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Why Arab Muslims Come To America
Oh, well, among other things, that free speech thing. Here, from the AP, in Alexandra, Egypt, Nadia Abou El-Magd (who'd better be careful if she's an Egyptian citizen) writes:

An Egyptian blogger was convicted Thursday and sentenced to four years in prison for insulting Islam and Egypt's president, sending a chill through fellow Internet writers who fear a government crackdown.

Abdel Kareem Nabil, a 22-year-old former student at Egypt's Al-Azhar University, had been a vocal secularist and sharp critic of conservative Muslims in his blog. He often lashed out at Al-Azhar - the most prominent religious center in Sunni Islam - calling it "the university of terrorism" and accusing it of encouraging extremism.

And he's right. From MEMRI, via JihadWatch:

"If we examine some of the extremist curricula, we will find that the principle of fighting any non-Muslim and killing him is not an offensive innovation by [founder of Wahhabism] Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abd Al-Wahhab and by [Ayman] Al-Zawahiri, [Osama bin Laden's deputy and the head of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization]. This [is] because a book of the Hanafi [school of thought], 'Al-Ikhtiyar fi Ta'lil Al-Mukhtar' [by Abdallah Ibn Mahmoud Al-Mawsily] teaches the next generation that 'the war against the infidels is an obligation of all intelligent, healthy, free, and able men... And when the Muslims besiege their enemies in a town or a fortress, they must call upon them to convert to Islam. If they convert, [the Muslims] must cease fighting them, and if they do not convert, they must call upon them to pay the jizya [poll tax]. If they refuse to pay the jizya, the Muslims must call upon Allah's help in the war against them, to erect catapults, to destroy their fields and their trees, to burn them, and to pelt them [with catapult stones], even if [the enemies] use Muslims as a human shield...'"

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Posted by aalkon at February 23, 2007 8:27 AM

Comments

The crackdown will be expected, because Egypt has been under 'Emergency Law' since 1981. Anyone can be arrested, tortured, tried and sentenced to prison under the suspicion of being a traitor to Egyptian interests. Anything can qualify for treason under this law from fundamentalism to western inspired free thought.

Mubarak is playing a dangerous game of placating to the fundamentalists. If he was smart he would conduct reforms that would strengthen the secular elements among the intelligentsia, professionals and the middle class of Egypt. Instead of the nest of vipers that the fundamentalists represent, because they do not forget the persecutions under Nasser, Sadat and the current President.

Another lesson: Islamists do not understand half measures. They do not respect them. Half measures are viewed as a blatant sign of weakness. This includes the Arab secular governments and the USA actions in the Middle East. They believe in zero sum games with an all or nothing approach.

Mubarak's fate lies in 2 areas:
1. Dies of natural causes like Nasser.
2. Killed by the fundamentalists like Sadat.

Either way, Egypt still loses, because of the persecuting secular free thought and placating religious intolerance.

Yes, I'm known for being the champion of enlighten despots as the vehicle of reform in the M.E. The area I did fail to mention that these leaders would be a transitional figures. I cannot give specifics on how long they would reign, because each would be based on the individual nations and the results of the reforms.

Mubarak's persecutions of Egypt's independent secularists is a negative by product of the typical corrupt (paranoid) tyrannical dictatorships. The difference between him and Ataturk or Bourguiba is huge. All three were brutal in achieving their power base. But Ataturk and Bourguiba laid a secured foundation in their respective countries. Both Turkey and Tunisia have a strong middle class and a history of secular institutions.

Sorry for repeating statements from past posts. I just needed to make some clarifications.

Posted by: Joe at February 23, 2007 9:49 AM

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