In a new Middle East analysis podcast, Ekklesia associate and regional expert Dr Harry Hagopian talks to James Abbott from the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales about the status of what has been commonly described by commentators (and some protagonists) as the 'Arab Spring'.
The G8 summit of world leaders in France in May 2011 announced billions of dollars of 'aid' for the Arab Spring. Yet it was the G8 who armed and financed the dictators of Egypt and Tunisia, who have now been overthrown.
Millions of people across north Africa and the Middle East have are demonstrating the power of active nonviolence. But British politicians and pundits seem to have learnt no lessons, falling in line behind the bombing of Libya as soon as Cameron announced it. In the face of all the evidence, they are accepting the old assumption that violence works.
While the Middle East uprisings have not revolved around religion, faith has not been absent from Arab scenes of protest in the last two months, says Shatha Almutawa. God and scripture are invoked by revolutionaries and those who oppose them for the simple reason that Arab dialects and ways of life are infused with religion.