Saturday, March 18, 2006

Egyptian blogger expelled from Al Azhar University for his progressive views

Abdel Karim Nabil Suliman, an Egyptian Muslim student, was expelled from Al Azhar University in Egypt for expressing his progressive views
Abdel Karim Nabil Suliman [AKA: Kareem Amer] is a 22 year-old Egyptian student of law at the Azhar University in Egypt (Largest Islamic University in Egypt and the Islamic world), Damanhour Campus, and a women-rights activist
He also maintains his own
blog where he posts articles expressing his views on the need for political reform as well as reforming Islam
On Wednesday October 25, 2005 , Egyptian State Security forces took Abdel Karim from his home, and confiscated hard copies of his writings, this came right after Karim published an article titled: The Naked Truth Of Islam As I have Seen In Alexandria where he condemned the actions of the Muslim mob that surrounded the Coptic church in Muharam Bek, Alexandria and attempted to destroy it 2 years after a stage play in the church alleged to be offensive to Muslims.

On Tuesday, March 14th, 2006 Karim was called in for investigations by a "Disciplinary council" set up by Al Azhar University to question Karim over his articles and views

On Wednesday March 15th, 2006 Karim wrote on his blog under the "Events of Al Azhar Inquisition" saying:

"Yesterday, I went to my college in Damanhour to attend the disciplinary council I was referred to because of my views and articles that I post online, the accusations ranged from defaming Islam to atheism to libel against the grand Imam of Al Azhar and some of the university scholars
Karim adds: (They simply turned criticism into libel and defamation, they considered the criticism of terrorist teachings as a derogatory act against religion), Karim went on to say "

" I did not try to deny the writing of these articles that they took as an incriminating evidence, but rather I insisted that they are my personal product despite their warnings that by admitting so, I might face many consequences"

On March 17th, 2006 the semi- official Algomhuria Egyptian newspaper published the following:

"Professor Hamdi Shalany, PHD., Dean of the School of Islamic Sharia and Law in Damanhour decided to expel the student Abdel Karim Nabil Suliman for perpetrating acts and writings that defames religion in addition to defamation and libel against the grand Imam of Al Azhar
The disciplinary council has submitted a copy of the investigation documents for public prosecution".

Upon receiving the university's decision letter,
Karim wrote the following:

"I am not sad! Would one be depressed and sad when he recuperates his freedom? As I was being investigated, I discovered- for the first time- that being a student at El Azhar University means I was a slave owned by it.

Would I be sad because I recuperated my freedom? Would the slave be depressed when he manages to forcibly extract his freedom from the grasp of that who considered himself a master? Would he who wins over injustice, slavery, and intellectual restriction cry? I extracted it from them as they were bargaining with me over it.

They were expecting me to deny or evade responsibility of my free and courageous opinions - they were awaiting for me to give birth to a second personality during the investigations - but how preposterous!

The University of El Azhar is a racist university, with all that the word "Racism" entails. Its Imams and scholars always decry countries of the West, which reached a high caliber in terms of human rights, for having been racist countries at one point of their history.

Would those turbans void of brains remove the speck from their eyes first before blaming others for actions carried out centuries ago? It is a racist university for; in spite of the fact that it is a public university financed by all Egyptian taxpayers - Muslims and Christians alike - it only accepts Muslim students! Isn't that racism?

It is a racist university because it separates male and female students and places them in separate campuses. It even goes as far as banning its female students from studying certain specialties. Isn't that racism? If there is one thing for which I would like to thank that university of El Azhar, it is for having showed me its unveiled face that I would not have been able to witness had I not been one of its students.

I thank it for having opened its doors to me so I could see the laboratories of brain-washing and two-legged bombs, where an innocent kid becomes a rotten swamp after a couple of years, from whom emanates the odors of hatred, violence, and rejection of the other! "

Friday, March 17, 2006

Egypt's Copts reject court ruling.

Shenuda III warns judicial court no power on earth can force on Church anything against teachings of gospels.

CAIRO - The head of Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Church has strongly rejected a court order obliging the church to let followers remarry after obtaining a civil divorce, the semi-official al-Akhbar reported Friday.
"Granting divorces falls within the jurisdiction of the court, but it has no authority to carry out marriages," Pope Shenuda III told the paper. "Only the church has that authority."
Shenuda was commenting on a controversial ruling by the administrative judicial court on Tuesday.
Most churches, including the Coptic Church, seldom grant divorce and allow divorcees to remarry only under strict conditions. These include a marriage being terminated due to adultery or a member converts to another religion.
The church, said Shenuda, was "implementing the teachings of the Holy Bible with regard to the issue of marriage. And the Bible does not approve divorce except in the case of adultery or change of religion."
Shenuda first criticised the court ruling during his weekly sermon and meeting with the faithful on Wednesday, which also included a warning to priests who may be tempted to heed the order.
"Be assured. No power on earth can force on the church anything against the teachings of the gospels or the Church," the independent Al-Masri al-Youm quoted the pope as telling his flock.
"The Church will never wed divorcees ... regardless of the court rulings," he added.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

From LaGuardia to Cairo International: International Perspectives on the Cross

By Sally Bishai
If you ask me what my nationality is, I’d have a hard time answering you. That’s because there are about fourteen hundred things to consider in the composition of my answer.

For example, I was born in the United States, but Americans generally don’t consider me “one of them,” despite the fact that I grew up with them and know more about them than they probably do.
My parents are from Egypt, and have lived here longer than they have there, but again, when I go to Egypt, the Egyptians there—despite my perfect Arabic and the fact that I probably stick closer to “the Egyptian Manifesto” than the people living in Port Saiid, Alexandria, or Heliopolis—generally don’t consider me “one of them.”

I—and others like me—have a totally separate culture from the accepted and traditional (and I don’t mean that in a generational sense) “Egyptian” and “American” and even “First-generation American” ones.

Other categories I don’t really fall neatly into include the “Coptic” culture, mostly because
1- I was not raised with Christian Egyptians of any denomination (though I myself am actually Protestant, and not a member of the more numerous Coptic Orthodox faith) and 2- because I much prefer to steer clear of this designation because I feel as though it only widens the gap between Muslim and Christian Egyptians, on several different levels.

For example, the disparity between Christian and Muslim Egyptians seems to be increasing in an official sense, what with the recent parliamentary win of 88 seats by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, as opposed to the fact that there are less than 10 Members of Parliament in Egypt who are Christian.

On the other hand, though, this divide seems to be decreasing in social circles as the new generation of young Egyptians—equipped with a technology that wasn’t present when our parents were twentysomethings—takes a more active role in fighting for democracy, equal rights, improved conditions, and a new Egypt.

To give you an example, such popular bloggers as Egyptian Sandmonkey, Big Pharaoh, Gr33n Data, and Free Copts collectively draw over 100,000 visitors to their sites per month, which indicates that there is a huge interest in the cultural, political, and news events that these writers cover.

An excellent site that provides feeds to these and other Egyptian blogs—not to mention a great house blog—can be found at the mega-popular Manal and Alaa’s Bit Bucket ( ).An army of advocates for equality and free speech do not a democracy make, however; this may be because Egypt is rife with corruption, bribery, and bureaucracy. Meaning, if they don’t like how you look—or what you’re wearing—they can pull you aside, make you wait 10 times as long, or even deny you service.

For more>>>>

I did not act out of hatred for Americans, but out of love for Allah

"Those who oppose Allah and his messenger (Muhammad) and do mischief in the land shall be killed or crucified or have their hands and feet cut off from opposite sides or would be exiled. This is their fate in this life, and in the hereafter they would have a severe torment." (Koran 5:33)

Muhammad Taheri-azar Writes to Eyewitness News

Eyewitness News received the letter Monday, in response to our request for an interview. It was sent from Central Prison in Raleigh and dated Friday, March 10.
Read the letter [PDF]

Addressed to ABC11 Eyewitness News anchor Amber Rupinta, the two-page letter includes Taheri-azar's explanation of what he was trying to accomplish in the attack.

"Allah gives permission in the Koran for the followers of Allah to attack those who have raged war against them, with the expectation of eternal paradise in case of martyrdom and/or living one's life in obedience of all of Allah's commandments found throughout the Koran's 114 chapters..."

"The U.S. government is responsible for the deaths of and the torture of countless followers of Allah, my brothers and sisters. My attack on Americans at UNC-CH on March 3rd was in retaliation for similar attacks orchestrated by the U.S. government on my fellow followers of Allah in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and other Islamic territories. I did not act out of hatred for Americans, but out of love for Allah instead. "

Taheri-azar is charged with nine counts of attempted murder in the March 3 attack. Police say the Iran native drove a rented SUV through the Pit, a common area on the Chapel Hill campus. Six people were hospitalized.

Taheri-azar surrendered to police shortly after the attack. Investigators swarmed his apartment, where they discovered a letter, CDs and a handgun permit.

Even 'Hands-Free' Talking is Dangerous.

An important advice, in view of the very wide use of cell phones all over the world, including Egypt!

Cell phones have been labeled dangerous in a handful of studies cataloguing how they distract drivers. One solution in many minds is the "hands-free" phone.
But it turns out that's a lousy idea, too.
In fact, your reaction time behind the wheel seems to be slowed whenever you are doing anything but just driving.

In a new study 40 students drove a car simulator with a steering wheel, gas and brake pedals and a large plasma screen. They followed a lead car and were told to brake as soon as they saw brake lights.
They were also asked to do other simple tasks, such as press a button on the steering wheel or say a word out loud when they saw a light flash in the lead car's rear window.
On average they were 174 milliseconds slower at braking when the two tasks occurred at the same time compared to when the tasks were presented 350 milliseconds apart.
That 174-millisecond delay translates to 16 feet in a car going 65 mph, the scientists say.

Importantly, the delays were the same whether the tasks involved visual or audible input, vocal or manual responses.
"This study joins a growing body of research showing that 'freeing up the hands' does not result in faster brake response times," said Jonathan Levy of the University of California, San Diego.
The reason, according to a study last year, is that the human brain struggles to look and listen at the same time. The new results are detailed in the March issue of the journal Psychological Science.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Women Still Suffering in Egypt

“Another International Women's Day comes by, but Magda Abdel-Rahman, has little to celebrate. Abdel-Rahman, a married mother of four, is a government employee with a monthly salary of LE190 (Less than $ 35). She, like several of her colleagues has suffered verbal and physical violence from her husband over the past 16 years. Yet six month ago, his violence took a new form. He stopped supporting her and her children financially. In reaction to the current situation, Abdel-Rahman chose to offer her service as a house-keeper in order to support her family. Last month, she sold her television set to help pay the rent. Since her husband refrained from any financial obligations, she is seriously considering filing a law suit against him. Yet both, procedures and expenses remain grand obstacles. Isn't what's happening to me considered a kind of violence against women? I hear about those women NGOs but where can I find them and can they really help me?"

“To Fatemah Suleiman, a dentist's secretary, in her 20s, from a lower-middle class background, the idea of violence against women is quite obvious. "I am against the fact that women are beaten by their husbands except when they deserve it," Suleiman further explained, "if a woman goes out without his permission for example, if she disobeys him in anyway, then she deserves being beaten, after all her husband is the centre of her life and the one who provides for her." Suleiman is quite optimistic with women's present status. Believing that through education and economic independence, Egyptian women can defy any violence they are subjected to. "Yes I have heard about the women programs and the term violence against women. No I have never attended any seminars but the sheikh at the mosque highlights the fact that Islam puts women in a very high status," concluded Suleiman.”

Sudan refugees bury dead in Egypt months after killing

Sudan refugees bury dead in Egypt months after killing

Sudanese refugees yesterday laid the bodies of loved ones killed in a police assault on their camp to rest in Cairo after Egypt refused to grant them permission to take the corpses home for burial.
The seven dead were part of a group of 30 Sudanese refugees and asylum-seekers who died when thousands of riot police wielding batons and water canon broke up a three-month sit-in in central Cairo on December 30, 2005.
Women wailed and men held their heads as the caskets were lowered into a pre-arranged burial place at an Anglican cemetery in the northeastern Cairo suburb of Abassiya.

It was the second batch of corpses released to families, with the first group of 18 bodies handed over for burial on Wednesday, more than two months after they died.
Protesters had called last year’s sit-in outside offices of the UN refugee agency to draw attention to their cause, including demands the office re-open cases of applicants it had rejected and resettle refugees in third countries.“The Lord gives and the Lord takes,” read an inscription on the coffins.Inside lay the decomposing bodies, some barely recognisable by friends after separate autopsies carried out by Egyptian and Sudanese doctors to dispel allegations that some had their organs removed.One was that of a 13-year-old child.Many wanted to transport the bodies of their relatives to Sudan, but Egyptian officials refused, fearing a violent backlash against Egyptian interests in Sudan.
“Do not pass judgment against others,” said the pastor who presided over a brief prayer at the cemetery before the burial, trying to calm scores of mourners who blame Egyptian security forces for the deaths of their relatives.

The incident strained relations between the Egypt and the government of south Sudan, the region the majority of the victims hailed from, and resulted in the expulsion of Egyptian diplomats from the south.

Egypt detained over 2,000 protesters during the operation to clear the Mustafa Mahmud Square where they had been camping and threatened to deport them, but Egypt freed everyone after the UN refugee agency intervened.Four of the bodies remain in the morgue, with relatives still refusing to bury them in Egypt. – AFP

Boycotting the Fruit of the Infidel Mind

By Azadi Ruh Alam

To the Muslims of the world, who have participated in, or endorse by their silence, the protests concerning the cartoons depicting Muhammed bin Abdullah, and who are engaging in the boycott of Danish goods, this is an appeal from the heart: Please, please demonstrate your rationality and capacity for logical consistency.

After all, it is this capacity for rationality, together with the refusal to fall into the inconsistency of a double standard of morality, which separates us humans both from animals, and your average bully, despot, tyrant and psychopath.
Therefore, all the fruits of the enquiring human mind, (which accepts no authority beyond what can be proven by rational means to be true) should also be boycotted. So Muslims of the world, unite and boycott western goods invented and developed by the infidel mind - for example, no more flying in airplanes - try instead to locate that horse with the face of a woman, which you believe, Muhammad bin Abdullah used to visit, his 7th layer of heaven. No more microwaves and gas cookers and air conditioners - use the heat of firewood, and hand held fans - they were good enough for your Prophet, and his Allah in His infinite Wisdom, did not think otherwise.

You don’t like images of the human form? No more TV, DVD’s and whatnots. No more phones and cameras too. Cars, motorbikes, bicycles - why do you use them when your Allah’s Prophet got by on camels? Even in emergency situations, when he was battling the infidels of that time, he did not call for a Ferrari car to get him out of trouble, or machine guns to see to the Kaffirs. Newspapers and the internet for the dissemination of facts, ideas, and information and opinion? Well, your Prophet and his God found writing on bones, leaves and bits of parchment good enough. Finally, to the rich Muslim intellectuals and other such elites, don’t come to the West for medical treatments using the latest infra scan and pharmaceutical developments - instead, stick to black mustard seeds as recommended for all maladies by your esteemed Prophet.

In the name not of beneficence or mercy but in the name of the defining characteristic of Homo sapiens, demonstrate your rationality and capacity for logical consistency.

If you find that you can’t live very well without the material fruit of infidel minds then please, do not have tantrums and issue threats concerning their moral, spiritual and aesthetic sensibilities either. Instead, that time could be used more wisely, to ponder on why, for centuries, Muslim minds have contributed virtually nothing to Humanity’s progress.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Egypt's Paradise for Lepers

An interesting article about a Biblical disease still existing in Egypt.
Behind a vale of trees lies the largest leper colony in the Middle East, a virtual oasis in Egypt for those who have been ostracised by society.
Launched at the beginning of the 1930s, the Abu Zaabal centre in the governorate of Qaliubiya, north of Cairo, hosts a hospital, pre-school, a prison, and the adjoining village of Abdel Moneim Riad. It is home to 3,000 people.
Even those who have recovered from the disease choose to live and raise their families at Abu Zaabal, rather than return to communities that have shunned them for their disfiguring affliction.
Leprosy, spread by a bacteria named mycobacterium leprae, can scar the flesh, destroy limbs and damage the nervous system.
"I was 16 when I arrived here. Today I am 64, with a wife and five kids," said Mohammad al-Sharqawi, wearing a tie and brown suit.
He fell in love at the hospital with a patient named Betaa and they have been married 20 years.
"I even gave birth, without any complications," said his wife, aged 40, whose mutilated hands fidget with her veil in order to hide her noseless face.
Sitting on mats in their modest home, they appear like any normal couple. They show off photos of their children. The eldest daughter is engaged to a young man, like her the son of a leper. They live in the colony but work elsewhere.
"Since we formed a partnership with the health ministry in 1979, we haven't had any case of infections and all the children here have been born healthy," explained Magdy Garas, a worker from the Catholic humanitarian group Caritas.
Abu Zaabal is a happy place. Old lepers mix with children at a concert held in the colony's pre-school. Some lepers tap the beat with their fingerless hands.
The hospital has 750 patients, male and female, who are treated with help from Caritas and the health ministry.
There are 10 detainees in the colony's prison, all of them lepers.
"One of them has been sentenced to life imprisonment for killing five people," said the hospital's director Ahmad al-Sokeby.
"Our life is here. There is nothing for us outside", said Layla Darwish, the grandmother of three children who live with their parents in Abu Zaabal.
Darwish arrived from Tanta , and she has never left. A creature of habit, she passes her days in the women's ward at the hospital, while her husband spends his time in one of the hospital's two male wings.
They choose to spend their time with fellow lepers even though they have a home in the adjoining village.
While the elderly stay in the confines of the colony, the younger generation splits its time between Abu Zaabal and the greater world.
Bassima Hussein Hassan, 31, has been treated at the hospital for 18 months. She divides her week between the hospital and her husband and children. Since her leprosy was caught in its early stages, she has been spared disfigurement and the social isolation that comes with the disease.
"As soon as I discovered I had leprosy, my family supported me," she said.
Such a blissful ending is hard to reconcile with a disease that has terrified humanity for centuries.
The disease's incubation period is about five years, but can take up to 20 years to develop. While not highly contagious, leprosy is transmitted via spray from the nose and mouth.
Leprosy ravaged the ancient civilisations of China, Egypt and India, with the first known case recorded in 600 BC. Due to the grotesque appearance of lepers, the afflicted have often been shunned by communities and families.
However, much has changed thanks to medical advances. Multi-drug therapy (MDT), endorsed by the World Health Organisation, has worked miracles since being introduced in 1981. The MDT can kill off the bacteria and cure those stricken with the illness.
Since 1985, 113 countries out of 122 countries where leprosy was classified as a problem have rid themselves of the disease.
Although there are nearly three million cases in the world, only 400,000 new cases were registered in 2004, according to the World Health Organisation.
In Egypt, leprosy has fallen from 60,000 cases in 1979 to 3,000 in 2005.

The Taming of the Muslim Brotherhood?

By Magdi Khalil

One of the key questions for Egypt's future is whether the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group that gained about 20 percent of the seats in the relatively fairer elections held in late 2005, is going to be a part of a democratic order or will only use any such opportunities to pursue a more radical agenda.

For more>>>

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Al-Qaeda And Primary Schools

" The most chilling footage in a new al-Qaeda video comes near the end of the hour-long extravaganza of bomb blasts, sheep-slaying, and maimed Americans. It shows hooded militants at work in a primary school class in the Iraqi city of Ramadi. Children are asked to sing jihadi songs, quizzed on what they think of America and rewarded with pens, rulers and erasers. The video, of which Adnkronos International (AKI) has obtained a copy, is the work of Ansar al-Sunna, part of the galaxy of Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and seeks to show the extent of militants' control in the restive al-Anbar province"

The video, shot in high resolution and professionally edited, is made by "Ansar al-Sunna, or Army of the Protectors of the Sunna [which refers to the collective teachings of the Prophet Muhammad], which is a Sunni extremist group said to be linked to al-Qaeda and Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. It has claimed responsibility for a number of deadly attacks and kidnappings in Iraq"

"It is children of Ramadi whom the terrorist formation are seeking to influence. In a segment entitled "Lions of the country in the city of Ramadi", a hooded man carrying a microphone and his camera-wielding colleague interview youngsters on the streets. The children contest the US presence and say they are happy that Ramadi remains under the control of the mujahadeen.Forty six minutes in, the presenter announces the visit by mujahadeen to the schools of Ramadi. The first to welcome the men, again masked, are boys in class 6B, aged 10-11. As well as reciting jihadi songs, the youngsters are asked for an opinion on the US. "Americans kill children" one boy says.The Ansar al-Sunna operatives then move on to talk to much younger boys, in their first years at primary school"
Once again, it is the brainwashing and the poisoning of young minds and souls by ideas of destruction, death, and hate. The saga of Iraq continues.