For me and my prison friends, Egypt is personal

Maajid Nawaz, co-founder and executive director of Quilliam.

I’ve been dragged through the dungeons of Egypt’s underground state security headquarters myself. The infamous al-Gihaz sits in the middle of Cairo and inspires fear in all who walk past. Anyone taken into al-Gihaz is immediately blindfolded, numbered and then has to listen as colleagues are tortured, one by one, in chronological order. My number was 42. The detainee is stripped, and then electricity is applied to the teeth, genitalia and other sensitive areas.

During my time there, wives were tortured to force husbands to confess, and children as young as 15 to force parents to confess.

Every revolt requires agitators. Using social networking as well as “resistance tactics”, the April 6 Youth movement has galvanised the young into action.

Why did the US support the thuggish regime of Mubarek?


  • As we all know, Israel is the US policeman in the Middle East and they need an errand boy and go-between to negotiate with the rest of the Arab world. Why else would the US give $1.3 billion of military and security hardware to an Arab state?

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