/ Jimmy's Corner: February 2008

Wednesday, February 20, 2008 


I got connection at home, finally.... Although it is not guarranteed to work 100% all the time. Let's just hope it does. I have got tons to tell. I mean living in another city than the capital does really introduce you to things you don't know they were there. Being so busy at the moment I will save some of them for later posts.

Adios for now!


Monday, February 11, 2008 

Writing from Exile

Sorry for the light blogging. I could just set my hands on a computer few minutes ago. I am currently out of town and I have no internet connection which is something I can only bear if I am dead. Thus, I don't really know how come I am surviving to the moment.

I will try to have access to the internet very soon, as soon as possible, because it seems there are so many things going on and I can't really go without internet connection forever.

Gotta run...

See you in a bet!

Saturday, February 09, 2008 

LGF Watch rocks...

Today Sphinx invited me to read a post on LGF Watch... I never knew about that blog until I went there myself. It just magnifies the hypocrisy of the LGF the same way the logo interprets.

Loved that one: People living in glass houses....

LGF Watch, you got me on that one!

Update: Sphinx link is now somewhere other than Wordpress signup page ;)

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Sharia Law in UK! How about that?

The Archibishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams seems to have scratched a very sensitive issue in the United Kingdom that brought public, cleric and intellectual wrath upon him. Dr. Williams suggested that some aspects of Sharia Law can be applied in the UK since the British law people may devise their own way to settle a dispute in front of an agreed third party as long as both sides agree to the process. This justifies the existance of Islamic and Orthodox Jewish courts in England. Dr. William's explained in a lecture his concerns:

Among the manifold anxieties that haunt the discussion of the place of Muslims in British society, one of the strongest, reinforced from time to time by the sensational reporting of opinion polls, is that Muslim communities in this country seek the freedom to live under sharia law. And what most people think they know of sharia is that it is repressive towards women and wedded to archaic and brutal physical punishments; just a few days ago, it was reported that a ‘forced marriage’ involving a young woman with learning difficulties had been ‘sanctioned under sharia law’ – the kind of story that, in its assumption that we all ‘really’ know what is involved in the practice of sharia, powerfully reinforces the image of – at best – a pre-modern system in which human rights have no role. The problem is freely admitted by Muslim scholars. ‘In the West’, writes Tariq Ramadan in his groundbreaking Western Muslims and the Future of Islam, ‘the idea of Sharia calls up all the darkest images of Islam…It has reached the extent that many Muslim intellectuals do not dare even to refer to the concept for fear of frightening people or arousing suspicion of all their work by the mere mention of the word’ (p.31). Even when some of the more dramatic fears are set aside, there remains a great deal of uncertainty about that degree of accommodation the law of the land can and should give to minority communities with their own strongly entrenched legal and moral codes. As such, this is not only an issue about Islam but about other faith groups, including Orthodox Judaism; and indeed it spills over into some of the questions which have surfaced sharply in the last twelve months about the right of religious believers in general to opt out of certain legal provisions – as in the problems around Roman Catholic adoption agencies which emerged in relation to the Sexual Orientation Regulations last spring.

This lecture will not attempt a detailed discussion of the nature of sharia, which would be far beyond my competence; my aim is only, as I have said, to tease out some of the broader issues around the rights of religious groups within a secular state, with a few thought about what might be entailed in crafting a just and constructive relationship between Islamic law and the statutory law of the United Kingdom. But it is important to begin by dispelling one or two myths about sharia; so far from being a monolithic system of detailed enactments, sharia designates primarily – to quote Ramadan again – ‘the expression of the universal principles of Islam [and] the framework and the thinking that makes for their actualization in human history’ (32). Universal principles: as any Muslim commentator will insist, what is in view is the eternal and absolute will of God for the universe and for its human inhabitants in particular; but also something that has to be ‘actualized’, not a ready-made system. If shar’ designates the essence of the revealed Law, sharia is the practice of actualizing and applying it; while certain elements of the sharia are specified fairly exactly in the Qur’an and Sunna and in the hadith recognised as authoritative in this respect, there is no single code that can be identified as ‘the’ sharia....

He goes on to suggest the implementation of different aspects of Sharia law in Britain that is to allow minorities better access to a law that represents their own culture and religion. However, it seems the English went heywire when they were confronted with the idea that the head of their religious institution is actually presenting an idea that is related to application of Islamic concepts in their country. Many many of them just went to the wrong side of the stick.

Needless to say, they were not protesting against the Archibishop, they humiliated him an a way that shows how intolerant the West can be if Islam is at the doors. Some called for the Archibishop to step down; even his own church turned against him.

Dr. Rowan Williams' recommendation was simply to apply the civil system of Sharia law in accordance to the English law and human rights as implemented in Britain. However, it is just too hot to think of for the British.

I know many others would just attack the Dr. Williams and call him whatever disgraceful and insulting their tongues and witty-insult brain machines could invent. Nevertheless, the whole situation offers a greater emphasis on the fact that the West's knowledge of Sharia law and Islam is as shallow as nil.

I do congratulate the Archibishop for his exceptional courage to bring up such a debate. I just hope some enlighted man does not lose his place for some concerns driven by greater understanding of the other. The controversy came at the time when it is the peak of a debate on the circumistances Muslims face in Europe and the discrimination they suffer there. Yet again, the attack the Archbishp received how truly misrepresented Islam, Muslims and Sharia are in the West. I hope we had religious leaders that are that enlighted. Period.

Read the stories on BBC here, here and here...
Read a complete transcript of Dr. Rowan Williams lecture here.

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Friday, February 08, 2008 

Walk like an Egyptian and score like one too!

I am proud of my country's national team and I have every right to be. I have not written a word about the African Nations Cup – Ghana 2008 despite the fact that there were so many things to talk about: Abu Trika's "Sympathize with Gaza", the win over Cameroon, the Sudanese coach's comments and most important of all is the drastically poor organization by Ghana. However, today is another day. Egypt gave Cote D'Ivoire ANOTHER spanking today that breaks any silence.

I missed the first half of the match, being unavailable. I was surprised when I heard the taxi driver telling me that Egypt has finished the first half leading by a goal to nil. Damn, the Ivoirians (Elephants) were doing so well all through the tournament. I mean bullshit, I thought we were going to have bad day despite our outstanding performance all through the tournament. Cote D'Ivoire was just superior on paper, but the game was not played on paper. In the pitch, Egypt taught Cote D'Ivoire some lesson tonight that broke the Elephants' arrogance in shame; and gave the whole world, specially the Europeans, something to talk about until Sunday February 13th, 2008.

I am not going to describe the second half, I will leave this video do the talking to tell you how well we played, and how outclassed the Elephants' were.

The win secured Egypt a tough encounter against Cameroon, whom we met and defeated with 4 goals in the group stage, in the tournament's final match. The Pharaohs are just going to make it again, God willing, and we will retain the cup.

During the match, Cairo's innately overcrowded streets were almost empty. I felt like I am in no man's land. Everybody is watching the game. I say it again… EVERYBODY. After the match, it was 1:15 AM in Cairo and I dare you can move your care an inch. Everybody is celebrating, everybody is dancing, everybody is wearing red, black and white and everybody is just shouting the name of their country in joy. I have taken photos of the streets I walked through and they will be available as soon as I come to terms with the whereabouts of my mobile's cable since I have got a brother from hell.

Looking at how 'the other' saw the game. BBC commentators were strangely biased to Cote D'Ivoire. The Europeans know nothing but what their eyes see in their own football leagues. Most of them supported Cote D'Ivoire. People commenting on BBC's 606 were just so funny. One of them never knew that Egypt knew football (guess what, we don't ride camels either :P), another just thought Egyptians were so lucky, but when we scored the 4th goal he started to support Cameroon (anything but Egypt it seems). Others were so angry because they lost their bets on the Elephants to win the trophy… I guess thousands lost money because of us today.

The Pharaohs today were so pharaoh-cious, and won the game pharaoh-and-square ;); quoting some Egyptian on BBC.

Pray with us, Egypt wins the cup for the 6th time and the 2nd time in a row.

Read about Ghana 2008 here.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008 

Two years of silence!

Last February 3rd marked the second anniversary of the ferry disaster in which more than 1000 Egyptians lost their lives in the Red Sea. No one remembered them. No one mentioned. No one asked what happened to the criminal who let more than a 1000 Egyptians die for the sake of making money. No one asked:

  1. Was Mamdoh Ismail, the one responsible for the disaster, imprisoned for his crime?
  2. Were the victims remembered?
  3. Did anyone honor their memory?

The answer to all the questions is No.

Mamdoh Ismail is spending his time in London, living a life that is better than the one he lead in Egypt. No one is after him. The victims were not remembered, their memory just gone with the wind. No one honored their memories…. They were worthless useless creatures that perished accidently. No one cares.

Read this to remember the victims of corruption and negligence.

Rest in Peace…


Abul Gheit gone wild!

In a TV interview, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abul Gheit set diplomacy aside and proved how hard he is when he gets wild. Commenting on the Palestinian border breaching dilemma he said that who:

"breaks Egypt's border line, will have his leg broken"

This is the first in-your-face message an Egyptian high-rank official delivers publicly to Hamas.

He even proceeded on criticizing Hamas, describing its encounter against Israel as "caricature-like and funny." He explained that it is logical that if you face an enemy you try to hurt them and cause casualties.. In Hamas's case, they face Israel to cause the Palestinian people more suffering, now that their rockets either fall in no-mans-land desert or return back to hit them. Thus, they gain nothing but giving Israel every justification to strike the Palestinians.

In fact this is the first time I find an Egyptian official to attack and criticize Hamas on TV. I think his message is well delivered.

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Internet, Iran and other things!

It was much of a disaster here in Egypt when I came back home one night to find out that I no longer have internet connection. Sorry, let me correct that: Egypt no longer has internet connection. As the repair operations are progressing and reaching an end. Rumours started to fly over Egyptian websites including FilBalad as soon as data started to connect and Egyptians get back to the web. They say 'a US newspaper' mentioned that the internet crisis was part of a strategic plan made by the United States that is intended to measure the Irani reaction in case the same tactic is used at war time. They even go on to say that this justifies why Israel and Iraq were not affected by the problem despite being in the same affected region.

For a moment it seemed like everyday nonsense to me. However, I received an email from a friend with whom I discussed the matter and he, being a communication engineer, asserted that there is something fishy about it... Go, baby, go...

Later he sent me emails explaining how it is virtually impossible to have the cables damaged because of ships and also fishes saying his most notable comment "These cables are under water, and we know fish live under water. Unless we don't need to use these cables to catch fish, we know well how use them to get people connected"

The first option was that a ship could have damaged both cables. However, this possibility is ruled out since the cables are 1 kilometer away from each other; and both lay in an area where naval activity is restricted. Then, we moved to accusing the fish... Can fish eat this and damage it to the bones???

Fiber optic submarine cables

Submarine cables under water

Unless someone convinces me that a fish wanted to get connected to the web to watch Finding Nemo, I would not buy that it is fish that could damage the world's latest technology.

Looking up the internet for any information about low internet connection in Iran I found out that:

Iran has not responded to a western incentive package that includes the offer of state-of-the-art internet technology in return for the suspension of a key part of the country's nuclear programme. (The Guardian)

And later, Iran banned high-speed internet connection to not to allow the west to use it as a pressure point. Read this...

I am neither denying nor confirming the rumours... Like everybody else... I have no clue...

Don't you agree something fishy is going on here?

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Yes, you can!

Thanks, Don, for the link... I do have faith that yes you can...
I embed this song here for you all...

Thanks, Don...

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008 

Can he do it?

Can Obama be the first African American in the White House?

Can he do it?

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008 

No welcome back!

Yesterday a group of Palestinian militants tried to breach the Egyptian borders again, but this time, there was no "welcome back"! Needless to say, these thugs were surprised when they met so many Egyptian soldiers waiting for them pushing them back into their territory.

And hell, they could not take that one easy... They attacked Egyptian soldiers with graneds, gas, rocks and gunfire. This time, the Egyptian forces were authorized to shoot back but avoid fatal injuried. They used teargas and when then buy firing shots. The tally of the engagment is:
  • 38 Egyptian Police soldiers injured
  • 2 Egyptian Police officers injured (gun shots)
  • 1 Palestinian killed (gun shot)
  • 14 Palestinians injured (gas suffocation)

No comment!

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Sunday, February 03, 2008 

Is America secular?

Is America a secular state? If you are going to answer with "Yes", reconsider it. If you question the extent to which America is secular you would find out that it is very insecure to call the United States a "secular state".

The question popped in my head when I heard one of the audience at last week's Oprah saying "We are a religious nation"... He demanded all religious books, specially the Bible, be taught in public schools so the students would know more about the religions of the world. Then, some of the audience, one is a public school headmaster, rejected the whole idea as it is going to cost the schools more money, and goes against the "secular" principles of America.

To what extent is America a secular country??
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, 'Secularization' is noun from the verb 'Secularize' which means:

To draw away from religious orientation; make worldly.

And if you look up the meaning of the word 'Secularism' in an encyclopedia you would find out that:
Secularism is generally the assertion that certain practices or institutions should exist separately from religion or religious belief. Alternatively, it is a principle of promoting secular ideas or values in either public or private settings. It may also be a synonym for "secularist movement". In the extreme, it is an ideology that holds that religion has no place in public life. (Free Online Dictionary by Farlex)
And with little research into the definition of "Separation of Church and State", the following is found:
In the United States, the "Separation of Church and State" is generally discussed as political and legal principle derived from the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, which reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . ." The concept of separation is commonly credited to the combination of the two clauses: the establishment clause, generally interpreted as preventing the government from establishing a national religion, providing tax money in support of religion, or otherwise favoring any single religion or religion generally, and the free exercise clause, ensuring that private religious practices not be restricted by the government. The effect of prohibiting direct connections between religious and governmental institutions while protecting private religious freedom and autonomy has been termed the "separation of church and state."
Looking at the definition, and the later facts, it would leave no doubt that the United States constitution is simply based on the soul and true meaning of secularism... right?

No, in fact IT IS NOT.
I am not the one saying so, this is not an Egyptian youngman's claim... It is what the US House Judiciary Committee Report concluded in 1853 as the basis of its decision to deny a request to separate Christianity from the ongoings of the government. Here I quote it to you:
At the time of the adoption of the Constitution and the amendments the universal sentiment was that Christianity should be encouraged, not any one sect.... There can be no substitute for Christianity ... that was the religion of the founders of the republic, and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants. The great, vital and conservative element in our system is the belief of our people in the pure doctrines and divine truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Then in 1892, the United States Supreme Court stated that:
Our law and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind . . . it is impossible that it should be otherwise and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian.
That is to say, in real life, the United States Supreme Court and US House Judiciary Committee have ruled out the establishment clause in the United States constitution and applied what they thought was right. But, what if the greatest presidents of the United States, who applied constitution themselves, are stating the same opinion as the US Supreme Court and the US House Judiciary Committee?? Read what James Madison (who took part in drafting the US Constitution) says:

We have staked the future of government not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions on the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves according to the ten commandments of God.

Then comse George Washington:
It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.... No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency ... We ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained.
Then John Adams comes to state that the US Constitution is for religious people!!! Read:

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. So great is my veneration of the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it, the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectful members of society.
And John Jay's advice for the US citizens:

Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty of as well as the privilege and interest of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for its rulers.
Things will be even more interesting if you continue to read Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin or Andrew Jackson say about Christianity being the "rock on which our Republic rests". Check The Forerunner.

Can you see the contradiction at hand here?? The authors of the United States Constitution and, later, the presidents who apply this constitution are just stating the complete opposite of what they have authored. Then we move from words to reality.

Since 1957, each and every US banknote or coin bears the following statement: "In God we Trust"... Isn't this one a religious symbol that printed on the country's currency which is one of the US symbols? How secular is that?

Adding the statement: "Under one God" to the Pledge of Allegiance... How worldly and unreligious is that?

Using a Bible, or Quran in one case, for new congressmen to be sworn in; how secular and irreligiously oriented is that?
Blocking laws for homosexuality and abortion on religious basis since the Neo-cons are religious people and they are in power. To what extent is that secular of the United States?

Allowing schools and institutions to be built on religious basis (catholic schools... etc.), isn't this an unconstitutional act in light of the establishment act in the US Constitution?

To make myself clear here, I am not attacking the United States for being unsecular. On the contrary, I am against secularism at some great points. What I am saying here is that if America itself cannot separate politics and state from religion, why are you calling other countries to apply what you failed to apply.

I never stop reading remarks about the Muslim Brotherhood in US newspapers that they want to apply Sharia law. No one stops attacking Iran over mingling religion with politics.... The list is too long to mention....

The bottom line is, why are you attacking people for building their constitution on the basis of their national religion when you do the same yourselves? Why attack the Egyptian Constitutions second item that says: "Sharia Law is the conrner stone of legislation" when it is practically applied to the core, at the same time you put Christianity as the corner stone of your state?

How legitimate it is of America to make such demands when the American house has so much cleaning and tidying up to be done?

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Saturday, February 02, 2008 

To my UK readers...

Do you know the University of Portsmouth? Is it a good school with good reputation in the UK or is it just another university?

Please, if you can help or you can suggest a better school that falls in the same financial category, send me your comments through the comment section; or click Contact Me in the sidebar to email me directly.

Most appreciated...


Nuke Texas

While surfing the internet I ran through a blog that I know is full of racism and exceptional stereotypical view of the world; that at some point can be confused with ignorance. I am not attacking the people running that blog but I am describing how I view whatever the write or post about Middle East or Muslims or even Arabs as a whole. And the fact is if I go low down to use the same way of argument and the same look at matters as they do, I would call what they do absolute ignorance.

I find it so interesting to think how their mindless ideas would appeal to them if I used the other way.

In the sidebar of the blog I found this photo:

And I wondered, what would they feel if I added this photo to my sidebar:

Even if it feels okay with them to read this on an Egyptian blog, I would not feel okay about that because I know I am not ignorant enough to call for the slaughter of innocent people or the destruction of their religious symbol for nothing but hatred and stupidity.

Deepest apologies to my friends in Texas Martha, Michael, Sandra, Timothy, Martin and whoever reads this from Texas. I was just using the same ideology some of your folks are using online.

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  • I'm Jimmy
  • From Cairo, Egypt
  • This is a scrapbox in which I put the outcome of my brain-surges and freak-outs; that usually come out during intense loneliness or frustration. Not all... but some!
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