Posts Tagged ‘Egypt’

Egypt to Try US Citizen for Blasphemy

September 23, 2012

I read this story in the Hill last week.

Egypt’s general prosecutor on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for Florida Pastor Terry Jones and seven Coptic Christian Egyptians linked to an anti-Islam video on YouTube that sparked riots across the Middle East, The Associated Press is reporting.

The eight individuals, none of whom are believed to be in Egypt, are charged with harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information. They could face the death penalty.

Jones promoted a 14-minute trailer for the movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The man behind the film, California-based Nakoula Bassely Nakoula, is also among those charged.

I expect that the  Justice Department will be arranging for their arrest and  extradition as quickly as possible. Though maybe Obama will wait until after the election when he will be more flexible.

Worst of Both Worlds

June 24, 2012

I said that with Obama we get the corruption and lawlessness of Richard Nixon and the incompetence and fecklessness of Jimmy Carter. Last week, we saw the lawlessness with Obama’s invoking of Executive Privilege. This week, we will see the incompetence and stupidity of his foreign policy. The weeks starts off with the Muslim Brotherhood‘s candidate, Mohammed Morsi, winning the presidential election in Egypt.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi has officially won Egypt’s presidential election and will be the country’s next president, the electoral commission has announced.

Morsi picked up 13.2 million votes out of just over 26 million, giving him about 51 per cent of the vote. His competitor, Ahmed Shafik, the final prime minister under Hosni Mubarak, received 12.3 million. More than 800,000 ballots were invalidated.

The president-elected delivered a victory address on Sunday night. He spoke on state television, long a medium which demonised him and the Muslim Brotherhood. He thanked the Egyptian people for their votes, calling them “my family” and “my beloved,” and promised to work to “restore their rights.”

“I have no rights, only responsibilities,” Morsi said. “If I do not deliver, do not obey me.”

He also reached out to the army, the police, and Egypt’s intelligence services, thanking them for their work in protecting the country, and promised to “preserve” the military.

This is not, to put it mildly, a positive development for US interests, peace in the region, or freedom for the Egyptian people. In fairness, there is not much Obama could, or really should, have done about this. I suppose this election was more or less a fair one and many Egyptians perhaps prefer Islamist tyranny over the incompetent military despotism they have been enduring. Still, it was indecent for Obama to throw Mubarak under the bus by calling for an end to his rule last year. It was indecent and unwise, considering who his opposition really was.

But, I can and do fault Obama for his apparent cluelessness over what Morsi’s victory most likely means for Egypt. I am going to quote the entirety of this article in Politico.

The White House congratulated Egypt‘s president-elect Mohamed Morsi on his victory in that country’s presidential election, calling it a “milestone” in the country’s transition to democracy.

“We look forward to working together with President-elect Morsi and the government he forms, on the basis of mutual respect, to advance the many shared interests between Egypt and the United States,” press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.

Morsi, a member of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party, was announced as the winner in the election Sunday morning — but the extent of the powers of the presidency are still in flux with Egypt’s military threatening to curtain the powers of the presidency.

“We believe that it is important for President-elect Morsi to take steps at this historic time to advance national unity by reaching out to all parties and constituencies in consultations about the formation of a new government. We believe in the importance of the new Egyptian government upholding universal values, and respecting the rights of all Egyptian citizens – including women and religious minorities such as Coptic Christians.  Millions of Egyptians voted in the election, and President-elect Morsi and the new Egyptian government have both the legitimacy and responsibility of representing a diverse and courageous citizenry,” Carney said.

“The United States intends to work with all parties within Egypt to sustain our long-standing partnership as it consolidates its democracy.  We commend the Presidential Election Commission and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) for their role in supporting a free and fair election, and look forward to the completion of a transition to a democratically-elected government,” Carney said. “We believe it is essential for the Egyptian government to continue to fulfill Egypt’s role as a pillar of regional peace, security and stability.  And we will stand with the Egyptian people as they pursue their aspirations for democracy, dignity, and opportunity, and fulfill the promise of their revolution.”

I sincerely hope that this is just for sort of diplomatic nonsense that Presidents are expected to say on such occasions. Because if Obama really believes the sentiments in his Press Secretary’s statement, than he is even more naïve than the people in the Carter administration who believed the Ayatollah Khomeini would just be a religious figurehead in a democratic Iran. Indeed, I am beginning to see a frightening similarity between what is going on in Egypt and the events in Iran back in 1978, and the American president’s reactions.

Meanwhile, Israel is becoming more nervous, with good reason. In the article from the AP, Prime Minister Netanyahu tries to put a good face on the election results, but he is clearly unhappy.

Israel’s prime minister says he hopes peace with Egypt will remain intact after it chose an Islamist president.

Israel has been apprehensive about the possibility of the Muslim Brotherhood taking the top spot in neighboring Egypt, because the veteran Islamist group does not formally recognize Israel.

Israel and Egypt signed a peace treaty in 1979.

Reacting to the announcement that the Muslim Brotherhood candidate won, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hoped the treaty would stand.

“Israel expects to continue cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace agreement between the two countries, which is of interest to the two peoples and contributes to regional stability,” Netanyahu said in a statement Sunday.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has said it would maintain the treaty but would demand changes in it.

I do not think there will be open war any time soon. The Muslim Brotherhood would seek to consolidate its power in Egypt first and, as long as the military has any influence , they will prefer to keep the peace rather than start a war they know they could not win. There might be trouble a few years down the road though. If the Muslim Brotherhood’s rule does not improve Egypt’s economy, they could well decide to start trouble with Israel as a distraction. I think that it would be a very good idea for the US to limit military aid and cooperation with Egypt right now, and make it very clear, as Obama has not, that continued economic aid is contingent on the Egyptian government keeping peace with Israel and respecting the rights of religious minorities. But, this would require a more clear-headed grasp of events in the Middle east than anyone in the Obama administration has so far shown.

Carter Pleased with Egyptian Election Results

January 10, 2012
Former President Jimmy Carter

Jackass

I had been wondering if Jimmy Carter could possibly top himself after sending condolences to North Korea over the loss of  their Dear Leader. Well, I need wonder no more. The radical Islamic Muslim Brotherhood and the really radical Salafi Muslims are taking over Egypt and Carter is “pleased”. Here is the story at Breitbart.com.

Former US president Jimmy Carter gave the thumbs up on Tuesday to Egypt’s parliamentary elections, saying the people’s will was “expressed accurately.”

“We have been very pleased,” Carter told reporters during a tour of a polling station at the Rod al-Farag girls’ secondary school in a working class district of the Egyptian capital

He said the election — a three-staged process launched in November to choose the first parliament since mass protests forced former president Hosni Mubarak to quit — had been peaceful despite “some problems.”

“But in general the will of the people has been expressed accurately,” he said on the eve of the end of the polls.

I don’t doubt that the will of the Egyptian people has been expressed. That is actually most of the problem with democracy in the Middle East. What the people want is not tolerance and freedom.

Egypt’s two main Islamist parties have scored a crushing victory in the seats declared so far, reflecting a regional trend since Arab Spring uprisings overthrew authoritarian secular regimes.

Asked about Islamists coming to power, Carter said: “I have no problem with that. The US government has no problem with that either.”

The powerful Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s best organised political movement, has claimed the lead through its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).

It has been closely followed by Al-Nur, which represents the ultra-conservative Salafi brand of Islam, raising fears among increasingly marginalised liberals about the prospects for civil liberties and religious freedom.

I have a problem with the Islamists coming to power in Egypt. This is a disaster for our policy in the Middle East as great as the loss of Iran during Carter’s watch. I wonder if Carter is aware that the new government in Egypt will very likely abrogate the peace treaty with Israel, undoing the accomplishment he is most proud of. Why doesn’t Jimmy Carter stay in Plains, Georgia where he can’t do any harm?

Book Burning in Egypt

January 1, 2012

In the year 642 the Arab armies led by Amr ibn al-Aas captured the city of Alexandria in Egypt. According to some reports, al-Aas wrote back to the Caliph Omar for instructions on what to do with the famous library. Omar wrote back that if the books agree with the Koran, al-Aas should destroy them as they are unnecessary, if they do not agree with the Koran, destroy them as they are blasphemous. It is not clear whether that story is true or not. Other reports have the library destroyed by a Christian mob, or by Julius Caesar. Whether it is true or not, it would seem that at least some of the increasingly powerful Islamists in Egypt wholeheartedly agree with the supposed sentiments of the Caliph Omar, as can be seen in this article in Israel Today.

On December 17, an Egyptian mob – presumably of the type that has been voting for the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Nour – demonstrated that they have no intention of “modernizing” or adopting Western-style pragmatism when they torched the Institute of Egypt in Cairo.

Among the casualties of the Islamist assault were some 192,000 rare books and manuscripts.

The Institute of Egypt was established by Napoleon Bonaparte when he invaded Egypt in the late 18th century. For centuries the Institute of Egypt housed priceless chronicles of the nation’s history, as well as the findings of hundreds of top scholars and scientists.

The Institute of Egypt symbolized Egypt’s connection to the West, and for many its establishment was the start of the “modern era” in Egypt. And that is why it had to go. Because Egypt’s Islamists have no intention of modernizing, not on Western terms, at any rate. Like the Ayatollahs in Iran and Hamas in Gaza, their ultimate goal is to return Egypt to a medieval form of life where a strict interpretation of Sharia Law governs the actions of all.

If the library was established by Napoleon, than the books probably don’t agree with the Koran.

Thanks to Jihad Watch for mentioning this.

 

Muslim Brotherhood Gaining in Egypt

December 1, 2011

Oh, crap. Islamist parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood seem to be doing very well in the Egyptian elections. I didn’t expect any other outcome but I don’t like reading about it. Here is the story in Israel National News.

Judges overseeing the vote count in Egypt’s parliamentary elections say Islamist parties have won a majority of the contested seats in the first round. The judges spoke on condition of anonymity because official results are expected to be released later Thursday.

They say the Muslim Brotherhood could take 45 percent of the seats up for grabs. The liberal Egyptian bloc coalition and the ultra-fundamentalist Nour party are competing for second place.

Together, Islamist parties are expected to control a majority of parliamentary seats by March. This week’s vote was the first of six stages of parliamentary elections that will last until then.

Continued success by Islamists will allow them to give Cairo’s government and constitution a decidedly Islamist character. It could also lead Cairo to shift away from the West towards the Iranian axis.

I think that it might not have been such a good idea to throw Mubarak under the bus quite so quickly. He may have been an SOB but he was our SOB and probably won’t be as bad as whoever ends up running Egypt.

Why do I keep having flashbacks to 1979?

 

March Against the Judaization of Jerusalem

November 21, 2011

I got this from Pamela Gellar.

The new Islamic supremacist rulers of Egypt have given their blessing to a “million man march” against the “Judaization” of Jerusalem.

This is particularly galling. Jerusalem is Jewish and is mentioned well over 700 times in the Bible. Jerusalem is our Jewish identity, which is why the Palestinian Muslims are so rabid in their pursuit to steal it.

Jerusalem is not mentioned in the quran.

A march against the “Judaization” of Jerusalem is a march against the Jewish people. They are inextricably tied.

Considering that Jerusalem has been the center of Jewish religion and culture since King David captured it from the Jebusites around 1000 BC, I would say that they are about 3000 years too late.

Reproduction of 17th century Indian (Mughal) m...

Image via Wikipedia

She is not quite correct in saying that Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Koran. The name never appears, but in sura 17, there is a description of Mohammad’s “Night Journey“, in which he has a vision, or really travels, up to Heaven. He is taken by Buraq, a winged horse (Pegasus?), first to the al-Aqsa Mosque or the Farthest Mosque and from there up to the seven Heavens where he meets various prophets and Allah. For whatever reason the al-Aqsa Mosque is considered to be in Jerusalem.

It is actually not too surprising that these people wouldn’t know too much about the actual history of Jerusalem. One of the features of the Koran which make it particularly difficult to read is the near complete absence of any historical context. Various prophets, such as Abraham, Moses, or Jesus are mentioned but without any clue as to who any of them actually are, when they lived, or their relationship to each other. Jews are mentioned but you would never know that they lived in Israel, or anywhere, or the Koran was your only source.

History About to Repeat?

September 25, 2011

Barack Obama is looking more and more like the second coming of Jimmy Carter. Can an embassy takeover be next? From Fars News Agency comes a report that suggest youths in Egypt are thinking along those lines.

According to a report by Palestine al-Yawm (Palestine Today) news network, the young Egyptians have posted a request on their Facebook webpage and blasted Barack Obama’s speech after his presidency in Cairo in which the US President pledged a new approach towards Muslims.

They said that the threat by the Obama administration to veto the Palestinian bid for UN membership revealed the realities about Obama and the fact they “he is a liar and is no different with his predecessors in supporting Israel and blatant violation of the Arab nations’ rights”.

The Egyptian youths said the attack on the US embassy would serve as a strong message in response to the US hegemonic policies.

They further warned the US to refrain from vetoing the Palestinian bid, saying that such a move by the US would encourage violence in the world.

I start to wonder what move by the US wouldn’t encourage violence with these people. I like this paragraph at the end.

Palestinians stress that they have never gained anything through talks with the Zionist regime, mentioning that negotiation with the racist regime is a waste of time and gives the Zionists the chance to push their settlement construction plans ahead and come along with their international and internal problems.

Well, maybe negotiations with the Zionist regime might be a little more fruitful if the Palestinians acknowledged that the State of Israel has a right to exist. It is just a little hard to talk with people who want to exterminate you.

Anyway, I wonder if President Ahmadinejad is back in Iran yet. If not, maybe he could stop by Cairo and give these youths some tips on the embassy takeover business.
 

Beach Tourism in Egypt

August 29, 2011
Retouched versions of this picture from the ge...

Image via Wikipedia

If you are planning to go sun bathing in Egypt, you had better plan your trip sometime soon. The Muslim Brotherhood, or at least, its affiliated political parties wants to place tougher restrictions on tourists in Egypt can wear and do.

Egypt’s tourism industry has suffered a severe blow since the outburst of anti-regime demonstrations in January. But that did not stop the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, from demanding stricter regulations over what tourists can do and wear while visiting the country. The party is urging officials to ban skimpy swimwear and the consumption of alcohol on Egyptian streets.

“Beach tourism must take the values and norms of our society into account,” Muhammad Saad Al-Katatny, secretary-general of Freedom and Justice, told Egyptian tourism officials on Monday. “We must place regulations on tourists wishing to visit Egypt, which we will announce in advance.”

The call for new strictures on tourists comes as Egypt debates the role of Islam in the post-Mubarak era. Freedom and Justice is competing in elections scheduled for this autumn for parliament and opinion polls show a majority of Egyptians favor a greater use of Islamic law and mores. But a vocal minority worries that Egypt risks becoming an Islamic republic.

I am sure there is a larger number of Egyptians who are looking forward to Egypt becoming an Islamic republic. Of course this sort of thing will hurt their tourism industry. I don’t see large numbers of tourists going to Iran these days. But, I suppose economic considerations are secondary to doing the will of Allah.

Personally I don’t have a problem with banning bikinis or alcohol. I do worry about this though.

But bathing suits are not the only worry of Egypt’s Islamists. Abd Al-Munim A-Shahhat, a spokesman for the Salafi group Dawa, has said that Egypt’s world-renowned pharaonic archeology – its pyramids, Sphinx and other monuments covered with un-Islamic imagery – should also be hidden from the public eye.

“The pharaonic culture is a rotten culture,” A-Shahhat told the London-based Arab daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat on Wednesday, saying the faces of ancient statues “should be covered with wax, since they are religiously forbidden.” He likened the Egyptian relics to the idols which circled the walls of Mecca in pre-Islamic times.

I doubt that would be a popular position to take in Egypt, since I suspect that the vast majority of Egyptians are proud of their country’s ancient history. Still, there is a link between radical Islam and iconoclasm. Remember the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban. Egypt has generally been more liberal, but the Sphinx’s nose was chiseled off in 1378 by a Sufi named Muhammed Sa’im al-Dahr when he discovered Egyptian peasants worshipping it. He was hanged for vandalism afterwards, so maybe the Egyptians are still more sensible than some in the region.

The Archbishop Sees the Light, Maybe

June 16, 2011

From Jihad watch. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is fairly loopy, even for a liberal protestant. In the past he has been inducted as a druid, criticized the US as the “worst” imperialists,  driven his church apart over the ordination of gay bishops, and suggested that sharia law is unavoidable in Britain. There may be some hope for him yet, however, as he has spoken out against the increasing persecution of Christians throughout the Middle East.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s The World at One, Dr Williams said he was “guardedly optimistic” that the political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa would bring greater democracy to the region.

“In the long term, of course, a real participatory democracy in the region is bound to be in the interests of minorities because good democracies look after minorities,” he said.

But in the short term, he warned, people were using the chaos it had brought to attack Christian minorities.

“There is no doubt at all that it is a very anxious time for Christian communities. There have been extremist atrocities already, especially in Egypt,” he said.

“It is a fairly consistent pattern over a number of months. Although at leadership level in the Muslim community in Egypt there is clear condemnation of this, it’s evident that there are other forces at work which of course may not be native Egyptian,” he added.

He suggested outside elements had entered Egypt from “more traditional sites of extremism”, such as Saudi Arabia and northern Sudan, and did not rule out activity by al-Qaeda.

Dr Williams said violent extremism had made life unsustainable for Christians in northern Iraq, in a way that amounted to ethnic cleansing.

“The level of violence has been extreme,” he said.

“More and more there is the talk of an ‘enclave solution’ to the problem in Iraq – that is a sort of safe territory for Christians, which Christians and their leaders don’t particularly want, but many would think is the only practical outcome now.”

He said even in Syria, where Christians and Muslims had long lived together peacefully, tensions were building to breaking point.

Even in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Christians who had once been in the majority were now a “marginalised minority”, he added.

Of course he still uses the politically correct rhetoric, saying extremists are responsible, rather than even considering the idea that Islam’s sacred scriptures call for Christians and Jews to be persecuted, but one step at a time.

Our Man in the Middle East

June 14, 2011

Michael Totten is headed for Egypt. Read that. Then read everything else he’s written. If you have any cash laying around, tip him so he can keep writing.


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