The theme of this seminar was the relationship between religion and politics, which inevitably comes to the fore in new ways as Egyptian political parties embark upon democratic competition for votes. Before the Arab spring, there was a long held view that democracy cannot really flourish in a predominantly Muslim society. The first three years of the post-Arab spring Egypt provide an excellent opportunity to unearth many of the arguments and counter-argument surrounding this – and other – views. But, we asked, in what ways does religion, and religiosity, impact on how citizens make choices about parties, about how parties engage with representative institutions, and with the law. The seminar was organised into four panels to explore these issues and was designed to bring together a a broad range of thinkers and perspectives to engage in evidence-based and reasoned dialogue.
Professor Stephen Whitefield (Fellow in Politics), Dr Elisabeth Kendall (Senior Research Fellow in Arabic and Islamic Studies) and Dr Mazen Hassan (Cairo University) co-convened this seminar.
Featured Panels and Presentations
Keynote Address: 'Religiosity and Politics in Egypt' - His Grace Bishop Angaelos. Introduced by Dr Elisabeth Kendall.
Session 1: 'Religion and Politics in Egyptian Public Opinion, 2011-2015' - Stephen Whitefield, Dr Mazen Hassan
'Islam, Public Opinion, and the Public Role of Islam in Egypt' - Dr Hisham Hellyer
'Religiosity, Activism and Mobilization' - Dr Gamal Soltan
'The Modern Egyptian State Between the "Sacred" and the "Civil"' - Dr Samir Morcos
'Regional Consequences of the Suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt' - Dr Ewan Stein
'Islamist-Military Relations and the Crisis of Secular Democracy in Egypt' - Dr Omar Ashour
'Who is Sovereign, God or the People? Challenges Facing the Civil State' - Dr Malise Ruthven
'The End of Islamism?' - Dr Hazem Kandil