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17. April 2012, 22.15 Uhr:

Und tschüß Abu Ismael

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Heute hat Ägyptens Wahlkommission ihre Entscheidung von vergangener Woche noch einmal bekräftigt: Zehn Kandidaten für das Präsidenteamt werden ausgeschlossen. Darunter der ehemalige Geheimdienstchef Suleiman, aber vor allem der Spitzenkandidat der Muslimbrüder und, Ironie der Geschichte, der Salafit Abu Ismael. Dessen Mutter nämlich hatte die amerikanische Staatsbürgerschaft beantragt und erhalten:

Abu Ismail is out of the race because his mother holds a foreign nationality, violating election rules which state that all candidates, their parents and their wives must have only Egyptian citizenship.

Über Abu Ismael, einen ganz gewöhnlichen islamistischen Hetzer, auch gegen den Großen Satan, hat Amr Ezzat kürzlich einen schönen Kommentar in Egypt Daily verfasst:

Abu Ismail’s family, like those of several other Islamists, had traveled to the US and other European countries to escape the oppression they, as strict Salafis, were subjected to by their own governments. However, this has not served to make many of them appreciate these countries’ respect for human rights that ironically allowed for harboring a category of “jihadists” who are struggling to establish regimes that do not respect human rights. (…)

As soon as news about the alleged American nationality of Abu Ismail’s late mother began circulating in the media, some of his proponents started to imply that it was inappropriate to discuss her nationality in the open. Furthermore, the officials in charge of his presidential campaign said that any official documents claiming she has American citizenship would only be part of an American conspiracy against Islam.

Abu Ismail himself pointed out that the Brooklyn Mosque Imam — who told the media that Abu Ismail’s mother was American — “is Shia and one of the men of Iran.”

The pinnacle of sick imagination comes to light when claiming that the nationality affair is a conspiracy between the US and Iran against Sunni Islam.

The epitome of ironies, however, comes to play when we realize that the severe conditions required for presidential candidates — and which disqualify a candidate if either of his or her parent’s obtain a foreign nationality — were opposed by secularists and accepted by Islamists, who are obsessed with their war with the West.  More appropriately, their war should have been waged against tyranny and obstacles hampering political participation.

17. April 2012, 13.50 Uhr:

Ein Coup in Qatar?

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Angeblich haben gestern qatarische Offiziere versucht, den Emir des Landes zu stürzen:

According to Al Arabiya TV, a number of high-ranking military officers rose against the Qatari Emir, triggering fierce clashes between some 30 military officers and US-backed royal guards outside the Emir’s palace, the report said on Tuesday.

The coup was foiled following the arrest of the officers involved in the effort.

American helicopters have reportedly transferred the Qatari Emir and his wife to an unknown location.

Meanwhile, informed Kuwaiti sources said that mediated recent disputes between Saudi Arabia and Qatar have unveiled a new series of disagreements between the officials of the two Persian Gulf states.

The revelation of Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani’s secret phone conversation on the internet intensified internal conflicts between the two Arab states.

In a telephone conversation, the Qatari premier envisioned a definite overthrow of the Saudi regime, saying Qatar will step in the al-Qatif and al-Sharqiya regions one day and Saudi Arabia will be disintegrated.

The Qatari Emir came to power following a US-backed coup against his father in 1995.

Siehe auch: Qatar Coup Attempt – Report und dieses Update beim Guardian und Regional media spread reports of fake Qatar coup attempt

16. April 2012, 00.32 Uhr:

Verrat an der iranischen Demokratiebewegung

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Patrick Clawson meint in Foreign Policy völlig zu Recht, dass der so geannte Westen jederzeit bereit ist, die iranische Demokratie- und Menschenrechtsbewegung für einen Atomdeal mit dem Regime zu opfern:

One reason Iranian democrats worry that we would throw them under a bus for a nuclear deal is because that is exactly what we would do. The cold truth is that the West, including the United States, would gladly negotiate a nuclear agreement with Iran’s hardliners at the expense of Iranian human rights and democracy. If all it took to reach a nuclear deal were to remain silent about Tehran’s repression, the prospects for a deal would be excellent. But in fact what holds up the deal is that Iran is not prepared to give up much of its nuclear program and the West is not convinced that the Islamic Republic would live up to any commitment it makes. What’s more, the West – especially the United States – is not willing to offer much in trade so long as the fundamental geostrategic conflict with Iran remains.

14. April 2012, 23.27 Uhr:

Afghanistan: Die Katastrophe

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel Davis ist der Überzeugung, dass in Afghanistan alles noch viel schlimmer ist, als berichtet wird. Er reiste durchs Land, interviewte unzählige Afghanen und US-Soldaten und hat nun Berichte vorgelegt, über den der Guardian folgendes schreibt:

As part of his job he had criss-crossed the country, travelling 9,000 miles and talking to more than 250 people. He had built up a picture of a hopeless cause; a country where Afghan soldiers were incapable of holding on to American gains. US soldiers would fight and die for territory and then see Afghan troops let it fall to the Taliban. Often the Afghans actively worked with the Taliban or simply refused to fight. One Afghan police officer laughed in Davis’s face when asked if he ever tried to fight the enemy. “That would be dangerous!” the man said.

Yet at the same time Davis saw America’s military chiefs, such as General David Petraeus, constantly speak about America’s successes, especially when working with local troops. So Davis compiled two reports: one classified and one unclassified. He sent both to politicians in Washington and lobbied them on his concerns. Then in February he went public by giving an interview to the New York Times and writing a damning editorial in a military newspaper. Then – and only then – did he tell his own army bosses what he had done.


13. April 2012, 22.03 Uhr:

»Lächerliche Debatten über Genitalverstümmelung, Niqab und Sharia ...«

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Der angesehene tunesische Rechtswissenschaftler  Yadh ben Achour in deutlichen Worten über die, von den Islamisten angestoßenen, politischen Debatten in seinem Land:

Everything we’ve done so far has been a waste of valuable time in lamentable and ridiculous discussions about female circumcision, the niqab, Sharia, the caliphate, and other dreams and utopias which all proceed from thoughts which will never be realized. It was these very thoughts that were once the fundamental causes of the general decline of the Muslim world. Turkey, ruled by an Islamic-oriented party, is admired not because it applies Sharia, or agrees with Salafism, or is inspired by the somber niqab for its fashion. The reasons for its success comes from the fact that they lead a secular state, which has achieved an economic growth rate well above 7% and is led by a competent government.

13. April 2012, 21.42 Uhr:

Warum wählen ägyptische Dorfbewohner die Islamisten?

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Ein aufschlussreicher Artikel über das Wahlverhalten in einem ägyptischen Dorf, dessen Bewohner merheitlich islamistisch gewählt haben. Die Autorin versucht auch den überraschenden Wahlerfolg der Salafiten zu erklären:

Despite the common perception that Salafis are strict followers of Sharia compared to the Muslim Brotherhood, many of my research participants often talked about Salafis as religiously less strict than the Ikhwan. From the work of Ikwani leaders in the village, the villagers have noticed the strict hierarchy that informs the work of the Brotherhood members on the ground. In other words, the villagers understood the Brotherhood’s adherence to the dictates of the Guidance Bureau, or the Murshid, as an orthodoxy that made the Brotherhood stricter than the Salafis. They often said to me: “How come Ikhwan grassroot leaders all agree on the same things?” An incident that they often referred to is the insistence of Muslim Brotherhood members to force people to pray outside of a mosque, not build by the Brotherhood, during the Eid al-Fitr prayer last September.

Salafis, on the other hand, are seen as religiously flexible. “Aren’t we all Salafis?” many Nour supporters often repeated to me. For them, Salafis represent a religious understanding that seeks to closely follow the times of the Prophet and his followers — the Prophet was married to a Coptic woman, his neighbors were Jews, he dealt with each situation on a case-by-case basis, hence the perception that Salafis are, believe it or not, lenient. This was reflected on the ground; Salafis, at least in the village where I worked, appear to be more laid-back compared to the Ikhwan, and hence, more sensitive and open to the local context. (…)


13. April 2012, 01.02 Uhr:

Ägypten, ein Jahr nach dem Sturz Mubaraks

von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Itzhak Levanon bis Ende vergangenen Jahres der israelische Botschafter in Ägypten in einem sehr lesenswerten Essay über die Lage im Land ein jahr nach dem Sturz Mubaraks, die Zukunft des Friedensabkommens und die Taktik der Muslimbrüder.

Seine Einschätzung in Stichpunkten:

During the first year of the revolution the army took over from the president, but it had always been kept away from politics by Mubarak, so when power was transferred to them, they had no experience in domestic politics and they started to make mistakes. In all my meetings with President Mubarak, together with Israeli, American, and Palestinian personalities, Field Marshal Tantawi, the minister of defense, was never present.

Few in Egypt believe that the army is sincere about the transfer of power to the civilians. Many believe that the real objective of the army is to maintain its special status, which the army has had in Egypt since the revolution of 1952. They have their own hospitals and hotels. They are deeply involved in the economy, and they have their own budget. This is an institution that is quasi-independent, and very strong.

After years of imposed political exile, the Muslim Brotherhood has entered domestic political life in Egypt by the front door. At an early stage after the revolution, we detected at least a tacit understanding between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood, to the detriment of the revolutionaries.

My assessment is that the Muslim Brotherhood will compromise with others and will seek a consensus. They understand that if there is failure, the failure will be theirs. This is why they would like to share it with others, and this basically means pluralism. This does not mean that they will not work very hard in order to reach their objective, which is to capture the public, not to change the regime. If they can spread their ideology to enough people, the change will come from them.

For at least 30 years, Mubarak’s regime intentionally reduced the volume of bilateral relations between Israel and Egypt, keeping a high-level contact channel only with the presidency and his close entourage. I believe there should have been reciprocity. Israeli ambassadors did not have free access to ministries, to parties, were banned by the media, were banned by all the unions, while in Israel the Egyptian ambassador is invited to meet with the top level, including the prime minister, and the media quotes him.

There are still security contacts at the upper levels between Israel and Egypt, and this is because there is an interest on both sides, but there are no bilateral relations. The public in Egypt is not aware enough that the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt is an Egyptian interest, no less than an Israeli one. It would be wise at this early stage to explain to the Egyptian public that the alternative to peace is a nightmare that we should all avoid.

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