Showing posts with label Islamic Fundamentalism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Islamic Fundamentalism. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Srdja Trifkovic: The Ever More Complex Levantine Puzzle

“...The unrepentant interventionist cabal in Washington will reject such advice with horror and indignation. They still claim that Bashar can be removed, Iran sanctioned ad infinitum and preferably bombed, Iraq kept together, Jordan and Lebanon stabilized, and Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf relied upon… if only the U.S. would accept its “regional responsibilities” and become “fully engaged” yet again. They also claim that the latest disaster in Iraq is the consequence of the December 2011 American withdrawal. All that is nonsense. The chronic crisis in Iraq, which has been going on with occasional acute eruptions for 13 years, is the consequence of the illegal, unnecessary, costly, and tragic Iraq war, tirelessly urged and waged under countless false pretenses by these same people. They belong in jail or in mental asylum, not in Washington’s “foreign policy community.”
Read the rest here.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Crisis in Iraq

The government of Iraq, by which I mean the one we installed, appears to be collapsing in the face of a well organized campaign by Islamic fundamentalists. (Details here). On which subject, I don't agree with his more hard line ethno-racialism, but AG's points 4 & 5 are spot on.

I feel very badly for the people in Iraq. And I feel even worse because I can't say with a straight face that it is none of our business. It should not be any of our business. But as our former Secretary of State once famously observed; if you break it, you own it. Iraq is our mess because we broke that country, and I am deeply conflicted about what to do about it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Egypt: Why Political Islam is Incompatible With Democracy

Painful as it was to see the democratic process interrupted so soon after the revolution that overthrew the longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the military’s action was necessary. At its most blatant level, there was no way that Mr. Morsi and his affiliates in the Muslim Brotherhood were going to leave power willingly, no matter the severity of the civil discontent over the president’s efforts to consolidate his power while mismanaging major problems from fuel shortages to rising inflation.

When has an Islamist government, however democratically elected, ever ceded power to non-Islamists through a functional political process? Is democracy about periodically displacing absolute power by force or about laying the foundations for its peaceful rotation, including mechanisms not only for transparency in governance but also for the protection of women and religious minorities?
Read the rest here.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

'Blasphemy' teen flees Pakistan amid persecution of Christians

A Pakistani teen who provoked an international outcry when she was falsely accused of burning Islam’s holy book is finally out of danger and settling into a new life in Canada.

But while Rimsha Masih and her family have been granted asylum and were quietly relocated to southern Ontario, life for much of the Christian community they left behind in Islamabad remains bleak.

Fearing vigilante justice in the wake of her case, many fled their homes in the city’s Mehrabadi district, according to lawyer Joseph Francis from the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS).
Read the rest here.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Egypt: Military Overthrows Islamist Government

CAIRO — The Egyptian military removed President Mohamed Morsi from power Wednesday and suspended the constitution in moves it said were aimed at resolving the country’s debilitating political crisis.

In a televised address to the nation after a meeting with a group of civilian political and religious leaders, the head of the powerful armed forces, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, said the chief of Egypt’s constitutional court “will assume the presidency” on an interim basis until a new presidential election is held. Sissi said the interim president — Adly Mansour, Egypt’s top judicial authority — will have the right to declare laws during the transitional period.
Read the rest here.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Reuters: Egypt army plan would scrap constitution, parliament

(Reuters) - Egypt's armed forces would suspend the constitution and dissolve an Islamist-dominated parliament under a draft political roadmap to be pursued if Islamist President Mohamed Mursi and his opponents fail to reach a power-sharing agreement by Wednesday, military sources said.

The sources told Reuters the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was still discussing details of the plan, intended to resolve a political crisis that has brought millions of protesters into the streets. The roadmap could be changed based on political developments and consultations.

Chief-of-staff General Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called in a statement on Monday for Mursi to agree within 48 hours on power-sharing with other political forces, saying the military would otherwise set out its own roadmap for the country's future.
Read the rest here.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

By the Millions Egyptians Demand End to Islamist Rule

CAIRO — Millions of protesters filled streets across Egypt on Sunday, loudly calling for Mohamed Morsy to resign on the one-year anniversary of his presidency.

The turnout in the capital far exceeded the large demonstrations of the 2011 revolution that ousted Morsy's predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.

People filled Tahrir Square, epicenter of the 2011 uprising, and jammed Nile River bridges leading into it. They converged from all areas of Cairo — from poor to upper-class — chanting and waving Egyptian flags.

Column after column of marchers passed the presidential palace with a deafening roar of “Leave!”

Many waved red cards, symbolizing those used by soccer referees to eject players from a game. They blew horns, banged drums and honked car horns to chants of “The people want the downfall of the regime!”

It was the largest display of public anger against Morsy and his ruling Muslim Brotherhood, which seized parliamentary control after Mubarak's fall.
Read the rest here.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

After attack on cathedral, Copts doubt future in Egypt

(Reuters) - When Egyptian Christian Kerollos Maher watched on television as petrol bombs and rocks rained on Cairo's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral he had only one thought - emigration.

"Egypt is no longer my country," said the 24-year-old construction worker, standing in the courtyard of the country's largest cathedral where one Copt and one Muslim died in sectarian clashes this week.

"The situation of Christians is worsening from day to day. I've given up hope that things will improve," he said.
Read the rest here.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Egypt: Muslims Again Attack Coptic Christians

CAIRO — Police firing tear gas joined with a rock-throwing crowd fighting a group of Christian mourners Sunday in a battle that escalated into an attack on Egypt’s main Coptic Christian Cathedral that lasted for hours.

It was the third day of an outburst of sectarian violence that is testing the pledges of Egypt’s Islamist president to protect the country’s Christian minority, and by nightfall Sunday at least one person had died from the day’s clashes, bringing the weekend’s death toll to six.
Read the rest here.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Turks Consider Reopening Hagia Sophia As a Mosque

In a surpise move, a commission of the Turkish Parliament last week accepted a petition from a Turkish citizen to reopen the Hagia Sophia as a place of worship for Muslims.
Read the rest here.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Why Islamists are intent on destroying cultural artifacts

LONDON -- They have destroyed the iconic Buddhas of Bamiyan, smashed down the fabled “end of the world” gate in the ancient city of Timbuktu and even called for the destruction of Egypt’s ancient pyramids and the Sphinx.

Extreme Islamist movements across the world have developed a reputation for the destruction of historic artifacts, monuments and buildings.

This week, officials confirmed that up to 2,000 manuscripts at Mali's Ahmed Baba Institute had been destroyed or looted during a 10-month occupation of Timbuktu by Islamist fighters. Some experts have compared the texts to the Dead Sea Scrolls.

To many in the West, such actions are simply wanton vandalism. However, experts say the thinking behind it is actually part of a wider tradition of rooting out idol-worship and superstition found in Christianity and Judaism as well as Islam.
Read the rest here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chief of Egypt’s Army Warns of ‘Collapse’ as Chaos Mounts

CAIRO — As three Egyptian cities defied President Mohamed Morsi’s attempt to quell the anarchy spreading through their streets, the nation’s top general warned Tuesday that the state itself was in danger of collapse if the feuding civilian leaders could not agree on a solution to restore order.

Thousands of residents poured into the streets of the three cities, protesting a 9 p.m. curfew with another night of chants against Mr. Morsi and assaults on the police.
Read the rest here.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Muslim Brotherhood calls on Egyptian Jews to come home

A high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood official called on Jews who immigrated to the Jewish state from Egypt to return to their native country and leave Israel to the Palestinians, Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported on Friday.

Senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood official Essam el-Erian said in an interview to television station Dream TV that every Egyptian has the right to live in Egypt, and Egyptian Jews living in Israel were contributing to the occupation of Arab lands, according to the newspaper.
Read the rest here.

My still slightly feverish brain reels.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

'Militant Islam' Greatest Threat to Middle Eastern Christianity

A British think tank has released a lengthy report claiming that militant Islam is the greatest existential threat to Middle Eastern Christianity, bringing Christian communities in the region "close to extinction."

The London-based Civitas, also known as the Institute for the Study of Civil Society, published the report in December. "Christianity is in serious danger of being wiped out in its biblical heartlands because of Islamic oppression," reads a statement from the group issued Sunday.

"But Western politicians and media largely ignore the widespread persecution of Christians in the Middle East and the wider world because they are afraid they will be accused of racism."

Titled "Christianophobia" and written by reporter and Religion Editor for The Times Literary Supplement Rupert Shortt, the report details the persecution of Christians in Burma, China, Egypt, India, Iraq, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
Read the rest here.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Future looks bleak for Egypt’s Coptic Christians

Now, after the election of Egypt’s new Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, the Copts are terrified about their fate in Egypt. Since the Maspero attack, not one member of the Egyptian armed services has been convicted. In fact, the Egyptian panel responsible for leading the investigations closed the case because of a supposed “lack of identification of the culprits.” Even a simple YouTube search reveals how Egyptian army personnel carriers rammed into crowds of unarmed protesters during the demonstrations. Friends and relatives of the Maspero victims have vowed to continue fighting for justice and even considered taking the case to international courts.

Coptic Christians in Egypt have long suffered discrimination and violence. During a 2011 New Year's Eve service at a Coptic church in Alexandria, for instance, a bomb explosion killed more than 20 and injured 70. The brutal attacks in Alexandria and in Cairo’s Maspero section occurred shortly before the fall of the Mubarak regime and during the subsequent interim military government.

Bishop Angaelos, general bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, succinctly described the plight of the Copts in Egypt, especially after the Arab Spring: “I think the problem is ever since the [Arab] uprising, there is still no accountability. We’ve had churches bulldozed, we’ve had churches burnt down, we’ve had Christians killed, we’ve had villages torched, and it’s almost the same as it was before. No one’s been brought to justice, no convictions, and so therefore, no justice at all.” The impunity with which the attacks against Coptic Christians were carried out is striking and deeply troubling.
Read the rest here.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Egypt: Tanks are called up against protestors

CAIRO — The Egyptian military’s elite Republican Guard deployed tanks and barbed-wire barricades around the presidential palace to restore order Thursday after violent clashes between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi rocked his fledgling government.

Thousands of Morsi supporters from the powerful Muslim Brotherhood organization heeded the Guard’s mid-afternoon deadline to withdraw from the area, but scores of opponents — kept at a distance by the barricades — continued to demonstrate across the street from the palace, chanting slogans against the Islamist president.
Read the rest here.

Rooting for the protestors... but from the sidelines. It's not our fight.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Christians, liberals left out as Islamists back Egypt's draft constitution

CAIRO -- Islamists approved a draft constitution for Egypt early Friday without the participation of liberal and Christian members, seeking to pre-empt a court ruling that could dissolve their panel with a rushed, marathon vote that further inflames the conflict between the opposition and President Mohammed Morsi.

The vote by the constituent assembly advanced a charter with an Islamist bent that rights experts say could give Muslim clerics oversight over legislation and bring restrictions on freedom of speech, women's rights and other liberties.

The draft, which the assembly plans to deliver to the president Saturday, must be put to a nationwide referendum within 30 days. Morsi said Thursday it will be held "soon."
Read the rest here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Islamists Drafting Egypt’s Constitution Vow Quick Finish

CAIRO — Leaders of the assembly drafting a new constitution said Wednesday that they would complete their work by the next morning, a move that appeared aimed at trying to defuse a political crisis that has gripped Egypt since the president issued an edict that put his decisions above judicial scrutiny.

If successful, the assembly could make moot the power struggle between President Mohamed Morsi and the courts because the president’s expanded powers were set to expire with the implementation of a new constitution.

But given the heated environment, it seemed just as likely that a draft constitution — one adopted over the objections of the opposition — would instead inflame an escalating political battle between Mr. Morsi and his critics. On Tuesday, the opposition brought hundreds of thousands of people into the streets to denounce his attempt to assert a power above the courts and over the Islamist domination of the assembly drafting the national charter. 
Read the rest here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Egyptians stage mass protests against Morsi edict

CAIRO — Egyptian opposition forces rallied across the country Tuesday in the biggest show of dissent against the country’s first democratically elected leader since he precipitated a political crisis last week with an apparent bid to assume near-absolute power.

A loose coalition of rights groups, liberals and secularists poured into Cairo’s Tahrir Square and other public spaces, urging President Mohamed Morsi to rescind a decree he issued Thursday that granted him the authority to legislate without judicial oversight.
Read the rest here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Egypt's Coptic pope enthroned amid concern for Christian minority

CAIRO — Amid months of sectarian unease, Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church enthroned its new pope Sunday in an ornate, three-hour ceremony attended by top officials from the nation’s Islamist-led government.

Tawadros II, 60, was chosen the church's 118th pope this month in long-awaited elections following the death in March of Pope Shenouda III, who was patriarch for four decades. The cathedral of St. Mark, the church’s founding saint, erupted in applause when the papal crown was placed on Tawadros’ head.

Politicians, including Prime Minister Hesham Kandil, journalists and Coptic intellectuals, attended the ceremony. Tawadros did not address the congregation; instead, his written speech was read aloud by a member of the church. Tawadros pledged to work for harmony between Christians, who make up about 10% of Egypt's population, and majority Muslims. 
Read the rest here.