The Powers That Be

It’s hard to keep your sanity in Egypt with everything that is going on these days. As the Battle for Egypt’s rule and future drags on into its second year, it’s impossible not to feel exhausted, especially that the pace of events keeps getting faster and faster. The feeling that you are in a car that is driven by an inept driver who is too busy arguing with his “backseat driver” to notice that they are about to hit a dead-end is one shared by many. That’s why there is an eerie silence in Cairo and on the social networks these days; the people feel that there is a storm coming; a storm of many forces preparing for a final showdown. In the middle of all the battling Powers that be, two men stand firm in the eye of the storm, causing the state of flux that is taking shape: A Salafi disqualified presidential candidate called Hazem Salah Abu Ismael, and A young 25 year old Hero, called Sayed Moshagheb.


It’s hard not to disengage from reality when observing or experiencing the Egyptian revolution; through it we have lived all of our Hollywood cinematic fantasies. The story-arcs we have experienced so far in this theatrical saga include the following: inspirational peaceful revolution, Romantic comedies, Family drama, generational conflict, human rights struggles , Gang warfare , vigilante society, Courtroom drama, political thrillers, Media Thrillers, Freedom of Speech battles, Tales of Corruption & deceit, Zombie attacks (as far as the police’s point of view is concerned), Religious persecution, election sagas, and now we are entering the civil conflict & civil war section. All of this, in two years that also included a man who wrestled with a lion, 4 churches that were attacked / burned because a woman left her husband, and the brave tale of one man who, in retaliation for their killing of an Egyptian soldier on the border, climbed a 10 story building to capture an Israeli flag off of the embassy, a moment hailed by all as a great victory against the Zionist entity, to the point of giving him a hashtag, and an apartment for free as a reward to his great achievement. Yes, I forgot to mention that we also do absurd comedy.

There is, however, one man, who seems to be misplaced by the producers of our insane saga. A man, who truly belongs as a villain or a leader of a science fiction post-apocalyptic movie, and has the personal army of followers to prove it. A man whose first name literally translates to the following words: Firm, steadfast, resolute, tough and gritty.

A man called Hazem.


In the realm of the Salafis, things are not going well. They are currently at war, and are fighting for their lives on all fronts: The local Media, the international media, the police, the army, the revolutionaries, the NGO’s, the independents and the Felool – the whole world basically- seems to be against them. Sure, they have their own media and Sheikh’s, but they are nowhere near as effective as the impure whores of the secularist media. They could launch horrid attacks (using Quran, profanity, ridiculous hyperbole) on the channels and with all of their Sheikhs’, and then comes Bassem Youssef and destroys it all in less than an hour, without using a single profane word. Even the Mosques, their undisputed domain, their source of power, are being invaded by those secular demons when the Sheikh’s try to use the sermons for political guidance. To have Adballah Badr cornered in a mosque is one thing, but to have Al-Mahallawy, the great symbol, the man Sadat mentioned him as an enemy by name in the 70’s, cornered in HIS mosque as well? What is the world coming to?

What makes matters worse is the amount of internal divisions taking place on their side thanks to that half-assed islamist constitution that they have to sell, not thanks to the cursed Muslim Brotherhood. This constitutional draft is nowhere near the kind of constitution they envisioned, and many in their camps are becoming vocal about how this is not even close to being the Sharia constitution; not to mention the Jihady salafis, who didn’t only attack the constitution for that reason, but attacked the whole concept of elections & referendum as anti-islamic to begin with. On top of all of this, the Sharia constitution gets a 44% No vote in the first phase and ends up with a total No vote of 37%? No to Sharia is almost half and to win in three states, including the capital? With all of the tricks that the MB pulled to rig it? Nope, things are not good at all. The situation is terrible.

And then there are the antics of Sheikh Hazem…

Very few of the secularists saw Hazem Abu Ismael coming, and even fewer understood his real power and reach, but everybody in the Islamist camp did, and watched with increasing alarm as his followers grew all over the country and across all kinds of segments, but especially with the Youth.

It’s not hard to grasp if you consider the real appeal of his project for a broad number of followers, especially that no one else seems to have one: The Leftists don’t, the Liberals don’t, the Salafis have a very vague notion of one, and the MB have one that’s dying. What’s his political project? Well, Revolutionary rhetoric + Nasserite (we shall live with dignity and show the world) rhetoric + Islamist rhetoric. Think Islamist Gamal Abdel Nasser, and you are starting to get the picture. For young non-affiliated islamist- & revolutionary-minded youth, who else is there?

Between his reach amongst the population, the amount of AlQaida members that have joined his movement, and the murmurs about his dealings with the Syrian “revolutionaries” who pay him to send his members to fight with them, it’s safe to say that he is planning to be a force to be reckoned with. And no one, not a single soul amongst them, can rein him in. So, they must approve and support his actions, no matter how insane they seem. They can’t afford to have dissent showing amidst the ranks now, especially that so much of it exists thanks to that stupid MB constitution.

Ironically, his antics had one benefit, for now: They are distracting the media from the fact that the supreme majority of the salafis are boycotting this constitution, because it states that sovereignty is for the people, and not God, and for stating that all citizens are equal, which allows Christians to run for presidency. To do damage control, the good Sheikh Yasser Borhamy had to zigzag throughout all of the governorates- going at times to two governorates a day- to convince salafi voters that through specific words inserted in the draft that this constitution will implement Sharia.

It’s not really working.

Sure, the constitution will pass. The so-called Muslim Brotherhood will make sure of it. However, they will have to start challenging them on Sharia implementation the second this constitution is in effect, or they are doomed. After all, there is growing resentment amidst the salafi ranks at the MB for using them as their foot soldiers and attack dogs, and the legitimacy of the Sheikhs are being challenged for towing the line with those diet Islamists. There really is no alternative to clashing with them. No wonder AlArian is talking about arming the MB youth. He is terrified.

But one battle at a time. This is only the first step. And God is on their side.


A disturbing journalistic story that was being shared all over the social media rattled the nerves of revolutionary symbols. The Story listed in details the creation of a new islamist Ultras Group, called Ahrar, a joint venture between Ultras Zamalek, Hazemoon, and the most hated revolutionary at the moment, AbdelRahman Ezz. This group attacked the revolutionaries in the Itehadeya Clashes, with Ezz pointing out the revolutionary symbols so that Ahrar would target them. The freak-out was due to their feelings that they have lost the Zamalek Ultras as a revolutionary force with them, as if they were theirs to begin with.

Sensing the danger, the revolutionary symbols went to work immediately by tweeting and retweeting the news story, while expressing how freaked out they were about it. Some were so freaked out, they even posted it on facebook. Somehow, all of this energy didn’t manifest itself in them seeing the value of organizing themselves in any meaningful or useful way, or do any effort in that regards. God Knows that would make sense, so why do that?

Those revolutionary symbols were freaking out because deep down they realized how useless and irrelevant they have become. Because people have stopped listening to them, and will completely ignore them soon enough. Actually, more than anything, those revolutionary symbols were freaking out, because at this point, those symbols are now far more useful to the cause as martyrs than leaders.

Those same symbols always spoke about how people were getting sorted out between who is with or anti the revolution, and how this sorting is happening all the time, and other such poppycock. Those symbols suddenly realize that the sorting phase is now over, and that they are now entering new territory. The Elimination phase.


Sayed Moshagheb is a Hero. If you don’t know who he is, then you don’t know your Ultras.

Sayed is a Capo in Ultras Zamalek, and the most beloved and respected one at that. When the old Capos disappeared around 2009, during Zamalek’s darkest time, it was Sayed who held the group together. He dedicated his life to the group, went to all the Games, was in a new governorate almost every day to coordinate events, and even delayed his own marriage for almost two years for the sake of the group. He was all heart, purpose and dedication, and he shined when he would lead the tens of thousands of Zamalek Fans in chants during the games the same way he did when he lead his men through the battles of the January 25 revolution. He is their Hero.

He is also in his early twenties.

Sayed, like many youth, had Islamic leanings. So, like many Islamic-minded youth, he joined the Hazem Salah Abu Ismael movement “Hazemoon”, but wouldn’t let it affect his decisions: When the Mohamed Mahmoud clashes started, all the Sheikhs ordered the youth not to engage with the Police. Sayed publically ignored the order, told everyone that he is going to stand by his revolutionary brothers, and all the Zamalek Ultras followed him there. He didn’t leave Mohamed Mahmoud for the four days of clashes. He was there, always on the front line, always inspiring his men. He was so loved and respected, that when he joined Hazemoon for their sit-in in front of the Ministry of Defense, the Zamalek Ultras went and joined the battle despite not fully believing in it. To them it was enough that Sayed was there, and they wouldn’t leave him fight a battle alone; He wouldn’t do that to any of them. They are all Brothers, no matter what, and you are always there for your brother when he needs you.

This is why when Sayed joined Ahrar, an islamist youth Ultras movement started by Hazemoon, many of the Islamic-minded Ultras followed him as well. The group was made of revolutionary youth who was at all the battles, who simply wanted the revolution to win and for Sharia to be implemented. They were not controlled by any Sheikh or political group, and their actions were purely revolutionary driven. When they attacked the Judges for example, they did that because the Judges were corrupt remnants of the previous regime who wanted to stop the revolution. This was all fine and dandy, until Ahrar went and joined the side of the Muslim Brotherhood militias at the Itehadyea Clashes. Suddenly you had Ultras Zamalek members side by side with the MB, fighting against Ultras Zamalek members standing side by side with other revolutionaries, many of which were Ultras Ahly, their arch nemesis. The Revolutionaries were appalled that there were Ultras standing with the dictatorial MB against them, while Ahrar were appalled that their revolutionary brothers were joining forces with Felloll no matter what the cause. Each side saw the other side as traitors to the revolution.

There was a crack in their brotherhood. What was worse is that Sayed was rumored to be there, fighting on the Islamist side. No one could confirm it though, but the rumor was enough drive an unprecedented wedge within the group. Civil war loomed amidst the Ultras. All that was needed was a spark, and the spark would be a confirmation that Sayed was indeed there.

And then the news article on Ahrar came out, and it was so detailed, with names and locations, that it gave the Interior ministry enough info to go after Ahrar, albeit clandestinely. A secret campaign arrest was started, with Ahmed Arafa being the shiny example of it, but the target was Sayed. After all, not only is he in Ahrar and Hazemoon, but the ministry had an old vendetta against him for being the Ultras Capo that humiliated them time and time again. He was their top target, and they went after him, even storming his house and terrifying his family and baby girl.

But Sayed was not there. He was on the run. And the Police were after him. For all the Zamalek Ultras, this was enough reason to cast aside their differences and the divide for now. Their Brother, their leader, their Hero was in trouble.

And you are always there for your Brother when he needs you….

The civil war will have to wait, for now, until they all make sure that Sayed is fine.

Both sides are preparing for it though.

It won’t be long.


The Police General sat in his office inside the Ministry of Interior, reviewing today’s newspapers. Satisfied with the public outcry regarding the MB’s militias and the Hordes of Abu Ismael, he continued reading the field reports coming his way from his officers. They have been successfully towing the line between not antagonizing the new ruling party and the revolutionaries. Of all the parties in play, the only real winner has been the Ministry of Interior: Their profile is on the rise, especially with refusing to clash with Itehadya Protesters during their marshes, while having a stand-off with the Hazemoon people when they tried to attack the Dokki police station. Despite his wishes to the contrary, he knew they couldn’t arrest Abu Ismael, since the Presidential palace gave them strict orders not to touch him. Fine, will tow the line, but the orders do not include Hazemoon, and the Minister of Interior has used that distinction to wage a silent war against them.

The General couldn’t shake his distaste towards his new bosses, especially the so-called President, who used to be dragged from his house by officers much lower in rank than him back in the day. His officers shared this distaste, and even the most violent amongst them did not look forward to following Sharia orders from bearded men. Sure, they have no problems with torturing or raping or electrocuting people, but this cutting of hands and stoning to death business is just so…messy, if not backwards.

He knew that the powers behind Morsy were certain that the MOI was not in their pockets, or that the current Minister was not their man, and that both are playing for their sake and their sake only. He knew that they fear the MOI would join forces with the revolutionaries against them, and become their organized armed wing (despite how unlikely that is due to the ridiculously utopian nature of the revolutionaries), and that such an alliance would completely challenge their power. He knew that if the revolutionaries let bygones be bygones, they would do that in a heartbeat, and has been sending them signals to that regard for the past month, which didn’t escape his new bosses. He knew that the current Minister will be removed soon, to be replaced by a more MB loyal candidate to help them “cleanse” the MOI. He knew that all of this was coming, and he and his men are waiting for it, so that they can start wreaking Havoc all over the country against the MB and their allies. They couldn’t fight a revolution, but a war of attrition with Islamists? That’s something they know how to do quite well, and they would really like a repeat performance.

All in good time, he thought. All in good time.


Inside the real MB Headquarters, the Guidance Council member was not happy. Sure, the situation so far seems under control, and the plans to forge the elections have gone impeccably well, but the loss of support on the ground has been very worrying. What’s even more worrying is the refusal of the Cairo MB members to show up in support of the President at the Itehadeya clashes, turned off by the guidance council tactics and increasingly sectarian tone. They keep bussing more and more people in from the governorates, and relying more and more on the Salafis. The Cairo University Protests were 90% Salafis. Not good. Not good at all.

They had no choice though, he said to himself. They had to pass the constitution this way and right now, otherwise they might not be able to ever pass one, especially not in another 6 months. The Economy is not doing well, and their friends in Qatar and Turkey are not stepping up their financial support as they should. If they didn’t move fast, they risk losing the parliamentary elections completely, and they need to have those yesterday to fully control the country. Also, if anything happened to Morsy now, they have lost everything. They need a parliament head from the Brotherhood to ensure their stay in Power if Morsy’s health deteriorates further. If he dies now, the presidency moves to the head of the Supreme Court, and they would be out of the game. And if they are out now, they are out forever. That cannot be allowed to happen. They will fight that until the last Salafi.

He is not too worried about the Salafis; if they overstep their bounds, the MB will unleash the MOI on them, who would love to tear them apart. Not Abu Ismael though. His group has many ex-AlQaeda people, and if they go against him, AlQaida will declare them apostates, and start a war against them. It should be noted that too many Mujahdeen have entered the country those past two years. They were beneficial in making the MB look like moderates back then, but now they are becoming a threat. Thankfully, the US recognizes that they are the ones holding the Mujahedeen and Hamas back, and will continue to support them. And if you have the US on your side, you don’t need much else.


S/P Memo 56734



Subject: Egypt

S/P currently has no new recommendations regarding the situation in Egypt. While President’s Morsy’s actions have been troubling, especially that they have been taken the day after Secretary Clinton’s visit, the political developments have not provided us with an alternative to the current regime. As called for by the Secretary, this memo examines: whether there is a course for action advances the transition to democracy in Egypt; whether the new developments would be benefitted by such course for action; and finally, the impact of such action on American interests in the country.

The US currently has three strategic interests in Egypt: 1) Maintaining Regional stability, 2) Maintaining the strategic partnership with the Egyptian Military, and 3) Ensuring the continued operation of the Suez Canal for the next Five years. Providing support for the liberal opposition in Egypt- if such support is even possible- would not guarantee the serving of those interests. The Opposition is still divided and fragmented, and there is no clear leader to negotiate with. The National Salvation Front has emerged as an attempt to provide a counterweight to the Brotherhood, but their alliance is fragile, their rhetoric isn’t unified and their performance sophomoric. There is genuine doubt in the alliance’s survival beyond the proposed constitutional referendum.

Even if the US chooses to support them regardless, the options are still very limited. Imposing conditionality on the aid would provide us with no positive outcome, for if they meet our bluff we would have to either cut the aid, which loses us leverage, or not cut the aid, which would allow them to ignore any such future pressure. Not to mention, given that the US government is tied with 5 year contracts with the defense contractors for Egypt’s military aid, cutting it would still require us to fulfill our monetary obligations to our contractors, while losing all strategic advantages from our relationship with Egypt.

It should be noted that at this juncture the situation in Egypt is low priority in the rapidly shifting geopolitical map of the middle-east, specifically in relations to the coming conflict with Iran. Egypt is and will remain solidly in the Sunni camp regardless of who is in power, so the focus should be on the grey countries, specifically Syria, Iraq and Bahrain. To focus on the political developments in Egypt is as inconsequential to our goals as focusing on the score of a soccer game when your real concern is maintaining ownership of the field. Hence, in light of the current state of affairs, it is recommended to stay the course until further developments arise.


About a week ago, there was a meeting between the Egyptian Minister of Defense and the Egyptian Naval command. Upon entering the meeting, the Naval Command chiefs wanted to discuss the recent political developments, especially Hazem Salah Abu Ismael. The Minister curtly cut the talk, informing them that the army should stay away from discussing politics. The Chiefs responded by stating that they were not there to discuss politics, but rather National Security. They expressed their astonishment at the Army not taking action against Hazemoon until now, given that they are breaking the law so blatantly and publically. They stated that had the army sent in two 777 platoons, they would have easily taken out the entire population of Hazemoon during their siege of the Media City. They informed the Minister of Defense that the lack of government response towards Hazemoon and their antics puts their own families and the families of those they command in danger, and that if any of them gets hurt or terrorized, they will not wait for permission to mobilize their troops and weapons against them, or any other similar group.

The Minister of Defense did not comment, but a storm was brewing inside his head. He knew that there are undercover MB officers in the army that command units and platoons, and that he doesn’t fully know who they are. The Army intervening in what’s going on in Egypt could risk splitting the military institution, a risk he was not prepared to take, hence his inaction. Now he has to contend with the possibility that the institution might split if he doesn’t do something as well, and the ineptitude of those in charge of the Presidency is pushing the country into the Precipice. He is doomed either way, and time was running out.


Tarek works for an NGO in Alexandria that provides charity and local developments to the poorest villages in the Governrates. About a month ago, a group of his colleagues, which were working on a different zone than his for the past 5 years, were approached by a group of Salafis. The Salafis informed them that they control this area now, and that if the NGO wanted to continue to work there, they would have to work through them or not at all. His Colleagues chose to ignore them, and a week later, while delivering the sustenance bags to the needy, were ambushed by the salafi group, got held up with swords, beaten and roughed up, and had all of their supplies stolen by them. True Story.

Tarek has similar problems in his zone, but with a unique twist: The Salafis informed him that if he doesn’t work with them and works with the MB, then all of their mosques will be closed to him and his group. In turn, the MB has informed him that if he works with the Salafis and not them, they will make his life hell through government intervention. Tarek, so far, has played them off each other, but their pressures on him are increasing by the day, and he has no idea what to do the day he is forced to choose.


The Phones have not stopped ringing at the Offices of the Central Bank of Egypt, with everyone from public and Private Banks calling to get confirmation on whether the Bank’s chairman, Farouk Al-Okda, has really resigned. The intensity of the phone calls reflected the panic that the financial community has been living in for the past few months. Al-Okda has been keeping the economy afloat for the past two years, at the cost of the rapidly depleting financial reserves. Before the revolution, the reserves were 36 $ Billion, now they are down to 15 $ Billion; 4 $ Billion of which are in Gold, 5 $ Billion are in various securities that if touched would signal the country’s bankruptcy, leaving only 6 $ Billion in actual financial liquidity. Taking into account the financial obligations of the government in terms of salaries, subsides and loan servicing, accompanied with the record low growth rate, the evaporation of FDI and the shortage in foreign currency replenishment due to the deterioration of the Tourism industry (having Islamist burn Churches & then electing Islamists to power does not bring in tourists), it is safe to say that Egypt is one foot in the economic grave.

Due to IMF pressures, the government has adopted really strong austerity measures in the shape of new tax laws and subsidy cutting, but froze it on the same day due to fears that it might cause people to vote against the constitution. The freezing of the laws made the IMF believe that the Egyptian government is not committed to the agreement, and is now moving into rejecting Egypt’s loan request. Without the loan, the government will not be able to cover the pensions, salaries or remaining subsidies, or cushion the inflation of the Egyptian pound. This brings us to the nightmare scenario of rising prices of goods, of which many will vanish from the supermarkets and sold in the black market, coupled with a drastic decline in value of the Egyptian pound, and the inability of the government to meet its financial obligations towards its employees and pensioners. A perfect economic storm.

Expected financial outcome will include any or all of the following events: the vanishing of the US dollar from Banks and exchange offices; Bank runs that will bankrupt public and private banks; Unprecedented losses in the stock exchange; Disappearance and/or increased pricing of basic consumer goods; Layoffs; Bankruptcies; Lack of liquidity in the Market for new or existing projects; Huge increase in Unemployment rates; A lower credit rating for the country that will further drive away serious investors; drastic increase in petty crime; Social Upheaval; Huge economic protests; and the ever so looming scenario of a hunger revolution. The Panic is justified.

No wonder the phones keep ringing.


The MB Constitution has passed, thanks to massive fraud and a deeply sectarian campaign on the hands of the MB controlled Government. The Yes votes are 64% , the No votes are 36% and the voter turnout was 32% of all eligible voters. Out of every 100 Egyptians, 20 have said yes, 12 have said no, and 68 didn’t even bother to go and vote.

Mohamed was one of those 68% that didn’t go vote. He is a government employee by day, and a Taxi driver by night, who spends every waking minute of his day trying to provide for his wife, 3 children and sick mother. Mohamed didn’t vote. Mohamed didn’t vote because he didn’t think it mattered, and that no matter what he chooses the outcome will be Yes anyway. Mohamed didn’t vote, because like all of his friends and neighbors, he has become disgusted with the tug of war between the secularists and the Islamists, and how all they care about is power, even if it means pulling the country into a civil war. Mohamed didn’t vote because he knows that neither side cares about him or his family, despite what they always say in their speeches, before and after the revolution. Mohamed didn’t vote because all the hope he had at the beginning of the revolution was gone, replaced with bitterness and anger, and he would rather spend the time scouring the streets of Cairo for a fare that might help him cover his ever increasing expenses. What good is a constitution to a bunch of hungry mouths anyway?

Mohamed hated the revolution. Mohamed hated that his neighborhood became infested with crime and thugs, and that the whole city soon followed. Mohamed hated the absence of the police unless they wanted a bribe, a practice that has increased after a revolution that claimed that it will stop it. Mohamed hated the state of Chaos the country has been in for the past two years, and the hours he wasted in traffic caused by marches and sit ins and clashes that don’t seem to ever stop. Mohamed hated that there are no tourists anymore, and that when he gets a foreign customer it’s usually a Syrian refugee who hassles him over the fare, unlike the days when the Americans and the Gulfie tourists used to populate the city and pay him generously for taking them around. Mohamed hated that they were gone, and has lost hope that they will ever come back.

Mohamed barely meets his expenses, and has no idea how he survived those past two years. Mohamed panicked when he heard that the prices of goods were going up, only to relax hours later when he was informed that the government cancelled the increase. Had those prices increased, Mohamed would be completely unable to feed his family, and what kind of a man would that make him?

Mohamed is scared, bitter, angry, hungry and tired. He knows one thing for certain: if things get any worse financially, he will lose it. He will take the gun he bought two years ago, and kill the Islamists, the secularists, and all of those people who have the luxury to fight over stupid shit on his and his family’s expense.

Mohamed will show them the exact amount of consideration and mercy they have showed him, which is none.

Mohamed will have his Justice, and he is not the only one.


Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Mathew Arnold


The End


54 Comments on The Powers That Be

  1. Tallulah
    December 25, 2012 at 12:37 am

    The part that moved me the most… that upset me the most… was the part about Mohamed.

    I know people in Egypt who are, and will be, as drastically affected when (if?) the country falls apart. Those are the lives that matter. Or should matter.

    But like all politicians everywhere, the people are ignored in the stupid game of power these “leaders” all play. It is sickening.

    Whilst there is much more to your article than this small portion, at the end of the day what should matter most to everyone is how it will all rain down on the people who can least shoulder the storm, and what can be done to change things for the better.

  2. Mohamed Issa
    December 25, 2012 at 1:26 am

    I have to say you have some nerve posting about Egypt and taking yourself so seriously. I would stop posting and close down that blog if I were you. None of the shit you’ve been posting over the past two years has turned true or proven to be accurate! NONE! NADA! Yet, here you are, still at it with a sense of ego and a “know it all” attitude the size of Brazil. You have lost all credibility and I think that shows by the amount of followers, readers and commentators on your blog (i.e. going from 200+ comments per post to 20+ if lucky). My favorite post of all remains that one about the banana republic of Tantawy. What a loser!

    • CRBG
      December 25, 2012 at 4:36 am

      Mohamed Issa: Dude, why so bitter? Why are you even reading his blog if you have such a low opinion of the writer? Do you have any specific critiques of this particular post? You sound like an angry woman who has just been dumped. Chill out.

    • MarillionZ
      December 25, 2012 at 5:28 am

      Mohammed Issa: At least he has nerves!. And thank God we have a few balls & intellectuals that can shed some light in this country of herds. What do you have?

    • Mohamed
      January 1, 2013 at 5:56 am

      You’re absolutely right, the SandMonkey’s wrong like 100000% of the time, but this time I think he’s correct. Sadly, it’s a gloomy picture.

  3. shady Tawfik
    December 25, 2012 at 1:39 am

    I have been reading your blog for the past 10 years and I have to say that this specific short story albeit it our reality is by far your best work at documenting where we are now and what will be. A+ true insight with an enticing ability to really spin a yard and spin it well.

    I do hope that you keep it up.

  4. CRBG
    December 25, 2012 at 4:40 am

    I really liked/was surprised by Tareq’s story and Mohamed’s story. The latter is absolutely entitled to feel bitter and angry with both the Islamists and the secularists, none of whom show any compassion to his ilk nor any true appreciation for Egypt’s fiscal cliff.

  5. Swifty
    December 25, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Have to wonder what Egypt would look like now if the arabs had not conquered and colonized the country. You all have my pity. But if muslims must be destroyed to the last as looks the case, so be it. They bring it on themselves the so-called moderates and the rest of thew scum.

  6. Yogi
    December 25, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Excellent writing as usual although sad, as it must be, considering Egypt’s situation.
    Hard to have a decent country when half the population can’t read or write and is raised on hateful, nationalist and religious propaganda from the cradle to the grave.

  7. Sara
    December 25, 2012 at 8:16 am

    I love it! But I ready think u should have started your piece with the human interest angle: Mohamed is scared, bitter, hungry, angry and tired….
    And u really need to consider Arabic translations of your writings. Keep it up!

  8. Munqy
    December 25, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Agree or not agree with a lot of what is posted, like or dislike SM, no one can disagree with the fact that the vast majority of Egyptians are completely being ignored in the middle of this power struggle. 68% of Egypt is Mohamed the Taxi Driver, and they couldn’t really give a shit about the constitution, the political landscape or whether shari’a is or is not implemented, they’re just struggling to live hand to mouth. Solutions exist, but the actions must be taken by the people in charge – who are now far too busy consolidating their own power to bother with the vast majority of the populace. The opposition (ridiculous term) are completely fragmented and without vision, the only thing keeping them together is a common enemy. Had they mobilized for the “no” vote earlier, the referendum could have gone another way, had they aligned in the presidential elections they could have emerged as clear winners. Of course, if they can be bothered to work together they might stand a chance in the parliamentary elections, but I don’t see that happening, especially since they are still in the stage of spouting rhetoric about joining forces while the MB have almost certainly decided who’s going to be running and where. Parliamentary elections will come with probably a month’s notice at most, MB will be prepared (as will the Salafis who are already lining up behind Abu Ismail as he pushes for the creation of a new Salafi political party), NSF will be left standing there going “what just happened?” – if it even still exists at that point.

    • Busy
      December 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

      SM, while playing lip service to Mohammed the taxi driver, doesn’t care one bit about him and seems to be relishing the idea that life will be even worse for him in the future.

      • Munqy
        December 25, 2012 at 9:47 am

        I don’t think you can claim one way or another that you can definitively tell what SM is thinking or what he cares about based on the above. Sure, it reads a bit dispassionately, but I personally got the feeling that he was just giving a run down of what he feels segments of the population are thinking. Don’t know if you can go as far as saying that he relishes the idea that life will be even worse for him in the future.

        • Busy
          December 25, 2012 at 10:14 am

          That’s because Sandmonkey removed the quote I posted of him from Twitter in which he invited his friend Mona in New York to come join us for the “fun” predicted in this article. I don’t know what more evidence you need. He is censoring what we write here. The man doesn’t even want freedom of speech in this country, let alone prosperity.

          Edit: When I tried to post the above I found that I had been blocked by Sandmonkey as a spammer. So I did a little investigation. Found that the Monkey is putting cookies on his visitors’ computers to track them as well. Hahaha SM, I got around that now you fool.

          • Yaeli
            December 26, 2012 at 10:20 am

            Busy you are an idiot. The cookie allows you to be recognized when you post again so your website/email/name is automatically entered so you don’t have to enter it again. I’ve got the same cookie on my website. While I consider SM to be a good friend I’ve leveled some pretty sharp-tongued criticism at him here, as have others, and those posts were not removed or blocked. Most blogs have automatic software filtering to block or hold in moderation posts from what the software suspects are spammers (if you include links or multiple links, submit comments in rapid succession and many other parameters). So get over yourself.

          • Guggi
            December 28, 2012 at 11:20 pm

            You don’t even understand the concept of free speech. This is SM’s private blog and he can ban whom ever he wants. As you can’t go into your neighbours house and call him names and then claim “free speech” you can’t insult SM on his own blog or Twitter account. This has nothing to do with free speech.

        • Munqy
          December 25, 2012 at 10:27 am

          Well, all I can say is that I hope you’re wrong, and his twitter comment was probably a bit of misplaced dark humour. I imagine that if even half of the above is true, we’re heading for some very dark days indeed.

          • The Sandmonkey
            December 25, 2012 at 11:03 am

            Munqy, you are correct in your assumption. Please ignore the troll.

  9. Alsaleh
    December 25, 2012 at 9:20 am

    How convenient and comfortable u must feel. For now u have “retired” from political activism, as u say, and have the luxury of sitting back and “observing”. Lucky you. U have somehow justified to yourself that all u need to do now is “comment” on events because your ego tells u that u have done enough!! Some of us don’t have that luxury u see. We still have to “do” something. We have children who’s future we care about so instead of sitting back and “commenting” on Egypt as it falls apart, we have to roll up our sleeves and actually “work”. Advice? Please keep your commenting to yourself, God knows its the last thing we need right now

    • Busy
      December 25, 2012 at 9:29 am


    • The Sandmonkey
      December 25, 2012 at 11:04 am

      Then do something…who is stopping you? 🙂

      • Busy
        December 25, 2012 at 12:06 pm

        We are. Love how you blocked replies to your above comment too in which you called me a troll. You really sink to low levels now, calling those who don’t agree with you a troll. Some of us are older, wiser, more experienced and more educated than you. We are busy working on moving this country forward, in ways that don’t involve constantly whining about politics. This country needs doers, not talkers, and certainly not bloggers and tweeters. If you really have the knowledge of finance that you say you do, why aren’t you putting it to good use in some capacity rather than telling people to withdraw their money from the banks to cause them to collapse? Start a financial advising service for the poor, or something, anything that could help others. You went to America, got your degree which you regard as so valuable, and come back and whine. Grow up already. I will leave you alone now but really you need to take some time off and examine yourself a bit, rather than the politics of the country.

        • Mohamed Issa
          December 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm

          Very well-said Busy. Count me as another troll SandMonkey if that makes you feel better about yourself!

    • Lynne
      January 14, 2013 at 5:21 am

      Alsaleh, SandMonkey is doing more than enough through his fine work on this blog. What else do you propose that he do? What are you doing that you recommend that others do? I certainly admit that I have the advantage of distance, and from where I am looking, it appears that the options to make changes for all Egyptians are quite limited. Those in power (the MB) have the means of compulsion and influence through their “official statements” and the media —they have the guns and weapons. They are in control and apparently enjoy widespread support. Those who oppose them by even voicing their opinions are taking a risk.

  10. Shawki
    December 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I like your analysis, but I sense some disillusionment with the secularists and liberals, I don’t think that’s fair. Disorganized, fractured and inexperienced, sure I’ll give you that, but lacking compassion for the poor, I disagree.

    Some of those 68% you spoke of, have unwisely boycotted the referendum, the rest unfortunately don’t understand nor comprehend the crucial importance of the constitution and how it will affect their already stretched existence. They don’t understand what the raging battle is about, and that it is being fought on their behalf by the liberals, risking imprisonment, persecution and even assassination. Many of those people voted for the MB, for a variety of reasons, and helped bring them to power, whether they were duped by the MB rhetoric, or sold their votes for money, is not the issue. But now that things went wrong, they don’t understand what happened, don’t want to understand, or incapable of understanding, so they are shutting themselves off and blaming everybody.

    The liberals must share part of the blame, to the extent they where not organized from the start, and some of them were also duped by the MB. Some supported the MB because they hated the previous regime so much, but in doing so, replaced it with a much worse one, and put the country on a dangerous course. The revolutionaries in their utopian nature, as you put it, didn’t help much.

    Liberals, secularists and so called felool are now organized like never before, albeit through a fragile coalition, are fighting a survival battle to rescue the country back from the dark forces of the Salafis and the MB, it is literally a life or death issue. They need the support of everyone.

  11. rxmtf
    December 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Hmm… It seems that people have finally come to realize that Sandmonkey is no more than a whining egoist who has a deep engrained belief that any views which he does not share or actions he doesn’t agree with, are not for the greater good of this country. I find your belief that the referendum was rigged shameful, as much as it may pain you to hear not everyone wants to disagree for the sake of disagreeing, many people who gave a yes vote do not believe this new constitution to be the perfect document however most just want to move on and don’t see a point in delaying the countries development by arguing over minor details. Let’s face it as far as you’re concerned democracy is anything which you agree with and those who do not agree with yourself are inferior to the Oracle that is Mahmoud Salem. Please stop trying to convince yourself that you understand politics, because you’re not fooling anyone.

    • Salim Bagazai
      December 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm

      You must be hiding your head in the sand…

      The referendum was rigged beyond doubt.. Extensively…

  12. Karina Loren
    December 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Sharp and thorough analysis on the current situation. Based on the situational assessment a very realistic future scenario.-
    “As long as we fight we can win; as soon as we give in we’ll be overridden” #KeepFighting (.. and get smarter about it #GuerillaWarefare)

  13. Salim Bagazai
    December 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Best piece I have read so far on the current situation in Egypt (including newspapers and news websites).

    My favorite part: the general waiting to act; in due time… This is exactly the way its been. The MB were allowed to win the elections, so they could prove before everyone, their complete incompetence and this way, once they are kicked out of the presidential palace–and they will be–it will be for good.

    The only surprise here, is that its all going quicker than initially forecasted.

    Anyway, great analytical and writing skills!!! you should get an invite to write for AJ or CNN..

    • epiphania
      December 26, 2012 at 9:16 am

      really? I feel like its going soooo slowly. When oh when will we be MB free?!

  14. Kierkegaard
    December 25, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Excellent article.. I love the story telling style and I admire the analysis.. The main thing that irritated me a bit is the reference to the Hazemoun thug as a Hero with a capital “H” when for me he’s a villain with a small “v” at best… No member of a fascist group should be considered as a hero nor even as a revolutionary… Revolutionaries are for freedom not war dogs of a religious megalomaniac serving his purely fascist proposition..

  15. anthony mc laughlin
    December 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    we could be seeing some of this ”


    Der Welt Zukunfts Fonds ist eine Quelle für Dokumente, Dokumentationen, Leseanregungen und -listen und Links zu anderen Websites, von dessen Wichtigkeit wir überzeugt sind. Die Veröffentlichung dieses Materials bedeutet keineswegs, dass der Welt Zukunfts Fonds die hervorgebrachten Ideen und Ideologien unterstützt, ausser wenn wir dies ausdrücklich erklären. Wie man an unserer Website sehen kann, sind wir überzeugte Gegner fanatistischer Ideologien wie Rassismus, religiöser Intoleranz, und Kommunismus. Wir bekämpfen solche Übel durch die Veröffentlichung zentraler Quellen. Das Studium und Verständnis der Quellen soll helfen, das Wiederaufkeimen totalitärer oder auch intoleranter Ideologien zu verhindern. Für eine detailliertere Erklärung unserer Veröffentlichungsstandards, klicken Sie bitte hier.


    Männer Abgeordnete des Deutschen Reichstages!

    An einem für das deutsche Volk bedeutungsvollen Tage ist der Reichstag heute zusammengetreten. Vier Jahre sind vergangen seit dem Augenblick, da die große innere Umwälzung und Neugestaltung, die Deutschland seitdem erlebte, ihren Anfang nahm. Vier Jahre, die ich mir vom deutschen Volk ausgebeten habe als eine Zeit der Bewährung und Beurteilung. Was würde näherliegen, als diesen Anlaß zu benutzen, um im einzelnen alle jene Erfolge und Fortschritte aufzuzählen, die diese vier Jahre dem deutschen Volke geschenkt haben? Es ist aber gar nicht möglich, im Rahmen einer so kurzen Kundgebung all das zu erwähnen, was als die bemerkenswerten Ergebnisse dieser vielleicht erstaunlichsten Epoche im Leben unseres Volkes gelten dürfen! Dies ist mehr die Aufgabe der Presse und der Propaganda. Außerdem wird in diesem Jahre in der Reichshauptstadt Berlin eine Ausstellung stattfinden, in der versucht werden soll, ein umfassenderes und eingehenderes Bild des Geschaffenen, Erreichten und Begonnenen aufzuzeigen, als mir dies in einer zweistündigen Rede überhaupt möglich sein könnte! Ich will daher diese heutige geschichtliche Zusammenkunft des Deutschen Reichstages benutzen, um in einem Rückblick auf die vergangenen vier Jahre einige jener allgemein gültigen Erkenntnisse, Erfahrungen und Folgerungen aufzuzeigen, die zu verstehen nicht nur für uns, sondern auch für die Nachwelt wichtig sind.

    Ich will weiter eine Stellung zu jenen Problemen und Aufgaben nehmen; deren Bedeutung uns und unserer Umwelt zur Ermöglichung eines besseren Zusammenlebens klar sein müssen, und endlich möchte ich auch in kürzesten Zügen die Projekte umreißen, die mir teils für die nächste, teils auch für die fernere Zukunft als Arbeit vorschweben.

    In der Zeit, da ich noch als einfacher Redner durch die deutschen Lande zog, wurde mir oft von bürgerlicher Seite die Frage vorgelegt, warum wir an die Notwendigkeit einer Revolution glaubten, statt zu versuchen, im Rahmen der bestehenden Ordnung und unter Mitarbeit bei den vorhandenen Parteien die uns als schädlich und ungesund erscheinenden Verhältnisse zu verbessern.

    Wozu eine neue Partei und wozu vor allem eine neue Revolution?

    Meine damaligen Antworten wurden immer von folgenden Erwägungen bestimmt:

    1. Die Verfahrenheit, der Verfall der deutschen Zustände, der Lebensauffassungen und der Lebensbehauptung können nicht beseitigt werden durch einen einfachen Regierungswechsel. Diese Wechsel haben ja schon vor uns mehr als genug stattgefunden, ohne daß dadurch eine wesentliche Besserung der deutschen Not eingetreten wäre. Alle die Regierungsumbildungen hatten eine positive Bedeutung nur für die Akteure des Schauspiels, für die Nation aber fast stets nur negative Ergebnisse. Im Laufe einer langen Zeit war das Denken und praktische Leben unseres Volkes in Bahnen geraten, die ebenso unnatürlich wie im Ergebnis abträglich waren. Eine der Ursachen dieser Zustände lag aber in der unserem Wesen, unserer geschichtlichen Entwicklung und unseren Bedürfnissen fremden Organisation des Staatsaufbaues und der Staatsführung an sich.

    Das parlamentarisch-demokratische System war von den allgemeinen Zeiterscheinungen nicht zu trennen. Die Heilung einer Not kann aber kaum je erfolgen durch eine Beteiligung an den sie verschuldenden Ursachen, sondern nur durch deren radikale Beseitigung. Damit aber mußte der politische Kampf unter den gegebenen Verhältnissen zwangsläufig den Charakter einer Revolution annehmen.

    2. Eine solche revolutionäre Um- und Neugestaltung ist weder denkbar durch die Träger und mehr oder minder verantwortlichen Repräsentanten des alten Zustandes, das heißt also auch nicht durch die politischen Organisationen des früheren verfassungsmäßigen Lebens, noch durch eine Teilnahme an diesen Einrichtungen, sondern nur – durch die Aufrichtung und den Kampf – einer neuen Bewegung mit dem Zweck und Ziel, die notwendige Reformation des politischen, kulturellen und wirtschaftlichen Lebens bis in die tiefsten Wurzeln hinein vorzunehmen, und alles, wenn nötig, auch unter Einsatz von Blut und Leben!

    Es gehört dabei zum Bemerkenswerten, daß der parlamentarische Sieg durchschnittlicher Parteien kaum etwas Wesentliches am Lebensweg und Lebensbild der Völker verändert, während eine wahrhafte Revolution, die aus tiefsten weltanschaulichen Erkenntnissen kommt, auch nach außen hin zu einprägsamsten und allgemein sichtbaren Veränderungen führt.

    Wer will aber daran zweifeln, daß in diesen hinter uns liegenden vier Jahren tatsächlich eine Revolution von gewaltigstem Ausmaß über Deutschland hinweggebraust ist?

    Wer kann dieses heutige Deutschland noch vergleichen mit dem, was an diesem 30. Januar heute vor vier Jahren bestand, da ich zu dieser Stunde den Eid in die Hand des ehrwürdigen Herrn Reichspräsidenten abgelegt hatte?

    Allerdings, wenn ich von einer nationalsozialistischen Revolution spreche, dann lag es in der besonderen Eigenart dieses Vorganges in Deutschland, wenn vielleicht gerade dem Auslande und vielleicht auch manchem unserer Mitbürger das Verständnis nicht ganz erschlossen wurde für die Tiefe und das Wesen dieser Umwälzung. Ich bestreite auch nicht, daß gerade diese Tatsache, die für uns das Bemerkenswerteste der Eigenart des Ablaufs der nationalsozialistischen Revolution ist und auf die wir besonders stolz sein dürfen, im Ausland und bei den einzelnen Mitbürgern dem Verständnis für diesen einmaligen geschichtlichen Vorgang eher hinderlich als nützlich war. Denn diese nationalsozialistische Revolution war zu allererst eine Revolution der Revolutionen.

    Ich meine damit folgendes: Durch Jahrtausende hat sich nicht etwa in deutschen Gehirnen, sondern noch viel mehr in den Gehirnen der Umwelt die Ansicht gebildet und durchgesetzt, daß das charakteristische Merkmal jeder wahren Revolution eine blutige Vernichtung der Träger der früheren Gewalten und in Verbindung damit eine Zerstörung von öffentlichen und privaten Einrichtungen und Eigentum sein müßten. Die Menschheit hat sich daran gewöhnt, Revolutionen mit solchen Begleitumständen irgendwie doch wieder als legale Vorgänge anzuerkennen, d.h. der tumultuösen Vernichtung von Leben und Eigentum, wenn schon nicht zustimmend, so doch wenigstens verzeihend gegenüberzutreten, als die nun einmal nötigen Begleiterscheinungen von Vorgängen, die man ja deshalb auch Revolutionen heißt!

    Hierin liegt vielleicht, wenn ich von der faschistischen Erhebung in Italien absehe, der größte Unterschied zwischen der nationalsozialistischen und anderen Revolutionen.

    Die nationalsozialistische Revolution ist so gut als vollkommen unblutig verlaufen. Sie hat in der Zeit, da die Partei, in Deutschland sicherlich sehr große Widerstände überwindend, die Macht übernahm, überhaupt keinen Sachschaden angerichtet. Ich darf es mit einem gewissen Stolz aussprechen: Dies war vielleicht die erste Revolution, bei der noch nicht einmal eine Fensterscheibe zertrümmert wurde.

    Ich möchte aber nun nicht falsch verstanden werden: Wenn diese Revolution unblutig verlief, dann nicht deshalb, weil wir etwa nicht Männer genug gewesen wären, um auch Blut sehen zu können!

    Über vier Jahre lang war ich Soldat im blutigsten Kriege aller Zeiten gewesen. Ich habe in ihm in keiner Lage und unter keinen Eindrücken auch nur einmal die Nerven verloren. Dasselbe gilt von meinen Mitarbeitern.. Allein wir sahen die Aufgabe der nationalsozialistischen Revolution nicht darin, Menschenleben oder Sachwerte zu vernichten, als vielmehr darin, ein neues und besseres Leben aufzubauen. Es ist unser höchster Stolz, die sicherlich größte Umwälzung in unserem Volke mit einem Minimum an Opfern und an Verlusten durch geführt zu haben. Nur dort, wo die bolschewistische Mordlust auch noch nach dem 30. Januar 1933 glaubte, mit Gewalt den Sieg oder die Verwirklichung der nationalsozialistischen Idee verhindern zu können, haben wir und da natürlich blitzschnell – auch mit Gewalt geantwortet. Andere Elemente wieder, deren Unbeherrschtheit in Verbindung mit größter politischer Unbildung wir erkannten, nahmen wir nur in Sicherheitsverwahrung, um sie im allgemeinen schon nach kurzer Zeit wieder in den Besitz ihrer Freiheit zu setzen. Und nur wenige, deren politische Tätigkeit nur der Deckmantel für eine durch zahlreiche Gefängnis- und Zuchthausstrafen bestätigte verbrecherische Haltung an sich war, hinderten wir auch später an einer Fortsetzung ihrer verderblichen Zerstörungsarbeit, indem wir sie, wohl zum erstenmal in ihrem Leben, zu einer nützlichen Beschäftigung anhielten. Ich weiß nicht, ob es jemals eine Revolution von so durchgreifendem Ausmaß gegeben hat wie die nationalsozialistische und die trotzdem unzählige frühere politische Funktionäre unbehelligt und im Frieden ihrer Tätigkeit nachgehen ließ, ja zahlreichen grimmigsten Feinden in oft höchsten Staatsstellen sogar noch den vollen Genuß der ihnen zustehenden Renten und Pensionen ausschüttete?

    Wir haben dies getan! Allerdings hat uns vielleicht gerade dieses Vorgehen nach außen hin nicht immer genützt. Erst vor wenigen Monaten konnten wir es erleben, wie ehrenwerte britische Weltbürger glaubten, sich an mich wenden zu müssen mit einem Protest wegen der Zurückbehaltung eines der verbrecherischsten Moskauer Subjekte in einem deutschen Konzentrationslager. Es ist wohl meiner Unorientiertheit zuzuschreiben, nie erfahren zu haben, ob diese ehrenwerten Männer sich einst auch ebenso gegen die blutigen Gewalttaten dieser Moskauer Verbrecher in Deutschland ausgesprochen hatten, ob sie gegen die grausame Parole »Schlagt Faschisten tot, wo ihr sie trefft« Stellung nahmen, oder sie z. B. jetzt in Spanien gegen die Niedermetzelung, Schändung und Verbrennung von Zehn- und aber Zehntausenden von Männern, Frauen und Kindern ebenso ihrer Empörung Ausdruck gaben! Hätte nämlich in Deutschland die Revolution etwa nach dem demokratischen Vorbild in Spanien stattgefunden, dann würden diese eigenartigen Nichteinmischungsapostel anderer Länder ihrer Mühen und Sorgen wohl restlos enthoben sein. Kenner der spanischen Verhältnisse versichern, daß die Zahl der bestialisch Abgeschlachteten mit 170.000 eher zu niedrig als zu hoch angegeben wird. Nach diesen Leistungen der braven demokratischen Revolutionäre in Spanien hätte die nationalsozialistische Revolution unter Zugrundelegung unserer dreimal größeren Bevölkerungszahl das Recht gehabt, vier- bis fünfhunderttausend Menschen umzubringen! Daß wir dies nicht taten, gilt anscheinend fast als Versäumnis und findet von seiten der demokratischen Weltbürger – wie wir sehen – eine sehr ungnädige Beurteilung.

    • Bernhard Münzer
      December 25, 2012 at 8:31 pm

      In case anybody wonders what has been dumped here:
      The previous comment was a speech given by Hitler on January 30, 1937 to what was left of the German parliament.

      In this speech he praises the Nazi revolution and emphasizes the importance of locking democrats away in concentration camps to make sure they dont go on a rampage and start killing hundreds of thousands of Nazis.

      I now feel an urge to watch “Inglorious Basterds” again.

  16. joseph Lebensraum
    December 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Bernhard ,
    Now i know why you want to watch “Inglourious Basterds” again. For every one to know,the film is ridiculous and appallingly insensitive—a Louisville Slugger applied to the head of anyone who has ever taken the Nazis, the war, or the Resistance seriously.The Nazis,in the film, are merely available movie tropes—articulate monsters with a talent for sadism. By making the Americans cruel, too, he escapes the customary division of good and evil along national lines, but he escapes any sense of moral accountability as well.

    Here is a more serious dump. most indupitably will not gain your concurence. No wonder , you are just an Arian scum motherfucker,exploiting 5 year olds,as a passtime. spit on you.
    faschism Afghanepakistans Ägypten.
    A soldier threw a knife at one of the girls who was trying to crawlaway. She was left bleeding in the dirt; no one paid any attention toher. Drunken Kalmuks handed women spattered with blood from oneto another, beating them, forcing them to perform odd acts. A soldier threw a knife at one of the girls who was trying to crawlaway. She was left bleeding in the dirt; no one paid any attention to her. Drunken Kalmuks handed women spattered with blood from oneto another, beating them, forcing them to perform odd acts. I recalled the trains carrying people to the gas chambers and crem-atories. The men who had ordered and organized all that probably en- joyed a similar feeling of complete power over their uncomprehending victims. These men controlled the fate of millions of people whose names, faces, and occupations were unknown to them, but whom they could either let live or turn to fine soot flying in the wind .All they had to do was issue orders and in countless towns and villages trained squads of troops and police would start rounding up people destined for ghettos and death camps. They had the power to decide whetherthe points of thousands of railroad spurs would be switched to tracksleading to life or to death. In another village,The blows rained one after another. Only the blacksmith’s wife con-tinued to wail, while the partisans exchanged witticisms over her lean,crooked thighs. Since the woman did not stop moaning, they over-turned her, face to the sky, her whitening breasts hanging down at both sides. The men struck her heatedly, the rising crescendo of blowsslashing the woman’s body and belly, now darkened by streams of blood. The bodies on the shaft drooped. The torturers put on their jackets and entered the hut, demolishing the furniture and plunderingall in sight. The words were often washed off by the morning dew or bleached out by the sun.. One day a boy brought back news from the mushroom fields of aJewish girl found by the railroad tracks. She was alive, with only a sprained shoulder and some bruises. They surmised that she had dropped through a hole in the floor when the train slowed down on a curve, and thus escaped more serious injuries.Everyone turned out to see this marvel. The girl staggered along,half carried by some men. Her thin face was very pale.She had thick eyebrows and very black eyes. Her long, glossy black hair was tied witha ribbon and fell down her back. Her dress was torn, and I could see bruises and scratches on her white body. With her good arm she tried to hold up the injured one.The men took her to the house of the village head. A curious crowd assembled, looking her over carefully. She did not seem to understand anything. Whenever any of the men came near her she joined her hands as though in prayer and babbled in a language no one could un-derstand. Terrified, she stared about her with eyes that had blue-white eyeballs and jet-black pupils. The village headman conferred with some of the elders of the village, and also with the man nicknamed Rainbow who had found the Jewess. It was decided that, in accord-ance with official regulations, she would be sent to the German post the next day. In another village ,When he ceased to groan and his body sagged, the partisans hauled out the two hired hands,the blacksmith’s wife, and his struggling son.They opened wide the doors of the barn and threw the woman and the men across the shaft of a cart in such a way that, with the shaft under their bellies, they hung over it like upset sacks of grain. Then the par-tisans tore the clothing off their victims and tied their hands to their feet. They rolled up their sleeves and, with steel canes cut from track signal wire, began to beat the squirming bodies. One of them rushed into a house and brought out a small girl of about five.He lifted her high so that his comrades could see her well. He tore off the child’s dress. He kicked her in the belly while her mother crawled in the dust begging for mercy. He slowly unbuttoned and took down his trousers, while still holding the little girl above his waist with onehand. Then he crouched and pierced the screaming child with a sudden thrust. When the girl grew limp he threw her away into the bushes and turned to the mother. With them it was just the opposite. During the day they were all alike, running in their well-defined ways. At night they changed beyond recognition. Men sauntered along the street, or jumped like grasshoppers from the shadow of one street lamp into the next, taking occasional swigs from the bottles they carried in their pockets. In the dark gaping doorways there were women with open blouses and tight skirts. Men approached them with a staggering gait and then they disappeared together. From behind the anemic city shrubbery one heard the squeals of couples making love. In the ruins of a bombed house several boys were raping a girl reckless enough tohave ventured out alone. An ambulance turned a distant corner with a screech of tires; a fight broke out in a nearby tavern and there was the crash of broken glass.I was soon familiar with the night city. I knew quiet lanes where girls younger than myself solicited men older than my father. I found places where men dressed in smart clothes with gold watches on their hands.It mattered little if one was mute; people did not un-derstand one another anyway. They collided with or charmed one an-other, hugged or trampled one another, but everyone knew only him-self. His emotions, memory, and senses divided him from others as ef-fectively as thick reeds screen the mainstream from the muddy bank.Like the mountain peaks around us, we looked at one another, separ-ated by valleys, too high to stay unnoticed, too low to touch the heavens.

  17. Sarah Lemieux
    December 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    You guys in the Arab world will never know freedom unless you destroy Islam. Islam is not a religion; it is a fascist political ideology disguised as a religion. A “religion” inspired by the devil. Muslims are not free people, they are slaves; they submit to a cruel dictatorial and arbitrary god, and they thrive to emulate a “prophet” whose biography is scandalous.

    Please do something great for humankind: send that fascist cult to the dustbin of History.

  18. Sarah Lemieux
    December 26, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I look forward to the day when Muslims will stop banging their heads on the ground, they will stand up, look at the stars and say: we honor God the Creator of the Universe. Allah is not God and Muhammad is not a prophet. Then, and only then, will Muslims enjoy freedom.

  19. joseph Lebensraum
    December 26, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Sarah;people like you deserve no answer,an enchrinement of supreficiality.below are the likes of people who should be destroyed,and anyone in their league.enjoy:
    Below us, naked, sweat‐drenched men crowd the narrow barracks aisles or lie packed in eights and tens in the lower bunks. Their nude, withered bodies stink of sweat and excrement; their cheeks are hollow.We line up. Someone has marked down our numbers, someone up ahead yells, “March, March,” and now we are running towards the gate, accompanied by the shouts of a multilingual throng that is already being pushed back to the barracks. Not everybody is
    lucky enough to be going on the ramp . . . We have almost reached the gate. Links, zwei, drei, vier! Mützen ab! Erect, arms stretched stiffly along our hips, we march past the gate briskly, smartly, almost gracefully. A sleepy S.S. man with a large pad in his hand checks us off, waving us ahead in groups of five.
    “Hundert!” he calls after we have all passed.We march fast, almost at a run. There are guards all around, young men with automatics.
    We pass camp II B, then some deserted barracks and a clump of unfamiliar green—apple and pear trees. We cross the circle of watchtowers and, running, burst on to the highway.We have arrived. Just a few more yards. There, surrounded by trees, is the ramp. A cheerful little station, very much like any other provincial railway stop: a small square framed by tall chestnuts and paved with yellow gravel. Not far off, beside the road, squats a tiny wooden shed, uglier and more flimsy then the ugliest and flimsiest railway shack;farther along lie stacks of old rails, heaps of wooden beams, barracks parts, bricks, paving
    stones. This is where they load freight for Birkenau: supplies for the construction of the camp, and people for the gas chambers. Trucks drive around, load up lumber, cement, people—a regular daily routine.We sit down in the narrow streaks of shade along the stacked rails. The hungry Greeks
    (several of them managed to come along, God only knows how) rummage underneath therails. One of them finds some pieces of mildewed bread, another a few half‐rotten sardines.They eat.”Schweinedreck,” spits a young, tall guard with corn‐coloured hair and dreamy blue eyes.”For God’s sake, any minute you’ll have so much food to stuff down your guts, you’ll bust!”
    He adjusts his gun, wipes his face with a handkerchief.”Hey you, fatso!” His boot lightly touches Henri’s shoulder. “Pass mal auf, want a drink?'”Sure, but I haven’t got any marks,” replies the Frenchman with a professional air.”Schade, too bad.””Come, come, Herr Posten, isn’t my word good enough any more? Haven’t we done business before? How much?”
    “One hundred. Gemacht?””Gemacht.”We drink the water, lukewarm and tasteless. It will be paid for by the people who have not yet arrived.”The transport is coming,” somebody says. We spring to our feet, all eyes turn in one
    direction. Around the bend, one after another, the cattle cars begin rolling in. The train backs into the station, a conductor leans out, waves his hand, blows a whistle. The locomotive whistles back with a shrieking noise, puffs, the train rolls slowly alongside the ramp. In the tiny barred windows appear pale, wilted, exhausted human faces, terrorstricken women with tangled hair, unshaven men. They gaze at the station in silence. And then, suddenly, there is a stir inside the cars and a pounding against the wooden boards.
    “Water! Air!”—weary, desperate cries.
    Heads push “Water! Air!”—weary, desperate cries.Heads push through the windows, mouths gasp frantically for air. They draw a few breaths, then disappear; others come in their place, then also disappear. The cries and moans grow louder.A man in a green uniform covered with more glitter than any of the others jerks his head impatiently, his lips twist in annoyance. He inhales deeply, then with a rapid gesture throws his cigarette away and signals to the guard. The guard removes the automatic from his shoulder, aims, sends a series of shots along the train. All is quiet now. Meanwhile, the trucks have arrived, steps are being drawn up, and the Canadamen stand ready at their posts by the train doors. The S.S. officer with the briefcase raises his hand.Whoever takes gold, or anything at all besides food, will be shot for stealing Reich
    property. Understand? Verstanden?””Jawohl!” we answer eagerly.”Also los Begin!” The bolts crack, the doors fall open. A wave of fresh air rushes inside the train. People . . .inhumanly crammed, buried under incredible heaps of luggage, suitcases, trunks, packages, crates, bundles of every description (everything that had been their past and was to start their future). Monstrously squeezed together, they have fainted from heat, suffocated,crushed one another. Now they push towards the opened doors, breathing like fish cast out
    on the sand.”Attention! Out, and take your luggage with you! Take out everything. Pile all your stuff near the exits. Yes, your coats too. It is summer. March to the left. Understand?””Sir, what’s going to happen to us?” They jump from the train on to the gravel, anxious,worn‐out.It is the camp law: people going to their death must be deceived to the very end. This is the
    only permissible form of charity.It is impossible to control oneself any longer. Brutally we tear suitcases from their hands,impatiently pull off their coats. Go on, go on, vanish! They go, they vanish. Men, women,children. Some of them know.Here is a woman—she walks quickly, but tries to appear calm. A small child with a pink cherub’s face runs after her and, unable to keep up, stretches out his little arms and cries:”Mama! Mama!””Pick up your child, woman!”
    “It’s not mine, sir, not mine!” she shouts hysterically and runs on, covering her face withher hands. She wants to hide, she wants to reach those who will not ride the trucks, those who will go on foot, those who will stay alive. She is young, healthy, good‐looking, she wants to live.
    But the child runs after her, wailing loudly: “Mama, mama, don’t leave me!”
    “It’s not mine, not mine, no!”Andrei, a sailor from Sevastopol, grabs hold of her. His eyes are glassy from vodka and the heat. With one powerful blow he knocks her off her feet, then, as she falls, takes her by the hair and pulls her up again. His face twitches with rage.”Ah, you bloody Jewess. So you’re running from your own child! I’ll show you, you whore!”His huge hand chokes her, he lifts her in the air and heaves her on to the truck like a heavy
    sack of grain.”Here! And take this with you, bitch!” and he throws the child at her feet.Several other men are carrying a small girl with only one leg. They hold her by the arms and the one leg. Tears are running down her face and she whispers faintly: “Sir, it hurts, it hurts . . . ” They throw her on the truck on top of the corpses. She will burn alive along with them.near the exits. Yes, your coats too. It is summer. March to the left. Understand?”
    “Sir, what’s going to happen to us?” They jump from the train on to the gravel, anxious, worn‐out.

    • Karim
      December 26, 2012 at 10:45 pm

      Do you want to prove that ideological secularist are crazy. Hitler was a secularist believing in eugenics which is a secular “invention”. And he was heavily influenced by Nitsche.” „Und wenn wir dieser Jugend zurufen: Heil Hitler! – so grüßen wir mit diesem Rufe zugleich Friedrich Nietzsche.“. The french killed between 4 and ten Million Algerians under there rule in Algeria alone. Woman and children. And the only one who wants more “Lebensraum” are the Zionist.

      • Karen
        December 27, 2012 at 7:16 am

        And you Muslims are perfect, perfectly insane and bloodthirsty.

        • Karim
          December 27, 2012 at 4:17 pm

          You have absolutely no clue what muslims are?. Since “The Muslim” does not exist in the first place. An Indonesian muslim is totally different from a saudi Muslim for example. All you know is what the Media its telling you. According to the most read “serious” european magazine “der Spiegel” in a special edition called “Islam special” or “Islam spezial” of 1997 egyptian Muslim slaughter a kitten in front of there wifes in the first wedding night. Just to show her who “the Boss” is. The Magazine “der Spiegel” is like the New York Times. It´s not like the british sun for example. Now I´m not an egyptian. But i simply don`t believe in this BS. But you do. Since you are totally brainwashed. And this is the difference between me and you. It was a Person like you that killed the egyptian pregnant Woman marwa al sherbini in a court in germany in front of her Husband and her 3 Year old son with 18 stabs with a knife. There was policeman in the court too. He shoot at the husband instead of the murderer after the Husband tried to safe the life of his wife. But i can not blame him.The policeman was a person like you too. He was brainwashed like you.

          • Karen
            January 1, 2013 at 5:36 am

            Oh please. Spare me. For every Muslim German killed in the courtroom there are tens of thousands of Muslims killed by their own. Not a day goes by when Shiite pilgrims all over the middle east are not being blown up by their Sunni brothers. And the same goes for people of other religions. Muslims are killing Hindus, Buddhists, Jews and Christians every f***ing day. Don’t tell me I don’t know what a Muslim is. I know plenty about this supremacist ideology and it is too bad that it has left the Middle East and spread like a disease all over the modern world.

      • Jonas
        December 27, 2012 at 8:47 am

        Right! The “Zionists”. You forgot to mention that the nice Arabs attacked the “Zionists”, men-women-and-children, no less that 7 times in 64 years. And the only reason for your attack is them being Jewish. Now who really wants more “Lebensraum”???

        • Karim
          December 27, 2012 at 4:35 pm

          Here’s some quotes for you Shadow of those great isreali leaders of yesteryear. Ah, the gool ole days!
          “We must expel Arabs and take their places.”
          — David Ben Gurion, 1937, Ben Gurion and the Palestine Arabs, Oxford University Press, 1985.
          “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”
          — David Ben-Gurion, May 1948, to the General Staff. From Ben-Gurion, A Biography, by Michael Ben-Zohar, Delacorte, New York 1978.
          “There has been Anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They see but one thing: we have come and we have stolen their country. Why would they accept that?”
          — Quoted by Nahum Goldmann in Le Paraddoxe Juif (The Jewish Paradox), pp. 121-122.
          “Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”
          — David Ben Gurion, quoted in The Jewish Paradox, by Nahum Goldmann, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1978, p. 99.
          “Let us not ignore the truth among ourselves … politically we are the aggressors and they defend themselves… The country is theirs, because they inhabit it, whereas we want to come here and settle down, and in their view we want to take away from them their country.”
          — David Ben Gurion, quoted on pp 91-2 of Chomsky’s Fateful Triangle, which appears in Simha Flapan’s “Zionism and the Palestinians pp 141-2 citing a 1938 speech.
          “If I knew that it was possible to save all the children of Germany by transporting them to England, and only half by transferring them to the Land of Israel, I would choose the latter, for before us lies not only the numbers of these children but the historical reckoning of the people of Israel.”
          — David Ben-Gurion (Quoted on pp 855-56 in Shabtai Teveth’s Ben-Gurion in a slightly different translation).
          g##gle: “ben gurion’s scandals how the haganah and the mossad eliminate jews

          “The Mufti was Hitler’s guest of honour in Berlin”.
          Feivel Polkes (Haganah (pre Mossad) Chief) met in the RSHA II with Heydrich, Himmler and Eichmann.
          The Haganah spied for Nazi-Germany on the British and Zionists prevented Jews from escaping to US and UK, only Palestine should be a save heaven for jews.
          google “Cooperation Nazi Zionism TPB” to get copies of the original files from RSHA II.
          google “51 documents”
          google “Zionism in the Age of Dictators” from Lenni Brenner to get a complete about National-Zionist appreciation of fascism

  20. joseph Lebensraum
    December 27, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    And suddenly, above the teeming crowd pushing forward like a river driven by an unseen power, a girl appears. She descends lightly from the train, hops on to the gravel, looks around inquiringly, as if somewhat surprised. Her soft, blonde hair has fallen on her shoulders in a torrent, she throws is back impatiently. With a natural gesture she runs her hands down her blouse, casually straightens her skirt. She stands like this for an instant, gazing at the crowd, then turns and with a gliding look examines our faces, as though search­ing for someone. Unknowingly, I continue to stare at her, until our eyes meet.
    “Listen, tell me, where are they taking us?”
    I look at her without saying a word. Here, standing before me, is a girl, a girl with enchanting blonde hair, with beautiful breasts, wearing a little cotton blouse, a girl with a wise, mature look in her eyes. Here she stands, gazing straight into my face, waiting. And over there is the gas chamber: communal death, disgusting and ugly. And over in the other direction is the concentration damp: the shaved head, the heavy Soviet trousers in sweltering heat, the sick­ening, stale odor of dirty, damp female bodies, the animal hunger, the inhuman labor, and later the same gas chamber, only an even more hideous, more terrible death …
    Why did she bring it? I think to myself, noticing a lovely gold watch on her delicate wrist. They’ll take it away from her anyway.
    “Listen, tell me,” she repeats.
    I remain silent. Her lips tighten.
    “I know,” she says with a shade of proud contempt in her voice tossing her head. She walks off resolutely in the direction of the trucks. Someone tries to stop her; she boldly pushes him aside and runs up the steps. In the distance I can only catch a glimpse of her blonde hair flying in the breeze.

  21. joseph Lebensraum
    December 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Karim, i want to say that ideology in all and every bit of its rhetoric,is just an inferno for humanity. no reason can ever comprehend the waste of human life,just because of some sub-humans,trying to enjoy mass murder. i dont think other species do this either.
    as for you jonas,karen…..and the misinformed, will you go and do some reading,you berks.

  22. Publicola
    December 28, 2012 at 11:42 am

    – Longterm economic decline and resulting longterm political divisiveness:
    What went wrong with the Islamic cultural sphere in the last centuries and what has Islamic law, i.e. sharia got to to with it? –

    Contract law, rules of inheritance, the ban on usury, and the death penalty for apostasy are the key elements of sharia that thwarted economic development of the Islamic cultural sphere.

    1 – During the Middle Ages, business transactions were based on personal relationships. Islamic contract law, on the other hand, promoted cooperation outside family and kin. Complete strangers could come together to form a business partnership on the basis of mutual interest that was recognised in law and upheld in courts.
    The problem was that an Islamic partnership could be terminated at will by any partner. The death of a partner also dissolved the partnership, with subsequent profit and loss going solely to the survivor. The children and family of the deceased partner could neither inherit nor automatically take his place.
    This meant that durable business partnerships that could last generations did not emerge in the Middle East. The private enterprises in the region became atomistic. When businessmen came together to pool their resources in profit-making endeavours, their cooperation was only temporary and seldom lasted more than a few months.

    2 – The problem was compounded by the egalitarian nature of Islamic laws of inheritance. These were designed to dissipate wealth in society and prevent its accumulation in fewer and fewer hands.
    But it also meant that business empires of successful merchants never survived after them, as their estates were divided and dispersed into several small segments.
    Recombination and re-emergence of the empire was almost impossible. Everything had to begin again from ground zero with new partnerships.

    3 – The ban on usury made it difficult for merchants to obtain credit and suppliers to lend money. Often, it increased the cost as both suppliers and users of credit discovered innovative strategies to bypass the prohibition.
    The bar on interest also meant that banks could not emerge. There was no incentive to trade shares; or any need for standardised accounting.

    4 – The punishment for apostasy made it impossible for Muslims to do business with non-Muslims.
    They risked life and limb if they conducted business under a non-Muslim legal system, or took disputes to non-Muslim judges.

    5 – To make matters worse, social services in Middle Eastern societies were provided by pious foundations, or waqfs. These charitable trusts, set up under Islamic law and supervised by religious officials, provided the region with such essential services as water supplies and looked after orphanages, schools and colleges. They could outlive their founders and continue for perpetuity.
    But as they were not self-governing, their caretakers could not maximise profits. They thus became an impediment to the growth of corporations.

    On balance: All this meant that the Islamic cultural area was very late in adopting key institutions of modern economy. The laws, institutions and organisational forms, that could mobilise productive resources on large scales within enduring private enterprises, so essential for economic development, just did not emerge in the region.

  23. joseph Lebensraum
    December 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    publicola,Read this and made up your own mind.Sharia has nothing to do to the economic decline of the region.
    The traditional processes of juristic understanding depend on a theological construct that is presented as history. It states that the words and actions of the prophet Muhammad (his sunnah), being an embodiment of the divine command and an expression of God ’s law (sharīʿah), were preserved by the companions of the Prophet and their followers in the form of discrete anecdotes (hadīth). These were transmitted from generation to generation, inspiring first discussion and then systematic juristic thinking (fiqh). Beginning in about the mid-eighth century, a number of masters made distinctive contributions to the discipline that stimulated the emergence of separate traditions or schools. The most important masters for the Sunnīs are Abū Hanīfah (d. about 767), Mālik ibn Anas (d. 795), Muhammad ibn Idrīs al-Shāfiʿī (d. 820), and Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 855), associated respectively with the Hanaf ī, Mālikī, Shāfiʿī, and Hanbalī schools. The four Sunnī schools acknowledged one another and gave more or less qualified recognition to a number of other short-lived schools that emerged within Sunnism; the most important was probably the Zāhirī (Literalist) school, whose major exponent was ʿAlī ibn Hazm (d. 1064).
    Development of the law within the schools can be seen to depend on two major hermeneutical principles. The first, the synchronic principle, required that any formulation of the law, at any time, must be justifiable by reference to revelation. The second, the diachronic principle, was equally important, although frequently overlooked by observers and possibly underestimated by some practitioners. It required that participants in a school tradition, whether Sunnī or Shīʿī, preserve loyalty to the tradition by taking into account the interpretative achievement of older masters; the law had to be justifiable by reference to the continuity and established identity of the school. Muslim jurists were not, as individuals, in solitary and direct confrontation with revelation: they found their way back to the meaning of revelation through tradition. This principle was a source of strength and flexibility, for the tradition held the accumulated experience of the community and gave it a sophisticated literary form. It was, nonetheless, sometimes attacked. Within Sunnism, the Zāhirīs objected to precisely this feature of juristic thought and advocated instead a return to a literal reading of the sources. The same mood, if not the same extreme, is expressed in the Salafī (Primitivist—the world salaf refers to the earliest generations of Islam) orientation associated with Ibn Taymīyah (d. 1328), and perhaps in the Akhbārī movement within Imāmī Shiism. All these movements evince distrust of the complexity and indeterminacy expressed in the ongoing dominant traditions.
    The vitality, complexity, and exuberance of fiqh literature—and many of the fundamental norms of the law—are unthinkable except in relation to the large body of revelation constituted by hadīth. The literature of fiqh is of two kinds, furūʿ al-fiqh (branches) and usūl al-fiqh (roots). It is sometimes said that works of the latter type explore the four sources (or roots) of the law, namely, Qurʿān, sunnah, consensus (ijmāʿ), and analogical reason (qiyās). This is an indigenous but inadequate description. Such works do contain a definition of revelation, which may be extended to include the words and actions of the companions, but their main purpose is to describe the intellectual structures that can be brought to bear on revelation for the purposes of interpretation. These begin with linguistic and rhetorical sciences, usually dealt with under simple antithetical headings: general and particular, command and prohibition, obscure and clear, truth and metaphor. With regard to hadīth alone, the epistemological categories of multiple and single transmission (tawātur and āhād, with only the former giving certain knowledge) are discussed. The workings of abrogation (naskh), the application, ramifications, and limitations of analogical argument, and the value and limits of consensus, are all discussed, along with a variable body of other materials. The whole set of interpretative structures is brought together in the idea of ijtihād. As a juristic term, this means the exertion of the utmost possible effort to discover, on the basis of revelation interpreted in the light of all the rules, the ruling on a particular juristic question. The theory of ijtihād in its several forms concedes that there will be variant views on all but the fundamental structures of the law. By acknowledging dispute, it preempts its capacity to divide. It justifies the authority of the fuqahāʿ, who alone have the right to give rulings, which must be obeyed by the masses. Finally, it controls and justifies intellectual play and so permits the remarkable florescence of juristic literature that characterizes all Islamic societies down to the nineteenth century (and in some areas beyond it). The greatest theoretician of the idea that the sharīʿah could be a source for practical and effective codification was probably the Egyptian jurist ʿAbd al-Razzāq al-Sanhūrī, who played a part in drafting new civil codes for more than one Arab country. The magnitude of the achievement of modern Muslim states in creating and implementing their new legal structures is rarely appreciated outside legal circles, but it is an achievement of immense importance and complexity, and not one that is unduly at odds with the practical history of the sharīʿah. Sayyid Qutb, the ideologue of the Muslim Brothers executed in Egypt in 1966, was in this respect an intellectual descendant of ʿAbduh. For him, in the end, all of Islamic history after the early generations was only a continuation of the Jāhilīyah, the Age of Ignorance, and the works of the fuqahāʿ were something like a betrayal of the existential task they should have executed. In his work of Qurʿānic exegesis, Fī Zilāl al-Qurʿān, he frequently made the point: “The sharīʿah has been revealed in order to be implemented, not to be known, to be studied, and to be changed into culture in books and treatises” (Beirut, 1971, vol. 1, p. 746). This reverses the priorities and denies the achievement of an ancient juristic tradition of thought and literature; and it promotes the word sharīʿah as if it designated a blueprint for the Islamic state. In this form, sharīʿah could be part of a call to political action, and it was subject to the usual constraints of political expediency.Islamic law has been throughout the history of Islamic culture the prime focus of intellectual effort. It is a correspondingly complex affair, a structure in which several traditions of juristic thought and many types of social reality have had to be discovered to be in some kind of justificatory harmony with one another and with the texts of revelation. Its rewards as an object of study are evident. For the Muslim community, the assimilation of its messages to the needs of the current generation is, now as in the past, both an intellectual and an imaginative challenge, as well as a generally acknowledged religious duty.

  24. Publicola
    December 29, 2012 at 2:50 am

    Legitimation of a draft constitution ?

    Let’s get the figures right:
    referendum – draft constitution – 20.5% Yes-votes versus 11.5% No-votes:

    According to Al-Ahram, the Yes-votes were 64% and the No-votes were 36%. The turn-out amounted to 32%.
    According to Al-Ahram, the voting turnout was 32% or 16,472,241 voters.
    That is the total number of potential voters, i.e. voters entitled to vote, would amount to 51,475,753.

    10,543,893 voted Yes, i.e. 20.5% of the total number of voters.

    5,928,348 voted No, i.e. 11.5% of the total number of voters.

  25. joseph Lebensraum
    December 29, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    “Und morgen die ganze Welt”,
    Links, zwei, drei,
    vier! Mützen ab!
    It is the camp law: people going to their death must be deceived to the very end. This is the
    only permissible form of charity. The heat is tremendous. The sun hangs directly over our heads, the white, hot sky quivers, the air vibrates, an occasional breeze feels like a sizzling
    blast from a furnace. Our lips are parched, the mouth fills with the salty taste of blood, the body is weak and heavy from lying in the sun. Water!A huge, multicoloured wave of People loaded down with luggage pours from the train like a blind, mad river trying to find a new bed. But before they have a chance to recover, before they can draw a breath of fresh air and look at the sky, bundles are snatched from their hands, coats ripped off their backs, their purses and umbrellas taken away.
    “But please, sir, it’s for the sun, I cannot . . . ”
    “Verboten!” one of us barks through clenched teeth. There is an S.S. man standing behind your back, calm, efficient, watchful.
    “Meine Herrschaften, this way, ladies and gentlemen, try not to throw your things around,please. Show some goodwill,” he says courteously, his restless hands playing with the
    slender whip.”Of course, of course,” they answer as they pass, and now they walk alongside the train somewhat more cheerfully. A woman reaches down quickly to pick up her handbag. The
    whip flies, the woman screams, stumbles, and falls under the feet of the surging crowd.Behind her, a child cries in a thin little voice “Mamele!”—a very small girl with tangled
    black curls.The heaps grow. Suitcases, bundles, blankets, coats, handbags that open as they fall, spilling coins, gold, watches; mountains of bread pile up at the exits, heaps of marmalade, jams,masses of meat, sausages; sugar spills on the gravel. Trucks, loaded with people, start up with a deafening roar and drive off amidst the wailing and screaming of the women
    separated from their children, and the stupefied silence of the men left behind. They are the ones who had been, ordered to step to the right—the healthy and the young who will go to
    the camp. In the end, they too will not escape death, but first they must work.Trucks leave and return, without interruption, as on a monstrous conveyor belt. A Red Cross van drives back and forth, back and forth, incessantly: it transports the gas that will kill these people. The enormous cross on the hood, red as blood, seems to dissolve in the sun.The transports swell into weeks, months, years. When the war is over, they will count up
    the marks in their notebooks—all four and a half million of them. The bloodiest battle of the war, the greatest victory of the strong, united Germany. Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Führer—
    and four crematoria.The train has been emptied. A thin, pock‐marked S.S. man peers inside, shakes his head in disgust and motions to our group, pointing his finger at the door.
    “Rein. Clean it up!”We climb inside. In the corners amid human excrement and abandoned wrist‐watches lie squashed, trampled infants, naked little monsters with enormous heads and bloated bellies.We carry them out like chickens, holding several in each hand.”Don’t take them to the trucks, pass them on to the women,” says the S.S. man, lighting a cigarette. His cigarette lighter is not working properly; he examines it carefully.”Take them, for God’s sake!” I explode as the women run from me in horror, covering their eyes.The name of God sounds strangely pointless, since the women and the infants will go on the trucks, every one of them, without exception. We all know what this means, and we look at each other with hate and horror.
    “What, you don’t want to take them?” asks the pock‐marked S.S. man with a note of surprise and reproach in his voice, and reaches for his revolver.”You mustn’t shoot, I’ll carry them.” A tall, grey‐haired woman takes the little corpses out of
    my hands and for an instant gazes straight into my eyes.
    “My poor boy,” she whispers and smiles at me. Then she walks away, staggering along the path. I lean against the side of the train. I am terribly tired. Someone pulls at my sleeve.
    “En avant, to the rails, come on!”I look up, but the face swims before my eyes, dissolves, huge and transparent, melts into
    the motionless trees and the sea of people . . . I blink rapidly: Henri.”Listen, Henri, are we good people?”
    “That’s stupid. Why do you ask?”
    “You see, my friend, you see, I don’t know why, but I am furious, simply furious with thesepeople—furious because I must be here because of them. I feel no pity. I am not sorry
    they’re going to the gas chamber. Damn them all! I could throw myself at them, beat them with my fists. It must be pathological, I just can’t understand . . . ”
    “Ah, on the contrary, it is natural, predictable, calculated. The ramp exhausts you, you rebel—and the easiest way to relieve your hate is to turn against someone weaker. Why, I’d even call it healthy. It’s simple logic, compris?” He props himself up comfortably against theheap of rails. “Look at the Greeks, they know how to make the best of it! They stuff their
    bellies with anything they find. One of them has just devoured a full jar of marmalade.””Pigs! Tomorrow half of them will die of the shits.””Pigs? You’ve been hungry.”
    “Pigs!” I repeat furiously. I close my eyes. The air is filled with ghastly cries, the earthtrembles beneath me, I can feel sticky moisture on my eyelids. My throat is completely dry.
    The morbid procession streams on and on—trucks growl like mad dogs. I shut my eyestight, but I can still see corpses dragged from the train, trampled infants, cripples piled on
    top of the dead, wave after wave . . . freight cars roll in, the heaps of clothing, suitcases andbundles grow, people climb out, look at the sun, take a few breaths, beg for water, get into
    the trucks, drive away. And again freight cars roll in, again people . . . The scenes becomeconfused in my mind—I am not sure if all of this is actually happening, or if I am dreaming.
    There is a humming inside my head; I feel that I must vomit.

  26. CRBG
    December 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    joseph Lebensraum:

    I’ve read your “serious dump”. Where are these excerpts taken from? Who is the “I”? Is there an analogy to be drawn between the forms of fascism/sadism you portray above and the forms you see in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now Masristan? Mystified.

  27. joseph Lebensraum
    December 31, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    CRBG, dont you see the analogy !!! Have another try with this :
    “Arbeit macht frei”.

    It was a magic shawl, it could nourish an infant for three days and three nights. Magda did not die, she stayed alive, although very quiet. A peculiar smell, of cinnamon and almonds lifted out of her mouth. She held her eye open every moment, forgetting how to blink or nap, and Rosa and sometimes Stella was
    ravenous, a growing, child herself, but not growing
    much. Stella studied their blueness. On the road they raised one burden of a leg after another and studied Magda’s face. “Aryan” Stella said, in a voice grown as
    tin as a string; and Rosa thought how Stella gazed at Magda like a young cannibal. And the time Stella said Aryan,” it sounded to Rosa as if Stella had really said “Let’s devour her.”But Magda lived to walk. She lived that long, but she did not walk very well,partly because she was only fifteen months old, and partly because the spindles of her legs could not hold up her fat belly. It was fat with air, full and round.Stella was waiting for Magda to die so she could put herteeth into the little thighs .Rosa knew Magda was going to die very soon; she should have been dead already, but she had been buried away deep inside the magic shawl. No one took it away from her. Magda was mute. She never cried. Rosa hid her in the barracks, under the shawl, but she knew that one day someone would inform; or one day someone, not even Stella, would steal Magda to eat her. When Magda began to walk Rosa knew that Magda was going to die very soon, something would happen. She was afraid to fall asleep; she slept with the weight of her thigh on Magda’s body; she was afraid she would smoother Magda under her thigh. The weight of Rosa was becoming less and less; Rosa and Stella were slowly turning into air.Magda was quiet, but her eyes were horribly alive, like blue tigers. She watched. Sometimes she laughed – it seemed a laugh, but how could it be? Magda had never seen anyone laugh. Still, Magda laughed at her shawl when the wind blew its corners, the bad wind with pieces of black in it. Magda’s eyes were always clear and tearless. She watched like a tiger. She guarded her shawl. No one could touch it; only Rosa could touch it. Stella was not allowed. The shawl was Magda’s own baby, her pet, her little sister. She tangled herself up in it and sucked on one of the corners when she wanted to be very still.Then Stella took the shawl away and made Magda die. Magda flopped onward with her little pencil legs scribbling this way and that, in search of the shawl; the pencils faltered at the barracks opening, where the light began. Rosa saw and pursued. But already Magda was in the square outside the barracks, in the jolly light. It was the roll-call arena. Every morning Rosa had to conceal Magda under the shawl against a wall of the barracks and go out and stand in the arena with Stella and hundreds of others, and Magda,deserted, was quiet under the shawl, sucking on her corner. Every day Magda was silent, and so she did not die. Rosa saw that today Magda was going to die, and at the same time a fearful joy ran in Rosa’s two palms, her ingers were on fire, she was astonished, febrile: Magda, in the sunlight, swaying on her pencil legs, was howling.ever since Magda’s last scream on the road, Magda had been devoid of any syllable; Magda was a mute. Rosa believed that something had gone wrong
    with her vocal cords, with her windpipe, with the cave of her larynx. “Maaaa-” It was the first noise Magda had ever sent out from her throat sincethe drying up of Rosa’s nipples. “Maaa…..aaaa!” Again! She saw that Magda was grieving for the loss of her shawl, she saw that Magda was going to die. A tide of commands
    hammered in Rosa’s nipples: Fetch, get, bring! But she did not know which to go after first, Magda or the shawl. If she jumped out into the arena to snatchMagda up, the howling would not stop, because Magna would still not have the shawl; but if she ran back into the barracks to find the shawl, and if she found it, and if she came after Magda holding it and shaking it, then she would get Magda back,Magda would put the shawl in her mouth and turn dumb again.Rosa entered the dark. It was easy to discover the shawl.The lamenting voices strummed so convincingly, so passionately, it was impossible to suspect them of
    being phantoms. The voices told her to hold up the shawl, high; the voices told her to shake it, to whip wit it, to unfurl it like a flag. Rosa lifted shook, whipped, unfurled. Far off, very far, Magda leaned across her air-fed belly, reaching out with the rods of her arms. She was high up, elevated,ridingsomeone’s shoulder. But the shoulder that carried Magda was not coming toward Rosa and the shawl, it was drifting away, the speck of Magda was moving more and more into the smoky distance. Above the shoulder a helmet glinted. The light tapped the helmet and sparkled it into a goblet. Below the helmet a black body like a domino and a pair o black boots hurled themselves in the direction of the electrified fence. The electric voices began to chatter wildly. “Maaaaa, maaaaa,” they all hummed together. How far Magda was from Rosa now, across the whole square, passed a dozen barracks, all the way on the other side! She was no bigger than a moth.All at once Magda was swimming through theair.The whole of Magda traveled through loftiness. She looked like a butterfly toucan a silver vine. And the moment Magda’s feathered round head and her pencil legs and
    balloonish belly and zigzag arm splashed against the fence, the steel voices went mad in their growling, urging Rosa to run and run to the spot where Magda had
    fallen from her flight against the electrified fence; but of course Rosa did not obey them. She only stood, because if she ran they would shoot, and if she let
    the wolf’s screech ascending now through the ladder of her skeleton break out, they would shoot; so she took Magda’s shawl and filled her mouth with it, stuffed it in, until she was swallowing up, the wolf’s screech and tasting the cinnamon and almond depth of Magda’s saliva; and Rosa drank Magda’s shawl until it dried.

  28. Publicola
    January 1, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    To compare a Nazi extermination camp like Auschwitz (see the two above quotes from Tadeusz Borowski: “This Way for the Gas Ladies and Gentlemen” and from Cynthia Ozick: “The Shawl”) with the current political situation in Egypt is an indescribably unparalleled, unprecedented gigantic extenuation and whitewashing of the europe-wide genocide perpetrated by the Nazi-Germany ‘Third Reich’.

    To do so is absolutely beyond me

  29. joseph Lebensraum
    January 2, 2013 at 10:13 am

    extenuation of the europe-wide genocide perpetrated by the Nazi-Germany? .the comparison i made, in my opinion, is inculpative of the unbelievable atrocities,and the similarity here is not farfetched,given the history of the fundamentalist political islam,and its executors,whether they are the fanatics themselves, or the young followers that they have deluded .

  30. CRBG
    January 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Actually, I have to agree with joseph Lebensraum on this one. Please read what the fascistic MB-dominated “Free” Syrian rebels are doing to their opposition in the name of freedom and revolution against dictatorship.

    I predict Egypt isn’t so far behind. We have already seen make-shift torture areas set up by Morsi supporters in front of the presidential palace where anti-Morsi protesters were held and beaten, some for days.

    This most recent report from The Independent starts as follows:

    Excerpt from “Syria: The descent into Holy War – Comment – Voices”

    It is one of the most horrifying videos of the war in Syria. It shows two men being beheaded by Syrian rebels, one of them by a child. He hacks with a machete at the neck of a middle-aged man who has been forced to lie in the street with his head on a concrete block. At the end of the film, a soldier, apparently from the Free Syrian Army, holds up the severed heads by their hair in triumph…

    To read more, please follow this link:


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