Top Five Myths about the Middle East Protests

5. Dear right wing blogosphere and also Bill Maher: You can’t generalize about women’s position in Muslim countries based on a reprehensible mob attack on CBS reporter Lara Logan. Generalizing about a whole group of people based on a single incident is called “bigotry.” It is also a logical fallacy (for wingnuts challenged by six syllables in a row, that means, ‘when your brain doesn’t work right’) known as the ‘Hasty Generalization.’ Nobody seems to note that allegedly helpless Egyptian women were the ones who saved Logan, or that Anderson Cooper was also attacked.

Some other examples of reporters or celebrities being assaulted by crowds are here and here. Wingnuts, and also Bill Maher, who do not immediately make generalizations on these bases about large groups of Westerners are wusses.

Note to Muslim-hater Bill Maher, who should know better: It is not true that women cannot vote in 20 Muslim countries, and please stop generalizing about 1.5 billion Muslims based on the 22 million people in Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, the only place where women cannot drive and where men can vote (in municipal elections) but women cannot. It would be like generalizing from the Amish in Pennsylvania to all people of Christian heritage and wondering what is with Christianity and its fascination with horses and buggies.

4. That the unrest in Bahrain is significantly caused by Iran is false. It is an indigenous protest of Arab Shiites who are treated like second class citizens in their own country. On Saturday night,
the protesting crowds camped out in Pearl Square downtown, as their leaders consulted in preparation for talks with the government. Wikileaks cables show that the US government consistently discounted fear-mongering about Iran by the Sunni monarchy in Bahrain.

3. Yusuf Qaradawi, the 84-year-old preacher whose roots are in the old Muslim Brotherhood before the latter turned to parliamentary politics, is nevertheless no Ayatollah Khomeini. Qaradawi addressed thousands in Tahrir Square in Cairo on Friday. Qaradawi called for Muslims to fight the Taliban and al-Qaeda alongside US troops in 2001. On Friday he praised the Coptic Christian role in the Egyptian revolution and said that the age of sectarianism is dead. Qaradawi is a reactionary on many issues, but he is not a radical and there is no reason to think that either the Youth or Workers’ Movements that chased Hosni Mubarak out of the country is interested in having Qaradawi tell them what to do.

2. Looking to the Tunisian and Egyptian futures, it is not true, as dreary anti-Muslim Israeli propagandist Barry Rubin alleged, that Muslim fundamentalist parties always win free and fair elections in Muslim-majority countries. This frankly stupid allegation is disproved by the Pakistan elections of 2008, the Albanian elections of 2009, the Kurdistan elections in post-2003 Iraq, and all of the Indonesian elections.

1. Despite the importance of Facebook and Twitter as communication and networking tools, Labor unions and factory workers have been more important in the Arab uprisings than social media. In Libya, the regime’s attack on internet service did not forestall a major uprising on Saturday in Benghazi, which the regime met with deadly force.

AP reviews Saturday’s rallies throughout the region:

Posted in Uncategorized | 81 Responses | Print |

81 Responses

  1. Dear Mr. Cole –

    – for that, Bill Maher would have first to, you know, read. And why read if you already “know”. And what annoys me the most about the holier-than-thou screeds is the fact that it gets almost always conveniently forgotten that Lara Logan was rescued by women (gosh) and Egyptian soliders (gosh!), i.e. by both the supressed group and the ones symbolizing the state.

    During a revolution and chaos, they still came to her resuce. It should be noted, that, because at the very same time that happened, in my own country, Germany, in Berlin surveillance footage was released of three teens brutally beating a man to death in a subway station, while none, I repeat, none of the bystanders even moved as much as a finger to help the victim.

    And that was not during chaos on the street.

    Just on a normal, German night.

  2. Hello Prof. Cole! your number 1. has been cut off – can you repost? (I am looking forward to seeing you here in NYC again very soon) -Christine

  3. We Americans need to show a little faith in our democractic ideals, and let the people get rid of their dictators.

    At the very least, we should stay out of their way.

    • On point, though further explanation (and extrapolation) would do well.

  4. I would be interested to read your thoughts on William Engdahl’s view of the world.
    Thank you for your comments which are an invaluable help to better understand the Middle East politics.

  5. > Note to Muslim-hater Bill Maher, who should know better…

    Prof. Cole – after his flippant remark on last Friday’s I seriously considered stop watching his show altogether. I tweeted this and you should sent him an email because it would have more impact ;)

    RT Women of the revolution – Al Jazeera English link to #RealTimeWithBillMaher #egypt

  6. What bothers me most about Bill Maher is that his personal life absolutely negates any claim he is interested in feminism. He is the biggest misogynist I can think of- on par with Mel Gibson and Charlie Sheen. Women’s rights are more than the ability to wear a bikini and pre-marital sex. His frequent visits to the playboy mansion and dating arm candy suggests his views are closer to Muslim men then he would like to believe.

    Actually his views are exactly the same. He just prefers women dressed down instead of covered up.

    • Yes, the linked Bill Maher show featured 4 men and 1 woman. He respects women, just not their opinions.

    • Yes, I agree. In fact, I was always disturbed by his jokes about women, and I stopped watching him 3 years ago because of it. I also don’t believe that he respects people of faith (any faith) and he treats any religious or spiritual belief as evidence of insanity. He is very much a bigot.

    • You’re generalizing again !!!! Muslim men don’t have similar views towards women as the views you mentioned! I am a Muslim and I definetly don’t share such views.

  7. hmmmm its a problematic one to discuss with out coming off “racialist” :) i think there definitely does seem to be something up with at least a proportion of egyptian men and their attitudes towards women. i mean this is well documented. a man in all seriousness tried to buy my sister for a couple of camels. an extremely attractive friend of mine had to pretend to be married to her brother just because the harassment on the street was so bad. and its not just the personal experience of people i know either. link to

    link to

    “83% of egyptian women and 98% of foreign women experience sexual harassment of some form”

    and now before the accusations start. no im not some orientalist bigot. i just think we have to call things as they are. and for once i cant agree with juan, what happened to ms logan is just an isolated incident. it makes me uncomfortable to say this but at the same time i think its unfortunately the truth

    • Ciaran,

      I imagine that what you say is true in regards to attractive women on the streets in Egypt. But that happens everywhere (well, maybe stopping short of buying a woman in exchange for a couple of camels). My own solo travels through Italy, Peru and Mexico in particular have been marked by constant harassment. My 15 year old daughter cannot walk a block in Chicago without the same. She keeps her cell phone in one hand and her pepper spray in the other. Clearly, this is not ok by any means. But it is not a problem unique to Egypt.

      • Ciaran

        It’s difficult for a men to understand how extended is this problem. I am 53, and about 85% of my female friends have been harassed several times in their lives, here in Spain. It goes from groping, stalking, child abuse, group molesting up to confronting exhibitionists or rape attempts. I asked my daughter about how many of her friends have suffered the same and its a lower %, but not much. The most dangerous countries for women are catholic nations like Guatemala, Paraguay, Mexico, etc. IMHO you should take it in account next time before attributing that behaviour exlclusively to Arabs and Muslims!

    • Ciaran,

      The problem with Maher is not that he wants to talk seriously about problems in Middle East countries, it is that he uses those problems to bash muslims and arabs. He makes grotesquely racist generalisations based on extremely isolated incidents – for example his predilection for beheading jokes, which he made during his smarmy interview with Mona Eltahawy (in 2 parts):

      link to
      link to

      …and again just a few days ago when he telling the world about how awful arab/muslim men are:

      link to

      In both instances, people pushed backed against Maher, Mona Eltahawy in the first and Tavis Smiley, plus an outraged audience member during the second (“Have you ever seen what a Hellfire missile does to a muslim women?”). Great stuff.

      The statistics you cite are from a credible source (The Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights) and should not be ignored. It has to be acknowledged though, that these are stats relevant to Egypt, and it is wrong to make generalisations about the entire arab/muslim world as Maher does. For a more respectful discussion of the problem of sexual harassment in Egypt I refer you to the following article “Egypt’s Women Rally Behind Lara Logan”:

      link to

      Ultimately this is an issue for Egyptian men and women (and whomever they choose to enlist in their efforts) to solve. If we have learnt anything at all about Egypt in the last month it is that as a nation they have capabilities far beyond what was the consensus position.

      Bill Maher’s concern for arab women is entirely opportunistic. He should be ostracised for his ugly views.

      • well honestly i’ve no opinion either way about bill maher, im from ireland so i’ve never seen him or anything. but from what you say he sounds like an asshole.

        javier-firstly i think to be fair i havent attributed this behaviour solely to muslims. nobodies mentioned it but even say japan, as different a country as you could get, has problems in this regard to. i think as long as men exist it’ill be a problem.

        javier and kerry seem to be saying that essential there’s no difference between the situation of women in their countries and Egypt, i think this is patently untrue. the quotation is from the article aaron linked to-“After a terrorist bombing in 2004 in the historic neighborhood of Khan Al Khalili, myself and two female foreign journalists trying to cover the attack were surrounded by young men who formed a circle around us and locked their arms. Someone tried to unzip the pants of one of the women I was with” now to be fair, as macho and unpleasant as spanish men can be(sorry javier but its true!) can anybody imagine the same thing happening in spain? or was anyone actually that surprised to read that such a thing happened in Egypt?

        • Hi Ciaran,

          To answer your questions, yes and yes. I only have the male perspective, but however annoying and harassing and exhausting the streets of Cairo can be, I never noticed an atmosphere of foreboding, danger and distinct physical threat as in, for example, some parts of Spain or the US.
          The fact that harassment of women often (generally?) takes a particular form in the Arab world is no credit to those cultures, but it would be false to presume that our, more familiar, version of sexist intimidation is a sign of superiority.

    • although this may be the case in Egypt (I have experienced it first hand)…I’m sure it is the case in many other places around the world despite religion. The problem of harassment on the streets of Egypt, is not necessarily the problem of Islam. There are plenty of Muslim countries, where this is not the case. Perhaps some men in Egypt use religion as their excuse, but it is more a cultural problem. Coming from Los Angeles, I have gotten “harassed” or whistled at, whichever you prefer by many South Americans most of which are strictly Catholic. Therefore calling the problem of harassment in one Muslim country and generalizing it to the problem of Muslim men, is quite unjust.

  8. Thank you for the comments on women….when I was a journalist in Cairo I found women incredibly brave and aware in their battle for equality. It is a very complex situation, but I have always urged that the job of Western women is to find out what their Arab/Egyptian counterparts want and support it.

    At the time (a very long time ago) the percentage of women in the professions was the same as in the Scandinavian countries. And when I would come back to Ireland for R&R I always found the average Irish intellectual male more basically sexist than the average Egyptian male intellectual — who was at least willing to listen to what I had to say.

  9. The role of tech in the uprisings is a tired theme indeed. Americans have an intense craving to inject themselves into these freedom narratives. There is unfortunately scant repentance from the Home of the Brave about Americans’ _real_ role in the Egypt story.

  10. Thanks for exposing Bill Maher. Based on how he was treated by the MSM after 9/11 somehow I was a bit sympathetic to him, but little did I know about his biased mind – of course I do not follow or watch our MSM or the cable propaganda …

  11. Bill Maher doesn’t just have his ingrained prejudices — he enjoys pulling facts and arguments out of no more than impulse.

    He knows an enormous number of things which are not interrupted by any knowledge of sources.

    I really enjoy many parts of his show, but it’s not always predictable which parts will prove sensibly and solidly based in any reality.

    Of course, most times when any guest attempts to counter anti-Arab and anti-Muslim arguments from right wing and/or hawkish guests, they get to get talked over and droned out.

    When such contrary voices and liberals in general interrupt or fail to stop speaking for conservatives and hawks, Maher suddenly recalls the value of being a moderator.

    Of course, one reason Maher would mock Islam is that he really, really hates religion and anything related.

    He hates Islam in its religious elements as he does Christianity and other sects. At least that’s consistent.

  12. “the old Muslim Brotherhood before the latter turned to parliamentary politics” – I think the MB competed in Egyptian parliamentary elections in 1942 and 1945.

  13. Bill Maher has been consistently disappointing when it comes to Muslims and Israel-Palestine. I can no longer tolerate his program when these subjects come up, as he is quick to spread misinformation. Like Sam Harris, Maher is quick to criticize Islam and Christianity, but guess who gets a free pass? Jewish extremists.

    • I’ve noticed the same thing, Israel gets a pass. I’d like to see a guest take him to task on this, but that person would be guaranteed never to appear on his show again.

      • I noticed that too. I lost respect for Maher about three years ago when he was interviewing (Netanyahu or the Israeli Minister of Defense?) and basically said yeah do whatever you need to with Iran, just go all out . .

  14. You are right, Prof Cole, “right wingnuts” shouldn’t generalize about Egyptians based on this one incident. And they don’t have to!

    Sexual harassment of women in Cairo has been prominently reported in the media FOR MANY YEARS even before the assault on Logan. Are you just so keen to denounce anything that “right wingers”, even when correct? (Akin to cutting off your nose to spite your face?)

    Or have you seriously missed all kinds of reports, such as these? (all prior to Logan’s attack):

    link to

    link to

    link to

    link to

    • Yeah but that is not the argument being advanced.

      Moreover, to generalize from Egyptians to all Muslims, we’d need to look at Dakar and Jakarta.

      And we’d have then to compare to Christian societies like e.g. Italy or Bulgaria

      Then there is Maher’s assertion that ending patriarchy is necessary to democracy, which means the US was not a democracy until 1919 or Switzerland until 1970

      Sloppy thinking and pernicious

    • I am a woman and have been for 40 years a working anthropologist. I am normal looking, not especially attractive, and I have always dressed conservatively when working, even avoiding slacks in the 1960s and 1970s (that seems to no longer be an issue). I have been groped in crowds in Peru and in Mexico, solidly Christian countries. I have been groped in the New York City subway system. I understand that this is a serious problem in crowded transportation sites in Japan, just to add another cultural system. Good literature suggests that the problem may be particularly acute in some Middle Eastern countries and parts of India, but this is not an special “Arab” or “Muslim” problem, but a universal human issue. It is going to take many years of hard work to convince those who police such spaces, and those who raise sons, that the dignity of women and their right to access to public spaces is a fundamental human right.

    • An estimated 20% to 25% of college women in the United States experience attempted or complete rap during their college career. IN the United States, 1 in 6 women REPORTED experiencing an attempted or completed rape at some time in their lives (Center for Disease Control and Prevention.) And remember this is only reported rape. What are the statistics for Sexual Harassment in the US? “Studies suggest anywhere between 40-70% of women… have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace” (link to In the WORKPLACE! I don’t know what the statistics are for outside the workplace but I assume they are very high. What about all those reports? What about all the reports in the US? Oh and has anyone been paying attention to the Republic war on women? (link to Islam and women? Try men and women! Enough said.

      • Attempted or complete rap is always better than total rap because rap has sucked since the mid 1990s.

  15. Excellent. More focus needs to be placed on automonous action and concerted action within the labour movement. Middle class westerners love to over state the twitter and facebook aspects so that we can see ourselves in Tahrir Square.

    So pleased your RSS feed is working again.

  16. The main thing that gives Muslim extremism credibility where it has credibility is that it has at times seemed to be the only cohesive faction willing to resist the US and Israel’s oppressions and depredations.

    • Muslim extremism is a response to totalitarian states systems and dictatorships, many of which have been very actively (meaning the dictatorships) by the hypocritical west.

      • Actively dictatorships are my favoritest, especially when they are the western.

  17. Why Bill Maher, who is not an expert on anything but television, is taken seriously, I’ll never understand. He knows nothing about religion, the Middle East, or science for that matter (as a medical student, I was horrified by his public categorical dismissal of vaccinations as a public health measure). Why can’t we — as a nation — just ignore this demented curmudgeon like we do other kooks, loons, and morons?

  18. Re No. 5: I find myself reminding people that a woman chances of being a victim of a sexual attack are 1 in 10 — in the U.S. military. Those statistics don’t seem to be leading anyone to make vast generalizations about the brutality of military men — but maybe they should.

  19. I was watching Bill Maher yesterday and jumped out of my seat when he started blubbering about the ordeal of the CBS reporter. This was the guy I had most admired in the MSM about his views in general and you can imagine my indignation when he started showing his true color when it comes to his understanding of other cultures. It needs to be said and let me add some of my views in regards to what happened to Lara Logan.

    Although I do no know the details of what happened to Lara Logan, it happened in atmosphere of a revolution and at a time when the authorities let loose the hooligans to attack the protesters and foreign journalists. Judging from the peaceful nature of the revolution in Egypt (because there was no major criminal incidents that occurred in those 18 days except for the action of the authorities who tried every trick on the book), there is no reason to think that this action was perpetrated by anyone of the millions of Egyptians who took to the streets; the incident had all the markings of the action of the security forces which we have all witnessed inflicted live against the protesters. And everyone by now heard that many journalists were roughed up by the authorities and beaten by the thousands of hooligans they unleashed on the demonstrators.

    When one of the host on the show, Tavis Smiley, tried to argue and teach this Neanderthal a lesson about sociology, Bill Maher went on to read a news article about how a head of a Muslim family in the U.S. beheaded his wife because of some misunderstanding. And because of these two incidents, he was making generalizations about how all Muslims men oppress their women and that the liberation of women should precede everything in Muslim countries for the entire society to enjoy democracy and freedom. And at that point, I abandoned every respect that I had for this person and made a decision not to watch his show anymore. Even during the very few times I had the misfortune of watching FOX news, I never came across such a blatant and racist comments as I have witnessed watching Bill Maher yesterday. How can someone in his position be so ignorant about an issue and makes his hate about Muslims bare for everyone to see?

    Our nation has come a long away in a mere century when half of the population (women) and African Americans were denied full citizenship and the right to vote. Ours was a nation where slavery was the order of the day while Paris was burning yearning for Liberté, égalité, fraternité and none of us have the moral authority to judge and put condition (there is no freedom in Muslim countries until women are free from their husbands – Bill Maher) in the struggle of other people except to lend our moral support because none of us free when some of us are under oppression.

    The other point Bill Maher willfully forgot in his argument but Juan Cole repeatedly mentions in his blog is the commonly held belief that all Muslim nations are dictatorship. Although we may not like the type of democracy they are practicing, there hundreds of millions of Muslims living in democratic societies where the people can vote, elect and be elected such as Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, India (where 14 percent of the population is Muslim) . In fact, majority of Muslims live in democracies except for a notable exceptions of Arabs and much of Africa. Folks such as Bill Maher should make a note of educating themselves about other cultures before teaching others about values of freedom. And we should remember that no one has a monopoly on either human values or virtues.

    • Show me another revolution that was as peaceful and dignified (from the part of the revolutionaries) than the Egyptian revolution. Bill Maher and the western talking heads are full of their biased agenda. I wish people would just ignore them.

    • Rihab, and others interested to see it – I’ve linked above to a clip of the Maher/Smiley discussion.

  20. Juan: Why don’t you wangle a guest appearance on Maher’s show? I mean he has had lunatics like Rep Kinston of Georgia who proclaimed that he definitely did not descend from Monkeys–for which monkeys all over the world are grateful—and Darrel Issa the ex-car thief turned self-righteous investigator of corruption, though he himself is incredibly corrupt. You could maybe straighten Maher out. Most Americans are so abysmally ignorant about the outside world they have no idea that there are millions of Muslims in Indonesia who are totally unlike the Saudi and Middle Eastern version. I’ve seen Indonesian women in bikinis. Lebanese women too. Unimaginable in Saudi Arabia yet indicative of the wide variety in the Muslim world.

    • I really appreciate this response. I hope you will not mind if I quote your comment on Rep. Kinston of Georgia. Oh my! And thank you for the points you make about the variety among nations in which the majority of inhabitants are Muslim.

    • I’ll second that.

      With all due respect to BH, he’s a hipsot, and at his worst is a progressive (contridiction in terms, I know) reflection of those unmentionable idiots on Fox. The difference, IMHO, is that he has a bit more perspective of his own failability and a real desire/ability to engage the truth of things.

      The guy is by and large an impulsive and immature peter pan pot head, whose managed to stay a kid all his life. On the other hand, he cares about The Truth and getting on with things. So, if someone who shares the same general agenda is willing to come on and engage him, its hard to see it becoming a food fight: I’d see education of Bill, along with alot of viewers who in the day to day trials of their own lives simply don’t have the time and means to know better.

      Good idea!

  21. Dear Prof. Cole,
    I am never surprised when diehard Zionists and Israel’s apologists, like Barry Ruben, spread myths and dark lies on the Middle East, Arabs and Muslims. What I find surprising is that “enlightened” people, like Bill Maher, share some of the views of Pipes, Gingrich and Hackabee on the Middle East.
    Your education is invaluable to the rest of us.

  22. The common thread running across all of these countries is that their populations are young. They are restless. They are also on social media and understand more about the outside world than ever before.

    Having direct contact with free people in North America and Europe is a catalyst for all of this. The neo-commies (ex-leftists who call themselves “neo-cons”) have it wrong. The young people in the middle east don’t hate our freedom. They envy it. They see the freedom that we have and it causes them to be furious with their own governments for denying it to them.

    This is why cutting off trade and restricting travel is exactly the wrong policy when dealing with tyrants. We need to encourage more contact between Westerners and the oppressed peoples of the world. This includes Cuba. Once they see what we have, they won’t stay silent any longer.

    • Yes, because if the good ol’ freedom-loving Americans never talked to the stupid, backward Middle Easterners who didn’t know what was good for them, then they’d be still stuck in their medieval dictatorships (oh so generously bestowed upon them, by the way, by us glorious Western colonialists) and wouldn’t know the difference between freedom and dictatorships. *rolls eyes* You know, even when these countries try to elect their own governments, you can be sure that those with interests in the region would be meddling. Please read more about the historical background in these countries before making uninformed statements. I would suggest you start with Dr. Cole’s books.

  23. Latest videos from Sunday’s protests will be posted here as they become available.

    Shiraz: “Koorosh dooset daarim” (Cyrus we love you)

    “Down with the dictator”

    “Mubarak, Ben Ali, now it’s time for Seyd Ali (the supreme leader)”

    link to

  24. In Bill Maher’s film Religulous, he travels all the way to Holland to find an example of Islamic extremists killing people. Though Maher’s film ridiculed Christian fundamentalists in the US, he never pointed out how murderous they can be. He did not discuss the murder of his fellow US atheists – Madeliene O’Hair and her son – by a Christian Fundamentalist lunatic, or the murders of doctors who perform abortions in the US by other Christian fanatics.
    Mahr need not have travelled all the way to Holland, or singled out Muslims, to show the kind of threat posed by religious fanatism within relatively tolerant societies. He could have found plenty of examples at home among people with significant power – the Christian right.

    My bet is that Maher would concede this in prvate, but clearly lacked the courage to make the point in his film. Like many a high profile pundit, he knows what lines cannot be crossed.

  25. An eye witness told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the number of police and plainclothes forces present at public protests in Tehran today was considerably larger than on 14 February. He said that in some city squares large groups of police forces appeared on alert. “They had equipped 15-16 year-old boys with clubs and vests and lined them up on the side of the streets, so that they would beat people if they came,” he said. Presence of under-18 individuals among the police forces, some of whom were visibly small-built, was confirmed by two other independent eye witnesses. News agencies close to the government confirmed the arrest of Faezeh Hashemi, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani’s daughter. She was released after a few hours.
    Read the rest here: link to

  26. The number of demonstrators was about the same as Feb 14 [25 Bahman], but scattered across two axes instead of one (which was the case with Feb 14). Violence by the security forces was significantly lower than Feb 14, although their numbers were much much more (the whole city was virtually turned into a military fort). Demonstrators were mostly walking in silence, except when attacked by the security forces.

    1730 GMT: Catching Up. A summary of recent reports from BBC Persian….

    “Hundreds” demonstrated in Isfahan. The situation, according to one eyewitness, was “similar to martial law” with confiscation of satellite dishes and disruption of mobile phone and Internet service.

    The gathering in Shiraz was bigger than the rally last Monday, with the elderly helping young protesters escape detention.

    There was a heavy security presence in Mashhad.

    1655 GMT: After Dark. Daneshjoo News is claiming that protests are expanding in Tehran tonight, including in Mirdamad, 7 Tir Square, and Vanak Square.

    1645 GMT: In Kurdistan. Mardomak is reporting unrest in Kurdish cities, including Sanandaj, Mahabad, Yaveh, and Marivan.

    Human Rights Activists News Agency is also claiming 80% of shops participated in a general strike in Bookan.

    link to

  27. گزارش تأییدنشدۀ بی بی سی فارسی ؛ وضعیت شهر اصفهان “شبیه به حکومت نظامی”
    16:40 یک شاهد عینی از اصفهان به بی بی سی فارسی گفت که وضعیت شهر اصفهان امروز “شبیه به حکومت نظامی” بود و علاوه بر متوقف شدن دریافت امواج ماهواره، دسترسی به اینترنت و امکان برقراری تماس تلفنی از طریق موبایل، به شدت مختل شده است.
    link to

    Isfahan: Semi-Martial law. Internet, Mobile phones, Satellite dishes, were completely cut off.–Persian bbc

    link to

  28. saraboro RT @sbelg: Eyewitness: regime had brought out all its forces, even 14-15-yr-old planted everywhere like scarecrows #1Esfand #iranelection

  29. European/Amercan media minimizing protests in Iran
    As usual, European/American media minimizes protests in Iran. Why?

  30. thank you for this – in particular, for bringing to light the strength of women in these countries. So often, oppression/sexism is translated as weakness – the women I work with in Uganda are the strongest, most driven, most capable women I have ever met. They make me feel empowered just being around them.

  31. I was very impressed with Imam Qaradawi’s (translated) sermon in which he called for the revolution to continue peacefully, and he declared that Egyptians are all one, not divided by sectarianism. What a breakthrough to call on Coptic Christians to pray then & there with Muslims (all being brothers and sisters).

  32. Khamenie says the internal threat to the regime is much more important than the external threat. He reduced the nuclear program budget and increased the budget for the IRGC.

    link to,,6444249,00.html

  33. Look, I just watched the show, and it looked to me that Bill was pissed by the false equivalence that hack Tavis Smiley was making more than anything.

    Tavis was trying to say “Well, we don’t treat women any better”. Eff outta here with that. We’re not the region of the world with a serious honor killing problem. This is like when idiots criticize the U.S by going “Well, is the U.S any really better than China/North Korea/Nazi Germany?” Like for God’s sake, YES you can criticize the U.S witheringly while acknowledging that this country is free democracy.

    There’s a big difference between a sexism where women are objectified and systematically paid less, and a sexism where women are systematically subjected to horrific violence with the blessing of their family and local authorities.

  34. Maybe this point has been made, but I understood that #1, Lara Logan’s plight, was intimidation by the regime to harass the media. Rape is a weapon of fear, as it was used in our south in the 40s and 50s to quiet blacks, and in the Sudan. My understanding of this horrible incident is that this was not a pack of animals, rather a pack of Mubarak followers roughing up. I also understand that people like Maher are a bunch of asshats.

  35. I thought that was very good. #5 I think is the most important simply because having such stereotypes and misconceptions is what fuels so much hatred of the Middle East by the West.

  36. In the United States of America women are FREE to vote, choose who they marry, change religon, devorce their husband for their own reasons, wear what they want, work along side men, hold political positions, and speak freely in public. How many muslim countries can say that.
    Yes the USA was built on Chistian morality. Not perfect, but everyone gets to vote. We didn’t win this country by protesting either. We had to fight to free our Nation. Why do some of you people obsese over certain people. Turn the channel. You sound like a bunch of cry babies.

    • “We didn’t win this country by protesting either. We had to fight to free our Nation.”

      Yes – torturing, raping, and killing Native Americans. Forcing Africans into slavery. Relocating the Japanese into internment camps, and treating the general female population like second class citizens.

      There are so many more examples, but my point is that America pretty much started as a dictatorship, and is still extremely unfair to the majority of its population. Don’t even try to pretend that it is better than other countries. And to say that you didn’t “win” by protesting is absolutely ridiculous; the U.S. has a history of famous protests for civil and human rights. How protesting is not a form of fighting (according to you) is beyond me.

  37. who told you that men can vote in Saudi Arabia ? are you joking? mentioning that alone can get you arrested!
    men AND woman can NOT vote here.
    the municipal elections, was just a brief charade that happened about 7 years ago , no one went to vote , and those who won those “elections” no one knows where they are now , it was just a joke , and everyone knew it , including the ones who ran for it.
    i thought you are informed about the middle east ,

    ps.i’m a saudi, btw.

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