Header Image (book)


Monday, January 9, 2012

The Arab Spring

Video of Egyptian Cleric Yousuf Al-Badri below the fold (hat tip to Alex):

William Butler Yeats's 1919 poem "The Second Coming":
TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Wikipedia's information about the above poem is HERE.


  1. The poem in hand with that video is creepy, to say the least.

  2. This item provides three very important messages.

    1. That there are radical clerics out there espousing hate.
    2. That fortunately they are fringe and that the majority of the population ignores them.
    3. That organisations like MEMRI push items to raise fear for their own agenda reasons.

    Though it is good to point out that there are hate-mongers like Al-Badri, we should always question the sources and understand their own motives. MEMRI is a propoganda front for the Settler Movement and has been exposed a number of times for exagerating, providing incorrect translation and smear campaigns.

    I would not call it a hat-tip to Alex, looking at his blog I would say he has fallen for the agendas hook, line and sinker.

  3. I offer the following as a counterbalance to Sir Charles, OFM, QC, Keeper of the Queen's Girdle (Peace be upon him). His propaganda is predictable and tiresome:



    It is indeed a mixed bag, but sites like MEMRI are not making this up out of whole cloth. They have plenty to work with. My favorite snippets?

    At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery, whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion.

    (54%) of Muslims in Egypt also support making gender segregation the law in their country.

    A case could be made that "the fringe" is the majority in Egypt.

  4. Silver,

    I am just after perspective and context, nothing more. Never have I denied the power nor the dangers of radicals, that is simple.

    However, context is critical and is being often ignored.

    Even in the items you have linked point out "muslims around the world divided on hamas and hezbollah". They are not totally supporting, they are in fact divided and thus debating it. Also, what about the politics of it, are they supporting Hamas and Hezbollah because of their policies or as a reaction to injustices and abuses that they percieve. We see it in these blogs that people support well confirmed and known bigoted organisations like the EDL and BNP because they are raising the concern about "Islamisation"! Do we therefore say that a great number of British are bigots? Of course not, but somehow that same standard is being ignored here. Context, Silverfiddle, is the issue and the easy, superficial answer never works because of the complexities involved.

    Egypt is a great example of the future battle behind the chances to go forward correctly or radically, there is no doubt there and my question is how much is the media in the West going to obscure the reality on the ground by showing the worst examples and not the vast bulk or real examples (be they bad or good).

    This morning I was reading an obituary of a famous Banglaeshi businessman and leading figure in the commercial sector of that country. Samson Chowdhry was a Christian, an evangelical, a leading figure of his church in this country, one of the creators of an independant private textile idustry, married to a Muslim and succeeded. According to some on this and other blogs, that would be impossible, just like the current and previous Prime Ministers being women, these examples speak mountains of what is ignored.

    A last comment, I have no issue with facts beause that is what they are, but they must be presented in its totality and not just the interesting portions that by themselves present a differing image.

  5. The outcome of elections in Egypt (CNN) do indicate the resurgence of hardliners, hardly what the Arab Spring seemed to be at first.

    Are the elections honest ones? I don't know.

    But it seems to me that Egypt is trading something bad (Mubarak) for something worse, something along the lines of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.

  6. Meanwhile, in Tunis, look what the crowds are cheering.

  7. OAW, I understand that perception but as usual the scenerio and factors are comples.

    I would not say it is in line with Iran at all, there is no Revolutionary Guard nor is there a Khomenei. Though it had corruption, there was no widespread disenfranchisement as was done by the Shah and his regime.

    Additionally, the Brotherhood itself is divided into factions with the largest group being more line with the Islamist movement in Turkey or in Morocco south of me. Thus there will be a constant movement of power play and influence buying within the group.

    The two elements that are a threat to Egypt is the Salafist element (they do have nasty ties to groups in Saudi) and the Military in how much they release power and are able to allow any Salafi power grow.

    We should not forget the powerful middle-class and business sector that are very liberal and moderate - as well as the power of the tourist dollar.

    It is a big showdown and it has implications, that is for sure.

  8. AOW,

    We must not forget that the subjecct of Palestine and Israel is a political and nationalist subject - not really religous. They would like it to be and will quote their scriptures and sayings all they like, but in the end what you are seing is Arab Nationalism. Nationalism always looks for the most influencial and emotive issue you can get, such as religion for Muslims or loss of national identity, threat to culture and stability - such as nationalists here or in the US do.

    There is nothing that can galvanize a group of young excited revolutinary minded Arabs than talk about a Palestinian nation, the boogey man Israel and throw in the words Al Qods, Dome of the Rock, etc, etc.

    Mind you, how many people did not go to the rally? That is the question.

  9. "Turn their landscape to glass."

    It was pushing comments like that from both sides which encouraged 9/11. I strongly suggest a bit of decorum and respect for victims before such a jest.

  10. MEMRI does a great service by exposing this evil on video. The poem with the video, oh my.

    Right Truth

  11. D Charles,
    the subjecct of Palestine and Israel is a political and nationalist subject - not really religous.

    I see it as all of what you mentioned. Such intertwining!

    It is a big showdown and it has implications, that is for sure.

    At the moment, the Salafists and like groups have more power and influence that many want to believe.

    Now, I do doubt that most of those young people in the streets at the beginning of the Arab Spring (Tunisia and Egypt, in particular) did not have in mind reverting to hardline teachings and policies. But the power grab is on!

    It's hard to say how all this is going to play out. The peace of the world is balancing on a razor's edge right now. Just about anything can tip the direction into the unthinkable.

    I'm also considering Iran when I make the above comment. Is Iran all bluff about closing the Gulf of Hormuz? Perhaps, perhaps not. I seriously doubt that the West has a clear picture as to Iran's weapons capabilities.

    Ah, well. There's not a thing I personally can do to change the tide of world events. But I am reminded of that 1965 song "Eve of Destruction". Remember that song? Of course, that song was written nearly 40 years ago, and we're still here, right?

  12. I do not know how to sugar coat this so I will just say D Charles you are ignorant and naive. Islam is not a religion like Christianity in the West. One does not fit Islam in before Football on Sunday morning. Islam is a code for politics, law, nationality, culture etc. The subject of Palestine and Israel is religious. D Charles and others like her marginalize religion because it is not important in their narcisstic little world.

  13. It's absolutely unbelievable to me that when the West condemns Muslims for nearly every significant terror act, or attempt, that's happened in the last twenty years, the West is accused of hating ALL Muslims, that ALL MUSLIMS want us dead.

    This is a very dangerous way of thinking and the political correctness is exactly what that minority of Muslims who would love to set off a dirty bomb in Cleveland or Hampstead Heath are depending on. Very short sighted and naive, frankly.

    I'm waiting for MOST MUSLIMS to march against the terror; I'd like CAIR to start identifying more with Americans. I'd like a Muslim detained on a plane to say "I'm sorry, I know my clothing can bring up fears in the West and, since I want my own family safe, too, I understand the concerns...here is my paperwork. Thank you for checking." instead of SUING, which does nothing for the West's faith in Islam.

    Can't we have a conversation about the horrors of Islamist obvious intentions without US becoming the bad guys? amazing.

  14. and yes, if the conflict between Palestinian and Israel is perceived as not religious, one hasn't done enough research.

    Golda Meier said something like "Take guns from Palestinians, there is peace; take guns from Israel, there is no Israel."

    "it's land" we hear, as the cause for the disturbances in that region. I keep waiting for the rich muslim brothers of Palestinians to help them build an economy like Israel's...they've got the same air, water, sea. But, no, they let Palestinians believe the lie that it's Jews keeping them from success; even indoctrinating small children thru cartoons... read the koran, folks. This isn't about religion? :-)

  15. I see DC Charles is still in denial over the nature of Islam (irredeemably violent and totalitarian). He says:
    We must not forget that the subjecct of Palestine and Israel is a political and nationalist subject - not really religous.

    Horse manure, it is entirely religious. Muhammad, on his death bed, told his followers that two religions cannot co-exist on the Arabian continent. He also told them in an earlier time "kill Jews wherever you find them." The Koran tells that all Jews must be killed before the day of judgment, telling how the trees and the rocks will call out "there's a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him."

    No matter how much propaganda you lay down, DC, neither facts nor reality are on your side. Give it up.

  16. "The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity."

    OWS. That's a description of the OWS. PLEASE go look at the website, www.ows.com and read it. It's nothing but slogans, stirring but vague words, and generalities promoting Global Revolution. It says that "we don't need Wall Street and we don't need politicians".

    Wall Street is a euphemism for Capitalism. No politicians = dictatorship.

    The OWS is a setup for the Islamization of the world. Look at it.

  17. AOW, yes I know that song very well.

    Blogginator, you obviously have never actually travelled in the Muslim world, it is very showing.

    Z, that is a main point, the silence of the majority is a vaccum that must be filled, unfortunatly it is often filled with another form of agenda and hate.

    Z, I think you contradicted yourself, what Golda Meir said confirms it is not religous but all politics - if there is no guns means that it is just that.

    Stogie, you give unquestionable support for the EDL/BNP - thus your a self acclaimed bigot and racist - no question there.

    Black-Sheep - is getting a stomach ache or a bad hair day a plan of "islamization" as well?

    A last point, someone said "her", as a proud Grandfather I find that rather amusing.

  18. D Charles QC,
    Nationalism is a fairly recent (and receding?) phenomena in the Middle East where people's prime allegiances are to religion and tribe.
    The Arab Palestinian identity in particular dates back to the late 60s. Under the British mandate Jews were Palestinians. Yasser Arafat surrounded himself with Christian Arabs who helped to sell his opportunistic project as a nationalist one to the Western audience. Very few Christians are left in the "West Bank" today.

  19. edgeofthesandbox,

    Christians in the Palestinian Territory is aproximately 8 per cent or just over 200,000. There are around 153,000 in Israel making the population around 2 per cent. Considering that Christianity's most Holy sites are in the Territories, it would be incorrect to say that "Very few Christians are left in the "West Bank" today".

    Nationalism has come and gone at verious strengths over the centuries and efforts to combat the spread of Turkish influences have propped up at points. Most certainly at the turn of the last century it all changed.

    The creation of Israel was most certainly a catalyst for a pan-Arab nationalism and more powerful than the chances of getting rid of the Ottoman yoke during the Great War. We all know the Lawrence of Arabia story, that is an example of galvanising tribes under one ruler/despot.

    As for a Palestinian Identity, that term has been plagued with political agendas but the reality is that the region has been called Palestine since at least 1150BC coming from the Egytian word Peleset. We all know the story of the Philistines from Bible Classes 5Samuel I think) but regardless if it actualy provides identity of a specific people, that matters not as history determines identity. From the Bizantium times the region and its inhabitants were called Palestinians (Palaestina) and the people themselves identified themselves at it. The argument that the region is actually also Jordan is also incorrect because over the more recent centuries (Caliphate and Ottoman) there was Philistine - still the term in Turkish and Arabic and whilst Jordan or al Urdan comes from the River and has been used since Biblical times.

    It is politics that has attempted to eradicate the identity of Palestine and every time I see someone try an argument in that direction deserves nothing less than contempt. Newt did so to attemtp to get the right-wing Jewish vote but instead simply made himself look both like a bigot and an idiot - I suspect he is both.

    Now, do the Palestinians actually merit and have the capacity to have independance - now that IS the question. At present no, but obviously they deserve it.

  20. What we understand by "Palestinian identity" today, e.g. Arab residents around the Jordan river is a creation of Arafat. The word "Palestine" existed before, I know. It illustrates the genius of Arafat who highjacked the world and convinced the whole world that Arabs are Palestinians.
    Re Christian population drop under Arafat and after see here:
    or here:
    I'm not sure what it has to do with Israeli Christians.

  21. AOW,

    How are you feeling today? I've been concerned about you.

    ~ FreeThinke

  22. the libs will get their heads lobbed off first..how tragic..............

  23. "Z, that is a main point, the silence of the majority is a vaccum that must be filled, unfortunatly it is often filled with another form of agenda and hate."

    I think if it were filled with the supposed peaceful beliefs of the majority in this case, no agenda of hate would need fill it.

    "Z, I think you contradicted yourself, what Golda Meir said confirms it is not religous but all politics - if there is no guns means that it is just that."

    It isn't all one thing, as you know. It is definitely religious...but the religious situation has sunken to teaching children to hate Jews and, of course, this leads to violence...the Israelis want peace and it seems that every time a bomb's lobbed at Tel Aviv, we see which side doesn't want peace.

  24. Z,

    we will have to agree to disagree on some of these points I think. I believe it is most certainly not religious but religion is the first subject to be abused by politics as it is the most powerful excuse.

    I am concerned at your assumption that the Israelis want peace but the Palestinians not. As a population, both wish peace and at the political or zealot level both fight to not have it. For one, I dispize the Settler Movement and everything they stand for. It is simply a land grab and most certainly using religion as the excuse. As a collective they have influence enough that their criminal land-grabs are somehow always protected - in other words they provoke and know the Army will rescue them. Their source funding and lobby is powerful with organisations attempting to sell hate - Spencer is paid by Horrowitz whom in turn runs FrontPäge and other anti-Islam hate-sites, Daniel Greenfield is paid by him, etc, etc, with the real motive a collective deniel of either Palestinian rights or at worst to demonize so that sympathy is lost when it comes to nationhood.

    What suprises me is also the tacit support given to them from so many in the US considering that one of the foundation stones of America is that human rights include ownership of land and the right to defend it.

    No, both play the game, both use religion as an excuse to garner support but in the end it is politics, control and power - and the first victim in any conflict has and always will be truth.

  25. D Charles,
    your assumption that the Israelis want peace but the Palestinians not

    The Hamas Charter is problematic -- to say the least. That charter doesn't recognize Israel's right to exist. In my view, that charter precludes the two-state solution. How can one nation live in peace next door to someone sworn to the destruction of the other.

    both use religion as an excuse to garner support but in the end it is politics, control and power

    The Middle Ages and the rise of nation states, in conjunction with the political power of the Roman Catholic Church at the time, continue to show us the dangers of the uniting of a state religion and the political state. I'm sure that your familiar with that period of world history.

    Theocracies are dangerous! And the weaponry of today's world make them even more dangerous.

    The term "Palestinian" is an issue all on its own. In former times, Israel was a part of Palestine -- a term that the Romans used, I believe.

    Now, I realize that you do not accept everything that David Horowitz says about "Palestine." But Horowitz is not completely incorrect, IMO; in fact, a lot of what he has said is accurate -- never mind his agenda.

    Everybody does have an agenda.

  26. They should just call it the islamic spring because that's what it really is, the rise of the true islam.

  27. MK, another questionable comment there, void of logic.

    We all do know, so there is no need to try and hide it, that Tunisia and Libya had nothing to do with religion at all. The latter had Islamists fighting in it but it was simply the desire of the people to get rid of a dictator. Rather than whining and trying to fill in trash for your own agenda (or what you wish it was), try giving a bit of respect to those that died for the liberty of their own people and land.

    There is always one in every group eh....... first "cult" and now making up history - and recent events as well!


We welcome civil dialogue at Always on Watch. Comments that include any of the following are subject to deletion:
1. Any use of profanity or abusive language
2. Off topic comments and spam
3. Use of personal invective