Bank, king and God (not necessarily in that order)

With national elections approaching in Egypt, Islamists are increasing their public presence through mass demonstrations and media action. Some are trundling out this gem from 2009 — favorably featured by a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated site — that (according to The Arabist) raises the alarms about what secularism will do to Egypt:

* In 2013, the Egyptian parliament outlaws polygamy.
* In 2014, women’s rights organizations celebrate a new law that gives women equal inheritance rights.
* In 2015, women are prohibited from wearing the hijab in public buildings.
* In 2017, the first movie theater “specializing in porno films” opens.
* The Ministry of Higher Education decides all students will learn “Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Baha’ism on an equal footing.”
* In 2019, there is the first gay marriage in Egypt.
* In 2020, all religious references are removed from official documents and government buildings.
* In 2022, the call to prayer is prohibited.
* In 2024, Egypt and Israel sign a joint defense agreement, and an Egyptian soldiers raises an Israeli flag over Gaza.

In the end, “street fighting breaks out between the religious and secularists,” and the streets fill with sexual predators, aggressive women and drunks. The chaos of godlesness ensues.

As disconcerting as this reactionary ad is, don’t a lot of the bugaboos sound familiar to, well, the fears expressed by the 2012 Republican presidential field? Same page, different book, really. As Jeff Sharlet of The Revealer writes:

“The movement’s increasingly religious economic conservatism is cast in gender terms, as a quest for the restoration of masculine dignity, a revival of breadwinning in an era of genuinely humiliating economic conditions. What do social conservatives want in 2012? Same thing they’ve always wanted. “One man, one woman,” and a passel of kids. A family, narrowly defined, daddy in charge, with maybe some gentle wisecracks about how the wife is really in control.”

“Daddy” would be in charge, from the household to the halls of government. Gay rights, feminism, pornography, secular education, the separation of church and state – all pernicious, character-destroying concessions to faux-humanitarians (aka liberals). According to Christian Dominionism, “salvation by [secular] law is the rankest form of humanistic paganism.” Government is a “mission field” to be dominated by true believers. Granted, this sounds like fundamentalism, but this is a bit of a misnomer. This isn’t just fundamentalism, this is “dominionism.” It is domination of state and society by a particular set of religious codes, a domain modeled after an ideal kingdom in heaven. It’s no coincidence that Regent University (motto: “Christian leadership to change the world”) a bastion of far-right Christian education, is called “regent.” The word refers to those whole will rule:


“Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ — to have dominion in civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness. But it is dominion we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less.”

[Snip]

“Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God’s Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations.”

The above could be applied to any far-right political-religious movement, Christian, Muslim, Jewish or otherwise About the only difference between the Islamist far-right and the Christian (and Jewish) far-right’s is the tone. Such movements, whether branding themselves as Muslim, Christian or Jewish, are all essentially the same: alarmist, anachronistic and most, of all, power-hungry. As Bertrand Russell put it:

“Men who allow their love of power to give them a distorted view of the world are to be found in every asylum: one man will think that he is the Governor of the Bank of England, another will think he is the King, and yet another will think he is God.”

Still, the U.S. (and Israel) would never reconcile themselves to mainstreaming such thinking at home, right?

Well, you have this. And this. These are not isolated incidents, but indicators of a growing rightward shift. And there was a time when Islamists (including Egyptian Islamists) were here counted among the moral equivalents of the U.S. Founding Fathers.

Theocratic views, as opposed to somewhat more benign evangelical and fundamentalist rhetoric, are becoming more mainstream among all the Abrahamic faiths in the 21st century. Such views been the norm in Iran (and to a lesser extent, Saudi Arabia) for decades now, but Iran isn’t so singularly different from other nations where the authorities use religious and ethnocentric rhetoric to justify power plays. Look at Netanhayu and Likud’s governing arrangement with Lieberman and Yisrael Beitenu. Or the way American conservatives have turned Evangelicalism into policy through the seemingly unassailable Defense of Marriage Act and repeated fits of “pro-life” foreign aid. Muslim-baiting in Western countries is a lucrative business (not unlike Copt-baiting in Egypt, or Baha’i-bashing in Iran). So whether the leadership and rank-and-file seriously believe their own press, there’s no denying that it’s good for votes and good for business (and are not commercial and electoral success a sign of divine favor in all of the Abrahamic faiths?).

For deeply religious government types, like former Secretary of States John Foster Dulles, “success” in policymaking (and moneymaking) was religious. The practice of power is part of God’s plan (the Abrahamic faiths are all pretty good at ignoring what Jesus had to say on the matter). No contradictions to worry about! Defend your hold power (and you profit margins), and you defend your God! The business of fundamentalism is booming all over the world (especially if you’re in defense, energy, construction, or finance). And since private enterprise (/corporatism) can function in a theocracy, the capitalists can honestly say that “we are not selling them the rope with which they will hang us.”

And there has been a long history of collusion (though sometimes strained) between the religious right and military-industrial interests in Egypt, Israel and the U.S. (of course, in Iran, this strained collusion is already the norm). Until it became a challenge to his domestic authority, Anwar Sadat grudgingly tolerated the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign policy tool and played up Islamist rhetoric (in place of “Arab nationalism”) against Israel. The IDF, when not evicting settlers, is either bulldozing Palestinian homes for them, heavily subsidizing their lifestyles, or actively arming them to beat back demonstrators.

U.S. officials, as noted above, have not always been so picky about which religious rightists they do business with. Many of of the loudest and most well-placed voices in the American right easily move between socially conservative, national security circles in the U.S and Israel. “Homeland Security” is for God and country! Brilliant!

Oh, if only they were all members of the same religion! They’re already members of the same faith after all! Such wonderful theocracy they could make together!

“Moshiach” Qutb feat Santorum. The hit single for 2012. David Yerushalmi does a cover version.

Oddly enough, the supposed porno theater looks like one of my psychology lecture halls from college.

We never got to watch anything good in that class.

Update: The lead of this post was changed to reflect the fact that the Islamist video being circulated in Egypt is from 2009.

About Paul Mutter

Paul Mutter is a contributor to Mondoweiss, Foreign Policy in Focus and the Arabist.
Posted in Israel/Palestine, Middle East, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics

{ 84 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. I think our history of distorting the principles of a secular democratic republic with our kow-towing to our own homegrown theocrats and others employing a blatant double-standard in regards to the Constitution and rule of law, has hurt the actual spread of democracy and freedom for untold generations past and future.

    Great ideals if you actually choose to live by them; a sham and painfully glaring hypocrisy when you don’t.

    • Paul Mutter says:

      And then people ask, “But why do they hate us so much? We never did anything to them!”

      Well, except look the other way while we told others do the things to them . . .

      • Well, um yeah…there’s that.

        Please! Please! This is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed who.

        see: link to youtube.com

      • Walid says:

        And then people ask, “But why do they hate us so much? We never did anything to them!”

        Well, except look the other way while we told others do the things to them”

        In Egypt, the US will be thanked for having given it the Brotherhood back in full force and as an official political party after it had been banned for about 50 years. Right after the fall of Mubarak, Obama’s office asked the Egyptian military to make room for the Brothers in the new Egypt as an officially accepted political party. Indications are pointing to a Brotherhood majority in the next parliament since this party appears to be the only one with any semblance of organization. It’s also looking like a sure win for the US-sponsored Amr Musa as President and a sure loss for Baradei that had refused to lie for the US on Iraq and Iran. America also indirectly gave the ayatollahs to the Iranians, the Taliban to Afghanistan, etc, etc, etc.

        eee said below:

        “So it begins, the effort by progressives to white wash the Islamic government that is going to emerge in Egypt. Of course, it would be EXACTLY the same as the Israeli theocracy and the US theocracy.”

        Surprisingly for a change, eee called it right on what’s in store for Egypt. The majority of the people are poor and uneducated; easy pickings for the religious fundies like the Brotherhood and Salafists who by the way are both against any form of birth control in an already overcrowded Egypt.

        • AhVee says:

          I’m not sure if I agree, it’s not in Obama’s place to prohibit parties from running for office in foreign countries. If the Egyptians vote the Brotherhood into power, I take it that’s what they want. I don’t buy the “the Brotherhood are the only ones with some semblance of formation at the moment” argument, I do believe the Egyptians have a solid whiff of what’s coming their way by casting their vote for that party, and – if they indeed desired *different* politics to those supplied by the Brotherhood – would see to it that alternative parties are made fit to be voted for, or – if worst comes to worst – vote for a less organised but also less ideologically potent party. After all, a shaky establishment can be favoured over the wrong kind of establishment if the will for it is there.

          For me there’s no if’s or but’s, if they vote the Brotherhood, it’s because they want the Brotherhood and its agenda. I’m not going to put it off to structural reasons. I’m not about to go voting say a racist, far-right party either, then excuse myself with the fact that they seemed the most structurally sound party at the time and besides, they’re the only ones that don’t seem to be involved in any scandals lately, or something. It’s a pathetic excuse, and one I can very much imagine the international community dismissing as invalid, should this situation become a reality.

          If the Brotherhood should get voted into power, I can see that being a handful of ammunition for people looking to discredit the Arab Spring with the argument that they’re removing dictators only to secure something resembling a dictatorship with a more pronounced religious fundamentalist nature, and for the time being, I’d have a hard time finding a solid argument to counter this notion.

  2. Taxi says:

    LOL the progression of the list just gets more and more absurd-ist.

    I really don’t think the mass youth of Egypt will want the brotherhood’s social restriction imposed on them in the age of hi-tec and internet. Egyptian youth aged 10-24 make up approx one-third of the current population. Ultimately, under a democracy, Egypt clearly belongs to the its youth.

    • Paul Mutter says:

      The porno theater item will hopefully backfire on the far right because let’s face it, in the 10-24 demographic, boys will be boys no matter what country they are from.

      By way of comparison on that, I recall reading a recent article where an Israeli woman describes mass protests by older Orthodox Jews in Tel Aviv when the first gender-integrated public swimming pools opened in the 60s(?), but I can’t remember where I read that.

      • It was one of the first entrepreneurial enterprises to surface in Iraq after the fall of Saddam (provided you could steer clear of roving “virtue and vice” cops). Though Saddam was a predominantly secular dictator, he understood the place that theocracy held in keeping the population in line.

        Like the oligarch said to the clergy, “You keep them stupid, and I’ll keep them poor.”

  3. piotr says:

    Sometimes I get a fundraising appeal trying to scare me by the comming age of commie/gay dommination, and indeed, when one reads such dire prophesies, one wistfully thinks “if only itwas true”. End of polygamy, gay marriage, equal inheritance right, equal presentation of religions in education, wow! Alas, after good start we are unfortunately proceeding toward to total breakdown of morals, bathroom fixtures and the banking system.

    And children! What about the children!

    So, by 2020 “In God weTrust” will be replaced “Beware: the value of this note depends on the future decisions of US Congress, we provide no guarantee, explicit or implied, concerning their sanity and prudence.”

    • As an atheist, I’ve always held that “IN GOD WE TRUST” was an outright lie, or at the very least, horribly exclusionary of non-theist citizens.

      I would wholeheartedly support your revision as being completely unobjectionable, and exemplary of “truth in advertising.”

      Well done.

  4. eee says:

    So it begins, the effort by progressives to white wash the Islamic government that is going to emerge in Egypt. Of course, it would be EXACTLY the same as the Israeli theocracy and the US theocracy.

    • Who’s whitewashing anything?

      You could predict better than a TV psychic (bar set low, I know) what our spin regarding the emerging ruling system and leadership would be based on their views on Israel alone.

      Despotic friends of Israel would be welcomed into the fold, and open and democratic entities that denounced (or even mildly rebuked) Israeli oppression and apartheid would be villified and demonized (the fear industry does quite well in Chosanistan).

    • Haytham says:

      eee:

      You’re a reactionary, which is ironic, because in that way you are exactly like an Islamist.

      So the Muslim Brotherhood issued this ridiculously stupid and closed minded writing. Who cares? Are they in power in Egypt? Is this an official government document?

      Wake me when Egypt becomes 1/8 the theocracy Israel is.

      Thanks, eee. You’re always good for a chuckle.

      • eee says:

        Haytham,

        I think it is you that needs a little waking up. The Egyptian constitution will be based on sharia law. That has already been decided. And very soon the Muslim Brotherhood will be the biggest party in the ruling coalition in Egypt. So what exactly do you mean by “who cares” when they publish such a document? They will soon be very powerful in Egypt.

        And how is Israel a theocracy in any shape or form? It is governed by secular law based on British common law. Sure, there are religious courts for personal matters, but one can easily circumnavigate them altogether.

        • Shmuel says:

          The Egyptian constitution will be based on sharia law. That has already been decided.

          What the Egyptian “Constitutional Declaration” actually says (art. 2) is: The principles of Islamic law are the chief source of legislation.

          The “principles of Islamic law” are not the same as Islamic law (Sharia), just as the term “Mishpat Ivri” (Jewish jurisprudence) employed in Israeli legislation is not the same as Halakhah (Jewish law). If you read the rest of the Declaration, you will see that it guarantees democratic freedoms, addresses the political representation of women, and generally belies the idea of a system “based on sharia law”.

          link to egypt.gov.eg

    • Chaos4700 says:

      Right because the VERY FIRST THING a gay Progressive like myself is going to do is embrace a political movement that condemns my right to exist.

      Seriously, eee. You’re so desperate to just rabidly attack everyone else who isn’t a loyal Arab-hating Zionist Jew that you’re willing to make yourself look like a total buffoon in the process.

      Keep it up. The more Jewish kids in the States see what it means to be Jewish Israeli, the less they’ll want to be a part or party to that.

      • eee says:

        The fact is Chaos that Hamas is such a movement and you haven’t exactly distanced yourself from it, have you? Progressive organizations are constantly cooperating with the Hamas government in Gaza.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          Yes Chaos always mysteriously disappears from the comments thread when you mention the tragic truth that he would be as welcome in Hamas-run Gaza as a pork chop at a bris.

          Chaos, tell us how you feel about the Palestinians electing a a government that persecutes homosexuals, please. I think it’s terrible, don’t you agree?

          (Chaos will either not answer or cut and paste one of his previous rants about how evil Israel is. He simply cannot face the truth. He is the most intellectually dishonest and gratuitously insulting commenter on MW.)

        • Cliff says:

          Palestinian society is fragmented. Hamas does not represent the Palestinian society as a whole.

          I think Palestinian society is capable of secularism, and if allowed to progress organically without the constraints of Zionist colonialism – Palestinians could flourish.

        • Shmuel says:

          I think Palestinian society is capable of secularism, and if allowed to progress organically without the constraints of Zionist colonialism – Palestinians could flourish.

          But why take the chance, Cliff? Better to imprison, oppress and dispossess them in the name of freedom and democracy, no?

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          Israeli society is fragmented. Settlers do not represent Israeli society as a whole.

          I think Israeli society is capable of secularism and if allowed to progress organically without the fear of Hamas Islamo-fascism – Palestinians could flourish.

          (I didn’t change that last bit intentionally.)

        • Shmuel says:

          As Chaos has written on numerous occasions, Palestinian gays suffer first and foremost as Palestinians. Attempts to highlight their suffering as gays within Palestinian society are generally made with the intent of pinkwashing Israeli human rights abuses or creating false equivalences.

          On the subject of Palestinian queers and their dual minority status, I recommend the following interview with Haneen Maikey of the Palestinian queer group Al-Qaws (“Resisting homophobia and occupation”): link to internationalviewpoint.org

          You might also want to check out the Al-Qaws website: link to alqaws.org

          And the correspondence between Palestinian Queers for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and IGLYO:
          link to pqbds.com

        • Shmuel says:

          GF,

          Did you really use the Pipesian term “Islamo-fascism”?

          Do you really think that Hamas is the only – or even primary – obstacle standing in the way of Palestinians’ “flourishing” (without getting into the sources and causes of extremism)?

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          Did you really use the Pipesian term “Islamo-fascism”?

          Yeah, sorry. I was trying to look for a corollary for “Zionist colonialism”. I’m not a big fan of the phrase. I guess “Hamas colonialism” would have worked just as well.

          Do you really think that Hamas is the only – or even primary – obstacle standing in the way of Palestinians’ “flourishing”

          No more or less than I think Zionism is.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          Palestinian gays suffer first and foremost as Palestinians.

          Agreed.

          And I wholly support their protest for fair treatment as Palestinians. Nevertheless, I find it intellectually dishonest for them to protest under the banner of Palestinian homosexuals without condemnation of Hamas being a fundamental tenet of their movement when Palestinian homosexuals are persecuted under Hamas.

          The BDS movement, to my knowledge, very specifically does not criticize Hamas for their war crimes against Israel or their consistent persecution of gay Palestinians in Gaza. Supporting BDS without calling for the leaders of Hamas to be tried alongside Israelis for war crimes is intellectually dishonest.

          I read the links in your post and they are well written and measured, but this constant refusal to address the harm the elected representatives of the Palestinian people in Gaza would gladly visit on all homosexuals of any race or creed simply cannot stand. I appreciate the argument against “pinkwashing” of Israeli sins. In my opinion groups like Al-Qaws are guilty of the exact same thing for Hamas.

        • Shmuel says:

          The term “Zionist colonialism” as a description of current (albeit long-standing) Israeli policies may be debatable, but “Hamas colonialism” is simply nonsensical.

          Forget the word Zionism (although it is Israel’s state ideology). Do you really think that Hamas constitutes a greater obstacle to Palestinian* flourishing (or even the ability to live somewhat normal lives) than Israeli government policies of collective punishment and widespread destruction? Or are do you subscribe to the Hamas-makes-us-do-it school of thought?

          * Specifically in Gaza, because the WB is not under Hamas control. For some reason however, WB Palestinians are also not exactly flourishing.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          Do you not agree that Hamas’s stated goal is control of the entire state of Palestine from Jordan to the sea? Is this not a colonialist goal?

          Do you really think that Hamas constitutes a greater obstacle to Palestinian* flourishing (or even the ability to live somewhat normal lives) than Israeli government policies of collective punishment and widespread destruction?

          I already answered this question, but I’ll try to elaborate. I believe that the occupation is wrong and must be ended. I believe that is Israel’s responsibility. I believe that the collective punishment that is the siege of Gaza is wrong and that it must end. I believe that is Israel’s responsibility.

          I believe that successive Israeli governments have been able to argue that the siege of Gaza is necessary and that the separation barrier saves lives to the majority of Israeli voters because Hamas continues to commit war crimes against Israeli civilians. I believe this is Hamas’s responsibility.

          I understand the argument that Hamas is resisting the occupation, but they have chosen a path of resistance that increases the likelihood of Palestinians suffering than decreases it. Please don’t misunderstand me. Israel is responsible for the fact that Palestinians suffer. But Hamas (and others, Lebanon, Syria) are responsible for making that suffering worse.

          I do not absolve Israel of their sins. But I also will not absolve Hamas of theirs.

          For all the people here that stand up proudly in support of non-violent resistance there is very little said negatively about Hamas and the PRC who repeatedly enact out violent resistance.

          I am no fan of BDS, but if Hamas were to change its goals to non-violent resistance and align itself with the principles of the BDS movement things would improve considerably on all sides.

          So yes, I think Hamas is complicit in Palestinian suffering. I think the governments of the countries that have failed to absorb or even provide equal rights to Palestinian refugees are complicit in the suffering of Palestinians. I think it is more important to many people that Palestinians suffer than that there be a political resolution that retains any kind of Jewish state.

          So Zionism prevents Palestinians from flourishing in the exact same way that anti-Zionism does. Neither movement values the rights of the Palestinians to any great degree.

          Israelis love Israel more than they love the Palestinians, that much is clear (and not terribly unusual). The problem is that Hamas (like many commenters here) hates Israel more than it loves the Palestinians.

        • eljay says:

          >> GuiltyFeat September 5, 2011 at 8:13 am

          Good post.

          >> Do you not agree that Hamas’s stated goal is control of the entire state of Palestine from Jordan to the sea?

          Is it? If so, they need to re-think their goal.

          >> I think the governments of the countries that have failed to absorb or even provide equal rights to Palestinian refugees are complicit in the suffering of Palestinians.

          I agree with the argument which states that for other countries to absorb refugees is to let Israel off the hook for its responsibilities toward those refugees. However, I do think that those countries should at least make available the option of integration / naturalization for refugees who would be willing to “move on” and forego a right of return, either without compensation in lieu from Israel or merely as they await compensation in lieu from Israel.

        • Donald says:

          “For all the people here that stand up proudly in support of non-violent resistance there is very little said negatively about Hamas and the PRC who repeatedly enact out violent resistance.”

          I think there are several viewpoints here at MW on the pro-Palestinian side. Some people support violent resistance by the Palestinians. Most of the rest of us think that Palestinians have the right to use violence against Israeli military targets and not civilians, but don’t necessarily think this would be a good idea.

          In that second group some of us make a point of saying we oppose Hamas rocket fire just like we oppose Israeli war crimes, but the latter are far larger. Others find it so irritating to listen to Israelis and Israeli supporters complain about Palestinian violence while Israel is guilty of far more that they will only rarely condemn Palestinian violence.

          I’m in the group who makes a point of saying that we oppose Palestinian rocket fire, but I also agree with the people who find all the American and Israeli talk about Palestinian terrorism incredibly hypocritical. A few months ago (after Goldstone did his partial retraction) a US government flunky (Susan Rice, I believe) said that the US saw no evidence of Israeli war crimes in Gaza. So you can maybe understand why Americans who pay attention to the conflict and have a single standard on human rights get really irritated by the criticism that we don’t condemn Hamas enough. AIPAC and other Israel supporters in the US have tilted the rhetorical playing field so far in the pro-Israel direction any criticism that we don’t do enough to condemn Hamas sounds very much like bad faith, even when it isn’t.

          I don’t like Hamas . Fundamentalist religious groups that get into politics are generally a bad idea. Hamas has a bad human rights record both with respect to their own people and of course with respect to what they have done to Israeli civilians. But the tendency in the US and Israel is to make a bad record worse than it has been, to paint Hamas in as dark tones as possible while whitewashing the record of Israel and also the PA and that concerns me a lot more.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Do you not agree that Hamas’s stated goal is control of the entire state of Palestine from Jordan to the sea? Is this not a colonialist goal?”

          No, it’s a revanchist goal.

          “Israel is responsible for the fact that Palestinians suffer. But Hamas (and others, Lebanon, Syria) are responsible for making that suffering worse. ”

          That argument can only be supportable if there were any indication that the Israelis would have granted full civil, human and political rights to the Palestinians absent action by Hamas. There is absolutely no factual basis to make such an assertion. Hell, you people haven’t even ended the purposeful discrimination against the Palestinians who have Israeli citizenship.

          “I think the governments of the countries that have failed to absorb or even provide equal rights to Palestinian refugees are complicit in the suffering of Palestinians.”

          “absorb” In other words, these states haven’t covered up Israel’s crimes. They have an obligation to give them their full civil, political and human rights and treat them equally. But they have a duty to maintain a viable Palestinian community so that they may one day return to their homeland, if they so desire.

          “Israelis love Israel more than they love the Palestinians”

          In other words, Israelis value a Judeo-supremacist apartheid state over the human rights of their victims. No, no surprise there.

        • I thought GuiltyFeat’s post was excellent.

        • How many Palestinians live in Lebanon and have NO civil rights, less than West Bank Palestinians (as they can vote in Palestinian elections)?

          400,000? more?

          Syria?

          In Jordan, refugees are citizens.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Interesting that you are willing to call your opponents actions “war crimes” but not yours. I guess your principles, so-called, only go so far…

          “For all the people here that stand up proudly in support of non-violent resistance there is very little said negatively about Hamas and the PRC who repeatedly enact out violent resistance.”

          So which do you want? There are plentiful denunciations of Hamas’s and PRC’s acts which are war crimes. But you seem to want more. You seem to want denunciations of Hamas and PRC, themselves. Okay, great. You’ve denounced some Israeli actions. When are you going to denounce Israel, itself?

          “I am no fan of BDS, but if Hamas were to change its goals to non-violent resistance…”

          Are you going to call on Israel to go non-violent? If not, then why should Jews get to use violence when Arabs should be non-violent?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I thought GuiltyFeat’s post was excellent.”

          And absolutely no one is surprised.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “How many Palestinians live in Lebanon and have NO civil rights, less than West Bank Palestinians (as they can vote in Palestinian elections)?”

          What are you reacting to? No one has supported the treatment of the Palestinians by the Lebanese.

          And voting in Palestinian elections is a sham when it is the Israeli elections (in which the Palestinians are disenfranchised) that controls their lives.

          Prisons don’t become free democracies because each cell block elects the person who gets to transmit the orders from the warden to the rest of the inmates.

        • pjdude says:

          it was actualy fairly secular before Israel’s crimes against it.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          Are you going to call on Israel to go non-violent?

          Absofugginlutely. I call on Israel to end the occupation and to stop using violence against anyone and the Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza in particular.

          In other words, these states haven’t covered up Israel’s crimes. They have an obligation to give them their full civil, political and human rights and treat them equally. But they have a duty to maintain a viable Palestinian community so that they may one day return to their homeland, if they so desire.

          Disingenuous bollocks that I know you don’t believe. Lebanon didn’t deny work to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians for 40 years to “maintain a viable Palestinian community”. Neither did Assad shell Latakia last month and drive 5000 Palestinians from their homes just so that they could more easily return to their homeland.

          Woody, please be serious for once.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          “Do you not agree that Hamas’s stated goal is control of the entire state of Palestine from Jordan to the sea? Is this not a colonialist goal?”

          No, it’s a revanchist goal.

          Interesting. You’re willing to argue terminology, but you’re OK with Hamas wanting a Judenrein Palestine. Nice.

        • Taxi says:

          GuiltyBrit,

          You take the biscuit for being the snootiest zionist liar on MW. Hands down.

          I won’t comment on your intellectual prowess – you ain’t got nutting but hasbara in your upstairs mailbox.

          It’s gonna be amusing to see chaos wipe the floor with your silly-billy arguments, yet again.

          BTW Chaos is cool and at least you always know where you stand with him, unlike you and your nauseating insincerity about both the Palestinians and the Apartheid israelis.

          You’re the kinda perfidious person who would throw both foe and friend under the bus.

          You’re a colonialist and a racist hypocrite. Landthief, waterthief, foodthief, skythief.

          You think anyone in their right mind respects a klepto?

        • annie says:

          GF: Do you not agree that Israel’s objective is permanent control of the entire state of Palestine from Jordan to the sea?

          how is that any different than hamas?

        • Haytham says:

          Do you not agree that Hamas’s stated goal is control of the entire state of Palestine from Jordan to the sea? Is this not a colonialist goal?

          Wow. I don’t think even Witty has the gall to make that argument.

          Like most of your posts, there is a lot wrong with this one, but in the interest of (my) time, let’s just take the paragraph above.

          Hamas is a colonialist movement? Do you realize that an indiginous population cannot be colonialist? Does your rational mind not rebel against these silly contortions your Zionism requires you to pursue?

          What part of modern day Israel didn’t have indigenous Palestinians before 1948? None of it is the correct answer.

          Let’s look at a factual source, rather than your opinions. From google dictionary:

          co·lo·ni·al·ism

          noun /kəˈlōnēəˌlizəm/  /kəˈlōnyəˌlizəm/ 

          The policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically

          (more) Web definitions

          exploitation by a stronger country of weaker one; the use of the weaker country’s resources to strengthen and enrich the stronger country

          wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn

          Hmm. Which definition applies to the “colonialist movement Hamas?” Does either of them apply to Israel? Don’t you think you would be less embarrassed (and less of an embarrassment to your cause) if you argued with facts rather than silly uninformed opinions?

          You are so silly.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          GF: Do you not agree that Israel’s objective is permanent control of the entire state of Palestine from Jordan to the sea?

          how is that any different than hamas?

          Annie, I’m pretty sure it isn’t. So do you agree with my assessment of Hamas’s goals or not?

        • Chaos4700 says:

          On the other thread, GuiltyFeat tried to tell us that Emily Henochowicz LOVES Israel. It’s pretty sick, watching him reach around her for an embrace while trying to poke her other eye out, metaphorically.

          But that’s the kind of disgusting hypocrisy and dishonesty we’ve come to expect from him. “Well, maybe I left the UK so that I could water my lawn from West Bank acquifers, and maybe my tax money goes to subsidizing the movement of violent pogrom-waging settlers, and maybe I support every single bomb that’s dropped and every bullet that’s fired on every Arab man, woman and child, but you sir, you are the terrorist!”

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “You’re willing to argue terminology, but you’re OK with Hamas wanting a Judenrein Palestine. Nice.”

          First, I’m not “arguing” terminology. I’m right; you’re wrong. No argument.

          Second, when have I ever said that I am okay with Hamas’s goal of a Palestine free of Jews, if, in fact, that is its goal? (Which appears not to be the case, but whatever.) Never. I don’t know many times I can explain it you, I am in favor of everyone in the region getting all of their human, political and social rights and to be treated equally. Why you can’t understand that is beyond me.

          And, finally, why would Hamas, an Arabic speaking organization, use a German language term like “judenrein”??? Oh, that’s right, to all of you Israel supporters, the Palestinians are the new Nazis, or indistinguishable from Nazis. I see. Makes it easy to justify the conquest of their land and a multi-generational oppression and occupation on them. After all, haven’t we all be conditioned to view the Nazis as the epitome of evil? So it must be very convenient to tar the Arabs of Palestine with that brush. Why, you get to libel them so easily by exploiting that manufactured connection!

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          Disingenuous bollocks that I know you don’t believe. Lebanon didn’t deny work to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians for 40 years to “maintain a viable Palestinian community”. Neither did Assad shell Latakia last month and drive 5000 Palestinians from their homes just so that they could more easily return to their homeland.

          Woody, please be serious for once.

          GF, please read and/or think for once.

          I did not say that either of these states have fulfilled either the obligation of providing human rights to the Palestinians or to be trustees of the Palestinian community. I said that these states have these twin obligation and duty; not that they’ve executed them properly.

          And, yes, I truly believe that these states have failed them in this way and that the only interest that Israel and its supporters have is that the Palestinians will disappear into these host countries and, in doing so, the Palestinians nationality will be destroyed. (“Absorb” I believe was the term you used to describe this form of genocide.)

        • Taxi says:

          It’s none of your business gf what Hamas wants to do – you’re living ON THEIR LAND. Just get off their land. You have NO SAY AND NO RIGHTS OF SAY in other PEOPLE’S life decisions.

          But if you INSIST on coming all the way from Grrrrrreat Britain to the holy lands, kicking native people around in the head and telling them what YOU WANT THEM TO DO, well they’re only gonna turn around and smack ya down and send you off packing sooner or later.

          Geddit?! If you don’t like what Hamas WANTS, then bugger off.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          “Taxi September 5, 2011 at 10:47 am”

          This must be a record for a single post aimed at attacking another commenter’s personality with no regard for the surrounding thread or any kind of facts.

          Taxi, I hope you don’t mind, but in future, I’m just going to filter your comments out as you are clearly a troll with no intention of contributing intelligently to the thread. You should feel free to do the same to my comments… in fact I highly recommend it.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          And, finally, why would Hamas, an Arabic speaking organization, use a German language term like “judenrein”??? Oh, that’s right, to all of you Israel supporters, the Palestinians are the new Nazis, or indistinguishable from Nazis.

          Nah, I just thought it rhymed nicely (Judenrein Palestine). Over-sensitive much?

          I don’t think of the Palestinians as Nazis at all. Unlike many of the commenters here who cannot post without calling Israelis Nazis, I don’t think those kinds of reductionist insults are terribly useful.

        • Chaos4700 says:

          Well, it looks like GuiltyGit’s arguments are totally in the crapper, so he’s got no pointy sticks left in his arsenal except to accuse people of engaging in exactly the same behavior as he’s been engaging in since they day he showed up here.

        • Walid says:

          Don’t be too fast to agree, Eljay, these guys are throwing around wild concepts and numbers.

          Lebanon has already naturalized about 110,000 Palestinians (in the 50s and 60s) though not for totally honourable reasons and had drafted legislation to naturalize another 200,000 or so when it was stopped in its tracks (in early 90s) in part by the Palestinian leadership because it was feared that this would jeopardize the RoR of all the rest and in part by the local Christians because it would have upset the demographic balance.

          As to the current 400,000 refugees that all Lebanese declare they would never naturalize to not do any favours to Israel, it is evident that some pro-American groups would actually be in favour to naturalize them because the remaining refugees are mostly all Sunni and naturalizing them would pull the Sunni numbers past the Shia and into plurality. But to accomplish this American master plan, the Hizbullah Shia that’s armed to the teeth has to be neutralized and it explains in part what the obsession to disarm and defeat Hizbullah is about.

          For Richard’s continuing education, there are about 400,000 Palestinian camp refugees in Jordan without rights, voting or otherwise and as to those already naturalized, Jordan has systematically denaturalized several thousands of them over the past 5 or 7 years to balance out some of its demographics.

        • Taxi says:

          Er… guitybrit – what the heck is your point pasting up the time of my post – as compared to what? WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU ON ABOUT?

          Clearly, by my own clock, at precisely 9:02am Los Angeles time, you’re continuing to be intellectually, morally AND numerically challenged.

          And you thought yourself suave and and witty like Oscar Wilde, LOL.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Nah, I just thought it rhymed nicely (Judenrein Palestine). Over-sensitive much?”

          Nope. Nor should you be if I were to refer to the Nakba as a Shoah committed by the Jews of Palestine. You know, because of the way it sounds.

        • Shmuel says:

          Do you not agree that Hamas’s stated goal is control of the entire state of Palestine from Jordan to the sea? Is this not a colonialist goal?

          And my goal is to rule the world (benevolent dictatorship, don’t worry). When Hamas starts occupying other territories, establishing colonies and exploiting their resources, let me know. Until then, “Hamas colonialism” is in no way shape or form analogous to Zionist colonialism.

          I agree that Hamas is complicit in Palestinian suffering, but that is not the same as sharing equal responsibility. Hamas has also morphed somehow, in your comment, to “anti-Zionism”, making your argument regarding responsibility even more spurious.

        • Shmuel says:

          Nevertheless, I find it intellectually dishonest for them to protest under the banner of Palestinian homosexuals without condemnation of Hamas being a fundamental tenet of their movement when Palestinian homosexuals are persecuted under Hamas.

          What I find intellectually dishonest is the presumption that a movement for Palestinian rights cannot be taken seriously unless it also addresses all of the ills of Palestinian society. The BDS movement is endorsed by Palestinian (and non-Palestinian) feminist, labour, nationalist, leftist and even Islamic organisations. Should their calls to support BDS all be “balanced” by criticism of whatever they happen to find wrong with the way things are run in Gaza City or Ramallah? To each struggle its place and its tactics.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          What I find intellectually dishonest is the presumption that a movement for Palestinian rights cannot be taken seriously unless it also addresses all of the ills of Palestinian society.

          But that’s not my argument. Any can argue for Palestinian rights. A group coming under the banner of LGBT Palestinians that argues for the rights of Palestinians in Gaza and mentions Israel treatment of Palestinians, but not Hamas’s treatment of LGBT Palestinians is not being honest.

          I am not asking anyone to self-identify as LGBT Palestinian, but once you make that your rallying call, you cannot ignore what Hamas would do to you if you were to arrive triumphantly into Gaza City having liberated Palestinians from the evils of the occupation.

        • Shmuel says:

          A group coming under the banner of LGBT Palestinians that argues for the rights of Palestinians in Gaza and mentions Israel treatment of Palestinians, but not Hamas’s treatment of LGBT Palestinians is not being honest.

          Did I miss something? Does Al-Qaws not struggle against homophobia in the OT? It does so, from within, in the ways it feels will be most effective – for the present and the future (directly related to the struggle for their rights as Palestinians). You are not happy with those methods, because you feel they should also include the open condemnation of Hamas, just as Palestinians openly condemn Israel? That is your problem, not theirs. There is actually an explanation at the Al-Qaws site of their approach and methods, which necessarily differ from those employed in western societies, as well as the explanations offered by Haneen Maikey in the interview I linked to, regarding the relationship between the different struggles in which queer Palestinians are engaged.

          It is thus unreasonable (and yes, intellectually dishonest) to demand that Palestinian queers who support BDS as queers (or feminists as feminists, or Fatah-supporters as Fatah-supporters, or trade unionists as trade unionists, etc.) should also vocally condemn the treatment of queers (or others) within the Gaza prison.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          Nope. Nor should you be if I were to refer to the Nakba as a Shoah committed by the Jews of Palestine.

          I responded to this once with a link to your comment where you explicitly called Israelis Nazis. The mods saw fit to disallow it. You can search for it yourself now.

        • annie says:

          GF, what evidence do you have Israel’s objective is not permanent control of the entire state of Palestine from Jordan to the sea? they have been controlling it for decades now and they want any future agreement to leave them with effective control of all the airspace and borders etc etc and they keep building all over it.

        • annie says:

          GF, referencing the nakba as the holocaust or the shoah is not the same as referencing israelis as nazis. i’m not justifying the name calling i’m just saying it is not the same. for example if one were to discuss some of the laws in israel today and compare them with nazi laws it is not an accusation israel has genocided millions of palestinians. can you see a distinction?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “I responded to this once with a link to your comment where you explicitly called Israelis Nazis. The mods saw fit to disallow it. You can search for it yourself now.”

          Okay, I searched. I did not call Israelis Nazis that I can find.

          Virtually ever time I mentioned “Nazi” or “Nazis” I was discussing the National Socialists in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s.

          I once referred to a bunch of settler scum who fire bombed a Palestinian home in a “price tag” terror attack as Nazis, comparing them to Brown Shirts during Kristallnacht. It was an unhistorical label, but one which was apt by analogy, was warranted by the actions taken, and clearly identified only the perpetrators and not Israelis in general.

          I also once, in a discussion of the evil that occurred in WWII, made the point that the Palestinians view the evil visited upon them by the Israelis in the same manner as the Jews view the evil visited upon them by the Nazis, by stating that “The Israeli is the Nazi to the Palestinian.” (This, obviously, isn’t calling the Israelis Nazis. If you need me to explain why, just ask and I would be happy to teach you.)

          In neither case did I explicitly call Israelis Nazis. So what is your point, if you actually have one?

        • annie says:

          this is a mainstay of dkos discourse to drag old comments out sans the context and pick fights. really, if our threads turn into that i’ll throw a massive hissy fit. i’m so over it. no way is that going to happen here.

          do you hear that GF, get the heck over to team shalom if you’re gonna pull that crap. that’s my opinion and i’m sticking with it. ferociously!

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          annie,

          I respect your view on this. But as far as I’m concerned, if I made such a statement like this in the past, then I’ve got no problem being called on it. I’m not perfect. That being said, I don’t recall ever making such a statement, and my examination of the my posts appears to confirm that. So I imagine that GF merely is, as you say, taking it out of context. IF that is the case, that says more about GF than anything else could.

        • “really, if our threads turn into that i’ll throw a massive hissy fit. i’m so over it. no way is that going to happen here.”

        • kapok says:

          I would never compare the Israelis to the Nazis. The Nazis were forthright in their hatred, eschewed weasel words humanitarianism, liberalism, democracy…, and were altogether too impatient.

        • Donald says:

          Richard, your old comments express what you think about Palestinian rights. Besides, you’re always telling people to read what you say.

          I didn’t agree with annie’s reaction anyway–it depends on whether the old comment really tells you something useful about that person’s POV. In your case it does, though as it happens your double standards tend to manifest themselves at regular intervals anyway. I don’t know what happens at DailyKos, however.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          Woody here is your earlier comment which I posted once but which the mods disallowed:

          FFS – link to mondoweiss.net

          “Exactly. The Israeli is the Nazi to the Palestinian.”

          Weaseling out now by saying you didn’t mean that Israeli’s are Nazis, “it’s just the Palestinians who think that” doesn’t really cut it I’m afraid. Don’t bother trying to explain the difference. Better to spend your time instead avoiding such comparisons in the first place.

          If the bloody mods had let this go through the first time we wouldn’t all be wasting our time on this.

        • GuiltyFeat says:

          GF, referencing the nakba as the holocaust or the shoah is not the same as referencing israelis as nazis. i’m not justifying the name calling i’m just saying it is not the same. for example if one were to discuss some of the laws in israel today and compare them with nazi laws it is not an accusation israel has genocided millions of palestinians. can you see a distinction?

          Honestly Annie, no, I can’t. We’ve had this discussion before. The comparison is designed to offend rather than illuminate in each case.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          And is that what you call the application of Nazi/Holocaust terminology to the Palestinians? Illuminating? While it does illuminate your mental pathology, if you suggest that it wasn’t meant to offend, you have an even worse grasp of the language than I suspected.

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Exactly. The Israeli is the Nazi to the Palestinian.”

          Weaseling out now by saying you didn’t mean that Israeli’s are Nazis, “it’s just the Palestinians who think that” doesn’t really cut it I’m afraid. Don’t bother trying to explain the difference. Better to spend your time instead avoiding such comparisons in the first place.

          First, learn to read a bit in the English language. We have these things, called metaphors, whereby a person makes a comparison between the two without using the words “like” or “as.” They are not saying that the first is the second, but that it have some aspect in common worthy making a comparison If I say, “her eyes were diamonds,” I am not saying that here eyes were crystallized carbon, but that they glittered like diamonds.

          Further, in English, one common way that the metaphor is used is in the form “X is Y to Z.” To anyone with even a reasonable education in the English language, the writer’s intent, in using this form, is manifest.

          So, when I stated that “[t]he Israeli is the Nazi to the Palestinian,” I am not saying that Israelis are Nazis. Indeed, the fact that I used the singular is, again to anyone with reasonable reading comprehension skills, an indication that I am making a rhetorical point. And the point being that as the Nazis oppressed the Jews and the Jews saw it as an evil, so the Israelis oppress the Palestinians, and the Palestinians see it as an evil. (Not a very deep nor controversial idea, to be sure, but, as your misunderstanding shows, there is no idea so basic that it cannot be misunderstood by someone with deficient skills, intelligence, education or experience.)

          GF, you’ve already shown that you cannot comprehend ironic hyperbole and now you show that you cannot comprehend metaphor. I would suggest that, if, in the future, you read something I’ve written and find yourself outraged by it, please do us all a favor and conclude that it is more likely that you lack the education, intelligence or reading skills necessary to understand what I am saying. You’ll be saving everyone the time and trouble and save yourself from looking like an ignorant ass.

        • eljay says:

          >> Richard, your old comments express what you think about Palestinian rights.

          I find amusing RW’s suggestion that a lack of proper context makes those quoted, immoral comments of his look bad. Take, for example:
          >> RW: I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.

          Looks pretty damning on its own, yes? So, what was the context of that comment? Let’s have a look:
          ————————–
          I’ve stated consistently that the PRESENT is the time frame that we can influence, that anyone alive can influence.

          I’ve also stated that I greatly appreciate the change in status for Jews in the world from surviving a century that culminated in genocide, to shift by courage, assertion, and international sympathy to one of self-determination, liberty, health.

          So, I cannot consistently say that “ethnic cleansing is never necessary”.

          I was negative six years old in 1948. I had NO influence on the historical events at the time. If I was an adult in 1948, I probably would have supported whatever it took to create the state of Israel, and held my nose at actions that I could not possibly do myself.
          ————————–

          So, the context that is supposed to make his immoral statement look less moral is the one in which he essentially says:
          - People alive today can only influence the present.
          - He appreciates that Jews went from being oppressed to being free.
          - Therefore, he cannot condemn ethnic cleansing everywhere and always.
          - Had he been alive in 1948 he would have supported all manner of injustice and immorality.

          To paraphrase, using his latest gem of a comment – which, by the way, summarizes every piece of context provided above:
          >> RW: The nakba that occurred in 1948 was accompanied by the independence, the liberation, of the Jewish community.
          >> So, I primarily celebrate …

          And that makes it all better. What hateful, Zio-supremacist joker.

          And I haven’t even touched on the fact that he has yet to rule out future ethnic cleansing, everywhere and always.

        • eljay says:

          >> So, the context that is supposed to make his immoral statement look less moral …

          Correction: “look less immoral” or “look more moral”

        • Taxi says:

          GF,

          You know damn well that israel is the NEW nazi country jackbooting itself around the region and taking a chunk here and a chunk of land there, killing civilians with impunity cuz they ain’t jewish. You know all this so quit strutting your smartass sham about the place.

          If you want proof of nazi behavior just take a short frigging drive to Gaza – go see for yourself and stop wasting everyone’s time here. MW has already documented an endless list of fascist and racist crimes by both the government AND the citizens of israel. Go through the archives for your proof you lazy git.

          The “nazi” argument offends you?! Go live under israeli occupation and see how offensive that is!

          I personally have no problem shouting from rooftops that israel is a nazi state. Heck most people who may hear me would sure as hell know immediately what I’m talking about BY NOW!

          Your job as a ‘caring citizen’ is to change the disgusting and criminal behavior of YOUR GOVERNMENT AND COUNTRY, not the PERCEPTIONS of the observer and witness!!!

          Unless of course you’re a cheap and nasty propagandist whose job is to clean the blood off the floor while no one is looking and then say: ‘what blood’?

        • The aspect that is utterly misrepresentative about the way the quote is presented out of context, is that my comments were to support the view that ethnic cleansing is NOT moral, in any present that I’ve been alive in.

          Its not been moral since 1954 when I was born, since 1967, when I was bar mitzvahed, since 1968 when I first made a political comment about the unfairness of Israeli expropriation of land and philosophical basis, since 1972 when I was able to vote and legally an adult, and at no time since.

          You want to extract an immorality out of an academic comment about an event (independence(survival)/nakba) 6 years before I was born, to a current attitude.

          Please represent my views, not your suspicions of what I might mean.

          Take the time, take the moral commitment, to accurately find out what those views are.

          They will differ from yours, as I do identify with the Jewish community. I do not speak only from some equation of universal justice.

          And, that identity with the national Jewish community, gives me a path to speak with sympathy for an aspiring national Palestinian community.

          Try encouragement, rather than small tent “which side are you on?”

          Neither side is right. Better to respect each and find a way for each to be healthy.

        • James North says:

          Richard Witty said, ‘Here I’m clarifying The Richard Witty Lifetime Standard of Morality.
          ‘A decisive event happened in 1954; I, Richard Witty, was born. World morality suddenly changed. Before my birth, the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from Israel and the refusal to allow them to return was Moral. Once I was born, such expulsions were no longer Moral. I’ve held to this view through Key Events in history: my Bar Mitzvah (1967), My First Political Comment on Unfairness (1968), my First Vote (1972).
          ‘Of course, the Witty Lifetime Standard is flexible. So I see no contradiction between it, and my continued endorsement of the 550,000 Israeli settler/colonists who illegally seized land in the West Bank. Even though all of them got there during the Richard Witty Lifetime.’

  5. MHughes976 says:

    A regent is usually one who exercises the powers of a king during illness or infancy. In the UK ‘Regency’ usually conjures up the period when the future George IV was in power during his father’s period of mental illness. The BBC is about to do a series about that time and are billing it ‘when the King was mad and the Prince was wild’, so for us the associations of the word are slightly comic. Presumably Regent University sees its graduates as exercising power in nomine Regis Iesu.

  6. RE: “Bank, king and God (not necessarily in that order)” ~ Mutter

    MY WHIMSICAL COMMENT: What an excellent commentary. But, all those links! And, I already have so very, very many tabs to close before I sleep (or Google Chrome crashes).
    I guess I’ll just have to endure the massive “guilt trip” precipitated by the links not taken (clicked upon).
    Woe is me!

  7. RoHa says:

    “* In 2013, the Egyptian parliament outlaws polygamy.
    * In 2014, women’s rights organizations celebrate a new law that gives women equal inheritance rights.
    * In 2015, women are prohibited from wearing the hijab in public buildings.
    * In 2017, the first movie theater “specializing in porno films” opens.
    * The Ministry of Higher Education decides all students will learn “Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Baha’ism on an equal footing.”
    * In 2019, there is the first gay marriage in Egypt.
    * In 2020, all religious references are removed from official documents and government buildings.

    So far, so good. I bet a lot of Egyptians would want the first four, and couldn’t care less about the other three.

  8. tombishop says:

    For a detailed analysis of the ideology and history of the Dominionist Movement see the new article posted on Talk to Action, ” Inside the Christian Right Dominionist Movement That’s Undermining Democracy” at:

    link to tinyurl.com

  9. john h says:

    >> “The practice of power is part of God’s plan (the Abrahamic faiths are all pretty good at ignoring what Jesus had to say on the matter). No contradictions to worry about!” <<

    Just one of many things that sets Jesus apart from the other two. Too many of his followers take the easy or ignorant way of contradiction, and/or the oxymoron of so-called Christian Zionism. Probably from a mix of egomania (or a kind of God-mania) and self-delusion.

  10. yourstruly says:

    the dominionist’s refusal to settle for anything less than total power?

    where does this leave america, then?

    with calls for bipartisanship & compromise?

    yeh, that’ll work!

    instead what?

    a force that’s more than equal to that of the dominionists, only opposite in direction, and not to waste time on anything that’s in-between

    the middle won’t hold?

    onto what?

    and said opposing force?

    towards peace on earth and goodwill to all living beings

    initial unifying struggle?

    justice for palestine

    based on?

    a vital & steadily growing justice for palestine movement

    plus all (or at least many many) eyes & ears happening to be tuned to the mideast conflict

    and all the other conflicts, the resolution of which are prerequisites to building a better world?

    why not begin with, say, jobs, education & health care for all, reversing global warming, not to mention advancing the woman’s right to choose & same sex marriage?

    because at this moment these struggles aren’t as ripe** as the struggle for justice in palestine.

    and sincc one victory is what it’ll take to begin to turn things around?

    given that there’s opportunity

    the need

    and enough dedicated people to get the job done

    justice for palestine turns out to be the one

    *us, as in you are i, i am you, we are one

    **ripe, as in being a major focus of public attention, worldwide. day after day

  11. piotr says:

    From what I have read, Egypt will almost surely be dominated by religious parties. The impact on the civil rights of women, minorities etc. will probably be minuscule. At the end of the day, you have conservative population, and either certain policies are held to get electoral votes, or, under dictatorship, to pander to the most restive segments of the population.

    It is not like Mubarrak’s Egypt was some kind of secular paradise, like Kabul in early years of Marxist rule, where girls could go to discos in miniskirts (I do not know about discos, but miniskirts were reported).

    In the meantime, public prayers for rain in Texas were not all that successful, and I wonder if it will have any backlash effect on Perry. While the idea was surely correct, something was obviously wrong in the way it was executed, and Perry was the leader. Obviously, religion has place in public life, but it it should be done correctly. In the words of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) “My ummah will be divided into seventy three sects. All of them will be in the Fire except one.”

  12. RoHa says:

    “public prayers for rain in Texas were not all that successful”

    Obviously praying to the wrong god or gods.