Egypt is a great country for conspiracy theories - the nuttier, the better. In relation to penises, animals or the national football team, talk of agents and conspiracies are amusing and, although genuinely believed by some, are widely shared as a joke. But when they are used to shut down debate or demonise groups of people they become more sinister and even deadly.
A jolt of excitement ran through the house as it was announced that the butcher Ahmad Najjar had arrived. Ahmad was in the El Azba area of Barat, a village on the West Bank of Luxor, Egypt, to slaughter a sheep for twenty-two year old Mohammed Sakkar's family on Eid al-Adha, one of the most important Muslim festivals of the year...
A new Amnesty report paints a bleak picture of Muslim mobs smashing their way into Coptic Christian churches in Upper Egypt this August. The attackers, sometimes hundreds strong, beat up worshippers and church staff, stripped out all the valuables (right down to air conditioning units and electric cables) and then burnt buildings to the ground.
It is significant that just as many if not more people came out against the first democratically-elected president than had come out against the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak in 2011. It is significant but by no means justification for the murderous policy deployed by the generals since Morsi was forcibly removed from office.
Ghanem threw himself into Muslim Brotherhood activities with vigor. He worked in close conjunction with UK lawyers pressurizing the Mubarak regime to release those imprisoned and tortured in the 1980s. While shaping the Islamist milieu in the UK and hobnobbing with some of the leading Islamists of his generation, he eventually became an influential figure within the organization.