For those familiar with even the barest facts of the case, the provisional sentence of Emad al-Din Shahin to death seems appalling. Professor Shahin is a widely respected and accomplished academic who has taught at Notre Dame, Harvard, Georgetown, the American University in Cairo and George Washington University. He has no record of organized political activity. The list of the other alleged participants—a group that resembles a list of political opponents and associates and technocratic aides of ousted President Muhammad Mursi far more than it does a real set of plotters—makes the charges seem even more improbable.

We, the undersigned colleagues and personal friends of Professor Shahin, wish to add our voices to those who have expressed deep concern over the provisional sentence of death. But we do more: Based on our personal knowledge of Professor Shahin’s character, activities and scholarship, we state that the charges are so utterly alien to his character as to lack any credibility whatsoever. Professor Shahin is a figure known for his integrity and dedication to his work. Like many of us, he is not afraid to draw on his expertise to speak on public issues. He was also clearly distressed by the polarization that took place in Egypt and shared the aspirations of millions of Egyptians for a more democratic and accountable political order. These are not crimes by any stretch of the imagination.

Espionage and treason—the sorts of vague allegations included in the indictment of Professor Shahin—should not be associated with his name.

We provide this information to Egyptian judicial, security and political authorities in order to clear Professor Shahin’s name. We call on governments throughout the world to speak out and communicate their concern to their Egyptian counterparts and to rebuff any efforts to restrict Professor Shahin’s movements, speech and activities.

(Names in alphabetical order, titles and institutions for identification purposes only)

Osama Abi-Mershed, Director, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
Abdullah Al-Arian, Georgetown University
Walter Armbrust, Associate Professor, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford and Albert Hourani Fellow of Modern Middle Eastern Studies, St. Antony’s College
Holger Albrecht, American University in Cairo
Joel Beinin, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and Professor of Middle East History, Stanford University
Eva Bellin, Myra and Robert Kraft Professor of Arab Politics, Brandeis University
Jonathan A. C. Brown, Georgetown University
Nathan J. Brown, Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
Jason Brownlee, Professor of Government and Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Sheila Carapico, Professor of Political Science, University of Richmond and formerly of the American University in Cairo
Elliott Colla, Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University
Christian Davenport, Professor of Political Science and Faculty Associate with Center for Political Studies, University of Michigan
Rochelle Davis, Georgetown University
Larry Diamond, Director, Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, Stanford University
Michele Dunne, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
John P. Entelis, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science and Director, Middle East Studies Program, Fordham University; President, American Institute for Maghrib Studies (AIMS)
John L. Esposito, University Professor & Founding Director, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University
Dalia Fahmy, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Long Island University
Khaled Fahmy, Professor of History, American University in Cairo
Ellis Goldberg, Professor Emeritus, University of Washington
Joel Gordon, Professor of History and Director, King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies, University of Arkansas
Nader Hashemi, University of Denver
Clement M. Henry, Visiting Research Professor, Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore
Amaney Jamal, Associate Professor of Politics,  Princeton University
Daniel Kurtzer, former US Ambassador to Egypt
Mark LeVine, Professor of Middle Eastern History, University of California-Irvine
Abdel-Fattah Mady, Alexandria University
Radwan A. Masmoudi, President, Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy
Michael McFaul, Director, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, and Professor, Department of Political Science, Stanford University
Roger Owen, Harvard University
James Piscatori, Professor of International Relations, Durham University
William B. Quandt, Professor Emeritus, Department of Politics, University of Virginia
Andrea Rugh Adjunct Scholar, Middle East Institute
Ambassador (retired) William A. Rugh
Hesham Sallam, Stanford University
Samer Shehata, University of Oklahoma
Robert Springborg, Professor of National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School (retired)
Joshua Stacher, Associate Professor of Political Science, Kent State University
Alfred Stepan, Wallace Sayre Professor of Government, Columbia University
Judith E. Tucker, Professor of History, Georgetown University
John Voll, Professor Emeritus of Islamic History, Georgetown University
Michael J. Willis, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford
I. William Zartman, Professor Emeritus, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of Johns Hopkins University

How to cite this article:

"Letter of Support by Colleagues and Personal Friends of Emad Shahin," Middle East Report Online, May 27, 2015.

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