When Tony Blair claims it is religious or cultural difference that will fuel 21st century wars, not the ideologies that caused past wars (The Observer, January 26, 2014) he shows only a skewed notion of religion's place in society and history. He projects a narrow idea of what it means to be religious, and diverts attention from other, more systemic problems.
Why do individual riot officers who may sympathise with the causes of protesters continue to use force to suppress them? How can officers shoot at a protest that they could have been a part of, had they not chosen to become members of the police? They too experience injustices, have families that must be fed and educated and hold opinions on social and political issues.
One of the success stories of this tech-savvy revolution is that of Bassem Youssef, an Egyptian satirist whose political parodies posted on YouTube have lead to his own television show and a worldwide following. Despite coming under attack by Islamists, Youssef has remained popular as the voice of dissent.
The agenda, ideology, and political orientation of the Egyptian military are often misunderstood - both inside and outside Egypt. The Egyptian military has always been recognized as the foundation of the modern Egyptian state, and though all Egyptians males are required to serve, few understand the leadership and what makes it tick.
The millions of protestors in Egypt who have brought down a president will today be experiencing the heady thrill of wielding the ultimate power - the jailing of their own leader. But power distorts thinking and emotions and there are strong lessons from psychology and neuroscience to predict that these crowds may live to regret what they have done.
You would more likely expect a chat on metal knickers and spiked bras to be about Lady Gaga or a fashion shoot for Vogue than a discussion on ideas for protest outfits. But unfortunately, you would be wrong. I learnt this first-hand from a group of twenty-something women in Cairo last week, as we chatted about what they will wear for protection to the mass protests taking place across Egypt on Sunday, 30 June.
A small crowd gathered outside the Egyptian embassy in icy Mayfair last night. Arabic chanting was interspersed with English - "We are not afraid, we will not be silent. Egyptian women, we are with you! We won't give up! We won't give in!" Banners bared images of women who were sexually assaulted while participating in mass protests