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Oleh RADHUAN HUSSAIN

utusanterengganu@utusan.com.my

KUALA TERENGGANU 22 Feb. – Fahaman pluralisme tidak sepatutnya wujud dalam kalangan umat Islam kerana ia sangat bertentangan dengan ajaran serta akidah umat Islam.

Ketua Dewan Ulama Pas, Datuk Harun Taib berpendapat, Islam melarang sama sekali umatnya mengamalkan fahaman seumpama itu dan ia tidak boleh dicampuradukkan dengan ajaran agama suci itu.

Beliau seterusnya menegaskan, larangan itu tidak terbatas kepada sesiapa saja atau mereka yang mendukung fahaman tersebut, tidak terkecuali Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ataupun beliau sendiri.

“Setakat ini saya belum terima penjelasan lagi mengenai dakwaan yang mengaitkan Anwar sebagai pendukung fahaman itu di negara ini, saya belum lagi terima laporan mengenainya.

“Tetapi sekiranya benar dakwaan itu, tak kira siapa mereka, Anwar ke ataupun saya sendiri sekalipun, ia sudah tak betul,” katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Beliau diminta mengulas isu fahaman pluralisme iaitu menyamakan kedudukan Islam dengan agama lain yang disentuh oleh Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak serta beberapa tokoh agama mengenai ancaman fahaman tersebut.

Kenyataan Harun yang juga Pesuruhjaya Pas Terengganu itu merupakan reaksi pertama pimpinan peringkat tertinggi Pas secara tegas dan terbuka berhubung isu tersebut.

Beberapa pihak di luar parti itu sebelum ini mempersoalkan pendirian mereka walaupun didesak banyak pihak setelah agak lama membisu dalam persoalan pluralisme yang dikatakan cuba dibawa oleh Anwar.

Perdana Menteri sewaktu merasmikan Multaqa Guru Takmir Seluruh Malaysia minggu lalu mengingatkan seluruh rakyat agar berwaspada dengan fahaman pluralisme kerana ia merupakan ancaman baru kepada umat Islam di negara ini.

Namun peringatan Perdana Menteri itu diperlekehkan Anwar dengan menuduh kerajaan berpura-pura dalam menghadapi ancaman pluralisme agama dan menggunakan media arus perdana untuk mengutuk fahaman berkenaan.

Menurut Harun, segalanya sudah dijelaskan di dalam al-Quran yang menegaskan bahawa hanya Islam satu-satunya agama di sisi Allah.

“Malah ada ayat al-Quran yang maksudnya bahawa orang yang menganut agama selain Islam, Allah tidak akan terima mereka di akhirat.

“Ini bermakna, al-Quran cukup jelas dan nyata. Saya sendiri pun berpandukan al-Quran,” ujarnya.

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sumber: Utusan Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR 18 Feb. – Fahaman pluralisme kini muncul sebagai ancaman terbaru di kalangan umat Islam di negara ini dan justeru mereka wajib menghindarkannya kerana ia jelas bertentangan dengan akidah serta syariat Islam.

Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak berkata, bagi mengekang pengaruhnya beliau mahu para ulama, guru-guru agama, pihak berkuasa agama termasuk Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim) bersama-sama bertanggungjawab menyedarkan umat Islam supaya tidak terpengaruh dengan fahaman itu.

Beliau berkata, hakikatnya Islam tidak boleh disamakan dengan agama lain kerana agama yang benar di sisi Allah hanya Islam sahaja.

”Apatah lagi sekiranya ada umat Islam yang membawa fahaman pluralisme. Perkara-perkara seperti ini mesti kita betulkan. Kita boleh hormat agama lain kita jangan hina agama lain.

”Namun dari segi akidahnya dan dari segi kebenarannya di sisi Allah tidak boleh disamakan dengan agama Islam,” katanya ketika berucap pada merasmikan Multaqa Guru Takmir seluruh Malaysia di Pusat Dagangan Dunia Putra (PWTC) di sini hari ini.

Najib berkata, selain fahaman pluralisme umat Islam turut terdedah dengan pengaruh liberalisme serta hindonisme yang jika dibiarkan boleh menyebabkan mereka terpesong daripada syariat serta akidah Islam.

”Mahu tidak semua pihak termasuk ulama, guru-guru agama serta guru-guru takmir menegakkan kebenaran agama dengan berlandaskan al-Quran dan as-Sunnah,” katanya.

Dalam sidang akhbarnya selepas itu Najib sekali lagi menegaskan, semua pihak perlu menghormati agama-agama lain sama ada dari segi haknya atau dari segi undang-undang menurut Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

”Namun begitu ia tidak boleh sama dari segi akidah. Jangan ada salah faham. Nanti ada orang akan salah faham bahawa saya merendahkan kedudukan agama lain, tidak.

”Saya cuma mahu bezakan dari segi akidah kerana fahaman pluralisme ini adalah salah dari segi agama Islam dan itu fakta yang saya hendak jelaskan,” katanya.

Ketika ditanya sejauh mana seriusnya pengaruh fahaman itu di Malaysia, beliau berkata, fahaman itu perlu segera dibendung.

”Jika kita tidak berbuat sesuatu ia boleh merebak. Pada peringkat sekarang ia masih terbatas cuma di kalangan pihak tertentu sahaja. Sesuatu (tindakan) perlu dilakukan kerana fahaman ini boleh mengeliru dan menyesatkan umat Islam,” katanya.

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Di hari menyambut Maulidur Rasul ini, terasa amat sayu dan sedihnya apabila  mengenang teks ucapan DS Anwar Ibrahim ceramah beliau di LSE pada tahun lalu yang mengangkat orang seperti Dante  sebagai tokoh membawa keamanan dengan “Dante’s vision of universal peace” dan mengaitkan lagi dengan tokoh ilmuan Islam dengan “linking Dante’s vision directly to the philosophical outlook of Muslim luminaries including al-Farabi and Ibn Rushd“.

Amatlah jauh tersasar rumusan Anwar jika orang seperti Dante, “seorang penyair agung dalam tradisi Kristian“, ini hendak dianggap sebagai tokoh pluralis dan meletakkan seolahnya Dante bersetuju dengan tema Pluralisme Agama yang dibawa oleh Anwar kini dengan menyama-ratakan Islam dengan agama Krsitian dan lain-lain agama lagi. (baca ciri-ciri Pluralisme Agama di sini)

Ceramahnya yang bertajuk “Religion and Pluralisme in a Divided World” (klik untuk baca teks asalnya) turut mengaitkan Maulana Jelaluddin Rumi sebagai tokoh pluralis – dan telah saya jawab dengan “Pembohongan di atas nama Maulana Jelaluddin Rumi dan kitab Mathnawinya“.

Mustahil bagi orang seperti Dante boleh kita terima sebagai pembawa “universal peace” menyamakan pula dengan orang yang dihinanya.

وَ مَا أَرْسلْنَك إِلا رَحْمَةً لِّلْعَلَمِينَ‏

“Dan tiadalah Kami mengutus engkau (wahai Muhammad) melainkan untuk menjadi rahmat bagi semesta alam.” Al-Anbiayaa:21

Seperti tercatat di dalam triloginya, The Divine Comedy, Dante telah menghina Rasulullah s.a.w. dengan meletakkan Nabi s.a.w. dan Sayyidina Ali r.a. di dalam neraka.

Inferno XXVIII, 19-42.

The poets are in the ninth chasm of the eighth circle, that of the Sowers of Discord, whose punishment is to be mutilated.

Mahomet shows his entrails to Dante and Virgil while on the left stands his son Ali, his head cleft from chin to forelock.

Gambaran ilustrasi di atas adalah yang diambil dari salah satu lukisan-lukisan dalam pelbagai manuskrip yang tersimpan di perpustakaan-perpustakaan besar di dunia termasuk ada yang telahpun membuat satu filem bisu pada tahun 1911 (The 1911 Italian silent film L’Inferno contained a dramatization of the scene; Mohammed is shown with his entrails hanging out) – semuanya ini boleh diakses melalui carian internet.

Bagaimana mungkin orang seperti ini dikira pluralis seperti ide yang dibawa oleh John Hick?

Menurut Ustaz Muhammad Uthman El-Muhammady, dalam Pluralisme Agama dan Bahayanya Kepada Umat Islam (yang mengulas dengan panjang lebar bahaya Pluralisme),  Dante adalah seorang yang teguh dengan teologi Katholiknya dan seorang yang otordoks berdasarkan tulisan-tulisannya yang lain termasuk ‘Monarchia’ dan sangatlah mustahil dia seorang yang boleh menerima agama lain.

Semoga Allah sentiasa membimbing kita di jalan yang benar dan menyelamatkan kita semua dari hasutan dan bisikan yang menyesatkkan.

Ramai di kalangan kita yang telah mendengar atau membaca bait-bait yang dikaitkan dengan seorang tokoh abad ke 13, penyair ahli sufi terkenal, Maulana Jelaluddin Rumi. Di antara bait-bait tersebut adalah seperti berikut:

The lamps are different,
But the Light is the same.

Yang mana terjemahannya adalah:

Lampu-lampunya berlainan,
tetapi Cahaya itu sama.

Di antara yang memetik bait-bait ini ialah DS Anwar Ibrahim, Ketua Umum PKR, dalam syarahannya di London School of Economics (LSE) pada 18hb March 2010.

Dalam syarahannya yang bertajuk “Religion and Pluralism in a Divided World”, beliau menyebut (teks ucapananya dipetik dari blognya sendiri – namun kini telah dipadamkan semenjak sekitar bulan Ogos 2010):

Back in the 13th century, the mystical poet Jelaluddin al-Rumi wrote in the Masnavi:

The lamps are different but the Light is the same, it comes from Beyond; If thou keep looking at the lamp, thou art lost; for thence arises the appearance of number and plurality.

[Teks ucapannya kini boleh di baca di sini: Public lecture by Anwar Ibrahim at the London School of Economics]

Ramai orang mengambil jalan dengan mempercayai sahaja bahawa “ya” memang benar itu adalah bait-bait dari kitab Mathnawi (Masnavi) karangan Rumi.

Persoalannya, apakah bait-bait tersebut benar-benar terdapat dalam kitab karangan beliau yang asal?

Menurut beberapa para pengaji penulisan Rumi (antaranya Prof Ajmal M. Razak Al-Aidrus dari ISTAC yang telah siap menterjemahkan kitab Mathnawi ke dalam bahasa Melayu dan Dr. Ibrahim Gamard, pengkaji Rumi yang berautoriti dari California USA), bait-bait tersebut adalah berbeza dengan yang sebenarnya dalam kandungan asal kitab Mathnawi yang ditulis dalam bahasa Farsi dan Arab. Bait-bait tersebut telah diolah dan dimasukkan oleh para pengkaji barat (Allah sahaja yang mengetahui niat mereka) dalam terjemahan-terjemahan mereka ke dalam bahasa Inggeris.

Masalahnya ialah dengan mengaitkan bait-bait sebegitu sebagai datangnya dari Rumi, mereka kemudian membuat rumusan bahawa tokoh Sufi ini seorang pendokong yang menyamaratakan semua agama malah disabitkan beliau sebagai pencetus fahaman Pluralisme Agama dalam Islam. Antara orang yang menjaja ide ini dan diterima pakai pula oleh “sarjana-sarjana Islam” kita ialah seorang profesor dari University of Birmingham UK, John Hick (yang mengelarkan dirinya sebagai seorang philosopher of religion and theologian).

Dalam syarahan bertajuk “Religious Pluralism and Islam” di Institute for Islamic Culture and Thought, Tehran pada Februari 2005, John Hick tetap mengaitkan Rumi dengan pluralisme agama melalui bait-bait yang dipalsukan itu:

I now turn to the third option, religious pluralism. In its broadest terms, this is the belief that no one religion has a monopoly of the truth or of the life that leads to salvation. Or in the more poetic words of the great Sufi, Rumi, speaking of the religions of the world, ‘The lamps are different but the Light is the same; it comes from beyond’

Menurut Dr. Ibrahim, yang telah menulis beberapa buah buku tentang Rumi, mereka yang menyebut sedemikian cuba mengambarkan Maulana Rumi seorang mistik yang mengajar perbezaan antara agama tidak penting. Untuk itu, mereka memetik bait-bait yang dikatakan dari Rumi tapi sebenarnya yang bukan sahih bersumberkan dari Rumi. Mereka juga memetik sebahagian dari bait-bait dari Rumi secara tidak lengkap demi untuk membohongi yang Rumi tidak peduli dengan perbedaan antara agama.

Memetik dari buku, “Rumi and Islam” oleh Dr. Ibrahim Gamard, 2004:

… many people think of Rumi as someone who had been a Muslim and a dry scholar, who then became transformed into a universal mystic who transcended any particular religion. This impression is the result of frequently quoted verses which have been attributed to Rumi, but which are not authentic …

Maka isu besarnya di sini ialah mereka ini telah melakukan satu pembohongan yang besar dengan memasukkan  bait-bait yang telah dipalsukan atau mereka menerima kepalsuan dengan membuta dan pembohongan itu dibuat atas nama seorang tokoh Sufi demi menuduh Rumi sebagai seorang yang membawa fahaman pluralisme agama.

Felo Amat Utama ISTAC-UIAM, Ustaz Muhammad Uthman El-Muhammady, dalam pembentangan kertas kerja beliau di Wacana Isu-isu Semasa Aqidah: Pluralisme Agama (di Dewan Sultan Mizan, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu – 15hb Januari 2011) anjuran bersama JHEAT dan Muafakat, telah menjelaskan bahawa Jelaluddin Rumi bukan seorang tokoh pluralis (baca di sini Pluralisme Agama dan Bahayanya Kepada Umat Islam).

Ustaz Uthman telah memperincikan beberapa bait yang mengesahkan Rumi sebagai seorang ulama ahli sunnah wal jamaah dan mustahil untuk berfahaman pluralis seperti yang dituduh.

Apakah kita kini terlalu mudah untuk terpengaruh dengan alunan enak hujjah orang seperti John Hick atau terlalu mudah terpedaya dengan pidato hebat Anwar dengan selitan senyumannya yang memukau kejernihan fikiran kita?

Jangan kita terlalu naive untuk begitu mudah terikut-ikut dan tenggelam dalam agenda ghazwul fikr alaf baru yang satu masa dahulu kitalah yang mempelopori istilahnya di Tanah Melayu ini.

Melalui ghazwul fikri ini tidak perlu lagi musuh Islam berusaha mengeluar kita dari anutan agama asal namun cukup dengan “terkeluar” sendiri melalui ikutan pandangan dan prinsip hidup yang jauh dari nilai-nilai Islam. Nauzubillah.

Baca lagi:


from: http://aimanamani.wordpress.com/Quantcast

My homegrown beansprout

Like many others who live in the city, we only have a small garden. Actually, it never did cross my mind of how small our garden is, until we decided to plant our own organic vegetables three years ago. Is there any herb or vegetable that can be grown without taking too much space for the city folk?

Last week, Mom soaked a bowl of green beans overnight for her ‘bubur kacang’. Anyway she was so busy the next day that she forgot all about them after straining the beans into a colander. The next day she found that her bowlful of green beans had grown tiny roots. So, instead of cooking them, she gave me the beans for my “experiments’.

And I decided to grow beansprout. I found out that growing green beans into beansprouts is certainly very easy. All I did was running tap water over the colanders (with the beans) every 4-6 hours or so. Don’t try to move the beans/seedlings around with your hands (you may feel tempted to do so, but you may pull out their roots). Put a plate under the colander to collect the water dripping from the colander.

 

The green beans had grown tiny roots! :D

In a few days, the roots will be long enough to reach out of the colander into the plate of water below it. Even at this stage, I still ‘water’ the sprouts but I suppose you could leave it on its own. Another thing to remember is not to put too much beans in one colander. When that happens, the beans on the top couldn’t get enough water while the beans at the bottom may rot.

 

Roots growing out of the colander

Another good point in growing beansprouts is that you can plan when to start growing them so that the beansprout will be really fresh when needed. Soak the beans overnight about 5 days ahead and they should be ready to be harvested on time. And trust me, fresh home grown beansprouts are so tasty, crunchy and without that ‘commercial beansprout smell’ that even I who never like beansprouts before ate loads of them.

Fresh, homegrown, organic beansprout in mum’s delicious fried noodle.

So with the price of vegetables rising up and the concern of the high level of chemical contamination in our vegetables, it will be a very good idea to grow our own vegetables. And if space is a problem, try growing beansprouts; you can even grow them in your apartment balcony, kitchen or even in your dining room! It is really cheap and easy while the result is absolutely wonderful. Maybe I should start a business selling tasty, fresh, home-grown, organic  beansprouts … after all fresh, organic vegetables can fetch a good price in today’s market!

Tahniah diucapkan kepada keseluruhan rakyat Mesir.

Semoga kehidupan yang lebih menjamin dapat dibina segera dan kekal dalam keselamatan dan kesejahteraan.

Western fears of ‘Islamism’ have been aided by Arab autocrats seeking to prolong their iron-fisted rule

Wednesday, February 9,2011
English.aljazeera.net

“Islamism” has been sending jitters through Western political corridors over recent years readily aided and abetted by Arab autocrats who have exaggerated and harnessed the “Islamist” threat to prolong their iron-fisted rule.

In the case of Egypt, the biggest bogeyman in this long-running battle over political supremacy with the state is the Muslim Brotherhood (the Ikhwan al-Muslimun) whose influence extends across the Arab and Islamic world.

With the Middle East and North Africa currently convulsed by popular uprisings against political repression, the Muslim Brotherhood has been thrust into the limelight, not only by those seeking a better insight into the origins and goals of the movement as they try to peer into Egypt’s future, but also by those whose entire raison d’etre consists of demonising the Ikhwan for ulterior political ends.

Hosni Mubarak with Israeli Ehud Olmet in 2007

“I’m fed up” of ruling Egypt, complained Hosni Mubarak to an American news channel on February 4 as protests against his 30-year presidency accelerated. “But if I resign now, there will be chaos. And I’m afraid the Muslim Brotherhood will take over,” he warned.

In a couple of short sentences, Mubarak wonderfully encapsulated the fear that his regime has generated over three decades in order to maintain control. With little concern for the sentiments of his people, Mubarak played directly to the fears of his Western backers: Either support my despotism, whatever its limitations, he was saying, or face having to deal with the “Islamists”.

While leaders in the US and the EU stutter over how to respond to the new realities in the region, unfortunately for Mubarak, the people of Egypt are refusing to buy into his fear-mongering. The Muslim Brotherhood – whether Mubarak’s regime and his backers like it or not – is part and parcel of Egyptian society.

The Ikhwan is the “father” of Islamic political activism, tracing its roots back to 1928 when it emerged as a movement advocating a return to Islamic morals. Its early political activism was against British rule in Egypt when it opposed the Westernisation of the country. While its formative years were devoted to overcoming imperialism, its history has been marked by challenges to the political status quo and, thus, to fending off state repression. The Muslim Brotherhood has alternately been tolerated, outlawed, its leaders assassinated and/or executed.

Despite the suppression, its popularity has grown owing mainly to a network of medical, legal, social and charitable services that it continues to provide. Where the state has failed Egyptians, the Ikhwan has helped prop up peoples’ lives.

Such is its influence that it has spawned offshoots in Algeria, Tunisia, Sudan, Libya and Somalia in Africa, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel in the Levant, across the Gulf States and further afield in places such as Pakistan. Misconceptions in the West about the movement do not detract from the Brotherhood’s popular following in Egypt and beyond.

Milestones to where?

Sayyid Qutb

One of the most seminal works to emanate from the ranks of the Ikhwan, one which led the Egyptian regime at the time to clamp down massively against the movement, was Milestones, written by a powerful Brotherhood ideologue, Sayyid Qutb, in 1964.

The publication of Qutb’s book, which called for the reinstatement of Sharia as the basis of Egyptian law and for the overthrow of what he labelled the “Jahili” (i.e. pre-Islamic) system prevalent in the country, led to his execution.

That Milestones is today considered the principal reference book for a myriad of armed Islamic groups across the world is testament to its influence. The book was used to discredit the entire Muslim Brotherhood with accusations that it advocated the violent overthrow of secular regimes. Anti-Ikhwan proponents felt little need to explain the circumstances under which Qutb penned his treatise: The fact that he was utterly disillusioned with the prevailing system after being subjected to years of solitary confinement and torture for his political beliefs made little difference to his opponents who sought to characterise his rejectionism as representative of Islamic political movements in their entirety.

Despite proclaiming to be a bottom-up “reformist” movement and eschewing violence, the charge of extremism has subsequently hung over the Brotherhood. Given the historical antipathy of the Ikhwan to the West, furthermore, Western governments have easily bought into the Egyptian regime’s claims that the movement is a threat to their way of life. The old fears of, and tricks against, the Ikhwan are once again being employed as the most organised challenger to Mubarak’s despotism joins (not leads) protesters in calling for his removal.

Although depicted as a regressive movement, the Brotherhood’s membership is anything but unenlightened. The top tier of the movement is made up of doctors, lawyers, engineers and teachers, or the crème de la crème of the Egyptian middle class. The Ikhwan’s social activism is derived from its members’ ability to live and breathe the problems that average Egyptians face.

It is essentially a grassroots movement campaigning for the betterment of Egyptian society. That the movement gained an impressive 88 seats in the 2005 parliamentary election, or 20 per cent of the total, despite widespread electoral fraud (in 2010 it lost all its seats after Mubarak’s National Democratic Party massively rigged the election once more, this time leaving nothing to chance) speaks volumes about its popularity.

Even in districts that are predominantly Christian, many voters opted to back the Ikhwan against the regime. Christian protesters are as resolute against Mubarak’s dictatorship as their Muslim counterparts and many have expressed little worry about the Muslim Brotherhood despite the fear perpetuated by the regime.

Undated photo of Omar Suleiman with Shimon Peres

In talks with senior US officials in 2006, the newly-appointed Egyptian vice-president, Omar Suleiman, termed the Ikhwan’s parliamentary success in 2005 “unfortunate”. Private US cables released by Wikileaks (from where the previous quote was taken) reveal starkly the obstacles that the Brotherhood has faced under Mubarak.

Opponents of the movement will continue to stoke fears about its apparent “clandestine” motives. The cry of “one man, one vote, one time” will be heard loudly and relentlessly from those seeking to deny the Brotherhood a role in Egypt’s political future. This is one scare tactic, however, that the people of Egypt will not fall for. Political Islam is a force with strong roots in the country and in the wider Islamic world and will continue to remain so.

Algeria set a precedent in the early 1990s of the levels to which opponents of Islamic movements will sink to deny them a political role. A brutal civil war was the cost of voting for the Islamic Salvation Front back then. The people of Palestine are similarly being ostracised by the “international community” for voting in Hamas, an offshoot of the Ikhwan.

However, the people of Egypt, and only the people of Egypt, will decide what part the Muslim Brotherhood will play in Egypt’s future development.

What will its detractors do in response? Scream, shout, curse and maybe try to prevent such an eventuality, if recent history is any guide.

It is interesting to note how concerned are the Israelis and the West of the recent development in Egypt. But do they ever bother about the sufferings of Egyptians for the last 30 years?

Jerusalem (CNN) — An Israeli observer describes the mood of this country’s leadership as it watches the crisis in Egypt: “It varies,” he said, “from gloom to doom.”

The protesters demanding the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s government are not concerned with Israel, much.

They have concerns closer to home: poverty, corruption, political oppression.

But if the protesters succeed in toppling the Mubarak government, Israelis fear that an alternative Egyptian government might prove a much more dangerous neighbor for the Jewish state.

What do Israelis fear? Some scenarios:

1) Right now, Egypt cooperates with Israel in isolating the Hamas regime in Gaza. What if Egypt changes its mind? If Egypt stops policing the border between Gaza and Sinai, Israel will be forced into an ugly choice. Allow Hamas to import weapons or else intrude into Egyptian territory to close the border itself.

2) The Mubarak regime operates an effective if heavy-handed counterterrorism regime inside Egypt. Egypt has produced its share of terrorists: the blind sheikh who tried to blow up New York landmarks, 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta. But these terrorists have been compelled by Egypt’s efficient police to operate outside Egypt. What if that changed? If the Egyptian police collapse, Cairo — population 17 million — suddenly becomes an attractive place for terrorists to hide.

3) Israel enjoys peace on its two longest borders, with Egypt and Jordan. Peace has enabled Israel to reduce defense spending from about one-quarter of GDP in the 1980s to 9% by the end of the 1990s to only 6.7% in 2010. Peace has also freed Israel to concentrate its forces against a shorter list of threats. A hostile turn by Egypt will intensify Israel’s security problems and force increases in Israel’s defense spending.

4) Israel must worry about the worst-case scenario: a radical fundamentalist regime in Egypt. Such an outcome is repudiated by the urban protesters who talk to reporters. But Egypt is a country of 80 million, half of whom live on $2 a day. A quarter of Egyptians cannot read. What do they think? Who knows? Whom will they follow? Again, who knows?

5) But failing a worst-case scenario, there’s an intermediate-range scenario that is also unappealing: A Mubarak replacement decides to appeal to Egyptian nationalism by chilling the relationship with Israel. Not war, exactly, but an end to the security cooperation that has helped normalize Israeli life since 1980.

6) Egypt has been a voice urging Palestinians to cooperate with Israel. Egypt has supported the Palestinian Authority over Hamas, has bolstered Saudi willpower against Iran, has generally shared a vision of a pro-Western orientation for the largest country in the Arab world. That could all change tomorrow, transforming the region’s most influential voice for cooperation with the West into the disruptive influence Egypt was in the 1950s and 1960s.

7) A post-Mubarak Egypt could follow the example of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey: try to bolster its own nationalist credentials by joining the propaganda war against Israel. Mubarak by and large refrains from accusing Israel of imaginary crimes. He does not celebrate Hezbollah. He shuns Iran. He does not allow Egyptian ports to be used by pro-Hamas flotillas. The next government could alter some or all of those policies.

Many Israelis do hope for an optimistic outcome in Egypt: a gradual transition to a more representative parliament, with a Western-oriented president in control of the armed forces and security services. Over the long run, a more democratic and liberal Arab world will enhance Israeli security.

Pending that outcome, many Israelis express bafflement at the enthusiasm their American friends have been expressing for the Egyptian protests. The Israelis seem to say: “We hope the protests are for the best. But you act as if you know — and you do not know.”

source: CNN

Berkata Zun-Nun al Misri:

Bersahabat kepada Tuhan dengan menurut perintahNya. Bersahabat kepada makhluk dengan mengambil nasihatnya. Bersahabat kepada nafsu dengan meninggalkan keinginannya.

Janganlah menyangka bahawa menasihati seorang kawan itu akan menyebabkan hatinya tidak senang, kerana mengingatkan apa yang ia tiada mengetahui itu, merupakan tanda belas kasihan dan itulah yang dinamakan persepakatan hati – yang maksudnya di sini ialah jiwa orang-orang yang waras fikirannya.

Adapun orang-orang yang kurang akalnya, maka tentu sekali tiada boleh dikira dalam kategori di atas tadi. Ketahuilah, bahawa orang yang mengingatkan kamu atas perbuatanmu yang jahat, atau menegur kelakuanmu yang tidak senonoh supaya kamu mengubahnya itu, samalah seperti orang yang memberitahu kamu; ada seekor ular atau kala jengking dikakimu, dan binatang itu hampir pula membinasakan kamu.

Andai kata kamu marah kepada orang yang memberitahu itu, tentulah amat dahsyat sekali kebodohan kamu itu!

Kelakuan-kelakuan yang buruk itu samalah seperti kala-jengking dan ular, sebab ia akan membinasakan kamu di akhirat kelak. Kelakuan-kelakuan itu akan merosakkan hati dan jiwa, dan pedihnya lebih hebat daripada anggota dan tubuh bdan yang digigit ular atau kala jengking, kerana kelakuan-kelakuan yang tidak senonoh itu dijadikan Allah dari api neraka yang bernyala-nyala.

Dipetik dari Kitab Bimbingan Mukminin ketika mengambil kesempatan hujung minggu yang panjang sempena cuti Raya Cina ini bagi menyiapkan posting-posting untuk Laman Blog Kitab Bimbingan Mukminin dari Kitab Adab Pergaulan, Persaudaraan dan Persahabatan yang dijangka akan disiarkan pada bulan Mac-April 2011. [Sekarang ini blog tersebut sedang menyiarkan bab Kitab Halal dan Haram – klik di sini untuk baca]

source: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/

As hundreds of thousands of angry protesters mobbed downtown Cairo to denounce his 30-year rule, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak delivered an utterly unapologetic speech Tuesday evening, vowing to safeguard his country’s stability and security while announcing that he would not seek a 6th term.

Defending his record and saying he would “die on Egyptian soil,” Mubarak indicated that he he had no intention of following the example of former Tunisian president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and fleeing ignominiously into exile.

Almost immediately, the demonstrators in Tahrir Square renewed their calls for his ouster, rejecting his bid to remain in office for another few months. It seems that Mubarak has made yet another mistake, one that may ultimately lead him to share Ben Ali’s fate. So what were his biggest blunders?

1. Failing to spread the wealth. Egypt’s economy as a whole has grown by a respectable amount, but most Egyptians don’t feel they’ve gotten their fair share. Instead, they see wealthy businessman with ties to the ruling National Democratic Party stealing the country’s riches.

2. Allowing corruption to pervade Egyptian life. If there’s  one thing Egyptians complain about, it’s the grand and petty corruption that makes it nearly impossible for anyone in the country to make an honest living. Getting anything done requires a bribe (the infamous baksheesh) and/or connections (wasta), and high-level embezzlement is rampant.

3. The vision thing. Say what you want about Gamal Abdel Nasser and Anwar Sadat, but Mubarak’s two predecessors knew where they wanted to take the country and had a plan for getting there. Nasser wanted to create a pan-Arab union under the banner of socialism and non-alignment, while Sadat sought to regain Egypt’s martial pride before making peace with Israel and joining the West. As for Mubarak, what does he offer Egyptians? Crumbling infrastructure, decaying socio-economic conditions, and utter fealty to the United States.

4. Half-hearted reforms. Egyptians have grown rightly cynical at their-government’s on-again off-again reform efforts, characterized by unpersuasive propaganda or Orwellian doublespeak. When they hear the word “reform,” Egyptians look for the catch, such as the constitutional amendment that more or less bars independent candidates from contesting the presidency.

5. Grooming Gamal. If there’s one thing nearly all Egyptians agree on, it’s that they don’t want to be ruled by Mubarak’s British-educated son. Over the last decade, Gamal played an increasingly visible role in setting domestic policy, tying his fortunes to unpopular liberal economic reforms and wealthy businessmen who are seen as corrupt and out of touch with ordinary Egyptians. Some of the most popular chants at demonstrations in recent years were variants of “No to inheritence!”

6. Underestimating the activists. Clearly, the Interior Ministry and the police were not prepared for the surge of protesters that first hit the streets on January 25. Accustomed to small demonstrations organized by Egypt’s utterly inept, fractious opposition parties, the security forces clearly expected more of the same. But the organizers behind the current uprising are networked, tech-savvy young people who obviously know how to connect with their audience and get the word out. They’re not from the political parties. The police were clearly rocked back on their heels, exhausted, and outmaneuvered last Friday — and that’s when the army had to step in.

7. Cheating too much. In most of the parliamentary contests during his 30 year reign, Mubarak has allowed a token number of seats to go to opposition parties. But in the 2010 elections, the NDP’s rigging got out of control, leaving only a handful of seats for the coopted Wafd Party. The Muslim Brotherhood was shut out, leaving it with no stake in the government and the patronage opportunities that go along with representation in parliament.

8. Sending in the thugs. After the police forces mysteriously dissolved Friday, reports came streaming in of looters attacking people in the streets, breaking into shops and homes, and otherwise intimidating ordinary Egyptians. Many of these thugs were found to be carrying police or state security IDs. If Mubarak’s hope was to drive the middle class back into the loving arms of the state, it seems he badly miscalculated — the protests have only gotten bigger since then.

9. Bringing in his cronies. Despite his Friday speech vowing to enact various unspecified political and constitutional reforms, Mubarak named his spy chief Omar Suleiman his vice president, dumped his cabinet, and named a retired Air Force general as his prime minister. Opposition leaders and analysts rightly interpreted this as a sign of business as usual.

This is hardly an exhaustive list, and I imagine Mubarak will make a few more major mistakes in the days ahead. What do you all think he got wrong? Please weigh in below.

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