الأحد، 18 ديسمبر، 2011

The brave women of the Middle East

The brave women of the Middle East: Female protesters brutally beaten with metal poles as vicious soldiers drag girls through  streets by their hair in day of shame

By Inderdeep Bains

Last updated at 5:25 AM on 18th December 2011


After being viciously beaten by a 10-strong mob of Egyptian male soldiers, this woman lies helplessly on the ground as her shirt is ripped from her body and a man kicks her with full force in her exposed chest.
Moments earlier she had been struck countless times in the head and body with metal batons, not content with the brutal beating delivered by his fellow soldier, one man stamped on her head repeatedly.
She feebly tried to shield her head from the relentless blows with her hands.
Brutal: Egyptian army soldiers drag this woman on the ground and kick her in the chest
Brutal: This shocking image shows Egyptian army soldiers dragging this helpless woman on the ground and kicking her hard in the chest after ripping her clothes from her body

Outnumbered: This woman screams in pain as she is surrounded by five male soldiers during protests in the Egyptian capital and beaten with poles
Outnumbered: This woman screams in pain as she is surrounded by five male soldiers during protests in the Egyptian capital and beaten with poles
But she was knocked unconscious in the shameful attack and left lying motionless as the military men mindlessly continued to beat her limp and half-naked body.

Before she was set upon by the guards, three men appeared to carry her as they tried to flee the approaching military.
But they were too slow and the soldiers caught up with them, capturing the women and knocking one of the men to the ground.
The two other men were forced to abandoned their fellow protestors and continued running, looking helplessly back at the two they left behind being relentlessly attacked as they lay on the ground.

This is just one of the hundreds of shameful injustices seen in Cairo's Tahrir Square where Egypt's military took a dramatically heavy hand on Saturday to crush protests against its rule.
Aya Emad told the AP that troops dragged her by her headscarf and hair into the Cabinet headquarters. The 24-year-old said soldiers kicked her on the ground, an officer shocked her with an electrical prod and another slapped her on the face, leaving her nose broken and her arm in a sling.
Mona Seif, an activist who was briefly detained Friday, said she saw an officer repeatedly slapping a detained old woman in the face.
'It was a humiliating scene,' Seif told the private TV network Al-Nahar. 'I have never seen this in my life.'
Brutally injured: More than 50 men and women were injured on Saturday in violent clashes between rock-throwing protesters and military police
Brutally injured: This woman is left barely conscious and splattered in blood after being beaten the military in violent clashes between rock-throwing protesters and military police

Violent: Egyptian army soldiers use brutal force to arrest this female protester and drag her by her hair during clashes with military police near Cairo's Tahrir Square
Shameless: Egyptian army soldiers use brutal force to arrest this female protester and drag her by her hair during clashes with military police near Cairo's Tahrir Square

Shameless: The heavy handed Egyptian army soldiers drag the arrested a woman protester off by her hair
Violent: The heavy handed Egyptian army soldiers drag the arrested a woman protester off by her hair
In Bahrain a similar pictured was emerging with a video clip showing a female human rights activist being hit by a policewoman during clashes between police and anti-government protestors.
Police fired teargas to break up a demonstration by several hundred people on the outskirts of the capital, Manama where several women staged a sit-in protest trying to block a main road.
After nearly 48 hours of continuous fighting in Egypt's capital more than 300 were left injured and nine dead, many of them shot dead.
The most sustained crackdown yet is likely a sign that the generals who took power after the February ouster of Hosni Mubarak are confident that the Egyptian public is on its side after two rounds of widely acclaimed parliament elections, that Islamist parties winning the vote will stay out of the fight while pro-democracy protesters become more isolated.
Still, the generals risk turning more Egyptians against them, especially from outrage over the abuse of women.

'Do they think this is manly?' Toqa Nosseir, a 19-year old student, said of the attacks on women. 'Where is the dignity?'
Man-handled: Egyptian soldiers clash with this female protester and two male protestors near Cairo's Tahrir Square
Man-handled: Egyptian soldiers clash with this female protester and two male protestors near Cairo's Tahrir Square
Protection: A female and two male Egyptian protester use a metal sheet as a shield as they throw rocks at military police, unseen, behind the gates and inside the Parliament building near Cairo's Tahrir Square
Protection: A female and two male Egyptian protester use a metal sheet as a shield as they throw rocks at military police, unseen, behind the gates and inside the Parliament building near Cairo's Tahrir Square

Brave: Two women join protesters as they shout anti-military council slogans near the cabinet in Cairo
Brave: Two women join protesters as they shout anti-military council slogans near the cabinet in Cairo
Nosseir joined the protest over her parents' objections because she couldn't tolerate the clashes she had seen.
'No one can approve or accept what is happening here,' she said.
'The military council wants to silence all criticism. They want to hold on power ... I will not accept this humiliation just for the sake of stability.'
Nearby in Tahrir, protesters held up newspapers with the image of the half-stripped woman on the front page to passing cars, shouting sarcastically, 'This is the army that is protecting us!'
'No one can approve or accept what is happening here,' she said.
'The military council wants to silence all criticism. They want to hold on power ... I will not accept this humiliation just for the sake of stability.'
Nearby in Tahrir, protesters held up newspapers with the image of the half-stripped woman on the front page to passing cars, shouting sarcastically, 'This is the army that is protecting us!'
Grief: A woman mourns slain Egyptian protesters who were killed during the latest clashes with Egyptian soldiers, while they wait to receive their bodies in front of the morgue in Cairo
Grief: A woman mourns slain Egyptian protesters who were killed during the latest clashes with Egyptian soldiers, while they wait to receive their bodies in front of the morgue in Cairo
Under-fire: Pro-reform female protesters run for cover as heavy-handed police try to disperse them with tear-gas, in Abu Seba village, north of Manama, Bahrain
Under-fire: Pro-reform female protesters run for cover as heavy-handed police try to disperse them with tear-gas, in Abu Seba village, north of Manama, Bahrain
'Are you not ashamed?' leading reform figure and Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei posted on Twitter in an address to the ruling military council.
Egypt's new, military-appointed interim prime minister defended the military, denying it shot protesters. He said gunshot deaths were caused by other attackers he didn't identify.
He accused the protesters of being 'anti-revolution.'
The main street between Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the anti-Mubarak protests, and the parliament and Cabinet buildings where the clashes began early the previous morning looked like a war zone on Saturday.
Military police on rooftops pelting protesters below with stones and firebombs and launched truncheon-swinging assaults to drive the crowds back.
Young activists put helmets or buckets on their heads or grabbed sheets of concrete and even satellite dishes as protection against the stones hailing down from the roofs.
The streets were strewn with chunks of concrete, stones ,broken glass, burned furniture and peddlers' carts as clashes continued to rage after nightfall Saturday.
Detained: Activist Zainab al-Khawaja (Right) screams while being arrested during a protest in Abu Seba village, north of Manama
Detained: Activist Zainab al-Khawaja (Right) screams while being arrested during a protest in Abu Seba village, north of Manama

Heavy-handed: A Bahraini policewoman drags activist Zainab al-Khawaja across the floor after arresting her fo taking part in sit-in protest
Heavy-handed: A Bahraini policewoman drags activist Zainab al-Khawaja across the floor after arresting her fo taking part in sit-in protest
The clashes began early on Friday with a military assault on a 3-week-old sit-in outside the Cabinet building by protesters demanding the military hand over power immediately to civilians.
More than a week of heavy fighting erupted in November, leaving more than 40 dead – but that was largely between police and protesters, with the military keeping a low profile.
In the afternoon, military police charged into Tahrir, swinging truncheons and long sticks, briefly chasing out protesters and setting fire to their tents.
They trashed a field hospital set up by protesters, swept into buildings where television crews were filming and briefly detained journalists. They tossed the camera and equipment of an Al-Jazeera TV crew off the balcony of a building.
A journalist who was briefly detained told The Associated Press that he was beaten up with sticks and fists while being led to into the parliament building. Inside, he saw a group of detained young men and one woman.
Each was surrounded by six or seven soldiers beating him or her with sticks or steel bars or giving electrical shocks with prods.
'Blood covered the floor, and an officer was telling the soldiers to wipe the blood,' said the journalist
Defiant: A brave woman shouts anti-government slogans as she stands amidst tear gas fired by riot police to disperse a sit-in at a roundabout on Budaiya Highway, west of Manama
Defiant: A brave woman shouts anti-government slogans as she stands amidst tear gas fired by riot police to disperse a sit-in at a roundabout on Budaiya Highway, west of Manama
As night fell in Tahrir, clashes continued around a concrete wall that the military erected to block the avenue from Tahrir to parliament.
In Bahrain, Zainab al-Khawaja, 27, was arrested and dragged across the floor by her handcuffs after police fired teargas to break up a demonstration by several hundred people on the outskirts of the capital, Manama.
Ms al-Khawaja and several other women staged a sit-in protest trying to block a main road. The other women fled the scene but Ms al-Khawaja refused.
Riot police fired tear-gas at the women, with dozens requiring hospital treatment after the incident.
A report by a panel of human rights experts in November found that Bahraini security forces had used excessive forces and carried out the systematic abuse of prisoners, including torture, when the regime sent in troops to crush the uprising in March. 
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الثلاثاء، 6 ديسمبر، 2011

US Money And Saudi Salafi Equal Egyptian Hell


Let's look at the big picture: Where is Egypt three months after Mubarak was removed from power?

Saudi Arabia finances the Salafi movement in the Arab world, including Egypt. Saudi Arabia is doing this with increasing fervor to quell the revolutionary movements that threaten to uproot the Islamic absolute monarchy of King Abdullah.


May 5, 2011 - Egyptian flag transformed into the Saudi flag: Protest in front of Saudi embassy in Cairo against the involvement of Saudi Arabia in the funding of Salafi groups.

Of course, Saudi Arabia also invests money in Egypt in other ways.


May 5, 2011 - Announcing a grant of $17 million, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faysal went to Cairo to discuss trade and investment with the head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

In fact, Egypt's finances are not being well managed in the interim period. The Central Bank of Egypt announced that the country’s foreign currency reserve had dropped by $8 billion from December to April.



US also heavily finances Egyptian Army to the tune of 1.5 Billion per year, but US is not pressuring Egypt's Army to respect international standards of human rights or to adopt democratic reforms.

More:
Why is Gates rushing back to Middle East Now?



May 5, 2011 - the Saint Mena Coptic Christian church on Fire. Salafi attacks on Christians in Egypt are aiming to disrupt Egyptian society and gain a footing.

Surprisingly, Egypt's Army endorses Salafi outlandish claims. Major General Ruwaini Declares: "We are All Salafi.. The whole Egyptian population is Salafi. All Egyptian Muslims are Salafi."

More: Egyptian Army Declares That All of Egypt is Salafi

Egyptian justice minister, Abdel-Aziz al-Gindi, has warned that those who threaten the country's security will face "an iron fist". And it's just the latest instance of Egypt's caretaker military rulers behaving in a draconian fashion while the world looks away, says The Guardian's Kate Allen.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, on a May 2nd visit to Cairo and a meeting with Field Marshal Tantawi, Prime Minister Sharaf said: "I have encouraged our Egyptian friends to be bold and ambitious in the coming months.. The success of the Arab Spring will be judged very heavily by what happens here. People look to Egypt to lead the way and build on what has already been achieved: To make the irrevocable transition from revolution to reform; to build a pluralist non-sectarian government that can meet the aspirations and command the respect of all Egyptians; and to set a clear timetable for elections in which all groups can participate and stand an equal chance of success."



Therefore: US and Saudi Arabia are hand in hand attacking Christians in Egypt and destroying chances for real democratic reforms? That can't be happening. Who is uncomfortable with this situation? Who benefits from this chaos?

And who are using the political chaos as an opportunity to feel attacked and stand together united now? Surprise: Salafi spokesman Abdel Moneim al-Shahat said Islamic movements are uniting in order to preserve the Islamic nature of Egypt. “God’s words must rule and Islam must be in the hearts of the citizens,” said Jama'a al-Islamiya spokesman Osama Hafez.

A new religious coalition is formed to combat the secular political forces in Egypt, with a political dream to create an Islamic state in Egypt. “It was the recent attacks on the Islamic groups that brought us together,” said leading Muslim Brotherhood member Sobhi Saleh.


Amr al-Shobky, expert at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said that this religious cooperation is a demonstration of power, and that it reflects the imbalanced political scale, which is tilted towards the Islamic movements.

It is a show of force that is convenient for many. Who would have thought that a secular democratic Egypt would not be welcome with open arms by the world? Can anyone really believe that the US is acting in the best interest of even Israel by not supporting the secular transformation that the Jan25 revolution demanded?

This danger was not completely unexpected. Even Mort Zuckerman says "there's a saying in the region, 'The Arab world is a tent supported by two poles, Saudi Arabia and Egypt,' if you lose the pole in Egypt, that whole world can come apart. That is something that would be greatly against our interest. We have to be very careful about how we manage this transition, and as Tony Blair says, 'You have to manage these transitions'... you want to make sure that the next people in power are not dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. That would be a disaster for us, it would be a disaster for the PLO... for Jordan... for Saudi Arabia." Zuckerman was speaking of this danger back on February 3rd, on CNN's Piers Morgan.

More: An Artist Jailed, A Murderer Freed

But perhaps it is the vacuum created by the absence of protesters in Tahrir and the streets of Egypt that is affording the Muslim factions and the SCAF the political space to destroy the hopes for secular democracy in Egypt.

And, perhaps Egypt should refuse foreign influence, in the form of money and political interference, if it has a chance to have a successful free and fair Presidential election. Very few other countries in the world would accept this kind of influence.

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