Ibn Rushd Fund for Freedom of Thought

Editorial

Dear readers,

we warmly welcome you to this new edition of Minbar Ibn Rushd, our online magazine. Here are our topics:

In December 2015 the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik - SWP) in Berlin published a study entitled "The bitter harvest of the Arab Spring. Transformation, the change of the elite and a new social Mobilization” by Dr. Muriel Asseburg and Heiko Wimmen, now translated into Arabic and reviewed here by Dr. Hamid Fadlalla and Fadia Foda. The article summarises the main points of the study and discusses the development, aftermath and perspective of the Arab Spring revolutions. After this extensive analysis, which examines the dimensions of this wide movement and the regional and international complications, the conclusion reached is that it is a bitter harvest after five years of instability.

The Egyptian academic and critic Mamdouh Farrag an-Nabi studied the works of the late Moroccan writer Fatima Mernissi and the influence they have had in correcting the wrong image the West had of Arab culture and especially of Arab women. Through her works, which have been translated into several European languages, Mernissi contributed in creating a new image for Arab women by presenting several outstanding female personalities.

The Palestinian journalist Hakam Abdel-Hadi presents a brief analysis of the reasons why the publishing of a new edition of the book Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler by the Institute of Contemporary History in January 2016 has stirred so much public attention and concern in Germany after being banned for more than 70 years.

Dr. Mohamed Mahmoud from Sudan describes the situation of the Sudan after its independence and the struggle for power between the Islamists and the Left and the army's role and abuse of religion and the Sharia in politics. Above all his essay deals with Hassan at-Turabi's role in all these negative developments of the country, thus contributing to the backwardness of Sudan until his death.

Habib Haddad from Syria provides a brief overview of the controversies about national identity, religion and secularism in a democratic state, controversies that existed among the educated elite, the political parties and reform movements in all Arab societies over the past century.

"The absence of the individual in Arab culture – the unmentioned paradox when calling  for democracy in the Arab world" is the title of a lecture by Dr. Adel Mutaimit from Tunisia, professor of philosophy and intellectual history at the University of Gabes, which he has presented  as part of the lecture series "Diwan al-Falsafa" on 07.19.2016 in Berlin. His analysis of the Arab history of the past until today primarily deals with the loss of "individuality" in Arab social thought. His approach to the interpretation of history is philosophical and well formulated, has clear arguments and is very convincing. You can read the lecture in the original Arabic language or in its German translation. You can also view a recording of the lecture (as video).

We end Minbar with a speech held by Dr. Hamid Fadlalla (Sudan/Germany) at the funeral remembrance service of the deceased Iraqi novelist and poet Sabri Hashim, who died on 11th April, 2016 in Berlin. His memory draws us into a beautiful garden of poetry of this poet who lived outside his homeland Iraq but his homeland never departed from his heart.

We hope you enjoy reading

Abier Bushnaq
Editor-in-chief

01.10.2016