Sunday, November 29, 2009

Egypt vs. Algeria, The Soccer Row: An Artistic Response by Jihadis

Algerian soccer fans

Protests by Egyptian and Algerian soccer fans following Algeria's defeat of Egypt in a World Cup qualifying match on November 18 have lead to ridiculous sabre-rattling, particularly by the Egyptian government's chief autocrat, president-pharaoh Hosni Mubarak, and offers from Libya's ruling eccentric Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and the government of Sudan to mediate the dispute. Egyptian-owned businesses in Algeria were damaged and Egyptian pro-regime protesters gathered at the Algerian embassy in Cairo where they rioted and burned Algerian flags. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is investigating the violence.

Egyptians react to their team's loss to the Algerian team on November 18.

The pharaoh has "warned" against attacks on Egyptians abroad and warned melodramatically that he would not tolerate the "humiliation" of Egyptians or Egypt abroad, after his government made allegations that Algerians had targeted Egyptians in third countries. News outlets controlled by the Mubarak government have fueled the fire by spreading "the leader's" threat and allegations.

Egyptian soccer fans clash with anti-riot police during a demonstration near the Algerian embassy in Cairo, Nov. 20, following tension between fans of both countries during the 2010 World Cup in a make-or-break World Cup qualification play-off that Algeria won 1-0, to advance to the 2010 World Cup. Ahmed Gomaa/AP

Many Egypt experts and Middle East analysts see something more than national "pride" in the recent riots and conflict mongering by the pharaoh and his stooges. At the heart of the vitriolic reaction, they say, is a clever attempt by Mubarak & Co. to divert the Egyptian public's attention away from its (the regime's) continued unpopularity at home as well as to try and stall Egypt's growing marginalization in the affairs of the region (it has been eclipsed by Saudi Arabia, Iran, and even Qatar

Hosni Mubarak

While doing my daily trolling of jihadi-Salafi web sites for my current research project on the visual media produced by Muslim political (Islamist) groups, both jihadi and non-jihadi, I found an interesting graphic:

Watch for about 35 seconds to see animation

The animated graphic's text begins with the statement, "We are all Muslims," and then procedes to call for Algerians and Egyptians to support the "banner of truth" and the "victory of truth" over false "idols," such as nationalism. "Truth" in these statements refers to the interpretation of religion and politics as seen by jihadi-Salafi groups. This call is illustrated by showing "paths" from both the Algerian and Egyptian flags leading to the black flag emblazoned with the shahada, the Muslim testament of faith, used (in several variations) by jihadi-Salafis across the globe.

The web banner then extols the "men of steadfastness" as photographs of the 'Abd al-Malik Droukdal (also transliterated "Drukdal," the leader of al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula, a regional jihadi-Salafi group operating in North Africa), al-Qa'ida Central chief Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the late Egyptian Islamist writer Sayyid Qutb, and September 11, 2001 "lead hijacker" Muhammad Atta are shown.

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