[Egyptian Cleric Hisham Al-'Ashri: It Is the "Dream of My Life" to Wage War against Israel; There Is No Such Thing as a "Christian Religion"
--full transcript here.]
Non-military aid should be conditional and performance based.
An Obama-Mubarak Endowment Fund?[ Mubarak out now, MB in]
A new endowment fund officially called "The United States Egyptian Friendship Foundation".
Something that will definitely be bad for U.S. taxpayers as well as Egyptians.
[Update: Now that Mubarak is out and the Muslim Brotherhood in, this is all the more urgent and important.
For the Obama Administration to continue the supplying of $ millions in U.S. taxpayer military aid to Egypt in light of the Muslim Brotherhood takeover would be absolutely insane.]
Now consider the following:
"My main driving force is I want to prove to people the amount of persecution that Muslim converts and Christians face here [Egypt], and that the persecution has been going on for 1,400 years."-El Gohary
And he should know. From the Persecution Blog:
"For nearly two years, El-Gohary and his teenage daughter have been living in hiding because he abandoned Islam and embraced Christianity. During this time he has been beaten and forcibly detained, and his daughter has been attacked. He has had to endure death threats, poverty and crushing boredom."
"Asked what gets him through the constant pressure of living on the run, El-Gohary said he wants to show the world how Christians are treated in Egypt."
read the rest here.
The U.S. currently provides about 1.5 $ billion in military aid to Egypt. Approximately $50 billion since 1979.
Though Egypt and Israel signed a "peace" treaty, it is a cold-peace. When Egypt conducts military exercises, the exercises are conducted with the view of Israel as the enemy.
In addition to over a $ billion in U.S. military aid to Egypt there is now a "United States Egypt Friendship Endowment" whereby the U.S. taxpayer pays for $ millions in non-military aid to Egypt.
Also referred to as the "Mubarak Trust Fund".
Egypt lobbied U.S. Congressmen with the idea of this "endowment fund". The purpose behind the creation of this "United States Egypt Friendship Endowment" fund is to provide Egypt with hundeds of $ millions in aid without any Congressional oversight.
Senator Gregg Judd, [R] New Hampshire, who is not running for re-election this year, was very receptive.
In 2007 he introduced SA 2726 which established the "United States Egypt Friendship Endowment" and made provision for $ 500,000,000 in non-military aid to Egypt to "further economic, social, and political reforms".
And for the record that SA 2726 was adapted by "unanimous consent". Every Senator, both Republican and Democrat, voted for it.
Last year Senator Judd inserted language into the FY 2010 Omnibus Appropriations bill providing for $ 50,000,000 in non-military aid with no reference to political reforms or human rights abuses.
The problem with this "Obama-Mubarak Trust/ Endowment Fund" is that over the scope of several years it would provide Egypt with hundreds of $ millions of U.S. taxpayer money without any oversight or conditions attached.
Over the past decades some U.S. Congressmen have attempted to link financial aid to Egypt with democratic reform and abuse of human rights, such as religious persecution. Presidential Administrations and the U.S. State Dept. have fought against such attempts all along the way.
In 2007 Congress adapted legislation to reduce U.S. military aid to Egypt by a $100 million [ a drop in the bucket].
Even so Condi Rice "waived" the reduction. That's a major problem with "National Security Waivers" :
They are often included in Congressional legislation by the unscrupulous. They constitute a legal-loophole whereby the President and sometimes the Secretary of State can thwart the democratic process.
We go to the trouble to make our voice heard to our elected officials. To placate us they adapt legislation that sounds like what we want. But alas, the legislation includes the option of a "presidential waiver".
In other words, Congress adapts legislation that on the surface sounds good and helps to make the legislators look good as if they are doing something substantive in response to us their constituents. But is rendered useless by a built-in "waiver". How utterly un-democratic!
Case in point- the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act adapted by Congress in 1995. But with a built-in option of a presidential "waiver".
Every year since it's adaption by Congress in 1995 every president, Clinton, Bush, and now Obama have slapped democracy in the face by an abuse of the "waiver" to prevent the implimentation of the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act.
Why go to the trouble to make our voice heard to our elected officials when these "waivers" render legislation that we want useless?
In that regard a new bill introduced by U.S. Senator Sam Brownback entitled the "Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act of 2009" removes the "waiver". It is currently in Committee and deserves our full support.
Back to Egypt:
The legal system in Egypt is based on Islamic law. Article Two of it's Constitution recognizes Islam as the "state religion".
Non-Muslim religious minorities in Egypt, mainly the Egyptian Christian Copts suffer horrendous abuse and discrimination under Islam's "dhimmitude" in Egypt.
Islam expert Robert Spencer writes the following:
"While the classic Islamic laws regarding dhimmis are not in force in Egypt today, they're still part of Islamic law, and as such Islamic clerics regard them as the proper status that Christians and other "People of the Book" should assume in the Islamic state." read all of it here.
That our own U.S. government sells or provides military arms, fighter-jets, and other military equipment to countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt that repress their own people, and do not allow for true freedom of religion and freedom speech is absolutely irresponsible.
Non-military aid to such countries should be conditional on real social and political reform. Such as strict government enforcement of genuine freedom of religion, speech. and expression. A complete end to religious persection and discrimination.