Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Egypt, You Will Always Remain Beautiful in My Eyes

A break from rigged elections, corruption, dictatorship, oppression, continued violations of human rights.

I took those beautiful pictures at the magnificent city Aswan in Upper Egypt. And you know what makes Aswan even a prettier city than any place in Egypt is the Aswani and Nubian people there. Aswan is known to be the most beautiful spot for the Nile River as you can see in the pics.

NDP's Old and New Guards fighting over Egypt's Elections

Al-ahaly newpaper, which is Al-Tagamoua party paper, reported (in Arabic) that the son of the President, Gamal Mubarak is planning to form new party called “Al-Mustakbal” or the Future in English after the defeat of all his followers in the Parliamentarian elections.

The results of the elections in the first and second phases if anyone noticed that besides that the fact that it was rigged and violent, that the old guard succeeded in giving the sack to most popular figures of the new guard led by the son of the president.

The contention emerged to the surface with the change of the leaderships of the government main press editors-in-chief in Cairo.

The fight is ongoing between the old guard, led by the Speaker of the Shura Council and former minister of information, Safwat Al-Sharif, and the new guard. Apparently, Al-Sharif alliance won the battle. The new guard led by Gamal Mubarak is seeking to form a new party to overcome their defeat.

The old and new guards share the leadership of the regime's party that's the National Demcractic Party (NDP). The son of the President is chairing the Policies' Committee. Rumors have been running in Egypt that the President, in which he denied in several times, is grooming his son to take over.

Egypt remains a private property for the ruling groups who came to power as a result of the blessed military coup d’ Etats in 1952 or who managed to get closer to the family of the current president.

The issue of development, democracy and stability is not a priority among those who fight for power and authority in Egypt.

Amnesty International USA is concerned about mass arrests and violent attacks in Egypt

As Egyptians go to the polls on 1 December in the final stage of parliamentary elections, Amnesty International expressed concern about mass arrests of opposition party supporters and activists and criticized the government for failing to ensure voters are free from violence, arbitrary arrests and intimidation. More.

Monday, November 28, 2005

EU monitors say Egypt election was 'rigged', US voices Concern over Violence

World Tribune reported that the EU admitted that the Parliamentarians' elections was rigged.

I am happy also that the statement released by the European Union (EU) released that the regime is capable of intimidating whenever possible as the site reports:

"A European Parliament statement said the (EU) delegation decided to boycott the second round of voting, which took place on Saturday. The statement said the delegation became the target of pro-government agents who sought to block the (EU) Parliamentarians from entering a polling station during the first round of elections on Nov. 9."

The site mentioned that British parliamentarian Edward McMillan-Scott, who led the delegation, said vote-buying was common during the elections. He also reported ballot stuffing, inaccurate lists of registered voters and intimidation. The parliamentarian said the delegation would issue a full report.

In another story by AFP: US renews concern over Egypt vote violence

The United States renewed its "real concern" over violence in Egypt's parliamentary elections, where the opposition Muslim Brotherhood has scored well despite attempts at voter intimidation.

US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack called on Cairo, one of Washington's staunchest Middle East allies, to ensure a free and open ballot untainted by fear or strong-arm tactics. Read my blog about my first time voting experience. At least I did it once.

Pajamas Media Picks up AlMashareq on Egyptian bloggers

I sound now like a broken record and I am acting as a true lazy blogger though I have hundreds of things that I need to write about. But I found that the article by AlMasharek (check my previous post) is picked up by Pajamas Media. However, I noticed today that Almasharek site is either down or was closed:) Did we (Egyptian bloggers) have this good karma?

Saturday, November 26, 2005

AlMashareq site writes about Egyptian bloggers on Elections

I found this interesting site called AlMashareq. I was so curious to learn about this site and I looked for the "About Us" section. And I learned that AlMashareq is a portal for news, information and discussions that touchs issues important to the peoples of the Middle East. AlMashareq is published six days a week in three language editions: Arabic, Farsi, and English.
And, AlMashareq is sponsored by the US Central Command, the joint military command responsible for US operations in the Arabian Peninsula, Iraq, the Northern Red Sea Region, the Horn of Africa, South and Central Asia.
The article on Egyptian bloggers of AlMashareq, in Arabic and Farsi also, starts as following "While some bloggers voiced concern over the future of Egypt if the parliament was dominated by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, others touched upon the violence that occurred during this democratic process." The article features me, Big Pharoh, Rosetta Stone and Egyptian Sandmonkey.
The site is running its hot topic for this week on the Muslim Brotherhood electoral participation.

Friday, November 25, 2005

The Egyptian Regime and the Muslim Brotherhood Eternal Game

It has been a while since I blogged last time. Simple as such, I was traveling and sometimes traveling gets me so overwhelmed that it takes sometime to be back to normal. I am glad to be back here again. It is not so bad also to change the tempo of life by stopping some of the daily ritual habits.

However, I was watching and following Egypt’s latest well-performed election fiction movie where incidents of violence between the government’s National Democratic Party and the “banned” Muslim Brother marred the so called parliamentarian elections.

Election is a word the world likes to hear to but as a matter of fact the turn out in the Egyptian elections is low that it could pose the question of the legitimacy of the current regime according to our constitution. So this is our electgion.

When I went to cast my vote in the parliamentarian elections, I had to sign next to my name in a big book of not less than 400 names of eligible voters, I was the only person. The glass ballot box was empty. There was no line, I took my time and others in a very relaxed manner.

The news of electoral violence from Egypt appears to be disturbing. The Banned Muslim Brotherhood is battling with our innocent government over parliamentarian seats to the extent of injuring and shooting. The news and the events meant to be disturbing and alarming. There is no doubt or argument that Egypt lost its political credibility. There is not much left to play with in the political arena. And what is happening in Egypt cannot be subjected to the international political norms or standards which makes those rotten statements as reform is homegrown a big lie. If this is the promised homegrown political and economic reform, then I have preference to the no home grown reform.

On the other hand, an international Coptic conference held in Washington DC dashes hopes for true calls for democracy. Why Coptic Egyptians turned the cause as if it is the Muslim brotherhood versus the Copts. It is a democracy and freedom problem that what we are suffereing from in Egypt. If there is a true democracy, there could had never been a problem for Egyptian Copts, Jews, disbelievers or any Egyptians who believe that their rights have been usurped.

Now the Parliamentarian elections process was reduced to a battle between the government and banned Muslim brotherhood. It is such a naïve political game is meant to make us believe that the presence and the continuation of the current regime is protecting us against the evils of the Muslim Brotherhood in a country that pretends to be secular. It is either the regime or the Islamists.

The Government-Muslim Brotherhood game achieves several goals:

  • The regime can remain forever as the only safe alternative.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood remains as a threat to the world. Egypt, one of the major allies of the US in the Middle East, is taken by Islamists….what an ending.
  • The whole world was made to believe that Egypt had fair presidential and parliamentarians elections. Another message is sent here, the bad democracy and freedom are bringing to power Islamists that's why dictatorship has to remain. As a result Egyptians have to remain oppressed the rest of their lives.
  • The idea of releasing and detaining the members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood and the recent sectarian violence in Alexandria bring the gloomiest image for the future of Egypt.

The reality is:

  • Egyptians did not go to vote in both the presidential and parliamentarians elections to have a clear judgment on what is truly happening. I do not know anyone in my circle that went to vote. When I announced that I voted, I was met with smiles and some comments of sarcasm. And the reason why I went is because I did not want anyone to fill in my name on my behalf and not because I believe in the integrity of the electoral process in Egypt
  • Elections were rigged. Monitors were hampered from doing their work.
  • Constituencies were divided among candidates in a way to guarantee specific results that we all know, Islamists and NDP.

Well-done play as usual and suits the political deteriorations Egypt is witnessing. Why keep a dog and bark yourself?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Jordan's King Admits the Problem Inside Islam

In an interview with foreign newspapers including the Financial Times, King Abdullah of Jordan sais "There's a problem inside of Islam. The problem is not Jordan or the United States or Saudi Arabia."

FT reported on its site last Wednesday's attacks left Jordanians shocked and sparked protests even though many had predicted such an event given Jordan's support in the US-led war against Saddam Hussein in neighbouring Iraq, where insurgents carry out almost daily attacks.
First Middle Eastern leader admits that there is a problem in Islam. Middle Eastern counrtries like Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Saudi Arabic were attacked by Islamists' terrorism but most defended Islam as saying this is not not the "true Islam". King Abullah, first brave Arab leader, to admit the problem. The language of King Abdullah indictates seriousness and firmness in tackling Jordan's crisis with terrorism. My heartfelt condolences for the vicitms of Jordan's attacks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Egypt after the fall of Baghdad

This blog is a reflection on the developments that took place in Egypt after toppling Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hussein:

  • Press and Mass Media: Press language has changed. Egyptian mass media had international politics as its main focus rather than domestic affairs before the fall of Saddam. The U.S. had the lion’s share of media attacks for supporting Israel and the misery of the Palestinians...etc. Egypt, claiming to be a US ally, is the second recipient of the US aid after Israel. Egypt’s press was not shameless to attack the US in the nastiest way ever. The Egyptian regime failure was always laid on the US in an indirect way.
    Today, the Press is taking the domestic reform and affairs as a focus. The regime is receiving the toughest criticism ever in 25 years through Egyptian opposition press. Writers and journalists are shifting their writings to corruption, opposition figures and Egypt’s presidential and parliamentary elections. The press is not mingling between the regime’s corruption and dictatorship and the US. as before. Criticism is directly targeting the regime rather than the US. The US support to the Egyptian regime is diminishing. Hence the US succeeded in separating itself from Egypt’s dictatorship. The only group in Egypt that claims that the regime is a close ally to the US is the Muslim brotherhood. They are selling the same song because they are the second face of the same coin of the regime. The US has been so clear about its policy in the Middle East and that does not exclude Egypt.
  • The Palestinian Cause is no longer Egypt-sponsored: The death of the late Palestinian dictator Yasser Arafat put an end to the monopoly of the Palestinian cause at the expense of the Palestinians. The Arab League is not longer foiling all attempts by the US and EU to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict The Palestinian Cause is back to the Palestinians. Today US secretary of State succeeded in striking a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians on Gaza crossing in the absence of Egypt’s leadership or the so-called Arab League. The US is smartly trying hard to keep the Palestinian cause away from the Arab dictator regimes who claim that freedom and democracy for their peoples are pending on solving the Palestinian cause.
  • The longstanding alliance between Egypt and Syria was unveiled: Egypt claimed for a long time to be an ally for the US when it was not. Syria is open about its enmity to the US. The Egyptian regime is in a critical position now because it was not open about it hatred to the US. Egypt’s alliance with the Syrian regime was uncovered after disclosing the role of Syria in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories and its deals with Iran.
  • Popular opposition movements for change in Egypt strengthened: The US succeeded in sending the right support signal to the opposition movements which are calling for change, democracy and freedom. The Egyptian streets witnessed unprecedented moves in a country ruled by emergency laws for 25 years. Opposition figures are reconsidering their political stands from the regime, knowing that changes are coming and that the people will have to rule at the end. Those opposition figures once in the past struck several deals with the Egyptian regime at the expense of the Egyptian people. There is only one path now to lead. The path of freedom and democracy.
  • Electoral Setback and Renaissance: Despite the fact that Egypt is witnessing electoral setbacks, rigging and illegitimacy, however staunch campaigns by NGOs and the opposition groups and parties are directly accusing the government’s National Democratic Party of rigging and giving up on true reforms and crushing the citizens' rights for a democratic future. Those reforms are the same calls by the US in which the Egyptian regime is ignoring. The Egyptian regime is defying the US calls for economic change and political freedom. Opposition movements that once rejected electoral international monitors, today many of them are calling for international observers for Egypt’s elections to avoid the regime’s rigging tricks. The regime is claiming that international monitors are considered an interference in domestic affairs. Many opposition groups separated themselves from the regime’s calls because they realized that it does not comply with a future of freedom and democracy for Egypt.
  • Reform is not a priority for Egypt’s regime: The way how the regime handled the presidential elections and the current handling for the parliamentary election prove that the regime has no true interest in reform as it claims before the world.

Egypt is shaking positively, however the Egyptian regime is so adamant and does not want to give up to the calls of freedom and democracy.

The Egyptian regime is dangerously playing with the fire that could burn the country. The support of the Egyptian regime to the Muslim Brotherhood is not auguring well. The Egyptian regime released hundreds of the MB’s prisoners. The Egyptian regime is strengthening the MB intentionally giving them parliament seats. Egyptians knew all the time about the ongoing deals between the government and the MB. However the recent dangerous message that is being sent by the regime is that there is a possibility to flare up a sectarian violence as in Alexandria or hand over the authority to the Islamists if the regime is not to remain in power. It is like the terrorists' message: "It is either they are in power or they will blow up cities, trains and any place they can hit"
. Photo by AP.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Egyptian Parliamenatry Elections in Pictures

I have tried to attach these pictures to my previous blog on the Egyptian parliamentary elections and my voting experience but I could not make it for one reason or another.

US-led Bahrain conference and the Egyptian Parliamentary elections

Egypt now stands with Syria when it comes to keeping the status quo, entrapping their peoples under emergency laws and continues to crack down on human liberties. The Manama Forum for the Future was a wonderful occasion to set an agenda to promote political freedom and economic change.

The conference unveiled the freedom and democracy camp and the imposition of emergency law and continued human rights violations camp whereto the authoritarian regimes in the Middle East belong.

Egypt wants to pursue its control over the civil societies, opposition movements, and movements calling for change in Egypt which recently emerged with the widespread call by the US to promote freedom and democracy. Egypt wanted the conference's closing statement to stipulate that civil organizations, known as NGOs, to be ''legally registered'' under each country's laws. I love the word “legally registered”. They should say "Security or Government registered".

Why do I have always to feel that my country is like a hijacked plane? Are we out any soon of this situation or this plane? Why do I have to continue to live under circumstances created by irresponsible and extremist group of people.

The conference dealt a blow to U.S. President Bush's goals for the troubled region. Guess who is the reason? The answer is the so-called longstanding ally Egypt. Egypt, the second-largest recipient of U.S. aid, derailed the Forum for the Future by demanding language calling for giving Arab governments significant control over pro-democracy group.

Let’s think now, after Egypt refused the U.S. agenda for promoting freedom in the Middle East, about domestic offers to the Egyptian citizens.

I went to vote...First Time in my Entire Life
I went to vote last Wednesday in my constituency in Dokki. That was the first time ever to vote in my entire life though I have been issued my voting card the day I was eligible for one. That was long time ago. I know for sure that my vote will not be counted as seriously as it should be but I wanted to make a statement. I did not want anyone to rig my vote in favor of the Government’s National Democratic Party or the Muslim Brotherhood who had a strong candidate, knowing that both have good channels for striking deals at our expense. The Muslim Brotherhood candidate, who did not make it to the parliament, spent a fortune to be able to fill the streets with his banners and pictures and to pay hundreds to work for his campaign. He even hired people to visit houses to convince voters to vote for him. And because “true Muslim” men will be going to the mosques, it was normal to push his campaigners to meet their potential male voters there. I had two visits by a group of women wearing “Nekab”, long head scarfs close to the Afghan’s borka, asking me to vote for the Muslim Brotherhood candidate. I wasn’t at home those two times. Lucky me, but of course they left me all the necessary information to vote for their Islamist candidate. I have to admit they are so adamant and organized. And I have no idea from where did they get my home address from.

On Wednesday, I went to where I should be casting my vote. The government uses public schools as polling stations. It was crowded. Not because of the queues of voters but because of the fans of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate who were paid a good amount of money to hold banners and ask people to vote for him. Anyway, wearing a Western outfit with no scarf, I felt out of place among all those women wearing galabyia/abaya (long dress with no waist so that it won’t show the women’s body curves). Campaigners started giving me their little brochures making sure that I listen to which candidates I should vote for. I screamed at the end, saying: I am not voting for the NDP or the Muslim Brotherhood. The woman who was selling the NDP candidate to me told me that Mr. X is not with the NDP. In the paper she gave me that “Mr X” is an NDP candidate, in fact it was written everywhere. It was clear as day. The NDP hires ignorant people to talk to voters. Apparently she assumed that I cannot read and write well. Hellooooooo. At the end I picked up an independent who did not make it to the Parliament when I knew the results and another person for the workers' list whom I was sure would have never made it under any circumstances.

While talking outside the room where I voted, I noticed there was a big crowd. I asked what is wrong with this room? One guy working for an independent candidate told me the judge suspended the work in this polling room because 15 people from the NDP stormed the room and wanted to vote at the same time when they are not registered. The judge suspended the work until order returned.

Here comes the interesting part, after I voted I met an Islamist candidate for al-takafoul party and I had a long talk with him. He heard me saying I will not vote for the government or the Muslim brotherhood when campaigners were chasing me. Looks like he felt insulted because I am rejecting the Muslim brotherhood agenda and the “Islam is the Solution” as a political agenda. He had a beard, disguised as modern man. I made him sweat like never before, cornering him with basic political questions. This same man gave me his work agenda, before casting my vote. The things he will be asking for at the parliament on behalf of the Dokki citizens from my own point of view are naive.

The conversation started with the worst discriminatory question someone can ask. Are you a Muslim or Christian? I was disgusted but after I heard this question, I was appalled. I was not surprised though. Citizens in the Islamists’ eyes are not good or bad citizens but of Muslims and Christians. Jews are not a topic to discuss. I told him I am a Muslim. He felt relaxed. I truly spent a good time. I was so happy to be that unrepentant shameless Muslim woman, of course only in his eyes, to talk to an Islamist candidate. I even insisted on shaking hands at the end though I know that he does not, because women are the source of sin. I was quite frank and straight forward. I know their points of weakness and I started the attack.

The bottom line of this conversation is that he does not believe in equality between men and women. He asked me whether I am a Christian or a Muslim because he assumed I might be an extremist Copt. That’s what he told me. If I were a Copt, he would not have started the conversation in the first place. Apparently, he does not sell his precious party platform to Christians. He believes in discrimination. Equality and freedom are not an issue here. They guy believes in applying the Islamic Shariaa and that whoever steals should have his/her hands cut off…etc. Tolerance, forgiveness or applying civil law is out of question. He despises the current laws of Egypt. He is running for a parliament in a country of which he does not respect its constitution. The word constitution did not appear in the conversation because he does not recognize it. He thinks it is modeled against the French laws; which are pagan laws. I asked him whether his party allows women to attain a leadership position, he had no answer. I knew it. I assumed no, because women have to follow men according to his Islamic Shariaa.

Islamists believe that they are eligible for ruling the country. I truly believe they cannot take care of a pet at their homes not to mention a whole country.

Leaving the school or the polling station, I saw another funny scene. I saw a bus full of pre-paid voters arriving to vote for vice Speaker of the Parliament whose constituency is Dokki as well. I do not have to mention that she is an NDP candidate. I could not help laughing, seeing the pre-paid voters. This only happens in Egypt.

So Egypt is turning down an offer by the U.S. to promote freedom in the Middle East by which the world can support some popular groups in the region. In Egypt, that would be applied to Kefaya, Shayfenkoum and all movements calling for change that are not legally registered according to the Egyptian government. Hence they do not qualify for any international support to pursue their struggle for freedom and democracy.

Domestically, the Egyptian regime is offering us comic parliamentary elections, where all NDP party won the majority of the seats, applauding the Muslim Brotherhood in the mass media for their good performance. Internationally, Egypt turns down an offer by the international community to help movements for change.

I want to get out of this hijacked plane or find a way change its direction where the sun and light are promised. I want this doomed plane to be changed with a new crew. I want the hijackers to leave. Passengers in a hijacked plane have little to say.

I have some pictures that I would like to share with you from Wednesday parliamentary comedy. I have hard time downloading them here though I ll keep trying though.

Egyptian bloggers: Alaa wins Reporters Without Borders' Award and Abdolkarim is Released after Detention

Alaa Abdel Fattah 's blog Wins Reporters Without Borders Special Award.

Nabeel Abdul Kareem (Abdolkarim) (21 years old)who has a blog under “Kareem Amer” in Arabic was detained on October 26. Today he walked free. Congratulations to Alaa and Kareem.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Italy's "Peace Reporter" for Abdolkarim's Freedom and Rights

Italy's "Peace Reporter" responds to the arbitrary detention of Egyptian Blogger/writer Nabeel Abdul Kareem (Abdolkarim) who was arrested on October 26 for his writings over the internet on the recent sectarian violence in Alexandria.

Signed the Egyptian Citizen "Freedom for Karim".

A big thank you for Peace Reporter for its solidarity with Abdolkarim (Abdel Kareem) and its defense of freedom of expression in Egypt.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Freedom of Expression attacked in Egypt, Egyptian Blogger Detained

The regime of Egypt is again not surprising us with another ugly act by detaining Egyptian blogger/writer Nabeel Abdul Kareem (Abdolkarim) (21 years old)who has a blog under “Kareem Amer” in Arabic.

The Egyptian Copts in the US have protested in front of the UN headquarters calling for the release of the Egyptian blogger. Egyptian bloggers of different backgrounds who are agreeing and disagreeing with Abdolkarim launched a campaign to defend freedom of expression.

Egyptians blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah opened a heated platform and debate to discuss the first detention case of an Egyptian blogger. Alaa reported in his blog that on Wednesday 26 October 2005, Egyptian State Security took Abdolkarim from his home and confiscated hard copies of his writings. He is now on his way to an unknown detention location. Three Egyptian bloggers visited Abdolkarim's family. The family attributed the state security raid to his writings, although it was not clear if his blogging is directly related. According to his brother, Abdolkarim's relations with Islamist Fundamentalists in his neighborhood of Moharram Bek, Alexandria, are tense. It is possible that the fundamentalists have filed a security complaint that led to his detention. There is a big question mark here.

I have read Abdolkarim’s last blog on the Alexandria sectarian violence. Kareem has been a witness to this violence. He wrote his testimony on those black days in Egypt. Detaining him is considered an intimidation or assault on a witness.

In his article, he called for the rejection of hatred in Islam to non-Muslims, hinting to the position of the Egyptian Copts. He witnessed himself the sectarian violence in Moharm Bik district in his home city of Alexandria. He gave in his blog an example how some Islamist thugs burned a liquor store owned by an Egyptian Copt while at the same time allowing a Muslim man to sell alcohol.

The Egyptian government made continuous attempts to suppress any media coverage or voices that highlight the tension between Egyptian Muslims and Copts. Abdel kareem’s blog refers to how the majority of Muslims regards Copts as second rate citizens and therefore deprived from full citizenship. That was said in many other places. Many believe that Copts are infidels and followers of the US. Part of the hatred to the US is projected on the fact that the US protects Copts. That’s how some tend to think and that was reflected in the comments I read on the blogs written about Abdel kareem.

Kareem believes in subjecting Islam to reason, which I believe is normal. His sin is that he touched upon a big taboo which is regarded as such by many extremists. Many Westerners find that calling for the detention of Muslim thinkers or reformers for believing in subjecting Islam to reason is a strange concept, because Judaism and Christianity were subjected to reason thinking at some point in their history. Many of us remember how little comprise Christianity had when we remember Jeanne D’Arc but we forgot to remember that Christianity went through different phases to evolve into its present form. However, “true” Muslims believe that Islam is so perfect that cannot be questioned or subjected to reasoning. I am still wondering. What is the definition of such an elastic word like “true”? (However this is not the issue here) The divergence on subjecting Islam to reason will remain a conflict among Muslims, because many Muslims believe like Abdolkarim however, with different levels. Their problem lies in that their Muslim societies do not allow them to question Islam, because, they will be discriminated against as a result. They do not follow the culture of the herd. And in case, they dared to talk, their destiny will be like Abdolkarim or any other fashions of oppressions. I believe that the worst case scenario of living is not to live as part of your society because you think different; when you are not different you are step further.

Many western media tend to focus on Islamists' news, promoting their ideology and making them as if they are the real spokespersons of Islam. It seems as if they help them to degrade the values of humanity. At the same time, westerners fail to voice the opinions of the progressive and liberal Muslim thinkers, who could be the true reformers of Islam. A balance must be struck here. While we attack Islamist extremists, Muslim reformers must be promoted in their countries and not suppressed. Abdolkarim is among hundreds of like-minded progressive Muslims; he is not the first and will not be the last.

I recognize that many renowned international organizations are concerned about how freedom of expression is treated in the Middle East. Their concern is in place, however the international organizations and the international communities should walk an extra mile to combine the right of freedom of expression with protecting progressive Muslim thinkers.

The reason why I may sound like making their protection an international responsibility is that the regimes in Middle East are sometimes treating their Muslim citizens as the Islamists treat progressive Muslims. Governments in the Middle East fail to promote and instill freedom of expression in their societies. They may ratify international agreements to show willingness to cooperate at international level, but it is actually the chameleon treatment we experience in our societies in the Middle East. State security apparatus detains and tortures Abdolkarim for what he wrote and if he was left to walk freely in the street, he will be killed by Islamists after a release of a fatwa (religious ruling) to spill his blood, so what is the difference between the two of them? This is the perfect way to silence free citizens who believe differently or want to join the free world to believe or disbelieve. The state uses the system to terrorize citizens who dare to talk and extremists release fatwas to stab you with a knife. What a perfect way!

In the developing world in the Middle East: Libya has sent a blogger to prison for 18 months who criticized the government on the Internet. In Egypt, blogger/writer Nabeel Abdul Kareem is detained with no police records or right to legal counsel for a blog on sectarian violence in Alexandria. In Tunisia, an internet writer who spent a year and-a-half in prison for editing an irreverent website critical of president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali died in Tunis on March 13, at the age of thirty-six, of a heart attack. On the other hand, I recently read that the US is currently trying to integrate the bloggers into the political process because of their emerging influence.

Waiting for a response and action from international community, human rights international organizations and the international community of bloggers to defend of Nabeel Abdul Kareem in the face of our government, state security of Egypt and the Islamists.

First Photo by RSF (Reporters Without Borders)

International Bloggers respond:
Stefania (Italy)
Gateway Pundit (USA)
The Tar Pit (Jailing of EGyptian blogger) (USA)
The Tar Pit (How to contact for help)
The Tar Pit (Detained Egyptian blog missing)