Sunday, June 10, 2007

Their Islam...

I read a report today at the BBC Arabic web site that made me really furious and disgusted.
The report was about the discrimination and violence against non-Muslim minorities in Iraq after the American invasion.
Two incidents captured my attention, in one of them a nine years old boy was forced to jump through fire by unidentified militants because he refused to turn into a Muslim, and in the other a woman was raped in front of her husband because she was not covering her hair !!!
I can put million exclamation marks but this won't stop me feeling shocked that any sane person who claims to be a Muslim can actually believe that raping a woman is justified more than her refusing to cover her hair.
Islam prohibits attacking women, children and elders, who belong to any party that is at war with Muslims, so how can anyone justify attacking women and children who are at peace with Muslims and have never attacked or harmed anyone?
I just can't imagine what kind of dirty minds that guides people who do these things.
If in Islam, a nine year old boy is not even considered old enough to be punished for not praying, then how can these stupid people give themselves the right to question him about his religious beliefs?
I blame no one for hating Islam if that's how Muslims act nowadays.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hala Show and our Educational System

While following the heated debate over what is known now as “Prostitutes Program”, one angle caught my attention, and that is the kind of language and the level of knowledge the three girls who said they are not prostitutes and that they were paid by Hala Show program to act the role of prostitutes in the show.

One of the three girls is a college graduate, the other has a high school diploma, and yet when you hear them talk you have the feeling that they are not educated at all. I am not saying this to insult the three girls and I don’t plan to judge them or their decision to participate in Hala Show program. The only thing that concerns me is that the Egyptian educational system has deteriorated to a degree that produces such girls.

Again I am not trying to undermine anyone here, but I was just chocked of the way those girls expressed themselves and the way they managed this issue.
Our Educational system produces ignorant persons, that’s the conclusion I draw from the whole fuss about “fatayat el leil” issue.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sunnis, Shiites and America’s Allies

As an Egyptian citizen the talk about a Sunni Shiite divide seems alien to me. I mean for years I never heard anyone in my country identifies himself as a Sunni or a Shiite, we all used to say we are Muslims, and this was enough.

Egyptians are known of their love to the members of the house of prophet Mohammed, and for that reason a writer once said that “Egypt has a Sunni mind and Shiite heart”. And I, like many Egyptians, wonder who is to benefit from this escalation of the recent tensions between the followers of the two sects of Islam? It might help us in answering this question, if we noticed that the ones who expressed their worrisome lately about the rise of the Shiites and all this nonsense are Jordan’s king, the Egyptian president and the Saudi monarch, which are all American allies. What a coincidence, right?!

It is very obvious that this escalation of the fear from the so called “Shiite Crescent” serves only the United States and the regimes that consider itself America’s allies in the region. For the United states, it’s part of the standoff with Tehran over its nuclear program, and for the Arab regimes, it’s the fear of what the groups allied with Iran, like Hezbollah, have disclosed: that Israel can be beaten.

I believe that some of the proactive events involving Shiites that took place recently in the region is more of a social “Intefada” than a sectarian statement. The Shiites in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia have long been deprived from many political, economic and social rights, they are the poorest and the areas the live in are the most deprived of facilities and services, they are also denied the right of performing their rituals publicly in most areas of Saudi Arabia.

Sometimes, I just thing that we will all be better off if our governments stopped manipulating our religious feelings and trying to provoke tensions between us for its own purposes. Sadat tried in the past to dig a wedge between Muslims and Christians in Egypt for political reasons and we can all see the consequences of this now, so please spare us another fight over religious identities.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

“Contaminated” Blood Bags and Separation of Powers

When the British prime minister Tony Blair said some time ago that a major corruption inquiry into Saudi Arabian arms deals was threatening national security, and so the inquiry should stop, I assumed that this was the end of it. As a citizen in an Arab country I was used to take the statements of political leaders for granted, and of course I didn’t think for a moment that any part of the government would dare to challenge Blair’s assessment, after all, he’s the boss!!
But this is not an Arab country, it’s Britain. And because it’s Britain, Britain's secret intelligence service, MI6, has challenged the government's claim and John Scarlett, the head of MI6, has now refused to sign up to a government dossier which says MI6 endorses this view.
When I read this news in the Guardian (16-01-2007) I couldn’t ignore the contrast between the head of MI6 attitude and that of some Egyptian officials in the issue of the blood bags that are not compatible with the standards.
The issue started when fifty-year old Khedr Abdul-Hadi, who was a liver fibrosis sufferer, died on Monday, a week after receiving a transfusion of contaminated blood at a hospital in Cairo, the Egyptian opposition paper al-Wafd reported on Tuesday.

Al-Khedr fell into a coma shortly after the transfusion.

The bag used in Abdul-Hadi’s case was one of more than 250 000 “contaminated” blood bags had been delivered to hospitals and blood banks by Haidylena for Advanced Medical Industries, a company owned by Hani Sorour, a MP from the ruling National Democratic Party. So, what was the government and the parliament’s response to such a serious incident?

The head of the health commission on the parliament Dr. Hamdi Al Sayed advocated Sorour enthusiastically, describing him as a “poor” fellow that no one gives the chance to tell his side of the story. Meanwhile, the government stood still and the Egyptian Parliament has yet to meet on Thursday to discuss stripping Sorour of his parliamentary immunity so that the police can interrogate him.

The case of the blood bags reveals that the notion of separation of powers is absent in Egypt, Sorour, broke the law that prevents any member of the parliament from entering in deals with the government, and El Sayed ignored the fact that he is the head of the health commission on the parliament and advocated Sorour. The parliament didn’t think of stripping the parliamentary immunity of Sorour so that the police can interrogate him until the media intensive cover of the case provoked wide anger in the Egyptian street. And a spokesman for Sorour’s company accused the media of interfering in issues that they don’t understand!!