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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Words fail me

fire Just read: Police barricaded polling stations and fired tear gas and rubber bullets Wednesday to keep supporters of the banned Muslim Brotherhood from voting in the final day of parliamentary elections. At least eight people were killed, including a 14-year-old boy. secure Outisde the polling station barricaDE Barricading to prevent people from voting! rally Male voters denied entry rallying denied entry Female voters denied entry rallying as well! In the northern Sinai town of El-Arish, police blocked Brotherhood voters from polling places Wednesday and many fought back with a hail of stones and firebombs, cornering police in the narrow streets of the Mediterranean city. When reinforcements failed to control the crowd, police fled and angry voters rioted and destroyed the city headquarters of the ruling National Democratic Party. *Note: Keep in mind while viewing the following pictures that that this is happening in Egypt, and not in the palestinian occupied territories during the Intifadah.* palestine more ermy fight tahreeg intifadah Government supporters in Zagazig, a Nile Delta city 50 miles northeast of Cairo, were brought to polling stations in an armored police vehicle. They emerged armed with machetes and pushed back voters who were trying to break through police lines to get into polling stations. armored NDP thugs attacking while being protected by a police armored vehicle kharabah baltagy Fourteen-year-old Mohammed Karam el-Taher was killed when police fired at demonstrators in Qattawiya, a Nile Delta village in el-Sharqiya province not far from Zagazig. A 22-year-old man also died in the village of gunshot wounds to the head, according to police, while another man was killed elsewhere in the province. "The police are attacking us again, they don't want to let us vote. I was also unable to vote last week," Abdelsattar al-Mallah, his face covered in blood, told AFP. barricade Face-Off The Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights reported that hundreds of polling stations had been closed nearly all day. "Only NDP supporters have been allowed to enter polling stations using their party IDs," it said in a statement, referring to the ruling National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak. "This blatant biased intervention of security forces in the election undermines the transparency of the voting process and clearly points to the government's intent to tamper with the results," the Egyptian Association for Supporting Democratic Development said in a report. But the interior ministry denied any attempt to prevent voters from casting their ballot and insisted the election was "proceeding smoothly". battle This is voting proceeding smoothly! stones rubber It also charged that it had uncovered several weapons caches belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood and foiled "a conspiracy" to use violence in favour of candidate running for the Islamist movement. unconscious Woman passed out from teargas used by the police. She is part of that "foiled conspiracy" it seems. cry passed out bleed What is there left to say? God save us all!

19 Comments:

At 12/08/2005 05:07:00 AM, Blogger LouLou said...

The good news just keep coming from these elections don't they?

The government seems to be getting away with it though. No international outcry. No pressure. Doesn't bode well for future elections. Sad. Voting shouldn't be a near-death experience.

I have just one question. Why do parliamentary elections take so long in Egypt?I mean why a whole month and so many rounds?

 
At 12/08/2005 05:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if you dont like whats happening now, imagine what would it be like when the MB are in power...do you think there will be poll stations to begin with??

 
At 12/08/2005 05:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am only an American and this is very sad, Sandmonkey. I cannot imagine how this must make you feel.
In the case of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Egypt (fragile democracies), I think voters should consider the following:
1) Does this party/candidate truly believe in democracy? Will they obstruct the democtratic process after they take office?
2) Which candidates are the most tolerant of criticism? You should vote for the candidate that will be most accepting of criticism! (i.e. Tip: Don't vote for extremist who wants "death for defaming religion")
3) Does the candidate show respect for other people in society, especially the minorities, the weak, and the powerless--to give equal opportunity.

 
At 12/08/2005 05:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The second block headline in government-owned Al Akhbar coolly explains:

"The police stand up to thugs in elections"

"8 Dead...

 
At 12/08/2005 08:42:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just so ya'll know, Mubarak is the good guy.

The MB are the BAD GUYS. Like, 9/11-al-qaida-hamas-islamic-jihad-balalala bad.

It is unfortunte that the police forces handed the MB a propaganda victory with those deaths.

The riot police really shouldn't have been armed. But since they were, one can at least understand the temptation to shoot at people throwing sharp objects and molotov cocktails, with the intent to kill, at you.

The MB are trying to create a spectacle in order to gain international support from western human rights groups like amnesty international. This 'act' is right out of the palistinian playbook.

Of course, there are many common egpytian people who they've cynically strung along for the ride. We have a word for people like that - 'useful idiots'.

 
At 12/08/2005 09:35:00 AM, Blogger Lazarus said...

Such a shame. Can the government be that short-sighted?

 
At 12/08/2005 09:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I don't think most people here disagree with you (although you may be stretching it a little...), and I do think it is dangerous for us who know better to fall into the trap of making martyrs of the Brotherhood as a party.

But what is upsetting here is the stupidity of the government doing something it definitely should not be doing. What it is doing is wrong and I can't defend it.

 
At 12/08/2005 12:20:00 PM, Blogger Jane said...

Whatever the political standpoints or ramifications are, these pictures are unbelievable. Such scenes should not be happening due to an election that is "running smoothly". The Egyptian people should be able to vote for whoever they wish.

 
At 12/08/2005 12:32:00 PM, Blogger Peter said...

While this is OBVIOUSLY no way to run a democracy I definitely do not want to see further gains by the absurd and fanatical Muslim Brotherhood. I am horrified what is to happen to Copts, women, freedom of anything if the MB come to power. Last I heard from these extremists is that there is no chance of a Coptic Christian ruling in Egypt...not really a surprise. How could the MB let a kafr or infidel govern over a Muslim...it would be blasphemy and completely counter to Shari'a. The MB also said that they want to eliminate tourism in Egypt. The reason...tourists bring "immorality" to Egypt!!! Can you believe that one? Are these the comments of an absolute idiot??God help the people of Egypt if the MB eliminates the most important revenue source of the country's GDP. Saudi Arabia and Iran HERE WE COME. Violence is never the answer to anything but how does one choose between two evils, the NDP and MB...I guess you choose the lesser of two evils...it's a lousy decision one way or the other. Another concern is that the NDP may be giving the MB legitimacy, obviously not based on their platform but by making martyrs of them and through propoganda.

 
At 12/08/2005 04:07:00 PM, Blogger MuppetLord said...

So, why isn't this making the news?

 
At 12/08/2005 04:12:00 PM, Blogger CMAR II said...

Peter,

The government would use the same tactics against secular parties if they were making the gains the MB is. In fact, I propose that it is because the NDP squelches the ability of ALL parties including secular ones to freely assemble and organize, that the MB (which essentially meets and organizes at mosques where the government can't stop them). Consequently,the governments actions here will only rally more Egyptians, including ones that might be indifferent to the MB, to the MB cause.

But since the NDP is tyrannical, and stomps out liberty parties, why wouldn't religious Egyptians conclude that they would rather have religious tyrants than the current ones?

muppetlord,

You ask why this isn't making news? In the case of American media, they would rather discuss a single missing person case in Aruba or the potential mistreatment of mass-murdering terrorists.

 
At 12/08/2005 04:12:00 PM, Blogger CMAR II said...

Peter,

The government would use the same tactics against secular parties if they were making the gains the MB is. In fact, I propose that it is because the NDP squelches the ability of ALL parties including secular ones to freely assemble and organize, that the MB (which essentially meets and organizes at mosques where the government can't stop them). Consequently,the governments actions here will only rally more Egyptians, including ones that might be indifferent to the MB, to the MB cause.

But since the NDP is tyrannical, and stomps out liberty parties, why wouldn't religious Egyptians conclude that they would rather have religious tyrants than the current ones?

muppetlord,

You ask why this isn't making news? In the case of American media, they would rather discuss a single missing person case in Aruba or the potential mistreatment of mass-murdering terrorists.

 
At 12/08/2005 05:47:00 PM, Blogger Papa Ray said...

Democracy is never imposed. It is tyranny that is imposed.

Read it, its interesting to say the least.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

 
At 12/09/2005 12:33:00 AM, Anonymous Anat from Israel said...

I have a question. If the MB is outlawed in Egypt (as I believe it is), how can it run in elections?

And if its candidates run under some other umbrella that everybody knows is in fact the MB, shouldn't that other unbrella have equally been banned?

 
At 12/09/2005 04:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anat, I have been asking myself the same questions for years.... If they are banned how can they even submit candidates let alone run in elections???????????????
As for the photos above, as deplorable as they are, they really do not give you the full "picture". If these are the MB supporters, and the MB continue to gain in power, you might as well, as the proverb says, lock the country & throw away the key.

 
At 12/09/2005 10:17:00 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Muppetlord, those are all very good points! There just seem to be very few viable secular candidates running. And the few secular candidates basically get overrun by the NDP. I guess decades of political suppression is starting to take effect. The whole process of forming secular civil parties has to start over so that some real candidates, outside theocratic fundamentalist groups emerge. Egypt used to have such things half a decade ago but things don't seem to be moving forward, actually just the polar opposite. But maybe with more opposition in parliament it will force Muburak to open up the political system more.

 
At 12/09/2005 10:47:00 AM, Blogger Peter said...

This article in Al-Ahram, a state-owned Egyptian daily, is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS! It is a perfect example of what Chrisitians have to deal with in the print, tv, radio about dismissing their legitimate concerns.

I can guarantee you that Christians are horrified at the prospect of the BANNED Muslim Brotherhood coming to power and imposing their Shari'a on the Copts. These alleged "Coptic thinkers" that the paper quotes do NOT speak for the Copts!!! All Copts know that they are tools of Murburak's NDP who probably have been bought. Aligning themselves with MB candidates, huh? That doesn't make sense. I'm pretty sure His Holiness Pope Shenouda III and all church leaders are deeply concerned and not supporting MB candidates!

http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/772/eg13.htm

 
At 12/09/2005 02:54:00 PM, Blogger stefania said...

The West has a third option: help strenghten the Liberal Opposition groups

 
At 1/04/2006 07:13:00 PM, Blogger Dennis Dale said...

Thank you, sandmonkey, for another enlightening post. The photos reveal the reality on the ground as no quantity or quality of writing can. Keep your head down and be safe.

 

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