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February 08, 2006



I'm not sure Amr Khaled's message is "inciting punishment of infidels" as MEMRI suggests. His sin may be one of omission because he didn't spell out that the violence was wrong. But I don't think his words are clearly calling for riots or anything. He has a history in general is speaking against religously motivated violence. Any thoughts in the peanut gallery? You can see his full statement on www.amrkhaled.net


You know these cartoons were printed in an Egyptian newspaper in October with no reaction. It took a lot of fanning to get things going by the Egyptian govt, the Saudi govt (after their Mecca debacle), Syria of course etc... It is amazing that this Clash thing gets accepted so quickly. A few hundred protesters in Indonesia (pop 200M), ditto in Pakistan, Syria rent a crowd etc... It is sad that western press and pundits fall into the trap and repeat that the whole muslim world, all 1.3B, are enraged. It has been a propaganda coup for Al Qaeda, though the table was set by our "friends" Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Those two regimes never cease to amaze me. It is too bad that Al Jazeera also did not put things in context. I mean a series of cartoons in a Danish newspaper, please, we are not talking the New York Times, or a media outlet of a great power, or given press freedoms, a declaration from a government official.
This just confirms that the biggest proponents for the big clash of civilization are the Mubaraks of the world to hide their hideous incompetence and corruption. Let us not forget the ridiculous actions of the Jordanian Government for arresting the one editor who tried to calm things down.


In the ongoing account of the (potential?) importance of blogging, the Financial Times did a profile yesterday of "bloggers in the Middle East attempting to make sense of the furore..."

I freely admit that mine was included (though really just quoting me quoting Abdullahi an-Naim), but this isn't just self-promotion. The article also highlighted some particularly good points by Aqoul's Ashraf - in addition to the "blame Bashir" camp, he added the important point that the diversity of they types of protests and even the types of messages featured in those protests suggests a diversity that undermines the Western discourse on "Muslim rage"...

Don't know how to put links in comments, but here's the URL:



dear hummbumm,

would you know which egyptian newspaper printed the cartoons in october? and ... you don't happen to have a copy?

as for what stacey said - well ... i also got the willingness of leb i.s.f. to use bullets against demonstrators entirely wrong ...

but who cares - WE'RE FAMOUS NOW!



I don't have a copy but it was the October 10th issue of El Fagr. It has been scanned on the web, on various egyptian bloggers sites.
The ISF in lebanon shot in the air, but did not shoot at protesters averting a bloodbath. Of course the idea of having armed troops acting as riot police is a disaster waiting to happen. ( you go to soccer games in lebanon, and you have troops with M16s, I mean what are they supposed to do shoot the crowd if it gets rowdy)
As to all the stoking that it took for the flames to catch, please see the NYTimes article today.


Usually I don't believe anyhthing that comes out of the state department. And I still don't but there is a ring of truth to the blame "bashar" talk. Anyone who knows Syria will tell u it is a virtual prison, there are nearly 13 branches of Syrian intelligence better known as mukhabarat. I would question very seriously if this rampage was given a green light. Honestly lets see protestors storm the British or American embassies in Damascus. The Danes even told the Syrians before hand that their emabssy was under threat and asked for extra security.

Why would Damascus allow it. I think to increase a sentiment that the Syrian regime is part of the history and culture of the region. It allows protests to show that people can express themselves (in causes the regime allows). So why this cause? Just like the b'ath in Iraq in a situation when the country is isolated they wish to increase religious sentiment as a tool of mechanism, not because they like religion, but because it a useful tool for the gang that rules Damascus. A form of solidarity.

Secondly, the regime wishes to take a position that it is isolated as a beacon in the region that wishes to protect its interests and culture, that of course are being threatened by the "other" who wish nothing but harm to Syria and its people (plus their beliefs and customs). Like the neo-cons in America this polarization of the "other" against "us" is a great propaganda tool, even if you look at it closely its realy stupid. But its propaganda and history shows it works again and again and again......


LRW- Amr Khaled has a huge following precious at this time and he missed a golden oppurtunity. He did not incite riots but generally repeated what was expected of him (and what many audiences had heard before as his statement came somewhat delayed) and in my opinion, was disappointing as one of the most reasonable, realistic and contemporary preacher in the Arab World today. In any case, this may be pre-mature as he has a second message to be announced soon.

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