Friday, 2 December 2011

Angry Arab continues his descent

In article for the pro-Bashar Lebanese Al-Akbar newspaper, Angry Arab continues his descent into bitterness, conspiracy theory and flawed analysis. The Islamists have won because people are tired of Western backed liberals and so-called 'leftists' destroying their country and being mere tools of Israeli and US interest.

His second paragraph especially is so full of bullshit; I don’t even know where to begin:

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood forgot about its past objection to the Egyptian-Israeli treaty, while the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood dispatched its former leader to reassure Israelis on Israeli TV. An-Nahda’s Ghannushi wanted to preserve all the key financial appointments of Bin `Ali and had dispatched the secretary general of his party to reassure Zionists in Washington think tanks. In Morocco, Bin Kiran (head of the Justice and Development Party) is a different story altogether because he has been a loyal royal Islamist who would not challenge the pro-Israeli and neoliberal policies of his master. But the story of Islamist victories may be overblown.
The Egyptian MB still is against the peace treaty but will not annul it at the moment because they are not idiots, are patient and understand that now is not the moment to open a front against Israel - they know when to pick their fights. Angry Arab's hero Nasser did not have this foresight and we lost all of Palestine because of his bluster. The Tunisian Al-Nahda have said in no uncertain terms that they will not have relations with Israel, Ghannoushi was pretty clear about this, saying that they are an occupying power and they will not recognise them:

The Syrian MB's leader Ali Bayanoni's gave an interview with an Israeli reporter in which he said if Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, then there will be a peace - he gave no further clarifications as to what this peace entails. In any case, this position is supported by the majority of Palestinians. I dont know enough about Moroccan Islamists so I cant comment on their relationship with the king.

This is the kind of discourse that surrounds the issue of Islamists in left-wing circles - a discourse litterred with inaccuacies and downright lies. People like this professor have never gotten over the increased religosity of the Arab people and their rejection of secular forces and so resort to these smears.

With expectations like these from those out-of touch, living in the cold-war era, extreme secularists like the professor here then in their eyes the Islamists are of course destined to lose. Saifedean Ammous said the biggest scam in the Arab world is that the revolutionary secular left destroyed Iraq, Syria, Libya and Egypt and yet they insist the problem lies or will lie with the Islamists. The Arab people have spoken professor so by all means, continue in your arrogant condescending tone against your people who you claim to respect and speak for - they have rejected the likes of you and put their trust in Islamic forces. Live with it.

Are Egyptians repeating the same mistakes as the Palestinians when they voted Hamas?

This was initially a response to GAZA Youth Break Out tweet but I thought I would post it as a blog entry:

I think what the last weeks and months have shown is that when it comes to support on the ground, secularists and liberals in general have very little/limited support. We sometimes forget, when reading blogs and other social media that most Palestinians and Arabs dont actually read English-language blogs and that their strong showing on social media is not an accurate reflection of the reality. Bloggers like GazaYBO dont actually represent Palestinian Gazan public opinion (all due respect to them of course) but they have a presence here because many international supporters of Palestinians are hungry for a 'liberal' anti-Israel alternative to Hamas. And the experience of Palestinians with Hamas is a different matter altogether. Islamists in Tunisia and Egypt are not suffering from a siege, they have control of their borders and they were not subject to a CIA-backed coup attempt in 2007 a year after they were democratically elected.

However, Hamas rule has been blighted by cracking down on political freedom and political prisoners but I would argue that after they routed Dahlan 4 years ago, Hamas made the mistake of giving too much power to the Executive force - when security forces have too much power then political oppression and violence ensues. On the other hand, if Hamas did not have such control in Gaza, their political and military leaders would have been killed in the Gaza war of 2008/2009 - I say this from a pro-resistance point of view. It is to Hamas' credit that they never bowed down on the Quartet conditions, that they held to Shalit all this time. We must accept that they were never given a chance to truly deliver on their program. Unfortunately, Hamas did not stamp out nepotism but actively engaged in it and have not solved Gaza's economic problems. Of course, this is due to the siege but Hamas is still responsible to find a solution and they have not done so. Inshallah, Egypt and Tunisia will not be punished for choosing an 'Islamist' party and they can show what happens when you merge taqwa (piety) and brains together :)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

New single for Palestine aims to make it into the charts

One world, a coalition of UK artists including members of Faithless are releasing a new single entitled 'Freedom for Palestine':



The single has received an endorsement from Coldplay much to the ire of their Israeli fans. Some of the comments are - naturally - racist, others are downright idiotic:
Coldplay = Hitler lovers

'reality is Palastine is an area that was once belong to Jordan and the "palastine" people are refugees from Jordan!'

'Wtf you have millions of fans in israel and you stand with terrorists??'

'These people are TERRORISTS and they have NO RIGHT to have freedom, unless they change their ideology'
It looks like the video is going to go viral and they havent even released the single yet, they're planning to do so at the beginning of July so there is a real chance this could get into the charts.

You can pre-order the single from iTunes or from HMV. You have more than a month between now and the 3rd of July to tell your friends, family and post it all over social media. I will be following this campaign and will be updating this page. Do your part and this can happen.

UPDATE - 3rd June 2011: The video has indeed gone viral, chalking up more than 120,000 hits in less than 3 days (the video was uploaded on the 23rd but only made public 3 days ago). On another note, do not be fooled by the amount of dislikes the video has been given. It has received HUGE attention in the Israeli and pro-Israeli press, being reported in Haaretz, Yediot Ahranot, The Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Chronicle and the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Now, Glenn Beck has given the single a plug! Watch him having a nervous breakdown culminating in tears, notice the hysteria in his voice when he says this song is about 'human rights and justice for all':



He also mentions Britain2Gaza, the British contingent of the upcoming flotilla to Gaza. All this amounts to some good exposure for the One World team, increasing the chance that this may get into the charts. They have seized on the publicity granted to them by Fox News urging people to buy the single that made Glenn Beck cry! It is a mark of the righteousness of this cause that so many Israelis and supporters of occupation are barely able to contain themselves. Just remember, buy the single!

UPDATE - 13th June 2011: The link to the single on Coldplay's wall has been removed not by the British band but by Facebook:
Coldplay did not remove link from its Facebook page. Facebook removed the link because thousands of people (and computer generated posts) reported it as abusive
As further evidence that Coldplay did NOT withdraw their endorsement of the single, their tweet on their twitter account is still up.

Of course, there have been many further endorsements for this single such as from Lush, Alice Walker, Lowkey and Benjamin Zephaniah. A illuminating interview with the man behind the single Dave Randall reveals another big endorsement in the pipeline from the second most famous South African in the world (after Nelson Mandela) Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Monday, 30 May 2011

Shocking tales of rape emerge in Libya

Rape as a weapon has largely been absent in the Arab world, it was usually confined to central and Western Africa but Gadaffi - the 'king of kings' - has ordered his forces to rape those Libyans who dared to defy him. The reports coming in from Misrata (whose people have successfully defended their city against Gadaffi forces) are especially stomach churning:
The soldiers, shouting and waving their guns, stripped the four older girls in front of the family and took them into the next room where they raped the young women. The girls screamed and cried for mercy, calling on Allah. A soldier at one point yells: "Gaddafi is our Allah."
I wont say anymore, just read the full article. Suffice to say that Gadaffi has cemented his role as the most brutal and sadistic of all our Arab dictators.

New documentary about the war on Gaza - 'A story of war'

Produced by mediatown in Gaza, not a lot of high definition footage of Gaza so this really is a gem:

Thursday, 26 May 2011

BBC censors 'Palestine' & 'Gaza Strip' from rappers lyrics

A few months ago, the Guardian brought our attention to the censorship of the word 'Palestine' from Mic Righteous' freestyle on Radio 1Xtra. See for yourself, at 2:57 what he actually said was
"I can still scream Free Palestine for my pride, still pray for peace..."
Instead, the BBC masked 'Free Palestine' with a sound effect of broken glass:



The BBC claimed 'impartiality' as the reason for their censorship. Well we all know where the BBC stands given its refusal to air a humanitarian appeal for Gaza at the height of the massacre in 2009 but the BBC are at it again - this time with another rapper on the same show! The UK rapper Bigz use of the offensive words 'Gaza Strip' was again censored. At 2:10, what Bigz actually said was:
"Who you know who's as hard as this?
Arsonist, bringing more fire than the Gaza Strip
I'm lightning, like Tyson..."
The video: (has been taken down)

Throughout these two tracks, you hear a lot of expletives being censored (fuck, nigger etc.) but to place 'Palestine' and 'Gaza Strip' in the same category truly beggars belief. Now, Mic Righteous and Lowkey have urged people not to target Charlie Sloth (it was on his show that this censorship occurred). From Mic Righteous:
"Understand it’s a sensitive issue but I beg certain people stop targeting my brudda Charlie Sloth about this fire in the booth censorship incident. Charlie gave me a chance before any other radio DJ. Because he believed in my music and the censorship wasn’t his doing..."
This marks a new low for the UK broadcaster. For years now, journalists and producers working for the BBC have practiced self-censorship fearing the 'phone call from the Israeli embassy', treating the word Palestine as if it was a dirty word. Who knew, this would literally be the case.

UPDATE 1: Jody McIntyre from the Independent writes that the BBC aired the words 'Tel Aviv' as part of the lyrics to another Bigz track on the Charlie Sloth Show:
DJ Charlie Sloth played a Bigz track entitled ‘I Just Want The Paper’. In the song he raps: “Chilling on a beach… Tel Aviv”
You can hear the track for yourself here at 0:51, this just completely puts the BBC's claims of impartiality on the ropes, if censoring Gaza Strip was done in order to maintain impartiality, why was Tel Aviv also not censored? The answer - the BBC is biased towards Israel. Simple.

UPDATE 2: The BBC have taken the video of the Bigz freestyle down and now put on a version with 'Gaza Strip' uncensored. The Mic Righteous censored freestyle is still up though. Although the BBC deserve some credit for retracting their censorship in this case.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Syrian protester beaten and dragged through streets of Homs

A video showing Syrian forces loyal to Asaad (both plainclothed and uniformed) beat a man to within an inch of his life and drag him through Homs, Syria's third largest city.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Real Captain Jack Sparrow was a Muslim

Fascinating article about the real Captain Jack Sparrow fictionalised in the popular film series 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. A few interesting points about the real Jack Sparrow:
  • His real name was Captain Jack Ward and he was also known as Jack Birdy.
  • He was on the run from the church when he converted to Islam in the late 16th Century.
  • His entire crew also converted to Islam with him.
  • Captain Jack Birdy was obsessed with little birds during his time in Tunisia (where he fled). So much that the locals would call him Jack Asfur, asfur being Arabic for sparrow. This is where the name Captain Jack Sparrow comes from.
  • His Muslim name was Yusuf Reis
  • He was married to another renegade from Christendom who also converted to Islam, Jessimina the Sicilian.
  • Whilst Captain Jack Birdy was known as a great drunkard, he stopped drinking alcohol when he converted to Islam.
  • He was instrumental in rescuing thousands of Spanish Jews and Muslims fleeing their expulsion from their lands in the 16th and 17th centuries.
UPDATE 4th June 2011: Haha, this explains the crescent and moon symbol in the promotional poster for the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie 'On Stranger Tides':

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Bizarre Obama cartoon aired by Syrian TV

It seems if Al-Dounia TV isn't covering up Asaad's crimes against his people then they are churning out ridiculous cartoons that make no sense. Yes, Obama does talk crap, but what does that have to do with the Syrian people rising up?

UK student body officially supports Palestine

A very significant victory in recent days when the NUS (National Union of Students) adopted a strongly worded motion supporting Palestinian rights. In it, the NUS admitted that the situation in Palestine was akin to apartheid, supporting the right of return, an end to the Gaza siege and even pledging to send representatives on the next flotilla! This is a far cry from the heavily pro-Israeli stance of the NUS under Wes Streeting which refused to condemn the massacre on Gaza. The timing couldn't be sweeter coming a week after a huge conference in London bringing together the most stalwart supporters of Israel in the UK. The Israeli press is up in arms about this which is always a good sign. NUS, I salute your courage!

Obama's speech - a false comparison

Obama's speech on Thursday was the usual hypocritical bullshit which I could critique at some length. Instead, I want to draw your attention to a reference that he made when comparing two people - an Israeli who had lost his son to Hamas and a Palestinian who lost his daughters to Israel. The Israeli whom he talked about is Yitzhak Frankenthal whose son Arik was an IDF soldier involved in maintaining the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and was therefore a perfectly legitimate target for the resistance. He was captured and later killed in Ramallah which was then and still is occupied territory. He founded an organisation after this which was 'dedicated' to reconciling parents of both sides in the war. He is often described as a member of the Israeli peace camp but this did not stop him from supporting the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 which killed hundreds of innocent civilians:
"Associated with the Israeli peace camp since 1973, I have been actively fighting for peace since 1994. I believe that it is because I am a peace activist that I must call on the Israeli government to continue its operations in Lebanon"
So there you go. The Palestinian whom Obama referred to is the now well know Gazan doctor Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish whose three daughters were killed by shells fired from Israeli tanks. An Al-Jazeera report described what happened next.



As the report says, 90% of Israelis supported the war so this tragedy barely represented a blip on the radar for Israel's moral conscience. And yet Dr. Abuelaish continues with his - and I hesitate to use this word - prostration to so-called liberal Zionists around the world professing love for the occupier despite his personal tragedy. At some level, I could find this admirable but whilst bombs continue to fall on Palestinians and the occupation continues to exist than this is nothing less than capitulation to your oppressor. Look at how happy he is that Obama mentioned him:
"I cried when I saw and learned that today in his speech Barack Obama referred to me”
How undignified is that? The point is we have an Israeli whose son died in a legitimate military operation on occupied territory placed on the same stage as a Palestinian whose three daughters were ripped to pieces by Israeli shells as they slept in their homes in Gaza! This false dichotomy was just one of many perpetuated by Obama in his speech which I don't want to go into. I am just thankful that Palestinians and Arabs in general saw through his lies and paid as little attention to it as they would with a Bin Laden tape. Oh and here's a picture of the Gazan doctor posing with the war criminal Ehud Barak at the height of the second intifada:
Isti7ee ala damak ya daktor.