Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Qaeda

Days in Egypt: Investigating, Reporting…?

Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) is a Jordan-based institute that provides funding, support and training for young journalists across the Middle East.

Michelle Ghoussoub Posted on December 27, 2012 under “3 Days in Egypt: Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism

This past November I had the good fortune of being chosen to represent the American University of Beirut as a student delegate at the annual (ARIJ) Conference  held in Cairo, Egypt, for the first time.

Though I’ve learned to read and write Arabic in the past 2 years, the 5-page long emails detailing instructions about visas, plane tickets, and conference timetables proved to be a bit challenging for the vocabulary Univ. of British Columbia UBC Arabic 300 had provided me with.

These documents were quickly forwarded to my resident Arabic speaker back home (also known as baba – my dad) – who provided some interesting translations.

The conference advised “colleagues to wear conservative clothing, and to avoid wearing tight pants and revealing shirts when going out to public places.”

The conference also provided documents and advice for Palestinian journalists attempting to leave the West Bank and Gaza through Israeli checkpoints. Suddenly, my stress about getting a visa for my Canadian passport at the airport seemed pretty trivial.

Two days before the start of the conference, protests broke out across Egypt, including in the iconic Tahrir square after President Morsi passed a controversial presidential decree that gave him sweeping powers. I considered not going – but passing up on a chance to visit Cairo was just too much.

The day of the conference, I caught a 5 am flight out of Beirut along with another friend from the AUB who was also attending.

After the typical Beirut airport experience (basically, overly relaxed security), we took off on Egypt Air, and landed in Cairo around an hour later.

Once in Cairo airport, I realized that my worries about getting a visa upon landing had been unfounded – the old man behind the booth didn’t even look at my passport, let alone ask me any questions before handing me the visa.

We took a cab into the city around 7 am, when a deep smog was still covering the city. Our taxi driver asked us where we had come from, and why we were here. “Why did you come?” he asked us, “It’s not safe.”

“Bassita, na7na min Beirut.” we tried to joke (“Don’t worry, we’re from Beirut.”)

“Cairo isn’t Beirut” he replied. He then told us that he had been driving some tourists to their hotel last night when the car in front of them exploded. These two Beirutis were in over our heads.

View of Cairo Tower from Conrad hotel

View of Cairo Tower from Conrad hotel

We finally arrived to the hotel to find that our hotel reservation had been cancelled. After a brief argument of Lebanese vs. Egyptian Arabic, we somehow worked out a solution. A bus took us to another hotel in Cairo’s Zamalik area, where the conference was taking place.

Even being used to the madness of Beirut traffic, the bus ride was heart-stopping. Cars, buses, motorcycles, street vendors horses and donkeys jockey for positions on Cairo’s streets – with no clear winner.

The ARIJ conference turned out to be extremely interesting, with talks ranging from ethics of war reporting, methods for interviewing trauma victims, methods for conducting investigative journalism, and a showcase of the best investigative reports coming out of the Arab world in the past year.

IMG_1763

Keynote speakers at ARIJ 2012

It was also interesting to note that there appeared to be somewhat of a disconnect between the western and Arab reporters.

One American professor who spoke went through the details of how he uncovered a French government scandal involving funding from the alcohol lobby – he did so mainly by going through public government records.

A young Egyptian then stood up and asked how he recommended going about this kind of investigation in Egypt, where either there were no public records, or you may get beaten up for asking the wrong questions.

Another American journalist spoke about acquiring sources, and how to convince those who wish to remain anonymous to go public.

An Iraqi journalist then asked about a specific case – in one of her recent stories, the main source had paid Al Qaeda not to kill him – there was therefore no way he would accept to go public with his name, as he would be killed. In both cases, the speakers looked shocked and a little dumbfounded at the questions.

One thing is for sure – the terms of engagement are different in the west and in the Middle East.

IMG_1775

In the evening, we returned to our hotel via taxi. We asked him about the situation in the city, and whether the area had remained safe that day. He told us the protests had spread to almost all areas of Cairo and Alexandria, and that all roads out of the city were blocked by protestors. He then went on to tell us that he had previously worked as a bureaucrat for the Egyptian government, that Morsi had fired him unfairly, and that he was now forced to work as a taxi driver to make a living.

How much of this is true I will never know, as we were stuck in traffic when we suddenly heard a commotion behind us. A crowd was surging towards us, and an army officer had come out of nowhere and begun to spray tear gas directly into the crowd. Our taxi driver did some unworldly maneuver and managed to get us out and back to the hotel, but the excitement was not done for the night.

My fellow AUBite had some Lebanese family living in Cairo, who took us out and toured us around the Zamalik area in the evening.

There was something distinctly strange about the atmosphere – fancy restaurants along the Nile, and luxurious Egyptian versions of “bateaux mouches” were empty, though it was a Saturday night. “Cairo isn’t Beirut” our host told us. It was the second time I’d heard that phrase in one day.

“The people here aren’t used to uncertainty.” It’s easy to forget that Mubarak ruled Egypt with relative stability for 30 years – a completely different history from that of Lebanon. He asked us if we wanted to see Tahrir Square. We were both reluctant, but it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and so we decided to go.

Walking into Tahrir Square

Walking into Tahrir was overwhelming – so many key events had come from this place.

Outside of the ring of white cloth tents it was like a microcosm of the Arab world. Ka3k vendors, women with their children, but mostly men sitting, playing cards, smoking arguileh and talking politics. It wasn’t a threatening atmosphere, but definitely an uncomfortable one.

As two of the only unveiled women there, we got many stares, though no one approached us, perhaps because we were with a man. Mostly there was a sense of lawlessness, a feeling that if anything were to happen, there was no governing authority that would step in.

We definitely felt a sense of relief when we left the square. The tension and uncertainty in the air was almost suffocating, despite the movement being one of freedom and democracy.

The next day during the conference, we read on the news that three women had been attacked in Tahrir that day – and the square was only 5 minutes from the hotel we were in at that moment. Very eye opening.

Tahrir's mini community

Tahrir’s mini community

When we landed back in Beirut the next day, I saw the Capital Beirut with very different eyes.

It seemed green, uncrowded, and very clean – though Beirut is none of the above. Lebanon is chaotic, but somehow the chaos seems contained, even manageable. Cairo was sprawling, huge, unpredictable and beautiful. And though its streets felt very dirty and crowded, and even unsafe, you got the sense that it was a very ancient and noble city – or once had been.

Whatever the future of Egypt is, I surely won’t forget my 3 days in Cairo, or my impromptu visit to Tahrir anytime soon.

 

“Blackwater and Companies are back…” (September 8, 2009)

 

            Blackwater is back to Iraq in 2009 under a different company name.  Many US security companies have been in Afghanistan since 2002 guarding the most valued personality in the world Hamid Kardai.  Hamid is President “elect” of Afghanistan for many terms and control one square miles in the Capital Kabul. “I have no fucking idea who we are fighting.” A member of Task Force 11 in Afghanistan declared.  Last night a German politician admitted that there are no way to discriminate among civilian and Taliban fighters. “I want to kill every fucking Afghan I can” said certain contractor named Jack. A bar owner in Kabul retorted: “The only thing that Jack should be allowed to kill is his bar tab” 

            In a matter of months after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, private security firms increased haphazardly; many quickly secured multi-billion contracts such as HART, Triple Canopy, DynCorp, Blackwater, ArmorGroup, Control Risks Group (CRG), Erinys, and Aegis. “I can launch a thousand armed and trained men” had said Eric Prince, owner of Blackwater. The pentagon was officially contracting with 60 such “private security” firms but the unofficial subcontractors doubled the number of firms; for example, Zapata Engineering which handled gathering, transportation, and demolition of ordnance had its own security services; not to mention Halliburton and the like.

            At the end of the “Cold War”, the US military force was downsized by 30%; (In my opinion it was not just an economic necessity as it was a political shift of image control; Clinton didn’t want to be cornered by the military for alternatives that can be resolved diplomatically).  Thus, the military enhanced its policy of privately outsourcing logistical supports.  In December 1985, the first Army’s Logistic Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) was introduced; it permitted for civil corporations to supply sanitation, shelter, maintenance, transport, food services, and construction.      

            The author of “Licensed to kill” Robert Pelton met a covert team of “contractors” at the Afghanistan/Pakistan border in the fall of 2003.  Robert embarked on an odyssey in locations where the CIA and the US State Department needed the services of private war contractors (read mercenaries and security service operators). “At the end, we all knew there might be a conflict of interest” said a private contractor.  (Foreign leaders are dependent on the US government when its interests collude to withdraw hired private security if displeased.  The US State Department could withhold further contracts if private providers of security do not obey the US Administration orders.)

 

A young security guard wrote on the internet (an e-mail from a Mamba Team House):

 

“T’was the night before Christmas in Baghdad, Iraq

All the Mamba Crewmen were tucked in their rack

The defenses were set in impeccable form

And I had just settled down to surf Internet porn

When out in the street I heard such a clatter

It wasn’t a mortar so what was the matter?

In full kit I ran out and what should appear

It was Rudolf, he was wounded, and he was one fucked up reindeer.

He said Santa’s sleigh had been hit by a Strela (a missile)

The old man burned in and was captured by al Qaeda…”

 

            In 1992, Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense to George Bush Senior, contracted Brown and Root (later acquired by the Texas-based Halliburton) to offer a dozen fictional scenarios that could require the deployment of 20,000 troops in 5 base camps for 6 months.  During the Clinton Administration, Cheney headed Halliburton from 1995 to 2000.  In 2001, Cheney secured to Halliburton an extended term of 10 years.

            Even with the over billing schemes of the private contractors, the military saved money but the main objective was political cost savings when things went wrong: the companies could be blamed, contracts annulled, and their employees lost their jobs without due prosecution.

            Bush Junior invaded Iraq with about 250,000 troops because, except Britain, no country would contribute forces. The total manpower on the field was much higher because of the private suppliers.  The US refused to increase its forces to at least 400,000 in order to maintain law and order; thus, the administration relied on private security services.  Without the necessary forces on the field Iraq drifted into total chaos.  “Yes, I’d give the Devil the benefit of laws, for my own safety’s sake” Thomas Moore had once said.

 

            The chaos sparked impunity for the violent criminal groups that didn’t exist during the reign of Saddam.  Colonel T.E. Lawrence warned 80 years ago about the region “A tissue of small jealous principalities incapable of cohesion, and yet always ready to combine against an outside force.”

            (Among the multitudes of private providers were dozens of Israeli companies, coordinating their activities with their Mossad intelligence service, looting Iraq, its historical monuments and artifacts, and assassinating the scientists and Iraqi intellectuals).

            While 50% of the Iraqi was unemployed the private suppliers hired foreigners from the Philippine, Turkey, Pakistan…because they could not trust the Iraqis.  The Iraqi population stayed quiet for 6 months hoping for the reconstruction of the country to take off but it never materialized.

            The US allocated $20 billions for the reconstruction, mainly from the Iraqi oil production (Bush Junior signed Executive Order to confiscate Iraqi property in the US and funds in American banks and the UN allowed 95% of the income from petroleum export sales to be diverted to the Development Fund for Iraq “to promote the welfare of the Iraqi people through the effective administration of the territory”).  In 2005, Congress increased the Fund to 55 billions to the year 2007, an influx that benefited the private US sector but not the Iraqi.

            “We should expect bad irrational behavior, disloyalty, rampant individual greed, back-stabbing, and bum-fucking activities.  It may be that getting us out comes down to a large splodge of wonga” said Simon Mann from prison.

            As of 2008, more than 600 private security contractors have so far died and were not accounted for in the total number of casualties. Blackwater is back to Iraq in 2009 under a different company name. “We are not merely imperfect creatures that need improvement: we are rebels that need lay down their arms” By C.S. Lewis in (The problem of pain)

 

 

Note 1: A major part of this article was extracted from the book of Robert Pelton “License to kill”.

 

Note 2: Mullah Omar, the leader of Taliban, was not targeted and he roamed freely in the Pashtun provinces in Pakistan where they enjoyed self-autonomy from the central Pakistani government.  Ussama Ben Laden was no longer seriously apprehended and lived also in the Pashtun provinces.

 

Note 3: It is my contention that the Saudi theocratic oligarchy valued Ben Laden as their best proselytizer of the Wahhabi sect in Pakistan and had made a very generous deal with the US Administration to sparing this Saudi asset!  If you recall that it is these extremist terrorist Wahhabi groups that finally managed to assassinate Benazir Bhutto PM because she wanted to clip the wings of the Wahhabi entrenchment in Pakistan and Afghanistan.  No wonder that the Saudi monarchy has started to negotiate with Taliban for power sharing in Afghanistan.  It is the same Wahhabi of Al Qaeda that tried to destabilize Lebanon by fighting the army in the Palestinian camp of Nahr Al Bared in the city of Tripoli.

Religion resurrects: It must die first

State Ideologies usurping religions: (June 18, 2009) 

            The 20th century was characteristic in serious attempts of replacing State religion by State Ideology.  This was feasible simply because most religions have developed into structured ideologies in concepts and in organization.  Soviet Russia was successful for over 70 years in that endeavor because it emulated communism into religious replica in all premises and criteria.  Soviet communism stated what happens after death, it described what is go and what is evil, it structured its hierarchy on the basis of church, excommunicated the “refusnik”, and it created a God, a semi abstract God with a personified representative on earth.  The Gang of Four in China, after the death of Mao Tse Tong, carried that religion a step forward: all ancient manuscripts of Chinese civilizations were meant to be burned.  The Khmer Rouge in Cambodia went several notches further: every educated person was to be burned; the new generation was to start with a blank brain.

            The trend of State ideologies usurping religions is going on even stronger with a reversed strategy.  State ideologies are basing their premises on a religion; they claim that the concepts of their ideology are consistent to the fundamentals of the original religion.  Those extremist State ideologies are found in all religions: Christian, Moslem, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddha-based religion.  State ideologies are in Afghanistan, Somalia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, India, China, Burma, and in the USA during the George W. Bush two Administrations.

           

            Religions, monolithic or not (it is primarily a mental distinction and never real), did not mushroom spontaneously in specific regions.  Religion is the same and was translated and interpreted into different languages and cultures. Religions were imported/exported along with the material baggage of trade and commerce; they were built upon and modified to correspond to customs and traditions. Religions developed to extreme abstractions in urban centers or reduced to basic common denominators in remote rural areas; they were the primary cultural communication among people based on trust, confidence, and belief that there is always someone more powerful and more knowledgeable than the lot.  

            It is because people need to create a God that religion was the main communicator among nations; religion transcended peculiar customs and traditions and reached straight to the deep fear and apprehension of man.  Fear of the unknown is shared by everyone and all men are similar in that one characteristic.

            There have always been all kinds of civilizations; that the archeologists failed to uncover relics and artifacts is irrelevant to that fact. Every civilization prospered on slavery; whatever names slaves were given.  Slaves had their own God; at day they shared the God of the usurpers of their freedom and by night they unveiled their “True God” and worshiped him genuinely as only desperate souls know how to pay tribute. A few slave “tribes” revolted and confirmed their nightly God at day break and paid retributions.  Most of these “slave tribes” succumbed to the power to be and its social structure (constructed around a religious hierarchy); a few preferred to be chased out and suffer another kind of life hardship.  No, there was no dignity in the daily life of the forsaken slaves who wandered in the wilderness; even their nights were different: they had to reinvent a God compatible to their wretched new life, an altered the God of the One they used to worship at night before the Diaspora.

            Nomadic tribes didn’t need religious clerics to convince them of a “God”: as they sat around by night they could watch the vault of the sky reaching down and they felt they could touch the stars.  There is overwhelming majesty during the peaceful nights in desert like regions, a sky sparkling with millions of beautiful stars twinkling overhead (a few moving, many fixed) that offered reprieve, courage, and hope for another day of desolation, loneliness, and harsh nature.  Nomads appreciate the varieties of Silence: they can feel the God of Silence before major cataclysms and desert storms.

            It is because nomads needed to believe more in a God than other settled people to ward off the persistent and real fears of the days for survival that their God was more powerful and more compassionate than other Gods; the God of the nomads was personified in the one seeking refuge for the night; the visitor was lavished with the respect due to the wandering God paying visit to the tribe members and he was fed with whatever meager substances the clan had saved.  The God of the nomads knew their traditions and customs and refrained from interfering or crossing the lines; otherwise, the visitor was punished for false representation.

           

            There are various God. There is the God of the nomads, the “Night God” of the enslaved, the God of the urban and settled people, and the God of wandering homeless people, rootless, and abandoned because their God refuses to be set free.  My article concerns the God of the stragglers.  This God was created a brute, ruthless, and blood thirsty; an avenger out of ignorance, an insulated, merciless, and uncompromising hatemongering God.  This is the God of Thunder, War, Lightening, Storm, Sword, and Skull.  This is the God who rebuffs any tender offer to mingle with other civilized Gods, to soften His manner, to come to maturity, to associate, to adjust, and to keep pledges.

            This is the God who obeyed his creators; as He started to appreciate modern and civilized habits He was reminded by his creators, called prophets, that He lost his way and the reason why He was created.  This the God who was resurrected countless time from his compassionate leaning and collaboration with other worthy Gods to lead newer generations, whose hearts and minds were burned alive from birth, to take on a chimerical revenge on real people because chimerical stories and myths are truer than reality.

            The Jewish religion is dead.  It was replaced by a State ideology called Zionism. Jehovah (Yahweh) was again called upon to mete out his benediction to countless genocide against the Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, Jordanians, and Egyptians. The ancient “prophets” were rejuvenated into modern-day prophets, very much as archaic as Ben Gurion, Menahem Begin, Ishak Shamir, Sharon, Ehud Barak, and all the lot who want their “promised land” that they usurped by the sword, lies, and blasphemy. 

              The Jewish religion is dead as Israel was recognized in 1948.  It is not what the Books say; it is how it is practiced.  It is how Zionism behaved in Gaza, Sabra and Chatila Palestinian camps, the camps in Jenine, Jabalya, the massacres in the villages of Dar Yassine, Kfar Kassem, Yafa, the shelling of the town of Qana, of the UN compounds in Qana, Gaza, and the West Bank, the execution of over 6,000 Egyptian soldiers prisoners in the war of 1967; the destruction of Lebanon’s infrastructure 8 times, the destruction of the infrastructures in Gaza and the West Bank, the demolition of schools and hospitals, the routine assassinations of leaders, the apartheid Wall of Shame, the refusal of abiding by UN resolution 194 for the return of the Palestinian refugees, the insistence of refusing to share Jerusalem Capital to the Palestine State, the transfer methods of the Christians from Jerusalem, and claiming that Israel should be accepted as State for Jews before any peaceful negotiation.

            The Jewish religion is dead.  It was replaced by a State ideology called Zionism, founded by the Eastern Europe Ashkenazi.

 

Note: The UN described Zionism in mild terms as “a form of racism”.  As the USA pressured the UN to desist of this mild description then Zionist ideology was no longer restricted to Jews; it transformed to an umbrella for the fascist, Nazi, Stalinists, Gang of Four, Khmer Rouge, Neo-Conservative, apartheid, and isolationist ideologies; it had contacts with Taliban, Ben Laden, Qaeda, and a variety of religious extremists of Moslems, Hindus, and the Christians of the Sirilanka Tamul terrorists.

What Secular States we mean?   

Note: This essay applies to all States, western, orient, animists, pagans, monotheists, secular, semi-secular, democratic, theocratic and other political systems.

 

In the sixties, Charles Malek, the philosopher and Lebanon’s representative to the United Nations proclaimed that Lebanon cannot survive as a State unless all Lebanese convert to Christianity.  Lately, the Moslem Sunni salafist proclaimed in 2006 that the State of Lebanon should be governed Caliphate style.  The Moslem Shiaas of Hezbollah want to establish the rule of the “Wilayat of Fakeeh”, an Ayatollah who would lead both the spiritual and political powers.

 

For example, the Christians during the civil war wanted to establish Christian cantons exclusively for the right wing Christian Lebanese since they over ran the Palestinian Christian camps and evacuated the lucky one from the massacre outside the Christian cantons. The Christians in the Levant have ground to be worried.  What Islam means by “Jihad” is in fact the right to proselytize Islam everywhere and all the time.  As if the western nations have not been carrying their own brand of “Jihad” since Medieval Age everywhere they wanted to colonize.  The Christians in the Levant have grounds to be apprehensive: the Christian sects have refrained from converting Moslems because conservative Islam sects demand as “halal” the blood shedding of the “blasphemous” re-converted Moslems.

The Moslem Sunni salafists in north Lebanon twice fought the Lebanese army within two years; hundreds of soldiers died and were handicapped for life. The Qaeda of Ussama Bin Laden has the same political objective with a twist; the Qaeda wants to establish the restrictive and ultra conservative Wahhabit sect as the essence of selecting Caliphates.  The Wahhabit sect is the one adopted by the Saudi Arabia theocratic monarchy.

In 1925, the Sunni Ali Abel Razzak wrote in his book “Islam and origin of governance” that “Islam is innocent of what the conservative Islam understands of the Caliphate.  The Caliphate was never in the religious planning, and neither were the religious judges nor any of the civil administrations in the government.  The Prophet Muhammad didn’t recognize them or order them or denied them.  The political and civil administrative issues were left to the Moslems to decide upon them.  Thus, it is proper that we engage our mind and consider the experience of nations, and the rules of politics that are the best around for our Nation.”

In Iran, Ayatollah Borojardy was detained because he wanted to separate States politics from religion, thus, resisting the “Fakeeh” concept of government. In Lebanon, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasr Allah, publicly harangued the Shiaa to considering “Wilayat al Fakeeh” as the official political system; and Nasr Allah is speaking as a clergy too and in every religious ceremony, blending religion with politics with resistance to the Zionist Apartheid State.

The State of Israel would like you to believe that a mythical leader they named Moses had a revelation by a superior being named Yahveh to conquer land by the sword and genocides for it was “promised” to the horde of tribes following him.  Thus, Israel would like to establish a Jewish theocratic State in Palestine.  It has been categorically proven that the Old Bible was initiated in the second century before Christ in Alexandria and then chapters were added many centuries later to and re-edited several times.

 

If you are nowadays following Lebanon’s politics and the preparations for the election in June 7 then you might have the impression that it is the political leaders of the sects who are manipulating the sacerdotal castes of our 18 officially recognized religious sects.  Don’t be fooled; ask any Lebanese and he will tell you that he is forced constitutionally to pay his first allegiance to his sect.  In fact, the sects were given the right to administer the civil status of its co-religionists from birth to death and the central government is totally helpless in interfering; even if any serious government  wishes to change it would never want problems to blow in its face..

 

My question for the western States’ citizens is: Do you believe that the separation of State and religion is implicitly a de facto reality?  Do you believe that religions have desisted from meddling in State affairs; that during voting periods the religious sacerdotal castes do not impress on the political climate? Do you believe that there is no religious backlash on religious minorities? Isn’t religion recognized in your constitutions?  Are not the civil administrative posts implicitly submitted to a quota system? I am sincerely worried about the practices of those hypocritical Secular States who force its minorities to submit to the litmus test on the ground of applying civil laws and regulations.

 

Personally, my position is that religious doctrines and stories are a bunch of hog wash nonsense of myths and abstract concepts that even zero IQ individuals refuse the premises.  The religious sacerdotal castes would like you to substitute you belief in a Creator from watching the cosmos and the mysteries of life into total faith in their particular ideological constructs and set of values.

 

I feel limited in finding a resolution where check and balance can be erected to cope with the all permeating power of the sacerdotal castes in every States around the world.  Constitutional laws need to be thought out to restrict the implicit power of the thousand tentacles that religions have instituted to infuse their ideologies.

One of the best and most efficient methods is to encourage the establishment of opportunities to exercising choices in every aspect in our lives from birth, decentralized schooling systems, kinds of marriages, legal divorce alternatives, and burial at each of the legislative, legal, and executive branches. Only available opportunities for choices, backed by political determination to honor those choices in the workforce, in the daily living, and in society structure, can permit a fighting chance for all those free minded and reflective citizens and families who respect their potential power for deciding what is best for their spiritual development.

How do you understand “Secular States” to mean?  (April 6, 2009)

Note: This essay applies to all States, western, orient, animists, pagans, monotheists, secular, semi-secular, democratic, theocratic and other political systems…

Charles Malek, a philosopher and Lebanon’s representative to the United Nations in its earliest 1946 sessions in San Francisco, proclaimed in the 60’s that Lebanon cannot survive as a State, unless all Lebanese convert to Christianity!

Lately, the Moslem Sunni fundamentalists proclaimed in 2006 that the State of Lebanon should be governed Caliphate-style.  The Moslem Shiaas of Hezbollah want to establish the rule of the “Wilayat al Fakeeh“, an Ayatollah who would lead by holding both the spiritual and political powers.

For example, the Christians during the civil war wanted to establish Christian cantons, exclusively for the right-wing Christian Lebanese, since they had overrun the Palestinian Christian camps in their “enclaves” and evacuated the lucky surviving Palestinians from the massacres outside the Christian cantons.

Do Christians in the Levant (Near East States) have ground to be worried? 

Islam means by “Jihad” the right to proselytize Islam everywhere and all the time.  As if the western nations have not been carrying their own brand of “Jihad” since Medieval Age to any place they wanted to colonize.

The Christians in the Levant have grounds to be apprehensive: the Christian sects have refrained from converting Moslems because conservative Islam sects command as “halal” the shedding blood of the “blasphemous” re-converted Moslems.

The Moslem Sunni salafists in north Lebanon, twice fought the Lebanese army within two years:  hundreds of soldiers died and were handicapped for life.

The Qaeda of Osama Bin Laden has the same political objective with a twist; the Qaeda wants to establish the restrictive and ultra conservative Wahhabi sect as the essence of selecting Caliphates.  The Wahhabi sect is the one adopted by the obscurantist Saudi Arabia theocratic absolute monarchy.

In 1925, the Sunni Ali Abel Razzak wrote in his book “Islam and origin of governance” that

“Islam is innocent of what the conservative Islam understands of the Caliphate.  The Caliphate was never in the religious planning, and neither were the religious judges nor any of the civil administrations in the government.  The Prophet Muhammad didn’t recognize them or order them or denied them.  The political and civil administrative issues were left to the Moslems to decide upon them.  Thus, it is proper that we engage our mind and consider the experience of nations, and the rules of politics that are the best around for our Nation.”

In Iran, Ayatollah Borojardy was detained because he wanted to separate States civil politics from religion, thus, resisting the “Fakeeh” concept of government.  In Lebanon, the Secretary General of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasr Allah, publicly harangued the Shiaa to considering “Wilayat al Fakeeh” as the official political system of his party.

Knowing that Nasr Allah speaks as a clergy in every religious ceremony, blending religion with politics with resistance to the Zionist Apartheid State, could we ever hope that the politics of Hezbollah are just short-term tactics to uniting the Shiaa against Israel?

The State of Israel would like you to believe that a mythical leader they named Moses had a revelation by a superior being named Yahweh to conquer land by the sword and genocides:  Land that was “promised” to the horde of tribes following him.  Thus, Israel would like to establish a Jewish theocratic State in Palestine.

It has been categorically proven that the Old Bible was initiated in the second century before Christ in Alexandria, and chapters were added many centuries later, and it was re-edited several times.

Hebrew, as most Arabic verbal languages bordering Syria, was a verbal slang of the Aramaic written language:  A written version was created in Alexandria as Jews flocked to Egypt around 300 BC.

If you are nowadays following Lebanon’s politics and the preparations for the election in June 7,  you might have the impression that it is the political leaders of the religious sects who are manipulating the sacerdotal castes of our 18 officially recognized religious sects.  

Don’t be fooled; ask any Lebanese and he will tell you that he is forced constitutionally to pay his first allegiance to his sect.  In fact, the sects were given the legal and official right to administer the civil status of its coreligionists from birth to death and the central government is totally helpless in interfering; even if any serious government  wishes to change the political system, it would never want problems to blow in its face…

My question to the western States’ citizens is: Do you believe that the separation of State and religion is implicitly a de facto reality?  Do you believe that religious clerics and institutions have desisted from meddling in State affairs? That during voting periods, the religious sacerdotal castes do not impress on the political climate?

Do you believe that there is no religious backlash on religious minorities in democratic States?

Isn’t religion recognized in your constitutions and in the prayers of your national ceremonies?  Are not the civil administrative posts implicitly submitted to a quota system?

I am sincerely worried about the practices of those hypocritical Secular States who force its minorities to submit to the various litmus tests, on the ground of applying civil laws and regulations.

Personally, my position is that religious doctrines and stories are a bunch of hog wash nonsense of myths and abstract concepts that even “zero IQ quotient ” individuals refuse the premises.

The religious sacerdotal castes would like you to substitute “your belief in a Creator” from watching the cosmos and the mysteries of life, into total faith in their particular ideological constructs and set of values. 

I feel limited in finding a resolution where check and balance can be erected to cope with the all permeating power of the sacerdotal castes in every States around the world. 

Constitutional laws need to be thought out to restrict the implicit power of the thousand tentacles that religions have instituted to infuse their ideologies in schools and civil administration of people’s daily life.

One of the best and most efficient methods is to encourage the establishment of opportunities to exercising choices in every aspect in our lives from birth, decentralized schooling systems, marriages, legal divorce alternatives, and burial at each of the legislative, legal, and executive branches.

Only available opportunities for choices, backed by political determination to honor those choices in the workforce, in the daily living, and in society structure, can permit a fighting chance for all those free minded and reflective citizens and families who respect their potential power for deciding what is best for their spiritual development.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2020
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