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Review: Fallen statues and fighters

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Commentaries discuss the recent attacks on statues of famous Egyptians, including writer Taha Hussein and singer Um Kolthoum, and the reported death of an Egyptian citizen killed while fighting the Al-Assad regime in Syria.
The ignorance of beards and Jilbabs
Mohamed Salmawi
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper

6-1 Mohamed Salmawi

Salmawi condemns the recent attacks on the two statues of Egyptian writer Taha Hussein and famous singer Um Kolthoum. He writes that a few days ago Islamists broke the head of Hussein’s statue in one of the Egyptian governorates and placed a face-veil on Um Kolthoum’s statue in Cairo.

The writer chides the Islamists for their unpleasant attitudes towards the icons of Egyptian heritage and identity. He elaborates how Hussein’s novels contributed to the weight of Egypt’s culture and history.

Many of Um Kolthoum’s songs have gained international fame and helped raise the morale of the Egyptian army during times of war. Salmawi says those who have blindly attacked the statues know nothing about Islam or its concepts.

The religion has never taught us to smash our heritage or culture. In his viewpoint, Islam is innocent of the behaviour of the ignorant. If Egypt allows the destruction of Hussein’s and Um Kolthoum’s statues, Salmawi asks what then remains other than the ignorance of long beards and Jilbabs worn by Islamists?
Mohamed Mehrez
Amr Al-Shobaki
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper

Amr Al-Shobaki

Mohamed Mehrez is a 27-year-old Egyptian who was killed by Bashar Al-Assad’s forces when he travelled to volunteer with Syrian rebels against the authoritarian regime. Al-Shobaki praises Mehrez’s intentions in fighting and dying for the Syrian cause and refusing to stay passive in the face of the bloodshed in Syria.

The writer narrates how noble Mehrez was to decide to leave his wife and family, including his two-year-old daughter, and dedicate his life to resisting the Syrian regime. Al-Shobaki commends the revolutionary spirit of Mehrez and relates how a sheikh confirmed his actions in travelling to Syria are Islamically legitimate.

The writer says the Syrian revolution requires the support of Egyptians. Al-Assad’s regime is responsible for the deaths of countless Syrian civilians including thousands of children.

The controversy hinges on the fact that some people still support the Syrian army, which blindly follows the dictatorship of Al-Assad. Regardless of this residual support for the Syrian regime, Al-Shobaki argues that because Al-Assad is one of the most brutal dictators in the Arab world he must be resisted. The writer concludes his piece by saying that Mehrez died for a noble cause.

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