SANA news agency reported, “The residents of the city took to the streets in support of national principles and a constitutional referendum.” The participation of state officials in the march for the first time in this region, such as Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, was worth noting.
3: In Deir el-Zour, clashes between the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) on one hand, and Jabhat al-Nusra, the Islamic Front and FSA-affiliated factions on the other, continued...
Although most of the Daraa governorate is under the control of various armed groups, the army controls around 60 percent of the city of Daraa. Out of 135 cities, villages, and towns in the governorate, the army controls 30 directly and 10 indirectly, meaning that the army can stop militants from seizing them.
Al-Ansar (”The supporters’ brigade”), a Salafi faction, is the single largest group in Homs city. The group was formed in Homs in March 2012, and quickly distinguished itself from the rebel mainstream for the stridently religious tone of its propaganda material. The group also stands out among the rebel factions in Homs for its high percentage of university students, many of whom had been activists and leaders in the early protest movement in Homs. (2013)
24-9-2013 Aleppo: Statement by 11 brigades, read by Abdel Aziz Salamah, commander of the al-Tawheed brigade, providing a brief explanation of their views on unity and the external opposition.
1. All Signatories call for all civilian and armed groups to unite under a clear Islamic framework, established on shariah, the sole source of legislation;
Signatories to the statement are: ◦Jabhat al-Nusra - Islamic Ahrar al-Sham Movement -al-Tawheed Brigade - al-Islam Brigade - Suqour al-Sham Brigades - al-Fajr al-Islamiyah Movement - al-Nur al-Islamiyah Movement - Noureddin al-Zenki Battalions - Fastaqim Kama Ummirat Gathering - 19th Division - al-Ansar Brigade.
Dearborn-USA: Local imams warn against "jihad" in Syria
Shaaban: The constructive opposition
Saudi arrests professors for links to Brotherhood
Virgin Mary Statue repositioned
Qatar cleric urges boycott of Egypt presidential poll
Influential Qatar-based Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi has called on Egyptians to boycott presidential elections and shun front-runner Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, saying the ex-military strongman had "disobeyed God".
Egyptian sheikh Youssef El-Qaradawi said that the revolution is "a gift from God" in his Friday sermon from Al-Azhar Mosque on the second anniversary of the 25 January revolution. El-Qaradawi, head of the International Union for Islamic Scholars, said that "whoever doubts that [the revolution] is God's gift, doubts certainty." (Ahram online 25-1-2013)
On 21 February 2011, he talked about the protests in Libya and issued a fatwa against Muammar Gaddafi:
“...To the officers and the soldiers who are able to kill Muammar Gaddafi, to whoever among them is able to shoot him with a bullet and to free the country and [God’s] servants from him, I issue this fatwa (uftî): Do it! That man wants to exterminate the people (sha‘b).
As for me, I protect the people (sha‘b) and I issue this fatwa: Whoever among them is able to shoot him with a bullet and to free us from his evil, to free Libya and its great people from the evil of this man and from the danger of him, let him do so!'
To honorable, patriotic Egyptians:
Only you can grant or void legitimacy. You have already given legitimacy to the civilian President, Mohamed Morsi, now held hostage by the putschists. You should not participate in the illegitimate blood ballots.
Fraud and forgery will not lend legitimacy to the criminal putschists. No fraudulent poll results will discourage or dishearten Egypt's revolutionaries, nor will testimonies from Western powers that support the coup with money and weapons, notwithstanding the occasional hypocritical statements they issue to condemn human rights violations.
We will rely on God, the Lord of the Worlds, and we will continue our Revolution..., until this murderous, treasonous coup is completely defeated – which will come to pass soon, God willing. Indeed… "God has full control of all affairs, but most people do not know." The unjust oppressors will soon see what destiny they will ultimately meet.
The EU High Representative’s Special Envoy for Libya, Bernardino Leon, has said fighting terrorism, “particularly groups like Ansar Al-Sharia” is crucial to the creation of a free and democratic Libya.
Speaking at a press conference in Tripoli yesterday, following a series of meetings with top officials, Leon said “terrorist groups particularly in the east” were “a serious threat to this country and neighbouring countries”. He added that these groups also threatened the safety of the international community.
“This county has been facing increasing problems with state officials killed in Benghazi in Derna,” Leon said. “No democracy can be built in Libya if this situation continues.” He added that groups diametrically opposed to the state had to be removed...
Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic law - Sharia) is a Salafist -jihadist militia. Ansar al-Sharia initially manifested as a revolutionary brigade during the 2011 Libyan revolution and gained prominence following the death of Muammar al-Qaddafi. Whilst the security situation continued to worsen in Libya, Ansar al-Sharia in Libya (ASL) took advantage of the lack of state control by building local communal ties, which strengthened its ability to operate in more locations than Benghazi...
Ansar al-Sharia believes that only God has the authority to make law, rendering Libya’s current democracy invalid. Ansar al-Sharia views Sharia as the only form of justice and uses tactics such as such as bombings, suicide bombings, kidnappings, attacks on security forces associated with the Libyan Government and assassinations. ASL is associated with activities such as assisting regional jihadists in using Libyan territory as a safe haven for militant training and the smuggling of weapons and fighters. With Libya serving as a conduit for North African individuals seeking to reach the Syrian jihad, ASL is regarded as centrifugal in providing logistical assistance to would-be fighters with mobile training camps established around Benghazi and elsewhere in eastern Libyan (al-Arabiya, November 23, 2013).
The Special Envoy said it was of crucial importance that elections to the House of Representatives go ahead on the proposed date of 25 June and that “all Libyan political actors and stakeholders work democratically and inclusively”.
Responding to a question about retired general Khalifa Hafter, Leon said he had not spoken with the leader of the Dignity Operation. He said, however, that “what is important to take into account is not Hafter but what he represents”, referring to Libyans’ desire for the removal of armed groups.
Libyan Muslim Brotherhood condemns Haftar “coup”
Khalid Mahmoud, Al-Awsat, Friday, 23 May, 2014
The Muslim Brotherhood has strongly condemned statements made by the former army chief in a wide-ranging interview with Asharq Al-Awsat published earlier this week. During the interview, Haftar pledged to “purge” Libya of Muslim Brotherhood members, describing the group as a “malignant disease that is seeking to spread throughout the bones of the Arab world.”
The secretary-general of Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood, Bashir Al-Kabti, rejected Haftar’s accusations, characterizing his forces’ attack on Benghazi as part of a “military coup” and stressing that the Brotherhood in Libya have always worked within the framework of the law.
Responding to Haftar’s threat to “purge” Libya of the Muslim Brotherhood, Kabti told Asharq Al-Awsat: “I said previously that it is impossible for this to happen in Libya, because all Libyan people are armed. There is a pistol or machine gun or rocket-propelled grenade in every household. All types of weapons are available on the street—we are talking about 22 to 25 kinds of weapon currently on the streets.”
The Commander of Ansar Al-Sharia in Benghazi has denounced the military operation by forces loyal to General Khalifa Haftar, calling it a “crusade” against Islam.
Speaking at a press conference held at a secret location last night in Benghazi, Mohammed Al-Zahawi claimed that the leader of Operation Dignity was backed the US and allies in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. He said the same fate awaited Haftar as had befallen Qaddafi.
Zahawi warned the US against intervention. He said that any military incursion by the western power would result in defeats worse than those he said it had faced in Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia.
Describing recent fighting in Benghazi as a victory for Ansar Al-Sharia, Zahawi said: “We thank God that we were able to defeat Haftar and we challenge him to attempt entering Benghazi again. We warn him that if he continues this war against us, Muslims from across the world will come to fight, as is the case in Syria right now.” He added that the war would continue and that Ansar Al-Sharia would decide when it ended.
Members of Ansar Al-Sharia have been implicated by America in the 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, during which ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.
Muammar Al Gaddafi:
The Escape to Hell
How cruel people can be when they flare up together! What a crushing flood that has no mercy for anyone in its way!
It does not heed one's cry or lend one a hand when one is in dire need of help. On the contrary, it flings one about heedlessly.
The individual's tyranny is the easiest kind of tyranny. He is only one among many, who can get rid of him when they wish. He could even be liquidated somehow by somebody unimportant. But the tyranny of the masses is the cruellest kind of tyranny. Who can stand against the crushing current and the blind engulfing power?!.
How loving the masses can be when they are happily excited! They carry their favourite sons high on their shoulders. They carried Hannibal, Barclay, Savonarola, Danton, Ropespierre, Mussolini and Nixon!
But how cruel they can be when they are angrily excited! They plotted against Hannibal by poisoning him. They burnt Savonarola at the stake; they brought their hero, Danton, to the guillotine; they smashed the jaws of Robespierre, the beloved fiance, they dragged Mussolini's carcass along the streets of Milan, and they spat at Nixon's face as he was forced to leave the White House, where they had ushered him in ceremoniously before.
What terror! Who can talk the unfeeling entity into consciousness?! Who can argue with a mass mind not embodied in one individual? Who can hold the hand of the millions?! Who can comprehend a million words pouring out of million mouths at the same time ?! Who can talk sensibly to whom in this terrifying excitement ?!
Beirut, (SANA) With high turnout, the Syrian citizens continued Thursday to head to the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon for casting ballots for the second consecutive day to elect a president for their country.
The first day of voting witnessed high turnout in Lebanon which constituted a surprise for all followers on the Lebanese area as no one would expect these huge numbers of voters. The wide turnout also reflects the Syrians' commitment to their constitutional rights and sovereignty of their country. (SANA, 29-5-2014)
Syria will hold a presidential election within the next few days in light of the relative security established as a result of the efficient management of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and enormous sacrifices made by the Syrian people, said Velayati.
“Through this long crisis imposed upon the country, the Syrian people have come to the conclusion that Assad has managed to defend his nation and country, and prevent the disintegration of Syria or its occupation by foreigners and Takfiri forces,” Velayati, also president of Iran's Center for Strategic Research of the Expediency Council, pointed out.
He also dismissed Western countries’ opposition to Syria’s next month presidential vote, underlining that only Syrians have the right to determine their country’s destiny and future, and that they will resolve the Syrian conflict through democratic means.
“These days it has become evident that Westerners are not seeking to establish justice and democracy in the region, but rather trying to install a reactionary and pro-Zionist puppet-government in countries like Syria..."
Syria has announced that it will hold the presidential election on June 3. On Wednesday, Syrian citizens living abroad began voting at the Syrian embassies in a number of countries including Iran.
According to Syrian media, several countries including France, Germany, Belgium, and the United Arab Emirates have prevented Syrians from casting their ballots.
Velayati is a conservative pragmatist who helped to move Iran out of its revolutionary isolation and temper its adventurist foreign policies of the early 1980s. He helped Iran to join international organizations and favored developing ties with Europe and developing countries. Internally, his tenure in the foreign ministry has been criticized for putting more emphasis on loyalty than on professional qualifications. (www.answers.com)
Flashback 2012: President Bashar al-Assad :
"Those who have promoted a new age of freedom and prosperity,
have embraced chaos
The political process is moving forward, but terrorism is growing and hasn't subsided. The laws which have been passed since the beginning of the crisis haven't made an impact on terrorism and made it subside.
At the beginning they said that the problem is that there are no political parties - The political parties law was passed - or said that the problem lied in article 8 of the constitution: the whole constitution was changed. There were other pretexts and justifications, but reality has never changed as far as terrorist acts are concerned. We are neither analysing nor inventing something new. Reality itself is providing the clear answer.
Terrorists are concerned neither with reform nor with dialogue. They are criminals who have set themselves a task; and they are not concerned with condemnation or denunciation. They do not care about the tears of wives who have lost their husbands and mothers who have lost their children. They will never stop until they complete their task regardless of anything. They will never stop unless we stop them.
Not distinguishing between terrorism and the political process is a great error made by some people. It lends legitimacy to terrorism sought by terrorists and their masters from the first day of the events. Making this distinction between terrorism and the political process is essential in order to understand and know how to move towards improving the conditions we live under. ...
"We are not facing a political problem"
First of all, we should know that we are not facing a political problem, because had it been a political problem, there should be one party proposing a political or economic program and then we face this party with our own political or economic program. What we are facing is a project of internal sedition aiming at the destruction of the homeland. The instrument of this sedition is terrorism. ....
Chaos is the natural environment for terrorism and those who have promoted a new age of freedom and prosperity, without knowing what they are talking about, have embraced chaos, and chaos embraced terrorism...
Today we see, as a result of short-sightedness, that the freedom they have chanted slogans for is about the blood and the dead bodies of our children and that the democracy they talked about is soaked with our blood. We have paid a high price, but I expect that the price we are going to pay after the end of the crisis might be higher, not in terms of security, but in terms of moral values. (ChamPress, 4-6-2012)
What did we accomplish?
"Everything we touch turns to lead. "
by Justin Raimondo, 1-2-2012
When we invaded and occupied Iraq, we didn’t just militarily defeat Iraq’s armed forces – we dismantled their army, and their police force, along with all the other institutions that held the country together.
The educational system was destroyed, and not reconstituted. The infrastructure was pulverized, and never restored. Even the physical hallmarks of a civilized society – roads, bridges, electrical plants, water facilities, museums, schools – were bombed out of existence or else left to fall into disrepair. Along with that, the spiritual and psychological infrastructure that enables a society to function – the bonds of trust, allegiance, and custom – was dissolved, leaving Iraqis to fend for themselves in a war of all against all.
Oh, but our intentions were good – weren’t they? In retrospect, one has to wonder. Of course, anyone can proclaim their intentions to be anything they like, but the trick is to peel away the rhetoric and observe what is actually going on – and what actually did go on was and is a horror show. What we are witnessing in post-Saddam Iraq is the erasure of an entire country. We can say, with confidence: We came, we saw, we atomized.
We came, we saw, we atomized.
And we are repeating the pattern elsewhere in the region: in Libya, for example, the result is very similar to what we witness in Iraq. Western relief agencies are fleeing, human rights groups are pointing to widespread torture and repression, and Gadhafi loyalists are making a comeback. In Egypt, too, our support for the “Arab Spring” has ushered in a military dictatorship and the promise of more chaos to come. In Syria, we are supporting rebels who are conducting a terrorist campaign against the regime, and the future of the country is looking very … Iraqi.
In short, the effects of US actions in the region amount to a reverse Midas touch: everything we touch turns to lead. (antiwar.com 2012)
Flashback 2012: "Dilly-dallying with dogmatic zealots"
The killing, allegedly by suffocation, of United States Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens in the Cyrenaican port city of Benghazi in eastern Libya has prompted much talk about the possible implications of growing anti-American sentiment in the countries of the Arab Spring.
The incident marked an important ideological shift in the powers-that-be in Libya. Washington obviously had no notion of the consequences, and the admonition of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi comes to mind.
Washington flirted with militant Islamists and did not heed the words of her erstwhile secularist collaborator, who was derided as a mindless dictator and condemned to die the death of a dog.
Does not Washington stand for democracy and freedom of expression? He had long warned of the consequences of dilly-dallying with dogmatic zealots. But Washington, alas, did not heed his words of wisdom. (Ahram online 12-9-2012)
Gaddafi: The Green Book
"Ignorance will come to an end
when everything is presented as it actually is"
Education, or learning, is not necessarily that methodized curriculum and those classified subjects in text books which youth are forced to learn during specified hours while sitting on rows of desks. This type of education, nowprevailing all over the world, is against human freedom.
Compulsory education is one of the methods which suppresses freedom. It is a compulsory obliteration of a human being's talents as well as a forcible direction of a human being's choices. It is an act of dictatorship damaging to freedom because it deprives man of free choice,creativity and brilliance.
To force a human being to learn according to a set curriculum is a dictatorial act. To impose certain subjects upon people is a dictatorial act.
All methods of education prevailing in the world should be done away with through a worldwide cultural revolution to emancipate man's mind from curricula of fanaticism and from the process of deliberate adaptation of man's taste, his ability to form concepts and his mentality.
This does not mean that schools are to be closed and that people should turn their backs on education, as it may seem to superficial readers. On the contrary, it means that society should provide all types of education, giving people the chance to choose freely any subjects they wish to learn. This requires a sufficient number of schools for all types of education.
Insufficient schools restrict man's freedom of choice forcing him to learn the subjects available, while depriving him of natural right of choice because of the lack of availability of other subjects. ...
Knowledge is a natural right of every human being which nobody has the right to deprive him of under any pretext except in a case where a person himself does something which deprives him of that right.
Ignorance will come to an end when everything is presented as it actually is and when knowledge about everything is available to each person in the manner that suits him.
Forecasting the Middle East is a risky business. Everyone who has tried to do so since December 2010 has discovered, again and again, that it’s an impossible task. Still, at the risk of reality proving me wrong, there seem to be indications this week that the unofficial end of the Arab Spring is approaching.
It is too early to eulogize the Middle East’s revolutions and revolutionaries, and in many countries in the region, the political situation is far from stable (see Libya, for example).
But the elections this week in Egypt, and next week in Syria, suggest that the outcome is starting to become clear. The military and the old regime will return to power in Egypt through Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi; and in Syria, though the civil war is far from over, Bashar al-Assad will continue to be president.
Egyptians have grown weary of the chaos, and are asking for quiet and stability above all, which el-Sissi has promised them. Many Syrians, too, are fed up with the bloodshed and the Jihadist organizations, who have destroyed their war for liberation and plenty more besides.
On Wednesday, the main roads of Beirut were clogged with cars because of elections in another country — Syria. Tens of thousands of Syrians living in Lebanon streamed toward the one polling station in Beirut at the Syrian Embassy in Yarzeh, a suburb of the capital, for early voting in Syria’s presidential poll (the actual elections are next Tuesday).
As time went by, the traffic ground to a halt on more and more streets. Syrian citizens, with no other option, walked to the embassy, holding Syrian flags and pictures of Assad, singing songs praising their president....
More than one million Syrian civilians live in Lebanon today. According to some estimates, the number has reached one-and-a-half million...
Syria has long been on the neocons’ “regime change” list, so they eagerly supported a violent insurgency to topple the Assad regime even as it veered into extremism. Now, that policy is collapsing but President Obama won’t admit the failure, write Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett.
For over three years, the United States has sought to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by supporting an Al Qaeda-infused opposition that Washington either knew or should have known would fail. Yet, in his commencement address at West Point on Wednesday, President Obama promised the American people and the rest of the world more of the same.
Obama’s vague pledge to “ramp up” support for selected oppositionists is a craven sop to those claiming that Assad could be removed if only America would do more. This claim should be decisively rejected as a basis for policy-making, rather than disingenuously humored, for it is dangerously detached from reality.
From the start of the conflict, it has been clear that the constituencies supporting Assad and his government—including not just Christians and non-Sunni Muslims but also non-Islamist Sunnis — add up to well over half of Syrian society.
Since the start of the conflict in March 2011, polling data, participation in the February 2012 referendum on a new constitution, participation in May 2012 parliamentary elections, and other evidence have consistently shown a majority of Syrians continuing to back Assad.
Conversely, there is no polling or other evidence suggesting that anywhere close to a majority of Syrians wants Assad replaced by some part of the opposition. Indeed, the opposition’s popularity appears to be declining as oppositionists become ever more deeply divided and ever more dominated inside Syria by Al Qaeda-like jihadis. Just last year, NATO estimated that popular support for the opposition may have shrunk to as low as 10 percent of the Syrian public.
These readily observable realities notwithstanding, the Obama administration, most of America’s political class, and the mainstream media all jumped on, and have stayed with, a fantastical narrative about cadres of Syrian democrats ready, if just given the tools, to take down a brutal dictator lacking any vestige of legitimacy....
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is Egypt's new president after securing more than 96% of the valid votes, Egypt's Ahram Online reported Thursday (May 29th).
Official results will be announced June 1st or 2nd, according to the Presidential Elections Commission, the judicial body overseeing the poll.
Rival candidate Hamdeen Sabahi conceded defeat Thursday after the preliminary results were announced, saying "I accept my defeat and respect the people's choice."
More than 23 million voters cast their ballots for al-Sisi, with Sabahi garnering around 800,000 votes, according to Ahram Online. More than a million votes were invalidated. Election turnout stood at around 47%.
An EU team that observed the election said Thursday the vote was conducted "in line with the law", although it regretted the lack of participation of some "stakeholders"..., in a likely reference to Morsi’s banned Muslim Brotherhood and youth dissident groups.The Muslim Brotherhood hailed what it sees as a successful boycott.
Flashback 2012: Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Mursi has been named Egypt's fifth president after narrowly defeating his rival, Mubarak-era PM Ahmed Shafiq, in the hotly-contested presidential elections' runoffs....
According to the final tally, Mursi won 13,280,131 votes against 12,347,380 (a bit over 48 per cent) for Shafiq, according to the SPEC's official vote count.... (25-6-2012)
The winner of this week's presidential election, Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, is expected to take the oath of office before the High Constitutional Court to become the ninth president of Egypt next weekend.
Article 144 of the new constitution stipulates that "if there is no parliament sitting during the presidential elections, the new president must be sworn in before the High Constitutional Court."
Officials from El-Sisi's campaign also stressed that his historic victory was highly welcomed by a number of world leaders. They refer with particular interest to a phone call from Russia's president Vladimir Putin. A public statement by the Russian presidency on 30 May expressed Putin's congratulations to El-Sisi for his "convincing" victory in last week's presidential election, and said that the two state leaders "agreed to maintain active contacts and exchange visits at the top level."
Mohamed Salmawy, head of the Egyptian Writers Union and spokesman for the committee which drafted Egypt's recently-passed constitution, believes that "Putin's very early phone call with El-Sisi is very significant because it sends a very important message to America and the West that Russia is about to regain its former strong relations with Egypt during El-Sisi's presidency."
Salmawy describes the reaction of the USA, and the West in general, to Egypt's post-Morsi political roadmap through the election of El-Sisi as very negative. "Not only did you have a Western media highly biased and hostile to the post-Morsi Egypt and new president-elect El-Sisi, but also Western officials who always put pre-conditions for admitting the new status quo in Egypt," said Salmawy.
Salmawy argues that El-Sisi's victory is historic. "He got ten million votes more than Morsi got in 2012 (13 million) and this puts his new legitimacy on strong foundations and gives him a blank cheque to draw the next political map of Egypt, and he was clear when he said that those who will vote for him will vote against any future role for Muslim Brotherhood," said Salmaway, concluding that "as a result, the historic vote he got deals a deafening blow to this group and to the allegations of its officials that it holds political legitimacy to rule in Egypt."
Emad Gad, political analyst of the Al-Ahram research centre, argues that while El-Sisi was clear that Muslim Brotherhood has no future in Egypt's politics, he was also keen to refrain from issuing provocative statements against the USA and the West's pre-conditions.
"He even emphasised that Egypt needs the help of the US in its war against militant Islamists and that America will not be replaced by Russia as a new strategic partner," said Gad, adding that: "at the same time I think that El-Sisi will face strong internal popular pressure to allow Russia to be a counterweight force against America in Egypt."
"There is a strong popular will that Egypt's El-Sisi forge closer relations with other world powers like Russia and China and that this strongly goes in favour of the country's national security and helps nullify the West's pre-conditions for reconciliation with the Brotherhood," said Gad, who expects there to be stronger cooperation between Egypt, Algeria and the military leaders in Libya in fighting any future role for the Muslim Brotherhood in north Africa.
The Anti-Coup Pro-Legitimacy National Alliance issued the following statement:
The Revolution is advancing towards complete victory bolstered by overwhelming public triumph in the empty ballot-box battle. Another nail has been hammered in the coffin of the illegitimate coup, to accelerate its overthrow, to pave the way for a bright future for this homeland, whose poor are groaning from hunger while its thieves and corrupt officials sing and dance to a foreign tune....
To all the people committed to the principles of the Revolution...
We are ready, with you, for the future, to fulfill the dream of the Revolution together. Revolutionary action continues from strength to strength in the "Push forward; we will triumph" week....
The boycott of pro-coup companies and establishments should include coup supporters' companies and products at home and abroad, in anticipation of mass civil disobedience.
Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, along with his fellow traitors, should realize that the Revolution is moving forth like a massive snow ball. Soon, the day will come when it topples all of them, all those who conspired against the Revolution. Then, the haters and the undecided will regret their doubts and hesitation. No-one will listen to them then...
TRIPOLI - Rival interim governments are disputing power in Tripoli less than four weeks before a general election, claiming control of Libya's huge currency reserves from oil and gas.
Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani had announced his intention to step down earlier this year after an armed attack on his family but he is insisting that his successor should be chosen by a new parliament rather than its contested predecessor.
Prime Minister Ahmed Miitig insists his election by the outgoing Islamist-led parliament, largely boycotted by liberals for months, was valid and he has formed a rival administration which met Thursday in a Tripoli luxury hotel.
"We have got ourselves in a real bind," said analyst Salem al-Zarrouk. "Which of the two governments is the central bank going to deal with, who is going to hold the chequebook and who is going to sign the deals with foreign and domestic firms?" he asked.
"To vote in a government to run the country for less than a month and to put in its hands billions of dollars is virtual madness and looks like a deliberate ploy to complicate the situation," said fellow analyst Moataz al-Majbari. "Ahmed Miitig must withdraw from politics immediately. His insistence on his claim to the premiership will only deepen the crisis," he said.
Zarrouk accused the Muslim Brotherhood and its more radical Islamist allies of seeking to install the nominally independent Miitig as part of "a last-ditch bid to hang on to power."
Miitig's supporters in the outgoing interim parliament have been defiant. Speaker Nuri Abu Sahmein has warned Thani that he could face criminal prosecution for his refusal to hand over the premiership in accordance with the vote in the General National Congress.
The GNC's legitimacy was thrown into question when it unilaterally prolonged its mandate, due to expire this February, until December, only agreeing to a June 25 election for a successor body in the face of mass protests on the streets.
And as the rival prime ministers square off in Tripoli, waiting in the wings outside Benghazi is a former general and longtime US exile whose forces have launched two armed assaults, backed by air power, on jihadists in the main eastern city.
Khalifa Haftar claims his forces represent the legitimate national army, and although he has repeatedly denied any political ambitions, his Islamist opponents accuse him of plotting a coup in Tripoli with the backing of liberals and their militia allies.
"Now we have two governments and pretty much two parliaments and two armies," said Suleiman Dogha, a former political leader... "I fear that we will end up with two or three states."
Prime Minister-designate Ahmed Maetig this afternoon took over the Prime Ministry building with the help of Libya Shield forces and Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room. Although force was used there was no violence or shooting. TRIPOLI: Libya's Supreme Court said on Thursday the election of Ahmed Maiteeq as prime minister was illegal, court officials said. Maiteeq's lawyers immediately filed an appeal against the ruling which was broadcast on television.
In a very short press conference today, Ahmed Maetig accepted the Supreme Court’s earlier ruling that his election as prime minister by Congress on 4 May was unconstitutional. He has resigned the appointment.
Ahmed Maetig seizes Prime Ministry building
By Moutaz Ali, Libya Herald, 2-6-2014
“A number of ministers of Maetig government headed by the Minister of Labor Mohamed Sualim, supported by armed forces, have occupied the building,” Congressman Abdullah Gmati from Gemenis told the Libya Herald.
“I was out of the building when they came,” Ahmed Lamin, the spokesman for the caretaker government of Abdullah Al-Thinni, explained to this newspaper. “They showed the guards a letter from the General National Congress ordering them to hand over the building.”
Seizing the building is a symbolic victory for Maetig but it is unlikely to give him the reins of power, which rest in Thinni’s hands for the moment.
Libyan court: election of Maiteeq as PM was illegal
Daily Star, June 05, 2014
Last month, parliament elected Maiteeq as new prime minister in a chaotic vote which has been disputed by some lawmakers and officials who said the quorum had been missed.
Maetig accepts Supreme Court ruling and resigns
By Ashraf Abdul-Wahab, Libya Herald 9-6-2014
A spokesman for caretaker Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni has said that the acting government also accepted the decision and would continue in office. That will almost certainly now be until the new House of Representatives, which will replace Congress, meets and appoints a new government, probably sometime in September.
The court ruling is seen as major blow to the Muslim Brotherhood which had supported Maetig’s appointment, and to the many Congress members who wanted to get rid of Thinni and his government.
Prime Minister-designate Ahmed Maetig this afternoon took over the Prime Ministry building with the help of Libya Shield forces and Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room. Although force was used there was no violence or shooting.
TRIPOLI: Libya's Supreme Court said on Thursday the election of Ahmed Maiteeq as prime minister was illegal, court officials said. Maiteeq's lawyers immediately filed an appeal against the ruling which was broadcast on television.
In a very short press conference today, Ahmed Maetig accepted the Supreme Court’s earlier ruling that his election as prime minister by Congress on 4 May was unconstitutional. He has resigned the appointment.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been criticized for suggesting that force should not be used to promote cultural values in the country. “Do not interfere in people’s lives so much, even if it is out of compassion,” Rouhani said at a health insurance conference on May 24 arranged by the administration. “Let people pick their own path to heaven. One cannot take people to heaven through force and a whip. The Prophet [Mohammad] did not have a whip in his hand.”
Today, May 27, influential conservative Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami responded, “We have to protect our Islamic system”. “We do not want to send anyone to heaven by force, but with your statements, do not straighten the path to hell for anyone.”
Ahmad Khatami compared the criticism against himself and other culturally conservative figures by more reform-minded officials in the administration with that of the early tumultuous years of the Reformist era under former President Mohammad Khatami.
As a member of the Assembly of Experts and a temporary Tehran Friday prayer leader, an important position that is assigned by a body which operates under the supreme leader’s office, Ahmad Khatami’s words typically receive a great deal of attention....
During his speech, Rouhani also recommended that authorities act in a way “so that there is calm in society.” His comments came after two high-profile incidents in Iran that became international news.
On May 21, the director and performers of a video posted to YouTube featuring Pharrell William’s song “Happy” were arrested for making an “obscene” film. Rouhani’s team tweeted in support of their release by quoting an old statement on happiness: "Happiness is our people's right. We shouldn't be too hard on behaviors caused by joy."
Osho: I am all for jokes, I am all for laughter
“I have to tell jokes because you are all religious people, you tend to be serious. I have to tickle you so sometimes you forget your religiousness, you forget all your philosophies, theories, systems,and you fall down to earth. I have to bring you back to the earth again and again, otherwise you will tend to become serious, more and more serious. And seriousness is a canceric growth.”
“Laughter relaxes. And relaxation is spiritual. Laughter brings you to the earth, brings you down from your stupid ideas of being holier-than-thou. Laughter brings you to reality as it is.
The world is a play of God, a cosmic joke. And unless you understand it as a cosmic joke you will never be able to understand the ultimate mystery. I am all for jokes, I am all for laughter.”
OSHO JOKE:: A schoolteacher in London had a mixed class containing children of all religions, of all nationalities. One day she asked her class who was the greatest man who ever lived, and said that the child who gave the correct answer would receive a shilling.
The first child was American and answered, George Washington.” Patrick O’Kelly was next and he said that St. Patrick was the greatest man who ever lived. Then there was an Indian child who said Gautam Buddha, and a Chinese who said Lao Tzu. Then little Abe was next in line and without hesitation he answered, “Jesus.”
The teacher promptly gave him the shilling and said, “Now tell me how it is that you, being a little Jew, and not believing in Jesus as the Christ, mention his name as the greatest man who ever lived?”
“Well,” replied Abe, “deep in my heart I know it was Moses, but business is business.” (source: oshobeats)
Damascus Countryside, (SANA) A delegation representing the Syrian communities in France and Belgium arrived Monday in Jdaidet Yabous crossing, Damascus Countryside to participate in the presidential elections scheduled on Tuesday.
Members of the delegation told SANA that they came to Syria after the French and Belgian governments have deprived them from practicing their democratic rights in the elections to make the presidential elections in Syria a success. They expressed support to their homeland and army in countering terrorism.
They touched upon the obstacles they faced at the airports, like cancelling the booking and flights without mentioning the reasons.
Chairman of the Expatriates Gathering for Syria Omran al-Khatib said that the French government prevented them from practicing their right to vote therefore they challenged its decision and came to Syria to elect among our people.
President al-Assad: The question really is: will the meeting of the French parliamentarians return the independence of France’s decisions back to the French? We hope that this would be the case. Since they will be working in the interests of France, will the representatives of the French people take the side of extremism and terrorism? Will they support those who perpetrated the September 11 attacks in New York, or those who bombed the Metro in Spain? Will the representatives of the French people support those who killed the innocents in France?
How can France fight terrorism in Mali and support it in Syria? Will France adopt the American model of double standards? How can the parliamentarians convince the French public that their country is secular, yet at the same time it supports extremism and sectarianism in other parts of the world? How can France advocate for democracy but yet one of its closest allies – Saudi Arabia – is still living in medieval times?
My message to the French Parliamentarians is: go back to the principles of the French Revolution that the whole world is proud of: Liberty, Justice, Equality. ...
The modern era has unfolded in the shadow of the French Revolution. French society itself underwent an epic transformation as feudal, aristocratic, and religious privileges evaporated under a sustained assault from various left-wing political groups, the masses on the streets, and peasants in the countryside. Old ideas about tradition and hierarchy regarding monarchs, aristocrats, and the Catholic Church were abruptly overthrown under the mantra of "Liberté, égalité, fraternité." Globally, the Revolution accelerated the rise of republics and democracies, the spread of liberalism and secularism... (Wikipedia info)
Malbrunot: When your father passed away, you visited France and were received by President Chirac. Everyone viewed you as a youthful and promising president and a successful ophthalmologist. Today, since the crisis, this image has changed. To what extent have you as a person changed?
President al-Assad: The more imperative question is: has the nature of this person changed? The media can manipulate a person’s image at a whim, yet my reality remains the same. I belong to the Syrian people; I defend their interests and independence and will not succumb to external pressure. I cooperate with others in a way that promotes my country’s interests. This is what was never properly understood; they assumed that they could easily influence a young president, that if I had studied in the West I would lose my original culture. This is such a naïve and shallow attitude. I have not changed; they are the ones who wished to identify me differently at the beginning. They need to accept the image of a Syrian president who embraces his country’s independence.
Syria is electing its president on Tuesday. Among the candidates are two opposition representatives and incumbent head of state Bashar Assad, who experts said would be a clear winner. According to sociologists, more than 70% of Syria's electorate (some 11 million people) are ready to support him. Voting stations operate in all regions of the country except the northern province of Raqqah which is controlled by radical militants.
Editor-in-chief of Syria's leading newspaper al-Watan Waddah Abed Rabbo said in an interview with ITAR-TASS that the outcome of the voting was clear as Syrians would certainly choose Assad, because no other politician can bring back peace and stability to the country. "People choose security and stability. They will vote for the person who will bring them peace and prospects for the future. People lived under President Assad, they know him and they will elect him," the expert said, noting that his forecast remained the same, i.e. 70% of voters would back Assad.
It is Syria's first election on an alternative basis, in accordance with the country's new Constitution of 2012. Assad is competing against two little-known rival politicians: a Communist deputy from Aleppo Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar, and businessman, former minister Hasan Abdel Illahi an-Nuri. The winner needs 50% plus one vote, otherwise a runoff election is held.
Half of all voters now live in Damascus, which has accommodated some 8 million refugees. They have the right to vote on the strength of their IDs at any voting station in the country.
The international community is equivocal about the election in the country where a civil war is raging. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon believes that the polls do not conform to the letter and spirit of the Geneva communique, adopted at the Geneva I conference on June 30, 2012...
The final document agreed with the need to form an interim government in Damascus to secure an election. Russia, however, believes that the election is yet another step towards stabilizing the situation in the country.
DAMASCUS, Syria — Traveling to the office of a government official required circumventing multiple blocked roads. The taxi driver took the initiative to explain: "The old presidential palace, known as Muhajireen Palace, is located here. It lies in the center of Damascus, in a neighborhood carrying the same name, Muhajireen. The president now spends much of his time here."
In the office of the Syrian government official, who requested anonymity, the air conditioner was running slowly. However, he was smiling and seemed relaxed, even delighted. He presented all of the developments occurring in his country with clear optimism. These developments ranged from the balance of military forces, international stances, public and secret diplomatic contacts, all the way to preparations for the presidential elections scheduled for June 3.
The official smiled before answering: "I can also choose not to recognize the president in any other country in the world. But what difference will my position make? None. What is important is who has authority on the ground and who practices it. This is what we have in Syria, and we are practicing it with the support of a clear majority of Syrians. The West will deal with us as a fait accompli. This equation has been known by us for a long time."
The official paused momentarily, as if giving exceptional importance to what he was going to say, continuing: "Do you know that this is what actually happened on the sidelines of the Geneva II meetings? They initially tried to set up the conference — in form and content — in order to delegitimize us. They exerted all their efforts to achieve this. But from the very beginning of the conference, they knew that they had failed. The scene of the so-called Syrian opposition delegation was enough to break down their attempts to distort the legitimacy of our authority and our representation of the Syrian state....
"After these attempts failed, it seemed that they went back and resorted to a counterplan.... Brahimi relayed a personal proposal for a meeting between Minister Moallem and Kerry's assistant, [Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs] Wendy Sherman. Jaafari said that this could not occur, but asked for clarification regarding the goal of these attempts. They said to him frankly: 'They want to convey to you a political message that they could turn a blind eye on Assad remaining in office, but without holding new presidential elections.' The Syrian constitution allows for the holding of these elections, and states that the president can continue in his position at the end of his term if a successor is not elected, and stay until one is elected. Thus, they had no problem with applying this text, but [they didn't] want us to conduct elections to re-elect Assad!"
The rebels have already been voting, early and often…with hot steel ballots. Shelling has continued on the outside of the city all day, mostly the morning wakeup call kind to remind people that they are still there, and then again at twilight… commonly done in past wars. We have the window open in the business office as the Dama Rose Hotel so we can hear the man made thunder.
I am with a group of ten Western observers who have come to not only to watch the Syrian people vote, but to record their feelings about the Western powers who are inflicting such destruction upon the country...
The destruction of Syria is already in the range of $140 billion. A generation of wealth has been destroyed and the war train rolls on....
The deployment of the terrorist brigades, first in the north and then filtering throughout the country, showed that we in the West had lost our moral compass… completely.
State sponsored terrorism is now the unwritten official foreign policy in the pursuit of ‘our interests’, the term that Obama mentioned early in his recent West Point graduation speech...
The US plans to have the Army topple Assad failed early so the Plan B with the terror brigades was deployed. The Army has rock solid support from the Syria people, and they have paid dearly for it having suffered the most casualties.
Damascus, SANA, Speaker of the People's Assembly, Mohammad Jihad al-Laham announced Wednesday that Dr. Bashar Hafez al-Assad won the post of the Syrian Arab Republic's President for a new constitutional term, having the majority of participants' votes with 10.319.723 votes and 88.7% of the correct votes. 73.42% of the 15.8 million eligible voters had taken part in the election.
Al-Laham added at a press conference that the Higher Constitutional court reached to the final result of the elections for the President of Syria for 2014 as follows:
He added that the number of votes each candidate has gained in a proper sequence was: Dr. Bashar Hafez al-Assad is 10.319.723 votes with 88.7% out of the correct votes, Dr. Hassan Abdullah al-Nouri, got 500,279 votes with a percentage of 4.3% of the valid votes, while Mr. Maher Abdul-Hafiz Hajjar got 372,301 with a percentage of 3.2% of the valid votes.
After three years of unimaginable atrocities..., the Syrian people demonstrated, by their participation, that they had not surrendered their national sovereignty to the geo-strategic interests of the U.S. and its colonial allies in Europe and Israel.
The dominant narrative on Syria, carefully cultivated by Western state propagandists and dutifully disseminated by their auxiliaries in the corporate media, is that the conflict in Syria is a courageous fight on the part of the majority of the Syrian people against the brutal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad. As the story goes, the al-Assad “regime,” (it is never referred to as a government), can only maintain its power through the use of force. By attacking “its own citizens,” the regime, representing the minority Alawite community, can only maintain its dominance over the rest of the country through sheer terror.
However, events in Syria, with the election being a dramatic example, continue to reveal fissures in that story.
First, it became clear that substantial numbers of non-Alawite people and communities support the government. And even those elements of Syrian society that were not enthusiastic supporters of the government grew to understand that the legitimate indigenous opposition had been displaced by powerful non-Syrian forces from the U.S. and the Gulf States who provided material, political and diplomatic support to an opposition that not only had tenuous ties to the country but seemed only committed to waging war. This convinced many that the only politically consistent option was to support the government, as an expression of support for Syria’s sovereignty and its’ national project.
As a result, not only did popular support for the government hold over the last three years of carnage, it expanded to include those in the opposition who were against the destruction of the country and the slimy Syrian ex-pats who traveled from one European capital to another begging for the U.S. and NATO to do what it did in Libya – destroy the infrastructure of the country through the use of NATO air power and flood the country with weapons.
The U.S. position is a position of continued war in Syria
Secretary of State John Kerry declared that Syria’s presidential election was a “farce,” and that the U.S. and its partners are prepared to quickly redouble efforts to support opposition forces in the county. The meaning of this position is that it does not matter what kind of public display of support is given to al Assad or anyone who might emerge as the head of state in Syria, the U.S. objective is more death, more war and more chaos.
This is the essence of the “new” global strategy unveiled by President Obama during his foreign policy speech at West Point last week. The U.S. declaration that it will “change the dynamics on the ground in Syria” came out of a meeting of the so-called “Friends of Syria,” a motley collection of 11 Western colonial nations and their Arab creations.
Questions of democratic legitimacy have never determined U.S. relationships with any state where the U.S. had strategic and economic interests.
If a commitment to democracy and democratic governance was the determining factor for U.S. support, the Obama Administration would not be in alliance with the dictatorship of the royalists in the Gulf states, it would have condemned the coups in Honduras and Egypt, not given diplomatic or economic support to the coup in Ukraine, and would not be supporting right-wing elements in Venezuela attempting to destabilize the democratically-elected government in that country.
Ajamu Baraka is a human rights activist, organizer and geo-political analyst. Baraka is an Associate Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) in Washington, D.C.
"When he was young, Saladin used to play this game. His mother chose for him a sport that was suitable for Jihad. She did not choose a game like backgammon or billiards, or any other soft and laid-back game. No. She chose a sport that would teach him Jihad and fighting..." Safwat Higazi (In 2012, Safwat launched MB candidate Mohamed Morsi's campaign)
Harming Islam and Arabism
“To the brothers and friends of Egypt ... I invite all to a donors conference ... to help it overcome its economic crisis,” King Abdullah said.
He said any country that did not contribute to Egypt’s future despite having the ability to do so would “have no future place among us.”
The King also urged “brothers and friends to avoid meddling in Egypt’s internal affairs,” warning that harming Egypt would amount to “harming Islam, Arabism and Saudi Arabia.”
He also urged Sisi to open up to the opposition, encouraging him to “accept the other opinion through a national dialogue with all parties whose hands have not been stained by the blood of the innocent.”
Riyadh has pledged billions of dollars in aid to Egypt’s new authorities. It pledged $5 billion in aid to Cairo, with Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates offering a combined $7 billion.
Bashar al-Assad's speech
The strength of Arabism lies in its diversity
The social structure of the Arab world, with its large diversity, is based on two strong and integrated pillars: Arabism and Islam. Both of them are great, rich and vital. Consequently, we cannot blame them for the wrong human practices. Furthermore, the Muslim and Christian diversity in our country is a major pillar of our Arabism and a foundation of our strength....
We should always know that Arabism is an identity not a membership. Arabism is an identity given by history not a certificate given by an organization. Arabism is an honor that characterizes Arab peoples not a stigma carried by some pseudo-Arabs on the Arab or world political stage. ...
The last thing in Arabism is race. Arabism is a question of civilization, a question of common interests, common will and common religions. It is about the things which bring about all the different nationalities which live in this place. The strength of this Arabism lies in its diversity not in its isolation and not in its one colordness.
Arabism hasn’t been built by the Arabs. Arabism has been built by all those non-Arabs who contributed to building it and those who belong to this rich society in which we live. Its strength lies in its diversity. ... The strength of our Arabism lies in openness, diversity and in showing this diversity not integrating it to look like one component. Arabism has been accused for decades of chauvinism. This is not true. If there are chauvinistic individuals, this doesn’t mean that Arabism is chauvinistic. It is a condition of civilization. (Uruknet, 10-1-2012)
"I am Sunni in practice, Shiite in allegiance. My roots are Salafi, and my purity is Sufi."
Syria's Grand Mufti Ahmad Badr-Eddin Hassoun (Sunni) said that the world should realize while seeing the presidential elections that Syria is "a country of one people and one leader"...
He addressed the leaders of the Arab world by saying "If you would let your peoples vote today, they would have voted for Bashar al-Assad, because he is no longer an icon of Syria only, but of the entire Arab nation in its steadfastness against your fake Spring." (SANA, 3-6-2014)
While the balloting and much of the pro-Assad spectacle seen on the streets of Damascus was stage-managed, even the president's staunchest enemies concede that the man who has led Syria since 2000 retains substantial backing.
"If only minorities were loyal to Assad, they (rebels) would have taken the country," said Wida Saleh, a 35-year-old lawyer and Assad supporter who reluctantly identified herself as a Sunni Muslim.
"But because the majority (Sunnis) are standing behind him, they have kept Syria standing," she said at a voting booth set up in Damascus' ornate, century-old Hijaz train station.
Saleh's comments were echoed by others interviewed by The Associated Press in a Sunni-dominated, middle-class neighborhood of central Damascus, as well as by Syrians across the political spectrum — including some of the tens of thousands who have fled their country for neighboring Lebanon.
The Muslim Brotherhood issued the following statement regarding the recent illegitimate presidential elections:
- First: This result will not change any coup realities on the ground. Needless to say, what is built on falsehood is false itself.
- Second: Our great people [..] know that the real ruler of Egypt since the coup is that same murderer, and that he is responsible for all the tragic events that hit the country, including political, economic and social destruction. He is also primarily responsible for the genocide executed ruthlessly by his security forces, the army, the police and the judiciary.
- Third: The end of the presidential blood ballot is the beginning of the last round of the conflict between our great people – of whom more than 90% boycotted that farce – and the coup.
Very soon, the people will celebrate the end to the coup and reclaim their freedom and independence of will.
Saudi Arabia has banned controversial Mufti Muhammad Al-Araifi from travelling to Qatar due to his support of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. Araifi, who is famous for his controversial fatwas (decrees), voiced his support for people demanding the return of the Egyptian overthrown president Mohamed Morsi to power. The Mufti is under pressure by Saudi officials for his support of Morsi and Muslim Brotherhood. (PressTV 20-7-2013)
The European Union said Thursday it was ready to work "closely" with newly elected Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi but urged him to ensure his government respected human rights and the rule of law.
In a statement the EU expressed its "willingness to work closely with the new authorities in Egypt in a constructive partnership with a view to strengthening our bilateral relations".
It outlined the "serious challenges" facing the country -- a "dire economic situation, the deep divisions within society, the security situation, and the respect of the human rights of all Egyptian citizens".
The EU said Egypt's new constitution enshrined a wide series of fundamental rights, but these were not always respected. This must be remedied for a true democracy to take root, it said...
Expressing the hope that President Sisi would meet these obligations, the EU said it was ready to support his efforts to stabilise the economy and improve good governance.
Presidential spokesperson Ihab Badawi said President Adly Mansour issued a decree on speeches and religious lessons in mosques and public squares, forbidding preachers who are not authorized by Al-Azhar or the Endowments Ministry to give sermons or speeches.
The decree obliges authorized preachers to wear the Al-Azhar uniform, and grants Endowments Ministry personnel judicial arrest powers against unauthorized preachers.
It stipulates imprisonment for not less than three months and not more than one year, and a fine of not less than LE20,000 and not more than LE50,000, or either penalty, for those violating. The penalty is doubled in case the violation is repeated.
It also stipulates imprisonment for not less than one months and not more than one year, and a fine of not less than LE10,000 and not more than LE30,000, or either penalty, for unauthorized preachers wearing the Al-Azhar uniform or demeaning it in any way.
According to a 2011 report issued by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Al Azhar is strongly Sufi in character:
"Adherence to a Sufi order has long been standard for both professors and students in the al-Azhar mosque and university system. Although al-Azhar is not monolithic, its identity has been strongly associated with Sufism.
The current Shaykh al-Azhar (rector of the school), Ahmed el-Tayeb, is a hereditary Sufi shaykh from Upper Egypt who has recently expressed his support for the formation of a world Sufi league. The former Grand Mufti of Egypt and senior al-Azhar scholar Ali Gomaa is also a highly respected Sufi master."
The nineteenth and current Grand Mufti of Egypt and Al Azhar scholar, Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim Allam is also a Sufi. (Wikipedia info)
Al-Azhar: What is Islam?
The name of this religion is Islam, which is the root of "Silm" and "Salam" which means peace. Salam may also mean greeting one another with peace.
One of the beautiful names of Allah is that He is the "Peace". It means more than that: submission to the One Allah, and to live in peace with the Creator, within one's self, with other people and with the environment. (Al-Azhar Website)
Turkey listed the al-Nusra Front, a branch of al-Qaeda operating in Syria and Lebanon, as a terrorist organization in a sign that it is growing more concerned about the rise of radical militants across its border. The Turkish government's decision also includes freezing the assets of individuals and organizations listed by the United Nations Security Council as being affiliated with al-Qaeda.
Turkey has long championed robust support for Syria's fragmented militant groups, but the growing influence of al-Qaeda-affiliated groups in the war-torn country has left it open to accusations that it is backing terrorist groups.
Lale Kemal, a security expert from Ankara, said that Turkey has provided at least tacit support to terrorist groups like al-Nusra by treating their wounded and providing logistic support, as well as by allowing their forces to use Turkish territory to regroup. But these groups have now started posing threats to Turkey itself and Turkey has already suffered from their activities, she added. She said the government's decision shows its awareness of al-Nusra's growing presence in its territory and its determination to stem the flow of radical terrorists.
"Turkey has also realized that other radical groups are also posing a threat to Turkey's security," said Kemal, adding that Turkey is now concerned with stopping the massive influx of foreign militants via Turkish territory.
Gokhan Bacik, an analyst and associate professor of international relations at Ankara's Ipek University, said the decision is in line with the policies of the United States and other Western countries, which have listed al-Nusra as a terrorist organization....: "In my understanding, Turkish government is under very big pressure from international community because of its foreign policy. So the government is trying to change its image by giving this kind of symbol," said Bacik.
A new play now showing at a London theatre sets out to tell a different story of the 2011 revolution, claiming Muammar Qaddafi was a benign figure and the NATO intervention as a capitalist conspiracy revolving around the World Bank.
In An Interview with Qaddafi, playwright Reggie Adams takes an antagonistic approach to the revolution... In his tale, struggling journalist Bellamy Johan heads out to cover the revolution at the suggestion of a ex-patriate Libyan neighbour... Johan pleads with his editor back in London to “get the truth out” about the revolution but she retorts that he is an idealist and a dinosaur for believing Qaddafi’s words.
In the final interview and penultimate scene of the play, the character of Qaddafi says: “Forces have conspired against my country…for 40 years I fought for my people. I liberated the country from imperialists. I have failed in this regard, I have failed the people.”
As he is dragged away by his female bodyguard, Qaddafi shouts out: “Capitalism will triumph over democracy...”
An Interview with Qaddafi runs until 29 June at London’s Waterloo East Theatre.
It is unlikely to be seen in Libya.
Questions everything we thought we knew about democracy
This is a dramatisation of real events from the fall of Gadaffi's Libyan regime in 2011, told through the eyes of weary, veteran journalist Bellamy Johan.
In a series of encounters in Libya as well as Skype calls to his three teenage children back in London, the fictitious John gives us a behind the scenes insight into the inner workings of the mainstream media covering a global conflict of which their viewers know little.
The result is a heartfelt and emotional ride that questions everything we thought we knew about democracy, global finance, political spin and, of course, Colonel Gadaffi.
Through a series of film-enhanced visuals and with a talented multi-character cast of four a very dramatic personal experience is achieved but we also emerge from the play with greater powers of political awareness. It's one part drama, one part political message and two parts pure entertainment.
The playwright, Reggie Adams, himself is a political journalist and campaigner. He's the author of Now Utopia, a work on political philosophy and macro-economics, which has become the manifesto for the UK's Humanist Party. (Broadwayword, 4-6-2014)
Can we believe all that we are told?
Can we believe all that we are told? Is telling the truth about a situation people should be aware of considered a hinderance? How far are we prepared to go to PROVE ones self? These are a few of the questions you ask yourself throughout and after this thought provoking piece of theatre.
The story follows political journalist Bellamy Johan who risks everything, including his life, in attempts to expose the truth behind the change in the 2011 Libyan regime. He unveils the goings on behind the scenes of the inner workings of the mainstream media, making us question what we thought we knew.
Though a two act play, the show is split into six sections. The plot thickens and intensifies mildly with each one looking at Conspiracy, Capitalism, Democracy, Money, Execution and the Epilogue.
An interview with Gaddafi is playing at: The Waterloo East Theatre until 29 June 2014. (West End Wilma, 7-6-2014)