Obama demands freedom for Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

July 13, 2013
Daniel Greenfield
This may have been filtered through the Egyptian media for that extra nationalistic flavor, but the demands are in line with those already made by Obama and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.
Yesterday El Fagr reported that, during their most recent phone conversation, U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson demanded that Egyptian General Sisi release all Muslim Brotherhood members currently being held for questioning: “And when Sisi rejected this order, the American ambassador began threatening him that Egypt will turn into another Syria and live through a civil war, to which Sisi responded violently: ‘Neither you nor your country can overcome Egypt and its people.’”
Moreover, the day before the Salafi party withdrew from negotiations with the new Egyptian government, Al Nahar reported that Patterson had “incited them [the Nour Party, the Salafi party] to tamper with the political scene and the road map and to threaten to withdraw from political participation if Dr. Muhammad Baradei becomes elected as Prime Minister…”
Apparently, these are the “many forms of pressure” that Patterson earlier assured Hishan Qandil the U.S. would use to reinstate the Brotherhood.

Will Porn Be Banned in Egypt? That Arab Spring is LIMP!

February 21, 2012

(Challah) @ Bikya Masr

Arab SexEgypt’s ultra-conservative al-Nour religious party said on its Facebook page on Monday that the party’s MP Younis Makhioun has put forward a request for an “urgent briefing” to ban pornography websites from the Internet in Egypt.
The request is expected to be discussed shortly in Egypt’s lower house.
The news saw praise and condemnation alike from Egyptians as many commentators showed support and urged for the ban to be passed, while others objected on the loss of personal freedoms.
Others feared that it would not stop at pornography sites, but would go on to crackdown on other websites conservatives believe go against their creed.
In 2011, Egypt landed in the number five spot globally in searching for “sex” online, joined by Algeria and Morocco also in the top 10, according to Google trends. Arabic language is used second only to English as the language of search choice for adult content online.

Some of those feminist leftists are going to be happy about this… they were the ones that pushed this Arab Spring. When the men start getting repressed and break into rape marathons… I doubt anyone will feel enlightened. Send in the pretty Western journalists to get groped in Tahrir Square again.


Egypt’s Islamists seek changes to Israel peace treaty

December 25, 2011
Whatever they say… expect it to be more to the extreme. If the say they will merely ammend it basically means… the peace with Israel is over. Have we not dealt with the Arabs long enough that we can’t read between the lines here? There was an agreement… if they can’t abide by it then it is war.
(ynetnews.com) Voting for Egypt’s future (Photo: Reuters) (@YNET)

מצביעים על דמותה העתידית של מצרים (צילום: רויטרס)

Egypt’s radical Islamist Al-Nour party, which came in second in recent parliamentary elections, announced its official stance on the peace treaty with Israel on Saturday. The Salafi party stressed it will not work to revoke the agreement but will try to amend “its exploitative clauses” using all legitimate means.
A statement issued by the party said it would not do anything which would cause damage to Egypt and its citizens. It said it views with great severity a situation where Egypt unilaterally violates the international agreement, despite the fact it was signed by a dictatorship. Al-Nour said it will honor the treaty but will seek to revise certain clauses.

The statement noted that the party’s stance does not contradict Egypt’s obligations towards the Arab and Islamist nation. “The party strongly objects normalization and dialogue attempts and establishing relations with an entity which wants to wipe off our identity, occupies our lands, imposes a siege on our brothers and strongly supports our hangers.”

It was further noted that the statement was issued in the backdrop of recent speculation as to Al-Nour’s stance towards Israel, the peace treaty and talks with Israeli media.

Earlier this week, the party’s spokesman said that there was nothing that was preventing the party from engaging in dialogue with Israel, but party leaders clarified that his comments do not reflect the movement’s position and that the matter is being examined.
Spokesman Yousri Hamad told a Kuwaiti newspaper that any talks with Israel would be held “under the supervision of the Foreign Ministry. We will not allow any secret negotiations.”
Elections for Egypt’s parliament are set to close in early 2012, but current rounds show the Salafi party reaching second place.


Nour party spokesman claims he was "ambushed" by Israeli reporter

December 22, 2011
Al Nour spokesman Yusri Hammad

(EOZ) From AP:

The spokesman of Egypt’s ultraconservative Islamist party told Israeli Army Radio in unprecedented remarks broadcast Wednesday that the group is not opposed to the country’s historic peace treaty with Israel.
Yousseri Hamad’s interview with the Israeli broadcaster is unusual for followers of the Salafi Islamic trend, who typically shun Israel for its policies toward Palestinians and its annexation of east Jerusalem, home to Islam’s third-holiest site.
The interview countered Israeli fears that Islamist parties would seek to cut ties with Israel.
In his remarks to the Israeli station, Hamad said the Salafi Nour Party is committed to agreements signed by previous Egyptian governments, including the 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
“We are not opposed to the agreement, and we are saying that Egypt is committed to the agreements that previous Egyptian government have signed,” he said, noting that if Egyptians want changes on the treaty, “the place for that is the negotiation table.”
In response to the interview, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the comments were worth considering.
“This is certainly food for thought and we will of course keep observing very attentively developments in Egypt,” he said.
Salafi Muslims follow a strict interpretation of Islam similar to that practiced in Saudi Arabia. The Salafi Nour Party in Egypt has so far won a quarter of the seats in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, placing it second only to the more moderate Muslim Brotherhood.
After the interview aired, Hamad told The Associated Press that he did not know he was talking to Israeli Army Radio, and he was told only it was for an Israeli broadcaster. He claimed that had he known, he would not have agreed to the Army Radio interview because “they occupy our Palestinian brothers.”
He also said that his party “without doubt” supports changes to the agreement, including raising troop levels in the Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel. He also said that there need to be guarantees for Palestinians.
“We call for full Sinai rights for Egypt and for our brothers in Palestine and occupied lands, and we see this as directly related to the agreement,” he told the AP.

Al Ahram’s account contradicts AP’s:

Hammad, however, later said he had been “ambushed” by the Israeli reporter that conducted the interview, who, says Hammad, had introduced himself as an Iraqi journalist.
The interview had prompted surprise in Israel – and outrage in Egypt – that a member of Egypt’s hard-line Salafist movement would grant an interview to an Israeli media outlet, especially one associated with the military.

He made the same claim to Al Arabiya:

Hammad told Al Arabiya.net that he received an anonymous phone call and when he started the conversation with the caller, the Israeli journalist at first presented himself as an Iraqi one and spoke with him in Arabic.
“If I knew [the caller being a journalist from the Isareli army radio station], I would not have talked to him,” he said, adding “this is a media deceit and I reject such approach.”
The spokesman said only at the end of the interview the journalist said that he is Israeli.

Speaking of Nour, Hudson-NY has a must-read piece saying that the party isn’t really Salafi – but Wahhabi.


The Muslim Brotherhood Unmasked

December 22, 2011

jihadWhile the current administration has a stake in referring to the Muslim Brotherhood as “moderate” and “largely secular,” there is a reality very different from the view at Foggy Bottom.

The Brotherhood is a popular movement of Islam founded in 1928 by Hasan al Banna, the most prominent representative of what is sometimes referred to as Islamism. For al Banna, whatever ails the Muslim world – the umma – can be addressed by the simple sentence: “Islam is the solution.” Religious law – Shariah, or “The Way – is to be restored to its central place as an organizing principle for every sphere of life.
From the Muslim Brotherhood’s point of view, whatever ails the world can be traced to the West’s pernicious influence. The West stole scientific secrets, deprived Muslims of their religious faith and converted them into docile subjects. While resentment is the main current of Islamism, it has curiously united with modern mass media to spread the faith. Similarly, while the West is deplored, the technical achievements of the West are often welcomed, and even aspects of democracy – such as the civil code – which can be exploited to advance Islam, are admired. The Brotherhood openly calls for free elections, but only as a way to gain and legitimate its authority. This duality is what confuses the detractors of Islamism. Hoping for the best, some critics rely on their assertions of what we would like to believe, that the Muslim Brotherhood is indeed “moderate” and “largely secular.”
In the recent Egyptian elections, journalists distinguished between the “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood and the extreme Salafists — without noting that al Banna considered himself a Salafist, as apparently do most of the members of the Brotherhood. The Islamist synthesis of modernity and tradition is attractive to those torn between these two ideological perspectives. But make no mistake, the Muslim Brotherhood accepts modernity only to the extent it confirms an uncompromising commitment to religious dogma and imperial political designs.
According to the Islamist world view, Allah has vouchsafed to mankind a full and perfect doctrine of human behavior. And to the extent the political order is predicated on divine decree, there isn’t room for rejection, whether it be in the name of democracy or individual rights. Laws cannot be passed that explicitly challenge the commands of Allah. If people can be permitted to do what Allah has forbidden, Shariah law can never be compatible with liberal democracy. If the Koran, written by the Archangel Gabriel, at the behest of Allah, says the consumption of alcohol is forbidden, there is no authority that can grant legislative sanction. In this case, as in so many others, the religious value system guarantees “civilized” behavior. So when Islamists say they want representative government, what they mean is legislation compatible with the Koran.
Who is the ultimate arbiter of state-based legislation? The imams who reflect the wisdom and compassion of Allah. For the Brotherhood, there must be absolute loyalty to fixed and eternal rules, a condition that inevitably suffocates research, free will, science and art.
Egypt is now caught in a web woven by the Muslim Brotherhood. Democracy without the Brotherhood is inconceivable, and democracy with the Brotherhood is impossible. The movement cannot be denied if free elections are permitted, but the infrastructure of democracy cannot be created so long as there is a formal adherence to Shariah.
Yet ,in most Arab countries the Muslim Brotherhood is the best organized group. This grants it an advantage over liberal rivals that are splintered into many fractions. If the West confronts the Brotherhood’s leadership, it merely confirms the belief that the conspiracists are right in theor beief that the West is trying to undermine Islam. If the West does not confront the Islamists, the liberals are bound to be defeated. Damned if you do; damned if you don’t. In a Kantian sense, democratic impulses should – at some point – rise to the surface, especially if Brotherhood policies do not produce jobs or adequate food supplies. Dictatorships have a way of destroying themselves when the “eternal verities” that they hold onto cannot yield the basic human needs that have been promised. It is one thing to be a good Muslim who prays five times a day; it is quite another thing to rely on one meal a day for sustenance.

Herbert London is president emeritus of Hudson Institute, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of the book Decline and Revival in Higher Education (Transaction Books).


The Nour Party – Egyptian Wahhabis Exploiting the ‘Salafi’ Mask

December 20, 2011
Media_httpwwwalmasrya_adrcs
(Nour Party chairman tries to ease fears | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today’s News from Egypt – Emad Abdel Ghafour, the party’s chairman Photographed by Noha El-Hennawy)

(hudson-ny.org) The extreme Islamist “Nour Party” [“Party of the Light”], with 25% of the ballots, produced the biggest surprise of the first round of Egypt’s parliamentary voting at the end of November. Its advance overshadowed, in media attention, the widely-anticipated 40% received by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Nour Party had formed a coalition, the “Democratic Alliance for Egypt,” with the Brotherhood but withdrew from it in September. The Brotherhood and the Nour Party are now in bitter competition.

Commentaries, although reflecting shock in the Arab and international media on the Nour Party’s rise, were predictable. The media have accommodated the Nour Party by referring to it under the party’s preferred ideological banner as “Salafis,” or by describing its supporters as “religious conservatives.” The truth is different. The Nour Party embodies Wahhabism, the fanatical interpretation of Islam that is the sole official religious doctrine in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The media have tiptoed around the authentic character of the Nour Party, with leading sources noting only that the Nour Party’s program is derived from or influenced by Saudi Wahhabism. But the Nour Party reproduces Wahhabism – the ideology that inspired Osama Bin Laden – in its entirety.
The term “Salafi” refers to a Muslim who emulates the first three generations of Muhammad’s companions and successors. Traditional Muslims and conscientious historians recognize the falsity of the Wahhabis masquerading as “Salafis.” For moderate Muslims, comparing oneself to the pioneering figures in Islamic history is offensively arrogant. In addition, a “Salafi” reform movement existed in the 19th century, but unlike the Wahhabi “Salafis,” the 19th century “Salafis,” such as Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905), an Egyptian scholar and writer, were not violent and did not preach against the West.
The 19th century “Salafis” sought to modernize Islam and adapt it to Western modes of thought. They also condemned spiritual Sufism, as do today’s Wahhabi “Salafis.” But unlike the recent Wahhabi “Salafis,” the 19th century group did not demand the right to expel Muslims from the global Islamic community over doctrinal differences, and then kill them as “apostates” – as the Wahhabi “Salafis” have been doing in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, and Iraq, among other countries. The 19th century “Salafi” reformers appealed to Muslims to imitate the personal integrity and dedication of the early Muslims, but did not seek to reinforce abuse of women, hatred of non-Muslims, or limitations on free thought. They, in fact, prized freedom of inquiry as an Islamic value.
Wahhabis know that Muslims hate and fear them for their terrorist acts and repressive practices in Saudi Arabia. Few Egyptians admire or to desire to live under a Saudi-Wahhabi system. That is why, with the complicity of Western media, the Egyptian Wahhabis have adopted the term “Salafi”. But they should not be allowed to pretend that they are conservative imitators of the early Muslim generations when instead their views are radical.
There is no mistaking the Wahhabi foundation of the Nour Party’s politics. Its male leaders and candidates affect the untrimmed beard cultivated by Wahhabis, in an alleged imitation of Muhammad. They claim to have a single real candidate: Muhammad. In an obvious mimicry of past Saudi-Wahhabi restrictions on women, the Nour Party relegated women candidates (whom Egyptian law required be included) to the bottom of their list to prevent any from being elected. The Nour Party’s leader, Yasser Borhami, denounced participation by women in parliament as “corruption.”
Nour Party representatives in Egypt have said they would reinstitute payment by all non-Muslims of the jizya tax, an obsolete Islamic practice that exists in no other Muslim country. Borhami has also called Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority, who make up 10% of the population, “unbelievers.” One prominent, if unsuccessful, Nour Party aspirant to office, Abdel Moneim Al-Shahat, referred to the writings of Egypt’s Nobel Prize winning author, Naguib Mahfouz, as the “literature of prostitution.” Al-Shahat, who appears frequently on television talk shows, appealed for the Pharaonic statues that are a part of Egypt’s pre-Islamic cultural legacy to be covered with wax because they had, in the past, been worshipped as idols – the same attitude that impelled the Taliban to destroy the Bamiyan statues of Buddha in Afghanistan.
In addition to flattering the Nour Party by referring to it as “Salafi” or “conservative,” the media have further softened the image of the Egyptian Wahhabis by labelling them “Puritan.” This they are, but while “Puritan” has lost its edge as an item in Western religious history, Islamic Puritanism represents an exaggerated attempt to return to the world as it existed in Muhammad’s time. Representatives of the Nour Party are vague when they discuss some of their most basic objectives, which include Shariah [“The Path:” Islamic religious law] as common law; gender segregation of unmarried or unrelated people; enforced full-body covering for women; promotion of “Islamic banking” as a leading economic institution, and a ban on alcohol among non-Muslims.
Except for Saudi Arabia, which supports a non-traditional, arbitrary form of Shariah as public law, and enclaves in Africa, Pakistan, and Indonesia, every Muslim country in the world has adopted Western canons of common law, and left the interpretation of Shariah as applicable exclusively to religious matters. Article 2 of the Egyptian Constitution now states that the “principal source of legislation by the state is Islamic jurisprudence (sharia).” This left space for the retention of non-religious law, since Islamic jurisprudence recognizes the validity of non-Islamic common law. A Shariah-state experiment in Sudan failed after the South Sudanese rejected it, and led to the division of the country. The current ruler of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, has threatened to adopt something like Egypt’s law, likewise defining Shariah as a “principal source” of legislation, although his government has not yet done so. The Nour Party would subject Egypt to an experiment in applying religious jurisprudence as the only, rather than the “principal,” basis for law.
Whether family or inheritance law should follow universal standards, or Shariah guidelines that discriminate against women, is widely argued in the Muslim countries. Morocco, for example, in 2004 adopted a family code that: makes women equal heirs to property; bars marriage of women against their will; allows wives to prohibit their husbands from engaging in polygamy, and to divorce their husbands if they take a second wife; places divorce under secular, rather than religious authority, and makes domestic violence by men a basis for divorce by women. The recent electoral success of a Muslim Brotherhood local branch, the Justice and Development Party, may affect the status of this law, but it is unlikely given that the law is supported by the king, Mohammed VI.
From early in Islamic history, Muslim scholars have argued that Shariah was legitimate only in dealing with matters of religion, and that Islamic law could draw on existing, pre-Islamic law and custom. In addition, Muhammad called on Muslims who migrate to non-Muslim lands to accept the laws and customs of the countries to which they move. This pattern – Shariah as appropriate only to aspects of faith – dominated the Islamic world for almost a millennium, ever since the Mongols, who conquered Baghdad in 1258 CE, accepted Islam but refused to abandon their Mongol customary law. The same pattern was seen in the Ottoman Empire, which preserved its Turkish customary law. If the radicals of the Nour Party were to have their way, however, the basic law of Egypt, which is borrowed from French law, would be abolished.
Even Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has eased the influence of extreme Wahhabis in the judiciary of his country. The Saudi monarch has reduced the financing of the infamous morals patrols or mutawiyin – often wrongly called the “morals police,” but in reality a body of militia and volunteers. He also opened up opportunities for women to participate in professional and public life, although they are still not allowed to drive a car, travel, open a bank account, or see a doctor without the permission of a male relative or guardian. In reality, in rural areas, driving by women is common but overlooked.
The unmentioned factor in the emergence of the Nour Party has to do with its financing: Who provided funds for the organization of a new and expanding political party in Egypt? Before the election, Nour Party representatives discounted concerns by their Egyptian opponents that they were backed by Arabian Gulf states, which for decades had paid for Wahhabi “Salafi” mosques and networks of Islamic charities in Egypt. Kuwait and Qatar have been mentioned as backers of the Nour Party, but solid evidence is scarce. This is not surprising, as the Wahhabi “Salafis” are not known for transparency in their financing; to discover the source of Nour’s backing still requires investigation. While the Saudis have been mentioned as a possible backer of the Nour Party, there is not yet any evidence to support that theory. The disconcerting gains of the Nour Party suggest that it has nevertheless benefitted from large financial donations, which might come from outside the country, or from political support from inside the existing Egyptian institutions, rather than because of a pure religious fervour animating a large pool of volunteers.
From a different perspective, on December 9, Time magazine quoted an Egyptian as saying, “I think the deal has already been made between the Islamists and SCAF [the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the Egyptian military that ousted Hosni Mubarak], and SCAF wants them in power,” said Shadi al-Ghazaly Harb, a liberal young politician whose Awareness Party fared poorly. “I think SCAF wants to scare everyone with the Islamists — the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis — so that they will push an ex-military figure forward as the next presidential candidate. That will be the true end of the revolution.”
One aspect of the appeal of the Egyptian Wahhabi “Salafi” movement – observed before, in the history of both the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamist groups in South Asia – was noted in the London Financial Times of December 9 by Borzou Daragahi: “Nour’s educated and professional supporters and leaders tend to hail from modest backgrounds – recent arrivals to the middle class, perhaps bitter that their education or newfound wealth did not bring them the status that comes with lineage and connections.”
Wahhabi “Salafi” Islam often reflects frustrated upward mobility and rising expectations, rather than desperation and poverty. The overeducated and underemployed in Egypt and elsewhere have no plan they think can resolve their problems, so they withdraw into an irrational fantasy of Muslim life in the past. This view is not conservative, but radical; it is dangerous for Egypt, for Islam, and for the world.


Egypt’s Islamic Extremists Claim Landslide Win

December 19, 2011
Muslim Brotherhood
Israel news photo: Muslim Brotherhood
(israelnationalnews) Egypt’s two largest Islamic extremist parties claim they won nearly 70 percent of the votes in the second round of legislative elections. The Islamic parties won approximately 65 of the votes in the first round of elections last month.,
The complex elections call on eligible Egyptians to vote for party lists that will make up two-thirds of the parliament, while individual candidates run for the other third.
The Muslim Brotherhood, running under the euphemistic name Freedom and Justice, said it won 39 percent of the votes in the contest between parties. The Salafist Islam party, named Al-Nur, said it won more than 39 percent of the ballots.
There were no declared winners in the vote for individual candidates, who face a run-off on Wednesday.
The Muslim Brotherhood formerly was ordered off-limits to American officials before the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year. Realizing that anti-American and anti-Israel party would likely be the dominant force in Egypt, the Obama administration decided to “engage” the Muslim Brotherhood, and the president even spoke optimistically about it.
However, the strong showing by the Salafists is another in a long line of “surprises” to the American government, which promoted Palestinian Authority legislative elections five years ago and ended up with the Hamas terrorist organization as the ruling party. Hamas was created by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Iran is thrilled with election results.
Mahmoud Ghazlan, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, told Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency, “Cairo will never allow a continuation of the Gaza blockade,” referring to Israel’s maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza to prevent more terrorists and weapons from reaching Gaza.
“Ghazlan blasted the former Egyptian regime’s silence over Israel’s crimes against the innocent people of the Gaza Strip, and said the new regime in Cairo will certainly pick up a new approach towards Palestine and the Palestinian issue,” the Iranian news agency reported.

Thanks Liberals and Progressives! You Obama people are swell!