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Posts Tagged ‘egypt’

Obama administration promotes indefensible borders for Israel

Posted by Richard on March 21, 2013

President Obama is finally visiting Israel, and he’s made all the appropriate statements about what a great friend and ally that nation is. But the video promoting the visit and the President’s itinerary tell a different story, as noted by the Washington Free Beacon:

The map of the Middle East displayed in an Obama administration video released days before President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel shows the Jewish state dispossessed of substantial parts of its current territory, including its capital.

The map of Israel, displayed repeatedly during the video, shows the Golan Heights, Jerusalem, northern Israel, and areas surrounding what is currently the West Bank as non-Israeli territory. The Golan Heights is shown as part of Syria; Jerusalem is shown as part of the West Bank; and northern Israel is shown as part of Lebanon.

The itinerary on the White House website also implies that Jerusalem is neither Israel’s capital nor even part of Israel.

The president’s schedule lists two stops in “Tel Aviv, Israel” and one in “Amman, Jordan” but his activities in Israel’s capital city are identified as taking place only in “Jerusalem” — with no country name attached. This keeps with a reluctantly-acknowledged administration policy of denying that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital or even a part of Israel.

The map in the Obama administration video shows borders that are simply indefensible. And the exclusion of Jerusalem denies over 3000 years of history in favor of the claims of the 7th-century barbarians who control Egypt and Saudi Arabia and appear to be Obama’s real friends.

Disgusting and contemptible. But not a surprise from this administration, which recently sent the radical Islamists ruling Egypt, who call Jews “the descendants of apes and pigs,” more money, tanks, and F16s.

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Missed opportunities, part 2

Posted by Richard on October 22, 2012

OK, one more missed opportunity. Earlier this month, the chief imam of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Supreme Guide Mohammed Badie, called on Muslims worldwide to wage jihad against Israel and liberate Jerusalem. The Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced Badie and called on the Obama administration to distance itself from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Earlier today, responding to Egyptian President Morsi’s apparent endorsement of a “destroy the Jews” prayer, the Wiesenthal Center reiterated its call for the Obama administration to act:

The Simon Wiesenthal Center on Monday reiterated its call to US President Barack Obama to sever ties with the Muslim Brotherhood after Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi attended a prayer service during which an Islamic cleric called for the Jews to be destroyed.

According to the Center, Egypt’s Channel 1 broadcast cleric Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour’s sermon in which he prayed: “Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, disperse them, rend them as under. Oh Allah, demonstrate Your might and greatness upon them.”

Romney should have brought up the Wiesenthal Center’s demand and asked Obama point-blank, “Have you responded in any way to the Wiesenthal Center’s demands? Will you suspend aid to Egypt and support for its Muslim Brotherhood government until that government renounces the views of Mohammed Badie and Futouh Abd Al-Nabi Mansour, acknowledges the right of Israel to exist, and reaffirms its commitment to the peace treaty with Israel? Because if I were President today, that’s what I would do.”

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First lady is clueless about national security, too

Posted by Richard on September 13, 2012

New York banned large soft drinks today as part of what the AP calls the “war on obesity.” First Lady Michelle Obama is totally on board. On today’s Dr. Oz show, she reiterated her contention that obesity is our nation’s biggest national security threat.

You know, that statement was just plain stupid when she first said it in 2010. Two days after al Qaeda-orchestrated attacks on our consulate in Benghazi and our embassy in Cairo, the deaths of four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya, and while al Qaeda-inspired mobs are threatening US embassies and citizens throughout the Muslim world, such a statement is not just stupid, it’s offensive. And insane.

Ms. Obama, why don’t you ask the families of J. Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods if they think obesity is our nation’s biggest national security threat?

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Obama administration ignored warning about attacks

Posted by Richard on September 12, 2012

The Obama administration and their media lapdogs are more interested in condemning Mitt Romney than in condemning the 7th-century barbarian jihadists who attacked a US embassy and consulate, killing a US ambassador and three of his staff. They’re no doubt also making sure that their media lapdogs divert attention away from their shameful disinterest in national security leading up to these attacks, including their failure to heed a clear warning that such attacks could be expected (emphasis added):

Islamic mobs that stormed the U.S. Embassy in Egypt and the U.S. consulate in Libya on the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, murdering the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, said they were doing so because they were enraged by an obscure, Internet movie that mocked Muhammed.

But a closer examination of the evidence indicates al-Qaeda orchestrated these attacks, and the movie was just a bogus excuse used to trigger the widespread violence. Even worse, it seems al-Qaeda telegraphed these attacks, and the Obama administration still got caught flat-footed, unaware of the terror group’s strength in the region, missing key signals and clues that were out in the open.

One day before September 11, al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri posted a 42-minute video on Jihadist forums urging Libyans to attack Americans to avenge the death of Abu Yahya al-Libi, the terror organization’s second-in-command, whom U.S. drones killed in June of 2012 in Pakistan.

In the video, al-Zawahri said al-Libi’s “blood is calling, urging and inciting you to fight and kill the Crusaders,” leading up to a date heralded and celebrated by radical Islamists.

Another version of the video was actually posted on YouTube on September 9 and yet, President Barack Obama, who has not attended an intelligence briefing since September 5, and his administration did not beef up security at the embassy and consulate on September 11. There were no Marines present to protect Americans abroad, as the Islamic mobs overwhelmed what little security presence there was.

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Sign the petition to defund radical Islamists

Posted by Richard on September 12, 2012

From Steve Elliot, Grassfire Nation (via email; emphasis in original):

This is a sad and disturbing day. On the anniversary of 9/11, America is once again under assault by the Muslim jihad. U.S. embassies were attacked and our citizens killed by radical Islamic extremists while our own Embassy in Egypt apologized for any offense a private movie may have caused to Muslims.

Let’s be clear — these despicable attacks amount to acts of war against our nation. These coordinated attacks by radical Islamic extremists on U.S. Embassies resulted in the invasion of U.S. soil, the desecration of U.S. property including our flag, and the murder of U.S. citizens. 

Yet for hours, Obama was silent. Instead, he left it to Hillary Clinton to condemn the attacks. But even Hillary couldn’t condemn without also apologizing! She essentially re-stated the apology issued by the Embassy in Egypt that the Obama administration later disavowed!

Even in Obama’s statement today, he included a thinly-veiled apology.

But that’s not the worst of it….

+ + Our Tax Dollars Are Funding Our Attackers!

Perhaps most offensive of all is that OUR TAX DOLLARS are directly and indirectly funding these attacks on our nation.

For too many years, the U.S. government has pumped billions of dollars into countries whose leaders and people are openly hostile to our way of life. For example, this Spring the Obama regime waived “democracy requirements” to free up $1.5 BILLION in aid to the Muslim Brotherhood-led Egyptian government.

THIS WEEK’S ATTACKS ARE A “TIPPING POINT.” WE MUST DRAW A LINE. ANY AND ALL FUNDING TO EGYPT AND SYRIA (AND ANY NATION WHOSE GOVERNMENT OR PEOPLE OPENLY OPPOSE AND ATTACK THE U.S.) MUST BE STOPPED!

+ + Emergency Petition To Stop Funding For Egypt And Syria

Grassfire Nation is launching an EMERGENCY PETITION calling for Congress and the President to CEASE AND DESIST any and all funding to Egypt or Syria. PLEASE GO HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION:

http://www.grassfire.com/277/petition.asp

We expect key votes in Congress THIS WEEK so we must have your petition immediately.

Again…. this is an OUTRAGE. We are funding countries led by radical Islamic extremists whose people are openly attacking U.S. embassies and killing U.S. citizens. And our Secretary of State is apologizing!

As a first step, we must demand that Congress STOP sending our tax dollars to Egypt and Syria.

Please sign the petition and then alert your friends.

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Islamist atrocities reported in Egypt

Posted by Richard on August 18, 2012

In Egypt, the Arab Spring is turning into a nightmare for advocates of secular democracy, Christians, and anyone else who doesn’t embrace 7th-century Sharia law:

Last week in Egypt, when Muslim Brotherhood supporters terrorized the secular media, several Arabic websites—including Arab News, Al Khabar News, Dostor Watany, and Egypt Now—reported that people were being “crucified.” The relevant excerpt follows in translation:

A Sky News Arabic correspondent in Cairo confirmed that protestors belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood crucified those opposing Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi naked on trees in front of the presidential palace while abusing others. Likewise, Muslim Brotherhood supporters locked the doors of the media production facilities of 6-October [a major media region in Cairo], where they proceeded to attack several popular journalists.

That there were attacks and violence—both in front of Egypt’s presidential palace and at major media facilities, is well-documented. An August 9 report by El Balad, a widely read Egyptian website, gives the details:

Last Wednesday, August 8, “thousands of the Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters” attacked 6-October’s media facilities, beat Khaled Salah—chief editor of the privately-owned and secular Youm 7 newspaper—prevented Yusif al-Hassani, an On TV broadcaster, from entering the building, and generally “terrorized the employees.”

El Balad adds that the supporters of Tawfik Okasha, another vocal critic of President Morsi—the one who widely disseminated the graphic video of a Muslim apostate being slaughtered to cries of “Allahu Akbar”—gathered around the presidential palace, only to be surrounded by Brotherhood supporters, who “attacked them with sticks, knives, and Molotov cocktails, crucifying some of them on trees, leading to the deaths of two and the wounding of dozens.”

Far from condemning these terrorists, Al Azhar, Egypt’s most authoritative Islamic institution, has just issued a fatwa calling for more violence and oppression, saying that “fighting participants in anti-Muslim Brotherhood demonstrations planned for 24 August is a religious obligation.”

Most of the aforementioned Arabic sites point out that these attacks are part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s campaign to intimidate and thus censor Egypt’s secular media from exposing the group’s Islamist agenda, which Youm 7, On TV, and Okasha do daily. [Note: the latter’s channel was recently shut down, despite Morsi’s previous reassurances that “no station or media will be shut down in my era.”]

In reality, there is little reason to doubt this crucifixion story. Militant Muslims crucifying their opponents is a regular feature of the Islamic world—recent cases coming from the Ivory Coast, where two Christian brothers were crucified, similarly by supporters of a Muslim president who ousted a Christian; Indonesia, where Islamic separatists crucified a fellow Muslim for being a military informant; and in Iraq, where Muslim militants crucified Christian children.

Finally, it is telling that only a few months ago, and for the first time in Egypt’s modern history, an Egyptian MP proposed to institutionalize Sharia’s most draconian punishments—including crucifixion.

In short, under the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the bottle has been uncorked and the Islamic Genie set loose. Expect much worse to come.

The Muslim Brotherhood, to which newly elected Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi belongs, has been courted by the Obama administration, which describes these perpetrators of crucifixion and terrorism as  “peaceful and committed to non-violence”:


[YouTube link]

Since the beginning of the Arab Spring, the Obama administration has snubbed the secular pro-democracy organizations and instead embraced the Muslim Brotherhood. It’s even sending $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government in defiance of a congressional ban on such aid “unless the State Department certifies that Egypt is making progress on basic freedoms and human rights.” It’s hard to certify progress on human rights when regime opponents are being crucified.

Maybe the Obama administration’s fondness for the Muslim Brotherhood is linked to the close familial ties that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff, Huma Abedin, has to the organization. Or maybe it’s a consequence of the president’s anti-colonialist ideology.

Whatever the reason, this administration is on the side of the 7th-century barbarians.

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Pipes is becoming optimistic!

Posted by Richard on March 1, 2011

When Natan Sharansky expressed cautious optimism about events in Egypt about a month ago, those of us who read The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror weren't exactly shocked. But when Daniel Pipes, of all people, writes a column entitled "My Optimism on the New Arab Revolt," that's a real surprise. And a must read. Here's the nut:

The revolts over the past two months have been largely constructive, patriotic, and open in spirit. Political extremism of any sort, leftist or Islamist, has been largely absent from the streets. Conspiracy theories have been the refuge of decayed rulers, not exuberant crowds. The United States, Great Britain, and Israel have been conspicuously absent from the sloganeering. (Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi blamed unrest in his country on al-Qaeda spreading hallucinogenic drugs.)

One has the sense that the past century’s extremism — tied to such figures as Amin al-Husseini, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ruhollah Khomeini, Yasser Arafat, and Saddam Hussein — has run its course, that populations seek something more mundane and consumable than rhetoric, rejectionism, and backwardness.

Pessimism serves as a career enhancer in Middle East studies and I am known for doom-and-gloom. But, with due hesitation, I see changes that could augur a new era, one in which infantilized Arabic speakers mature into adults. One rubs one’s eyes at this transformation, awaiting its reversal. So far, however, it has held.

Perhaps the most genial symbol of this maturation is the pattern of street demonstrators cleaning up after themselves. No longer are they wards of the state dependent on it for services; of a sudden, they are citizens with a sense of civic responsibility.

I, too, was struck by the demonstrators cleaning up Cairo's Tahrir Square. It reminded me of our Tea Party rallies. At every Tea Party rally I'm aware of, the attendees picked up all the trash afterward and left the place cleaner than before. Compare that to any leftist gathering (for example, see here and here).

When I saw a news clip of Egyptians cleaning up the square, I did a little fist pump and exclaimed "Yesss!" This is how people who see themselves as citizens, not subjects, behave. They embrace both freedom and personal responsibility. 

I share Pipes' and Sharansky's cautious optimism, and I consider these spontaneous, self-directed cleanup efforts as a very hopeful sign. Three cheers for "the transformational power of liberty"!

(Dare I say it again? I blame Bush! It was he who told the Washington press corps , "If you want a glimpse of how I think about foreign policy read Natan Sharansky's book, The Case for Democracy." It was he who talked about a "freedom deficit" in the Middle East and predicted that the example of a liberated and democratic Iraq could trigger change throughout the region. It seems that prediction is coming true. Who knew that Chimpy McBushitler was so prescient?)

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Is it cluelessness, or part of a pattern?

Posted by Richard on February 8, 2011

On Thursday, the Obama administration's Director of National Intelligence assured Congress that the Muslim Brotherhood is a "largely secular" organization that has "eschewed violence" (a "spokesman" is now backing away from those words in the most weasely way). Dr. Zudhi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy strongly denounced this nonsense:

"The Muslim Brotherhood is the antithesis of a secular organization as asserted today by James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence. Clapper's statement presents a significant concern that our primary Intelligence officer has a complete lack of understanding of an organization that presents the greatest threat to the security of the United States. The Director of Intelligence is either grossly naïve or covering up for an ideology that is in an ideological war with the United States and western society.

The Muslim Brotherhood is built on the ideology of political Islam which adheres to a belief in Islamic Supremacy. To be a secular organization the Brotherhood would have to completely disavow the very beliefs that define the organization.

Further, the Muslim Brotherhood is a threat to the political process in a post-Mubarak Egypt and throughout the middle-east. Thugs like Mubarak have created an atmosphere that has allowed the Brotherhood to thrive. The United States needs to be active within the country of Egypt countering the ideology of the Brotherhood helping the people of Egypt develop liberty-minded, democratic infrastructure to secure the country's future. We need to demonstrate to Egyptians that freedom does not come in the form of Islamic law or in the rule of theocratic clerics.

Our Intelligence community cannot afford to allow political correctness or this severally mistaken understanding of the Brotherhood to enter the conversation of how we will confront the changes in Egypt."

Last Saturday, I shared Natan Sharansky's cautious optimism about events in Egypt. Today, much of my optimism has evaporated. It's become clear to me that the Obama administration, rather than supporting the forces of liberty and democracy, is either flailing cluelessly or deliberately aiding the Muslim Brotherhood's efforts to hijack this revolt against tyranny for the purpose of imposing their own Islamist tyranny.

Jamie Glazov noted that this isn't the first time that Obama has cozied up to the Muslim Brotherhood, and he argued that it's no surprise coming from America's "radical in chief":

The list of examples of the leftists engaging in political romances with tyrants is infinite: Noam Chomsky traveling to Lebanon in May 2006 to embrace Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah; Academic Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish leftist, venerating Hamas and Hezbollah; Naomi Klein calling out in a column in The Nation for Muqtada al-Sadr's killing fields to come to New York; Tom Hayden reaching the next stage of his totalitarian high by meeting Klein's hero, al-Sadr, in London; and British Member of Parliament George Galloway visiting Syria in November 2005, prostrating himself before its despot and giving a speech at Damascus University in which he denounced America and Israel and extended his support to every possible enemy of the United States – from the terrorists in Iraq to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez.

What Obama is pursuing with the Muslim Brotherhood, therefore, is simply to be expected. And in typical fashion, the left is clamoring behind him to indulge in its own romance with the Egyptian jihadist entity.

The deranged and delusional leftist support for the Muslim Brotherhood today is a replay of how the left supported the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran in 1979. And without doubt, the left's love affair with the Khomeini revolution, a well-known tragic – and grotesque – story, documented in works like David Horowitz's "Unholy Alliance" and in my own "United in Hate," served as a revealing – and horrifying – example of this progressive impulse to worship tyranny.

David Solway provided additional examples of "Useful Jihadiots" of the left and their Islamist allies who are assuring us that the Muslim Brotherhood is a benign force. And back in June of 2009, Chris Carter examined Obama's "troubling history" with the Muslim Brotherhood and provided a damning look at that organization.
 
Our government is in the hands of a group of people who at least tolerate, and perhaps admire and support, practically anyone or anything that's anti-American and anti-Western. They are at least benignly acquiescent to and perhaps aiding and abetting the Muslim Brotherhood's efforts to take over what began as a pro-freedom movement.

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Sharansky hopeful about Egypt

Posted by Richard on February 5, 2011

The Wall Street Journal's David Feith interviewed Natan Sharansky about recent events in Egypt and other Arab dictatorships, and found him neither as surprised nor as pessimistic as most of the so-called experts:

"The reason people are going to the streets and making revolution is their desire not to live in a fear society," Mr. Sharansky says. In his taxonomy, the world is divided between "fear societies" and "free societies," with the difference between them determinable by what he calls a "town square test": Are the people in a given society free to stand in their town square and express their opinions without fear of arrest or physical harm? The answer in Tunisia and Egypt, of course, has long been "no"—as it was in the Soviet bloc countries that faced popular revolutions in 1989.

This idea is the animating feature of a worldview that bucks much conventional wisdom. Uprisings like Tunisia's and Egypt's, he says, make "specialists—Sovietologists, Arabists—say 'Who could have thought only two weeks ago that this will happen?'" But "look at what Middle Eastern democratic dissidents were saying for all these years about the weakness of these regimes from the inside," and you won't be surprised when they topple, he says.

Sharansky doesn't buy the idea that propping up tyrants like Mubarak is the only way to prevent Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood from taking over. He argues that the longer Mubark remains in power, the more the Brotherhood becomes the only strong, well-organized opposition poised to take over. Better that the dictator should go now, with the streets largely filled with people yearning for freedom and democracy, not radical Islamists.

Sharansky wants the US to adopt a policy of "linkage," as it did with the Soviet Union in 1974:

If he were a U.S. senator, Mr. Sharansky says, he would immediately introduce a law to continue support to Egypt on condition that "20% of all this money goes to strengthening and developing democratic institutions. And the money cannot be controlled by the Egyptian government." Ideally his measure would kick in as soon as possible, so that it can affect the incentives of any Egyptian transitional government established to rule until September, when a presidential election is scheduled.

Sharansky thinks President Obama's response on Egypt is improving daily and is certainly much better than his response to the 2009 Iranian revolution: 

… By his reckoning, the Obama administration's position during the recent Iranian protests was "maybe one of the biggest betrayals of people's freedom in modern history. . . . At the moment when millions were deciding whether to go to the barricades, the leader of the free world said 'For us, the most important thing is engagement with the regime, so we don't want a change of regime.' Compared to this, there is very big progress [today]."

Inconsistency is par for the course in this field. "From time to time," Mr. Sharansky says of the George W. Bush administration, "America was giving lectures about democracy." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave a strong address in Cairo in 2005. And in 2002, by threatening to withhold $130 million in aid to Egypt, the administration successfully pressured Mr. Mubarak to release the sociologist and democracy activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim from prison. In their final years, however, administration officials reverted to bureaucratic form and relaxed their pressure drastically.

Condoleezza RiceEarlier this week, I recalled Condi's marvelous 2005 speech in Cairo and some of Bush's finest moments speaking about "the transformational power of liberty." But by 2006, with things going badly in Iraq and his popularity tanking, Bush pretty much gave up on the one thing he got right

President Obama relaxed it even further, Mr. Sharansky notes, inserting only vague language about democracy into his June 2009 address in Cairo. "There was no mention at all that at that  moment democratic dissidents were imprisoned, that Mubarak had put in prison the leading [opposition] candidate in the past election," Ayman Nour.

Much needs to change in Egypt, Sharansky concedes, before it can become a free society, but he believes those changes can and must begin now: 

Even if the U.S. embraces linkage, Egypt's September election could be quite problematic. "Only when the basic institutions that protect a free society are firmly in place—such as a free press, the rule of law, independent courts, political parties—can free elections be held," Mr. Sharansky wrote in "The Case for Democracy." In Egypt, those "free, developed institutions," he tells me, "will not be developed by September."

What can develop over the next eight months, Mr. Sharansky says, is a U.S. policy making clear that "whoever is elected cannot continue to survive—he cannot continue to rely on the assistance of the free world in defense, economics, anything—if democratic reforms are not continued and if democratic institutions are not built." After several years of such democracy-building, he says, when dissidents like Mr. Ibrahim enjoy the ability to build institutions like trade unions and women's organizations, "then in a few years you'll have a different country, and you can have really free elections."

Read the whole thing. Then let your congresscritters know that you support Sharansky's proposal for aid linkage. 

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The transformational power of liberty

Posted by Richard on February 2, 2011

First, Tunisia. Now, Egypt. And other Middle East autocrats have taken notice. The "transformational power of liberty" is on the move in the Middle East:

Once invincible, a Mideast autocrat is close to finished. Egypt's longtime President Hosni Mubarak is fading fast after a week of inspired street protests. And the shock waves are spreading out as his rule weakens.

The 82-year-old leader now is offering not to run for re-election later this year. It's a too-little, too-late gesture to mollify masses of Egyptians who are demanding that he depart and give new leadership a chance.

Underscoring Mubarak's final moments is another reality: His longtime ally, the United States, is giving a firm shove after initial hestitation. "We hear your voices," President Obama said in a Tuesday message to the demonstrators. The transition "must begin now," he added.

It's an earthshaking moment for the Mideast. The region's biggest country, viewed as one of the most stable, is on the brink of democratic change. And it was created by widespread, homegrown protests, not a bloody coup or outside force.

First came the demise of Tunisia's corrupt government, an act that touched off a similar surge in Egypt that Mubarak was unable to quell. One telling moment was an assurance from the independent-minded military that it would not use force against citizens taking to the streets.

The looming downfall of Mubarak could send reverberations throughout the Mideast. Jordan's King Hussein raced to get in front of similar protests in his country by firing his Cabinet. Other leaders might scramble to stay in power as the Mideast glimpses a chance for democracy. A turning point is at hand.

I blame Bush. This is from an October 2005 post, "The one thing Bush gets right":

Bush spoke at length about the fifth point, and his commitment to "the transformational power of liberty" remains solid. He singled out Egypt and Saudi Arabia as "friends" whom we're encouraging to reform and to "respect the rights and choices of their own people." He pointedly added:  

… We're standing with dissidents and exiles against oppressive regimes, because we know that the dissidents of today will be the democratic leaders of tomorrow. We're making our case through public diplomacy, stating clearly and confidently our belief in self-determination, and the rule of law, and religious freedom, and equal rights for women, beliefs that are right and true in every land, and in every culture.

Bush closed, as he so often does, with a restatement of his commitment to and confidence in liberty:

Throughout history, tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that murder is justified to serve their grand vision — and they end up alienating decent people across the globe. Tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that regimented societies are strong and pure — until those societies collapse in corruption and decay. Tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that free men and women are weak and decadent — until the day that free men and women defeat them.

We don't know the course of our own struggle — the course our own struggle will take — or the sacrifices that might lie ahead. We do know, however, that the defense of freedom is worth our sacrifice. We do know the love of freedom is the mightiest force of history. And we do know the cause of freedom will once again prevail.

I also blame Natan Sharansky (as channeled by Bush). Also Condi and her 2005 speech in Cairo. And Tony Blair.

I'm optimistic and hopeful about the wave of transformational liberty sweeping across the Middle East. Arab Muslims have a strong yearning for democracy. Yes, there's a danger that radical Islamists will gain power in democratic elections. But as I noted years ago regarding Iraq, even such an outcome would be a short-lived victory for radical Islam:

It's a crucial idea that the Islamofascists seem to understand clearly, but the critics and pessimists just don't get: once the vast majority of the people buy into the concept of democratic government — even a Sharia-based or Shia-dominated democratic government — the reactionary theology of the Islamofascists has already lost. Their version of Islam can't tolerate people choosing, period — even if you make the "right" choice, the very idea that it's up to you to decide between competing ideas undermines their entire belief system and will eventually destroy it. 

Years ago, I argued that the Bush Doctrine is a long shot, but it's the best option we have. Now, it just may be working. Best wishes to the freedom-loving people of Egypt, Tunisia, and the other autocratic nations of that region.

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Coptic Christians to demonstrate in D.C.

Posted by Richard on July 15, 2008

American Egyptian Coptic Christians and their supporters will be demonstrating in front of the White House tomorrow to bring attention to the ongoing and escalating oppression and brutalization Coptics face in Egypt (emphasis in original):

Coptic Organizations in America along with activists from Egypt, the Middle East, Europe and the United states, will conduct a peaceful demonstration in front of the White House on Wednesday July 16, 2008, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm.

The purpose is to convey, to world's opinion and international human rights organizations, the systematic and continuous persecution, murders, discrimination, marginalization, and the organized (by the security police, and Muslim organizations) kidnapping Coptic girls, inflicted on Coptic Christians of Egypt by the Egyptian government and Muslim “extremists,” which in many cases represent the whole "moderate" population of a village or a town, following recent killings and attacks on Christian homes, businesses and institutions.

We will expose the persecution of the Coptic Christians of Egypt, including unprovoked attacks against Coptic families, churches, monasteries, homes and businesses. During the past few weeks, news agencies worldwide reported attacks against the Copts in towns and cities of Zaitoun, Alexandria, Abu Fana, Dafash, El Menia, Luxor, and Fayoum. The situation became so bad to the extent that attempts were made to force Coptic monks to denounce their faith under torture and death threats.

If you're in the D.C. area, go and lend your support. 

Here's a historical point I was vaguely aware of (emphasis in original):

A reminder for those who are not aware of history: Copts are the native people of Egypt, the descendants of the Ancient Egyptians. Egypt was majority Copts, beside a large and thriving Jewish community. The Jews were driven out of Egypt by the mid fifties after confiscating all their properties, and since then the successive Muslim governments of Egypt are working according to the plan, "First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people."

It's Egyptian Muslims that spread the ideology of jihad through Al Azhar missionary sheiks worldwide and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Saudis were the financiers. It's no coincidence that Mohammad Atta, the leader of the 911 (“glorious ghazwa”) massacre, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, serving life in America for the 1993 WTC bombing, Sheik El Qaradawi, and Zawahri (the brain), just to name few illustrious ones, are all Egyptians.

We are certain that the (near) future will prove to everyone that the Copts’ fight against Islamic terror in their own country is not separate from the war on terror in America. When it comes to Islam, we’re in the same boat.

I admit my knowledge of recent Egyptian history is rather limited, but this fits what I know. The Arab world was a far, far more diverse and tolerant place before the radical jihadists, especially the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the Wahhabi in Saudi Arabia, became the dominant force in what some call political Islam.

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Egyptian blogger sentenced

Posted by Richard on February 22, 2007

Egyptian student and blogger Abdelkareem Suleiman was sentenced to four years in prison today. For writing things on his blog that were critical of the Egyptian government and fundamentalist Islam. Outrageous.

This site wants freedom for Kareem When I wrote about Kareem in November, I urged readers to sign a petition (click Help Free Kareem in right sidebar) and to call or write the Egyptian embassy/government. I echoed Tom Palmer and Jason Kuznicki on the need to keep it polite:

It’s enormously tempting to heap contempt upon a country that imprisons people for blogging while urging mercy for Saddam Hussein, a country that takes billions every year in U.S. aid and claims to be an ally, but does everything it can to undermine the spread of democracy and freedom. But Kuznicki and Palmer are right — be respectful and polite. You can curse them under your breath later.

Now that countless respectful and polite pleas, rallies around the world, and at least three petitions have all fallen on deaf ears, I’m inclined to be somewhat less respectful in expressing my displeasure to the Egyptian government. I’m not going to curse them openly — that would still be counterproductive. I think "polite contempt" is the tone I’ll aim for.

For embassy contact information, click the Palmer or Kuznicki link above. For links to other petitions, reports on rallies for Kareem, and other news and information, visit FreeKareem.org.

Here is the press release from FreeKareem.org:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Free Kareem Coalition
+1-617-661-0053
free.kareem@gmail.com

Interfaith Coalition Condemns Jailing of Egyptian Student over Blogposts, Calls on Egyptian President Mubarak to Pardon Abdelkareem Soliman

CAIRO – The “Free Kareem Coalition,” an interfaith group of human rights activists from around the world, condemned the sentencing of Egyptian student Abdelkareem Soliman for expressing his opinion on his personal blog.

A judge in Egypt today sentenced Kareem to four years in prison for the alleged crimes of “defaming the President of Egypt” and “insulting Islam.”

Dalia Ziada of the Cairo-based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information explained that Kareem’s conviction remains the first time an Egyptian blogger has been arrested for writing on his blog. “It sends a chilling message to bloggers of all persuasions in Egypt and across the Middle East. We are not free to express ourselves openly on our websites.”

Kareem criticized Egyptian authorities for failing to protect the rights of religious minorities and women, and expressed views about religious extremism in strong terms.

Bahraini blogger Esra’a Al-Shafei, who launched the website FreeKareem.org to coordinate the international solidarity campaign, noted the basic human rights violation. “I was offended by some of Kareem’s blog writings. But I cannot support his imprisonment merely because he said a few things that insult my identity. Freedom of expression and open exchange of ideas must be respected.”

In November, Kareem was detained after being interrogated by prosecutors. He was held for over two months without trial and has remained in solitary confinement without access to his lawyers.

Kareem’s conviction comes despite global rallies on Kareem’s behalf, including demonstrations outside Egyptian embassies in Washington, Rome, London, Paris, Stockholm, and New York. Over 2,000 people have sent letters to Egyptian authorities demanding Kareem’s release.

Opinion editorials in the Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, and Beirut Daily Star have all also called for Kareem’s release, along with a bi-partisan coalition of US Congressional leaders, European parliamentarians, and Costa Rican representatives.

“We call on the appeals courts in Egypt to listen to international condemnation and do the right thing,” stated organizer Mohammed Shouman. “Kareem’s right to free expression has been violated and his conviction should be overturned.”

In the meantime, activists fear Kareem’s life is in danger and hope for high-level intervention. “We hope President Hosni Mubarak will pardon Kareem and allow him to start a new life outside of Egypt,” noted Al-Shafei. “We won’t be silent until Kareem is safe.”

See www.FreeKareem.org for the latest updates.

Do what you can. At least take a moment to sign the HAMSA petition.

Free Kareem  

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Free Kareem!

Posted by Richard on November 10, 2006

In Egypt, they imprison people for blogging about women's rights, freedom of expression, and "secular thoughts":

Egyptian security forces have arrested a student blogger whose writing was critical of Islam and the government, security sources and rights activists said on Tuesday.

Arabic blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman, a 22-year-old aspiring human rights lawyer, was arrested in the coastal city of Alexandria on Monday.

His detention was the latest crackdown on political opposition by Egyptian authorities following arrests and beatings at street protests earlier this year, despite calls from Egypt's U.S. ally for political reform.

"The accusations directed against him are that he published opinions aimed at disturbing public order, insulted the head of state and defamed Islam," said Sally Sami, programme officer at the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRInfo), which is representing him.

Suleiman was the latest of several bloggers to be arrested in Egypt, where news of his detention came shortly after rights group Reporters Without Borders added Egypt to a list of worst suppressors of freedom of expression on the Internet.

His arrest was unusual in that he was arrested solely because of comments made on the Internet, activists said. Other bloggers were mostly picked up during anti-government protests earlier in the year.Several have spent weeks or months in jail.

According to Tom Palmer, Kareem is part of Cato's "Arabic liberal project" — I'm sure that "liberal" in this context means "classical liberal."

Kareem had been previously tossed out of al-Azhar University — described by Reuters as "Egypt's most prestigious seat of Islamic learning" (oxymoron alert!) — for expressing "secular thoughts," and they apparently urged prosecutors to go after him. Jason Kuznicki expressed well how outrageous this is:

A student dismissed from a university for “secular thoughts:” The very act makes the institution unfit to be called a university in the modern era. That it would then inform on the student and cooperate in a government inquiry only makes the situation the more deplorable.

HAMSA (Hands Across the Mideast Support Alliance) is gathering signatures on a statement demanding that Kareem be freed — please take just a moment to add your name. For other actions you can take, check the Palmer and Kuznicki links above. For complete background information and the latest news about Kareem's case, visit Free Kareem!

If you call or write the Egyptian embassy or other Egyptian officials, heed Kuznicki's warning:

Please be respectful and well-reasoned in all your contacts with the Egyptian government. Remember that our case is the stronger one, and that only the weaker party must resort to name-calling or abuse. As the ancient playwright put it, the very fact that Zeus must reach for his thunderbolts is proof enough that he has no argument.

Remember also that a man’s freedom is at stake here, not just in the abstract, but in the real world, and what you say might make the difference.

It's enormously tempting to heap contempt upon a country that imprisons people for blogging while urging mercy for Saddam Hussein, a country that takes billions every year in U.S. aid and claims to be an ally, but does everything it can to undermine the spread of democracy and freedom. But Kuznicki and Palmer are right — be respectful and polite. You can curse them under your breath later.

Free Kareem! www,FreeKareem.org

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Alaa freed!

Posted by Richard on June 22, 2006

Apparently, the international public outcry over the imprisonment of Egyptian blogger Alaa Seif al-Islam, a.k.a. Alaa Abdel Fattah — the petitioning, the banners, and maybe even the Googlebombing — made a difference.

On Tuesday, June 20, after 45 days of imprisonment without charges for daring to call for a more independent judiciary, Alaa was ordered to be released by the state prosecutor. Today, finally, after an extra day of beating and mistreatment at a local jail, he’s been freed. Sandmonkey has all the details.
 

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Free Alaa!

Posted by Richard on June 13, 2006

Not all the world’s human rights activists are exclusively focused on whether the United States and Israel are being too harsh on Islamofascists dedicated to exterminating Jews, killing Americans, treating women as cattle, and subjugating the entire globe.

Occasionally, some of them have time to notice that there are still plenty of places where people get locked up indefinitely for, say, taking part in a peaceful demonstration. Or blogging. Places like Egypt.

Apparently, the authorities in Egypt weren’t paying attention when Condi spoke in Cairo just about a year ago, and told her hosts:

Now, here in Cairo, President Mubarak’s decision to amend the country’s constitution and hold multiparty elections is encouraging. President Mubarak has unlocked the door for change. Now, the Egyptian Government must put its faith in its own people. We are all concerned for the future of Egypt’s reforms when peaceful supporters of democracy — men and women — are not free from violence. The day must come when the rule of law replaces emergency decrees — and when the independent judiciary replaces arbitrary justice.

The Egyptian Government must fulfill the promise it has made to its people — and to the entire world — by giving its citizens the freedom to choose. Egypt’s elections, including the Parliamentary elections, must meet objective standards that define every free election.

Opposition groups must be free to assemble, and to participate, and to speak to the media. Voting should occur without violence or intimidation. And international election monitors and observers must have unrestricted access to do their jobs.

Take action to demand that the Egyptian government release peaceful demonstrators from prison and meet the minimum standards for a civilized nation outlined by Secretary of State Rice.

Then visit the Free Alaa! blog, which a bunch of us are linking to with the word Egypt. The idea is that, hopefully, it will soon rank highly in Google searches for Egypt.

It’s called Googlebombing. Mark Draughn at Windypundit explained it. And demonstrated how to participate in the fun:

Please join in if you are so inclined. It only takes one link from a page to help a lot.

Egypt.

Of course, if you want to make more than one link, that’s okay too.

Egypt Egypt Egypt.

In fact, go wild.

Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt EgyptEgypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt EgyptEgypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt Egypt.

So there.

Thanks, Mark! I think that makes the concept pretty clear. 🙂

And thanks to Mustapha at Beirut Spring for designing some nice banners.

Free Alaa!

UPDATE: Alaa was freed on June 22nd! If you helped, pat yourself on the back! 
 

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