Egypt: Salafists, Brotherhood Growing Fast

An enlargeable satellite image of the lower Ni...

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Well, this is NOT a surprise for any of us who has been following the events in Egypt:

Muslim radicals are making headway towards turning Egypt into an Islamic republic, according to Israeli Arab journalist Khaled Abu Toameh.

The security situation in the Sinai Peninsula has deteriorated, with Islamists suspected of attacks like this one – a July 29 assault on an El Arish police station which left seven people dead. “If Egyptian authorities do not move quickly to crush the extremists and regain control, the Sinai Peninsula could soon become a separate Islamic emirate run by Salafis, Hamas and al-Qaida,” Abu Toameh writes in a column published by Hudson New York.

“The Facebook folks who triggered the anti-Mubarak revolution have been replaced by Salafis and Muslim Brotherhood supporters,” he adds. “It is only a matter of time before Egypt turns into an Islamic Republic that is aligned with Iran, Hamas and Islamic Jihad.”

Last week, hundreds of thousands of pro-Salafist demonstrators gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square in a massive show of force. The Salafists have established a political party called Al-Nour, (“The Light”) to run in Egypt’s next elections.

Alarmed that the Salafists or the Brotherhood might prevail, Egypt’s ruling military council has yet to set an election date. But it will not be able to postpone it indefinitely, and many Egyptians appear sympathetic to the Islamists, Abu Toameh writes.

Abu Toameh contends that many Western analysts exaggerate the differences between the Salafists and the Brotherhood. Although they have doctrinal differences about the role of religion and politics, “both parties want to see an Islamic regime in Egypt – one where moderation and pragmatism are non-existent,” he writes.

via Salafists, Brotherhood Ascendant in Egypt :: The Investigative Project on Terrorism.

Egypt: Clashes erupt outside court as Mubarak pleads “not guilty”

mubarak-trialConsidering the circumstances, I would tell Egyptians: “be careful what you ask for“.

Many Egyptians never believed it possible. On Wednesday, ex-President Hosni Mubarak went on trial at the Cairo Police Academy which once bore his name. In the opening session, the former ruler pleaded “not guilty.”

Mubarak denied charges of murder and corruption which could carry the death penalty.

“All these charges, I deny them completely,” Mubarak said from his stretcher in the court room, contesting charges of fraud and of the premeditated murder of anti-regime protesters who toppled his regime.

Mubarak’s sons Alaa and Gamal as well his former interior minister Habib al-Adli and six former security aides, who are facing similar charges in the same trial, also pleaded not guilty.

As the session came to an end, the presiding judge adjourned the court until August 15. Judge Ahmed Rafaat ruled that Mubarak and his sons would be required to attend the next session.

In the meantime, the former strongman must be held in a hospital on the outskirts of Cairo where he could receive full medical treatment.

via Clashes erupt outside court as Egypt\’s Mubarak pleads \’not guilty\’ | World | Deutsche Welle | 03.08.2011.

Egypt: Islamists Flood Square in Cairo in Show of Strength

Well, this is not shocking at all if we consider what has been happening really:

Tens of thousands of Egyptian Islamists poured into Tahrir Square on Friday calling for a state bound by strict religious law and delivering a persuasive show of force in a turbulent country showing deep divisions and growing signs of polarization (…). “Islamic, Islamic,” went a popular chant. “Neither secular nor liberal.”

via Islamists Flood Square in Cairo in Show of Strength – Nuevo Digital Internacional.

More thanks to Legal Insurrection:

Mobs of ordinary Egyptians joined with soldiers to drive pro-democracy protesters from their encampment in Tahrir Square here Monday, showing how far the uprising’s early heroes have fallen in the eyes of the public.

Six months after young, liberal activists helped lead the popular movement that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, the hard core of these protesters was forcibly dispersed by the troops. Some Egyptians lined the street to applaud the army. Others ganged up on the activists as they retreated from the square that has come to symbolize the Arab Spring.

Squeezed between an assertive military and the country’s resurgent Islamist movement, many Internet-savvy, pro-democracy activists are finding it increasingly hard to remain relevant in a post-revolutionary Egypt that is struggling to overcome an economic crisis and restore law and order.

egypt muslim brotherhood tahrir

Photo from Ironic Surrealism.

Egypt: Muslim Attack on Christians Provoked By Installation of Church Bell

Cutaway drawing of a church bell, showing cons...

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An exchange of harsh words on July 25 between Ruth, a Christian woman, and Gassem Fouad, a Muslim man who had parked his tricycle in front of her home, escalated into assault by the man on Ruth and other Christian villagers, and the arrest of one Copt. After Ruth, who is 5 months pregnant, was assaulted, a Muslim mob waited for Coptic farmers to return from the fields, where they were intercepted and beaten with iron rods and pipes.

Security forces managed to contain the situation.

Six Christians, including Ruth and her sister-in-law Hannan, were hospitalized with concussions, head injuries and broken limbs. No Muslim was injured.

None of the Muslim perpetrators was arrested.

Ruth’s husband, Kirillos Daniel, was accused of possessing a weapon — a rifle found thrown where the Christians were attacked, and is under detention.

In an interview on CTV Coptic TV, Father Estephanos Shehata, of the Samalout Coptic dioceses, said “The real reason behind this assault was the church bell, which has greatly angered the Muslims in the village.” He said the dilapidated church in the village of Ezbet Jacob Bebawi, outside Samalout, north of Minya, was given permission to renovate and this was completed last week, and the church bell was reinstalled.

via Muslim Attack on Christians in Egypt Provoked By Installation of Church Bell.

Egypt: The chaos in ruling military council helping Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis

Hosni Mubarak 2003

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Ongoing clashes between young supporters of the revolution and security forces are undermining the Egyptian military’s hold over the country as critics from all directions accuse the ruling Supreme Council of failing to manage the situation ahead of next November’s elections.

Yesterday, Major General Mohamed al-Assar, Egypt’s assistant defence minister and a top-ranking member of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, met important international figures at a meeting in Washington. He reassured his interlocutors that the Egyptian military was not planning to set up another dictatorship.

According to Fr Greiche, spokesman of the Egyptian Catholic Church, the military is facing internal chaos and is incapable of running the country after the fall of Mubarak.

Clashes between demonstrators and police on Sunday in Abbasseya, in Cairo, left 298 people injured. Pro-democracy groups were outraged; they accuse the police of using knife and stick-wielding thugs to provoke the clashes in order to arrest demonstrators.

For the clergyman, the military is losing control of the situation. “The Supreme Council includes 17 top generals with different opinions and ideas what to do. This is leading to chaos,” he said. This has eroded the military’s credibility.

AsiaNews.it.

Arab world: Poll show USA’s less popular under Obama

The attitude of the Arab world to the United States is much worse now with Obama than was with Bush at the end of his term. A survey by Zogby International for the Arab American Institute Foundation shows that there has been a great decline from the favorable attitude toward the United States between 2008 and 2011. In particular, the attitude towards the US has plummetted from 26 to 12 percent in Morocco, from 9 to 5 percent in Egypt, from 16 to 10 percent in Jordan and from 22 to 12 percent in UAE.

Nihil Obstat.

Translation by T&P.

“The U.S. May Be Handing Egypt Over to the Muslim Brotherhood Just Like It Handed Post-Saddam Iraq over to Iran”

(Islam_Is_The_Solution.jpg) arabic logo to mus...

Arabic Logo of the Muslim Brotherhood. Image via Wikipedia

Other things he actually says in the interview

“When the Egyptians cried: ‘The people want to change the regime,’ they did not mean the specific regime, but the system as a whole – to change the system of values ruling Egyptian society, transforming it into a society that rewards capabilities, from a traditional to a modern society, from what happened on February 2 – the so-called ‘Battle of the Camel,’ when [Mubarak supporters] stormed Tahrir Square on camels and donkeys, and a battle ensued between the camel and Facebook…
“The Egyptian must choose which path they want to take – whether to take the path of the camel, and return to the world of the camels, or whether to embark on the train of global modernism, and to become part of the world of Facebook. This is not a symbolic thing. It was the reality in Tahrir Square – a confrontation between the Facebook youth, and people who ride camels and try to establish a bullying state once again. Continue reading