Egypt and freedom of press


For the crime of interviewing a gay man, al- Ghiety will remain a guest of the state for a year and pay some fines.

What’s more disheartening is the crackdown on suspected LGBTs. Which brings us to this post by Scottie.

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

58 thoughts on “Egypt and freedom of press

  1. It made our news tonight.

    Like

  2. Scottie says:

    Thank you. I use to think Egypt was a secular country. It sure has changed. I fear the US is headed the same way at a fast pace. If the US keeps going as it is now we will soon be a extremist Christian theocracy. Hugs

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    • makagutu says:

      You thought wrong. I think on paper, it was, but from what I keep reading and hearing, it has some very, for lack of a better word, backward laws among Arab majority countries.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Peter says:

      Scottie I realise this is a personal matter of concern for you, but I would argue the US is going in the opposite direction away from religion. I can understand why you are worried but I think your fears are unfounded.

      As to the Islamic world, well it is a different matter altogether.

      The danger to the US may actually be from those who adopt identity politics, such as how the far left has embraced uncritically Islam, just because the Christian right opposes Islam. The left need to learn that my enemies enemy is not necessarily my friend.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Scottie says:

        Hello Peter. I am disgusted by the “radical left” or as I like to call them, the regressive left. They are not what the left political spectrum stands for. They are more closely allied in my opinion with the regressive right. I do not think identity politics earns the bad name it has but I think it has been badly misused. There is nothing wrong with voting in your own interest, however you should not try to use identity to excuse harm to others. The ranking of groups according to historical offender / offence is silly and stupid. I think they call it intersectionality.

        As for the US the problem Peter, and why I think it is much worse right now , is the push to get evangelical Christians into all levels of government. Local , state, federal. I live in Florida and I have seen it here, churches actually run and promote candidates based on their religion. I have also seen in places that are less religious they will hide their affiliation with a church until they are elected. This is especially true on local school boards. In our federal government all departments are now staffed with powerful evangelical people who things have to be passed through before approval. Secretary of State Pompeo went to Cairo and gave a speech promoting Christianity! Why are Ralph Reed, Tony Perkins, and others of their ilk consulted on policies and legal issues? Members of departments are now required to be part of daily or weekly morning bible study meetings or prayer sessions. If you try to opt out, your future in the department is not good. They have spent two years stacking the courts at all levels with Evangelical Christians who put faith before the laws of the land. Many say there is no higher law than god’s laws.

        Yes there are lower numbers for church goers than in the past years. But the ones who remain are more fanatic and determined to bring their world view down on everyone. Sheldon Adelson gave the republican party over 30 million dollars for just one thing. Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem. The President ordered it done and Adelson paid up. They did not even try to hide it, it was all done in the open. Now with the religious freedom group in the justice department it is even worse for the secular nature of the country. Jeff Sessions turned the entire thing upside down and now laws have to be judged on how badly or costly they are to a religion or church / group. As you say Peter I am directly affected by these shifts in government policies and protections. I am worried. Hugs

        Liked by 3 people

        • That is really grim, & no rose coloured glasses will make it all more palatable. We often hear this sort of thing on our news, & yes, they are more fanatical to the point of near madness.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, & we don’t envy anyone who has to live with that bs either. Those brainwashed need to stop electing these hellfire politicians, but I don’t see that happening.

          Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          This is quite something, Scottie.
          Is there a way out of it? Or is collapse the only route left

          Liked by 1 person

          • Scottie says:

            Hello Makagutu. Right now we have very progressive and younger people running for office. This last election took some power from the conservative side pushing religion into everything and gave some power back to the liberal progressives who are for a secular society. However the bad part is the ideological Christian judges that they have installed have the jobs for life. Most of these people are rather young, and most are very inexperienced as they were selected for their loyalty to religion not their legal understandings. They will be a millstone around the neck of the country for 40 to 50 years. There is talk of changing the number of Supreme Court Justices to add more progressives as the conservatives blocked a legal nomination of a sitting president for over a year and then tRump got to pick a far right winger for the position. If we do not do that, the court will be a solid right wing political block against any progressive laws. I think we can slowly climb back as the pendulum swings again but some of the damage can not be repaired easily nor quickly. Hugs

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            • makagutu says:

              This looks dire.
              Maybe the biggest challenge is the judges but this would also depend on public mood, I think.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Scottie says:

                It is dire. The congress can be changed to reflect the people. However laws are judged to be legal by the very judges the tRump administration are installing. So progressive laws have to go through these courts and will have a hard time being found legal. Look at what the conservative courts tried to do to the ACA known as Obamacare. That is the problem with the judges using their religion rather than the law to make their judgments. It will be hard to move the nation forward at this point. Hugs

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        • basenjibrian says:

          The powers of reaction are a far bigger threat than the local Womyns Study Group.

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      • Swarn Gill says:

        Yep. It’s interesting, because from an ideas standpoint there are a lot more similarities among evangelical Christians in the U.S. and the ideas still practiced in many Islamic countries.

        It’s a difficult water to navigate because on the other hand people have so little experience with Islamic people in the U.S. that more moderate muslims do get hurt by decisions to attack the ideas that conservative Islamists represent. Journalist Deeya Khan gave a great interview with Sam Harris on her podcast and I think that she made a great point. She said that we do need to be a lot more honest about the problematic parts of Islam, but that in the U.S. and the western world in general there is no promotion of moderate islamic voices. At best she said it’s always the same group of people, but that there are many people who are working in Muslim communities trying to challenging orthodox ideas and reform traditional thinking. She says that people with platforms need to give exposure the large groups of people who do this kind of work, because people simply don’t know a wide range of Muslims…they know that the extremes, and than they know white people saying “not all Muslims”. I think this is a valid point.

        Liked by 1 person

        • makagutu says:

          What would you, Swarn, describe as a moderate Islam? One who believes the Koran is not the literal word of god? That Mohammed is not the final prophet and that hadiths and sayings of the prophet do not represent the final say on human affairs? But this would an apostate!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            There are fundamentalist Christians who regard the liberal/progressive Christian understanding of the Bible in much the same light. And faith traditions such as the one I follow are regarded as Demonic cults run for and on behalf of “The Evil One”. I’m not kidding. In this regard, I don’t see any difference between the fundamentalists of any religion.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Swarn Gill says:

            Well essentially. I mean obviously there are countries where being such a person isn’t easy, but just like there are Christians who don’t take every word of the bible literally so are their Muslims who don’t see Islam the way that someone from ISIS would or even more orthodox Islamists.

            Liked by 1 person

            • makagutu says:

              I don’t think there’s any Muslim majority country where holding such position would be tolerated. A Muslim who not only holds but expresses such belief publicly can only do it in secular countries.

              Liked by 3 people

      • makagutu says:

        Is there a way out of identity politics?

        Liked by 1 person

      • basenjibrian says:

        I both agree and disagree with your last paragraph. I think the “far left” has embraced individual or populations of Muslims who they (arguably) see as oppressed. Which is at least a rational argument. Few members of the “far left” have actually “embraced Islam” outside of a few fringe radical separatist groups such as Nation of Islam that actually chose to embrace Islam for he very reason you note.

        I think a lot of identity politics is all sturm und drag. How much power does a college sophomore babbling about intersectionality really have? Plus, again, a lot of this noise is from populations who have been ignored, marginalized, and even violently suppressed (gay bashing police forces). I see less threat from these groups than from the powers of reaction, whose terminology you seem to be adopting a bit, to be honest. See Donald Trump. As annoying as they are, the left is NOT the threat.

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  3. Wasn’t it Shakespeare who wrote, “First, kill all the theocrats.” Well, it was something like that, and if he didn’t write just those words, he shoulda.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ron says:

    It’s to be expected when your constitution states: “Islam is the religion of the State” and “the principles of Islamic Sharia are the main source of legislation.”

    As someone so rightfully observed in another case involving religious discrimination against SSM:

    “If we allow religious freedom to trump other rights, then no other rights can be protected. There are no protected rights that cannot be sidestepped or sidelined under the guise of religious freedom.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      I think that someone’s observation is on point.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Barry says:

      The problem is that religion isn’t always the cause. All my in-laws live in Japan, and even by Japanese standards they are non-religious. Over four generations, there seems to little difference in their attitude to homosexuality or LGBTQI+ rights in general. It’s all negative – very negative. Homosexual acts may not be illegal in Japan, but neither is discrimination against gays etc. It would seem to me that it’s not religion that decides the status of various forms of sexuality. That is determined by other cultural factors. Religion is then the tool that is often used to enforce the prejudices, Although from what I can ascertain, it plays no part in the prejudices of most Japanese.

      Liked by 2 people

      • makagutu says:

        It’s custom and then combined with religion.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Barry says:

          Precisely, although it doesn’t explain the Japanese attitude. I notice that whenever a new religion or denomination arises, it takes on attitudes and ideas that were floating around within society at the time. The problem is that once these ideas have been embedded in dogma and creeds, the are fixed for all time, or at least until well past their “best by” date. That’s one thing I like about my faith tradition. The only thing they are dogmatic about is not having dogmas or creeds ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            My thinking, on this, and related to why most cultures shun marriage between a young man & older woman, is about survival of the species, nothing else. Such unions are seen not to promote the continued survival of the race & become embedded in custom & religion picks it up. It remains so until, as you say, we arrive at “best by” date

            Liked by 1 person

            • Barry says:

              I think perhaps survival of the clan/village/tribe/family line became more important that the species itself, a very long time ago, but your reasons are still valid – especially in relation to transfer of property and/or power from one generation to the next.

              While we have police and courts and penalties such as prison and fines to deter people from breaking laws, older societies would have used the threat of supernatural punishment to establish the authority of the tohunga/shaman/priest to maintain order.

              Liked by 1 person

      • Ron says:

        You’re absolutely correct in stating that religion isn’t necessarily the cause, so much as an excuse to enforce social prejudices. My point was that a constitution based on the premise that religious beliefs serve as the ultimate authority enshrines those prejudices into law.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Eric Alagan says:

    The Singapore government criminalises gay men but not gay women. I suppose it is disgusting to watch the former but captivating to leer at the latter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Barry says:

      That used to be that case in Aotearoa New Zealand until the early 1980s. We inherited UK legislation and common law when we became self governing. Myth has it that when homosexuality was criminalised, the intent was to make it illegal for both men and women, but Queen Victoria was so convinced that women could not possibly perform such “horrendous” acts, that it was redrafted to apply to men only. I have no idea whether or not there’s any truth to the story.

      Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      What strange legislation. How is this reconciled, at least in the law books?
      I think we have the same problem with our penal code adopted from the colonial laws

      Liked by 2 people

  6. the religious and the dictator are cowards.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. […] makagutu’s comment “Thereโ€™s no difference between an ideologue of any ism” is absolutely […]

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