Monthly Archives: July 2013

Muslim Brotherhood children wearing burial shrouds as they protest

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Muslim Brotherhood children were made to wear burial shrouds as they protest to indicate that they are ready to be martyrs in the name of defending Morsi’s presidency.
This is yet again another disturbing violation of human rights committed by the Muslim Brotherhood. I dare anyone to talk to me about how peaceful and democratic the Muslim Brotherhood is after seeing this photo.

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Pro-Morsi protesters victimising themselves to gain advantage

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“Presidential aide for political affairs Mostafa Hegazi has accused the Islamist supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi of intentionally victimising themselves in order to gain a negotiation advantage. “

“The Egyptian state will never accept the shedding of Egyptian blood, regardless of political affiliations, but it also will not stand silent in the face of blackmail and terrorism of its citizens”

“It is not an exaggeration to say that what is going on now is a war of terrorism against [Egyptian] society. No political disagreement can be solved with violence,” Hegazi said.

Full article: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/77655.aspx

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The Muslim Brotherhood: Not so peaceful…

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Here are a few recent examples of things that the western media “forgot” to report:

Imagine a group that commits these violent and illegal acts existed in your country. I dare anyone to tell me that this is not terrorism. I am not saying that everyone in the pro-Morsi camp is a terrorist. Some are peaceful political protestors that have the legitimate right to demonstrate and be heard. But the Muslim Brotherhood along with other fundamentalist Islamic groups ARE terrorist groups.

If the Boston bombers, who only killed 3 people are labelled as terrorists, then how is the Muslim Brotherhood, which regularly attacks and kills Copts and Shiites not a terrorist group? Why are individuals and groups only identified as terrorists when they are extremist Muslims in the west. WE HAVE EXTREMIST MUSLIMS TOO. And they are just as willing to kill their own people as they are to kill westerners. Their enemies are not just westerners. They’re Christians and Shiites and Atheists and Jews and basically anyone they consider an infidel. Which, by the way, includes Muslims that don’t share the exact same interpretation of Islam as they do.

This is a terrorist group. So, yes. I am highly critical of claims that they were peaceful demonstrators that were massacred by the army. They were not peaceful. They are a violent and a provocative group. And whenever you hear news about the army attacking peaceful pro-Morsi protestors, think about this: the army gains nothing from attacking peaceful protestors. Only the Muslim Brotherhood benefits from portraying the army in such a demonizing light. And don’t forget, this is a group whose members are willing to sacrifice their lives in the name of God and their cause: to further political Islam.

Interesting how western media is extremely biased to the Muslim Brotherhood and only reports on the allegedly unprovoked violence directed towards them by the Egyptian army. Makes you wonder why…

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Ziad Akl: The Sisi Propaganda

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Excellent article by Ziad Akl

“The wave of Al-Sisi’s glorification and army reverence must make us always aware of a set of questions. To whom is the army accountable now? How could the army’s statements and information be verified from now on? The army-media-intellectuals alliance, would that ever influence how objectively different events are seen and covered?”

“Al-Sisi has not shown himself as a power-hungry General so far, but the unnecessary propaganda unfortunately does not help to support this idea. Those who are not pro-Sisi are not necessarily pro-Brotherhood. It must be understood that a middle ground does exist between both poles and there are plenty of Egyptians who are not represented on either side of the struggle, not because they don’t want the army to fight terrorism, but because they want the army to remain an institution.”

Read the full article here: http://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2013/07/27/the-sisi-propaganda/

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The Western Media War Against the Egyptian Army

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I was extremely disturbed by the level of bias that the western media has, as they clearly give more weight to the perspectives of and the accusations made by the Muslim Brotherhood than the official statements made by the ministry of interior. Here are a couple of examples to demonstrate by point:

Huffington Post: Egypt Clashes: At Least 38 Morsi Supporters Killed

BBC News: Egypt crisis: ‘Scores killed’ at Cairo protest

The New York Times: Scores of Demonstrators Killed in Egypt

The Washington Post: Dozens killed as Egyptian military fires on demonstrators at Morsi rally

The last one by The Washington Post being the most alarming, as its title is not only misleading, it is completely inaccurate as it lacks hard evidence for making this assertion. All three of these articles either give less weight to or altogether disregard the following points about the clashes earlier this morning:

  • The ministry of interior said that the armed forces only used tear gas and denied using live ammunition.
  • They also claimed that the pro-Morsi protestors acted provocatively and initiated the violence to demonize the army and shake its popularity to gain sympathy.
  • The protests were no longer peaceful. The protestors intercepted traffic and blocked a vital road. They set tires on fire. They committed acts of vandalism such as destroying the sidewalk and using it’s stones to build a defensive wall. They clashed with residence of a nearby districts and used live ammunition against them, killing many.
  • There were concerns that as they headed to the 6 October bridge, the bridge would not sustain the pressure and would collapse. Against police warnings and despite the use of teargas against them, the protestors continued to advance.
  • Dozens of officers were also shot and many suffer from fatal conditions.
  • There is NO evidence that the security forces shot at the protestors. The interior ministry claimed that the protestors were killed in violent clashes between them and the residents of the nearby district.

This is not to say that I am unsympathetic to the dozens killed in the clashes (there are disputes over exact figures). This is not true at all. I am grief-stricken at the escalation of violence in Egypt. I am only shedding light onto the blatant western media bias that I have noticed. And this is not to say that a bias does not exist in Arabic and Egyptian state news channels. Because there is.

On a final note, I want to say this. There is a saying in Egypt that I hold close to my heart: “Kol el dam haram”. This roughly translates as “All bloodshed is a sin/immoral”. We are all children of Egypt, and I send my deepest condolences to the families of those killed.

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Democracy 101 by the Muslim Brotherhood

Democracy 101 by the Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood may have been democratically elected (by a nation which had to chose a lesser of two evils) but they did not uphold the principles of democracy during their time in power.

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A message to the Muslim Brotherhood: Enough lies. Enough blood.

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I highly doubt that the police or the army is responsible for the deaths of the tens of Muslim Brotherhood members early this morning. A security official has said that only tear gas, not live ammunition, was used to disperse the Morsi supporters who were trying to block off a main road. On the other hand, the Brotherhood spokesman told Reuters news agency: “They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill.”

But ask yourselves. What would the security forces gain from killing members of the pro-Morsi protestors? If they have the option of using tear gas to disperse the protests that were blocking the main road, why would they decide to shoot at them instead? Think rationally. Killing the protestors would actually work against them. The armed forces are currently widely popular among a large sector of the Egyptian population, which is against Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood rule. This sector has been promoting peaceful demonstrations and condemning any potential violence from their own protestors, the armed forces and the pro-Morsi protestors. If the security forces were responsible for killing peaceful Morsi supporters, they would be highly discredited and their popularity would be seriously shaken.

So now we have to ask ourselves: who would benefit from this? The answer is simple. The Muslim Brotherhood. It would work in their favour to demonize the army.

There is NO evidence that the armed forces were the ones shooting at the protestors. General Sisi promised to protect peaceful protests irrespective of their affiliation and only use violence in self defence against violent protestors. His accountability would be shattered if the armed forces were behind the deaths of peaceful protestors. And that is exactly what the Muslim Brotherhood want.

Not only is it in their interest, but their own leaders have been calling on them to commit jihad against the “military coup”. They would sacrifice themselves and kill their own people to demonize the army. Ex-Muslim Brotherhood members have confirmed this. I’m not saying that they shot their own people in this specific incident. But they are acting provocatively and as the interior ministry spokesman said “They are purposely causing a crisis.” In his statement he said the Morsi supporters:

“halted traffic, set tires on fire and clashed with residents of the nearby [working class] Mansheyet Nasr district using live fire and birdshots, and this killed 21 people,”

So think before blindly believing everything you read. The Muslim Brotherhood members and other Islamist groups are religious fanatics that will resort to any measures to reach a desired end. I am not generalizing this assertion to all of the pro-Morsi demonstrators. I recognize that there are genuinely peaceful protestors among this camp. However, I condemn violence regardless of its affiliation and I am especially critical of Islamist groups that use radical rhetoric and the name of God to justify violence and jihad.

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71% of Egyptians unsympathetic with pro-Morsi protests

71% of Egyptians unsympathetic with pro-Morsi protests

This chart was posted on Ahram Online on 22 June 2013

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TOM FRIEDMAN: Making sense of Egypt’s three revolutions

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This is an excellent article that describes how the goal of the 2011 revolution was to bring down a corrupt and tyrannical government and replace it with a competent, democratic and inclusive one. By bringing down Morsi, the Egyptian people have proven that they will safeguard this goal from anyone or any group that tries to steer the country down a different path. We will not accept corruption. We will not accept tyranny. We will not accept incompetence. We will not accept a one party state. We will not accept military rule. The fear barrier has been broken. Our greatest challenge now is eliminating the self-interested, power seeking, terrorist groups in our society and reuniting our country under one vision.

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If you’re looking for any silver lining in what is happening in Egypt today, I suggest you go up 30,000 feet and look down. From that distance, the events in Egypt over the past 2½ years almost make sense.

Egypt has actually had three revolutions since early 2011, and when you add them all up, you can discern a message about what a majority of Egyptians are seeking.

The first revolution was the Egyptian people and the Egyptian military toppling President Hosni Mubarak and installing the former defense minister, the aging Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, as the de facto head of state.

Tantawi and his colleagues proved utterly incompetent in running the nation and were replaced, via a revolutionary election, by the Muslim Brotherhood’s party, led by President Mohamed Morsi. He quickly tried to consolidate power by decapitating the military and installing Brotherhood sympathizers in important positions.

But his autocratic, noninclusive style and failed economic leadership frightened the Egyptian center, which teamed up last month with a new generation of military officers for a third revolution to oust Morsi and the Brotherhood.

To put it all in simpler terms: Egypt’s first revolution was to get rid of the dead hand, the second revolution was to get rid of the deadheads and the third revolution was to escape from the dead end.

The first revolution happened because a large number of mostly non-Islamist Egyptian youths grew fed up with the suffocating dead hand of the Mubarak era — a hand so dead that way too many young Egyptians felt they were living in a rigged system, where they had no chance of realizing their full potential, under a leader with no vision.

After some 30 years of Mubarak’s rule and some $30 billion in American aid, roughly one-third of Egyptians still could not read or write.

The generals who replaced Mubarak, though, were deadheads not up to governing — so dead that many liberal Egyptians were ready to vote for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi over a former Mubarak-era general in the June 2012 election. But Morsi proved more interested in consolidating the Brotherhood’s grip on government rather than governing himself, and he drove Egypt into a dead end — so dead that Egyptians took to the streets on June 30 and virtually begged the military to oust Morsi.

Add it all up, and there is a message from the Egyptian majority: No more dead hands; we want a government that aspires to make Egypt the vanguard of the Arab world again.

No more deadheads; we want a government that is run by competent people who can restore order and jobs.

And no more dead ends; we want a government that will be inclusive and respect the fact that two-thirds of Egyptians are not Islamists and, though many are pious Muslims, they don’t want to live in anything close to a theocracy.

It is hard to exaggerate how much the economy and law and order had deteriorated under Morsi. So many Egyptians were feeling insecure that there was a run on police dogs! So many tour guides were out of work that tourists were warned to avoid the Pyramids because desperate camel drivers and postcard-sellers would swarm them.

A poll this week by the Egyptian Center for Public Opinion Research found that 71 percent of Egyptians were “unsympathetic with pro-Morsi protests.”

Yes, it would have been much better had Morsi been voted out of office. But what is done is done. We need to make the best of it.

The right thing for President Obama to be doing now is not only to ignore the critics who say the last revolution amounted to a military coup, and so we should cut off economic aid to Egypt.

Instead, we should be trying to get everyone in the world to help this new Egyptian government succeed.

Not surprisingly, people are worried that Egypt’s military could stay in power indefinitely. It’s a danger, but I am less worried about that. The Egyptian people have been empowered. A majority of Egyptians have — three times now since 2011 — called a halt to their government’s going down the wrong path.

I am worried about something else: Egyptians defining the right path and getting a majority to follow that path. That is an entirely different kind of challenge, and I am not sure Egypt can ever get to that level of consensus.

But this government offers the best hope for that. It has good people in important positions, like finance and foreign affairs. It is rightly focused on a fair constitution and sustainable economic reform.

Its job will be much easier if the Muslim Brotherhood can be re-integrated into politics, and its war with the military halted. But the Brotherhood also needs to accept that it messed up — badly — and that it needs to re-earn the trust of the people. 

This is no time for America to be punishing Egyptians or demanding quick elections. Our job is to help the new government maximize the number of good economic decisions it makes, while steadily pressuring it to become more inclusive and making it possible for multiple political parties to form.

If that happens, Egypt will have a proper foundation to hold democratic elections again. If it doesn’t happen, no number of elections will save it.

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