1. "Egypt bans 'Matrix Reloaded'" (AP, June 15, 2003)
2. "Emirate prince ousted in women's rights row" (Daily Telegraph, June 15, 2003)
3. "Saudi-beheading" (AP, June 15, 2003)
4. "Saudi Arabia beheads Pakistani for drug smuggling" (Reuters, June 16, 2003)
5. "American woman takes refuge in consulate in Jeddah" (Reuters, June 19, 2003)
6. "U.S. puts 15 countries on sanctions list for human trafficking" (Kyodo News, June 12, 2003)
7. "Egyptian biologist: Israel produces anti-Palestinian bacteria" (Media Line, May 23, 2003)
8. "Muslims lament Israel's existence" (International Herald Tribune, June 4, 2003)
9. Condi Rice: "The woman of steel" (MEMRI, June 24, 2003)
[Note by Tom Gross]
In relation to one of the items I sent yesterday, Dr. Robert Rozett, the Director of the Library at Yad Vashem, Israel's national Holocaust memorial, points out that the Daily Telegraph article titled "Mein Kampf sequel to be published in English" was incorrect in stating that Hitler's second book has not previously been published in English.
Dr. Rozett, a longtime subscriber to this email list, says Hitler's sequel to Mein Kampf was previously published in English in 1961 by Grove Press (New York) under the title "Hitler's secret book." (This is a slightly different title from the forthcoming publication "Hitler's second book.")
Also, in relation to the dispatch I sent on May 15, 2003, titled The Atlantic June 2003: Who Shot Mohammed al-Dura?, Michael Karash, the publisher of Makor Rishon, points out that Israeli journalist Amnon Lord, who helped provide research used in The Atlantic article, is on the staff of Makor Rishon, and not as otherwise stated. Michael Karash is a long-time subscriber to this email list; Makor Rishon is a Hebrew language publication of considerable interest and importance.
“THE ISRAELIS ARE DESIGNING AND PRODUCING NEW TYPES OF DISEASES”
I attach nine articles from recent days relating to the Arab world, with summaries first.
1. "Egypt bans 'Matrix Reloaded'" (The Associated Press, June 15, 2003). Officials in Egypt have banned the box office hit "The Matrix Reloaded" because the film is too violent. (TG adds: Some may find this surprising considering that "Matrix Reloaded" is considerably less violent than the suicide bombing of Israeli civilians which many Egyptian officials support.)
2. "Emirate prince ousted in women's rights row" (Daily Telegraph, June 15, 2003). The ruling family of one of the seven United Arab Emirates has deposed its crown prince over claims that he was too sympathetic to women's rights. An official decree announced that Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr al-Qassimi, 63, had been dethroned in favor of one of his younger brothers. Sheik Saqr has three wives.
3. "Saudi-beheading" (The Associated Press, June 15, 2003). A Saudi man convicted of murder was beheaded in public in the eastern city of Ihsa, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement. The execution on Saturday, carried out by sword, brings the number of beheadings in the kingdom this year to 13. Last year, at least 49 people – including two women – were beheaded. At least 81 people were beheaded in 2001.
4. "Saudi Arabia beheads Pakistani for drug smuggling" (Reuters, June 16, 2003). Saudi Arabia beheaded a Pakistani man on Monday for smuggling heroin, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement.
5. "American woman takes refuge in consulate in Jeddah" (Reuters, June 19, 2003). An American-born woman married to a Saudi man who fled to the U.S. consulate in Jeddah last weekend with her children said she would stay there until given safe passage to the United States. The U.S. State Department has been widely criticized over the past two years, both for turning an American woman away from the embassy in the Saudi capital Riyadh and for failing to secure access to children held by Saudi fathers.
6. "U.S. puts 15 countries on sanctions list for human trafficking" (Kyodo News, June 12, 2003). I attach this article because of those states the U.S. State Department has left off its list: Saudi Arabia and other U.S. allies in the Gulf who are major traffickers of human beings. Indeed there are no Arab countries included in the U.S. State Department list, which includes Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Greece, Haiti, Kazakstan, Liberia, Sudan, Suriname, Turkey and Uzbekistan. The U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act, enacted in October 2000, requires the department to submit an annual report to Congress on the status of severe forms of trafficking in persons.
7. "Egyptian biologist: Israel produces anti-Palestinian bacteria" (The Media Line, May 23, 2003). "Are Jews still poisoning wells? This prevalent anti-Jewish allegation from the dark ages took a modern form when an Egyptian Professor of micro-genetic engineering, Professor Wagdi 'Abd Al-Fatah Sawahil, delivered a lecture at the Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-up in Abu Dhabi, a center supported by the Arab League. "Israel not only uses chemical drugs as means for getting information from Palestinian prisoners and detainees, but it also intends to use the Palestinians as guinea pigs," said Dr. Sawahil during his lecture. "The Israelis are designing and producing new types of diseases, viruses, bacteria and some genetically modified substances, which specifically attack body cells that contain a Palestinian hereditary substance." The Professor doesn't mention Israel specifically, instead calling it "the Israeli entity."
8. "Muslims lament Israel's existence" (International Herald Tribune, June 4, 2003). "At a time when the Israeli government has accepted the right of Palestinians to statehood, most Muslim populations surveyed in the Pew Global Attitudes Project believe by wide margins that the needs of Palestinians cannot be met so long as the state of Israel exists. The conviction is strongest in Morocco (90 percent), followed by Jordan (85 percent), the Palestinian Authority (80 percent), Kuwait (72 percent), Lebanon (65 percent), Indonesia (58 percent) and Pakistan (57 percent). Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who chairs the Pew project, called these results "very disheartening, and very dangerous, frankly."
9. Condi Rice: "The woman of steel" (By MEMRI, June 24, 2003). In his article titled "Beware of the Woman of Steel," which was published in the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Ayyam on June 22, 2003, Palestinian columnist Hassan Al-Batal strongly criticized U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice for her position on the road map. Al-Batal wrote: "She has a figure no less fine than that of supermodel Naomi Campbell, and is more intelligent than 'Iron Lady' Margaret Thatcher. She is Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the national security advisor with the most influence over the American presidency since 'dear Henry Kissinger'... Beware of this 'Black Spinster' – [I do] not say 'Black Widow' out of respect for her femininity, her wisdom, and her determination, which transform her into a 'Woman of Steel.'"
-- Tom Gross
EGYPT BANS “MATRIX RELOADED” BECAUSE THE FILM IS TOO VIOLENT
Egypt bans 'Matrix Reloaded'
June 15, 2003
Back in the day, racy productions would be described as "Banned in Boston." Now, they're criticized in Cairo.
Officials in Egypt have banned the box office hit "The Matrix Reloaded." The ban is done on religious grounds because the film is too violent.
The head of the Egyptian censorship body says the country's highest committee decided not to let the movie be shown. An official with the censorship body says there's no one scene the panel had problems with; it was the movie as a whole.
But in a statement the committee said it did like the high-tech effects, which they describe as "fabulous."
The "Matrix" sequel, starring Keanu Reeves is still among the top five movies in the United States and has taken in more than $200 million in four weeks.
“SHEIKH SAUD DOES NOT FEEL THERE IS A PLACE FOR WOMEN IN TODAY’S ARAB SOCIETY”
Emirate prince ousted in women's rights row
By Susan Bisset
The Daily Telegraph (London)
June 15, 2003
The ruling family of one of the seven United Arab Emirates has deposed its crown prince over claims that he was too sympathetic to women's rights.
An official decree issued yesterday announced that Sheikh Khalid bin Saqr al-Qassimi, 63, had been dethroned in favour of one of his younger brothers.
Sheikh Khalid had been the de facto ruler of the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah for the past four years since his elderly father, Sheikh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qassimi, became frail. Sheikh Saqr is one of the world's longest-serving heads of state, having been ruler since 1948.
The decree appoints Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al-Qassimi, 48, as the crown prince, replacing Sheikh Khalid who has been heir to the throne for 37 years, according to WAM, the official Emirates news agency.
WAM reported that it was not immediately clear why Sheikh Khalid was removed. However, a government employee close to the ruling family said that the effective coup centred on Sheikh Khalid's wife, Shaikah Fawqai al-Qassimi, a playwright and women's rights activist in her early 40s.
"Sheikh Khalid was told, at a meeting with his father and six of his brothers, that he had to banish his wife from the emirate and demolish the ladies' club that helps women here if they have problems," said the employee.
"She has done a lot to bring the country forward, but Sheikh Saud does not feel there is a place for women in today's Arab society. Sheikh Khalid said he would think about it, but they did not give him time to come back with his answer – they just issued the decree."
Last night, about 1,000 supporters of Sheikh Khalid, including tribal leaders, gathered outside his palace in a peaceful protest against his brother. The government employee said that the army fired machinegun bursts over the protesters' heads. "There were also about 50 to 60 police vehicles. The crowd has now dispersed, but it is too soon to say what will happen. It's going to be a very long night."
Before his appointment as crown prince, Sheikh Saud chaired Ras al-Khaimah's royal court, which handles mainly administrative responsibilities. He is the son of Sheikh Saqr's third wife, the daughter of one of the UAE's most prominent businessmen, Ahmed al-Ghurair.
Sheik Saqr has six other sons, from three wives.
The dethronement of Ras al-Khaimah's crown prince is the first such dramatic shake-up in the history of the seven emirates, which are comprised of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras al-Khaimah, Umm al-Qaiwain Sharjah, Fujairah and Ajman.
The crown princes are appointed by each emirate's ruler and approved by the federal government in Abu Dhabi.
A coup attempt in the early 1990s in Sharjah was put down by the federal government.
Ras al-Khaimah is one of the poorer emirates. Its economy survives largely on the generosity of neighbouring emirates. It has no oil and relies on traditional trades of fishing and dhow building. Its population of 170,000 live with traditions and values unchanged for many generations.
The Associated Press
June 15, 2003
A Saudi man convicted of murder was beheaded in public in the eastern city of Ihsa, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
Mohammed bin Jowainan al-Arjani al-Ajmi was found guilty of killing Musfir bin Mohammed al-Arjani al-Ajmi following an argument, the statement said.
Al-Ajmi's execution on Saturday, carried out by sword, brings the number of beheadings in the kingdom this year to 13. A Pakistani convicted with drug trafficking was beheaded Friday.
The statement said al-Ajmi drove after his victim, who was on foot, and ran over him over repeatedly until he died. It was unclear how many times al-Ajmi drove over his victim. Their relationship also was unclear.
Last year, at least 49 people – including two women – were beheaded. At least 81 people were beheaded in 2001.
Under laws rooted in a strict interpretation of Islam, Saudi Arabia imposes the death penalty for murder, rape, apostasy, drug trafficking and armed robbery. Executions are carried out in public to serve as a deterrent.
AT LEAST 13 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN PUT TO DEATH IN SAUDI ARABIA THIS YEAR
Saudi Arabia beheads Pakistani for drug smuggling
June 16, 2003
Saudi Arabia, which implements strict Islamic sharia law, beheaded a Pakistani man on Monday for smuggling heroin into the conservative kingdom, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The execution raised the number of people reported to have been put to death in the country this year to at least 13.
The Gulf Arab state executes murderers, rapists and drug smugglers, usually by public beheading.
At least 45 people were executed last year, 75 in 2001 and 121 in 2000.
AMERICAN WOMAN TAKES REFUGE IN CONSULATE IN JEDDAH
American woman takes refuge in consulate in Jeddah
June 19, 2003
An American-born woman married to a Saudi man who fled to the U.S. consulate in Jeddah last weekend with her children said on Thursday she would stay there until given safe passage to the United States.
In a telephone interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" show, Sarah Saga said she would not leave the consulate because she feared her husband and father would hurt her and her children.
"It's very dangerous for me to go out of the consulate. I have no choice but to stay here until I can take my kids with me," Saga said.
"The kids might be taken. There is my father out there and my husband. They are both angry and I don't know what they are capable of," she added.
Saga has been living in Saudi Arabia for the past 18 years after being separated from her American mother, Debbie Dournier when her father took her to Saudi Arabia.
Saga said she had been told she could stay in the consulate until her case was resolved.
Under Saudi law, husbands have a strong claim to custody over the children, who are considered Saudi citizens. The husbands also have the right to decide whether their wives and children can leave the country.
The U.S. State Department has been widely criticized over the past two years, both for turning an American woman away from the embassy in the Saudi capital Riyadh and for failing to secure access to children held by Saudi fathers.
U.S. PUTS 15 COUNTRIES ON SANCTIONS LIST FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING
U.S. puts 15 countries on sanctions list for human trafficking
By Yoichi Kosukegawa
June 12, 2003
The United States designated 15 countries, including North Korea and Myanmar, Wednesday as subject to potential U.S. economic sanctions for insubstantial efforts to combat international human trafficking. The 13 other countries the U.S. State Department cited as subject to potential sanctions in its third annual Trafficking in Persons Report are Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Greece, Haiti, Kazakstan, Liberia, Sudan, Suriname, Turkey and Uzbekistan.
"In our 21st century world, where freedom and democracy are spreading to every continent, it is appalling and morally unacceptable that hundreds of thousands of men, women and children are exploited, abused and enslaved by peddlers in human misery," Secretary of State Colin Powell said in releasing the report at a news conference.
The U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act, enacted in October 2000, requires the department to submit an annual report to Congress on the status of severe forms of trafficking in persons.
The department classifies countries into three tiers. The 15 countries were put on the Tier 3 list of those that do not fully comply with the act's minimum standards and are making insignificant efforts to come into compliance.
Tier 2 countries, such as Japan and Canada, do not fully comply but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance. Tier 1 countries are in full compliance with the act's minimum standards.
The number of Tier 3 countries was lower than the 19 cited in last year's report.
For the first time, Tier 3 countries could face sanctions including losing certain types of U.S. assistance. The sanctions would be effective Oct. 1, though the U.S. government can waive any penalties.
Among this year's 15 Tier 3 countries, North Korea was cited as a source country for persons trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation and forced labor.
"Economic and political conditions in North Korea drive large numbers of Koreans to seek a way out of the country, putting them at risk of victimization by traffickers," the report said.
North Korean women who enter northern China may be sold as brides and exploited into prostitution while people are transported to work in isolated regions of Russia for forced labor to pay down the North Korean government's foreign debt to Moscow, it said.
The report also listed Myanmar for allowing continued internal forced labor by the military.
Many industrialized countries were designated Tier 1 countries, defined as those that fully comply with the act's minimum standards, but Japan was again listed in the Tier 2 category of countries that do not yet fully comply with the minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance.
"Japan is a country of destination for men, women, and children trafficked for sexual exploitation," the report said, adding that victims come mainly from China, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and the Philippines, Colombia and Eastern Europe.
"Japan's law enforcement and immigration response is seriously hindered because government officials, unclear on the nature of trafficking, tend to define the crime too narrowly and disagree among themselves about who is a trafficking victim," it said.
A total of 75 countries appear on the Tier 2 list, up from the 52 cited in last year's report. Other Tier 2 countries listed in this year's report include Canada, China, Indonesia, Laos and Mexico.
There are 26 Tier 1 countries and territories in this year's report, including Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. Last year's Tier 1 list had 18 countries and territories.
EGYPTIAN BIOLOGIST: ISRAEL PRODUCES ANTI-PALESTINIAN BACTERIA
Egyptian Biologist: Israel produces anti-Palestinian bacteria
The Media Line
May 23, 2003
Are Jews still poisoning wells? This prevalent anti-Jewish allegation from the dark ages took a modern form on Wednesday. The accuser is an Egyptian Professor of micro-genetic engineering, Professor Wagdi 'Abd Al-Fatah Sawahil. Sawahil gave the lecture at the Zayed Center for Coordination and Follow-up in Abu Dabi, a center supported by the Arab League.
"Israel not only uses chemical drugs as means for getting information from Palestinian prisoners and detainees, but it also intends to use the Palestinians as guinea pigs," said Dr. Sawahil during his lecture. "The Israelis are designing and producing new types of diseases, viruses, bacteria and some genetically modified substances, which specifically attack body cells that contain a Palestinian hereditary substance."
"Nonsense," says Adam Friedman, a Professor from the Genetics Department at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem told The Media Line. "It's impossible to specifically target genes from a particular ethnic group. Furthermore, the Palestinians don't have a pool of distinctive genes. Note also that Palestinians – and Arabs in general – have genes very similar to those of Jews. It is worth checking where this so-called scientist studied and the source of his professional knowledge."
"This isn't the first time that the Egyptians have accused Israel of a series of scientific 'developments' targeted at Egypt," says Dr. Rivka Yadlin, a researcher at the Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University. "Israel was accused of exporting poisonous plants during the nineties; it was accused of standing behind rat epidemics as well as developing aphrodisiac chewing gum meant to lure virgins. Developing an anti-Palestinian virus is just as ludicrous as these allegations."
In his lecture, Prof. Sawahil also attacked the U.S. and Britain. "One of the objectives of the Anglo-American war on Iraq was to eliminate Iraqi scholars, experts and scientists" he said. "The object of this is to implement the Israeli plan to eliminate all Arab atom scientists... and to intimidate Arab intellectuals to stay clear of fields of research which Washington regards as prohibited... because they pose a threat to the Israeli entity."
The Professor doesn't mention Israel specifically, instead calling it "the Israeli entity." This is a reincarnation of the term "Zionist entity" used by Arab states for many years after Israel was established, aimed to show they do not recognize Israel. Various Islamic organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad still use this term at times.
"The war on Iraq caused not only dead and wounded but also the destruction of infrastructure and archeological sites" continued professor Sawahil. He claims that the war also caused "medical and environmental hazards as a result of the occupying forces using a dreadful amount of weapons with vast power of death and destruction, including depleted Uranium, prohibited by international [agreements]."
"The future of the Arab nation depends on the development of science, and Arab businessmen and investors should take on the task of developing science by financially supporting research institutes... Moreover, there is a vital need for Arab scientists living outside [of the Arab states] and within the Arab nation to exchange knowledge and experience" Sawahil concluded.
The Media Line asked for the response of the Israeli General Security Service (Shin Bet) on the subject. When asked if the GSS is indeed developing biological substances made to break the resistance of Palestinian prisoners, the unsurprising response was "No."
Note: The Zayed Center was established in 1999 in Abu Dabi and is managed by Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Emirates. The center claims its aims are "to promote Arab solidarity and to resolve a strategic and unified Arab stand in the fields of politics, economics, society and culture." The center holds exhibitions and conferences and publishes books on various topics.
“MUSLIMS LAMENT ISRAEL’S EXISTENCE”
"Muslims lament Israel's existence"
By Meg Bortin
International Herald Tribune
June 4, 2003
If the American threat of preemptive military action against Iraq inflamed the Muslim world over the winter, the war itself fanned the flames, with a sharp new rise in hostility toward the United States, the latest Pew survey has found.
Animosity is so high that solid majorities in five populations surveyed expressed confidence in Osama bin Laden to "do the right thing" in world affairs.
And, at a time when the Israeli government has accepted the right of Palestinians to statehood, most Muslim populations surveyed believe by wide margins that the needs of Palestinians cannot be met so long as the state of Israel exists.
The poll, conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, surveyed more than 15,000 people in May. Muslim populations included were Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey.
The survey shows that negative attitudes among Muslims toward the United States have soared anew since the war, both in the Middle East and beyond.
Anti-Americanism peaked in Jordan, where 99 percent of the people now have a somewhat or very unfavorable opinion of the United States, up from 75 percent last summer, the survey found. Hostility was also extremely high in the Palestinian Authority (98 percent).
More than eight out of 10 in Turkey and Pakistan questioned since the war have a negative view of the United States, as do seven out of 10 in Lebanon and two-thirds in Morocco. The most extreme shift was seen in Indonesia, where 61 percent had a favorable opinion last summer but now only 15 percent do.
Steven Simon, an analyst of Muslim affairs with the Rand Corporation, said the about-face in Indonesia could be explained by "a rising sense of Islamic identity of a kind that is new" for that country.
Part of this new self-perception, he said, is tied to the return of people who went through the Islamic fundamentalist camps in Afghanistan and became radicalized there. "The way they see the United States as having acted in the last couple of years confirms views like, 'The United States is evil, the United States wants to devour the Muslim world.'"
As for the spike in hostility in Jordan, he said, the war in Iraq was "colossally unpopular" there and heightened the resentment of the country's largely Palestinian population, who already saw U.S. policies in the Middle East as "helping to perpetuate a situation that is grossly unfair to Palestinians."
Even in Nigeria, traditionally a friend of the United States, favorable opinion sank to 61 percent after the war from 77 percent last summer.
Several Muslim populations also express strong dislike of Americans as people. Nine out of 10 Palestinians, eight out of 10 Jordanians and 60 percent of Turks say they feel somewhat or very unfavorable toward Americans. The rise is sharpest in Jordan, where fewer than half had a negative view last summer.
Still, among Muslims with an unfavorable view of the United States, most put the onus on President George W. Bush – who has included two Muslim countries in his "axis of evil" and has focused his war on terror on the Islamic world – rather than America in general.
Distrust today blazes so brightly that majorities in seven of eight Muslim populations surveyed – Turkey, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan and Kuwait – expressed fears that the United States could become a military threat to their country.
In Morocco, 79 percent said they felt Islam was under serious threat today, and people in other countries largely agreed, in many cases far more strongly than last summer. In Pakistan, for example, 64 percent now say Islam is seriously threatened, up from 28 percent in summer 2002. The threat is perceived most sharply in Jordan, by 97 percent, up from 81 percent last summer.
Perhaps as a consequence, bin Laden was one of the three "leaders" most trusted by the nine Muslim populations surveyed, outranking even the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan. The Qaeda leader's confidence rating was matched only by Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
As for the crisis in the Middle East, in a wave of sentiment that bodes ill for the future of the U.S.-sponsored "road map" to peace, Muslims lined up strongly behind the opinion that "the rights and needs of the Palestinian people cannot be taken care of as long as the state of Israel exists."
The conviction that no way can be found for Israel and the Palestinians to coexist is strongest in Morocco (90 percent), followed by Jordan (85 percent), the Palestinian Authority (80 percent), Kuwait (72 percent), Lebanon (65 percent), Indonesia (58 percent) and Pakistan (57 percent).
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who chairs the Pew project, called these results "very disheartening, and very dangerous, frankly."
"I hope that this is temporary and that, if there are some improvements in the situation because of the peace process, it will change," she said. "There is no way Israel is going to disappear. We will just have to find some way to mitigate those feelings."
Even beyond the Muslim world, the United States is seen as favoring Israel over the Palestinians unfairly. Those sharing this attitude range from 99 percent in Jordan to a surprising 47 percent in Israel itself. Only in the United States does a plurality say that U.S. policies in the Middle East are fair.
Overall, Muslim populations see U.S. policies as destabilizing the Middle East, as do pluralities in many other countries surveyed. Nearly 50 percent take this view in France and Spain, as do 63 percent in Morocco, 74 percent in Indonesia, and 91 percent in Jordan.
Regarding the U.S.-led war, disappointment was widespread among Muslims that Iraq put up so little resistance. More than 70 percent shared this view in Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco and the Palestinian Authority. The notable exception was Kuwait, which was invaded by Iraq in 1990 and where 61 percent said they were happy Iraq did not put up much of a fight.
Despite the animosity toward America, the survey found "a considerable appetite in the Muslim world for political freedoms," the Pew report says.
In eight of the nine Muslim populations surveyed, at least 50 percent believe Western-style democracy can work in their countries. The exception is Indonesia, where 53 percent see democracy as a Western way of doing things that would not work in their country.
“BEWARE OF THE THE WOMAN OF STEEL”
Condi Rice: "The Woman of Steel"
June 24, 2003
In his article titled "Beware of the Woman of Steel," which was published in the Palestinian Authority daily Al-Ayyam, Palestinian columnist Hassan Al-Batal strongly criticized U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice for her position on the implementation of the road map, and her attachment to Israel. The article came out several days before Dr. Rice's scheduled visit to the region. The following are excerpts from the article:
"She has a figure no less fine than that of supermodel Naomi Campbell, and is more intelligent than 'Iron Lady' Margaret Thatcher. She is Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the national security advisor with the most influence over the American presidency since 'dear Henry Kissinger,' also called 'The American Metternich' after the shrewd, famous German politician."
"A number of women with powerful personalities have passed through the White House, such as 'The Dominatrix,' Ronald Reagan's wife, 'The Wise and Ambitious,' Bill Clinton's wife, or the 'Beloved,' John Kennedy's wife. But Condoleezza Rice is the first woman, [or to be more accurate] the first black woman to fill the most important post in the White House. She is the 'brain' of the president, particularly [in light of the fact that] the current American president is the strongest in the international arena but one of the weakest presidents in his international political education that was ever in the White House."
"The advisor's 'intelligence' and the 'courage' of General Colin Powell raised this black woman and this black man to the highest posts held by a black American man and woman in any American administration at any time. Officer Powell fought Vietnamese Communists while Ms. Autodidact, Rice, prepared herself for ideological war with Soviet Russia or [its other name] global Communism."
"Now, Secretary Powell and Advisor Rice [are together] putting the [policy of the] 'Velvet Glove' on the 'Iron Fist' in a war on the 'terrorist' global fundamentalist movements and against the repressive regimes across the world."
"But unlike Powell 'The Moderate,' who works in the extremist American administration, Rice makes known far and wide her ideas, which belong to the ideology of the American Christian conservative 'New Right.' She is the daughter of a black minister who, when she was a child, filled her head with stories about the Holy Land."
"In an extraordinary interview with the [Israeli daily] Yediot Aharonot in early May 2003, a few days before the White House officially released the road map, [Rice] spoke of the strong spiritual impression from her first visit to Israel in August 2000 - 'I felt that I had returned home... There is a deep connection between me and Israel'..."
"Ms. Rice will visit Israel for the second time next week, and Palestine for the first time, in order to salvage the road map and to save the 'brave' and 'moderate' black man from [his] failure to salvage the plan."
"Yesterday in Jericho, Mr. Powell used a phrase of great significance attesting to the way in which the 'heavy hammer' of Ms. Rice would work to remove the obstacles to the [implementation of the] road map. Mr. Powell presented an order of [moves] that is the reverse of that of the Palestinians, which is: a Hudna [truce] agreement among the factions, [then] a cease fire, [then] a gradual Israeli withdrawal and [then] gradual deployment of Palestinian Authority security [forces] in the northern Gaza Strip and in the city of Bethlehem. Powell suggested a [different] order of actions: a deployment of Palestinian forces in the northern Gaza strip and Bethlehem, [then] a partial Israeli withdrawal, then a ceasefire, and, finally, the Hudna for the problem between the PA and the factions."
"How does Ms. Rice think to pave the difficult way to the road map and to realize 'the vision of two states living peacefully next to each other?' As we know, the road map speaks of a Palestinian state with temporary borders, and a Palestinian state with final borders. Sharon demands a 'suspension' for an unlimited time between the two stages – a demand that arouses deep fears among the Palestinians."
"The flaw of the Oslo agreement lies in the absence of a prior agreement on the permanent status, while the flaw of the road map is the absence of mutual understanding regarding the political-sovereign map of the State of Palestine – that is, its international borders, its territory, and the congruence of [these criteria] with the 1967 borders."
"In her article in the Global Review Point magazine, Rice explained the following formula: The more the content of the Palestinian state with temporary borders meets the American conditions, including [the establishment] of a democratic state - the closer the Palestinian state's shape will be to the 1967 lines..."
"This means that the American decision regarding the establishment of a 'small' and 'contiguous' Palestinian state is final. If [the state] is 'peace-loving, democratic, honest, and fights terror,' then we can look optimistically towards 2005..."
"Beware of this 'Black Spinster' – [I do] not say 'Black Widow' out of respect for her femininity, her wisdom, and her determination, which transform her into a 'Woman of Steel.'"(1)
(1) Al-Ayyam (Palestinian Authority), June 22, 2003.