21 May 2012

Egyptian Elections and Islamophobia

Egyptians will be going to the polls for the long-anticipated presidential elections on 23-24 May, with a runoff for the top two contenders scheduled for 16-17 June if no one achieves more than 50% of the vote. Some results are already coming in from Egyptian citizens living overseas. Partial results released on Friday, 18 May give the lead, with 26%, to Independent candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a physician and former member of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) who was noted for his advocacy of opening the organization up to more tolerance and diversity. In second place, so far, with 20% is Amr Moussa, a former foreign minister and ex-Secretary General of the League of Arab States who is running as a secularist. The MB’s conservative Islamist candidate, Mohamed Morsi, representing their Freedom and Justice Party, is in third place with these voters.

06 May 2012

Keeping Tabs on the Situation in Afghanistan (because somebody oughta be doing it)

Kabul, Afghanistan (image via Wikipedia)
As reported by the The New York Times on 26 April 2012,
Acting at the behest of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, senior American officials told a California congressman last weekend that he was not welcome in Afghanistan because of concerns that his sharp criticism of Mr. Karzai would undermine Washington’s efforts to rebuild trust with the government and restart preliminary peace talks with the Taliban.

The congressman, Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican, has made little secret of his desire to alter the Obama administration’s policies there radically. He has joined Afghan opposition leaders and former warlords in calling for a revamp of the Afghan government into a decentralized, federal state.
Here’s the kicker: 
Mr. Rohrabacher contends his approach would create a more stable Afghanistan...

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