My Person of the Year for 2006

George W. Bush had initiated the tidal wave of hate and bigotry which has swept the world for the last seven years. Luckily, the tyranny might subside with his administration’s eventual exodus. The ongoing raping of democracy by a group of religious maniacs might after all stop. The United States might come out of it with only bad memories if there is a commitment by the next administration to deeply bury the coffin of the draconian Christianitist and Judaist religious politics (why the euphemisms: neo-cons, Evangelists, Zionists - they are Christianitists and Judaists and in no way any better than the notorious Islamists they’ve helped create).

Israel will remain the instigator of most political dilemmas in the 21st century as long as it is a “Jewish” state. Once, and when, it drops its religious actuality and sheds its Zionist skin, it might get the acceptance of the billions of reluctant people. To do so would very likely put humanity on the road toward true world peace.

Had it not been for the Christianitists and Judaists meddling and screwing with the world, Islamic fanaticism would have had a very rough time surviving and prospering. An increasing number of the followers of the third monotheist religion decided that the only way to face the bullies is to have one (or more) of their own, hence the emergence and the eventual general acceptance of the Islamic republic of Iran as a possible nuclear power even by ordinary moderate Muslims.

The world will defintely be a much better place without the lowly criminal George W. Bush. If in the final days of 2006, the Iraqi President was tried, found guilty and hanged for crimes against humanity by a court of law, I wonder what method of execution should be appropriate to end the life of the Texan mass murderer. I am sure his lawyers will plead innocence by reason of insanity, and although I am not an advocate of the death penalty, an exception is due in this case to kill the crazy maniac.

Most importantly, the Islamic World needs to find peace with itself and should work hard on internal reconciliation. We should reach the logical conclusion that it is OK to be different and that it is the right thing to accept our differences. No one should be given the right to speak to the rest of us in the name of God. And that really means absolutely NO ONE. We have more than our share of Bushes and Olmerts all eager and anticipating the first chance to jump into the saddle of leadership. Of course, most of our ruling elite have made it official policy to fondle in continual foreplay the Muslim clergy. They keep the lid on but accommodate the “mosque = church” to the best of their abilities. Those in power are weary of the terrible hysteria these Men of the Cloth could let loose among the masses. A loud sermon sprinkled with detached verses from the holy book and a few tears from a man on top of a pulpit can lead to demonstrations, the ravaging of property and possibly a religious revolution. The present status quo is a simple marriage of convenience between the ruling elite and the religious fellowship. You don’t threaten our thrones, we let you maintain all the privileges and the benefits you had never worked for in the first place. The most dangerous of these religious zealots are those who decided to make a double career for themselves in religion and politics.

Having said all of the above, I still insist that I despise politics. However, it was a necessary prelude to what is coming next.

Choosing my person of the year for 2006 was not very difficult. Drawing the line between politics, religion and society is not as easy, however. Indeed, it is apparent that no such line exists. I have always been troubled by the fact that the political arena(s) is occupied by extremists from the fringes of the spectrum. Truly moderate people are much quieter than those who are obsessed with ideologies, and this is truly sad.

For standing up in the face of autocracy, tyranny and religious despotism, Farouk Hosni, the Egyptian Minister of Culture is my Person of the Year for 2006. His position on the Hijab (the veil worn by women) is honest, temperate and straightforward. What he said is so obvious: live and let live. His hypocrite opponents want him to apologize, no less. Had they been able to do so, they would have gone all the way and invoked the death penalty upon him. In the ongoing battle between the immoral and moral minorities there is one loser only, the silent majority. For once, one of us decided to speak up. If we are not for women being gift wrapped and only allowed to get out of the box by the virtuously designated men it does not necessarily mean that we are for whorish behavior. Those women who have chosen either course are free to do so as long as they don’t try to enforce their heroic decision on the rest of us. As far as I am concerned, they both come from the fringes of the spectrum. Thank you Mr. Farouk Hosni, a fellow Muslim from the middle. Live and let live!


Dubai Jazz said…
Dear Abu Fares,
2006 was indeed a 'bad' year for us by all measures, it was so bad and chaotic that my vision was blurred and couldn't see anything positive. The "live and let live" is indeed a great motto that can show us the way forward. I just hope that we can all live, and have the moral and human capacity to let live. Let's drop the heavy baggage of bigotry, hate and racism. Let us (human) all fight for common cause, be the global warming, fighting poverty or anything else. That might stimulates the co-existence hormones. Ultimately, we all have to share planet earth, none of us is opting to live on other planet in this galaxy anytime soon.
Anonymous said…
Dear AbuFares, Your "prelude" is as perfect in form and content as anything you have written, but I wish you were able to find someone else for your choice of the "person of the Year"... I understand that the man has been a Minister for NINETEEN years in a regime as repressive as any Islamist, Christianist, or Judiast (excellent coinage, by the way!) might hope to be. Moreover, he retracted everything he said and bent over appologizing for his "insensitive" sin as soon as he was faced with the first benign screams for his head...!! Perhaps it is some sort of an ironic and sad commentary on our times that the field has become so barren that the only champions we are left to celebrate are the .... Who is next... Bush when he finally withdraws from Iraq...??!!
Abufares said…
Dear Dubai Jazz
Thank you for your feedback. I hope for more "hope" to live by.
Abufares said…
Dear Naji
I'm sorry I had to moderate your comment (ever so lightly), but you should appreciate the fact that I cannot either publish or respond to everything. Again I am sorry.
Some of what you said about Mr. Farouk Hosni might be correct. However, being the only public official in the Arab World who oppenly spoke his mind is something admirable to say the least. He didn't apologize but rather indicated that he spoke from a personal point of view. In any case, I was watching TV when he voiced his opinion the first time and I really admire him for that. For lack of better hereos, he's my favorite.
Thank you.
Anonymous said…
Dear Abu Fares,

From someone as cool as you are (and only from somebody as cool as you are), I'll buy it...!

Thanks for publishing and responding to whatever fragment you thought appropriate...

However, here is another one for you: when you mention "whorish behaviour" aren't you falling into the same trap... who decides what is "whorish"?! I think Mr. Hosni's opponents believe that going around veil-less is whorish...!! Live and let live, as long as you do not harm somebody else, has to be without any value judgements... Perhaps you can agree with that..!?
Abufares said…
Come on Naji, I didn't leave only a fragment, I took out a small one.

I will never define what is whorish and what is chaste. As a matter of fact, I don't care much about the morality of others. I was trying to make a point, my point, that most people are not extreme either way. My entire prelude was just to make certain that particular point. I don't want someone coming on me saying that I am anti-Hijab because of my Western leanings. I wanted all to exactly know my position.
Unfortunately and again I say that extremes rule the world of today. Anybody can be whatever they want one way or another, but I need to make it clear for my own sake. I come from the middle.
Anonymous said…
Dear Abu Fares,

Thanks for your patience, and I hope that you will excuse my somewhat pedantic argument with your statements. I know that you appreciate that we are on the same same side here, which is precisely why I am advocating extra carefulness in the terms we use and the judgements we pass in these days of extremes and extremists. Perhaps the problem is not with extremes, but with the intolerance of these extremes towards each other...

The only "whores" that I realy have a problem with are the politicians that do hurt other people...

But you are right about the extremes ruling these days... This somehow reminds me of Tariq Ali's "The Clash of Fundamentalisms"...

Sorry to be so argumentative and "philosophical" so early in the morning and so early in the year...!

I look forward to your future posts and promise not to argue with them so much!
Anonymous said…
great. my thoughts exactly. W is one of the biggest catastrophes to hit the world after WWII. A man with big guns, no brain and no heart.
Anonymous said…
Dear Abu Fares ,
hurriedly again..
for the Hijab issue ..and ur election of mr.Hosny t be the man of 2006..i want t summarize it by this:
الانسان حر مختار مسؤؤل
Human ( i mean woman here)
free ,can choose what he want , and he is RESPONSIBLE...
every Muslim woman can choose her way..and the way is one can force her t choose Hijab and no one can affect her decision..but as a minister of an Islamic general..u mustn't say what u want or what u feel it is better t u !? and u know it will hurt the feelings of others ..u can avoid it ...
so it was easy ..t him , but he wanted t make it an issue t have some lights on him..!

for me..unreservedly.
Saddam Hussein Almajeed...the great generous leader..
t his courage & t his Faith ...everything he did for his nation..t saying No t America..and not t be a small plaything ..t W. Bush..t his Resistance t the last moment..even to american or to persian mob that are ruling the Capital of Rasheed by now!..the magi...grandsons of IBN ALAKAMY..the new generation of Safaween!
t his patient in the ordeal , the assassination of his sons..
t a lot and a lot of things ..i have no time t write it..the history will say it..and the same history will send G.W.Bosh t its GARBAGE...
To All of this & that...
he deserves t be the man of 2006!
رحمة الله عليك يا أبا عدي البطل..
THE GREAT HAWK of Tekreet...
Abufares said…
One thing for certain Black Hawk...
The entire Middle East is stinking rotten. There's a nauseating smell coming out of Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon. A smell of corruption, oppression and death. It terribly smells "Bushy" and it's dusgusting...
We were used to the smell of only Israel before. Now, the combination is unbearably sickening.
Karin said…
GREAT idea and post Abufares ... I hope very much you don't mind that I "adopted" it for MY blog!
I like very much the way you elaborate the issues and topics ... and the conclusions you reach - I can only wholeheartedly second them!

Hope you're feeling better dear friend!!
Abufares said…
To tell you the truth Karin, writing about politics is like having my tooth pulled by a lousy dentist. So much damage has been done in the last few years by the name of religion(s) all over the world. Forgive me for repeating myself, but the hate and contempt George W. Bush holds for Islam is beyond anything known in modern history. My intention to have an open conversation within my own culture is at risk of being misinterpreted by those who disagree with me. I really have to be careful and not say anything that might, even slightly, get the approval of the Texan idiot. I might doubt myself then.
Angel said…
Dear Abufares,

This is definitely an interesting post; you put words in a perfectly structured way that gives ever more power to the idea presented…..
To be honest I am in no position to discuss Farouk Hosni’s straightforward statement (his words forced a general debate placing Hijab at the heart of politics) or any of the political facts you perfectly presented in your post …. therefore I would personally name the former French football player” Zinedine Zidane” as the person of the year 2006!! … What do you think ? :-) (

Allow me Abufares to name you “the Blogger of year 2006”…Your blog has been an inspiration…. You have a real passion for writing and a strong opinion about what should be covered by your posts.... Creative, love to explore new ideas and offers up intelligent thought provoking posts.....

Abufares said…
Dear Angel

It makes me so happy to know that you actually enjoy my writing.

My choice of Farouk Hosni is based primarily on the fact that he took a stand. It happens that I agree with him and so far I would say he is the only official in any Arab country who spoke openly about the issue.
We have been forced, as a group, to revert to religion because we are indeed facing a religious war from the most influential elements in the West. That doesn't mean that the average American or European is our adversary. Not at all. In order to face such vicious attack many take refuge in religion. Although I cannot really blame them, I am a firm believer of total seperation of religion and state.
What is even more troubling is that the democracy they want to stick down our throats is far from perfect. Just look who got elected president in the US !?! Don't I like democracy? I certainly do and hope to live it someday, but certainly not by that model.

I value Zidane as one of the greatest football players of all times, certainly among the top 5.

Most importantly, I value your comment and the time you took to share your thoughts and voice your opinion.
Thank you for being here.
Salem SAID said…
I agree with what an anonymous commentator said before. The Bush administration is unable to think strategically and unable to think humanely. The result is only catastrophe.

Some people are stupid but compassionate. Some people are cynical but they are wise and avoid creating trouble. But when a person is stupid and evil...OMG

Wonderful blog btw. I especially like your month of July 2006. It was one of your greatest. What I like most about your blog is that its about enjoying life. This is a value people should learn. There is not enough of it going around.
Anonymous said…
my dear Abu Fares..,

ok...i will tell u something
it is the same answer t my father when he asked me about mr Hosny...and his opinion..i said...only this sentence!

"I don't like t fish in the dirty water...and mr hosny did !"

First of all..

before declamation!
let him ask about millions of illiterates people in his country,
about something useful...before talking about this personal!issue!
as he made it issue and it is not !

there is no moderate or radical muslims , "i hate this word anyway.."
Muslim is Muslim..our Islam is clear!
for example i have the freedom...t apply its teachings!all or some!
within the limits of being a Muslim!
..but i have an End ,i am RESPONSIBLE..
think a lot about this !
again for Hijab issue !.. is up t me !! no one can force me t do or can we stop talking about this!?!!wasting our time !.. it is personal !! too
can mr.Hosny & those people they are talking and talking and talking ...unlucky at the last u got nothing ! except talking! and put us in circles!
can they !stop ranting !? for
Allah sake...let him look after his job as we got bored from this PROPAGANDA...
let them ( i mean him and his president Mobarak !not be a plaything to mr.Bush..and it is more than ENOUGH..
hope u got me dear Abu Fares...cuz really i didn't see that what he said was:
a straightforward statement !! as u & Angel was only..another type..of dirty PROPAGANDA...that we are facing everyday in our media..DISGUSTING! paly!
at the end i don't want t reply again ..but i want make it clear!
hope i did!
however i agree that Zizo is among the top 3 of football players..
and he deserves t be the man of 2006!
& for Alot of things !
..dear Abu Fares..
u deserve t be the blogger of 2006 for sure
keep posting!
i want t assure that i respect ur opinion even i disagree with u ..
u know :
"اختلاف الاراء لا يفسد للود قضية"

Regards..t all of u..

Salam from Abu Mohannad..
Abufares said…
Dear Salem Said
Welcome to my blog.
If anyone ever succeeded in inspiring me to classify my blog in a few words, you did.
Indeed, I would like it to be known as a blog about the joie de vivre.
Wherever we are, whatever we do, we have a bright and a dark side. To be sane, we should aknowledge both aspects of life and in our own personality. To entertain others, the gloomier facets should be brought into the spotlight only sparingly and far in between if possible.
I will check my July 2006 archive to remind myself of a probably "happy" month bigone
Thank you for coming.
Shannon said…
I had a brief moment of panic thinking Bush was your person of the year. Whew. I'm afraid I'm unable to add much to the conversation, but I've enjoyed reading all the comments this post inspired.
Abufares said…
Hi Shannon
W my person of the year (HAHAHA= Hysterical Laugh)
You know what I find strange Shannon. Clinton was almost impeached because his pants were a little loose. W has all his mental screws loose and his relatively safe until the end of his 2nd term. 2 successive American presidents, both elected by the people. The first is among the best in US history as far as foreign policy is concerned. The second, well what can I say... look at all the mess. I just hope that we (you, us and everybody else) pass through the remainder of his term with minimal damage.
Thank you for your always welcomed comments.
G.Gar said…
Abou fares it is my first time on your blog and i like it so much! what you said about israel casting off its Jewish identity would eventualy lead to the end of Israel! About Farouk Hosni ,well,certainly you have a point but he placed the hijab in an anti-Arabic contextby sayingthat it is time for egypt to stop imitating the Arabsand go back to being a part of Europe like it used to be in the pre-nasser era!!
Abufares said…
Welcome to my blog Amre
I look forward receiving more of your comments. I am very happy to have had the chance to check your blog in return and I find it very interesting indeed. Rest assured, I'll be a regular reader.
My whole point is that religion and state should be totally separate. Practicing religion should be a personal and intimate experience not a game of football where participants should wear a uniform. I might have over-simplified the issue with this response but this generally how I feel.

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