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Archive for October, 2012

When the west started backing Islamic resistance against the Soviets in Afghanistan nobody knew that it is helping roll the clock centuries back to reestablish a medieval-like societies and mentalities in different parts of the world. Since then, the influence of extremists in Islamic states and even in the west itself has grown much bigger. The long bearded genie, in short worn-out thobe, with an exploding belt on his waist is set free. Jihadists and Salafis around the world turned their back to “foreign enemies” and started the battle to subdue their own nations.

Some events that took place last month are worth notice:

In Pakistan, Taliban shot the 14 year old activist Malala Yousafzai in head and nearly killed her on the background of her supporting the right of girls in education. Taliban has banned girls from attending school. Malala received treatment in UK and is back home despite the continuous threat. “If Malala survives, we will target her again,” says Taliban.

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Whoever participated in yesterdays White March or at least saw the pictures would understand to what extent Lebanese civic society is far from those who claim to be its official representatives. The march that was organized by independent activists who reject political assassination, sectarian and political divisions was a big success and proved there is still a considerable portion of our society un-involved in the vertical division and sectarian polarization. (more…)

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Resorting to the street will not solve the crisis” – F. Siniora, 2006

The ceremony that started as a farewell to Gen. Wissam al-Hassan on Sunday morning ended with an unorganized riot, a trial to storm Government Palace (Serail) and street violence. By the time this blog post is being written several parts of Beirut were already closed and a mini street war was already taking place.

The dramatic change took place
after journalist Nadim Koteich asked the masses gathering in DT Beirut to move towards Serail and force Mikati to resign.

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By yesterday evening many aspects of Sassine explosion were already clear, while the overall situation in Lebanon seemed dimmer. It was clear that there wasn’t any small explosion followed by a bigger one à la Iraqi mode. The magnitude of destruction was more comparable to that caused by St. George explosion that killed Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri in February 2005. No ordinary political figure was targeted… It was ISF Information Branch chief Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hasan the one and only target.

Car burning at the explosion site – reuters.

Soon after the explosion took place, and before any news about al-Hassan occurred March 8 politicians accused Israel while March 14 figures said it is Syrian regime exporting terror to Lebanon. (more…)

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Nasrallah acknowledges responsibility for launching the drone and justified the presences of Hezbollah members fighting in Syria.

After acknowledging responsibility of the drone downed over al-Naqab last week and claiming its members fighting for “self-defense” in Syria, Hezbollah (and consequently the whole country) is put in the face of two looming wars and an increasing gap between Lebanese religio-political groups. In his speech last Thursday, Secretary General of Hezbollah Sayyid Nasrallah claimed he has the right to launch aerial reconnaissance drones over Israel and promised to send more in the future. He also justified the presence of Hezbollah members fighting against rebels in Syria, saying they are protecting their homes. Nasrallah kept for Hezbollah the right of military supporting president Assad whenever suitable.

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Bidzina Ivanishvilli the Gazprom billionaire and the leader of Georgia’s new majority.

10 years after the “Rose revolution” Georgia’s parliamentary elections came to set an end to president Saakashvili’s pro- western policies. 2 years after the Georgian- Russian war, the Russian backed tycoon Ivanishvili lead the newly formed “Georgian Dream” coalition to win elections on October 1st. While most of western governments welcomed the first democratic transfer of power in Tbilisi, it is clear that NATO, EU and US are alarmed by Ivanishivilli’s Russian background. With his $6.5 billion made in Russia as the largest single shareholder in Gazprom, Georgean Dream leader sets improving ties with Russia as one of his priorities.

US allied Saakashvili with George W. Bush

During George W. Bush era, the west managed to surround Russia with colored revolutions: rose, orange and purple. It seemed for a while that post soviet republics are starting to escape the grip of Russian influence. US and NATO military bases were crawling nearer to Russia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia).   (more…)

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Throughout history, the fate of pioneering thought and pioneering books has always been hard and the fate of pioneering writers is, most of the time, tough and merciless. Such writers gain during their lifetime more enemies and fame than readers and money. But these in particular are the minds that trigger big leaps in the progress of science and society; even though they are systemically victims of sever repression. History is full with examples of writers tortured and books burned.

One of the most interesting pioneering arabic books is Lous Awad’s “Introduction to the Jurisprudence of the Arabic Language”, the controversial book that questioned the origin and history of Arabs and arabic language. This book may be the only one (other than Taha Hussein’s “On Jahili Poetry”) to doubt and debate the conventional history of a language considered sacred by millions of Muslims around the world. Awad’s “Introduction” was censored and banned (and still is in Egypt and some Arab countries) soon after it was issued in 1981. Researchers and critics had no reach to the contents of the book and views it contained other than the articles and books written against it. Ironically one of the main sources to access Awad’s prohibited theories was the book of his enemy Badrawi Zahran “Refuting the Slanders Against Quraan and it’s Language and other Absurdities Fabricated by the Arabized Crusade Louis Awad” (all this a title!!). But did Awad really fabricate slanders and does his book contain absurdities, and which beliefs did Awad question and doubt to deserve such hostility and condemnation?
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