Labels: China» Paul Krugman
you were waiting for me to post something by the ass hat Krugman... well he wrote something interesting. not sure I agree with him (obviously he is like usual threatened by Capitalism, but this time that market is not in the West). Krugman is predicting that China will fall. I'm starting to believe that China is not something America should fear... if anything if China falls then we are in a lot of trouble. Same goes for Europe. The fact is that loans to poor people (even if they are blackmarket loans) are a really bad idea. The real solutions to America's problems are energy related. China depends on us to buy their goods. They need us to survive.
Labels: Ennahda» Moncef Marzouki» Silvan Shalom» Tunisia
(israelnationalnews.com) ( h/t @TheJewess ) Tunisia’s newly elected president on Monday called the country’s Jewish population to return, The Associated Press reported.During a meeting with the country’s Grand Rabbi Haim Bittan, President Moncef Marzouki said that Tunisia’s Jews are full citizens and those who had left the country were welcome to return.
Today, Tunisia has a Jewish population of 1,500 but in the 1960s there were 100,000 Jews in the country. Most left following the 1967 Six Day War.
Most Tunisian Jews now live on the resort island of Djerba, near the country’s border with Libya.
Marzouki’s remarks come in response to a call by Cabinet Minster and Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom for Tunisian Jews to move to Israel.
Shalom, who is of Tunisian origin and who made an official visit to the country in 2005, recently said that Jews in Tunisia should "settle in Israel as soon as possible.”
Shalom’s call was rejected by Muslim leaders in Tunisia. The Islamist Ennahda party, which recently won the country’s first post-Arab Spring election, said that “Tunisia remains, today and tomorrow, a democratic state that respects its citizens and looks after them regardless of their religion…. Members of the Jewish community in Tunisia are citizens enjoying all their rights and duties.”
The Islamic party said Shalom’s remarks were “irresponsible” and “irrational,” and it criticized the timing of his comments.
Labels: Chavez» Maria Conchita Alonso» Sean Penn» Venezuela
Dan Lungren questions Paul Stockton - Assistant Defense Secretary for Homeland Defense: Are we at war with violent Islamist extremism?Labels: Dan Lungren» Islamists» Joe Lieberman» Paul Stockton» Peter King
Labels: Bamiyan» Borhami» Coptic Church» Egypt» Emad Abdel Ghafour» Jizya» Mahfouz» Muslim Brotherhood» Salafi al-Nour» Salafis» Saudi King Abdullah» Saudis» SCAF» Taliban» Wahabi» Yasser Borhami
(hudson-ny.org) The extreme Islamist "Nour Party" ["Party of the Light"], with 25% of the ballots, produced the biggest surprise of the first round of Egypt's parliamentary voting at the end of November. Its advance overshadowed, in media attention, the widely-anticipated 40% received by the Muslim Brotherhood. The Nour Party had formed a coalition, the "Democratic Alliance for Egypt," with the Brotherhood but withdrew from it in September. The Brotherhood and the Nour Party are now in bitter competition.
|(Nour Party chairman tries to ease fears | Al-Masry Al-Youm: Today's News from Egypt - Emad Abdel Ghafour, the party’s chairman Photographed by Noha El-Hennawy)|
Commentaries, although reflecting shock in the Arab and international media on the Nour Party's rise, were predictable. The media have accommodated the Nour Party by referring to it under the party's preferred ideological banner as "Salafis," or by describing its supporters as "religious conservatives." The truth is different. The Nour Party embodies Wahhabism, the fanatical interpretation of Islam that is the sole official religious doctrine in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The media have tiptoed around the authentic character of the Nour Party, with leading sources noting only that the Nour Party's program is derived from or influenced by Saudi Wahhabism. But the Nour Party reproduces Wahhabism – the ideology that inspired Osama Bin Laden – in its entirety.
The term "Salafi" refers to a Muslim who emulates the first three generations of Muhammad's companions and successors. Traditional Muslims and conscientious historians recognize the falsity of the Wahhabis masquerading as "Salafis." For moderate Muslims, comparing oneself to the pioneering figures in Islamic history is offensively arrogant. In addition, a "Salafi" reform movement existed in the 19th century, but unlike the Wahhabi "Salafis," the 19th century "Salafis," such as Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905), an Egyptian scholar and writer, were not violent and did not preach against the West.
The 19th century "Salafis" sought to modernize Islam and adapt it to Western modes of thought. They also condemned spiritual Sufism, as do today's Wahhabi "Salafis." But unlike the recent Wahhabi "Salafis," the 19th century group did not demand the right to expel Muslims from the global Islamic community over doctrinal differences, and then kill them as "apostates" – as the Wahhabi "Salafis" have been doing in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Egypt, and Iraq, among other countries. The 19th century "Salafi" reformers appealed to Muslims to imitate the personal integrity and dedication of the early Muslims, but did not seek to reinforce abuse of women, hatred of non-Muslims, or limitations on free thought. They, in fact, prized freedom of inquiry as an Islamic value.
Wahhabis know that Muslims hate and fear them for their terrorist acts and repressive practices in Saudi Arabia. Few Egyptians admire or to desire to live under a Saudi-Wahhabi system. That is why, with the complicity of Western media, the Egyptian Wahhabis have adopted the term "Salafi". But they should not be allowed to pretend that they are conservative imitators of the early Muslim generations when instead their views are radical.
There is no mistaking the Wahhabi foundation of the Nour Party's politics. Its male leaders and candidates affect the untrimmed beard cultivated by Wahhabis, in an alleged imitation of Muhammad. They claim to have a single real candidate: Muhammad. In an obvious mimicry of past Saudi-Wahhabi restrictions on women, the Nour Party relegated women candidates (whom Egyptian law required be included) to the bottom of their list to prevent any from being elected. The Nour Party's leader, Yasser Borhami, denounced participation by women in parliament as "corruption."
Nour Party representatives in Egypt have said they would reinstitute payment by all non-Muslims of the jizya tax, an obsolete Islamic practice that exists in no other Muslim country. Borhami has also called Egypt's Coptic Christian minority, who make up 10% of the population, "unbelievers." One prominent, if unsuccessful, Nour Party aspirant to office, Abdel Moneim Al-Shahat, referred to the writings of Egypt's Nobel Prize winning author, Naguib Mahfouz, as the "literature of prostitution." Al-Shahat, who appears frequently on television talk shows, appealed for the Pharaonic statues that are a part of Egypt's pre-Islamic cultural legacy to be covered with wax because they had, in the past, been worshipped as idols – the same attitude that impelled the Taliban to destroy the Bamiyan statues of Buddha in Afghanistan.
In addition to flattering the Nour Party by referring to it as "Salafi" or "conservative," the media have further softened the image of the Egyptian Wahhabis by labelling them "Puritan." This they are, but while "Puritan" has lost its edge as an item in Western religious history, Islamic Puritanism represents an exaggerated attempt to return to the world as it existed in Muhammad's time. Representatives of the Nour Party are vague when they discuss some of their most basic objectives, which include Shariah ["The Path:" Islamic religious law] as common law; gender segregation of unmarried or unrelated people; enforced full-body covering for women; promotion of "Islamic banking" as a leading economic institution, and a ban on alcohol among non-Muslims.
Except for Saudi Arabia, which supports a non-traditional, arbitrary form of Shariah as public law, and enclaves in Africa, Pakistan, and Indonesia, every Muslim country in the world has adopted Western canons of common law, and left the interpretation of Shariah as applicable exclusively to religious matters. Article 2 of the Egyptian Constitution now states that the "principal source of legislation by the state is Islamic jurisprudence (sharia)." This left space for the retention of non-religious law, since Islamic jurisprudence recognizes the validity of non-Islamic common law. A Shariah-state experiment in Sudan failed after the South Sudanese rejected it, and led to the division of the country. The current ruler of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, has threatened to adopt something like Egypt's law, likewise defining Shariah as a "principal source" of legislation, although his government has not yet done so. The Nour Party would subject Egypt to an experiment in applying religious jurisprudence as the only, rather than the "principal," basis for law.
Whether family or inheritance law should follow universal standards, or Shariah guidelines that discriminate against women, is widely argued in the Muslim countries. Morocco, for example, in 2004 adopted a family code that: makes women equal heirs to property; bars marriage of women against their will; allows wives to prohibit their husbands from engaging in polygamy, and to divorce their husbands if they take a second wife; places divorce under secular, rather than religious authority, and makes domestic violence by men a basis for divorce by women. The recent electoral success of a Muslim Brotherhood local branch, the Justice and Development Party, may affect the status of this law, but it is unlikely given that the law is supported by the king, Mohammed VI.
From early in Islamic history, Muslim scholars have argued that Shariah was legitimate only in dealing with matters of religion, and that Islamic law could draw on existing, pre-Islamic law and custom. In addition, Muhammad called on Muslims who migrate to non-Muslim lands to accept the laws and customs of the countries to which they move. This pattern – Shariah as appropriate only to aspects of faith – dominated the Islamic world for almost a millennium, ever since the Mongols, who conquered Baghdad in 1258 CE, accepted Islam but refused to abandon their Mongol customary law. The same pattern was seen in the Ottoman Empire, which preserved its Turkish customary law. If the radicals of the Nour Party were to have their way, however, the basic law of Egypt, which is borrowed from French law, would be abolished.
Even Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has eased the influence of extreme Wahhabis in the judiciary of his country. The Saudi monarch has reduced the financing of the infamous morals patrols or mutawiyin – often wrongly called the "morals police," but in reality a body of militia and volunteers. He also opened up opportunities for women to participate in professional and public life, although they are still not allowed to drive a car, travel, open a bank account, or see a doctor without the permission of a male relative or guardian. In reality, in rural areas, driving by women is common but overlooked.
The unmentioned factor in the emergence of the Nour Party has to do with its financing: Who provided funds for the organization of a new and expanding political party in Egypt? Before the election, Nour Party representatives discounted concerns by their Egyptian opponents that they were backed by Arabian Gulf states, which for decades had paid for Wahhabi "Salafi" mosques and networks of Islamic charities in Egypt. Kuwait and Qatar have been mentioned as backers of the Nour Party, but solid evidence is scarce. This is not surprising, as the Wahhabi "Salafis" are not known for transparency in their financing; to discover the source of Nour's backing still requires investigation. While the Saudis have been mentioned as a possible backer of the Nour Party, there is not yet any evidence to support that theory. The disconcerting gains of the Nour Party suggest that it has nevertheless benefitted from large financial donations, which might come from outside the country, or from political support from inside the existing Egyptian institutions, rather than because of a pure religious fervour animating a large pool of volunteers.
From a different perspective, on December 9, Time magazine quoted an Egyptian as saying, "I think the deal has already been made between the Islamists and SCAF [the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, the Egyptian military that ousted Hosni Mubarak], and SCAF wants them in power," said Shadi al-Ghazaly Harb, a liberal young politician whose Awareness Party fared poorly. "I think SCAF wants to scare everyone with the Islamists — the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis — so that they will push an ex-military figure forward as the next presidential candidate. That will be the true end of the revolution."
One aspect of the appeal of the Egyptian Wahhabi "Salafi" movement – observed before, in the history of both the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islamist groups in South Asia – was noted in the London Financial Times of December 9 by Borzou Daragahi: "Nour's educated and professional supporters and leaders tend to hail from modest backgrounds – recent arrivals to the middle class, perhaps bitter that their education or newfound wealth did not bring them the status that comes with lineage and connections."
Wahhabi "Salafi" Islam often reflects frustrated upward mobility and rising expectations, rather than desperation and poverty. The overeducated and underemployed in Egypt and elsewhere have no plan they think can resolve their problems, so they withdraw into an irrational fantasy of Muslim life in the past. This view is not conservative, but radical; it is dangerous for Egypt, for Islam, and for the world.
Labels: Nazi» Nazis» OWS» socialism
Leave it to the New York Times to simply take the word of any Palestinian who tells a tale of woe that puts Israel in a bad light; apparently such stories are simply too good to check. This time the occasion was the release of 550 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, the second group of prisoners released as part of the deal freeing the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.Ethan Bronner’s report, Israel Frees Palestinians in 2nd Stage of Exchange, named only one of the Palestinian prisoners being released, Izzedine Abu Sneineh, who, readers are told, was arrested three years ago at the age of 15 for “throwing stones and hanging Palestinian flags from telephone poles.” Here is the full passage about the young miscreant:Sarah Abu Sneineh came with her family to greet her grandson Izzedine Abu Sneineh, who was arrested three years ago at age 15 for throwing stones and hanging Palestinian flags from telephone poles.“He was just a schoolkid when he was arrested,” she said as she waited for him outside the tomb of Yasir Arafat. “We want him to go back to school. Only education is the way forward.”Now, as should be obvious to Bronner and his editors, if Israel really imprisoned Palestinian children merely for putting up flags or throwing stones, there would be tens of thousands of Palestinian children in Israeli jails, instead of less than two hundred. Whatever young Abu Sneineh did, it had to involve something much more serious than what Bronner reported.In fact, it is not hard to find out what he did – the Israeli Prison Service on Dec. 14 published a full list of all the prisoners about to be released. The english press release on the IPS website states that:The Ministry of Justice will operate an information center as of today and until the date of execution of the agreement, where information regarding prisoners on the list can be obtained ...and also has a link to the prisoner list in English. Helpfully, the press release also includes the telephone numbers of the information center: 02-6466801/3/4. So all an enterprising reporter had to do was call one of those numbers to discover what the Palestinian teenager had been convicted of.Now, the list in English includes the name, dates of birth and arrest, the length of the sentence and prisoner ID, but not the crime; the list in Hebrew is more complete and includes the crime also. (IMRA has all these links.)So what do we learn from these lists? Az al-Din Shhada Akram Abu Snina, prisoner ID 855043360, was convicted and sentenced for “Weapons training; attempted murder” and possession of “weapons / ammo / explosives.”So not throwing stones and hanging flags – attempted murder and possession of weapons, including ammunition and explosives.Why did Bronner apparently just accept what he was told by Abu Sneineh’s grandmother? Why did he not bother to look up the lists on the IPS website, or to just make a phone call to find out exactly what Abu Sneineh’s crimes really were?And why did the ludicrous claim that Israel imprisons children for years just for throwing stones and hanging flags ring true to Bronner? (Of course, throwing stones is one thing, seriously wounding someone by throwing stones is another matter entirely, and could well lead to a prison term.)Whatever the answer to these questions, one thing is certain – the New York Times owes its readers a forthright correction that sets the record straight regarding the real nature of what Abu Sneineh did to earn himself a prison sentence.And as bad as Bronner is here, rest assured that wire service reporters are even worse.Even the BBC - regarded by the world as the gold standard in accurate reporting - did exactly the same thing during the last prisoner release.They have a meme that has gotten stuck in their collective heads by years of Palestinian Arab lies. In this case, the meme is of a corrupt Jewish state wantonly arresting and imprisoning minors for years minor offenses.Since that is what they truly believe, they do not bother to be skeptical when they are told this is what happened by people who are known to lie - like relatives of the prisoners.Good reporters are trained to be skeptical. But when they have a re-existing bias, they will not show skepticism towards "facts" that fit that bias.You can also be sure that the bias extends up the editorial food chain. Obviously no editor asked Bronner to do what any journalist out of school is trained to do - to verify the facts with the other side.
and here is a little extra hint to the NYTimes. if you don't speak or read Hebrew you can use Google translate!!!!! hey look... I just did it
עזאלדין אבו סנינה שחאדה אכרם
אימונים בנשק ; נסיון לרצח - פ.איבה ;
229 855 043 360 Azaldin Akram Abu Sneineh Shehadeh 20/08/2008 19/08/2013 05-00-0000 weapons training; attempted murder - P. Hostility; weapons / ammo / materials - explosives
עזאלדין אבו סנינה שחאדה אכרם
אימונים בנשק ; נסיון לרצח - פ.איבה ;
229 855 043 360 Azaldin Akram Abu Sneineh Shehadeh 20/08/2008 19/08/2013 05-00-0000 weapons training; attempted murder - P. Hostility; weapons / ammo / materials - explosives
Labels: Egypt» Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)» Gaza» Hamas» Hamas Rockets» Mahmoud Ghazlan» Mubarak» Muslim Brotherhood» Palestinian Authority» Salafi al-Nour» Salafi Muslims» Salafis
Thanks Liberals and Progressives! You Obama people are swell!
Israel news photo: Muslim Brotherhood(israelnationalnews) Egypt’s two largest Islamic extremist parties claim they won nearly 70 percent of the votes in the second round of legislative elections. The Islamic parties won approximately 65 of the votes in the first round of elections last month.,The complex elections call on eligible Egyptians to vote for party lists that will make up two-thirds of the parliament, while individual candidates run for the other third.
The Muslim Brotherhood, running under the euphemistic name Freedom and Justice, said it won 39 percent of the votes in the contest between parties. The Salafist Islam party, named Al-Nur, said it won more than 39 percent of the ballots.
There were no declared winners in the vote for individual candidates, who face a run-off on Wednesday.
The Muslim Brotherhood formerly was ordered off-limits to American officials before the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year. Realizing that anti-American and anti-Israel party would likely be the dominant force in Egypt, the Obama administration decided to “engage” the Muslim Brotherhood, and the president even spoke optimistically about it.
However, the strong showing by the Salafists is another in a long line of “surprises” to the American government, which promoted Palestinian Authority legislative elections five years ago and ended up with the Hamas terrorist organization as the ruling party. Hamas was created by the Muslim Brotherhood.
Iran is thrilled with election results.
Mahmoud Ghazlan, a spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, told Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency, "Cairo will never allow a continuation of the Gaza blockade,” referring to Israel’s maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza to prevent more terrorists and weapons from reaching Gaza.
“Ghazlan blasted the former Egyptian regime's silence over Israel's crimes against the innocent people of the Gaza Strip, and said the new regime in Cairo will certainly pick up a new approach towards Palestine and the Palestinian issue,” the Iranian news agency reported.
Labels: Cairo’s Tahrir Square» Egypt» Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)» Muslim Brotherhood» Salafi al-Nour
(the current administration has a stake in referring to the Muslim Brotherhood as "moderate" and "largely secular,") Egypt’s two leading Islamist parties said on Sunday their parties have secured about three-quarters of votes cast in the second round of a parliamentary election, Reuters reported.
A source from the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) told Reuters the party was on track to win about 40 percent of votes for party lists, based on results from most districts.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the ultra-conservative Salafi al-Nour Party told the news agency its list received about 35 percent of votes.
The second round of the voting in Egypt was held last Thursday in Giza, Luxor, Aswan and Ismaila.
In last month’s first poll, the Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory, winning about 40 percent of the ballots.
The once-outlawed Islamists’ Freedom and Justice party had won 34 seats in runoff elections, while Al Nour garnered another five seats, according to the group’s website.
While an official breakdown of results for the list vote has yet to be announced, Reuters noted that both parties' predictions after the first round were broadly accurate.
The FJP source was quoted as having said the 40 percent estimate was based on counting completed in 11 of the 15 second-round constituencies where seats will be allocated by party lists.
The Muslim Brotherhood distanced itself from Al Nour after the first round, saying it is “a moderate and fair party.”
Al Nour advocates for a strict interpretation of Sharia, where the sexes are segregated and women must be veiled and are barred from driving.
Meanwhile on Sunday, Egyptians entered a third day of deadly clashes between protesters and government forces on a street close to Cairo's Tahrir Square.
At least 10 people have been killed and more than 440 people have been injured so far, according to Egyptian Health Ministry figures cited by the Associated Press, as protesters continue to demand the military hand over power to a civilian authority.
The clashes began late Thursday after military police stormed a sit-in camp that the protesters have held outside the Cabinet building for the past three weeks.
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