Sandmonkey Tales: Abdel Monem and me

I never really met Abdel Monem. Never was interested to meet the "moderate" Muslim Brotherhood..ehh..Brother?? or is it member? anyway…. But that doesn't mean we are not connected, nor that this story shouldn't be told. Let's just say that this is a testimonial, a cautionary tale without any heroes, a reminder so to speak to those who believe in freedom and support it that not all is always what it seems to be.

Let's rewind time a little, a few months back, to the day when I decided that I would stop blogging. Shall we?

It was 2 hours before the BBC interview began, when my farewell post was published. They were supposed to be here to talk to me about blogging, and whether or not it was making a difference in Egypt, and blah blah blabbity blah. I already knew all of their questions (those rarely change), the same way I already knew all of my answers to them. I have said them so many times they were etched on my frontal lobe, and I always gave them exactly the story they wanted without lying. They were perfect soundbites. And they should've been. I've had so much practice over the months. I even knew who else they probably interviewed alongside me. The List was always the same: Hossam , Elijah , Issandr, Wael , Nora , alaa or manal . Those were the ones comfortable with english you see. With the other ones you needed translators, and really, who wanted to go to the trouble? 

This, like all of my other interviews on camera, was going to have my face hidden. I pondered the futility of doing that for a minute, since I was quitting blogging anyway. Maybe Giving the Sandmonkey a face would be a smart move, especially with that nice police car parked under my house for the third consecutive week. But I brushed off the idea completely, because 1) I knew they were following me since the day of that protest, so it might not have anything to do with being the sandmonkey , and 2) Maybe all they needed to indict me is a direct link to the blog, which until now I haven't given them, so why bother now?, and most importantly 3) I never did this for fame. I never knew this blog would be so successful, and I honestly didn't intend to have this as a full time project. Being the Sandmonkey didn't define me, and I had no intention to let it. I didn't want to be famous. I just wanted to be heard.

Unfortunately, this wasn't the case with everybody. Others were in it precisely for themselves, to perpetuate an image, to create an Icon of themselves, to become "legends" of the egyptian blogsphere, which is probably the most pathetic of goals there is. But you learn to ignore. To let go. You, after all, had to work with these people. You maybe the illegitimate child of the egyptian blogsphere, but this was your family, whether you or they liked it or not. Their fights were your fights. That was the case, at least until they started to fight fake battles.

That's when Abdel Monem enters the story.

Abdel Monem was a journalist, and a politically active member of the muslim brotherhood. He was also a blogger. His blog wasn't really of any consequence to speak of, but he was friends with Alaa & Manal, Nora, Hossam, and the majority of the February 30th movement (February 30th, get it?). I never fully understood what was so special about him, except that he was a "moderate" voice amongst the Muslim Brotherhood, and by moderate they meant that he didn't want to see all the leftists dead. He was the MB member they could be friends with, and the kind of person they could show to someone like me and go " See, not all the MB members are bad. Here is one who shakes hands with unveiled women, and he talks about freedom for everybody and stuff. You are the one who is too narrow minded. You are the one who dehumanizes them. We are all in this together", while wagging their fingers in my face.

Except that we were not all in this together. And they were being useful idiots. But we will get to that part later.

Anyway, that sense of comradery that they felt for him, accompanied with some of them's desire to forge links and good relations with the "Inevitably-sooner -or-later-coming-to-power Muslim Brotherhood", made them feel as if they needed to do something for their friend. But they knew that no one cared internationally about a muslim brotherhood member getting arrested, even a so called moderate one. So they were like :"Wait a minute? Doesn't he have a blog? That makes him a jailed blogger! People internationally will care about that! We can help our friend that way!" Nevermind that he wasn't arrested for his blogging, nevermind that his blog was of literally no consequence or impact, there was a blog, and that makes him a blogger and therefore a jailed blogger. End of discussion, Honesty be damned.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Free Monem campaign got started!

Now before I go any further, here is a caveat: I do not think it is right for people to get arrested for exercising their political rights, nor am I against the MB getting their own party. And I am definitely not pro people getting arrested for merely being Muslim Brotherhood members (maybe pro getting their heads checked, just kidding), so I am not for Abdel Monem getting arrested and despite it all, I would like him to stay free. However, there is a fundamental difference between someone getting arrested for being politically active in an illegal group, and someone getting arrested for writing on their blog. That difference isn't exactly hard to distinguish I believe.

Two days after I stopped blogging, I was in DC, and all hell had broken loose.

Apparently my little goodbye post caused a lot of furor. I thought it would be just like a couple of blogs writing goodbye posts and linking to me and that's it, like dozens of others who quit before me. I was gravely mistaken. I underestimated the media, and their hunger for a sexy story. Blogs and bloggers, at the time, were sexy topics that made sexy stories. And apparently bloggers getting silenced was the story equivalent of Angelina Jolie sexy. Who knew?

So, the next thing I know, AFP wrote a story about it, and was then followed by AP. Then the AFP story got translated into arabic, and then it was syndicated into numerous arabic language publications that never had the name Sandmonkey in it before. My mailbox was flooded by requests for interviews, with reporters whom I am friends with demanding exclusives, reporters I used to know referring me to their friends and asking if I wouldn't mind talking to them, two e-mails from Charles Levinson, whom I refused to talk to after writing a story about me that was just short of disclosing my real name 2 years ago, begging for another chance, and not to mention the thousands of other e-mails from fans. It was insane. And then it got a little crazier, when I received a link to an article written by MB apologist and propagandist Ibrahim Al Hudaiby , declaring solidarity with "The Sandmonkey" that was published on Ikhwan Web. I was supported by the MB. Who could've imagined?

(Of course I understood that this was a way for the MB to harness the media attention to their own causes, which could've only been done by Ibrahim. He is, after all, their english language propaganda guy. AUC educated and one-time-Student government president, he knows how to talk and handle western media. He is also the translator for the MB supreme Leader Mahdy Akef with foreign Media, and you know what's funny? What Mahdy says in arabic, and what Ibrahim translates into english, are completely different things. But that's another story.)  

But through out it all, I maintained radio silence. I just wanted the entire thing to go away. The only interview I ever gave at the time was to Pamela from Atlas Shrugged, and that only happened because we were meeting for drinks in New York and she surprised me with her interview request, so I agreed. Plus, I figured it's not gonna be heard that many people anyway (was wrong on that one. never underestimate the blogsphere). But besides that, I kept my mouth shut. I gave no interviews to neither strangers nor acquaintances. Charles ended up interviewing Issandr for his story about me, which I thought was hilarious.

It wasn't until I felt that the people definitely got the wrong impression from me quitting that I wrote the follow-up explanatory post (which of course was completely ignored by the media- who wants a story about a bloggers who were getting a big head because of media attention anyway?), and which also included the idea of that organization for protection of bloggers (which started nicely but ended up crashing, but that's also another story) and stopping the exploitation of their causes by other organizations (as was happening with the Free Kareem campaign at the time). For me this was the next step, a cause worth fighting for. Something pure, honest and that could bring people- from all political spectrums- together. And to think I actually thought it could work.

I am pretty naive sometimes.

* a few months ago* 

G: So, what do you think of that Free Momen campaign?

Me: I think it's the dumbest and most dangerous thing that any of us have ever made.

G: How so?

Me: Because they are campaiging for him as if he is jailed for blogging, and he isn't. And just the other day I was reading about another MB member that got arrested, and who also had a blog, and suddenly he is too "the jailed blogger blah blah blah". Now, all the Muslim Brotherhood needs to have people campiagn for their members is to ask them to have blogs, and suddenly everybody is a hero of free speech and has to be defended by us.

G: I swear to god that's what I told them. That this way we are breached by the Brotherhood and playing to their hand. But nobody will listen.

Me: But they are idiots. If they keep this up, Egypt will become known as that country that jails bloggers, and nobody will care. We will be like Tunisia in the eyes of the world. It won't be a worthy cause to release a blogger jailed in Egypt for his/her opinion, because it will be normal. It will be "what they do there in Egypt".

G: I know.

At the same time, the Free Monem movement was on full swing. Posts about "War on bloggers" were being written. Monem's name was mentioned in the UN's Citizen Journalists conference on the international day for free press in the same breath as Abdel Karim. And the Free Monem campaign got launched on that same day. It was PR blitz and it had Monem's name and face all over it. It was fantastic.

About a month later, Abdel Monem was released. He was now an internationally known face. a Hero of free speech. A blogger who was also a moderate member of the MB. A legend was created, and it had mass appeal to all kinds of intellectuals and so called Middle-east experts. No wonder when Marc Lynch came to Egypt last October, meeting Abdel Monem was on top of his agenda. After all, this guy was imprisoned for his views and opinions and is a moderate voice amongst the Brotherhood. That's street cred and legitimacy you just can't buy.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. The Muslim Brotherhood release the final draft of their Political Party's platform: The Platform is, as expected, anti-Christian and anti-women (Prohibiting both from ever becoming either President or Prime Minister). Oh, and also the chief moderate Ikhwan voice, Essam el Aryan, got sacked from the leadership. And guess what? Nobody said anything. Not a single person who participated in the Free Monem campaign even mentioned it on their blogs. Neither did Abdel Monem, but he didn't stop there.

See, there was a group of MB bloggers who were a voice of dissent amongst the Brotherhood, who didn't like the Platform nor the way some things were run and presented by the leadership. Some, taking special issue with the MB's official website, Ikhwanonline, for their blatant stealing of content from their blogs without giving them credit, created a counter website called Ikhwan Offline as a counter protest. Those bloggers all looked to Abdel Monem as a reformer and a leader, someone they can trust. They discoverd shortly how wrong they were.

Abdel Monem went to the High leadership of the MB and snitched on everybody . He gave them every single name of every single dissenter and what they are saying. The leadership immedietly cracked down on the dissenter, using with some the whip (threats of expulsion from the Brotherhood prompted the runners of the site to shut it down) and with others the carrot ( the ones with any talent were hired by Ikhwan Online as writers with significant salaries). When news of his betrayal of his so-called brothers reached MB member from Saudi and the Gulf and prompted them to give Monem furious phone calls for what he did, Monem's response was  : "Listen people. I am an internationally known blogger, and have a big name, and will not deal with your nonsense", and hung up on them. It was also found out that our "Hero" has been- and still is- on the Payroll of jailed MB financier and second man in command Khairat el Shater, and Khairat is definitely from the conservative part of the MB, so I guess it makes sense that those who are paid by him to follow his line, no?

Now, is anyone talking about that?


Did any of those who were behind the campaign issue anything even close to a repudiation to Abdel Monem or the MB's platform?


Did any of those who defended him apologize for making a star out of him, thus making him a trustworthy figure to those kids he betrayed?


Did any of them even acknowledge, that maybe, just maybe, they were wrong about this guy and defending him in the first place? 

Hehehe. Right.

The Silence is- at the risk of sounding cliche- deafening. 

You see, I think they owe the world an apology. I think they should apologize for deceiving people about him. I think they should apologize for making an international symbol of him, and one that is dishonest at best. I think they should say that they were wrong about that. I think they should say that they were wrong about him. That they misjudged. That they miscalculated. THAT THEY WERE WRONG. That they acted like the Useful idiots I warned them of being, and that they were used by someone who claimed to be a moderate, but when push came to shove, he not only followed the MB line, he sold out his brothers who weren't, and who trusted him.That maybe, just maybe, they were responsible for this, and that they need to atone for it.  They gave this guy fame, They made him a hero when they knew he wasn't and now he will use that and milk it to his ends and those of the MB, and that will be all on their hands.

But of course they won't admit their fault or apologize. At best they will just ignore this post, keep their silence and hope it goes away, and at worst they will view it as a personal attack on them by me, and will wish to retaliate. Doesn't matter either way, cause whatever they do, they know that what I said here was the truth. And nothing they say or do will change that.


Me and Abdel Monem don't know each other, and I am glad of that. I am glad to not know him, to not be acquainted with him, let alone be friends with him, because as I suspected, he couldn't be trusted. Just like Ibrahim el Hudaiby, just like every other single moderate face of the Brotherhood. At best they have no power nor influence, and at worst they are fakers and propagandist, preying on whatever media outlets and useful idiots from the left and the right who want to believe the Fantasy that the MB could become moderate and be the voice of the egyptian opposition. For the final time I will say it: It's not going to happen. They will use you as their defenders and their mouthpieces to their own ends, and then they will betray you, the same way they always did (Hey, remember the 2005 parliamentary elections? How many Kefayah members did the MB vote into power? yeah,thought so!). I don't fault Abdel Monem for what he did. It is to be expected from him. The fault lies on those who supported him, who should know better but chose to ignore reality, and then falsified it to help him. Even if they don't come clean for what they did, maybe, just maybe, they have learned their lesson out of this.

But I doubt it! 

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0 comment on Sandmonkey Tales: Abdel Monem and me

    November 19, 2007 at 10:04 pm

    yaw yaw yaw

    i don't know ,, why u didn't thinking about working as a journalist 😀

    always specialist Monkey 😉

  2. ikhnaton2
    November 19, 2007 at 10:22 pm

    strong post, Sam. I really wonder how do u know such internal news in Ikhwan. If your story is true, it’ll be a lesson for those moderate liberal voice that backed up Monem campaign but none of them will admit it. Politics and media are shit shit shit. Wish ppl understand that what are they doing with their irresponsible idiot voices.

  3. spellz
    November 19, 2007 at 10:38 pm

    that’s smart!
    and mon3em this ******** nobody imagined
    dont blame them for being kind
    but they owe us apology for the lies they blvd and made us blvd in!!

  4. ISIS
    November 19, 2007 at 11:59 pm


    YOU ARE SOOOOOOOOO RIGHT! I posted about this at the time monem was detained… I said exactly what you’re saying now…. y’all should really hear what some of the Feb30th movement members said in the comments section… not only supporting Monem as a blogger, or even as a jailed MB activist, but supporting the actual Muslim Brotherhood and defending them… It made me sick that some of the biggest bloggers, the most famous and influential amongst the blogosphere were allying themselves in that manner with the Islamists…. No I don’t believe we’re all in this together, because the Islamists are simply trying to take over the entire country – not just the regime – you can’t ally yourself with that! Thats like committing suicide, putting your own neck on the tracks! I said it before and I’ll say it now…. opposing the current regime can get you in a lot of trouble, but opposing a religious MB regime will get ur head violently separated from the rest of you!

  5. Anna-A
    November 20, 2007 at 12:38 am

    I think the most powerful piece of information I read was on a Jerusalem womans site..she said..and I’m not completely sure of the exact wording..but she said only 2% of the Muslims are terrorists-well, where are the other 98%? Why aren’t they speaking up? Especially in America. I’ve been told it is because they have no central power figure, or something like that, but you know…
    I just don’t believe that.

    November 20, 2007 at 3:21 am

    ikhwanweb publishing your post Ya Monkey !

    is it a part of ikhwanonline & ikhwanweb Fighting 😀 ?

  7. arabist
    November 20, 2007 at 9:10 am

    There are a few factual mistakes in your post, notably regarding Moneim’s position on the MB party platform. But I’d like to hear more about what you described as his “snitching” – do you have more details?

    Totally agree with you on the media’s obsession with bloggers in Egypt, who mostly get arrested for protesting not blogging. That was the case with Alaa too. But he deserved coverage anyway, and if that meant promoting his blogger side, so be it. The same applies for Moneim – it was one of the rare occasions that someone paid attention to an Islamist being jailed. Moneim also did support Karim when he was jailed, remember?

    The question of him being a “snitch” is quite serious of course, but more info on that would be appreciated… There was a meeting between the young dissident MB bloggers (I think including Moneim) and some of the serious leadership (notably Mursi, a real conservative on the platform issue), if there was a group meeting I am not sure how he was supposed to have snitched.

    By the way the ikhwanweb page that Gemyhood linked to is not available – I check their sites every day and this has happened before, where posts were pulled down.

  8. arabist
    November 20, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Oops the ikhwanweb link is not available…

  9. arabist
    November 20, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Oops the ikhwanweb link is now available…

  10. del
    November 20, 2007 at 9:59 am

    Sheikh Ahmed Deedat-How Rushdie Fooled the West? youtube it…lol this is hilarious, and wierd mind you, you must have a stomach, for the kinda crap that exists in our world…cheers and enjoy the blog everyone, u 2 sandmonkey

  11. Ash-Shakkak
    November 20, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    Uh-huh. So
    1) The Brothers are religious conservatives, not LibDems (duh. thanks). They suck. Moneim is a Brother. He sucks too.
    2) Moneim, according to t5at5a, is a snitch.
    3) Ergo, Moneim should be in jail.

    That about right?

    Read the material on Moneim. Nobody pretended away the charges against Moneim or the reasons State Security singled him out from the tens of thousands of Brotherhood members. Except you.

    Oh no, wait, just re-read your caveat. You’re not in favor of putting MoBros in jail because they’re MoBros. So what, exactly, is your point? Moneim should be in jail because some marginal, disaffected young MoBro says Moneim told on him?

    Irresponsible, attention-seeking bullshit. Sorry, but if you start calling honest, well-intentioned, hard-working folks like Nora and the Gharbeias liars while you bullshit out of the other side of your mouth, I gotta call you out, fool. These are the secular Egyptian democrats I’d expect you, of all people, would support. I’m sorry they aren’t on your tip like clueless Israelis and Bushie beer-pong champs are. But these are the “courageous, English-speaking, Egyptian bloggers” CNN will call if your wasta fails you and you wind up in Moneim’s shoes. These are the guys who will stand up against the Brotherhood’s reactionary platform if there’s ever an open debate. And you know what? They’ll do it whether or not you’re nice to them. All the more reason to be nice to them.

  12. anna
    November 20, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    I can’t believe Issandr al amrani or whatever his name is actually did your interview about why you were leaving the blogosphere. Why is a moroccan who constatnly slags off Egypt speaking on behalf of an Egyptian blogger leaving the Egyptian blogosphere?

    Did you ask him to do that or was he being his usual media-whore self? I think we know the answer girls and boys

  13. Ibrahim El Houdaiby
    November 20, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    I cant understand all these conspiracies you have in mind. First, I express solidarity with you, so you assume this is an attempt to divert media attentions. Well, if we are questioning intentions (which no one really could), then I would say you said you’ll stop blogging only to attract some media to your blog, but I wont say that.
    I expressed solidarity with you, Kareem and all other political detainees, simply because I believe in freedom of expression. Of course I disagree with what you have to say, but that does not mean I want you silent
    Also, I am not Akef’s translator (and he is not the supreme guide by the way, there is no position as such in the Brotherhood, unless you are mixing the Brotherhood with Iran, which would be a horrible mistake), and I only help with translation occassionally, when I’m in Egypt, and have free time.
    Now the claim that what he says is what thing and what I translate is another is an unacceptable insult. I disagree with what he says, but as long as Im translating, I only say it as-is. Your claim needs proof, just like most of the claims you made throughout this very interesting piece.
    It was very interesting for me to read it, because it is full of fresh news, that still need some proof I think. I am a member of the Brotherhood, and have been so for years now, and yet am surprised to know about lots of our “internal affairs” from someone who does not belong to the group, and who claims I am the propagandist, and this requires (I think) that I at least KNOW whats going on
    Anyway, some cases are hopeless I know, just as there are some hopeless cases inside the Brotherhood, there are some hopeless cases criticizing it. I am open to criticizm, but I need some facts, and you provided none

  14. EgyPeter
    November 20, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    I am SO DAMN tired of hearing the term “moderate” Muslim Brotherhood member.

    Can someone please explain to me WTF is a “moderate” Ikhwani? I guess it would be similar to a moderate Nazi or a moderate KKK member. Who knows, maybe the world should engage the moderate Taliban, Al Qaada and Hamas members…

    Sorta like Big Foot, I keep hearing that he exists out there but NOBODY has ever actually witnessed one! Same EXACT damn thing with “moderate” Islamists….they don’t exist!

    November 20, 2007 at 5:29 pm

    lol @ houdaiby

    u said sandmonkey stop blogging to attract some media to his Blog


    you r So funny ” Hema ” !

  16. TeacherLady
    November 20, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    Sorry, Sandmonkey, but you were right when you said that the news far prefers sexy or alarmist stories to ones that disclose truths. Thanks for doing your part to combat that.

  17. EgyPeter
    November 20, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Anna – awesome question. 🙂

  18. Ibrahim El Houdaiby
    November 20, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    I am also astonished to know that I was a student government president. when was that?????

  19. anna
    November 20, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    tateeta egypeter-issandr disagrees on many things that SM stands for so the heck is he to go speaking for him…what people will do for notoriety

    I only skimmed the piece really quick first time as i didn’t have time to read all of it but now that i have….

    WOWOWOW, that is one heck of a piece. Okay, this blog has not lost its edge if it continues to churn out stuff like this. You stood on some big toes there and made really good points about how monem is now the MB’s poster boy- clean cut boy next door- when the real picture we know is quite the opposite.

    awesome, this is SM back to old form. look forward to more hard truths

  20. Akiva M.
    November 20, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Uh-huh. So
    1) The Brothers are religious conservatives, not LibDems (duh. thanks). They suck. Moneim is a Brother. He sucks too.
    2) Moneim, according to t5at5a, is a snitch.
    3) Ergo, Moneim should be in jail.

    That about right?

    Hard to understand how you could possibly have understood the post in that manner.

    Lets try this again:

    1) Monem was not jailed for being a blogger

    2) The fact that someone who is in jail is also a blogger does not ipso facto mean that their incarceration is an attack on bloggers, or freedom of the press (such as it is in Egypt)

    3) Therefore, campaigning to free Monem because he is a blogger and as though that were the reason he had been arrested is both disingenuous and, in the long run, counterproductive

  21. Jen
    November 20, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    Oh dude. This post (like so many others) should be called, “I Told You So”. My poor Sandmonkey, you must be so lonely.

    So ronery!

  22. Ash-Shakkak
    November 20, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Hey SM – realized my comment might have seemed harsh. Hope I didn’t offend. I lie only to my enemies, and I’m polite only to strangers. My friends get the truth. I want my friends to tell me when I’m full of crap, and so I hope they don’t get offended when I tell them they are. You know I got nothing but love for you.

    Akiva, State Security’s mahdar and their interrogation of Moneim focused on his public criticism of torture in Egypt, including his own torture. He was arrested hours after he met with a major international human rights organization, and very soon after he spoke about his own torture in public conferences in Doha and Cairo. The charges against him — arming students — were so spurious that they were thrown out right quick. The prosecutor called the SSI officer a liar.

    If you’re so sure Moneim’s arrest had nothing to do with his work as a journalist, blogger, or his public criticism of the government, how do you account for the fact that Security targeted him for arrest out of the tens of thousands of Brothers in the country?

  23. Ibrahim El Houdaiby
    November 20, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    Im still eagerly waiting to read some responses to my questions.
    You made some harsh insults there, and failed to suppot your claims by any proof, and you said I was a president of the student government, which is a complete lie, just like almost everything else youve said about me in this piece
    You even got my name wrong, you could copy and paste for god’s sake

  24. anna
    November 20, 2007 at 9:12 pm


    IT seems very hard to believe that Moneim was picked up for speaking out about torture. Who doesn’t nowadays? If that was the case, then why didn’t they imprison wael and all the others that have stood up for anti torture? doesn’t make sense

  25. anna
    November 20, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    picked up *only* for speaking up about torture

  26. Akiva M.
    November 20, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    If you’re so sure Moneim’s arrest had nothing to do with his work as a journalist, blogger, or his public criticism of the government, how do you account for the fact that Security targeted him for arrest out of the tens of thousands of Brothers in the country?


    I’m rarely sure of anything, particularly about Egypt, a country I know only through selected blogs and would not feel particularly welcome in. I was simply summarizing the argument in the main post, not adopting it based on any knowledge of my own. That said, what you’ve posted above was a decent argument directed at the fundamental given of the OP (Monem was not arrested as a blogger); your original comment was a misreading of it.

  27. ANdreas
    November 21, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Dear Sandmonkey

    Really enjoying your fresh, sharp and honest approach. Be assured that your blog is read since quiet a while by many students in Europe (notably in France, Germany and Switzerland). It doesnt help you that much – but you are heard.

    Keep it up!


  28. yochanan
    November 21, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    moderate islamo fascist? never
    the question should be smart or dumb islamo fascist

    they both have the same goal one just is a lot more clever.

  29. Cairene
    November 21, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    couple of points:
    1. I think most bloggers have been arrested for activities other than their blogging. The misrepresentation is disgusting, but i think this is more the fault of media than anything else. Remember Droubi? of freedroubi.blogspot fame? He was actually never a blogger. But despite consistent denials, he continued to be courted by the media as a blogger and even showed up in Time as such. As far as i understand, he hates it, but it keeps following him around.
    2. Seriously, SM, if you didnt go so over the top, your comments would retain a little more credibilty than Fox to everyone other than your islamofascist-touting fanclub. I dont expect to agree with you on much, which is fair enough. But i would much prefer to listen to (err.. read) what you have to say if it wasnt so chock full of proclamations that are obvious untruths. So, when i know for a fact that Hudeiby (another person i strongly disagree with) was not SU president, i kind of have to take everything else you say about him (and pretty much everything else) with a grain of salt.

    What’s so frustrating about all this is the fact that even though you raise interesting points that are worthy of discussion, they’re neglected as people counter-rant.

  30. Khaled Salam
    November 21, 2007 at 9:22 pm

    I will still stand up for him

    I read with frustration and astonishment Sandmonkey’s post on his blog entitled: “Sandmonkey tales: Abdel Monem and Me.” The post is full of stories and accusations for my close friend Monem and I; stories and accusations that lack any sort of evidence or proof.
    I do not have the capacity to speak on Monem’s behalf, so I will not. I will limit this response to Sandmonkey’s stories about me, which were full of factual mistakes and proofless accusations.
    He starts by getting some facts wrong, claiming I was a student government president. That wasn’t even close. I never was, and never even ran for any election, be it in the Brotherhood, the student union, or any other election. I don’t think I will ever do; I love working on developing ideas, and would not put myself in a position where I would calculate what to say and what not to say based on votes.
    He also claims that when translating for Akef (who is the MB chief, or general guide if you’re looking for a literal translation, but not a supreme guide or leader by any means), what he says in Arabic and what I say in English are two different things. That is a very harsh accusation that requires proof, and I asked him for proof twice, but he never provided any, and will never do. The reason is rather straightforward: his claim is untrue.
    Sandmonkey is also questioning the reasons for me expressing solidarity with him when he said he’ll stop blogging a few months back. He says I only did so to harness media attention to Brotherhood causes. I don’t think this is a polite way of saying thank you, but I was not expecting a thank you letter in the first place. When I expressed solidarity with Sandmonkey, and Kareem Amer a few months before, I was very clear: I disagree with what they have to say, yet I don’t think attempting to silence them (by security threats or imprisonment) is a proper way of handling disagreements. As I put it in a comment I posted on his blog: I disagree with Sandmonkey, but don’t want to silence him.
    To be clear, if Sandmonkey faces any other harassment, I will still support him. Whether the harassment is because of blogging, or because of his political activity, this won’t matter to me. Unlike his claims, he was harassed last time because of political activity and not blogging; security forces only started following him upon his participation in a demonstration, so I don’t think it was his blogging that mattered either, his case is very similar to that of my friend Monem.
    On the day Monem was released, my friend Alexandra Sandles who works for Daily Star Egypt called to ask for reaction. She asked me what I thought were the reasons for his unexpected release. I responded telling her that the question should not be why was he released, but rather why was he imprisoned. I added that Monem’s release is not the end of the story, and that we still have a long way to go; there are thousands of political prisoners in Egyptian prisons. I would defend all these prisoners regardless of their political orientation and regardless of their attitude towards my imprisonment. So if Sandmonkey ever faced security threats because of his blog or activity, I will still stand up for him.

  31. EgyPeter
    November 21, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    “I was very clear: I disagree with what they have to say, yet I don’t think attempting to silence them (by security threats or imprisonment) is a proper way of handling disagreements.”

    Well, that DEFINITELY puts you in the very very small minority of Islamists. The vast majority is incapable of disagreeing with someone without wanting to kill them…or at the very least, silence them.

    And most Islmaists DO say one thing to one audience and another thing to another audience…you can’t possibly expect them to be honest and tell non-Arab speakers what they say to their populations at home, do you?

  32. Anna-A
    November 22, 2007 at 2:13 am

    I suppose it can be interpreted as a positive sign the Muslims in America are

  33. anonymous
    November 22, 2007 at 4:23 am

    This was very well written…u do have a talent and a way with words…have u thought of a novel…or a screenplay…and ur topic was very interesting…and after reading all of the comments…I have 2 say that I don’t know if any of it was true or not…ur silence was deafening…maybe there were bits and pieces of truth in there..maybe not…who knows..and really at the end of the day..who cares…Egypt is fucked permanently…5% of the population controls 95% of the vast wealth…the subsidies will be cut and the poor will get poorer…so they will continue 2 get it up the ass from whoever runs the country…and does it matter who says what on what blog…do any of u actually change the daily lives of the average man on the street… there is a question 4 all of u…

    It is amazing though how if some1, any1 really, writes something…there will always be an audience that blindly believes…sometimes we only hear what we ourselves want 2 believe…

    whether this story is true or not is irrelevant…

    because at the end of the day…u got the attention of those u wanted 2 get the attention of…a reaction….interesting…u r a v. intriguing individual…

    personally I think that if the egyptian secret service was looking 4 a recruit…u would make a great spy..and just think of the amazing stories u could tell us…now those stories…i’d love 2 read…

  34. Cosmic
    November 22, 2007 at 7:54 am

    Oh, that’s cheap. “His blog isn’t as famous as mine because it doesn’t tell liberals and Westerners what they want to hear, so he shouldn’t be called a blogger!”

  35. Beso
    November 22, 2007 at 11:41 am

    “I am a member of the Brotherhood, and have been so for years now, and yet am surprised to know about lots of our “internal affairs” from someone who does not belong to the group, and who claims I am the propagandist, and this requires (I think) that I at least KNOW whats going on”

    الحقيقة يا استاذ ابراهيم انك هتفضل في الوضع دا كتير
    مش عارف اى حاجة
    لسبب بسيط انك لسه مش معاك فلوس كفاية علشان تبقي معلم كبير في الإخوان ويبقي ليك صبيان صغيرين زى عبد المنعم

    أقول قولى هذا
    وحطة يا بطة

  36. Beso
    November 22, 2007 at 11:45 am

    بعدين احيه يعنى
    احيه بجد

    واحد راح فتن على زمايله في نفس المجموعة او الحزب السياسي

    زمان في الاحزاب الشيوعية المصرية اللى زى دا كان بيتقال عليه حاجة من الاثنين
    يا خول.. يا عميل للأمن

    مش تقولى مودريت

  37. nony m.s.
    November 22, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    @ Ibrahim El Houdaiby

    You express solidarity with SM & others with whom you disagree, which sounds very impressive. However, the real test of your credibility, & that of your organization, is if you can state clearly & unequivocally whether you would adopt the same position towards others as well. Would you defend my civic rights as a citizen of Egypt? I am a christian woman, would you say that I have the same civic rights as you or SM or El Shater have? In your opinion, do all Egyptians have the same rights & duties or that depends on their gender & beliefs?

  38. Ibrahim El Houdaiby
    November 22, 2007 at 11:50 pm

    civil rights and human rights have nothing to do with race, gender or religion.
    This is one of the values I uphold as an Islamist. The verse is very clear in Quran: We have honoured the children of Adam; provided them with transport on land and sea; given them for sustenance things good and pure; and conferred on them special favours, above a great part of our creation
    So the honouring and the favoring was for mankind at large, and not a specific race, gender or religion.

  39. Anna-A
    November 23, 2007 at 1:11 am

    That is just such a pretty written language.
    I probably don’t want or need a translation.

  40. ikhwani
    November 23, 2007 at 11:40 am

    الكلام كله ملفق و بيسو و جيمي زايطين في الزحمة

    مجموعة أوفلاين ثلاثة و يتزعمهم محمد عادل و من يعير محمد عادل أهمية و يعتبره زعيم لتيار مجدد في الأخوان مخبول، مجموعة الثلاثة غير سرية و مبادرة أوفلاين علنية و كتبت عنها الجرائد اذن كيف تتدعي أن عبد المنعم أبلغ عنهم للقيادات ان كان الموضوع علني أصلا

    أما مقولة بيسو أن من يفتن على زمايله عميل فدي سارية ان كان فتن للأمن لكن ادعاء ساندمانكي أن عبد المنعم فتن للقيادات و هو موضوع مختلف تماما و ان كان ملفق

    و فيما يبدو مصادر ساندمانكي هي جيمي هود، نحند أما محاولة لتشويه صورة عبد المنعم معتمدة على ساندمانكي و جيمي هود كمصادر موثوق فيها للمعلومات و محمد عادل كبطل يتم ذبحه لمصلحة عبد المنعم. المصداقية اذن منعدمة تماما.

  41. anna
    November 23, 2007 at 2:51 pm

    Anna-B to Anna-A

    it’s arabic!

    November 23, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    اخوانى انت سو بيضان

    وو بما انك دكر قوى كدة فالمصادر هما اللى عملوا الموقع اصلا

    و زى ما قلتها قبل كدة يا اما انتوا شلة نصابين و كلكوا كدابين و بتلقحوا على بعض كلام

    يا اما الكل صادق و نتيجة الصدق دى انكوا ولاد وسخة فى بعض

    و دة اللعبة اللطيفة اللى بتتعمل لما حد ينشق و يشتكى لحد من برة

    و يا سيدى انا و لا مصدر و لا نيلة عيالكوا هما اللى دايرين يشتكوا للكل

    November 23, 2007 at 4:52 pm

    و اظن حسام الهندى اللى كتب المقال فى الجمعة اللى حطيتلك اللينك بتاعه دة انت عارفه كويس

    اهو و لا يسارى و لا ليبرالى و لا ساند مانكى و لا جيمى

    و الراجل بيتكلم عن الناس اللى تم اغرائها بشغل فى الاخوان بمرتبات انت عارفها يا امور كويس و بعدها كل حاجة بقت بيس و تمام التمام

    و بيتكلم برضو عن دراع خيرت الشاطر و الولاء الخفى للقبيضة

    و اظن الراجل دة كان منكوا و كان شغال فى اخوان اون لاين و كل اصحابه شلة اوف لاين

    و قعدات سيتى ستارز معروفة ليه يعنى طبعا انت فاهم و انا فاهم

    عرفت بقة يا عم الاخوانى معنى الحكمة المشهورة

    لا تذهب للحرب و تيزك عريانة ؟؟؟

    انت تيزك عريانة .. اتكتم و أخرس و ماتفتحش بقك علشان ما تتفضحش أكتر

  44. A.T.Ismail
    November 24, 2007 at 8:07 pm


    who would’ve known… the hero… becomes nothing in just one post…


    let’s just say that u do have a talent there monkey, but there U fall of the tree trying to make a jump to a branch that doesn’t exist…

    U know, they alwayz say in research… never qoute without citation…. this post has manly 2 streams… oe abt urself & another abt Monem… the one 4 U ,u’r trying to give wiehgt to urself … I won’t talk abt that cuz it’s so out of line with that “clean-handed mask” u’r trying to put on all throgh this post… but in the end u’r free to say whatever u want abt urself.. who cares anyway..

    the second abt Monem… well u’ve done a great job telling a story… but u never gave a source… give me one good reason why I should believe what u said… maybe it’s all faked up… just like the one that Ibrahim El-Houdaiby was the students government president… why sould I believe anything u say without saying where u got it from… that’s one thing

    the second, Even If the abstract stories were true… the way U use them is awfully biased by a standpoint u take opposing the MB and all their members and actions and views…

    well… Simply… It wasn’t a pleasure reading for U… I’m sorry I took some of my time to read this thing anyway.

  45. MemZ
    November 25, 2007 at 5:40 am

    @ A.T. Ismail

    if you think you waster your time reading this, why did you waste time telling us that you wasted your time? As if any one cares


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