Tensions increasing; our websites have been hacked

Sent On: 
Sat, 2013-06-29
Newsletter Number: 


Protesters at Tahrir Square chanting anti-President Mohamed Mursi slogans, June 28, 2013.
(Photo by Asmaa Waguih/REUTERS, trough nydailynews.com


AWR Cairo, June 29, 2013

On Thursday June 27, our websites were hacked and it has proved difficult to bring them back up. We cannot confirm whether this is related to the current tensions in Egypt or not. Below you will find more information.
Great tensions in Egypt
Yesterday I wrote about one year president Muhammad Mursi. Although many things have gone wrong, the president should certainly not be blamed alone. Yesterday and today offices of the Muslim Brotherhood were attacked in several parts of the country. Some people, including Sheikh Hassan al-Shafie of the Azhar, talk of fear for a civil war. Earlier I wrote about militia groups in Assiut and reported about the many comments we received following that newsletter. Armed groups do exist, but they are, certainly at this moment, too small to force Egypt into a civil war. These groups are primarily active in creating havoc in demonstrations of their opponents and destroying property. Although this is a worrying development, it is premature to speak of Egypt sliding into a civil war. 
Six people have been killed in the past week, including a former MP of the Freedom and Justice Party on Thursday. Yesterday, one American bystander was killed while watching an attack on a Brotherhood office in Alexandria. CIDT has warned all its interns to stay away from demonstrations. When opposing groups clash, bystanders can more easily become the victims. I have been in demonstrations before, but these were one-sided demonstrations. Moreover, I felt safer because I was at least able to communicate in Arabic. The safety of being in one group disappears when two groups clash.

The positions are clear. Demonstrators opposing President Mursi want him to resign, just as they made president Mubarak resign on February 11, 2011. But President Mursi is no Mubarak. President Mursi was elected in the freest elections since 1952, Mubarak was not. Opposition leaders have not made it easy for him. Muslim Brothers have largely withdrawn in their own circles, which does not help either. They are trying to defend President Mursi at almost any cost because if Mursi resigns, they lose much of their current influence and this influence is unlikely to return any time soon. 
Many fear the worst for tomorrow, Sunday, June 30. There are definitely people intent on creating as much havoc as possible, not caring whether this will result in the loss of more lives. Their only concern is that their greater purpose is achieved: the removal of President Mursi or the protection of rule. Some people openly speak of their hope for the army to intervene.
Some fear a crackdown on the media. Talkshow host Tawfiq Okasha was arrested on Thursday and his channel shut down. Okasha can be crude in his choice of words and he often lacks nuance. Nevertheless, his simple anti-Muslim Brotherhood rhetoric has been very effective and has been a thorn in the eyes of the Muslim Brotherhood. Several other private channels were threatened with closure.
Earlier this week four Shiite men were killed in a Cairo suburb. According to news reports, a cheering mob armed with clubs, swords and machetes raided a house where about 30 people were celebrating a Shiite religious festival. The mob beat, stabbed and lynched the four men. This attack came after months of anti-Shiite hate speech. The New York Times reports that a week before the incident, President Mursi appeared at an event with hardline Sunni clerics who denounced Shiites as “filthy.” For more information, see this link.
I know the spokesperson of the Shiites in Egypt well and hereby offer our condolences. The Shiites in Egypt are small in number but it marks a climate of growing fanaticism. 
Father Arnasius of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the Netherlands was consecrated as the Coptic Orthodox Bishop of the Netherlands. Father Arsanius has been in the Netherlands since 1985. Since the foundation of the church in Amsterdam, six other churches, each with their own priest, were founded for the Coptic Orthodox in the Netherlands. Arab-West Report congratulates Bishop Arsanius and the Coptic Christians in the Netherlands.
Cornelis Hulsman,
Editor-in-chief Arab-West Report
Our websites have been hacked
On Thursday, June 27, our websites were hacked and can no longer be accessed by our IT staff. It seems like our dedicated server in Roubaix/France was hacked completely and the system and the data can no longer be accessed.
This also applies to our other websites cawu.org (http://cawu.org/), cidtegypt.com(http://cidtegypt.com/) and others, as they are running on the same system.
This means we will have to completely rebuild our website and copy all our data from our backup. This can take up to three days. 
Our IT-staff are working on this night and day.
We very much regret the inconvenience this has caused and hope to serve you again as soon as possible. 
Cornelis Hulsman,
Editor-in-chief Arab-West Report
Please note that we cannot do our work without your financial support!
We continue to work towards breaking down tensions, maintaining open lines of communication to all parties, investigating media reports and breaking down stereotypes, but we need your support. Please make a donation through paypall or a banktransfer to the Arab-West Foundation (www.arabwestfoundation.com ) and click on donations once our website is functioning again. You can also write me.
Cornelis Hulsman,