/ Jimmy's Corner: March 2006

Wednesday, March 29, 2006 

So what?

I have been reading the news for the past few days, and only one question hits me... "So what?"...
Bush was firmly set on the path to war two months before the 2003 Iraq invasion, with or without the UN consent... so what?
Olmert won the elections.. so what?
Hamas sworn in... so what?
Corruption in Egypt is growing... so what?
Gunmen kill eight in Iraq... oh really?... So what?
Russia still playing USSR in cold war... So what?

All lead to the same conclusion and all lead to the same headache... The problem is simple, nothing new. There is no serious positive development, but rather negative ones.

Yet, still I keep reading the news and thinking... so what?

Saturday, March 25, 2006 

Back and Blogging

First I have to think the readers who responded to my question about pop-ups... I have been working on some technical sides with the blog, and they are now over. Jimmy is back and blogging! The last few days I was torn between work and university... I could barely breathe u might say. Now things are more organized....

whew... let's rock and roll once more!

Friday, March 24, 2006 

Please feedback

Do you get any pop-ups when you log into the blog?
If yeah or no, please send me a feedback.

Thanks alot!

Thursday, March 23, 2006 

Long day

It is just another long long day at work... I am isolated from the whole world, but from what I do now. Excuse me for less posts... Tomorrow I have alot to post!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006 

Afraid of a black suitcase (true story)

Just 30 minutes ago, I went into the subway to get home. Inside the train, on the ground, I see a big black suitcase that had broken zippers. For a moment, I had this cold shiver behind my neck as I wondered "is it a bomb?". I found myself looking at the faces of the other commuters in the train: the two lovers chatting and smiling near the door, the young men joking over there, the old man just a step away from me and that kid holding her mother's hand next to the window. I wondered if it was a bomb, and it was going to blow off... What did these people do to lose their lives so suddenly? What guilt did they commit to deserve death in a subway train?

I look at the suitcase again that had no owner, left alone near the left door of the train. Then I push it with my foot... I don't know why I did this...

The old man next to me was looking at me, I turned to him and asked "whose suitcase is this?"... He answered slowly " A short man with a glasses left it here I think!"
I replied "Left it here? Do they leave suitcases in the metro these days?"
The old man smiled and said "It could be a bomb, let it blow"
I laughed and answered "Oh yeah, let it blow... We deserve to die, right?"
The old man smiled and answered after a while "Most of these people in the train have no problem reading about victims of terrorism in Iraq or anywhere around the world and then say 'They deserve it' "
I answered "So?"
The man replied quickly "This is a subtle support of terrorism, and if what you support is killing you, then you deserve it... Let it blow"
I smiled at him and said "Very true! Let it blow"

Fortunately, I reached my station before I know what this black suitcase contains. And I am still reading the news waiting for the bomb to blow.


A blow from the real Iraq

It seems like these people live in their own worlds. While Bush is focusing on Iraq "positives and improvements", Defence Secretary John Reid praises the Iraqi security forces. Yet, the blow from the real-world Iraq comes as follows:
As Iraqis marked the three-year anniversary there were at least two fatal roadside bombings.

One killed at least four security guards near the town of Musayyib, south of Baghdad. The other killed two police commandos and two other people in the Baghdad neighbourhood of Karrada.

At least another nine bodies were also found, in the capital and elsewhere, most showing signs of torture and believed to be victims of sectarian attacks. BBC News
Mr. Bush forgot all about the sectarian violence in Iraq, and that he already lost 2300 American young man in a war they should not have fought. All the president cares about now is to raise domestic support for the war.

And as a celebration of the third anniversary of war on Iraq, I would like to remind Mr. Bush that the COST OF WAR is:
  • Iraqi civilians killed: 32,600-35,700 on 1 March. Police: 1,900. Source: Iraq Body Count campaign group
  • US soldiers killed: More than 2,300
  • Other armed forces killed: 205 (103 of whom British)
  • US forces now in Iraq: 138,000 (UK: 7,800)
  • Iraqi forces: 235,000 Source: UK defence ministry
  • Oil production: 1.8m barrels a day. Pre-war: 2.5m
  • Iraq funding needed to 2007: $55bn (UN+US estimates). Pledged: $38bn
  • Cost of war to US taxpayer: $248bn. Source: National Priorities Project based on congressional appropriations
Sources: BBC News

Saturday, March 18, 2006 

Egyptian Schools graduate Robots

Have you ever been a student in an Egyptian school? Have you ever been asked to memorize chemical experiments and math equations? Can you imagine the kind of knowledge a student acquires through such type of education? Actually, Egyptian education is one Egypt??s most dangerous problems, as it does not produce minds that are able to observe, think or reach conclusions. Nevertheless, it brings up students who are spoon-fed. Meanwhile, the Egyptian government is not taking any real steps to offer better education. In fact, all Egyptian educational institutions need to be reformed. Yet, the government is just making the best use of the status-quo; therefore, hopes for reform or change are just mere dreams.

If you ask an Egyptian to describe the Egyptian method of educating students using one word, the answer will be ??memorize??. Even the imperative form of the verb here describes how Egyptian students are educated. For example, if you are studying chemistry, you have to memorize rules, laws, theories, experiments and even equations, or you will fail. Indeed, the same applies to all other subjects: math, Arabic, history, biology, physics?? etc. Accordingly, students have no chance to learn how to think scientifically, analyze or research. Hence, they become lazy and get used to be spoon-fed all what they are supposed to learn. Besides, such atmosphere suppresses any student who is willing to question and analyze what is being taught. Additionally, teachers are poorly qualified, so they find themselves unable to deal with these intelligent students. Therefore, the teachers ignore them to no to find themselves embarrassed by their intelligent questions.

Looking at the outcome of this type of education, you will find out that most of the students who successfully graduate from the Egyptian high-schools have actually learnt nothing, which, in fact, has a great impact on them when they join universities. For example, in the academic year 2002/2003 more than 75% of the freshmen of Faculty of Sciences, Ain Shams University, did not pass the first year. In general, high-school graduates are not ready to keep up with the new way of education they experience in universities, as they have not been taught how to research, analyze and come out with conclusions about anything. Consequently, they either give up, or fight to improve themselves. In fact, the majority of students take the first option and just try to find themselves in the work market. Yet, if you take a wider view of the outcome of the memorize-or-fail system of education, you will find out that most of the high school graduates are very poor intellectually. They are unable to look through the world around them, understand it, and have opinions of their own. Indeed, this is the main goal of such a type of education: it is to produce minds programmed to accept the status-quo and afraid of taking opposing stand-points.

Many thinkers do believe that it is only the regime that is making the best use of this situation. To illustrate, when Egyptian schools graduate young people who are very poor on the intellectual level; and incapable of making observations or forming their own opinions, the government will save itself the effort of facing any real opposition to appear in the near future. Moreover, it will be easier for the regime to control the minds of the youth as they used to take things for granted. In fact, they have become mere robots who take orders and carry them out without trying to understand what is really going on. With this in mind, it is now very clear why the government is not taking real steps to reform Egyptian educational institutions; it is because this type of education serves the government the best.

Finally, it is necessary to reform Egypt??s system of education, and calls for this reform should be louder. If the Egyptian schools continue graduating more robots, Egypt will have millions of young people who are incapable of contributing in their country??s progress. Moreover, all the Egyptian talents, which are Egypt??s real treasures, will be lost. To sum up, Egyptian education has to be reformed, even if this means a reform of the whole regime.

Thursday, March 16, 2006 

My 100th post: NeoConMen

The world after NeoConMen, by Mark Fiore... Watch it.

Good for the 100th post, huh?

Monday, March 13, 2006 

He thought it was stylish!

Wherever you walk in Cairo, you gonna see something strange... something new! But that guy in the picture really drew my attention to some new kind of ignorance. I was standing near my university campus when I saw this guy. He had long hair, wore a white t-shirt with the word Nazis on the back and the front of the t-shirt, with the sign as you see. I just wanted to talk to him about it...

Me: Hello, nice shirt.
Him: Thanks (then turning his face away to the mobile in his hand)
Me: May I ask you a question?
Him: (With a who-is-that-freak face) Yeah
Me: You like the sign on the shirt?
Him: It looks stylish.
Me: (laughing) Sure you know what it really is?
Him: (Bored) Hitler's sign.
Me: Nazi sign... You know if Nazis were here you could have been dead?
Him: (anger starting taking over) I am not a Jew, fellow!
Me: But you are not an Aryan, so you are inferior, so you are, according to them, a slave minor being.
Him: What's an Aryan??
Me: (Eyes wide open) Umm.. oh nothing... thanks man!
Him: OK.

Never wonder when you see some bearded devout-Muslim-like fellow wearing a satanic t-shirt. Simply he does not know.

Sunday, March 12, 2006 

Egyptian democracy... Naked! (UPDATE)

This is just an old story's inspiration...
Story: Egyptian Police soldiers cover the backs of thugs and gang men stopping Egyptians from reaching poll stations with swords and big knives during the last legislative elections. This photo shows the Egyptian democracy naked...

This update is answering Steven's question about whom were these thugs going to attack. These thugs were hired by the government to attack the supporters of the opposition candidates in the 2005 legislative elections. These thugs, covered by the police, could injure and kill many Egyptians who just wanted to practice their right to choose who to represent them.

Friday, March 10, 2006 

Lebanon Demonstrations: TOO HOT

One year passed since the death of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, and demonstrations went off in Lebanon in the memory of the fallen "martyr". Lebanese youth went in HOT demonstrations blaming Syria for the death of Hariri and asking Bashar al Assad to "Wake up, your time is up"... However, it seems to me the demonstrations, being HOT, attracted the attention of photographers more than reporters. I have read many many sources, most of them are talking about how the demonstrations are hot, not what the demonstrations were about... wanna know why? Just take a look:

I think the world is impatiently waiting for the next year's demonstrations!

Thursday, March 09, 2006 

I am the law!

As the Egyptian parliament renews the Hosni Mubarak's to take decisions that have the power of the law, I am left with nothing but imagining Mubarak laughing and saying it loud "I am the law". Such a decision gives Mubarak the power to take decisions with the power of laws in the fields of arms deals and arms funding. The NDP members in the parliament said that it is all about Egypt's security and safety!!!

Well, what about Egypt's money? Don't we have the right to know where our money are spent?
Is Mubarak the only Egyptian that has the right to take decisions about arms?
Is the Egyptian parliament ready to give up part of its power to the president so easily?

And here is the a very interesting question that I want anyone who supports the decision to answer:
If we care so much about arms and arms funding that we consider them top secrets, only the president should deal with them and take decisions about them... why do we arm our soldiers with ancient klashnikovs and use '70s tanks? Does the president spend the money repairing old arms not buying new ones?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 

Academic freedom under assault!

In a police country expect everything from a guy with a police uniform. This is ruling fact here in Egypt: police authority comes second to none. Even inside universities, a police officer's authority comes second to none. Here are two incidents that sum it all up:

November 7th, 2004:
In Ain Shams University, a professor parks his car inside campus, officers ask him to move it because "this is the place where the head of university guards LIKES to park his car". The professor refuses to move his car as this place is public parking and everyone has the right to park wherever it is suitable for him. One of the officers insults the professor, the professor answers back... Then the University Guards (which is a branch of State Security Police) assault the professor, and tear his shirts. The professor runs to the University Presidency and files a complaint.

Result: The officer got away with it, the professor was interrogated for behaving badly WHEN he was under attack. The interrogation lasts for more than a year, and no results. The Professor is not allowed to report the incident to a police department. And gets two new shirts as compensation. A year passed, nothing changed.

In the annual memory of the incident a very big demonstration goes inside Ain Shams University campus, and here are some photos:

The demonstration moving around the campus!

Professors holding the torn shirt and the two shirts that were given to the assaulted professors as a compensation!

Officers from the University Guards watch the demonstration move around the campus.

March 7th, 2006: (EXCLUSIVE from Misr Digital Newspaper *Arabic*)
In Southern Valley University in Egypt, a group of students tries to glue some posters about the Danish cartoons inside campus. University Guards attack the students, force them into their offices and give them a good beating. Two students are badly injured everywhere in their bodies. The head of the SVU University Guards treads with his shoes over one of the students' face and injures him badly in the right eye. Then the two students are released one after the other.

Many professors and students gathered in front of the University Guards' office till the students were released. Here are some photos (Taken from Misr Digital Newspaper):

Professors asking about the two students

Students gathering in front of the the University Guards office
Key facts:
  • University Guards is the branch of State Security Police which is Egypt's largest police department that deals with drug dealers, terrorists and dangerous criminals. Well they have a branch in each and every Egyptian university. They have long history of assault over academic freedom.
  • University Guards choose who the students to fill positions in academic work, who to get a scholarship and who to be promoted. Nothing can be done without their agreements.
  • University Guards report politically active students to the State Security Department, even professors are reported.
  • Human Rights Watch offered a more than 200-page report about the assault done to academic freedom in Egyptian universities. The High Education minister denied every claim in the report.
Well what would the government say about this??

Please link to this article and send it to any newspaper that wants write about the incidents. I have complete files on the issue.

Let there be freedom!

Monday, March 06, 2006 

Egypt's "Passion of the Christ"

It was announced that Egypt will produce the first Egyptian movie about the life of Jesus Christ. The movie is said to be one of the largest Egyptian movie productions, and it will Egypt's "Passion of the Christ". The Egyptian Coptic Church will be supervising everything about the movie. Moreover, the actor who is going to play the role of Jesus Christ will not play any other acting role after that, and it will be his debut.

The idea is so interesting... I just hope it goes very well as the talking goes.


A step on the way to democracy! (UPDATE)

Sounds like the Egyptian government started learning from the Chinese, Saudi and Pakistani governments as it started blocking the opposition sites giving the Egyptian internet users no choice but to read what the government wants them to read.

I have received two emails telling about three main opposing websites being blocked by the government. The sites are:

Save Egypt Front
Egyptian Talks

Users of the main ISPs in Egypt cannot have any access to these sites anymore. Users of LinkDotNet, TE Data and Raya ADSL can no longer have any access to the sites that give just a different point of view that the Egyptian government does not like.

Ironically, Egypt's Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif is a computer expert and has a PhD in AI. They call his government "The Electronic Government". Well, The Electronic Government started blocking opposition sites... I wonder what more is to come!

Whispers to Condoleezza Rice: Egypt is really going on the right way of democratic reform, right?

Thanks to Moustafa Hussein, you can now have access to the blocked sites using a site that breaks their proxies. The site is Hide my Ass... Thanks alot, Moustafa.


We are all traitors!

According to the radical criteria of judging political actions, we are all traitors. To the radicals if a Muslim co-operates with those who oppress, or even have conflict with, other Muslims then it is an act of treason. Applying the criteria to today's situation I found myself concluding to the following:
  1. Fatah negotiated with Israel; Israel kills Palestinians, then Fatah are traitors.
  2. Egypt deals with Israel; Israel kills fellow Arabs and Muslims. Then Egyptians are traitors.
  3. Emirates Airlines sells Israel ad-boards in London; Israel kills fellow Arabs and Muslims, then Emirates are traitors.
  4. Hamas shakes hands with Russia; Russians killed thousands of Muslims in Chechnya, Hamas are traitors.
  5. Iran co-operates with Russia; Russians killed thousands of Muslims in Chechnya, Iran are traitors.
  6. Palestinians used to received aids from Danes; Danes offended Muslims, Palestinians are traitors.
  7. Bin Laden asks America for truce, America supports Israel, Israel kills Arabs and Muslims, Bin Laden is a traitor.
And the list goes longer the more you search.

The conclusion is: WE ARE ALL TRAITORS... But if we are all traitors, then against whom do we commit this act of treason???

The thoughts up there are the product of the radicals' criteria on judging people's actions and deeds. Criteria that put Emirates Airlines, Egypt, Palestinian people, Hamas, Fatah and Bin Laden all on equal feet. Doesn't it show how stupid they are?

Sunday, March 05, 2006 

Egyptians never be outdone!

After digging to a depth of 100 meters last year, Russian scientists found traces of copper wire dating back 1000 years, and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network one thousand years ago.

So, not to be outdone, in the weeks that followed, American scientists dug 200 meters and headlines in the US papers read: "US scientists have found traces of 2000 year old optical fibres, and have concluded that their ancestors already had advanced high-tech digital telephone 1000 years earlier than the Russians."

One week later, the Egyptian newspapers reported the following: "After digging as deep as 500 meters, Egyptian scientists have found absolutely nothing. They have concluded that 5000 years ago, their ancestors were already using wireless technology."


They shouldn't gone out to the world!

While surfing Al-Mujaz website (the website for the Arabic and Muslim minority in Denmark), I ran into a very interesting piece of news. The Danish newspaper Politiken interviewed Dr. Tarek Ramadan who is the grandson of Sheikh Hassan Al-Bana (the one who first established the Muslim Brotherhood Movement in Egypt. In the interview Dr. Tarek Ramadan said that the Imams in Denmark committed a great mistake by taking the problem of the Danish cartoons out of Danish borders to the Middle East. Moreover, when asked if he considers them as traitors he answered "Yes, it is treason". Dr. Ramdan added that he went to Denmark in October 2005 and urged the imams there not to protest against the cartoons because such protests is just what the Danish right-wing is waiting for.

Dr. Tarek Ramadan is famous for his theories and books about what is called (I don't know by who) the European version of Islam. He has two PhDs in the philosophy and sciences of Islam. He sounds to be well known all over Europe as he gives lectures in many European cities, Al Mujaz says.

Well, I decided just to put the piece of news as it is from Al-Mujaz and add no comments on it. However, I had a couple of questions about what Dr. Tarek Ramadan said in the interview:
  1. If Dr. Ramadan believed that the Danish right-wing just wanted the protests, does this mean that he believes that the cartoons might have really been published on purpose as some Danish imams say? (try to get what I am aiming at)
  2. Why doesn't Dr. Tarek Ramadan express and share his opinions about the crisis in Arabic media as well?


Emirates Airlines: The new victim??? UPDATE

Will Emirates Airlines be the new victim?
I have received an email urging Muslims to boycott Emirates Airlines and to send emails rebuking the worldwide famous airlines company for agreeing to let Arsenal sign a deal with an Israeli tourist company, and using Danish products on its airplanes.

It was announced on the Danish Arla Foods' website that Emirates Airlines uses Arla's products on board of its airplanes. However, the page displaying the announcement was removed!!!

On the Arab forums now they are discussing the fact that Emirates Airlines has become a "strategic partner" with Israel as they signed a deal with Israeli Ministry of Tourism giving Israel the right to put banners in the new Emirates Stadium of London's giant soccer club Arsenal. There are calls to boycott the greatest Arab airline company and people are posting script letters and emails to be sent to Emirates Airlines offices rebuking the company for such deals.

Well, the difference between those who run the giant Emirates Airlines and those who are calling for the boycott of Emirates Airline is quite simple: in Emirates Airlines they know how to work and know what's right and what's wrong, but those who are so angry for the deals are just mere morons who live and die like parrots saying what they do not understand.

Being a company searching for the best ways to offer their customers the best service available, Emirates Airlines signed the deal with Arla Foods which -I am sure- offered the best prices and the best products. These guys are not going to throw their money away or lose their world position for satisfying some fanatics who live in their own worlds. I truly appreciate the decision made by Emirates Airlines officials for not being drawn into an aimless stupid boycott, putting the good of their company as a top priority.

As for the deal with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, here is Haartez story:
English Premiership club Arsenal will promote tourism to Israel under a $612,000 sponsorship deal signed yesterday. The two-year agreement, signed by Israeli and Arsenal officials in Tel Aviv, is the London soccer club's second with a Middle Eastern partner.


The deal was signed by Edelman and Tourism Minister Abraham Hirchson. The ads will be launched at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season.

Hirchson said Israel would pay 350,000 pounds ($612,000) to Arsenal, and be allowed to display its televised ads for five minutes during soccer matches. He called it a "breakthrough" agreement with one of the top soccer clubs in the world, allowing Israel to reach "tens of millions" of viewers worldwide.


Yesterday's deal is Arsenal's second with Israel. Last year, the club announced a youth development program in Israel as part of the club's attempt to search for talent around the globe.
As I understand from this article, England's giant soccer team Arsenal is the side that signed the deal with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, and Arsenal had another deal with Israel even before Emirates Airlines' contract with the team goes into action. Yes, Emirates Airlines knew that Israeli is going to advertise on banners in Emirates Stadium and they had no objections on that. And the question is: why would they have any objections?

The new Emirates Stadium in London which will be inaugurated in August 2006

Israel is going to pay for the ad-boards, which means financial income to the company, wasn't that the reason why Emirates Airlines dealt with Arsenal in the first place??? Moreover, if Emirates Airlines refused the deal, Israel could have finished the deal with any other soccer club and still they will carry out their new tourism policy. All what Emirates Airlines was going to gain is the wrath of the English fans who could consider such a refusal or objection as a kind of racism, which could have endangered Emirates Airlines advertising campaign in England even before it starts.

Emirates Airlines has done the right thing, and made the right choice. But still they will be the new victims of stupidity and ignorance. Those who think they know and think better than those who run a world famous airline company will not let it go, and who knows, maybe one day we will see demonstrations attacking Emirates Airlines offices in the Arab countries.

I say it: Fly Emirates

Facts on Emirates Airlines:
  • Established in May 1985
  • United States astronaut Buzz Aldrin and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright were passengers on the airline's first flight from Dubai to New York City.
  • Emirates was the first airline in the world to introduce Personal Television Screens for passengers. This was in 1992.
  • Emirates is currently main sponsor of Collingwood Football Club and will become main sponsor of Arsenal F.C. from the 2005/2006 English football season. See also Emirates Stadium.
  • Emirates was the sponsor of Chelsea F.C.
  • In fiscal year 2005, Emirates achieved a record result of Dh2.6 billion ($708 million) net profit from Dh19.1 billion ($5.2 billion) operating revenue in what was another difficult year for the global aviation industry, marred by high fuel prices and the natural disaster in South East Asia. Emirates carried 12.52 million passengers, 2.1 million more than the previous year. It employs 16,119 staff.
It is not a real update but it is an important thought I thought I should add. Emirates Airlines is located in Dubai and belongs to the United Arab Emirates, the mother country of the company involved in the ports deal in the United States.

Saturday, March 04, 2006 

Monopolizing faith!

I have been thinking for so long time before I put my fingers on the keyboard and start typing this post. I have been thinking if it is the right time to publish this or not. Actually I have reached the conclusion that it is just the best time to write and publish this.

It has become a fashion these days to find anyone, literally anyone, coming out of no where with his very own interpretations and understanding of faith and religion that only serve his own benefits and needs. Everybody nowadays just come out with a new interpretation of religion, negating or ignoring the main message of this religion, to justify his own ends and the means he uses to reach this end, and even preaching for his interpretation. I am not against freedom of thought or the freedom of looking and exploring religion from different perspectives. Nevertheless, I am attacking those who interpret religion in the own way ignoring the main message of this religion just to reach some very personal ends. The problem is there with every religion everywhere, however, I am tackling here how the problem affects Islam and Muslims.

It is no surprise to find Bin Laden coming out with his interpretation of Islam, ignoring the main teachings and message of Islam just to serve his ends and the means he uses to reach these ends, and even preaching for his interpretation in order to win supporters. It is no surprise to find extremists looking at religion from this very narrow angel, taking what they think is good for supporting their beliefs, leaving, ignoring or even negating any part that contradicts with what they believe or with their ends. It has even become a habit to watch preachers on satellite channels interpreting and answering questions about Islam from their own points of view, building their ideas on very weak logic that is based on solid evidence of proof in Islam. Moreover, it is now a fashion to read for writers who are not Muslims, writing about Islam from their own perspective and saying it loud and clear “I am did not read into Islam”. Therefore, it is never a surprise to find them offering the falsest ideas about Islam, simply because they do not know it. I am not saying “Don’t look at religion from different perspectives”, I am saying if you want to find a new interpretation of Islam just do it within the main frame of the main message of the religion, or else you will be misguiding people which is the last thing people need these days. You can’t bring a BMW and remove all the BMW logos from it and put Ford logos on and then ask me to believe you it is a Ford not a BMW, this is misguiding and lying. Another example, you can’t turn gold into silver, but you can make different shapes of gold, that look different in shape but they are all from the same source.

Actually what Bin Laden, extremists, pay-me preachers and non-Muslim writers do in this case is a sort of monopolizing religion. Each is treating religion as his very own commodity and asking everyone to believe in what he is preaching; one for the sake of making supporters for his wars, others for the sake of having a hold on people’s minds, others for making money out of the satellite channels and others for attracting converts from Islam. Such a monopoly of religion is the worst misguiding ever for people who try to reach the truth. Additionally, it just produces generations with distorted backgrounds and principles about what their religion really is, those who run to burn embassies or bomb innocent civilians are just a direct natural result of monopolizing religion and faith.

Ironically, monopolizing religion has become a means to achieve the most stupid goals. For example, internet users use Islam to spread chain letters. You might think it is silly that I am taking chain letters as an example, but here is a story that tells how dangerous the situation has become. Some of my friends were walking in the street when some young lady stopped and handed them a sheet of paper. The paper is a printed version of an email starting with “I swear I got this in my email”, as if whatever is received in emails is something should be taken for granted. It is talking about some unknown sheikh that went asleep in the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia. He dreamt of Prophet Muhammad telling him that the world has gone into a mess, 40000 people died this week, the Day of Judgment is so close and he should send this message to everyone he knows. Or else he will be cursed forever, and God will let him down in the Day of Judgment and will have no mercy on him. Moreover, anyone who receives the message and never passes it to anyone else will be cursed the same way, and the message should be passed to all contacts in less than 96 hours or the curse will fall. Then it gives examples of a man who lost his son as he read it and did not pass it, and a business man who got 45000 (of money, no currency mentioned) more on a deal he finished as he passed the message as soon as he read it.

This is the paper, it is in Arabic, read it yourself!

This message made no difference between Islam and any other old pagan religion in which curses of gods fall on those who do not respond to one order in their lives. If you just judge Islam from the perspective of the one who wrote it, it will be a religion in which all the good deeds a Muslim does can go in vain if he doesn’t respond and send a chain letter. Ironically, the ignorance of the one who wrote this message is very evident in the number of spelling mistakes everywhere in the body of the message. And the greatest problem is there as there are people who believed it, printed it and went to the streets handing it to everyone they meet. And that’s how a man who can barely know how to write Arabic, monopolizes religion and affects others making them believe in a version of Islam that has nothing to do with the real Islam.

This monopoly over religion is a natural result of the absence of effective religious institutions that work on the spread of the real word of Islam. No wonder extremists and terrorists make the best use of such absence to spread their poisons in the minds of ideologically lost Muslims, turning them into remote-controlled robots that just receive order and motivations and one press on a button is enough to make them go burn and destroy. Additionally, such monopoly over religion is one of the main reasons why other cultures have distorted image of Islam as all they see is just the ideology of those who burn and kill, and who in fact have nothing to do with the true message of Islam.

To those who ask for reform, reform the minds of Muslims and you will not need to find a way to reform Islam. The problem is there with minds not with the religion.

To those who try to show the true image of Islam to the world, start from the inside. Reform yourself, your image will be reformed and the world will see its true shape.

Thursday, March 02, 2006 

Last warnings!

As bird flu panic spreads all over Egypt, I have received many warnings on my email such as:
  • Villagers threw their dead chicken in the Nile, so do not drink water, it is infected with H5N1 virus.
  • Do not eat chicken or eggs or any of these things' products, bird flu might kill you.
Then it got even hotter:
  • Do not eat meat as cows in Egypt turned to be mad cows and many infections were reported (no source was mentioned).
  • Do not eat fish as they live in water, and water is infected with bird flu, so fish are infected with BIRD flu virus.
And as the last warnings were proved wrong and stupid as they look, here are my expectations of the last warnings to come:
  • Do not breathe as birds infected with bird flu fly in the air, so the air is infected and you might get killed.
  • Do not drink water as fish have sex in the water.
Long life ignorance!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006 

Fire of ignorance and extremism burn all!

Can anyone argue with this cartoon? Can anyone say it is not true?
It just reflects the status-quo in one of the Muslim nations, where ignorance and extremism burn all. Muslims who pray in the same manner bomb their own mosques and kill each other as they come out from prayers. This indicates ignorance, extremism and hypocrisy if you ask me...
They are ignorant of their religion, of its ethics and teachings and simply represent the mind of the so-called Muslims who brag about a religion they are ignorant of and never apply, living everywhere in the world.

Some would say the problem is there with the religion itself, but I say: No, there problem is not with Islam, but with those narrow-minded stupid ignorant followers of Islam. Just like Dody said in his article Reclaiming Islam, the problem is not with Islam, it is the Muslims who need reform. The way some radical or extremist Muslims interpret and understand Islam is not the religion's mistake, but the mistake of those ill rigid narrow minds that see only what supports their desires and needs, ignoring the very true word and teachings of Islam.

Those ill ignorant minds are not only burning the world with their extremism, but also burning their own religion, mosques and people. To me this indicates that extremism and violence is not directed from Islam to "infidels", "disbelievers" or "others". Yet, it is directed from ignorant extremists to the whole world and everything that contradicts their own views, be it Muslim or not, be it a mosque, a temple or a church, no difference.

The Iraqi version of those extremists fall in a category of extremists that think they fight for their religion while they fight against it. They have a shrine destroyed, so they destroy more mosques, and the result is the fall of more than 400 victims in less than a week... Their ignorance make them like robots with remote controls, just press the button and they go off burning, killing, bombing and kidnapping, tarnishing the image of their religion and then run to the streets asking why the world sees them as terrorists.

Moreover, unfortunately, unlike the voices of the extremists, the voices of other true Muslims go and vanish with no echoes (and from now on I am not using the word "moderate" for Muslims as moderate Muslims are just the ones, they do not represent the moderate image of their religion, but the true one). A rally in London against terrorism held by 10000 Muslim that almost blocked Piccadilly went loud chanting against terrorism, Bin Laden and Wahabis. However, no one noticed, rarely someone commented... Their calls practically went astray.

Still the voices of true Muslims should go louder than the bangs of bombs and sounds of bullets, as only their voices that will reform other Muslims and tell the truth about the religion.


Do not spit in Beijing

Beijing is launching a campaign to stamp out widespread public spitting in an effort to clean up its image for the 2008 Olympics. Yahoo! News
I think the Egyptian government will import this law from China (along with the zillions of Chinese products it imports) in order to end the showers ministers and politicians have wherever they appear in public.

Here is a list of the fines (and awards) I think will be applied in Egypt if no-spitting low is enforced:
  • 100 EGP award for spitting at a Kefaya (Egyptian movement for change) sign/member.
  • 500 EGP award for spitting at Ayman Nour's picture and logo.
  • 1000 EGP award for spitting at a Muslim Brotherhood member.
  • 1000 EGP fine for spitting at an NDP member's picture.
  • 5000 EGP fine for spitting when a politican appears on TV.
  • 10000 EGP fine and unlimited time behind bars for spitting at a police officer.
  • A bullet in the head fine for spitting at the president.
I wonder how many bullets will be shot!

Keys: EGP is an abbreviation of Egyptian Pound which is Egypt's currency.

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  • From Cairo, Egypt
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