Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sick and tired

Yesterday in the morning a colleague of mine was boiling and fuming over "racist USA",I asked him why. It was because a *sooo* offensive statement made my the USA vice president referring to a well respected Arabian person as "that Arab sheikh", our conversation was in Arabic. So I wondered about what the vice president said laterally in English, explaining that the perceived offence could easily be a result of a bad translation. He admitted that he doesn't know the original text, however he is pretty sure it was no mistake of translation. After all he got his information from a well trused news agency. I made a wild guess: "Don't tell me that it was al Jazera", he answered yes !!

Later I checked the current news, only to find that violence has erupted in a village near Cairo (called Al-Ayat). The story goes the same as the one that happened in "Al-Adaysat". After a few Christians dared to build a community center (or renew an existing one) and allegedly turning it into a church. Their Muslim, peace loving, tolerant and enlightened neighbor's found that this was so much of a crime that deserves an immediate action. So let the violence begins!. Funny thing is that all people is Egypt are *sure* that the USA is a damn racist country while Egypt is a haven of tolerance and loving (usually this claim is backed by some bullshit stories like "Oh, I love my Coptic neighbor so much as if he were my own brother"! Yeah right!)

Oh, the memories it brings .. I remember once I had a small wooden cross (the size of two thumbs) that I liked so much so I decided to stick it to the side of my PC screen at the office. A colleague was putting some Islamic sentences as a wallpaper, another one has taken into the habit of praying in the office so I figured I would be all right. Needless to say, I figured wrong! One day a manager asked me politely to remove "the religious symbol" as it offends my Muslim, peace loving, tolerant and enlightened colleagues.

Well to tell the truth, only one of them was offended (the very same one with the Islamic wallpaper !!) the others assured me that they disagreed with him. Just like the fact that only a few Muslims did those riots in Al-Ayat while the majority disagrees with them.

No matter how much the majority disagreed with my intolerant colleague they didn't stop him !
No matter how much the majority disagreed with Al-Ayat villagers still laws governing the construction of churches that inspired this events didn't change !!

And for those who doesn't know. The regulation of constructing churches (or any other religious non-Islamic buildings, for that matter) is a dark jock from the middle ages. Basically u need an approval form the president (lately, Governors are delegated) to build a church. A crucial part of that approval depends on what the "national security" (amn el dawla) has to say. of course national security looks into some important factors (like if the new church can endanger the "security" or if the Muslim majority has any objections -and I kid u not- ). In my beloved Egypt red tape is so tedious that those procedures take decades to finish. Most of the churches I know are 1)had approvals long ago before "el thawra" or 2)took average of 10~30 years to get that approval and got it only after some big time event (miracle, foreign intervention, violence, ...) or 3)illegally made, waiting for the Islam-defending rioters to find it out and burn it down.

The existence of such a law in the 21st century in a country that claims a long history of religious tolerance (that is Egypt, if u can't recognize !) is a puzzle to me. or should I say WAS a puzzle until recently.

Recently I started reading history. In the history of the Islamic conquest of Egypt I realize that it was one of the primary demands by our Arab invaders not to build new churches. Well this puts a new light to it. Maybe after all nowadays Muslims were simply continuing their tradition of not allowing "ahl el ketab" to construct places where they get to practice their satanic rituals !

or perhaps it is like my colleague (the one angry with racist America) kindly explained. One day I told him about my cross incident, and how I was asked to remove it. He asked me to have more understanding ! As the sight of a cross is very disturbing to any Muslim !! OH, so may be THAT'S IT !!! Maybe the poor Muslims were so offended by the bad Christians who unashamedly tried to put the (very disturbing) symbol defining their existence. However, as my dear colleague sees it, this way of thinking is hardly racist. While a severed segment of a statement made by a vice president in a country where you can freely build a mosque anywhere makes this country extremely racist.

perhaps I'm too harsh ? After all we live in a 3rd world country, free speech isn't here. Perhaps if the government truly expressed the openion of the (truly tolerant) majority it will be different .. Perhaps the prosecution against Christians is just a small part of the prosecution against the government ?

I used to believe so, *I wanted to believe so*. However, after the famous Danish cartoons incident Muslims showed me (and the whole world) that they are perfectly capable of expressing their anger in every plausible way.

huh ?! So it was not the ability they lack, but the will. Muslims simply didn't find any thing worth rioting before so they didn't riot. Now I'm not asking Muslims to express their anger about killing a few Christians (that would be too much to ask). But seriously .. Wasn't there any thing before that offended Muslims ? Not those couple of maniacs who attacked a children's school in Russia under the name of Islam ? Not all those "Islamic" bombings and killings ? Really what is there that I'm missing ? Can any one enlighten me ??

I'm not denying Muslims the right to get angry for their holiest symbols (I disagree, but nevertheless respect their feelings). However I see a great contradiction here. A contradiction between a COMPLETE SILENCE for actions made by Muslims that included killings, and a COMPLETE OUTRAGE for actions made by non-Muslims that included drawing and expressing their thoughts.

can any one prove me wrong ??
please prove me wrong !!

I remember a great Anime movie called "princess mononoke". The movie starts with a scene of a horrible demonic beast, but as the movie progresses u discover that this beast is in fact a noble creature that was unjustly hurt by the hunters. Then he let himself into the pain and hatred that consumed him into a beast. Now I'm feeling just like that creature. Being consumed by hatred and injustice.

I refuse to stay silent.


Blogger The Sandmonkey said...

u haven't been reading my blog by any chance, now have you?

5:30 AM  
Blogger shiro said...

Hmm, in fact I'm a regular reader. great blog !

1:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said, totally agree

12:19 AM  
Blogger travisericks8804488051 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:56 PM  
Blogger أبوفارس said...

الزياره اﻷولى..عليا النعمه أنت جدع..دى جايه من مسلم على فكره..قريت البلوج كله..وبأقولك أنك راجل محترم..بس خلاص...تحياتى...خالد

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great story. Waiting for more. »

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:05 PM  

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