Saddam's Death, Page 27
attempt to destroy political holism in the middle east

See also: Page 26: june 2013 - july 2013

"Nasser, as the activist leader of Pan-Arabism, became an idealized model for Saddam Hussein. At age 20, inspired by Nasser, Saddam joined the Arab Ba'th socialist Party in Iraq and quickly impressed party officials with his dedication. Two years later, in 1956, apparently emulating Nasser, Iraqi Army General Qassem led a coup which ousted the monarchy. But unlike Nasser, Qassem did not pursue the path of socialism and turned against the Ba'th party. ... Saddam went to Egypt to study law, rising to leadership ranks in the Egyptian Ba'th Party. He returned to Iraq after 1963 when Qassem was ousted by the Ba'ths and was elected to the National Command.
Michel Aflaq, the ideological father of the Ba'th party, admired young Hussein, declaring the Iraqi Ba'th party the finest in the world.... (Dr. Jerrold M. Post)

"Gamal Abdel-Nasser continues to inhabit Egypt because, like Bonaparte, he is the representative of an age of certain national glory, despite the mistakes and the military debacle. But there is more to it than this. Above all, he symbolises for Egyptians the expression of their independent national will. It is this that remains. It is in this that we must seek our project for the future" (Liberating Nasser's legacy, Al-Ahram Weekly 2000)

Page Index

Saddam began rebuilding the ruins of ancient Babylon. Saddam put up a large mural of himself next to Nebuchadrezzar at the entrance to the ruins. And echoing Nebuchadrezzar's practice, Saddam had his own name inscribed on the bricks used in the reconstruction. The inscriptions are reported to read: "This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq"


An ancient Semitic city in the Euphrates valley, which after 2250 B.C., as the capital of Babylonia, became a center of world commerce and of the arts and sciences, its life marked by luxury and magnificence. The city in which they built the Tower of Babel, its location coincides approximately with that of the modern city of Baghdad - now the center of a vast agricultural community. The Babylonians attached great importance to the motions of the planets, accurately fixed their orbits and worked out tables of the phases of the Moon, whereby eclipses could be correctly predicted. Their great astrological work, "The Illumination of Bel," was compiled within the period of 2100-1900 B.C..
Babylon is generally conceded to have been the cradle of astrology. It was overthrown in 539 A.D., by Xerxes, the Persian. (

About political holism

Political holism is based on the recognition that "we" are all members of a single whole. There's no "they," even though "we" are not all alike. Because "we" are all part of the whole, and therefore interdependent, we benefit from cooperating with each other. Political holism is a way of thinking about human cultures and nations as interdependent. Political holists search for solutions other than war to settle international disagreements. Their model of the world is one in which cooperation and negotiation, even with the enemy, even with the weak, promotes political stability more than warfare. In an overpopulated world with planet-wide environmental problems, the development of weapons of mass destruction has rendered war obsolete as an effective means to resolve disputes.

Political dualists consider political holists unpatriotic for questioning the necessity to defeat "them." In times of impending war, political dualists tend to measure patriotism by the intensity of one's hostility to the country's immediate enemy. Naturally, they would view as disloyalty any suggestion that the enemy is not evil, any call for cooperation with the enemy, any criticism of one's own country.
To political dualists, cooperation with the enemy means capitulation, relinquishment of the nation's position of dominance.

At its extreme, political dualism is essentially tribalism. (Betty Craige, 16-8-1997)

Zie ook: Gilad Atzmon & Het tribalisme

Egypt military: Mohammed Morsi no longer in office
PressTV, Jul 4, 2013

General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the head of Egypt’s army, announced that President Mohamed Morsi was no longer in office during a speech on state television on July 3, practically overthrowing him.” Sisi also suspended the country’s constitution, saying that new parliamentary elections will be held. The army chief declared Head of Supreme Constitutional Court Adli Mansour as the interim president. Egyptian security forces have detained two senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood close to Morsi. Rashad Bayoumi, the group’s deputy leader, and Saad al-Katatni, the leader of the Brotherhood’s political arm, were arrested just hours after Morsi’s overthrow.

Immediately following Gen. Al Sisi's announcement on Wednesday, the head of Al Azhar, the Cairo University that is widely acknowledged as the seat of Sunni learning, the pope of Egypt's Coptic Christian minority and Mohamed ElBaradei, the leader of Egypt's main opposition group, each addressed the Egyptian public to announce their support for Gen. Al Sisi's "road map."
The road map was meant to "rectify the course of the revolution," Mr. ElBaradei said. A national reconciliation committee would be formed to overcome Egypt's social divisions, he added, though he offered no details its work. "The important thing is that early presidential elections will be held," said Mr. ElBaradei. "That was one of the main demands of the people." (
Following Morsi’s overthrow, prominent opposition leader Amr Moussa said talks for a new Egyptian government had started: “Consultations will start from now, for a government and reconciliation,” said the former Arab League chief. “This is the end of Morsi’s regime. It’s over.”

In reaction to the events in Egypt, US President Barack Obama expressed deep concern over the Egyptian army’s removal of Morsi and urged a quick return to a civilian government.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “Many Egyptians in their protests have voiced deep frustrations and legitimate concerns. At the same time, military interference in the affairs of any state is of concern.”
Saudi King Abdullah congratulated Adli Mansour, saying his appointment comes at a “critical” time in the history of Egypt: “On behalf of the people of Saudi Arabia, I congratulate you for taking over the leadership of Egypt at this critical time in its history,” Abdullah said in an astonishingly quick message of congratulation to Mansour.

President al-Assad: "What is happening in Egypt
is fall of so-called "Political Islam"
Syrian Arab News Agency, Jul 04, 2013

Damascus, (SANA) – President Bashar al-Assad has said that what is happening in Egypt is the fall of so-called "political Islam", adding that those who use religion for political interests or for the interests of one group will fall anywhere in the world.
In an interview given to al-Thawra newspaper, President al-Assad said, "You cannot deceive everyone all the time, particularly the Egyptian people who have a civilization dating back to thousands of years, and clear pan-Arab nationalist thought."
The President added that after a year the image has become clear for the Egyptian people and the performance of the Muslim Brotherhood helped them uncover the lies made by the Brotherhood in the beginning of the popular revolution in Egypt."
President al-Assad said the experiment of the Muslim Brotherhood's rule failed even before it started because this kind of rule is not consistent with the nature of the people and the project of the brotherhood is hypocritical, because it actually aims at creating sedition in the Arab world.
The President stressed that sedition cannot last in societies that possess knowledge, adding "this is why from the beginning I said their project is a failure before it began and this is what made the Muslim Brotherhood's experiment fall quickly because it is wrong, and what is built on a wrong principle will definitely fall."

Morsi role at Syria rally seen as tipping point for Egypt army
The Irish Times, Jul 4, 2013

Army concern about the way President Mohamed Morsi was governing Egypt reached tipping point when the head of state attended a rally packed with hardline fellow Islamists calling for holy war in Syria, military sources have said.
At the June 15th rally, Sunni Muslim clerics used the word “infidels” to denounce both the Shias fighting to protect Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and the non-Islamists that oppose Mr Morsi at home.
Mr Morsi himself called for foreign intervention in Syria against Mr Assad, leading to a veiled rebuke from the army, which issued an apparently bland but sharp-edged statement the next day stressing that its only role was guarding Egypt’s borders. ...
For the army, the Syria rally had crossed “a national security red line” by encouraging Egyptians to fight abroad, risking creating a new generation of jihadists, said Yasser El-Shimy, analyst with the International Crisis Group.
At the heart of the military’s concern is the history of militant Islam in Egypt, homeland of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri. The military source condemned recent remarks made by “retired terrorists” allied to Mr Morsi, who has deepened his ties with the once-armed group al-Gamaa al-Islamiya.

Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya is an Egyptian Sunni Islamist movement, and is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and European Union. The group is (or was) dedicated to the overthrow of the Egyptian government and replacing it with an Islamic state.
From 1992-1998 Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya fought an insurgency against the Egyptian government during which at least 796 Egyptian policemen and soldiers, Al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya fighters, and civilians including dozens of tourists were killed.
In 2003 the imprisoned leadership of the group renounced bloodshed, and a series of high-ranking members have since been released by Egyptian authorities, and the group has been allowed to resume semi-legal peaceful activities.
Following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, the movement formed a political party, the Building and Development Party, which gained 13 seats in the 2011-2012 elections to the lower house of the Egyptian Parliament. (Wikipedia info)

‘Jordan Brotherhood has lessons to learn from Egypt’
by Khetam Malkawi and Khaled Neimat,| Jul 04, 2013

AMMAN: Islamists in Jordan will have to revisit their approach following events in Egypt where president Mohamed Morsi was deposed Wednesday and his group sidelined after one year in power.
According to Fahed Kheitan, a columnist at Al Ghad daily, the Muslim Brotherhood will go through a transformational phase following the drastic changes in Egypt, but they have a chance to “turn the challenge to an opportunity” if they re-invent themselves.
“They should learn from what happened in Egypt,” the analyst said, adding that with the relapse in the status of the Egypt-based international organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood, “branches everywhere else are left on their own”.
Asked how a feasible approach of the group would look like, Kheitan said the Islamists have to “free Islam from their ideology and stop claiming that they are the only representatives of the faith”. “I believe they are not ready yet to be that positive,” he said... (Jordan Times 2013)

Arabism is the universal identity of all Arabs
by Talal Salman, As-Safir Newspaper 3-7-2013

The objections against the Muslim Brotherhood included their seeking to monopolize power, their use of religious slogans to brand those who oppose them as apostates, their submission to American hegemony, their seeking the approval of the Israeli occupation, their abandoning of the Arab’s No. 1 cause of Palestine, and their enthusiastic support for the Syrian oppositionists, especially the Islamists, many of whom are even bloodier than al-Qaeda, and deny the Arab identity of the Syrian people.

Arabism is the universal identity of all Arabs — Muslims, Christians, Copts, and those of other religions.
The return to Egypt of Nasserite discourse (of President Gamal Abdel Nasser) is not a reaction to the Brotherhood’s discourse. It is an expression of the Arab nation’s spirit and the Arab peoples’ goal of ridding themselves of foreign domination, confronting Israeli occupation, and rebuilding their economies on a sound footing to preserve the Arab peoples’ dignity and reject the humiliation imposed by foreign (and American-controlled) financial institutions.
The facts have revealed that Islamist organizations consider their true enemy to be Arabism, which is the universal identity of the Arab peoples and represents their aspirations to freedom, progress and unity.
The Lebanese people are aware of that fact and have paid a heavy price when their leaders ignored Arabism. When Arabism took a backseat, such as what happened in Syria and Egypt, a climate of civil war returned to Lebanon because the Lebanese sects start fighting over which sect will control the government. Lebanon’s only safety net is when Arabism prevailed in the region, be it in Syria or Egypt. ..

The majority of the Arabs are Muslims, but they do not accept extremism or factionalism. ...
Slogans are not enough. Chanting “no to sectarianism” or “no to the dominance of one opinion, one organization, or one leader” is not enough. It is not enough for everybody to be opposed to a religious government. It is not enough for everybody to oppose a military dictatorship. It is not enough for everybody to proclaim their belief in democracy.
They must also have a competent leadership made up of qualified people who will put forth a national plan that the Egyptians would support but that also would inspire the Arabs in other countries. Egypt should not care only about itself because isolationism will kill the Egyptian revolution.

In the 1950s, when all the Arabs looked to Egypt for leadership, Egypt was not greater nor militarily stronger than it is today. Back then, the Arabs looked toward Egypt because they lacked leadership at home. So the Arabs responded to Egypt’s call and moved to support the Egyptian revolution. Today, the Arabs are again without leadership and they are once again looking toward Egypt to supply it.

The secular, Arab-Nationalist agenda of Nasser was not compatible with the Brotherhood’s ideal Islam-based society. These two opposing views would lead to a direct conflict between the two entities. Nasser’s bold vision of an independent and modern Arab world clashed with the Brotherhood’s traditional approach steeped in culture and Islam. (Source)

Nasserism is an Arab nationalist and pan-Arab ideology, combined with a vaguely defined socialism, often distinguished from Eastern bloc or Western socialist thought by the label 'Arab socialism'. Though opposed ideologically to Western capitalism, Arab socialism also developed as a rejection of communism, which was seen as incompatible with Arab traditions, and the religious underpinnings of Arab society.
Though mindful of the Islamic and Christian heritage of the Arab World, as with Ba'athism, Nasserism is largely a secular ideology. Just as with other manifestations of Arab nationalism, this led to direct conflict with Islamic orientated Arab political movements from the 1950s onwards, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood...(Wikipedia info)

Qaradawi says in fatwa Egyptians should back Mursi
Reuters, Jul 6, 2013

Youssef al-Qaradawi, a Qatar-based cleric declared in a religious edict, or fatwa, that Egyptians should support ousted President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood and the military should withdraw from the political scene.
Egyptian-born Youssef al-Qaradawi, one of the most prominent Sunni clerics in the Middle East, said in the fatwa posted on his website that the military's intervention to depose Mursi on Wednesday was against democracy and the constitution.
"Doctor al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa on the necessity to support the elected Egyptian president Mohamed Mursi, and to retain the constitution... and calling on al-Sisi and those with him to withdraw to preserve legitimacy and democracy," the posting said.
Qaradawi, chairman of the International Federation of Muslim Scholars, has been a vociferous supporter of the revolutions that roiled Arab countries in 2011. Last month he called for a holy war in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad.

On 21 February 2011, al-Qaradawi 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! It is not permissible (lâ yajûzu) to any officer, be he a officer pilot, or a ground forces officer, or an air forces officer, or any other, it is not permissible to obey this man within disobedience (ma‘siya) [to God], in evil (sharr), in injustice (zulm), in oppression (baghî ‘alâ) of [His] servants.

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi and Political Opportunism
By As'ad AbuKhalil, Al-Akhbar 28-3-2012

For some reason, Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is the guru of Islamists in the Arab world. In fact, the reason is obvious: there is such a dearth of leaders in the movement that this man has become widely influential.
It would be unfair to say that his influence stems solely from the exposure that he is provided by Qatar through his weekly TV program on Al Jazeera. Qaradawi is a prolific author and he uses simple language to issue his declarations and rulings about interpretations of Shariah.

Qaradawi fled Egypt when Nasser figured out that he could not allow the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to remain as a fifth column inside Egypt. It was no secret that while Nasser was aligned with the socialist camp, the MB served as a tool of the US and Gulf regime during the Cold War...
Gulf regimes (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE primarily) opened their borders and universities and ministries to the Islamists. They filled top posts in government, particularly in education, awqaf (religious endowment), and even in policy making. Sudanese Islamists were instrumental in drafting the constitutions of several Gulf states.

Qaradawi was hosted in Qatar and he taught at its university. But unlike most Islamists in exile, he established a close relationship with the current Emir. Qaradawi was a key ingredient in the formation of Al Jazeera, and he even helped staff the network with many Islamists from several Arab countries.
Qaradawi has been noted for his political cowardice: not only for his subservience (like all other Islamists in the GCC countries) to the ruler, but for strictly adhering to the foreign policies of the ruler. Qaradawi never ever criticized Bashar Assad and even showered him with praise, until the Emir decided to break with the Assad regime. Qaradawi was also favorable in his views on Iran until this past year when Qatar changed course.

US 'not aligned' with any party in Egypt transition: Obama
Ahram online|AFP , Sunday 7 Jul 2013

President Barack Obama condemned the ongoing violence across Egypt and expressed concern over the continued political polarization," according to a White House statement. He "reiterated that the United States is not aligned with, and does not support, any particular Egyptian political party or group," according to the statement.
"The United States categorically rejects the false claims propagated by some in Egypt that we are working with specific political parties or movements to dictate how Egypt's transition should proceed," it said.
"We remain committed to the Egyptian people and their aspirations for democracy, economy opportunity, and dignity. But the future path of Egypt can only be determined by the Egyptian people." The White House called on Egyptians to "come together in an inclusive process that allows for the participation of all groups and political parties."
"We urge all Egyptian leaders to condemn the use of force and to prevent further violence among their supporters, just as we urge all those demonstrating to do so peacefully," it said.
"Yesterday and today, Secretary Hagel spoke to Egyptian Defense Minister al-Sisi on three occasions to discuss on-going events in Egypt," Pentagon spokesman George Little said.
"Hagel emphasized the need for a peaceful civilian transition in Egypt. He also noted the importance of security for the Egyptian people, Egypt's neighbors, and the region..."

Bashar al-Assad: What is happening in Syria
is the complete opposite to the concept of jihad
By The Syrian Observer, 5-7-2013

President Bashar al-Assad gave an interview o the local newspaper al-Thawra, in which he claimed that his opponents have “used up all their tools” and failed to overthrow his regime.

Interviewer: During this difficult time of crisis, it has often been said that Syria can accommodate everyone, but in reality it has not embraced all of its citizens. What has led us to this point?

President Assad: We often view nations as a group of people occupying a certain territory; whereas in fact a nation is about a sense of belonging and of culture which both ultimately form a collective identity. With a strong sense of belonging, we can ensure a united country that includes everyone. When the colonial powers left Syria, it was not to liberate the country but to reoccupy it through other means.
One of their core strategies was to divide and conquer. By division, I do not mean redrawing national borders but rather fragmentation of identity, which is far more dangerous.
When we live in the same territory but have different identities, we are already a divided country because each group isolates itself from the rest. When this happens, it is right to say that the country does not accommodate everyone.
In this context colonialism has been successful in creating separatist groups that consider their ideologies and values as solely and legitimately representing the country and hence rejecting all other groups. This success has not happened overnight, but rather during several stages. ....

The rifts we have witnessed in modern history have come with the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood and the negative role they have played after the independence of many Arab countries like Syria. They created the first split between Pan-Arabism and Islam, working hard to form a country for Islamists and another for nationalists.
These attempts continued when colonist powers in Lebanon attempted to create a country for Muslims and another for Christians. The implications of the Muslim Brotherhood have transpired, the most dangerous of which is the presence of Al Qaeda which was generously supported by the West on the back of the Islamic revolution in Iran. ....
The more schism in a country, the less it is able to accommodate its entire people. On the contrary, Syria is still accommodating to all Syrians due to people’s ability to grasp these realities and reject this strife hence preventing it from materializing. Syria remains for all Syrians as long as we can prevent these pockets of extremisms from spreading.

Interviewer: Mr President. You first stated that what is happening in Syria is not a revolution... What made you say that it was not a revolution from the inception?

President Assad: From a historical perspective, any genuine revolution is purely internal and cannot be linked externally by any means, as manifested by the Russian, French and even the Iranian revolutions. Real revolutions are intrinsic, spontaneous, and are led by intellectual and ideological elites. What occurred in Syria since the outset of the crisis was flagrant external interference. There were attempts to hide this, but it has become absolutely clear.
Secondly, the real revolution of 1963 was a revolution that empowered the country, society and human values. It promoted science and knowledge by building thousands of schools, it brought light to the Urban and rural areas of Syria by building electricity lines and networks, it strengthened the economy by providing job opportunities according to competencies. It supported the wider foundations of society including farmers, labourers and skilled-workers. ...
Revolutions are about building countries and societies, not about destroying them; so how can we call what is happening in Syria a revolution? Attempts to package the events on the ground as a part of a revolution have been futile from the beginning. ....

Interviewer: Nonetheless Mr President, do you agree that the concepts and forms of revolutions have changed significantly from previous examples such as the Russian or French Revolution? Is it not possible to consider what is happening in Syria a revolution according to different concepts? Is it necessary for all revolutions in history to follow the same methods and paths?

President Assad: Everything in the world changes however, there are fundamental human principles that should remain constant. Religions do not change, although they deal with change. Principles do not change, however mechanisms need to be adjusted to keep up with time. If for the sake of argument we are to accept the notion that the concept of revolutions change, which would then make what is happening in Syria a revolution, we should then accept that the Israeli acts against Palestinians constitute an Israeli revolution against Palestinian oppression, or that the American invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan was a revolution. To accept the fact that conditions and circumstances are perpetuated or altered should not mean that principles are fundamentally undermined.
The West and all its propaganda have always attempted to realign the facts upside down to serve their agenda. Rights become wrongs and wrongs become rights that then legitimize their political practices. If they do that, it doesn’t mean that we should sleepwalk with them.

Interviewer: Despite this, Mr President, some outside Syria and even inside Syria have called it – and still do – a revolution. This is a real controversy that needs clarification.

President Assad: To correct your question, even the western media and statements by western officials hostile to Syria could not ignore that it was not a revolution. The term “revolution’s is no longer used. They have now shifted towards discussing terrorism, adopting the American notion of differentiating between ‘good terrorists’ and ‘bad terrorists.’ ...
There are of course those who refuse to see the reality because it serves their own agendas. Some embrace the same doctrines as the terrorists - the takfiri extremist ideology, so it is expected that they would believe this to be a revolution. There are others who suffer from ignorance and lack of judgement, who see through their eyes yet have a mental blackout. These groups bear little significance and are gradually shrinking...

Interviewer: With regards to the external factors, it is well known that there are foreign fighters in Syria, possibly up to tens of thousands according to Western estimates. Mr President, why has Syria turned into a land for Jihad, and how has that transpired in such a short period of time?

President Assad: Syria has not turned into a land for Jihad. Jihad usually denotes benevolence; it is about construction, development, defending the country and the messages advocated in religion relating to virtuousness, justice and equality. What is happening in Syria is the complete opposite to the concept of jihad; Syria has turned into a land for terrorism.
This is due to several reasons. Chaos is a fertile environment for terrorism to breed. When the state was weakened in Afghanistan, terrorism flourished. The same happened in Iraq after the invasion. As they attempted to weaken Syria, the ensuing chaos transformed into terrorism. ...

Interviewer: Mr President going back to your definition of jihad in its true meaning, we find unfortunately that the more prevalent form is based on fighting and killing. What can be done about this?

President Assad: The solution is to seek guidance from the Quran where the clear words of God resonate. Islam is a religion of mercy and forgiveness; the word “mercy” is cited tens of times in the Quran.
Islam came to promote human values, enshrine mercy and love, and prevent killing. Did the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) not say in the Hadith al-Sharif: “The demise of the universe is easier for God to condone than the wrongful killing of a believer?” The Quran and the Hadith are both clear in promoting love, forgiveness, justice and humanity. Those who claim to emulate the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) should remember his behaviour as a human being before and after he became a prophet, they will find that his message was primarily based on human morals and principals. ...
If we go back to the Quran, the Hadith and the life and conduct of the Prophet, we will see the complete opposite of what these terrorists are practicing.

In a previous interview, I discussed the role of religious clerics.... The majority of those who emanated from mosques at the beginning chanting “Allah Akbar” did so to incite chaos and hatred whilst knowing nothing of religion. Others attended mosques to protest and chant “Allah Akbar” but in reality they did not know how to pray.
On the other hand, the religious institutions have existed for decades and they have been empowered and supported as far back as the1980’s during the Muslim Brotherhood crisis. The crisis at that time highlighted the importance of nurturing religious belief correctly since many Syrians were misled due to misguided religious awareness.
The Muslim Brotherhood exploited the weaknesses in religious clerics and in society propagating themselves as strengthening religion in society against an “atheist” state fighting religion. Consequently, and based on the above, I believe that on the backdrop of this crisis, we need to embrace religion and religious institutions, and certainly not the opposite. ...

Interviewer: There were attempts before and during the crisis to draw Syria into this sectarian tension. More than two years into the crisis, they have been utilizing the example of Hezbollah to bolster the notion that it came to defend a certain sect. What is your view on this?

President Assad: They have used all methods in this region: direct and indirect occupation, threats, intimidation, as well attempts to breach our national security and culture. They have tried everything and Syria continues to be a source of hindrance to their objectives. Recent events in Arab countries were seen as an opportunity to strike Syria and undermine and weaken the axis of resistance in the region.
The core of their objective now is redefine who is an enemy and who is an ally; Israel becomes the invisible enemy, even an ally for some, whilst the resistance becomes the enemy. Instead of representing a movement and an actor against Israeli occupation, the attempt is to project the resistance as the enemy, transforming it from a resistance movement to sectarian movement....

Interviewer: Mr President, despite what you have said, there are some in the opposition, most notably those who are outside Syria, who insist that a sectarian struggle is the core issue and that the government has engineered it to augment its own benefits.

President Assad: If the government creates sectarian strife in Syria, it would then be leading the country towards division. Our battles across all of Syria are principally to safeguard the country’s demographic diversity and unity, which essentially discredits this notion. Sectarian strife conspicuously negates the interest of the government. The government has an interest in keeping Syria united, strong and prosperous. A sectarian approach would result in us losing the battle not winning it. A government would be ignorant to adopt such a strategy and the Syrian government is certainly not. If a government works for the best interests of the nation, it does its best to ensure society’s unity and consequently ensures its own strength. ..

Interviewer: But these accusations that the government created a sectarian struggle, are not only from those bearing an extremist ideology but also from intellectuals who claim to be secularists.

President Assad: This is regrettably true. Most of the sectarian discourse today is not only by takfiri extremists, but also by those who claim to be secular. There are two groups that advocate sectarianism: the first regard themselves as secular - we have repeatedly stated that secularism is not against religions but rather a form of freedom of confession. The other group are ignorant people who claim to be religious without understanding the essence of religion.
The common element between the first group, which claims to be cultured and secular, and the second – which claims to understand the true essence of religion is ignorance; ignorance of religion leads to sectarianism...

Interviewer: Taking into consideration these distorted concepts and perverse practices in our society from beheading and slaughtering to sectarianism and fragmentation, are we beginning to see the defeat of Arab Nationalism to the hands of fanaticism and takfiri ideology?

President Assad: Arab identity is endangered by three factors: firstly, an absolute deviation towards the West, secondly, the inclination towards extremism and thirdly, the performance of successive Arab governments which has led some to shift away from the core of Arab nationalism. These three deadly threats have dealt severe blows to Pan-Arabism, but Arab nationalism is still alive and this can be felt in the popular mood. Pan-Arabism will not collapse because it is deeply rooted in our Arab identity.

Interviewer:Mr President, The Syrian government announced its intention to attend the Geneva talks with no pre-conditions. Will we talk to the Muslim Brotherhood?

President Assad: We deal with all parties. In fact, we engaged with the Muslim Brotherhood after they were defeated in Syria in 1982. We believe that dialogue is the method to direct parties onto the right track and national position. If we are to discuss Islam, they should refer back to the correct Islam for all Syrians.
This dialogue has never stopped, and there have been several attempts, but every time we realize that the Muslim Brotherhood have not abandoned their hypocrisy. Their main concern remains power and ruling rather than religion or the interests of the country. We engage with them as individuals and not as a political party, since our constitution and legislations ban political parties based on religious ideology.

This should not be understood as being anti-religion; on the contrary, we support religion. Religion is a calling, a higher calling to teach the word of God and should be elevated to a much higher level than ruling people’s daily lives. Religion is for all humanity and not exclusive to a certain group; it has a higher purpose than the details and nuances of our human lives which encompass wrongdoings, sins, perversities and whims. Religion should not be reduced to a political party. Religion augments moral values, which in turn reinforces politics, parties, the economy and prosperity. It is for these reasons that we do not recognise them as a political party....
As I mentioned earlier though, we have engaged with individuals within the Brotherhood and they have returned to Syria. They maintain their religious beliefs, which we respect, and have contributed to building the country rather than destroying it. ...

Interviewer: Our state institutions are being vandalised and destroyed. Some perceive that these manifestations are the beginning of the collapse of the Syrian state.

President Assad: Their objective was to destroy our infrastructure, undermine our security, drain our economy and create chaos that would all lead to a failed state; none of this has materialised. ....
All countermeasures have been deployed against us including the use of economic, military and psychological warfare. The only thing they have not tried is direct intervention, which is beyond their means for various reasons; as I have said before, starting a war is different to ending it. No one can end a war, and no one knows where it will end. This has critical and dangerous bearings, which is why there is a lot of reluctance on the part of many countries. If we have overcome all of these stages with a high level of public awareness and solidarity; there is nothing we should fear. That’s why I am not worried.

Muslim Brotherhood: "Determination
to defeat the treacherous, ruinous coup"
IkhwanWeb, Sunday, July 7,2013

Muslim Brotherhood Chairman Mohamed Badie expresses relentless determination and resolve to defeat the treacherous, ruinous coup in Egypt, despite the waves of vengeful persecution by authorities.
In a statement Sunday, Dr. Mohamed Badie, Muslim Brotherhood Chairman, said: "The illegitimate coup regime’s continued ‘security’ campaigns call to mind Mubarak regime repression, with authorities arresting Al-Shater, Deputy Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail, MP Mohamed Al-Omda, as well as the former Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Mohamed Saad Katatni and Dr. Rashad Bayoumi, Deputy Chairman of the Brotherhood."
"Coup authorities persist in their criminal activities and say that there is a long list of arrests waiting for honorable citizens of this homeland."
Dr. Badie added, "This barbarism refutes the corrupt coup regime’s false slogans of commitment to and respect for democracy and human rights. Nevertheless, the will of the people will remain high above the will of the coup conspirators."

At least 35 people were killed on Monday in Cairo, Egyptian Health Ministry spokesman said, when the Muslim Brotherhood said shots were fired at supporters of deposed President Mohammed Mursi near the military building where he is being held. (Al-Akhbar, 8-7-2013)

Freedom and Justice Party Statement on Republican Guard HQ Massacre
IkhwanWeb, Monday, July 8,2013

The number of martyrs killed in this massacre by army and police forces has exceeded 73 and is rising as a result of serious injuries among the wounded who number over a thousand, most of whom are in a critical condition...

The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) affirms that the precious blood of martyrs will only increase its determination and resolve. This blood will be a deserved curse on the criminal coup regime and all those who assist, sit with or support it.
The FJP calls on the great Egyptian people to a peaceful uprising against those who want to steal their Revolution with tanks and armored vehicles, even over the dead bodies of the people.
It calls on the international community and international organizations and bodies as well as all the free world to intervene to stop further massacres and reveal the truth about military rule so we should not have another Syria catastrophe in the Arab world.

Contradictory stories
Ahram online, 8-7-2013

Conflicting reports have emerged on how the clashes started on the fifth day of a Muslim Brotherhood spearheaded sit-in at the army facility to demand the return of deposed President Mohamed Morsi.
In an official statement published by Al-Ahram Arabic news website, the army said an "armed terrorist group" attempted to break into the Republican Guard headquarters in the early hours of Monday and "attacked security forces."
The Muslim Brotherhood's FJP, however, issued an official statement saying "peaceful protesters were performing the Fajjr (dawn) prayers" when the army "fired tear gas and gunshots at them without any consideration for the sanctity of prayers or life." "This is also a violation against people's right to peaceful protest," it added.
The army, however, said it had arrested at least 200 people who had “large quantities of firearms, ammunition and Molotov cocktails.”

Parliamentary elections and ratification of amended 2012 constitution
Ahram Online, Monday 8 Jul 2013

Egypt’s interim president Adly Mansour has issued the anticipated constitutional declaration that will remain effective until the end of the ongoing transitional period, which will last for least six months according to the declaration. The transitional period has started upon issuing of the constitutional declaration and ends after the presidential elections, due next year. Parliamentary elections should take place during the transitional period before the presidential polls.
The constitutional declaration stipulates that the president is to form within 15 days a committee to amend the frozen 2012 constitution. The committee is given a month-long period to wrap up the amendments.

The committee is to consist of two members of the High Constitutional Court, two judges, two members of State Council, and four constitutional law professors from Egyptian universities. Members of the committee will be chosen by the respective judicial bodies, the constitutional declaration stipulates, while Egypt’s Supreme Council of Universities is to assign the constitutional law professors.
The committee tasked with amending the 2012 constitution shall refer the amendments to another committee formed of 50 members, who shall represent all layers of society. Members of the second committees will represent political parties, intellectuals, workers, farmers, syndicates, national councils, Al-Azhar, Egyptian church, armed forces, and police, in addition and other public figures. Ten youth and women should be among the members.

The 2012 constitution was suspended as part of the Egyptian armed forces’ roadmap for Egypt’s future, which saw former president Mohamed Morsi ousted on 3 July following mass protests across the nation against him.
Egypt’s non-Islamist political forces have repeatedly argued the suspended constitution was not representative of all layers of society and limiting many freedoms, blaming the majority Islamist members of the outgoing constituent assembly for ignoring their recommendations.

Tunis Mufti ousted from his position
Says his sacking was due to opposing Jihad in Syria
The Tunis Times, 8-7-2013

This year the Tunisian people will not watch their habitual Mufti Othman Batikh announcing the upcoming of Ramadan, on TV. The venerable Sheikh bade farewell to the people. Despite his neutrality on the Tunisian political scene, Batikh was ousted from his position, which he filled since 2008.
What are the reasons lying behind Batikh’s removal?

The dismissed Mufti has lately made public his opposition to Jihad in Syria, deeming what happens in Syria as falling only in the competence of Syrian people. Sheikh Batikh declared in April “the war in Syria does not concern the Tunisians directly,” adding, “the jihad of Tunisians in Syria causes a lot of embarassement to both Tunisia and Syria.» The Mufti went even beyond stating, «Before, the young used to emigrate illegally to Italy, today, they changed their destination: they head to Syria”.
He added bitterly “I also want to say that those who make Fatwas and foreign practices to our traditions today, unfortunately, influence families to send their children to jihad. »

Sheikh Othman Batikh also told the media that “the so-called jihad of Nikah (marriage), is nothing but a form of prostitution”. He also voiced his concerns about the sexually transmitted diseases that these Jihadist women will bring as soon as they come back to Tunisia. He was referring to the Tunisian sent to Syria to offer their bodies to “Jihadist brothers” in a jihad, they believe, is in Allah’s name.
Batikh’s declarations appear to embarrass the interim government, which is heavily indebted and which is putting all its weight betting with Qatar’s petrodollar Emirs on the overthrow of Bashar Al Assad and the collapse of Syria.

Tunisia Mufti Othman Batikh denounces radical fatwas
By Jamel Arfaoui in Tunis for Magharebia,15/04/2013

Sheikh Othman Batikh is warning against the spread of radical fatwas out of step with Islam.
"Anarchic fatwas issued usually by ignorant people or those unacquainted with Islamic law have become a danger to the community," Sheikh Othman Battikh told Shems FM on Thursday (April 11th). .... "Some of the fatwas are contradictory and out of touch with our culture."

Religious Affairs Minister Noureddine Khadmi last month addressed the issue of foreign fatwas. "Fatwas must be based on scientific, methodological and objective authorities," the minister said. "Anyone who issues a fatwa, whether locally or abroad, is the only one concerned by it and does not have the right to commit other Tunisians or the state," Khadmi added.

No major difference between visions of
ultra-Orthodox parties and Muslim Brotherhood
Yaron London, YNet News, 9-7-2013

As we follow the dramatic developments in Egypt, we should ask ourselves in what ways we are similar to the Egyptians and how we differ from them. Those who object to the comparison will say: What does one thing have to do with the other? Our political tradition, they'll say, is democratic and our ancient culture excels in verbal disputes, not blandishing swords. I disagree. I believe a cautious comparison is the main benefit from the analysis of the reasons behind the events in Egypt. ....
The threat to us lies in the relationship between theocracy and democracy. The literal meaning of theocracy is the rule of god, but the lord needs mediators – priests - who claim to know what he wants. It is forbidden to question their interpretation, so the rule of god is actually nothing more than the despotic rule of his authorized interpreters....

Among the 3.8 million citizens who voted in the elections for the 19th Knesset, 528,000 supported Shas and United Torah Judaism, parties which take orders from rabbis who despise democracy and are longing for the day when the halacha will replace the laws being enacted by the people through their elected representatives. There is no significant difference between the vision of these parties and the Muslim Brotherhood's vision. In the last elections some 346,000 supported Habayit Hayehudi, a party which hails democracy. However, half of the MKs on its roster declare their subordination to rabbis and favor the supremacy of "Judaism" over democracy.
Among Likud's supporters there are also those who are in favor of a regime that is guided by the halacha. They are not conservatives like the Christian parties that rule some countries in Europe. Rather, they are messianic religious Jews who are certain the people will eventually hand over to them the reins of government peacefully. Is this not what happened in Egypt?

By obeying the Rabbis we are indirectly obeying God
by Nehemia Gordon

I was raised as a religious Orthodox Jew... My rabbis explained to me [..] that the "Oral" Torah commands us to obey the Rabbis and by obeying the Rabbis we are indirectly obeying God. So the blessing that God commanded us to wash our hands is really a declaration of our obedience to the God-given authority of the Rabbis to enact new commandments.
To someone uninitiated in Orthodox Judaism this may sound incredible. But the key to understanding this is the ancient Pharisee concept of "Oral" Torah. Orthodox Jews believe that during the 40 days and 40 nights Moses was on Mt. Sinai he was given a second Torah that was to be transmitted orally. The belief in this Oral Torah (also called Oral Law) is the basic doctrine that defines modern Orthodox Jews and ancient Pharisees alike (Babylonian Talmud, Sabbath 31a; Josephus Flavius, Antiquities of the Jews 13.10.6).

The Oral Torah commands obedience to the Pharisee Rabbis and gives them the prerogative to create new commandments called takanot ("enactments"). Modern Orthodox Jews and ancient Pharisees consider obedience to these Rabbinical enactments as obedience to God and in some respects even more important than the commandments of the Torah.

Jama'a al-Islamiya leader: We will fight to defend Morsy
Egypt Independent, 11/07/2013

Jama'a al-Islamiya leader Assem Abdel Maged said Wednesday night that supporters of toppled Islamist President Mohamed Morsy would “fight” for his reinstatement. Abdel Maged, a member of the Jama'a al-Islamiya Shura Council, said that the US supported what he called the “coup against the legitimacy of [former] President Mohamed Morsy.”
In a speech he delivered to the pro-Morsy protesters at Rabaa al-Adawiya, in Nasr City, he added that the US is fighting Islam and is working to transform Egypt from an Islamic state to a secular state led by the corrupt opposition.
Abdel Maged added, "We will fight for elected legitimacy and for Islam. We will not abandon the squares," calling on protesters to remain in the squares until Morsy returns to power.
Abdel Maged added that he rejects negotiations with illegitimate figures. "We will only speak with President Morsy, who will return soon." Abdel Maged also accused the media of spreading lies.

"We will fight for Sharia"
Before it's news, 15-10-2012

Jama’a al-Islamiya hinted (Friday 12-10-2012) that it may be willing to resort to violence in order to see Sharia adopted in the latest draft of the constitution from the Constituent Assembly. The group called on Egyptians to collect funds for what it described as a battle against “secularists and liberals.”
Jama’a al-Islamiya leader Mohamed Salah is a member of the Jurisprudence Commission for Rights and Reform, which is comprised of a number of Islamist figures, including Khairat al-Shater, deputy supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood. Salah said during a conference in the Ain Shams neighborhood that Egyptians should “support Islamic Sharia in the Egyptian constitution,” and that “Jama’a al-Islamiya will fight for the application of God’s law, even if that requires bloodshed.”
He called on Islamist movements to organize mass demonstrations to “trap secularists inside the place where the Constituent Assembly holds its meetings, so that everyone knows that the people want an Islamist [state].” He also demanded that President Mohamed Morsy issue a decree to “defeat the schemes of liberals to reject the law of God.”

Assem Abdel Meguid, leader of Jama’a al-Islamiya’s political arm, the Construction and Development Party, said that “the conference is the first step to announce the rejection of the second article [of the constitution] in its current form.”
He noted that the next step would be mobilizing millions for jihad with their lives and money in the battle to support Sharia. He stressed on the need to unite the Islamist currents to face the liberal and secular groups that “implement Western agendas.”

Lebanon’s Salafists Frustrated By Morsi Ouster
Ghassan Rifi, As-Safir Newspaper, 11-7-2013

The spectacular sight of the demise of Muslim Brotherhood rule in Egypt has not pleased Lebanon’s Salafists. Despite the negative view some of the latter harbored toward the Brotherhood’s behavior, they nevertheless interpret recent events in Egypt as the result of a conspiracy targeting Islam and seeking to prevent it from ascending to power.
One could argue that the Salafists have been greatly frustrated by observing what their leading sheikhs describe as “a military coup against Islamic rule in the land of al-Kinanah [a medieval Islamic designation for Egypt].” The frustration is all the greater because throughout their own growing presence within and influence upon the revolutions attending the Arab Spring, Salafists consciously sought to imitate the Brotherhood’s experience by unifying their ranks. They had hoped that by integrating within a single trend or body, they would be able to eventually produce an Islamic party or movement with substantial political weight at the national level in Lebanon. ...
Before any attempt to unify the Salafist ranks coalesced, however, an Islamic government in Egypt was subject to a severe setback by a popular and military backlash against it.

The founder of the Salafist trend in Lebanon, Sheikh Dai al-Islam al-Chahal, told As-Safir, “What has taken place in Egypt is embarking into uncharted territory. Some of the Brotherhood’s mistakes were exploited in order to pounce on Egypt’s identity as a major Arab and Islamic state. This is part of both an internal and foreign conspiracy.”
According to Chahal, “The project of political Islam has not collapsed, for it never truly began. But they spread rumors that the Brotherhood had come to power and inflated their actions in an attempt to overcome them, just as they did in Lebanon...”
According to Sheikh Raed Hlayhal, “What happened in Egypt is a crime in every sense of the word. It has convinced us to repudiate once more the false democracy that they are demanding Islamists integrate into.”
He continued, “What took place has demonstrated clearly that the war against Islam goes on in all its forms. Unfortunately, the people did not support the Islamic model. This shows that we still have a long way to go...” (first publicated on 8-7-2013)

FSA commander's killing deepens divide among rebels
The National, Jul 13, 2013

Syrian opposition forces were in disarray yesterday after rebels said the assassination of one of their top commanders by Al Qaeda-linked militants was equal to a declaration of war.
"We will not let them get away with it because they want to target us," a Free Syria Army commander said after members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant killed Kamal Hamami... "We are going to wipe the floor with them."
Louay Mekdad, the FSA supreme command political coordinator, said Abu Ayman Al Baghdadi, the Islamic State's emir of the coastal region, personally shot dead Hamami and his brother at a roadblock in the country's north.
Mr Mekdad said a fighter who was travelling with the brothers was set free to relay the message that the Islamic State considers the FSA heretics and that the supreme command is now an Al Qaeda target.

Rivalry has been growing between the FSA and extremist rebels, whose smaller but more effective forces control most of the opposition-held parts of northern Syria. ...
The FSA and more extreme fighters have fought together from time to time but the FSA, desperate for greater firepower, has recently tried to distance itself to allay US fears that its arms could reach Al Qaeda.

The FSA has been trying to build a logistics network and reinforce its presence across Syria, in part to present a bulwark against units the US considers "terrorist organisations". But with funding from individuals in the Arabian Gulf, extremist brigades have taken a leading role in rebel-held regions of Syria, filling the vacuum of power by setting up religious courts and governing bodies.
The FSA, a mixture of loosely affiliated brigades, is accused by locals of looting and has not been able to present a unified front to oppose hardline units that favour an Islamic caliphate over pluralist democracy.

The Islamists and the Free Syrian Army are at war
By Robert Fisk, The Independent, July 12, 2013

Bashar is a happy man today. Long did America and the EU rub their hands with delight each time a minister or general left Assad to collaborate with the regime’s enemies.
Every split within the Assad government was paraded as the “tipping point”. And now, suddenly, what Assad’s lads had been telling us for months – that it is their enemies who are divided – turns out to be true. The bodies of Kamal Hamami and his brother are the proof. The rebels are split. The Islamists and the Free Syrian Army are at war....

If the FSA really do want to polish off their former fundamentalist allies, then their obvious ally is the chap in the presidential palace in Damascus. Bashar would be only too ready, surely, to help the FSA against the regime’s Islamist “terrorist” antagonists – and maybe offer the FSA a dignified reunification with the government army. Regime intelligence officers have for more than a year held regular meetings with FSA officers to try and woo them back to Bashar...

Over 700 Jordanian jihadists fighting in Syria’
by Taylor Luck, Jordan Times 13-7-2013

AMMAN — Seven Jordanian nationals were reportedly killed while fighting alongside Islamic comrades in Syria, sources say, amid a reported influx of over 200 Jordanian jihadists into the northern neighbour.

According to the Syrian state-run news agency SANA, Syrian government forces killed five Jordanian nationals on Friday and two on Thursday in separate battles with Islamist militias in the Damascene countryside and the southern city of Daraa.
The Jordanian jihadist movement confirmed that Jordanians Abdullah Abu Zuhair Al Maani, Khaldoun Al Masri and Mahmoud Hamad were among the seven killed over the weekend while fighting alongside Jabhat Al Nusra fighters in southern Syria.
“The seven men entered Syria from Turkey last month and fell martyrs in Daraa and Damascus,” said Mousa Abdullat, defence attorney and legal representative for the hardline Jordanian Salafist movement.

The incident comes amid a recent reported influx of hundreds of foreign Islamist fighters from Turkey into Syria that has seen over 200 Jordanian jihadists enter the country.
According to Mohammad Shalabi, also known as Abu Sayyaf, head of the Jordanian jihadist Salafist movement, some 200 Jordanians have joined Islamist fighters in Syria over the past month, raising the total number of Jordanian jihadists fighting in Syria to over 700: “We are seeing more and more true believers of all ages answer the call to defend their brothers and sisters ...,” Abu Sayyaf said...
The influx of foreign fighters comes amid ongoing calls by conservative Sunni clerics across the region for jihad, or holy war in Syria...

In light of the growing influx of foreign jihadist fighters, Jordanian authorities have imposed a security crackdown along the 370-kilometre-long Jordanian-Syrian border, arresting over 50 alleged jihadists over the past two months alone.

Egypt - Rebellion Movement:
"Real struggle is over the constitution"
Posted on 07/12/2013 by Juan Cole

Elbaradei, advisor to Mansour on foreign affairs, and Hazem Biblawi, the interim prime minister, will head up a commission charged with suggesting amendments to the 2012 constitution.
A spokesman for the Rebellion or Tamarrud Movement, Hasan Shahin, said that the real struggle is over the constitution, since the only forces guaranteeing the values of the revolution are the revolutionary street and a constitution that guarantees the rights of the poor and a life of dignity and an independent country. ....
Rebellion is calling for the masses to gather in and around Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo to break the fast at sunset and then to pray supereregatory prayers together that night in Tahrir and to raise the flag of Egypt in order to complete the revolution and to protect it from the Muslim Brotherhood and the United States and Israel. ...
The same call was put out in Port Said for people to continue to occupy the city’s central square and to come out to support the overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood leader and former Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi.

Hazem Abdel Aziz Al Beblawi was born in 1936, in Cairo, Egypt. He studied law at Cairo University and graduated in 1957. He obtained a postgraduate degree in economics from the University of Grenoble in 1961.
Beblawi began his career as a lecturer at the University of Alexandria in 1965 and taught economy-related courses at several universities, including the University of Southern California, until 1980... From 1983 to 1995, he served as chairman and chief executive of the Export Development Bank in Egypt. Then he worked at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) as executive secretary... He served as an advisor to the Arab Monetary Fund in Abu Dhabi from 2001 to 2011.
After the Egyptian revolution, Beblawi became a founding member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party. He was appointed deputy prime minister for economic affairs and also, finance minister in a cabinet reshuffle on 17 July 2011.... On 9 July 2013, Beblawi was appointed interim prime minister after the Egyptian military removed Mohammad Morsi from office on 3 July 2013. (Wikipedia info)

Mohamed ElBaradei sworn in as Egypt VP
Syria Breaking News, July 14, 2013

Egyptian prominent figure Mohamed ElBaradei has been sworn in as the country’s interim vice president for foreign relations, the office of the presidency has announced in a statement. ElBaradei took his oath of office before Egyptian interim President Adly Mansour, the statement said.
The former head of the UN nuclear watchdog and a Nobel peace laureate was appointed as Egypt’s vice president for foreign relations almost a week after the military deposed President Mohamed Morsi on July 3 and declared the chief justice of Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Mansour, as caretaker president. ElBaradei was initially tipped to lead the cabinet but his nomination was rejected by the Salafist Nour party.

ElBaradei’s swearing-in came on the same day as the Egyptian Prosecutors began questioning ousted President Mohamed Morsi and the members of Muslim Brotherhood party over their involvement in a 2011 prison break. ... Morsi and his colleagues are also accused of spying, inciting violence and damaging the economy. ...
The new military-backed administration has intensified crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, issuing arrest warrants for many of the group's members.

Leaders have the responsibility of speaking out
against any hate speech that encourages
intolerance and discriminatory stereotyping
Syrian Arab News Agency, Jul 14, 2013

New York, (SANA)_The increasing use of rhetoric by political and religious leaders in the context of the Syrian crisis could exacerbate the violence in Syria and fuel tensions between different groups in the region, the United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, warned.
Dieng expressed in a statement concern over recent statements by some religious leaders who have portrayed the Syrian conflict as a religious one, indicating that “History has shown that exploiting religious tensions in the context of a political and armed struggle may incite violence and could lead to large-scale atrocities.”
“Such rhetoric, when it constitutes incitement to violence on religious grounds, could exacerbate the already disastrous violence in Syria, lead to further war crimes and crimes against humanity and fuel tensions between different groups both in Syria and elsewhere in the region.”
Dieng stressed that all political and military leaders have the responsibility of speaking out against any hate speech that encourages intolerance and discriminatory stereotyping, or that constitutes incitement to violence.
"I urge all leaders in the wider region to act responsibly and refrain from using or condoning any language that may escalate sectarian tensions. The consequences of rhetoric that inflames these tensions will be felt by populations across the region,” he said.
“All States must refrain from contributing to such crimes, including by tolerating hate speech and incitement to violence against particular populations,” he said. “If we do not act now, there is a serious risk that sectarian violence could spread across the region.”

Ensuring that all groups within society enjoy
the rights and dignity of belonging as equal citizens

"Preventing genocide begins with ensuring that all groups within society enjoy the rights and dignity of belonging as equal citizens. Early prevention therefore becomes a challenge of good governance, respect for human rights without discrimination and equitable management of diversity. That means eliminating gross political and economic inequalities, and promoting a common sense of belonging on equal footing." Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, New York, 15 January 2010.

Statement by Pro-Morsi Protestors
IkhwanWeb, Monday, July 15,2013

Coup commander Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi betrayed the oath he took before the head of State – the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. He spilled the blood of innocent Egyptians.... He then threatened peaceful protestors and restricted their freedoms. Then again faked justifications to defend his coup against electoral legitimacy.
These fake justifications included a claim that the President fought battles with the judiciary, the police, the media, public opinion and the army. This is an utter lie, because in fact corrupt members of the judiciary, the media and the police, which the January 25 Revolution demanded be purged, were the ones who waged war against the President since the first moments...
Shamefully, Al-Sisi pitted the armed forces against two-thirds of the people, in support of the remaining third – the leftist, liberals and Copts.

Earlier, Al-Sisi did reveal a distinct bias for some Egyptians against others. He criticized what he described as the siege of the Constitutional Court and Cairo’s Media Production City, but did not utter a single word about the repeated sieges of Itehadia Presidential Palace, Tahrir’s major government office buildings and Maspero TV Center building. He never said anything about the burning of the Courts of Cairo and Alexandria, the torching and total destruction of headquarters of political parties and even the home of President Morsi. Al-Sisi also criticized what he saw as ‘forcing religion into politics’, a language used by liberals and leftists’ camp.

We ask commander Al-Sisi:
How could you and your cronies and collaborators turn a blind eye to the great changes in the region around us and the duties imposed on the brave Egyptian army accordingly? You pushed this country’s army a million miles back, directing its military machine towards unarmed Egyptians, tearing up the national fabric of the homeland for the benefit of enemies of the homeland who are plotting to involve the Egyptian army in this treasonous quagmire.

The consequences of injustice are severe, and lies are invariably exposed, shamefully.
"Those who do wrong will soon come to know where they will end up." (Quran 26:227)

IKhwanweb is the Muslim Brotherhood"s official English web site. Ikhwanweb is not a news website, although we report news that matter to the Muslim Brotherhood"s cause. Our main misson is to present the Muslim Brotherhood vision right from the source... Ikhwanweb was founded by Khairat el Shater, Deputy Chiarman of the Muslim Brotherhood, and was launched in 2005.

Top 10 Reasons Americans should Dismiss
Israel’s Netanyahu on Attacking Iran
Posted on 07/16/2013 by Juan Cole

The Iranian electorate did about the most cruel thing possible to uber-hawk Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. It replaced former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with an eminently reasonable and personable successor, Hasan Rouhani.
The Israeli and American politicians who desperately want to fall on Iran the way a hungry lion does on a lamb had made hay with Ahmadinejad’s quirkiness and foot in the mouth disease. They also deliberately mistranslated him to make him seem menacing, even as he kept saying Iran would never launch a first strike.

"Smile and build a bomb..." (15-7-2013)
Here are the reasons not to pay attention to the recent round of saber-rattling by Netanyahu...:

1. Everyone knows that the real reason Netanyahu keeps squawking about Iran is that he is trying to take the focus off the Israel campaign of ethnic cleansing and Apartheid policies toward the Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.
2. You can’t just attack a presidential administration that only recently got into office and before taking the measure of it.
3. Iran is not proved to have a nuclear weapons program...
4. President Rouhani is proposing increased transparency for its civilian nuclear enrichment program..
5. The International Atomic Energy Agency does inspections of Iran’s enrichment facilities...That is, the IAEA has visited the sites where Iran does enrichment work, and its inspectors can testify that the enriched uranium is under seal, is all accounted for, and none has been diverted to weapons purposes.... There is no proof that Iran is weaponizing.
6. [According to] Ayatollah Ali Khamenei killing hundreds of thousands of innocent non-combatants (e.g. women and children), and killing innocent non-combatants is illegal according to the Qur’an and Islamic law.
7. Contrary to what Netanyahu says, Iran does not have an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States...
8. Iran isn’t a plausible threat to the United States.
9. Israel cannot plausibly conduct a successful military operation so far from its borders (Iran is a long way away).
10. An air strike would only set the Iranian program back a little.

Libya: New Islamic Affairs minister
Libya Herald, 15 July 2013

The General National Congress has endorsed overwhelmingly a new Islamic Affairs minister, thus bringing to an end a long-term source of tension between it and prime minister Ali Zeidan.
Ali Mohamed Al-Bashir received 96 votes out of the 124 members of Congress present today and will replace Mohamed Abdulsalam Mohamed Abusada, who had claimed that the prime minister had prevented him from doing his job.

The new Islamic Affairs and Awqaf Minister, Ali Mohamed Al-Bashir Hamouda spent eight years in Qaddafi’s jails and has been head of the Libyan Political Prisoners branch in his home town of Misrata. The 51 year old Hamouda graduated in 1980 from Al-Quairi Institute for religious studies in Misrata. From 1984 until 2002 he was held as a political prisoner.
Last year he became the Director of the Misrata office of Islamic Affairs and Awqaf

Bashir Hamouda & Gaddafi

During the year 1984 several spies in the hire of the CIA entered the country for the purpose of carrying out assassinations and stirring up unrest...
In May 1984 Ahmed Ibrahim Hawas, accompanied by Ammar Al-Hassairi and Bashir Hamouda, entered the country in accordance with a plan meant to make it easier for them to carry out sabotage actions and assassinations. Sudanese passports, maps and drawings, and names of national figures were found on their persons. The plan called for them to carry out the following attacks:

- The elimination of 40 persons whose names were on a list they carried.
- The destruction of vitally important installation and the poisoning of wells and storage tanks for drinking water by means of a chemical they brought with them for this purpose, which was later confiscated by the courts.
- Actions in the public markets which are visited in great numbers by Arabs and foreigners. They succeeded in setting fire to one of these markets by using various types of weapons, bombs, and plastic explosives, which were later confiscated. Descriptions of the weapons used in the crime were recorded individually in the reports of the responsible authorities.

The members of the abovementioned groups confessed to having received intensive training for these terrorist actions from members of the Sudanese secret service during the Numeri era, as well as from "Mr. Jack", the CIA chief in Sudan. According to their statements, "Mr. Jack" was in direct contact with the leader of these terrorist actions, the above-mentioned... (Mathaba net: Activities of the US Administration)

Gaddafi, Interview 1984

Although many consider Colonel Qadhafi an extreme radical, and though his harshest opponents have called him a madman, many of his comments in this historic interview are extraordinarily thought-provoking, in that they cause one to reflect on the meaning of hypocrisy and on the existence of double-standards in the world of international politics.

Saudi Arabia & The Brotherhood Triumvirate
Your Middle East 16-7-2013

Loosing Egypt has meant an end to the increasingly influential triumvirate of regional powers constituted by Egypt, Turkey and Qatar. While of course each country pursued its own set of foreign policy priorities, their common support for political Islam as incarnated by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Turkish AKP made them natural bed-fellows able to collectively wield considerable regional influence, side-lining Saudi Arabia and its allies by capitalising on a moderate Islamist wave set in motion by the recent tectonic shifts in the Middle East’s political landscape.
While Qatar can of course be expected to continue cooperation and coordination with Turkey (most notably on Syria), President Morsi’s fall combined with Prime Minister Erdogan’s domestic troubles has dealt a heavy blow to the tacit alliance between the three nations – at least in its current form.

Meanwhile, President Morsi’s downfall has provided a crucial opening for Saudi Arabia to re-assert itself. With the loss of Qatari influence in the Egyptian presidential palace, Riyadh has been all too eager to step in and fill Doha’s shoes...
This comes at a period of increasing competition between Qatar and Saudi Arabia as they seek to advance rival political forces in post-Arab Spring countries, as well as in Syria where they recently tussled over leadership of the Syrian National Coalition.
As in Egypt, Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood, sponsored by Qatar and long at the helm of the opposition in exile, is looking increasingly discredited and may struggle to preserve an influential role for itself going forward...

Saudi Arabia Pleased With Morsi’s Fall
Madawi Al-Rasheed, Al-Monitor 4-7-2013

It is ironic that a regime that prides itself on ruling according to divine law fears most the rise of Islamism to power. It must be said that like most Western governments, Saudi Arabia was more than confortable coexisting with the Egyptian military dictatorship under deposed President Hosni Mubarak. But when a democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood president was sworn into office in 2012, Riyadh was alarmed.
Saudi Arabia had always had a troubled relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood version of Islamism, its organizational capacity and its increasingly accepted message that combined Islam with an eagerness to engage with the democratic process. ... To counter the appeal of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Saudi religious establishment condemned it as a divisive force and accused it of undermining people’s creeds.
After 9/11, suspicion of the Brotherhood evolved into outright hostility. Prince Nayif accused the Brotherhood of radicalizing Saudi youth and held it responsible for the terrorism wave that swept the country from 2003 to 2008.

December 2008: Saudi Arabia Bans Works
By Muslim Brotherhood Ideologue

Middle Eastern media are reporting that the Saudi Arabian government has banned from school libraries the works of Sayyid Qutb, one of the most important ideologues in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood. According to one report:

The Saudi Ministry of Education has banned a number of books from school libraries including works by Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian writer who was the leading intellectual of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and 1960s.
“The books The Lies About Sayyid Qutb and The Jihad in the Way of God are banned from school libraries because of their extremist and confusing ideas that may misinform students,” Abdul Rahman Al-Fasil, director general of Boys Education Administration in Asir province, told Arab News.
The books were banned shortly after Saudi Interior Minister Prince Na’if bin Abd Al-’Aziz made several comments in the local press about “battling ideological extremism” in the country. In a meeting with the teaching staff of the Umm Al-Qura University in Mecca, he said, “We are asking our universities… to carry out research that will help topple deviant ideologies, which have nothing to do with Islam and [only] harm it…”
A number of leading Saudi academics and thinkers supported the ministry’s decision as part of the country’s effort to protect youths from joining terror networks. Deputy chairman of the board of directors of Taif Literary Club, Hamaad Al Salimi, told Gulf News, “This decision will help protect the younger generation from some of the extremist ideas of the Muslim Brotherhood, which called for violence.” (The globalMBreport)

Nayef (1934 - 16-6-2012) was no friend to the Muslim Brotherhood, whose rise complicated relations with Egypt and whom he regarded with great suspicion. Nayef once remarked: "Without any hesitation I say it, that our problems, all of them, came from the direction of the Muslim Brotherhood"

12-year-old Egyptian boy Ali Ahmed explains
why he wanted to get rid of Morsi
National Post 17-7-2013

Egypt’s second-wave revolution has never had quite as eloquent an explanation as it gets from the lips of a 12-year-old boy on the streets of Cairo.
Ali Ahmed was interviewed by the Egyptian newspaper Al Wady at a protest in October 2012. This was after former President Mohammed Morsi had consolidated much of his power as president, but before the controversial (and, in retrospect, regime-ending) constitution had passed.

“I’m here today to help prevent Egypt from becoming a commodity owned by one person,” Ahmed says in a YouTube translation. “And to protest the confiscation of the constitution by one single party.”

The video was uploaded to YouTube in late March — with the somewhat joking title “Egypt : The Next President” — gaining widespread viewership this past week after being shared on Reddit and Facebook.

Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari: US Culture and
the Syrian Migration Role, 16-7-2013
Syrian American Forum in Orlando, Florida

BASHAR JA’AFARI: There is no more Arab League. How can there be one without Syria, Egypt, Algeria and Iraq? These four countries are the four pillars of Arabism and they have either collapsed or face serious problems. There is a heavy weight vacuum that is being taken advantage of by Gulf States, by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
All the decisions made by the Arab League are a violation of the Charter. The league deals with states, not bodies such as the Syrian National Coalition. The Arab League has become an integral part of the problem, not the solution. The Arab League had a duty to help Syria resolve the crisis not to allow and approve terrorists to acquire more weapons. What is the difference between NATO and the Arab League?

The calls for reform and change are legitimate but you don’t destroy the infrastructure if you are seeking freedom and democracy. You don’t set fire to a gas line; start shooting at embassies, universities, airlines. This is the work of mobs and gangs not of reformers or freedom seekers. (FOS 5-4-2013)

"A civil party which is not trying to control the whole country forever"
Interview with Shehab Wagih, PressTV, 19-7-2013

Press TV has conducted an interview with Shehab Wagih, spokesperson for the Free Egyptians Party in Cairo, to further talk about the current political situation in Egypt.

The serious problem we are having is that the Brotherhood does not want to hear from the Egyptian people, the Egyptian regular people. The serious problem we saw in Egypt began on June 30 when the people came out to the streets saying that they cannot tolerate the way the Brotherhood is ruling the country with; people cannot tolerate that the Brotherhood is trying to manipulate everything in the country and then what happened, began to happen. ...
The Brotherhood cannot understand that what happened cannot be reversed. There is no chance that Mr. Morsi comes back to power and then us what you need and begin a negotiation. This has passed.

Actually, we are now in our way to have ourself agreed upon the constitution and then we will have our elections. The real question now for our brothers in the Brotherhood is that do you want our democracy to be settled? If you want a real democracy in Egypt, the first step is to enter into the democratic process. ...
What we need in Egypt is a real democracy and democracy depends on accepting what we are in now. It's a new constitution which is drafted by all the Egyptians, it's a fair election which will be monitored by the world and then we are in a real democracy, not in a manipulative democracy. ...
The Brotherhood is welcome to be back to the political life by accepting the fact, by going in the democratic way and by building their own civil party which is not trying to control the whole country forever.

Actually, what we know now is that we have a democratic path. This is the first time for Egypt to have a very clear democratic path, starting with the constitution which will rule the Egyptian political life and then fair elections which is monitored by the whole world and then a presidential election and then we have our democratic country. We will not tolerate anything which will get us away from this.

The way that the United States supported the Brotherhood for years is not accepted. .. Actually, the Egyptian people know well that the United States of America was supporting the Brotherhood. Maybe they have their own reasons but still this cannot be accepted for the Egyptian people.
We cannot accept that the Americans are interfering in our own internal politics. I can say that the popularity of the United States of America is falling because of this. The Egyptian people will never accept that foreigners interfere in their own country and their own life. This is not accepted and this cannot be tolerated anymore. ...

I cannot say that Dr. Morsi worked for Islam; he did not work for real justice; he did not work for real freedom; he did not work for the real Islam. The core of Islam is justice, is freedom, is accepting the others. This is the real core of Islam and I can say clearly that Dr. Morsi did not work in any of these cases. ...
The whole Arab world and I think the whole Islamic world wants to help Egypt. The serious problem that Egypt had while the ruling of the Brotherhood with our Khaliji brothers was about the idea of trying to push the Brotherhood in the other countries
. Actually the Brotherhood in Egypt was supporting the Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia, the Brotherhood in Emirates and the Brotherhood in all over the Arab countries. This was a cause for many problems, for the relations between Egypt and Saudi Arabia and Emirates and this was what stopped our Khaliji brothers to support us...

EU Bans Funding Groups in Jewish Settlements
Palestine Chronicle, Jul 17 2013

The EU has said it will bar financial assistance to Israeli groups operating in the occupied territories, underlining its concern that Israeli settlement-building harms prospects for peace with the Palestinians. From next year, Israeli “entities” operating in the territories will not be eligible for EU grants, prizes or loans.
The measure will apply to Israeli companies, universities or other bodies operating in areas occupied by Israel since the 1967 war, including the Golan Heights, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The EU has made it clear that it will not recognize any changes to pre-1967 borders, other than those agreed by the parties to the Middle East peace process,” a copy of the guidelines seen by the Reuters news agency said. The guidelines say that all Israeli groups applying for financial assistance, scholarships and funding must prove they do not operate in the occupied territories.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the guidelines... Palestinians praised the rule as a concrete step against settlement construction they fear will deny them a viable state.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said the EU had moved beyond “statements, declarations and denunciations” over Israel’s settlement policy and made a “qualitative shift” that would improve peace prospects.

Palestinians reject Kerry's plans for talks
Albawaba, July 19th, 2013

RAMALLAH, West Bank -- Palestinian political leaders said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's plan for renewed peace talks between Palestine and Israel were insufficient.
Following a meeting between with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, several officials said they believed Kerry's plan was not good enough because it did not require a freeze of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank, or that negotiations be based on Israel's 1967 borders with minor adjustments, The New York Times reported.
"We are not in a rush in taking decisions," said Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the executive committee. "We are trying to behave in responsibility and wisdom. We are not under pressure."

"There is already a country based on religion in this region: Israel.
We don`t need another religious regime in this region." ADONIS 2012

Ali Ahmad Said Asbar (known by his pseudonym Adonis) is a famous Syrian poet. With more than twenty books in Arabic language and all his awards and prizes, Adunis is described as one of the most famous living poets of the Arab world...
Adonis, gave an interview about the situation in Syria and his answers sure surprise some Western citizens a lot.

In this interview about the chaos and situation in Syria, the Syrian poet made it quite clear that he doesn`t support the so-called Syrian opposition. Adonis (Adunis) gave a description why he is no supporter of the Syrian opposition and in the end very skeptical considering the so-called “Arab Spring”. ...
The rebellion of the youth throughout the Arab world was truly something extraordinary for the Syrian poet Adonis. As the youth has organized everything and how the youth has articulated, impressed him the most. It is, so Adunis, the Arab youth, which has made possible this “spring” in the Arab world, and it is the first time that Arabs do not imitate the West.
But the Syrian poet also sees the shadow side of this story. Adonis said in this interview, that unfortunately, this Arab youth doesn`t determine the reality. There are the fundamentalists, the very intensive religious people, who lead the current situation with the help of foreign powers. ...

[He] also said that if you don`t separate between religion and state and if you do not give women full and equal rights and if you still rely on the laws of Sharia, you only replace one tyranny with another. The military dictatorship, so Adonis, controls the mind, but the religious dictatorship controls the mind, the body language and the everyday life. ...

We should never forget, so Adonis, that there is already a country based on religion in this region: Israel. We don`t need another religious regime in this region. ...

He is, so Adunis, against the American policy and also against the West policy towards the Arab world. He is not able to follow their logic...(Syria News 2012)

Muslim Brotherhood: Jihad is our path
The party is only a tool

Russia Today: Why is there so much anger at Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood at present?

William Engdahl: I think a number of issues. Number one: they are trying to ram a Sharia constitution down the throats of the Egyptian people.
That goes against Egyptian cultural tradition – 80-90 per cent of the population are Sunni Muslims – but it is a tradition of tolerance for other religion groups, Coptic and other Islamic groups.... (Russia Today 29-6-2013)

Eight Muslim Brotherhood Leaders Moved to High-Security Prison
IkhwanWeb , July 19, 2013

Friday July 19 Egypt’s security apparatus transferred leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) as well as some other political figures, who were detained after the military coup, to a high-security prison...
The detainees who have been transferred are: Mohamed Mahdi Akef, the Brotherhood’s former Chairman; Dr. Mohamed Rashad Bayoumi, the Brotherhood’s deputy head; Khairat Al-Shater, the Brotherhood’s Vice-Chairman; Dr. Mohamed Saad Katatni, FJP Chairman and former Speaker of Egyptian Parliament; Dr. Helmi Al-Gazzar, leading member of the FJP; Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maksoud, Brotherhood lawyer; Hazem Salah Abu-Ismail; and MP Mohamed Al-Omda.

Mohamed Saad Katatni
After he was selected as the FJP's party's chairman, Katatni expressed his desire to implement Islamic Sharia law in Egypt, saying that the FJP was established by the Muslim Brotherhood in order to represent the Brotherhood's "political project, which, in the end, will be a wise government that will institute Islamic Shari’a law." Katani declared his election as the first step toward achieving the FJP's goals. (wikipedia info)

Rashad al Bayoumi
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Mirror, the Muslim Brotherhood’s deputy said Sharia – which allows oppression of women and stoning of adulterers – could be introduced “if it is the will of the people”.
Dr Rashad al Bayoumi, second in command of the Brotherhood, said: “If the people want Sharia law, if they want an Islamic state, then that is what we will deliver. We will follow the will of the people. If they want us to represent them then we will. People may want Sharia, it is for them to decide.” ( 7-2-2011)

Mohammed Mahdi Akef:
"We do not recognise Israel, but we will not fight them. We do not have anything to do with them. We have nothing to do with Palestinian internal politics. My concern is the greater Islamic cause."
Jihad is required to bring about "the change to which the nation is aspiring." "Tyranny requires the raising of the young people on the basis of the principles of jihad so as to create mujahidin who love to die as much as others love to live and who can perform their duty towards their God, themselves and homeland." (IPT 31-10-2008)

Khairat al-Shater
The role of the Muslim Brotherhood is to mobilize the nation to establish a way of life based on Islam, said its Deputy Supreme Guide Khairat al-Shater. Speaking at a conference in Alexandria Shater further said that the group is preparing to initiate an Islamic government to achieve progress based on Islamic principles, and that its objective is to establish an Islamic state and become world leaders. ... He added that its principles cannot be changed for the sake of its new political party, the Freedom and Justice party, which will be one of its political tools. (Egypt independent 23-4-2011)

Helmi al-Gazzar
The constitution embraces a limited view of minority rights. While Article 3 permits Christians and Jews to be governed by their respective laws regarding personal status issues, the text is silent on the rights of other minorities such as Bahais and Shiites, who frequently suffer discrimination. According to Brotherhood leader Helmi al-Gazzar, this was intentional because "Bahais are a very eccentric group that is far from Islam," while Shiites "worship Allah in a very strange way". (Washington Institute 3-12-2012)

"The next battle is not between the Muslim Brotherhood and the remnants of the former regime, nor between Dr. Morsi and Ahmed Shafiq, but among the Egyptian people and the former regime who is trying desperately to abort the January 25 revolution. “Therefore, all Egyptians should close ranks and work to oust the old regime’s cronies and symbols forever, and rebuild the homeland all over again.” (FJP 31-5-2012)

Mohamed al-Omda
In March 2012 Mohamed al-Omda, deputy head of the People’s Assembly’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, has submitted a resolution draft to cancel a woman’s right to divorce (Khula) or separate from her husband. (Global Press 3-4-2012)

Hazem Salah Abu Ismail
A lawyer by trade, a noted television preacher in Egypt, and a politician with the Salafi Islamist party. Abu Ismail, 50, has called for implementing a strict version of Islamic law, with segregation of the sexes and enforcement of public morality.

Egypt's Foreign Minister: Political solution
is the only one to preserve Syria's sovereignty
Syrian Arab News Agency, Jul 20, 2013

Cairo, (SANA)- Foreign Minister of the new Egyptian cabinet, Nabil Fahmy, said there will be a reassessment of the relations with Syria after the ousted president Mohammad Morsi, stressing that the political solution is the only solution that preserves Syria's sovereignty and the Syrian state. During a press conference in Sharm el-Sheikh on Saturday, Fahmy announced that "a positive return of Egypt into its natural Arab frame will be among the priorities of the current transitional government." He added that the current government will work to lay down "the right and comprehensive foundation" of the Egyptian foreign policy in the future. In this context, Fahmy stressed that everything regarding Egypt's relations with Syria will be re-evaluated, after the cutoff that occurred under Morsi, pointing out that the consulates between Syria and Egypt are still open and providing services...
He affirmed that there is "no intention for Jihad in Syria", in response to the calls previously made by Morsi for Egyptians to go and fight in Syria.

Fahmy was born in New York on 5 January 1951. His father, Ismail Fahmy, was Anwar Sadat's foreign minister from 1973 to 1977. He holds a bachelor of science degree in physics and mathematics and a master's degree in management, both of which he received from the American University in Cairo in 1974 and 1976, respectively.

Don't Abuse the Concept of Jihad: Grand Mufti
Arab News, Friday 22 August 2003

RIYADH, 22 August 2003 — Saudi Arabia’s highest religious authority urged Muslims to shun extremism and avoid waging unjustified jihad... In a lengthy statement, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh told Saudis to ignore fanatical interpretations of Islam.
“One of the fallouts from extremism in understanding Islam is that some people call for jihad for the sake of God without justification,” Sheikh Abdul Aziz said. “These people raise the banner of jihad to draw the young into their ranks and not to fight for God,” he added.
Militants like Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden have often called for jihad against countries they consider “infidel”... Other militants have also used Islam as a rallying cry, justifying attacks by saying they are doing God’s will.
“Young Muslims must try and better themselves and their country but not through violence, because Islam is not a violent religion, it is a merciful religion,” he said.
“A Muslim must understand his religion. It is the duty of the young and the whole Muslim world to know that violence is not a way to achieve reform,” Al-Sheikh said.
The grand mufti emphasized that the struggle against a perceived evil should not lead to a greater evil. “The Prophet (peace be upon him) told us to combat evil. But there is a general rule to look at both advantages and disadvantages. And if fighting an evil leads to a greater one, then that fight is forbidden,” he said.

Last week, the Kingdom’s highest Islamic authority denounced terror attacks..., describing them as “serious criminal acts,” and pledged its full support for the government.
“Acts of sabotage such as bombings, murder and destruction of property are serious criminal acts and an aggression against innocent people... which warrant severe and deterrent punishment...”

'Hell of Terrorism' operation making progress: Iraqi army
By Mohammed al-Qaisi, Al-Shorfa 22-7-2013

The Iraqi army operation "Hell of Terrorism" has made strong gains in the five days since it was launched in the Anbar desert near Iraq's borders with Jordan and Syria, the Iraqi Defence Ministry announced Wednesday (July 17th).
At least 64 al-Qaeda members and members of Jabhat al-Nusra (JAN), an extremist group active in Syria, have been captured or killed thus far, officials told Mawtani.
"Hell of Terrorism" aims to cut off all communication, support and meetings between al-Qaeda in Iraq and JAN... To attain this objective, army forces will "comb through 700 kilometres searching for al-Qaeda pockets in the desert areas, in particular those adjacent to Syrian territories".

Anbar Sahwa leader Wissam al-Hardan said he was heartened by how army soldiers, officers and Sahwa fighters from different Iraqi sects and communities are coming together against the threat of al-Qaeda. ...
"We hope the operation will conclude with an important achievement: foiling al-Qaeda's dream of establishing easy liaison with Syria's JAN, which would be an alliance of evil threatening the people of both countries, who have come to reject fanaticism and the advice of extremists," he said.
Saadoun al-Shaalan, deputy chairman of the Anbar provincial council, described the operation as crucial. "Any measure of control by al-Qaeda and JAN over Iraq's al-Qaim areas, or over Syria's nearby Albu Kamal, would mean a disaster would befall Anbar security, and from there the rest of Iraq," he said, adding, "This will not happen, whatever the cost."

Poll: 71% of Egyptians unsympathetic with pro-Morsi protests
Ahram Online , Monday 22 Jul 2013

Egyptians are by and large unsympathetic to protests calling for the reinstatement of Egypt’s toppled Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
71 percent of Egyptians voiced their disapproval of the Brotherhood-led protests which have been taking place for three weeks, according to a poll conducted by the Egyptian Centre for Public Opinion Research (Baseera).
Baseera's July opinion poll found that 20 percent of those polled were in support of the pro-Morsi demonstrations, while 9 percent remained uncertain about how to view the matter.

The report stated that residents of urban governorates seem less sympathetic to the pro-Morsi protests than those of rural areas. Urban residents polled at 17 percent approval, 77 percent disapproval, whereas the numbers were 21 and 67 percent, respectively, for rural residents.
The independent Cairo-based organisation polled 2,214 adults from across Egypt's 27 governorates via telephone on 20 and 21 July. The poll’s margin of error is less than 3 percent.
Based on the report's findings, male respondents are more disapproving of the protests (78 percent) than female ones (65 percent).

Egypt: A government for 30 June
Ahram Weekly, 22-7-2013

Hazem Al-Beblawi, the 77-year-old liberal economist who is serving as the country’s interim prime minister, has finalised what many are calling the “30 June government”.
This government, the first after the 30 June Revolution which forced Islamist president Mohamed Morsi out of office on 3 July, includes a majority of liberals and technocrats, some leftists and no Islamists.
Al-Beblawi and two other liberal icons, political activist and ex-diplomat Mohamed Al-Baradei and economist Ziad Bahaaeddin, have been heavily involved in picking the members of the new government. The three men belong to two newly-formed political parties that espouse a mixed ideology of liberal democracy and social justice, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Dostour (Constitution) Party.

The appointment of the 49-year-old Bahaaeddin as deputy prime minister for economic affairs has led to high-profile liberals being in charge of all the economics portfolios. Bahaaeddin’s liberal fingerprints were clear in the choice of Ahmed Galal, an economist with a doctorate from Boston University and director of the Egyptian Centre for Economic Studies, to be tasked with serving as finance minister.
Ahmed Al-Sayed Al-Naggar, an economic analyst with Al-Ahram, said that “Galal faces the formidable task of tackling the dire Egyptian economy that is being held together by $12 billion in loans and grants from three rich Arab countries.”
Al-Naggar, however, warned that Galal could continue in the footsteps of Youssef Boutros Ghali, the former Mubarak regime’s last finance minister, who faced accusations that he adopted harsh neo-liberal policies that led to sending millions of Egyptians under the poverty line.

As expected, Al-Beblawi’s cabinet came under fire from the Islamists, who were excluded from it. The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the ultraconservative Salafist Nour Party decided to boycott the Al-Beblawi government, albeit for different reasons.
The FJP still insists that the 30 June Revolution were a military coup, while the Nour Party has said that it “cannot be a part of a government dominated by liberals and secularists”. ...

“In the upcoming six-month period, a liberal constitution must be drafted and free parliamentary and presidential elections held,” said Cairo University political analyst Hassan Nafaa, adding that “this must go hand-in-hand with fighting violence on the streets and improving security in Sinai.”
On Monday, Morsi supporters clashed with ordinary citizens and security forces in downtown Cairo... According to Nafaa, the Muslim Brotherhood, after its leaders have lost hope in support from the US, has now opted for violence.
“This strategy could continue for a while, but after some time the leaders of this group must realise that it will find itself in a war against the Egyptian people, who turned out in their millions on 30 June to declare their rejection of any kind of religious tyranny,” Nafaa said.

EU adds Hezbollah's military wing to terrorism list
Daily Star Lebanon, July 22, 2013

President Michel Sleiman said Monday he hoped the European Union would reconsider its decision to list Hezbollah's military wing as a terrorist organization for the sake of stability in Lebanon.

BRUSSELS: The European Union agreed on Monday to put the armed wing of Hezbollah on its terrorism blacklist, a move driven by concerns over the Lebanese group's roles in a bus bombing in Bulgaria and the Syrian war.
Britain and the Netherlands have long pressed their EU peers to impose sanctions on the Muslim group, citing evidence it was behind an attack in the coastal Bulgarian city of Burgas a year ago, which killed five Israelis and their driver.
Until now, many EU governments had resisted lobbying from Washington and Israel to blacklist the group, warning such a move could fuel instability in Lebanon and add to tensions in the Middle East. Hezbollah functions both as a political party that is part of the Lebanese government and an armed resistance wing.

Lebanese caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said the decision was "hasty" and could lead to further sanctions against the movement that would complicate Lebanese politics.
"This will hinder Lebanese political life in the future, especially considering our sensitivities in Lebanon," he told Reuters. "We need to tighten bonds among Lebanese parties, rather than create additional problems." ... Already on the EU blacklist are groups such as Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip, and Turkey's Kurdish militant group PKK.

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati said he was hoping the EU would refrain from designating Hizbullah's “so-called military wing” as a “terrorist organization”.... “We will follow up on the issue through the diplomatic means that preserve the best ties between Lebanon and Europe and the international community, and here I will reiterate what I have always been saying: Lebanon has no enemy but Israel and Lebanon with all its components is keen on its Arab and international relations.” (Naharnet 23-7-2013)

Hezbollah denies any involvement in last July’s attack in Bulgaria
Daily Star 23-7-2013

BEIRUT: Hezbollah said the European Union’s decision Monday to blacklist its so-called armed wing was “aggressive and unjust” and argued that it was “not based of any justifications or evidence.”
In a statement issued by its media office, Hezbollah firmly rejected the decision and accused the EU of bowing to pressure from the United States and Israel: “It looks as if the decision was written by American hands and with Israeli ink,” said the Hezbollah statement. “The EU only had to add its signature in approval.”

Hezbollah has attracted concern in Europe and around the world in recent months for its role sending thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, an intervention that turned the tide of a more than 2-year-old civil war. Before the EU meeting, the union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told Al-Arabiya TV that she presented the proposal to blacklist Hezbollah to the EU because of the party’s involvement in Syria.

The meaning of resistance:
Hezbollah's media strategies and the articulation of a people
by Walid El Houri, 2012

ter verkrijging van de graad van doctor aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam
op gezag van de Rector Magnificus prof. dr. D.C. van den Boom

Hezbollah's ideology, albeit universalist in essence, is rooted in a Lebanese nationalism and is not based on the categorical rejection of otherness.

Contrary to what is often said in literature that sees Hezbollah as a ‘terroristorganization’ or as equivalent to Al Qaida in its desire to destroy the "western way of life," Hezbollah leaders often "express their admiration for certain aspects of Western culture, including US culture".
The movement's recurrent distinction between the people and the governments of countries such as the US and Israel (and the distinction that is often made between Jews and Zionists) reflects its efforts to present a discourse that can be accepted by much larger groups than its Shiite supporters and introduce its discourse into a global movement of dissent.

The development of Hezbollah's political discourse is a consequence and a cause of its expanding military success and social influence. The articulated identity - Shiite in essence but Lebanese, Arab and Muslim as well – combines, depending on the context, a negotiation of religious commitment to the Shiite faith with a Lebanese national identity as well as a pan-Arab and pan-Islamic dimension.

Resistance in Hezbollah's discourse is not merely a military endeavor. Rather, following the speeches and sermons delivered by its General Secretary on various occasions and according to the party's media and teachings, it is a complex balance of military, social,cultural, and political strategies that aim at building a "society of resistance."

Perhaps what constitutes the essence of resistance in Hezbollah’s discourse is the notion of empowerment in both military and political terms.
- In military terms, empowerment is the belief in, and demonstration of the power to defeat the superior military force of Israel. Since the1967 defeat, the belief in the invincibility of the Israeli army had been almost unshaken untilHezbollah demonstrated the opposite in 2000 and then in 2006. ...
- In political terms, empowerment refers to the empowerment of the dispossessed and marginalized groups in Lebanon and the Arab world.
Hezbollah succeeded in providing a sense of political potential for its Shiite supporters in Lebanon to become active members in the Lebanese political life by giving them a voice and a powerful representative. The movement also promoted a notion of political empowerment in the rest of the Arab world...

In Lebanon, Hezbollah's discourse of resistance hegemonized calls for the liberation of Lebanon from Israeli occupation, economic reform,communitarian conflict, anti-globalization and empowerment into one overarching demand that they would call the “resistance.”
By doing so they succeeded in attracting a wide range of individuals from devout Shiites to Christian middle classes and leftists in addition to a pan-Arab audience who saw the discourse of resistance as one that pertains to their own struggles both internal (against their regimes) and external (concerning the Palestinian cause and the American influence in the region).

Resistance movements, whether in Egypt, Tunisia, or Lebanon, can be understood as liberation movements that are essentially and primarily anti-colonial.
Colonialism in these places did not end with the formal declarations of independence, in fact, the overthrown dictators or foreign occupation represent precisely the extension of the colonial influence at the expense of the local populations.
Resistance is the desire to acquire the ability to control the space from which to speak, a process by which a group acts in order to acquire the voice and language that allows for it to emerge as a political subject speaking for and to itself.

Nasrallah: EU member states are providing
legal cover for agression on Lebanon
The Daily Star, 25-7-2013

BEIRUT: Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said that by blacklisting Hezbollah, EU member states were providing “legal cover” for Israeli aggressions against Lebanon. “This is also something dangerous because these states ... are providing legal cover for any aggression on Lebanon. Israel will say ‘I am fighting a terrorist organization,’” Nasrallah said.
“They [EU] are making themselves fully complicit in any Israeli aggression against Lebanon, the resistance or any resistance target,” Nasrallah added.
He said the EU decision had no tangible impact on the resistance group, describing it as a form of psychological intimidation. “You will never diminish our morale, given that the only aspect of this decision is psychological,” he said. ...

Addressing the EU, Nasrallah said: “We know that any decision has a goal and the goal here is clear: it’s to subjugate us and force us to retreat, regress, be hesitant and instill fear in us.” ...
Nasrallah said the EU decision was not based on principles, questioning why the EU had not blacklisted Israeli’s “military wing,” referring to its army, as a terrorist organization: “You admit that Israel occupies Arab territories ... and you don't implement international resolutions for decades....

Iran Welcomes US Congress Decision
to Postpone New Sanctions
FARS news, 23-7-2013

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi welcomed the US Congress decision to delay imposing a new round of sanctions against Tehran.
"The measure which was adopted concurrently with a letter written by a number of US congressmen for better interactions with the Islamic Republic is a sign of the US policy's move towards wisdom and realism," Araqchi told reporters in Tehran on Tuesday.
Stressing that the American people have always sought change in their administration's extremist policies, he said if such measures are accompanied by practical steps..., they can help reduce tensions and create a new atmosphere between Tehran and Washington.
More than 130 US lawmakers called on the White House to opt for diplomatic channels on Iran following the victory of Hassan Rouhani in Iran’s June 14th presidential election.
The request was made last week through a letter co-authored by Charlie Dent and David Price and signed by 131 lawmakers at the US House of Representatives, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

We believe it would be a mistake not to test whether Dr. Rouhani’s election represents a real opportunity for progress toward a verifiable, enforceable agreement. … In order to test this proposition, it will be prudent for the United States to utilize all diplomatic tools to reinvigorate ongoing nuclear talks,” the letter read.

Iran’s Civil Society Movement Against Sanctions
By: Shahir ShahidSaless for Al-Monitor, July 25, 2013

In an unprecedented move, three prominent Iranian economists — Saeed Leylaz, Mousa Ghaninejad and Mohammad Mehdi Behkish — have advocated the launch of a campaign under the banner of a "civil movement against sanctions."
Ghaninejad, in a July 13 interview, told Tejarat-e Farda, “Both from a perspective of international law and human rights, US unilateral sanctions [against Iran] have no legal ground.”

Ghaninejad argues that by imposing sanctions on Iran, the United States does not serve the cause of peace because it forbids trade, while trade in itself is a major element in establishing peace between nations.
“The more economic interdependence between nations the more peaceful international relations become. In fact, the main reason for the formation of many international institutions, specifically the United Nations and the organizations under its aegis, is to develop economic ties between countries in order to make the relations between them more peaceful.”

Behkish, speaking to Tejarat-e Farda, maintained, “[Until recently] the people of Iran were not in a position to set up this movement. However, in light of the June 14 [presidential] elections, this movement can now be initiated. [Hassan Rouhani’s] election has changed the international climate in favor of Iran.”
He further asserted, “The strategy of this campaign should be defined based on the principle of free trade. According to this principle, the West cannot preclude trade [between Iran and the world] simply on the basis of a claim that is not validated in any court.”

Leylaz believes that the climate is finally ripe for launching the campaign. He told the news outlet Fararu on July 15, “Before this election, we were not united. This is a reality. When there is no harmony between the people and the government, or even within different factions of the government, the country cannot talk with a unified voice before the international system.”

Egypt: Anti-Coup Alliance Statement
Al-Ahram obeys orders from bloody coup lackeys
IkhwanWeb, Cairo, Monday, July 22,2013

Al-Ahram newspaper published on its entire first page news that Egypt’s Public Prosecutor ordered the imprisonment of kidnapped President Mohamed Morsi, the legitimate president of Egypt, for fifteen days on charges of spying and calling for riots, violence and other lies. Thus, this newspaper has proved that it works on strict orders of the Intelligence Service and the National Security Agency.

This news is nothing more than a report prepared by these two agencies. No wonder, though, since this newspaper is run by the so-called transitional regime. It obeys orders from bloody coup lackeys.
Publication of this false news is meant to intimidate the masses of our people that have arisen in support of the return of legitimacy, especially the reinstatement of President Morsi after releasing him from the grip of his criminal kidnappers who are still keeping him incommunicado at an undisclosed location for rejecting and condemning the military coup regime.

We are confident that the free and alert Egyptian people will not be affected by this false news, but will boost their revolution and be more determined to uphold the legitimacy and the return of the President to his legitimate office.
We invite everyone, in all provinces, cities and villages, to redouble efforts and escalate activities in order to achieve this goal, in order to liberate the country from the grip of military rule, the bloody killer commanders and collaborators.

Ikhanweb 24-7-2013: We call on Egyptian media to halt the dissemination of lies and disinformation... We reiterate our warning of an apparent plan by security and intelligence agencies to plot violent attacks to terrorize citizens and then accuse peaceful protesters who announced more than once that their power lies in their peacefulness.

Ahram Online 24-7-2013: The interior ministry issued a statement calling on protestors to stick to peaceful marches. The ministry also stated that it will take strong actions against those who jeopardise people's lives and property...
The 6 April Youth Movement issued a statement Tuesday... In the statement, the 6 April Movement denounced "the Muslim Brotherhood's non-peaceful acts, which caused death and injuries."
The National Salvation Front reiterated people's right under the law to peaceful demonstrations. However, they described the Brotherhood's actions since Morsi's overthrow as "distinct from the rights guaranteed under the law," and described it as "part of crimes that should be subject to questioning and accountability." The Front has asked the Egyptian police to protect peaceful demonstrators and take strong action against those who attack them.

Al-Ahram, ( Arabic: “The Pyramids”) daily newspaper: Ahram was founded in Alexandria in 1875 by two Lebanese Christian brothers, Salim and Bisharah Taqla. It became a daily in 1881. The paper became famous for its independence and objectivity—in spite of British censorship and control—and for its coverage of international news and nonpolitical news about Egypt and Egyptians.
In the late 1950s Al-Ahram came under the influence of the Egyptian government, and, when Pres. Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the press in 1960, Al-Ahram became the de facto voice of the government. In 1957 Nasser had made his friend Muhammad Hassanein Heikal the editor of Al-Ahram, and Heikal’s effect on the paper was profound. An eloquent editorialist and a solid journalist, Heikal built the paper’s prestige, its journalistic excellence, and its makeup and technical operation to new levels. Under his leadership, the paper became the dominant daily in the Arab world. (Encyclopedia Britannica)

MB leader: Mursi’s ouster worse
than destroying Islam’s holiest shrine
Al-Arabya, Thursday, 25 July 2013

The overthrow of former President Mohammad Mursi by the Egyptian army is worse than destroying Islam’s holiest shrine, the Kaaba, Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Leader Mohammad Badie said Thursday.
“I swear by God that what [Gen. Abdel-Fattah] al-Sissi did in Egypt is more criminal than if he had carried an ax and demolished the holy Kaaba, stone by stone,” Badie said.
Badie’s analogy compares the popularly-backed military overthrow of Mursi on July 3 to a hypothetical destruction of the Kaaba, the cube-shaped shrine in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which is faced by Muslims worldwide in their daily prayers.
The statement by the Brotherhood’s leader takes to a new level the enmity between the camp of Islamists led by the Brotherhood and their opponents, including liberals, moderate Muslim and secular Egyptians and minority Christians. Badie, who has an arrest warrant against him for allegedly inciting violence, also called Sissi a “traitor” and urged him to repent.

Egyptian Defense Minister:
"Military inaction the more dangerous course"
DEBKAfile Special Report July 25, 2013

Egyptian Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is not backing away from his resolve to quickly crack down, even by military force, on armed protesters using live bullets on city streets and generating chaos...
When the Obama administration warned Gen. El-Sisi that his actions could generate bloodshed leading to an outbreak of civil war, the Egyptian leader replied that military inaction was the more dangerous course, because terrorism and live fire in protest demonstrations must be controlled forthwith before they too degenerated into civil warfare.

In the past week, debkafile's military sources report, tens of thousands of Muslim Brotherhood protesters continued to fill the streets of Egypt’s main cities, demonstrating against the interim government and the military and demanding the reinstatement of ousted president Mohammed Morsi.
Some groups have begun closing off entire city blocks, declaring them independently-ruled entities. These enclaves have been fortified with sandbag barriers and sentries posted to check the documents of people going in and out. Entry is barred to those suspected of collaborating with the army and security forces. Large photos of Morsi are draped over buildings along with banners of injunctions to obey no authority other than that of the elected president.
The generals fear that these “independent closed enclaves” could become the nuclei of a full-scale revolt which if not curbed in time could run out of control.

Muslim Brotherhood Statement 21-7-2013: The will of the Egyptian people must be respected, especially constitutional legitimacy, which the people are determined to defend with their own lives; all aspects of the military coup must be halted; and Egypt must return to constitutional legality, with its elected President, Constitution and Parliament. (Ikhwanweb)

Tunisian opposition politician Mohamed Brahmi shot dead
Thousands take to streets in Tunis
Albawaba News, July 25th, 2013

Tunisian opposition politician Mohamed Brahmi (part of the secular coalition Popular Front) was shot dead outside his home in Tunis on Thursday in the second such assassination this year, setting off mass protests against the Islamist-led government in the capital and elsewhere.
"He was shot in front of his house when he was with his disabled daughter," Mohamed Nabki, a member of Brahmi's secular, nationalist Popular Party, told Reuters. "The killers fled on a motorbike."
Brahmi was a vocal critic of the ruling coalition led by the Islamist Ennahda party and a member of the Constituent Assembly charged with drafting a new constitution for the North African nation, which is split between Islamists and their opponents.

Thousands of people protested outside the Interior Ministry in the capital, Tunis, after the killing.
"Tunisia is free, Brotherhood out!" angry demonstrators shouted, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood-linked al-Nahda movement which heads the country's ruling coalition.
Tunisia's political transition since the revolt that toppled Ben Ali has been relatively peaceful, with the Islamist Ennahda party sharing power with smaller secular parties. But the Egyptian army's overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi on July 3 following mass protests against him has energised the anti-Islamist opposition in Tunisia.

The Popular Front, or the Popular Front for the realization of the objectives of the revolution, is a leftist electoral alliance in Tunisia, made up of twelve political parties and numerous independents.
The coalition was formed in October 2012, bringing together 12 mainly left wing Tunisian parties including the Democratic Patriots' Movement, with the Workers' Party, Green Tunisia, the Movement of Socialist Democrats (which has left), the Tunisian Ba'ath Movement and Party of the Democratic Arab Vanguard, two different parties of the Iraqi branche of Ba'ath Party, and other Progressive parties. The Movement is strongly anti-Islamist.
The 48-year-old coordinator of the Popular Front coalition, Chokri Belaid, was killed by an unknown gunman on 6 February 2013.

Tunisia: Ennahdha Party:
Statement on Assassination of Mohamed Brahmi
IkhwanWeb, July 25, 2013

Rached Ghannouchi: The Ennahdha Party
- Considers this assassination to be a dangerous crime targeting the revolution and national unity...
- Strongly condemns this crime...
- Calls on all Tunisians to preserve their national unity, solidarity, and restraint...

Rached Ghannouchi says he doesn’t want an Islamic state in Tunisia.
The leader of the North African country’s largest political party defends it against accusations that it poses a threat to secularism in the birthplace of the Arab Spring
Robert Fisk, Independent 24-10-2012

“I don’t believe Tunisians want to change Islam but they want to be modern while being Muslims. Islam is a modern religion, We don’t need any surgery on Islam to make it modern. From the beginning, Islam was a pluralistic religion. From the beginning, Islam believed in freedom of religion and conscience, in the legitimacy of the state in a contract between the citizens and the state.”

Mr Ghannouchi insisted that the Salafis are not flocking to Ennahda’s banner. “It’s not Islamic enough for them,” he said...
“The Salafists had organised big demonstrations to demand the inclusion of sharia, and at the same time the secular elites felt threatened by these calls.”
“I was afraid that sharia was being preached about as anti-women’s rights, anti-human rights, anti-equality and anti-freedom. I was trying to convince [the Salafis] that constitutions are based not on what divides people but what unites them. So if there’s a lack of clarity on the issue of sharia, if there is a division around it, then it shouldn’t be let out. I was trying to convince them that the revolution had provided them with freedom. They used to be in prison, but now they have freedom to operate in society and through community organisations, in the mosques and by setting up charities and associations.”
“We also tried to convince them that the situation was very fragile and if they pushed things to the limit, things could collapse. I reminded them that the Islamists in Algeria [the Islamic Salvation Front] got 80 per cent of the votes – but that they lost everything because they didn’t read the balance of power correctly.”

Some want Libya to be like Afghanistan, Somalia or Mali
By Sami Zaptia, Libya Herald, 26 July 2013

Reacting to the spate of bombings in Tripoli, Benghazi and Sirte on Tuesday (23 July) at Wednesday’s press conference, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said that there are some who want Libya to be like Afghanistan, Somalia or Mali: “There are some who want to stop the progress of Libya to a civilian state.”
The Prime Minister attacked the selfish philosophy of some Libyans who put their own narrow interests above those of the country. If every Libyan was going to behave in this manner (going on strike, using force and arms to obtain concessions from the state, blockading airports, ports and oil installations), then we cannot do anything about it, added Zeidan.
If patriotism will not come to the fore during this transitional time, then his government will not be able to do anything about these actions, he explained.