Thursday, March 31, 2011

Open questions

I have been busy writing a book about Arabic and Islamic culture. I wrote four out of te chapters so almost there. I do not have a book deal yet. However, I have promising prospects. I will have a section for open questions in my book.
If you have any question feel free to send me a message or add a comment.
I want this book to be as comprehensive as possible so ask away.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Did Assad lose his forest?

I need to explain the title for non Arabic speakers readers, Assad means lion in Arabic. On Friday, I was talking to a friend and he said that even as a lion you have to play well with all the animals in the forest. I answered: “Or eat them.” Bashar Assad did a little of both. He used his youthful image (45 years old) to play the reformer who would bring change. Of course, he was aiming at gaining the trust of the youth. He also used his family members and allies to spread corruption supported by his secret police hand.

On March 18, I wrote a blog wondering why Syrians are not up in the streets. I did not have a political crystal ball. It was the issue on my mind since January 25 the day of Anger in Egypt.  As I heard any comment about Egypt, I answered: "Well Syrians have to revolt first". My Syrians friends were assuring me that they love him. That reminds me, maybe I need to have tea and cake and invite them over. Syria did amend its constitution to elect Young Assad when his father died. That makes Assad the only president in history who used democracy to inherit his presidency.

If there is a competition in Moral Decay and oppression, Assad wins. Not only did the regime spread terror in the heart of its people, the Assad’s regime also used its invisible, yet visible hand in Lebanon. How can we forget the assassination of Hariri? I am sure that the people of Lebanon are happy to hear the news in Syria. Maybe Lebanese will finally get their freedom from any Syrian influence.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Selective Containment in Libya is more of a triage.

The international community is at a crossroad in Libya. Two options emerge try to take out the snake head or simply protect the opposition. I am really not sure what limited involvement means?  limited in political terms is a relative and vague adjective. Time is all what Qaddafi needs and want. He will do what a good Arab does barter his way back to full power. Play off tribes against each other and divide Libya. And we all know too well what chaos breeds?

 My absolute favorite political expression is "Selective containment" by the British Prime Minister Cameron. I would rather Cameron choose the word Triage. “Ladies and gentlemen we are going to triage the situation in Libya.”

What would you do if you hire a termite company and the estimate had the title “Selective Containment”? Better yet, if you get diagnosed with cancer ( God Forbids)then an alternative medicine doctor tells you instead of removing the cancer before it spreads, we decided to do a “Selective containment”? Would you get a second opinion, I would…

The situation in Libya is a Gordian knot. Did history teach us how to solve a Gordian knot situation?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why is Sayyid Qutb cited by extremists?

I decided to read sayyid Qutb books and decide for myself. Find out what is the attraction to his writings. I decided to read it and share the information with my blog readers. I started yesterday with a book called “This is the religion”
I am on page 11 of 165 pages. I do not know if I can make it to the end of one book. Maybe my goal was a little ambitious.
Here is the translation of the paragraph which stopped me: “No one can put a manhaj (Way of life) for people. Only God put the rules for people to live by and any groups of people putting their own manhaj are taking a divine right which belongs only to God and therefore are adding a divine aspect to themselves and can’t be Muslims.”

This is why extremists like only sharia because it is divine and not made by humans. I do not believe that our Merciful God would deny us the right to decide for ourselves the rules to live by as long as we do not transgress his limits.

should I continue reading Qutb?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Why is Syria different?

The media has not discussed the situation in Syria at all. I find the story of Syria to be the most interesting one.
Does Syria have the ingredients for a recipe of rebellion? My answer is yes.

1) Media talked about Mubarak and the possibilty of him appointing his son as the driving force behind the opposition. How about a tyrant ( Hafez Asaad) who did just that? Hafez Alssad established his dynasty back in 1970. With the tragic untimely death of his first born, Bashar was his only heir. When Hafez died, Syria amended its consitution to allow the young Bashar to become president.
In other words, it has been a 41 years of the family of Assad rule.
I remember reading that when a tyrant has pictures all over the streets it is a sign of probable demise. Obviously political analysts have not walked in the streets of Syria. Pictures of Bashar are everywhere in Syria.

2) Demographic data shows that there is a youth bulge in Syria as well.

3) There are signs of oppression.The government even controls the internet and blocks websites and we always hear wild stories about the secret police in Syria.

4) Syria similar to Egypt and Tunisia suffers from poverty line and unemployment.

My Syrian friends tell me that Syrians love Bashar and give him credit for modernizing the country. My theory is that Assad built a strong foundation of allies and his army and secret police will back him up.

That is why I find the case of Syria interesting. It has all the ingredients. Yet nothing is cooking...

Saudi's day of rage turns into a day of content

Saudi's social Media called the youth to stand in protest on March 11. Despite all speculations, Saudi did not go. I published my take on Saudi on March 3saying:

I do not think Saudi would stand in the streets unless of course if the streets were air conditioned. It is easier to see angry unemployed youth in hope of better futur go stand in the streets. Why would happily unemployed youth with pockets lined with stipends go against its government?

Some of my American friends were betting me that Saudi will follow the ripples effect. All I have to say is if Islam allowed gambling, I would have made an easy hundred today. This is not an " I told you so blog" well kind of :) Laura I know you are reading my blog

 I would just like to point out that money talks the government threw a package of $36 billion dollars on unemployment benefits, salary increasing, and consumers subsidies. It is not just money it is oil money

Monday, March 14, 2011

Islamic humanitarian work is an oxymoron

Imagine for a minute that the Red Cross decides to help Christians only.  Imagine if all philanthropists decide to help only people who followed their religion, would there be anyone helping in Iraq or Afghanistan?   
Humanitarian means for all humans and not Muslims only. This rule of giving charity only to Muslims, has to be changed to align it with the spirit of Islam. If our prophet Mohammad ( May peace be upon him) did not receive help from the Christian king Najashy what would have happened to early Muslims?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My comment on a Huffington post story

Here is the link to the story itself

As a moderate Muslim, I am happy for Florida and wish more states to follow. I speak from the position of knowing Sharia and not wanting to see any part of it used in court in the United States. Please do not take it as Islamphobi­c, pointing fingers or whatever else. Please take it for what it is Sharia law is not compatible with human rights and our constituti­on.

To be an American you swear to abide by the constituti­on and only the constituti­on. Therefore no American Muslim should seek Sharia law anyway. That should invalidate and revoke his or her citizenshi­p because he or she would have lied under oath.

Moderate Muslims should update Sharia and reform it for Muslim countries. However, since it is viewed as divine it has not been updated. It is a long road to update Sharia to be suitable for the 21 century.

Dreams and shadows by Robin Wright, a book I recommend

Why I recommend Dreams and shadows? First, I am NOT affiliated with it. The book talks about the future of the Middle East. It was published in 2008. I knew that I had in my garage somewhere. I recalled taking notes and highlighting things I liked. I only had the memory of reading it. After two days of looking, I found it.

What a gem of a book ! Robin wright traveled accross the Middle East interviewing young activists in 2005 and 2006. She reported young suppressed voices. Six years later, she must be very proud of them.
The book does not offer the depth of analysis known in Wright's previous books. Rather than giving her views, she gave a long reportage. Re-reading this book in light of current events in the Middle East is a whole new experience.

I will share my thoughts on the different parts of the book as I re-read the chapters. It is a thought provoking book. I am also interested in any discussion  or comments readers want to start after reading the book.  The book was reprinted in paperback in 2009 and easily available on Amazon.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Qaddafi offered to leave

Everything in Arabic culture is bargain bargain and bargain. Everyone screamed Qaddafi needs to be removed. He offered to leave with a condition of guarantee of saftey for himself and his family. Now they refused. It is " an honorable exit" they say. My beloved culture of extreme. They had him for 40 years then now he is not even allowed a safe exit.

Let's wait and see how the bargain ends.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My take on Saudi

I was asked by a friend yesterday:Would Saudi join the popular unrest rebellion trend?
My answer was that I did not see it.

 I do not think Saudi would stand in the streets unless of course if the streets were air conditioned. It is easier to see angry unemployed youth in hope of better futur go stand in the streets. Why would happily unemployed youth with pockets lined with stipends go against its government?

The King of Saudi is using Fabian Tactics and responding here and there to simpler demands. Again he knows that if his people felt strongly about it, they would hire some poor philippinos to stand in the streets for them.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sharing info about an interesting book

The book was published in 1999.  It was adopted by Al Qaida as part of their principle belief system. I believe that reading this book will shed a different light on current events. I might actually translate parts of it if I can find time to do it. Too much to do and very little time...