The Associated Press caught up with Omar Shariff to discuss the current state of affairs in Egypt. The brevity of Shariff’s statements shows the wisdom of the whole ordeal. “They want the president to step down. This is the first thing. After that, they do not know what they want,” the esteemed actor said.
The diversity in the participating groups puts them at odds with moving forward in any set direction. The Muslim Brotherhood showed up late to the party and now there are concerns, albeit legitimate, that Egypt could become a nation ruled by Sharia law.
With no defined objectives in place, any ideology may have a chance to seize power. Gallup polling showed that 64 percent of Egyptians believed that Sharia Law must be the only source for legislation. And this is how the Muslim Brotherhood may take control from the April 6 Youth groups. Picture two Egypts in the near future; the first is an Egypt run by the Muslim Brotherhood trying to re-establish the lost caliphate, the second run by Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Salah, and Esraa Rashid. Which Egypt will make progress on human rights, international diplomacy, and free and fair elections?
When Celebrities Take Action Back Home
In the U.S. we are bombarded with our own celebrities advocating some cause. However, we seldom hear about foreign celebrities and activists who take fight to their native land. Some were celebrities beforehand while others became celebrities due to their cause.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Born in Somalia, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, in her grade school days, supported the fatwa on Salman Rushdie for writing “Satanic Verses.” In 1992, her father had set up an arranged marriage to a distant cousin. Instead of going through with it, she obtained a visa in the Netherlands. While there she teamed up with Theo van Gogh to make the movie “Submission” in 2004, which ultimately led to his murder by Mohammed Bouyeri.
In broad daylight on a busy street, van Gogh was shot multiple times, Bouyeri attempted to decapitate him, and left a 5-page note stuck into his chest with a knife. Hirsi Ali was threatened in the note, which sent her into hiding shortly after.
Despite being a widely recognized threat and apostate, Ali has become a celebrity author and activist against radical Islam. Author, activist, apostate, and an anathema to the followers of Allah. Hirsi Ali has taken her fights back home in hopes of changing the world-and I think she is winning.
Walid Shoebat is an ex-PLO radical who was born in Bethlehem, Judea, and his lineage shows ties of a friendship to the grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini. His radicalism followed him from the Middle East to the U.S. when he moved to Chicago. While there he continued his work in preaching anti-Semitism and engaging in anti-Israel activities.
Shoebat’s conversion in 1993 put him into the spotlight when he did a complete about-face and became a prominent pedagogue in respects to radical Islam. Having lost family members and friends who took to the call of martyrdom, Shoebat is a powerful force against the ideologies that plague his homeland.
Just for good measure, we cannot leave out Voltaire and his “Treatise on Tolerance.” In 1762, Jean Calas was tortured and murdered in the town square for a murder he did not commit. The rest of the family was imprisoned as well and faced similar punishment. At a time when sects of religions were clashing violently trying to uphold law and justice according to their beliefs, Voltaire’s book threw him into the spotlight and made him a central figure in the affair. In the end, Voltaire was victorious in getting the remaining Calas family members released from prison and escaping execution.