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The Right of the People to be Secure in their Persons, Houses, Papers, and Effects,
Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures,
Shall Not Be Violated

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Jester may have ID'd the third one


This is a must read post! Click the link.

By the time I got to the bottom, I had goosebumps.

Thank you anonymous!
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Bill O’Reilly to Glenn Beck: Saudi National Suspect a Member of Saudi Royal Family


Watch at 2:58, where Bill O'Reilly admits who the Saudi Student is, and mumbles it, as if to say, "I'm not supposed to be telling you this, but I'm too pissed not to."

LET'S REMEMBER, WE'RE TALKING HERE ABOUT A MEMBER OF THE SAUDI FAMILY WHO WAS LIVING IN THE US IN A RAT-INFESTED HELLHOLE IN A BAD NEIGHBORHOOD OUTSIDE OF BOSTON.

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Bill Maher Exposes the Leftist Islamophobia Ruse for Even Leftists to See



From William Sullivan at The American Thinker:

On Friday's Real Time program on HBO, Bill Maher hosted an interview with Brian Levin, the director of the Center for Study of Hate and Extremism.  It became clear within thirty seconds that Levin was not attending the religious parity party he had expected. 
One can understand why Levin might harbor such expectations.  Maher has a pretty apparent disdain for religious adherents of all stripes.  But in that first thirty seconds, Maher spoke, with a pointedly singular focus, of the hypocrisy we witness in such fanatical terrorists as the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston Marathon last week.  "If you read what the older brother wrote on his, uh, on the internet," Maher began, "it says his worldview: Islam.  Personal priorities: career and money.  And we see a lot of this; I mean, the 9/11 hijackers went to strip clubs the night before they got on the plane." 
Two references to notorious acts of Islamic terrorism were enough for Levin.  He interjected by saying that "it's not like people who are Muslims who do wacky things have a monopoly on it.  We have hypocrites across faiths, Jewish, Christian, who say they're out for God and end up doing not-so-nice things."
Before he could even finish this rather boilerplate attempt to draw religious equivalency between the "not-so-nice things" religious people do and acts of murder and terror sanctified by Islamic groups, Maher had written him off, replying, "You know what, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.  That's liberal b------- right there."
Levin, seemingly blindsided, appealed to the fact that Maher's pointing out hypocrisy in all religion is how he makes his living, but Maher refused to relent. 
There's only one faith that kills you, or wants to kill you, if you draw a bad cartoon of the prophet.  There's only one faith that kills you, or wants to kill you, if you renounce the faith.  An ex-Muslim is a very dangerous thing.  Talk to Salman Rushdie after the show about Christian versus Islam.  So I'm just saying, let's keep it real.
This is the moment where Levin's agenda was exposed, and anti-jihadists like Pamela Geller were thoroughly vindicated, even if not explicitly.  "Well," Levin dawdled, "I guess I have a girl for you, Pam Geller, you could maybe meet," in an attempt to be funny.  Maher, confusedly turning to the audience, replied, "Uh, I don't know what that means."
"Well, she's an Islamophobe," Levin said.  There it is.  To those in the in the audience who were paying attention, it became pretty apparent that when presented with these uncomfortable facts by someone who cannot readily be denounced as a hateful Islamophobe, the Islamic apologist can do nothing more than reach into his Islamophobia rolodex for an example to get his point across.  And in this case, that example is a figure who is possibly obscure to Maher, and entirely abstract to the conversation.
If Maher could have readily recalled exactly who Pamela Geller is and reference her work, he would likely have explained to Levin that juxtaposing Islamists who would bless the murder of apostates with Pamela Geller, who has never advocated that her readers commit murder, is a silly, slanderous thing to do.  But though Maher didn't specifically discuss Geller here, he did vindicate her in terms of the anti-jihadmessage she works to disseminate.  And here's why.
Much of what leaves Bill Maher's mouth after this point encapsulates Geller's message in such a way that it will be understood by an audience that might otherwise write it off if a figure like Geller had said it.  To the progressive audience members who know who Geller is, or maybe have watched the many propaganda charades disguised as documentaries against her, Geller has the letter I branded on her -- so her words would likely be immediately dismissed as hate. 
So Maher gets to say what Geller does and would say, without having Levin immediately dismiss the truth as Islamophobia, which follows:
I am not an Islamophobe, that's wrong.  I am a truth lover. [Approving applause]  All religions are not alike.  As many people have pointed out, The Book of Mormon, did you see the show? [Levin says no, as he's unable to get tickets.] Okay.  Can you imagine if they did The Book of Islam? [Pause.] Could they do that?  There is only one religion that threatens violence and carries it out for things like that.  Could they do The Book of Islam on Broadway?
Levin replied with an unconvincing "Possibly so," looking to quickly change the subject.  But before he could, Maher sardonically demanded, "Tell me what color the sky is in your world."
Visibly flustered, Levin continued, grasping the only arrow left in his quiver.  He suggested that there are 1.4 billion Muslims in the world, and yes, a lot of them are extremists "who would slit your throats," but "there are also folks that are fine, upstanding people."  So he's worried that this national audience might be being exposed to "hatred" of Muslims.  
Unmoved, Maher simply said, "No, you're wrong about that.  And you're wrong about your facts.  Obviously, most Muslim people are not terrorists.  But ask most Muslim people in the world -- if you insult the prophet, do you have what's coming to you?  It's more than just a fringe element."
There it is.  Truth, wrapped with a bow for the leftists who might otherwise reject it, which advances the national dialogue in a positive direction.
There is more to a message than its content -- delivery is essential.  The problem with the debate regarding Islam is that the channels for dialogue, which should be open and honest, are closed and selectively directed by social engineers, like Brian Levin, who value political correctness over truth.  Generally speaking, the right does not believe these social engineers at all, and the left far too blindly accepts their nonsense. 
This is the reason for the profundity I found in the interview with Ruslav Tsarni, the Tsarnaev brothers' Muslim uncle who, convincingly, I believe, denounced armed jihad and expressed a genuine devotion to American values.  Americans are free to view Tsarni's testimony as taqiyya (a religiously sanctified lie to advance Islam, as many Comments on the article apparently believe), but the point is, the message that there are Muslims who abhor Islamic violence and value freedom is much better-received by such an example than being told what to believe by a leftist opinion-maker. 
Likewise, hearing a leftist opponent of religion denounce the notion of religious parity while speaking the truth about Islam's role as a uniquely malignant contributor to global terrorism is much better-received by leftists when heard from Bill Maher than from Pamela Geller, who, in my opinion, has been wrongfully ostracized from the discussion among leftists. 
So, thanks to Bill Maher, the anti-jihadists' message may have found a new audience.  And truth, when allowed to permeate any dialogue, is never a bad thing.

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The Obamacare Hydra: Insurer Wants 25 Percent Premium Increase—but Will Still Lose Money


From Will at THE OTHER NEWS:

The Obamacare Hydra: Insurer Wants 25 Percent Premium Increase—but Will Still Lose Money.(Heritage).
Maryland’s largest individual market insurer, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, has submitted an average proposed rate increase of 25 percent for next year, plainlyciting Obamacare’s new rules as the reason.
But the most telling piece of the story is that it originally wanted a 50 percent increase, as reported by Kaiser Health News. Recognizing that this would make their insurance product too expensive to attract consumers, they instead asked for the 25 percent increase.
But how will they reconcile the difference?
They won’t. CareFirst plans to take a loss next year. “With the new, lower projected premiums, [CEO Chet] Burrell said, “we’re not expecting to make money. We’re expecting to lose money. If we’re going to lose it we’re going to lose it on behalf of subscribers and the community.” (Emphasis added.)
Wow, a 25 percent premium increase will still leave an insurer selling its product at a loss. And while this is what CareFirst has chosen for 2014, surely losses cannot be sustained forever.
But the huge premium increases themselves are no surprise. Insurance actuaries have been warning of big increases since before the law was passed.
To that end, advocates of Obamacare claim that these huge premium increases aren’t that big of a deal, because many consumers will receive government subsidies to help offset the cost. As the Hoover Institution’s Daniel Kessler points out, “This argument is misleading. It fails to consider that the money for the subsidies has to come from somewhere. Although debt-financed transfer payments may make insurance look cheaper, they do not change its true social cost.
Indeed, the true cost of Obamacare’s exchange subsidies will be very high for taxpayers, estimated at over $1.2 trillion over 10 years by the Congressional Budget Office.
With Obamacare taking full effect next year, large premium increases are likely in most states. See what premium increases are projected to be in your state: Obamacare: Projected Premium Increases by State.Hmmmm......Obama: "All the Choices We've Made Have Been the Right Ones".....Makes a nice motto for the Post United States of America, doesn’t it? Read the full story here.

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The Netherlands to Abandon Multiculturalism

From Conservative Papers:


The Netherlands , where six per cent of the population is now Muslim, is scrapping multiculturalism:geert
The Dutch government says it will abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Muslim immigrants create a parallel society within the Netherlands ..
A new integration bill, which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on June 16, reads:
“The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people.
In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role.”
With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society.
The letter continues: “A more obligatory integration is justified because the government also demands that from its own citizens.
It is necessary because otherwise the society gradually grows apart and eventually no one feels at home anymore in the Netherlands ..
The new integration policy will place more demands onimmigrants.
For example, immigrants will be required to learn the Dutch language and the government will take a tougher approach to immigrants who ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law.”
The government will also stop offering special subsidies for Muslim immigrants because, according to Donner;
“It is not the government’s job to integrate immigrants.”
GO READ THE WHOLE THING.
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Russia Arrest 140 Muslims At a Mosque

That's how you do it.

From Breitbart:
Russian police and security agents have detained 140 people at a mosque in Moscow on suspicion of involvement with Islamic extremism. 
A statement from the Federal Security Agency reported by Russian news agencies said among those detained in the Friday action were 30 citizens of unspecified foreign countries. 
The detentions come a week after the two suspects in the fatal Boston Marathon bombing were identified as originating from the Russian region of Chechnya and sympathizing with Islamic extremists. 
There were no immediate reports of charges being filed. The security agency referred The Associated Press to a district office, where the telephone was not answered. 
The reports cited the agency as saying the mosque previously has been visited by people who had been involved in preparing or carrying out terrorist attacks.
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Us

Regina Spektor

They'll name a city after us,
And later say it's all our fault

They'll give us a talking to
They've got years of experience

We're living in a den of thieves
And, it's contagious
It's contagious ...

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Breaking: Federal Investigators Now Believe a Third Terrorist May Have Been Involved in Boston Bombings

Posted by Jim Hoft on Friday, April 26, 2013, 9:56 PM
Megyn Kelly reported Friday that the bombs used in the Boston Marathon attacks had to be detonated via a ‘line of sight’ trigger mechanism. According to federal officials this could mean there was a 3rd bomber or accomplice who may have been involved in the attacks. The range of remote control parts is within at least 250 yards or less. The remote control parts are also NOT a part of Al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine instructions.
Federal investigators now believe a third terrorist could have been involved in the attacks.
Via America Live:

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Why Orthodox Muslims Like to Blow People Up

The more orthodox the Muslim — that is, the more devout, the more committed to the teachings of the Koran and Hadith and the example of Muhammad — the more motivated the Muslim will be to kill non-Muslims. Why?

There are several reasons. The selfish one is because it's the only way to guarantee passage to Paradise. A Muslim can be devout, pray five times a day, make the pilgrimage to Mecca, etc., and still have to face judgment (with a chance of not making it to Paradise). But if he or she dies while killing non-Muslims, there is no judgment. The Muslim who dies in jihad goes straight to Paradise.

Another (less selfish) reason is that any Muslim who dies in jihad gets to intercede with Allah on behalf of 70 of his relatives. That's a big motivation for a would-be Muslim martyr. He will be able to help his mother, father, brothers, etc., get into Paradise. This also at least partly explains the assistance jihadis get from their less-courageous relatives.

The goal of orthodox Islam is to bring the whole world under the rule of the law of Allah, by peaceful means if possible, but by war if necessary. The Islamic system of law is so abhorrent to anyone not raised with it, it has become clear down through the centuries that war is necessary for the goal to be accomplished.

By blowing up civilians, the jihadi has created a double-bind. It is a no-lose situation for an orthodox Muslim — some non-Muslims were killed and that's a good thing, and if the jihadi dies doing it, that's fine too. If the non-Muslims don't do anything in response, it will encourage other Muslims to become jihadis because no consequences followed. If the non-Muslims make a strong response, at least some other Muslims will see this as "war against Islam" and will take up arms to join their brothers in the fight.

With all this in its favor, why not blow people up?
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RIP George


(sorry - I had to remove the previous video because I could not remove the autoplay)

 (WASHINGTON TIMES) April 26, 2013 – A wreath has been laid at the door of George Jones, the hard-times, hard-living Country Western Hall of Fame singer died this morning. Growing up in what is called “The Big Thicket”, an area of East Texas where cotton was grown and whiskey was drunk, Jones grew up in a hardscrabble Depression era life before moving to Beaumont, Texas. 

In Beaumont the young Jones learned to play guitar venturing into the East Texas honky-tonks. Those early days led to a career of country-ballad songs beginning with his first albums releasing in 1957, “Grand Old Opry’s New Star.” The 81-year-old artist’s baritone added a rich velvet layer to songs like the classic for the brokenhearted “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” That song, released in April of 1980, crossed over musical genres due to its universal subject loss and longing. It was Jone’s voice, with its ache and sorrow, however, that spoke to the recently dumped in honkey-tonks and Manhattan bars. 

Read the full story.
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Friday, April 26, 2013


Giuliani: Judge's Abrupt Halt to Terror Questioning 'Mind-Boggling'

Republican outrage is rising over the decision to read teenage Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda rights just as he was beginning to open up about the blast that killed three and injured about 270 people.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said it was “ridiculous” that a judge stopped the questioning while the 19-year-old was talking to FBI agents.

And House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers called the decision to intervene a “God-awful policy.”

Lawmakers are demanding to know why Tsarnaev, who has confessed to being involved in the planting of two bombs near the Boston Marathon finish line, was read his Miranda rights in the middle of his interrogation. 

“That’s just mind-boggling,” Giuliani said in an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren.

“This guy is kind of telling you about how he’s coming to New York and do a bombing, a judge walks in and we cut off the questioning?” Giuliani said. “What are we, crazy?”

Tsarnaev had been under interrogation for about 16 hours in his hospital room before a magistrate and representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office entered the room and read him his Miranda rights. He then stopped talking, according to sources briefed on the interrogation.

Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, said rules need to be loosened for law-enforcement officials who are conducting terror probes.

“One of the FBI agents said he thought it would be illegal to keep the guy on the list. Of course, there’d be nothing illegal about it,” said Giuliani, who was mayor of the Big Apple  at the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“Some of the explanations that I’m getting make me very nervous that the FBI is erring on the side of caution, when I want them to err on the side of safety.”

Giuliani also criticized the administration of Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick for refusing to release records of welfare payments the Boston terror bombings may have received, saying it was essential information in determining how they financed their activities.

“What possible privacy interest do you have in that?” he asked. “They either got welfare or they didn’t get welfare. And that would also be important to how were they financed.

“I’d like to know how much they were getting in welfare. A trip to Russia for six months is a pretty darn expensive proposition. I’ve wondered, was anybody financing them?”

While federal law-enforcement officials can subpoena the records for their ongoing investigation, Giuliani said the only reason Massachusetts is keeping the records private is to avoid embarrassment.

“I can’t figure out what the heck the privacy interest is, except maybe an embarrassment that by mistake, Massachusetts was giving welfare to potential terrorists,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rogers said he will be demanding answers from Attorney General Eric Holder about the decision to Mirandize the baby-face bomb suspect.

“We can’t have, in a case like this, the judiciary deciding, because it’s on TV and it might look bad for them … that they were going to somehow intercede in this,” the Michigan Republican told MSNBC. 

“It’s confusing, it is horrible, [a] God-awful policy, and dangerous to the greater community,” said Rogers. “We have got to get to the bottom of this, and we’ve got to fix it right now.”

He said the Justice Department has “a lot of explaining to do.”

According to the Department of Justice, prosecutors, the federal defender, a court reporter, the U.S. Marshal Service, and the hospital all coordinated in having Tsarnaev read his rights. 

Before that happened, the University of Massachusetts sophomore had reportedly told authorities that his brother, Tamerlan, 26, had only recently recruited him to be part of a plot to detonate pressure-cooker bombs at the marathon's finish line and that they planned to go on to detonate more bombs in New York City. 

Tamerlan was killed in a police shootout on Friday last week.

Lawmakers have long disagreed over whether to read terrorism suspects their rights after they are captured in the United States. Some prominent Republican lawmakers have called for Tsarnaev to be considered an enemy combatant, but the Obama administration opted to try him in civilian criminal court proceedings instead.

The Supreme Court created a public safety exemption to the Miranda warning almost 30 years ago, meaning suspects can be interrogated if the public could be in danger, but Rogers said he still wants to know why the FBI's interrogation was interrupted.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia said he favors asking a suspect questions about who else may have been involved in a terror plot, whether there are future attacks in the works, or if other weapons have been discovered.

Most courts will not admit statements made before suspects are officially made aware of their rights, and if cases are to be tried in a civilian, rather than military court, a suspect must be read the warning.

Even some Democrats have questioned the decision. Rep. Adam Schiff of California said, “I would have thought the public safety exception would have allowed more time for the questioning of the suspect prior to the arraignment and/or advising of rights.”

The issue has come up in other cases, including in 2010, when Holder ordered “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to be read his rights. He eventually was sentenced to life in prison.

Tsarnaev has been moved to a prison hospital at Fort Devens, Mass., the U.S. Marshals Service said Friday. He continues to recover from numerous gunshot wounds. The federal prison where he is housed specializes in inmates who need long-term medical or mental health care, according to the Bureau of Prisons.


Check out Gateway Pundit's take on this judge. Apparently she has muslim ties. *ht Will


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Vince Gill , Keb Mo, Albert Lee, James Burton, & Earl Klugh
Mystery Train

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Shocking video shows Egyptian police allowing deadly attack on Coptic cathedral



Shocking video appears to show Egyptian police standing idly by - and even helping attackers during a deadly assault on a Coptic cathedral where Christians were mourning five men killed in an earlier clash with Muslims.

The video shot April 7 and first obtained by MidEast Christian News, shows a men shooting guns, wielding machetes and hurling stones and possibly Molotov cocktails as mourners carry caskets out of St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in the Abbassia District of Cairo as uniformed police watch, unmoving. At one point, a police officer appears to help a gunman take aim at a courtyard full of mourners who had spilled out of the church. The attack left two Copts dead and another 84 people injured, including 11 police officers.

Click the title to watch this shocking video.


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Politically Correct Investigation


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VIENNA: MUSLIMS DEMONSTRATE OUTSIDE U.S. EMBASSY IN SUPPORT OF THE BOSTON JIHAD BOMBER

From Atlas Shrugs:


According to the jihadic doctrine, the Boston jihadists are innocent.
Jihadwatch
DemoforBostonBomber.jpeg"We are convinced of the innocence of our brother. There is no evidence that he is guilty. America needs a new enemy." Once again we see the Islamic supremacist deflection of responsibility: any evil perpetrated by Muslims anywhere in the world is always, always the fault of someone else. Even the moderates and pseudo-moderates in the U.S. who condemned the Boston bombings disclaimed any need for examining how the texts and teachings of Islam incite to violence and supremacism, and doing anything about that.
GO READ THE WHOLE THING.
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Current state of the Middle East in a nutshell

There may or may not be parts of this article that are a bit disagreeable. 

Thanks to Nico for setting some of them straight for me.



This article is from New Zealand


Changing Muslim world faces a turbulent year

Unrest which began with Arab Spring is sharpening the Sunni-Shia divide and fanning impatience with leadership.

Across many parts of the Muslim world, 2013 is set to be a turbulent and bloody year as secularists battle with religious hardliners, tensions sharpen between the two rival camps of Islam and traditional power bases and hybrid political systems are challenged by a social-media-savvy young generation.


In Tunisia and Egypt, where dictators were overthrown in the 2011 Arab Spring, Islamists have won at the ballot box but struggle with accusations of economic incompetence and meddling with secular laws and human rights.


Libya is in turmoil, rocked by militia groups and attacks by jihadists, including an assault that killed the United States ambassador. In Syria, meanwhile, a Lebanon-style civil war beckons.
"2013 will definitely be a make-or-break year for Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Sudan, which are sliding into Islamism; for Syria, Nigeria, Morocco, Jordan and the Sahel countries, which are borderline; and for Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, which are already Islamised," says Alain Chouet, a Middle East specialist and a former deputy of France's external intelligence agency.
He points at Western countries which failed to spot the dangerous vacuum left by the downfall of autocrats and at the risks posed by the petrodollar monarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The Gulf countries' financial - and probably armed - support for Sunni extremists is driving radicalisation in Arab Spring countries and stoking a feud with Iranian-backed Shia Muslims.
The perils of sectarianism are most visible in Syria, which is predominantly Sunni, has a large Shia minority and is run by Alawites, a once-persecuted Shia offshoot that accounts for about a seventh of the population. Alawites fear being massacred because of their association with Bashar al-Assad's rule, and this is deepening the conflict.
"Suggesting to them and other non-Arab or non-Sunni minorities in Syria that they should accept changes that bring Salafist Islamists to power is the same as if you asked African-Americans to return to the situation that prevailed before the American Civil War," Chouet contends.

Sunnis account for 87-90 per cent of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims, and Shias for about 10-13 per cent, according to an analysis by the American Pew Research Centre.
The bust-up dates to the succession of the Prophet Muhammed as leader of the world's Muslims in the early seventh century. The initial row dragged on bloodily for decades, stoking martyrdom among Shias. In recent years, violence and unrest have flared in Pakistan, Iraq and Bahrain. Many Shias do not recognise Sunni elected officials and teachers, and many Sunnis do not count Shias as fellow believers.
Of seven Middle Eastern-North African countries where Pew carried out its survey on Muslim beliefs, only Iraq and Lebanon had large majorities of Sunnis who accepted Shias as being of the same faith.

"The Sunni-Shia divide has been in the Muslim world for centuries and in many countries they have learned to live with each other," says Basil Mustafa of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. "The clash is of a more recent nature. Part of it is due to a strand of religious radicalism that has surfaced on both sides, in all communities."
Several ingredients add unpredictability to the explosive mix facing the Muslim world.


They include a succession crisis in Saudi Arabia, where younger citizens are clamouring for the grip of the Wahhabi clerical establishment to be eased and for constitutional monarchy.

Nico weighs in:

Right. What like 20 women who want to drive? Out of the 20-something million people, the dissent in Saudi Arabia is surprisingly small for a country where the youth is "clamoring" for change.


The present king, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, an ailing 89-year-old, carried out cautious reforms only to shelve them in the face of Shia revolts in the eastern part of the kingdom, which were blamed on Iran.


Two crown princes, Sultan, 86, and brother Nayef, 76, have died within just eight months. Unlike other monarchies, succession within the sprawling al-Saud clan is not transmitted from father to the oldest son. Instead, succession is chosen by the king and senior family members in the interests of keeping stability among the family's many branches. Polygamy ensures that there are lots of crown princes to choose from.

The current designated successor is Defence Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, 76, whose choice stifles hopes of a "generational leap" towards younger rulers.


Another wild card is Israel, whose settlement expansion in East Jerusalem and the West Bank is hurting hopes of a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

Nico weighs in:

Yeah, exactly. North Korea is threatening war because there is construction going on in Washington DC. You know you fixed that pothole somewhere and North Korea got the wind of it right before signing a peace treaty and now because of your construction in your capital city, North Korea is going to go to war. Shame on you!


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is basing his campaign for the general elections on January 22 on his threat to halt Iran's perceived march towards nuclear weapons. The poll will be held six days after the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency meets Iran over opening its sites to outside inspection.

"For several years now, we've been talking about the push-comes-to-shove moment arriving in Iran, and that moment may come in 2013 since the Iranians seem to be creeping closer and closer to what are presumed to be the red lines on its nuclear weapons programme," predicts James Lindsay of the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations.

"One possibility is this leads to negotiations and we get a compromise agreement that stops Iran short of possessing a nuclear weapon, or the capacity to build one quickly."
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Egypt's writing on the wall - Civil War or an Islamic Republic?


Egypt president sees 'deep state' as enemy within

President Mohamed Morsi has warned of conspiracies within his government. But some say he wants to simply replace the power structure with one loyal to him.

CAIRO — President Mohamed Morsi casts himself as a leader navigating a landscape bristling with conspiracies by corrupt businessmen and shadowy figures plotting from inside a vast bureaucracy his Islamist inner circle has been unable to tame.
While protesters march, workers strike, students rally and the economy is in a scary tailspin, the president's more serious nemesis may lie behind the scenes in what is known as the "deep state." The courts, police, army and intelligence agencies were shaped over decades by the secular rule of deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Many police and intelligence officials in particular remain loyal to the old guard, fearing Morsi is moving the country away from its Western alliances and toward religious fundamentalism.
Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, which controls the government, accuse those connected to Mubarak of disrupting Egypt's transition. Talk of intrigue is so pervasive that the Brotherhood's website this month blamed "deep state corruption" for food poisoning that hospitalized nearly 500 students at Al Azhar, the country's premier Islamic university.

Recent actions by the judiciary suggest state institutions are in fact moving to put limits on Morsi, who pushed through an Islamist-backed constitution and ignored legal decisions challenging his authority. Court rulings also have delayed parliamentary elections and called for Morsi to reinstate the general prosecutor he fired during a power grab in November. These verdicts came as police and internal intelligence officers — the core of Mubarak's power — have staged work slowdowns and questioned Morsi's legitimacy.
Security agents, police commanders and even clerks wielding rubber stamps are part of an imposing government labyrinth that encompasses the Interior Ministry and an edifice known as the Mogamma, a parallel universe of hundreds of thousands of public employees tied up in a system of patronage and favors.
His political opponents respond that Morsi, who was elected in June, is exaggerating the strength of the previous power structure — and that he wants to simply replace it with one loyal to him. Critics say he wants a Brotherhood version of his predecessor's brand of control and cronyism.
The Brotherhood is backing a bill in the upper house of parliament that could limit judicial independence and force as many as 3,000 judges to retire. Judges claim the legislation is aimed at replacing them with jurists sympathetic to Islamists. Thousands of Brotherhood supporters demonstrated last weekend, calling for a "cleansing" of the courts.
Morsi and the Brotherhood have been "revealed as people who have no experience in ruling and are greedy for domination and power," said Hassan Nafaa, a respected political science professor at Cairo University. "There's a sentiment that the revolution was stolen and that there is an attempt at what many are calling the 'Brotherhoodization' of the state."
More here.

Read more »
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News Web Site in Egypt Abruptly Shuts Down

Egypt Independent, the country’s premier independent English language news source, ceased publication on Thursday after four years during which its staff chronicled the waning days of the Mubarak regime, the outbreak of revolution in their own country and across the Arab world, military rule and most recently the administration of the first democratically elected Islamist leader of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi.
Investors behind the paper cited financial difficulties as the reason for the closure, but the newspaper’s editorial staff, and many of its supporters, said they suspected a political motive behind the closure of the left-leaning outlet, which has been stridently critical of Mr. Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood-backed political party.
On Thursday, the editorial staff released the final issue on the Web site and as a fully downloadable document on Scribd.com after investors “ordered a last-minute stoppage” of the presses “after scrutinizing the issue’s content,” said the editorial staff in an online statement.
In an essay published on the Web site Tahrir Squared, prominent activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah extolled the paper as a “revolutionary” voice and attacked its closure as a political move meant to silence dissent.
“Today the owners decided to kill the paper, they claim financial trouble, but in reality the big business behind Al Masry Al Youm is no longer interested in a true revolutionary voice,” he wrote.
Egypt Independent had to be killed, you might think that an English paper in Arabic speaking revolutionary Egypt cannot be that dangerous, but where else do you find a paper run by young women? A paper that became home for an amalgam of misfits and radicals without compromising them, no one had to wear a suit, not physical or metaphorical. Hell, even when the editorial team was forced to deal with the business side and prove the paper could be a profit center they did it without compromising on their radicalism.
Staff members of Egypt Independent spoke often of the paper’s “vision,” a term that denoted an institutional commitment to professionalism and civil rights in a country emerging from generations of dictatorship, and where newspapers more often than not serve as mouthpieces for the state, political parties or powerful men.


Egypt Independent 2009-2013

Four years after the birth of Egypt Independent, the management of Al-Masry Media Corporation has informed our editorial team that our print and online news operation is being shut down.
Because we owe it to our readers, we decided to put together a closing edition, which would have been available on 25 April, to explain the conditions under which a strong voice of independent and progressive journalism in Egypt is being terminated.
 
The management, however, withheld the printing of this edition. While the print house received the final proofs on 23 April, management ordered a last-minute stoppage after scrutinizing the issue’s content. 
 
In keeping with our practice of critical journalism, we use our final issue to reflect on the political and economic challenges facing Egyptian media, including in our own institution.
 
Today, we share this final issue with our readers in digital form.
 
The issue can be reached through this link. Inquiries can be directed to lina.attalah@gmail.com. 

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