Civil War/Fitna in Egypt

An Egyptian security force kicks a supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi as they clear a sit-in camp set up near Cairo University in Cairo's Giza district, Egypt, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. Egyptian police in riot gear swept in with armored vehicles and bulldozers Wednesday to clear the sit-in camp and the other encampment set up by supporters of the country's ousted Islamist president in Cairo, showering protesters with tear gas as the sound of gunfire rang out. (AP Photo/Hussein Tallal)

An Egyptian security force kicks a supporter of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi as they clear a sit-in camp set up near Cairo University in Cairo’s Giza district, Egypt, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. Egyptian police in riot gear swept in with armored vehicles and bulldozers Wednesday to clear the sit-in camp and the other encampment set up by supporters of the country’s ousted Islamist president in Cairo, showering protesters with tear gas as the sound of gunfire rang out. (AP Photo/Hussein Tallal)

I recently read an article written for Al Monitor, one of my favorite MENA news sources, titled The Middle East’s New Divide: Muslim Versus Muslim by Taufiq Rahim. He finds that the more prevalent conflict than West v. Islam is within the Muslim world itself. Rahim says: ” 90% of terrorism-related fatalities have been Muslim. One is more likely to see the demonization of a Shiite than a Jew by an extremist Muslim ideologue. The battle lines have shifted from Islam versus the West to Muslim versus Muslim, and it is time for politicians and pundits in the United States and the Middle East alike to catch up.” He explains that under the surface of what has looked like West v. Muslim World (MENA), more complicated factions and conflicts were broiling within the Muslim World (of course).

Fitna (intra-Muslim strife) has been an omnipresent reality almost since the advent of the faith (see Shiite v. Sunni, Sayyid Qutb, the Muslim Brotherhood leader executed in 1960s Egypt and an inspiration to Al-Qaeda & 14th-century theologian Ibn Taymiyyah).  Rahim concludes that there are “three concurrent battle lines pitting Muslim against Muslim across the region: militants versus the state, Shiites versus Sunnis (and Salafists versus Sufis) and secularists versus Islamists… Most of the Muslim world has not undergone a period of neo-enlightenment, and many countries are just now entering the messy period of political modernization. This means the fundamental issue of the role of religion in the state is being debated, finally, in the public square rather than in the castle or an ivory tower.”

Most of this post was from his excellent article, which I would love for you to read here: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/08/new-middle-east-muslim-versus-muslim.html#ixzz2c6lrTA1v

The horrific clashes in Egypt, a country that I wanted to visit so badly while I was in Jordan, makes my heart ache. It seems that for Egyptians the devil  is within the walls of its own state, tearing apart mosques and civil life.  While some of my friends were celebrating the overthrow of Morsi, I grimaced as I saw the beginning of a violent fight for political legitimacy. I held my tongue, hoping that I was wrong. I hate that I’m right. History will give Egypt’s years of turmoil the weight it deserves. But now the conversation regarding Egypt should seek deeper understanding of the fitna rather than the square-peg-in-a-round-hole script of West v. Muslim World. Inshallah, Egypt will find peace.

Woman’s work: The twisted reality of an Italian freelancer in Syria

An interesting article, Woman’s work: The twisted reality of an Italian freelancer in Syria offers nuggets of reflection on the job of a journalist. Author Francesca Borri writes: “With new communication technologies there is this temptation to believe that speed is information. But it is based on a self-destructive logic: The content is now standardized, and your newspaper, your magazine, no longer has any distinctiveness, and so there is no reason to pay for the reporter. I mean, for the news, I have the Internet—and for free. The crisis today is of the media, not of the readership. Readers are still there, and contrary to what many editors believe, they are bright readers who ask for simplicity without simplification. They want to understand, not simply to know.”

What is Happenning in Istanbul?

The freedom to speak and be heard is incredibly important in ensuring accountability to those empower and the continued security of human rights. I think it is our right to safeguard one another’s ability to express themselves, for it is the only way for true security to exist among a people. As Voltaire is often quoted as saying: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Even though he actually said: “Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so too”. The original may be less catchy, but I enjoy it 🙂

İnsanlık Hali

To my friends who live outside of Turkey:

I am writing to let you know what is going on in Istanbul for the last five days. I personally have to write this because at the time of my writing most of the media sources are shut down by the government and the word of mouth and the internet are the only ways left for us to explain ourselves and call for help and support.

Last week of May 2013 a group of people most of whom did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Among them there were many of my friends and yoga students. Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at very center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul, at least…

View original post 1,057 more words