seven years in prison, five policemen were sentenced to three years in prison, and seven others were acquitted. The Ministry of Interior was also compelled to financially compensate the victim’s wife and his sons in the form of 1.5 million Egyptian pounds.

Other protests have been similarly successful. In February 2016, hundreds of residents of the Cairene neighborhood al-Darb al-Ahmar besieged the Cairo Security Directorate after the death of a local driver during an altercation with a policeman.177 The driver’s parents and supporters gathered and chanted slogans denouncing human rights abuses and demanding the murderer be brought to justice.178 Meanwhile, social media networks and various news sites picked up on the incident and broke through the official barriers of denial and silence regarding the victim, the offender, and the responsibility of the Ministry of Interior.179 Again, in response to popular anger and heightened public awareness of police brutality, the interior minister apologized to the victim’s parents by publicly kissing the head of the victim’s father.180 The offender was arrested, and the general prosecutor referred him to a criminal trial.181 He was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison.182

The newfound leverage that groups of angry citizens have developed against the security services has at least raised the political and social cost of human rights abuses.
The newfound leverage that groups of angry citizens have developed against the security services has at least raised the political and social cost of human rights abuses. Yet, the cases detailed above still represent the exception rather than the rule, as demonstrated by hundreds of documented cases of extrajudicial killings, torture, and forced disappearances that remain unaccounted for.183 Despite some arrests of police personnel for extrajudicial killings and torture, and their subsequent referrals to a criminal trial under massive public pressure, human rights abuses perpetuated by the security services have not subsided since 2013. Glaring problems of impunity also persist.184

Moreover, citizens’ dissatisfaction with the government’s economic and social policies has not led to similar eruptions.185 This has been the case since 2013, even though the living conditions of most Egyptians have deteriorated. After years of political turmoil following the 2011 revolution, the poor and middle-class segments of the population have not regained their voices in the public space.

Despite the protests against incidents of police brutality, the few cases of sweeping popular support for doctors protesting police transgressions, and the demands of some activist journalists and students for the annulment of the maritime border agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia,186 it seems that fear tactics and repressive tools have proved effective in instilling silence.


Since 2013, four forms of anti-authoritarian platforms have shaped social activism in Egypt: (1) single-cause initiatives that are opposing specific human rights abuses and advocating for the rights and freedoms of the victims, (2) professional associations that are defending freedoms of expression and association, (3) student groups that are challenging the systematic interference of the security services in their affairs and the permanent presence of security forces on campuses, and (4) the labor movement that is galvanized by deteriorating economic and social conditions and by the government’s repression of labor activists. In addition, spontaneous eruptions of popular anger in response to human rights abuses have become politically significant.

Egypt’s new authoritarian regime—as part of closing the public space and cracking down on civil society and opposition political parties—has tried to manage these forms of social activism through repression, undemocratic legal frameworks, and aggressive judicial tools. It has intensified its efforts to intimidate professional associations, student groups, and labor activists. And it has expanded its targets to include young human rights advocates and citizens who have publicly stood against police brutality. Nothing has highlighted this fact better than the large number of young activists and students detained and arrested, as well as the systematic referral of protesting workers to military trials.

Egypt’s ruling generals may not be embattled yet, but with the crackdown on civil society and the decline of party politics, these activist groups currently offer the greatest hope for changing the tide.
However, the new authoritarian government has found it difficult to quash a robust and resilient activism scene. At times, the government has made concessions to the demands of professional associations and demonstrating workers. Angry citizens protesting police brutality have pushed the security services to apologize for their transgressions and to accept putting police personnel on trial. On a few occasions, student groups have mobilized successfully to challenge the security services’ tight grip on university campuses and to subvert authoritarian tactics and tools of control. Egypt’s ruling generals may not be embattled yet, but with the crackdown on civil society and the decline of party politics, these activist groups currently offer the greatest hope for changing the tide.


1 As of early 2017, Egypt has eighty-three registered political parties. “Dalil al-Ahzab al-Siyasiya al-Misriya” [Guide to Egyptian political parties], Egypt Information Portal, March 28, 2017, http://www.eip.gov.eg/Directories/Directory.aspx?id=56.

2 Hossam Bahgat, “Hakaza Intakhab al-Sisi barlamanoho” [Here is how Sisi elected his parliament], Mada Masr, March 8, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/03/08/feature/سياسة/هكذا-انتخب-السيسي-برلمانه/.

3 Mustapha ‘Abdel Tawab et al., “Bel-Arqam.. Kharitat al-Ahzab Taht al-Qoba” [In numbers.. the map of parties in Parliament], al-Yum al-Sabe‘, December 3, 2015, http://www.youm7.com/story/2015/12/3/بالأرقام-خريطة-الأحزاب-تحت-القبة-المصريين-الأحرار-فى-الصدارة-بـ65/2473711.

4 Nada Hafez, “al-Tayyar al-Sha‘abi: al-Waqe‘ Yu’aked Inana Afdal Halan Men Suriyya Wel-‘Iraq” [The popular current: The reality confirms that we are in a better place than Syria and Iraq], al-Bawaba, September 6, 2014, http://www.albawabhnews.com/773232; The Popular Alliance, “Bayan Hezb al-Tahaluf al-Sha‘abi ‘Na‘am Lel-Ma‘raka Ded al-Irhab Wel-Magd Lel-Shuhadaa’” [A statement from the Popular Alliance ‘Yes to the battle against terrorism and glory for the martyrs], al-Tahaluf, February 16, 2015, http://eltahalof.com/news/10091.

5 ‘Abir al-Mursi, “Fi al-Zekra al-Thaletha lel-Thawra.. Siyasyun: 30 Yunuyu Hafazat ‘Ala al-Dawla al-Misriya Men al-Tafkuk” [On the third anniversary of the revolution.. politicians: June 30 saved the Egyptian state from disintegration], Ahram, June 27, 2016, http://www.ahram.org.eg/News/191944/136/533582/متابعات/فى-الذكرى-الثالثة-للثورةسياسيون–يونيو-حافظت-على-ا.aspx.

6 Khaled al-Nadi, “Hezb al-Tajammoe‘ Fi Bayanuhu ‘An Thawrat 30 Yunyu: al-Ma‘araka Mazalat Mostamara” [The Unionist Party in its statement about the June 30 Revolution: The battle continues], al-Yum al-Sabe‘, June 30, 2015, http://www.youm7.com/story/2015/6/30/حزب-التجمع-فى-بيانه-عن-ثورة-30-يونيو-المعركة-مازالت/2246321.

7 The Free Egyptians’ Party, “Bernamej al-Hezb” [The party’s program], Hezb al-Misriyyin al-Ahrar, no date, accessed on March 29, 2017, http://almasreyeenalahrrar.com/برنامج-الحزب.

8 ‘Alaa Ahmed, “al-Misryyin al-Ahrar: ‘Alayena al-Takatuf Lel-Mohafaza ‘Ala Thawrat 30 Yunuyu” [The Free Egyptians: We have to unite to protect the June 30 Revolution], Misrawy, June 28, 2016, http://www.masrawy.com/News/News_Egypt/details/2016/6/28/876550/-المصريين-الأحرار-علينا-التكاتف-للمحافظة-على-ثورة-30-يونيو. The Egyptian Social Democratic Party positioned itself differently, arguing for a national fight against terrorism; ‘Abder al-Garhi, “al-Misri al-Dimuqrati Be-Bani Suwaif Yad’u al-Sha’ab Lel-Istifaf Li-Muwajahat al-Irhab” [The Egyptian Social Democratic Party calls on the People to stand united in face of terrorism], al-Bawaba, February 16, 2015, http://www.albawabhnews.com/1119100.

9 “al-Misryyin al-Ahrar: Nad‘am Mashru‘ al-Sisi Le-Benaa’ Dawla Madaniya Haditha” [The Free Egyptians: We endorse Sisi’s project to build a modern civil state], Baladna al-Yum, January 8, 2016, http://www.baladnaelyoum.com/183242.

10 “Ra’is Kutlat al-Misriyyin al-Ahrar Bel-Barlaman: al-Misriyyun Tasadu Lel-Irhab al-Fekri Lel-Ikhwan” [Head of the Free Egyptians’ parliamentary bloc: Egyptians faced the ideational terrorism of the Muslim Brothers], Mubtadaa’ News Agency, May 13, 2016, http://www.mobtada.com/video/video.php?vid=23857.

11 The Constitution Party, “Bernamej Hezb al-Dostur” [Program of the Constitution Party], Hezb al-Dostur, October 3, 2012, https://www.facebook.com/notes/حزب-الدستور-القاهرة-aldostour-cairo/برنامج-حزب-الدستور-1/264399043681126/; and “Ta‘yyin al-Barad‘i Na’eban Le-Ra’is Misr Wel-Beblawi Ra’issan Lel-Hokuma” [Baradei appointed Egypt’s vice-president and Beblawi becomes the prime minister], al-‘Arabiya, July 9, 2013, http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/egypt/2013/07/09/تعيين-الببلاوي-رئيساً-للحكومة-وبدء-المشاورات-التشكيل.html.

12 Hend Mukhtar, “al-Yum al-Sabe‘ Yanshur al-Qa’ema al’Kamela Le-Tashkil Hokumat al-Thawra Be-Ri’asat Hazem al-Beblawi” [al-Yum al-Sabe‘ publishes the full list of the revolution’s government headed by Hazem al-Beblawi], al-Yum al-Sabe‘, July 16, 2013, http://www.youm7.com/story/0000/0/0/-/1164450.

13 Mohamed Nassar, “Ba‘d Rafd al-Indemaj.. Hal Tafshal Ahzab al-Tayyar al-Dimuqrati Fi al-Tansiq Bel-Mahliyyat?” [After the merging refusal.. Are the Democratic Current’s parties destined to fail in municipal elections’ coordination?], Misr al-‘Arabiya, July 17, 2016, http://www.masralarabia.com/الحياة-السياسية/1159927-هل-تفشل-أحزاب-التيار-الديمقراطي-في-التنسيق-بـ-المحليات؟.

14 The Egyptian Popular Current, “Bayan al-Quwa al-Siasiya Be-Khusus al-Mohakamet al-‘Askariya Lel-Madaniyyin” [Statement of political forces regarding putting civilians on military trials], al-Tayyar al-Sha‘abi al-Misri, November 24, 2013, https://www.facebook.com/TayarSha3by/photos/a.398028120233749.78301.397975316905696/592296440806915/?type=3&theater; Ahmed al-Khatib, “al-Qadaa’ al-‘Askari Yatamadad Fi Misr Wa Yankamesh Fi al-‘Alam” [The military judiciary expands in Egypt and declines in the world], Sasa Post, October 29, 2014, http://www.sasapost.com/courts-martial-expansion/; and ‘Abdel Rahman Salah, “al-Tayyar al-Sha‘abi Yad‘u al-Quwa al-Thawriyya Lel-Tawhud Le-Ilgha’ al-Mohakamet al-‘Askriyya Lel-Madaniyyin” [The Popular Current calls upon revolutionary forces to unite to end military trials for civilians], al-Fajr,quoted in Masress, November 26, 2013, http://www.masress.com/elfagr/1469008.

15 Abu al-Fadl al-Isnawi, “Foras Wa Tahadiyyat Fawz Hamdin Sabahi Fi al-Intekhabat al-Ri’asiyya” [Chances and challenges for Hamdeen Sabahi’s candidacy in the presidential elections], al-Badil, Feburary 23, 2014, http://elbadil.com/2014/02/فرص-وتحديات-فوز-حمدين-صباحي-في-الانتخا/.

16 Samar Salama, “Saba‘ Ahzab Totaleb al-Sisi Bel-‘Afaw al-Ri’asi ‘Aan al-Mo‘taqaliyn Wa Ta‘dil Qanun al-Tazahor” [Seven parties calls on Sisi to pardon political prisoners and to amend the protest law], al-Yum al-Sabe‘, June 21, 2014, http://www.youm7.com/story/0000/0/0/-/1737028; Kilani, “Hikayat Men Daftar al-Ikhtifaa’ al-Qasri” [Cases of forced disappearances], al-Watan, October 11, 2015, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/816481; and Khaled al-Shami & ‘Ala’ Sarhan, “Ahzab Todin al-Dakheliya: Lam Tastau‘eb al-Dars” [Parties condemn the ministry of the interior: It did not learn the lesson], al-Misri al-Yum, January 25, 2015, http://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/641039.

17 The Egyptian Popular Current, “Awqefu Istehedaf al-Modafe‘in ‘Aan Hoquq al-Insan.. Bayan Moshtarak” [Stop repressing human rights defenders.. joint statement], al-Tayyar al-Sha‘abi al-Misri, July 17, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/TayarSha3by/photos/a.398028120233749.78301.397975316905696/1028889823814239/?type=3&theater.

18 The Egyptian Popular Current, “Awqefu al-Hujum ‘Ala Horiyyat al-Sahafa” [Stop the attacks on the press], al-Tayyar al-Sha‘abi al-Misri, April 5, 2016, https://www.facebook.com/TayarSha3by/photos/a.398028120233749.78301.397975316905696/972863856083503/?type=3&theater.

19 The Egyptian Social Democratic Party, “al-Bernamej” [The program], al-Hezb al-Misri al-Dimuqrati al-Ijtema‘i, no date, accessed on March 29, 2017, http://www.egysdp.com/البرنامج.

20 Omniya ‘Adel, “Hezb al-Misriyyin al-Ahrar Yo‘len Indemam Qiyadat Men al-Misri al-Dimuqrati” [Free Egyptians Party announces social democrats’ leaders to join], Misr al-‘Arabiya, May 17, 2014, http://www.masralarabia.com/الحياة-السياسية/271165-حزب-المصريين-الأحرار-يعلن-انضمام-قيادات-من-المصري-الديمقراطي.

21 “Mataleb Bel-Qabd ‘Ala Abu al-Fottuh Wa Hal Hezb Misr al-Quwiyya” [Demands to arrest Abu al-Fottuh and to dissolve the Strong Egypt Party], Arabi 21, February 14, 2015, https://arabi21.com/story/809586/مطالب-بالقبض-على-أبو-الفتوح-وحل-حزب-مصر-القوية.

22 Heba ‘Abdel Sattar, “al-Mostaqiylun Men al-Tahalof al-Sha‘abi Yo‘lenun Ta’sis Hezb al-‘Aish Wa al-Horiyya Lel-Hefaz ‘Ala Ruh al-Thawra” [Resgining members of the Popular Alliance announce the formation of the Bread and Freedom Party to safeguard the spirit of the revolution], Ahram, November 25, 2013, http://gate.ahram.org.eg/News/422615.aspx.

23 ‘Abdel Ghani Diyab, “Sawt al-Mo‘arada al-Mabhuh Taht al-Qoba” [The opposition’s faint voice in parliament], Misr al-‘Arabiya, July 22, 2016, http://www.masralarabia.com/الحياة-السياسية/1169167-بالفيديو-ائتلاف-25-30-من-قالوا-لا-في-وجه-من-قالوا-نعم.

24 Khaled Hassan, “Ra’is I’telaf Da‘em Misr: Narfod Itehamena Bel-Saytara ‘Ala ak-Barlaman Wa Tamrir Qawanin al-Hokuma” [Head of In Support of Egypt Bloc: We reject the accusation of monopolizing parliament and of passing the government’s laws], Al-Monitor, May 24, 2016, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/ar/contents/articles/originals/2016/05/support-egypt-coalition-parliament-interview-sisi-terrorism.html.

25 Mostafa al-Najar, “Khitat al-Neqabat al-Mostaqela Lel-Tas‘id Ded al-Hokuma.. 10 Khatawat Le-Muwajahat al-Tadiyyiq al-Hokumi ‘Ala ‘Aamalaha.. Abrazaha Tabeni ‘Adaa’ al-Barlaman Le-Matalebohom” [Independent unions’ plan against the government.. 10 steps to confront governmental restrictions.. most significantly adoption of their demands by MPs], al-Yum al-Sabe‘, December 13, 2015, http://www.youm7.com/story/2015/12/13/خطة-النقابات-المستقلة-للتصعيد-ضد-الحكومة-10-خطوات-لمواجهة-التضييق/2486654.

26 Ashraf ‘Azuz, “Wakil Majles al-Sha‘ab al-Sabeq: al-Qame‘ Mostamer Wa Awdaa‘ Hoquq al-Insan Fi Misr Zeft” [Former vice speaker of the People’s Assembly: Repression continues and human rights conditions in Egypt are terrible], Barlamani,quoted in Akhbarek Net, August 15, 2016, http://www.akhbarak.net/articles/22845138-المقال-من-المصدر-وكيل-مجلس-الشعب-السابق; Khalil al-‘Anani, “Misr: Al-Motaterfun Hum Akthar al-Mostafidin Men Siyasat al-Sisi al-Qam‘iyya” [Egypt: Militans are the prime beneficiaries of Sisi’s repressive policies], Noon Post, January 11, 2017, http://www.noonpost.org/content/16126.

27 Iman al-Waraqi, “al-Ahzab al-Siyasiya Fi Mahb al-Riyeh” [Political parties destabilized], Aswat Misriya, February 21, 2017, http://www.aswatmasriya.com/news/details/73324.

28 Yara Saleh, “‘Aduw Be-Majles al-Atebaa’ Yakshef Tafasil I‘tedaa’ Amin Shorta ‘Ala Tabib al-Matariya” [Member of the Doctors’ Syndicate reveals the details of a policeman’s attack on the Matariya Hospital doctor], al-Bedaya, January 28, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/01/28/105792.

29 “Jame‘ Tarikhi Hashed Lel-Atebaa’ Fi Misr Ihtijajan ‘Ala I‘tedaa’at al-Shorta ‘Aliyhom” [Historic assembly for doctors in Egypt protesting police attacks on them], BBC, Feburary 13, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/arabic/middleeast/2016/02/160212_egypt_doctors_protest.

30 Hazem ‘Adel, “Ghadan.. Nazar Da‘wa Wazir al-Seha Le-Botlan Qarar al-Atebaa’ Le-Waqef Qararat ‘Omumeyatehom” [Tomorrow.. Considering the minister of health’s appeal to annul the doctors’ decision regarding the general assembly’s decisions], al-Yum al-Sabe‘, October 8, 2016, http://www.youm7.com/story/2016/10/8/غداً-نظر-دعوى-وزير-الصحة-لبطلان-قرار-الأطباء-لوقف-قرارات/2913597.

31 “Ahzab Wa Noshtaa’ Yotlequn Hamlat ‘Misr Mesh Lel-Bai‘’ Le-Isqat Itafaqiyet Tiran Wa Sanafir Ma‘a al-Sa‘udiya” [Parties and activists launch ‘Egypt is not for Sale’ campaign to bring down the Tiran and Sanafir treating with Saudi-Arabia], CNN, April 22, 2016, http://arabic.cnn.com/middleeast/2016/04/22/egypt-opposition-campaign-tiran-sanafir; The Egyptian Social Democratic Party, “Bayan al-Hezb al-Misri al-Dimuqrati al-Ijtema‘i Defa‘an ‘Aan Wahdat al-Watan La Lel-Tafrit Fi al-Jozor” [Statement of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party in defense of the territorial integrity of the nation and in rejection to the selling of the islands], Al-Hezb al-Misri al-Dimuqrati al-Ijtema‘i, April 11, 2016, http://www.egysdp.com/d-127-دفاعا,عن,وحدة,الوطن,لا,للتفريط,فى,الجزر; Naglaa’ Solayman, “‘Joma‘at al-Ard Hiya al-‘Ard’ Da‘wat Lel-Tazahor Fi Maidan al-Tahrir” [Friday of ‘Land is Honor’ calls to demonstrate in Tahrir Square], Shoruq, April 12, 2016, http://www.shorouknews.com/news/view.aspx?cdate=12042016&id=37b175a3-cd76-467e-9c8c-d35fd57ec4e8; Sami Sa‘id, “Intefadat ‘al-Ard Hiya al-‘Ard’: Qabedun ‘Ala Jamr al-Helm Wa al-Amal” [‘Land is Honor’ uprising: Determined to keep the dream and the hope], al-Badil, April 15, 2016, http://elbadil.com/2016/04/انتفاضة-الأرض-هي-العرض-قابضون-على-جم/; ‘Abdallah Bedair, “Hamdin Sabahi B‘ad Hokm ‘Tiran Wa Sanafir’: ‘Aash Man Sanu Ard Wa ‘Ard Misr” [Hamdeen Sabahi after the ‘Tiran and Sanfir’ court ruling: Long live those who safeguarded Egypt’s land and honor], Misr al-‘Arabiya, June 21, 2016, http://www.masralarabia.com/سوشيال-ميديا/1120002-حمدين-صباحي-بعد-حكم-تيران-وصنافير-عاش-من-صانوا-أرض-وعرض-مصر.

32 ‘Abdallah Hamed, “Tafasil Wa Tad‘iyat Iqteham al-Amn al-Misri Neqabat al-Sahafiyyin” [Details and consequences of the Egyptian security storming of the Syndicate of Journalists], Al Jazeera, May 2, 2016, http://www.aljazeera.net/news/reportsandinterviews/2016/5/2/تفاصيل-وتداعيات-اقتحام-الأمن-المصري-نقابة-الصحفيين.

33 Biysan Kassab, “Mobadarat ‘Hamdin’: ‘Badil’ Ghayr Wadeh.. Wa Asa’ela Bela Ijabat” [Hamdeen’s initiative: Not a clear alternative and questions without answers], Mada Misr, March 7, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/03/07/feature/سياسة/مبادرة-حمدين-بديل-غير-واضح-وأسئلة-بلا/; Mostafa Mohie, “B‘ad Mobadarat ‘Hejji’.. Men Yofaker Fi Intekhabat al-Ri’asa 2018?” [After Heggy’s initiative.. who is thinking about the presidential elections 2018?], Mada Misr, August 7, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/08/07/feature/سياسة/بعد-مبادرة-حجي-من-يفكر-في-انتخابات-الر/.

34 Hajar ‘Othman, “Dr. Rabab al-Mahdi Fi Hewar Lel-Bedaya: Misr Ta‘ish Aswaa’ Lahazateha” [Dr. Rabab al-Mahdi in an interview with Albedaiah: Egypt lives its worst moments], al-Bedaya, June 15, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/06/15/115031; ‘Abdel Rahman Aiyad, “Kayfa Tara al-Mo‘arada al-Misriya Nafsaha Ka-Badil Siyasi?” [How does the Egyptian opposition sees itself as a political alternative?], Sasa Post, August 16, 2016, http://www.sasapost.com/egyptian-opposition/.

35 Ibn al-Dawla, “Ili ‘Aayzin Mosalaha Ma‘a al-Ikhwan.. Ishrabu.. al-Ikhwan A‘daa’ Lehaza al-Watan” [Those who want reconciliation with the Brothers.. Get lost.. The Brothers are enemies to this nation], al-Yum al-Sabe‘, June 8, 2015, http://www.youm7.com/story/2015/6/8/ابن-الدولة-يكتب-اللى-عاوزين-مصالحة-مع-الإخوان-اشربوا-الإخوان/2215781.

36 “All According to Plan: The Rab‘a Massacre and Mass Killings of Protesters in Egypt,” Human Rights Watch, June 12, 2014, https://www.hrw.org/report/2014/08/12/all-according-plan/raba-massacre-and-mass-killings-protesters-egypt.

37 On the evening of July 3, 2013, the police arrested Mohamed Sa‘ad al-Katatny, the speaker of the 2012 Parliament and chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, and Rashad Bayoumy, deputy general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood. Both were charged with the murder of demonstrators in the midst of the popular protests that spread throughout Egypt in the summer of 2013. On July 5, Khayrat al-Shater, also deputy general guide of the movement, was arrested and charged with the same accusations. On July 29, the police arrested Abou al-‘Oula Mady, the chairman of the Wasat Party, and his vice chairman, ‘Essam Soltan. They were charged with inciting the killing of protesters and insulting the judiciary. In the wake of the brutal dispersal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s sit-ins in the Nahda and Rabaa squares on August 14, 2013, there were successive arrests of first-tier leaders. Mohamed Badie‘, general guide of the movement, was arrested on August 20, 2013. Mohamed el-Beltajy, secretary-general of the Freedom and Justice Party, followed on the 29 of the same month. Badie‘ and el-Beltajy were charged with inciting violence and killing during the sit-ins as well as conspiring with foreign countries. On October 30, 2013, the security forces arrested the vice chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, ‘Essam al-‘Eryan and charged him the same set of accusations. By the fall of 2013, most Islamist leaders were imprisoned. Those leaders who were not imprisoned had to flee Egypt to avoid being arrested. They include Mahmud ‘Izzat, currently the acting general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood; Mahmud Hussein, secretary general of the movement; Mohamed Mahsoub of the Wasat Party, minister of parliamentary affairs under Morsi; and the chairman of the Islamist Construction and Development Party, Tarek el-Zomor. See Yosry Badry, “Masdar amny: al-Qabd ‘Ala Sa‘ad al-Katatny wa Rashad Bayoumy” [Security source: Sa‘ad al-Katatny and Rashad Bayoumy have been arrested], al-Misri al-Yum, July 4, 2013, http://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/230709; Samy ‘Abdel Rady and Mahmud al-Jarhy, “al-Neyaba Towajeh ‘al-Katatny wa Bayoumy’ be-Tohmet Qatl 22 wa al-Shorou‘ Fey Qatl 211 Fey ‘Majzarat Bayn al-Sarayat’”[Prosecutors accuse al-Katatny and Bayoumy for the murder of 22 individuals and the attempted murder of 211 in the massacre of Bayn al-Sarayat], al-Watan, July 6, 2013, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/219702; “al-Qabd ‘Ala Khayrat al-Shater al-Rajel al-Qawy Fey Jama‘at al-Ikhwan” [The arrest of Khayrat al-Shater the strong man in the Muslim Brotherhood], BBC, July 5, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/arabic/middleeast/2013/07/130706_ikhwan_shater_arrest; al-Walid Isma‘il, “‘al-Watan’ Tanfared be-Nashr Nas al-Tahqeeqat ma‘a Khayrat al-Shater Fey Qadeyet ‘Majzarat al-Irshad’” [al-Watan publishes the official text of the Interrogation of Khayrat al-Shater in the Irshad Massacre], al-Watan, August 18, 2013, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/266413; al-‘Arabiya, “al-Qabd ‘Ala ‘Essam Soltan wa Abou al-‘Oula Mady wa Tarhelahoma le-Tora” [The arrest of ‘Essam Soltan and Abou al-‘Oula Mady and sent to Tora Prison], al-‘Arabiya, July 29, 2013, https://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/egypt/2013/07/29/القبض-على-عصام-سلطان-وأبو-العلا-ماضي-وترحيلمها-لطره.html; “al-Azma Fey Masr: al-Qabd ‘Ala Mohamed Badei‘ al-Morshed al-‘Aam lel-Ikhwan al-Moslimeen” [Crisis in Egypt: The arrest of Mohamed Badei‘, the general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood], BBC, August 20, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/arabic/middleeast/2013/08/130820_egypt_badie_arrest; “I‘teqal Mohamed al-Beltajy al-Qeeyady Fey al-Ikhwan al-Moslimeen” [The Arrest of Mohamed al-Beltajy Leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood], BBC, August 29, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/arabic/middleeast/2013/08/130829_egypt_beltagi_arrested; Mohamed Sharqawy, “Masder Qada`ie Yakshef La`ehet al-Itahamat al-Mowajaha lel-Beltajy…al-Neyaba Tatahemohu bel-Tahreed bel-`Amr al-Mubasher ‘Ala A‘amal ‘Onf Fey Ahdath ‘Rab‘a al-‘Adaweya’ wa ‘al-Nahda’ wa ‘al-Haras al-Jumhoury’…wa al-Takhabor le-Saleh Jehat Ajnabeya” [A judicial source reveals the list of accusations directed at al-Beltajy, inciting violence in Rab‘a, Nahda, and the Republican Guard Incidents], al-Yum al-Sabe‘, August 29, 2013, http://www.youm7.com/story/2013/8/29/مصدر-قضائى-يكشف-لائحة-الاتهامات-الموجهة-للبلتاجى-النيابة-تتهمه-بالتحريض/1226351; al-‘Arabiya, “Ilqa` al-Qabd ‘Ala al-Qeeyady al-Ikhwany ‘Essam al-‘Eryan bel-Qahera” [The arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leader ‘Essam al-‘Eryan], al-‘Arabiya, October 30, 2013, https://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/egypt/2013/10/30/إلقاء-القبض-على-القيادي-في-الإخوان-عصام-العريان.html; al-Misreyun, “Ayna Ikhtafa Mahmud ‘Ezzat?” [Where did Mahmud ‘Ezzat disappear?], al-Misreyun, February 4, 2014, https://almesryoon.com/دفتر-أحوال-الوطن/814677-أين-اختفى-محمود-عزت- ؟; ‘Adel ‘Abdel Rahman, “Mahmud Hussein al-Ameen al-‘Aam lel-Ikhwan al-Moslimeen… le-Madha Istahadafohu be-Hadhahy al-Sharasa” [Mahmud Huseein the secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood…Why did they pursue him with such vengeance?], Kalemty, June 9, 2015, http://klmty.net/379319-محمود_حسين_الأمين_العام_للإخوان_المسلمين___لماذا_استهدافه_بهذه_الشراسة_ ؟_.html; Mostafa al-Maghreby, “Mohamed Mahsoub Yakshef Tafaseel ‘Ard al-Sisi lel-Ikhwan Qabl Bayan 3 Youlyou” [Mohamed Mahsoub reveals the details of the deal Sisi gave the Muslim Brotherhood prior to the July 3 statement], Misr al-‘Arabiya, July 2, 2016, http://www.masralarabia.com/سوشيال-ميديا/1136121-محمد-محسوب-يكشف-تفاصيل-عرض-السيسي-للإخوان-قبل-بيان-3-يوليو; Magdy ‘Abdel Rasoul, “Masder le-Veto: Horoub Tarek al-Zomor wa ‘Essem ‘Abdel Majed be-Mo‘awanet Ajheza Seeyadeya… al-Amn Sa‘edohoma Fey al-Khorouj Men Masr Tajanoban lel-Sedam ma‘a al-Jama‘at al-Islameya…al-Qeeyadeyan bel-Jama‘a al-Islameya Harba Taht She‘ar al-Hejra al-Mou`qata” [Source to Veto: The escape of Tarek al-Zomor and ‘Essem ‘Abdel Majed in cooperation with high-ranked leaders…Security officials helped them to leave Egypt to avoid clashing with Islamist groups…The leaders escaped under the guise of “temporary immigration”], Veto Gate, December 2, 2013, http://www.vetogate.com/725701.

38 Sayyid Redwan, “Fi 3 Sanawat.. al-Marad Wa al-Rosas Yaqtolan 30 Qiyadiyan Wa Kaderan Lel-Ikhwan” [In 3 years.. Illness and bullets kill 30 leaders and operatives of the Brotherhood], Rassd, October 5, 2016, http://rassd.com/194225.htm.

39.Mohamed Hamama, “Lajnat al-Tahafoz ‘Ala Amwal al-Ikhwan Fi Muwajahat al-Qadaa’” [Committee to confiscate the Brothers’ money in confrontation with the judiciary], Mada Misr, November 24, 2016, https://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/11/24/feature/سياسة/لجنة-التحفظ-على-أموال-الإخوان-في-مواجه/.

40 “Misr To‘len al-Ikhwan al-Moslemiyn Jama‘a Irhabiya Yohakemha al-Qanun” [Egypt declares the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group and subjects it to legal accountability], al-‘Arabiya, December 25, 2013, http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/egypt/2013/12/25/مصر-تعلن-جماعة-الإخوان-المسلمين-جماعة-إرهابية.html. As of early 2017, the administrative court system is still considering appeals to the declaration of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Mohamed al-‘Omda, “al-Qadaa’ al-Idari Yu’ajel Da‘wa Botlan Qarar Hal Jam‘iyat al-Ikhwan Ila 26 Yunyu” [The administrative judiciary postpones annulling dissolving the Brothers’ organization to June 26], al-Watan, April 17, 2016, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/1103378.

41 Mohamed al-‘Omda, “Haythiyat Hal al-Horiyya Wa al-‘Adala” [Legal reasons for dissolving the Freedom and Justice Party], al-Watan, August 10, 2014, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/536077.

42 Ahmed Samir, “Khitab al-Karahiya: Hal To‘id Misr Tajrobat Rwanda” [Hate speech: Will Egypt repeat the experience of Rwanda?], Idaa’at, February 14, 2016, http://ida2at.com/hate-speech-repeat-egypt-experience-ronda/.

43 Mohamed Shoman, “Kashef Mokhatat al-Ikhwan al-Hadama al-Hadefa Le-Darb al-Iqtesad” [Revealing the Brothers’ destructive plans to damage the economy], Ahram, September 25, 2016, http://www.ahram.org.eg/News/192034/38/552671/حوادث/كشف-مخططات-الإخوان-الهدامة-الهادفة-لضرب-الاقتصاد.aspx; Mahmud ‘Abdel Radi, “al-Dakheliya Tohbet Akbar Mu’amara Lel-Ikhwan Le-Darb al-Iqtesad” [The ministry of the interior upsets the Brothers’ biggest conspiracy to damage the economy], al-Yum al-Sabe‘, September 24, 2016, http://www.youm7.com/story/2016/9/24/الداخلية-تحبط-أكبر-مؤامرة-لـ-الإخوان-لضرب-الاقتصاد-التنظيم-الإرهابى/2894955; Mohamed ‘Abdel Halim, “Atlaqateha Men Torkiya.. Khetat al-Ikhwan al-Irhabiya Le-Darb al-Iqtesad al-Misri“ [Launched in Turkey.. The Brotherhood’s terrorist plan to damage the Egyptian economy], Dot Misr, August 28, 2016, http://www.dotmsr.com/details/أطلقتها-من-تركيا-خطة-الإخوان-الإرهابية-لضرب-الاقتصاد-المصري.

44 Amal Mahdi, “‘al-Ikhwan’.. al-Irhab Wa Tasaqot al-Aqne‘a al-Za’efa” [‘The Brotherhood’.. Terrorism and the fall of fake masks], al-Bawaba, January 3, 2014, http://www.albawabhnews.com/306253; Hani al-Waziri et al, “Khetat Isqat al-Dawla: al-Ikhwan Wa Mokhabarat Torkiya Wa Qatar Yabda’un al-Mu’amara Ded Misr 19 Nuvamber” [The plot to bring the state to fall: The Brothers and the intelligence services of Turkey and Qatar start their conspiracy against Egypt on November 19], al-Watan, November 12, 2013, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/354373.

45 Mohamed al-Mohandes, “al-Sira‘ Dakhel al-Ikhwan Bayn al-Selmiya Wa al-‘Onf 1” [the struggle within the Brotherhood between nonviolence and violence 1], Misr al-‘Arabiya, August 29, 2015, http://www.masralarabia.com/المقالات/201-محمد-المهندس/711757-الصراع-داخل-الإخوان-بين-السلمية-والعنف-1; Mohamed al-Mohandes, “al-Sira‘ Dakhel al-Ikhwan Bayn al-Selmiya Wa al-‘Onf 2” [the struggle within the Brotherhood between nonviolence and violence 2], Misr al-‘Arabiya, September 8, 2015, http://www.masralarabia.com/المقالات/201-محمد-المهندس/723219-الصراع-داخل-الإخوان-بين-السلمية-والعنف-2; Mohamed al-Mohandes, “al-Sira‘ Dakhel al-Ikhwan Bayn al-Selmiya Wa al-‘Onf 3” [the struggle within the Brotherhood between nonviolence and violence 3], Misr al-‘Arabiya, September 12, 2015, http://www.masralarabia.com/المقالات/201-محمد-المهندس/727543-الصراع-داخل-الإخوان-بين-السلمية-والعنف-3; Mohamed al-Mohandes, “al-Sira‘ Dakhel al-Ikhwan Bayn al-Selmiya Wa al-‘Onf 4” [the struggle within the Brotherhood between nonviolence and violence 4], Misr al-‘Arabiya, September 19, 2015, http://www.masralarabia.com/المقالات/201-محمد-المهندس/735641-الصراع-داخل-الإخوان-بين-السلمية-والعنف-4; Mohamed al-Mohandes, “al-Sira‘ Dakhel al-Ikhwan Bayn al-Selmiya Wa al-‘Onf 5” [the struggle within the Brotherhood between nonviolence and violence 5], Misr al-‘Arabiya, September 26, 2015, http://www.masralarabia.com/المقالات/201-محمد-المهندس/742935-الصراع-داخل-الإخوان-بين-السلمية-والعنف-5.

46 Mohamed ‘Abdel Halim, “al-Khiyanat al-Maliya ‘Toqate‘ Sharayyin’ al-Ikhwan.. Wa al-Da‘em Moqabel al-Walaa’” [Financial betrayals dismantle the Brotherhood.. Financial support in return for loyalty], Dot Misr, September 3, 2016, http://www.dotmsr.com/details/الخيانات-المالية-تقطع-شرايين-الإخوان-والدعم-مقابل-الولاء.

47 “‘Auagiz al-Ikhwan Yansebun Fakhan Le-Jabhat al-Shabab” [The elderly of the Brotherhood conspire against the youngsters’ front], al-Misriyyun, December 24, 2016, https://almesryoon.com/دفتر-أحوال-الوطن/994781-«عواجيز-الإخوان»-ينصبون-فخًا-لجبهة-الشباب; “‘Auagiz al-Ikhwan Lel-Shabab: Notalbekom Bel-I‘tezar” [The Broterhood’s elderly to the youngsters: We demand an apology], al-Misriyyun, January 18, 2017, https://almesryoon.com/دفتر-أحوال-الوطن/1011425-عواجيز-الإخوان-لـ-«الشباب»-نطالبكم-بالاعتذار.

48 Mohamed Hamama, “Bayan Jadid Le-Jabhat ‘Shabab al-Ikhwan’ Yu’asek Le-Istekhedam al-Selah Wa al-Takhali ‘Aan al-Selmiya” [A new statement from the Brotherhood’s ‘Youngsters Front’ legitimizes the use of arms and gives up nonviolence], Mada Misr, January 9, 2017, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2017/01/09/news/u/ورقة-داخلية-إخوانية-تكشف-تبنيهم-للعنف/.

49 Mai Shams al-Din, “Jama‘at al-‘Iqab al-Thawri.. Bayn al-Dawla Wa al-Jama‘a” [Revolutionary punishment groups.. Between the state and the Broterhood], Mada Misr, June 21, 2015, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2015/06/21/feature/سياسة/جماعات-العقاب-الثوري-بين-الدولة-والجم/; Mohamed Hamama, “Haraket ‘Hasm’ Ila al-Wajeha Ba‘d ‘Amaliyateha al-Thaletha” [HASM movement to the front after its third attack], Mada Misr, September 11, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/09/11/news/سياسة/حركة-حسم-إلى-الواجهة-بعد-عمليتها-الثا/.

50 “Erdogan: Torkiya Satoraheb Be-Qiyadat al-Ikhwan” [Erdogan: Turkey will welcome leaders of the Brotherhood], BBC, September 16, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/arabic/middleeast/2014/09/140916_turkey_qatar_muslim_brothers; Imil Amin, “al-Shatat al-Ikhwani Men London Ila Graz” [Brotherhood’s diaspora from London to Graz], al-Bayan, April 21, 2014, http://www.albayan.ae/opinions/articles/2014-04-21-1.2105892; Mada Misr, “al-Shatat al-Ikhwani: Kuwalis Khoruj al-Ikhwan Men Qatar” [Brotherhood’s diaspora: Behind the Brothers’ exodus from Qatar], September 26, 2014, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2014/09/26/feature/سياسة/الشتات-الإخواني-كواليس-خروج-الإخوان-م/.

51 “Fi al-Sojun Honak Motase‘ Lel-Jamie‘.. Taqrir Jadid Lel-Shabaka al-‘Arabiya” [In prisons there is place for all.. A new report from the Arab Network], Mada Misr, September 5, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/09/05/news/u/في-السجون-هناك-متسع-للجميع-تقرير-جدي/.

52 ‘Omar Sa‘id, “Maza Yakhdoth Dakhel al-Ikhwan al-Moslemiyn.. Moqarabun Wa ‘Adaa’ Yojibun” [What is happening inside the Muslim Brotherhood.. Affiliates and members answer], Mada Misr, June 8, 2015, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2015/06/08/feature/سياسة/ماذا-يحدث-داخل-الإخوان-المسلمين-مقربو/; Heba ‘Afifi, “Thawrat al-Ghalaba 11/11.. Inteshar Wasae‘ Yohiytoho al-Ghomud” [The revolution of the needy 11/11.. widespread mobilization surrounded by ambiguity], Mada Misr, November 6, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/11/06/feature/سياسة/ثورة-الغلابة-1111-انتشار-واسع-يحيطه-الغ/.

53 Mohamed Muwafi, “al-Qesa al-Kamela Wazir Mobarak Yosh‘el Intefadat al-Khobz Bel-Mohafazat” [The full story Mobarak’s minister ignites a bread uprising in the governorates], Misr al-‘Arabiya, March 7, 2017, http://www.masralarabia.com/اقتصاد/1378410-الخبز-؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟؟. .

54 “Haqiqat Isteqalat al-Ikhwan“ [The truth behind the Brotherhood’s resignations], al-Misriyyun, December 21, 2015, https://almesryoon.com/دفتر-أحوال-الوطن/838200-حقيقة-استقالات-الإخوان.

55 Mostafa Makhluf & Shaymaa’ al-Qaranshawi, “al-Idariya al-‘Olya Taqdi Be-‘Adam Jawaz Ihalat Da‘wa Hal Hezb al-Nur” [The supreme administrative court rules against dissolving the Nur Party], al-Misri al-Yum, July 5, 2015, http://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/768527.

56 Mahmud ‘Abbas, “Lemaza Ayad Hezb al-Nur al-Inqelab al-‘Askari Ded Morsi?” [Why did the Nur Party support the military coup against Morsi], Noon Post, October 24, 2015, http://www.noonpost.org/انقلاب-مصر/لماذا-أيد-حزب-النور-الانقلاب-العسكري-ضد-مرسي؟.

57 Nada al-Misri, “Lagnat al-Khamsin” [The committee of 50], Misriyyat, September 2, 2013, http://www.masreat.com/لجنة-الخمسين-تعديل-الدستور/.

58 Wa’el Thabet, “Hezb al-Nur Yo‘len Da‘amaho Lel-Sisi Fi al-Intekhabat al-Ri’asiya” [Nur Party announces its support for Sisi in the presidential elections], al-Badil, May 3, 2014, http://elbadil.com/2014/05/حزب-النور-يعلن-دعمه-للسيسي-في-الانتخاب/.

59 Hossam Bahgat, “Hakaza Intakhab al-Sisi barlamanoho” [Here is how Sisi elected his parliament], Mada Masr, March 8, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/03/08/feature/سياسة/هكذا-انتخب-السيسي-برلمانه/.

60 Khaled ‘Abdel Rasul et al, “al-Kharita al-Neha’iya Lel-Ahzab Wa al-Mostaqeliyn Taht al-Qoba” [The final chart of parties and independents in parliament], al-Watan, December 4, 2015, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/850811.

61 Hani Ramdan, “Majles al-Sha‘ab al-Misri 2012.. al-Tashkil Wa al-Maham“ [The Egyptian People’s Assembly 2012.. Composition and Mandate], BBC, January 23, 2013, http://www.bbc.com/arabic/middleeast/2012/01/120123_egypt_palt_hani; Do‘aa’ ‘Abdel Latif, “Hezb al-Nur.. Sefr al-Intekhabat Yoghayir al-Hesabat” [The Nur Party.. Election’s zero changes calculations], Al Jazeera, October 22, 2015, http://www.aljazeera.net/news/reportsandinterviews/2015/10/22/حزب-النور-المصري-عندما-ينتهي-التلون-بالفشل%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%B4%D9%84.

62 Mohamed al-Sudani, “Admen Kolena Khaled Sa‘id Ya‘ud Ba‘d Ghiyab Wa Yotaleb Be-Tawhod Quwa al-Thawra” [Admin of Khaled Said’s Facebook page returns after absence and demands unity among the revolution’s forces], Misr al-‘Arabiya, May 20, 2015, http://www.masralarabia.com/سوشيال-ميديا/598231-أدمن-كلنا-خالد-سعيد-يعود-بعد-غياب-ويطالب-بتوحد-قوى-ثورة-يناير.

63 “al-Safaha al-Rasmiya” [Maspero’s Youth Union.. The official page], Itehad Shabab Maspiru, no date, accessed April 1, 2017, https://www.facebook.com/pg/Coptic.Masbero/about/?ref=page_internal; Dina ‘Ezzat, “Ra’is Itehad Shabab Maspiru Fi Hadith ‘Aan al-Muwatana al-Kamela” [President of the Maspero’s Youth Union in a conversation about equal citizenship], Shoruq, October 22, 2016, http://natega.shorouknews.com/news/view.aspx?cdate=22102016&id=5f960266-e6d2-467a-8df0-38e79c386957.

64 “4 A‘wam ‘Ala Majazret Maspiru Wa Lazal al-Motawaretiyn Fi Ghiyab Men al-‘Adala” [4 years since the Maspiro massacre and those implicated remain away from justice], Human Rights Monitor, October 9, 2015, http://humanrights-monitor.org/Posts/ViewLocale/18283#.WMdkCBhh3Vo.

65 ‘Alyaa’ Mosalam, “‘Aan Hob al-Hayat Wa Habs ‘Alaa’” [On loving life and Alaa Seif’s imprisonment], al-Horiyya Lel-Jeda‘an, Facebook, February 22, 2105, https://www.facebook.com/Al7oriallgd3an/photos/a.110216819090186.15443.110174469094421/650145251764004/?type=1&theater.

66 Ahmed al-Fakharani, “Misr: Hamlat al-Horiyya Lel-Jeda‘an.. La Tuwqef al-I‘teqalat” [Egypt: Freedom for the Brave campaign does not stop arrests], al-Modon, February 8, 2014, http://www.almodon.com/arabworld/2014/2/8/مصر-حملة-الحرية-للجدعان-لا-توقف-الاعتقالات.

67 Najwa Mostafa, “al-Horiyya Lel-Jeda‘an.. Hamla Le-Noshataa’ Misriyyin Lel-Motalba Bel-Ifraj ‘Aan al-Mo‘taqliyn al-Siyasiyyin” [Freedom for the Brave.. A campign by Egyptian activists to demand the release of political prisoners], Ra’ay al-Yum, February 6, 2014, http://www.raialyoum.com/?p=50160.

68 Mahmud Hassuna, “al-Horiyya Lel-Jeda‘an: 163 Halat Ikhtefaa’ Qasri Wa Ihtejaz Dun Tahqiq Monzo Abril“ [Freedom for the Brave: 163 cases of forced disappearances and detentions without legal proceedings], al-Watan, June 8, 2015, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/746597.

69 Shaymaa’ Hamdi, “al-Horiyya Lel-Jeda‘an Tabdaa’ Hamlat ‘Ide‘amuhom’ Lel-Ifraj ‘Aan al-Mo‘taqliyn al-Siyasiyyin” [Freedom for the Brave launches “Support Them” campaign to demand the release of political prisoners], al-Badil, Feburary 25, 2014, http://elbadil.com/2014/02/الحرية-للجدعان-تبدأ-حملة-ادعموهم-للإ/.

70 “al-Horiyya Lel-Jeda‘an Totleq Hamlat ‘La Lel-Habs al-Inferadi’” [Freedom for the Brave launches “No to Solitary Confinement” campaign], Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, June 9, 2016, http://anhri.net/?p=166611.

71 Shaymaa’ Hamdi, “al-Horiyya Lel-Jeda‘an Tabdaa’ Hamlat ‘Ide‘amuhom’ Lel-Ifraj ‘Aan al-Mo‘taqliyn al-Siyasiyyin” [Freedom for the Brave launches “Support Them” campaign to demand the release of political prisoners], al-Badil, Feburary 25, 2014, http://elbadil.com/2014/02/الحرية-للجدعان-تبدأ-حملة-ادعموهم-للإ/; “al-Horiyya Lel-Jeda‘an: Zanazin al-Zolm Habsa al-‘Eid” [Freedom for the Brave: Prison cells full of injustice undermine religious feast’s happiness], al-Misriyyun, October 3, 2014, https://almesryoon.com/دفتر-أحوال-الوطن/568347-الحرية-للجدعان-زنازين-الظلم-حابسة-العيد.

72 Amr Hamzawy, “Legislating Authoritarianism: Egypt’s New Era of Repression,” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, March 16, 2017, http://carnegieendowment.org/2017/03/16/legislating-authoritarianism-egypt-s-new-era-of-repression-pub-68285.

73 Ahmed Jamal Ziyada, “Waqaa’e‘ ‘Omumiyat al-Karama’” [Proceedings of the ‘dignity’s general assembly’], Mada Misr, Feburary 12, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/02/12/feature/سياسة/وقائع-عمومية-الكرامة-عناد-الداخلية-ي/; Biysan Kassab, “Ayna Taqef al-Neqabat al-Mehaniya Men Azmat al-Sahafiyyin?” [Where do professional associations stand with regard to the crisis of the Syndicate of Journalists?], Mada Misr, May 3, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/05/03/feature/سياسة/أين-تقف-النقابات-المهنية-من-أزمة-الصحف/.

74 “Sera‘ al-Nezam Wa al-Neqabat al-Mehaniya Fi Misr; Men Mobarak Ila al-Sisi” [The conflict between the regime and professional associations in Egypt: From Mobarak to Sisi], Sasa Post, Feburary 12, 2016, https://www.sasapost.com/the-conflict-between-egyptian-regime-and-syndicates/; “al-Ikhwan Wa al-Neqabat Fi ‘Ahd Mobarak” [The Brotherhood and the professional associations during Mobarak’s Era], Ikhwan Wiki, no date, accessed on March 30, 2017, http://www.ikhwanwiki.com/index.php?title=الإخوان_والنقابات_فى_عهد_مبارك.

75 Mahiytab ‘Abdel Fattah, “Mostashfa al-Matariya Waqud Intefadat al-Atebaa’” [Matariya hospital fuels the doctors’ uprising], al-Badil, Feburary 13, 2016, http://elbadil.com/2016/02/مستشفي-المطرية-وقود-انتفاضة-الأطبا/.

76 And per the narrative of the doctors’ syndicate, one of the police officers assaulted Ahmed Mahmud el-Tayeb, the resident doctor in the surgery department in the Matariya hospital after the doctor refused the request of the police officer to prove unreal injuries in his medical report. As a result, the police officer attacked the doctor and the administrative deputy at the hospital with the help of another police officer that was with him, and then they took them over to the Matariya police station to continue abusing and assaulting their dignity. However, the police officer has released them and returned them to the hospital. See Ahmed Mohamed ‘Abdel Baset, “Bel-Sewar: Atebaa’ Misr.. Men Yokhayet Jirahahom?” [In pictures: Egypt’s doctors.. who can heel their injuries?], al-Watan, February 12, 2016, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/969748.

77 Ibid.

78 Ibid.

79 “Neqabat Atebaa’ Misr Tad‘u A‘daa’eha Le-Hodur al-Jam‘iya al-‘Omumiya al-Tare’a al-Jome‘a 12 Febrayir” [Egyptian Doctors’ Syndicate calls its members to attend the exceptional general assembly on February 12], Egyptian Medical Syndicate, February 5, 2016, http://www.ems.org.eg/our_news/details/3895.

80 “Jame‘ Tarikhi Hashed Lel-Atebaa’ Fi Misr Ihtijajan ‘Ala I‘tedaa’at al-Shorta ‘Aliyhom” [Historic assembly for doctors in Egypt protesting police attacks on them], BBC, Feburary 13, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/arabic/middleeast/2016/02/160212_egypt_doctors_protest.

81 Osama Ja‘fer, “Bel-Sewar: Waqafat al-Karama Fi Jamie‘ Mostashfayat al-Jomhuriya” [In pictures: Dignity Rallies in all hospitals across the republic], Egyptian Medical Syndicate, Feburary 20, 2016, http://www.ems.org.eg/our_news/details/3956.

82 Mohamed Hussein, “Atebaa’ Misr Yaqudun Akbar Muwajaha ‘Ghayr Siyasiya’ Ded al-Solta Monzo 2013” [Egypt’s doctors lead the largest non-political confrontation with the government since 2013], Huffington Post Arabic, February 13, 2016, http://www.huffpostarabi.com/2016/02/13/story_n_9221338.html.

83 Ahmed Ghonim, “Ra’is al-Wuzaraa’ Yuwajeh Be-Mo‘aqabat al-Modanin Fi Azmat Atebaa’ al-Matariya” [The prime minister orders the punishment of those accused in the Matariya doctors’ crisis], al-Watan, February 12, 2016, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/969859.

84 “Ra’is al-Wuzaraa’: Sa-Ijtame‘ Ma‘a al-Atebaa’ Wa Wazir al-Seha Qariban Le-Hal Azmat al-Matariya” [The prime minister: I will meet with the doctors and the minister of health soon to solve the Matariya crisis], al-Watan, February 15, 2016, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/974992.

85 A phone interview conducted by Nihad Abboud, the author’s research assistant, with Dr. Mai Hassan Khalil, a member of the elected board of the Egyptian Doctors’ Syndicate, Fall 2016.

86 “Taa’jil Mohakamet 9 Omanaa’ Shorta Fi Ahdath Mostashfa al-Matariya Ila 20 Sebtamber” [Adjournment of court proceedings against 9 policemen implicated in the Matariya hospital’s incidient to September 20], Aswat Misriya, July 19, 2016, http://www.aswatmasriya.com/news/details/65735.

87 For example, the administrative judiciary issued in the fall of 2015 a ruling that entails the legitimacy of the doctors who work in the public hospitals and facilities to have an “infection compensation” of 1,000 EGP per month. However, the government abstained from carrying out and implementing the decision, and it stretched the negotiations with the doctors’ syndicate until the latter decided to end the negotiations in the fall of 2016. See Hadir al-Khodari, “Neqabet al-Atebaa’ Tuwqef Mofawadat Badl al-‘Adawa Ma‘a al-Hokuma” [Doctors’ Syndicate stops negotiations with the government regarding the infection compensation], Aswat Misriya, October 17, 2016, http://www.aswatmasriya.com/news/details/68875.

88 Raniya ‘Omar, “Tashwih Sowrat al-Atebaa’.. Jadid al-I‘lam al-Misri” [Defamation of doctors.. a new trend in the Egyptian media], al-‘Arabi al-Jadid, February 19, 2016, https://www.alaraby.co.uk/medianews/2016/2/19/تشويه-صورة-الأطباء-جديد-الإعلام-المصري.

89 Mahiytab ‘Abdel Fattah, “Ghadab Be-Sabab al-Tahqiq Ma‘a Mona Mina.. Wa Atebaa’ Yuqarerun al-I‘tesam” [Anger because of interrogating Mona Mina.. Doctors decide to perform a sit-in], al-Badil, November 3, 2016, http://elbadil.com/2016/11/30/غضب-بسبب-التحقيق-مع-منى-مينا-وأطباء/.

90 “Dr. Hazem Hosni: al-Ta‘atof Ma‘a al-Atebaa’ Fi Waqfatohom Ded Taghuwel Nezam al-Sisi Yu’aked Wa‘ai al-Misriyyin” [Dr. Hazem Hosni: Solidarity with doctors in their standoff with the aggressive Sisi regime proves awareness of Egyptians], al-Taqrir al-Misri, February 13, 2016, http://www.egyrep.com/د-حازم-حسني-التعاطف-مع-الأطباء-في-وقفت/; “Mohame: Hefz al-Tahqiqat Ma‘a Mona Mina Fi Itehameha Be-Nashr Akhbar Kazeba” [Lawyer: Interrogations of Mona Mina in the accusation of propagating false news are stopped], Aswat Misriya, March 12, 2017, http://www.aswatmasriya.com/news/details/73824.

91 “China, Egypt Imprison Record Numbers of Journalists,” Committee to Protect Journalists, December 15, 2015, https://www.cpj.org/reports/2015/12/china-egypt-imprison-record-numbers-of-journalists-jail.php; “2016 Prison Census: 259 Journalists Jailed Worldwide,” Committee to Protect Journalists, December 1, 2016, https://cpj.org/mideast/egypt/.

92 “Taqrir Dawli: Misr Thani Aswaa’ Dawla Fi Habs al-Sahafiyyin Bel-‘Alam” [International report: Egypt is the second worst country in jailing journalists worldwide], Aswat Misriya, December 15, 2015, http://www.aswatmasriya.com/news/details/52625 .

an dir=”LTR”> 93. “‘Fi Joma‘at al-Ard’.. al-Qabd ‘Ala Motazahiriyn Fi al-Isma‘iliya Wa al-Mansura.. Wa Tazahorat Mohit al-Sahafiyyin Mostamera Raghm al-Tadiyyiq al-Amni” [On the ‘Land Friday’.. Arrests of demonstrators in Isma‘iliya and Mansura.. Demonstration around the Syndicate of Journalists continues despite security restrictions], Mada Misr, April 15, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/04/15/news/u/في-جمعة-الأرض-القبض-على-متظاهرين-في-ال/.

94 “Bel-Asmaa’.. al-Mosharekun Fi Mozaharat ‘al-Ard Hiya al-‘Ard’” [In names.. Participants in the ‘Land is Honor’ demonstrations], al-Misriyyun, April 14, 2016, https://almesryoon.com/دفتر-أحوال-الوطن/876448-بالأسماء-المشاركون-في-مظاهرات-«الأرض-هي-العرض».

95 “‘Joma‘at al-Ard’ Tatasader Twitter Fi al-‘Alam” [‘Land is Honor’ Friday leads twitter feeds worldwide], CNN, April 15, 2016, http://arabic.cnn.com/middleeast/2016/04/15/egypt-tiran-sanafir-25th-january.

96 “al-Amn Ya‘taqel al-‘Asharat Wa Yofareq Tazahorat ‘al-Ard’ Bel-Khatush Wa al-Ghaz” [Security arrests dozens and disbands ‘Land is Honor’ demonstrations using rubber bullets and teargas], Mada Misr, April 25, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/04/25/feature/سياسة/الأمن-يعتقل-العشرات-ويُفرق-تظاهرات-ال/.

97 “Jabhat al-Defae‘ ‘Aan Motazahiri al-Ard; Mo‘taqaluw Ihtejajat Tiran Wa Sanafir 100 Motazahirin” [Front for the defense of land demonstrators: 100 arrested in Tiran and Sanafir protests], al-Qods al-‘Arabi, April 15, 2016, http://www.alquds.co.uk/?p=517028.

98 Suzan ‘Abdel Ghani, “Nanshor Asmaa’ 230 Mo‘taqalan Men Motazahiri 25 Abril” [We publish the names of 230 arrested demonstrators on April 25], al-Bedaya, April 27, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/04/27/112063; “Egypt: Fearing Protests, Police Arrest Hundreds. Journalists, Lawyers Among Those Apprehended,” Human Rights Watch, April 27, 2016, https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/04/27/egypt-fearing-protests-police-arrest-hundreds.

99 Yanayir Gate, http://yanairgate.net/; “Mahmud al-Saqqa Le-CNN: al-Nezam Yu’adeb Thawrat Yanayir” [Mahmud al-Saqqa to CNN: The regime disciplines the January Revolution], CNN, October 2, 2016, http://arabic.cnn.com/middleeast/2016/10/02/egypt-mahloud-saqqa-interview.

100 Ibrahim al-Hawari, “Masdar Amni: ‘Amr Badr Wa Mahmud al-Saqqa Sader Lahoma Amr Dabt Wa Ihedar Be-Tohmat al-Tajamhor Wa al-Tahrid ‘Ala al-Tazahor” [Security source: An arrest warrant has been issued against Amr Badr and Mahmud al-Saqqa with unlawful assembly and inciting to demonstrate charges], Sada al-Balad, May 1, 2016, http://www.elbalad.news/2174518.

101 Mohamed ‘Atef, “‘Amr Badr Wa al-Saqqa Yadkholan Fi I‘tesam Maftuh Be-Neqabat al-Sahafiyyin I‘teradan ‘Ala Dabtehem Wa Ihdarehem Wa Iqteham Manazelehem” [Amr badr and al-Saqqa begin an open sit-in in the journalists’ syndicate protesting their arrest warrant and the storming of their homes], al-Bedaya, April 30, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/04/30/112210.

102 “Le-Aual Mara Fi Tariykh al-Neqaba Quwat al-Amn Taqtahem Neqabat al-Sahafiyyin Wa Tolqi al-Qabd ‘Ala Badr Wa al-Saqqa” [For the first time in the syndicate’s history security forces storm the journalists’ syndicate and arrest Badr and al-Saqqa], Misr al-‘Arabiya, May 1, 2016, http://www.masralarabia.com/الحياة-السياسية/1040213-قوات-الأمن-تقتحم-نقابة-الصحفيين-وتُلقي-القبض-على-بدر-والسقا.

103 Samar Medhat, “Fi Zekra Ta’sisaha.. 5 Mahtat Hama Be-Tariykh Neqabat al-Sahafiyyin” [On its anniversary.. 5 significant milestones in the history of the Syndicate of Journalists], al-Wafd, March 31, 2016, https://alwafd.org/أخبار-وتقارير/1103331-في-ذكرى-تأسيسها-5-محطات-هامة-بتاريخ-«نقابة-الصحفيين».

104 Mohamed Qasem, “Bel-Sewar.. Tafasil Iteham ‘Amr Badr Wa Mahmud al-Saqqa Bel-Taharid ‘Ala al-Tazahor” [In pictures.. Details of accusing Amr Badr and Mahmud al-Saqqa of inciting demonstrations], al-Yum al-Sabae‘, May 2, 2016, http://www.youm7.com/story/2016/5/2/بالصور-تفاصيل-اتهام-عمرو-بدر-ومحمود-السقا-بالتحريض-على-التظاهر/2701144.

105 Samir Hosni, “Qalash: al-Amn Iqtaham Neqabat al-Sahafiyyin Lel-Mara al-Aula Bel-Tariykh Wa Onashed al-Ra’is al-Tadkhol” [Qalash: security forces stormed the journalists’ syndicate for the first time ever and I call on the president to interfere], al-Yum al-Sabae‘, May 1, 2016, http://www.youm7.com/story/2016/5/1/قلاش-الأمن-اقتحم-نقابة-الصحفيين-للمرة-الأولى-بالتاريخ-وأناشد-الرئيس/2699928.

106 Yara Saleh, “Jamal ‘Abdel Rahim Yotaleb Be-‘Azl Wazir al-Dakheliya Wa Yohamel al-Sisi Mas’uwliyat Iqteham al-Sahafiyyin” [Jamal Abdel Rahim demands the dismissal of the minister of the interior and blames Sisi for the storming of the journalists’ syndicate], al-Bedaya, May 2, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/05/02/112357.

107 ‘Abdallah Bedair, “Khaled al-Balshi: Iqteham Neqabat al-Sahafiyyin I‘tedaa’ Ghashem Wa Ghayr Masbuq” [Khaled el-Balshy: Storming the journalists’ syndicate is a violent and unprecedented aggression], Misr al-‘Arabiya, May 1, 2016, http://www.masralarabia.com/سوشيال-ميديا/1040291-خالد-البلشي-اقتحام-نقابة-الصحفيين-اعتداء-غاشم-وغير-مسبوق .

n dir=”LTR”> 108. Ingy Taha, “Mahmud Kamel Mo‘leqqan ‘Ala Iqteham al-Sahafiyyin: al-Dakheliya Tasir Bel-Watan Le-Hafat al-Hawiya” [Mahmud Kamel commenting on the storming of the journalists’ syndicate: The ministry of the interior pushes the nation to the brink], al-Wafd, May 1, 2016, https://alwafd.org/أخبار-وتقارير/1157777-محمود-كامل-معلقًا-على-اقتحام-الصحفيين-الداخلية-تسير-بالوطن-لحافة-الهاوية.

109 Mohamed Jamal, “Iqalat Wazir al-Dakheliya Wa Taswid al-Sohof.. Mataleb Neqabat al-Sahafiyyin Ba‘d Istebahat Maqaraha Men Qebl al-Amn” [Dismissing the minister of the interior and blackening of newspapers.. demands of the journalists’ syndicate after security forces stormed its premises], Huffington Post Arabic, May 2, 2016, http://www.huffpostarabi.com/2016/05/02/story_n_9818926.html.

110 Mohamed al-Sayyid, “Nanshor Qararat al-Jam‘iya al-‘Omumiya Lel-Sahafiyyin Radan ‘Ala Azmat Iqteham al-Neqaba” [We publish the decisions of the general assembly of the journalists’ syndicate in response to the crisis following the storming of the syndicate], al-Yum al-Sabae‘, May 4, 2016, http://www.youm7.com/story/2016/5/4/ننشر-قرارات-الجمعية-العمومية-للصحفيين-ردا-على-أزمة-اقتحام-النقابة/2703692.

111 Wagih al-Saqqar et al, “Kol al-Ajyal Wa al-Itejahat Fi Ijtemae‘ ‘al-Osra al-Sahafiya’ Bel-Ahram” [All generations and directions in attendance in the ‘Press Family’ meeting in Ahram], Ahram, May 9, 2016, http://www.ahram.org.eg/NewsPrint/510614.aspx.

112 “Bayan Ijtemae‘ al-Osra al-Sahafiya Bel-Ahram” [Statement of the ‘Press Family’ meeting in Ahram], Ahram, May 8, 2016, http://shabab.ahram.org.eg/News/48053.aspx .

n dir=”LTR”> 113. Mina Ghali, “Isted‘aa’ Qalash Wa al-Balshi Wa ‘Abdel Rahim Lel-Tahqiq Fi Waqe‘at ‘Badr Wa al-Saqqa’ al-Ahad” [Citing Qalash, Balshy, and Abdel Rahim for interrogation in the incident of ‘Badr and al-Saqqa’ on Sunday], al-Misri al-Yum, May 28, 2016, http://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/955793.

114 “al-Neyaba Tohil Naqib al-Sahafiyyin al-Misriyyin Wa Ithnayn Men al-A‘daa’ Le-Mohakama ‘Ajela” [Prosecution refers head of the elected board of the journalists’ syndicate and two members to an expedited trial], BBC, May 31, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/arabic/worldnews/2016/05/160530_egypt_journalists_detention.

115 “Mahkama Misriya Taqdi Be-Habs Naqib al-Sahafiyyin Wa ‘Odawin Fi Majles al-Neqaba Le-‘Amayn” [An Egyptian court sentences head of the elected board of the journalists’ syndicate and two members to two years in imprisonment], BBC, November 19, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/arabic/middleeast-38038271.

116 Mo‘taz Shams al-Din, “Tazamonan Ma‘a Hadith al-Sisi ‘Aan Horiyyat al-I‘lam.. Akbar Hamlat Dabt Wa Ihedar Lel-Sahafiyyin Wa Modahamt 6 Maqarat I‘lamiya Qabl 11 Nufamber” [Coinciding with Sisi’s talk about media freedom.. Biggest campaigh to arrest journalists and storming of 6 media facilities prior to November 11], Huffington Post Arabic, October 27, 2016, http://www.huffpostarabi.com/2016/10/27/story_n_12669428.html .

117 ‘Abdel Rahman Riyad, “al-Haraka al-Tolabiya: Ghiyab al-Qadiya Wa Aulawiyat al-Sera‘” [The student movement: Absent cause and struggle priorities], Mada Misr, March 18, 2015, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2015/03/18/opinion/u/الحركة-الطلابية-غياب-القضية-وأولويات/.

118 Mohamed Hamama, “‘Alamat Istefham Hawl Ta‘dilat ‘La’ehat al-Itehadat al-Tolabiya” [Questions marks about the amendments of the bylaws of student unions], Mada Misr, October 20, 2015, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/sections/politics/علامات-استفهام-حول-تعديلات-لائحة-الاتحادات-الطلابية.

119 “1677 Ihtejaj Tolabi Khelal al-Fasal al-Derasi al-Aual Le-‘Aam 2013-2014” [1677 student protests during the first semester of the academic year 2013-2014], Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya, no date, accessed on March 30, 2017, http://demometer.blogspot.ch/2014/03/1677-2013-2014_31.html.

120 According to the Democracy Index Institution, the number of students who have been deprived of their freedom reached 1,326 within the first semester of the 2013–2014 academic year and dozens were killed due to the excessive force of the security apparatuses. See: Ibid.

121 Sherihan Ashraf, “‘Audat al-Dabtiya al-Qada’iya Dakhel al-Jame‘at Tonzer Be-Qame‘ al-Fasaa’el al-Siyasiya al-Tolabiya” [Legalizing arresting students on campuses again threatens to repress all student political groupings], al-Badil, September 5, 2013, http://elbadil.com/2013/09/عودة-الضبطية-القضائية-داخل-الجامعا/.

122 “Hokm al-Mahkama al-Ideariya al-‘Olya Fi Qadiyat al-Haras al-Jame‘i” [the ruling of the supreme administrative court in the university guard’s case], Mu’asaset Horiyyat al-Fekr Wa al-Ta‘bir, October 26, 2010, http://afteegypt.org/academic_freedom/2010/10/26/177-afteegypt.html.

123 In the 2014–2015 academic year, Egyptian universities signed contracts with private security companies to carry out security business on campuses, which has resulted in some of the violent clashes between the protesting students and the private security companies’ personnel. Bassant Rabie‘, “Mo‘dalat Taa’min al-Haram al-Jame‘i” [The dilemma of security university campuses], Mada Misr, December 3, 2014, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2014/12/03/feature/سياسة/معضلة-تأمين-الحرم-الجامعي/.

124 Hesham al-Miyani, “Qarar Jomhuri Be-Tamkin Ru’asaa’ al-Jame‘at Men Tawqie‘ ‘Oqubat al-Fasl ‘Ala al-Tolab al-Lazina Yomaresun A‘malan Takhriyebiya” [Presidential decree to empower university presidents to dismiss students involved in destructive actions], Ahram, February 18, 2014, http://gate.ahram.org.eg/News/458004.aspx; Do‘aa’ ‘Adel, “Ta‘liqan ‘Ala Qanun al-Jame‘at.. ‘Omadaa’ Koliyat: Yahtaj Tawdihat Wa Men Haq al-Tolab al-Tazalom Ded Qararat al-Jame‘a” [Commeninting on the universities’ law.. Deans of different faculties: It warrants explanations and students have the right to appeal university decisions], al-Watan, February 19, 2014, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/421336; ‘Abdel Rahman Mosharaf, “Qanun Tanzim al-Jame‘at Yatasada Lel-Mokharebin Men Tolab al-Irhabiya Ma‘a Beda’ al-‘Aam al-Dirasi” [Universities’ law confronts rogue students of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood at the beginning of the new academic year], al-Yum al-Sabae‘, October 11, 2014, http://www.youm7.com/story/2014/10/11/قانون-تنظيم-الجامعات-يتصدى-للمخربين-من-طلاب-الإرهابية-مع-بدء/1901388.

125 Abdel Rahman Mosharaf, “Qanun Tanzim al-Jame‘at Yatasada Lel-Mokharebin Men Tolab al-Irhabiya Ma‘a Beda’ al-‘Aam al-Dirasi” [Universities’ law confronts rogue students of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood at the beginning of the new academic year], al-Yum al-Sabae‘, October 11, 2014, http://www.youm7.com/story/2014/10/11/قانون-تنظيم-الجامعات-يتصدى-للمخربين-من-طلاب-الإرهابية-مع-بدء/1901388.

126 “1677 Ihtejaj Tolabi Khelal al-Fasal al-Derasi al-Aual Le-‘Aam 2013-2014,” Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya.

127 ‘Ali Jamal al-Din, “Misr: Tolab Mafsulun Men al-Jame‘at Yakhshun Dayae‘ Mostaqbalehem” [Egypt: Students dismissed from universities fear a future career loss], BBC Arabic, November 20, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/arabic/middleeast/2014/11/141120_egypt_expelled_students.

128 “1677 Ihtejaj Tolabi Khelal al-Fasal al-Derasi al-Aual Le-‘Aam 2013-2014,” Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya.

129 “572 Ihtejaj Tolabi Khelal al-Fasal al-Derasi al-Aual 2014-2015” [572 student protests during the first semester of the academic year 2014-2015], Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya, no date, accessed on March 30, 2017, http://demometer.blogspot.ch/2015/04/572-2014-2015.html.

130 Besha Majed & Mai Shams al-Din, “30 Yunyu Ba‘d 3 Sanawat: al-Dawla Wa al-Jame‘at – Mohawalat al-Dawla Le-‘Adam Tasyis al-Jame‘at Tantahi Bel-Fashal” [June 30, 3 years on, the state and the universities – attempts by the state to depoliticize the univerisites are failing], Mada Misr, June 30, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/06/30/feature/سياسة/30-يونيو-بعد-3-سنوات-الدولة-والجامعات/.

131 Mohamed ‘Abdel Salam, “Man Yaqtol al-Tolab Fi al-Jame‘at al-Misriya?” [Who is killing students in Egyptian universities?], al-‘Arabi al-Jadid, August 6, 2015, https://www.alaraby.co.uk/supplementyouth/2015/8/6/من-يقتل-الطلاب-في-الجامعات-المصرية-.

132 “572 Ihtejaj Tolabi Khelal al-Fasal al-Derasi al-Aual 2014-2015,” Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya.

133 “Haraka ‘Ala Istehiyaa’ Wa Intehakat Mostamera.. Taqrir Hawl al-‘Aam al-Dirasi 2015/2016” [Limited movement and sustained violations.. A report about the academic year 2015-2016], Mu’asaset Horiyyat al-Fekr Wa al-Ta‘bir, August 16, 2016, http://afteegypt.org/academic_freedom/2016/08/16/12390-afteegypt.html.

134 Ibid.

135 Ibid.

136 The student unions’ bylaws, which was amended by the government of former president Morsi in 2012, was frozen after the coup in 2013, and the student union elections did not take place in the 2013–2014 and 2014–2015 academic years. See Islam Salah al-Din, “al-Itehadat al-Tolabiya.. Tariykh Men Mosadamat al-Hokam” [Student unions.. A history of confrontation with Egypt’s rulers], Shafaf, October 22, 2015, http://www.shafaff.com/article/9680.

137 Mohamed Hamama, “‘Alamat Istefham Hawl Ta‘dilat ‘La’ehat al-Itehadat al-Tolabiya” [Questions marks about the amendments of the bylaws of student unions], Mada Misr, October 20, 2015, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/sections/politics/علامات-استفهام-حول-تعديلات-لائحة-الاتحادات-الطلابية.

138 Ibid.

139 Mohamed Metwalli, “Nanshor al-Nataa’ej al-Kamela Le-Intekhabat al-Itehadat al-Tolab Fi al-Jame‘at” [We publish the complete results of student unions’ elections in universities], Misr al-‘Arabiya, November 17, 2015, http://www.masralarabia.com/شباب-وجامعات/796683-ننشر-النتائج-الكاملة-لانتخابات-اتحادات-الطلاب-في-الجامعات.

140 “‘Kasr al-Tawq’.. Kayf Istata‘a Tolab Mo‘aredun al-Fawz Fi al-Intekhabat al-Tolabiya?” [‘Breaking the siege’.. How opposition students managed to win student elections?], Mu’asaset Horiyyat al-Fekr Wa al-Ta‘bir, April 4, 2016, http://afteegypt.org/uncategorized/2016/04/04/12036-afteegypt.html; Mai Shams al-Din, “Fi Intekhabat Itehadat al-Tolab Bel-Jame‘at.. al-Siyasa Tahtader” [In student unions elections in universities.. politics is dying], Mada Misr, November 11, 2015, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2015/11/11/feature/سياسة/في-انتخابات-اتحادات-الطلاب-بالجامعات/.

141 “‘Abdallah Anwar Ra’is Itehad Tolab Misr” [Abdallah Anwar President of Egypt’s Student Union], Shababik, no date, accessed on March 30, 2017, http://shbabbek.com/SH-27101.

142 “Fawz al-Taleb ‘Amr al-Helew Be-Manseb Amin Itehad Tolab Jame‘at Tanta” [Student Amr al-Helew wins vice-chairmanship of the student union in Tanta University], Shababik, no date, accessed on March 30, 2017, http://shbabbek.com/SH-21846; “‘Abdallah Anwar Ra’is Itehad Tolab Misr” [Abdallah Anwar President of Egypt’s Student Union], Shababik, no date, accessed on March 30, 2017, http://shbabbek.com/SH-27101.

143 Mai Shams al-Din, “Fi Intekhabat Itehadat al-Tolab Bel-Jame‘at.. al-Siyasa Tahtader” [In student unions elections in universities.. politics is dying], Mada Misr, November 11, 2015, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2015/11/11/feature/سياسة/في-انتخابات-اتحادات-الطلاب-بالجامعات/.

144 Yussef Mohamed, “al-Shihi: Itehad Tolab Misr Ghayr Mo‘taraf Behi Ila Fi Hazehi al-Hala” [minister of higher education al-Shihi: Egypt’s Student Union will not be recognized except under one condition], Dot Misr, December 14, 2015, http://www.dotmsr.com/details/الشيحي-اتحاد-طلاب-مصر-غير-معترف-به-إلا-في-هذه-الحالة.

145 Wa’el Rabie‘I & Ahmed Hosni, “Monzamat Hoquqiya Todin Ilghaa’ Natijat Intekhabat Ra’is Itehad Tolab Misr Wa Na’ebehe” [Rights organization condemn the annulling of the results of electing the chairman and vice-chariman of Egypt’s student union], al-Yum al-Sabae‘, December 28, 2016, http://www.youm7.com/story/2015/12/28/منظمات-حقوقية-تدين-إلغاء-نتيجة-انتخابات-رئيس-اتحاد-طلاب-مصر/2512483.

146 “Haraka ‘Ala Istehiyaa’ Wa Intehakat Mostamera.. Taqrir Hawl al-‘Aam al-Dirasi 2015/2016” [Limited movement and sustained violations.. A report about the academic year 2015-2016], Mu’asaset Horiyyat al-Fekr Wa al-Ta‘bir, August 16, 2016, http://afteegypt.org/academic_freedom/2016/08/16/12390-afteegypt.html.

147 Yara Saleh, “Ha’ulaa’ Dafa‘u Thamn al-Defae‘ ‘Aan Tiran Wa Sanafir” [Those paid the price for defending Tiran and Sanafir], al-Bedaya, April 22, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/04/22/111666; Besha Majed & Mai Shams al-Din, “30 Yunyu Ba‘d 3 Sanawat: al-Dawla Wa al-Jame‘at – Mohawalat al-Dawla Le-‘Adam Tasyis al-Jame‘at Tantahi Bel-Fashal” [June 30, 3 years on, the state and the universities – attempts by the state to depoliticize the univerisites are failing], Mada Misr, June 30, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/06/30/feature/سياسة/30-يونيو-بعد-3-سنوات-الدولة-والجامعات/.

148 Ahmed Abdalla, The Student Movement and National Politics in Egypt, 1923-1973 (Cairo: American University Press, 2008).

149 ‘Abdel Rahman Naser, “al-Haraka al-Tolabiya Fi Misr Monzo al-Qarn al-Madi” [Student Movement in Egypt since the last century], Sasa Post, October 18, 2014, https://www.sasapost.com/the-student-movement-in-egypt-since-the-last-century/; Mohamed ‘Atef, “al-Haraka al-Tolabiya al-Misriya – al-Sedam Bayn al-Talaba Wa al-Solta” [The Egyptian student movement – The clash between the students and the government], Sasa Post, March 6, 2016, https://www.sasapost.com/opinion/the-student-movement-egyptian/.

150 Lina ‘Atallah, “Misr 2015: Kuz al-Mahba Itkharam” [Egypt 2015: Accord coming to an end], Mada Misr, December 31, 2015, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2015/12/31/feature/سياسة/مصر-2015-كوز-المحبة-اتخرم/; Ahmed Mohamed Mostafa & Hayat al-Ya‘qubi, “al-Dawr al-Siyasi Lel-Neqabat al-‘Omaliya al-‘Arabiya Fi Zel Thawarat al-Rabie‘ al-‘Arabi” [The political role of Arab labor unions amind the revolutions of the Arab spring], Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, 2015, http://festunis.org/media/2016/pdf/Le_role_politique_des_syndicats-en_arabe.pdf.

151 For the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (al-Markaz al-Misri Lel-Hoquq al-Iqtesadiya Wa al-Ijtema‘iya), see http://ecesr.org and for the Democracy Index Institution (Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya) see http://demometer.blogspot.com. Both pubslih periodic statistics for labor protests in Egypt and their qualitative and quantitative distribution.

152 “1117 Ihtejajan Lel-Motalaba Be-Hoquq al-‘Amal Khelal 2015” [1117 protests to demand labor rights during 2015], Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya, no date, accessed on March 31, 2017, http://demometer.blogspot.com/2016/01/1117-2015.html; “493 Ihtejajan ‘Omaliyan Khelal 4 Ashahor Yanayir – Abril 2016 Be-Motawaset 6 Ihtejajat Yumiyan Be-Ziyada 25% ‘Aan al-‘Aam al-Madi” [493 labor portests during the four months January – April 2016, an average of 6 daily protests, a 25% percent increase compared to the last year], Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya, no date, accessed on March 31, 2017, http://demometer.blogspot.com.eg/2016/04/493-4-6-25.html.

153 “Taqrir al-Ihtejajat al-‘Omaliya Le-‘Aam 2014” [Report on labor protests in 2014], al-Markaz al-Misri Lel-Hoquq al-Iqtesadiya Wa al-Ijtema‘iya, May 1, 2015, http://ecesr.org/2015/05/01/تقرير-الاحتجاجات-العمالية-لعام-2014/; “493 Ihtejajan ‘Omaliyan Khelal 4 Ashahor Yanayir – Abril 2016 Be-Motawaset 6 Ihtejajat Yumiyan Be-Ziyada 25% ‘Aan al-‘Aam al-Madi” [493 labor portests during the four months January – April 2016, an average of 6 daily protests, a 25% percent increase compared to the last year], Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya, no date, accessed on March 31, 2017, http://demometer.blogspot.com.eg/2016/04/493-4-6-25.html.

154 ‘Emad ‘Anan, “Fi Misr.. 1736 Ihtejajan Khelal ‘Aam Wa Tahazirat Men Ghadba Sha‘abiya Qadema” [In Egypt.. 1736 protests in a year and warnings that popular anger is risng], Noon Post, December 29, 2016, https://www.noonpost.net/content/15899.

155 “493 Ihtejajan ‘Omaliyan Khelal 4 Ashahor Yanayir – Abril 2016 Be-Motawaset 6 Ihtejajat Yumiyan Be-Ziyada 25% ‘Aan al-‘Aam al-Madi” [493 labor portests during the four months January – April 2016, an average of 6 daily protests, a 25% percent increase compared to the last year], Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya, no date, accessed on March 31, 2017, http://demometer.blogspot.com.eg/2016/04/493-4-6-25.html.

156 “1117 Ihtejajan Lel-Motalaba Be-Hoquq al-‘Amal Khelal 2015” [1117 protests to demand labor rights during 2015], Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya, no date, accessed on March 31, 2017, http://demometer.blogspot.com/2016/01/1117-2015.html.

157 In 2015, the number of workers and employees who were arrested because of protesting or calling for protests has almost reached seventy workers. See: “1117 Ihtejajan Lel-Motalaba Be-Hoquq al-‘Amal Khelal 2015” [1117 protests to demand labor rights during 2015], Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya, no date, accessed on March 31, 2017, http://demometer.blogspot.com/2016/01/1117-2015.html. Also, in 2015, more than eighty workers and employees have been arbitrarily dismissed in both the public and private sectors. See: Ibid.

158 Ibid.

159 Ibid.

160 “493 Ihtejajan ‘Omaliyan Khelal 4 Ashahor Yanayir – Abril 2016 Be-Motawaset 6 Ihtejajat Yumiyan Be-Ziyada 25% ‘Aan al-‘Aam al-Madi” [493 labor portests during the four months January – April 2016, an average of 6 daily protests, a 25% percent increase compared to the last year], Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya, no date, accessed on March 31, 2017, http://demometer.blogspot.com.eg/2016/04/493-4-6-25.html.

161 Nehal ‘Abdel Ra’uf, “Ihalat Da’wa Hal al-Neqabat al-Mostaqela Ila al-Dosturiya al-‘Olya” [Referral of the petition to dissolve independent unions to the Supreme Constitutional Court], Misr al-‘Arabiya, June 26, 2016, http://www.masralarabia.com/حوادث/1126944-إحالة-دعوى-حل-النقابات-المستقلة-إلى-الدستورية-العليا.

162 Hassan ‘Abdel Bar, “Qanun al-Neqabat al-‘Omaliya.. Geh Yekahalha ‘Ammaha” [Labor unions’ law.. dramatic deterioration instead of improvement], al-Badil, July 27, 2016, http://elbadil.com/2016/07/قانون-النقابات-العمالية-جه-يكحلها-عم/.

163 Ahmed al-Bora‘i, “Shar‘iyat al-Neqabat al-Mostaqela” [On the legitimacy of independent unions], Tahrir, May 23, 2015, http://www.tahrirnews.com/posts/197555/أحمد+البرعي+++النقابات+العمالية+++التضامن+الاجتماعي+++ويكيليكس+البرلمان+.

164 The Parliament approved the civil service law in October 2016. See: “al-Barlaman Yuwafeq Be-Shakl Nehaa’i ‘Ala Qanun al-Khedma al-Madaniya” [Parliament approves the civil service law], Aswat Misriya, October 4, 2016, http://www.aswatmasriya.com/news/details/68439.

165 “1117 Ihtejajan Lel-Motalaba Be-Hoquq al-‘Amal Khelal 2015” [1117 protests to demand labor rights during 2015], Mu’asaset Mu’asher al-Dimuqratiya, no date, accessed on March 31, 2017, http://demometer.blogspot.com/2016/01/1117-2015.html.

166 “al-Idrab al-Selmi Haq Le-Kol Muwaten” [Peaceful strike is a citizen’s right], Montada Qawanin al-Sharq, Feburary 18, 2015, http://www.eastlawsacademy.com/ForumPostView.aspx?I=118.

167 “Tadamonan Ma‘a ‘Omal ‘al-Iskandariya Lel-Ghazel Wa al-Nasij” [In solidarity with the workers of Alexandria Spinning and Weaving Company], al-Ishteraki, September 16, 2014, http://revsoc.me/statements/30886/.

168 “al-Idrabat al-‘Omaliya Tajtah al-Mohafazat” [Labor strikes storm governorates], al-Misriyyun, September 2, 2016, https://almesryoon.com/دفتر-أحوال-الوطن/920212-الإضرابات-العمالية-تجتاح-المحافظات.

169 Karem Yahaya, “Mehnat ‘Omal Tersanat al-Iskandariya” [The plight of the Alexandria Shipyard workers], al-Bedaya, July 19, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/07/19/116995.

170 Karem Yahaya, “Hona al-Iskandariya: al-Tabaqa al-‘Aamela.. Tazhab Ila al-Mahkama al-‘Askariya” [Here is Alexandria: The working class goes to the military court], al-Bedaya, July 13, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/07/13/116581.

171 “Taqrir: ‘Omal al-Tersana al-Bahariya Bayn Siyasat al-Tajuwie‘ Wa al-Mohakamat al-‘Askariya” [Report: The Alexandria Shipyard workers between starving policies and military trials], al-Markaz al-Misri Lel-Hoquq al-Iqtesadiya Wa al-Ijtema‘iya, October 18, 2016, http://ecesr.org/2016/10/18/تقرير-عمال-الترسانة-البحرية-بين-سياسا/.

172 Hadir al-Mahdawi, “al-Ta‘zib Wa al-Ikhtefaa’ al-Qasri Fi Misr.. Qeses Ma Waraa’ al-Arqam” [Torture and forced disappearance in Egypt.. the stories behind the numbers], Mada Misr, May 12, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/05/12/feature/سياسة/التعذيب-والاختفاء-في-مصر-قصص-ما-وراء-ا/; “Ahkam Bel-Sejn al-Moshadad Wa al-Habs Le-Dabet Wa 5 Omanaa’ Shorta Fi Maqtal Tal‘at Shabib Bel-Oqsor” [Imprisonment and detention sentences for a police officer and 5 policemen in the killing of Tal‘at Shabib in Luxor], Mada Misr, July 12, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/07/12/news/u/أحكام-بالسجن-المشدد-والحبس-لضابط-و5-أمن/.

173 The cases of outlaw killings and torture and violations that were most prominent in the media were linked to the police officers torturing the citizen ‘Emad al-Kabir in Giza Governorate (2006), the physical violence that led to the death of the Alexandrian Citizen Khaled Said (2010), and the detention and torturing and killing of the Alexandrian citizen Sayyid Belal (2011). See “Egypt: Bus Driver Raped by Police Forces Faces New Risk of Torture,” Human Rights Watch, January 12, 2007, https://www.hrw.org/ar/news/2007/01/12/231913; Shaher ‘Ayyad, “Khaled Sa‘id Men Daheyat Ta‘zib Ila Mofajer Thawrat al-Qasas Men al-Dakheliya” [Khaled Said from a torture victim to the catalyst of the revenge revolution against the ministry of the interior], al-Misri al-Yum, October 28, 2011, http://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/121627; Mohamed al-Sayyid, “Jenayat al-Iskandariya: al-Sejn 3 Sanawat Le-Dabet Sabeq Be-Amn al-Dawla Fi Qadiyat Ta‘zib Wa Qatl Sayyid Belal” [A criminal court in Alexandria: 3 years imprisonment for a former officer of the state security in the torturing and killing of Sayyid Belal], al-Bedaya, March 27, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/03/27/109851.

174 Khaled Hassan, “Hal Taa’yyid al-Qadaa’ Moraqabet al-Dakheliya Le-Mawaqae‘ al-Tawasul al-Ijtema‘i Qame‘ Lel-Horiyyat Am Hefaz ‘Ala al-Amn al-Qawmi?” [Is the judicial approval of security surveillance of social media an act of repressing freedoms or an act of preserving the country’s national security?], Al-Monitor, October 5, 2016, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/ar/originals/2016/10/egypt-court-support-decision-monitor-social-media-facebook.html.

175 Ahmed ‘Abdo, “Bel-Sura.. ‘Mafish Haten Be-Yethakem’.. Gerafiti Be-Shawarae‘ al-Oqsor Ba‘d Itehamat Lel-Shorta Be-Tawarot Fi maqtal Muwaten” [In picture.. ‘no policeman on trial’.. Graffiti in the streets of Luxor after accusations of the police implication in the killing of a citizen], al-Bedaya, November 27, 2015, http://albedaiah.com/news/2015/11/27/101376.

176 Rajab Adam, “al-Sejn al-Moshadad 7 Sanawat Le-Dabet Be-Tohmat Qatl ‘Tala‘at Shabib’” [7 years imprisonment for an officer in the killing of ‘Tala‘at Shabib’], al-Watan, July 12, 2016, http://www.elwatannews.com/news/details/1257885; Ahmed ‘Abdo, “al-Sejn 7 Wa 3 Sanawat Le-Dabet Wa 5 Omanaa’ Fi Qatl Wa Ta‘zib ‘Tala‘at Shabib’ Wa Ilzam al-Dakheliya Be-Meliyun Wa Nasef Ta‘wid Muw’aqt” [7 and 3 year imprisonment sentences for an officer and 5 policemen in the killing and torture of ‘Tala‘at Shabib’ and obligating the ministry of the interior to one and a half million pounds temporary reparation], al-Bedaya, July 12, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/07/12/116488.

177 Ahmed Abu ‘Arab, “Hesar Modiriyyat Amn al-Qahira Ba‘d Maqtal Shab ‘Ala Yad Amin Shorta” [Siege of the Cairo Security Directorate after the killing of a young man by a policeman], Misr al-‘Arabiya, February 18, 2016, http://www.masralarabia.com/توك-شو/934243-فيديو-مواطنون-يحاصرون-مديرية-أمن-القاهرة-بعد-مقتل-شاب-على-يد-أمين-شرطة.

178 Basel Basha, “al-Me’aat Men Ahali al-Darb al-Ahmar Yatazaharun Amam Modiriyyat Amn al-Qahira Ba‘d Qatl Amin Shorta Saa’eq ‘Tuk Tuk’” [Hundreds of citizens from al-Darb al-Ahmar demonstrate in front of the Cairo Security Directorate after a policeman kills a rickshaw driver], al-Bedaya, February 18, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/02/18/107361.

179 “Hashtag al-Darb al-Ahmar Yajtah Twitter” [# al-Darb al-Ahmar storms Twitter], al-Misriyyun, February 19, 2016, https://almesryoon.com/story/857678/هاشتاج-الدرب-الأحمر-يجتاح-تويتر.

180 “Le-Aual Mara Fi I‘tezar ‘Alani.. Wazir al-Dakheliya al-Misri: Noqabel Raa’s Kol Muwatan Ta‘arad Lel-Isaa’a” [For the first time in a public apology.. The Egyptian Minsiter of the Interior: We apologize to every citizen who confronted bad treatment], Huffington Post Arabic, February 22, 2016, http://www.huffpostarabi.com/2016/02/22/—_n_9290214.html.

181 Mohamed Mostafa, “Beda’ Mohakamat Amin al-Shorta al-Motaham Be-Qatl Saa’eq al-Darb al-Ahmar” [The trial of the policeman implicated in the killing of al-Darb al-Ahmar’s driver begins], al-Wafd, March 5, 2016, https://alwafd.org/حوادث-وقضايا/1067710-بدء-محاكمة-أمين-الشرطة-المتهم-بقتل-سائق-الدرب-الأحمر.

183 “al-Mu’abad Le-Raqib Shorta Motaham Be-Qatl Saa’eq al-Darb al-Ahmar” [Life long imprisonment for the policeman implicated in the killing of al-Darb al-Ahmar’s driver], Aswat Misriya, April 2, 2016, http://www.aswatmasriya.com/news/details/61224.

183 “al-Ikhtefaa’ al-Qasri Jariyma Ded al-Insaniya Taqrir ‘Aan Halat al-Ikhtefaa’ al-Qasri Fi al-Nasf al-Aual Men 2015” [Forced disappearance is a crime against humanity, a report on the cases of forced disappearance in the first half of 2015], Human Rights Monitor, August 4, 2015, http://humanrights-monitor.org/Posts/ViewLocale/15262#.WMhcrBhh3R0; “Halat al-Qatl Kharej Itar al-Qanun Wa al-Ikhtefaa’ al-Qasri Fi Aghostos 2015.. 79 Halat Qatl Fi Misr Wathaqatha Human Rights Monitor Khelal Shahr Aghostos 2015” [Cases of outlaw killings and forced disappearances in August 2015.. 79 cases of killing in Egypt during August 2015 documented by Human Rights Monitor], Human Rights Monitor, September 4, 2015, http://humanrights-monitor.org/Posts/ViewLocale/16289#.WMhc7Rhh3R0.

184 Hadir al-Mahdawi, “al-Ta‘zib Wa al-Ikhtefaa’ al-Qasri Fi Misr.. Qeses Ma Waraa’ al-Arqam” [Torture and forced disappearance in Egypt.. the stories behind the numbers], Mada Misr, May 12, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/05/12/feature/سياسة/التعذيب-والاختفاء-في-مصر-قصص-ما-وراء-ا/; Markaz al-Nadim Le-Taa’hil Dahayya al-‘Onf Wa al-Ta‘zib (al-Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Violence and Torture Victims), “Hasad al-Qahr Fi ‘Aam 2015” [Oppression balance sheet in 2015], Markaz al-Nadim Le-Taa’hil Dahayya al-‘Onf Wa al-Ta‘zib, January 10, 2016, http://www.alnadeem.org/content/حصاد-القهر-في-عام-2015.

185 On March 7, 2017, limited bread riots were reported in various Egyptian governorates. See: Hanan ‘Amer, “Intefadat al-Khobz Tasel al-Qahira” [The bread uprising reaches Cairo], Horiyya Post, March 7, 2017, http://horriapost.net/article/97566/عاجل—-انتفاضة-الخبز-تصل-القاهرة–; “Misrawy Yarsod Intefadat al-Khobz Fi al-Mohafazat Wa Taklefataha al-Iqtesadiya (Taghtiya Khasa)” [Masrawy captures the bread uprising in the governorates and its economic cost (special coverage)], Misrawy, March 7, 2017, http://www.masrawy.com/News/News_Reports/details/2017/3/7/1039372/مصراوي-يرصد-انتفاضة-الخبز-في-المحافظات-وتكلفتها-الاقتصادية-تغطية-خاصة- .

186 ‘Abdel Rahman Badr, “Tawabae‘ al-Tanazol ‘Aan Tiran Wa Sanafir” [The consequences of concedingTiran and Sanafir], al-Bedaya, April 10, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/04/10/110788; “al-Qadaa’ al-Idari Yahkom Be-Botlan Itefaq Tiran Wa Sanafir” [The administrative judiciary voids the Tiran and Sanafir Agreement], BBC June 21, 2016, http://www.bbc.com/arabic/middleeast/2016/06/160621_egypt_saudi_border_agreement_void; ‘Abdo Mahmud, “al-Idariya al-‘Olya Tu’ajel al-Ta‘an ‘Ala Hokm ‘Tiran Wa Sanafir’ Le-22 Octubar” [Supreme administrative court postpones the government’s appeal regarding the ‘Tiran and Sanafir’ ruling to October 22], Sada al-Balad, October 8, 2016, http://www.elbalad.news/2436261; Mohamed Basal, “Qadiyat ‘Tiran Wa Sanafir’ Tasl al-Mahkama al-Dosturiya” [The ‘Tiran and Sanafir’ case reaches the Constitutional Court], Shoruq, August 15, 2016, https://www.shorouknews.com/news/view.aspx?cdate=15082016&id=9328eff6-d323-42bd-909f-53837b8e15f6; Mohamed Yahaya, “Mahkamat al-Ommur al-Mosta‘jala: Tiran Wa Sanafir Sa‘udiya” [Court of expedited matters: Tiran and Sanafir are Saudi], Misr al-‘Arabiya, September 29, 2016, http://www.masralarabia.com/حوادث/1267701-محكمة-الأمور-المستعجلة-تيران-وصنافير-سعودية; Mohamed Hamama, “al-Ommur al-Mosta‘jala Taqdi Be-Waqf Hokm al-Qadaa’ al-Idari Be-Misriyyat Tiran Wa Sanafir” [Court of expedited matters rules to void the administrative court’s ruling regarding the Egyptianness of Tiran and Sanafir], Mada Misr, September 29, 2016, http://www.madamasr.com/ar/2016/09/29/news/u/قضت-محكمة-الأمور-المستعجلة،-اليوم-الخ/; “Ahmed Mussa: Motazaheru 25 Abril Khawana Wa Jawasis” [Ahmed Mousa: The demonstrators of April 25th are traitors and spies], al-Misriyyun, April 24, 2016, https://almesryoon.com/story/879350/أحمد-موسى-متظاهرو-25-إبريل-خونة-وجواسيس; Basel Basha, “Hezb al-Tajammoe‘: al-Da‘wun Le-Mozaharat 25 Abril Madfuw‘un Men Jehat Amriykiya Wa Gharbiya Le-Isqat Misr” [The Unionist Party: Promoters of April 25th demonstrations are pushed by American and Western actors to bring down Egypt], al-Bedaya, April 23, 2016, http://albedaiah.com/news/2016/04/23/111730; “Nas Hokm al-Idariya al-‘Olya Be-Misriyyat Tiran Wa Sanafir” [The verdict of the Supremen Administrative Court regarding the Egyptianness of Tiran and Sanafir], Misr al-‘Arabiya, January 16, 2017, http://www.masralarabia.com/حوادث/1346254-نص-حكم-الإدارية-العليا-بمصرية-تيران-وصنافير; Sa‘ad Hussein, “Masdar Qadaa’i: ‘al-Dosturiya’ Qad Taqdi Be-Ilghaa’ Hokm ‘al-Idariya’ Be-Shaa’n Tiran Wa Sanafir” [Judicial source: The Supreme Constitutional Court may cancel the ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court regarding Tiran and Sanafir], Aswat Misriya, January 16, 2017, http://www.aswatmasriya.com/news/details/72195.

—Amr Hamzawy
Senior Fellow
Middle East Program
Democracy and Rule of Law Program

Note: This article is for educational purposes. Its reproduction, in any form, can be had with the permission of the author/publisher whose original link ,from where it is reprodced, is given above.

Weber’s Protestant Ethic: a Marxist Critique-Juan Cruz Ferre

Posted by admin On April - 12 - 2017 Comments Off on Weber’s Protestant Ethic: a Marxist Critique-Juan Cruz Ferre


In this article, I critically analyze what is considered Max Weber’s most relevant sociological contribution, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. I make an attempt to contrast his worldview with that of Marx and other authors in the historical materialist tradition. Protestant asceticism is considered by Weber a central ideological underpinning for the emergence of modern capitalism. Although he lays out a nuanced analysis—widely overstretched by many scholars following his line of thought—he explicitly criticizes historical materialism as a framework that is inadequate in explaining the rise of capitalism.

In The Protestant Ethic we can identify what is arguably the central debate between Weberian and Marxist schools of thought: the predominance of ideas versus the centrality of material conditions and class struggle in the making of history.

More recent studies relying on heavily quantitative (and questionable) methods have tested versions of Weber’s thesis, obtaining negative results. Moreover, a reverse causality hypothesis has been proposed with convincing although not definitive argumentation.

Finally, two aspects of The Protestant Ethic gravely undermine its explanatory power and compromise its historical accuracy: the complete lack of reference to material conditions, including the process of primitive accumulation, as a driving thrust for capitalism to develop; and the poor quality of the evidence provided.

The Protestant Ethic

The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism is considered the most important work written by Max Weber. Even though all his work can be understood as part of a constant discussion with Marxism, in The Protestant Ethic he puts forward a theory of the origins of capitalism that draws a sharp contrast with historical materialism.

Weber places at the center of his analysis the influence that the expansion of protestant religious denominations and the moral values they preached had on the emergence and growth of the mindset and human behavior necessary to maintain capitalism: what he calls the ‘spirit’ of capitalism.

With this as his purpose, he takes Benjamin Franklin’s writing as a privileged example and representative testimony of what he sees as the ambition for money-making, the auri sacra fames.

In his view,
“[Benjamin Franklin] saw his discovery of the ‘usefulness’ of virtue as a revelation from God, who wished to direct him toward virtue by this means. Instead, the ‘summum bonum’ of this ethic is the making of money and yet more money, coupled with strict avoidance of all uninhibited enjoyment.”
“The aim of a man’s life is indeed moneymaking (…). This reversal of what we might call the ‘natural’ state of affairs is a definite leitmotiv of capitalism.” (Weber, 2002, p. 12)

The ‘innerwordly asceticism’ encouraged by Calvinism and other protestant churches would be mainly reinforced by the notion of ‘predestination’ which asserts that success in the economic activities is a proof of being blessed by the grace of God. In this way, a man pursuing profits while performing the job that is presented to him as his vocation (the ‘calling’) was in itself honoring God’s will. Likewise, for the lower classes of society, ascetic discipline and hard work became a religious imperative. In his own words:
“(…) a religious value was placed on ceaseless, constant, systematic labor in a secular calling as the very highest ascetic path and at the same time the surest and most visible proof of regeneration and the genuineness of faith. This was inevitably the most powerful lever imaginable with which to bring about the spread of that philosophy of life which we have here termed the ‘spirit’ of capitalism. And if that restraint on consumption is combined with the freedom to strive for profit, the result produced will inevitably be the creation of capital through the ascetic compulsion to save.” (Weber, 2002, p. 116)

Gorski (2003) points out that Weber’s theory runs into a problem by giving such a central importance to the aspect of predestination, since some denominations developed an ethic of innerwordly asceticism but nevertheless rejected the doctrine of predestination. Weber finally evades this problem when he suggests that it is the ecclesiastical polity that all sects have in common that enforces the ascetic discipline of Protestants and not so much a single, specific doctrine. This theoretical maneuver inevitably weakens the argument of Weber’s thesis.

Room for other views?

Weber does not claim that this is the only possible interpretation. In fact, he writes that “[w]hat we understand by the ‘spirit’ of capitalism in terms of what we deem essential from our point of view, is by no means the only possible way of understanding it.” (Weber, 2002, p. 9) He then leaves the door open for other interpretations and points of view while arguing that this is the one that he deems essential.

Weber thus, on the one hand, argues that the spread of the protestant ethic played a central role in the making of capitalism, or at least the “capitalist spirit” that was a prerequisite for the emergence of capitalism. A central element in this process was the way in which religious sects and churches stemming from the Reformation shaped the behavior of both workers and capitalists. At the same time, he acknowledges that other thinkers may have different points of view, with other causal factors taking predominant importance.

At the very end of the book he states that
“It cannot, of course, be our purpose to replace a one-sided ‘materialist’ causal interpretation of culture and history with an equally one-sided spiritual one. Both are equally ‘possible’, but neither will serve historical truth if they claim to be the conclusion of the investigation rather than merely the preliminary work for it.” (Weber, 2002, p. 122)

These words are presented to the reader after 100 pages of explaining in great detail the different Protestant strands, their values, and their influence on the conduct of people. He does acknowledge the material causes in this development, but he does not consider them as important as the ideas of religious asceticism.

A vulgar criticism of Max Weber’s work is that he does not take material forces into account and that he claims that the origins of capitalism are merely a consequence of the ideas transmitted by Protestant ethics. As we have seen, his analysis is more nuanced than this. However, he draws important limits to the power of transformation of economic forces and their enforcement by the state.
“Mercantilist regulation by the state was able to bring industries into being, but, at least on its own, could not produce the capitalist ‘spirit’—indeed, where this regulation took on a character like that of authoritarian police, the spirit might actually be paralyzed by it.” (Weber, 2002, p. 103)

At the same time, he acknowledges that at the time he is writing, the “capitalist spirit” is largely imposed by the economic structure of our societies, and that there is

“no necessary connection between that chrematistic conduct of life and any one uniform philosophy of life (…). [C]apitalism, having emerged victorious, has liberated itself from the old supports.” (Weber, 2002, p. 25)

And also:
Today’s capitalism (…) creates and trains, by means of ‘economic selection,’ the economic subjects—entrepreneurs and workers—that it needs. (Weber, 2002, p. 13)

However, he does not forgo the opportunity to draw attention to the narrow limits of historical materialism. Referring to the idea of hard work in the pursuit of economic advancement, he states:
“The early progress of such new ‘ideas’ is, however, beset by many more obstacles than the theoreticians of the ‘superstructure’ [e.i., historical materialism] assume; they do not blossom like flower. The capitalist spirit (…) has had to prove itself in a hard struggle against a world of hostile forces.” (Weber, 2002, p. 12)

We see then that, in Weber’s viewpoint, ideas are the live forces behind new developments, and history is written according to these ideas. The ideas of hard work and money-making are struggling for (and winning) their space in world history against ‘hostile forces.’

This brings us to the main point of contention between Weberian and Marxist theoretical frameworks when it comes to history and social transformation: the power of ideas versus material conditions and class struggle.

The Power of Ideas

Ideas play a prominent role in Max Weber´s conception of history. Referring to the first entrepreneurs and the transition from feudalism to capitalism, he states
“In such cases (and this is the main point), it was not normally an influx of money that brought about this revolution—in a number of cases known to me the entire “revolutionizing process” was set in motion with a few thousand marks capital borrowed from relatives: it was the new spirit at work—the ‘spirit of capitalism.’ The question of the motive forces behind the development of capitalism is not primarily a question of the origin of money reserves to be used, but a question of the development of the capitalist spirit.” (p. 22)

So through the ideology or moral values shared and spread by Protestants, would-be capitalists were infused with the tools and ambition to make business. New capitalists were full of “energy and clarity of vision”, with “outstanding ethical qualities (…). It is these qualities above all which made possible the infinitely more intensive work rate that is now demanded of the entrepreneur.” The ethics embodied by Protestants played a decisive role, Weber contends, by aligning God’s grace with economic asceticism, exerting strong influence on middle-class people and businessmen who would pursue their economic interests and please their God in doing so.

An Irresistible “Calling”

What is more surprising in Weber’s reasoning is that this same line of ethical prescriptions was purportedly key in making available “sober, conscientious, and unusually capable workers, who were devoted to work as the divinely willed purpose of life.” The same religious asceticism gave shape to the economically driven behavior of the emerging bourgeoisie and to a disciplined, submissive working class that would fill the factories a couple centuries later. Following his line of reasoning, the calling – a term ostensibly coined by Martin Luther that expressed the ‘call’ of God to perform an occupation— would exert such a power over the peasants and poor people that they would be compelled to change the way they had lived for centuries, move to the nascent towns and cities, and work for a miserable pay.

What he doesn’t mention in his argument is the utterly disruptive, violent process of primitive accumulation, by which peasants were deprived of their land (and with it, of their means of subsistence) and forced into the labor market. Weber’s account of the events is rosy and unidimensional:
“What happened was often simply this. A young man from one of the putter-out families from the town moved to the country, carefully selected the weavers he needed, tightened up control over them and made them more dependent, thus turning peasants into workers. He also took personal charge of sales, approaching the ultimate buyers, the retail stores (…)” (Weber, 2009, p. 21)

This is a naïve picture of capitalists and their ascendance to powerful economic positions. There is no exploitation, no coercion of a class by another, no plunder, only religious asceticism driving both parties to play their roles.

In Volume 1 of Capital Marx zeroes in on the mechanism by which “peasants were turned into workers.” Far from a peaceful transition, the process entailed massive pillage and displacement:
“In the history of primitive accumulation, all revolutions are epoch-making that act as levers for the capitalist class in the course of its formations; but this is true above all for those moments when great masses of men are suddenly and forcibly torn from their means of subsistence, and hurled onto the labour-market as free, unprotected and rightless proletarians. The expropriation of the agricultural producer, of the peasant, from the soil is the basis of the whole process.” (Marx, 1990, p. 876)

The enclosure of the commons was the practical way in which this process was carried out. The common arable lands where peasants grew their products in the Middle Ages were arbitrarily appropriated and turned into private pasture land through economic and forcible means. In England, this process started to take place in the late fifteenth and beginnings of the sixteenth century. By the mid-eighteenth century, the English yeomen had virtually disappeared. The State first opposed this plunder but later legitimized the theft of land by passing the “Enclosure Acts,” a set of bills that bequeathed property rights to those who had claimed ownership of the appropriated land. Fences now kept landless peasants outside these lands. With the creation of a massive army of laborers, it would only be a matter of time until they flocked to urban concentrations driven by the urge to secure their survival. If there was, concurrently, a religious asceticism encouraging and reinforcing workers’ discipline and hard work, its importance pales in comparison to the inescapable pursuit of their livelihood.

This process of primitive accumulation took place at different times in other countries.

Henryk Grossman (Grossman, 2006) reminds us that in the cities of France, England, Holland and Belgium, unemployed adults and their children were driven into houses of forced labor, ‘manufactories’. Grossman provides insightful quotes from Montchrestien’s “Treaty of Political Economy” to show how the training of the landless, jobless poor in order to turn them into disciplined workers was a violent, state-enforced operation.

The complete omission of any reference to the process of primitive accumulation and the creation of a large population devoid of the very means of subsistence is, in my opinion, the weakest aspect of Weber’s Protestant Ethic.

A Chronological Problem?

A key aspect of Weber’s argument is the chronology he uses to explain the origin of capitalism. Although he does not propose a specific point in time at which this transition takes place, he recognizes a qualitative transformation around the eighteenth or nineteenth century in Western Europe. This is a correct departure from classical theories that saw a continuous in crescendo global trade and a smooth transition from feudalism to capitalism.

Weber refers to the highly developed economy of fourteenth and fifteenth century Florence, the “center of world ‘capitalism’” [quote-marks around capitalism in the original]. He points out that a strong profit-seeking attitude was morally dubious in that historical context although this same attitude was the moral standard in Franklin’s eighteenth-century Virginia, where the economy was much less developed. On these grounds, he contends that historical materialism is not able to explain the spirit of capitalism, for the material conditions do not explain the predominant moral values of each epoch.

However, some have pointed out that Benjamin Franklin’s writings should not be taken as the ethical values of his time. Dickson and McLachlan contend that Franklin is actually merely offering his advice, rather than putting forward moral imperatives. (Dickson & McLachlan, 1989)

Others have criticized Weber’s whole paradigm particularly because Florentines were able to build a capitalist empire, without any Protestant influence at all. (Grossman, 2006) The question is, then, when did capitalism arise?

French economic historian Fernand Braudel and the scholars of the world-system theory have proposed that capitalism begun around the fifteenth century (Arrighi, 1994; Braudel, 1982; Wallerstein, 1979). The civilizations that had epicenters in Florence and in the Netherlands are considered by these authors to have had the first capitalist economies. Robert Brenner, Ellen Meiksins Woods and others have correctly pointed out that these economies did not rely so much on a capitalist mode of production as they did on commerce (Brenner, 1976; Wood, 2002). We would have to wait until the late eighteenth century to see the first economies in which profit was created predominantly through the production of commodities. The lust for profit and wealth, however, were brewing slowly in these global trade hubs for centuries, and they would eventually move to the places in which new centers of commerce and finance emerged.

Here is where one of the main problems of Weber’s thesis arises. He is using the hypothesis of reverse causality: what if the development of capitalism not only deeply influenced the protestant ethics (a possibility acknowledged by Weber) but also created the conditions for this religious doctrine to thrive?

Richard H Tawney delves into this issue. As quoted in Pierotti (Pierotti, 2003), Tawney states:
“There was plenty of capitalist spirit in fifteenth century Venice and Florence, or in south Germany and Flanders, for the simple reason that these areas were the greatest commercial and financial centers of the age. The development of capitalism in Holland and England in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were due, not to the fact that they were Protestant powers but to large economic movements, in particular the Discoveries and the results which flowed from them.” (Tawney, 1926)

Although Weber admits that the Protestant ethic was possibly influenced by material conditions, the thrust of his thought is pointing in the opposite direction. The evidence he provides, however, is not enough to prove his argument.

Poor Evidence

Max Weber is known for his erudition. The comprehensive and in-depth study about the different strands of Protestant sects and the moral values they transmitted is a phenomenal work. However, a major flaw of The Protestant Ethic is the poor evidence backing the arguments that constitute Weber’s main contentions. The book is plagued with sentences such as, “[a]s every manufacturer knows…” (p.15) or “[i]t is often said, and recently this was confirmed to me with regard to the linen industry by a relative…” (p. 18). Many of the arguments that form the lynchpin of The Protestant Ethic are backed only by anecdotal evidence.

At any rate, the evidence provided by Weber in his seminal work would not have met the minimum standards required by academia today.

The main discussion is not about to what extent the protestant ethic gained popularity. The question is how much it imposed a new way of engaging in economic activities and the attitude towards work, and whether it helped bring about capitalism. Although Weber tends to be cautious about his assertions and causal attributions, a wide range of scholars have taken his thesis to higher levels. Delacroix and Nielsen explain how a ‘Common Interpretation’ was built around his thesis and “has taken life of its own.” (Delacroix & Nielsen, 2001) The Common Interpretation posits that those countries in which the Protestant ethic took hold and spread more widely had faster and stronger economic development. The authors did not engage in debate about whether this interpretation is true to Weber’s thesis or not but instead created a statistical model to test this hypothesis: the results were strongly negative. It would be unfair and wrong to test Weber’s sophisticated thesis on the Protestant ethic against a strictly quantitative model. The authors are instead testing the “Common Interpretation” of Weber’s thesis, but their results are still relevant.

In a similar study, Harvard economist Davide Cantoni generated a quantitative model to test whether the spread of Protestant affiliation and ethical values affected economic growth in 276 German cities between 1300 and 1900. (Cantoni, 2015) These results were negative as well.

Another ‘expansion’ of The Protestant Ethic thesis is the one Gorski proposed in his Disciplinary Revolution (Gorski, 2003). He posits that the disciplinary ethics preached by Calvinists allowed modern nation-states to grow stronger, helped pacify the popular classes, and enabled smoother governance.

Regardless of the more or less accurate results of specific studies that build on The Protestant Ethic, all elaborations seek to reaffirm the predominance of cultural developments over material forces in the origin of capitalism.


The Protestant Ethic is a remarkable collection of insights and historical evidence about the doctrine and practice of the different protestant denominations — although it does become less than interesting after the first 50 pages. The rational, profit-driven attitude encouraged by Protestant doctrine is clearly reflected in the conduct businessmen developed with the emergence of capitalism. Likewise, the ascetic discipline matches the behavior expected of workers and enforced upon them. However, the causal link between protestant moral prescriptions and the ‘spirit’ of capitalism remains far from proven. Furthermore, there is a solid argument for reversal causality, i.e., that the material conditions brought about by capitalism heavily influenced protestant ethics and facilitated their dissemination.

Although Weber formally focuses on only one aspect of the development of capitalism, the overwhelming importance given to the power of ideas and culture makes it an argument against a materialist understanding of history. The lack of any reference to primitive accumulation is probably the most important shortcoming of his work.

It needs to be said that the evidence presented by the author is mostly anecdotal rather than empirical. This and the complete neglect of historical material conditions and class conflict undercuts the value of his contribution.

His attempt to bring the cultural transformation led by Reformation to the forefront of the genesis of capitalism runs into several contradictions. He acknowledges that protestant ethics were themselves influenced by the material forces that were giving birth to capitalism. Furthermore, he recognizes that at the moment he is writing, economic imperatives rather than religious asceticism are the driving force that guarantees workers’ discipline and businessmen’s profits.

In sum, the claim that religious asceticism had some influence in encouraging discipline among workers and a money-making attitude among entrepreneurs is reasonable and likely. The contention that it was a central piece in the origins and spread of capitalism is a stretch and fails the test of historical and scientific accuracy.


Arrighi, G. (1994). The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power, and the Origins of Our Times. Verso.

Braudel, F. (1982). Civilization and Capitalism, 15th-18th Century: The wheels of commerce. University of California Press.

Brenner, R. (1976). Agrarian Class Structure and Economic Development in Pre-Industrial Europe. Past & Present, (70), 30–75.

Cantoni, D. (2015). The Economic Effects of Protestant Reformation: Testing the Weber Hypothesis in the German Lands. Journal of the European Economic Association, 13(4), 561–598. https://doi.org/10.1111/jeea.12117

Delacroix, J., & Nielsen, F. (2001). The Beloved Myth: Protestantism and the Rise of Industrial Capitalism in Nineteenth-Century Europe. Social Forces, 80(2), 509–553.

Dickson, T., & McLachlan, H. V. (1989). In Search of the Spirit of Capitalism: Weber’s Misinterpre tation of Franklin. Sociology, 23(1), 81–89.

Gorski, P. S. (2003). The Disciplinary Revolution: Calvinism and the Rise of the State in Early Modern Europe. University of Chicago Press.

Grossman, H. (2006). The Beginnings of Capitalism and the New Mass Morality. Journal of Classical Sociology, 6(2), 201–213. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468795X06064861

Marx, K. (1990). Capital Vol 1. Penguin Books Limited.

Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1970). The German Ideology. International Publishers Co.

Pierotti, S. (2003). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: Criticisms of Weber’s Thesis. Retrieved December 8, 2016, from http://www.csudh.edu/DearHabermas/weberrelbk01.htm

Tawney, R. H. (1926). Religion and the Rise of Capitalism. Transaction Publishers.

Wallerstein, I. (1979). The Capitalist World-Economy. Cambridge University Press.

Weber, M. (2002). The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: and Other Writings. Penguin.

Weber, M. (2009). From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology. Routledge.

Woods, E. M. (2002). The Origin of Capitalism: A Longer View. Verso.

Note: This article is for educational purposes. Its reproduction, in any form, can be had with the permission of the author/publisher whose original link ,from where it is reprodced, is given above.

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