Saturday, December 30, 2006

Executing Saddam On Eid Day?!!!

Saddam Hussein was executed today at 6:00AM (story here:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6218485.stm)

To start with, i am against everything that Saddam stands for and i am against all what he did. But, to execute the guy on the Muslim's Eid Al-Adha day (first Feast day after Haj), that is very low and disgusting.

Eid days are days of mercy and happiness, not for executions to take place. They (the Iraqi new so called government and the Americans) should have had the decency and wait till Eid is over.

Mood: Disgusted!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Just Another School Day For Children In Palestine

Imagine having to deal with this every day on your way to work or school...



Gaylak youm ya zalem!
Mood: hoping...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Living In The Streets

A reporter from Al Wafd Newspaper went undercover to get closer to the children living in the streets (beggers\homeless) and know more about their way of life.

The shocking part is the number of children living in the street per statistics. In the article it mentions that in 2005 there was about 1,750,000 beggers\homeless (children\youngsters) living in the streets!!!!

The article: http://www.alwafd.org/v2/News/NewsDetail.php?id=4998&type=accident&PHPSESSID=3800cfb7abc611ea172f106066f5c929

Seems like a weird world out there.

Mood: Shocked!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tom And Jerry Creator Dies

After decades of entertaining children and adults with some of the finest cartoons ever drawn, their creator, Joseph Barbera, has died at his home in Los Angeles. He was 95.


From the Daily Telegraph (link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/12/20/nbarbera20.xml)

A tribute to the man who co-created a cartoon i loved, a cartoon attached to my childhood, a cartoon that means a lot to me... Tom and Jerry.


I will always have a soft spot for Tom and Jerry, especially Tom :(


Mood: sulking :(

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Word About The MB

Besides their stupid showing off in AL Azhar University (http://arabist.net/arabawy/2006/12/14/state-security-crackdown-on-mb-activists/) and the famous "TOZ" of the Murshid (sort of Leader), the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) have potential in my opinion.

I for one do not like their current Murshid Mahdi Akef. I think they need a more carismatic and out spoken leader like Dr. Abu EL Eneein or better off, Isaam Al Eryaan.

I am amazed by the exaggeration some people use when talking about the Ikhwan (MB). Especially, the NDP people... they keep trying to scare people from the MBs.

I read an article by Hassan Naf'ea in AL Masri Al Youm (link: http://www.almasry-alyoum.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=41118) and i believe he was spot-on
"From the last..." (as my friend Bono usually says)...


أن جماعة الإخوان ولدت لتبقي ولم يعد بمقدور أحد استئصالها من تربة الحياة السياسية والاجتماعية المصرية التي أصبحت متجذرة فيها،
الأمر الثاني: أن الضربات المتلاحقة لم تزد الجماعة إلا إصرارا وقوة وأن حظر وجودها وتجريمها ودفعها أحيانا للعمل تحت الأرض يجعلها أكثر تطرفا وانكفاء علي نفسها وأقل قدرة علي التواصل والحوار مع الآخرين،
الأمر الثالث: أن التضييق علي بقية الفصائل السياسية الأخري غير المشاركة في الحكم يصب في نهاية المطاف لصالح جماعة الإخوان وحدها، علي عكس ما قد يبدو ظاهرا فوق السطح, ويجعل منها البديل الوحيد للنظام القائم، خصوصا عندما لا يكون لدي هذا الأخير مشروع وطني تؤيده وتلتف حوله الطبقة الوسطي، كما هو الحال في المرحلة التي تمر بها مصر حاليا،

Morally, there are things i agree\approve with the Ikhwan about. There are people who have been or are part of the Ikhwan whom i admire\d (i.e. Hassan El Bana, Sayed Sab'e, Abdel Wahab El Missiri, Fahmi El Houidi...etc.) .
I believe the MB have an important message and a very effective role in Egypt.

As Mohammed Hassanein Hikal once said "The MBs have a very important moral role, but they need to re-think some of their thoughts"... may i add: " and some of their acts".

At the end of the day, i hope the best for Egypt no matter who rules it.

Mood: ...

Al Ahli Clinch 3rd World Cup Place

BBC - Al Ahli Champs

Congratulations to Al Ahli Club. And hats-up for Abu Terika who in my opinion deserves this years best african player of the year (link:http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/6187495.stm).

Although i am sure the CAF will give it to one of the African players playing in Europe (i.e. Drogba or ETO).
Mood: Cheerful :)


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

For Heliopolis Lovers - Old Pics

To the place where i belong, this is a special dedication...

Horse Racing (currently near Al Shams Club)




A Villa in Al Ahram St.

Currently Roxy




And Finally, a place and a person i love...
My Grandfather (Allah Yer7amo) is in this Pic (NO NOT THE KING!)
.
Mood: Pleased :)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

As A Humble Opinion... Sorry, NO!

As an admirer of Ahmad Bahjat (an Ahram newspaper columnist), i daily read his column. Today, i came across a part in his article that as i remember stirred a lot of criticism (article here: http://www.ahram.org.eg/Index.asp?CurFN=amod1.htm&DID=9057).
.
The part mentions what the "then very unpopular" Grand Mufti of Egypt Mohammad Hussain Tantawi (now the Grand Imam of AL Azhar institution) said.
.
The then Mufti was asked what is the Islamic view of Tourism. Besides saying it is ok and all that, i'll just drill down to the part i (as a muslim) don't approve. Not to mention of course the criticism he got from a lot of scholars becuase of it at that time...

Note: Put in mind i am trying to think from a muslim's perspective in a supposed to be muslim state (who doesn't want to do something against what Quran & Suna tells us to do).

ثالثا ـ حول ما يفعله السائح من شرب للخمر ولعب للقمار والملابس القصيرة‏,‏ قال المفتي إن من حق السائح أن يتصرف في حدود عقيدته الخاصة‏.
Ok, i can understand the drinking and wearing what he\she (the forigner) wants in terms of personal freedom for people..etc.
.
‏رابعا ـ حول ما تستلزمه السياحة من استيراد الخمور ولعب القمار‏,‏ قال المفتي إنه لا شيء في ذلك‏..‏
.
Now, that's what i don't like (and which caused a lot of criticism at that time).
Here's why...
.
We as muslims (with a muslim ruler and Constitution that - only on paper, not applied in reality in most things...lelasaf - says we are a muslim coutry) are not supposed to gamble or drink liquor. Not only that, we are also not supposed to assist, sell or to have anything related to them per the following:
.
يا أيها الذين آمنوا إنما الخمر والميسر والأنصاب والأزلام رجس من عمل الشيطان فاجتنبوه لعلكم تفلحون، إنما يريد الشيطان أن يوقع بينكم العداوة والبغضاء في الخمر والميسر ويصدكم عن ذكر الله وعن الصلاة فهل أنتم منتهـون المائدة: 90، 91
.
Concerning Liquor in Suna...
(كل مسكر خمر، وكل خـمر حرام » [رواه مسلم ]،

ونهي عن صناعتها للتداوي وأخبر أنها داء وليست بدواء، فقد روي مسلم عن طارق بن سويد الجعفي أنه سأل النبي عن الخمر فنهاه أو كره أن يصنعها فقال: إنما أصنعها للدواء؟! فقال: )إنه ليس بدواء ولكـنه داء (.
.
فقد روي مسلم عن ابن عباس (أن رجلا أهدي لرسول الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- راوية خمر، فقال له رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم: (هل علمت أن الله قد حرمها ؟ قال: لا، فسار إنسانا، فقال له رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم : بم ساررته ؟ فقال : أمرته ببيعها، فقال: إن الذي حرم شربها حرم بيعها قال: ففتح المزادة حتى ذهب ما فيها ( رواه مسلم.
.
عن عائشة رضي الله عنها: لما نزلت آيات سورة البقرة عن آخرها خرج النبي صلي الله عليه وسلم فقال: )حرمت التجارة في الخمر(رواه البخاري
.
As for what "Mayser" in the Qur'an verse means...
فقد قال ابن عباس و قتادة ومعاوية بن صالح وعطاء وطاووس ومجاهد: الميسر القمار. فكل ما كان قمارا فهو ميسر محرم بالآية الكريمة
.
Besides the clear Qur'an verse and the few Suna proofs stated above, there are many others i didn't mention. I also read a lot of Fatawa from Al Azhar, Dar Al ifta'a and Islamonline that say the same thing.
.
Ok now, Egypt is an Islamic state... history wise (last 1400 years), population wise (%88-%94 depending on different sources) and Constitution wise (second part of the constitution).
So, as a muslim country and as muslims we are not supposed to have anything to do with them (Liquor and Gambling).
.
I can't imagine myself a government official giving permissions to muslims to sell liquor or build gambling areas (not that i am or will ever be an official..lol).
.
Now someone might say, what about Egyptian Christians? do you want them to stop liquor just because they are in an Islamic country? where's their freedom?
.
Well, if you ask me (and i only represent myself), maybe they (Egyptian Christians) are the only ones who should be permitted (in Egypt) to sell liquor (to anyone who wants it). Since in their religion (as far as i know) it is not wrong to do so.
Maybe that would solve the whole liquor issue (muslims not to deal with it while christians can).
.
Actually, that was exactly what the muslims did when they first came into Egypt 1400 years ago. Omar Ibn AL Khattab ordered the muslims to leave the Christians alone (including their liqour..etc.).
.
As for gambling, i think (not sure) that even in Orthodox Christianity, gambling is not permitted (not sure about this info!).
Becuase of that (besides it's obvious distructive effect on people), i think gambling in Egypt should be banned.
.
Walaho A3lam...
.
Mood: Wondering...

Monday, December 04, 2006

Congress Quran Oath Stirs Opinions In USA

From AOL News (http://articles.news.aol.com/news/_a/newly-elected-muslim-lawmaker-under/20061201093309990001):

In a column posted Tuesday on the conservative website Townhall.com, Dennis Prager blasted Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison's decision to take the oath of office Jan. 4 with his hand on a Quran, the Muslim holy book.
"He should not be allowed to do so," Prager wrote, "not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American culture."
He said Ellison, a convert from Catholicism, should swear on a Christian Bible -- which "America holds as its holiest book. … If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress."

...
The post generated nearly 800 comments on Townhall.com and sparked a tempest in the conservative blogosphere. Many who posted comments called the United States a Christian country and said Muslims are beginning to gain too much influence. Others wrote about the separation of church and state and said the Constitution protects all religions.

I think they need to read their constitution again before saying such crap.
If that's the way most Americans think, then so much for American democracy, and freedom of belief.

And they keep preaching us about minority rights in our countries! Saba7 el double-standards!

Mood: humph...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Quran - And The %95!

Wow, interesting fact... %95 of Quran is about belief, ethics, values, and morals.

Of course i knew that Islam concentrates on these things more than anything. But, i never thought about percentages before.

In a symposium co-presented by Egypt's Grand Mufti Ali Joma'a (Article here:http://www.algomhuria.net.eg/algomhuria/today/deen/detail02.asp) , the Mufti said that about %95 of Quran is talks about belief, ethics, values, and morals while only about %5 talks about worship and how to do things related to it (i.e. Hajj, Fasting, Alms, Zakah...etc.).

In the article the Mufti also mentions that %95 of Suna (Prophet's sayings and doings) also talks about values, ethics, and morals.

The below part of the article is what i found interesting and actually down to the point...

في محاولته للتدليل علي الحالة المرضية في المجتمع وتأكيد ان الدين تناول الأخلاق والسلوك بسعة لم يتناول بها العبادات قال فضيلة الدكتور علي جمعة ان القرآن به 6 آلاف آية تقريبا 5% منها تتناول أحكام الفقه الإسلامية و95% تتناول العقيدة والأخلاق فالعقيدة والأخلاق هي الشاغل الأكبر في القرآن الكريم كذلك إذا نظرنا الي السنة وجدنا المرويات تتجاوز 60 ألف حديث منه ألفا حديث تتناول الفقه فقط وبقيتها تتناول الأخلاق والعقيدة والقيم أي ان الفقه نال 5% أيضا من السنة و95% شغلتها الأخلاق لذلك عندما أراد ان يحدد الهدف من بعثته قال: "إنما بعثت لأتمم مكارم الأخلاق" وحين وصفه الله سبحانه وتعالي قال: "وإنك لعلي خلق عظيم"

Our problem these days is that a lot of us are more concerned with the how to do the worship part (of course it is important, but not alone!) than giving enough attention and effort specifically to the "ethics, values, and morals" part.

Mood: thinking away...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

For Egypt - Something To Remember...

From the book Khareef Al Ghadab (Mohammed Hassaein Hekal)...


‏عن ‏ ‏أبي ذر ‏ ‏قال ‏ قال رسول الله ‏ ‏صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏" ‏إنكم ستفتحون مصر ‏‏وهي أرض يسمى فيها القيراط فإذا فتحتموها فأحسنوا إلى أهلها فإن لهم ذمة ورحما ‏ ‏أو قال ذمة وصهرا

مسند أحمد

Some people need to remember this well...

Mood: hoping...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

This Is How They Negotiate With Us...

Within Mr.Mohammad Hassanein Heikal's massive information store\archive, there are some documents mentioning the papers the Brits had (were using) during the negotiations between them and the Egyptians (in any topic).

I found this as part of an article he wrote in Al Arabi Newspaper (full article here: http://www.al-araby.com/articles/1031/061022-1031-spc01.htm) a couple of weeks ago.

It mentions a piece of paper that is always put on any negotiation documents used by Brit. officials before discussing anything with any Egyptian official.
In this case they were discussing the Gala'aa (evacuation\removal) of all British soldiers from Suez Canal (some time between 1952-1954).

It was shocking to me (as for the author) that this is how the Brits (and any other country) perceives us. They take that as a basis while negotiating anything.

Here is the text of what the Brits had on all their negotiation papers (only for their reference of course)...


الورقة تضع نحو أربعة أقوال مأثورة من التاريخ عن مصر،
أولها من التاريخ الرومانى القديم.. تقول: من المهم أن نحتفظ تحت سيطرتنا بولاية عزيزة المنال.. سخية فى إنتاج الحبوب.. مشتتة باستمرار.. مستثارة بسهولة.. سريعة التفاؤل.. سريعة التشاؤم.. متساهلة مع نفسها.. لا تعرف شيئاً عن القانون.. ولم تتعود على الحكم المدني.
القول الثانى بالورقة.. عن مؤرخ بريطانى مهم جداً هو جيموت: الشعب المصرى بطبيعته لا يتأثر بصلاح الحاكم، لكن يتأثر بالخوف منه... وهذه قاعدة اتبعها حكامه وهى تفسر ما عاناه هذا الشعب على طول التاريخ..
ثم مقولة ثالثة للجنرال كليبر.. قائد الحملة الفرنسية بعد نابليون وهو الرجل الذى قُتل فى مصر: هؤلاء الناس يقصد الشعب المصري يعتبرون أن أية مبادرة منى بحسن النية.. علامة على الإعتراف بالضعف، وعندما أبدى أى بادرة للحزم.. فإنى أجدهم للفور تحت قدمي.
قول آخر على هذه الورقة الموجودة على ملف كل مفاوض بريطاني.. وهى للحقيقة شيء مستفز، القول لهارى بويل المستشار الشرقى للسفارة البريطانية.. أو للمعتمد البريطاني.. وهو حينها اللورد كرومر: رسالة إلى صديقى وهو على الأرجح كرومر..
لا تظن أننى حين أفكر فى كل ما طرحته عليك.. أنى أشعر بأى ندم عاطفى لأن أغادر مصر، لقد رأيت منها الكفاية.. وفيما عدا شمسها الساطعة التى أعشقها.. فليس هناك ما أندم عليه وأنا أغادرها، فلقد ذهب كل أصدقائى القدامي.. والباقين منهم على وشك الذهاب، كما أنى لا أستطيع أن أتقبل الإتجاه الحالى لسياستنا، وبصفة عامة فأنا متعب ومحبط.. عندما ترى وتسمع ما يفعله المصريون ويقولونه.. ثم تتابع تصرفهم فإنه لا يسعك إلا أن تجد نفسك تعانى من اختبار صعب لأعصابك.. أو على الأقل أعصابي، إختبار يصل بها إلى حد الإنكسار، لن أشعر بالأسف فى أى يوم أنى أدرت ظهرى للشرق إلى الأبد.. لقد فعلت كل ما بوسعى من أجل تحويل الحجر إلى رخام، وفى رأيى فإن المحاولة وصلت إلى الفشل
.
The meaning of (i removed some parts and focused on the important parts):
First is from the ancient Roman history. It says :
"It is important to keep under our (the romans) control the state (Egypt) which is dear. Generous in grain production. Scattered constantly. Disturbed easily. Quickly gets optimistic. Quickly gets pessimistic. Lenient with itself. Does not know anything about the law. Not accustomed to civilian rule".

The second paper was by the British historian Jimot :
"Egyptians by nature are not affected\moved by their ruler's goodness to them, on the contrary... they are moved by the fear of him!
And this rule has been adopted by rulers over time. This explains why these people have been sufferring throughout history
."
.
And then the third argument belonging to General Kleber (Commander of the French occupation in Egypt, after Napoleon):
"These people (Egyptian people) think that any initiative in good faith by me, is a sign of weakness. When i start showing no mercy, i find them under my feet."

Finally, a letter related to Lord Kromer (British offical in Egypt) :
"I am not sorry to leave Egypt, I saw enough of them (Egyptians). With the exception of Egypt's brilliant sun which i'll miss. There is nothing to regret ...
In general, I am tired and frustrated. When you hear and see what Egyptians say and do, you find yourself suffering from a severe test of temper. I have done everything I can to turn stone to marble. In my view, all our attempts (
to make something out of the Egyptians) have failed!"

Not very positive, eyh?!

Imagine someone having a discussion or negotiation with you with all the above in his mind.

Good luck trying to get anything out of them...
.
Mood: shocked!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Cairo In The Old Days #2

Once again... here is Cairo in the early 1900s.

How lovely :)


Now known as - Midan Tal'at Harb

Now known as - Midan Tal'at Harb

Now known as - Midan Tal'at Harb

Somewhere Downtown

Down town

Now Known as - Meddan AL Tahreer


Semiramis hotel

Not sure


Cairo (i think Abbasiya Area)

And Finally (Maskat Ra2sy)...

My beloved - Heliopolis (Bazilique Church Area)


Mood: Cheerful :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Israel and Futuristic Weapons

Check this news slip from Gulf-Times newspaper (Full article: http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=118375&version=1&template_id=57&parent_id=56) ...

A high tech and unmanned ‘bionic wasp’ capable of destroying a cell of guerrillas is among a series of futuristic weapons being discussed a group of experts set up by Israeli Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres.
A spokeswoman for Peres yesterday confirmed a report that the veteran politician had set up a 15-strong group of security, high technology business and academic experts to discuss the use of battlefield ‘nanotechnology’ by Israeli forces.


Shows you the difference between our mentality and Israel's. I wonder when we'll start thinking like them??

Mood: wondering...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Typical Egyptian Newspaper Article #2

Lol... ya gamed!

In continuation to the "Typical Egyptian Newspaper Article" which i mentioned before...

Here i was thinking that Mohamed Ali (the Chief Editor of Al Gomhurriya Newspaper) was going to change the way Al Gomhurriya (government owned newspaper) writes news (specifically that have to do with the president), but he as many others failed!

It is strange how in "government owned newspapers" anything the president does is a "big milestone along the way" or a "drastic change in Egypt's fortune" (3alama fareka)!

daaaaaaaaaaah!

Mood: Giggling :)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Farouk Hosni And The Veil


...........Farouk Hosni


Farouk Hosni (Egyptian Culture Minister) said last Thursday that he thinks women with veils are taking a step behind. He said that in his personal opinion women should show their hair...etc.
Farouk Hosni in today's newspaper said he respects veiled women and thinks it is their choice (full article go here: http://www.ahram.org.eg/Index.asp?CurFN=egyp3.htm&DID=9040).

Over the past couple of days there has been a lot of criticizing going on against him for what he said.

Now, here are a few things i think we should keep in mind...

  1. If we want real democracy in our country we have to accept such opinions from people who have a different point of view. The guy said that this is "HIS" point of view. We have to give people the space to express themselves freely as long as they did not insult, curse, humiliate anyone (unlike the Pope comments or the Abdullah Kamal article i talked about before).


  2. If Farouk Hosni said that it (the veil) is not obligatory, than that would not be right, would it? because he would be "BEYFTY" while he has no in-depth knowledge of the issue. When it comes to fatwa, we go to the experts. It's like when you have to fix your car, you go to the mechanic not to the plumber...sa7?!


  3. Regardless of the fact that Al Azhar, mofti masr, the fikh books, the 4 A'ema (Shafi, Hanbali, Malki and Hanafi) and many more all say it is compulsory (via Quran and Suna), at the end of the day it should be up to the woman to decide whether to wear it or not. When a woman does something out of love and devotion to Allah.. she will do her best to show respect to it and try to represent it well. Surely, that is much better than someone forced to do something!
I think that what made all this such a fuss is that he is a minister in our country. As a minister, he has to be very careful what he says.

Now, what Hussein Fahmi (an Egyptian actor) said... that was very rude!


...........Hussein Fahmi

He (Hussein Fahmi) said that women who wear veils are "MENTALLY DEFORMED"..ahy dy 2let adab!

That is not freedom of speech...that's insulting millions of women who have the right to decide whether to wear the veil or not. This guy (Hussein Fahmi) needs to apologize... not Farouk Hosni!

Mood: Pissed off with Hussein Fahmi!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Cairo In The Old Days #1

Look how lovely Cairo was (early 1900s)...

Lever used to place the Lion Statue at Kobri Asr Al Nil (Bridge)
Kobri Kasr Al Nil
.
Kobri Asr Al Nil


Kobri Abu Al Ela
.
Downtown

I have no idea where this is :)

Currently Where Cairo Opera Is
.
Maadi Club Skating Area

Mena House Hotel Near Pyramids (IMAGE!?!)
.
Maadi House Sale Ad.


Mood: Pleased :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Music - Farid Al Atrash Oud Recital

I for one love Farid Al Attrash's (a Syrian Singer who moved to Egypt in the early 1900s) Oud recitals. Although he past away a long time ago, I still think he is the best Oud player i ever heard.

Here are a couple of clips with him playing on the Oud...



And...



Mood: Wow, lovely :)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Al Ahly Win African Club's Cup (2006)

YES BABY! AL AHLY DID IT!


Al Ahly Players Lifting the Cup

GO EGYPT!!

Althoug i am a Zamalkawi (Zamalek club fan), but when it comes to national pride... anyone playing in Egypt's name has my support!

Abu Terikka the super star did it again. He clinched the winner in stoppage time.

Not only did Al Ahly win the African Club's Cup, but they will also represent African at next month's Club World Cup in Japan. Read about it here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/6139438.stm

Aaaah, some good news from Egypt for a change :)

Mood: Ecstatic :)

Qatar Illnesses

Something is strange in Qatar! everyone is getting ill.

Lately, a lot of people have been getting stomach problems. From vomiting to diarrhea , no one is safe :(
Now it is my turn....oooooofff, i feel awful!

All kids (including my son) i know of here are always ill (that has been the case since we came here 2 years ago).
It might have to do with all the excavation happening here in Qatar. You never know what is coming out from under the ground (germs...etc.).
Last week we had to rush my son to the Kids Emergency Hospital. It was almost mid-night. And guess what? tens of kids were coming in and out...all ill! mish momken!

The weird thing is, when we go back to Cairo we all get better (although Cairo has is one of the most polluted cities in the world!!!). I never thought that would be the case with good old poluted Cairo..lol

Weird eh?!

Mood: sickness took over :(

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Israel's Massacre Against Palestinian Civilians

Why is it every time a Muslim sneezes anywhere in the world it is covered in the media day in and day out?

Why is it when Israel kills unarmored civilians, International Media only mentions it in short reports and it is never covered with detail or for extended periods of time?

Why is it so that Hamas, Jihad and other Palestinian groups are condemned for bus bombings and are called terrorists (by the International community and Media at least) while Israel does worse than that (as a STATE not a group may i remind you), yet no one calls it a terrorist nation?

Yes, Israel is doing worse... how, read this from BBC for an example:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6128614.stm
and this:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6131042.stm
.
..BBC - Palestinians at the bombed site
.
Check this for statistics:

FOUR MONTHS OF GAZA DEATHS

Total: 247 fatalities
155 civilian deaths
57 deaths of
children
996 wounded, including 337 children (34%)

Source: Physicians for Human Rights (28 June to 27 Oct)

......BBC - A Palestinian wonded girl

Just before that event happen, a few days ago Israeli troops shot dead unarmed women at a mosque because they (the women) refused to let the Israeli troops capture Palestinians that were hiding in a mosque.
Where were the women right groups?
Where were all the feminists?

If Palestinians were animals (which they are not), at least then some western animal rights\protection groups would have screamed for their (animal) rights.
.
Let me remind you that Israel has done the above while Palestinians haven't done anything to Israelis recently!
.
Israel as a state does the worse form of terror.
They do not only bomb property like buses or restaurants (if compared with Palestinian groups), they (Israeli troops) also kill unarmed men, children and women all the time. They demolish Palestinian buildings, they confiscate land from the Palestinians, and they humiliate Palestinians day and night.

After all that is happening, Israel is called a democratic nation fighting for its right and Palestinians are called terrorists, strange isn't it?!!!!!!!

Seem to me that the international community and media (most of it at least) considers Israelis to be humans while they consider Palestinians to be of less status, even less than animals!
Maybe this is related to my previous post about Jews and Media or maybe the one about fear of Islam and misunderstanding.

Yet, there will always be people in the international community that speak out here and there. But the problem is, they are a very few...

Leeek youm ya zalem! Rabena 2ader!

Mood: Furious!!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Jokes - Mathematics Exam Answers

I noticed that most of my blog is full of sad stuff. So, i thought i need to cheer things up a bit.

Here goes...
This is how kids answer mathematics exams these days:





.


And Finally...
.


Mood: Cheerful :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Poll - Does The West Have A Problem With Islam?

Yes, they do. or at least this is what my poll showed.

%90 of the people who participated in my blog's poll about "Do you think the western countries have a problem with Islam?" voted for a YES!!

Besides my humble poll, there were two articles lately that seem to support the opinion that the west (in general) seems to have a problem with Islam. The articles are:

Of course there are so many other instances of misunderstanding, mistrust, and wrong behaviour between muslims and non-muslims (generally speaking) but the ones i mentioned above are the most resent.

I think this is a two way thing. Not only the west makes mistakes, treats muslims like low lives (some of them do anyway), biased to Israel no matter what they do (some of them at least), portrays us as terrorists, and so on. But, we also are to blame for the awful image most of us give to Islam.

The thing is, how will we break that "blaming circle" and do something about it?!

Mood: ...

Sarcasm About Elections In Egypt

Salama Ahmad Salama said in sarcasm today in Al Ahram Newspaper (http://www.ahram.org.eg/Index.asp?CurFN=amod6.htm&DID=9028):

كل الانتخابات في مصر مؤهلة للتزييف بحجة ابعاد العناصر الاسلامية‏..‏ فهل يمكن أن يكون الحل النهائي في طردهم من مصر واستئصالهم كما فعل هتلر باليهود أو علي النحو الذي يجري في العراق الآن؟‏!‏

I know he is mocking what the government is doing (blocking Islamist from nominating and sometimes even from voting). But if you ask me, i think the government would love to do that (cut off all islamists and not give them a chance to nominate for any elections in Egypt).

Mood: sarcastic :)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Egyptian Government Block MB Students From Elections

Yet again, the Egyptian government blocks the Muslim brotherhood students from nominating for Student assemblies elections. Read about it in AL Masri Al Youm newspaper: http://www.almasry-alyoum.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=35477

And they (the government) want to convince us that the are for democracy and freedom.

What type of freedom is this??!!!!!!!

I have an idea for the government, instead of winning all elections by fraud, violence and blocking other people... why don't they just stop all types of elections and rule everything.
By doing that we'll stop calling them double-standard hypocrites, we'll just call them tyrants :)

Ham yeda7ak wee ham yebak...

Mood: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :(

Another Episode In the War Against Egyptian Judges

I just hope that people don't forget the obvious war the Egyptian government and it's new Minister of Justice (Mamdouh Maree) are waging against the "Judges Club" (which is not pro-government by the way). Of course all this is related to many things, like my previous post about the government's crack-down on the Muslim Brotherhood.

This is part of an article from the Egyptians Without Borders web site which mentions another episode of that war (for the whole article go to: http://imbh.net/cms/news.php?newsid=fmbh11162432367)

وقف الدعم المادي الحكومي عن نادي القضاة لم يكن آخر مساعي عرقلة دوره الإصلاحي، فقد قرر البنك الأهلي (حكومي) بشكل مفاجئ تجميد مشروع شراء سيارات القضاة، الذي كان يحصل القاضي بموجبه على قرض ميسر من ميزانية النادي لشراء سيارة.كما تم تعطيل مشروع تسهيل رحلات الحج الذي ظل النادي ينظمه ويشرف عليه طوال السنوات الماضية، وتم نقله إلى مكاتب الخدمات التي أنشأتها وزارة العدل داخل المحاكم لتكون هي صاحبة الفضل في تقديم هذه الخدمات لا النادي.
المستشار محمود مكي، نائب رئيس محكمة النقض وأحد قيادات النادي، وصف قرار إنشاء مكتب للخدمات في المحاكم بأنه "إهدار للمال العام، لأن تقديم هذه الخدمات أحد الأدوار الرئيسية التي يقوم بها النادي". واعتبر أن الهدف الحقيقي من وراء هذه الخطوة هو "محاربة نادي القضاة".
وأضاف المستشار مكي في تصريحات نشرتها يومية "المصري اليوم" مؤخرا: "كان يمكن أن نصدق أن المكاتب لخدمة القضاة.. لكن مرعي نفسه (وزير العدل) يرفض لقاء القضاة والتعرف على مشاكلهم مباشرة والاستماع إليهم".واستطرد: "إن سياسة الوزير هي خلق بديل للنادي لتفتيت وحدة وصف القضاة، بعد مواقف النادي الأخيرة وهبته للدفاع عن مصالح القضاة وسمعة القضاء".
وعن القضايا المطروحة على الجمعية العمومية للنادي المقررة في 17 نوفمبر الجاري، قال المستشار الخضيري: "سنناقش وقف الدعم المخصص للنادي والذي يقدر بالملايين، والرد على خطط وزير العدل ضد نادي القضاة وموقفه المقاطع للنادي، وسياسة تجفيف المنابع التي يتبعها مع القضاة".
.
Mood: Aaaaah, what can i say :(

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

An Afghani War Story

I found this article on Al Shark Al Awsat newspaper about a book by a man called “Abu Walid Al Masri” (an Arab ex-combatant in Afghanistan) talking about his experience in the Afghani war against Russian troops (for whole article go to: http://www.asharqalawsat.com/details.asp?section=3&article=389667&issue=10198 ). Here are some interesting parts of article:

يركز المؤلف على السلبيات التي شابت الساحة الجهادية في افغانستان، خلال سنوات القتال ضد الروس وابرزها، حسب قوله، الاسراف في الخلافات والاسراف في التشدد في الاحكام الفقهية والاسراف في الجدال والاسراف في تكوين الجماعات والانشقاق عليها.

This part is about what they faced in combat:


...An Afghani Mujahid

ويضيف: «كانت النصائح الموجهة الى المجاهدين هي التحلي بالصبر، فهو الصفة الاولى في المقاتل المنتصر، والحرب صبر ساعة كما قال رسولنا الكريم، صلوات الله وسلامه عليه. في البداية، بأسلحتك البدائية ذات المدى القصير لا بد ان تبذل مجهودا كبيرا حتى يصبح العدو في مرمى نيرانك لتقتله. اما هو فيستطيع قتلك وهو على بعد عشرات، بل مئات الكيلومترات
ويتابع: «بسبب اقتراب شهر رمضان وبسبب رغبة بعضهم في حضور موسم حصاد القمح، وهذه إحدى القواعد التي ظلت ثابتة طول حرب أفغانستان، فإنه يمكن تأجيل كل شيء عند المجاهدين حتى الحرب، ولكن المواسم والمناسبات الدينية فلا يمكن تأجيلها، ولا بد من قضائها مع الأهل. وكانت لتلك القاعدة آثار مأساوية لا تحصى، فقد كانت تلك المناسبات هي مواعيد ثابتة أيضاً للقوات الشيوعية كي تسترد ما فقدته أو أن تتوسع في مناطقها، وغالبا ما كانت تنجح في مسعاها. ولكن بقليل من الصبر وببعض الشهداء والجرحى، كان المجاهدون يستعيدون ما فقدوه.
Some Afghanis were really dedicated to freeing their land:

ولا انسى قصة ذلك الافغاني الذي قابلناه على الحدود الباكستانية يبيع بقرته ويشتري بثمنها طلقات لبندقيته الانجليزية، ثم يتوجه الى الجهاد …
ان البقرة في تلك المناطق الجبلية الفقيرة ثروة ومصدر رزق ولقمة عيش. واستبدالها بطلقات بندقية هو عمل غني بالدلالات.
لقد تغيرت تلك الصورة المشرقة كما تغير كثير من الصور، بعدما اوغلت القضية في التدويل وتعاظم الدور الباكستاني، الذي كان رأس رمح أميركي للعمل ضد الاسلام في افغانستان.

About America sending a lot of ammunition to Afghanistan through the Pakistanis after years of lack of supplies:

لقد كان الهدف الاول لتوزيع الذخائر والاسلحة في افغانستان ـ وهي السياسة التي وضعتها أميركا وطبقتها المخابرات الباكستانية ـ تهدف قبل كل شيء الى تدمير الدافع العقائدي للقتال وتحويله الى تنافس على الاموال والاسلحة والزعامات التي تقوم على كثرة ما يمتلكه ويتحكم فيه الزعيم من اموال واسلحة تأتيه بأوامر أميركية عبر قنوات باكستانية

About the price you pay when someone makes you a favour (US and Pakistan):

فحرب العصابات لا يمكنها ان تتخطى النظام السياسي القائم على الارض الصديقة او تتجاهل مصالحه الحيوية ولا ان تتأخر عن سداد الفواتير سواء حدث نصر او تمت تسوية او اندحرت الحركة. في كل الحالات هناك دين واجب السداد ولا يمكن الافلات منه. تلك قاعدة جوهرية ومنطقية وكم كنا كمسلمين في غفلة وتعام بل وبلاهة عندما تخيلنا انها غير موجودة في الحالة الافغانية.

Sharing the spoils of war was not done correctly:

الأحكام الشرعية في الغنائم لم يتم تطبيقها في أفغانستان، هذا بشكل عام. ولكن حدث كثيرا ان تم توزيع الغنائم بشكل صحيح بين أفراد مجموعة ما. ولكن المجموعات المختلفة كان يحكمها قانون الاغتصاب والغلو.
فلكل مجموعة الحرية في أخذ ما تستطيع بالكيفية المتاحة. فتحول مسرح الجهاد إلى ساحة لتصارع الذئاب البشرية

About the Afghani community and Islamic practices:

من المعلوم أن القبلية نظام قوي عميق الجذور في أعماق تاريخ الشعب الأفغاني. ولتلك القبلية قوانينها التي تأثرت كثيرا بالإسلام، ولكن ما زالت لها أعراف وقوانين مخالفة للتعاليم الإسلامية، منها على سبيل المثال ما يختص بحقوق المرأة، ومنها ما يتعلق بالمعاملات مع الآخرين. فالمجتمع الأفغاني شديد الحرص على الأعراض عظيم الغيرة عليها، وهذا شيء ايجابي يتفق مع الإسلام، ولكنه من جهة أخرى لا يعطي المرأة حقوقها التي كفلها الإسلام في الميراث والمهر والموافقة على اختيار الزوج، سواء كانت بكرا أو ثيبا.. الخ.
A funny story about two 60 year old Afghani men…

ولكنهما ولعدة أيام لم يستطيعا الاتفاق على ملكية الصندوق. فالذي تسلل وخطف الصندوق ادعى ملكيته، لأنه هو الذي خاطر بحياته وأحضر الصندوق، أما صديقه فأراد التقسيم مناصفة لأنه يرى أن تغطيته لصديقه كانت أساسية في الحصول على الصندوق، ولولاه لما استطاع أن يتقدم، ولو حاول التقدم بدون تغطية لكان الآن في عداد الشهداء.
الطريف أنهما كانا يتقابلان بعد صلاة الفجر كل يوم ـ كعادتهما من عشرات السنين ـ ولا يفترقان إلا بعد صلاة العشاء والذهاب إلى النوم. وطوال الوقت يبحثان نفس الموضوع ـ وبدون أدنى بادرة غضب أو ملل أو حدة ـ وكلما أتيحت لهما فرصة توسيع المناقشة واشراك آخرين

How Afghanis used to distribute or choose the ruins to take control of…

فقد صارت هناك خبرة «الغلول الجماعي» للمدن واستقرت قوانين لتنظيم العملية بأقل قدر من المشاكل والصدامات. وأهم قانون هو أن تصطحب كل جماعة «غلول» مجموعة من اعلام أي حزب من الاحزاب «الجهادية» مع صور زعيم ذلك الحزب. وفور دخول المدينة يبدأ سباق مع الزمن في رفع الاعلام ولصق الصور على المقار العسكرية والمخازن والمرافق والمباني الحكومية وحتى على الدكاكين المغلقة والدبابات وراجمات الصواريخ والمطارات. والجميل هو ذلك التعاون في الاحترام الجماعي لتلك الأعلام والملصقات ـ بدون أي تدقيق فيمن رفعها وجدية انتمائه للتنظيم الذي يرفع علمه ويلصق صورة زعيمه.

مكتسبات الغلول، بعد ان سقط النظام الشيوعي ـ وقبل ذلك ايضا ـ وجدت طريقها الى خارج الحدود ـ باكستان غالبا

An incident that happened to him…

وكنا في الشارع الرئيسي للمدينة عندما حصل أحدهم ـ وهو صاحب صيدلية كبيرة ـ على رسالة ضمان من جانب قائد كبير كنا على صلة وثيقة به. وما كاد القائد يتحرك الى مكان آخر حتى بدأت عمليات الغلول المسلح وهجمت عصابة غلول على تلك الصيدلية بينما صاحبها واقف الى جانبها ومعه الرسالة حتى يحمي أمواله.
ولكنهم جذبوه بعيدا مع التهديد وكسروا أبواب الصيدلية وحملوا صناديق الدواء والرجل يتوسل ويعرض عليهم الرسالة ثم يعرض عليهم مكافأة مالية على أن يتركوا الدواء ولكن ذلك كله لم ينفع، فتقدمنا الى رئيس العصابة، وكنا ثلاثة أو أربعة من العرب ومعنا مترجم أفغاني، وأفهمنا الزعيم أننا كنا حاضرين عندما حصل ذلك الرجل صاحب الصيدلية على ضمان لممتلكاته من جانب ذلك القائد الكبير.
فما كان من رئيس العصابة الا ان خطا الى الخلف خطوة واسعة وأفرغ مخزن رشاشه فوق رؤوسنا مباشرة حتى اضطررنا الى الانحناء قليلا، وهو يصيح بوحشية والزبد يتطاير من شدقيه: الله أكبر... جهاد في سبيل الله.. زنده باد إسلام. ولثوان خطر لي أن أطلق عليه النار وأقتله. كان من السهل القضاء على عصابته تماما، فقد كان لنا في لحظتها داخل المدينة مجموعة كبيرة من العرب في أفضل أحوالهم التسليحية والمعنوية وكانوا يتجهزون منذ أشهر لخوض القتال لفتح المدينة.
ومن فضل الله أني تمالكت أعصابي في ذلك الموقف البائس وإلا لنشبت فتنة ضخمة ضاع فيها المئات داخل المدينة، حيث الجميع متوجس من الجميع، وعمليات السطو تمر بتوازن حرج اذا اختل فقد يودي بالجميع. وانسحبنا بسرعة تفاديا لأي استفزاز آخر،


Besides being pleased that the Afghanis and Arab Mujahideen won the war against the Russian troops and freed Afghanistan, some things appear to be obvious after reading this and other documentaries ...

  • Politics is a dirty business!
  • America and Pakistan were obviously chipping in for their own benefit, not for the freedom of the Afghanis and all that.
  • Greed which took over some of the guerillas ruined the image of the Mujahideen in the Afghani war .
  • Some people really did fight for Islam and their country. Others just joined in for the war spoils (seems they were many).
  • Fanatics took over the scene.. lelasaf :(

Mood: Disappointed:(

Monday, October 30, 2006

Abdullah Kamal Lashes At Muslim Women's Veil

One of the journalists (if we can call him that) that I really despise is a person called Abdullah Kamal. He is the Editor in Chief of “Rose Al Yousef” Newspaper in Egypt.

....Abdullah Kamal

Besides being known as the man belonging to the National Democratic Party (the ruling party for more than 25 years in Egypt), he is is also known to have a problem with anyone who is not pro-NDP.
From Islamists, Nationalists, to even Liberals (remeber his attack on Hala Moustafa?)…anyone who is not pro-NDP was\is\will be attacked by that Abdullah Kamal in that awful newspaper.

I even remember when he attacked Amr Adeeb (a very famous presenter of a TV talk show called “Al Qahirah AL Youm” on Orbit Channel) becuase Amr didn't support trading with Israel (while Israel was killing poor Palastinians).

Seems now the Mr.Karioka (ma3a i3tezarna lel fanana ta7eya karioka) has decided to lash at millions of muslim women, this time he is he is attacking women wearing veils (Hijab).

In his "Rose Al Yousef" Article dated 28-10-2006, he actually called the Hijab a symbol of racism against Egyptian Christians???!!!!
His opinion (if I understood correctly) is to take it off muslim women. In that way all chirstian and muslim women are the same.

Eh el habal da!!!!

I will not talk about Hijab being compulsory and proof behind that. I will not talk about the fact that even some jewish and christian women wear veils (religous ones specially, think nuns..etc.), I'll talk from two other points of view…

If you are liberal as you say you are Mr.Kamal (walanta kamal wala neyla), then you were suppose to (from a liberal point fo view) defend "freedom of chioce" and let women decide for themselves whether to wear it or not. Not just say "take it off" min dema3'ak keda!

And for another point of view, I dedicate Mr.Kamal this part of an article by Gamal Sultan (co-founder of Al-Misryoon Electronic newspaper) from Al-Misryoon Electronic newspaper (for full article go to: http://www.almesryoon.com/ShowDetailsC.asp?NewID=25889&Page=1)

ألا يستحي كاتب مصري من أن يدافع رئيس الكنيسة الإنجيلية في بريطانيا عن حق المسلمة في ارتداء النقاب أو الحجاب ، بينما رئيس "الكنيس" الصحفي في القاهرة يطالب بنزعه عن رؤوس الملايين من المصريات ومطاردة كل محجبة في الشوارع والمدارس والمستشفيات والمصالح الحكومية ، ألا يستحي هذا المعتوه من أن يوجه الإهانات إلى عائلته ذاتها والتي فيها عشرات من الفتيات والسيدات من المحجبات ، ألا يستحي من أن يوجه الإهانات إلى زوجات وبنات قيادات القوات المسلحة وقيادات أجهزة الأمن ذاتها بكل أفرعها وقيادات المجالس التشريعية والأحزاب والمؤسسات القضائية والرقابية

Allah Yehdena Gamee3a.

Mood: disgusted :(

Sunday, October 29, 2006

1973 War Traitors

Seems there is a new Israeli book out that is talking about Israel's war against Egypt and Syria in 1973 .

In this book it mentioned that Ashraf Marawan (the secretary of Anwar Al-Sadat back in the 70s) was a spy for the Israelis (per Al-Arabi newspaper link: http://www.al-araby.com/articles/1031/061022-1031-fct04.htm).

Below is part of what was said in the Al-Arabi newspaper article:

الموساد الإسرائيلى يجدد اتهاماته فى كتاب جديد عن حرب يوم كيبور والأهم من ذلك اطلع رابينوفيتش على تسجيلات المصادر التى زودت إسرائيل بالمعلومات قبل الحرب وبعدها وأهم هذه المصادر العاهل الأردنى السابق الملك حسين وسكرتير الرئيس السادات السابق للمعلومات أشرف مروان.وهكذا فان أهم ما يميز كتاب رابينوفيتش الذى يقع فى حوالى 550 صفحة هو أنه اعتمد على عدد هائل من المعلومات المخابراتية السرية. يحدد رابينوفيتش ثلاثة مصادر أساسية أمدت إسرائيل بالمعلومات قبل الحرب وكشفت لها كل الخطط المصرية بصورة شبه كاملة. ويحدد رابينوفيتش هذه المصادر فى الملك حسين والدكتور أشرف مروان، علاوة على وكالة المخابرات لمركزية الأمريكية ال سي. آي. إيه ويذكر الكتاب تقريبا نوعية كل المعلومات التى قدمتها هذه المصادر الثلاثة.

I knew for sometime now that King Hussain of Jordan before the 6th of October War informed Golda Meir (Israeli Prime Minister between 1969-1974) that Egypt and Syria were going to attack Israel in October 1973.

The first time i knew that was from a documentary on AL Jazeera TV which even got the meeting between King Hussain and Golda Meir from a video footage. It mentioned that he flew by helicopter to Israel to tell them that info.
Apparently he was afraid that if Egypt and Syria attack, Israel would back fire on all countries including Jordan (which was weak to dtriefend itself back then).

When i got to know that, i was shocked and really disgusted with King Hussain. Now here is another shocker... Ashraf Marawan, Al-Sadat's personal secretary!

Although there is always the doubt that Israel is just sending us mixed messages to confuse us. Maybe the guy had nothing to do with them. We'll have to wait and see what comes up in the news later on.

Mood: wondering...

Friday, October 27, 2006

What Ever Happened To Egyptians?

No, this in not the famous Galal Amin book title. I really mean the title: "What Ever Happened To Egyptians?". I for one am very fond of the book though.

The thing is that i have been hearing very disturbing things about Egypt over the past 5 years. It seems to be getting worse over time :(

From the ugly National Democratic Party, to Egypt's decreasing status in the middle east, to the economic crisis, to poverty, to unemployment, to government service for people, to transportation, to corruption and bribery, to religious tensions between people, to the awful manners people seem to have these days. Everything is terrible and it's getting worse!

I read this post: http://malek-x.net/node/268 in MalcomX's blog and this one http://hakazaana.blogspot.com/2006/10/blog-post_26.html from HakazaAna Blog and felt that Egyptians are loosing even the thing they were known for "EL GAD3ANA"...it seems to be scarce now.
I sense that we have lost two things we were always known for: "El Gad3ana" and "El Dam El 7'afeef". So, we are no more very humorous nor are we true "men" and have morals to be proud of.
I know there are many good people out there. But, with all this crazyness we never hear anything about them.

Maybe i am a bit harsh, but what i read in Malcomx's blog was a bit too much for me to handle. I am starting to think Keek was right when he decided to drop it and try life away in Canada.

Although i am in Qatar now, away from all the crazy stuff that is happening in Egypt lately but the impact of such things on me is unbearable.

The last time i was in Egypt (August 2006), i realized a few things:
-Cairo is getting more crowded (3ady).
-People are more aggressive and mean to each other (each year i feel it is worse than the past one).
-Manners are disappearing.
-Showing off is a trend (el tanteet 3ala ba3d wee el manzara).
-People are becoming very rich or very poor.

When i read the Galal Amin Book "Whatever Happened To Egyptians" i found it very informative. i understood what happened to Egyptians up to late 90s.

But, what has been happening over the past 5 years is a very sharp change in the Egyptian society.

I really believe that Egypt needs new blood from top to bottom (i'll do with the top part for now...ya Rab).
Egypt needs new leadership (a leader not a president) that is capable of changing things around and bringing law and order back to the street.

My father-in-law always says: ”Lama tegy tenadaf el selem, bee tebtedy2 min foo2” (meaning: when you want to clean the stairs, you start from the top)….how true!

I sometime really wonder:” Does the Egyptian society need another war to pull itself together?”

Mood: Depressed :(

Monday, October 23, 2006

A Muslim living in the West

This was in an e-mail sent to me by my friend Mr.K.

Nicely put...

------------------

This was published in Ha'aretz.
Very interesting, read through.

K

------------------

Were I a Muslim living in the West, I'd be mad as hell. Not to mention terrified.
Were I a Muslim living in the West, I'd begin to believe that a new Inquisition had begun. An inquisition aimed at no one but Muslims.
Were I a Muslim living in the West, my wife, or my sister, or my daughter might well decide to wear a headscarf or a veil when she went out in public.
Perhaps it would be because she was tired of men and boys ogling her, objectifying her.
Perhaps it would be because she felt she was entitled to her dignity.
Perhaps she simply might prefer modesty and privacy to fashion slavery.
Perhaps she just thought it was a free country.
And perhaps, on that last point, she would have been mistaken.

For years, and especially since 9/11, law-abiding Muslims have been verbally and physically attacked across North America and Europe.
They are scorned for their faith, shunned for their piety, falsely condemned for dual-loyalty, blamed for the crimes of terrorists they abhor.

Of late, however, there has been a disturbing new trend, particularly in Europe, where cabinet ministers and influential lawmakers have increasingly made it their mission to combat, of all things, the head scarf and veil worn by growing numbers of Muslim women and girls.

In Germany, the states of Baden-Wurttenberg and Bavaria recently introduced legislation to outlaw the wearing of head scarves in schools.
Bavarian Education Monika Hohlmeier said the head scarf was increasingly being used as a political symbol.
To the understandable ire of Muslims, Hohlmeier went on to say that it was acceptable to wear Christian crosses or Jewish symbols.

In Spain, home to the original Inquisition, Minister for Social Affairs Juan Carlos Aparicio was quoted as having said that the Muslim veil was "not a religious sign but a form of discrimination against women," and having compared it to genital mutilation.

In Britain, the government minister for race and faith relations, Phil Woolas, was quoted this week as demanding that Muslim teaching assistant Aisha Azmi, 24, who refused to remove her veil at work, be fired for that reason."She should be sacked," Woolas was quoted as telling the Sunday Mirror. "She has put herself in a position where she can't do her job."Azmi worked at the Headfield Church of England junior school in Dewsbury, which took pains to state that her suspension had nothing to do with religion.

The scarf issue had already taken center stage when former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, now an MP and Leader of the House of Commons, voiced public objections to the wearing of the niqab, a full-face veil, at face-to-face meetings with his constituents.
The national debate has since widened, with David Davis, a top Conservative Party official, taking the anti-veil stance to a new level.''What Jack touched on was the fundamental issue of whether in Britain we are developing a divided society,'' Davis said. ''Whether we are inadvertently encouraging a kind of voluntary apartheid.''The anti-veil arguments dovetail with a parallel campaign, which takes as its premise the concept that Islam itself renders its adherents incapable of integrating into Western societies.
"If you are going to have Islamic schools, the question is whether they are going to embrace Western values," Patrick Sookhdeo, a Pakistan-born Anglican priest in England who converted from Islam, told the New York Times this month. "I would argue that Islamic values are not compatible with Western values," he said. And what Western values might these be? Are they the time-honored Western values of intolerance for people of color, suspicion and marginalization of non-Christians, fear and loathing of non-Whites? Exploitation of and contempt for the residents of former imperial possessions and colonies?
At this point, there will be a pause for the springloaded Islamophobes among us to suggest that it is any society's right and duty to protect itself against elements that may foment terrorism. There will be those who will argue that the veil may both mask and encourage extremism.

Perhaps it is time for us in the Western world to declare that Islam has a right to exist. Perhaps it is time for us to recognize that non-violent, non-Judeo-Christian religious observance is a right, not an act of war.

Scarves don't explode. Veils do not kill. The niqab does not incite. It takes courage to wear the veil in the West.

Certainly, no one should be forced to wear it against her will. But those who do so voluntarily, have chosen to brave ridicule, and perhaps to risk their own livelihood.
They have made a choice for self-respect, in the face of all that is vacuous in contemporary Western civilization, where the worship of the superficial has taken on the potency and universality of a state religion.
We in the West have allowed the veil to become the symbol of all that we do not know and do not trust about Islam.
In the Age of Paris Hilton, however, the West desperately needs women who devote themselves to serious pursuits, to the betterment of society, women who believe that self-esteem and dignity are worthy values.
If they choose to wear a veil, and we take offense, that is wholly our problem. We have no business making it theirs.

Mood: wondering...