Saddam's Death, Page 20
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 19: november-december 2012

"Nasser, as the activist leader of Pan-Arabism, became an idealized model for Saddam Hussein. At age 20, inspired by Nasser, Saddam joined the Arab Ba'th socialist Party in Iraq and quickly impressed party officials with his dedication. Two years later, in 1956, apparently emulating Nasser, Iraqi Army General Qassem led a coup which ousted the monarchy. But unlike Nasser, Qassem did not pursue the path of socialism and turned against the Ba'th party. ... Saddam went to Egypt to study law, rising to leadership ranks in the Egyptian Ba'th Party. He returned to Iraq after 1963 when Qassem was ousted by the Ba'ths and was elected to the National Command.
Michel Aflaq, the ideological father of the Ba'th party, admired young Hussein, declaring the Iraqi Ba'th party the finest in the world.... (Dr. Jerrold M. Post)

"Gamal Abdel-Nasser continues to inhabit Egypt because, like Bonaparte, he is the representative of an age of certain national glory, despite the mistakes and the military debacle. But there is more to it than this. Above all, he symbolises for Egyptians the expression of their independent national will. It is this that remains. It is in this that we must seek our project for the future" (Liberating Nasser's legacy, Al-Ahram Weekly 2000)

Adieu BlairSeven is explodingww.rense.comJustin Raimondo





Saddam began rebuilding the ruins of ancient Babylon. Saddam put up a large mural of himself next to Nebuchadrezzar at the entrance to the ruins. And echoing Nebuchadrezzar's practice, Saddam had his own name inscribed on the bricks used in the reconstruction. The inscriptions are reported to read: "This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq"

Babylon

An ancient Semitic city in the Euphrates valley, which after 2250 B.C., as the capital of Babylonia, became a center of world commerce and of the arts and sciences, its life marked by luxury and magnificence. The city in which they built the Tower of Babel, its location coincides approximately with that of the modern city of Baghdad - now the center of a vast agricultural community. The Babylonians attached great importance to the motions of the planets, accurately fixed their orbits and worked out tables of the phases of the Moon, whereby eclipses could be correctly predicted. Their great astrological work, "The Illumination of Bel," was compiled within the period of 2100-1900 B.C..
Babylon is generally conceded to have been the cradle of astrology. It was overthrown in 539 A.D., by Xerxes, the Persian. (www.astrologyweekly.com/)


About political holism

Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent. Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare. In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.

Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy. Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance.

At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)


Zie ook: Gilad Atzmon & Het tribalisme

The Arab Leaque & The Arab Homeland - Wikipedia Info

arab league meeting 2010 The Charter of the Arab League endorsed the principle of an Arab homeland while respecting the sovereignty of the individual member states. ...
Governance of the Arab League has been based on the duality of supra-national institutions and the sovereignty of the member states.
Preservation of individual statehood derived its strengths from the natural preference of ruling elites to maintain their power and independence in decision making.
Moreover, the fear of the richer that the poorer may share their wealth in the name of Arab nationalism, the feuds among Arab rulers, and the influence of external powers that might oppose Arab unity can be seen as obstacles towards a deeper integration of the league.

Pragmatic and logical approach

Gamal Abdel Nasser was a giant of the twentieth century who curiously is not well-remembered today. He was ahead of his times. The world powers that constantly opposed his attempts to mainstream Egypt into the world while he was alive may long for his forward-looking pragmatic and logical approach compared to the backward-looking Islamist extremism rife in the region today. ...
Nasser wrote a short personal book titled “Egypt’s Liberation: The Philosophy of the Revolution” about his ideas and dreams. It reveals a sweeping yet deeply analytical mind and acute observer of human behavior whose periods of disillusionment and exhilaration were intense. First published in 1955, his book was all but ignored by the world. (Rompedas 23-7-2009)

DOROTHY THOMPSON: Abdul Nasser was looking for constructive ideas, for men ready to subject their personal ambitions, interests, and hatreds to a concentrated and consecrated effort for the renaissance of the nation.

"We needed order but we found nothing behind us but chaos. We needed unity . . . we found dissension. We needed work . . . we found indolence and sloth. . . . Every man we questioned had nothing to recommend except to kill someone else. Every idea we listened to was nothing but an attack on some other idea. If we had gone along with everything we heard we would have killed off all the people and torn down every idea, and there would have been nothing to do but sit down among the corpses and ruins. ...
"We were deluged with petitions and complaints . . . but most of these cases were no more or less than demands for revenge, as though a revolution had taken place in order to become a weapon in the hand of hatred and vindictiveness."

Assad: ‘My enemy is terrorism and instability in Syria’
Russia Today, 9 November 2012

In an exclusive interview with RT, President Bashar Assad said that the conflict in Syria is not a civil war, but proxy terrorism by Syrians and foreign fighters. He also accused the Turkish PM of eyeing Syria with imperial ambitions.
Assad told RT that the West creates scapegoats as enemies – from communism, to Islam, to Saddam Hussein. He accused Western countries of aiming to turn him into their next enemy.
While mainstream media outlets generally report on the crisis as a battle between Assad and Syrian opposition groups, the president claims that his country has been infiltrated by numerous terrorist proxy groups fighting on behalf of other powers.

RT: There are many people who were convinced a year ago that you would not make it this far. Here again you are sitting in a newly renovated presidential palace and recording this interview. Who exactly is your enemy at this point?

BA: My enemy is terrorism and instability in Syria. This is our enemy in Syria. It is not about the people, it is not about persons. The whole issue is not about me staying or leaving. It is about the country being safe or not. So, this is the enemy we have been fighting as Syria. ...

The West creates enemies; in the past it was the communism then it became Islam, and then it became Saddam Hussein for a different reason. Now, they want to create a new enemy represented by Bashar. That's why they say that the problem is the president so he has to leave. That is why we have to focus of the real problem, not to waste our time listening to what they say.

RT: Do you believe that you are the man who can put an end to the conflict and restore peace?

BA: I have to be the man who can do that and I hope so, but it is not about the power of the President; it is about the whole society. We have to be precise about this. The president cannot do anything without the institutions and without the support of the people. So, the fight now is not a President’s fight; it is Syrians’ fight. Every Syrian is involved in defending his country now.

RT: It is and a lot of civilians are dying as well in the fighting. So, if you were to win this war, how would you reconcile with your people after everything that has happened?

BA: Let’s be precise once again. The problem is not between me and the people; I do not have a problem with the people because the United States is against me and the West is against me and many other Arab countries, including Turkey which is not Arab of course, are against me. ...

RT: I heard you say on many different occasions that the only thing you care about is what the Syrian people think of you and what Syrian people feel towards you and whether you should be a president or not. Are you not afraid that there has been so much damage done for whatever reason that at the end of the day Syrians won’t care about the truth; they will just blame you for the carnage that they have suffered?

BA: This is a hypothetical question because what the people think is the right thing, and regarding what they think, we have to ask them. But I don’t have this information right now. ...

RT: For years there have been so many stories about almighty Syrian army, important and strong Syrian secret services, but then we see that, you know, the government forces are not able to crush the enemy like people expected it would...

BA: In this case, it is a new kind of war; terrorism through proxies, either Syrians living in Syria or foreign fighters coming from abroad. So, it is a new style of war, this is first and you have to adapt to this style and it takes time, it is not easy. .. Second, the support that has been offered to those terrorists in every aspect, including armaments, money and political aspect is unprecedented. ..

The problem is that the terrorists are fighting from within the cities, and in the cities you have civilians. When you fight this kind of terrorists, you have to be aware that you should do the minimum damage to the infrastructure and minimum damage to the civilians... This is the difficulty in this kind of war.

­RT: Why has Turkey, which you call a friendly nation, become a foothold for the opposition?

BA: Not Turkey, but only Erdogan’s government in order to be precise. Erdogan thinks that if Muslim Brotherhood takes over in the region and especially in Syria, he can guarantee his political future, this is one reason. The other reason, he personally thinks that he is the new sultan of the Ottoman and he can control the region as it was during the Ottoman Empire under a new umbrella. ...

RT: But it is not just the West that opposes you at this point... Why do you have so many enemies in the Arab world?

BA: They are not enemies. The majority of Arab governments support Syria in their heart but they do not dare to say that explicitly.

RT: Iran which is a very close ally also is exposed to economic sanctions, also facing a threat of military invasion. If you were faced with an option to cut ties with Iran in exchange for peace in your country, would you go for it?

BA: Iran is a very important country in the region. If we are looking for stability, we need good relations with Iran.

­RT: Do you have any information that the Western intelligence is financing rebel fighters here in Syria?

BA: No, so far what we know is that they are offering the know-how support for the terrorists through Turkey and sometimes through Lebanon mainly.

RT: There has been many times…not you but the government forces have been accused for many times of war crimes against your own civilians, do you accept that the government forces have committed war crimes against their own civilians?

BA: We are fighting terrorism. We are implementing our constitution by protecting the Syrian people. Let’s go back to what happened in Russia more than a decade ago when you faced terrorism in Chechnya and other places; they attacked people in theaters and schools and so on, and the army in Russia protected the people, would you call it war crimes?! No, you would not.

­RT: Do you think that at this point there is any chance for diplomacy or talks or only the army can get it done?

BA: I always believe in diplomacy and I always believe in dialogue even with those who do not understand or believe in it. But we have to be realistic.
Those people who committed these acts they are of two kinds: one of them does not believe in dialogue, especially the extremists, and you have the outlaws who have been convicted by the court years ago before the crisis and their natural enemy is the government because they are going to be detained if we have a normal situation in Syria.
The other part of them is the people who have been supplied by the outside, and they can only be committed to the governments which paid them the money and supplied them with the armament; they do not have a choice because they do not own their own decision.
And you have the third part of the people whether militants or politicians who can accept the dialogue. That’s why we have been in this dialogue for months now even with militants and many of them gave up their armaments and they went back to their normal life.

RT: If today was March 15, 2011, that is when the protest started to escalate and grow, what would you do differently?

BA: I would do what I did on March 15.

RT: Exactly the same?

BA: Exactly the same: ask different parties to have dialogue and stand against terrorists because that is how it started. It did not start as marches; the umbrella or cover was the marches, but within those marches you had militants who started shooting civilians and the army at the same time.

RT: President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, thank you for talking to RT.

BA: Thank you for coming to Syria, again.

Syria’s opposition chooses cleric as president
By Al Arabiya, 12 November 2012

The Syrian opposition on Sunday signed a deal in Doha to establish a national coalition aimed at combating Bashar al-Assad’s regime, an AFP journalist witnessed.
The agreement was signed by Sheikh Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, who is the newly elected president of the coalition, and Georges Sabra, head of the Syrian National Council (SNC), which is the main member of the new coalition.
Prominent dissident Riad Seif, who had tabled an initiative to unite the opposition, and female opposition figure Suhair al-Atassi, were elected as vice presidents of the coalition.
Khatib had served in the past as the imam of the central Umayyad mosque in the Syrian capital before he was banned from leading prayers. He was arrested in 2011 and in 2012 over supporting the uprising before he left the country.
Atassi comes from the central flashpoint city of Homs, and belongs to a family that has been active in the secular opposition. She is not a member of the SNC.

...Ruling out any dialogue with the Damascus regime..

The SNC had come under intense Arab and Western pressure to accept the unity plan amid growing frustration among other groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.
The inked agreement stipulates that the bloc will be open to all factions, and will form a provisional government after gaining international recognition. It will also support the unification of the revolutionary military councils, and will work for the fall of the regime and to dismantle the security organs, while ruling out any dialogue with the Damascus regime.

Qatar said on Sunday that the new Syrian opposition should be recognized as the only legitimate representative of the Syrian people.
Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim said Qatar would lead discussions at the Arab League, Gulf Cooperation Council, and with the United States and European allies, to win the group such recognition.

Islamist-In-Chief
By MOHANAD HAGE ALI, 14-11-2012

Western media outlets such as the BBC were quick to declare Sheikh Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib "a respected figure within Syria" who holds "moderate" political views, citing his trips to Britain and the United States, as well as his teaching experience at the Dutch Institute in Damascus, as evidence. ...

While Khatib used his post-election speech to call for equal rights for "all parts of the harmonious Syrian people," his previous rhetoric toward his country's minorities has been nothing short of virulent. One of his articles describes Shiite using the slur rawafid, or "rejectionists"; he even goes further, criticizing Shiites' ability to "establish lies and follow them." Such language, needless to say, will hardly reassure the country's Alawite community, a Shiite offshoot to which Assad belongs.

Khatib is a fan of Qatar-based Egyptian televangelist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi. His website places Qaradawi on equal footing with Tunisia's Mohamed Bouazizi, whose self-immolation set off the Arab revolutions, and praised the Egyptian preacher as "our great Imam."
Qaradawi is a controversial figure who has been denied entry to France and Britain for his support of suicide bombings.. Given Qaradawi's Qatari connections, Khatib's praise of the cleric may be an indication of where his loyalties lie.


Qatar-based El-Qaradawi to lead Friday prayers at Al-Azhar
Ahram Online, Monday 12 Nov 2012

Islamist cleric Youssef El-Qaradawi is to lead Friday prayers at the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Cairo for the first time.
Minister of Endowments Talaat Afifi, along with ministry officials and Al-Azhar scholars, will be attending the prayers, which will take place this week.
Qaradawi, an internationally renowned Egyptian Islamic scholar and President of the World Union of Muslim Scholars, is known to be the spiritual leader of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood. He lives in Qatar, having been exiled in the 1960s by president Gamal Abdel Nasser. He returned to Egypt in the wake of the Egyptian January 25 Revolution, giving a speech in Tahrir Square.

Muslim Brotherhood 2012
"It Is an Obligation to Kill Bashar Al-Assad"

It was no secret that while Nasser was aligned with the socialist camp,
the MB served as a tool of the US and Gulf regime during the Cold War". Al-Akkbar march 2012

Maqsoud 2012Higazi 2012higazi 2009

"The revolution is a gift from God"
Ahram Online, 17 May 2012

[May 2012] Muslim Brotherhood's presidential hopeful Mohamed Morsi visited the governorates of Beni Suef and Fayoum. Morsi was accompanied on his tour by Salafist figures Sheikh Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud as well as Islamic scholar Safwat Hegazi and the Brotherhood's Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie.
Badie told the audience in Beni Suef that the revolution was a gift from God and the Egyptian people should pray and thank him for it. He also urged the Egyptian people to work hard and serve Egypt and choose a man who will apply Sharia Law like Morsi promised to do.

Egyptian Clerics 1-3-2012
"It Is an Obligation to Kill Bashar Al-Assad"
Safwat Hegazi (born 1963) is an Egyptian imam and television preacher who is on the list of "Individuals banned from the UK for stirring-up hatred". The government of the United Kingdom declared that he is "considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by glorifying terrorist violence."
In 2009 he declared in a television interview that Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and the Baha'i Faith were not religions but were man-made. In 2012, Safwat Launched MB Candidate Muhammad Mursi's Campaign.

Salah Abdel Maqsoud (Born: 1958) Minister of information, former Morsi presidential campaign spokesman. Has been a journalist since 1979, working on several Islamist magazines including Egyptian Dawa, al-Bashir (1985), The Banner of Islam (1987 and 1994), and Harvest of Thought (1992).
In August 2012, Abdel Maqsoud was appointed minister of information, a move that riled non-Islamist journalists and supporters of press freedom. Political activist Hazem Abdel Azim called him a “Brotherhood fanatic” and “Ikhwani to the core,” and some suspected that his relationship with powerful MB deputy supreme guide Khairat al-Shater had played a key role in his appointment.

Jordan protesters call for ‘downfall of the regime’
Daily Times, 17-11-2012

AMMAN: Thousands of protesters chanted the Arab Spring slogan “the people want the downfall of the regime” in Jordan’s capital on Friday, as demonstrations against rising prices gather force in a country so far spared the brunt of Middle East unrest.

The mainly urban Muslim Brotherhood joined protests that have erupted in the last few days, raising the spectre of lasting instability in the kingdom, a staunch US ally with the longest border with Israel.
Go down Abdullah, go down,” the main crowd of about 4,000 protesters chanted as police, some in riot gear, largely stayed away from crowd. ... The Brotherhood’s decision to back Friday’s demonstration adds the voice of the country’s best-organised opposition movement to the protests, although top Brotherhood figures did not appear in person.
“King Abdullah should take note of the situation by going back on the decision to raise prices. The Jordanian people are unable to shoulder more burdens,” Brotherhood leader Sheikh Hamam Said said in a statement ahead of the protests.

The slogan “the people want the downfall of the regime” has emerged as the main chant of Arab Spring demonstrations that toppled autocrats from Tunisia to Yemen, in many cases bringing to power elected religious groups allied to the Brotherhood. ...
Abdullah accepted constitutional changes in August that devolved some of his powers to parliament and paved the way for a prime minister emerging from a parliamentary majority rather than one handpicked by him. However, urban politicians say he has been too slow to adopt reforms...

Kissing the feet of the MB
By Pepe Escobar, Asia Times 22-11-2012

For weeks now, the mantra among conservatives and right-wingers in the US is that the Obama administration's Middle East policy now consists of kissing the feet of the MB. Even admitting Obama and his advisers do know how to deal with the MB (which is far from given), results of the wackiest kind should be expected.
The MB is in power in Egypt; very well positioned to soon take power in US ally Jordan; now leading the remixed opposition bag in Syria; and totally supported all over by Qatar. On top of it, Hamas is essentially the MB in power in Gaza.

The remixed Syrian opposition council is a joint US-Qatar operation. Obama himself, in his first press conference after being re-elected, said he wanted an opposition "committed to a democratic Syria, an inclusive Syria, a moderate Syria". This is not exactly on the agenda in Doha - not to mention Riyadh.
What would have been Obama's reaction when he learned that Free Syrian Army gangs totally dismiss the new Syrian National Council - whose leader Moaz al-Khatib, by the way, believes Facebook is an evil US/Israeli plot? The gangs have proclaimed they want "a fair Islamic state". Translation; screw Qatar and the US, we want to go the medieval Saudi way.


The West views the Moslem Brotherhood as a “fellow traveller”
in Syria and as a terrorist – in Gaza
Dmitry Babich, Voice of Russia, 21-11-2012

The announcement by the United Kingdom’s foreign minister William Hague of the UK’s decision to recognize the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people is a risky move.
The problem is not just that this risky move takes place at a moment when violence in Gaza escalates and the announced truce fails. The problem is that the hasty summary recognition of radical Syrian opposition reflects the main dichotomy of the Western governments’ attitude to the processes taking place in the Middle East.
How long can the West – willingly or unwillingly – help the Moslem Brotherhood in some countries of the region (Syria and Egypt), while opposing it in some others (in Gaza and the West Bank in the first place)?

The many faces of Sheikh Ahmad Moaz Al-Khatib
by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network | Damascus, 23-11-2012

The dislocation of the armed Syrian opposition is a reflection of the conflict between the various States which are trying to "change the regime" in Damascus.
We should pay particular attention to the Syrian National Council (SNC), also known as the Istanbul Council, since it was instituted there. This council is guided with an iron hand by the French DGSE (Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure), and financed by Qatar. The Local Coordination Committees (LCC) represent those local civilians who support armed action. Finally, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is principally managed by Turkey, unites most of the combatants, including the Al-Qaida brigades. 80% of these units recognise the Takfirist Sheikh Adnan Al-Arour as their spiritual leader. He is based in Saudi Arabia.


Egypt Polarized
Juan Cole 28-11-2012

Liberals, leftists, nationalists, Muslims, Christians, trade unions, professionals, movie stars, lawyers and judges united on Tuesday throughout Egypt to deploy a whole range of protest techniques against last Thursday’s Executive Order of President Muhammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, which put him above all judicial authority. ..
The crowd at the downtown Tahrir Square was estimated by some newspapers at 200,000, among the largest demonstrations held since the fall of Hosni Mubarak in February, 2011. It is worrisome that many in the crowd have started to demand ‘the fall of the regime’ and the ‘departure of Morsi.’ Since he is an elected leader, it would be undemocratic for him to be unseated by crowd action...
Among the demands of the protesters was that the Constituent Assembly writing the constitution be reconstituted. It had begun with 100 members, but 22 have withdrawn, along with 7 reserve members, and the remaining 78 are disproportionately loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood, raising fears that the constitution will be overly religious in character.

Morsi’s claim of extra-judicial power struck many Egyptians as a creeping dictatorship, and there are fears that the Brotherhood was plotting to bring back the dissolved parliament of fall, 2011, which was dominated by members of the Brotherhood party, Freedom and Justice, and by hard line Salafi fundamentalists. With the presidency and parliament and an established principle that both were beyond the authority of the judiciary, the Brotherhood could hope to rule Egypt as a virtual one-party state, succeeding the one-party dominance of Hosni Mubarak’s National Democratic party.

'Yes to Islamic law'
Roi Kais, AP|YNetNews 1-12-2012

Hundreds of thousands of people waving Egyptian flags and hoisting large pictures of the president are demonstrating across Egypt today in support of him and Islamic law.
The rally, organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, is seen as a test of strength for Islamists seeking to counteract large opposition protests held this past week. The Islamists argue that the liberals, who are still laboring to create a cohesive opposition nearly two years after the uprising that ousted longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, do not represent the vast majority of Egyptians.
The Brotherhood and harder-line Islamists won nearly 75% of the seats in last winter's parliamentary election. But liberals highlight the fact that President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Brotherhood's political party, won only 25% of votes in the first round of presidential elections. He went on to win the runoff by just over 50%, after a divisive race against a former regime figure.

Among supporters of the rally, which also calls for Islamic law, are the Gamaa Islamaiyya – a fundamentalist group that fought an insurrection against the government in the 1990s – and the Salafi Nour Party, seen as more conservative than the Brotherhood.


Narrow-mindedness is the greatest crime
that can be committed against man
Naharnet 1-12-2012

Michel Suleiman (president of Lebanon) repeated on Saturday his call on political powers to return to the national dialogue. He also demanded the adoption of a “modern parliamentary electoral law that reflects the spirit of the constitution.”
“We will not allow the constitution to be harmed and we will work hard to hold the parliamentary elections on time,” he stressed before the crowd.
Suleiman lamented the current political state in Lebanon that “has marginalized every noble political act and the role of the youths.”
“The Lebanese are divided behind their leaders,” he noted. Narrow-mindedness is the greatest crime that can be committed against man, he declared.
Addressing the youths, he said: “Don't sacrifice yourselves and Lebanon for the sake of others.” “Time will not remain our ally forever. We must rise above personal interests and return to dialogue.”

Western Jihad: Muslim Brotherhood prioritizes strengthening
the foundations of Brotherhood across the Arab world
By Seyyed Morteza Nematzadeh, Taghrib News 4-12-2012

"Whoever among them is able to shoot him with a bullet and to free us from his evil, to free Libya and its great people from the evil of this man and from the danger of him, let him do so!" Sheikk Yusuf Qaradawi - fatwa against Muammar Gaddafi

It seems that the US is trying to change its political strategy in the region, something it can follow through its two regional allies, Qatar and Turkey.
Qatar and Turkey, two US allies, have built good bridges with Egypt tightening the ties with Muslim Brotherhood.

- Qatar, providing financial aids for Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and particularly through Sheykh Yusuf Qardawi, Egyptian cleric residing in Qatar and a former member of Muslim Brotherhood, has claimed an important place for itself. Sheikh Hamad Al Thani, the ruling Emir of the State of Qatar, is said to have invested a sum of $ 18 billion in Egypt supporting its banks with an amount of two billion dollars to aid its national currency besides the money he has specialized for the President to spend based on his own decisions.
- Turkey also, due to the organizational relations between Justice and Development Party (JDP), founded in 2001, and Muslim Brotherhood, has an important stance for Muslim Brotherhood. This is while Turkey has recently decided to finance Egypt with an amount of two billion dollars aid.
Therefore at the moment the triangle of Egypt, Turkey and Qatar practically make the nucleus of a new axis in the region which on the one hand has its ties with the US through Qatar and Turkey and on the other hand it maintains its relations with some Arab governments like Tunisia and Maghreb as well as the political parties in other Arab countries.

It means that it is not the American Islam which tries to influence the region but a revolutionary Islam with Brotherhood features. This type of Islam tries not only to reduce its differences with the US but also tries to find common interests out of which one might be hindering the growth of resistance and also the role of Iran in the region!
In other words the US might approve the empowerment of Muslim Brotherhood governments in some Arab countries instead of recognition of the US interests in the region.

But what happens to the disagreements of Muslim Brotherhood with the Zionist regime? Although Muslim Brotherhood stresses its opposition and confrontation with the Zionist regime and counts defending the Palestinians as its principle, it does not believe in prioritization of the issue.
[The Muslim Brotherhood] prioritizes strengthening the foundations of Brotherhood across the Arab world...


Legal Imperialism and International Law:
By James Petras, Global Research, 3-12-2012

The Centrality of Imperial Law

While force and violence, especially through overt and covert military intervention, have always been an essential part of empire-building, it does not operate in a legal vacuum: Judicial institutions, rulings and legal precedents precede, accompany and follow the process of empire building.
The legality of imperial activity is based largely on the imperial state’s judicial system and its own legal experts. Their legal theories and opinions are always presented as over-ruling international law as well as the laws of the countries targeted for imperial intervention.

Imperial law supersedes international law simply because imperial law is backed by brute force; it possesses imperial/colonial air, ground and naval armed forces to ensure the supremacy of imperial law. In contrast, international law lacks an effective enforcement mechanism.
Moreover, international law, to the extent that it is effective, is applied only to the weaker powers and to regimes designated by the imperial powers as ‘violators’. The very judicial processes, including the appointment of judges and prosecutors who interpret international law, investigate international crime and arrest, sentence and punish ‘guilty’ parties are under to the influence of the reigning imperial powers. In other words, the application and jurisdiction of international law is selective and subject to constraints imposed by the configurations of imperial and national power.

International law, at best, can provide a ‘moral’ judgment, a not insignificant basis for strengthening the political claims of countries, regimes and people...

The Uses of Imperial Law

Empire-building throughout history is the result of conquest – the use or threat of superior military force. The US global empire is no exception. ...
While empires arose through the direct or indirect use of unbridled force, the maintenance and consolidation of empires requires a legal framework. ...
Imperial legal pronouncements, whether issued directly by executive, judicial, military or administrative bodies, are deemed the ‘supreme law of the universe’, superior to international law and protocols fashioned by non-imperial authorities and legal experts.
This does not imply that imperial rulers totally discard international law: they just apply it selectively to their adversaries, especially against independent nations and rulers, in order to justify imperial intervention and aggression...

Egypt's Morsi calls for talks
Ahram Online, 6 Dec 2012

Egypt President Mohamed Morsi has invited all political forces to hold dialogue...
"I call on everyone to hold dialogue on 8 December in an effort to work things out with love, the rule of law and determination," he said Thursday in a televised address. ...
On the bloody confrontations, Morsi repeated the Muslim Brotherhood's stance that some of the violence was stirred up by "paid thugs."
"Violence is not the solution," he asserted. "Wisdom, rationality, peace must be used to solve the current situation." "Investigations and confessions have shown that some of those arrested have connections to political forces. Other armed assailants were paid," he added. ...

On possible compromises, Morsi said that Article 6 of his contentious constitutional declaration, which stipulates that "the President may take the necessary actions and measures to protect the country and the goals of the revolution," might be eliminated.
"I am not insisting on keeping Article 6 of the declaration if dialogue with political partners leads to that," he said.


Egypt; Obama Expresses Alarm;
and al-Azhar Clerics condemn Constitution
Juan Cole 7-12-2012

US President Barack Obama called Egyptian President Muhammad Morsi to express his anxiety about the violence that broke out in front of the presidential palace in Cairo’s Heliopolis district and elsewhere in the country, which left 7 dead and over 700 wounded (according to the latest revised count). Obama called for national dialogue and peaceful methods.
The number two man in the ruling Freedom and Justice Party (the civil arm of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood), Essam el-Arian, boarded a plane for Washington for consultations with the Obama administration.

"All say they want the Islamic Sharia"

"No one in Egypt—not a Copt, a liberal, a leftist, no one—dares say they are against Islam and the application of Sharia: all say they want the Islamic Sharia [applied]. And when referendum time comes, whoever says 'we do not want Sharia' will expose their hidden intentions." Dr. Essam el-Erian, Vice President of the "Freedom and Justice" party, 15-11-2011.

The Freedom and Justice Party elected former speaker of parliament Saad el-Katatny as its new leader. He replaces Mohammed Morsi who resigned the position this summer after being elected president of Egypt. Katatny, who is considered to be aligned with the more conservative faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, triumphed over rival Essam el-Erian by 67 percent. Erian was viewed as more willing to compromise with liberals and leftists.
In his acceptance speech, Katatny called his victory “only a first step” towards the FJP’s many goals, the main one being to establish Shariah law in Egypt. Ahram reports: “The Muslim Brotherhood established the party to represent the Brotherhood’s political project, which, in the end, will be a wise government that will institute Islamic Sharia Law,” he asserted. He went on to say that the party would extend its hands to all of Egypt’s diverse political forces. (The Blaze 21-10-2012)


In a severe blow to Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Studies Academy of the prestigious al-Azhar Seminary (the closest thing Sunni Islam has to a Vatican) issued a statement calling for Morsi to shelve his draft constitution and his plans for a national referendum on it in only a week and a half.
One of the things liberals don’t like about the draft constitution is that it puts a lot of law and practice under Islamic law, and then appoints the al-Azhar Seminary to interpret Islamic law as it applies to the constitution. It would be as though the US Constitution acknowledged that some prohibitions, such as murder, are biblical and then gave the authority to define murder to the Southern Baptist Convention.

But the very body that the Brotherhood wants to give a formal position in the interpretation of the constitution is now saying that the constitution is flawed and should be revised before being voted on....
That al-Azhar has now publicly reprimanded Morsi makes it clear that the fault lines are much more complex than just secular versus fundamentalist.

Liberals and leftists want Morsi to rescind his Nov. 22 declaration that his decrees are immune from judicial review, and his decision last Saturday to take a hastily-finished, fundamentalist-tinged constitution to a national referendum on December 15. Morsi insists on continuing with both.
Others reacted even more angrily. Dissidents set fire to three Muslim Brotherhood or Freedom and Justice Party offices in Cairo, including the main one in the Muqattam Hills overlooking the capital. ... In Zahra al-Maadi, another office was attacked and looted. And a third was set afire at Kitkat Square at the entryway to the fundamentalist stronghold of Imbaba. Kitkat is a flashpoint because there are houseboats along the Nile there with a long tradition of nightlife activities, which the Brotherhood wishes to prohibit, so people’s livelihoods and philosophy of life are at stake. Maadi is upscale and full of people who hate the Brotherhood.


"Islamic not a liberal state"
Sara Abou Bakr, Daily News Egypt 7-12-2012

The Muslim Brotherhood today Friday at Al-Azhar mosque held the funeral of two of their members who died in Wednesday night clashes by the presidential palace.
After Friday prayers, Muslim Brotherhood members broke into chants, “we sacrifice our lives for Islam” and chaos prevailed.
Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie’ took the Imam’s microphone and calmed people down reminding them that this is unappropriate conduct in a mosque. ...
Funeral prayers were then held and thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers carried out the two coffins, chanting “Islamic not a liberal state” and “Media lies; all martyrs are from the Muslim Brotherhood.”


"The Muslim Brotherhood has always been the fascist alternative..."
Farid Zahran, Daily News Egypt 5-12-2012

It is not an exaggeration or act of slander to say that the Muslim Brotherhood has always been the fascist alternative to what has been a reactionary regime.
Fascism in all its forms is characterised by discrimination and a culture of repression - however who gets targeted by the regime depends on the ideological leanings of those in power.

In the beginning of the 20th century, it entered into alliances with Egypt’s minor parties against the Wafd, who ruled the country and represented the people’s desire for independence and the drafting of a Constitution.
During that time, the Muslim Brotherhood for the most part remained on the sidelines, only to be called onto the playing field when the country’s opposition parties could no longer bear to live under the rule of the Wafd, and found themselves unable to seize power by themselves.
In this context, the Free Officer’s Movement led by Gamal Abdel Nasser called on the Muslim Brotherhood to support them in their quest to liquidate their political opposition and dissolve the country’s judiciary. However as soon as the Muslim Brotherhood decided to betray the latter’s ‘revolution’, the two sides broke ranks, and the Muslim Brotherhood was sidelined once again.

Anwar Sadat later made use of the Brotherhood in the same way, calling on them to aid him in his struggle against leftists and resurgent Nasserists. However no sooner had the two succeeded before they were once again at each other’s throats; the Brotherhood initially being successful in assassinating Sadat, being thwarted shortly after by Hosni Mubarak’s vicious campaign of repression.
The scenario was repeated a third time after the 25 January revolution, which saw the rise of political Islam as the inevitable alternative to what had become 'a corrupt regime'. ...

The Muslim Brotherhood is an extremist Sunni organisation, whose ideology is rooted in the writings of Sayyid Qutb, Al-Mawdudi and Ibn Timia, whose underpinnings are not shared by other sects of Sunni Islam.
The Brotherhood’s ideology is one that promotes conservative social norms that run contrary to the lifestyle enjoyed by many in Egypt’s upper and middle classes. Ironically, it is these elements of society who are most likely to share the Muslim Brotherhood’s desire to preserve the status quo and seek to maintain a reactionary, repressive regime.


"You cannot conciliate democracy with the mentality of conquest"
BÜLENT KENES, Turkish Review 6-12-2012

What about the recent developments in Egypt, known as “the smart kid of the Muslim world"? Is that all the Muslim Brothers can do with their century-old experience after waiting so long to take the helm of the country, suffering many sorrows and going through many ordeals in the interim?
Didn't the Muslim Brothers obtain any useful experience during their 100 year struggle against exclusion from the system in order to realize that other groups, too, are entitled to life and respect for lifestyle and deserve to have their share in political power?
Didn't Mohammed Morsi obtain any democratic experience and etiquette while he was working as an academic in the US, where democracy has improved even at the micro levels? Apparently he didn't, because he issued a decree that would make him immune to judicial review in a manner that is unimaginable in a democratic country governed by rule of law, only six months after he was elected as president.

How quickly Morsi forgot the fact that he could only secure 25.5 percent of the general vote in the elections where he stood as the candidate of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), established by the Muslim Brothers, in the first round of the elections held in early 2012.
He must also have forgotten the fact that he could secure a vote that was only a few notches above his rival in the second round. Otherwise, he wouldn't have issued that infamous and ominous decree on grounds that it would serve as a barrier against the judiciary's efforts to undermine the constitution drafting process.
What's done is done with this decree and Egypt's already troubled democratization process had derailed into chaos. The anti-democratic, illegal and illegitimate nature of Morsi's decree was evidenced by the fact that six of his 17 advisers resigned from office.
What gleans from this process is that you cannot conciliate democracy with the mentality of conquest. Nothing is achieved by the conquering of certain institutions or political power; rather, the real test of democracy starts at that point.

"Jihad Against Assad Is A Duty"
MEMRI, 23-3-2012

Senior clerics across the Arab world have issued fatwas stating that jihad against the Syrian regime is a duty incumbent upon every Muslim, and even permitting to kill Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Some of the clerics also called to support the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is fighting Assad's regime.

* Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, told Al-Jazeera that clerics across the Muslim world agree that Assad must be fought against and even killed...
* Preacher Safwat Hijazi said [..] that killing Assad is a fard 'ain (a duty incumbent upon every individual Muslim), and that whoever carries out this task will attain Paradise. ... He claimed that over 400 scholars had signed fatwas permitting Assad's killing. (In 2012, Safwat Hijazi launched MB Candidate Muhammad Mursi's Campaign)
* Hashem Islam, member of the Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, said at a March 15, 2012 conference in Cairo that Assad must be assassinated to stop the killing of Syrians, and that the FSA, which is fighting Assad's gangs, must be assisted with money and arms. .
* The imam of the Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas mosque, the largest in Syria's Idlib province, said in his March 2, 2012 Friday sermon: "O Muslims, Allah ordered you to fight [every] tyrant until he obeys the word of Allah... [The members of Assad's regime openly] publicize their hostility towards God..."
* Saudi preacher 'Aidh Al-Qarni said to Al-Arabiya TV that it is a duty to fight and kill Assad, because he is an infidel and his regime is an enemy of Islam. He added that "the Muslim religious scholars must assist the Syrian people against this treacherous regime..."
* The general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, Himam Sa'id, likewise ruled that fighting the Assad regime is "a religious duty," and that "the Muslims must assist the FSA..." He called the FSA fighters "mujahideen" and said that their dead count as "martyrs."
* Saudi Mufti 'Abd Al-'Aziz Aal Sheikh said in a meeting with Kuwaiti clerics that supporting the FSA with money counts as jihad for the sake of Allah.
Saudi writer Ahmad Al-Saloum wrote, in an article posted on an oppositionist Syrian website, that the FSA must be supported in every way... "Jihad against the Nusayris [i.e., 'Alawis] is one of the most important religious duties in the eyes of Allah... Jihad against them is more important than jihad against the Jews or Christians..."


Lavrov: "Russia and the US realize their responsibilities"
Syria Online TV 7-12-2012

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russia, the United States and the UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi agreed on that Geneva statement should be the basis for any move towards the crisis in Syria.
"We agreed on adopting Geneva statement as the basis for any joint action and we had consensus with the Americans and Brahimi in this regard," Lavrov told a news conference after his return from Dublin.

Lavrov said that Russia and the US realize their responsibilities towards the international stability, adding that Brahimi stressed the ability of Moscow and Washington to propose an initiative on practical means to implement what has been agreed on in Geneva, taking into account that Brahimi depends on the fact that Russia and the US can support him in looking for what can contribute to implementing Geneva statement during his talks with the Syrian government and opposition.
The Russian Foreign Minister indicated that the Russian and the U.S. sides agreed on a meeting between their experts and Brahimi in the next few days to hold intensive deliberations based on Geneva statement and the real situation in Syria to exchange opinions on reaching a settlement.

Brahimi: Constructive means

The UN Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi affirmed that Russia and the US will search for a constructive resolution to the crisis in Syria.
"We didn't take any important decisions.. we agreed that the situation is bad.. we also agreed that we should continue working together to see how we could find constructive means to put this problem under control," Reuters quoted Brahimi as saying following a meeting with Lavrov and Clinton.


Former Powell adviser:
"Let the Syrians settle the situation for the Syrians"
Russia Today 8-12-2012

Syria will never use chemical weapons against its own people, Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired US Army Colonel who was Chief of Staff to Colin Powell told RT. Instead, the reality is that US is “preparing the ground to intervene in Syria.” An act which would lead to a conflict “that would take at least a decade to settle – and there aren't going to be too many victors at the end of that decade, just losers,” Wilkerson says, as Washington's ultimate aim is to overthrow the Iranian leadership.

RT: What is the answer then for Syria? Isn't some intervention justified on humanitarian grounds? In fact, that justification was given for the intervention in Libya. In fact many say that is what brought the conflict to an end, disposed of colonel Gaddafi and ended the loss of innocent lives. Can you apply the same to Syria?

LW: Well, I would differ with that resolution in Libya. Libya still has enormous problems. We have a disconcerted Mali. We have the government being overthrown in Mali, we have Al-Qaeda operating in the North of Mali – all of that is partially a result of what we did in Libya. So, I would be very hesitant to classify Libya as a success.
Syria and Iran would be classified even less as a success in my view. What you would have there [.] is a long-term occupation, increasing insurgency, increasing civil war-like fighting and so worth.

The answer in Syria, I think, as lamentable as the casualties are, is to let the Syrians settle the situation for the Syrians. There are a lot of Iranians on the ground fighting with Assad's forces, advising with Assad's forces. And since that is taking place, it makes better sense for us to take on Syria because we're going to encounter the Iranians in Syria if we go into Syria. But this is not the time to be doing this.

RT: Do you think rebels could dispose of Assad?

LW: I don't know [...], I did not think he would last through 2012, and he is apparently going to do that. He may hang on to several factions in Syria that are powerful and still with him, but I still think the best resolution for Syria is a resolution brought about by the majority of the Syrian people.
There should be no outside assistance, and that goes for Iran too. Iran should get its people out of Syria and let Syria handle its problems by itself.


cartoon: Steve Sack

Saudi official: No Arab Spring
Ahram online 8 Dec 2012

A senior Saudi official says Gulf Arab states must quash any Arab Spring-inspired unrest or risk threats to their leadership across the oil-rich region.
The comments by Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, the Saudi deputy foreign minister, echo calls by Gulf authorities to widen crackdowns on perceived opposition such as rights activists and Islamist factions.
His remarks also seek to justify the intervention last year in Bahrain by a Saudi-led Gulf military force after an uprising by the kingdom's Shiite-led majority. Bahrain remains the Gulf's main flashpoint.
Prince Abdulaziz says Gulf states "cannot tolerate instability" that could lead to challenges to the Western-allied leaders from Kuwait to Oman.

The Gulf island state Bahrain is a special case in the context of the uprisings of the Arab spring. King Hamad Al Khalifa is seen by western governments as a valued ally who plays host to the US Fifth Fleet and is close to Saudi Arabia, the regional powerhouse and the Middle East's biggest oil exporter. But his Sunni dynasty rules over a restive Shia majority. The government in Manama often blames Iran for fomenting unrest, though there is no evidence of direct involvement. The opposition, dominated by the al-Wefaq movement, says it wants democratic rights and is not pursuing a sectarian Shia agenda, though its supporters are under-represented and face discrimination in all walks of life. (Guardian 19-6-2012)


Egypt's army will not allow violence,
says armed forces spokesperson
Ahram Online, Saturday 8 Dec 2012

defense minister Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi Spokesperson of the Armed Forces Ahmed Mohamed Ali stated Saturday that national dialogue is the best way to reach consensus for the good of the country, asserting that the army will not allow violence to continue.
"The Armed Forces are always on the side of the people. We support the call for national dialogue, to reach a consensus that unites all segments of the nation," read the statement published on the spokesperson Ali's Facebook page. ...
Ali added that polarisation would only lead the country down "a dark tunnel that will have disastrous results." "The Armed Forces have always ensured the security and safety of the nation and its people, and will continue to do so," added Ali.
In response to the Armed Forces statement, Abdel-Khalq Al-Sherif, a senior official in the Muslim Brotherhood, told Reuters that the statement was balanced and is a "step in helping to end a political crisis that did not take sides."

Referendum still set for 15 December,
constitutional declaration replaced
Egypt Independent 9-12-2012

The constitutional referendum will be held on its previously specified date of 15 December and the constitutional declaration issued by President Mohamed Morsy on 22 November has been largely canceled , Mohamed Selim al-Awa announced in a press conference following the conclusion of a "national dialogue" meeting on Saturday night.

According to the new declaration, if a majority of Egyptians vote no to the draft constitution, then a new Constituent Assembly will be elected in three months, and will have six months to draft a new one.
The new declaration, Awa said, would not remove judicial oversight of Morsy's decisions, but the president is still tasked with protecting the revolution and its causes, and his appointment of the new Prosecutor General Talaat Ibrahim Abdallah will stand.
In the original declaration, Morsy also stated that Mubarak regime figures would be retried for the deaths of protesters nearly two years ago in the 25 January uprising.

Syrian fighters elect head of new military command
By Khaled Yacoub Oweis, 9-12-2012

SKY NEWS Interviewing jihadists arrested in Syria

Syrian armed opposition groups have chosen Brigadier Selim Idris, a former officer in President Bashar al-Assad's army, to head their new Islamist-dominated military command, opposition sources said on Saturday.
Idris, whose home province of Homs has been at the forefront of the Sunni Muslim-led uprising, was elected by 30 military and civilian members of the joint military command after talks attended by Western and Arab security officials in the Turkish city of Antalia.
“Saleh is not ideological, but he has appointed top aides who are close to Salafist rebels,” one of the sources who has been following the meeting said.
The joint command named Islamist commanders Abdelbasset Tawil from the northern province of Idlib and Abdelqader Saleh from the adjacent province of Aleppo to serve as Idris's deputies, the source said.
The unified command includes many with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and to Salafists, who follow a puritanical interpretation of Islam. Its composition, estimated to be two-thirds from the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies, reflects the growing strength of Islamist fighters on the ground and resembles that of the civilian opposition leadership coalition created under Western and Arab auspices in Qatar last month.

Absent from the group is Colonel Riad al-Asaad, founder of the Syrian Free Army and Brigadier Mustafa al-Sheikh, a senior officer known for his opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Security officials from the United States, Britain, France, the Gulf and Jordan have been attending the talks..

Flashback: Syrian Rebel Leader Mustafa al-Sheikh Says Victory Against Assad Not in Sight
by Mike Giglio, The Daily Beast Jul 26, 2012

A lack of coordination and material support has defined the FSA effort since it began. So too have its calls for international assistance—in particular, weapons. Sheikh said his forces were ill-matched against the well-armed Assad regime, and that the FSA also remained a poorly organized group, at least in terms of chain of command. “Everyone works on his own,” he said. “We are not a collective group.”
As the uprising drags on, Sheikh said, these problems are paving the way for an alarming development—the arrival of al Qaeda and other jihadist groups into the armed struggle against Assad. “They are getting bigger and bigger. And day by day they have more powerful positions inside,” he said. “The situation is very dangerous.”
Sheikh is the first senior opposition figure to voice concerns that al Qaeda and other jihadist fighters are operating inside Syria. Some outside analysts have made the case for months, even as opposition leaders have insisted that there is no evidence to support the claims....


Six jihadists arrested near Syrian border
by Taylor Luck, Jordan Times 8-12-2012

AMMAN — Authorities have arrested six jihadists along the northern border over the past 48 hours, officials said on Saturday, amid a reported rise in attempts by Islamic militants to infiltrate Syria.
According to a security source, authorities arrested four citizens on Thursday and two late Friday attempting to illegally enter Syria carrying several “automatic weapons”.
“After an initial investigation, it was revealed that the men were intending to go to Syria to fight alongside jihadists,” a security source stationed in the border region said.
Mousa Abdullat, legal representative of the Jordanian jihadist Salafist movement, confirmed that six members of the hardline Islamist group had been arrested over the weekend, raising to 30 the total number of citizens detained for attempting to wage “holy war” against Damascus.
“With the Free Syrian Army controlling most of the border, we have an opportunity to overwhelm the Godless regime of Bashar Assad,” said a senior leader of the jihadist movement, who requested anonymity.
“With open borders, true believers from across the world will be coming to defend their Muslim brothers and sisters.”

Jordan has nearly doubled military patrols along its 370-kilomere border with Syria in order to stem the rising influx of local and foreign jihadists.
In October, the government announced that it had foiled an Al Qaeda attack targeting diplomatic sites and shopping centres in Amman using weapons and explosives smuggled from Syria.


"Any faction that gives cover to violence, confrontation
or chaos scenarios will ultimately be the loser"
IkhwanWeb (Muslim Brotherhood website) 7-12-2012

Higazi In a blog post on his Facebook page, Dr. Rafiq Habib, former Presidential Adviser and Vice-Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), said that demonstration is a form of expression of an opinion, “Violence, on the other hand, is an attempt to impose opinion, create chaos and undermine democracy”.
Dr. Habib pointed that the recurrence of violence in demonstrations means that a certain faction no longer sees a way to achieve its objectives, visions or choices, except by aggravating crisis situations, and creating of a state of chaos, confusion and violence.
"Confrontation cannot be a way to express opinion, but a means to impose a fait accompli, which destroys the whole notion of democracy."
He further emphasized that any faction that gives cover to violence, confrontation or chaos scenarios will ultimately be the loser, after inflicting heavy losses on the whole country.

"Those who imagine they can impose their opinion through rioting, vandalism and violence, will lose the opportunity to expand their popular base"

"Those who reject the new constitution, and seek to prevent the forthcoming referendum, are fully aware that they cannot convince the majority of people of their point-of-view. This is why they want to impose their opinion. Indeed, those who are dissatisfied with their role and performance in the political arena now, have to work among the people, in order to achieve what they want in a democratic way.
"By contrast, those who imagine they can impose their opinion through rioting, vandalism and violence, will lose the opportunity to expand their popular base."


Syria 2012 constitution

During the 2011–2012 Syrian uprising, a new constitution was put to a referendum. Amongst other changes, it abolished the old article 8 which entrenched the power of the Ba'ath party. The new article 8 reads: "The political system is based on the principle of political pluralism, and rule is only obtained and exercised democratically through voting.";
in a new article 88, it introduced presidential elections and limited the term of office for the president to seven years with a maximum of one re-election.
The referendum resulted in the adoption of the new constitution, which came into force on 27 February 2012. (Wikipedia Info)

Flashback: 89% vote in favor of new Syrian Constitution
Russia Today, 27 February, 2012

Syria’s Interior Minister has announced that 89 per cent of those who took part in the referendum have voted in favor of a new constitution. ... Interior Minister Ibrahim al-Shaar announced the results of the referendum at a press conference on Monday.
According to the minister, out of 14,580,000 Syrians eligible to vote some 8,376,000, or about 57 per cent, actually came to the polling stations and voted...
Al-Shaar said that the opposition groups tried to hamper the vote in some troubled areas like Homs and Idlib. Armed rebels did not allow some people to get to the polling stations he said. Russia’s Foreign Ministry considers the results of the referendum in Syria to be evidence of the wide public support for the government's course of reforms.
"The referendum has confirmed that the course for changes is supported by the people,” the ministry’s statement said. “The influence of those opposition groups that called for boycotting the referendum is restricted and gives them no exclusive right to speak on behalf of the Syrian people ."

Syrian Constitution - Article 8

1. The political system of the state shall be based on the principle of political pluralism, and exercising power democratically through the ballot box;
2. Licensed political parties and constituencies shall contribute to the national political life, and shall respect the principles of national sovereignty and democracy;
3. The law shall regulate the provisions and procedures related to the formation of political parties;
4. Carrying out any political activity or forming any political parties or groupings on the basis of religious, sectarian, tribal, regional, class-based, professional, or on discrimination based on gender, origin, race or color may not be undertaken;
5. Public office or public money may not be exploited for a political, electoral or party interest.

Article 9: As a national heritage that promotes national unity in the framework of territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Constitution shall guarantee the protection of cultural diversity of the Syrian society with all its components and the multiplicity of its tributaries. (Voltaire network - Syrian Constitution)


Gulf warned over threat from Islamists
Gulf Daily News (Bahrain) 10-12-2012

GULF countries have been urged to beware of the rise of Islamist political parties in the Mideast.
Chairman of the Jeddah-based Gulf Research Centre, Dr Abdulaziz Sager, warned it signalled a spread of extremism.
He added terrorist groups were now using Yemen as a base from which to conduct operations and called on the GCC to intervene: "They are using Yemen as a platform to launch their operations," he said. "The GCC governments should look into this issue seriously."
"On the other hand, we see the rise of Islamist parties in the region - which is a signal for GCC governments to be careful."
Islamists have already claimed a foothold in Egypt, Morocco, Libya and Tunisia, where the Muslim Brotherhood has swept to power on the back of the so-called Arab Spring.

Christmas, Qatar-style
Doha News Qatar 10-12-2012

As Qatar’s Christian population grows, so does its comfort level with Christmas, it appears. The holiday is less than three weeks away, and many residents agree that Doha is feeling particularly festive this year.
Many stores across town are treating shoppers to twinkling lights and sparkly decorations, and hotels are offering tree lighting ceremonies, photo opportunities with Santa Claus and elaborate feasts.

Muslim Brotherhood & Christmas
BBC Monitoring Middle East – Political, 12-12-2009

Christmas in Syria 2009
Prominent Islamic scholar Shaykh Yousuf al-Qaradawi criticized the public celebrations of Christmas in Qatar, saying that such celebrations would “undermine” the country’s Islamic identity.
In his Friday sermon, Shaykh Qaradawi called the current practice of displaying Christmas trees and other Christmas-related decorations by local stores “un-Islamic”.
“This is not the image of the Muslim capital city of Doha,” Shaykh Qaradawi told a congregation of faithful at the Omar bin al-Khattab mosque at the Khalifa town. “I don’t know if we are in a Muslim or Christian community. It is unreasonable that such celebrations can take place in Qatar which lies in the Arab peninsula and whose native population is Muslim,” he said.
Qaradawi, who is the head of International Union for Muslim Scholars, blamed the practice mainly on local stores which, he said, were owned by Muslim businessmen. The recent Id al-Adha festival of Muslims, he said, had not seen such exaggerated celebration in stores. “I wonder how owners of these stores, who belong to famous Muslim families, accept their stores participating in Christmas celebrations and putting up four or five-metre high Christmas trees,” he said.
Such appearances are prohibited by Islam and Muslims participating in them are ignorant of Islamic teachings in this regard,” he said.

Youssef Qaradawi is often referred to here as the most important leader of the global Muslim Brotherhood, an acknowledgement of his role as the de facto spiritual leader of the movement. In 2004, Qaradawi turned down the offer to lead the Egyptian Brotherhood after the death of the Supreme Guide. Based in Qatar, Sheikh Qaradawi has reportedly amassed substantial wealth through his role as Shari’ah adviser to many important Islamic banks and funds.


World’s most dangerous religion
Atheists face worldwide persecution – report
Russia Today, 10 December, 2012

From the Christian West to the Islamic Middle East, atheists face discrimination and persecution including execution, life in prison, the revocation of citizenship and the denial of education and medical services, a new report has revealed.
A 69-page study titled ‘Freedom of Thought 2012: A Global Report on Discrimination Against Humanists, Atheists and the Nonreligious’ has been released by the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). ...
The report cited discriminatory laws that deny atheists the “right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship [and] restrict their right to marry.”
Other laws include “obstructing access to public education, prohibiting them from holding public office, preventing them from working for the state, criminalizing their criticism of religion, and executing them for leaving the religion of their parents.”

The report argues that atheists in Islamic countries – such as Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan – face some of the worst discrimination, including capital punishment. ...
The publication of atheist or humanist views is strictly prohibited under blasphemy laws in countries like Bangladesh, Egypt and Indonesia, the report said. In most of these countries citizens are required to register as participants of an officially recognized religion – usually Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Without this registration, citizens are not allowed to receive medical services, drive, attend university or travel aboard, forcing non-believers to lie.

The report emphasizes that non-believers are discriminated against even in North American and European nations. In the US, “atheists and the non-religious are made to feel like lesser Americans, or non-Americans.”
And in at least seven US states, “constitutional provisions are in place that bar atheists from public office and one state, Arkansas, has a law that bars an atheist from testifying as a witness at a trial.”

Heiner Bielefedt, the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief, welcomed the report’s publication and expressed concern over the lack of awareness that international human rights protections apply as much to atheists and religious skeptics as to other groups.


Flashback: "That what is sacred in the world is man"
General Mufti of the Syrian Arabic Republic, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun

Turning to education, Dr Hassoun said, "Let us teach our school pupils that what is sacred in the world is man" since man "is the creation of the creator".
If we want peace, starting for example with Palestine and Israel, he suggested that rather than building walls, "let us build bridges of peace".
He also argued that "we must create states on a civil basis, not a religious basis", adding "I don't impose my religion on you, nor do you impose your religion on me".

(European parlement, 15-1-2008)

Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun: I see myself as the grand mufti of all 23 million Syrians, not just Muslims, but also Christians and even atheists. I am a man of dialogue. Who knows, maybe an agnostic will convince me with better arguments one day, and I'll become a non-believer. And if I'm enthusiastic about the opposition's political platform, I also might change sides. (Der Spiegel, 8-11-2011)


Ali Khamenei & Sharia Law:
"No Small Christmas Tree"

Tehran 2009: "I like him to get to know
other cultures and ideas"

CHRISTMASS: this is the day used to observe the birthday of hazrat Issa al-Massih (Jesus Christ). Within the general culture, it has a more commercial and secular message of sharing and helping the poor than its religious connotation of trinity and partners with Allah. It is also to note the day it is observed on and some of its rituals are based directly on the pagan Roman festival of the Sun God. Is it permissible for a Muslim to: a. Wish the Christians well and give them a greeting card? b. Observe the NON-religious activities such as placing a small tree in ones house with lights and decorations? c. Attend Church with a Christian as an act of da'wah or out of curiosity?

Answer: Bismihi Ta`ala 1) a. There is no objection in sending them greeting cards upon the advent of this occasion. Yet, it should be done in such a fashion that you encourage them to adhere to the true teachings of the Prophet Jesus (a.s.) by helping and supporting those in need, living a righteous life, etc. b. There is no objection in celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Jesus (a.s.). But putting up and decorating a Christmas tree would promote a fallacious ideology and result in imitating their culture. c. There is no objection to that in itself as long as it does not lead to corruption. (Fatwa's from 'leaders office')

Jesus and the Law
the true teachings of the Prophet Jesus

Like all Jews, the Pharisees believed that the Law was revealed to Moses by God and that, insofar as they were part of the covenant made with the generation of the exodus, all Jews were obliged to obey the Law (see Sir 10:19; 19:20). The Pharisees differed from other Jewish religious groups, however, in that they held to the authority of the "tradition of the elders," which consisted of ancient customs, expansions and clarifications of the written Law and legal rulings by individuals or courts...
Jesus opposes the Pharisaic oral law, not only because he does not believe that it should be accepted as an authoritative supplement to the written Law ("Their teachings are but rules taught by men") , but also because he thinks that the oral law has actually promotes disobedience to the written Law.
Jesus criticizes the scribes and Pharisees for laying heavy burdens on people, but doing nothing to alleviate the burden: "They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them" (Matt 23:4). This is probably a reference to the burdensome nature of the Pharisaic oral tradition, or "tradition of the elders."
Jesus warns against the teaching of the Pharisees, which, in part, is probably motivated by his rejection of the "tradition of the elders," the Pharisaic oral tradition.
Jesus calls the Pharisees "blind guides." This refers to the Pharisees' role as teachers, and implies a rejection of the Pharisaic institution of the "tradition of the elders."
In a series of woes Jesus condemns the Pharisees for their hypocrisy of being observant with respect to insignificant religious details but neglecting what is of real significance. He also criticizes them for their hypocritical enjoyment of the social benefits derived from their reputation for being more righteous than the non-Pharisaic Jew..

Jesus summarizes the Law and the prophets in one principle: "Do to others as you would want them to do to you." In Jesus' view, this ethical principle epitomizes human moral obligation. It is clear that preference is given to what we would call the "moral law," because to do to others as you would like them do to you excludes any ritual obligation.
In addition, it reduces all the various (so-called) moral laws in the Law to be an expression of one fundamental law. It should be noted that Jesus' summary of the Law as love towards God and others is not unique. R. Hillel, a Pharisee from the first century CE, is said to have taught that the Law can be summed up in the injunction "Whatever is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor".

Mohamed ElBaradei: "It is a question of going forward,
catching up with the 21st century or going back to the dark ages"
Ahram Online, 11 Dec 2012

President Mohamed Morsi should listen to “at least half of the Egyptian people” and postpone the constitutional referendum until there is a national consensus, opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei has said.
Speaking to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday evening, ElBaradei said the Egyptian opposition considered the whole constitution-drafting process “illegitimate.” ...
You cannot adopt a constitution which at least 50 per cent of the Egyptian people oppose, that defies its basic rights and freedoms and tries to have a new dictator in the making.” ...
We are at a cross in the road,” ElBaradei said. “Either we will have a country that is civil, which respects women’s rights, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, children’s rights, and a balance of power, or we will have a new dictatorship with a religious flavour.”
When asked by Amanpour why the opposition was attacking a democratically elected president, ElBaradei said it was not contesting his position but his policies.
“Being a freely elected president does not mean that you can make yourself a dictator with supreme powers,” he said, referring to Morsi’s November constitutional decree which put his decisions above judicial review.

He also criticised Article 4 of the draft constitution for giving “veto powers” to religious institutions over Egypt’s legislative process. The article says “Al-Azhar ulema are to be consulted in matters pertaining to Islamic law.” “That is not really the making of a democratic, free and civil state,” ElBaradei said. “On the face of it, it looks fine ... 99 per cent of lawyers here, the legal community is completely opposed to [the draft constitution]. It violates basic human rights values, universal values. It is not that we are fighting for the sake of fight, it is not that we are sore losers.”

ElBaradei also stressed that at least 70 per cent of the Egyptian people are neither Salafists nor members of the Muslim Brotherhood and urged President Morsi to listen to his people.
“It is a question of going forward, catching up with the 21st century or going back to the dark ages,” he said.


US Officially Recognizes ‘Syrian Opposition Coalition’
by John Glaser, December 11, 2012

President Barack Obama on Tuesday declared that the US officially recognizes the Syrian Opposition Coalition as the sole “legitimate representative” of its country’s people.
“We’ve made a decision that the Syrian Opposition Coalition is now inclusive enough, is reflective and representative enough of the Syrian population that we consider them the legitimate representative of the Syrian people in opposition to the Assad regime,” Obama said...
“Obviously, with that recognition comes responsibilities,” Obama said in an interview Tuesday with ABC News. “To make sure that they organize themselves effectively, that they are representative of all the parties, that they commit themselves to a political transition that respects women’s rights and minority rights.”

The Obama administration’s announcement came immediately after the State Department’s decision to officially designate one of Syria’s foremost rebel groups, Jabhat al-Nusra, a group tied to hundreds of suicide bombings and al-Qaeda in Iraq, as a terrorist organization.
That decision was met with ardent backlash from more than 100 rebel groups on the ground inside Syria, who signed a petition expressing solidarity with al-Nusra and promoting the slogan “No to American intervention, for we are all Jabhat al-Nusra.”

So as the US announced its recognition of a detached, pro-Western, unrepresentative exile group as the legitimate leader of the Syrian people, the great bulk of the actual Syrian opposition – both armed and civilian – threw their support behind a notorious jihadist group with ties to the same fighters that battled US troops in Iraq

The al-Nusra Front aims to lead a holy war against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, which they hold responsible for crimes against rebels in Homs. The organization encourages all Syrians to take part in the war against the government.
The group has also referred to the USA and Israel as enemies of Islam and has attacked the religious beliefs of non-Sunnis in Syria, including the Alawites. Individuals within the front have also claimed that they do not wish to massacre religious minorities, and that the more hardline rhetoric comes from the foreign jihadist elements within the front who have been radicalised through fighting abroad. (Wikipedia)

Open declaration of war?
Russia Today 12-12-2012

Peace The recognition of the coalition by the US is likely to indemnify the hostilities in Syria, believes Conn Hallinan, a contributing editor at Foreign Policy in Focus.
“It opens the door for a much more direct intervention into the civil war in Syria. It will mean that the heavy weapons will come in. Potentially you could end up with a no-fly zone. Really, it's pretty much an open declaration of war against the Assad regime,” he told RT.
Critics contend the coalition and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which supports the opposition body, are closely connected with Islamists. The FSA’s newly elected joint command is estimated to be composed mostly of Muslim Brotherhood-linked commanders and excludes the most senior officers who defected from Assad’s more secular military.

“People here in Washington don’t seem to understand… If you do like the government in Cairo, then you will love the government that comes to power in Damascus. You will see a Sunni Muslim Islamist government, a Muslim Brotherhood-style government...” retired US Army Colonel and military author Douglas Macgregor told RT.


Youth in Egypt: Tired of geopolitical games

Under Mubarak, the Muslim Brotherhood was banned but tolerated. It only gradually and cautiously joined the 2011 revolt, which was driven by Internet-savvy youths before snowballing.
Mursi won a mandate with 51 percent of the vote in elections in June this year, but part of that support came from liberals who simply sought to block his chief rival, Mubarak’s former prime minister Ahmad Shafiq, from winning. Now those same liberals are ranged against Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

"For me, it’s the United States that annoys me. It wants to create a buffer zone against Iran and the Shiites, so it supports the (Sunni) Muslim Brotherhood. But I don’t want any part of their geopolitical games,” said Karine, a young Egyptian Christian working for the United Nations in Cairo. (Al-Arabiya 12-12-2012)


Coalition of opposition forces call on Egypt to vote 'no'
Dina Samak, Ahram Online 12 Dec 2012

The National Salvation Front, a coalition of liberal, leftist and nationalist forces, called on all Egyptians Wednesday to vote ‘no’ in Saturday’s referendum on Egypt's draft constitution, provided certain preconditions are fulfilled.
The NSF, which is headed up by opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei as well as former presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa, held a meeting Wednesday morning to agree on whether they would boycott the polls or vote against the draft national charter.
The constitution, the coalition say, neglects social and economic needs, does not reflect the aspirations of the Egyptian people and will enforce a "presidential dictatorship."
“We hoped that the Egyptian president would cancel the referendum or at least postpone it but it seems that this is not an option now that voting has already started abroad, so we have decided to call on all Egyptians to vote against the constitution,” said Hussein Abdel-Ghani, spokesman of the NSF. ...

Many political parties and revolutionary groups opposing the referendum have already started campaigning for a ‘no’ vote, including 6 April Youth Movement and former presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh's party Strong Egypt.

Ayatollah Taskhiri: "Extremism ruins everything"
Taghrib News 13-12-2012

Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri, senior Advisor of Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei in Muslim world affairs, said when the language of extremism commands then the problems intensify..., reported Taqrib News Agency (TNA).
He referred to the importance of proximity among Muslims and said,” Proximity becomes more important when the excommunication and extremism spread among the people.”
The scholar said, “When the language of extremism dominates, the problems of the Muslim world intensify because extremism ruins everything.”
He added,” The clash among Islamic denominations is a clash of the right and the wrong rather than a clash of the belief and non-belief. “ and warned against intensification of such disputes because that will be the dispute among followers of the same religion which is the present problem of the Muslim world.

He expressed regret that the extremists ignore the major commonalities among Islamic denominations and highlight the minor differences and noted,” Once the spirit of rationality and dialogue dominates the relation among Muslims, then Islamic nation will survive its present critical situation.”

"Excommunication blocks rational behavior during dialogues; therefore, there will be no space for fraternity and unity.” "That is when the sides move towards rejection, elimination or violation of each other’s rights, even the right to live.” Mohammad Ali Taskhiri, 13-11-2012


'What did we gain?' 'I feel we gained nothing'
Psychological scars of war take toll in Misrata
By Justin Marozzi, BBC News 13-12-2012

Misrata rebels The Libyan city of Misrata, scene of the bloodiest fighting during the revolution that toppled Colonel Gaddafi last year, is facing an acute crisis of psychiatric care for former fighters traumatised by the conflict and frustrated by the aftermath. ...
Some who have lived through the fighting also share a deep sense of depression and disillusionment at the lack of change they feel in the post-Gaddafi Libya.

At the Al Wazrak Medical Centre in Misrata one former fighter has come to see Dr Isa Asalini, the sole psychiatrist, who has just arrived from Tripoli. The fighter, Ahmed (not his real name), who was studying at law college with a part-time job before the revolution, is suffering from acute depression. This is the first time he has been to discuss his condition with a doctor....
"I lost many friends during the fighting," he says. "Many guys died. Many lost body parts, became amputees, or lost their sight."
Talk to Ahmed for a few minutes and the profound sense of disillusion he has regarding the revolution and its achievements is unmistakable. He cuts a harrowing figure in the clinic.

"In general I feel always sad and unable to sleep well. Mostly I feel isolated from the community, not like before. "I feel that those people who died in the war died for nothing. For sure they are martyrs according to our religion, but I think they died for nothing and that's what drove me to depression. For me personally, I feel my life was better before the revolution."
"Before the revolution I had ambitions but now I'm really depressed and I don't have the ambitions I had before. Nothing is stable in the country."
"I feel it will take a long time for the country to get stable again and this drives me to depression, and sometimes to think about killing myself to get rid of that feeling."
"The question that keeps coming to my mind, is 'What did we gain?' I feel we gained nothing, but I can't say that in public because some katiba [brigade] may harm me or my family or even arrest me."

"I fought hard during the revolution, from Tripoli Street in Misrata to Bab al Aziziya [Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli] and Sirte," he says.
"I lost my business, I lost my friends and now I don't have anything left. My dreams are completely broken."

After Gaddafi, Libya splits into disparate militia zones. The rebel strongholds of Benghazi, Misrata and Zintan have become increasingly independent of Tripoli's new regime. The Observer, Sunday 10 June 2012
Libya will be in trouble. At best, the former rebel cities will go their own way, creating administrative gridlock for the country and an economic nightmare.
."


Syria opposition chief invited to US
The News 12-12-2012

Khatib & Hollande ARRAKESH, Morocco: The head of the Syrian National Coalition has been invited for talks in Washington following US recognition of the opposition bloc as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people, a senior US envoy said on Wednesday.

"We have extended an invitation to (Ahmed) Moaz al-Khatib and the Coalition leadership to visit Washington at the earliest opportunity," Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said in Morocco, where he was attending a meeting of the Friends of Syria group.

Shaykh Moaz al-Khatib’s Speech in Doha
'A Flower Revolution', 11-12-2012

With the emir of Qatar,  The Guardian 11-11-2012 Our revolution is a peaceful revolution from its beginning to its end and it is the regime alone that bears the moral and legal responsibility; for it is the regime that forced our people to resort to armed resistance to defend themselves, their families, their property and their religion.
In dozens of cities flowers were carried during demonstrations by thousands of young men and women. They carried flowers and cold water to give to members of the security forces to ask for their right, to simply express themselves. This monstrous regime responded with arrests, jail and torture and then proceeded to destroy the physical, social and economic structure of the country after destroying its intellectual and moral fabric for the past fifty years.
We salute the struggle of this great people, men, women and children and we salute their legendary courage in the face of oppression and destruction as we stand with respect in memory of the souls of our martyrs. We also salute with loyalty all of the fighters of the Free Syrian Army who defend the revolution in the face of tyranny....
In the name of all of our absent brothers in Syria, I extend my thanks to the government of Qatar and its people, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E..
I thank our partners in civilization and history, our Turkish brothers as well as our brothers in Libya, Jordan and Egypt.


Russian Foreign Ministry: Russia Has Not
and Will Not Change Its Stance on Syria
Syrian Arab News Agency, Dec 14, 2012

MOSCOW, (SANA) - The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, renewed the Russian stance towards Syria, saying his country's stance is firm as it has always been and does not change.
"Russia did not sleep so as to wake up later. Our stance is firm and remains the way it has always been and doesn't change," Lukashevich told a press conference in Moscow in response to statements made by the U.S. State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland.
While reviewing a report on the Russian Foreign Ministry work in 2012, the Russian diplomat expressed Moscow's readiness to help get Syria out of the crisis "which reached a deadlock."
Lukashevich highlighted in this context the statements made by the Russian President's Envoy to the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, in which the latter reiterated Russia's firm stance on the crisis in Syria based on the Geneva Statement.

"The statement issued after the Geneva meeting doesn’t exclude anyone, since exclusion would be inconsistent with inclusiveness in the political process, the UN Charter, and the regulations against interference in the affairs of sovereign countries", Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (2-7-2012)


Al-Jaafari : Solving Crisis in Syria Couldn't Be Achieved
Through Funding and Harboring Armed Terrorists, SANA Dec 14, 2012

NEW YORK, SANA_ Syria's Permanent Representative to the UN, Bashar al-Jaafari stressed Syria's deep belief in the importance of coordinating humanitarian efforts to convey humanitarian aid to the affected citizens in urgent circumstances in terms of the UN General Assembly resolution no 46/182 which outlines a framework for humanitarian assistance and a set of guiding principles for the work of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
He added that the Syrian government, throughout the current crisis, spared no efforts to provide urgent aid to its citizens and formed a committee to follow up on the humanitarian situation of the affected citizens whether to provide food and health aid, compensate for the damage caused by the armed terrorist groups' acts or to rehabilitate the infrastructure to resume providing social and healthcare services. ...

Al-Jaafari pointed out that the government's humanitarian efforts were hindered by several obstacles as the countries which are known for their support to the armed terrorism in Syria continued funding, arming and protecting armed terrorist groups in Syria.
He reported the statement of the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, in Geneva on Thursday as saying that the situation in Syria is exceptional because the intensive battles in the country and the involvement of regional and international powers in it.
Al-Jaafari added that it is paradoxical that the issuance of 6 press statements to condemn terrorist bombings carried out by the al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra were hindered at the UN Security Council after which one of those countries which hindered the statements puts this terrorist group on its national list of terrorist organizations. ...
He went on to say that "Since October 2011, Jabhat al-Nusra announced its responsibility for carrying out 600 attacks, including more than 40 suicide attacks and other attacks using weapons and explosive devices, in Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, Daraa, Homs, Idleb and in Deir Ezzor.
From the beginning of the crisis, Syria tried hard to draw the attention of the member states to the presence of armed terrorist intervention in its internal affairs, but we faced political obstinacy and ignorance of issues related to the political geography and huge media falsification which made the senior officials of this organization deny the reality and reach wrong conclusions about the situation in Syria, al-Jaafari said.


The one and only real secular country of the Arab world
by Viktor Reznov, Mathaba Net 14-12-2012

The whole story about the so-called “revolution in Syria”, the “Arab Spring in Syria”, is a cruel organized crime and bares the real misanthropic policy of the Western governments, including their good allies, the totalitarian dictatorships in the Gulf.
The abominable machinations of Western governments and the blind radical religious rage of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are mainly involved because of economic interests and the blended ugly sectarianism, are the real crimes of current history.
And still, the Western people buy the propaganda of their media and governments because they do not know it better and due to the fact that they are growing up with the beliefs that their media is something like a “free press” that would only publish the truth (mainly).
This is aggravated by the fact that the leaders of these so-called democratic countries still maintain the Fata Morgana of democratic policies in these countries and that they would be committed to things like international law, human rights and the base of democracy.
The Western aggregation of interests, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel, is performing state terrorism and the destabilization of a secular and sovereign country in the Middle East. Probably the one and only real secular country of the Arab world...

Syrian Constitution says NO to the Muslim Brotherhood, seen as an Islamist party that wants to destroy the secular state.
Syrian Constitution, Article 8-4: Carrying out any political activity or forming any political parties or groupings on the basis of religious, sectarian, tribal, regional, class-based, professional, or on discrimination based on gender, origin, race or color may not be undertaken.


Jihad a legitimate motive for Syrian rebels
By Samia Nakhoul and Khaled Yacoub Oweis

MARRAKECH, Morocco, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Mouaz Al-Khatib, the leader of Syria's opposition coalition, urged the United States on Wednesday to reconsider its decision to designate the militant Islamist Jabhat al-Nusra as a terrorist group, saying religion was a legitimate motive for Syrian rebels.
"The decision to consider a party that is fighting the regime as a terrorist party needs to be reviewed," Mouaz Alkhatib told a "Friends of Syria" meeting in Morocco, where Western and Arab states granted full recognition to the coalition seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad. "We might disagree with some parties and their ideas and their political and ideological vision. But we affirm that all the guns of the rebels are aimed at overthrowing the tyrannical criminal regime."
The United States designated the Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) as a foreign terrorist organisation and said it was trying to hijack the revolt on behalf of al Qaeda in Iraq.

The decision to blacklist al-Nusra, an important fighting force in the uprising, has already triggered criticism from the powerful Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. A senior Brotherhood official said it was wrong and hasty.
"They are seen as (a group that) can be relied on to defend the country and the civilians against the regular army and Assad's gangs," Brotherhood deputy leader Farouq Tayfour told Reuters on Tuesday.
Alkhatib said it was "no shame" if Syrian rebels were driven by religious motives to topple Assad. "Religion that does not liberate its people, and does not eliminate repression, is not authentic religion," he said.
"The fact that the military movement is Islamic in its colour is generally positive. Jihad in the path of God has long been a fundamental motivator for human rights."

Shaykh Adnan al-Arour: "The Godfather of the Syrian Revolution"


arour & fsa-leaders, 2011
"Each person that states there is A-Qaeda will not enter Syria without a trial..."
... and not if the US secretary of State would intervene for him, if she was the world's minister...
I swear you, you won't enter Syria unless you apologize...
I swear by God you will be tried, tried for treason...
I tell you whoever says there is Al-Qaeda in Syria is inciting the regime to kill the innocents...
and wants to justify the criminal acts of the regime...

Syria, what kind of revolution?
Al-Akhbar, 8-9-2011

If you look up Shaykh Adnan al-Arour on YouTube, you can hear his name being called out in opposition demonstrations from London to Homs. Shaykh al-Arour is a member of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood who fled to Saudi Arabia in the early 1980s and has become a popular satellite television preacher with a wide following in Syria. His supporters refer to him as the godfather of the Syrian revolution.
Shaykh al-Arour made a name for himself by waging theological polemics with Shia clerics on Saudi religious channels.
One of the stations where he regularly appears, Wesal TV, specializes in anti-Shia propaganda. They’ve even launched a Farsi-language channel to berate Iranian Shia in their own tongue.
In one of his more extreme diatribes that can be seen on YouTube, al-Arour instructs his viewers to reserve a special kind of vengeance for Alawis who stood by the regime... In another short but ominous clip al-Arour is seen being mobbed and kissed by Saudi soldiers from the Peninsula Shield forces that invaded Bahrain to quell the revolt there.
All of this explains the unconstrained excitement for the Syrian uprising in the most reactionary quarters of the Arab world—the absolute monarchies of the Gulf. In an irony of ironies, when the Saudi king recently declared his support for the Syrian revolution, Syrian expats in Saudi Arabia went out into the streets to celebrate and praise the king, forgetting that public gatherings are illegal in the kingdom. So they were all summarily arrested...


Jordan: “Controlled Chaos”
Arab Spring may come in January
Nikita Sorokin, Voice of Russia Dec 14, 2012

soource: BBC news King Abdullah II of Jordan fears that the Arab Spring may soon grip his country.
According to him the new “axis” of Turkey, Egypt and Qatar may contribute to its expansion. It is not ruled out that amid the civil war in Syria and the deterioriation of the domestic situation the run-in scenario of the Arab Spring will be implemented in Jordan.
According to local media, it is the union of the Turkey-Egypt-Qatar axis with the Muslim Brotherhood which makes the King anxious. Abdullah II thinks that Ankara’s position on Syria is sectarian and is based on religious hatred of Sunnites of the Alawi regime of Bashar Assad. Qatar’s intensive activities with regard to Syria are also worrying him.
He thinks, there is a great possibility that Damascus will become part of the abovementioned axis if Assad’s regime falls. In this case Syria will be turned into an Islamist state...

The Jordan monarch does have reasons to worry. The prospects of a secular and stable regime in Syria are more than vague. If the Assad regime is overthrown violence will spread to the neighboring territories, chief editor of the “Russia in Global Politics” Fyodor Lukyanov says....
The Arab Spring has already affected Jordan. Only last month several people were killed in protest rallies. Mainly, the protesters demanded lower price on gasoline but there were also appeals to overthrow the King...
The local division of the Muslim Brotherhood is the king’s main headache. In late September they threatened to bring 50,000 people to the streets. In order to prevent rallies the king started talks with the Islamists....
However the tension of the situation in Jordan is just a new step towards the “controlled chaos” the strategy which is used by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Supported by the US these two countries are gradually implementing the reconstruction of the Big Middle East.


Egypt constitution referendum
unofficial results: 'Yes' 56.5 pct
Ahram Online , Saturday 15 Dec 2012

Voting Alert: Egypt constitutional referendum poll
* Total: "Yes": 4,595,311 (56.50 per cent)
"No": 3,536,838 (43.50 per cent)

* Final count in Cairo according to FJP:
"Yes": 950,532 (43.1 per cent)
"No": 1,256,248 (56.9 per cent)

Juan Cole, 16-12-2012: "56% is not a sufficient margin for the successful passage of a central organic law for a society. You could not at the moment even pass a statute in the US senate by that margin.
If Morsi and the Brotherhood were wise, they would recognize that they have polarized the country and would hold elections for a new constituent assembly.


ISLAM AND MODERNITY
Independent Broadcast Organisation

What do ordinary Muslims understand by Modernity? Have they absorbed Western ideas, which may or may not be mythical? But which are in any case masculine, westernocentric, and seemingly oblivious of what women and other cultures might think? Is there an Islamic vision of Modernity? Or does the caricature serve as a straw man for both the West and the unsettling pace of Change and modernization in their indigenous societies?

Islamists and Traditionalists reject modernity, by which they mean Western secularism and the banishment of religious values from most aspects of daily life in what Mohammad Arkoun calls the mythical West. In this world view, reason and the Enlightenment have become the new devils, modern blasphemies because they dare to set Man up as equal to God. The original sin of modern Man is therefore to have rejected the sovereignty of God and put in its place the sovereignty of the Individual.

Most Muslims do not really think of Modernity in terms of a break with the Past. Modernity means new and better technology and an improved standard of living. But unlike in Western societies, it also means a renewal with the Past, a return to the original ethos of Islam, of Mecca and Medina...
This mind set has other subtle and important implications. Universal suffrage is welcomed, but not necessarily the idea that individual freedom or freedom of opinion are essential preconditions for the exercise of democracy. An Islamist would understand Hurriyat al-ra'y, or Freedom of Opinion, to mean the right to think what you like but only within the boundaries of what is permitted in Islam. ...

Islam as an ideology offers millions men and women a simple and effective ideology, what one scholar has called - the Shari'ah plus electricity. ...
The parallels with Marxism are many and obvious - a revolutionary vanguard, a mythologised version of History, a revolutionary break with the corrupt ways of the unbelievers, combined with blind faith, a simplified credo, hatred and demonization of all who refuse or deny the inevitable Sense of History, now given divine sanction...

No Romantic Music
By Sara Gates, Huffington Post 13-12-2012

Amr Diab performing Tamally Ma'ak,
Album " Tamally Ma'ak 2000"

Egypt plans to ban any "romantic" songs from playing during daytime and primetime hours on many local television channels, state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported Thursday: "...because it is not appropriate to show these kinds of songs with the current situation of the country...”.
Instead, the government will only allow "patriotic" music and other suitable nationalist tunes that are "worth broadcasting" to be played on the 23 state-owned networks as the country prepares to vote on a constitutional referendum this week. ...

Although "romantic" music will not be banned all together, it has been regulated to the early morning hours after 2 a.m., instead of playing in regular intervals between movies and TV shows. Other non-patriotic songs will also be excluded from broadcast because of the "sensitiveness of the political situation..."

Obama chooses John Kerry
for secretary of state to succeed Clinton
Al-Arabiya, 16 December 2012

Source npr President Barack Obama has chosen Senator John Kerry to succeed Hillary Clinton as U.S. secretary of state, news networks CNN and ABC reported Saturday based on tips from unnamed sources.
CNN cited a Democratic source who had spoken to Kerry, while ABC mentioned unnamed sources. The White House has not confirmed the reports, according to AFP. ...
The announcement of Kerry’s nomination could come as early as mid-week, a source knowledgeable of the situation told Reuters...
The source told the news agency the White House is leaning toward unveiling Kerry’s nomination as part of a high-profile package that would include his pick for defense secretary.
Former Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel is the top candidate to take over the Pentagon and the White House’s vetting process for him is virtually complete, the source told Reuters.
While Obama is said to be generally comfortable with Hagel’s foreign policy views, there is some concern within the administration that his record of occasional criticism of Israel could create problems in the confirmation process.

* Chuck Hagel is currently a professor at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He has also served as chairman of the Atlantic Council and co-chairman of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board since 2009.
“It’s easy to get into war, not so easy to get out,” Hagel wrote in a 2009. Hagel is also known for favoring US talks with Iran, as has Obama. “Engagement is not surrender. It’s not appeasement.” Rather it is “an opportunity to better understand” others.
* John Kerry based his 2004 presidential campaign on opposition to the Iraq War.He and his running mate Senator John Edwards lost by 34 electoral votes. Kerry became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in 2009.

John Kerry 2009: "Worried about Iran"
Cleveland.com, March 04, 2009

In the photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, meets with U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass. at the Syrian presidential palace in Damascus, Syria, on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009.

Syria has been a close ally of Iran and is believed to be a conduit in delivering Iranian missiles and other weapons to anti-Israel extremist groups.
"We should have no illusion that Syria will immediately end its ties to Iran," Kerry said, "but that shouldn't threaten us as long as their relationship ceases to destabilize the region."
It benefits Syria if Assad looks west for new relationships, Kerry said. "The sanctions can always be tightened again if Syria backtracks," he said.
Ticking off what he considered to be "causes for hope" for peace in the Middle East, the 2000 Democratic presidential candidate said the first has been a shift in Middle East geopolitics.
The rise of Iran, Kerry said, has created an unprecedented willingness among moderate Arab nations to work with Israel. "This realignment can help lay the groundwork for progress towards peace," he said.
There is a new reality, he said. "Moderate Arab countries and Israel alike are actually more worried about Iran than they are about each other."


Chuck the Sinnerman
Don't Turn Your Back On God!

Some Jews, Israel-backers fear Chuck Hagel
By KATIE GLUECK, Politico 14-12-2012

source: sodahead Some Jews and supporters of Israel voiced major concerns about the possible nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel to lead the Defense Department...
“Send us Hagel and we will make sure every American knows he is an anti-Semite,” a senior Republican Senate aide told The Weekly Standard. The aide continued, “Hagel has made clear he believes in the existence of a nefarious Jewish lobby that secretly controls U.S. foreign policy. This is the worst kind of anti-Semitism there is.”
The Times of Israel reported that “the nomination of Hagel would likely worry Israel supporters, who have criticized the former Republican senator for what they see as a chilly stance toward the Jewish state.”
A top Israel advocate told The Daily Beast that “the pro-Israel community will view the nomination of Senator Chuck Hagel in an extremely negative light. His record is unique in its animus towards Israel.”