Mahmoud Salem
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Ok, I think this is crazy Egyptians' week or something. I present to you the story of Dr. Gaber Mohamed Al Gazar, the professor of foreign trade in the Univeristy of Helwan. This man started his lecture last Thursday with writing the day's date on the Blackboard, and instead of writing the usual "In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most gracious" line, he wrote "In the name of America the great". When the students asked him why he had written that, he told them to not ask him direct questions, but instead write him their questions in pieces of paper and hand them to him. Naturally the majority of the students asked him what his religion was, and he responded by saying that he believes America to be his god, and americanism to be his religion and he wishes to be able to worship the US every day. When the students tried to leave, he wouldn't let them out and had the doors of the hall closed. Naturally, after the class was over, 64 of his students filed a complaint against him with the school.

Friday morning, the man was sent to a mental institution. He is in it till today!

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73 thoughts on “In the name of America, the most merciful…

  1. So was this his attention-getting-meant-to-provoke-thought-political statement? Because if it was, they didn’t seem to get it, did they?

    And I echo Adam B. at number 2, “Doesn’t take much to be sent to a mental institution down there, does it…?” Seems to happen a lot.

  2. shehrezad Says:”And I echo Adam B. at number 2, “Doesn’t take much to be sent to a mental institution down there, does it…?” Seems to happen a lot.”

    But not, it seems, to the right people.

    I wonder wtf he was thinking. Did he want to die? I am amazed, with Egyptian students being what they are these days, he got out of there alive. Dead wish?

    Maybe it is a scam to get early retirement. Western academics usually just say Black people are stupid because of their genes and in no time they are at home on a full pension with half pay. Is this the Egyptian equivalent?

  3. Ward Churchill would be flabbergasted and offended too!! Damn college professors, proffessing whatever liberal clap that comes into their heads!!!

    sarcasm mode off:

  4. This man started his lecture last Thursday with writing the day’s date on the Blackboard, and instead of writing the usual “In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most gracious”

    Are professors required to write this before starting class?

  5. I’m wordering if the prof was trying to make a point about religion and nobody got it? As in the do not question my faith part of religion and how it seems sometimes to make people do crazy things? I’ll be interested in hearing more about this.

  6. “Are professors required to write this before starting class?”

    No they are not, i never saw a professor writing this on the blackboard during my 5 years of education there. What happened sometimes is that a student writes this in the topmost part of the blackboard in Arabic calligraphy. It is just a general tradition that if you start an act it should be in the name of God. Actually in some official events you can inaugurate the acts only in The name of the nation.

    “I wonder wtf he was thinking. Did he want to die? I am amazed, with Egyptian students being what they are these days, he got out of there alive. Dead wish?”

    HeiGou, either you do not know anything about Egyptian students or you want to deceive the readers and advance your convection, or propaganda, that all people related to Islam are bloody violent beasts. If it is the first case then I would like to mention that not a single violent act was perpetrated on Egyptian campuses by anybody except the state. I can also tell a personal anecdote. In one day in Ramadan, a student has written a Hadith on the blackboard about benefits of the month during the pause between the lectures. When the professor entered he first, asked who has written this and order him to erase it, he told him not to do this again and then blasted against the view that such an antiquated book can be a guide in life and that he would have preferred this student to be publishing something related to this world. Not a single voice was raised against him out of any student with an MB or a slafi inclination. The professor did not even loose stature in the eyes of the majority as evidenced by the numerous students who wanted to do the graduation project with him. Ironically, he was the second most popular professor to work with among senior year and graduate students after a Christian one!

    If it was the second case and you are speaking out of convictions or to spread propagandistic viewpoint. Then, you are wasting your time because most of the SM readers believe in your convictions and propaganda so you do not lead to lie here to get more sympathizers.

  7. HeiGou, I forgot to tell you about the head of the department back then who used to make jokes about his love of alcohol and his drinking of coffee during oral exams in Ramadan. In one day his assistant went to the extreme of not letting the students break their fast during the oral exam while the call for the sunset pray was echoing all around. I admit this guy in not popular with anybody. But he was never harassed, not to mention aggressed by anyone.

  8. Perhaps he’s tired of not being able to write the date and just the DATE! And used America in place of Allah to rouse emotion. Maybe he really loves America (it IS a cool place). America isn’t Allah though… God’s God and there ain’t no substitute. American university professors do this crazy stuff all the time to try to make students react. Rarely gets noticed.

  9. Amgad Says:”I forgot to tell you about the head of the department back then who used to make jokes about his love of alcohol and his drinking of coffee during oral exams in Ramadan. In one day his assistant went to the extreme of not letting the students break their fast during the oral exam while the call for the sunset pray was echoing all around. I admit this guy in not popular with anybody. But he was never harassed, not to mention aggressed by anyone.”

    Sure, professors belong to the older secular generation. The students do not. This story surely backs up what I was saying.

    Students tread carefully because the state represses them. But the Islamists harass academics none the less. Tell me about Professor Nasr Abu Zaid.

  10. HeiGou says: “Western academics usually just say Black people are stupid because of their genes and in no time they are at home on a full pension with half pay.”

    They do not say that, at least not in this decade!! Our academics/geneticists/sociologists know that genetic variability is usually more different within a race than between races. Our social scientists discovered a long time ago that “race” is more of a mental concept than a biological one.

    So why your inflammatory statement? Evidence?

  11. So the guy might be stupid or insane or fed up or challenged or challenging or different or..an arab leader!!

    In what law is any of the above (except) the last jail worthy..

    This means that in Egypt you can go to jail for possession of… adjectives!!!

  12. @ BISA: I think HeiHou knows that. He just used that as an example of what kind of mindless crap you have to say in an American university to get “fired”.

  13. BISA Says:”They do not say that, at least not in this decade!! Our academics/geneticists/sociologists know that genetic variability is usually more different within a race than between races. Our social scientists discovered a long time ago that “race” is more of a mental concept than a biological one.

    So why your inflammatory statement? Evidence?”

    I am unconvinced that “our” scientists did any such thing. You notice that the first heart drug for *Black* people went on sale in America last year?

    However as for what I said, leaving aside my feeble attempt at humor, you might want to look at what has been going on at Leeds University in the UK and at Macquarie Uni in Australia. In both cases academics said that Africans were dumber than Whites and both were sent home with a package.

  14. The justification for banning the prof from lectures and sending him to a mental institution was because he dissed Islam (which he didn’t mention in his lecture), not because he locked his students in the classroom? I think the professor proved his point: people are not free to express their faith in Egypt, and that anyone who thinks they are must, by this example, be crazy.

  15. How much more successful would Egypt be if they kept the lousy Islamists in jail and freed everybody else??!

    I bet you that most of Egypt’s talent is locked away in jail these days! Anyone, and I repeat, ANYONE, who thinks just a little differently is labeled as “insane.” It’s insane!!

    In America we throw our CRIMINALS in jail not our intellectuals. Maybe that’s why Egypt is reverting back to the 7th century and the rest of the non Arab world is living in the 21st.

  16. HeiGou, no one can deny that there is still racism as well as a bias towards those who are more well-off financially. It’s really a shame that pharmaceutical companies work harder to develop drugs that rich people will buy instead of making cheap drugs available to the poor. But then again they are a business so what do you expect?
    Anyways, I wouldn’t blame intellectuals and academics for racial biases. It’s more the uneducated people who think that. I can’t imagine why you are “unconvinced” of that.

    btw, i am curious in what country do you live?

  17. “Tell me about Professor Nasr Abu Zaid?”
    the guy was not harrased by his studnets and not a single lecture of his was disrupted.
    the campaign agaist him was condoned or even lead by the State. i was in the univeristy exactly at this time and never heard any islamist student calling for any kind of demonstration against him.

  18. Amgad said:

    “the guy was not harrased by his studnets and not a single lecture of his was disrupted.
    the campaign agaist him was condoned or even lead by the State. i was in the univeristy exactly at this time and never heard any islamist student calling for any kind of demonstration against him.”

    Huh? No, they didn’t call for “demonstrations” against him, they called for his head!! You never heard any Islamists calling for the head of Abu Zaid?? Maybe you should take a look again at what happened.

    Here’s the wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasr_Abu_Zaid

    “After the verdict, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization (which assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981) said the professor should be killed because he had abandoned his Muslim faith. Dr Nasr Abu Zayd was protected by the police, but soon rejected it. On 23 July 1995, the couple flew to Madrid, then decided to go from Spain to Netherlands, where he was invited to teach as Visiting Professor at the University of Leiden. On 8 November 1999, he filed a suit against the Egyptian justice minister, demanding that the 1996 ruling which annulled the marriage be declared illegal”

    Or how about this:

    “Zayd suffered major religious persecution for his views on the Qur’an as a religious, mythical literary work. In 1995, he was promoted to the rank of Professor, but Islamic controversies about his academic work led to a court decision of apostasy and the denial of the appointment. A hisba trial was started against him by fundamentalist Islamic scholars, he was declared a heretic (Murtadd) by an Egyptian court, was consequently declared divorced from his wife (since she is not allowed to be married to a non-Muslim) and, in effect, forced out of his homeland.”

    You don’t consider THAT “harassment”, Amgad?? Maybe that’s just “friendly persuasion” instead?

    The radicals did to him what they did with Naguib Mahfouz, Sayyid el-Qimmi or any other individual that questions the status quo in Egypt.

  19. How’s about they start throwing people who think God wants them to commit murders, in the insane asylum, instead? That’s what everyone else does :O

    And how about Mohammed Atta’s Father? He thinks his son is a hero? Obviously has some serious mental health issues.

  20. This poor guy is nuts, he may be right about America, it’s refreshing to see a pro-American in such an environment, but he can’t hold the kids hostage like that, and he should watch what he says unfortunately.

    absurd thought –
    God of the Universe hates
    America…
    .

  21. Probably developing a psychotic episode…when folks get delusional….they almost always get delusional about “power” things; God, the government, sex, body functions…

    Maybe it is a new West Nile Fever…or just Egyptian humos…

    Poor SOB…I feel sorry for him.

  22. Professors are ordinary people. Sometimes they go crazy. This guy should be in the care of a psychiatrist. The silliness about America and written questions is harmless if stupid, but trying to lock his class in the room for no reason fits a common legal definition of kidnapping (if silly kidnapping).

    I find this a lot LESS scary and awful than religious professors, journalists and politicians around the world who advocate the massacres of whole populations and who not only are NOT locked up, but are promoted and celebrated by their countrymen.

    @Howie: Maybe he needs to eat more good hummus bi tahina. I hear that not getting enough good hummus can cause a person to become deranged. :-D It would certainly make ME crazy. :-D

  23. Yeah, God hates us. That’s why Britney shaved her head just after Anna Nicole Smith died. He’s punishing us with celebrity news.

  24. Yet again, we thank Resident Fellow on Egyptian, Australian, and British academic culture, HeiGou, for his learned explication of current events on campus in those respective countries.

  25. #11 S.Weasel:

    Silence you fool! We’ve just finished with Kim Jung Il and if Hugo Chavez finds out he’ll start wearing an aluminum foil beany and spoil all our plans (or is it foil all our plans?)

    As soon as the Kabalists have recharged the batteries with juju we’ll be ready to fire again…. BwaaHaHaHaHa!!!!!

  26. The academic in Australia who said that blacks were dumber than whites was not an Aussie. He was a foreigner who was banned from giving lectures because of his prejudiced views.
    As for the Egyptian lecturer who got himself jailed, maybe that was the point he was trying to make.There is no intellectual freedom in Egypt.

  27. *Ya Sabah El Araf Wil Nila Ala Shakloko! Kan yoom Eswid yoom ma elblog dah Et3amal…yady Elfadayih…

    Translation: Its great to read your comments in the morning all you great people, its was a beautiful day this blog was created, it realy propels egypts Image!!

  28. Poor fellow obviously had too much of a fixation when it came to getting his views across. Locking people in is not a sign of a stable mind.

    I just wish I knew for certain that that is what the focus would be on, and not his “anti-religious views”. He needs treatment, but someone is bound to start shouting over this. I think this is why he was sent to a mental institute so quickly, to stop any potential uproar before it started…

  29. Egypter

    my original objection was to the statement

    “I wonder wtf he was thinking. Did he want to die? I am amazed, with Egyptian students being what they are these days, he got out of there alive. Dead wish?”

    It sounds as if the students in Egyptian campuses are members of KK-like organizations, but instead of lynching black they are lynching atheists and agonistic professors.

    My comments are limited to the campuses and to the MB students in the campus. THE STUDENTS were never part of any harassment or aggression against anybody.

    My fundamental objection to your and Hei Gou’s comments is to the point of view that all Islamists, i.e., individuals who vindicate and advocate a central role of Islam in political life, are murderers or would-be-murderers. My personal experiences made me deal with many activists in the MB who are affable, reject violence except in the case of resisting foreign occupation, and in harmony with many modern ideas. sadly, I found more narrow-mindedness and hostility among non activists than among activists of the MB. However, my experience was limited to the youngest generation of the organization and usually sons and daughters of middle and upper middle class.

  30. It is not even safe to say a joke or open discussions in Egypt, the man has its way to have people comments and asked every one to write their feedbacks to him!
    this was a research of the masses mode!

  31. Amgad Says:”It sounds as if the students in Egyptian campuses are members of KK-like organizations, but instead of lynching black they are lynching atheists and agonistic professors.”

    Actually that is exactly the impression I would give except the MB is much worse than the KKK – if of course the Egyptian state let it do what it wants to do.

    Amgad Says:”My fundamental objection to your and Hei Gou’s comments is to the point of view that all Islamists, i.e., individuals who vindicate and advocate a central role of Islam in political life, are murderers or would-be-murderers. My personal experiences made me deal with many activists in the MB who are affable, reject violence except in the case of resisting foreign occupation, and in harmony with many modern ideas. sadly, I found more narrow-mindedness and hostility among non activists than among activists of the MB. However, my experience was limited to the youngest generation of the organization and usually sons and daughters of middle and upper middle class.”

    Let me say that I have met many Islamists of a moderate sort. I used to work with some. I found them affable and very modern in their attitudes. They were by and large the sons of the middle and upper middle class. But they were still potential murderers. I do not withdraw from that impression one little bit. I’d go further and say they were not murderers in direct relation to how lightly they took their Islam and how little they wanted to implement it. Bad Muslims are not usually murderers. The more they follow the letter of the laws of Islam and the example of Muhammed, the more likely they are to want to murder. You cannot be a good Muslim *and* reject murder except in the case of resisting foreign occupation. Which is a nonsense anyway given Muslims do not accept the right of non-Muslim countries to exist and lay claim to places like Spain and East Timor.

  32. “Muslims do not accept the right of non-Muslim countries to exist and lay claim to places like Spain and East Timor”

    is such a statment based on a poll that asked a representative sample of the 1300 million muslims around the globe whether they accept non-Muslim countries . would you please explain what you mean by a mulsim. a muslim country and a non muslim country.

    “Bad Muslims are not usually murderers”
    would you please put aside your theological detestation of Islam while discussing the poltical situation in egypt.

  33. BISA,

    “It’s really a shame that pharmaceutical companies work harder to develop drugs that rich people will buy instead of making cheap drugs available to the poor. But then again they are a business so what do you expect?”

    Just curious. How many drugs have been developed by non-profit organizations? What is the “new drug” output of socialist countries? Last I checked, the only realistic way of motivating someone to develop a drug (or do just about anything worthwhile) was to let them profit from it. If you think their really making outrageous profits, then you can buy their stock and benefit from it. Then again, if you have a mutual fund, or a pension fund, you probably already do.

    And if you really – I mean REALLY – believe your own anticapitalist propaganda, you can vote with your feet and start up an organization to develop new medications on a nonprofit basis, and dispense them at or below cost to the poor. Knock your socks off! But until you do, you really have no right to judge others. In fact, I’m not so sure you have a right to judge others after you do either, but until then, I’m sure you don’t.

  34. No no BrooklynJon, you misunderstood what I was saying. I literally meant, they’re a business so its only logical that they should develop products that make a profit. That’s their motivation and that is the only realistic way it could be.

    Even on a larger scheme, in terms of money that flows into the developing world (from the US), guess how much comes from government charities? Only abt 14%, while 45% of the money is coming from private corporate investment. So basically you can only rely on aid for so much, capitalism and multinational companies are really crucial for development too. See I’m not anticapitalistic!

  35. Hey Amgad, you said:

    “My fundamental objection to your and Hei Gou’s comments is to the point of view that all Islamists, i.e., individuals who vindicate and advocate a central role of Islam in political life, are murderers or would-be-murderers.”

    I’m not gonna say that ALL “Islamists” are blood thirsty murderers. But the core of the problem is that Egypt needs to eliminate this notion of a political system based on Islam. It’s ridiculous and counter to modern day thought on how to run a government. As a non-muslim I don’t want Islam in my face every step I take in Egypt. I don’t want Islamic law imposed on my life, I’m NOT MUSLIM but I AM Egyptian.

    Amgad said:

    “My personal experiences made me deal with many activists in the MB who are affable, reject violence except in the case of resisting foreign occupation, and in harmony with many modern ideas. sadly, I found more narrow-mindedness and hostility among non activists than among activists of the MB. However, my experience was limited to the youngest generation of the organization and usually sons and daughters of middle and upper middle class.”

    Great. There are some Islamist who were affable. Well, now what? They still want Sharia Law, the return of the Caliphate, imposition of “dhimmi status” and all kinds of crazy things that, as a Christian, I want ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with.

    Here’s an idea. Why not run a secular civil democracy where ALL citizens, REGARDLESS OF RELIGION,

  36. Sorry, somehow my post got cut sent without me ever hitting “submit comment”…..

    (continued) have a say in their country!!! I know this is NOT a novel idea but why is it not working??

  37. Amgad Says:”is such a statment based on a poll that asked a representative sample of the 1300 million muslims around the globe whether they accept non-Muslim countries . would you please explain what you mean by a mulsim. a muslim country and a non muslim country.”

    I sit corrected. Let me amend that: Muslims have no basis in Islamic law, history or custom for accepting the existence or rights of non-Muslim countries. The more pious Muslims openly claim former territories ruled by Muslims and in fact you cannot understand, for instance, Maududi without understanding that he think Islam ought to rule all of India.

    Amgad Says:”would you please put aside your theological detestation of Islam while discussing the poltical situation in egypt.”

    I have very little *theological* detestation of what Muslims believe. I have mildly strong feelings about what they do. You see the difference? Do you know, off hand, of any non-pious suicide bombers in the Middle East? When Muslims kill proclaiming their religion tells them to, and in such a manner as is proscribed by their religion, what conclusion do you think I ought to draw?

  38. Egypter,

    “Egypt needs to eliminate this notion of a political system based on Islam”

    Yes it does, but is detentions, institutionalized torture, indicting people with ludicrous crimes and sending civilians to military tribunals the road to “secular civil democracy”? In a real democracy the only criterion to stamp out a political group is whether they advocate violence against the state and its citizens and yet the individual human rights of its members will still be respected.

    “I don’t want Islamic law imposed on my life” and neither do I, but I can not cheer oppression and injustice because it is my political opponent who is suffering them.

    “As a non-muslim I don’t want Islam in my face every step I take in Egypt” do you think that such a desire to have islam disappear form the public sphere is realistic?

    You would not believe the quarter where you can hear people cheering, though reservedly, the current campaign of oppression on the muslims brothers: the Salafis. They are saying to their people: See the so called Muslim brothers instead of preaching and fortifying their beliefs they are wasting the youth of the nation in their struggle for earthly political gains. Even though they accepted the foul ways of the infidels and run in elections to become members of the parliament they can not express their beliefs openly.

    “Muslims have no basis in Islamic law, history or custom for accepting the existence or rights of non-Muslim countries.”

    I dare to affirm that the prevailing view among Muslims is that there are only two reasons for animosity toward any other society: 1- Aggression on a Muslim society and 2- Denying Muslims in it the freedom to worship.

    “When Muslims kill proclaiming their religion tells them to, and in such a manner as is proscribed by their religion, what conclusion do you think I ought to draw?”
    First, I am as repulsed by this acts as much as you are or even more, because of three distressing and unforgettable personal experiences.
    But the argument of the terrorists, as outlined in their infamous speeches, has much to do with insane calls for revenge. Many people do not swallow the idea that smoldering attendees of a wedding by a laser guided missile is merely a regrettable mistake or that burying a whole family a life by a smart bomb is a justified collateral damage to get a suspect who might have been visiting his in-laws living across the street. Of these many, some are stupid enough to believe that these acts are an all out aggression of the West against Muslims in their totality. From these stupid some, few are brutal enough to apply the verse of “5:45 And We ordained for them in that [Torah]: A life for a life, and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and a [similar] retribution for wounds” . And forget about the other verse “5:8 O ye who believe! stand out firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to Piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do”
    As evidenced by many historic events religious dogmas and texts have the seeds of wanton horrific destructions when twisted by perverted minds. Islam is not an exception.
    Please, in your reply, do not do as the most stupid Islamists do and extract the events of Mohammad’s life out of their historical, political, social and geographical contexts.

  39. BISA,

    Okay. In that case it’s not really a shame, is it. Rather, it’s really great that rich people are willing to pay for medications so that drug companies are motivated to do the requisite research to develop new drugs. What is a shame, though, is that some countries (Ahem, Jason) use their socialist monopolies to strong-arm countries to sell their drugs there at a lower profit, so that us free-market countries can subsidize them. What’s also a shame is that certain presidential candidates seem to want to do the same thing, which will bring new drug development to a screeching halt.

    bj

  40. Amgad, thanks for your response.

    Amgad said: “Yes it does, but is detentions, institutionalized torture, indicting people with ludicrous crimes and sending civilians to military tribunals the road to “secular civil democracy”?

    Of course not. And I’m assuming your talking about the Ikhwan and not Kareem Amer, right? Currently there is very little that Egypt is doing that even remotely resembles a “civil secular democracy.” And it’s defintely not just the Ikhwan that are suffering from the lack of democracy in Egypt, it’s the ENTIRE nation.

    Amgad said: “In a real democracy the only criterion to stamp out a political group is whether they advocate violence against the state and its citizens and yet the individual human rights of its members will still be respected.”

    I sure hope Egyptians haven’t forgotten the terribly violent past of the Ikhwan (I have references if you’d like). I know, I know, they’ve “renounced” violence, which I do not believe, but even so, does that erase all of their violent actions they’ve committed in the past? Nope! Have Egyptians forgotten the millitrary style parade the Ikhwan just conducted the other month? I hope not because if they EVER come to power Egypt we’ll see a new dawn of darkness.

    Amgad said: “do you think that such a desire to have islam disappear form the public sphere is realistic?”

    No, I don’t. But I hope that you realize that my desire is not, “to have Islam disappear from the public sphere.” My desire is to have FUNDEMENTAL Islam disappear altogether, and no, unfortunatley, I don’t think that will occur any time soon either. Amgad, I don’t have any problems with muslims, I promise you that. I’m a FIRM believer of the famous Egyptian saying, “You have your religion, I have mine, Egypt for everyone.” But it doesn’t seem that too many Egyptian muslims agree with that anymore. And of course this notion would be very foreign to the Ikhwani’s too. So, of course, I don’t have problems with peaceful “normal” muslims but what I do have a problem with is the incredible religious fervor that is spreading through Egypt like wild fire over the last decade or so. And this isn’t the “normal” brand of Islam but an extreme version of it…and I’m worried about Egypt.

    Amgad said: “You would not believe the quarter where you can hear people cheering, though reservedly, the current campaign of oppression on the muslims brothers: the Salafis. They are saying to their people: See the so called Muslim brothers instead of preaching and fortifying their beliefs they are wasting the youth of the nation in their struggle for earthly political gains. Even though they accepted the foul ways of the infidels and run in elections to become members of the parliament they can not express their beliefs openly.”

    I’m sorry Amgad but I totally agree with those people. I want the Ikhwan out of government, out of Egypt!! Although I think Muburak is one of the most incompetent leaders in the world and under his watch Egypt has reached new lows but I agree 100% with his clampdown of the Ikhwan. But you see, Muburak is an idiot because for the last 25 years of his Pharaohship he cracked down on EVERY SINGLE political group in the country EXCEPT for the Ikhwan. So where did that leave us? It left us with a country with no political opposition except for the Ikhwan. For some strange reason he allowed the Ikhwan to flourish and only now is he realizing the error of his ways.

    Look Amgad, from your postings you sound like a very reasonable person and I hope you live in Egypt :) But you and I are different in that I see the Ikhwan (and their ideology) as the biggest problem in Egypt today, by far.

    Anyway, salaam.

  41. Hey Amgad, I just found this article by Gamal Essam El-Din that was in Al Ahram about a year ago on the Muslim Brotherhood’s agenda.

    http://www.coptsunited.com/engtopstory/engtopstory.php?subaction=showfull&id=1164978059&archive=&start_from=&ucat=10&

    To quote the last two sentences:

    “The book reveals that of the total number of questions asked by Brotherhood MPs in the session 2000-2005, 80 per cent of them were on cultural or media issues. It is a pattern likely to continue.”

    If they ever come to power Egypt wll look EXACTLY like Saudi Arabia. Take a look and let me know what you think.

  42. Daily Star Egypt, February 19, 2007

    http://www.dailystaregypt.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=5701

    CAIRO: An independent MP announced last week his intention to set up a “popular movement to resist secularism.”

    Mohamed Al Omda, deputy of Kom Ombo south of Luxur, wrote in a petition, which he asked members to sign: “We have noticed recently that the ruling party and its government have been using anti-religious slogans such as ‘no religion in politics and no politics in religion’.

    “It seems that the regime plans to adopt European-style secularism.”

    He stressed that the intention to separate religion from the state does not conform to Article 2 of the constitution, which clearly states that the principles of Sharia are the main source of legislation.

    The statement explained that he agreed with the plan to ban political parties based on religion, but he refused the proposed amendment to Article 5 which suggested banning political activities framed in religious discourse.

    This, he says, is tantamount to saying that simply mentioning religion in a political context is illegal and would require emergency law procedures to check it.

    The statement also said that “the government must recognize that Egyptian people, who are the oldest religious people in the world, will not accept the new ‘belief’ advocated by the government and will not accept any humiliation or denigration of their faith.”

    It confirmed that the new movement will struggle against the secularization of the state, and will refuse any internal or external policy that conflicts with Article 2 of the constitution.

    The movement will also stand against any satellite channel that uses the Egyptian satellite Nile Sat to spread anti-Islamic values.

    The movement demanded that foreign channels must abide by local legislation that regulates broadcasting in Egypt, especially since they believe that satellite TV poses the biggest threat to the identity of the Muslim world.
    —————————————————-

    That is EXACTLY what I’m worried about!

    Where do you think the Ikhwan stand on this issue – would they be for or aginst secularization? I’m sure we both know the answer.

  43. Amgad Says:”I dare to affirm that the prevailing view among Muslims is that there are only two reasons for animosity toward any other society: 1- Aggression on a Muslim society and 2- Denying Muslims in it the freedom to worship.”

    Affirm all you like. The difference between you and me, I think, is I have been paying attention to what the Muslim Brothers of various sorts have to say. Notice that in fact they usually classify 2. as “denying Muslims freedom to fully practice their religion”. Which Muslims have told me, at various times, means denying them the right to chop the hands of thieves or more commonly the right to convert everyone to Islam. Yep, it is oppression for us not to allow Muslims to preach, it is justice for them not to allow us to preach.

    However none of that changes their basic position that the Earth belongs to God. All of it. And it is destined to come under Islamic rule. Every time they demonstrate they seem fit to include claims that the White House, or Britain’s Parliament, will one day by ruled by Islam.

    Amgad Says:”First, I am as repulsed by this acts as much as you are or even more”

    Frankly even if I tried I could not bring myself to believe you. Muslims habitually so no disgust whatsoever at violence inflicted on kafirs. They will protest when their own suffer, but not when anyone else does.

    Amgad Says:”But the argument of the terrorists, as outlined in their infamous speeches, has much to do with insane calls for revenge. Many people do not swallow the idea that smoldering attendees of a wedding by a laser guided missile is merely a regrettable mistake or that burying a whole family a life by a smart bomb is a justified collateral damage to get a suspect who might have been visiting his in-laws living across the street.”

    I disagree. Or rather I agree that many do not accept that American accidents are really accidents. But that is because they hate with a passion and a vengeance. They hate *therefore* they do not accept anything that America does. They hate and *therefore* they seek evidence to justify their hatred. They hate and therefore they make speeches calling for revenge. Sane people would accept that in war bad things happen sometimes. Sane people would recognise that the US tries hard not to do these things. Sane people would apply the same standards to themselves as the US. Do Muslims make hate-filled speeches when *Muslims* cause “collateral damage”? Hell no. They glorify their own suicide bombers and make heroes of them even though their “collateral damage” is not an accident, but is their intention. Zarqawi sent people to blow up a wedding in Jordan and from across the Muslim world utter and total silence followed by mourning when he was killed. Would Muslims accept killing innocent civilians in order to kill a terrorist who killed Muslims (not that such things exist but work with me). My hand book of Islamic law says so.

    “If they [the enemy soldiers] use their women and children as shields in battle, then one must avoid killing them and aim only at killing the men; if, however, it is impossible to kill them except by killing the women and children, then it is permitted.”

    A double standard is a sure sign of hatred and discrimination. The bottom line is that Muslims have no valid complaints against the West whatsoever. Except perhaps to a limited extent over Palestine. They beat themselves into a hysteria to justify violence that the West has done nothing to deserve.

    Amgad Says:”Of these many, some are stupid enough to believe that these acts are an all out aggression of the West against Muslims in their totality. From these stupid some, few are brutal enough to apply the verse of “5:45 And We ordained for them in that [Torah]: A life for a life, and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and a [similar] retribution for wounds” .”

    Except they are not. I don’t believe Bin Laden has ever quoted that verse, nor do I know a single Islamist who has done so although I am sure there are some minor figures who do use it. What they do say is that God has commanded them to kill the kafirs wherever they find them. Remember that verse? Read what OBL has to say.

    Amgad Says:”As evidenced by many historic events religious dogmas and texts have the seeds of wanton horrific destructions when twisted by perverted minds. Islam is not an exception.”

    Indeed. Islam is not an exception. Judaism has been for a long time. Christianity has been for a while. Buddhism, Hinduism and Animism have always been. Which suggests that in fact Islam is the exception in being the only religion that is still used to justify mass murder on religious grounds.

    Amgad Says:”Please, in your reply, do not do as the most stupid Islamists do and extract the events of Mohammad’s life out of their historical, political, social and geographical contexts.”

    Really? Tell me what historical, political, social or geographical context could justify what Muhammed did?

  44. Hei Gou
    ”First, I am as repulsed by this acts as much as you are or even more”

    Frankly even if I tried I could not bring myself to believe you. Muslims habitually so no disgust whatsoever at violence inflicted on kafirs. They will protest when their own suffer, but not when anyone else does.

    Since you started to discredit and denigrate me based on the religion in which I was born, then there is no point in continuing any discussion with you, salam.

    Egypter I will reply to you later

  45. Amgad Says:”Since you started to discredit and denigrate me based on the religion in which I was born, then there is no point in continuing any discussion with you, salam.”

    I can see why that sounded harsher than I intended – at least in so far as it was directed at you. It was meant as an expression of how disgusted I am. For that I am sorry.

    But for the larger Muslim community I am not sorry at all. Muslims, on the whole, however you feel, are not disgusted at these acts. Osama boomed as a name after 9-11. No Muslim author, historian or theologian I know has ever once expressed any sorrow or disgust over the deaths of non-Muslims and indeed have usually expressed a great deal of satisfaction and pride. Of course if you know of any sympathetic portrayals of non-Muslim suffering I would love to hear of it. There is a wealth of Western scholarship condemning the Crusades. There is a wealth of Islamic scholarship praising Jihad.

  46. BISA, obiviously you have never been in a city in Northeast America where racial bias is thriving and well and also have never been in the south where the races get along fine and people make much less money that the Northeast liberals.

  47. On a related note, I just read a danish newspaper article about the jailed opposition leader Ayman Nour, and in it three egyptian professors had their say on the situation of mr. Nour specifically and about Egypt in general. Most of their observations were critical of the government and pessimistic about the political climate, so it seems that at least not all the learned minds of Egypt have been cowed yet… Good for you! :)

  48. A blogger of yours was put in jail for 4 yrs for “insulting religion and Egypt” in his missives to this blog. A lawyer watching the “trial” felt he should have gotten 10 years. And the thought enforcement people, government, and Imams all are happy that they have saved Egypt’s reputation. Such unbelieveable and idotic thinking on their part. Do they not realize the thoughtful rantings of a citizen is not noted by the world while the actions of a state are? The powers that be have truly shamed Eygpt, and themselves to the whole world. Free the blogger, lock-up the Inquisitoners.

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