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Friday, March 16, 2012

Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler

Here's Soccer Dad's Middle East Media Sampler for Friday, March 16.
1) I, for one, welcome our new Islamists

The New York Times recently started a series, The New Islamists, to explain:
Articles in this series will explore the rise of political Islam in the Middle East, as Islamic movements struggle to remake the Arab world.
So far there have been two articles in the series. One Islamists’ Ideas on Democracy and Faith Face Test in Tunisia is about Tunisia and the other Keeper of Islamic Flame Rises as Egypt’s New Decisive Voice is about Egypt. The former contains seven references to democracy and that latter has 14 such references.

Surprisingly variations on the word "moderate" showed up only twice in the article about Egypt.

Though not officially part of the "new Islamists" series, the New York Times profiled Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, in Top Challenger in Egypt Vote Is an Islamist, and Moderate. Besides the title, "moderate" or variations appear four times in the article. The key quote is this:
“Dr. Aboul Fotouh is very dangerous for them — a matter of life and death,” Ms. Mahdi said. “If he succeeds, it means the Brotherhood loses its monopoly on moderate Islam. It shows that there is a multiplicity in Islam big enough to include Marxists and liberals. It tells their moderates that you can leave the Brotherhood and it is not the end of life.”
So if Dr. Aboul Fotouh is a moderate that means that the Brotherhood isn't. Of course, this interview from 5 years ago (assuming that About Fotouh has not changed his views since then) hardly shows a moderate. When asked about Hamas, he responded:
No, no, no! What they do is resistance, not violence. And what about Nelson Mandela? His movement had a military wing, too.
We differentiate between resistance and violence.
The Israelis use so much violence. Remember how they killed Sheikh Ahmed Yassin? An old man, a paraplegic in a wheelchair-- and they just killed him with rockets from the air.
Israel refused everything peaceful, including the Arab peace plan and the Road Map. remember how Sharon defined 14 points of opposition he had to the Road Map, after the Palestinians had accepted it completely.
Shiekh Yassin, of course, organized terror. Sharon, despite his reservations accepted the Road Map. But most importantly, differentiating between resistance and violence is the mark of a moderate.

2) We trust in truces

The last we heard from the New York Times (two days ago) Unannounced Truce Calms Violence in Gaza:
Hamas sought the aid of Egyptian mediators to broker unannounced understandings with Israel to end the violence. The truce came into effect before dawn on Tuesday.
Its fragility was apparent from the start.
The last Israeli airstrike against a squad launching rockets occurred Monday night. But several Palestinian rockets and mortar shells landed in Israeli territory throughout Tuesday. Most fell in areas near the Gaza border, but on Tuesday night a longer-range rocket slammed into a parking lot in a residential neighborhood of the southern Israeli town of Netivot. The rockets caused no physical injury, and Israel did not immediately respond.
There has been no further reporting in the New York Times about the continued rocket attacks. Before the ceasefire terrorist groups took credit for over 300 rocket attacks since last Friday. Strangely, they don't take credit for the rocket attacks since the ceasefire was declared, so I guess that's why the New York Times stopped reporting on them.

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