Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Light of Alexandria

The struggle of Tahrir square ended and while the military retains control, the dictator voluntarily left. While a world deeply embroiled in violence finds this stunning some Egyptian scholars believed it inevitable.

"For three decades, I came here to see Heikal and he predicted the implosion of Egypt with absolute conviction, outlining in devastating detail the corruption and violence of the Mubarak regime, and its inevitable collapse"- of Mohamed Heikal, the Independent

Conditions of collapse which are now dissimilar only in places of the American Landscape. While the US is considerably larger and less culturally unified, one cannot help but wonder, of the fate of the United States. But Egypt is in a region, now illuminated with the possibility of a better world.

Reports from Yemen tell the tale of struggle, that has now reigned for four days with thousands in the streets.

"Scattered clashes between Bahraini security forces and protesters were reported Sunday night and Monday amid a nationwide "day of rage" against corruption and political oppression inspired by the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt."-LA Times

Now the governments have pressure not to respond with violence, the precedence has been set and governments are increasingly willing to hear and accommodate the protesters. Under pressure of the International world and even many regional neighbors.

"In a statement Monday, Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa did not refer specifically to the protests, but said Bahrain has made "many political reforms and democratic achievements" already. "These reforms, widely acknowledged and appreciated, have upgraded Bahrain's political status at international forums worldwide," he said."- LA Times.

In Beirut "Saad Hariri, whose coalition government was toppled last month, used the occasion to formally announce his opposition to the new administration now being formed. Led by his successor, Najib Mikati, the dominant partner is the militant Shiite Hezbollah movement."- C.S.Monitor

Finally as the 'Arab' world is in upheaval, 'Western' nations are not behaving so well in regards to human rights "Islamophobia in the United Kingdom, the rise of the far right, and the Prevent Terrorism initiative of the British government. we recognized that 80 percent of the oppressed around the world were Muslim, but the perception in the international community is that Muslims are perpetrators not victims. Of course, many of the oppressors of Muslims are also Muslims, but 80 percent of the victims are Muslims. We felt that this was an irregularity in facts and perceptions that had to be addressed or it would lead to greater Islamophobia.

When 9/11 happened, we saw a huge number of attacks in Britain even though 9/11 didn’t happen in Britain. When 7/7 happened, there was a huge number of attacks against Muslims in Britain, and the demonization and attacks were as far afield as New Zealand, where six mosques burned down, Compare that to Bosnia, where Muslims were attacked in name of Christianity, where some of the rape camps were in churches and were run by clergy and even some parts of the Orthodox Church announced that it was a religious duty to help Serbs implement those policies. And yet not a single church burned down in the Muslim world. Why could people in the Muslim world differentiate between those who misused a concept and the rest of the faith while well-educated Westernized societies were not able to do that? That opened up our eyes about how what happened in the 1920s and 1930s happened. That culture is still rife in the West. -Massoud Shadjareh"-FPIF

It is too easy to tell narratives of acension and declension, but the reality is more complex, with multiple layers within society, along ethnic, racial, gender, class and political lines. All of these narratives play on one another influencing each other, in no static manner. While relative self-determination and human rights are a current trend in the middle east. Not six months ago, the middle east was in hushed voices considered backwards- owing to cultural discrepancies. But we do not stand six months ago and women have lead and continue to lead protests and this is juxtaposed to the 'west's' treatment of islamic citizens.

The Student Insurgent stands in solidarity with ongoing protests across the Middle East and across the globe for regional sovereignty and self-determination. Every human deserves their rights and as CrimethInc. would say 'the kids will have their day', but these struggles are not just 'kids' or youth, or elderly, or religious, or gendered and that is what makes this time so hopeful- the people are united, as people.

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