Secularism in Egypt
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Secularism in Egypt has had a very important role to play in both the history of Egypt and that of the Middle East. Egypt’s first experience of Secularism started with the British Occupation (1882–1952), the atmosphere which allowed the protection of debate. In this environment pro-secularist intellectuals like Ya'qub Sarruf, Faris Nimr, Nicola Haddad whom sought political asylum from Ottoman Rule were able to publish their work. This debate had then became a burning issue with the work of Egyptian Shaykh Ali abd al-Raziq (1888–1966), “The most momentous document in the crucial intellectual and religious debate of modern Islamic history”
By 1919 Egypt had its first political secular entity called the Hizb 'Almani (Secular Party) this name was later changed to the Wafd party. It combined secular policies with a nationalist agenda and had the majority support in the following years against both the rule of the king and the British influence. The Wafd party supported the allies during World War II and then proceeded to win the 1952 parliamentary elections, following these elections the prime minister was overthrown by the King leading to riots. These riots precipitated a military coup after which all political parties were banned including the Wafd and the Muslim Brotherhood.
- Secularist/Nationalist dictatorship: No religious or other political movements allowed to impact government.
- Concentration on Arab values rather than Muslim values.
Following the death of Nasser, President Sadat (1970–1981) continued economic liberalization and maintained the government’s secularist policy, even going as far as signing peace agreements with Israel which was a first for any Middle Eastern country. However, following further intensive clampdowns on political opposition, Sadat was assassinated and replaced by Hosni Mubarak who again faces the issue of keeping the Islamist support at bay whilst keeping his power base during increased pressure to be democratic.
See also 
- Religion in Egypt
- Constitution of Egypt
- Islam in Egypt
- Christianity in Egypt
- Politics of Egypt
- Culture of Egypt
- Fauzi Najjar, The debate on Islam and Secularism, Arab Studies Quarterly; 1996, Vol. 18 Issue 2
- Mahfouz's grave, Arab liberalism's deathbed | openDemocracy
- David Marquand and Ronald L. Nettler, Religion and democracy, p 67