MUSLIM LOVE FOR DICTATORS!
Arab Spring Turns to Winter of Islamist States in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya
by Robert Maginnis
Recent events demonstrate that the so-called Arab Spring uprisings have
toppled three North African tyrants that may be replaced by Islamist
regimes. President Barack Obama deserves some credit if that
happens, and the consequences could be devastating.
Obama said, “The question before us is what role America will play as
this story unfolds.” At the time, Obama was reacting to criticism
that his Arab Spring policy was incoherent and inconsistent. He
ignored the revolution that ousted Tunisia’s president, pushed for the
removal of Egypt’s leader, and launched a war against Libya’s
Those dictators are now gone, and in their places are
countries on the verge of becoming Islamist states, which bodes poorly
for the region and America’s interests.
Last week, a Tunisian
Islamist party received a plurality (41%) of the votes for a national
constitutional assembly, a one-year body charged with writing a
constitution and appointing an interim president.
(renaissance), the first Islamist party to achieve such a victory, is
led by Sheik
Rached Ghannouchi, a man who just returned from a 22-year exile in the
United Kingdom. Ghannouchi claims his party is a “broad umbrella
party” of Islamists and “an antidote to the Western notion of a clash
Tunisia’s election impressed Obama so much that
last week he hosted that country’s acting prime minister at the White
House. Obama used the occasion to praise Tunisia’s election as an
“inspiration” and state he was “deeply encouraged by the
progress.” But perhaps Obama wouldn’t be so sanguine if he knew
Martin Kramer, a scholar at the Washington
Institute for Near East Policy, wrote a paper about Ghannouchi, which
documents the Tunisian’s Islamic extremism and his hatred for America.
Ghannouchi threatened the U.S. in a speech given in Sudan in
1990. “We must wage unceasing war against the Americans until
they leave the land of Islam, or we will burn and destroy all their
interests across the entire Islamic world,” Ghannouchi said to the
He visited the Islamic Republic in 1979, where he
defended the takeover of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, claiming it was a
“spy center.” Subsequently he helped “thaw relations between
Sunni Islamist movements and Iran.” He reportedly received a
delegation from Hezbollah—Iran’s terrorist proxy—while in Britain.
Ghannouchi’s radicalism was publicized as recently as 2001 on an
al-Jazeera broadcast, when he extolled Palestinian suicide bombers and
advocated anti-American violence. Is there any doubt
Ghannouchi will try to make Tunisia an Islamist state?
trending toward an Islamist regime thanks in part to Obama. In
January, Obama pushed for the removal of
Hosni Mubarak, a staunch ally who kept peace with Israel for 30
years. Then Obama applauded the revolution that ousted Mubarak as
“a positive force for a democratic Egyptian future.”
post-Mubarak period hasn’t been “positive,” and time will tell whether
it is “democratic.” So far it is marked by Islamist violence and
the rise of the
Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood’s political front, the
Freedom and Justice Party, commands 34% of Egyptian votes, the largest
of any party, according to polls.
The Brotherhood’s political
platform calls for a state in which Sharia (Islamic law) rules.
It promises to create a Supreme Council of Clerics, like the one in
Iran, to exercise veto power over all laws. Other platform issues
include forcing non-Muslims to comply with Islamic rules, making women
second-class citizens, and a "revised" peace treaty with Israel.
year the Brotherhood’s leader, Muhammad Badie, said Muslim regimes must
confront Islam’s enemies, Israel and the U.S., and that waging jihad
against them is a commandment of Allah. Further, he said the U.S.
is immoral and “experiencing the beginning of its end.”
The rise of
the Brotherhood has encouraged incendiary rhetoric and violence against
non-Muslims and Israel. On Sept. 20, Egyptian cleric Muhammad
Abdu declared on Al Hekma television, “Tomorrow, we will destroy Israel
and wipe it out of existence.” Such declarations are reminiscent
of Iran’s mullahs, and may explain the increase in anti-Israeli
violence, such as six militant attacks on Egypt’s gas line to Israel
and attacks on the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
Non-Muslim Egyptians are
singled out for abuse. Last month Sheikh Ali Gomaa, the grand
mufti of Al-Azhar, a center for Islamic learning, called Christians
“kuffar”—infidels—and alleged they are guilty of the greatest sin,
claiming Jesus Christ is both man and God. Weeks after Gomaa’s
declaration, 26 Coptic Christians were killed and nearly 500 hurt
during peaceful protests in Cairo over the latest church
burnings. It is noteworthy that while Muslim mobs attacked the
Christians, Egyptian security forces shot live ammunition at the
demonstrators and then ran over many with armored personnel
Libya may very well become an Islamist state.
It is telling and perhaps axiomatic that in August, Obama tried to
encourage the Libyans by stating, “The Libya that you deserve is within
your reach.” Maybe the Libyans “deserve” an Islamist government,
but few American’s will celebrate that outcome after spending $1
billion to free the country.
Last week the U.S.-backed National
Transitional Council (NTC) leader, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, marked the
official victory with a “liberation” speech declaring, “We are an
Islamic state,” and then outlined his vision for the post-Muammar
Gaddafi future. He said, “This revolution was looked after by god
to achieve victory. And we must go on the right path.”
“right path,” he explained, is Sharia law, the “fundamental source” of
legislation. All laws that contradict Islam’s teachings will be
annulled. Only “Islamic banking” will be permitted (no interest
charged), and polygamy will be reintroduced. He didn’t address
the dress code for women, use of alcohol, freedom of speech,
amputations for stealing, stoning for adultery, and other Sharia
codes. Those will follow.
Consider the background of two of the
most influential Libyans now helping form that government. Ali
Al-Sallabi, a cleric close to the Muslim Brotherhood, claims to be like
Tunisia’s Rached Ghannouchi. In September, Al-Sallabi criticized
Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, who called for Sharia law, an “extreme
secularist.” He has good relations with the Arab emirate Qatar,
is an influential backer of the NTC, and has a wide network of contacts
in global Islamist circles, according to Reuters.
influential figure is the current commander of the Tripoli Military
Council, Abdelhakim Belhadj, a former commander of the Libyan Islamic
Fighting Group, which is listed by the U.S. State Department as an
international terrorist organization. He fought the Soviets in
Afghanistan in the 1980s, where he met with Osama bin Laden. He
downplays accusations that he is an extremist, and told the British
daily The Guardian that he warned the NTC against “attempts by some
secular elements to isolate and exclude others [like Islamists].”
Tunisia, Egypt and Libya may become Islamist states, which could
destroy regional democracy, peace, and America’s interests. An
Islamist Egypt would likely quit being an American ally, and
stabilizing the region and keeping peace with Israel. It would
likely back Hamas’ violence against Jerusalem, host Islamic extremist
groups, and support others who do.
An Islamist Tunisia would help
radicalize neighbor Algeria, which previously flirted with Islamic
extremism. Libya would be a wild card if it became an Islamist
state. It has a small population, lots of land, and at least $250
billion in oil reserves. It sent many jihadists to fight America
in Iraq, and could once again become a terrorist haven and seek weapons
of mass destruction as did the dictator Gaddafi.
Arab Spring policies are partly responsible for removing three North
African tyrants. But, like the legendary Hydra, cutting off the
head leaves us with something far more dangerous.
Arab Dictators: Journalists on Trial
by Khaled Abu Toameh
September 23, 2009
For decades, the profession of journalism has been one of the most dangerous in the Arab world.
The truth and facts are often sacrificed for the sake of “preserving
the higher national interests of the people” and “to avoid playing into
the hands of the enemies of the people.”
A journalist is taught that his main mission is to be loyal first and
foremost to his president or monarch and then to his government and
In this world, Arab dictators are above any form of criticism.
When was the last time one read an article in a newspaper published in
an Arab capital that criticized the leader of that country?
Not only are journalists and editors banned from criticizing their
leaders, they are also prohibited from publishing any material that
may, God forbid, be interpreted as “offensive” to His Excellency or His
The official media in the Arab world is often under the control of the
Ministry of Information, which appoints editors and journalists, and
pays their salaries.
Under the Arab dictatorships, there has never been room for freedom of
expression. These dictatorships have their own media, which actually
serve as a mouthpiece for the ruler and his family and close friends.
In Morocco, for instance, five local journalists will go on trial later
this month after they published articles about King Mohammed VI’s
The journalists work for Al-Jarida, Al-Ayam, Al-Oula and Al-Mishaal newspapers.
The case began last August, when the Royal Palace issued a statement
revealing that the monarch had contracted a “viral, benign disease” and
needed convalescing for five days.
The statement triggered a wave of rumors about the monarch’s health
condition, with some journalists publishing news stories that
questioned the credibility of the Royal Palace.
The Committee to Protect Journalists [CPJ] said that some of the
reporters had been interrogated for 40 hours over the sources of their
“This is over-the-top harassment-reporting on the health of the king is
legitimate news and does not warrant such treatment," said Mohamed
Abdel Dayem, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator.
"We call on the Rabat Prosecution Office to immediately end this
The Moroccan journalists are likely to be sentenced to prison and high
fines. Their case brings to mind that of Ibrahim Eissa, editor of the
Cairo-based Al-Dustour daily.
Last year, Eissa was sentenced to two months in prison for writing an
article about the health of dictator Hosni Mubarak. The court found him
guilty of “damaging national security by spreading rumors.”
Human rights activists say that Morocco, which is viewed by the West as
one of the Arab world’s “moderate” and “liberal” countries, is
notorious for its relentless crackdown on the media.
Also last year, Hassan Rachidi, bureau chief of Al-Jazeera in Morocco,
was accused by authorities of “conspiring and spreading false
information" about clashes between the police and unemployed
Tawfiq Boasharein, editor-in-chief of the Moroccan newspaper Al Massae,
said Rachidi is not the only journalist dealing with the impact of a
new wave of censorship laws sweeping the region.
Boasharein expressed fear that the case against Rachidi trial could set
a precedent for Arab governments to crack down on freedom of speech and
increase the intimidation of journalists working outside
"In the past, the government used its executive power to repress
journalists, but today, the government is using the judiciary system to
suppress freedom. We are now dealing with a new set of oppressive laws.
And my newspaper is suffering because of them,” he told Al-Jazeera.
Arab dictators often avoid unleashing a campaign of incitement against
each other in their media outlets. They even appear to honor a
“gentleman agreement” in this regard.
The Moroccan newspapers Al-Jarida, Al-Oula and two other dailies were
recently ordered to pay a fine of 100,000 dirhams [about $13,000] and
damages of 1 million dirhams [about $126,000] to Libyan leader Muammar
The newspapers were found guilty of publishing articles that had offended the Libyan dictator.
One article, headlined "We and the Arab Maghreb," criticized not only
Qaddafi, but also his autocratic counterparts in Mauritania, Algeria,
Another article dealt with the arrest of Qaddafi’s youngest son and
daughter-in-law in Geneva for allegedly assaulting a Moroccan servant
and Tunisian maid.
This crackdown on the media has prompted many Arab journalists to seek employment in Western newspapers and TV stations.
Independent journalists who dare to criticize their leaders and
governments often find themselves forced to move to North America,
London or Paris, where they are able to continue their work without
The crackdown on Arab journalists is likely to continue for as long as
the international community continues to turn a blind eye to their
Military junta overthrows Mauritania's president
Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Ould Taya seized power in a 1984 coup.
By AHMED MOHAMED
The Associated Press
Thursday, August 4, 2005
NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA – A military junta
overthrew Mauritania's U.S.-allied president Wednesday, prompting celebrations
in this oil-rich Islamic nation that has been looking to the West amid alleged
threats from al-Qaida- linked militants.
The junta promised to yield to democratic
rule within two years, but African leaders and the United States were quick to
condemn the coup, saying that the days of authoritarianism and military rule
must end across the continent.
President Maaoya Sid'Ahmed Ould Taya, who
himself seized power in a 1984 coup and dealt ruthlessly with his opponents, was
out of the country when presidential guardsmen cut broadcasts from the national
radio and television stations and seized a building housing the army chief of
Later, the junta named the national police
chief, Col. Ely Ould Mohamed Vall, 55, as the country's new leader.
Its statement identified Vall as
"president" of the military council that seized power.
Taya, who had allied his overwhelmingly
Muslim nation with the United States in the war on terrorism, refused comment
after arriving Wednesday in nearby Niger from Saudi Arabia, where he attended
King Fahd's funeral.
The State Department joined the African
Union in calling for the restoration of the government.
"We call for a peaceful return for order
under the constitution and the established government of President Taya," State
Department spokesman Tom Casey said in Washington.
The junta said it would exercise power for
up to two years to allow time to put in place "open and transparent" democratic
Oil recently was discovered in reserves
offshore, and Mauritania is expected to begin pumping crude for the first time
early next year.
Hundreds of people celebrated the coup in
the city center, saluting soldiers guarding the presidential palace, clapping
and singing anti-Taya slogans in Arabic.
"It's the end of a long period of
oppression and injustice," civil servant Fidi Kane said. "We are very delighted
with this change of regime."
State television and radio were back on air
by afternoon, with journalists reading the junta's statement repeatedly,
interspersed with Quranic readings - normal in the Islamic nation.
Taya had survived several coup attempts,
including one in 2003 that led to days of fighting in the capital.
After that, he jailed scores of members of
Muslim fundamentalist groups and the army accused of plotting to overthrow him.
His government also has accused opponents of training with al-Qaida-linked
insurgents in Algeria.
A June 4 border raid by al-Qaida-linked
insurgents sparked a gunbattle that killed 15 Mauritanian troops and nine
WORD FAITH INDEX
CATHOLIC CHURCH INDEX