The American Kafir

2011/01/31

Understanding the Middle East Crisis: Egypt

Filed under: Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood — - @ 8:45 pm

Source: Family Security Matters

The Middle East is in crisis. Already Lebanon’s stable government has been overthrown by Hezbollah, who are funded by Iran and Syria. Currently, there have been some protests in Lebanon, but so far the nation has failed to fully bring back the “Cedars Revolution” that united the populace in revulsion after Hezbollah (allegedly) assassinated prime minister Rafiq Hariri on February 14, 2005. The map above can be viewed at a higher resolution here.

Two weeks ago, the Tunisian revolution was sparked by a street vendor setting fire to himself. In Algeria four people set fire to themselves, and Egypt other individuals set themselves on fire, hoping to achieve similar results. One such self-immolation in Cairo, Egypt, was caught on camera. A similar action took place in Saudi Arabia and another took place in Morocco, where a Mauritanian was apparently protesting against the situation in his own country in West Africa.

Yemen, whose government has been an ally of America since the3 George W. Bush administration launched its War on Terror, is currently having increased protests, which will be explored in the next article in this series. What is disturbing for the West is that the countries where such potential revolutions are happening are its allies in the Middle East. Egypt receives $2 billion every year from the United States, with $1.3 billion going to military aid.

The worst case scenario is that these countries in flux fall to Islamist regimes. Egypt is one of the few nations in the Middle East to be a real ally. The prospect for Israel – surrounded by predominantly hostile nations – would be untenable if Egypt fell into the clutches of Islamists.

Part One: Egypt in Perspective

Sunday marks the sixth day of the uprising in Egypt. Since Tuesday, when protests started, 74 people have been killed and 2,000 injured, states the UK Sunday Times. Hosni Mubarak, now aged 83, has ruled Egypt for three decades, since the assassination of Anwar Sadat on October 6, 1981. The end of Sadat’s rule came at the hands of Islamists, a murder authorized by Omar Abdel-Rahman of the Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyah group. There is now a serious concern that Mubarak may be supplanted by Islamists, or at least by a coalition of Islamists.

Mohammed ElBaredei was bizarrely awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for his work as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), even though the agency under his leadership had completely failed to prevent Iran from illicitly developing weapons-grade enriched uranium. ElBaradei headed the IAEA from 1997 until November 2009. During this time he turned a blind eye to the efforts of A. Q. Khan to not only develop the Pakistani nuclear weapons program, whose first bomb tests took place on May 28, 1998, but also Khan’s selling of centrifuges and nuclear information to North Korea (which detonated its first nuclear bomb on October 9, 2006) as well as Iran. As discussed earlier, ElBaradei was denying Iran’s intentions to build a nuclear bomb as late as October 2007. He continually downplayed the threat that could be posed by a nuclear-armed rogue state like Iran.

ElBaradei wants to be the leader of the nation, and he came back to Egypt from Vienna, where he now lives, arriving on Thursday January 27. He was placed under house arrest, but continues to condemn Mubarak’s rule. With ElBaradei regarded as the main opposition to Mubarak, his presence in Cairo coincided with a steep rise in the violence. By Thursday, only seven people were reported killed in the unrest which has been taking place in Sinai, and in the cities of Cairo, Suez and Ismailiya. The majority of people killed lost their lives on Friday.

In July during in an interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, ElBaradei admitted that he had spoken with senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood:

ElBaradei: It is true that I have spoken with representatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and that we discussed the struggle against Mubarak.

SPIEGEL: There is talk of a “strategic partnership.”

ElBaradei: I speak with all representatives of the opposition. The Muslim Brotherhood is not allowed to form a party, but their individual candidates take up 20 percent of the seats in parliament. They enjoy respect because they are socially active. They have been portrayed as allies of bin Laden, which is complete nonsense. One doesn’t have to agree with their conservative-religious ideas, but they are a part of our society. They have every right to participate in the development of this society if they pursue their path in a democratic manner, free of violence.

SPIEGEL: But that is exactly what observers have their doubts about. And they believe that the Islamists are using you to get into power.

ElBaradei: That won’t happen. I take the Muslim Brotherhood at their word. Egypt is a country shaped by Islam. I will only avail myself as an agent for democratic change.

Elbaradei is portrayed in the Western media as reasonable and pro-democratic, even though what he is asking for – the forcible removal of a democratically elected leader – is not democratic.  However, it is being reported that an Islamist leader has “said that Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and other opposition groups have charged leading dissident Mohamed ElBaradei with negotiating with Mubarak’s regime.”

There are few individuals who are named as possible successors to Mubarak. The 82-year old president’s son Gamal , a businessman, was being groomed by his father to succeed him, but it is unlikely that the Egyptian people would be happy to see a new hereditary monarchy being established, extending Mubarak’s grip into another generation.

The intelligence chief, 72-year old General Omar Suleiman, was being tipped as a potential successor to Mubarak. He is a close ally of Mubarak. Another potential successor is Ayman Abd el-AzizNour, who is comparatively young, born in 1964. He founded a political party called Al Ghad, or “The Tomorrow Party.”

On Friday, instead of standing down, Mubarak dismissed his cabinet, leaving him in a position of autocratic control and ignoring the feelings of protesters who wish for his removal.

The Sunday Times reports in its print edition that two senior figures in Mubarak’s army have called for him to step down. On Saturday, General Omar Suleiman was sworn in as the country’s vice-president. On Sunday, Bloomberg reported that Ayman Nour has announced that an opposition coalition has been formed, to negotiate with Mubarak. This opposition committee contains Nour himself, Mohamed ElBaradei and, worryingly, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Media reporting of the unrest in Egypt seems to be deliberately downplaying the Islamist element among the demonstrators. The BBC’s reporter Jeremy Bowen calmly spoke about how the demonstrators were merely wanting democracy, while cries of “Allahu Ackbar” could be heard from protesters. Many protesters had been attending mosques on Friday before going into the streets to launch protests.

Early in the morning of Saturday, a group of nine robbers broke into the world-renowned National Museum in Cairo, home of numerous priceless antiquities and treasures. Two mummies were destroyed in the raid. Later on Saturday morning, the army had posted soldiers around the building. The museum is situated next door to the headquarters of the National Democratic Party, of which Mubarak is the vice-president. This building was attacked and set on fire on Friday (pictured).

Zahi Hawass, who is Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, expressed his fears about the NDP building potentially collapsing and toppling onto the museum. The heads of the two damaged mummies had been removed, but it is possible that they could be restored.

Broadcasts into the country from Al Jazeera TV were closed down, and internet and cell phone communications were disrupted. Al Jazeera had been broadcasting round-the-clock reports of Egypt’s unrest from its base in Qatar, and its reports were seen by some as contributing to the climate of revolution.

On Saturday, some foreign tour operators were saying that there was no need for concern for holidaymakers in the country. On Sunday, that situation had changed, and the US Embassy began evacuating families of its staff. Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs advised its nationals not to visit Egypt, as did Australia. El Al has been attempting to airlift an estimated 200 Israeli nationals trapped in the country. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and Jordan have arranged flights to take their nationals out of Egypt. The UK government is advising its nationals not to travel to Egypt unless necessary but has not advised those already in Egypt to leave.

On Thursday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was stating that the government of Egypt was stable. On the same day, Hillary Clinton was urging the Mubarak government to use less harsh methods to deal with protesters and called for reforms:

“These protests underscore that there are deep grievances within Egyptian society, and the Egyptian government must understand that violence will not make these grievances go away. As President Obama said yesterday, reform is absolutely critical to the well-being of Egypt.”

Mubarak said on Thursday that he had asked his government to resign and by Friday there was no official government. Protesters voiced their anger that Mubarak – the target of their frustration – appeared to have done the opposite of what they wanted. On Saturday, General Omar Suleiman was sworn in as the country’s vice-president, with former aviation minister Ahmed Shafiq named as prime minister. The Sunday Times reports in its print edition that two senior figures in Mubarak’s army have called for him to step down. One of these was Omar Suleiman, the newly-appointed vice-president, and the other was former defense minister Field Marshall Mohamed Tantawi. According to an unnamed source, both men had raised with Mubarak the suggestion that he should leave.

On Sunday, the demonstrations appeared to have calmed down. A crowd of people had remained in Tahrir Square in Cairo, to defy the curfew and demand the end of Mubarak’s 29-year rule. Two fighter planes repeatedly swooped low over the crowd, who did not disperse.

On the night of Saturday/Sunday, thousands of prisoners escaped from four jails across the country. One of these jails, situated northwest of Cairo, the capital, housed Islamist inmates.

On the night of Friday, small bands of vigilantes have mounted checkpoints in their regions of the main cities. Mostly shopkeepers, local residents and businessmen armed with primitive weapons, these vigilantes have served to ward off looting. Their presence is tolerated by the army, as the police have abandoned their roles as protectors of neighborhoods.

On Monday morning, crowds are already present in Tahrir Square, defying the curfew. There are plans for a march of a million people tomorrow (Tuesday). There seems to be the formation of a united political will. However, a united political will that brought together secularists, leftists and Islamists managed to overthrow the Shah of Iran at the close of 1978, but brought in the horrors of Khomeinism. It is to be hoped that such a fate will not befall Egypt.

Adrian Morgan

The Editor, Family Security Matters.
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Pharaoh is Dead, Long Live Pharaoh!

Source: NRB

By Phyllis Chesler

The historical ground trembles beneath our feet.

Tunisia has risen (or fallen); and now, Egypt, the historically stabilizing force in the Arab world is on fire, in chaos. Stealthily, almost invisibly, the Muslim Brotherhood is gathering its power in Suez, Alexandria, and Cairo. Wealthy Egyptians have already chartered private planes and flown to safety. President Mubarak has reportedly sent his wife and heir out to London many days ago.

Some wealthy Egyptians refuse to leave. They are personally guarding their gated Cairo homes from looters. I heard such a man’s voice on television last night. It was hoarse with anguish and anger, trembling with fatigue. “This land belongs to the Egyptian people not to Mubarak. This home belongs to me, I own it, I will not flee. I will guard it with my life.”

As I write, the Egyptian police are still fighting the protesters. Armed groups have freed prisoners and jailed Muslim militants. Looting is widespread.

Will Al-Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran’s Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria, Gaza’s Hamas, soon proclaim an Arab Caliphate and further launch World War Four, this time with their hands on the levers of power in five or six states? Will Mubarak actually manage to hold onto power?

At this precise and critical moment, our Presidential Speechifier has still not risen to the task. He is walking a “careful line,” and waiting to see what develops. Well, what else can he really do? Send in the troops? Nah—he campaigned on his opposition to the troops we already have in Iraq and Afghanistan—and, bogged down though we might be, even Obama was forced to understand that America’s other options might be even worse.

Shamefully, Obama did not even stand rhetorically with the demonstrating and bloodied democrats on the streets of Tehran and he is now only tepidly standing with their counterparts on the streets of Cairo. Yes, America has always supported the Arab “Strong Horse,” the brutal dictator whose reign has been justified as a means of ensuring regional stability. Karzai is our man on the ground, as is Mubarak. Secretary of State Clinton has called for “an orderly transition.” She opposes “violence.” The Pentagon has called for “restraint.”

I have no idea what they mean. Do you?

Tyrannical as Mubarak has been, if he goes, the Muslim Brotherhood and possibly Al-Qaeda will zoom to power. And, believe it or not, they will be worse, ever so much worse, both to their own people and to the West.

The barefoot Egyptian protesters, the suffering and impoverished people, are simply not organized ideologically, politically, economically, or militarily. They will have no way of holding their own against such dark and purposeful forces. They have not read Saul Alinsky’s guidebook and have no charismatic and well-connected leader. One wonders whether the Egyptians finally rose up because they saw Tunisians doing so—and successfully—on the internet, on Al-Jazeera.

Is this an era of cellphone revolutions? Will all that bright technology only end up ushering in a new Dark Age?

I dare not mention Israel, or the West, whose fates are intimately entwined with this Cairo uprising. I dare not spell out the possible implications for Israel, the only democracy in the region, of an Islamist take over, not only in Iran and Gaza, but in Lebanon, Syria, and Egypt. If Islamists win the day, what will happen to Israel’s “cold” peace with Egypt, and to Egypt’s American-financed military? Will Iran neatly step in?

Will Saudi Arabia—the funder of Islamism, the fount of religious and gender apartheid—actually turn to Israel and America as allies–to do the heavy lifting for them against Iran?

At this precise and critical moment, the New York Times Magazine has published a very long cover story which both exonerates and congratulates itself on how it handled the Wikileaks revelations. Executive Editor Bill Keller smoothly comes off as his own hero—sage, prudent, responsible, objective, as he depicts Julian Assange as the weirdo, geeky villain—manipulative, bullying, irresponsible, dangerous, certainly no journalist.

The Times portrays itself as the soul of responsible journalism: objective, unbiased, (is he kidding?) virtuous—Hell, Keller’s crafted persona strikes one as God-like. He wants us to know that, unlike Assange, the Paper of Record carefully redacted names and identities so that the blood of pro-American Afghans or Iraqis will certainly not be on the Gray Lady’s hands; Keller also tells us that they checked with the White House (!)  before publishing and that yes, they took some suggestions to heart.

They are the Good Guys.

The scary thing is that if I hadn’t personally, intellectually, seen incredibly high-handed, wildly biased, and highly distorted coverage in their pages, I would believe every word Keller writes. Most of his loyal readers will do just that. Maybe he’ll ever get a Pulitzer Prize for how nobly he handled the Assange material.

One wonders why he feels the need to distance himself from Assange at this point. What else does he know that he’s not telling us?

No need to worry: Assange will Tell All in his own book.

An On-the-Ground Report from Egypt

Filed under: Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood — - @ 7:05 pm
Created Jan 31 2011 – 17:52

An On-the-Ground Report from Egypt
MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images
Egyptian demonstrators gather at Tahrir Square in Cairo on Jan. 31

Editor’s Note: What follows is raw intelligence from a source in Egypt. The accuracy of the report cannot be independently verified. The following does not necessarily reflect STRATFOR’s view but includes interesting insights on the situation in Egypt.

It’s been quieter over the past couple days. Civilians here are setting up checkpoints, checking everyone’s driver’s licenses and identification. Since prisoners do not have identification, the popular committees then tie them up and turn those suspected of being criminals over to the military police. A lot of cars full of weapons stolen from the prison break-ins have been stopped and detained.

We are not seeing many regular police at all. For example, we saw one police car circling our neighborhood and everyone started cheering and welcoming the officers back. Still, where are the rest of the police? Why have they all disappeared at once? The police themselves may be scared. Some police were getting attacked before. Organized groups went to prisons to set the prisoners free but no one knows who they were. They were wearing ski masks; no one could see who they were.

I think people will come out to protest, but it’s not clear how large the demonstrations will be. Tahrir Square could become a disaster tomorrow. If there is a fire or gunshots, there could be a stampede. It could be really dangerous. No trains are coming or going from Cairo, so they can’t bring in people from other cities for the demonstrations. Plus it’s getting really cold here and people are trying to stay indoors.

People haven’t been working for seven days, not getting their daily wages. We want stability now. The stock market lost 70 billion pounds. President Hosni Mubarak will leave anyway in September. Why not just wait until September? We waited 30 years, why not wait nine months? I think there are a lot of people thinking like this.

Those people protesting in Tahrir Square have other intentions. I feel like there is another force driving them — mostly from the Muslim Brotherhood and maybe from Mohamed ElBaradei. They want their political power but it’s coming down more and more to these groups with a political agenda.

Bread prices are not yet increasing. We bought bread today. But the issue is we are only allowed to buy stuff from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Everyone is trying to stock up for a month, not just a week. No one wants to take a chance on a week. So you have 150 people in front of each bakery trying to get as much bread as possible. The bread itself is old because they haven’t been able to produce fresh.

ElBaradei doesn’t have credibility. He’s been living a luxury life out of the country. He is also seen as ineffective on the Iranian nuclear issue when he was International Atomic Energy Agency chief. He doesn’t have real support here.


Source URL: http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110131-ground-report-egypt

Egypt’s Government To Negotiate with Opposition

Filed under: Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood, National Security, Radical Islam, Shari'a Law — Tags: — - @ 6:53 pm
Created Jan 31 2011 – 14:32

Egypt's Government to Negotiate with Opposition
KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images
Egyptian secular opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei addresses demonstrators in Tahrir Square, Cairo, on Jan. 30
Related Special Topic Page

Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman said Jan. 31 that President Hosni Mubarak had ordered him to hold talks with “all political powers” in Egypt. Suleiman also said new elections would be held in districts in which constitutional appeal courts found “violations” had taken place during the November 2010 parliamentary elections.

This would mark the first time Mubarak’s government has offered to negotiate with the opposition and is thus a significant development in the ongoing crisis. These talks likely are only happening at the strong insistence of the Egyptian military, which is increasingly in charge of the political affairs of the country. The Mubarak regime has made a few attempts to placate protesters, most notably by reshuffling the Cabinet. However, in the military’s view, these sorts of gestures will not be enough to facilitate an orderly transition of power, and the military has thus pushed the government to speak with those who claim to speak for the demonstrators.

This is more problematic than it seems, however, because the protesters have as yet been unable to coalesce under one opposition group. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) is the single-largest opposition group, but there is no one group or person that appears to be the vanguard of the unrest. The only person that comes close to that role is Mohamed ElBaradei, the former U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency head turned secular democratic opposition leader. While ElBaradei lacks significant grassroots influence, many both inside and out of the country see him as the informal face of the opposition. Though the MB has rejected the formation of the new Cabinet, it appears to have agreed to ElBaradei being the point person to negotiate on behalf of the opposition, though there is discord within the MB on that as well.

It is still unclear why Mubarak has offered talks in the first place. It is important to note that the opposition, in addition to demanding Mubarak’s resignation and the creation of a neutral interim government before commencing talks, has said it wants to negotiate directly with the Egyptian military. In offering talks, Mubarak could be attempting to prevent this. Indeed, if the offer for talks is sincere, Suleiman’s negotiating experience makes him an obvious choice to represent the regime, having served as a key mediator between Hamas and Fatah and between those two groups and Israel.

However, a second possibility is that Mubarak is attempting to divide and discredit the already-disunited opposition. The pragmatists in the opposition may seek to capitalize on the offer while others, insistent on a neutral caretaker government, refuse, demanding talks with the military. This opens the opposition up to charges that it refused an offer for negotiations, making it appear to be an obstacle in the process.

Regardless of motive, the government’s move to reach out to the opposition may temporarily calm things down. But without a unified opposition, chances are good that no resolution is forthcoming — which could further anger the protesters and lead to more chaos.


Source URL: http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110131-egypts-government-negotiate-opposition

Links:
[1] http://www.stratfor.com/theme/egypt-unrest
[2] http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110131-update-egyptian-crisis
[3] http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110128-mubarak-dismisses-egypts-government

2011/01/30

Egyptian Police Redeploying

Filed under: Egypt, Law Enforcement — Tags: , — - @ 8:05 pm
Created Jan 30 2011 – 17:40 

Egyptian Police Redeploying
AFP/Getty Images
Looters outside Abu Zaabel prison in Cairo on Jan. 30

Summary

Egypt’s internal security forces are reportedly redeploying across the country Jan. 30 after abandoning the streets the previous day in a demonstration, showing what chaos would ensue should they be undermined by the military. As the protests show early signs of dwindling, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, who have negotiated a stay in power so far, are likely betting that the protesters, who thus far have been unable to coalesce into a unified group, will clear the streets under pressure. However, serious potential for clashes remain, especially considering hostilities between the army and the police and between the police and protesters. The coming hours will thus tell whether Mubarak’s bet on the opposition was a wise one.

Analysis

Related Special Topic Page

Egyptian Interior Minister Habib al-Adly reportedly ordered Egyptian police patrols to redeploy across Egypt during a Jan. 30 meeting with the commanders of the Central Security Forces (CSF) in Nasr city east of Cairo.

The decision to redeploy the internal security forces follows a major confrontation that has played out behind the scenes between the Interior Ministry and the military. The animosity between Egypt’s police and soldiers was amplified Jan. 28 when demonstrators overwhelmed the CSF and plainclothes police and the army stepped in to attempt to restore order.

Fearing that he and his forces were being sidelined, al-Adly was rumored to have ordered the police forces to stay home and leave it to the army to deal with the crisis. Meanwhile, multiple STRATFOR sources reported that many of the plainclothes policemen were involved in a number of the jailbreaks, robberies of major banks, and the spread of attacks and break-ins into high-class neighborhoods that occurred Jan. 29. In addition to allowing the police to blow off steam, the implicit message that the Interior Ministry was sending to the army through these actions was that the cost of undermining the internal security forces was a complete breakdown of law and order in the country that would in turn break the regime.

That message was apparently heard, and, according to STRATFOR sources, the Egyptian military and internal security forces have coordinated a crackdown for the hours ahead in an effort to clear the streets of the demonstrators. The interior minister has meanwhile negotiated his stay for the time being, in spite of widespread expectations that he, seen by many Egyptians as the source of police brutality in the country, would be one of the first ministers that would have to be sacked in order to quell the demonstrations. Instead, both Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and al-Adly, the two main targets of ire for the demonstrators, seem to be betting that they can ride this crisis out and remain in power. So far, the military seems to be acquiescing to these decisions.

The real test for the opposition has thus arrived. In spite of a minor reshuffling of the Cabinet and the military reasserting its authority behind the scenes, Mubarak and al-Adly remain in power. The opposition is unified in its hatred against these individuals, yet divided on most everything else. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Islamist platform, for example, is very different from opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei’s secularist campaign, which explains why no one has been able to assume leadership of the demonstrations. In evaluating the situation on the streets, the regime appears willing to take a gamble that the opposition will not cohere into a meaningful threat and that an iron fist will succeed in putting down this uprising.

Within the next few hours, police and military officials are expected to redeploy in large numbers across major cities, with the CSF taking the first line of defense. Tensions are still running high between the internal security forces and the military, which could lead to serious clashes between the army and police on the streets. The size and scope of the protests appear to be dwindling into the low thousands, though there is still potential for the demonstrations to swell again after protesters rest themselves and wake up to the same government they have been trying to remove. Moreover, as the events of Jan. 28 and 29 illustrated, protesters are far more likely to clash with the CSF than with the military.

A deadly clash in front of the Interior Ministry Jan. 29 demonstrated the varying tensions between the protesters on one side and the military versus the police on the other. According to a STRATFOR source, Al-Adly was attempting to escape the Interior Ministry under heavy protective detail Jan. 29 when he came under attack. The CSF reportedly shot dead three protesters attempting to storm the building. Eyewitness reports later came out claiming that the army had to step in and set up a barrier between the protesters and the CSF to contain the crisis.

The demonstrators are still largely carrying with them the perception that the military is their gateway to a post-Mubarak Egypt and the CSF is representative of the regime they are trying to topple. It remains to be seen how much longer that perception of the military holds. A curfew in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez has been extended from 3 p.m. to 8 a.m. local time. In the hours ahead, it will become clearer whether the redeployment of the internal security forces will contribute to improving security and the government’s control or whether their presence will simply further stoke the flames.


Source URL: http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110130-egyptian-police-redeploying

Links:
[1] http://www.stratfor.com/theme/egypt-unrest
[2] http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110129-Egypt-Security-Vacuum
[3] http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110129-internal-security-forces-creating-problems-for-egypts-army
[4] http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110128-breakdown-egypts-military-and-security-forces
[5] http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20110129-the-egyptian-unrest-a-special-report

No safety in Shariah

Source: Washington Times

Political correctness puts women at risk

Editorial by the Washington Times

The barbaric Middle Eastern practice of honor killing has made an appearance on our shores. It happens when men murder members of their own family to avenge purported slights against Islam. For instance, Pakistan-born Muzzammil Hassan allegedly beat and then beheaded his wife Aasiya in Buffalo, N.Y. on Feb. 12, 2009. Six days earlier, Aasiya announced her intention to file for divorce and obtained a restraining order.

In another example, Iraq-born Faleh-Hassan Almaleki allegedly ran down his 20-year-old daughter Noor with his Jeep Cherokee near their Phoenix home on Oct. 20, 2009. Noor was killed and the mother of her boyfriend was injured. Prosecutors say Almaleki was angry at his daughter for refusing an arranged marriage.

These cases bear the signs of honor killings and the men, both Muslims, are currently on trial for murder. If the crimes had been committed in their home countries – where Shariah law forms the foundation for judicial proceedings – the defendants frequently escape serious punishment because witnesses often refuse to testify out of fear.

Texas and Wyoming want to make sure legal concepts based on the Koran don’t gain a foothold in America. Proposed state constitutional amendments would ban the use of Shariah and other forms of international law from the courtroom. On Election Day in November, Oklahomans gave an overwhelming 70 percent approval to a similar amendment to the Sooner State constitution.

While a Shariah ban ought to be a no-brainer, it has generated significant controversy. In November, a federal magistrate sided with the Council of American-Islamic Relations and ordered an injunction that blocked certification of Oklahoma’s amendment. Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange wrote that a Muslim activist would suffer “a stigma attaching to his person, relegating him to an ineffectual position within the political community, and causing him injury” had the amendment been allowed to take effect. In other words, it might hurt someone’s feelings.

It also would have stopped a development taking hold in some European nations where two parallel legal systems have emerged. In the United Kingdom, for example, there are 85 Shariah courts employing imams to adjudicate civil and familial matters. These operate independently of the crown. A 2010 report by One Law for All Campaign titled “Shariah Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights,” says women have the most to lose from the influx of Islamic law. This code lends a woman’s testimony half the weight of a man’s and grants a husband’s petition for divorce more readily than a wife’s. The supposed women’s rights groups are strangely silent when the issue involves the crescent.

It isn’t difficult to imagine the gradual curtailment of other, more essential liberties should Shariah courts be allowed to flourish, for example the lenient treatment for men involved in honor killings of women.

America owes its historic achievements to a founding social contract, the Constitution, which promises to “secure the Blessings of Liberty” for its citizens. Those who would come to these shores and attempt to secrete Shariah into U.S. law will only succeed in diminishing the freedoms of all

2011/01/29

A new Holocaust?

Source: Ynet

Op-ed: Combination of threats may end up leading to mass murder of Israeli Jews
Manfred Gerstenfeld

On January 27th, 66 years ago, the Auschwitz extermination camp was liberated. In many countries, it has become Holocaust Memorial Day. On a day which recalls absolute evil, it is natural to ask questions such as: Will Iran succeed in making an atom bomb and if so, when will it become operational? In light of the many years of threats by its leaders, will Iran use it against Israel? These seem to be the most realistic aspects of a far more diverse discussion of whether once again, there can or will happen a “genocide of Jews” (which is a more adequate expression than “Holocaust.”)

The debate over these topics has already lived on for many decades. One incident concerned the Jews in the Soviet Union. Recently, a conversation between American President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger from 1973 was published. It was revealed that both men did not consider it of any importance for the United States if Jews in the Soviet Union were to be sent to gas chambers. Kissinger has recently apologized for this statement.

At the beginning of this century, the outburst of new anti-Semitism – often cloaked as anti-Israelism – led to a revival of this discussion. In 2002, American columnist Ron Rosenbaum wrote that author Philip Roth had coined the term “The Second Holocaust” in his novel “Operation Shylock” written in 1993. Rosenbaum was of the opinion that sooner or later Arab radicals would hit Tel Aviv with an atom bomb. Writer Leon Wieseltier answered that Hitler was dead and there was no reason to worry.

This debate has lost its theoretical character for several years. The American government informed the Israeli government in August 2010 that Iran will have an atom bomb in another year. Since then, a computer worm in Iran’s nuclear installation has probably led to its delay. In Israel, a discussion is now taking place on when the Iranian bomb will be operational. Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon estimates that this will take approximately three years. Meir Dagan, until recently head of the Mossad, thinks that this will not happen before 2015.

The numerous and murderous threats by Iran’s highest spiritual and political leaders such as the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, his successor Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to destroy Israel, turn it into the main target of such a bomb. It is now clear that other countries are also worried. From documents leaked by WikiLeaks, we learn that Saudi Arabia had asked the United States to bomb Iran. The underlying thought is that Shiite Iran would encounter little risk in using an atom bomb against Sunni countries which can hardly retaliate.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi told US Air Force General T. Michael Moseley in 2007 that the waterways for oil transport from the Middle East would be threatened by an Iranian bomb. He asked the American army to stop Iran’s nuclear program “by all means possible.” The same request was made in 2009 by the King of Bahrain to US General David Petraeus.

Many Iranian leaders have an apocalyptic world view. Former Iranian President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani said in 2002 that “the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam.”

The Pakistani threat

The publicity around the threat of genocide is focused mainly on Iran. Another possible nuclear threat can manifest itself much faster. From documents exposed by WikiLeaks we know that authorities in the United States, Great Britain and Russia are worried that Islamic terrorists could come into possession of Pakistani atom bombs or fissile material.

American Ambassador in Karachi Anne Patterson informed Washington at the beginning of 2009 that it was not probable that an Islamic militant would steal an entire weapon. However, the probability existed that someone in the nuclear installations could slowly smuggle out sufficient material to make a bomb.

Last September, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari warned that the survival of his country was threatened by a combination of extremist forces and giant floods. If Pakistan disintegrates, the threat can suddenly become much larger because one doesn’t know into whose hands the atomic arsenal could end up falling.

Meanwhile, the US has recently begun to take nuclear threats seriously again. Emergency exercises have been planned to inform the public in big cities on how best to protect themselves in case of a nuclear explosion.

All this plays out in a world where uncertainty and vulnerability will surely increase in the coming years. Israel will have to try to protect itself as best as it can against apocalyptic desires for genocide in the Muslim world. However, what is often seen as an Israeli problem is never that exclusively. Many others would do well to realize that the scenario of a new genocide by way of an atomic explosion could develop differently than expected. Such a bomb could be blown up in many different places.

There is however another lethal threat against Israel which is far more complex. It can be the ultimate result of the ongoing de-legitimization of Israel. A large diversity of Jew- and Israel-haters in many countries participates in this demonization, pursuing an almost endless number of strategies. Boycotts, divestment and sanctions are only a limited part of their multiple tools. Such a fragmented threat is typical of a post-modern society. All these are part of the “method of the thousand cuts to delegitimize Israel,” as former Canadian Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler called it.

Once combined, all of this anti-Israel propaganda and related activities could lead to such huge political pressure that Israel would have no choice but to return to indefensible borders – those which Abba Eban once termed “the Auschwitz borders.” If this scenario comes to fruition, it increases the possibility of a – be it delayed – mass murder of Israeli Jews.

Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld has published 19 books, several of which deal with Israel’s international relations

Three Perspectives on Recent Events in Arab World

Source: MEMRI

The media in different Arab countries have taken varying perspectives on the recent events in the Arab world, specifically the ousting of Tunisia’s former leader Ben Ali, the violent demonstrations in other Arab countries, especially in Egypt, Jordan and Yemen, and the overthrow of the Al-Hariri government in Lebanon.

Saudi journalists have held Iran responsible for the events.

The Iranian press has concurred with this interpretation, presenting the developments as a victory of the resistance camp, led by Iran, over the West, led by the U.S., and predicting that other pro-Western Arab regimes will soon go the way of Tunisia’s former regime.

The editor of the London daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, ‘Abd Al-Bari ‘Atwan, who over the years has opposed the West and expressed support for Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, said that the U.S. and Israel were the parties most deeply concerned by the events, for they were the ones bound to suffer the most from the collapse of the pro-Western Arab regimes.

The following are excerpts from articles expressing each of these three perspectives:

The Iranian Position

The Iranian daily Kayhan, which is close Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said that what is happening in the Middle East is both an armed battle and a “soft war” between the resistance, led by Iran, and the regime of arrogance, i.e. the West, led by the U.S, adding that the resistance front is winning in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, and Sudan, just as Iran had triumphed in the nuclear talks in Istanbul. The paper called for removing the defeated forces, who are allies of the West, from the region.[i]

The weekly Sobh-e Sadeq, which is close to the Revolutionary Guard Corps, said that the crisis in Lebanon has regional repercussions that are extremely damaging to the U.S. It added that the Saudi-Syrian initiative had failed because Saudi Arabia’s moves, made on behalf of the U.S., were aimed solely at buying time until the release of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) indictment. According to Sobh-e Sadeq, Walid Jumblatt’s joining the Syria-Hizbullah camp was a turning point that rendered Prime Minister Al-Hariri superfluous. The paper praised Hizbullah for its wise moves, pointing out that contrary to the dire predictions made by Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the U.S., as well as by certain circles and figures in Lebanon such as Samir Geagea, Hizbullah had not turned to violence but had maintained a patriotic stance on the political, media, and security levels. Sobh-e Sadeq assessed that following the Tunisia uprising, the pro-American Arab regimes are bound to collapse one by one, like dominos.[2]

The Saudi Position

The director-general of Al-Arabiya TV and the former editor of the Saudi London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, ‘Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, hinted that Iran instigated unrest in the countries that opposed it: “Some two years ago, Tehran shook with the [rage of] demonstrators who protested against the election fraud and vote stealing [in the June 2009 presidential elections] and presented Ahmadinejad’s rule as illegitimate. Today the ground is shaking in Tunisia, Ramallah, Beirut, Egypt, and Jordan, while other countries are preparing for strife. From a political perspective, the map [of the Arab world] is divided in two, between the Iranian [camp] and the anti-Iranian [camp]. All the recent upheavals have taken place on the anti-Iranian part [of the map]. Tunisia’s Ben Ali fell. The leader of Hizbullah overthrew Sa’d Al-Hariri’s government. [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas’s government was subjected to a brutal smear campaign, and Cairo’s Liberation Square was flooded with ‘Facebook and Twitter [demonstrators]’[3] with a list of demands, wanting to topple the Egyptian regime, along with its government and parliament. In Jordan, the government’s decision to cancel the [planned] price increases did not stop the demonstrators, who presented a long list of demands, from basic livelihood to the severing of ties with the U.S…”[4]

Responding to the appointment of Najib Mikati, the candidate of the Lebanese opposition, to form the new Lebanese government, Saudi liberal columnist ‘Abdallah bin Bjad Al-‘Otaibi wrote that this was the doing of Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, who served as Khamenei’s official representative in Lebanon.[5] A similar position was expressed on January 27 by an analyst in the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah.

The Position of Al-Quds Al-Arabi

The editor of the daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, ‘Abd Al-Bari ‘Atwan, known for his criticism of the moderate Arab regimes, stressed the that the political and economic demonstrations are taking place in countries with ties to the U.S., such as Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen, and assessed that Mubarak, like Tunisia’s Ben Ali, would have to spend the rest of his days in exile. He assessed that these developments are profoundly worrying for Israel and America:

“There is no doubt that the two countries most deeply disturbed by the situation in the Middle East… are the U.S. and Israel. The fire of protest has begun to lick at the edges of the moderate Arab regimes, one after the other, in a way that threatens these dictatorships, known for aligning themselves with America’s foreign policy…

“Three countries are facing profound change that could topple their regimes… namely Egypt, Yemen, and Lebanon. Each of these countries has its own unique importance, and each meets a strategic need of the U.S.: Egypt… provides security for Israel, leads the Arab plans for normalization [with Israel], and combats all forms of political and Islamic extremism that oppose its [regime]. Yemen is considered to be the cornerstone of America’s war on Al-Qaeda and a buffer between [this organization] and the sources and deposits of oil. As for Lebanon, it is considered to be the spearhead of the resistance camp and of Iran’s geopolitical and military aspirations. It should be noted that it is [precisely] in these pro-American [countries] that protesters are holding loud demonstrations, demanding to bring down their current regimes just as the Tunisians ousted their dictatorial regime…

“The U.S. will possibly accept its fate and decide to tolerate the changes brewing in the region, but Israel will find it difficult not to panic – because the state of stability, wellbeing, and arrogant [domination] that it has enjoyed for the past 30 years is now dependent upon [the actions of] the Egyptian protesters. It could be said that its fat years are over and its lean years are about to begin, for it is surrounded [by dangers]: a ‘democratic’ intifada armed with 40,000 missiles and with a martyrdom-seeking leadership [i.e., Hizbullah], a popular revolution with a 7,000-year history [i.e., the protesters in Egypt], a Palestinian Authority that has lost its authority, and a Jordanian government that is on the brink of collapse, if it hasn’t collapsed yet…

“As a matter of fact, Mubarak has only one option: to quietly hand the [reins of government] to the army, just as Farouq, [the last king of Egypt], did… Saudi Arabia will never close its gates to him and will never surrender him to the next Egyptian government, for it does not abide by [international] law. Moreover, Mubarak does not have many years [to live], and I sincerely wish him a long life in whichever country he chooses as his place of exile… I recommend Saudi Arabia, because the weather there is better than in Britain, and because it can provide him with a summer house similar to his favorite summer house in Sharm Al-Sheikh…”[6]

Endnotes:

[1] Kayhan (Iran), January 26, 2011.

[2] Sobh-e Sadeq (Iran), January 24, 2011.

[3] This is a reference to the fact that the demonstrations were organized through Facebook and Twitter.

[4] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), January 27, 2011.

[5] Okaz (Saudi Arabia), January 26, 2011.

[6] Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), January 27, 2011.

The Palestine Papers: Al-Jazeera Has an Agenda

Filed under: Israel, Muslim Brotherhood, Palestine, Radical Islam — Tags: — - @ 6:54 pm

Source: JCPA

View this document on Scribd

The Egyptian Unrest: A Special Report

Filed under: Egypt, Iran, Israel, Muslim Brotherhood, Oppression, Radical Islam — - @ 6:26 pm
Egypt Recap
PETER MACDIARMID/Getty Images
Riot police and protesters clash at the Qasr al-Nil Bridge near Tahrir Square in Cairo on Jan. 28

 

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak remains the lifeblood of the demonstrators, who still number in the tens of thousands in downtown Cairo and in other major cities, albeit on a lesser scale. After being overwhelmed in the Jan. 28 Day of Rage protests, Egypt’s internal security forces — with the anti-riot paramilitaries of the Central Security Forces (CSF) at the forefront — were glaringly absent from the streets Jan. 29. They were replaced with rows of tanks and armored personnel carriers carrying regular army soldiers. Unlike their CSF counterparts, the demonstrators demanding Mubarak’s exit from the political scene largely welcomed the soldiers. Despite Mubarak’s refusal to step down Jan. 28, the public’s positive perception of the military, seen as the only real gateway to a post-Mubarak Egypt, remained. It is unclear how long this perception will hold, especially as Egyptians are growing frustrated with the rising level of insecurity in the country and the army’s limits in patrolling the streets.

There is more to these demonstrations than meets the eye. The media will focus on the concept of reformers staging a revolution in the name of democracy and human rights. These may well have brought numerous demonstrators into the streets, but revolutions, including this one, are made up of many more actors than the liberal voices on Facebook and Twitter.

After three decades of Mubarak rule, a window of opportunity has opened for various political forces — from the moderate to the extreme — that preferred to keep the spotlight on the liberal face of the demonstrations while they maneuver from behind. As the Iranian Revolution of 1979 taught, the ideology and composition of protesters can wind up having very little to do with the political forces that end up in power. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) understands well the concerns the United States, Israel and others share over a political vacuum in Cairo being filled by Islamists. The MB so far is proceeding cautiously, taking care to help sustain the demonstrations by relying on the MB’s well-established social services to provide food and aid to the protesters. It simultaneously is calling for elections that would politically enable the MB. With Egypt in a state of crisis and the armed forces stepping in to manage that crisis, however, elections are nowhere near assured. What is now in question is what groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and others are considering should they fear that their historic opportunity could be slipping.

One thing that has become clear in the past several hours is a trend that STRATFOR has been following for some time in Egypt, namely, the military’s growing clout in the political affairs of the state. Former air force chief and outgoing civil aviation minister Ahmed Shafiq, who worked under Mubarak’s command in the air force (the most privileged military branch in Egypt), has been appointed prime minister and tasked with forming the new government. Outgoing Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman, who has long stood by Mubarak, is now vice president, a spot that has been vacant for the past 30 years. Meanwhile, Defense Minister Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi (who oversees the Republican Guard) and Egypt’s chief of staff of the armed forces, Lt. Gen. Sami Annan — who returned to Cairo Jan. 29 after a week of intense discussions with senior U.S. officials — are likely managing the political process behind the scenes. More political shuffles are expected, and the military appears willing for now to give Mubarak the time to arrange his political exit. Until Mubarak finally does leave, the unrest in the streets is unlikely to subside, raising the question of just how much more delay from Mubarak the armed forces will tolerate.

The important thing to remember is that the Egyptian military, since the founding of the modern republic in 1952, has been the guarantor of regime stability. Over the past several decades, the military has allowed former military commanders to form civilian institutions to take the lead in matters of political governance but never has relinquished its rights to the state.

Now that the political structure of the state is crumbling, the army must directly shoulder the responsibility of security and contain the unrest on the streets. This will not be easy, especially given the historical animosity between the military and the police in Egypt. For now, the demonstrators view the military as an ally, and therefore (whether consciously or not) are facilitating a de facto military takeover of the state. But one misfire in the demonstrations, and a bloodbath in the streets could quickly foil the military’s plans and give way to a scenario that groups like the MB quickly could exploit. Here again, we question the military’s tolerance for Mubarak as long as he is the source fueling the demonstrations.

Considerable strain is building on the only force within the country that stands between order and chaos as radical forces rise. The standing theory is that the military, as the guarantor of the state, will manage the current crisis. But the military is not a monolithic entity. It cannot shake its history, and thus cannot dismiss the threat of a colonel’s coup in this shaky transition.

The current regime is a continuation of the political order, which was established when midranking officers and commanders under the leadership of Gamal Abdel Nasser, a mere colonel in the armed forces, overthrew the British-backed monarchy in 1952. Islamist sympathizers in the junior ranks of the military assassinated his successor, Anwar Sadat, in 1981, an event that led to Mubarak’s presidency.

The history of the modern Egyptian republic haunts Egypt’s generals today. Though long suppressed, an Islamist strand exists amongst the junior ranks of Egypt’s modern military. The Egyptian military is, after all, a subset of the wider society, where there is a significant cross- section that is religiously conservative and/or Islamist. These elements are not politically active, otherwise those at the top would have purged them.

But there remains a deep-seated fear among the military elite that the historic opening could well include a cabal of colonels looking to address a long-subdued grievance against the state, particularly its foreign policy vis-à-vis the United States and Israel. The midranking officers have the benefit of having the most direct interaction — and thus the strongest links — with their military subordinates, unlike the generals who command and observe from a politically dangerous distance. With enough support behind them, midranking officers could see their superiors as one and the same as Mubarak and his regime, and could use the current state of turmoil to steer Egypt’s future.

Signs of such a coup scenario have not yet surfaced. The army is still a disciplined institution with chain of command, and many likely fear the utter chaos that would ensue should the military establishment rupture. Still, those trying to manage the crisis from the top cannot forget that they are presiding over a country with a strong precedent of junior officers leading successful coups. That precedent becomes all the more worrying when the regime itself is in a state of collapse following three decades of iron-fisted rule.

The United States, Israel and others will thus be doing what they can behind the scenes to shape the new order in Cairo, but they face limitations in trying to preserve a regional stability that has existed since 1978. The fate of Egypt lies in the ability of the military to not only manage the streets and the politicians, but also itself.

This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to www.stratfor.com

Security Vacuum in Egypt

Piece one
KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images
Egyptian protesters stand around tanks deployed in Cairo on Jan. 29

 

Tens of thousands of protesters are gathering Jan. 29 demanding the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in defiance of an army curfew in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez. While a number of uncertainties remain over Egypt’s political future, a security crisis is building in the streets.

Egyptian police and Central Security Forces (CSF) have largely abandoned the streets following the Jan. 28 protests. The CSF represents the backbone of the country’s internal security apparatus. Under Mubarak, this force grew to about 325,000, outnumbering the 300,000-strong army (though two-thirds of the army is made up of conscripts and another 375,000 are considered reserves). The CSF, along with the 60,000-strong National Guard, are specially trained and equipped to deal with riots and insurgencies.

STRATFOR sources have reported that the CSF have become severely demoralized after being overwhelmed by the Jan. 28 protest. The local police and CSF are largely staying at home — perhaps encouraged to do so by outgoing Interior Minister Habib Ibrahim El Adly, who was forced to resign Jan. 28 along with the rest of the Cabinet — and allowing the army to handle the situation.

A great deal of animosity exists between the Egyptian army and the CSF, which gets most of its recruits from Upper Egypt where poverty and illiteracy rates are high. A major source of army-police friction stems from the first CSF rebellion in 1986, when the CSF revolted over long working hours and mistreatment by state authorities. The army had to intervene and crush the rebellion, creating a crisis in relations between the police and the military. The second CSF rebellion came in December 2008 during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, when many CSF recruits refused to patrol the Rafah Crossing between Sinai and Gaza and instead wanted to invade Gaza to defend the territory against the Israel Defense Forces.

The events of Jan. 28 appear to have broken the will of the CSF and many within the National Guard, who were at the forefront of the crisis, leaving the General Directorate for State Security Investigations (notorious for its repressive interrogation techniques) as the only institution within the internal security apparatus left intact. No personnel from the internal security forces have been seen on the streets Jan. 29. Significantly, the target of the demonstrators remains the internal security forces, and not the military, as demonstrated by a violent attempt by protesters to storm the Interior Ministry on Jan. 29.

With no police on the streets, crime has skyrocketed. Prison outbreaks have been reported across Cairo, and criminals spent the night robbing and destroying banks and shops in the resulting chaos. Several central bank offices have reportedly been attacked across Egypt over the past several hours. A STRATFOR source in Cairo explained how impromptu neighborhood watch groups have formed, where civilians are standing guard in front of banks, shops, hospitals and even the national museum to try and deter looters.

This security factor could end up affecting the sustainability of the protests, as many people are too afraid to leave their homes and join the demonstrations for fear of being robbed.

Army personnel in tanks and armored personnel carriers are meanwhile patrolling the major areas where demonstrators are gathering, but their primary mission is to demonstrate the presence of state authority, not to protect the people. The military may still be well-positioned to re-impose order at the highest level of the regime and create the conditions for Mubarak’s departure, but given the hostilities that exist between the army and police and the glaring absence of police on the streets, the military faces an even greater challenge in trying to re-impose security in the country overall.

Read more: Security Vacuum in Egypt | STRATFOR

Red Alert: Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood

Filed under: Egypt, Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Radical Islam — - @ 6:14 pm

The following is a report from a STRATFOR source in Hamas. Hamas, which formed in Gaza as an outgrowth of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood (MB), has an interest in exaggerating its role and coordination with the MB in this crisis. The following information has not been confirmed. Nonetheless, there is a great deal of concern building in Israel and the United States in particular over the role of the MB in the demonstrations and whether a political opening will be made for the Islamist organization in Egypt.

Related Special Topic Page

The Egyptian police are no longer patrolling the Rafah border crossing into Gaza. Hamas armed men are entering into Egypt and are closely collaborating with the MB. The MB has fully engaged itself in the demonstrations, and they are unsatisfied with the dismissal of the Cabinet. They are insisting on a new Cabinet that does not include members of the ruling National Democratic Party.

Security forces in plainclothes are engaged in destroying public property in order to give the impression that many protesters represent a public menace. The MB is meanwhile forming people’s committees to protect public property and also to coordinate demonstrators’ activities, including supplying them with food, beverages and first aid.

Read more: Red Alert: Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood | STRATFOR

Egypt Between Dictatorships And Revolutions: A Choice Between Bad and Worse

Filed under: Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood, Oppression, Radical Islam — - @ 6:11 pm

Source: Big Peace

By Nonie Darwish

Egypt’s rebellion has been lingering in the horizon for a very long time. The brutal life of the ordinary Egyptian was waiting for the right moment to explode. But instead of understanding what was surely coming, the 82-year-old Mubarak has wasted every opportunity to transfer power to another administration peacefully. He could have gone down in history as the first Arab leader to conduct a fair election and transfer power peacefully. But he kept ignoring the inevitable and, following the many sad examples in the region, kept re-electing himself for 30 years, grooming his son to take over. Now he will go down in history as just another tyrant in the long line of known and unknown ones in the dysfunctional history of the Muslim world.

Is this just a coincidence or is there something in Muslim culture that perpetuates this vicious cycle? I believe the latter is true. I was born and raised in the generation of the 1952 Nasser Egyptian revolution, which promised freedom, democracy, Arab Nationalism, socialism and self rule. It is the revolution that promised that the era of oppressive colonial rule was over. But what the revolution gave Egypt was more of the same and even worse conditions than the era before it; more poverty, illiteracy, tyrannical dictatorships and a police state.

Westerners often describe the current Egyptian government as secular when in reality it is not. It is true that Mubarak comes from a military background and neither he nor his wife wear Islamic clothes. But no Muslim leader can get away with or even survive one day in office if he is secular in the true sense of the word. It was during Mubarak’s rule in 1991 that Egypt signed the Cairo Declaration for Human Rights stating that Sharia Law supercede any other law. So even though Sharia is not 100% applied in Egypt, it is officially the law of the land. Mubarak, like all Muslim leaders, must appease the Islamists to avoid their wrath. According to Sharia itself, a Muslim head of state must rule by Islamic law and preserve Islam in its original form or he must be removed from office. That law leaves no choice for any Muslim leader. Because of that law Muslim leaders must play a game of appearing Islamic and anti-West while trying to get along with the rest of the world.

I am not optimistic that the current uprising in the Middle East will bring democracy. Many Egyptians believe they can combine democracy with Sharia Islamic law; that is the first unrealistic expectation. 60% of Egyptians want to live under Sharia law but do not understand the ramifications. Many chant “Allahu Akbar” and “Islam is the solution.” But the truth is, Islam is the problem.

Perhaps the most dangerous law in Sharia that stands in the way of democracy is the one that states that “A Muslim head of State can hold office through seizure of power, meaning through force.” That law is the reason every Muslim leader must turn into a despotic tyrant to survive, literally. When a Muslim leader is removed from office by force, we often see the Islamic media and masses accept it and even cheer for the new leader who has just ousted or killed the former leader, who is often called a traitor to the Islamic cause. That was what happened to the Egyptian King Farouk in 1952. Sadat’s assassination followed many fatwas of death against him for having violated his Islamic obligations to make Israel an eternal enemy. He became an apostate in the eyes of the hard-liners and had to be killed or removed from office. This probably sounds incredible to the Western mind, but this is the reality of what Sharia has done and is still doing to the political chaos in the Muslim world.

The choice in Egypt is not between good and bad, it is between bad and worse. The Muslim world lacks the understanding of what is hindering them and lacks the moral and legal foundation for forming a stable democratic political system. They will continue to rise and fall, stumble from one revolution to another and living from one tyrant to another looking for the ideal Islamic state that never was. The 1400 year old Islamic history of tyranny will continue unless Sharia Law is rejected as the basis of the legal and political systems in Muslim countries.

Nonie Darwish is the author “Cruel and usual Punishment” and the President of FormerMuslimsUnited.org.

2011/01/27

Keeping the Heat on Sanford Bishop

Filed under: Corruption, Law Enforcement, Laws, Lies and more Lies, Obama — - @ 8:07 pm

Source: Big Government

By Andrew Breitbart

For weeks now, our readers have asked a consistent question about Pigford — “Can I get a quick, clear explanation about what Pigford is and why it’s important so I can explain this to friends who don’t want to read a 30 page report?”

Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA) has given us an answer.

Here’s the quick pitch — Sanford Bishop is the congressman who admitted he knew about massive fraud in the Pigford settlement that was supposed to help black farmers but when confronted by farmers hurt by the Pigford settlement, he says it’s not his job to do anything about fraud.

Why is Pigford important? Because it’s a perfect example of everything conservatives and libertarians — and, hopefully, honest liberals — hate about government spending programs that cost billions, create fraud and waste, promote vote buying and don’t even solve the problem they set out to fix.

And it’s been covered up and falsely promoted by the media for over a decade now. Repeat after me: The actual black farmers were intentionally hurt more by Pigford.

For 12 years of politicians touting the “social justice” for the black farmer have systematically subverted their justice. The politicians and the lawyers and the “black farmers advocacy groups” have known this very, very well. They are Pigford flim flam artists.

I am committed to getting justice for the bona fide black farmers who faced government sponsored discrimination and land loss. These American heroes were betrayed by the so-called ‘black leadership’ like the Congressional Black Caucus, who sold them out at every opportunity. CBC member Sanford Bishop is a perfect example of the back stabbing that these men have faced.

We’ve issued reports, we’ve posted video interviews and now we’re drawing a line in the sand. Sanford Bishop is a symbol of the Congressional Black Caucus member who has sold out his constituency, both black and white. We’re talking bold action against Bishop and we’d like your help.

We want to inform the people who are most aggrieved by the Pigford scam and by Sanford Bishop. We’ve produced this 30 second campaign-style ad as a way to shed more heat and light on what Bishop has been getting away with in southwestern Georgia for nearly two decades.

And we want to start airing this video on television in Sanford Bishop’s home district in Georgia later this week

We think that by focusing on the easy to understand problem of Sanford Bishop, we can generate interest in the wider story of Pigford. If you support this move, please us know in comments.

In the meantime, please share this video. Put it on your blog, send it to your friends, tweet, like and buzz it. This isn’t about just one congressman in just on district, but that’s where it can start.

Click Here For Complete PIGFORD Coverage At Big Government

Murdering Our Children What the Progressives Like to Call Abortion -Grand Jury Womens Medical Philadelphia, PA

Filed under: Abortion — Tags: , , , — - @ 7:53 pm

Shocking Photos Of Gosnell Murder Victims Included in Grand Jury Report

Note: Warning! Extremely graphic and disturbing. All photos are from the Grand Jury Report released by Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams.

View this document on Scribd

2011/01/04

Nick Clegg is clueless when it comes to fighting terrorism

Filed under: Jihad, Law Enforcement, Laws, Radical Islam, Stealth Jihad, UK — Tags: — - @ 2:15 pm

By Con Coughlin

The threat from terrorists is real and present (Photo: Getty)

With every day that passes Nick Clegg gives us yet further proof of why he is totally unsuited for high office.  As the country’s deputy prime minister, he will have been made fully aware, from the regular briefings he receives from our intelligence and security services, of the very real threat this country faces from Islamist terrorism.

Indeed, it was only through the skill and diligence of dedicated security officers that a major terrorist attack was narrowly averted over the Christmas holiday. The targets apparently included Parliament itself, which you might have thought would have driven home even to pacifist-minded politicians like Mr Clegg the very real and present danger we all face from this pernicious threat.

But in his desperation to pander to the anti-war-at-any-cost instincts of his dwindling band of Lib Dem supporters, Mr Clegg chooses to ignore the obvious and instead is campaigning to replace the control orders that are currently used to restrict the activities of Islamist extremists who do not have our best interests at heart.

Read it all at the Telegraph

Nigeria: Bomb Explosions – Jonathan Appoints Adviser On Terrorism

President Goodluck Jonathan will appoint an Adviser on Terrorism within the next one week while public and private establishments are to be ringed with close circuit television (CCTV) in response to the spate of explosions that have rocked parts of the country.

Other decisions reached at the emergency security meeting Monday are that Jonathan would work with the National Assembly to ensure the speedy passage of the anti-terrorism bill and that the police should embark on an inspection of all armouries licensed by it and to regulate how materials are imported and used in Nigeria.

Committees to be set up by the Federal Government include the Presidential Committee on the control of explosives and other incendiary materials as well as one for enlightenment on general security awareness among citizens.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Ima Niboro, who addressed the State House correspondents, said the National Security Adviser to the President, General Owoye Azazi, the Chief of Defence Staff, Air ChiefMarshall Oluseyi Petirin, Director General of SSS, Ekpenyong Etta, and Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador E. Oladeji.

Others are the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Azubuike ihejirika; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibrahim, Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Umar Dikko

and the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim. The Chief of Staff to the President Mr. Mike Oghadiome was also in attendance.

“Mr. President in the next one week is to appoint a Special Adviser on Terrorism,” he said. “Mr President is to work with the National Assembly to ensure the

speedy passage of the Anti-Terrorism Bill while certain Committees are to be set up.

“The Committees are a Presidential Committee on the control of explosive and other incendiary materials and a committee on public enlightenment on general

security awareness amongst citizens. Government is to introduce Close Circuit televisions (CCTVs) in public place for access control, Niboro said.

Other measures are the introduction of regulations for access control for private and public establishments while the Police have been directed to promptly arrest and prosecute political thugs as the build up to the general elections gather steam.

The meeting was sequel to the series of bomb blasts in some parts of the country which has struck fear into people and a measure to review the security situations and take far-reaching steps towards securing lives and properties in the country.

Source: allAfrica.com

Copts nervous after Egypt church attack

Filed under: Christianity, Egypt, Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood, Oppression, Radical Islam — Tags: , — - @ 1:49 pm

Egypt terrorism expert: Church bombing evidence points to Qaeda in Iraq

A noted Egyptian expert on terrorism tells Ahram Online the evidence indicates that random Al-Qaeda entities crossing over from Iraq to Arab North Africa are the most likely culprits in the Alexandria church bombing

By Ahmed Eleiba , Tuesday 4 Jan 2011

Following mixed reports on the possible source of the church attack in Alexandria on New Year’s eve, Major General Mohamed Megahed, an Egyptian expert on international terrorism and deputy director of the National Center for Middle East Studies, said that the available information indicates a strong possibility that foreign entities are involved in the church attacks, just as President Hosni Mubarak had pointed out in his speech on Saturday.

In an an interview with Ahram Online, Megahed said that although the available information still needs further verification and confirmation, the Ministry of Interior is currently looking for 15 suspected foreign elements that are believed to have entered Egypt through its eastern borders from Iraq en route to the Maghreb countries. Megahed added that investigations reveal the presence of random elements related to Al-Qaeda.

Maj. Gen. Megahed said that the attackers are believed to have been of North and sub-Sahran African origin, who have been receiving training in Iraq, under Al-Qaeda’s Iraq faction. He noted that the Al-Qaeda faction in Iraq had previously made clear through its website, Shemoukh Al-Islam, or ‘Glory of Islam’, that they will be targeting the Two Saints Church and several other Egyptian churches. The declaration was also supported by other factions in the Maghreb countries. He insisted however that there were no Al-Qaeda branches, nor any of its dormant cells, operating inside Egypt.

Read it all here