Backed by the United States, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has led a crackdown on civil liberties in Egypt, particularly when it comes to critics and journalists. In Egypt, a teenager was jailed for cartoons of Muhammad and a leading businessman was attacked for a cartoon of Micky Mouse with a beard. Then there was the three-year sentence given Amr Nohan, a 22-year-old law graduate for posting a Facebook image of al-Sisi with Mickey Mouse-style cartoon ears shown above. A leading cartoonist Islam Gawish, 26, was arrested in Egypt by the hyper sensitive al-Sisi government. This year, al-Sisi went after journalists who dared to even criticize his policies as a criminal act against the state. Now al-Sisi has finally had enough with the pretense of civil liberties. On Wednesday, he reportedly rejected even the notion that civil liberties should apply to Egypt as a “Western perspective.” In other words, such freedoms have no place in Egypt. What is really remarkable is that he told his to a congressional delegation from the United States without fear of any question over the massive aid that he receives from this country.
As Western leaders like Angela Merkel cave into the authoritarian demands of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in crushing free speech, journalists and cartoonists are fighting back. After a Dutch journalist was arrested in Turkey this weekend for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the most-read newspaper in the Netherlands threw down the gauntlet and published a front-page editorial cartoon that shows Erdogan as an ape crushing Europe’s free speech. Since Erdogan demands the prosecution of journalists even outside of Turkey who insult him, the publication could force another confrontation with the aspiring dictator. In the meantime, the West (including the United States) continue to prop up Erdogan as he destroys secular government in Turkey, arrests journalists, and denies the most basic forms of free speech.
Late Monday, the Brown family filed their appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Brown v. Buhman, No. 14-4117. The Sisters Wives case raises core issues of free speech and free exercise — constitutional violations found by the trial court in striking down the Utah cohabitation law. This “en banc” petition is to the entire Tenth Circuit in seeking review of the recent panel decision vacating the earlier decision on standing grounds.
Our close ally in Turkey this week is continuing his comprehensive attack on free speech and free exercise. A Dutch journalist, Ebru Umar, a well-known atheist and feminist journalist, is the latest victim of the crackdown by Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Erdoğan was recently given a boost to his scorched earth campaign by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to first apologize to him for a comedian making fun of him in Germany but also approved a prosecution of the comedian . As Merkel abandoned any semblance of free speech in Germany to appease Erdoğan, the authoritarian leader set out to punish Western journalists in his own country who dared to criticize him. Umar recently wrote a piece critical of Erdoğan for the Dutch daily Metro, extracts of which she then tweeted. Her last tweet chillingly said “Police at the door. No joke.”
The Saudi Association for Civil and Political Rights is a respected organization established by intellectuals who seek to protect human rights in the Kingdom and the creation of both democratic and legal institutions that guarantee such rights. Not surprising, the Saudi government has treated such ideas as terroristic threats and has jailed many of its members. The latest is one of the founders Issa al-Hamid who was convicted of inciting people to breach public order, insulting the judiciary, defaming the kingdom’s senior religious clerics and establishing an unlicensed organization. Our close ally in the Middle East has once again shown how it stands in direct opposition to the most basic rights of free speech and free exercise. Rather than actually move its laws and government out of the Middle Ages, the Kingdom has hired a variety of top firms, including leading establishment figures like Tony Podesta, to improve its reputation with the American public (particularly with the expected release of the long withheld 9-11 reports pages that reportedly implicate Saudi officials in the attack.
We have another murder of an intellectual in Bangladesh by suspected Islamic extremists. The Latest and seventh victim was English professor Rezaul Karim Siddique, 58, was hacked from behind with machetes as he walked to the bus station from his home in the country’s northwestern city of Rajshahi. These cowards often use machetes and jump writers on public streets to murder them in the name of religion.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
This repertoire played by accomplished guitarist Alex Chadwick begins with
Mr. Sandman by Chet Atkins and concludes with Cruel by St. Vincent.
In addition to presenting a tribute toward the changing techniques and styles of pop guitar music, I found it good at predicting which generation the listener belongs based upon where their interest begins and where it wanes. So from the silent generation to millennials, enjoy!