Tamer Fouad, writer of "The Arab Spring and the Coming Crisis in Faith" responded to my post criticizing his article (click here to read my original post) through a number of tweets (see below). We respect Fouad for reading our article and taking the time to respond to our "unfair" post. My response to his tweets:
(a) The article clearly links the rise of Islamists to power and the public's disillusionment with their performance to the increase in atheists willing to "come out". This is too simplistic and not corroborated with any polls or analysis. Most atheists would tell you that turning against faith is a personal journey that is in many cases driven by years of struggle and reflection,
(b) The article sadly, like the Islamists, mixes politics with religion. Let me explain. I'd argue that, in most cases, if Islamists perform badly in the parliament, the public would punish them by removing them from power (e.g., the beating the Muslim Brotherhood took in the recent presidential elections). The public here is not turning into "atheists" or less friendly towards religion but are angry at bad politicians. They may, overtime start thinking of separating religion from politics (e.g., Pakistan) but they will not be "atheists" in doing so, they will be maturing as voters. And most probably after voting out the Islamists will go to the mosque to pray.
(c) Fouad wonders about the need for being "gender specific" ignoring the Islamists' vicious and "specific" attacks on women rights. If we are going to talk about "disillusionment", women more than men have been the focus of "absurd laws" so one may expect some retaliation against Islamists. For example, according to Ahram Online more women voted for Shafik than men. Is that women punishing Islamists? Could be, I don't know but worth investigating. According to a Juan Cole recent article more women are removing the veil since Islamists took power. Is that true? There is definitely a woman dimension here which is not unique to Egypt as we see similar debates in other countries (e.g., in the US the Democrats coined the slogan "Republicans' War on Women" to highlight the rise of the conservatives and tea party influence in the Republican party. This is not an attack on religion by Democrats but on primitive conservatism).
(d) Fouad did not respond to my key concerns listed in the first paragraph of my original post.