Sunday, January 28, 2007

What Really Happened?

I am not sure how many of my English speaking readers now know what I was referring to in my previous post A Post for Arabic Speakers Only. Frankly speaking, I was so angry when I read the results of the poll and I usually run to my blog whenever blood rushes through my veins. This blog is a way for me to voice my opinions as well as vent off my emotions.

I don't know why I chose to address my Arabic speaking readers. Probably I felt "enough brandishing our dirty laundry."

Anyway, since I'm now much more calmer, let's discuss the issue in depth.

Christians in Egypt have long complained about a Muslim religious figure called Mohammed Imara. Imara who is a doctor of Islamic jurisprudence and a frequent contributor in our official media has often indirectly or directly attacked the Christians faith in his writings. Despite the concerns raised by Christians, his religious article appears every week in Egypt second largest daily newspaper. In addition, Imara enjoys considerable support from Egypt's official religious institution.

The row started after Imara published a book about how Muslim sects should not fight with each other. In the book he quoted an old religious scholar who called anyone who doesn't believe in the Prophet Mohammed as kafir or infidel and whose life and properties should not be spared. The book was like the last straw that broke the camel's back. A Christian lawyer joined a prominent priest in filing a legal complaint against Imara whom they accused of "calling Copts as infidels" and "inciting murder against them".

Mohammed Imara issued a statement saying that he trusted the old scholar too much to the extend of quoting him without paying attention to what he was putting in the book. "I never called for the killing of non-Muslims," Imara said. The book was then removed from the market.

This is what happened in brief. 

Now, what led to this internet poll results? Do such a large percentage of Muslims want non-Muslims dead?

Before answering the above two questions it is important to remember one thing: Islam does NOT call for the killing of non-Muslims. It is simply not there. In fact, you would find several verses in the Quran or Hadith (sayings and deeds of the Prophet Mohamed) urging goods deeds towards non-Muslims especially Christians and Jews. If Islam ordered the killing of non-Muslims, then I presume the Christian population of Egypt would have vanished a long time ago. However, one thing you would find is the fact that in traditional old Islamic law, Muslims and non-Muslims are not treated equally in a state or country. This is something that should be changed whenever religious reformation comes knocking on the door of the Muslim world.

So what made 56.6% of those who participated in the poll agree with Mohamed Imara? I have two possible reasons.

One. Many concentrated on the first part of the statement that came up in the book: that non-Muslims are kufar or infidels. Many Muslims do believe Christians are Kufar or infidels simply because they don't believe in the prophet-hood of Mohammed. Likewise, many Christians do believe Muslims are Kufar or infidels because they don't believe in the atonement of Christ. I visited several Muslim websites discussing this issue and I read this one common statement: we believe Christians are kufar because they don't believe in Mohammed yet we don't call for their killing, this is against Islam. So I believe many people just focused on this issue.

Two. Relations between Muslims and Christians in Egypt are getting worse everyday. Tension and second guessing are what define this relationship these days. While some degree of harmony does exist between the two communities, things are definitely not the same as they were 40 or 50 years ago. This might have led a number of voters to agree with Imara as a way to merely oppose the Christians and do something which is against their wish.

When will Egypt return back as it was? This country once appointed a Jewish finance minister in the 30s at a time when Jews were marked with a yellow star in Germany and blacks were kicked out of whites only restaurants in the US. My guess is that if we can return back to where we were 50 years ago. However, that won't be anytime soon though. We have to pass through every stage medieval Europe passed through.

  Posted by BP at 10:25 pm Comments (17)
Friday, January 26, 2007

FDR confers with Middle East Chiefs

I just found this 1945 news telecast about FDR's meeting with Egypt's King Farouk and King Ibn Saud of Saudi aboard a US destroyer in the Suez channel. Then the telecast shows interviews with US soldiers who were liberated from Japanese prison camps. Watch the clip, pretty interesting stuff.   

  Posted by BP at 10:17 pm Comments (17)

A Post for Arabic Speakers Only

Apologies to my readers who don't understand Arabic. I won't be translating this internet poll into English. The results are so terrible, so disgusting, and I decided to keep it an in-house affair.

The following poll appeared on the website of Al Fajr, the popular weekly paper.

وصف الدكتور محمد عمارة غير المسلمين بانهم ملحدون وكفره واباح دمهم وحياتهم فمارايك؟

 

اوافق علي راية
لا اوافق
لا تعليق

and the results were as follows:

اوافق علي راية  2816  صوت
 
56.5%
لا اوافق  1893  صوت
 
38.0%
لا تعليق  269  صوت
 
5.40%
اجمالى الاصوات 4978

Any comments?

  Posted by BP at 9:48 am Comments (77)

Dear Tom Friedman,

In your last column you asked the following:

I can logically understand the lack of protest when Muslims kill Americans in Iraq. We’re seen as occupiers by many. But I can’t understand how the mass slaughter of 70 Baghdad college students last week by Sunni suicide bombers or the blowing up of a Shiite mosque on the first day of Ramadan in 2005 evoke so little response. Every day it’s 100 more.

I answered your questions before in multiple posts on this blog. The answer is simply as follows: the killer was not an American nor an Israeli. Instead the killer was a fellow Muslim. And once the mass murderer is a fellow Muslim, Al Jazeera and the Arab/Muslim world do not give a rat's ass. Once the Arab/Muslim world gives a rat's ass about their own dead regardless of the killer, I'll say that the Arab/Muslim world have stepped the first step towards modernity.

In the meantime I tend to use this nice toilet paper roll. I advice you to try it. So smooth and comfortable.

  Posted by BP at 9:32 am Comments (39)
Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Thugs and Vagabonds Paralyzing Lebanon

(Scroll down for updates) 

A strike means to stay at home and not go to work. If you are calling for a strike, your followers have to stay at home and not report to work unless their demands are met. This is the known definition of a strike. It does not mean to block roads and terrorize those who chose not to follow the strike.

Photo

This is exactly what the thugs of Hezbollah are doing to poor little Lebanon. They blocked roads, burned tires, and terrorized the people today. If Hezbollah was so sure the vast majority of Lebanese would heed their strike call, why did its thugs and vagabonds block roads today?? Why block roads if people are supposed to stay at home?!!

Hezbollah's actions today show that they are on the weaker side. They know they are on the weaker side. Only the weak and those who have no self confidence react in such dirty manners.

May God be with Lebanon today and keep Fouad Saniora standing.

Update: Al Arabiya is reporting that Hezbollah and its allies will halt the violent protest. So far three Lebanese were shot and killed during the Hezbollah led riots and many were injured. It seems that Hezbollah saw the mess it created in Lebanon and the downward spiral it's going through and so decided to halt the violence especially after the thuggery that its followers exhibited today.

  Posted by BP at 2:27 pm Comments (9)

Former Hizbullah Sec-Gen:Hizbullah is an Integral Part of Iranian Intelligence

A very interesting interview with the former Hizbullah Sec-Gen.

Question: "Does this mean that Hizbullah does not make its own decisions, and that its orders come from outside [Lebanon]?"

Al-Tufeili: "Yes, Hizbullah is a tool, and it is an integral part of the Iranian intelligence apparatus. Unfortunately, all the elements in the [Lebanese] arena have become tools, and take orders from outside [Lebanon]…"

"When we look at the causes of the war, there is no choice but to [admit] this. If [the war] had gotten worse, it could have led to the loss of the [entire] country… Are we allowed to destroy our country [just] so we can say that we abducted two soldiers – when we all knew what the magnitude of the Israeli response [would be]? What happened was an unsuccessful adventure, and there is no escaping the fact that those who carried it out will bear the responsibility for it…"

Read the rest here.

  Posted by BP at 12:47 am Comments (20)
Sunday, January 21, 2007

I cannot shake your hand, sir. I’m a Muslim and you’re a man

Another insanity coming from a Muslim in Great Britain. Another insanity that Muslims in the U.K. still fail to resist.

A Muslim woman police officer has sparked a new debate by refusing to shake hands with Britain's most senior police chief for religious reasons.

The incident happened at a passing-out parade where Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair was inspecting a line-up of 200 recruits.

In addition to refusing a traditional congratulatory handshake from Sir Ian, the WPC – who wore a traditional Muslim hijab headscarf – also declined to be photographed with him as she did not want the picture used for 'propaganda purposes'.

The woman had earlier insisted that it was contrary to her religious teaching for her to touch a man.

And Muslims in the U.K. are wondering why the British public is starting to have serious concerns about them.

I truly believe that the vast majority of Muslim women living in the U.K have no problem shaking the hand of a male. In Egypt, an educated high/middle class woman refusing to shake the hand of a male is not a common thing and so I presume its the same in Great Britain. However, incidents such as the above ruin everything the Muslim community there tries to do in order to reassure the British that they are as normal as the Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Shintos, and athiests who also immigrated to the U.K. And what really bothers me is the fact that the Muslim community there does nothing to fight the absurdity that a few of them do. Refusing to shake the hand of a man while you are in the year 2007 is an absurdity as far as I'm concerned.

Let me tell you my own personal experience.

Most of my female friends, especially those who cover their hair, do not have a problem shaking my hand. These educated upper class girls were foolish enough to be convinced that God would punish them if they didn't cover their hair, yet fortunately they were not foolish enough to believe he'll do the same thing if they shook my hand. So thank God almost all my "covered" female friends do shake my hand. They are educated and smart enough to know that I won't be having an erection the moment I touch the skin on their hand. They know that their naked body is not what I think about when I greet them.

Now, what do I do with the girls who fell prey to a crazy preacher who brainwashed them into believe that it is a sin to shake the hand of a man? I extend my hand even if they didn't do so at the beginning of our encounter. They see my hand hanging there, feel embarrassed, and sheepishly extend theirs. I consider that another victory over absurdity.

Such absurdity coming from a few Muslims will definitely end once Islam experiences the magic word: religious reformation.

  Posted by BP at 3:01 pm Comments (38)

Mutaa Marriage Back in Iraq

You're a single male. You want to get married but you can't afford to do so. At the same time you don't want to sin and committ adultery. What can you do? The Sunnis don't have an answer to your problem. The Shias do though.

Mutaa marriage, or enjoyment marriage, is a religiously sanctioned temporary marriage agreement. The lady agrees to become your wife for a specific period of time and you pay her an agreed upon dawry.

Mutaa marriage is one of the main things Sunnis use in their attack on Shias.

Mutaa marriage is common in country where Shias are the majority. Banned under Saddam, mutaa is making a come back in Iraq. Not everyone is happy about this though. 

  Posted by BP at 2:28 pm Comments (4)

The Tribes Kaleidoscope Surprise

Let me tell you a little bed time story.

Once upon a time there was a small country called Israel. Above it there was another small country called Lebanon that was composed of many tribes, the major ones were the Christians, Shias, Sunnis, and Druze.

In the middle of these tribes another alien tribe appeared and it was called the Palestinians. The Palestinian tribe was led by a man called Yasser Arafat who was originally stationed in Jordan before moving to Lebanon. In Jordan Yasser Arafat threatened the tribe of the ruling king there, King Hussein, and this led the latter to crush Arafat and his tribe killing thousands of them. Arafat fled Jordan disguised in women clothing.

Arafat did in Lebanon what he did in Jordan, he created a state within a state in Beirut and South Lebanon. Unlike Jordan, Lebanon was ruled by various tribes who bitterly competed with one another and within one another. The Christian tribe fought with the Sunni tribe over the political domination of Lebanon and the Sunni tribe used the Palestinians to fight the Christian tribe. The Christians then winked to the Israelis who share their hatred of the Palestinian tribe leader. Ariel Sharon saw the wink and went all the way to Beirut. Israel was now in the middle of Lebanon's tribal war without noticing it. Instead of helping a friendly Lebanese government and signing a peace treaty with it, Israel found itself inside a kaleidoscope of Middle Eastern tribes.

The above story provides insights into the situation in Iraq. It should have also been an alert to everyone who supported the Iraq war including myself. Unfortunately, I paid attention to this story pretty late. I was so enveloped in the euphoria of hoping for something decent come out of Mesopotamia.

The Lebanese learned it the hard way. Today, yesterday's enemies are trying to stop Hezbollah from giving Lebanon back to Syria and iran.

The Americans learned it the hard way as well. They were lucky, they had a person called Abe Lincoln.

The Iraqis are not as lucky. They have far fewer tribes than Lebanon but they do have nastier stuff such as the endless supply chain of religiously inspired suicide bombers and death squads. And when you slaugher for politics, it's shit, but when you slaughter for religion and politics combined, it's deep shit.

In addition, Iraqis definitely do not have an Abe Lincoln. Instead, they have Muqtada Sadr, Hakim, Darri, and their likes. Abe was quite different from these guys.

As a result, Iraq's leaders have a choice to make: either they learn it the hard way or they compromise with each other. If they chose to learn it the American and the Lebanese way, then no number of US troops sent by President Bush will ever make any difference.

  Posted by BP at 1:56 pm Comments (13)
Friday, January 19, 2007

Apologies

for the light blogging. I'll return back to writing pretty soon in the coming day or two. Stay tuned.

  Posted by BP at 5:55 pm Comments (27)