Category Archives: Egypt

Egypt May 4 Strike Fizzles, “inshallah”

The May 4 strike that the April 6 group planned seems to have fizzled. Whether it was the security preparations, the Muslim Brotherhood calls for protesters to stay home in a peaceful (non) protest, or the fact that Mubarak promised a 30% raise to the civil service, something appears to have taken the wind out of the strikers’ sails.

I guess that the Egyptian economy and government will be improved “inshallah,” if God wills it. But I don’t expect Egyptians to do anything about it.

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Trackposted to Rosemary’s Thoughts, Right Truth, The World According to Carl, Kodera’s Korner, DragonLady’s World, The Pink Flamingo, The Amboy Times, Big Dog’s Weblog, Cao’s Blog, Democrat=Socialist, Stageleft, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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Happy 80th Birthday Hosni! April 6 Strikes on May 4

Happy 80th Birthday Hosni!

The first strike was suppressed on April 6 in Egypt. Almost immediately after the first strike, protesters formed as the April 6 group and began to make arrangements on Facebook for a follow-up strike on Hosni Mubarak’s birthday, May 4. Plans are to wear black in mourning for freedom and democracy in Egypt. Amira al Hussaini reports on Global Voices that “human rights” and other leftist organizations are leading the strike organization. Some defiant members of the Muslim Brotherhood (which is not participating as an organization) are striking. Kifaya, which was formed in solidarity with the Palestinean Intifada, is playing a will she or won’t she game. The most surprising aspect is that Muslim groups are joining with the cruelly oppressed Copts in the planned strike.

It could turn out badly so easily. Say a prayer that it turns out all right for the Egyptians, and especially for the Copts.

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Trackposted to Rosemary’s Thoughts, third world county, Right Truth, Adam’s Blog, The Pink Flamingo, Celebrity Smack, Cao’s Blog, Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker, Dumb Ox Daily News, Conservative Cat, Right Voices, Gone Hollywood, D equals S, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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This and That

Being a grab bag of things that Panglossians might find interesting.

Aussie Dave kicks it off with The Refugee Issue Examined

Around 820,000-850,000 Jews were either expelled from, or were otherwise forced to leave Arab countries after the 1948 War of Independence, a war started after the 5 Arab armies attacked the newly established State of Israel. Of these Jewish refugees, approximately 590,000-600,000 were absorbed into Israel, leaving behind their homes, businesses and possessions without receiving any compensation.

The War of Independence also produced some Arab refugees, totaling somewhere between 430,000-650,000. The vast majority of these refugees (approximately 68%) left without even seeing an Israeli soldier, but rather at the beckoning of the invading Arab armies, who were certain of a quick victory. [..]

So from my point of view, it is clear that the only just solution is for the Arab refugees to be absorbed into the Arab countries, rather than being kept in refugee camps as a pawn in the war against Israel. As for talk of compensation, Jewish refugees left behind assets in the Arab countries of greater worth than the Arab assets left behind in Israel, so if any side has a claim, it is us [Jews].

Next, Mirsulzhan Namazaliev is concerned about the Islamization of Kyrgyzstan

The citizens of Kyrgyzstan, a nominally Muslim country, have an interesting history with Islam: While the nomadic Kyrgyz haven’t really been introduced to the religion before the 18th century, Kyrgyzstani Uzbeks from the Ferghana Valley practice a more traditional form of Islam. During the Soviet era, religion was pushed to the sidelines of society, but Islam has seen some revival since Kyrgyzstan’s independence in 1991, again mostly in the southern rural parts of the country.

Last week, Kyrgyzstani bloggers were worried about the threat of Islamisation in their country. The debate was the result of an interdepartmental commission’s decision to allow Muslim women to wear hijabs for their passport photographs.

The decision of the commission was based on a claim that Islam prohibits women to uncover their heads and ears in front of unknown males. “We feel discomfort when we go through border control. The airport personnel demands us to take off our hijabs instead of introducing special rooms and having women personnel checking us”, Islamic representatives were quoted as saying.

Mong Palatino rounds up the separatist voices discussing the all-out war of secession in Basilan, Philippines.

War is raging in the island of Basilan, located in the southernmost part of the Philippines. An all-out war was recently declared by the government against the Abu Sayyaf bandit group accused of beheading 14 Marines last month. The military offensives have displaced thousands of families and imperiled the peace negotiations between the government and other Muslim rebel forces..

See what I mean about taking the side of the separatists against the legitimate government of the Philippines? The rest goes on like this, but is still a good overview of the ground.

Samir Khalil Samir writes about the issues raised by the case of Mohammed Ahmad Hegazi, an Egyptian who converted to Christianity and had to flee Egypt.

Islam protects itself against conversions by putting apostates in prison or by killing them. But its obsession with conversion includes a series of privileges it claims for itself. So much so that in many Muslim countries, even those that are supposedly secular, the right to promote the Islamic faith is taken for granted and is not enshrined in law. Conversely, the right to promote any other religion is considered de facto and de jure unacceptable.

Islamic propaganda is part of the state’s mandate. In Egypt for example public institutions disseminate songs, prayers, movies and written material that praise Islam and denigrate Christianity. Inevitably this favours conversions to Islam. By contrast, Christian propaganda (tabshīr) is banned by law.

Recently in Algeria, a new law was approved that condemns anyone promoting the Christian faith and anyone who converts to Christianity. Of course, some might say that this kind of law is directed only at Protestant proselytising. True! But Muslims proselytise as well? Should the law not be the same for everyone?

And finally, Steve Verdon explores the links between Hillary Clinton, Norman Hsu, and Communist Chinese money going to a whole raft of Democrat candidates by way of Hong Kong and Mr. Hsu of the inscrutable business history.

Drudge has three links to the news about Norman Hsu apparently a big time donor to Democratic candidates, and Hillary Clinton in particular. Hsu has donated over $600,000 to various candidates, but what is interesting is that his income appears to be a complete mystery. Further, there is an outstanding bench warrant for his arrest in a fraud case, and that Hsu has now been taken into custody and held on $2 million bond.

Hsu appeared in court accompanied by a lawyer and publicist, both of whom declined to say whether the New York apparel executive would immediately post bail. A warrant was issued for his arrest after he skipped the sentencing for a 1991 grand theft charge.

Publicist? This is sure looking like it will be interesting to watch. Needless to say all the candidates that Hsu has donated to, either directly, or through what appears to be proxies, have been scrambling to hand the money over to charities.

The Clinton campaign has said it will give to charity $23,000 that Mr. Hsu contributed, and yesterday representatives of Mr. Spitzer and Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York, who received $50,000 from Mr. Hsu, said they would do the same. A spokesman for Senator Barack Obama, the Illinois Democrat who is a rival of Mrs. Clinton for the party’s presidential nomination, said Mr. Obama intended to give away $7,000 that Mr. Hsu contributed to his committees.

The Clinton-Gore campaign donation case, wherein Johnny Chung funneled money from Chinese intelligence services to the 1996 Clinton-Gore presidential campaign, suddenly doesn’t look so closed.

I hope you find these to be as fascinating as I do.

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The Shaha Boy, Torture and the Egyptian Police State

Egypt’s police have a reputation for brutality. Even so, the fate of the Shaha Boy is sickening.

This innocent [12 year old] boy entered the police station alive and left it as a dead body with all the signs of torture and pain. The following pictures are really shocking and appalling, so people with a light heart should heed my warning.

The minister of interior affairs’ assistant denies all that has happened, the photos that follow show such claims to be a lie.

The official report said that Mohamed Mamdouh did not have any signs of torture on his body, and that the cause of his death was due to heart failure

However, his body suffered from burns, fractures, serious injuries from electric shock to his buttocks and his testicles

What was the crime of a skinny 12 year old?

H/T: D.B. Shobrawy at Global Voices.

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Dr Fadl, Founder of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, recants theological basis for Jihad

From Ian Black for the not-very-trustworthy (but I shall give it a shot, being optimistic by nature) Guardian:

In a prison cell south of Cairo a repentant Egyptian terrorist leader is putting the finishing touches to a remarkable recantation that undermines the Muslim theological basis for violent jihad and is set to generate furious controversy among former comrades still fighting with al-Qaida.Sayid Imam al-Sharif, 57,  was the founder and first emir (commander) of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organisation, whose supporters assassinated President Anwar Sadat in 1981 and later teamed up with Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan in the war against the Soviet occupation.

Sharif, a surgeon who is still known by his underground name of “Dr Fadl”, is famous as the author of the Salafi jihadists’ “bible” – Foundations of Preparation for Holy War. He worked with Ayman al-Zawahiri, another Egyptian doctor and now Bin Laden’s deputy, before being kidnapped in Yemen after 9/11, interrogated by the CIA and extradited to Egypt where has been serving a life sentence since 2004.

Sharif recently gave an electrifying foretaste of his conversion by condemning killings on the basis of nationality and colour of skin and the targeting of women and children, citing the Qur’anic injunction: “Fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress the limits; for God loveth not transgressors.” Armed operations were wrong, counterproductive and must cease, he declared sternly.

Zawahiri, evidently rattled, rounded sarcastically on him in a video message broadcast after Sharif’s statement – faxed from Torah prison to an Arabic newspaper – announced not only his change of heart but a book-length repudiation endorsed by hundreds of other former militants, and which is due to be published soon. Continue reading