Coming Out

I remember myself as young as six years old, going to the mosque to pray, standing, kneeling, and eventually putting my forehead to the ground. I was supposed to be talking to God. I opened my eyes and I saw nothing but the beautiful Persian rug on which I was praying. I closed them and I saw nothing but darkness. I tried to listen for anything, but there was nothing but silence. I slowly turned my head, sneaking a peek at the adults praying next to me, and trying to find out what was going on. I saw them rubbing their foreheads against the rug just like me, and whispering some prayers to something distant I couldn’t see. I turned my head back and closed my eyes forcefully, trying to focus, trying to find it, but again, there was silence. I kept going to the mosques. I became zealously religious and wanted to fight for a god I couldn’t find. I kept trying, to no end. Then, I woke up to the horrors of religion. I saw how my Muslim faith was the agony of many. How it oppressed women, C…

اغتصاب اليهود في السجون المصرية

بعد تأسيس دولة إسرائيل في عام 1948 وبعد الحروب التابعة لذلك، قامت الحكومة المصرية مع الحكومات العربية الأخرى بنزع الجنسية ونفي وسجن اليهود الموجودون في أراضيهم. قام ما يقرب من الـ100 ألف يهودي مصري بالهرب إلى إسرائيل، أمريكا الشمالية، أوروبا وأستراليا. أقلية من اليهود المصريين بقت لتواجه الاضطهاد. بعد نكسة 1967 قامت الحكومة المصرية بالقبض على معظم الرجال اليهود في مصر، على الأقل فرد من كل عائلة وما يقرب من 20% من تعداد اليهود في البلاد وقامت بوضعهم في سجن أبو زعبل على أطراف القاهرة.

تم القبض على اليهود حيثما وجودوا، في فراشهم، الجامعات، المواصلات العامة، والمكاتب. حينما وصلوا لسجن أبو زعبل أستقبلهم الحاخام الأكبر مصلوباً فوق بوابة السجن. كان عليهم المرور من تحت الحاخام المصلوب ليدخلوا إلى الكابوس الذي حضره لهم الضباط المصريون. عند الوصول استقبلوهم بحفلة من السباب، الركل، والضرب. كان عليهم أن يختاروا أسماء نسائية لكل واحد منهم من عينة خدوجة، زنوبة، إلى أخره لأن في مصر كونك أنثى هي الإهانة الأكبر. تم اغتصابهم، مشاهدة آخرون يغتصبوا، وغصبهم على اغتصاب بعضهم البعض. في رواية واحدة غصب الضباط…

Raping the Jews in Egyptian prisons

Following the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, and the subsequent Arab-Israeli wars. The Egyptian government, along with the rest of the Arab world, decided to strip off citizenship, banish, and imprison the Jews in their lands. Some 100,000 Egyptian Jews fled to Israel, North America, and Europe. Of that number, a sizable minority of Egyptian Jews remained to face the horrors of Arab rule. Following the Six Days War, the Egyptian government arrested almost every Jewish male in the country, at least one person from every family and over 20% of the entire Jewish population, and detained them in Abu Zabaal, a major detention facility in Cairo still operative till this very day.

Jews were arrested wherever they were, bedrooms, schools, buses, and workplaces. Upon arrival to Abu Zabaal, Jews were greeted by the chief Rabbi crucified above the gates. They had to pass under the Rabbi into the nightmares the Egyptian officers had prepared for them. Upon arrival, they were met w…

Reform rabbis and orthodox mosques

While there are several absurd conspiracy theories about president Obama or members of his administration, and despite my utter disbelief in these theories, one can’t help but concede to the lingering feeling that this administration indeed has some unexplained biases. Biases which often expose themselves in the preoccupation with futile euphemisms regarding “religious extremism”, persistence in pursuing nuclear deals with a criminal terrorism-sponsoring theocratic regime, a State Department that believes ISIS fighters need economic opportunities, an ever deteriorating relationship with Israel or an adamant defense of Islam as a belief system.

The first example of this pattern of unexplained behavior is discrepancy in approaching different faith communities in the U.S. Early this year President Obama and a veiled first lady made their first mosque visit to the Islamic Society of Baltimore; an Orthodox gender segregated mosque which one of its prominent former imams is a radical orthodo…

How radical Islam could be an actual threat to Western civilization after all

The current fevered debate about free speech is probably the first one we’ve had in a long while. It is a given that it’s healthy to engage society in a public debate, what concerns me is the subject of that debate. It is too hot of a debate to the extent that the very two poles of this debate can’t even agree on the actual subject of the debate. For some it is about free speech, for others it’s about racism. And here I would like to share some ideas on the subject.

The first group involved in this debate are those who believe that it is a battle for free speech and for the soul of western civilization. They are convinced that Islamists are trying to steal our rights to criticize and offend religion anyway we desire. This group, though made primarily of right wing conservatives, does include a big number of non-mainstream liberals as well as many unpleasant southern Baptists, evangelicals, security hawks and other cuckoos. The second group is the main-stream liberal circle made of peo…

That the World May Not End

My article in the LA Jewish Journal:

Why Sisi is bad for everybody

Since he overthrew the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood and took power in Egypt, Sisi unarguably became the most celebrated Arab leader in western media. His latest calls for Islamic reform, war on ISIS and Hamas have earned him comparisons to Winston Churchill and Anwar Sadat. For many Arabs like me it is not surprising. The west seems to be deemed to celebrate and support real bad Arabs like Sadat and Sisi.
The west is desperate to convince itself it does have Muslim friends regardless of the reality and here where Sisi enters the picture with his military uniform and anti-Islamist determination. Sisi has been a major setback for Islamists in Egypt and in the world. He singlehandedly, and against the will of the mighty White House in its residents, overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood from the presidency of the birthplace of modern militant Islamic ideology. He has been leading a persistent campaign against Islamists in his country, declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization…

The problem with moderate Muslims

For the past six month the president of the U.S has took it upon himself to defend Islam as a religion and a culture. One State Department spokesperson made a statement suggesting that “lack of job opportunities” is a major reason for beheadings and cruel violence. All of this is not just shocking because of how irrelevant it is, but it’s shocking because the will to avoid addressing the problem is too big that the president of the United States personally had to deviate from his federal job description and give speeches about what Islam is and what it is not. Our desire to reassure ourselves that all people as nice as us is so great that we are changing the ways we conduct our business. That is why I want to share some thoughts on the issue of Islam and Islamic moderation.

To deny the existence of moderate Muslims is ,beyond any reasonable doubt, an anti-Muslim prejudice. Not only that but it’s most certainly destructive to any efforts to counter Islamic extremism. A world with no m…

The Good, the Bad and the Moderate

Last week a group of students in Swarthmore College prevented me from talking or reasoning with them, or with the audience. It was sad to see young students unable to participate in a peaceful argument. I’m also saddened that we have missed on an opportunity to enjoy a constructive debate about our world, which is something I always enjoy. Therefore, I have decided to imagine that our debate did take place and was not interrupted by an irresponsible burst of emotional hostility. I will assume that what I imagine is a common argument was made, and I will try to answer.
One of the corner stone arguments of the anti-Israel/pro-Islamic activists who come from Muslim communities or leftist activism, is that the homicidal apocalyptic phenomena which is coming from a tiny radical minority in the Middle East, is nothing more than a response to the combination of brutal inhumane Israeli occupation, merciless American imperialism, and political economic western backed tyrannies. Although, such…

We Need to Talk About Islam

It is amazing that we can't start a conversation about Islam as a violent, peaceful or normal religion without someone starts to -many times violently- defending Muslims. Why?! is it a sincere concern from our Islamophobia against the Muslim minority? Is it a precaution so one day we won't build concentration camps for the 1.6 billion Muslims, some of them are nuclear and some are yet to be, and systematically annihilate them?! Or is it our childish ridicules political correctness which encumber us from discussing a more than ever serious existential issue?

Extreme avoidance of publically questioning the Islamic doctrine is not the proper response to nearly half a century of global terrorism. There is no continent that survived Islamic terrorism. Almost all races produced Islamic terrorists was it African warriors, French Jewish girls, Asian Mujahdeen or a blonde European ISIS fighter. All of this should bring us to the conclusion that we need to have an open, transparent dis…