Tribes With Flags – By Aaron David Miller | Foreign Policy.
“In much of the Middle East, the situation looks far worse today than a year ago. The question facing these troubled countries right now is not whether they can become democracies or resolve fundamental identity questions. It is much more basic: Can they produce a minimum of competent governance and order, so that they can begin to deal with the galactic political and economic challenges they face?”
Bosnia’s Dangerous Tango: Islam and Nationalism – International Crisis Group.
“The Bosniak community is deeply frustrated with the dysfunctional government, flawed constitution and economic stagnation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), as well as renewed Croat and Serb challenges to the state’s territorial integrity. The Islamic community has taken a leading role in channelling popular anger, filling a vacuum left by Bosniak political parties, whose leadership seems adrift. Political Islam is a novelty in Bosnia, and its rise is seen as threatening to secular parties and non-Muslims. On the margins of society, a plethora of non-traditional Salafi and other Islamist groups have appeared, raising fears of terrorism. They are small, divided and largely non-violent, however, and the state and the Islamic community should work to integrate them further into society. Real instability and violence are more likely to come from clashing nationalisms. The Islamic community’s best contribution would be to help craft a vision for Bosnia that Croats and Serbs can share.
The Islamic Community (Islamska zajednica, IZ) in BiH, is a religious organisation as well as an important political actor that has shaped Bosniaks’ national identity, though it has recently become more divided and disorganised. Its still influential and charismatic former leader, Mustafa ef. Cerić, ensured that Islam became a strong element in the post-war Bosniak nationalism of which he was a main author and promoter. He likewise linked the Bosniak cause to BiH, which, though also multi-ethnic, he argued, should be a nation-state for the Bosniaks, since Croats and Serbs already had countries of their own.
The threat of fundamentalist Islam has been evoked repeatedly in Bosnia since several thousand mujahidin arrived in the early 1990s, though it is foreign to the great majority of the Muslim population.”
“Why don’t we hear about Arab Jews?
The Jews of the Arab World.
I hold responsible both Zionism and Arab nationalism. Zionism has always looked at the people of the East as inferior, including Jews from Arab countries. From the turn of the century, Zionists tried to bring Arab Jews to Palestine as cheap labor. Up to now, there are Arab Jews in Israel who are discriminated against within the Jewish population. It is largely the European Jews who set the tone. The rise of Arab nationalism and the forceful rise of Islam did not create a less problematic condition for diverse minorities, who have also suffered, but for the Arab Jews, it has been one of the most complicated stories, precisely because of the establishment of the state of Israel. For the first time in their history, Arab Jews had to choose between being Jews and being Arabs.” …. another excellent link from bint jbeil…
Reflections By An Arab Jew – Ella Shohat.
“When my grandmother first encountered Israeli society in the ’50s, she was convinced that the people who looked, spoke and ate so differently–the European Jews–were actually European Christians. Jewishness for her generation was inextricably associated with Middle Easterness. My grandmother, who still lives in Israel and still communicates largely in Arabic, had to be taught to speak of “us” as Jews and “them” as Arabs. For Middle Easterners, the operating distinction had always been “Muslim,” “Jew,” and “Christian,” not Arab versus Jew. The assumption was that “Arabness” referred to a common shared culture and language, albeit with religious differences. “
Marianne in Tunisia – By Robert Zaretsky | Foreign Policy.
“Marianne embodies not just the form of ancient Greek models — Winged Victory of Samothrace is perhaps the most powerful inspiration — but also channels the many instances of (fully clothed) women in the streets who helped the wounded and hauled paving stones to the barricades. In fact, Delacroix was in part inspired by the contemporary account of Marie Deschamps, who took her fallen brother’s place on a Parisian barricade. Tunisian women have acted with similar courage. There is the example of Khaoula Rachidi, a university student in Tunis beaten by Salafists when she tried to prevent them from replacing the Tunisian flag with the black Salafi banner on her campus, and that of Besma Khalfaoui, the wife of Belaid, who declared that her husband’s assassination “gives us reason to hope” — hope, of course, that those who believed the revolution did not need to be defended will now wake up.” … inspirational.
Islamists two years after the revolution | Egypt Independent.
“The religious market seems to be thriving these days, though at the expense of quality. If we use the economic theory of supply and demand to explain the rise and fall of the Islamist current in Egypt, we can comfortably say that even though there is high demand for religion, the supply also seems to be high, which explains why the content presented by Islamist media is often poor.
If this supply continues to increase, one of the likely outcomes is that certain sectors of society will be repel ed by the discourse and perhaps question religion altogether.”
…My point is.. if salafi jihadists are growing as it’s said here,…. and islamist political offer is empty… isn’t there a real risk of those who have no real political program to attempt to reach power by force?
A half truth is more effective than a lie, a false truth is even worst.
Fayoum church and ‘garbage’ reporting – Daily News Egypt.
“Reporting “garbage” is a strong suit of most Egyptian media outlets, when they don’t even need to. The truth is much worse, if only they dig a bit deeper. The truth of what Copts go through in this country is worse than a fight in Fayoum. The truth about the Morsi’s and the Muslim Brotherhood’s finances is so much worse than his son’s salary. The truth about this country is so much worse than the rumours. Why do people insist on denying the ugly truth and exaggerating a rumour?”
Adapting to the new street | Egypt Independent.
“not all the children were there to steal though! It was just so fun! For so long people were telling us that the street was bad, that we had to get off the street, but suddenly everyone was on it, everyone in the country was in Tahrir, so we moved there from Ramses. People there spoke to us, fed us, joked with us, some even tried to teach us to read and write. We even slept next to all these people with their good smells. And we helped them too. When food ran out we told them where the cheapest places to get food were. We taught them the best ways to run away from the police. That is because our favorite game is Atari.”
When she saw a look of confusion on my face she explained: Police cars, we call them Atari, and we play all day running and hiding from them. But we all realized that the police in Tahrir were different, they didn’t waste time running after you, they just shot you instead.” (…) simply an excellent article.
Culture Ministry condemns damaging of statues | Egypt Independent.
Of Mutant Neanderthals, Muslim Brotherhoods and their Salafi Compadres…
(PIC: Spanish transition towards democracy… ALL the relevant political parties even minoritary ones, together with labour unions, demonstrating in favour of freedom, democracy and a Constitution that had basically equal space for them all.)
‘Renounce Violence’: A Clear Way for Egypt’s Parties | mideastposts.com.
Our transition in Spain was for sure conditioned by the civil war we suffered between 1936 and 1939… it was necessary to kill each other mercilessly for 3 years, and live later under an also merciless dictatorship for other 40 more, to make spaniards understand the value of consensus and respect… From the death of Franco till the first democratic elections, we spent 3 years legalising political parties, building a long-lasting constitution that covered all political grounds and left space for everyone setting common limits and rights for every political option… too much asking for arabs?