These are all the Blogs posted on Thursday, 3, 2011.
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Historical Jihad: 'Incident at Hama'
Here is the summary from the article at wikipedia:
The Hama massacre occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian army bombarded the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Muslim Brotherhood. An estimated 17,000 to 40,000 people were killed, including about 1,000 soldiers, and large parts of the old city were destroyed. The attack has been described as possibly being "the single deadliest act by any Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East".
Egypt in 2011 is far from the first time that semi-secular Muslim fascists have clashed with true Islamic fundamentalists. In the Hama massacre, the Ba'ath Party slaughtered every single member of the Muslim Brotherhood that they could find in the town of Hama. Every single one.
Note that of the (up to) 40,000 deaths, only 1,000 were soldiers, meaning 97% of the dead were civilians. Compare those statistics to Israel's incursion into Lebanon in 2006, in which the Israelis carefully targeted Hizb'Allah members even as those jihadis hid behind civilian "human shields" (in violation of "international law").
Also, note that this is the "single deadliest act"; although this attack dwarfs the Israeli attack on Hizb'Allah in Lebanon with its approximately 1,000 total dead, these 40,000 are in turn dwarfed by the 1,000,000 dead in the Iran-Iraq war.
Just a bit of context, a small reminder of who is actually killing whom in the Middle East, as opposed to who is the focus of attention in the media.
Posted on 02/03/2011 12:49 AM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Copenhagen: Koran teacher marries 15-year old Danish convert
The translation of this news item from the Danish is on the EDL forum. The original item from Berlingske is here.
A 15 year old Danish girl married a Muslim man in his twenties this summer in Copenhagen, in a mosque on 16 Vibevej road in the Nordvest district. [ed: Al Hidayah mosque]
The man worked as a Koran teacher at the mosque and the marriage took place without consent from the girl's parents, and just a few months after the girl converted to Islam. The Copenhagen municipality reported the man to the police for having an illegal relationship between teacher and student, as well as for keeping a minor away from their parents.
Mikkel Warming (Enh.), alderman for social issues, says the case is tragic. "Imams who marry 15-16 year old girls are bastards. In this case, when the municipality first tried to intervene, we were up against powerful forces, which can be compared to Moon, Faderhuset, or Scientology. The concrete case approaches brainwashing," says Mikkel Warming.
The chairman of the Vibevej mosque said he knew nothing of the marriage, although there is a wedding picture of the couple from the mosque.
Justice Minister Lars Barfoed (K) is taking the matter very seriously and has turned to the Family Agency to impress on faith communities and religious preachers that the regulations regarding marriage should be respected.
"It's worrying if young girls feel trapped in a marriage-like relationship, which they themselves consider binding. And it's obviously unacceptable, if religious preachers with authority to conduct marriage, help create doubts about the legal status of a religious marriage," he says.
The case of the 15 year old girl is not unique. Last week Berlingske revealed that imams had married minor Danish girls 16 and 17 years old, without their parents' consent. The marriages are not legally binding, but according to various experts bind the girls socially even more than Danish marriages.
I fear this happens in the UK as well, also with Muslim born girls, some even younger.
Posted on 02/03/2011 2:08 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Germany - State of Hesse bans burkas for state workers
From The German edition of The Local.
The state of Hesse has banned the wearing of the burka – the Muslim dress that covers a woman’s face – by state employees during work hours, officials announced late Tuesday.
The decision was made by Interior Minister Boris Rhein in response to a worker at a local administrative office, or Bürgeramt, in Frankfurt who wanted to report for work wearing a burka. The woman is just finishing a period of parental leave but has been given some extra time to reconsider her position.
“We have allowed her a couple more days to think about the situation,” said Frankfurt city head of personnel Markus Frank.
The 39-year-old woman had the option of returning to work without her burka. Before she went on parenting leave, she wore a headscarf only. But shortly before her scheduled return to work, she announced she wanted to wear a full burka on religious grounds. Daily Bild reported that there might be financial issues involved, as there had been discussion of a €40,000 settlement, though the woman’s lawyer had later talked of €18,000.
However Frank insisted the woman was not due for any kind of financial settlement. Nor is she being paid at the moment, because she is a part-time worker. “We will not pay a cent of taxpayers’ money for this,” Frank said. The city was following the clear rule that workers in the public service must make their faces visible. Frank said he hoped that the woman would think the matter over and return to work without the burka. “We’re giving her another chance. Either she takes it or she doesn’t,” he said. “That is a clear limit that we are sticking to.”
Interior Minister Rhein said the state government was on safe legal ground because public service workers were obliged to be politically and religiously neutral. Veiled women conveyed the image that was not consistent with liberal and cosmopolitan values. “What’s more, the burka can be understood as a sign of an attitude contrary to the values of the western world,” said Rhein.
After Hesse announced earlier this week it was banning burkas in the public service in response to a demand by a 39-year-old woman in a Frankfurt local administrative office to wear the face veil, the Lower Saxony government said it was examining a similar move.
“The burka has no place in the public service,” the state’s conservative Christian Democratic Interior Minister, Uwe Schünemann, told the Hannover daily Neue Presse.
Lower Saxony’s Integration and Social Affairs Minister Aygül Özkan, herself a Muslim, supports the ban. “To wear a burka in an administrative office goes beyond the principle of tolerance,” she told the same paper. “Citizens must be able to have the right that a public servant shows their face.”
In a sign that other states may act, Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann welcomed the Hesse ban.
The comments favour not only a ban on the burka within Government offices but publicly anywhere in Germany.
Posted on 02/03/2011 3:36 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Voting reformer gets the sack for 'anti-Islam tweet'
A voting reform campaigner was sacked today after posting an "outrageous Islamophobic" joke on Twitter.
Ben Donnelly was dismissed from his volunteer post as a phone bank manager for the Yes To Fairer Votes campaign after his comments provoked a political storm. The part-time music teacher could yet face disciplinary action from his employers at Kidbrooke School in Greenwich, who are looking into the matter.
The Yes to Fairer Votes campaign, which wants a switch from first-past-the-post to the alternative vote (AV), moved quickly to axe Mr Donnelly after details of his tweet were leaked to the Standard. Then shame on the Standard for blowing 'outrage' up out of all proportion.
Posted yesterday afternoon, it read: "Says in the Holy Qu'ran Mohammad used to get his neighbours to vote by AV which of his 4 wives he'd shag each night."
Muslim groups were outraged, with Labour MP Khalid Mahmood calling for Mr Donnelly to be referred to the police. "This is outrageous and totally Islamophobic," Mr Mahmood said. "What has Islam got to do with AV?" Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim youth organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, described the joke as "disgusting".
The comments by readers of the Evening Standard make several different but pertinent points. They also appreciated Tommy Robinson's performance against Jeremy Paxman!
This is a disgraceful and untrue joke. All true believers know Mohammad did not have 4 wives, he had 11. - Stephen C, London Was he talking about the same prophet who marries 9 yr old girls? - Rob, London
"What has Islam got to do with AV?" Nothing. Islam is anti-democratic. Adam Harrow. Are there any islamic democracies? Just asking. - Steve, Brentford
Would this be the same Khalid Mahmood MP who ripped off the British taxpayer for about seventy seven thousand quid on expenses over the years? - ken, Slough
Posted on 02/03/2011 4:14 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Bomb maker's secret calls to 7/7 gang from Pakistan phone box
The July 7 gang were guided in a series of phone calls from Pakistan as they built their home-made bombs, the inquest into the atrocity heard today.
The British-born extremists received bomb-making instructions from an unidentified man ringing from a phone box in Rawalpindi.
The mystery figure made his final call five days before the bombs went off, claiming 52 innocent lives on the London transport network in 2005. Previous intelligence reports have suggested that the four suicide bombers worked alone and were not controlled by a mastermind.
But today Detective Sergeant Mark Stuart told the inquest at London's Royal Courts of Justice that mobile phone records revealed a series of calls made from phone boxes in Pakistan to ringleader Mohammad Sidique Khan.
Many of the calls, though made from different phone boxes, were made within minutes of each other, suggesting whoever phoned Khan was intent on concealing his identity, the inquest was told. Detectives believe Khan gave the details of four phones, used purely for the purpose of the terror mission, to contacts in Pakistan. The hearing was told how Khan never made any calls to Pakistan himself in an effort to avoid detection.
The first known conversation took place on 23 April 2005. But the majority of calls were made between May and June 2005. DS Stuart said it was likely that Khan always spoke to the same person who moved from one phone box to another, either for protection or because he may have struggled to get through.
DS Stuart told the court a flurry of calls was made between the four men minutes before the bombs went off.
Posted on 02/03/2011 4:35 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Philippines jihad: rival Muslim gangs fight each other, kill 13
From AFP, as reproduced in 'The Australian'.
'13 dead as Muslim rebels clash in Philippines'
'Weeks of clashes between rival Muslim rebel groups in the southern Philippines have left 13 people dead and forced thousands of others to flee their homes, the military said Thursday.
'More than 1000 rebels armed with rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, and mortars have been involved in the fighting, as the two sides seek control of valuable farmland on Mindanao Island, local army commanders said.
Muslim turf wars. First they seize turf from non-Muslims, then they fight over it among themselves. - CM.
"One group will attack the other, then break off. The other group will then stage an attack in retaliation. It is a series of skirmishes," regional military spokesman Major Marlowe Patria told AFP.
'He said 13 fighters from both sides had been killed and nine others wounded since the clashes began on January 9.
'Another 800 families had been evacuated to escape the fighting which was occurring in rice fields and rural villages about 60 kilometres from Cotobato City, a main trading centre of the south, according to Patria.
'"The feud is between a commander of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the country's original Muslim separatist group, and a commander from the breakaway Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)," he said.
Where are the Monty Python satirists to give this the treatment it deserves? - CM.
'MILF spokesman Mohager Iqbal said the two commanders were fighting over 1000 hectares of riceland, while emphasizing the dispute was a local one and not between the main groups.
"It is not the MNLF and MILF that are at war. It is just some members of the MILF and some members of the MNLF", Iqbal told AFP.
Dear AFP reporter: are you quite, quite sure that this Mohammedan is telling you the truth? - CM.
'The local government as well as the leadership of the MNLF and MILF have been trying to broker a ceasefire this week, but fighting continued on Wednesday and there were fears the conflict could escalate.
'"It really looks like they don't respect the orders of their superiors", local battalion commander Colonel Domingo Gobway told AFP.
'"We have monitored that there are many reinforcements from both sides who are coming in."
Dear Colonel Gobway: right now, the most sensible thing to do, so long as no Filipino non-Muslims are caught in the crossfire, would be to stand back and let them have at each other to their hearts' content. You will have fewer Mohammedan jihadists to deal with, after a few more weeks of this. - CM.
'Military intelligence officers in the area said the two rival commanders, who live near each other, originally had a combined total of 1400 armed followers.
'Muslim communities in the southern third of the mainly Catholic Philippines have for centuries struggled to create an independent Islamic state.
'The MNLF, which was then the biggest separatist group, signed a peace accord with the national government in 2006 that gave it control of an autonomous area of Muslim-dominated regions in the south.
And did the jihad then cease? It did not. - CM.
'The MILF, which broke away from the MNLF in 1978, has refused to sign a peace deal with the government.
Any such 'peace' deal cannot and will not be permanently kept, anyway. Islam forbids the making of permanent agreements with non-Muslims. See the Treaty of Hudaybiyya, for more. - CM.
'The MILF, which has about 12,000 fighters, is due to re-open peace talks with the government in Malaysia next week.
'Even while struggling against the national government (that is, against the non-Muslim government - CM) Muslim clans in the south often engage in violent conflicts with each other over land and political power.
Ah, behold the peace and brotherly love of Islam! - CM.
'An Asian Foundation study in 2007 said such feuds had claimed 5000 lives since the 1930s.
Somehow I suspect that '5000' is a conservative estimate - CM.
'Some areas of the south remain off-limits to the Philippine military because of the power of the rebel factions and other armed Muslim clans.
Oh. I see. 'No-go' areas, just as (though on a smaller scale) in France or the UK, have been staked out, and are being defended against non-Muslim entry - even while the Muslims fight, murderously, amongst themselves - CM.
'Gobway, the local military commander, said his soldiers were staying out of the current conflict for fear of making it worse.
If they want to kill each other, instead of kidnapping and beheading Filipino Catholic villagers and blowing up churches and buses, why try to stop them? - CM.
'If the military comes in, one side could ambush us and then blame it on the other side", he told AFP.
Looks to me as though Colonel Domingo Gobway is beginning to get a pretty good idea of the way that the Mohammedan mind works. - CM.
Posted on 02/03/2011 4:42 AM by Christina McIntosh
Thursday, 3 February 2011
The mega mosque that won't lie down and die.
Today's news release from Mega Mosque No Thanks.
One of Europe’s biggest mosques with a capacity of 12,000 could yet be built next to the Olympics site in east London if a fundamentalist Islamic sect wins a planning appeal that starts next week. Leaders of Tablighi Jamaat (TJ), whose followers have been linked to a number of planned and actual terrorist atrocities, are appealing to a Public Inquiry which starts on Tuesday. If they lose however, they claim it could mean the end of their mega-mosque “development dreams” for their site at West Ham.
TJ has been using the site for a temporary mosque for the past four years without planning permission. They had previously constructed buildings on the site against planning regulations. Twelve months ago Newham Council ordered them to cease all public and religious activities on site.
“Tablighi Jamaat have acted unlawfully and irresponsibly,” said Alan Craig, campaign director of local opposition group Newham Concern and former leader of the Opposition on Newham Council. “Their track record since they bought the site in 1996 amply demonstrates that they are not concerned to abide by planning regulations; they clearly consider they are above the law that the rest of us have to keep. Newham Council is to be congratulated for ordering them off site.”
The appeal, which will be heard by the government’s independent Planning Inspector at Newham Town Hall in East Ham, starts on Tuesday 8 February and is expected to last for at least eight days.
Newham Concern is calling two Muslim experts as specialist witnesses to highlight the fundamentalist and socially harmful nature of the sect. Dr Taj Hargey, chairman of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford and Imam of Oxford Islamic Congregation, has publicly criticised TJ for its promotion of hard-line separatism and intolerance. Tehmina Kazi, director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy will testify to TJ’s misogyny and refusal to open their current facilities to women.
“This Inquiry is a moment of truth,” said Alan Craig. “If the TJ appeal fails, they will have to close down the temporary mosque and their plans for the mega-mosque will be dealt a major blow.
“If it succeeds however, they say they now have the necessary funding in place and they will publish their architect’s master plan before the end of the year; their mega-mosque project will go ahead.”
For the history of these temporary buildings set in a quagmire of polluted mud use our search facility to your right. There's plenty to read!
Posted on 02/03/2011 8:13 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Fury after two Muslim councillors refuse to take part in standing ovation for Marine who won George Cross
But we all know that Salma Yaqoob is a vile creature. From the Daily Mail
Salma Yaqoob and Mohammed Ishtiaq remained seated during a ceremony for Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher.
The 26-year-old was awarded the George Cross after he flung himself onto a Taliban hand grenade to save his comrades during an ambush in Helmand Province in 2008. He was serving with 40 Commando when his patrol came under fire but he miraculously survived because his backpack took the force of the blast.
L/Cpl Croucher became the most highly-decorated serving Marine when he received the George Cross for ‘outstanding bravery not involving direct contact with the enemy’.
More than 100 councillors at Birmingham City Council attended a meeting on Tuesday night to honour L/Cpl Croucher, who was there as guest of honour.
But when the councillors stood to give him a standing ovation Cllrs Yaqoob and Ishtiaq, who are both members of the Respect party, refused to get to their feet.
Fellow councillors today reacted with fury at the snub and branded the pair 'shameful'.
Conservative Cllr John Lines said: 'They should be ashamed of themselves. This was not the time or place to stage an anti-war protest - this man risked his life for his comrades". Conservative Cllr Peter Douglas Osborn added: 'As far as I am concerned it is no longer the Respect Party, but the disrespect party.'
Yaqoob and Ishtiaq yesterday remained defiant about their decision to snub L/Cpl Croucher, branding the gesture 'false patriotism'.
What does one expect from a creature who implied that the London Transport bombs were just retribution on us for the war in Iraq? And do not forget that the area where she and Ishtiaq represent is a stone's throw from the hospital where wounded servicemen have been abused.
Posted on 02/03/2011 8:17 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 3 February 2011
So You Don't Know Much About Egypt?
So you don't know a thing about Egypt?
You mean you don't know what the Musliim Brotherhood was, or when it was founded, or what Hassan Al-Banna's speeches caused among Cairene crowds in 1940? You don't know whom a member of the Muslim Brotherhood assassinated in 1948, or whether or not it tried to kill Nasser? You have no idea of whether Anwar Sadat favored, or disfavored, the Muslim Brotherhood, or what its current leadership thinks about his assassination?
And you have no idea who Colonel Naguib was, or what happened to him? And you don't know what happened to all those Greeks, Italians, Jews who, under Nasser, were forced to flee, and to their property?
You don't know when Lord Cromer arrived in Egypt, or why, and when he left?
You have no idea about what Anwar Sadat did during World War II, or about his loyal service to Nasser later on?
You can't remember you never read about -- what happened in Cairo during September 1952?
You have no idea what exactly happened during the Yom Kippur War, or how the Egyptians remember that war? You have no idea why one of the three main bridges over the Nile is called the "October 6" Bridge?
You don't have any idea of how many Copts there are in Egypt, nor what percentage of the population they constitute, nor what their legal status is?
You have no idea what the exact terms of the Camp David Accords required Egypt to do, other than accept back the entire Sinai in three tranches, and not to call up its army to attack Israel?
You have no idea when the United States decided it would be a good idea to supply more than one-third of Egypt's annual defense budget, with $1.5 billion in annual aid, and what's more, to give Egypt in addition nearly another $1.5 billion in economic aid?
You have no idea what Egypt did or failed to do while the Sudanese government, over the past 30 years, was killing 2.5 Christians and animists in the southern Sudan? You have no idea what Egypt did or failed top do while the Sudanese government, over the past half-dozen years, was killing 400,000 black African Muslims in Darfur?
You know nothing about the threats from the Egyptian government to the government of Ethiopia, and toward other black African states, over use of the headwaters of the Nile?
You have no idea whether or not the statement, made by some Egyptians, that "Egypt is a rich country," is true or false? You don't know what the total revenues of the Egyptian state are, nor how much comes from Suez Canal receipts, how much from American and other Infidel aid, how much from the sale of cotton, how much from remittances from Egyptians working in other Arab states?
You have no idea of how popular or unpopular Mohammed el Baradei may be, and you don't quite know why he received the Nobel Prize, but you assume he must have done something to deserve it
You have no idea what the following people, all of them with their roots in Egypt -- think about the current situation: Tariq Ramadan, Magdi Allam, Nonie Darwish?
You have no idea what Iranians in exile, looking at what is going on in Egypt, and remembering their own enthusiasm for the fall of the Shah in 1979, think of what is going on in Egypt? For example, you cannot possibly imagine what Azar Nafisi might be saying to fellow Iranians?
You don't know whether or not the Egyptian government has been a "staunch ally" of the Americans, but you hear repeatedly that it has been, and you assume there must be some truth to the assertion.
You don't know whether or not the Egyptian government has accepted,and for all time, the existence of the state of Israel, with defensible borders, or whether Egypt has continued to wage war against Israel in all the ways that the other Arab states do, that is in every way except on the battlefield?
You have no idea whether or not Shari'a has a place in the Egyptain legal code?
You have no idea about what the population of Egypt was in 1920, 1950, 1980, but you have just read that its current populatiion is 84 million, so you feel quite well informed on the subject.
You have no idea what, among the recent large-scale public works -- the subway system in Cairo for example -- has been the work of Egyptians themselves?
You have no idea where that excitable phrase a "tide of freedom is sweeping the Arab world" comes from, nor how it applies to, inter alia: the specific situations in Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Oman, the U.A.E., Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the protector of Al Jazeera, Qatar?
You don't know exactly how many people came out for the million-man rally in Tahrir Square -- was it 200,000 -- and what socioeconomic strata those people represented?
You have no idea what those people calling for the immediate arrival of "freedom" and "democracy" have in mind when they use those words?
You have no idea how many of those people have travelled to, and learned their English, in Europe or America, and have decided that "we want what you have -- democracy, freedom" -- actually have any idea of what political theory, what view of the individual, underlie modern Western democracy, and why Islam's political theory, and view of the individual, flatly contradict what advanced Western democracy, our "freedom," requires?
You have no idea of any of this?
You don't know if Upper Egypt is on top or on the bottom?
Well, then, you're perfect.
You'll be able to speak on Egypt without hesitation, without doubts or second thoughts, sure of yourself and of exactly what's to come. Should Mubarak be instantly jettisoned, so that the "Egyptain people" can have "their aspirations fulfilled"? Fine. Or, in the alternative, should Mubarak be supported to the hilt, as "the devil we know" because, as the night doth follow the day, the Muslim Brotherhood will without a doubt inherit Egypt, and a new Khomeini is waiting in the wings, and Egypt is just like Iran, and then every other Arab state will be taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood, because that is just what happens?
Please, this is not the time for hesitation, some doubts, some skepticism, some modifying clauses that dare to express an awareness of complexity. This isn't a Henry-James look-alike contest, for god's sake. Keep those modifiers to yourself.
Now, remember to respond to the host's greeting. And smile. For god's sake, smile. This is television.
And be sure of yourself. And speak with great authority. Show the listeners that you know all that anyone needs to know. And don't worry, we'll prepare the audience to listen with respect, We'll introduce you as an "expert" on something: "Terrorism." "Islam.""The MIddle East." "Bin Laden." "World Affairs." That audience will be suitably impressed. No need for them to doubt your authority. Even though half of them have bumperstickers that read "Question Authority." .
Are you ready for your close-up?
Good. I thought you were. Everyone always is.
Posted on 02/03/2011 8:29 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 3 February 2011
An Egyptian-Themed Cinematic Musical Interlude: I See The Moon (from "Lipstick On Your Collar")
Posted on 02/03/2011 10:34 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Is the Muslim Brotherhood on the March in Egypt?
- A Round Table discussion with Jonathan Schanzer
by Jerry Gordon and Mike Bates (February 2011)
With the immolation of a fruit peddler in Tunisia in mid-December which led to the fall of the 23 year reign of strongman President Ben-Ali in Tunisia, a fuse was lit that erupted in a series of popular uprisings and protests against Arab strongmen in Algeria, Yemen, the Kingdom of Jordan and, most graphically, in Egypt, ruled for over 30 years by President Hosni Mubarak. For nearly two weeks in late January and early February 2011, the world’s media has been filled with images of mobs of virtually leaderless protesters confronting government supporters racing across Tahrir square in Cairo and cities in more than 12 provinces across this largest of Arab nations. more>>>
Posted on 02/03/2011 10:41 AM by NER
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Spreading A Conspiracy Theory: Israel Behind The Egyptian Protests
From AlMasryAlYom (English edition):
Israeli conspiracy theories-for Egypt unrest-begin to spread
On Wednesday night, the Egyptian satellite TV station al-Mehwar broadcast a live interview with Shaimaa, a former journalist, who claimed to be trained by Jews in the US to destabilize the political regime in Egypt. Shaimaa said on air that many of the anti-Mubarak protesters at Tahrir Square have received similar training and have been applying it over the past week through organized demonstrations.
Rumors about Israel being the mastermind behind the Egyptian uprising spread on al-Qasr al-Aini Street. This morning, a pharmacist on the street claimed to have seen Egyptian troops arresting two Israelis at Tahrir demonstrations.
Close to al-Qasr al-Aini Hospital, a juice seller refused to sell water bottles to two Al-Masry Al-Youm reporters, who wanted to deliver them with medical supplies to the injured at Tahrir Square. “Israelis are killing our children and destroying our lives. I will take no part in supporting them,” he exclaimed.
Nevertheless, it remains unclear how many Egyptians truly believe that Israel constitutes the mastermind behind recent events.
Sherif Younis, a historian, attributes the dissemination of the rumors to a group of National Security Services members, secret police, NDP members, businessmen and media agencies—both government-owned and self-claimed independents--whose interests are tied to the existing political regime.
Some of these groups might have been previously critical of the regime. “Times of uprisings are nevertheless, critical ones and people need to clearly decide which camp they support,” said Younis.
“With anti-Mubarak protestors’ success in demolishing the security apparatus last Friday, many institutions sided with the regime,” Younis said.
Various tactics were developed to turn the public against the uprising. Some newspapers praised the demonstrators for achieving so much progress toward democracy. This was however, immediately followed by a quick condemnation of violence and chaos with the anti-Mubarak protestors taking the blame. This approach was even used by President Mubarak, according to Younis.
The media has been spreading a culture of fear among the Egyptian public, highlighting events of vandalism, looting and violence due to the absence of security forces. “Protect Egypt” has become a recurring slogan across various TV stations.
Last week, the Muslim Brotherhood was accused of organizing the protests. When this narrative failed to gain popular support, the recurring scenario of Israel emerged, said Younis.
For decades, Israel has been blamed as the root cause of all evil in Egypt. Despite the 1979 peace accords, the public continues to perceive it as a “symbol of evil or even Satan,” explained Younis. Egyptian media has been nurturing this narrative for years, with Egyptian cinema and TV showing Israelis as villains in various scenarios regardless of the genre of the movie.
Conspiracy theories are commonly accepted in Egypt, Younis said. Accusations of conspiring with Israel are common among opposition parties as well as the regime, he adds. The allegation was even used during sectarian strife earlier this year.
In his first official comments on the uprising in Egypt, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated last Sunday that Israel is "anxiously monitoring" the anti-government protests. The Israeli government has also been actively advocating Western governments to support political stability in Egypt to preserve Israel’s security.
“The uprising is a threat and the regime needs to justify its actions during the last ten days,” said Younis. Therefore, the regime sent its supporters to Tahrir Square to clash with the anti-Mubarak demonstrators. The government has announced casualties on both sides and has been emphasizing calls for Jihad at Tahrir, he adds.
Some people are unfortunately buying into this due to a certain level of naivety or due to discomfort caused by protestors and the paralysis of the country, according to Younis. He believes the poor have come to accept the status quo and fear change and are mainly concerned with feeding their families as they have no stable income.
“Israeli-phobia” has become a characteristic of Egyptian national identity, which the state has been building over the past decades, said Younis.
Peaceful relations with Israel remain unacceptable to the majority of the Egyptian public, something acknowledged by the Israeli government in wikileaks documents released last year to the Jerusalem Post. Despite Israel’s unpopularity in Egypt, however, the Mubarak’s regime has remained one of its main supporters.
Posted on 02/03/2011 10:46 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Report: Coptic Christians Murdered in Egypt During Unrest
The Assyrian International News Agency reports that 11 Coptic Christians were killed on Jan. 30. AINA provides the following detail:
News of a massacre of two Christian Coptic families by Islamists just emerged from Upper Egypt with the return of the Internet connections after a week of Internet blackout by the Egyptian regime. The massacre took place on Sunday, January 30 at 3 PM in the village of Sharona near Maghagha, Minya province. Two Islamists groups, aided by the Muslim neighbors, descended on the roof of houses owned by Copts, killing eleven Copts, including children, and seriously injuring four others.
Anba Agathon, Bishop of Maghagha, told Coptic activist Dr. Mona Roman in a televised interview on Al-Karma TV that the killers are their neighbors, who seized the opportunity of the mayhem prevailing in Egypt and the absence of police protection to slaughter the Copts. He said that he visited today the four injured Copts, who escaped death despite being shot, at Maghagha General Hospital and they told him that they recognized the main attackers as they come from the same village of Sharona. They gave the Bishop details of what happened.
"The two families were staying in their homes with their doors locked when suddenly the Islamists descended on them," said Bishop Agathon, "killing eleven and leaving for dead four others family members. In addition, they looted everything that was in the two Coptic houses, including money, furniture and electrical equipment. They also looted livestock and grain."
Read the entire article here.
Posted on 02/03/2011 10:54 AM by Dexter Van Zile
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Axe attacker guilty of terrorism
From The Copenhagen Post
Mohamed Geele has just been found guilty of attempting to commit an act of terrorism and the attempted murder of Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard.
A unanimous jury at the Aarhus Municipal Court found that the 29-year-old Somalian’s actions amounted to terror because the intrusion and attempted murder of Westergaard was meant to scare the public and destablise society.
Geele was also found guilty of charges of gross violence against a police officer and violation of the weapons law. He was, however, acquitted of the attempted murder charge against a police officer.
The court will hand down its sentence tomorrow. In addition to facing life in prison, Geele (a Somalian) could also be deported.
Posted on 02/03/2011 11:03 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Thursday, 3 February 2011
More History Salvaged From The Wreckers With No Name
Esme wrote about it here, Hugh wrote about it here and I did my bit here. I am sure others have written about it too but it would take too long to search out all the posts about the deliberate destruction of heritage sites in Israel. Well, it keeps on happening and the Archaeological teams keep on tidying up the mess when they can.
However, sometimes the attempts at vandalism can lead to some spectacular discoveries. The following extracts are from this article about a rescue dig at an important heritage site. (The article is from the Israel Antiquities Authority site.)
An archaeological discovery, including an impressive mosaic floor that is large and beautiful and a church, was uncovered in excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority at Horbat Midras in the Judean Shephelah. Various scholars who visited the site during the excavation proposed identifying the place as the residence and tomb of the prophet Zechariah.
In recent months an archaeological excavation was conducted at Horbat Midras in the wake of an antiquities robbery during the course of which robbers attempted to breach and plunder an ancient underground complex.
A public building of impressive beauty dating to the Byzantine period, in which there are several construction phases, was exposed in the excavation. In the last two construction phases the building was used as a splendid church. However, based on the results of the excavation and as evidenced by the artifacts, it seems that this church is built inside a large public compound from the Second Temple period and the Bar Kokhba uprising which was used in the first construction phases of the compound.
Branching out beneath the entire building is a subterranean hiding complex in which there are rooms, water installations, traps and store rooms. This complex belongs to the large building from the Second Temple period which the Byzantine church was built into. Among the artifacts discovered in the hiding complex are coins from the time of the Great Revolt (66-70 CE) and the Bar Kokhba uprising (132-135 CE), stone vessels, lamps and various pottery vessels that are characteristic of the Jewish population from the settlement at that time.
The researchers believe that in light of an analysis of the Christian sources, including the Madaba Map, the church at Horbat Midras is a memorial church meant to mark the tomb of the prophet Zechariah. This subject will be examined and studied in the near future...
Throughout the article the original vandals of this site are not actually mentioned by name but it doesn’t take a great brain to figure out what went on. I just hope that they were caught and punished. We’re going to have to wait for the outcome of the research but it seems that the experts are already halfway to being convinced that they have stumbled across Zechariah’s resting place.
Posted on 02/03/2011 11:39 AM by John M. Joyce
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Scott D. Seligman: When The Chinese Went Out For Jews
The wit of the title's reversal depends on the reader knowing -- American readers would, but those in other countries might not -- that for many years, right up until the mid-1960s, the mainstay of Chinese restaurants in America, their clientele, was Jewish, and thus Jews would "go out for Chinese."
Here, without any further gloss, is the article in The Forward for February 4, 2010:
The Night New York’s Chinese Went Out for Jews
Looking Back at an Unlikely Collaboration in 1903, an Earlier Year of the Rabbit
courtesy of www.arcadiapublishing.com, from 'Manhattan's Chinatown' (2008)
Putting the East in Lower East Side:
In 1903, the Chinese Theatre
(pictured above) hosted a fundraising event to aid the Jews of Kishinev.
By Scott D. Seligman
Published in the issue of February 04, 2011
On a spring evening in 1903, in New York City’s Chinatown, a line snaked down Doyers Street from the Chinese Theatre as Manhattan played host to an improbable coming together of two immigrant communities: Chinese and Jews. They were queuing up for a Chinese-organized benefit performance for victims of the Kishinev pogrom that, the previous month, had killed 49, injured 500 and left 2,000 Jewish families homeless in the Russian provincial capital. The New York Times called the Chinatown event “the first affair of its kind that had ever occurred in the world.”
News of this first pogrom of the 20th century, which occurred suddenly after years of calm, reached the United States on April 24. Rioters had been goaded into action by a newspaper that falsely blamed Jews for the death of a young Christian man. Russian authorities watched without intervening, but did not permit the Jews to fight back. [the reference is to Mendel Beilis, the subject of a fictionalized account by Bernard Malamud, accused of ritual murder, Among his defenders was Alexander Kerensky; Vladimir Nabokov's father, a well-known jurist, also spoke out against the pogromshchiki]
New York’s Jewish community formed a relief committee, and soon raised $10,000 (about $256,000 in today’s money). House-to-house solicitations and benefit performances at Jewish theaters were organized. And Jewish merchants were asked to contribute 2% of one day’s gross receipts.
Newspapers across the nation editorialized and preachers of all creeds condemned the violence. Even Theodore Roosevelt expressed indignation. Jews, however, organized most relief efforts. No one expected aid from the Chinese, who despite living cheek-by-jowl with Jews on the Lower East Side had never taken much notice of them. Many Chinatown residents were barely able to scratch out a living of their own.
So it was a surprise when Joseph Singleton, a Chinese businessman, offered to arrange a benefit for Kishinev victims. One of a quartet of Chinese who spearheaded the effort, 49-year-old Singleton had arrived in New York 20 years earlier. A Sunday school teacher, he had taken an Anglo-sounding name, had adopted Western dress and had cut off his queue — the signature pigtail worn by Chinese during this era. He had gone into banking and cultivated many powerful government officials and business leaders.
Closely allied with Singleton was Guy Maine, superintendent of the Chinese Guild at St. Bartholomew’s Church. The son of a Bible teacher, he provided legal aid to Chinese victims of crime who found it difficult to get law enforcement from the police or justice from the courts. Dek Foon was a salesman, bookkeeper and restaurateur. And Jue Chue dealt in Chinese and Japanese imports. One of the wealthiest Chinese in the city, he was sometimes called “The J. Pierpont Morgan of Chinatown.”
All successful men, they had much in common. All spoke English well and had opted to live their lives in America. They wished to rid Chinatown of vice and to improve the lots of their compatriots, of whom 7,000 lived in New York in 1900. Three had married white women, and at least three were Christians, which was true of only a small minority of Chinese in America. And they were deeply opposed — like all of America’s Chinese — to the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and subsequent legislation that had ended most Chinese immigration into the United States and denied them citizenship.
They were also members of the Chinese Empire Reform Association, a group established by exiled Chinese intellectuals K’ang Yu-wei and Leung Kai Chew to promote constitutional monarchy in China; a New York chapter with Singleton as its head was established in 1902. It was in the name of the association that Singleton offered assistance to the Jewish relief effort.
“We believe in liberty and want to aid those who suffer from bigotry,” he declared. His proposal was a benefit at the Chinese Theatre, followed by a dinner at a Chinatown eatery.
On the night of the show, Maine spoke first and declared strong sympathy between Jews and Chinese, “as both had been persecuted.” New York rabbi Joseph Zeff, an early Zionist, focused, in Yiddish, on Russian atrocities against both groups. A “Mr. Rosenthal” — probably Zionist author Herman Rosenthal — praised the Chinese organizers and expressed indebtedness to them. And Leung, on his first visit to the United States, called Kishinev “a recurrence of the wild slaughter of Chinese in Blagovestchensk,” referring to an atrocity committed by Cossacks in a Manchurian town two years earlier, in which 5,000 Chinese were drowned.
The actors, who donated their services, were prevailed upon to give three performances in the 500-seat auditorium to satisfy all comers, and enjoyed a record number of curtain calls. The play, a drama titled “The 10 Lost Tribes,” was not about destruction of the Kingdom of Israel, but rather subjugation of Chinese by the Manchus in the Ch’ing Dynasty.
After the benefit, which raised $280 (about $7,100 in 2011 dollars), Singleton threw a banquet at Mon Lay Won — popularly known as the Chinese Delmonico’s — an upscale Chinatown restaurant. Among the guests was Yiddish theater actress Bertha Kalish, the “Jewish Bernhardt.” Exactly what was served that night is not recorded, but at a similar dinner for prominent Jews, despite the location, pork and shellfish had been notably absent. It appears the Chinese hosts tried, within their limited understanding of Jewish dietary laws, to make their Jewish guests comfortable, and that the Jews — some of whom were observant — did their best to meet them halfway.
Denied citizenship, the Chinese were trying to build alliances, and to the extent that Jews had already entered the power elite, this effort included them. Targets of anti-immigrant prejudice themselves, Jews were obvious allies. The Jewish press had opposed the Chinese Exclusion Act from the start, and Jews had spoken up during the debate preceding its permanent extension in 1902. Max Kohler, former U.S. assistant district attorney, had called Chinese exclusion “the most un-American, inhuman, barbarous, oppressive system of procedure that can be encountered in any civilized land today.” For Jews, exclusion was not only a moral issue but also a pragmatic one, because what had been done to Chinese could also be done to Jews. If pogroms continued, more would seek refuge in America. In the year following the Kishinev riot, Jewish emigration from Russia rose by more than 60%.
Leung, a diarist with a keen eye, thought that in America, the Chinese had much to learn from the Jews. “When I read the newspapers, I see that the Jews are the strongest among the immigrant communities in the U.S. I have heard 30–40% of the banks belong to the Jews,” he wrote, without revealing sources for these ostensible facts. “The longest street in New York has thousands of shops. The Jews own 60–70% of them, while we Chinese have only one.” Leung admired the fact that Jews had gained power in local government through unity, a characteristic his factionalized Chinese brethren sorely lacked.
Proximity and shared victimhood notwithstanding, an alliance between the two groups never really developed much beyond these efforts, and the event was forgotten before long. But even if all it amounted to was a single night when one persecuted people reached out to another, it was no less an extraordinary — and unexpected — gesture of solidarity.
*Scott D. Seligman, a writer and historian, speaks and reads Chinese, but had to call for help with the Yiddish sources for this article. *
The Chinese Year of the Rabbit begins on February 3, 2011.
Posted on 02/03/2011 11:35 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Admit it: what you really wanted to see, what you looked forward to seeing, as soon as you had heard about it, and then did see, and then chose to see on various stations again and again, were those camels, or at least that one gaily-caparisoned camel being ridden by its well-practiced rider -- aided and abetted by the police who no doubt suggested he show up -- right through the anti-Mubarak crowds in Tahrir Square. It wasn't the sticks and stones that broke anti-Mubarak bones, nor the dramatic tales of punches in the face to Anderson Cooper, or the threats to Hala Gilani, or some Swiss or Swedish or Israeli reporters arrested and then dragged away, here and there, that most attracted your attention, that you wanted to see again and again.
You wanted to see that camel.
Okay, then: .
Posted on 02/03/2011 11:27 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 3 February 2011
A Musical Interlude: Shanghai Lil (Gene Kardos Orch., voc. Dick Robertson)
Posted on 02/03/2011 12:11 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Senate Reports A "String Of Failures" In The Case Of Nidal Malik Hasan
A 'string of failures' by FBI, Defense in failing to discharge Hasan
From NBC's Ken Strickland
The Department of Defense and the FBI had enough information about the suspect in the 2009 Fort Hood massacre to have discharged him from the military before he killed 13 DOD employees and wounded 32 others, according to a new bipartisan Senate report.
The report on the Texas army base shooting, authored by Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman and top Republican Susan Collins, says that both agencies were aware of suspected gunman Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan's radicalization to violent Islamist extremism "but failed both to understand and to act on it."
"Although both the public and the private signs of Hasan's radicalization to violent Islamist extremism while on active duty were known to government officials, a string of failures prevented these officials from intervening against him prior to the attack," it says in its executive summary.
The senators say their investigation found "specific and systemic failures" in the government's handling of the case and cited additional concerns about possible broader systemic issues. "The FBI and DoD together failed to recognize and to link the information that they possessed about Hasan" they write.
Hasan's move toward violent Islamist extremism "was on full display to his superiors and colleagues during his military medical training,” according to the report’s findings. One instructor referred to Hasan as "a ticking time bomb."
"Not only was no action taken to discipline or discharge him, but also his Officer Evaluation Reports sanitized his obsession with violent Islamist extremism into praiseworthy research on counterterrorism."
In a stinging charge against the Defense Department's handling of the matter, the report added, "DOD possessed compelling evidence that Hasan embraced views so extreme that it should have disciplined him or discharged him from the military, but DoD failed to take action against him."
While the inquiry credited one FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force unit for initially flagging Hasan because he was communicating with a suspected terrorist, it criticized a second unit's follow-through. According to the report, the second JTTF unit "failed to identify the totality of Hasan's communications" and didn't inform Army security about them.
"Instead, the JTTF inquiry relied on Hasan's erroneous Officer Evaluation Reports and ultimately dismissed his communications as legitimate research," the senators write.
The report suggests that because the two FBI units had different views of the severity of other unit's findings, the matter was eventually dropped "rather than cause a bureaucratic confrontation."
"The JTTFs never raised the dispute to FBI headquarters for resolution, and entities in FBI headquarters responsible for coordination among field offices never acted. As a result, the FBI's inquiry into Hasan ended prematurely,” it reads.
*** UPDATE *** The FBI responded to the report in a written statement, which reads in part: "The FBI recognizes the value of congressional oversight and agrees with much in the report and many of its recommendations. During the internal FBI review undertaken immediately after the attack at Fort Hood, we identified several of the areas of concern outlined in the report, and, as noted in the report, have implemented changes to our systems and processes to address them. We will review each of the report's recommendations and adopt them, as appropriate."
Posted on 02/03/2011 1:06 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Aid To Egypt Should Not Be Suspended But Ended, And Forever
The nearly $80 billion that the American government has sent to Egypt over the last 30 years started to be sent for no better reason than that, at the time of Israel's surrender of the Sinai, it was understood that Israel would need more military aid, and the Egyptians, still basking in the incandescent glow of Saint Sadat's halo, insisted that they too had done "as much for peace" (by deigning to agree to take back, for the second time, the Sinai which, let it be emphasized, only became part of Egypt in the 1920s) as Israel, and so aid to Egypt came to be seen as "necessary for ensuring the peace" which, come to think of it, shows just how tenous was Egypt's commitment to "peace" (as opposed to the "Peace Treaty" that could, in due time, be jettisoned in every important respect, though Egypt continued to refrain from making war, or whipping up its populace into demanding that open war be made, for the same reason that, say, Syria or Iraq or Jordan or Saudi Arabia refrained from making war on Israel -- because of fear of the likely consequences).
Now some are calling for a "suspension" of aid to Egypt. But does this mean that Egypt, under a regime less likely to collaborate, even on measures good for Egypt (such as preventing Hamas from consolidating its rule in Gaza), will again be given American aid, if Mubarak leaves, and some one akin to El Baradei takes over? Why? Why should the Infidel taxpayers continue to subsidize Egypt, or Jordan, or Pakistan, not to mention the hideous sums squandered in Afghanistan and on oil-rich Iraq? When did this idea take hold, that we non-Muslims owe the world's non-Muslims a better life, a living? When did we decide, or who decided for us, that the most prudent thing to do is to subsidize the colossal rise in population among the world's Muslims? Who decided that we, and not the fabuslouly rich Arabs (and Iranians), fellow members of the Umma, are the ones whose pockets must be picked because our governing elites are confused, and fearful to halt that aid once it has begun?
We don't need to give a cent to Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, the "Palestinians." They, and above all their cruel and corrupt rulers, have pocketed large amounts of that aid for themselves, their cronies, their courtiers. We win no friends, but only make enemies as we supply the Res, the thing, the money, the loot, on which those ruling classes batten.
And if we pull back from arming and financing them -- our great recent achievement is to have trained and armed half-a-million men in Iraq, and another half-million in Afghanistan,, fighting Muslims all, even if some of them, temporarily, appear or at least say they are willing to fight Al Qaeda, and even the sincerity of that is entirely unclear. And, o yes, we have also given tens of billions of dollars in aid, and debt relief, and military equipment to Pakistan, in the last decade, so that in that decade meretricious Pakistan -- whose national heroes are A. Q. Khan (in the Category of Best Male Pakistani) and Aafia Siddiqui (in the Category of Best Femal Pakistani) --- has been able to double the number of nuclear bombs it possesses -- then they will have to confront three things.
The first is that for all that talk of the unity of the Umma, the rich Arabs -- the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Emiraties, Qataris, and so on -- have no intention of really sharing their wealth with the poorer or poor Muslims, and the sooner that is brought home to the Muslim Arabs in Egypt, Jordan, those misruled from the MIqata in the handful of places where the writ of the "Palestinian" Authoirty may comically be said to run. Let them start speaking aloud about how the "wealth of the Arabs and Muslims must be shared." That will only start to happen when the hard-pressed taxpayers of Europe and North America no longer fund these Muslim lands, a funding that should never have started in the first place, not least because we, the Infidel donors, become fearful of the reaction of the Muslims if we limit or cut off such aid, and the Muslim recipients, completely ungrateful, receive such aid as their due -- in other words, the classic psychologcy of the Jizyah-payments is evident in this particular transfer of wealth. And the JIzyah, and things that look awfully like the Jizyah even if they are not called by that name, must stop.
The second is that the less money the Arabs and Muslims receive from non-Muslims, the less they will have with which to buy arms, to threaten not only non-Muslim neighbors (with Israel the obvious target, but also the newly-created southern Sudan, or non-Muslim peoples elsewhere), but also the less money they will have to pay for mosques and madrasas and public relations and Da'wa campaigns in the non-Muslim lands, especially in Western Europe, the main current theatre of the world-wide Jihad.
The third is that it should be the goal of the Western world -- of the whole Infidel world, rather -- to do nothing to prevent Muslims from having to confront, to recognize, their own economic, political, and social weaknesses, that come from Islam itself. The only reason Ataturk could come along and systematically limit the power of Islam was because Turkey was on the ropes, and the far-seeing Ataturk recognized that the main problem was Islam itself. He could not do away with it -- that would be impossible -- but he could constrain Islam, in a hundred diffeent ways, as a political and social force, and he succeeded in creating a secular class in Turkey. Unfortunately, that secular class never became a majority, but became stuck at about one-quarter of the population, and it entrusted the protection of Kemalism to the army, abdicating its responsiblility to continue and strengthen the Kemalist program.
When the West lavishes foreign aid on Egypt, Jordan, the "Palestinians," or on Pakistan, or on Afghanistan, and refuses to recognize, much less talk about, all the ways that Islam holds Muslims back, it delays the day of that recognition, and it is that recognition, by non-Muslims in order to protect themselves, and by Muslims, in order that they might seek and find their own versions of Ataturk, that is our only hope, and the only hope of those who, in the world of Islam, are outnumbered always and everywhere by the primitive and self-primitivizing True Believers.
Posted on 02/03/2011 12:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Omar Suleiman Means To Say This: In Islam, Disobedience To Authority Is Unnatural
From a news item:
"New Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman rejects demands for President Hosni Mubarak's resignation, saying it would be "a call to chaos."
Such a resignation "is a very alien philosophy to the ideology of the people," he says. 'We all respect the leader, Hosni Mubarak, and what he has offered the country over the past 30 years and the service he has rendered.'"
He's right -- the resignation of a leader, simply because many people want him gone, is alien to Islam. Islam teaches, Islam inculcates, unquestioning obedience to the Ruler, as long as that Ruler is a Muslim. All of Islam is based on discouraging independent thought, free and skeptical inquiry, anything but obedience, and obeisance, to authority. Muhammad was a despot, and so were all the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. And that is why despotism occurs naturally in Muslim states, and why democracy -- in the Western sense -- is so alien, so contra naturam or at least against the laws, and views, of Islam. Political legitimacy in the advanced West is located in the will, however imperfectly expressed, by the people. In Islam, political legitimacy is located in the will expressed by Allah, as set down in the uncreated and immutable Qu'ran, its meaning fixed when the gates of ijtihad were slammed shut, more than a thousand years ago. Those who prate about "democracy" and "freedom" had best keep those differences in political legitimacy in mind.
Posted on 02/03/2011 1:58 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Some Good News
Selon le cabinet d'études koweitien, Kamco, la Bourse du Caire a perdu 12 milliards de dollars entre le début des manifestations, le 25 janvier, et la fermeture de la place financière, le 27 janvier.
Every little bit less helps.
Posted on 02/03/2011 2:33 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 3 February 2011
U.S. Military Aid To Egypt Will Apparently Continue
No plans to halt US military aid to Egypt: Pentagon
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Thursday said it had no plans to halt weapons deliveries to Egypt in coming months despite a popular revolt against President Hosni Mubarak's rule.
While the US administration was examining its economic and military aid to Egypt in light of political upheaval there, military assistance had not been suspended, a spokesman said.
"There's a difference between halting the aid and reviewing it," said Colonel Dave Lapan.
As senior US officers closely monitored fast-moving events in Cairo, Lapan said Egypt's military continued to display "restraint" in the crisis so far.
"To date we have seen them act professionally and with restraint. Again it's a very fluid situation so we're watching every single day," Lapan told reporters.
The White House has suggested that US assistance for Egypt is under review in the face of a wave of street demonstrations demanding Mubarak step down.
Spare parts for F-16 warplanes, coastal patrol ships and fuses for munitions are among items due to be delivered to Egypt in the early part of this year, Lapan said. [why? What enemy threatens Egypt? Libya? The Sudan? Israel, which gave up the entire Sinai and only ardently wishes that Egypt would actually respect its own promises and cease its ceaseless antisemitic propaganda, available round-the-clock in the Egyptain press, and on radio, and television? Why does Egypt need F-16s, for example? Wouldn't the money be better spent on schools with a secular curriculum?]
The United States has provided tens of billions worth of arms and training to Egypt over more than three decades, with annual defense assistance at $1.3 billion.
Lapan also said the US military had no immediate plans to redeploy its forces in or near Egypt in response to the crisis, but as always the armed forces were carrying out "prudent planning" for all scenarios.
The majority of the more than 600 US troops stationed in Egypt are part of the multinational observer mission in the Sinai, with the remainder providing security at the embassy or working in a defense cooperation office, he said.
A US aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, a guided-missile destroyer and other warships are currently in the Mediterranean with tentative plans to sail through the Suez Canal on the way to the Arabian Sea possibly later this month.
US ships in the Arabian Sea back up the war effort in Afghanistan, with fighter jets based on carriers running combat missions for troops on the ground.
Mubarak's government has long provided the US military with access to its air space and safe passage for naval ships through the Suez Canal, which Washington has used to supply troops in the Iraq war.
The US military's top officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, on Wednesday spoke to his counterpart by phone and said in a statement that he had "confidence" in the Egyptian army's ability to provide security for the country and the Suez Canal.
US officials and analysts view the role of Egypt's army as crucial in eventually resolving the crisis, and the administration is hoping that longstanding defense ties with Cairo will provide some leverage.
The White House said Wednesday that US contacts with various levels of the Egyptian armed forces had helped rein in possible violence earlier in the week.
For a different view of American aid to Egypt and other Muslim states, read here.
Posted on 02/03/2011 2:36 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 3 February 2011
Egyptian Blogger Sandmonkey Offers His View Of Events, And Describes A Slave Mentality
Egypt, right now!
I don’t know how to start writing this. I have been battling fatigue for not sleeping properly for the past 10 days, moving from one’s friend house to another friend’s house, almost never spending a night in my home, facing a very well funded and well organized ruthless regime that views me as nothing but an annoying bug that its time to squash will come. The situation here is bleak to say the least.
It didn’t start out that way. On Tuesday Jan 25 it all started peacefully, and against all odds, we succeeded to gather hundreds of thousands and get them into Tahrir Square, despite being attacked by Anti-Riot Police who are using sticks, tear gas and rubber bullets against us. We managed to break all of their barricades and situated ourselves in Tahrir. The government responded by shutting down all cell communication in Tahrir square, a move which purpose was understood later when after midnight they went in with all of their might and attacked the protesters and evacuated the Square. The next day we were back at it again, and the day after. Then came Friday and we braved their communication blackout, their thugs, their tear gas and their bullets and we retook the square. We have been fighting to keep it ever since.
That night the government announced a military curfew, which kept getting shorter by the day, until it became from 8 am to 3 pm. People couldn’t go to work, gas was running out quickly and so were essential goods and money, since the banks were not allowed to operate and people were not able to collect their salary. The internet continued to be blocked, which affected all businesses in Egypt and will cause an economic meltdown the moment they allow the banks to operate again. We were being collectively punished for daring to say that we deserve democracy and rights, and to keep it up, they withdrew the police, and then sent them out dressed as civilians to terrorize our neighborhoods. I was shot at twice that day, one of which with a semi-automatic by a dude in a car that we the people took joy in pummeling. The government announced that all prisons were breached, and that the prisoners somehow managed to get weapons and do nothing but randomly attack people. One day we had organized thugs in uniforms firing at us and the next day they disappeared and were replaced by organized thugs without uniforms firing at us. Somehow the people never made the connection.
Despite it all, we braved it. We believed we are doing what’s right and were encouraged by all those around us who couldn’t believe what was happening to their country. What he did galvanized the people, and on Tuesday, despite shutting down all major roads leading into Cairo, we managed to get over 2 million protesters in Cairo alone and 3 million all over Egypt to come out and demand Mubarak’s departure. Those are people who stood up to the regime’s ruthlessness and anger and declared that they were free, and were refusing to live in the Mubarak dictatorship for one more day. That night, he showed up on TV, and gave a very emotional speech about how he intends to step down at the end of his term and how he wants to die in Egypt, the country he loved and served. To me, and to everyone else at the protests this wasn’t nearly enough, for we wanted him gone now. Others started asking that we give him a chance, and that change takes time and other such poppycock. Hell, some people and family members cried when they saw his speech. People felt sorry for him for failing to be our dictator for the rest of his life and inheriting us to his Son. It was an amalgam of Stockholm syndrome coupled with slave mentality in a malevolent combination that we never saw before. And the Regime capitalized on it today.
Today, they brought back the internet, and started having people calling on TV and writing on facebook on how they support Mubarak and his call for stability and peacefull change in 8 months. They hung on to the words of the newly appointed government would never harm the protesters, whom they believe to be good patriotic youth who have a few bad apples amongst them. We started getting calls asking people to stop protesting because “we got what we wanted” and “we need the country to start working again”. People were complaining that they miss their lives. That they miss going out at night, and ordering Home Delivery. That they need us to stop so they can resume whatever existence they had before all of this. All was forgiven, the past week never happened and it’s time for Unity under Mubarak’s rule right now.
To all of those people I say: NEVER! I am sorry that your lives and businesses are disrupted, but this wasn’t caused by the Protesters. The Protesters aren’t the ones who shut down the internet that has paralyzed your businesses and banks: The government did. The Protesters weren’t the ones who initiated the military curfew that limited your movement and allowed goods to disappear off market shelves and gas to disappear: The government did. The Protesters weren’t the ones who ordered the police to withdraw and claimed the prisons were breached and unleashed thugs that terrorized your neighborhoods: The government did. The same government that you wish to give a second chance to, as if 30 years of dictatorship and utter failure in every sector of government wasn’t enough for you. The Slaves were ready to forgive their master, and blame his cruelty on those who dared to defy him in order to ensure a better Egypt for all of its citizens and their children. After all, he gave us his word, and it’s not like he ever broke his promises for reform before or anything.
Then Mubarak made his move and showed them what useful idiots they all were.
You watched on TV as “Pro-Mubarak Protesters” – thugs who were paid money by NDP members by admission of High NDP officials- started attacking the peaceful unarmed protesters in Tahrir square. They attacked them with sticks, threw stones at them, brought in men riding horses and camels- in what must be the most surreal scene ever shown on TV- and carrying whips to beat up the protesters. And then the Bullets started getting fired and Molotov cocktails started getting thrown at the Anti-Mubarak Protesters as the Army standing idly by, allowing it all to happen and not doing anything about it. Dozens were killed, hundreds injured, and there was no help sent by ambulances. The Police never showed up to stop those attacking because the ones who were captured by the Anti-mubarak people had police ID’s on them. They were the police and they were there to shoot and kill people and even tried to set the Egyptian Museum on Fire. The Aim was clear: Use the clashes as pretext to ban such demonstrations under pretexts of concern for public safety and order, and to prevent disunity amongst the people of Egypt. But their plans ultimately failed, by those resilient brave souls who wouldn’t give up the ground they freed of Egypt, no matter how many live bullets or firebombs were hurled at them. They know, like we all do, that this regime no longer cares to put on a moderate mask. That they have shown their true nature. That Mubarak will never step down, and that he would rather burn Egypt to the ground than even contemplate that possibility.
In the meantime, State-owned and affiliated TV channels were showing coverage of Peaceful Mubarak Protests all over Egypt and showing recorded footage of Tahrir Square protest from the night before and claiming it’s the situation there at the moment. Hundreds of calls by public figures and actors started calling the channels saying that they are with Mubarak, and that he is our Father and we should support him on the road to democracy. A veiled girl with a blurred face went on Mehwer TV claiming to have received funding by Americans to go to the US and took courses on how to bring down the Egyptian government through protests which were taught by Jews. She claimed that AlJazeera is lying, and that the only people in Tahrir square now were Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. State TV started issuing statements on how the people arrested Israelis all over Cairo engaged in creating mayhem and causing chaos. For those of you who are counting this is an American-Israeli-Qatari-Muslim Brotherhood-Iranian-Hamas conspiracy. Imagine that. And MANY PEOPLE BOUGHT IT. I recall telling a friend of mine that the only good thing about what happened today was that it made clear to us who were the idiots amongst our friends. Now we know.
Now, just in case this isn’t clear: This protest is not one made or sustained by the Muslim Brotherhood, it’s one that had people from all social classes and religious background in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood only showed up on Tuesday, and even then they were not the majority of people there by a long shot. We tolerated them there since we won’t say no to fellow Egyptians who wanted to stand with us, but neither the Muslims Brotherhood not any of the Opposition leaders have the ability to turn out one tenth of the numbers of Protesters that were in Tahrir on Tuesday. This is a revolution without leaders. Three Million individuals choosing hope instead of fear and braving death on hourly basis to keep their dream of freedom alive. Imagine that.
The End is near. I have no illusions about this regime or its leader, and how he will pluck us and hunt us down one by one till we are over and done with and 8 months from now will pay people to stage fake protests urging him not to leave power, and he will stay “because he has to acquiesce to the voice of the people”. This is a losing battle and they have all the weapons, but we will continue fighting until we can’t. I am heading to Tahrir right now with supplies for the hundreds injured, knowing that today the attacks will intensify, because they can’t allow us to stay there come Friday, which is supposed to be the game changer. We are bringing everybody out, and we will refuse to be anything else than peaceful. If you are in Egypt, I am calling on all of you to head down to Tahrir today and Friday. It is imperative to show them that the battle for the soul of Egypt isn’t over and done with. I am calling you to bring your friends, to bring medical supplies, to go and see what Mubarak’s gurantees look like in real life. Egypt needs you. Be Heroes.
Posted on 02/03/2011 2:47 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Thursday, 3 February 2011
DieudonnÃ© M'Bala M'Bala Not As Hilarious As He Seems To Think
The antisemitic comic Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala is on trial for a stage-performance . He has defended his act by claiming that he was only having thigh-slapping fun by having delivered to the Holocaust-denier Robert Faurisson " par une personne déguisée en déporté juif"-- a joke-certificate of "lack of attendance.". The Court that was hearing in case did not find this as amusing as did Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala. If convicted, he faces a fine of 10,000 Euros and six months in jail. The fine should be a crippling one, one that ruins him, for all time, of a million Euros, and the jail sentence should be not six months but something like five years. That would be more like it.
Here's the story in Le Monde:
Devant les juges, Dieudonné invoque le droit à l'humour
LEMONDE.FR avec AFP | 03.02.11
"C'est la première fois qu'un artiste se retrouve devant une cour d'appel pour demander : 'Est-ce que j'ai le droit de faire rire mon public ?'", a regretté Dieudonné.AFP/BERTRAND GUAY
"C'était une excellente soirée. C'était très drôle. Les gens ont ri." C'est ainsi que Dieudonné s'est défendu, jeudi 3 février, devant la cour d'appel de Paris, qui le juge pour des propos tenus lors d'un spectacle où il avait convié sur scène le négationniste Robert Faurisson.
Le parquet général n'a pas été sensible à l'humour de Dieudonné, et a requis contre lui six mois de prison avec sursis et 10 000 euros d'amende.
Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala est jugé pour avoir fait remettre à Robert Faurisson, par une personne déguisée en déporté juif, un "prix de l'infréquentabilité", le 26 décembre 2008 sur la scène du Zénith de Paris, lors d'une représentation de son spectacle J'ai fait le con. La présence de l'ancien universitaire lyonnais avait suscité un tollé politique et associatif en France.
"QUE JE NE FASSE PAS RIRE TOUT LE MONDE, ÇA N'EST PAS MON PROBLÈME"
En première instance, Dieudonné s'est vu condamné à 10 000 euros d'amende pour "injures" à caractère raciste. Il avait immédiatement fait appel. "C'est la première fois qu'un artiste se retrouve devant une cour d'appel pour demander : 'Est-ce que j'ai le droit de faire rire mon public ?'", a regretté l'homme de spectacle, en se retranchant derrière le droit à l'humour et la liberté d'expression.
"Que je ne fasse pas rire tout le monde, ça n'est pas mon problème. Que ça en énerve certains, ça m'amuse", s'est-il encore défendu. Le président de SOS-Racisme, Dominique Sopo, a raillé "une défense assez peu courageuse". "Le fait qu'il se réfugie derrière son statut d'artiste pour justifier qu'il doit bénéficier d'une liberté d'expression extrême est une supercherie", a-t-il indiqué en marge de l'audience.
"Il se revendique faussement de la qualité d'humoriste", a appuyé Me Sabrina Goldman, qui défend la Licra (Ligue internationale contre le racisme et l'antisémitisme), également partie civile. "Ce n'est plus un humoriste. Désormais, il porte un discours politique." Dieudonné s'est également plaint devant la cour d'appel d'être victime de l'acharnement des associations antiracistes. Une douzaine de parties civiles poursuivent l'humoriste dans une affaire initiée par le ministère public. Le délibéré aura lieu le 17 mars.
Among the comments, these two deserve re-posting:
D'accord, pas d'accord ?
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David Thévenon 21h10
Dieudonne est le genre de bouffons qui vous pourrit la soiree; enfin c'est mon opinion. Nous verrons bien si cet escroc fait rire ses juges, et si les associations antiracistes sont les seules a penser que les propos qu'il profere, d'autant plus en presence de jeunes influencables, sont inacceptables et condamnables.
Posted on 02/03/2011 3:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald