Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 23 Sept 2020


  • Protests Erupt in Egypt
  • Banking Industry Exposed
  • French MP Leads Walkout over Hijāb

Protests Erupt in Egypt

Protests have erupted this week in Egypt. In the Al-Qanater, Qalyubia Governorate, protesters marched through narrow streets to stop them being attacked by security forces. In Kadiya village in Giza Governorate, Egyptian protesters overturned a police truck, angry at the government’s demolition of buildings there. All of this takes place despite Egyptian security forces being deployed in several areas in cities across the country, including Tahrir Square and Suez, with military checkpoints being set up at crossing and highways. Many of the causes of the Arab Spring still remain and have got worse under Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has shown he is worse than all his predecessors.


Banking Industry Exposed

Leaked documents involving about $2 trillion of transactions have revealed how some of the world’s biggest banks have allowed criminals to move dirty money around the world. They also show how Russian oligarchs have used banks to avoid sanctions that were supposed to stop them getting their money into the West. It’s the latest in a string of leaks over the past five years that have exposed secret deals, money laundering and financial crime. The FinCEN files are more than 2,500 documents, most of which were files that banks sent to the US authorities between 2000 and 2017. They raise concerns about what their clients might be doing. These documents are some of the international banking system’s most closely guarded secrets. Findings include: HSBC allowed fraudsters to move millions of dollars of stolen money around the world, even after it learned from US investigators the scheme was a scam. JP Morgan allowed a company to move more than $1bn through a London account without knowing who owned it. The bank later discovered the company might be owned by a mobster on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.


French MP Leads Walkout over Hijāb

A right-wing French MP decided this that it would be in the best interests of her constituents to walk out of a parliamentary inquiry on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people in France. The MP, Anne-Christine Lang, walked out of the inquiry after finding it unacceptable that Maryam Pougetoux, a representative of the UNEF (National Union of Students in France), attended the inquiry donning a hijāb. After the event, Lang tweeted in French: “…I cannot accept that a person comes to participate in our work at the National Assembly in hijāb, which remains, for me, a mark of submission. So I left this inquiry.”