Why are Egypt’s Crimes Stephen Harper’s Fault?

This morning we learned that an Egyptian court – a kangaroo court, if ever there was one – after what can only be characterized as a farce of a trial, had convicted  Mohammed Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian Al-Jazeera reporter, on “terrorism-related” charges and sentenced him to 7 years in prison.  That the conviction was preordained is undeniable.   This can probably be taken for granted anywhere in the Arab world, but even by the low standards of the region, this trial was a joke.   Apparently, Egypt defines “terrorism” as saying unflattering, if accurate, things about its shit-hole government (that the current shit-hole government isn’t much worse (or better) than its predecessor shit-hole government, is really neither here nor there).  Still, Mr. Fahmy’s conviction  in itself, isn’t all that interesting – after all, did anyone really expect a fair trial? 

What’s more interesting has been the response of some of Mr. Fahmy’s family and supporters, who have been harshly critical of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Mr. Fahmy’s brother’s, Sherif, tweeted Stephen Harper:

I hold you responsible for leaving my brother to rotten in Egyptian prison. Was a call or a public statement that difficult?

Or Tony Burman, columnist for the Toronto Star who said:

The absence of the highest level of intervention, on behalf of the Canadian government has been lamentable. But, there is a chance for reversal…It’s now time for Canada’s prime minister to indicate to Egypt that enough is enough.

More in this vein can be seen here.

Continue reading “Why are Egypt’s Crimes Stephen Harper’s Fault?”

Sure, blame Israel, why not? Updated

So, a Coptic Christian of Egyptian ancestry living in the US produces a film that denigrates Mohammad and which was broadcast repeatedly on Islamist TV stations in Egypt.  And how do Muslims in Lebanon and Afghanistan react?  By burning Israeli flags and chanting “Death to Israel”.  [Update: Muslim protestors in Sri Lanka spent yesterday throwing slippers at the Israeli flag – better than bombs, I suppose – while a North American Muslim group is calling for a protest against Zionist “hatemongers“]

Am I missing something? 

I guess ranting and raving about the US wasn’t sufficiently irrational, so they figured they might as well blame a country that, literally, has no connection to the “Innocence of Muslims” fiasco.   They might as well be chanting “Death to Finland” for all the sense it makes (maybe I shouldn’t be giving them ideas).

[On further thought, I’m now convinced that the whole “Innocence of Muslims” bun-fight was orchestrated by the Acme Israeli and American Flag Company trying to clear out it’s inventory for the 2013 models.]

The Intolerance of Muslims – What the “Innocence of Muslims” tells us about the Islamic World.

In the wake of last week’s attacks on the US embassy in Cairo and the US consulate in Benghazi, and the killing of the US Ambassador to Libya and several of his staffers as they helped evacuate that consulate, US (and other Western) embassies have been attacked across the Islamic world.  These attacks were purportedly instigated by a new film, titled “Innocence of Muslims”, which claims to portray the life of the Prophet Mohammad.  At the very least the film gave Islamists a pretext for attacking the United States.   But it is the reaction to “Innocence of Muslims” throughout the Islamic world that is a telling indicator of the intolerance of the Islamic world and, I think, gives a good example of why many in the West are, with good reason, afraid of Islam as practiced by a good chunk of its adherent. (As a side note, I refer to the Islamic world rather than Islam intentionally.  Like Christianity and Judaism, or any other religion, Islam is capable of tolerant and open-minded interpretations and intolerant and hateful interpretations.  It is what its adherents make of it).

Continue reading “The Intolerance of Muslims – What the “Innocence of Muslims” tells us about the Islamic World.”

It’s Better To Be Respected Than Loved: US Foreign Policy and the Embassy Attacks

This is the first post dealing with Tuesday’s murderous attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, in which 4 American diplomats, including the US ambassador to Libya, and the storming of the US embassy compound in Cairo.   At some point I’l put together a post about what the reaction to the film that allegedly started the latest round of unrest says about the Arab world, but for now I want to talk about what the attack on the US Embassy in Cairo.  Although the attack on the Benghazi consulate was the bloodier of the two assaults, the assault on the embassy in Cairo tells us more about the failure of American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Continue reading “It’s Better To Be Respected Than Loved: US Foreign Policy and the Embassy Attacks”