Sorry Mr. Pence, the Venezuelan Military Aren’t Rubes

Sorry Mr. Pence, the Venezuelan Military Aren’t Rubes

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 04.03.2019

Sorry Mr. Pence, the Venezuelan Military Aren’t Rubes


Here’s a message to Vice-President Piss, his freak family, Elliott Abrams and the rest of Washington: the Venezuelan military isn’t f*cking stupid.

Last weekend we saw an attempted coup in Venezuela by the US along with local lunatic/self-proclaimed “President” Juan Guaidó. This time, rather than just burning people alive in Caracas, the opposition started their stunt at the Colombian border.

The intent of this stunt was to highlight how the actual Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro refuses to let in “aid” from the United States. This is the same type of “aid” from the earlier stunt by the Trump regime that even the Red Cross and UN have called bullshit.

The plan this weekend was to give Maduro and ultimatum: either let in the aid, or the US will do something; although it’s still not clear what with even the bloated tumor Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has said he’s not interested in any military operations launched from his country.

We all know that this coup attempt by the US and Guaidó failed because we all saw the anti-Maduro thugs on the Colombia-Venezuela border throw a tantrum when they realized their error. Once these CIA stooges realized the trucks of aid weren’t crossing the border they just decided to burn them and blame it on Maduro (which has also failed).

But why did it fail?

In the weeks leading up to the latest coup, multiple US officials spoke publicly (and privately) to members of the Venezuelan military urging them to turn on the Bolivarian Revolution. For the sake of simplifying this argument, let’s focus in particular on the promises made by the Vice President of the US, Mike Pence.

In his pre-coup address to the Venezuelan people, Pence practically begged the military to help the US overthrow – yet another – elected Latin American government. Pence and others such as Mike Pompeo even went so far as to promise any soldiers who defected a chance to ‘live in peace’ after Washington destroys their country if they would just let all the arms disguised as aid enter.

So why didn’t the soldiers do it?

Because, as I’ve already said, they’re not f*cking stupid. The Bolivarian Revolution was built from the ground up when the people of Venezuela (and Latin America as a whole), tired of the neoliberalism enforced by Washington since the 1970s and 80s rose up. In Venezuela, this came exactly 30 years ago with the riots know and the Caracazo.

Prior to the Caracazo, as many libertarian dumbasses will tell you, Venezuela was, in fact, one of the richest countries on the continent but what the free marketeers leave out is that they had massive amounts of poverty and an immoral wealth gap between the richest and poorest citizens. This poverty, the result of neoliberal privatization schemes, set off a chain of events that later helped spawn Venezuela’s communes and a young military leader who attempted to overthrow the crooked puppet state, Hugo Chavez.

The problem for Pence, Pompeo, Trump, Bolton, Abrams and the lot is that this military leader brought the military up with him as a liberatory force. On top of this, not only did Chávez secure the military’s loyalty because he was a military man himself, but also because, they too, had had enough domination from Wall Street.

This military, which is the same one helping Maduro protect Venezuela remembers this but they also remember other parts of history.

Another big reason the military likely won’t turn is that they know people like Pence are lying when they say anyone who supports Maduro, socialism, or even some forms of liberal democracy will never be allowed to live in peace if the US has their way.

Again, the reason they know this to be true is that they know revolutionary history. The Bolivarian military remembers what happened to other socialist movements around Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia once a US-backed anti-communist was in power. A lot of this history they know is still applicable since much of it was also perpetrated by people like Bolton and Abrams in their previous positions.

The Venezuelan military remembers things like Salvador Allende being fairly elected and then overthrown, or the Contras mass murdering civilians. They know that this type of behavior doesn’t end when the US wins. They know Pinochet threw labor leaders, socialists, and anyone who opposed his trash neoliberalism from helicopters after taking power. They know the Contras and other death squads were bayoneting toddlers to prove a point to scared farmers, often while not even actually engaging whatever force they were ostensibly fighting even a single time.

The Bolivarian Revolution and the “Pink Tide” that swept Latin America in the early 2000s were a response to all of this. The Venezuelan military knows there is no peace as long as there is ANY resistance to US financial tyranny. The US, all their intelligence agencies and their various stooges around the continent may have won some fights in countries like Brazil but this won’t be as easy on Venezuela. The Venezuelan military is part of the Bolivarian revolution, they will not be separated, and like the many of the average Venezuelans opposing US intervention, they know what comes next if Washington gets their way.


Nasser Kandil: Sisi, Essebisi and Borotherhood

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Nobody can deny the heart-rending story of Muhammad Bu’azeezi, the Tunisian young man, who, despite his secondary school education, was not able to find a job in his society and was relegated to peddling vegetables to support himself and his family.


Even his effort to hawk sundries met with failure when a Tunisian policewoman scuppered his enterprise with legalistic impediments that evolved into crass insult, a spit in the face and a last curse upon the memory of his father.


Efforts to immediately obtain redress were rebuffed by an insensate bureaucracy.  He burned himself to death in a public act that enraged the people of this North African country and brought about the much-ballyhooed Arab Spring.


I grew up in the United States during the middle Fifties onwards.  My father and mother sent me back to the Old Country every summer to spend time with relatives and to maintain my facility with the Arabic language.


During this time, the memory of Palestine was more than fresh – it was a scalding vision of British tyranny and an indictment of the Arab governments which fumbled their way into abject defeat at the hands of Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe who were backed by one of the world’s most sophisticated networks of disinformation known up to that time.


The propaganda machine that was to kite the libelous slogan, “Give the land without a people to the people without a land”, was a minor intimation of what was to come when the Western powers and the pre-Iron Age troglodytes of Arabia combined to destroy the Syrian Arab Republic. My father was an ardent nationalist and adored Jamaal ‘Abdul-Naasser, the Egyptian leader who accidentally donned the cloak of Pan-Arabism and found it to his liking.




All of us repeated the same mantra: “If the Arabs could only rid themselves of their tyrannical leaders and unify their ranks, the Zionist Entity would cease to exist”.  Nasser was the man who was going to galvanize Arab societies and break the back of imperialist schemes to keep the Arabs as backward as they obviously were.  The Egyptian leader was tall and handsome with the demeanor of the simple man speaking in an unadorned style.


But, Nasser failed miserably. The tyrannical leaders, on the other hand, succeeded in not only delivering a heart attack to him, but also in keeping the Arabs locked somewhere between the Stone Age and the Ice Age.


Enter the Arab Spring


No one could have predicted Bu’azzeezi’s act of self-immolation.  But, there were parties who had planned for the eventuality of an Arab popular outburst that would rock the foundations of their corrupt governments.


There were plans hatched since at least 2007 by the CIA, MI6, Mossad and the Saudi/Qatari Perso-phobes to expel the Ba’ath Party from Syria in as ignominious a manner as that self-same process in Saddam’s Iraq.


It had to wait, however, for the right moment when the gaskets, corks and stoppers were compromised by the pressure of demoniacal forces bursting out like a giant volcanic eruption, spewing fire that would sweep away every vestige of Arab nationalism, leaving the way open for a Dark Age, an Arab Winter of obsequious altar boys prone to every fetish nestled in the folds of the deviant Wahhabist brain.

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Zaynul-‘Aabideen Bin ‘Ali, Tunisia’s former president-for-life,  a favorite of the French colonial regime in Paris, was ousted through self-exile.  He, like Idi Amin, was welcomed in Saudi Arabia, which at the time had established itself as the Club Med for despised autocratic presidents, traitors and avowed cannibals.

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His departure was met with jubilation in the streets of Tunisia.  Muhammad Bu-‘Azeezi’s slow, agonizing death had begun to deliver on its promise – it was like a Celtic rite of Spring or a fertility sacrifice – the burning wicker man to end the drought and bring forth the abundance of the earth.  As of today, the Tunisians are fortunate they have not started to feed off one another.


Mua’mmar Qadhdhaafi

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The Libyan supremo, Pontifex Maximus and Messiah, did not have the opportunity to retire in Saudi Arabia where he would have been beheaded anyways.  He was the second casualty of the misnamed Arab Spring.


His death at the hands of a sociopathic ape-adolescent wielding the leader’s personal pistol followed by a post-mortem act of sodomy were repugnant acts no doubt celebrated in Washington D.C. by the Neo-Con flophouse proprietors in an animistic act of self-celebration worthy of their Nazi progenitors.


Libya, stands today for the proposition that the British and French, when bound together by a common purpose, can only engender chaos, at best, and the Void, at worst.  Libya is a monumental catastrophe nobody can treat.  It is a suppurating chancre promising blindness and an horrible death.


Husni Mubaarak

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The long-serving Pharoah of Egypt, was probably flummoxed by the protests to end his reign during which he and his sons amassed a significant fortune.


Like the Tunisian and Libyan leaders, he too had sons ready to step in and continue the dynastic rule over his largely proletarian peoples who subsisted on fava beans, affordable hashish and the immortal, but false, Egyptian motto: “Egypt is the Mother of the Universe”.


Now too old to matter, and on the brink of a peaceful departure into the realms ruled by Osiris, he is preparing for the ultimate kiss-off to his beloved people: a pardon from President Al-Sisi and a probable hospice in Saudi Arabia where he can shrivel up, like a mummy, in the dry air of the pitilessly desiccating sands of Arabia. In truth, and I don’t say this in order to minimize Bu ‘Azeezi’s suffering or the reasons for his private auto da fe, his death has come to mean nothing more than failure – more failure for the Arab people.

Instead of being the start of a movement to bring Arabs together, it has highlighted the reasons why they cannot.  It has furthermore emblazoned the role of former imperialist powers and the servitude the Arabs were programmed to relive while under their tutelage.


That is, until the imperialist powers came up against the Ba’ath Party of Syria and President Assad!

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 It was the chance of a lifetime….a lifetime spread over geological eons of time.  Finally, with Ben-Ali, Qaddafi and Mubarak gone, Assad would fall also, and so, with that, all the planning in Tehran for the Shi’i Arc across the Fertile Crescent, which,  like a Sword of Damocles, pendulously swung over the offered necks of the European Jews in order to finally end the charade and put to death the mythology of a God who metes out real estate lots like the president of Century 21.


All the ducks were in a row:  the trained agents provacateurs, a crackpot American ambassador willing to travel around Syrian cities to motivate traitors and anti-minoritarian activists, the propaganda factories to illustrate how juvenile delinquents in Der’ah could become heroes of the revolution, Saudi and Qatari money spent on arms to challenge the power of the Ba’ath Party and its huge ideological army.


It was all there.  How could it fail?  It’s NATO, right? The Arab Spring was exposed as a canard after Tunisia, Egypt and Libya fell into a doldrum of Islamist mismanagement followed by a riotous plunge into the unknown.  While some Syrians took the bait, most wanted to wait and see.  Syrians, more than any other people, know a lot about their own country and how it’s administered.


Syrians know it isn’t easy to dislodge the Ba’ath, especially when there are over 100,00 members!  All throughout the tissue of the Syrian state is the presence of an arrogant and proud Arab nationalism that sniffs out imperialist plots and works to unravel them.


The symbols of fire and ice, used so much in this article, are forces of nature that have come up against the Wall of Assad.  Like the Great Wall of China or Hadrian’s, it will stand the test of time.


NATO and its simian allies in Arabia will beat their collective heads against this wall, which, unlike Herod’s in occupied Jerusalem, is a real wall, in a real place and with a real purpose; where the promise of Arab unity still lives and whose glowering, terrifying eyes beam down on the hapless invaders raining annihilation, Greek Fire and Hell’s Ice, upon them.

– Ziad Amin Abu Fadel, Esq

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عبد الفتاح مورو لموقع المنار: لا نستبعد وقوع السيناريو المصري في تونس 1/2

عبد الفتاح موروالشيخ عبدالفتاح مورو نائب رئيس حركة النهضة الاسلامية التي تقود الائتلاف الحاكم في تونس الى جانب حزبي المؤتمر من أجل الجمهورية والتكتل، وهو من أشهر الدعاة الاسلاميين في تونس ومؤسسي حركة الاتجاه الاسلامي ،حركة النهضة في ما بعد، علَّق عضويته في الحركة بعد ملاحقته من قبل نظام الرئيس المخلوع زين العابدين بن علي أوائل التسعينات ، وعاد إليها في تموز/ يوليو الماضي. تعرض الشيخ مورو الى اعتداءات لفظية وجسدية من قبل “متشددين” على خلفية مواقفه الرافضة للتكفير والتعصب والتي تنتقد أداء حركة النهضة ورئيسها راشد الغنوشي في أكثر من مناسبة.
اليوم يتحدث عبدالفتاح مورو في حوار حصري مع موقع قناة المنار عن خلافاته داخل الحركة، يعرج على أهم قضايا المنطقة.. يتناول ما جرى في مصر، يفنده ولا يستبعد تكرر السيناريو المصري في تونس.. ويتحدث عن أسباب تلويحه بالاستقالة من حركة النهضة، ويدافع عنها في بعض ما وجه إليها من انتقادات، يفسّر ما عناه رئيس النهضة راشد الغنوشي في وصف التكفيرين بأنهم “خوارج العصر” واصفاً اياهم بالفقاقيع.. منتقداً تراخي أهل العلم في مواجهة هؤلاء.
كلام الشيخ مورو ينشره موقع المنار في الجزء الأول من المقابلة التي أُجريت معه.
أستاذ عبدالفتاح مورو ما تعليقكم على ما وقع في مصر؟
ما حصل في مصر هو نتاج لعدم تواجد أرضية وفاق بين القوى السياسية في مصر، وفي الحقيقة مصر وتونس دخلا على  تخلف اقتصادي وتدهور اجتماعي  ومشاكل سياسية، وأعتقد أن انعدام تجربة السياسيين في تونس ومصر ما بعد الثورة جعلتهم يَعِدُون بالكثير، ولم يَتفطنوا بأن الانجاز لن يكون على مستوى الوعد..
إن السياسيين في مصر مثلا لم يصدقوا مع الشعب، وأخفوا عنه المخاطر التي تنتظره، وهم بالتالي جعلوا الناس في مصر يحتشدون وينقسم المجتمع المصري الى قسمين اثنين، واخشى ما أخشاه ان تنتقل العدوى الى بلاد الربيع العربي ومن بينهم تونس. تونس اليوم تتهيأ لأن يكون فيها اشكال من هذه الاشكالات، سببه التدافع بين السلطة والمعارضة في الاشهر الأخيرة. وكنا نتوقع أن يقع تنازل من الطرفين، لكن يبدو أن هذا الوفاق لن يحصل، لذلك أخشى من انتقال العدوى الى بلدنا، وتعطل بالتالي انجازات الثورة.
ألم تقوموا باتصالات ومشاورات مع حزب الحرية والعدالة قبل اعلان المؤسسة العسكرية بيان خارطة الطريق؟
لم نتعدَ مرحلة معرفة الواقع واستطلاعه ، ولم نتشاور معهم لنهيئ استراتيجية مشتركة او طريقة.  الاحداث تسارعت، والأمر جعلنا لا نقدر على التشاور مع جماعة الاخوان المسلمين في مصر. ربما توجه بعضنا الى مصر لمعرفة الوضع هناك،  لكن لم يتعدَ ذلك حدود الاستطلاع.
لوحتم شيخ مورو في أكثر من مناسبة بالاستقالة من حركة النهضة نظرا لاختلافكم في قضايا عديدة مع رئيس الحركة راشد الغنوشي. فهل مازلت مصراً على الاستقالة؟
أنا أمثل نفسي اليوم في الحركة بالرجل الذي يسكن بيتاً أبوابه موصدة بالكامل، وسينقطع عنه الاوكسجين، طبعاً سيبحث عن النوافذ لكي يخرج، ولكن إذا كانت النوافذ هي أيضاً موصدة بشكل يمتنع عليه فتحها، فإنه سيخرج منها ليتنفس هواءً نقياً، لكن هذا لا يعني أني وصلت الى القناعة بالخروج نهائيا من الحركة.
يكثر الحديث أن من بين أسباب الخلاف هو تعرضك للتعنيف من قبل بعض الجماعات المتشددة وتكفيرك دون أن يصدر دعم كبير من قيادات حركة النهضة لشخصك؟
نعم، هذا من بين أهم الأسباب.
ما تعليقكم على الجماعات المتحصنة في جبل الشعانبي بالوسط التونسي، قلتم أنهم من أصحاب الفكر التكفيري المنغلق، وها قد بدؤوا في اعلان ولائهم لأجندات غير وطنية ومواجهتهم لقوات الجيش والأمن التونسيين؟
نعم وأنا أؤكد ذلك، هم يدعون أنهم من الجماعات السلفية، وأنا أنفي عنهم هذه الصفة. يبدو أن بعض شبابنا اتحفوننا بتبني قضايا الماضي التي اختلف حولها الكلاميون في القرن الثاني والثالث هجري.. يستقدمونها من التاريخ، ويريدون طرحها مجدداً على النقاش بيننا، وكأنهم لا يعلمون ان المسلمين قد اصطفوا منذ ذلك الوقت، وكل أخذ موقفه، وأن هذه القضايا لا يمكن استعاداتها واعادة الخلاف حولها.
هذه قضايا فكرية كلامية وقع البت فيها، وكل أخذ موقفه، وعلى الذي يريد أن يتبع منهجا من المناهج فله ذلك دون أن يطرح القضية من جديد ويعيد تصنيف المسلمين الى مسلمين وكفار والى مسلمين ومبتدعين وسنة وشيعة، وكأن الاسلام نزل اليوم، وكأن النصوص مازالت اليوم، هذا في الحقيقة اذكاء للخلاف بين المسلمين بقضايا تاريخية تهم اناسا ولوا وانقضوا، وليس من العقل والرجحان الرأي ان نعيد طرحها اليوم..
خرج زعيم حزب النهضة التونسي ليصف “السلفيين الجهاديين” بـ “خوارج العصر”.. ماذا كان يعني الأستاذ راشد الغنوشي بهذا التوصيف؟
كان يعني أن الامة أصيبت بأنفار متشددين كانوا خوارج، خرجوا عن طاعة الامير ثم خرجوا عن الصف، واتهموا غيرهم بالكفر، وليس لديهم دليل على ذلك او مبرر لما يفعلونه.
هؤلاء يعلمون أن الحركة النهضة لو لم تقف للدفاع عن المشروع الاسلامي لما وجدوا الحرية التي يتنعمون بها الآن وهم مطلقو الأيادي. يقولون ما يشاؤون دون قيود، والقانون الذي يحاسب التَهَكُم على الاخرين لا يحاسبهم مع ذلك يسبون حركة النهضة، هؤلاء سيدركون لو اُغلق باب التجربة الانتقالية أي منقلب سينقلبون.
اليوم يستسهل التكفيريون رمي كل من يختلف معهم بالكفر ليُهدر دمه.. وتغص مواقع الانترنت بمشاهد قطع رؤوس بشر بنداء “الله أكبر”، ولطالما حذرتم شخصياً من الانجرار خلف هذه الظاهرة. لماذا لا نسمع استنكارات ، ولا نتلمس مواقف جدية من قبل علماء الدين؟
انا عجبت لشدة الفاسق وجَلَدِه، وضعف المؤمن ووهنه. أصحاب العلم منطوون على أنفسهم ولا يجهرون بالحقيقة، وأهل الافكار الزائفة هم الذين تجد عندهم الجلد والاصرار على خدمة قضيتهم. اليوم نحتاج الى علم صحيح يبث في صدور الرجال الى افهام الناس حقيقة الدين، ورد ذلك الى أصوله من الكتاب والسنة، وتقديمه بالنموذج الذي تقدم به الأولون منذ فجر الاسلام. وهؤلاء الشباب هم مجرد فقاقيع، وسيحصدون ما يفعلون خيبات، لانهم يقتلون الناس ويستبيحون دماء الابرياء، وسيدركون أن سبيلهم هو سبيل خطأ، وأنها لا توصل الى أي منفذ.
* مراسل قناة المنار في تونس.

The Splintered History of the Tunisian Left

A protester gestures to police during a demonstration near the Interior Ministry in Tunis on 8 February 2013. Tens of thousands of mourners chanted anti-Islamist slogans on Friday at the Tunis funeral of secular opposition leader Chokri Belaid. (Photo: Zoubeir Souissi – Reuters)
Published Saturday, February 9, 2013
The assassination of Chokri Belaid, a leader of Tunisia’s leftist Movement of Patriotic Democrats (MPD), raises many questions about not just Belaid’s party, but the Tunisian left as a whole.

The roots of the Tunisian leftist movement in all its variations go back to the Tunisian Communist Party, founded by the French in 1920.

With independence, the faction was gradually transformed into a Tunisian party, but despite its old roots, “the party did not spread in society for two central reasons,” according to Abdul-Jalil Bouqara, a historian specializing in the Tunisian left.

“The first was its position on independence following World War II. It rejected calls for independence, adopting the idea of coalition and unity between Tunisia and France under the leadership of the French Communist Party,” Bouqara explained. “This stance led Tunisians to abandon the party.”

“The second reason was its agreement on the partition of Palestine following the creation of the state of Israel,” he continued.

Despite attempts in the 1950s to “Tunisify” the party and adopt independence, it remained isolated until the beginning of the 1960s. Back then, a group of Tunisian students decided to establish a new leftist movement in France named “Afaq,” or “Prospects,” which adopted socialism and democracy.
In 1967, the new movement began aligning with the Maoist tradition, which was gaining ground worldwide. This new direction caused a split inside Afaq, prompting the creation of a splinter group called the “Patriotic Democrats,” which is where Belaid got his start.

Its activities were launched with the 1969 publication of al-Shola, or The Flame. One of its key figures in France and founder was Khaled al-Faleh.

Afaq’s leadership branded the group Stalinist, but this was a label that the Patriotic Democrats did not try to hide. Despite its leanings, the group called for abandoning socialism to concentrate on what it called back then, resistance against imperialist hegemony over Tunisia and the need for agrarian reform, due to MPD’s belief that a feudal class still owned most of the land.
The current became popular with students and began spreading in the Tunisian university scene. It was known for its radical positions and suffered from various splits. It ended up as a number of small groups whose influence was limited to some colleges and trade unions, especially teacher’s associations.

Attempts at Unification

When former Tunisian president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fled the country on 14 January 2011, several leftist parties began to practice their work in the open after years spent underground.

The most important of these groups was the Workers Party, which inherited the Afaq movement; its splinter, the Socialist Party; Belaid’s MPD who had led the Patriotic Democratic Current in universities; the Party for Patriotic Democratic Action; the New Left Party; the Progressive Struggle Party; the Radical Left Current (Trotskyist); and the Patriotic Democratic Party.

Despite this multitude of leftist groups, the left could only reap 5 of the 217 seats in the post-Ben Ali parliamentary elections.

The meager results in the elections prompted Belaid to commit to the unification of the Tunisian left, especially the patriotic-democratic family. Thus came Belaid’s initiative to unite the patriotic democrats in the Unified Democratic Nationalist Party.

The failure of this initiative convinced Belaid of the need to expand it to include all leftists, including the heirs of Afaq, namely the Workers Party, which was formerly accused by the Patriotic Democrats of being reformist.

This led to the Popular Front, which even included the Baath party’s two factions, the Syrian Baath and the Iraqi Baath.

Today, after the assassination of Belaid, the Tunisian left lost a leader who had resolutely strived to unite it, but the bullets put an end to his dreams.

This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

 Al-Nahda calls for rally after Tunisian opposition figure’s funeral

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Fatwa in Egypt Permits Killing Morsi Opponents


Saad al-Katatni, head of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, talks during a news conference next to former Egyptian foreign minister Amr Moussa (L) and Egyptian liberal politician Mohamed ElBaradei (R) after a meeting in Cairo, Jan. 31, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih)

By: Mohammad Hisham Abeih Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon).

اقرا المقال الأصلي باللغة العربية
The assassination of prominent Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid sent ripples across Egypt. That owes partly to the similar political circumstances in both countries, where Islamists are the ruling majority, but also because the assassination coincided with the issuance of a fatwa by an Al-Azhar cleric sanctioning the killing of National Salvation Front members who oppose the Muslim Brotherhood regime. Prominent among these are Constitution Party leader Mohamed ElBaradei, Popular Current Party head Hamdeen Sabahi and National Congress Party head Amr Moussa.

The cleric who issued the fatwa was Mahmoud Shaaban, who received a doctorate degree from the Faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies. One of the most famous and controversial television preachers, he appears on the Salafist Al-Hafez satellite channel, which has become very popular over the past year. Shaaban uses frequent obscenities when he speaks about opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

Shaaban said in his fatwa that “what many do not know is that the National Salvation Front and its leadership, which is obviously only seeking power, must be killed according to the law of God.” He cited a hadith which says, “If a man takes an oath of allegiance to a leader, and puts his hand on his hand and does it with the sincerity of his heart, he should obey him as much as possible. If another man comes and contests him, then behead the other one.” He asked the opinion of senior scholars in Al-Azhar about Morsi’s opponents. This appeared to incite killing opponents of the regime.

All parties dissociated themselves from Shaaban’s fatwa. The presidency issued a statement saying that “the promotion and instigation of political violence by some is foreign to Egypt, as is sanctioning killing because of political differences by others who claim to speak in the name of religion. This is terrorism.” The statement added that the presidency “stresses its absolute rejection of hate speech falsely cloaked by religion.”

Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil said that he is examining ways to bring legal action against anyone who issues or promotes calls for fatwas that incite violence. He condemned “extremist” fatwas.

Members of the Islamic Studies Academy met yesterday [Feb. 7] with Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, who issued a statement rejecting the fatwa. He stressed his rejection of what he described as the false and incorrect understanding and use of religious texts. The academy warned that such views open the doors to sedition, chaos, killing and bloodshed. He stated that both killers and those who incite them are accomplices in sin and punishment, in this world and the afterworld. The Islamic Studies Academy urged Egyptians not to listen to such aberrant views, which are rejected by reason.
The al-Nour Party also denounced the fatwa. The party’s spokesperson, Nader Bakkar, demanded that Al-Azhar take a decisive stand against the issuer of the fatwa.

The interior ministry deemed the fatwa a public threat. Its spokesman said yesterday that Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim had ordered security chiefs to intensify patrols and provide 24-hour surveillance around the houses of opposition political figures ElBaradei and Sabahi.

ElBaradei tweeted, “When clerics issue a fatwa sanctioning killing in the name of religion and are not arrested, then bid farewell to the regime and its state.” He added, “How many crimes are being committed in the name of Islam?”

Sabahi chose to respond to the fatwa by participating in demonstrations scheduled to start today against the Brotherhood’s rule, dubbed by the organizers as the “Friday of Dignity.”

For her part, Samar Foda — the daughter of prominent thinker Faraj Foda, who was assassinated in 1992 by Islamic groups at the height of takfiri activity — warned ElBaradei and Sabahi of assassination after the fatwa was issued. She wrote on Facebook: “ElBaradei and Hamdeen: They killed my father after sanctioning his blood through a fatwa. Do not underestimate what is happening and what they are saying. They are sick. They believe that they are protecting Islam.”

Ironically, Abboud al-Zumar — the leader in the Gamaa Islamiya and a former army officer implicated in the murder of former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat — rejected the fatwa, saying that “it is not acceptable to deal with political opponents with arms. This is unacceptable. Whoever resorts to assassination is using weak pretense.”

Shaaban, the issuer of the “deadly fatwa,” did not deny his statements. However, he added that he did not declare the National Salvation Front as infidels, but only called on the judiciary and ruler to apply the Prophet’s hadith. He expressed his willingness to appear before the public prosecutor for investigation. The public prosecutor quickly issued a decision referring a notice submitted by a lawyer to the Supreme State Security Prosecution that accused Shaaban of inciting the killing of opposition figures, which is a routine procedure usually taken by the Attorney General for all notices.
It is the second time a cleric from the Al-Hafez satellite channel has been referred to court. Abdullah Badr was sentenced to one year in prison and a 20,000 pound [$3,000] fine on charges of slandering the artist Elham Shahin. In the same case, a court ordered the suspension of the channel for 30 days. However, the TV owners appealed the decision and were able to continue broadcasting.

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Tunisian opposition leader murdered, sparks nationwide protests

A picture taken on 29 December 2010 shows Tunisian lawyer and human rights activist Choukri Belaid speaking as he attends a meeting along with other lawyers in Tunis to express their solidarity with the residents of Sidi Bouzid. Belaid, a senior leader in Tunisia’s left-leaning opposition Democratic Patriots party, was shot dead on 6 February 2013 in the morning, his brother told AFP. AFP PHOTO/FETHI BELAID
Published Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Updated 4:12pm: The murder of Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid Wednesday morning sparked nationwide protests.

Belaid was shot dead a day after he had said on Tunisian Nessma TV that the leading Islamist party Ennahda had “given the green light for political assassinations.”

Eight thousand protesters demonstrated outside the interior ministry in central Tunis on Wednesday chanting for the government to fall and for a second revolution.

Police were said to be firing warning shots and tear gas at demonstrators.
Protesters also stormed the Ennahda headquarters in Sidi Bouzid where 4,000 protesters were said to have gathered.
Thousands more demonstrated in cities including Mahdia and Sousse and protesters reportedly set fire to Ennahda offices in Monastir, a city on the central coast of Tunisia.
Belaid, a left-leaning politician and a harsh critic of the Tunisian government, was shot dead, with four bullets to his head and his chest, Wednesday morning near his car as he left his home in Tunis, his family said.

The video shows the blood stained street next to his car as the ambulances close the doors behind the politician.

“My brother was assassinated. I am desperate and depressed,” Abdelmajid Belaid, brother of the dead leader, told AFP.

“I accuse … [Ennahda leader] Rached Ghannouchi of assassinating my brother,” he said.
Ennahda is an Islamist party currently leading the Tunisian government in a coalition with two other parties.

Belaid was seen as the party’s top critic.

Ghannouchi on Wednesday rejected the accusation and denounced the murder of the secular opposition leader, saying the killers wanted a “bloodbath” in Tunisia.

“They want a bloodbath but they won’t succeed” in creating one, Ghannouchi, whose party has been blamed for the murder, told AFP.

“We can only condemn this cowardly act, which is aimed at (undermining) the revolution and the stability of Tunisia,” he added.

Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali denounced Wednesday the murder of Belaid as an “act of terrorism” against Tunisia.

“This is a criminal act, an act of terrorism not only against Belaid but against the whole of Tunisia,” Jebali from the ruling Islamist Ennahda party told FM Radio Mosaique, promising to pursue all efforts to “immediately” arrest the murderer.

Tunisia President Moncef Marzouki denounced “the odious assassination” of his friend and opposition leader Chokri Belaid in a speech in front of Europe’s politicians Wednesday.

“This odious assassination of a political leader who I knew well and who was my friend … is a threat, it is a letter sent that will not be received.”

“We refuse this message and we will continue to unmask the enemies of the revolution,” he said though Tunisia’s path was “paved with hurdles,” including “orchestrated verbal violence, burnt preachers” and the murder of Belaid.

Chokri Belaid was one of the top six “worldwide trending topics” on Twitter at the time of the writing of this article.
Many are calling this the first political assassination since the revolution.
Belaid’s party was part of a coalition of parties which has emerged in opposition to the Tunisia government.

The country is witnessing a rise in violence fed by political and social discontent more than two years after the toppling of the former dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

Several opposition parties and trade unions have accused the pro-Islamists of orchestrating clashes or attacks against them.
( Al-Akhbar, AFP)

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