Wednesday, November 30, 2011

'The battle of Cairo's Muhammad Mahmoud Street'

AlJazeera, The battle of Cairo's Muhammad Mahmoud Street, 30 Nov 2011 "The street battles taking place in Cairo are emblematic of its Second Revolution: tear gas, hair gel and tramadol."

Culinary Diversion: Gaza's Food Heritage

Saudi Aramco World : Gaza's Food Heritage non-tech, interesting and beautifully photographed article by Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt ...

'How Will Facebook and Twitter Impact Islam?'

Nidhal Guessoum, Huffington Post, How Will Facebook and Twitter Impact Islam?, 29 Nov 2011 "During a recent Friday sermon, a young Muslim sitting next to me took out his Blackberry and started to check his messages (while the Imam was giving his speech). I was quite stunned. The young man then put away his smartphone, but 10 minutes later took it out again and typed a few things. That gave me a good indication of both his (short) attention span and the addiction to cyberspace that youngsters have fallen victim to these days."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tahrir Sq doctors

Egyptian newspapers

Mustafa Suleiman,, New independent newspapers see the light in post-revolution Egypt, 23 Nov 2011 "Despite the economic crisis Egypt has faced since the eruption of the January 25 revolution, print media outlets are currently enjoying a boom and the launch of several independent newspapers bears witness to a new era that wants to do away with official and businessmen’s press."

Opinion piece on Muslim Brotherhood

Amira Nowaira, Guardian, Comment is free, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood continues to alienate itself from the people, 25 Nov 2011 "In deciding to stay away from these protests, the Brotherhood may have committed its gravest mistake to date. The footage showing a dead protester being dragged by a security officer and dumped near a rubbish heap, appearing on many satellite channels and the internet, has not only shocked and enraged Egyptians, but it has sent them out on to the streets in their thousands to protest against this outrage."

Opinion/analysis piece on 'Cyber-Hezbollah'

Opinion/analysis piece Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, European Foundation For Democracy, Iran And Cyber-Hezbollah Strategies: Killing Enemies In Hyperspace – Analysis "Last September, Jihadists who call themselves “Cyber-Hezbollah” organised their second conference in Teheran. Islamist hackers and cyber-jihadists gathered there and decided to fight the U.S. and Europe."

Mehanna trial

Boston Globe, Mehanna posted on radical site, 24 Nov 2011 "Tarek Mehanna was committed to translating and distributing pro-jihad materials on the Internet, including on a website promoting radical ideology, according to testimony by an FBI agent yesterday in Mehanna’s terrorism trial in US District Court in Boston. "

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tahrir Sq

First Post, Social media in Tahrir square: How #FreeMona resulted in freeing Mona, 24 Nov 2011. "What is that one thing that united Egypt with Tunisia, Tunisia with Bahrain, Bahrain to Libya—and theses countries with the rest of the world? Social media. Tweets shrieking out for help, an image of a man with a head injury from missiles fired by Egyptian forces, or a jerky video showing people protesting when suddenly a youth is shot through the head.  Social media helped the world to witness and participate in the Egyptian revolution not by fighting tear gas in Tahrir Square but simply through the web." Useful article by Adrija Bose.

Arabic on Twitter

Dana Khraiche, Arabic fastest growing language on Twitter: study, 24 Nov 2011. "The Paris-based Semiocast released an analysis on the language shares on Twitter, surveying 5.6 billion public messages gathered between July 1, 2010 and Oct. 31, 2011. ""More than 2 million public messages were posted ever day on Twitter in Arabic, from about 30,000 in July 2010 [out of 5.6 billion tweets]," the study said."

Mona Eltahawy's tweets

Storify, Shiv Malik, Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy tweets her assault, 24 Nov 2011 Disturbing series of tweets

Mona Eltahawy

Guardian, Journalist Mona Eltahawy alleges sexual assault in Egypt detention, 24 Nov 2011 . "The US-based Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy has been released, according to her personal Twitter account, after 12 hours in detention at the hands of Cairo security forces. A later tweet from the account @monaeltahawy said that she was sexually and physically assaulted while being held inside the interior ministry in Cairo, in the early hours of Thursday morning."


Guardian, Ahdaf Soueif in Cairo: 'By early evening it was clear that this was Revolution II', 23 Nov 2011 "Eat a good breakfast. Take a rucksack with a gas mask and swimming goggles. Write your name on your arm. Write your details into a message on your mobile. And go to the Square." The tweet appeared after three of the (at least) 38 people killed in the streets of Egypt over the last three days proved impossible to identify. It was picked up by the well-respected Egyptian daily al-Shorouk and published to #Tahrirsupplies – the hashtag that collates what you can bring in to the square if you want to help." One of the best pieces from Tahrir Sq

Monday, November 21, 2011

Al-Qaida advises the Arab Spring: Syria

Joas Wagemakers,, Al-Qaida advises the Arab Spring: Syria, 19 Nov 2011 "With the Arab Spring going strong in several countries, al-Qaida (in a broad sense, so including ideologues and scholars supportive of the organisation) still finds it necessary to comment on what is happening. In a series of posts, I will deal with the advice al-Qaida is giving the people of several countries, starting with Syria."


Christopher Anzalone,, The rapid evolution of Al-Shabab’s media and insurgent “journalism”, 16 November 2011 "The evolution of Al-Shabab’s media arm provides a window into the group’s overall maturation as an insurgent movement that has endorsed key elements of Al-Qaeda Central’s ideology while still focusing primarily on waging a domestic insurgency inside Somalia."

Cairo update

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Libya update

CNN, Who is Saif al-Islam Gadhafi?, 19 Nov 2011, "Once seen as a potential successor to his slain father, Moammar Gadhafi, Saif al-Islam 's capture may mark the end to hopes held by loyalists that the Gadhafi family might seize power again."

Egypt update

Guardian, /Egypt: violent clashes in Cairo leave hundreds injured "Egypt has been hit by another wave of major violence ahead of parliamentary elections after security forces opened fire on thousands of protesters demonstrating against the military junta."

Revolutionary app

Daily Beast, Syria's Revolutionary iPhone App Helps Fight the Assad Regime. "Amid a brutal crackdown, rebels are fighting back on their iPhones. Babak Dehghanpisheh on how the Arab Spring’s newest weapon keeps the opposition informed—and the regime in check." Impressive app.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Mohamed Mahmoud profile

Souad Mekhennet, NYT, Austrian Returns, Unrepentant, to Online Jihad, 16 Nov 2011

"According to interviews with Arab, American and European intelligence officials, as well as investigative files, Mr. Mahmoud combines a gift for inspiring followers, a knack for tapping into the power of the Internet and a virtual Rolodex of Qaeda leadership connections, many made in prison or in training camps.

"In short, these officials say, Mr. Mahmoud represents a wave of young heirs apparent to take over the role of Al Qaeda’s propagandist in chief from Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric turned militant leader who was killed by an American missile strike in Yemen in September."

'Of Militants and Boy Bands'

Huma Yusuf, Of Militants and Boy Bands, 16 Nov 2011 "Two videos have gone viral in Pakistan over the past few weeks. Both feature three young Pakistani men. Both flay the establishment. In one, the men wield Kalashnikovs; in the other, they brandish microphones. Such are the tools of change in a country that seems to have lost its way." Opinion piece.

And here's the (music) video from Beygairat Brigade [the other one is also linked into the above article]:

Also see:

NYT, Satirical Song, a YouTube Hit, Challenges Extremism in Pakistan, 7 Nov 2011 "A satirical song that takes a tongue-in-cheek swipe at religious extremism, militancy and contradictions in Pakistani society has become an instant hit here, drawing widespread attention as a rare voice of the country’s embattled liberals."

Mehanna trial update, Mehanna friend said to seek camps for training16 Nov 2011 "Mehanna is also charged with conspiring to support terrorist organizations by distributing and translating materials promoting jihad on the Internet, following Al Qaeda’s call to promote its ideology in the West. He does not deny translating documents, but said his views on foreign policy and opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were free speech protected by his First Amendment rights." Update on trial

Internet ‘Enables Open Debate Between Religions'

Common Ground News Service/, Internet ‘Enables Open Debate Between Religions’ | 

"Picture this: an Iraqi reporter becomes interested in the work of a Jewish student in Israel after reading an article about Jewish-Muslim relations in medieval Spain that the student published online."

"Djinn" in the machine (?)

The Star Online (Malaysia), Face it, you can be virtually spooked via Facebook, 14 Nov 2011

"Users of social media sites should not post their pictures online as they could be used for witchcraft, said Kelantan Darussyifa' Islamic Medicine Association chairman Zaki Ya.

"He said that djin (spirits) are able to “connect” with humans through the Internet, including Facebook, Sinar Harian reported."

Tunisia 'caliphate' discussion

Reuters Canada, Tunisia Islamist causes outcry with "caliphate" talk, 15 Nov 2011 "Footage posted on the Internet showed Hamadi Jbeli, the secretary-general of the Ennahda party, telling supporters that "We are in the sixth caliphate, God willing."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Media and Islam

Nidhal Guessoum, Huffington Post, New Media and Islam, 8 Nov 2011 "The importance of new media (YouTube and such), social networks (Facebook and such) and new tools that can be considered a little bit of both (Twitter and such) no longer needs any argumentation. Facebook is now the third largest "country" in the world, and YouTube and Twitter have redefined "communication." In 2011, in particular, the whole world has seen the power and impact of these tools in various events and revolutions, and indeed a number of institutions have taken note and started to investigate the usage and effect of these tools in less visible areas, such as the discourse of religious people within their communities and in interfaith dialogues." op-ed


IINA, Turkey/Islam-Internet: Islamic ‘Facebook’ to be launched in Istanbul, 15 Nov 2011 "Salamworld, an Islamic social networking website, is set to start its journey from Istanbul." SalamWorld has been discussed previously on this blog.


Gianluca Mezzofiore, IBTimes, Egyptian Blogger Poses Nude to Protest Islamic Extremism, 15 Nov 2011

"An Egyptian blogger posed naked in a series of pictures published on Twitter under her real name sparking mixed reactions among her followers. Some praised her move, while others left outraged comments."

Also see France24, Egyptian women’s group calls on men to try the veil, 14 Nov 2011

"An Egyptian student has created a Facebook page to launch an appeal to men: post photos of yourselves wearing the Islamic veil. This young woman believes it is unjust that a dress code is imposed only on women. It’s an amusing initiative but the message has not been well received by some."

Ongoing trial

Boston Globe, Witness says Mehanna sought terror training, 15 Nov 2011 "Masood was the second former associate of Mehanna to testify in his terrorism trial, and he told jurors that he often spoke of violent jihad and watched violent videos with Mehanna and his close friends."

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Alaa Abd El Fattah

Reuters, Egyptians protest, anger mounts over blogger arrest, 31 Oct 2011 "Thousands of Egyptians protested on Monday in Tahrir Square, the epicentre of an uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak this year, after a prominent activist was detained by military prosecutors.

"The military detained Alaa Abd El Fattah on Sunday, a high-profile blogger whose arrest by Mubarak's security forces in 2006 led to a big campaign to release him."

Profile: AhramOnline, Alaa Abdel Fattah: Portrait of a revolutionary, 31 Oct 2011

See ShoroukNews original article by Alaa Abd El Fattah:
عودة لسجون مبارك

There's an English translation here: Sultan Al Qassemi, Felix Arabia, Translation of article by detained Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah

Also read: Tarek Amr, GlobalVoices, Egypt: SCAF - The Last Pillar of the House?!, 2 Nov 2011

Follow the story on Twitter #Free Alaa

'Charlie Hebdo' offices burned

WSJ, Fire Guts Magazie Offices Amid Controversy Over Caricature, 2 Nov 2011 refers to the firebombing of 'Charlie Hebdo''s offices in Paris, after the publication of an edition of their satirical magazine which features the Prophet Muhammad.


The Standard, Eritrea "arming Al Shabaab", 2 Nov 2011 "The possible role of Eritrea in supporting Al Shabaab insurgents has come into sharp focus after the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) confirmed that two aircraft landed in Baidoa with a consignment of arms for the rebels. "Although KDF did not name the origin of the aircraft, chatter on many Somali Internet sites, quoting Al Shabaab, said they were Eritrean."

Also see this very interesting piece in the Guardian: Jamal Osman, Guardian, Al-Qaida targets Somalia drought victims with cash handouts, 1 Nov 2011 which has an accompanying video.

Palestinian net hacked

BBC News, 'Hackers' cut Palestinian phone and internet systems, 1 Nov 2011 "The main phone network in the West Bank and Gaza has suffered a sustained attack by computer hackers, the Palestinian Authority (PA) says."