Hot off the Arab press 390832

What citizens of other countries are reading about the Middle East.

A woman lights a candle near a poster of Jordan’s King Abdullah II (photo credit: REUTERS)
A woman lights a candle near a poster of Jordan’s King Abdullah II
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Did Islamic State surprise you?
Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, February 5
We were all shocked by how Islamic State burned to death Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh earlier this month. But we are reacting as if we were suddenly awakened one bright morning to the brutality of this organization – as if we did not know; as if Islamic State’s extreme actions stand in complete contrast to its guidelines and ethics. Sadly, we are getting it all wrong. What should surprise us is not the organization’s barbarism, but rather that we had an unspoken expectation it would act within the boundaries of logic and humanity.
Islamic State is a movement that believes in sadism and brutality – not only to outsiders, but also to its own people. Hundreds of its own members have been brutally murdered for being “disloyal,” via methods that were not much more humane than burning. In Syria, thousands of Muslims were tortured and killed by the organization and its competitor, Jabhat al-Nusra.
Meanwhile, in the West, people continue to regard this war as one waged by Islam on the infidels. They fail to understand that, in the eyes of Islamic State, almost all Muslims deserve a death sentence. Many governments refuse to intervene, employing the excuse of “leaving room for diplomacy.”
Sooner rather than later, we will all be burned by the fire we are playing with. The world is procrastinating and delaying its response, and time is working against us. – Salman al-Dosri
What kind of Islam is this?!
Al-Dostour, Jordan, February 3
What kind of Islam burns a dignified Muslim alive? What kind of Islam violates all of the basic principles of humanity? This is not Islam.
The hideous footage released by the criminal Islamic State, depicting the gruesome execution of the heroic pilot, will not succeed in deterring us Jordanians.
From the moment Kasasbeh was captured, every single Jordanian citizen became a father, mother, sister and brother to him; Jordanians gathered around his family like one big clan.
This horrific act will not undermine our national resolve, it will not frighten us. Quite contrary, it will bring us Jordanians together, united in our fight against the evils of this organization, which is a disgrace to our religion. The heavy price we paid in this war only raises our morale; only keeps us determined to protect our nation and our religion.
Terror acts are, sadly, not new to us. They will not frighten us. We will stand by the heroic pilot’s family, united as one, and continue our battle with full intensity against the evils of mankind. – Muhammad Hassan al-Tal
How much did the Mossad pay Islamic State?
Al-Shorouk, Egypt, February 6
I am willing to bet that, one day, history will prove the Zionist Mossad managed to infiltrate Islamic State in order to aid and abet it. Following the shocking footage showing the burning of the Jordanian pilot, the entire world has been left disgusted and horrified.
Unfortunately, those who will pay the price are the Muslims around the world.
I said this before, and I repeat it today: The Mossad is investing billions of dollars in order to distort the image of Islam, and has trained organizations such as Islamic State in their barbaric practices. In the last 220 days, Islamic State has executed people from Europe, Asia and North America – Muslims, Christians and Jews. This is no coincidence; this is a deliberate attempt to turn the world against the religion of Islam, portraying it as the enemy of humanity.
Non-Muslims, who have not read the Koran or the Sunnah, refuse to believe what I tell them about its tolerance; people throughout the world refuse to accept the greatness of Islam. The horrific images originating from Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Sinai, Mali and Nigeria will take years to fix.
Sadly, the Mossad only succeeds if it manages to convince our own people to act this way. We must, therefore, first blame ourselves. – Emad al-Din Hussein
Lebanon debates civil marriage
, Lebanon, February 3
More than 40 Lebanese couples that married in civil ceremonies continue to have an unclear legal status, after Interior Minister Nahad al-Mashnouq decided to reexamine their legality under law. In a statement issued earlier this week, Mashnouq claimed that no legislation currently regulates civil marriage in Lebanon, and that no new marriage licenses should be issued until the parliament solves this situation. Supporters of civil marriage attacked the interior minister for “throwing the constitution down the drain” and undermining basic civic rights.
Previously, citizens who declared they did not have any religious affiliation were wed in a civil ceremony, under decree No. 60 of a 1936 law. This was one of the Beirut’s primary attempts to build a more cohesive society, as the country is deeply divided along sectarian lines. Civil organizations have been trying to pass such legislation in the Lebanese parliament for years, but failed due to the opposition of senior politicians. Many Lebanese are forced to marry outside the country, traveling to neighboring Cyprus to do so. – Asrar Shbaro
Iran’s past demons
Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, February 6
Most nations that underwent a revolution usually experience some sort of reality self-check at some point before reaching their revolution’s fourth-decade anniversary. This was true in Communist China, in Stalin’s Russia, and even in Castro’s Cuba. All of these nations underwent a deep process of self-reflection, in which they examined where they stand and what they have achieved since the revolution.
This is not the case with Iran, however. This week marks the 36th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution, and not much has been said or done in regard to where the country stands today. The central regime in Tehran continues to propagate the notion that, under the supreme leader, Iran has been enjoying the most utopian system of governance known to mankind. The only problem, according to the leaders, is that certain “evil foreign powers” have been trying to intervene and make things worse for the Iranian people.
Sadly, reality proves otherwise. Since the revolution, some 6 million Iranians have defected from their country. Thousands of citizens have been executed and killed. The Iranian economy has been plummeting. With sanctions now imposed on the Islamic Republic with full thrust, the country is not doing so well as it enters the revolution’s fourth decade.
It is time Iran began to honestly address its demons from the past. – Amir Taheri is an American nonprofit news agency covering the Middle East.