The recent long-distance debate between GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.) and President Obama over the fate of Syrian and Iraqi refugees — and especially Christians — was both unseemly and misguided. Both are wrong about why Christians should or should not be singled out for special protection.
Of course, the Texas senator’s suggestion that Christians should be accepted into the United States as refugees, in exclusive preference over Muslims, was, as Obama called it, “shameful.” But Obama’s contention that accepting persecuted Christians would amount to unacceptable “religious tests to our compassion” was also off base.
In any case, I have a proposal to break the logjam.… Seguir leyendo »
After the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, I sometimes wondered how things would have looked if his generals had tried to defend his 30-year regime.
Now I know.
Cairo is a city under the military gun. Soldiers man checkpoints scattered on main streets. Police vans and riot squads hide in back streets. Supporters of the new order run rampant, in organized — if you can call it that — groups seemingly under the command of teenagers who appear to have an excessive affection for swords.
State television runs endless loops of patriotic videos featuring the national anthem and fresh-faced preteen kids frolicking in weirdly litter-free streets, a rarity in Cairo.… Seguir leyendo »
As Egypt marks the first anniversary of the Jan. 25 civilian revolt that eventually toppled the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak, there’s no agreement — on how to celebrate or even whether rejoicing is in order.
The current military rulers — the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, or SCAF — want to hold parades and aerial jet exhibitions to exult in the revolution, of which their main part was to ease Mubarak out of power. Youth groups and democracy activists who originally engineered the uprising are carrying on a campaign called “The Generals are Liars,” with mini-demonstrations and audiovisual presentations in the streets documenting police and military abuses.… Seguir leyendo »
Word came from the street: A mob had gathered in front of the ground-floor door, blocking the exit from the offices of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, a pioneering Egyptian human rights organization.
Former director Ahmed Seif knew what was coming: a raid. He advised the rest of us to sit tight and not resist, so as not to “provoke them into violence.” And then they came. Burly men with big clubs, others in sports jackets typical of state security agents, and a uniformed policeman. Then a surprise: military police in their characteristic red berets.
The army has presented itself as a neutral force during the ongoing efforts by pro-democracy groups and citizens to unseat President Hosni Mubarak.… Seguir leyendo »