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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Free Alaa

I've been remiss to not post about this sooner, and I'm thankful to the Sandmonkey for sending me a reminder. Egyptian blogger Alaa Abdel Fatah has been arresting for...well, basically for peacefully exercising free speech. Notice I did not say, "exercising his right to free speech," because sadly, in Egypt, he does not have that. One has to stop thinking like a spoiled, lucky Canadian in these situations, and realize the guts people like Alaa have. Sandmonkey explains the case better than I can here.
One paragraph struck me, though:

Currently, there are about 48 detained,
6 of them are bloggers, and 3 of them are women. The best known is
Alaa, which makes him the posterboy of this campaign - but getting them
out is equally as important. Egypt
has fewer than 830 bloggers all in all, 60 of whom are political and
less than 30 are politically active. Now 6 of those are in jail - 20%
of all politically active Egyptian bloggers - and amongst them one of Egypt's most highly profiled one.

Remember, these men and women are allies to any of us who care about freedom in general, and to any of us who want the Muslim world to find a better way than fascism and violence. It is not a stretch to say this matter is part of the broader current war.
I called 411 and got two addresses for the Egyptian Embassy in Ottawa:
454 Laurier Avenue East,
Ottawa, ON K1N 6R3
207-85 Range Road,
Ottawa, ON K1N 8J6
Call them both. Bombard them both. Spread the word.

Cross-posted at Wonkitties.

Posted by wonkitties on May 9, 2006 in Weblogs | Permalink


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Interesting. I don't remember you making the same plea when David Irving was jailed in Austria for exercising his freedom of speech. "Oh my God, I just don't know, he's just so, like, hateful and stuff." I'm obviously not quoting here but rather paraphrasing. We in the western democratic world need to get our stuff together first. Otherwise, who are we to lecture the Muslim world on anything?

Posted by: Howard Roark | 2006-05-09 8:33:29 PM

Will do,if you have a link to his blog,I would like to read it. thanks.

Posted by: wallyj | 2006-05-09 10:17:15 PM

Howard.wake up and look around. You still can write what you believe,muslims can also,but they die for it.

Posted by: wallyj | 2006-05-09 10:19:25 PM


Here's how we get our act together.

First, we preface every sentence with: ‘I'm offended about ....' or ‘This is a humiliation and I'm not going to stand for it ...''

Make sure you say it before the other guy does.

Takes some quick thinking but we can do it.

Anyway, I've been following the events in Egypt ... right through the Muslim knifeman attacking four churches in Alexandria though the Sinai stuff.

The Egyptian bloggers, including Sandmonkey and Big Pharoah, figured something like this would happen.

Now, what do we say?

We're deeply offended by the way our fellow bloggers have been treated.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-05-09 10:25:52 PM

I'll write to their embassy but are they going to be responding like a democratic nation?

I doubt it...

Posted by: Winston | 2006-05-09 11:32:57 PM

I've contacted the embassy already.

Here's the link for sandmonkey:

Howard, Irving should have his rights to free speech protected just as much as Egyptian bloggers. He should have been left to be ridiculed for his incorrect and hateful ramblings, rather than be made into a martyr for neonazis wanting undeserved publicity.

However, it is understandable that wonkitties would mention someone in jail in a country such as Egypt, versus a jail in Europe. You can imagine the difference in how prisoners may be treated. Also, Egypt is trying to silence political free speech in general, while some European countries are trying to define and curtail hate speech. Regardless of your view of such measures, there is a big difference.

Posted by: Charlotte | 2006-05-10 9:44:25 AM

"Bombard them both."

From www.dictionary.com:

1. To attack with bombs, shells, or missiles.
2. To assail persistently, as with requests."

We all know you meant meaning 2, but given that all too often in conflicts of this sort there are people who would say "bombard them" and mean meaning 1, you might be more careful with your choice of words.

And for those of you who want to email about this issue, here is some information I got from Amnesty International:

H.E. Muhammad Hosni Mubarak
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
'Abedine Palace
Cairo, EGYPT
[email protected]

His Excellency Mahmoud F. EL-SAEED
Ambassador for the Arab Republic of Egypt
454 Laurier Avenue East
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 6R3
[email protected]

Posted by: Mark Logan | 2006-05-10 10:35:29 AM


Howard caught again making things up? What a surprise.

Never let the facts stand in the way of a good strory, Howie.

Posted by: Set you free | 2006-05-10 1:04:34 PM

In the interests of truth, let's consult the actual record of what Wonkitties wrote about David Irving rather than use speculative memory. She wrote:

"Sicko David Irving has been sentenced to three years in prison. We can debate free speech/hate speech laws till the cows come home, but it's hard to feel bad that Irving has met this fate. He's so hateful. And I think there are some very good, and obvious, reasons that countries like Germany and Austria have laws against denying or minimizing the Holocaust."


Posted by: Mark Logan | 2006-05-10 1:36:12 PM

Thanks Mark. Enough said.

Posted by: Howard "Howie" Roark | 2006-05-10 4:54:46 PM

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