Declaration

December 27, 2006

 Free Kareem

http://www.freekareem.org

Dear Kareem: A Letter To Abdelkareem Nabil Soliman (The Egyptian Blogger Who’s In Jail For The Crime Of Having an Opinion… From a Dear Friend)

December 22, 2006

(I have been asked to post this anonymous letter. Please keep Kareem in your prayers. SG)

 

I read today that your detention was extended by another forty five. Forty five days stolen from your future, sentenced forty five days after the first “sentence.”

 

Although it was not the first time, was it Kareem?

 

Some people write you’re in danger, others nod sadly, speaking of your imprisonment (or detention, anyway) as de rigueur, as something to be endured, something that will likely come to everyone at some point. Which it probably will. But I don’t want to think of that. I don’t want this to happen to you, can’t bear to hear of it happening to you.

 

I remember the last time we spoke, your sweet voice and gentle laugh. I remember what we discussed and smile at it now. But it is a sad smile.

 

I remember the last time I saw your face, the flash of your eyes, the slightly melancholy smile you sometimes smile.

 

I remember those days and struggle not to weep. I think of you often, not only in prayer or remembrance of our friendship, but to wonder how you’re doing in jail, what you’re doing at that very second.

 

I wonder how you’re being treated. You, who never hurt a fly, you who defended women, non-Muslims, and freedom. I hope they are being kind to you. It would kill me if they were not, and I would gladly take what abuse you might be subjected to. I’m serious. To be beaten or attacked is nothing when compared with the heartache I’ve gone through these past days. In fact, it would be a mercy to me. It might cleanse me of this holy rage I have for those who took you. And it might give me an excuse to get them back.

 

Did you see the video I had made for you? I was talking to someone and they talked to another and it ended up in a video, two minutes telling people what had happened to you. I made sure to mention that song you liked, by Soap Kills. I truly hope that this is the only time or place where the word “kill” is mentioned within shooting distance of your name.

 

Oh, God, I can’t deal with it. What if something happens to you? Do you even know what your friendship has meant to me? To hell with human rights and fighting for freedom and fixing up the screwiest
Egypt in recent memory: I want you to be safe. This is about YOU, not about some ideal. Although I know that it’s the ideal you would want protected over your own self.

 

But I can’t be that big, not when one of my top three friends on earth is being threatened. I would break into that cesspool of a jail to break you out myself, but as it is, they’ve kept me out.

 

But I’ll be back. I have to be. I can’t sleep like this. I keep seeing your face and hearing your voice and feeling sad, hopeless, helpless.

 

Like there’s something I can do, but I don’t know what it is. Or worse yet, there is nothing to be done.

 

Will you ever read this? Will you ever know how important you are to me?

 

Maybe I never said it in words.

 

But you know. I know you know. And maybe you’ve been too busy recently to think of me, but my brother, my friend, my dear comrade in the fight that is human rights personified.. I’ve been thinking of you. Sending you positivity and comfort. And praying for you to the God I hope you one day embrace.

 

Love, prayers and blessings to you my dear Kareem..

 

—-o

 

(xoxo)

A Feminist Islam? Why Irshad Manji’s and Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Dream of It Will Never See the Light Of Day

December 8, 2006

IntroductionIn a previous paper, I critiqued Amina Wadud’s Qur’an And Woman, a book I found to unjustifiably position Islam right in the middle of the male-female continuum. That is, the book made several arguments that suggested the Koran (and, subsequently, Islam) treated the sexes equally. I attempted to debunk her arguments using logic, the Koran and my first-hand knowledge of and life-long experience with the Middle Eastern culture (which Wadud, an American Muslim, does not have), and feel as though my paper was a fair first attempt to cover the subject by an individual who, at that time, had only been through half of a college course dealing with contemporary Muslim women.This time around, after having gotten through the second half of said class, I will be examining two books, each written by ethnic and cultural non-Arab Muslims Ayaan Hirsi Ali (The Caged Virgin) and Irshad Manji (The Trouble With Islam), both of whom took issue with several things in and about the Koran. While they didn’t address the exact same issues (in their books, anyway), both ladies pushed for a loss of certain cultural practices, such as female genital mutilation (Ali, 23) that aren’t Koranically-based and, in fact, go against their notions of what a human rights-friendly Islam would be. Another point of agreement in Manji’s and Ali’s books is their respective declarations that Islam could do with a bit of reform (since there’s never been an exhaustive re-interpretation to reflect “modernity”). Before I discuss this reform of the religion, however, I will discuss several of the issues that Manji and Ali raise. 

Sex and Gender (In)equalityIn Islam, men are “more” than women. The Koran even says so: “Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other.. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them.” (Koran, 4:34)Men are set in a parental role, a responsible role. Their testimony weighs twice as much as that of a woman, and they inherit much more than the woman does. The law says it’s so he can take care of her, whether “she” is his wife, his sister, his mother, his aunt or his female cousin. The woman is oftentimes discouraged from working outside of the house, or, if she does work, her money isn’t supposed to go towards running the household unless she wants it to. While all this coddling is nice and may, in the best of cases, make the woman feel as though she is being pampered and protected from the world and its concerns, one must admit that there is, in fact, a disparity between the roles and the statuses that Islamic men and women are afforded.Interestingly enough, however, the woman is held responsible for nearly any sexual misconduct a man conducts towards her or because of her. If she wears a higab, this is not enough, she must cover her face and hands, too! If she wears a neqab or a burqa, she must wear dark glasses so that her eyes won’t flash and sparkle and attract a man who is off-limits to her. And if she is in another room (and out of sight) but her brother-in-law rushes in and has his way with her, she is again blamed because her voice gave him cause to desire her. It’s always the woman’s fault with Muslim men; sometimes she gets punished for it, other times she pays with her life, even if she was dressed in a tent and never wore a stroke of eyeliner or lipstick in her life. The repression of women is carried out, propagated, protected by other women. It is usually a woman who circumcises girls, mothers-in-law (or mothers) who advise the young newlywed to ask her husband for forgiveness or make peace with him or stay in the marriage, even if the fault was his. And a female imam from
Turkey even wrote that (regarding the “scourge verse” in the Koran) “the conflict cannot be about what will be on the table that night. It has to be about a serious issue, like a question of honor…Don’t misunderstand me: I’m against it. Beating is degrading, but if there’s really no alternative, then it has to happen.”  (Ali, 3-4) 

On Personality and Posturing, Interpretation and IjtihadAs with any belief system that requires its adherents to follow a prescribed sequence of actions, Islam (as Roman Catholicism and Coptic Orthodoxy, to name only two) is sometimes criticized as all ritual, no relationship (with God).Irshad Manji writes that the ritualism of wudu’ (ablutions) and the recitation of specific verses (which may not be understood by a non-Arabic-speaker or a less-sophisticated Arab) over and over could “degenerate into mindless submission—and habitual submissiveness.” (Manji, 18) She also wonders whether God “commands that everyone speak Arabic,” or if that’s just a “manmade rule to keep most Muslims dependent on higher-ups” (Manji, 19) and complains that while “every faith has adherents who ape…only in contemporary Islam is imitation mainstream.” (Manji, 31)This puzzles Manji, who vacillates between a somewhat positive view that that the actions of a Muslim “on the basis of the Koran aren’t dictated by God” (Manji, 36) and that the Koran “makes room for…free will” (Manji, 47) and the less-optimistic notion that Muslims “have no choice but to choose what to emphasis and what to downplay,” since “the Koran is so profoundly at war with itself…” (Manji, 36) She confesses that, even after so much study and investigation into the matter, and even though she has arrived at an interpretation of the Koran that she is happy with, she is still unsure as to which interpretation is closest to the plan that God originally set out for man. (Manji, 35) Manji is positive, however, that certain human-introduced errors do exist in the Koran, such as the newly-proposed theory that God promises martyrs 70 white raisins in the afterlife, rather than the oft-publicized 70 “dark-eyed virgins.” (Manji, 46) She doesn’t address the notion that God should be powerful enough to either use humans to accomplish his will (meaning he wanted that mistake there) or that, being the creator of the world, he could keep a mistake from happening, if he so chose to prevent it.Koranic typos aside, Manji discusses (extensively) the idea of ijtihad, which she defines as a long-lost Islamic tradition of “independent reasoning” that obliterated the need for other people’s interpretations of Islam to be forced upon oneself. (Manji, 50)  

Double Standards, Gratuitous ViolenceMuslims steeped in the Koran have quite an attachment to making and living by double standards. (Manji, 49) Both Ali and Manji bring up the point that these Muslims are asking for more rights than the other religions, using a legal system that Islam doesn’t approve of, inspired by an ideal of freedom from a culture Islam shouldn’t and wouldn’t approve of (Ali, xvi and Manji, 2, 49, 50) But this is far from the only example of the double standards that Ali and Manji introduce us to.For example, criticism of “the Islamic world, of Palestinians, and of Islamic minorities is regarded as Islamophobia and xenophobia,” but what of critical or inflammatory remarks about or to Christians? (Ali, xvii) Ali also notes that “Muslims can criticize the West, but the West cannot criticize the practices of Islam.” (Ali, xvi) Also, after the Denmark Cartoons fiasco, it was suggested that discussing Islam would be made illegal, but why should a moratorium be put on discussing Islam and not other religions? (Ali, xv) And if all religions are thusly “protected,” then the notions of “freedom of speech” or “freedom of the press” are compromised, cancelled out by this “equality.” In Manji’s words, “What makes us righteous and everybody else racist?” (Manji, 3)Moving to Ali’s and Manji’s allegations of violence in Islam, Ali tells the of the 2002 Miss World beauty pageant held in Nigeria, and the 200 people killed and the 500 injured during protests to a Christian journalist’s mere statement that “the prophet may have chosen a new wife from the contestants had he been alive today.” (Ali, xiv) It should be noted that there has never once been a single death associated with the telling of the Biblical story of King Xerxes (in the book of Esther), who had every beautiful woman in his kingdom taken to the palace and immersed in beauty treatments for an entire year and paraded before him, so that he might choose one for a wife. Ali brings up another point: If Islam is such a religion of peace, then how come Irshad Manji, Salman Rushdie, Ali herself and others who have spoken (again, no acts of violence, just words) “against” their own religion (Islam) have had to be protected (by non-Muslims) from other Muslims? (Ali, xvi)    

Culture VS ReligionThe threads dividing the territories of culture, religion and tradition are very thin. This does not mean that it is impossible to untangle the knots that inevitably must occur when territories overlap—which they do in this case, only that it is difficult to do so cleanly, with complete accuracy, and in a manner that everyone can agree on. For someone living in the Western world today, it is rare or even unthinkable that anyone would make it a point to check someone’s level of piety or devoutness. In the
Middle East and many Islamic countries, however, it is not only thinkable but common. The often oppressive governments certainly do have their spies and workers everywhere, but people police their neighbors and the people they come across because it’s the thing to do, and because it (in some small way) seems to keep the oppressors at bay. But not every person in such a situation does so because of his or her connection with human authorities. Rather, some Muslims see themselves as agents of a higher authority, and thus behave as guardian of their friends’ morality. An example of this would be the neighbors in Satin Rouge, who sent their son to walk closet belly dancer Lilia to the pharmacy when she claimed her daughter was sick.The notion of distinction between culture/traditions deriving from culture and religion is something that interests many Middle Easterners who feel that Islam is not only their religion, but their cultural legacy. Others, however, take Islam as their religion but recognize the importance of their own cultural heritage.For example, the Swiss-born Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan al Bannah, talks of retaining one’s culture whilst maintaining one’s status as a Muslim, suggesting that “European Muslims must create a ‘European Islam’ just as there is a separate ‘Asian Islam’ and ‘African Islam’…by this he means that European Muslims must re-examine the fundamental texts of Islam (primarily the Koran) and interpret them in light of their own cultural background.” (Wikipedia, Tariq Ramadan) Inaccuracies, Reflections and My Take 

As I devoured these books which I, surprisingly enough, largely agreed with, I did notice a few things that need mentioning:First of all, while Manji makes the claim that Muslims pray to the same God that Christians and Jews do, it should be noted that this isn’t true, because the Christian God is the Father of the Holy Trinity, while Muslims believe this concept to be blasphemy (because it seems too polytheistic, although Christians do not believe that their belief in the Trinity is polytheistic). (Manji, 21) Also, Manji’s belief that Islam is OK with homosexuality because 1- everything that Allah makes is excellent, and 2- because “that was religion, this was happiness” is incorrect because of this verse, among others: “If any one of your women is guilty of lewdness … confine them until death claims them. If two men among you commit indecency (sodomy) punish them both. If they repent and mend their ways, let them be. Allah is forgiving and merciful.” (Koran, 4:15,16 and Manji, 24-25) If it wasn’t considered a sin then Allah would have no need to punish, forgive or be merciful. Manji’s friend Adnan had a better idea, admitting that he knew homosexuality was considered a sin by Islamic standards, but going for it anyway. (Manji, 29)The last inaccuracy I wish to address at this time is the misleading use of the word “Umma,” which Ali says means “community.” The word Umma on its own means “nation,” (as in a country, such as
Egypt, or a pan-Arab amalgamation of all the Arabic-speaking nations), but used in the context of Islam, it should be called “ummat al-mu’mineen” (nation of believers—denoting all Muslims in the world, or all Islamic nations in general) to avoid confusion. (Ali, 19) Moving on to my reflections on this class, while I have seen veiled women since my childhood and never thought they looked strange in the least, my consideration of mohagibat was mostly that I and my friends were looked on with disdain because we weren’t covered as the Muslim women were. We were in mild-to-middling danger of being harassed or attacked for being so daring and different, but there was nothing we could really do about it, not if we were intent on remaining Christian. So we made sure to stick together and always played it safe, knowing that things could happen, but not letting the “danger” frighten us.On the other hand, now that I have gone through this class, I take myself out of the shoes of the unveiled Christian in Muslim Egypt, reverse the situation, and put myself into the shoes of the veiled Muslim woman. I imagine walking through a public place where less than 1 per cent of public is veiled—the Tallahassee Mall. In this scenario, as in my real-life memory above, the feeling is that of “Well, I stick out, I could be a target, but what can I do? This is the path I chose, and I can’t—and won’t—change just because someone may harass me for the and the religious symbolism made clear by the way I choose to dress.”So, while this exercise in cross-religious mind-broadening isn’t something that I never could have thought up on my own, had it not been for this class, I may never have had the reason—or desire—to do so. For that, I am grateful. But there are so many other issues that Muslim women in particular face these days. Several of the challenges that exist in the path of the contemporary Muslim woman living in an Islamic country include class, the law (Shari’a isn’t partial to women), patriarchal oppression, a lack of education in many cases (because some women marry relatively young and must drop out of school), postcolonial aftermath/recovery from colonization, warfare, poverty, and an interpretation (or misinterpretation) of Islam that pits the woman as “less than” a man in one form or fashion (thus denying her the realization of her dreams). This is to say nothing of the particular issues that the Western Muslim woman comes across, whether she is a convert to Islam or has been a Muslim since the day she was born to a Muslim father. Some of these specific-to-Muslim-Women-in-the-West issues include prejudice against the veil (because Western countries aren’t all-Muslim, and people sometimes fear what they don’t know), the mistaken assumption that “all Muslims are terrorists,” (especially after September 11), social and economic exclusion, discrimination in the workplace (because of the veil but also because of Ramadan and Islamic holidays), minority status, and, in terms of those Muslims recruited to move to Europe, a lowering of status. (Muslims in the States, however, are usually better off, both occupationally and financially.)Finally, reading such books as Ali’s and Manji’s (both of which I consider autobiographical) and even Wadud’s, has opened my mind to the world of non-Arab Muslims (including European and Western Muslims), both their day-to-day lives as well as their thoughts on a religion that they may or may not have been born into. Basically, such books as these have opened my eyes to the practical and modern application of the issues that Ahmed and Mernessi bring up (such as the veil, space, and the history of Muhammad) and the debates that surround these issues today. 

 

Reform? Manji tells of the way Soviet Jews won their battle against a totalitarian system, that their “persistent refusal to comply” is what saved them. (Manji, 3) She goes on to tell of her notion of reform, which, at this stage “isn’t about telling ordinary Muslims what not to think, but about giving Islam’s 1 billion devotees permission to think. (Manji, 36) Ali agrees. With the help of the “liberal West,” she shares that Muslims need “to break through this wall of emotional resistance or to climb over it, until eventually the number of critics grows large enough to counterbalance the entrenched opposition effectively.” (Ali, xvi)Here’s hoping that for everyone’s sake, her dream becomes a reality.
BibliographyAli, Ayaan Hirsi. The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam.
New York, NY: Free Press, 2006.Koran 4:34. Accessed online from http://www.homa.org/Details.asp?ContentID=2137352779&TOCID=2083225414 on 2 December, 2006.Manji, Irshad.  The Trouble With Islam: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith.

New York, NY:
St. Martin’s Press, 2003.Ramadan, Tariq. Wikipedia entry. Accessed online from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tariq_Ramadan on 2 December, 2006.Satin Rouge. Dir. Raja Amari. Zeitgeist Films. 2002.

This Is No For-Swearing..

December 8, 2006

In other words, I am not “forsworn” in my quest to stop posting things, I just meant I was going to take a break from thinking about everything until I sorted it all out. Until then, an article from a reviewer who did not want their name posted. Good reading nonetheless, and thanks to all the kind people who’ve commented or emailed me recently, and I promise to respond soon… Ok, scroll up for the article!

WOE To The Bad Muslims!

November 25, 2006

I couldn’t sleep. I have been thinking about my opinions on Egypt, Copts, Islam, Religion, and many other things.

What got me started was a mass of comments on this video, and every comment said something to the effect of “Islam isn’t the problem, Muslims are.”

So I have revised my theory of what’s wrong with the world.

It is NOT Islam that is wrong, it is the mis-interpretation of so many Muslims to think that Islam teaches death and destruction.

So “Good Muslims” like Faisal and dear Blacklander must be what the prophet had in mind.

The people who translated the Kor’an to make it seem as though women are subjugated are wrong, and the women who veil are wrong. (Non-natively-Arabic-speaking) People like Amina Wadud and Irshad Manji (who proclaim the gender equality of Islam) are in the right and 99% of imams are wrong.

The prophet and Allah would never come up with a plot to keep women down, to keep non-muslims down, and it’s ridiculous for people like Osama Bin Laden and the Egyptian Government to promote such ideals.

Dear God, I hope that You bless us with Your heavenly wisdom.. before we all kill each other “in Your name..”

Moratorium–I’ve Had It

November 13, 2006

Some of you may have heard about “something” (THE famous conversation) that I had very recently. For those of you that haven’t, you haven’t missed much, and the only reason the people in the last sentence even know about it is because they either witnessed it or partook in the debate.

In any case: as the title above states, I’ve well and truly HAD IT with people’s cruelty, duplicity, sense of entitlement and hypocrisy, and am therefore putting a moratorium on any writings (from me) highlighting politics, events, or the Coptic Cause.

This might change in 8 hours, but it might be forever. I don’t know how long it will last, nor do I currently care to ponder this burning question, but I do know that my decision will please certain people to no end (you had nothing to do with this, by the way), and cause others to think I’m grandstanding, which I am SO not.

I just, in plain English, “Zehe2t.”

May God un-zaha2ny soon, but if He doesn’t, I won’t rail on about it.

I don’t know if I’m going to rename “A New Egypt” but if I do, I’ll make sure to let you all know.

Thanks to everyone who’s been so kind and supportive these past few months. May God make His face to shine upon you.

I guess that’s all for now.

See yaz..

G

Unequally Yoked: The Kidnapping of Rita Salib

November 8, 2006

Rita Salib

 


Egypt has been turned into a playing field for Saudi terrorism, now that the Shia minority has bought up
Egypt.

 

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah was considering a move to
Egypt, and got his brother Khaleel Nasrallah to buy farms in a small part of
Giza known as Nobareya el Gededa, in order to give his money laundering scheme (involving drugs and terrorism) a home base.

 

It is clear that Nasrallah takes seriously the verse that says “slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush,” (Koran 9:5)

 

Today’s story begins on the 25th of March, 1980.

 

A Muslim young lady called Magda Ibrahim Elshoury relocated to
Lebanon to escape her bad reputation in
Alexandria. There, she met up with a man called Mounir Kouttour, the son of a well-known Christian family in
Lebanon. He married her, because the Lebanese law allows interfaith marriages. The child was called Ramy Mounir Kouttour.

 

When Magda returned to
Egypt, she presented her marriage license (from the non-Church wedding) to the Egyptians. Her parents found out that she had married a Christian, and took her son from her, in order to raised him in an Islamic environment. And in the company of their relatives, Shia sheikhs Abbass, Mohammed, and Essam Ibrahim Elshoury.

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah promised to get papers for young Ramy from
Lebanon, Papers that would “prove” that he was Muslim.

 

Fast forward two decades and we find Ramy rallying his Muslim friends around the “Anti-Israel” cause.

 

To avoid being picked up by national security, he began a movement in
Egypt, particularly
Alexandria, specially designed to kidnap girls

 

Ramy’s Mode of operation was to attend catholic churches in
Alexandria, claiming to be a Christian Lebanese.

 

He proposed to a girl called Rita Naseem Salib, still under the guise of being a lebanese christian.

 

Rita’s family, however, discovered that he didn’t have the proper papers to stay in
Egypt, and that he lived with his Muslim SHIA family.

 

And then, on 1 November,  2006, Rita disappeared. Her dad filed a missing persons report, accusing Ramy of the kidnapping.

 

The police said ‘we will have her for you in a few hours’ but despite this same message given every few hours, the cops never did.

 

The man at the other end of the phone was Abdel Ghaffar Aldeeb, who plays a big role in the kidnappings of Christian underage girls.

 

The biggest case he was involved with was that of Sally George, 16, who escaped and told everyone of the role Aldeeb played.

 

Unfortunately, her warning did not stop the many kidnappings that succeeded hers.

 

 

Abdelkareem Video

November 8, 2006

Hot off the Compaq! About Egyptian blogger Kareem (www.freekareem.org ) who was unjustly imprisoned. (Anyone to support his interrogation should be thrown into the 17th Century. Or 7th..)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ld0q3mXiQnA 

Egyptian Blogger Abdelkareem Nabil Soliman IMPRISONED For Anti-Islamic Comments

November 7, 2006

Anyone who knows about the wonderful freedoms today’s Islamic Egypt affords her citizens will be surprised to hear that a harmless 22-year-old blogger who wrote an anti-Islamic essay was thrown into jail recently. 

Abdelkareem Nabil Soliman, 21 at the time, actually saw late 2005’s  Moharam Bey riots firsthand, and then wrote about them on his blog. He also labeled the religion of his birth, Islam,  a “dirty religion” and spoke of its dangers. Shortly thereafter, he was taken in for questioning and detained for several days. Fast forward to the start of this year, and he was actually expelled from Islamic university Al Azhar. (Read this http://www.annaqed.com/english/under/expelled_from_al_azhar_for_exposing_the_truth.html  article for background and a translation of his inflammatory blog posting.)

All was well for a while, but then the trouble began again. Abdelkareem was profiled on an Al Jazeera documentary about bloggers, making his face—which had previously appeared on his blog and on the first “Free Kareem” campaign—even more famous.

While many Moderate Muslims (some of them bloggers) defended him despite his defamation of their religion (and keep in mind that he himself was born Muslim), many of the people Abdelkareem daily came into contact with began to treat him differently. For example, one source tells me that several businesses took him aside and kindly asked him to stay away from their shops until the hubbub died down. Other shopkeepers were not so kind in their requests.

And let’s not forget the time Abdelkareem went to Al Azhar to collect his papers and documents, and ended up being attacked by security officials and others, most of whom were armed. (He managed to escape in a taxi, thankfully.)

Now, however, Abdelkareem faces a new problem (read http://ahmedsalib.wordpress.com/2006/10/30/from-speaking-his-mind-to-expulsion-from-al-azhar-abdelkareem-nabil-solimans-new-dilemma/  for a closer look). He was thrown into jail for continuing to speak what was in his mind and heart, two parts of him that worked (and work) in concert with one another (a rarity in this day and age), existing solely to bring about utter human rights and equality for everyone.

Many of you may remember blogger Alaa’s (www.manalaa.net) similar imprisonment earlier this year, as well as the arrests and detentions of several other Muslim Egyptian activist/bloggers.

You may also remember the goings-on revolving Coptic blogger Hala el Masry (

https://saraghorab.wordpress.com/2006/06/25/hala-masreya/  ) who has been in and out of the presence of State Security.

Point being, Egypt hasn’t shown much mercy to pro-Islamic bloggers (Alaa, Malek X, etc.), or to anti-State Security bloggers (perhaps not so much ANTI as “Telling it like it is”), and so I worry about Abdelkareem. I worry about the hired thugs—I mean “policemen” who will be “tending” him. And no, I’m not worried about the safety of the thugs, but Abdelkareem’s safety as he is “tended” by them. (Have a look at this video for a glimpse at one of the things the “tender” tenders are famous for: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLawR1gKGSg ) 

The question now is “WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP KAREEM AND EGYPTIANS?”.

The answer is this: Take a few minutes to read up about Abdelkareem, tell as many people as you know about his case, and consider signing a petition. (http://www.freekareem.org/  and  http://www.hamsaweb.com/c2/home.php?id=Kareem )

Basically, we need Egypt to know that we’re watching them.

We need the thugs and idiots who allow this type of thing to go on (and I’m not necessarily talking about Mubarak here) to FEEL the wrath that normal, non-sociopathic people feel when they see fellow humans being beaten or tortured or attacked or killed—just because their opinion isn’t a popular one.

Or because their opinion isn’t popular with the people in power.

https://saraghorab.wordpress.com

Saudi Has The Right Idea–Why The Use of Sexual Assault as a Coercive “Tool” Should Result in Mandatory Castration

October 30, 2006

So. THIS GUY says that raped women asked for it if they weren’t covered up.

Then THIS blog makes neqab into a form of sex object (very interesting article, BTW), then THIS and THIS and THIS and even THIS blog each covers the ridiculous Eid el Fitr gang groping in Cairo.

This, a little over a year after Rabab al-Mahdi and other ladies were Sexually Assaulted by Egypt’s finest.

This is to say nothing about the KIDNAPPINGS and Deliberate and Religiously-Motivated Seductions that has Egypt making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

(This is to say nothing about the ABSURD PUNISHMENTS that are lavished upon those that speak against Islam, but that’s another story.)

Am I the only one to think that using sex as a weapon is morally wrong? The profusion of articles and blog postings about the Eid Fiasco would prove that others do care, but caring isn’t enough.

Apart from the fact that State Security don’t care enough to protect their countrymen (or women, as the case may be), I really disagree with the whole “three strikes and yer outta there” business.

Why not make a sexual assault automatically carry a penalty of, say, castration with a dull knife?

I PROMISE that this will end the things happening in Egypt. For one, people will know that they can’t get away with anything. For two, there wouldn’t be even one repeat offender.

And if castration didn’t do the trick, Egypt could always pull a Saudi A. and BOBBIT-IZE the offending, um, member of society.