Egypt’s new political map – Daily News Egypt

First, the ongoing crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood did not tame political Islam in Egypt. In fact, the opposite is true. Al-Azhar wants to be the sole guardian of Islam in Egypt, while the anti-Muslim brotherhood Salafis want to be the protector of Sunni doctrine, and all the while the junta wants to enlist Islamism to serve their nationalist agenda.

Both al-Azhar figures and Salafis are passionately defending the army, but they are also defending the role of religion in the state. In their opinion, religion should not be abused in politics, but it should also not be banned. Pro-coup non- Brotherhood Islamists are fighting hard to weaken the most organised Islamist group in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, to capitalise on its downfall, and to enlarge their political base. Despite this, they are not united on a clear vision on how religion should be framed inside Egypt’s new constitution. The Salafi Al-Nour party is fighting hard to keep article 219 unchanged, while other scholars advocate removing it. Interestingly, other “moderate” Islamists such as Abul Fotouh have decided not to participate in the constitutional assembly. How all this will work out at the end is still unclear.

via Egypt’s new political map – Daily News Egypt.

We are not martyrs

Hummus For Thought

The “I Am NOT a Martyr” Campaign (#notamartyr) has less than a day of existence and can already boast over 1,000 followers on itsFacebook page. You can understand why: We Lebanese are pissed at innocent victims being called martyrs in someone else’s war.

Yes, someone else’s war. 16 year old Mohammad Chaar is neither a Martyr nor a Hero. He’s a victim. And so was Georgette Sarkissian. And so were all other civilians murdered in the past years. They are victims of someone’s war against someone else for something which only affected them, and affects us, in that it is making our daily lives harder and harder.

We have become a nation of justified claustrophobia and justified paranoia; we have stopped hoping that this bomb would be the last because we know that another bomb will soon follow; we are living in the not-so-discreet shadow of our catastrophic civil war and are…

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Middle East Digest: December 2013. Turkey



(Photo from an anti-corruption protest in Ankara, via Twitter)

This is a special edition covering December’s events in Turkey, particularly the recent corruption scandal.

Hope you enjoy it

Main Headlines

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Those wondering how big a fool or bigot he is get their answer! Christians only: Nigel Farage drops Syrian refugee call

He told the Jeremy Vine Show that Syrian Muslims could flee to neighbouring countries.

\”It\’s bad enough for Sunni and Shia. At least there are neighbouring countries that will take them,\” he said.

\”Where on Earth are the Christians going to go? Christians are now a seriously persecuted minority.\”

A spokesperson added: \”Christians are being increasingly persecuted across the Middle East and Syria as extreme Islamist elements seek to purge the region of Christianity.

via Christians only: Nigel Farage drops Syrian refugee call.

Hopes For A Better Lebanon: I’m Not A Martyr

Pray, Hope, Act!

A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares

“I just heard. I hope you’re okay,”  is the text I sent to the people who mattered to me this past Friday, moments after I had seen a column of smoke erupt in the distance from the hospital floor I had been rounding on.

I stood in patients’ rooms, transfixed as residents inquired on those patients’ state while television screens were lit with the bodies of people who had just perished. I was angry. I’m always angry. I was sorry. I was disgusted. It was an all too familiar sensation.

“Let’s continue the round,” the chief resident told me. “But people just died,” I replied. “It’s okay, life goes on.” It had only been a few minutes.

I don’t have suicidal ideations, but I wondered that day about how it’d be to die like those poor people, a burning corpse on a careless tarmac that has seen more than its…

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Cincinnati is Ohio’s drunkest city … and can you blame us? – Cincinnati Business Courier


There’s a veritable beer renaissance going on in Greater Cincinnati right now. New breweries are popping up on both sides of the Ohio River. Existing craft brewers are rolling out new label after new label. And so, it turns out, that Men’s Health magazine has ranked us as the drunkest city in Ohio.

So sue us.

The Queen City landed at No. 68 on Men’s Health’s ranking, with No. 100 on the list being considered the drunkest. The annual ranking is based on data like DWI arrests, binge-drinking rates and incidents of liver disease.

Cincinnati tipped a few more back than Cleveland, coming in at No. 67 among drunkards. Columbus was No. 64.

American’s drunkest city? That’s Bakersfield, Calif., followed by San Antonio and Stockton, Calif.

Cincinnati is Ohio’s drunkest city … and can you blame us? – Cincinnati Business Courier.

See UKIP supporters’ reaction to Nigel Farage’s call to let Syrian refugees into UK

Was there ever any doubt? “So according to UKIP supporters – immigrants and Muslims are ‘filthy’, ‘dirty’ ‘scum’ who deserve to be shot.

So much for Farage’s attempts to portray the UKIP as a modern, moderate, libertarian, non-extremist and non-racist party.”

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UKIP!)

To get a good idea of the real face of UKIP, all you need to do is to have a look at the reaction from party supporters on the official UKIP Facebook page to Farage’s suggestion that the UK should let some Syrian refugees come to the UK.

Here are just a select few from hundreds of similar comments on the thread (click to enlarge):



So according to UKIP supporters – immigrants and Muslims are ‘filthy’, ‘dirty’ ‘scum’ who deserve to be shot.

So much for Farage’s attempts to portray the UKIP as a modern, moderate, libertarian, non-extremist and non-racist party.


Please feel free to comment.

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SPIEGEL Interview With Pussy Riot Member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova – SPIEGEL ONLINE

SPIEGEL: Were you treated decently while in custody?

Tolokonnikova: No. It was terrible. They tried everything to break me and silence me. The collective punishments were the worst, almost unbearable. Because of a small gesture, or when I asked the camp management to observe the law, 100 people were assigned to a punishment unit, where beatings were customary. I was treated better than others, simply because there was so much public attention. In my case, they did adhere to the eight-hour workday required by law. The other women were often forced to slave away for up to 16 hours a day.

SPIEGEL: How could the Russian penal system be reformed?

Tolokonnikova: I\’m not claiming that everything I say here is the ultimate truth. But this is what would be needed: more exercise, a broader selection of work activities to reflect the talents and propensities of prisoners, and decent pay, so that prisoners can occasionally buy something without outside support. I was paid all of 25 rubles a month for sewing uniforms day in and day out. In euros, that\’s the equivalent of 60 cents ($0.82). I would have been in bad shape if I hadn\’t received food packages. It would also be very important to prevent prisoners from harassing their fellow prisoners. And I also think educational activities are important. For example, why shouldn\’t prisons feature the occasional guest performance by a theater group?

via SPIEGEL Interview With Pussy Riot Member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova – SPIEGEL ONLINE.