Category Archives: Egypt

Tahrir Anniversary: Counterrevolutionary Revolutionaries or Revolutionary Counterrevolutionaries?……..

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The fifth anniversary of the start of the Egyptian uprising of 2011 is on January 25. Many Egyptians want to commemorate it, the military regime of Al Sisi is set against it. I read a few tweets from Cairo that clarify the maze of political group-think among certain Egyptian elites.  One of them tweeted, others also expressed similar opinions:

I am a proud supporter of the ‘revolution of January 25 and of the ‘revolution’ of June 30,  2012…….

January 25 mass protests at Tahrir Square led to the overthrow of dictator Hosni Mubarak. June 30 protests were largely financed and engineered by Saudi-UAE and called for the July 3 military coup that returned the military regime of Mubarak to power. Under General Al Sisi (he was promoted to field marshal, promoted by himself).

It is becoming hard to distinguish between revolutionaries and  counterrevolutionaries in the Arab world, especially in the maze of Egyptian non-politics. Shows you the state of the so-calledِ Arab Spring……….

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
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Anniversary of an Illusion: Arab Revolutions Going All the Way……..

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Revolution: a single complete turn (as of a wheel) <The earth makes one revolution on its axis in 24 hours.> 4 : a sudden, extreme, or complete change (as in manner of living or working) 5 : the overthrow of a ruler or government by violent action.” Merriam-Webster

We are living the anniversary of what used to be called the Arab Spring, or Arab Uprisings, or Arab Revolutions. All misnomers.
Now we (most of us) know that there was no Arab Spring. But this is an old story: we all know what happened and why, but I’ll go ahead anyway.
From the beginning, the cards were stacked against their success. Local military and bureaucratic forces as well as Persian Gulf Arab oil money conspired from the outset to make them fail. Some of the early revolutionaries in places like Egypt and Syria sold out to Saudi, Qatari, and Emirati money.
The rest failed to heed the simple lessons of history:

  • When the American colonists rose against the British monarchy in 1776, they overturned all the institutions of the old state and created their own.
  • When the people of France rose and overthrew the ancien regime in 1789, they had one way to make sure it does not come back. The French revolutionaries managed to talk themselves into overthrowing all the institutions of state, destroyed them and replaced them with new ones.
  • When the Bolsheviks (Communists) rose against the Tsarist feudal regime in Russia, they made sure of the success of the revolution by replacing all institutions of state.
  • The same occurred in China in 1949, in Cuba in 1959, and in Iran in 1979.

Fast forward to the so-called Arab Spring. The Arab uprisings of 2011 failed, all of them, because they did not learn the lessons of the earlier revolutions. A revolution cannot succeed by allying itself with the old institutions of the old regime. Or by relying on repressive foreign regimes for support. The Egyptian “revolutionaries” started their uprising by praising the army of Hosni Mubarak and then by allying with it. They ended up supporting a military coup staged by the same army and financed by repressive Persian Gulf tribal ruling families. The Syrian uprising was quickly bought off by the Saudi princes and Qatari potentates, withe the Turks opening their doors for Jihadists from around the globe to get into Syria (and Iraq). Yemen fell apart, as did Syria and Libya and Tunisia. Bahrain was occupied by Saudi army and security forces, with a British military being established now.

The lesson? If you go revolutionary, go revolutionary all the way. Overthrow the old system, and rebuild a new state with new institutions an new people. Never fear to go all the way. Half-baked revolutions always fail, by definition (my definition).

Of course, the results of a revolution may not turn out as its supporters wish, but…………

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum
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Egyptian Trauma: from Nile Pigs to Muslim Brothers to Armed Wahhabis of Sinai……….

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Six years ago, the Egyptian military and security forces, led by Hosni Mubarak, waged and won a vicious civil war against all 4-legged Egyptian pigs. Their goal was to eradicate the Nile swine because they thought pork caused the Swine Flu (H1N1) of 2009. And probably to give the Coptic Christians of Egypt another economic and moral black eye. I am not sure if they won that war completely: not one general was promoted to Field Marshal for it as far as I know.
Two years ago, Generalissimo (now self-promoted Field Marshal) Abdel Fattah Bin Rommel Al Sisi waged war and won against the elected Muslim Brotherhood ( MB ) regime in Cairo. During and after the military coup, several thousand civilian were killed, and tens of thousands were thrown in prison. Some simply vanished.

Why can’t these extremely well-armed security and military forces seem to win a war against the Wahhabi terrorists running amok in Sinai? Could it be because the latter, unlike the Nile pigs and the MB are well-armed, while the Muslim Brothers and the Pigs were largely unarmed? Could it be because the Sinai cutthroats fight back and many of them are more dedicated? Like the Israelis in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973? It could, it could.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum

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War on Yemen: Assault by Rich Arab Princes and Poor African Rapists……

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Yemen has been under severe assault for almost eight months now. From the air, warplanes of Arab princes, the best machinery of war that the West can sell, are raining death and destruction on the poorest of Arabs. Now the princes have also bought or rented thousands of African/Arab mercenaries to do the ground fighting for them. Apparently too many casualties among the Gulf coalition soldiers (Saudi, UAE) in Aden have raised ‘concern’ among the peoples of these two countries.

The Saudis have already handed parts of Aden in Southern Yemen to mercenary Sudanese soldiers. These soldiers have been rented from the wanted international criminal Omar Al-Bashir, military dictator of Sudan for almost 27 years. Al-Bashir was convicted by the International Criminal Court years ago, but he keeps traveling at will across the Arab world. He met the Saudi king in recent days. His army excels in and is famous for rape and murder of unarmed civilians. Now he is being paid by the Saudi princes so that his army of rapists and killers can help control the city of Aden. These Sudanese soldiers are now technically allies of American and British forces that are involved over Yemen.
Arab media report that more Sudanese soldiers, a third wave, are heading to Aden. Saudi daily al-Hayat (owned by Prince Khalid Bin Sultan) quotes a senior adviser to the deposed Yemeni president General Hadi that mercenary Egyptian soldiers hired out from Al Sisi are also on their way.

I have some doubts about the veracity claim of this Egyptian role. Unless the price was raised to an offer that the ruling military could not refuse.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Muslim Wars: Shaikh of Al Azhar Starts Ramadan with a Sectarian Message………

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With the advent of the month of Ramadan, Muslims are waging wars on each other. Saudis and their hired allies are bombing Yemen into rubble. Syrians and Libyans and Yemenis are killing each other. Egyptian kangaroo military courts are handing out unprecedented numbers of death sentences to political critics of the military regime. Sinai and parts of the Nile valley are becoming uncontrollable terrorist hubs. Wahhabi terrorists are busy committing massacres and reinstating (female) slavery in Iraq and Syria. And now the Mubarak-appointed Shaikh of Al Azhar (he now calls himself the Grand Imam but there is nothing Grand about him) has jumped again into the sectarian fray.

Shaikh Ahmad Al Tayeb, a former functionary of Hosni Mubarak’s Nationalist Party, opened Ramadan by warning of a “feverish” campaign to convert young Egyptians away from the Sunni sect to Shi’ism. The shaikh, apparently insecure about his own faith, has warned of an “organized” campaign of conversion that uses education, science, and media. He claimed that there are evil and sneaky attempts to destabilize Egypt through the conversion of its the youth. He warned that “they”, WTF they are, would sneak upon “us” through the Egyptian affection toward the family and descendents of the Prophet and use that to gradually convert people into Shi’ism.

Yes, “they” might be sneaky, and this Ahmad Al Tayeb is probably the most insecure and the silliest Shaikh in the history of the once venerable Al Azhar……….

King Abdullah Earns a Doctorate from Al Sisi University, Morsi Moves from Elba to Saint Helena………
Grand Ayatollah of Al Azhar Gets His Just Reward on the Gulf………
Marine Le Pen Meets Egyptian Islamic Hypocrisy at Al Azhar: J’Accuse au Caire……
Islamic Outer Space: Al Azhar Tackles a Communist Jewish Shi’a Magi Conspiracy……

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Islamic Outer Space: Al Azhar Tackles a Communist Jewish Shi’a Magi Conspiracy……..

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“Al Azhar has republished the book titled Broad Outlines of the Shi’a Religion. The first edition of the book was issued more than 60 years ago. In the introduction Dr. Mohammed Amara stresses that the Shi’as are not a (Muslim) sect but a religion. That the followers of that Shi’a religion allied with the Crusaders and Holagu (the Mongol) and American Imperialism and Zionist Christianity against Muslims……… The book compares Shiism and Communism and how the Shi’as have distorted the unchangeable history……. The book also details the history of the relationship between the Magis (he calls Zoroastrians ‘Magis’ but some extreme Wahhabis also use it for Shi’as) (Shi’as) and Jews and Communism…………..”

It reads almost like the fake Tsarist Okhrana-produced Protocols of the Elders of Zion (it would be Elders of Shi’as here). Many Salafis and their ilk as well as quite a few Arab quasi-liberals seriously believe in it. Most of them, especially some Al Azhar shaikhs, need to read some world history, especially the chronology of events.
Egyptian regime clerics are now much more outspoken about the sectarian divide than most other Sunni or Wahhabi clerics. They are now more extremely sectarian than even the Wahhabi clerics in Saudi Arabia. ‘More royal the the king‘ and his men, as the saying goes. The leadership of Saudi clergy are relatively more soft-spoken than many Egyptian clerics on this issue nowadays. At least publicly.

The Egyptians were supposedly allegedly once among the most tolerant of Muslims, but not anymore. Now many of them are deep into religious quasi-Nazi doctrine. It goes beyond the traditional wild groups like ISIS and Al Nusra and Army of Islamic Conquest and other militia cutthroats of all Muslim sects. Is it any wonder some Iraqis, especially Sunni Kurds, are reported in some Western media to be converting back to Zoroastrianism, to become Magi or Majus?
Years ago we used to joke on the shores of my Gulf that the USA and the Russians (Soviets) were exploring outer space for the sole purpose of leaving this Earth behind, abandoning it for us Muslims. That they just wanted to “get out of Dodge“, get away from us and our silliness and stupidity. Oh but it is a worthy cause………

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Humor and Aguafiesta Violence in History: from Early Islam to Trotsky in Mexico to Sisi……..

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“In Egypt, the attorney general for Bani Suwaif has ordered a high school Coptic student to be held for 15 days pending investigation. The teenager is accused of making anti-Islamic and anti-Muslim comments on Facebook and other Internet media in a foreign language. In addition, security sources have divulged that the Coptic church and ‘security authorities’ have agreed to expel a Christian family of four from their village of Miyana in Ehnasia district. This came after Muslims accused the teenage son of the family of publishing comments harmful to Islam on Facebook. Sources added that a settlement meeting was held between the Church, high security officers, and some village Muslim families. As a result the Priest Butros G presented an official apology of the Coptic church for the insult published by the teenager against Islam and Muslims. The Coptic family had already abandoned its home and left their village since May 14………..”

This was a brief of the report from Egyptian media. Egypt used to be quite a cosmopolitan and tolerant country. All this started to change after the death of Nasser in 1970. Under Anwar Sadat, Islamist influence started to grow. Under Hosni Mubarak, Islamists grew stronger, Wahhabism started to creep into religious, political, and social conversation. Under Morsi, the first elected leader of Egypt, sectarian and confessional conflict broke out into the open. Salafis  were emboldened. Christians were attacked, Shi’as were lynched.

Under Al Sisi, Egypt is even more divided than ever. There is a mini-civil war in the country where both sides, Islamists and the military rulers, are ruthless: no quarter given and none expected. Parts of northern Sinai are almost attached to the Caliphate of ISIS rather than to Cairo. Other parts look like the hangout of the Hole in the Wall Gang. In villages from the Nile Delta to Upper Egypt (Al Saeed) there is a slow movement of religious displacement and confessional concentration. Egypt’s Copts are almost as grim these days as Egypt’s Islamists.

The once famous Egyptian sense of humor is moving dangerously close to that of Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, and Israel. Which means it is at the dangerous level of near extinction, what I would call pre-war or pre-civil war levels of humor. Germans, for example, lost any meager sense of humor they had quickly after 1933, not that they had much before that, not that they have much now. Attila and von Bismarck never laughed and seriously frowned upon humor. The Russians lost the remnant of their sense of humor right after Trotsky was expelled, and we all know why. Mexico, another place with a mostly humorless tradition, proved a fatal exile for Trotsky. The Russians still have to regain it.

Even the early Muslims, they come across as angry zealots. Which by definition they should have been. I believe the Prophet was almost the only one with any sense of humor among them. The rest, the Sahaba and later converts, come across as grim aguafiestas, which they mostly were. That state of grimness lasted until the Abbasids discovered the joys of humor, after the death of their founder Abul Abbas the Butcher.

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Marine Le Pen Meets Egyptian Islamic Hypocrisy at Al Azhar: J’Accuse au Caire……..

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“French far-right leader Marine Le Pen held talks in Egypt with Al-Azhar that broached the top Sunni Muslim body’s “serious concerns” over her party’s stance on Islam, it said. National Front president Le Pen met late Thursday with Ahmed al-Tayeb, grand imam of Al-Azhar, at its Cairo headquarters during which he questioned her organisation’s “hostile opinions towards Islam and Muslims”, an Al-Azhar statement said. Tayeb added that the National Front’s “opinions must be reviewed and corrected”. The National Front, which had a strong showing in local elections in March, has campaigned on politically explosive issues of immigration and the integration of Islam into French society after the Paris Islamist attacks……………..”

“For decades, Egyptian regimes have robbed the Shiite Muslim minority of their right to practice their religion freely and publicly. Egyptian Shiites have been subject to persecution, detention and imprisonment. On May 18, the prosecution accused Shiite leader Al-Taher al-Hashimy of attempting to spread Shiism, disturbing social peace and conducting covert activities………..  On May 12, a physician was sentenced to six months in prison for practicing Shiism, according to a statement released by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). He was found guilty of blasphemy, attempting to cause sectarian strife, as well as threatening national security by attempting to spread Shiite ideology…………..”

J’accuse au Caire……….

Interesting to see the self righteous shaikh (now Imam) of Al-Azhar exuding hypocritic piety. From the picture of the meeting (above) it is easy to spot the more honest and more intelligent person at that meeting: she is wearing high-heels, not a turban.

So who do you think has more freedom, Muslims of France or Muslims of Egypt (especially Shi’a Muslims)? And where do Muslims have more freedom of religion especially: in France or in Egypt?
No, let me rephrase this: who has no freedom to worship at all, Muslims of France or Shi’a Muslims of Egypt?
Let me rephrase it again: who is more hypocritical and repressive, the government and religious establishment in Egypt or the French far right like Front National?
Let me phrase it differently: which country is more repressive of other sects and religions, including other Muslims: Egypt or Israel?

In which city is a taxi driver very likely to tell you to get out of his car if you tell him you’re a Shi’a: in Cairo or in Tel Aviv?

This is not to deny the existence of Islamophobia and bigotry in Europe. But why ignore and deny the worse cases of inter-Islamic bigotry and repression of religious freedom at home?
Now try to be honest about your answers, if you can………….

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Moses Without GPS: a Jew in Cairo………

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“An Egyptian journalist conducted an experiment in which he dressed up as a Jew and asked passersby on the streets of Cairo for directions to a nearby synagogue – with nearly serious consequences for his physical safety. The Cairo-based Internet news site DOTMSR sent the journalist to the streets of Cairo dressed in overtly Hassidic garb – sidecurls, skullcap, beard, and a hat. The “Jewish” journalist was then subjected to threats of violence, epithets, slurs, and shoving from hostile locals. In one scene of the video, the journalist shows an Egyptian a note with Hebrew writing on it. When asked if he is an Israeli journalist, he responds in the affirmative, prompting the Egyptian to hurriedly walk away without responding to his request for directions…………”

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Al Azhar and the Academic Laws of Physics: Sharia Rules on Human Gases………

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They are mocking Islam and the Sharia. No, not the usual European bigots and the usual suspects among extremist American Islamophobic pop-intellectuals. This is a report on once-respected institution turned nearly ridiculous. Al Azhar, established almost a thousand years ago by the Fatimid Dynasty in Cairo.

Egyptian media are very obedient and respectful toward the regime and all its institutions these days, but other Arab media report an interesting alleged new development. The staid and usually respectable Al-Azhar has awarded a doctorate degree to a Shaikh F.S. (?) in Sharia and the Law. He received an overall A for his thesis which dealt with what he called “benign gases” that are emitted by humans (and other animals), also popularly known “fart”, or ضراط in Arabic (no insult intended to the Arab League and its meetings). His thesis dealt with these gases from a theological point of view. He argued that there are certain rules in the Shari’a that specify carefully the smells of the gases that would nullify the pre-prayer ablutions, as well as the number of seconds that the “fart” lasts in which case it is considered nullifying for pre-prayer ablutions.

Shaikh F.S. (you figure the name out) specified the smells (of emitted human gases) that would nullify pre-prayer ablutions as follows: farts that have the flavor/smell of eggs, onions, Pastrami, or cabbage. Every other emitted gas is considered benign gas, unless the emission lasts more than 4 seconds and the sound it makes is higher/louder than 30 decibels.

I thought you might want to know. That the once venerable Al Azhar is trying to keep up, encouraging the use of the laws of physics into the Sharia………..

If all this is in fact true…………

Cheers
Mohammed Haider Ghuloum                          Follow ArabiaDeserta on Twitter
m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com