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Dagelijks archief 4 juli 2013

Egypt rounds up Mursi’s Brotherhood leadership

CAIRO (AFP) — Egypt’s army rounded up the leadership of ousted president Mohamed Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday as a top judge took office after an abrupt end to the Islamist’s first year in power.

Mursi’s government unravelled late on Wednesday after the army gave him a 48-hour ultimatum in the wake of massive demonstrations since June 30 against his turbulent rule.

The Brotherhood called for a peaceful protest on Friday over the “military coup” as the army turned the screws on the Islamist movement.

Mursi’s supporters clashed again with his opponents on Thursday, in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya, home to the former president’s extended family.

At least 30 people were wounded in the violence, in which birdshot and stones were used, a police official said.

Police arrested the Brotherhood’s supreme leader Mohammed Badie “for inciting the killing of protesters”, a security official told AFP.

Former supreme guide Mahdi Akef was also arrested, state television reported.

Anger gave way to gloom as thousands of the embattled Islamist movement’s supporters rallied at a Cairo mosque, surrounded by the army.

“It’s a soft military coup. The military was smart, using the cover of civilians,” said one, 26-year-old Ahmed al-Sayyed, in reference to the mass anti-Mursi protests.

Military chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced Mursi’s overthrow on Wednesday night, citing his inability to end a deepening political crisis, as dozens of armoured personnel carriers streamed onto Cairo’s streets.

The crackdown came as chief justice Adly Mansour, 67, was sworn in as interim president at a ceremony broadcast live from the Supreme Constitutional Court.

He will serve until elections at a yet-to-be determined date, said Sisi, as he laid out a roadmap for a political transition that includes a freeze on the Islamist-drafted constitution.

A judicial source said the prosecution would on Monday begin questioning Brotherhood members, including Mursi, for “insulting the judiciary”.

Other leaders of the movement would be questioned on the same charges, including the head of its political arm Saad al-Katatni, Mohammed al-Beltagui, Gamal Gibril and Taher Abdel Mohsen.

Morsi and 35 other Brotherhood leaders have also been slapped with a travel ban.

Analysts said Mursi and his Islamists hastened their own demise.

“Mursi and the Brotherhood made almost every conceivable mistake … they alienated potential allies, ignored rising discontent, (and) focused more on consolidating their rule than on using what tools they did have,” Nathan Brown wrote on the New Republic website.

A senior military officer said the army was “preventively” holding Mursi and that he might face formal charges linked to his prison escape during the revolt that overthrew dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Mursi had issued a defiant call for supporters to protect his elected “legitimacy”, in a recorded speech hours after the military announced his ouster.

“We had to confront it at some point, this threatening rhetoric,” the officer said. “He succeeded in creating enmity between Egyptians.”

Mursi’s rule was marked by a spiralling economic crisis, shortages of fuel and often deadly opposition protests.

Thousands of protesters dispersed after celebrating wildly through the night at the news of his downfall.

Egypt’s press almost unanimously hailed Mursi’s ouster as a “legitimate” revolution.

“And the people’s revolution was victorious,” read the front page of state-owned Al-Akhbar.

Mursi’s opponents had accused him of failing the 2011 revolution by concentrating power in Brotherhood hands.

His supporters say he inherited many problems from a corrupt regime, and that he should have been allowed to serve out his term until 2016.

US President Barack Obama said he was “deeply concerned” over Mursi’s ouster and urged the army to refrain from “arbitrary arrests”.

In May, Washington approved $1.3 billion in military aid to Egypt. That was now under review, said Obama, as he called for a swift return to democratic rule.

Germany called the military’s move “a major setback for democracy in Egypt”, while UN chief Ban Ki-moon said civilian rule should resume as soon as possible.

Governments across the Middle East welcomed Mursi’s ouster in varying degrees, with war-hit Syria calling it a “great achievement”.

But pro-government media in Qatar, a key Brotherhood ally, carried words of warning for Egypt.

“Egypt has never before been in such a foggy situation … Every political and ideological group now thinks it has the right to rule,” said a commentary in Asharq newspaper.

At least 10 people were killed in clashes in Alexandria and in the southern province of Minya during the night, security officials said, after the week before Mursi’s downfall saw at least 50 dead.

(Source / 04.07.2013)

Top ten mistakes that led to Mursi’s ouster

A protester, opposing Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi, sits next to graffiti depicting Mursi on a wall of the Presidential Palace in Cairo July 2, 2013.

Speculations of what could have led Egyptians to call for the ouster of Mohammad Mursi are many. Below are 10 reasons believed to be why the Islamist president failed to remain in power for his term.

1- The Brotherhoodization of the state

Within months, Mursi appointed Brotherhood members in various state institutions. He assigned five members in different ministries, eight in the presidential office, in addition to seven governors, 12 governorate assistants,13 governorate councilors and 12 city mayors, all in charge of 40 million Egyptians.

2- Judges and Judiciary

Mursi’s attempts to control the judiciary went against building a democratic state.

  • He dismissed public prosecutor Abdel Meguid Mahmoud last November, a step that was later ruled out by an Egyptian court as unconstitutional.
  • The president’s power grab last November was also considered a step that weakens the courts, as it excludes his decrees from judicial oversight.

3- Ousting Mubarak’s military strongman

  • The dismissal of Field General Mohammed Tantawy, the defense minister under former president Hosni Mubarak, the country’s powerful armed forces looked at Mursi with mistrust. Tantawy, along with other top commanders from the country’s Supreme Council of Armed Forces where the ones who forced Mubarak to leave power.
  • Consecutive attempts to insult the military by the Muslim Brotherhood, which the president hails from, have made the relation between Mursi and the establishment at unease.

4- Crackdown on media

  •  The dismissal of editors heading some of the country’s newspapers, in addition to confiscating a number of newspapers, raised woes regarding the future of media freedom in Egypt under Mursi’s rule.
  • More than 200 journalists were questioned by the country’s public prosecutor.
  • The presidential office filed 100 suits against journalists and media figures, including the country’s popular satirist Bassem Youssef.
  • In a response, the government rebuffed critics, arguing that the move was aimed at suppressing media reports that incite violence or the ones that personally insult the newly-elected president.

5- Economic failures

  • -Failing to fulfill promises he had made during Egypt’s presidential elections fueled people against him. Failing to increase wages and improve living conditions.
  • There were about 558 demonstrations, 514 strikes and 500 sit-ins this year in Egypt.
  • The ousted president tried to resolve the country’s deteriorating economic crisis by his decision to amend tax laws last November. However, this resulted in increasing prices of essential commodities needed by citizens.

6- Foreign affairs

The timing of Mursi’s visit to Tehran and Moscow affected how his position from the Syrian crisis was viewed, especially that he came to power following a popular revolution that later inspired the Syrian uprising.

7- Real decision makers

Leaders at the Muslim Brotherhood continuously announced decisions and made statements regarding state affairs during public events. This gave people the impression that they were the real policy-makers behind Mursi’s decisions. This has weakened the president’s image in front of the public.

8- Emergency declarations

Mursi’s declaration of a state of emergency in three cities near Egypt’s Suez Canal, following four days of civil unrest, was deemed as ineffective. The cities were subjected to a 30-day curfew, which according to the constitution, needs to be approved by the parliament or council members. The deceleration was challenged seriously by residents of the cities, who filled the streets despite the curfew.

9- Pardoning prisoners

Mursi’s decision to issue a decree to pardon 22 imprisoned defendants serving sentences in Wadi Natrun prison. Some of the pardoned prisoners faced charges of drug-selling and murder.

10-Accusing opposition

Filing complaints against opposition figures like former nuclear chief Mohammad ElBaradei, opposition leaders Hamdeen Sabahi and Amr Moussa, and a number of media personals accusing them of inciting people against the newly-elected president.

(Source / 04.07.2013)

Egypt foreign minister to Kerry: No ‘military coup’

 

In this March 2 file photo, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr listens as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the media at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo. AP photo

In this March 2 file photo, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr listens as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks to the media at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said he assured U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a telephone call today that the overthrow of elected President Mohamed Morsi had not been a military coup.

“The American side is a strategic partner for Egypt and the welfare of Egypt is important to them,” said Amr, a career diplomat who tendered his resignation to Morsi on July 2 but who remains in charge of Egypt’s foreign ministry – at least until a new interim technocratic government is named.

“I hope that they read the situation in the right way, that this is not a military coup in any way. This was actually the overwhelming will of the people.”

Kerry had assured him, Amr said, that Egypt was a strategic ally whose stability was important. Kerry also asked about human rights and the Egyptian minister said there would be no acts of vengeance against Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood.

Amr, interviewed in his office at the Foreign Ministry in Cairo, said he had briefed many ambassadors in Cairo and spoken by telephone today with more than a dozen foreign ministers and the United Nations secretary general.

He said he told them: “Definitely what happened was not a military coup. I know that last night and today some people are saying this. Of course, I can understand. But what happened, definitely, definitely, was not a military coup.”

‘No political role for the army’

Amr said the move had been driven by the massive popular demonstrations on June 30 against Morsi which had persuaded the armed forces to intervene and suspend the constitution. Noting a roadmap set out for holding new elections, he said:

“There is no role, no political role whatsoever, for the military … This is the total opposite of a military coup.”

Speaking on a day when Morsi was in custody and he and other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood faced arrest warrants, Kerry had asked about human rights, Amr said: “He was worried about the status of human rights, understandably.

“I assured him there is no retribution, no acts of vengeance, that nobody will be treated outside the law.

“The idea is to have everybody participating in the transitional process.”

The military overthrow of an elected leader could entail cutting of vital U.S. aid to Egypt, under the U.S. law. Hours after the installation of a new regime in Egypt, President Barack Obama warned that the U.S. might have to review its aid to Egypt.

Obama urged Egypt’s military to hand back control to a democratic, civilian government without delay, but stopped short of calling the ouster of Morsi a coup d’état.

(Source / 04.07.2013)

Prisoner’s medical condition deteriorates

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — A Palestinian prisoner’s health is seriously deteriorating and Israel has transferred from hospital to a prison clinic, a lawyer said Wednesday.

Motasem Radad was moved from Meir Hospital to Ramle prison clinic, Palestinian Prisoner Society lawyer Jawad Boulos said.

Radad suffers several symptoms including hypertension and a weak immune system.

He has several infections which doctors have been unable to treat and and has recently developed blurred vision and a weak heart.

Boulos blamed Radad’s deteriorating condition on the medication he was given, including daily cortisone shots that the lawyer said had weakened his bones and impeded his movement.

A doctor who examined Radad on Wednesday recommended further medical tests, Boulos said.

Rabad requested an early release on health grounds in June.

In a letter he sent to a human rights organization in Jerusalem he said that he had the symptoms for five years but doctors still cannot determine the cause of these symptoms.

Radad has served seven years of his 20-year sentence.

(Source / 04.07.2013)

West bank villagers cut off by Israel’s barrier and settlements

An Israeli flag over a view of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ofra.

 For the villagers of Nabi Samuel, home is no longer sweet.

The Palestinian village northwest of Jerusalem has been cut off from its Arab hinterland by Israel’s meandering West Bank barrier.

The village has now been surrounded on all sides by the barrier and the expansion of Jewish settlements of Givat Ze’ev and Ramot, which have come between it and the West Bank. A section of the barrier separates settlements from West Bank villages of northwest Jerusalem, putting the settlements on the Israeli side and the villages on the Palestinian side.

Nabi Samuel is now stuck between the settlements.

“There is a huge harassment on the village, any project in the village isn’t allowed. We are not allowed to build, they demolish what we build. As you can see ,the main road in the village isn’t paved. We are not allowed to renew the water system. We asked for lighting the streets, we did not get permit. We are not allowed to have a sewage system, so the waste water goes through the land that affects the agriculture and even the health in the village,’’ Mohammed Barakat, a village councilor and lawyer who speaks on behalf of the community told Reuters Television.

An Israeli military checkpoint set within the separation barrier controls access from the village to the West Bank, isolating its 350 residents from their families.

Reaching Palestinian towns once a five-minute drive from Nabi Samuel can now take more than an hour. Visitors from the other side of the barrier must get Israeli permission to pass through a checkpoint.

“This is the only entrance to the village, it takes us to Jeep village. We used to have roads toward all villages North West of Jerusalem. This is now our only way to enter these villages. They control us,” Ramzi Barakat, Resident of Nabi Samuel, said.

The barrier is just one lasting consequence of the second Intifada — an uprising whose failures are often cited by Palestinians as good reason to avoid more violent confrontation with a vastly more powerful adversary.

Israel says the barrier, a mix of electronic fences and walls that encroach on West Bank territory, is meant to keep suicide bombers out of its cities – and says it is working.

But Palestinians say it is aimed at seizing control of land, a disguised move to annex or fragment territory Palestinians seek for a viable state. The section that has cut Nabi Samuel off from the rest of the West Bank for example, also loops around nearby Jewish settlements deemed illegal by the world court, anchoring them to Israel.

“After the wall, it’s as though we are in a prison, it is a big prison. It has only one entrance. Entering or exiting this village is under certain conditions.

We as residents of the village are registered on the terminal, if someone forgets his ID or is not registered at the terminal is not allowed to enter the village. If someone wants to visit us we need to get a permit,” Barakat said.

The International court of Justice has declared the planned 600-km barrier illegal, but Israel has ignored the non-binding ruling. More than half the barrier has been completed.

The barrier’s course encompasses Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Although settlements lie on the Israeli side of the barrier, international law still considers them an illegal settlement on occupied West Bank land.

Villagers need permits to reconstruct roads, build houses or even have a mobile medical clinic inside Nabi Samuel.

Umm Salem Barakat, 62 years-old said that the army uprooted her new planted trees and told her that they were planted illegally and without a permit.

“I plant vegetables. I planted trees, they (army) uproot them. There is no work here, they are working inside the mosque, searching for monuments, when it finishes they will be unemployed,” she said.

The village takes it name from the Tomb of Samuel, an ancient Jewish burial site for the prophet Samuel. A mosque was built around the tomb in the 18th century and a small Jewish synagogue also located underground next to the tomb.

Residents say the barrier has increased the hardship of their daily lives. The landscape they were once familiar with has changed and many have been cut off from their families, neighbors, schools and agricultural land.

84-year-old Haja Shukria who used to own 128 dunums (32 acres) of agricultural land said 35 dunums of her land has been confiscated by Israeli authorities.

“Around 35 dunums (8.75 acres) of my land was confiscated under military orders. Around four areas, they are not next to each other. One area is 25 dunums (6.25 acres), the other 11 dunums (2.75acres), the other is 10 dunums (2.5 acres),” Haja Shukria explained.

The barrier and settlement expansion has left the village with a quarter of the 4500 dunums – around 1125 acres- lands which they own.

Givat Ze’ev which contains Har Shmuel , Givon HaHadasha, Har Adar and Givon, and Ramot settlement are located off the northern outskirts of Jerusalem. The settlements are home to 62,000 Jewish settlers and 650 Palestinians who live in al-Khalaileh Quarter and 350 live in Nabi Samuel.

While there is no barrier between Nabi Samuel and Jerusalem, villagers caught working there illegally face jail and a hefty fine. Ten have been caught in recent years. Two are still in prison.

Unemployment in the village runs at 90 percent, Barakat said. The village boasts one small grocery. Its school is a single room measuring 4 meters by 4 meters, which serves 11 pupils. Inevitably, younger people have started to leave.

By 2012, some 50 people had abandoned the village for the other side of the West Bank barrier in the previous two years.

(Source / 04.07.2013)

The Abbasid Revolution

After the end of the Rightly Guided Caliphate, in which Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali led the Muslim world, the caliphate came to the Umayyad family in 661. Mu’awiya, the first Umayyad caliph, led the Muslim world from his capital of Damascus, and passed on rule to his son, Yazid, in 680. This marked the beginning of the caliphate being a family dynasty, as it would continue until its abolition in 1924. During the 1292 years of the caliphate, the title has passed a few times between different families. The first time this happened was during the upheaval of the late 740s, when the Abbasid family overthrew the Umayyads and came to power, establishing one of the most powerful Muslim empires of all time.

Problems With The Umayyads

The Umayyad Caliphate at its greatest extent.

The Umayyad Caliphate at its greatest extent.

During the 89 years of Umayyad rule, the Muslim world experienced exponential growth geographically, militarily, and economically. Muslim armies pushed into India in the east and into Spain and France in the west. With an economy buoyed by such conquests, the Umayyad caliphate became incredibly wealthy, leading to a relatively stable society.

Despite these achievements and power, there was trouble for the Umayyads brewing under the surface of the society. The first problem was the inequitable treatment of non-Arabs. As the Muslim empire pushed into non-Arab lands in North Africa, Spain, and Persia, huge numbers of non-Arab non-Muslims came under Umayyad control. For the most part, their lives were left undisturbed, with freedom of religion being one of the core principles of Islamic government. In Islamic law, non-Muslims in a Muslim state are required to pay a tax known as the jizya, or poll-tax. For most parts of the empire, this tax was lower than the pre-Islamic taxes of the Byzantine or Sassanid Empires, so no discontent came from this aspect of the government.

For Muslims however, the Umayyad caliphate chose not to tax them at all, besides the zakat, which is an obligatory form of worship involving donating a certain percentage of wealth towards the needy. For non-Muslims newly under Umayyad rule, conversion to Islam clearly had some financial advantages. If they converted, they would be exempt from the jizya tax and would instead have to pay the zakat, which would be lower in most cases. While the jizya was not oppressively high, a lower tax rate is always attractive to a logical human beings, thus the logical thing to do was to convert.

However, the Umayyad caliphate saw a major problem with mass conversions to Islam based on tax rates. If a big enough proportion of the population converted to Islam and stopped paying the jizya, tax revenues would go way down, leading to financial instability. To combat this problem, the Umayyads decided to continue to tax recent converts as if they were still non-Muslims. The implications of this were huge.

First of all, doing so contradicted Islamic law, which legitimized the Umayyads to an extent. Equal treatment of all Muslims had been one of the most attractive messages of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, and this policy clearly went against his teachings. Furthermore, most of the converts who were being taxed were non-Arabs. The vast majority of the Arabs of the empire were in the Arabian Peninsula and had converted during the life of the Prophet ﷺ, and were thus not subject to the jizya. This created a unequal society based on race. Arab Muslims had more privileges while non-Arab Muslims were treated as inferior.

The Umayyad caliph ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-’Aziz, who ruled from 717 to 720 recognized the numerous problems with this policy and reversed it as soon as he came to power. Due to his Islamically-based reign, historians and Islamic scholars consider him the “fifth rightly guided caliph” after Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali. The rest of the Umayyad ruling family opposed his reforms however, and he was poisoned after 3 years in power. With his death, the equitable treatment of all races in the Umayyad Empire also ended, and serious plans to remove the Umayyads from power began.

The Abbasids

From the beginning of Umayyad rule in 661, one of the major problems they had was legitimacy. Unlike the first four caliphs, the Umayyads were not chosen by popular opinion or by respected community leaders. Umayyad rule was essential based on their ability to keep the Muslim world united and organized after the upheaval of ‘Ali’s time.

One group that offered an alternative to Umayyad rule was the people who favored the rule of ‘Ali’s family. They reasoned that since ‘Ali was the Prophet ﷺ’s cousin and son-in-law, his family had the most right to rule. This ideology found supporters among the people of Iraq as well as the Hejaz, where the descendants of ‘Ali lived. Later, this political ideology would morph into a new sect known as the Shi’a, but in the 700s, they were indistinguishable from traditional Islam, and only differed on politics.

The problem with the people who supported rule being given to the Prophet ﷺ’s family was that they lacked the organizational skills and power to overthrow the Umayyads and establish themselves. That is where another group that was related to the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ stepped in – the Abbasids.

The Abbasid family was descended from the uncle of the Prophet ﷺ, ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib. By the early 700s, the family had settled in Humayma, an oasis town in what is now the sandy country of Jordan. Being close to the center of Umayyad power in Damascus, the Abbasids could clearly see when subtle cracks began to develop in Umayyad society based on inequality, and chose to use that as a springboard to claim power for themselves.

The Abbasids sent secret missionaries to the Persian provinces of the empire in the 730s and 740s, where discontent against the Umayyads was a common sentiment. Since most Muslims in this area were non-Arabs, the Abbasids knew they could count on the support of these people. In order to get the support of the more pious-minded, the Abbasids claimed that one of the descendants of ‘Ali had officially transferred the right to rule to the Abbasid family. Whether or not this actually happened, it helped give the Abbasids some legitimacy as the rightful rulers of the Muslim world, something the Umayyads lacked.

Revolution

In 747, after years of secretly getting promises of support throughout the eastern part of the Muslim world, the Abbasids decided the time was ripe to openly revolt. Their distinctive black banners and flags were raised near the ancient city of Merv, in the province of Khurasan, where popular support was very strong for the revolutionaries.

Led by a mysterious figure known as Abu Muslim, the supporters of the Abbasid family in Khurasan promised a return to the utopian ideals of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ  and the early caliphs. Other than that, the promises of the Abbasids were vague, and intentionally so. The important thing to the Abbasids and their supporters was the removal of the Umayyad family from power, other issues would be solved afterwards.

After securing the city of Merv and exiling the Umayyad governor, Abu Muslim began to send the Abbasid armies westward, towards the rest of Persia and Iraq. The Umayyad position had never been particularly strong in Persia, probably due to the fact that their rule was resented by the large non-Arab population, and the Abbasid revolution began to snowball into a larger movement as it rolled through the Iranian plateau.

Meanwhile, the Abbasid family had fled Humayma for the relatively safer Iraq. After an arduous journey through the Syrian desert, they arrived in Kufa, not long before the armies that were fighting for their rule began to appear on the eastern horizon. With the support of the local people, the Abbasids organized an overthrow of the local Umayyad government, installing the Abbasids as the rulers of the city. It was in Kufa that the first public show of allegiance was given to Abul-Abbas, who was declared the first Abbasid caliph in 749.

All of this symbolic transfer of caliphate would have meant nothing without the forceful removal of the Umayyads. The Abbasid army finally met the bulk of the Umayyad forces near the Zab River in northern Iraq. The two armies could not have been more different. The Umayyads with their white flags represented the Arab Syrians who had been the most important social group in the 89 years of Umayyad rule. The black flag-waving Abbasid soldiers represented the undermined and forgotten non-Arabs of the empire and those who desired a more Islamic-based government.

At the climactic Battle of the Zab in early 750, the Abbasid force completely smashed the Umayyad army. The Syrian army was effectively routed and ceased to exist. The Abbasids were able to march right into the Umayyad homeland in Syria and take control of Damascus, relatively peacefully. The last Umayyad caliph, Marwan II, fled to Egypt, where he was found by Abbasid agents and executed. In the transitional mayhem, the Abbasids managed to round up almost every member of the Umayyad family and execute them in the years after 750, except for one young man, Abd al-Rahman. Fleeing from the Abbasid armies during his teen years, he managed to escape to al-Andalus – the Iberian Peninsula – and establish Umayyad rule there, where it would last until 1031.

After the revolution, the Abbasids managed to create a more equitable Islamic society as they had promised, but failed to fulfill all the hopes that came along with their overthrow of the Umayyads. From their new capital in Baghdad, the Abbasids established a dynasty much like the Umayyads that came before them. Despite giving non-Arabs a more equal role in society, the Abbasids failed to honor their vague promises to go back to the early days of the caliphate and that utopian society. Like the Umayyads, and every other dynasty in Islamic history, there were positive and negative aspects to Abbasid rule.

Conclusions

When studying Islamic history, it is important to avoid painting any one group as 100% good or 100% bad. With the exception of the Prophet ﷺ and his companions, almost every historical figure, movement, and empire has good and bad qualities. When applying this understanding to the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates, we can appreciate the achievements and lofty ideals of both, while still understanding that they were both less than perfect and had their flaws.

(Source / 04.07.2013)

Medeleven

By Marianna Laarif

Een muis keek door een gat in de muur en zag dat de boer en zijn vrouw een pakketje opende.

“Wat voor voedsel zit erin?”: dacht de muis die best wel trek had in eten… Maar hij schrok toen hij zag dat het een muizenval was!

De muis ging snel naar het weiland en de muis schreeuwde als waarschuwing en vroeg om hulp: “er is een muizenval in het huis!! Er is een muizenval in het huis!!”

De kip die kakelde ging rechtop staan en kwam met zijn hoofd omhoog en zei: “hé muis, ik kan je vertellen dat dit het einde van jouw leven is. Maar het heeft geen consequentie voor mij en het boeit me helemaal niet.”

De muis keerde zich om en ging naar het schaap en zei tegen het schaap: “er is een muizenval in het huis!! Er is een muizenval in het huis!!”

De schaap moest lachen en zei: “sorry maar dat is jouw probleem. Ik heb het te druk om me ook nog eens druk te maken om jouw problemen.”

De muis ging vervolgens snel naar de koe en zei tegen de koe: “er is een muizenval in het huis!! Er is een muizenval in het huis!!”

De koe zei: “zolang ik hier kan relaxen op het gras en ik mezelf kan onderhouden voel ik me goed en een muizenval doet me weinig.”

De muis ging verdrietig terug naar zijn huisje, met zijn hoofd omlaag en een traan die over zijn wang liep. De muis vond het jammer dat zijn vrienden geen medeleven toonde…

Dezelfde nacht was er een hard geluid dat door het huis heen klonk – het was het geluid van de muizenval die zijn prooi had gevangen.

De boer zijn vrouw vloog de trap af om te zien wat de muizenval had gevangen… Het was donker waardoor ze niet kon zien dat het een giftige slang was die vast zat met zijn staart in de muizenval!

Toen de vrouw dichterbij kwam beet de slang de vrouw van de boer. De boer schrok van haar kreet en nam haar snel mee naar het ziekenhuis. De volgende dag kwamen ze terug en kregen het recept mee van de dokter. Het recept was “kippensoep” om de koorts te laten dalen dus de man slachtte de kip en deed het in de soep.

Maar de vrouw werd niet beter en haar gezondheid ging achteruit! Vrienden en buren kwamen vaak langs. En om de gasten eten te geven, slachtte de boer het schaap.

De vrouw van de boer werd maar niet beter en op laatst ging zij dood. Zo veel mensen kwamen langs, waardoor de boer genoodzaakt werd de koe te slachten om iedereen te voeden die langs kwam.

De muis zag dit allemaal gebeuren met groot verdriet…

Dus de volgende keer als je hoort dat iemand een probleem heeft zeg dan niet meteen dat het je niets aan gaat. We zijn met zijn allen op een reis dat “het leven” heet dus ieder moet zijn broeder/zuster helpen.

Hadith: De Profeet Mohammed (vrede en zegeningen zij met hem) heeft gezegd: Wie geen medelijden heeft met het lot van anderen zal zien, dat hijzelf de goddelijke barmhartigheid moet ontberen. [hadith Muslim]

Abu Mousa, (moge Allah met hem tevreden zijn), heeft overgeleverd: “De Profeet (vzzmh) heeft gezegd: De gelovige vormt samen met een andere gelovige een soort bouwwerk. Het ene deel steunt op het andere. Hij maakte een gebaar door zijn vingers in elkaar te schuiven. [hadith Bukhari & Muslim]

Allah’s Boodschapper (vzzmh) heeft gezegd: “Op de Dag des Oordeels zal Allah, de Verhevene, verkondigen: “Waar zijn degenen die van elkaar houden omwille van Mijn Genoegen? Deze dag zal Ik hen beschermen in de schaduw die Ik schenk. Vandaag is er geen andere schaduw dan de Mijne.” [hadith Muslim]

De Profeet (vrede en zegeningen zij met hem) zei: “De gelovigen zijn in hun wederzijdse liefde net als de menselijke lichaam. Wanneer het oog pijn heeft, dan voelt het hele lichaam de pijn. Wanneer het hoofd pijn doet, zal het hele lichaam daaronder lijden.” [hadith Moslim]

“Geen van jullie heeft geloofd totdat hij wenst voor zijn broeder datgene wat hij wenst voor zichzelf.” [hadith Muslim en Bukhari]

De Profeet (vrede zij met hem) heeft gezegd: “Als iemand van zijn broeder houdt, moet hij hem dat vertellen.” [hadith Aboe Dawoed en At-Tirmidhi]

De Profeet (vrede zij met hem) heeft gezegd:
“Wees niet afgunstig op andere Moslims, bied bij een verkoop niet hoger dan een andere Moslim, voel geen wrok jegens een andere Moslim, wees niet tegen een andere Moslim en laat hem niet in de steek, doe geen bod terwijl een transactie al gaande is.
O, dienaren van Allah, wees als broeders (of zusters) voor elkaar. Een Moslim is de broeder (of zuster) van een andere Moslim, doe hem (of haar) geen kwaad, kijk niet neer op hem (of haar) of breng geen schande over hem (of haar). Vroomheid is een zaak van het hart (en de Profeet zei dit drie maal).
Het is slecht genoeg voor iemand om neer te kijken op zijn Moslimbroeder (of -zuster). Bloed, eigendom en eer van een Moslim zijn onschendbaar voor een Moslim.” [hadith Muslim]

Toen de Profeet (vrede zij met hem) opdroeg: “Help je (Moslim)broeder (of zuster) wanneer hij onrecht begaat, en wanneer hem onrecht wordt aangedaan”, vroeg iemand hem: “O Boodschapper van Allah, ik begrijp hoe ik hem kan helpen als hem onrecht wordt aangedaan, maar hoe kan ik hem helpen als hij zelf onrecht begaat?” Daarop antwoordde de Profeet SAWS: “Hem tegenhouden het slechte te doen, is hem helpen.” [hadith Bukhari]

Koran « En de gelovige mannen en de gelovige vrouwen zijn elkaars helpers, zij roepen op tot het behoorlijke en verbieden het verwerpelijke en zij onderhouden het gebed en geven de zakaat en zij gehoorzamen Allah en Zijn Boodschapper. Zij zijn degenen die Allah zal begenadigen. Voorwaar, Allah is Almachtig, Alwijs.»
(Soerah At-Taubah 9:71)

« De gelovigen zijn voorzeker broeders. Bewaart daarom vrede onder uw broeders en weest godvruchtig opdat u barmhartigheid moge worden betoond. »
(Soerah Al-Hodjoraat 49:10)

“Als je de avond bereikt, wacht dan niet op de ochtend en als je de ochtend bereikt, wacht dan niet weer op de avond. En als je gezond bent maak dan gebruik van de situatie om kennis te zoeken voor dat je ziek wordt en gebruik je leven voordat je sterft.

The blockade, poverty and malnutrition.

NLT children at Gaza beach camp 2013

Children at Gaza beach camp

The blockade, poverty and malnutrition.

 

‘The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.’DOV WEISGLASS, ADVISOR TO THE ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER IN 2006

I remember the above statement by Dov Weisglass in 2006 just before Gaza was cut off. At the time I was convinced that the blockade wouldn’t last and that it would drive the international community to act. We are now entering the seventh year of the blockade and yet the humanitarian crisis facing the Palestinian people in Gaza continues.

As a result of the occupation and this inhumane policy, over 75% of people in Gaza depend on aid to survive.

The blockade is a form of collective punishment. It is unjust and it is illegal under international law. It puts the world to shame that Israel has been causing considerable suffering through this policy for so long.

The blockade doesn’t just stop essential items getting in; it stops Palestinians exporting goods out. It causes chronic unemployment. It has practically shut down the economy leading to widespread poverty. It has virtually destroyed the agriculture and fishing industries. It reduces the majority of the population to aid dependency. To make matters worse, the UN agency for Palestinians is so underfunded it has recently had to cut subsistence payments to the most hard-pressed families.

You can help provide a complete and nutritious meal for a child for just 70p. Will you please make a donation today and help us feed undernourished children?

Children growing up in poverty are especially vulnerable. Their parents are unable to afford an adequate diet. Nearly 10% of children under five in Gaza suffer from stunting or chronic malnutrition. In many cases stunting can compromise their immune system and leave them at high risk of disease.

This is why Medical Aid for Palestinians is making urgent plans to help these children in Gaza, and that is why I need your help today.

Medical Aid for Palestinians are working with a specialist clinic to provide care and support for malnourished children and their families throughout Gaza. It currently has lengthy queues every day. The meals and advice you can help to provide will be a relief to the parents and make a lasting difference to their children.

Children like Mohamed need you. Mohamed was just 13 months old when his mother brought him to the clinic. He was underweight and anaemic. He was sick not because of famine or crop failure but because, according to his mother, without work or income there just wasn’t the money to buy the food he needed. Thanks to the care the clinic provided, Mohamed’s health improved.

But we need you to help us feed the many hundreds of other malnourished children in Gaza.

These children are not living in a country blighted by infertile soil or drought. The population of 1.7 million people are living in a space no larger than the Isle of Wight, deprived of adequate access to a healthy life as a direct result of the Israeli blockade.

Like me, Najah Zohod, the Director of Children’s Food and Nutrition with our partner on this project, is in no doubt about the severity of the current situation.

‘Until 2000, we had few cases of malnutrition. But when the borders closed to the over 100,000 men who worked in Israel every day, many families’ economies collapsed and nutrition began to be a widespread problem. Since then each subsequent blow to the Gazan economy has been reflected in children’s health: the repeated attacks on agricultural lands, the closure of borders in 2006, and of course the bombardment of the Strip.’*

This situation couldn’t be more urgent. As things stand today, a child in occupied Palestine is five times more likely to die before the age of five than a child in Israel. If you think that’s shocking, as I do, please give what you can today.

Tony Laurance,

Chief Executive Officer

Medical Aid for Palestinians

*Quote from “The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey” by Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Shmitt.

(Source / 04.07.2013)

NGO: Syria army renews assault on central Homs

Syrian warplanes bombed the central city of Homs on Thursday.

Syrian warplanes bombed the central city of Homs on Thursday, with insurgents and troops battling on the ground as regime forces pressed an assault on rebel-held neighbourhoods, an NGO said.

“Warplanes carried out two raids against the Khaldiyeh neighbourhood of Homs, and both Khaldiyeh and the Old City were under heavy rocket fire producing the sound of explosions and plumes of smoke,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Right said.

“Sporadic clashes were ongoing between rebels and regime forces on the outskirts of Khaldiyeh,” the watchdog added.

Regime forces began a campaign to retake several rebel-held neighbourhoods of Homs, often dubbed the capital of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, on Saturday.

The neighbourhoods being targeted have been under siege by regime troops for more than a year, and many civilians have fled, but concerns have been raised about those who remain.

On Tuesday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed fears for 2,500 civilians “trapped” in the city, which is home to a patchwork of religious communities.

Ban called on “the warring sides to do their utmost to avoid civilian casualties and to allow immediate humanitarian access, as well as opportunities for trapped civilians to leave without fear of persecution”.

Elsewhere in the country, the Observatory said an aide to the labour minister was injured by an explosive device planted in his car in the Baramkeh district of Damascus.

The group, which relies on a network of activists, doctors and lawyers on the ground, also reported shelling on the Palestinian Yarmuk refugee camp in the capital.

In southern Daraa province, the group said six people were killed in shelling on the town of Sheikh Miskeen.

(Source / 04.07.2013)

Israel Denies Al-Eesawy Urgently Needed Medical Attention

The Hurryyat Legal Center has reported that the Israeli Prison Authority is denying Palestinian detainee, Samer Al-Eesawy, access to urgently needed medical attention and medications, and refuses to grant him medical checkups.

eesawy11.jpg

Al-Eesawy held an open-ended hunger strike for nine months demanding an end to his illegal detention without charges or trial.

He started his strike after Israeli soldiers kidnapped him in direct violation of the Prisoner Swap deal that secured his release, in October of 2011, along with more than a 1000 detainees in return for the release of Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was captured by the resistance in Gaza in June of 2006.

Al-Eesawy 33, told his lawyer that he has been denied access to medical attention and urgently needed checkups since he was moved to the Shatta Prison after he ended his strike.

He said that, two weeks ago, he started having pain in his kidneys, but was never seen by any specialized physician, and added that the doctors instructed the prison administration to provide him with special meals, but the prescribed meals were rarely granted.

Hurryyat held Israel fully responsible for the life of Al-Eesawy, and voiced an urgent appeal to international human rights groups to ensure Israel provides him with the urgently needed medical attention and treatment.

(Source / 04.07.2013)