Sunday, August 25, 2013

Egypt's dead - dehumanised and disregarded

By Hodan Yusuf

Over 1,000 people have died in Egypt since August 14, and are the result of the "worst mass unlawful killings in the country's modern history", according to Human Rights Watch. If those 1,000 were from the West, would the international narrative be any different?

Last April in Boston, three people lost their lives on a day when everyone was just trying to enjoy a marathon. Condolences came in from across the world and even from space, while Egypt has received very little. The same heads of state who poured with grief over those unjustified killings in Boston are the same heads of state who continue to do business with Egypt, disregarding the apparent bloodlust of this interim military regime. They continue to support the regime financially and militarily as the authorities continue to act with impunity killing protesters, including the slaughter of at least three dozen prisoners in a van. These people were reportedly among those detained following the raid on the Fateh Mosque. The exact number of dead and the way they were killed remains unclear, but witnesses have documented signs of torture and apparent burns on the bodies. Even prisoners of war have rights.

So what has gone wrong? The Egyptian media - both state and private - overwhelmingly support the interim military regime. Many TV outlets deemed too Islamic or critical were shut down immediately after the coup. This means that the majority of ordinary Egyptians have the unchallenged running narrative of the State beamed into their TVs and radios and printed in their newspapers. If recent history teaches us anything, it is that media in times of conflict can become the facilitator for mass bloodshed and war crimes.

A familiar trend
During the genocide in Rwanda, the radio station RTLM called on the Hutus to kill the Tutsis, referring to them as "cockroaches ". Repeated over and over until it became truth, it ended up being the mantra of a genocide that claimed the lives of over 800,000 Tutsis.  Dehumanisation, as a precursor to genocide, requires a deliberate and planned motive that utilises message proliferation mediums at hand.

Twenty years later, in Egypt today, the word is not cockroaches , but " terrorists ", a loaded term used to tranish those who have Islamic political views.
Egyptian television often carries straps that say "Egypt Fighting Terrorism" and programmes often break into English translation for the benefit of any English-speaking viewers. The coup leaders and the supportive media machine have seemingly resorted to the language of terrorism. A spokesman for the Egyptian interim government declared that Egypt is at war with terrorism, extremism, theological and religious fascism. Labelling people and their grievance as terrorism is dismissive and even removes the burden of responsibility from the authorities to deal with them humanely and respectfully.

This is inherited from the Western global "war on terror", which has served well to label, dehumanise then cast aside human rights in the name of fighting terrorism. In Egypt, protesters exercising their constitutional rights were conveniently transformed into terrorists. This powerful and chilling account from Guardian journalist Patrick Kingsley describes how the terrorist narrative translated into live bullets and attacks on unarmed protesters - and even the doctors treating them. His account opens with a police lieutenant's live television interview outside Fateh Mosque. The policeman reloaded his machine gun while saying, "The problem is, these people are terrorists." The journalist goes on to describe the heartbreaking scenes of mourning relatives trying to admit the rotting corpses of their dead loved ones into the morgue while the police reportedly refused to sign off their corpses as murder. Truth and humanity, he said, were in short supply. It seems once labelled terrorists, even the dead are denied due process.

Changing language
The selective mourning of the international community teaches an entire generation that some people matter more than others. Some dead are dignified while others labelled, then disregarded. Unimportant. Too different to defend. A generation of Muslim children around the world in places like Egypt, Syria, Palestine and Yemen could grow up believing that their people, and by extension, they, are less deserving of the dignity afforded to others. Hard to avoid when the empty rhetoric does not reach them before the drones and bullets do.
History will no doubt judge this current regime and all its domestic and international allies harshly while they continue on the path of indiscriminate killing and the brutal crackdown on all they deem to be obstacles to their totalitarian rule.

It is beyond ironic that the former dictator Mubarak has been released while Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, is still detained. The spiritual guide of the Muslim Brotherhood and other senior figures have also been arrested. Even ElBaradei is being charged with a crime, punishment for daring to resign when the bloodshed exceeded his personal tolerance levels.
Language is very important, especially in times of conflict. And in this turmoil, Egypt has begun with a new thesaurus of its own. A contentious thesaurus, where words like coup  and democracy, mean very different things to different people and governments. However, the brutal fact of thousands of civilians dying at the hands of security forces should never be lost in translation.

Hodan Yusuf-Pankhurst is a freelance multimedia journalist and a mediator and trainer in conflict resolution. She has a diploma in Journalism and an MSc in Conflict Resolution and Mediation Studies from the University of London.
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera's editorial policy.
   Al Jazeera

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Preacher suspended over Muslim Brotherhood support {with my comments}

By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
Published: 15:59 August 20, 2013

Manama: Kuwait has suspended a controversial preacher from delivering Friday sermons following statements deemed supportive of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt.

{Yet another example of progressive, liberal Muslims, whose liberalism stops short when it faces any other Muslims' political awareness, and activism}

Shafi Al Ajami was informed in a formal letter that he could no longer deliver speeches until further notice, Kuwaiti media reported on Tuesday.
Sources at the endowments ministry said that the preacher had used his Twitter account to post his remarks about developments in Arab countries, local Arabic daily Al Qabas said.

{That was his crime. An Arab man, addressing Friday sermons delivered to Arabs, used his Twitter account to comment on political events happening in the Arab world. Boy, the enormity of the crime! Could've beaten General Sisi!}
“The ministry is keen that preachers do not use mosques to divide the society or promote any form of sectarianism,” the sources said. “Imams and Friday preachers should serve as role models in their ideas and social orientations,” they said.

{Read: Imams should be politically impotent. Not aware. Numb. Mum. Quiet. Should only keep Islam at the masjid, not extend it as a "deen" to any part of the human existence. Especially not politics!}
Kuwait has welcomed the change of political leadership in Egypt that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood and said that it would support it.

{As I said earlier, no surprises there. This is a mark of "liberal Muslims" who think Islam and politics don't go together. But oppression in politics is okay, even if it comes from secularists/liberals themselves.}
Nine Egyptians who last week took part in pro-Muslim Brotherhood rallies in Kuwait City have been deported and more could follow as the authorities continued their investigation of the demonstrations.

{Yes, curtailing the rights of residents to protest against oppression is so cohesive, isn't it? No division of society here. But imams commenting on their Twitter is promoting division. Makes absolute sense.}
Foreigners involved in organising or participating in “illegal rallies” in Kuwait are often deported.
At one of the demonstrations, Al Ajami reportedly said that $100 (Dh367) would be given to each of the families of the victims of the army assault in Egypt.
Hundreds of people were killed on Wednesday in the clashes that pitted the military against supporters of deposed President Mohammad Mursi.
In June Al Ajami said that a 12,000-man army was being raised and armed to confront members of the Lebanese military group Hezbollah.
The “mujahideen” will not be afraid to fight and will take on members of the Lebanese party and will torture them, Al Ajami said.
The “mujahideen” have large sections of lands in Syria under their control, he added.

His speech prompted angry reactions from lawmakers who said that his statements incited sectarianism and deepened tension.

{Think about it. This imam takes a particular opinion about Syria. And is persecuted for it. The entire Kuwaiti regime takes the side of Sisi in Egypt. And that's perfectly okay! Was he really expected to stay deaf, dumb and blind on world events? If so, then why wouldn't Kuwait remain deaf, dumb, and blind on Egypt? Do you see the contradiction?}
Earlier this week, a Kuwaiti manager of an Islamic TV channel was fired by the channel’s owner, Saudi Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal for alleged membership in the Muslim Brotherhood. Al Waleed claimed that the firing of Tarek Suwaidan was due to the channel’s non-partisan policies.

{If the unfortunate manager of the TV channel had sided with Sisi, what would have happened then, I wonder. It seems that it all depends on who the government is siding with. If the West had come on all out and attacked Syria, probably the Kuwaiti imam would still have his job. And if the West had come on all out and condemned Sisi for his actions, then most likely the TV manager would have stayed too.}


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Prince Saud: Arabs to cover any foreign aid cuts to Egypt (with my comments)

Published — Monday 19 August 2013
 JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia said on Monday that Arab and Islamic countries will step in to help Egypt if Western nations cut aid packages to Cairo over a crackdown on extremists.

{Arab countries only please, don't use the phrase Islamic countries in this. You can't be further away from Islam when you announce these things.}

“To those who have announced they are cutting their aid to Egypt, or threatening to do that, (we say that) Arab and Muslim nations are rich... and will not hesitate to help Egypt,” Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

{Rich in our skullduggery, no doubt. Rich in our quest to strengthen our own positions of power. Rich in not implementing even the basics of Qura'anic instructions to not sell our deen for a few paltry gains in this world. Rich, indeed.}

Prince Saud was speaking upon his return from France, where he held talks with President Francois Hollande, who strongly condemned violence in Egypt.
"I assure everyone that the leadership, the government and the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have stood and will always stand with Egypt and that the Arab states will not never accept manipulation of their fates or tampering with their security and stability by the international community," Prince Saud said.

{The Kingdom will never accept manipulation of its fate, ever. I agree. Why? Because it's already accepted it, integrated it into itself, owned it, and now propagating it to others.}

"Our fate is one and our goal is one. As you enjoy security, calm and stability, do not consider them as too much for us," he added.

{Translate security, calm and stability as: security for us, calm for our government hold, stability for our monarchy}

He lamented that some countries choose to fault Egypt's interim government for taking action to restore security by cracking down on terrorism, yet refuse to take concrete steps to help stop the carnage in Syria.

"We see unfortunately today international positions which have taken a strange course to ignore these irrefutable facts and focus on general principles as if they want to cover up what these opponents committing of the crimes, the burning of Egypt, and killing of its safe people, and even to encourage these parties to persist in such practices. 

{We see, unfortunately, the Kingdom supporting those people who have done this:

and we see the Kingdom strangely supporting the army who did this:

Egyptians mourn over the bodies of their relatives in the El-Iman mosque in Nasr City, Cairo, Egypt, Aug. 15, 2013. Source: National Post

A member of Egypt’s security forces kicks a supporter of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi as they clear a sit-in camp set up near Cairo University in Cairo’s Giza district, on Aug. 14, 2013. (AP). Image source: The Washington Post

So its stranger to see the Kingdom of Saudi blatantly supporting the security forces of Egypt who themselves are indulging in a blatant act of terrorism against the civilians of Egypt, cheered on by none other than your dear master, the beloved:

{So we're seeing stranger things Mr. King, or Prince, or whatever. And by the way, good news for you. This dear pal of yours will be out of Tora jail by the end of the week (so much for the Arab spring):

"Where is the concern for human rights and the sanctity of blood and carnage that takes place every day in Syria ...? he asked.

Prince Saud Al-Faisal stressed that if these attitudes continue, Saudi Arabia and the Arab and Muslim world will not forget that.

"All countries that take such negative attitudes toward Egypt should know that the blaze and ruin will not be limited to Egypt alone, but they will be reflected on all those who have contributed or stood by problems and disorders taking place in Egypt today," he said.

Hundreds of people have been killed in the North African country since security forces began a clampdown on Muslim Brotherhood protests last week.
US Senator John McCain called on Washington to suspend its $1.3 billion in annual aid to Egypt’s military after it overthrew Islamist president Muhammad Mursi on July 3.

But some US lawmakers have expressed concern that cutting off aid could endanger the peace treaty with Israel or compromise US privileges with regard to the Suez Canal.

Foreign ministers of the European Union are to hold emergency talks on Wednesday to review the bloc’s relations with Cairo.

At stake is nearly five billion euros ($6.7 billion) in loans and grants promised by the world’s top aid donor to Egypt for 2012-2013. It includes one billion euros from the EU with the rest from European banks the EIB and EBRD.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Celebrating Pakistan’s Dependence Day



A) With a Secular/Liberal elite (created from mentally colonialised ‘natives’ by the British Empire) controlling the Army and Government – and permitting the USA to use Pakistan for as its own personal playground for torture, kidnapping, murder and weapons testing; and

B ) with the enforcement of a Secular state with only a small number of now token un-enforced Islamic laws (dating back from the ‘Islamist’ General Zia ul Haq), and

C ) Constant killing, fighting and bombing – and that’s just between the official political parties! (read the recent Altaf Hussain arrest incident for an example).
- Sadly, they have failed to achieve all three aims…

Lastly, if we even look at how Pakistan got its independence – we see that it wasn’t as a result of a popular revolution, or insurgency against the British, but only as part of a law passed in British Parliament, to grant independence to both Pakistan & India. Pakistan’s independence wasn’t won by itself, it was decided then given to them by a bunch of politicians inside the UK Parliament. Britain wasn’t kicked out of the sub-continent, it merely was so weary from two world wars, it couldn’t sustain its empire any longer. But this was no different to every other Western empire. Virtually EVERY conquered country in the entire world was ‘given back’ to the natives peoples – with the exception being those colonies that were physically colonialised by large numbers white settlers – who massacred the natives so much, as to maintain their presence (Canada, Australia etc). India/Pakistan was simply too large, and with too many people to do that (hardly a pride-worthy achievement for the natives).

Pakistan got ‘independence’ not because it was special, but because every other ‘country’ got independence too – and only after Britain was assured that the country it would leave behind was a secular one. The prophet of Pakistani Nationalists, Ali Jinnah, ensured Pakistans compliance, by creating a secular state (after he had led the Muslims to believe it would be an state under Islam). That way, Britain could leave knowing its ‘civilising mission’ was complete, and more importantly maintain economic ties with an economically DEPENDENT country. Britain then got a country it could economically exploit, without the need to spend money on its military presence there – this was the birth of neo-colonialism – getting the natives to colonialise themselves. It seems outsourcing British services to india began long before the modern need for tech-support call-centres.

Of course, the power of British influence over it’s new ‘British Commonwealth’ club of ex-colonies didn’t last long, and was politically and economically usurped by the new rising global superpower – the USA, which leads us up to the present.
Of course, the question is, ‘what is pakistan?’. Well, if you went back in time 80 years, it didn’t exist. It’s borders of course, being drawn and agreed by a bunch of British politicians (probably over a glass of wine) – but that’s the point. Are we truly free merely because the prison guard leaves the prison, but still leaves us in a cage? And not just any cage, but a cage built into our own minds. Pakistan has no real existence. It is worse than children playing a fantasy role-play game. When children pretend to do something in a game, they at least know that it isn’t real. But the Muslims (yes, the Muslims – those part of a global Ummah that the Prophet (saaw) and God (swt) himself commanded upon us not to divid), actually have agreed to mentally separate themselves from other Muslims, and consider Pakistan to not only be real – but THEIR country.
Even right now, as you are reading this, tempers are raging, nostrils are flaring and rancour is emerging, as pakistani nationalists read this and feel they are being insulted and humiliated. Of course they would, Pakistani nationalism, like all nationalisms, is an emotional and irrational impulse, which serves as the religion of the secular age. Whereas our ancestors bound their communities based upon religion – secularists bind society based upon their ‘national identity’, and worship the ‘will of the people’. We as Muslims, reject such modern idolatry – but we should understand that those Muslims still under the spell of nationalism don’t know any better.

I should like to add, that it is not only Pakistan that is the problem, but also every Muslim ‘nation’ that was created as a prison for the minds of the Muslims – expressly to prevent our re-unification. I’ve have long criticised Iraqis, Egyptians, Libyans and Turks for their fanaticisms in worshipping a few lines drawn on a map – by a frenchman and an englishmen. Islamophobes say Muslims today lack an appreciation for art. But I can show you millions of Muslims worshipping, fighting and dying for a rectangular picture, merely for the existence of a few splodges of paint on it!

The British Agent (and political instigator), T.E.Lawrence talks of this when he discusses how to deal with the Arabs (specifically Sherif Hussein – who son became later the king of Iraq) against their Muslim brothers in the Ottoman Caliphate:

His (Sherif Hussein) aim is the establishment of a Caliphate for himself [i.e. to rival the Turks], and independence for people speaking Arabic from their present irritating subjection to people speaking Turkish. His aims are thus in definite opposition to the Pan-Islamic party who are his strong obstacle (…) his activity seems beneficial to us, because it marches with our immediate aims, the break up of the Islamic block and the defeat and disruption of the Ottoman Empire, and because the states he would set up to succeed the Turks would be as harmless to ourselves as Turkey was before she became a tool in German hands. The Arabs are even less stable than the Turks. If properly handled they would remain in a state of political mosaic, a tissue of small jealous principalities, incapable of cohesion…If we can only arrange that his (Sherif Hussein) political change shall be a violent one, we will have abolished the threat of Islam, by dividing it against itself in its very heart
-T. E. Lawrence, January 1916

The struggle for independence has not yet finished. Its time we deposed the Secular oppressors over us, and look towards the re-establishment of Islam with the aim of unifying ourselves, and getting back to the Ummah’s great work – bringing justice, liberation and peace to the world.

My people are not the Portuguese, or the British, or the French, or the Madagascariense – the work of my ancestors means nothing. All that I have to my name, in the eyes of Allah (swt) are what scant good I may have done, and the belief in my heart. Hence I am a Muslim, and part of the Muslim Ummah bequethed to us by the Prophet Muhammed (saaw). The Prophet (saaw) shed his blood to unite the Aws and Khazraj politically under one state, and abolish the former identities they use to kill eachother over. I call out to you my brothers and sisters, to liberate yourselves as Allah (swt) liberated them. Its time for Muslims to free our minds, and reclaim our own destinies.
La Nasr illa billah
Two points to offset the typical counters from Secular Nationalists reading this.

1. Your Islam = Taliban and Mullahs.

No, just because I call to Islam, doesn’t mean I must be connected to those whom the West would like you to think are the exemplars of Islam. its not the Taliban that we should be afraid of, its the Secularist elite that are unafraid to use the Army, and CIA to kill and suppress far more than the Taliban ever could. The Secular governments of Syria, Egypt, Bangladesh and Pakistan has visited upon their own people far more death and destruction, than the ‘Two Students’ movement ever did or could.

2. Islam and ‘your mullahs’ = retrograde and technologically backward state

Really? Please tell that to the Iranians, who even though their state is a mix of various Islamic and non-Islamic systems (which I have criticised heavily), have, under the direction of the ‘Mullahs’, only one of two Muslim countries in the world to have built their own SPACE PROGRAM, and launch their own homemade satellites. How many Muslim SECULAR countries have done the same? Oh, thats right – None. Not a single Secular Muslim country has built a space program, nor has the same level and diversity of self-reliant technology base as Iran has. And all this it achieved DESPITE sanctions! Recently, Iran even offered to help Turkey to develop a space program – which is a distinct possibility, considering Turkey’s government are also, yes, you guessed it, ‘Islamist’.

I also discovered, much to my shock, that Iran was the FIRST TO INVENT weaponised drones (and used them in the West-initiated Iran-Iraq war). And Iran was feted by numerous international scientific agencies and magazines for being the fastest scientifically developing nation in the world!

Looks like ‘Mullahs’ rule = Technological progress and independence.
The other Muslim country with its own space program is Pakistan, but it admittedly did build its first space port with America’s help. Although the second spaceport was built under the ‘Islamist’ General Zia ul Haq – who was a technocrat. But as can be seen, if you want to get real and independent technological progress in the Muslim world, Secular leaders are just too retrograde to be a good choice…they prefer to be consumers for Western tech products (in exchange for payment in natural resources of course).

3. You are an Islamist

No one really knows what the term ‘Islamism’ actually means, in distinction from the term ‘Islam’ – but I am going with this definition
Islamist =

1. Someone who works for real independence for Muslims,
2. Is personally inclined towards Islam being connect to politics (but may be a gradualist),
3. and is someone that the West would use that the label to describe.