Egyptians Question U.S. Policy, Call for Change | Fikra Forum http://fikraforum.org/?p=2914 ….”At this critical time in Egypt’s transition, Fikra Forum felt it important to gauge the reaction of the non -Islamist Egyptian opposition to current U.S. policy. We are happy to present the opinions of well-established democracy and human rights activists on the ground, in addition to expert analysts and observers. We offer gratitude to our contributors, Hafez Abu Saeda, Basil El-Dabh, Dina Guirguis, Hany Nasr, Bassem Samir, Josh Shahryar, and Dalia Ziada, for their valuable insight. “….. More at the link.
Category Archives: Arab Spring
How Katibat Ansar al-Sharia in #Benghazi (ASB) & Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST) use charity to promote their Jihad
Maqdisi’s Disciples in Libya and Tunisia – By Aaron Y. Zelin | The Middle East Channel http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/11/14/maqdisi_s_disciples_in_libya_and_tunisia ” Since the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi and U.S. Embassy in Tunis in September, there has been a large spotlight on the Islamist groups viewed as the main culprits — Katibat Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi (ASB) and Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AST). While much of the understandable focus has been on the violent actions of individuals in these organizations, much of the scope of their activities lies outside violence. A large-portion of the activities of these groups is local social service provision under their particular dawa (missionary) offices. This broader picture is crucial to better understanding emerging trends in societies transitioning from authoritarian to democratic rule. ASB and AST can broadly be considered jihadi organizations based on their ideological outlook. However, these jihadis are different than past incarnations. Jihadis have a good track record in fighting and less so in governing or providing social services. The only example of jihadi governance has occurred when the Somali-based Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahidin and Yemeni-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) held actual territory. What sets ASB and AST apart is that they are providing aid to local communities in a non-state actor capacity, which has been unheard of previously.”….
Suspect in Benghazi Attack Scoffs at U.S. – NYTimes.com
RRD: Abu Khattala called the Libyan national army a “national chicken”.
…”Although Mr. Abu Khattala said he was not a member of Al Qaeda, he declared he would be proud to be associated with Al Qaeda’s puritanical zeal for Islamic law. “…
…”Mr. Abu Khattala, 41,….. added his own spin. Contradicting the accounts of many witnesses and the most recent account of the Obama administration, he contended that the attack had grown out of a peaceful protest against a video made in the United States that mocked the Prophet Muhammad and Islam.”…
RRD: He goes on to present the Americans as the aggressors.
As to whether the attack on the embassy was justified:
….. “From a religious point of view, it is hard to say whether it is good or bad,” …
RRD: He then went on to denounce democracy as being un-islamic,called advocates of secular constitutions “apostates” ;
& even criticized the Muslim Brotherhood for their participation in elections.
…”Witnesses, Benghazi residents and Western news reports, including those in The New York Times, have described Mr. Abu Khattala as a leader of Ansar al-Shariah, whose trucks and fighters were seen attacking the mission.”…
…”Mr. Abu Khattala said he was close to the group but was not an official part of it. Instead, he said, he was still the commander of an Islamist brigade, Abu Obaida ibn al-Jarrah. Some of its members joined Ansar al-Shariah”…
“Almost all Libyans are Muslims, alcohol is banned, polygamy is legal, almost every woman wears an Islamic head -covering. But all of that still fell short, he said, of true Islamic law.”
What appeasement has wrought: Egyptian PM Mursi demands censorship at UN, Pakistani minister calls for murder of ”Innocence of Muslims” filmmaker
Washington Post Pakistani mi
nister offers bounty for murder of ” Innocence of Muslims” filmmaker, calls on Al-qaeda to commit the murder. http://m.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/pakistan-disowns-ministers-offer-of-100000-bounty-on-anti-islam-film-maker/2012/09/24/bcdab730-060a-11e2-9eea-333857f6a7bd_story.html Egyptian President Demands Criminalization of Anti-Islamic Speech At United Nations « JONATHAN TURLEY http://jonathanturley.org/2012/09/24/egyptian-president-demands-criminalization-of-anti-islamic-speech-at-united-nations/ Some time ago Dr.Leonard Peikoff called for responding to the fatwa against Salman Rushdie by declaring war on Tehran. I thought that he was overreacting then. I no longer think he was overreacting.
“I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.
I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.
On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.
The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.”
http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/egypts-new-president-moves-against-democracy ….”The incident gave Mr. Morsi an excuse to sack the security officials who posed the greatest threat to his domestic authority — particularly the leaders of Egypt’s now-defunct military junta, which in June had issued its own constitutional declaration limiting the newly elected president’s powers. More important, Mr. Morsi used the Sinai crisis to assume the powers that the junta had undemocratically asserted for itself in a March 2011 constitutional declaration. He thus claimed unprecedented executive power, including complete authority over legislation, public budgets, foreign affairs, pardons, and political and military appointments. Mr. Morsi’s declaration also gives him the power to select a new assembly for writing Egypt’s constitution. And since the new constitution must be approved by popular referendum before new parliamentary elections can be held, Mr. Morsi can intervene in the constitution-writing process to delay legislative elections — and thereby remain Egypt’s sole legislator — indefinitely.”.. ….”Consider the editors he appointed to lead Egypt’s two largest state-run newspapers. The new editor of Al-Ahram is an old Mubarak regime hack who called last year’s uprising “foreign funded” and lost his column in 2010 for writing anti-Christian articles. The new editor of Gomhoriya shut down a conference on religious freedoms in 2008 and called for the murder of a well-known Bahai activist in 2009. The new editor of Al-Akhbar recently censored an article that criticized the Brotherhood. …”In its first major move against dissenters, the Morsi regime this month began prosecuting the editor of Al-Dustour, a private daily, for “harming the president through phrases and wording punishable by law.”… ….”His amendments to last year’s interim constitution give him the authority to sign — and presumably abrogate –treaties. Although many expected that de facto foreign-policy power would remain with the generals, Mr. Morsi’s quick reshuffling of the military leadership has brought the armed forces under his command. Then there are his overtures to adversaries of the West. In a mere six weeks as president, Mr. Morsi has hosted top-level Hamas delegations twice and, despite the flow of militants from Gaza into Sinai, promised to keep open the Rafah border crossing. Last week he welcomed Iran’s vice president and was invited to attend the Non-Aligned Movement’s upcoming meeting in Tehran. If he does, he’d be the first Egyptian head of state to visit Iran since the 1979 revolution. Accompanying him could be his new chief of staff, Mohamed Rifaat al-Tahtawi, a former ambassador to Libya and Iran who has declared Israel to be Egypt’s “main threat,” praised Syria as “a fundamental pillar of the resistance camp [against] Israel,” and called for closer relations with Iran and Hamas.” Many Washington analysts believe that Mr. Morsi won’t make any major foreign-policy moves, such as revoking Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. They take his verbal assurances at face value and reason that he won’t rock the boat at the very moment that he needs international investment to boost Egypt’s ailing economy. But this same logic once dictated that he wouldn’t rush to challenge Egypt’s generals.”….
RRD: I am posting this both because it needs posting to document the bi-partisan idiocy on Egypt and because it is my answer to those who say:”Surely you don’t think that a Mccain presidency could have been as bad as a Obama one” and also to those who say ”at least the Republicans are strong on Foreign Policy”.
Some may be but that is not a given anymore.
McCain & Graham [Heart] the Muslim Brotherhood – By Andrew C. McCarthy – The Corner – National Review Online
Senator John McCain: An unlikely Brotherhood ally | GlobalPost
“First of all, Islamic extremists are not in power. The power is still being wielded by the military junta [RRD:Not anymore see Rubin below] that took over,by the way who are, they and the last vestiges of the Mubarak regime, keeping Americans in a situation where they have to go to the US embassy. So, it’s not the Muslim Brotherhood who’s doing this, it’s the remains of the Mubarak regime.”
”In the case of Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is split. They have not obtained power yet. There are groups of them that want to have good relations with us. They may be an Islamic country, Israel is a Jewish state. So let’s wait and see”
Sen John McCain schools Sean Hannity on Egypt and Arab Spring Feb 13 2012 – YouTube
RRD: You see Egypt is a ” Islamic Country”, just as Israel is a ” Jewish State”;so what’s the difference?Other than the Muslim Brotherhood’s rabid anti-semitism,rabid misogyny,hostility to freedom and Christians,and commitment to a global Islamic theocracy which murders apostates and stones adulterers,well,not much.
And besides didn’t Israel once forbid public buses from running on Saturday?
This is a speech by Mohammed Morsi,now president of Egypt.
Morsi during Elections Campaign: Jihad Is Our Path, Death for the Sake of Allah Is Our Aspiration – YouTube
RRD:Now Robert you’re scaremongering,after all,don’t our own Presidential candidates say that death for God is their goal…Oh wait!They don’t.Indeed to find the closest Western equivalent you have to look to fascist and totalitarian movements.
More on both Morsi & the Brotherhood in general:
Rubin Reports » Egypt: There Goes the Army; There Goes the Free Media; There Goes Egypt
Top Egyptian presidential candidate doubts al Qaeda role in 9/11 – Washington Times
The Makeover of Mohammed Morsi | FrontPage Magazine
Morsi Promises to Free ‘Blind Sheik’ from U.S. Prison – WSJ.com
Jerusalem to become Egypt’s capital under Mursi’s rule, says Muslim cleric[at Mursi campaign event]
‘Every aspect of life is to be Islamicized [under Morsi]JPost – Middle East
Meet your presidential candidate: Mohamed Morsy,the substitute | Egypt Independent
Meet your president: Mohamed Morsy | Egypt Independent
Muslim Brotherhood leader:We must raise “a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life .” #egypt #Jan25 | Glory to man in the highest
Polls of Egyptians showing that 82% of them support stoning adulterers
& 84% support killing apostates.
Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah | Pew Global Attitudes Project
Muslim Brotherhood plan to “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within” t – Americans for Freedom in Iran
RRD:When the “Arab Spring” began, I & several others who support freedom in the Middle-East warned that a rush to elections would prove disastrous since only the Muslim Brotherhood was prepared to win said elections (fn1).I also pointed to actual polling taken of the Egyptians by the Pew Center showing that a large majority of those polled supported the stoning of adulterers,the killing of apostates & other harsh punishments derived from Sharia law (fn2).
We were either ignored,or mocked, or attacked as ”racists”(even though there is ample precedent for failed revolutions in the West ,such as the French Revolution).
We were told that the revolution was not initiated by the Muslim Brotherhood(which was true),and that the Muslim Brotherhood would not gain power(obviously not true).
When it became apparent that the Muslim Brotherhood would win elections(and even before then, in some cases) we were told of a new phobia,invented by the Muslim Brotherhood and their apologists and useful idiots in the West:Ikhwanophobia;meaning a supposedly unreasonable fear of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Oddly these same people never speak of KKKophobia, or BNPophobia,or FPOophobia, or Jobbikophobia, or FrontNationalophobia, or GoldenDawnophobia (fn3)., but then perhaps those hit too close to home,unlike the Muslim Brotherhood,whom we are never supposed to “demonize” by applying the same standards to them as we do to ourselves.
After the Muslim Brotherhood won the elecions they were not supposed to win,we were then told that we had nothing to fear since the Egyptian Military would act as a check on them.
Well now “striking another blow for freedom” Morsi has replaced the Generals in charge of the military.He was handed a justification for this, by the alleged ineptitude displayed by Military in the Sinai debacle.He is also taking over the government run newspapers and persecuting his critics:
Rubin Reports » Egypt: There Goes the Army; There Goes the Free Media; There Goes Egypt
…”Muslim Brotherhood President al-Mursi has just removed the two commanding generals of the Egyptian military. Does he have a right to do this? Who knows?There’s no constitution. That means all we were told about not having to worry because the generals would restrain the Brotherhood was false. Moreover, the idea that the army, and hence the government, may fear to act lest they lose U.S. aid will also be false. There is no parliament at present He is now the democratically elected dictator of Egypt. True, he picked another career officer but he has now put forward the principle: he decides who runs the army. The generals can still advise Mursi. He can choose to listen to them or not. But there is no more dual power in Egypt but only one leader. The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces which has run Egypt since February 2011 is gone. Only Mursi remains and Egypt is now at his mercy.
Behind the scenes note: Would Mursi dared have done this if he thought Obama would come down on him like a ton of bricks? Would the army give up if they thought America was behind it? No on both counts.
This is a coup. Mursi is bound by no constitution. He can do as he pleases unless someone is going to stop him. And the only candidate–the military–is fading fast, far faster than even we pessimists would have predicted.
Muslim Brotherhood President al-Mursi has also just named the editors of the top Egyptian newspaper and other media outlets. They are state-owned, you know, and there are a half-dozen good little independent newspapers.
But one of them, al-Destour (ironically meaning “The Constitution”), has just had a full issue seized on charges of “fueling sedition” and “harming the president through phrases and wording punishable by law.” We know this through a report in the Middle East News Agency, the state-owned monopoly.
And what was the inflammatory report? That the Brotherhood was going to seize power and that liberals and the army should join together to stop the country from being turned into an Islamist regime.”…
….”Other columnists are charging that the Brotherhood is trying to turn their newspapers into reliable house organs rather than let them be free.”…
This is what the “Arab Spring” has wrought:
A anti-semitic,misogynistic,anti-Christian,anti-gay ,anti-Liberty band of reactionary Neo-Medievalist Islamists,has taken over
a former quasi-pan-arabist dictatorship,(which our tax dollars have armed and equipped with M1 Abrams tanks and F-16 fighter jets since the Camp David Accords.)
Women,”Apostates”,& Coptic Christians & Gays,all get tossed under the bus,along with the Camp David Accords(sooner or later).
A brief comment on my stance on the January 25th revolution:Political Islam is not the answer. | Glory to man in the highest
Muslim Publics Divided on Hamas and Hezbollah | Pew Global Attitudes Project
The far right is on the march again: the rise of Fascism in Austria | Mail Online
Meet Europe’s New Fascists, Hungary’s Far-Right Jobbik Party – Tablet Magazine
Marine Le Pen’s 17.9% is not a breakthrough for the far right | World news | guardian.co.uk
Far right on rise in Europe
Rise of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party leads to spate of immigrant attacks in Greece – Telegraph
Rethinking Libya :: Middle East Forum
RRD:In remains to be seen what happens in Libya,I based my conclusions on the evidence available at the time,and in hindsight my fears have not been born out(yet),but I would still have opposed American Military involvement in Libya:the purpose of the U.S. Military is not to ”bring freedom” to foreign countries.It is to defend the United States.The same rationale offered for Libya could be made for any number of countries from Iran,to Burma,to China.Still I am glad the Libyan people did not elect Islamists(unlike their fellow Arab Springers the Egyptians & the Tunisians).However we still aided ”rebels” whose members included Islamists who, by their own account, went to Afghanistan & Iraq to fight our soldiers.
RRD:Just so that we are on the same page:a theocratic anti-woman,anti-gay,anti-religious minority political party(Norsefire anyone?)is swept into office after we were told that this would never happen.The new President is on record as saying that he wants to make the neighboring country’s capital the capital of their new religious empire.
On top of this the Military has announced that it will retain much of the political power.
And this is supposed to be some kind of blow for freedom?