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Robert Rouphail

Radical or Reactionary: Islamic Resistance in Apartheid South Africa and Lessons for Interpreting the Arab Spring

[Mosque Scene. Painting by Conrad Nagel Doman Theys taken from]

In a recent article posted on the website of the Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa, an observer of the recent Egyptian elections declared that, “Just as Mandela emerged from the dungeons of apartheid, so too have Morsi and thousands of his colleagues from Mubarak’s hideous torture cells.”[i] The significance of the events in Egypt, particularly the victory of one of the world’s most high-profile Islamic political parties, is no doubt a source of inspiration for many. ...

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 Robert Rouphail is a graduate student in the history department at North Carolina State University. Broadly speaking, his research focuses on the histories of race, racism, and settler colonialism in Africa and the Middle East.