Rest in Peace, all those dreamers in Middle East… and stand up in peace, all those still to come.

A few days before her assassination, Shaima tweeted: “Living in this country has become painful and cold…I hope that its soil is vaster… and the bosom of its ground broader than its sky.”
The Ministry of Interior acquitted itself, as it does often, saying that professional elements infiltrated the march and killed Shaima. According to the autopsy report and eyewitnesses who were standing next to Shaima, a soldier fired a barrage of shotgun shells at her from a distance of eight meters. The authorities hate the voices of the January youths, who say that “the Interior Ministry are thugs.”

Sabbagh fell in Talaat Harb Square. She was with her leftist comrades from the Socialist People’s Alliance Party (SPAP). They were walking peacefully toward Tahrir Square, singing and chanting: “Living – freedom – social justice.”

None of the goals of the January 25 Revolution have been achieved. They were consumed and digested by the old dictators.

Even carrying flowers on the anniversary of those who passed away in Tahrir Square in 2011 is forbidden to Shaima and her companions, disappointed with the comments of passersby, who watched and said critically: “Enough revolution and destruction, shame on you.”

In Egypt, Tyrants Fear Roses and Songs:

A Eulogy for Shamia Sabbagh 

Al Akhbar English.


Let’s not forget as well, that only a day before, Egyptian student Sondos Abu Bakr was killed, in a nearly identical manner to Shaimaa, after security forces started shooting at a demonstration she was attending in the city of Alexandria. Sondos was only 17.


The weapon and method used to kill both women was the same, and so were the culprits yet the coverage of both incidents could not have been more different. The killing of Sondos, once confirmed, received little to no coverage, whether on social media or on news outlets. There were no condemnations or special tributes, no major articles or investigations. I can’t help but think, had Sondos been protesting under a different (read “liberal”) banner, her death would have received more sympathy and certainly more coverage. It’s true that that the killing of Shaimaa was more well-documented than that of Sondos, and it’s also true that it took place in an area and time of great significance to the Egyptian revolution… but does that really justify the disparity in coverage?

I am not here to “compare” deaths or claim that the killing of one was more outrageous than the other. That would frankly be quite repulsive and counter-productive. I am simply trying to point out the sheer hypocrisy in our principles and stances that deem some lives more worthy of mourning than others. The fact of the matter is that the majority of people only started caring about the death of “Islamist” Sondos when it was linked to the death of “liberal” Shaimaa. Sondos was just an afterthought.



Yesterday Sondos, today Shaima.

And still the world watches on #Jan25#Egypt#KilledByCops

The answer to Wahabbism/Hanabillah-ism / Salafism / is inside Islam… it can’t be an answer from the West.

Salafists are equally hostile toward Shiites and Sufis, as they view these two denominations as heretical and not belonging to the true Islamic religion.

Saudi universities have made great efforts to publish books and articles responding to Shiism and Sufism, as they stem from the same corrupt origins, according to them. Moreover, many Sufi shrines and religious buildings have been demolished by Salafist groups in various parts of the Muslim world.


How Sufism could balance Salafism

 Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.


The mystical, respectful soul of Sufism is the answer. It was because of this philosophy that Islam was at the time respected beyond other religions.

It was Sufism what created the legends and the splendors of Al-Andalus, and what made men like Ibn Raschid (Averroes), Maimonides and Ibn Arabi flourish for the sake of all mankind. 

If muslims are looking for an answer to the “what can we do” question… there must be no better than this. 

Interesting but… how long did tolerance last… even during the days of Muhammad himself?

In Christendom, Muhammad and Islam was derided from a rival religious vantage point; that the prophet of Islam was believed to be the false prophet of a fake religion. He was even condemned to the ninth circle of Dante’s inferno where he supposedly stands “rent from the chin to where one breaketh wind”.

Within the Islamic world itself, Muhammad and Islam were criticised and mocked from a secular, rationalist, anti-religious perspective.

One example is the religious sceptic and scholar Ibn al-Rawandi (827-911) who, despite his rejection of religion and Islam, lived a long life in the 8th-9th centuries.

Rawandi, who spent a significant part of his life in Baghdad, believed that intellect and science supersede all else, that prophets were unnecessary, that religion was irrational, that Islamic tradition was illogical and that miracles were a hoax.

In neighbouring Syria, a few decades later, the Richard Dawkins of the Abbasid era was born. Abu al-Ala’ al-Maarri (973-1058) was so contemptuous of religion that he divided the world into two types of people: “Those with brains, but no religion, and those with religion, but no brains.”

Maarri also lived to a ripe age. Rather than being visited by assassins, he attracted many students and engaged with scholars of various persuasions, even when he decided to return to his hometown of Maarra to live ascetically in seclusion.

Although this tradition of free thought and scepticism has shrunk over the centuries, it still exists. It even witnessed resurgence in the 20th century – and included the “Dean of Arab Literature”, Taha Hussein – until the conservative Islamist current started to block it in the late 1970s/1980s.

The years since the revolutionary wave in 2011 have seen secularists, sceptics and atheists mounting a comeback. But with some countries equating non-belief to terrorism and arresting atheists, theirs is a risky venture.


Would Prophet Muhammad say ‘Je Suis Charlie’?

 Al Jazeera English.

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Our world needs more Al-Ghamdis and Almaeenas… and not only in the Muslim side.

These extremists have given themselves the right to attack anyone who disagrees with their views.

They have forgotten the Qura’nic verse: “There is no compulsion in religion…to you, your religion and to me mine.”

And while this verse is supposed to address other believers, yet we ourselves do not abide by it in our own society.


Well done Sheikh Ahmad Al-Ghamdi!

Saudi Gazette.