- May 16, 2007
Defend Abdel Monem.. Defend Your Freedom
Abdel Monem Mahmoud, a young Egyptian remains in an Egyptian prison cell for no reason but his strong belief in his freedom. That freedom that is God’s greatest gift to man and that the Egyptian authorities, like all oppressive regimes in the world, insist on taking away from him. Abdel Monem was a firm believer in freedom. He cherished his freedom and like all human beings tried to break those walls that oppression puts around them. He expressed himself in the best way that he could, through his pen. He wrote about his dreams for his country, he wrote about his torture experience, but most importantly he wrote about his freedom. His belief in freedom was strong enough that it included the freedom of others. He defended those who differed with him in belief and ideology and here lays the greatest threat to dictatorship.
Any oppressive regime gains its strength from the weakness of those it rules, from the fear that its tyranny installs in the hearts of man. Tyranny, like darkness, fears the light more than anything else and Abdel Monem represented this light. He was not afraid. He knew that he was living in a closed room with walls surrounding him from all sides. He did not accept such fate. He rose above his own weaknesses and fears and pushed-back the wall. He took a hammer and banged on the wall making a small window for himself. It was not a big opening. He could not escape the room, yet he breathed and with his breath his hopes were strengthened. He saw light and it filled his heart with …..Freedom.
That was his sin. Here lays his mistake. He dreamt of a better future for himself and his country and his dream was so strong that it included the dreams of others.
Thus Abdel Monem was a threat to the system.
Thus he was an enemy that had to be killed.
How dare he think of Freedom?
How dare he believe in Freedom?
I am not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood nor do I share their ideology or point of view, but that matters little. I believe in my freedom of expression and I know that my freedom will not be complete if others do not have the same freedom. I know that my freedom can only be strong when others enjoy that same freedom. I know that every broken pen is my pen, and that every imprisoned soul is my soul, and every killed dream is my dream.
I can not stay silent when my freedom is taken and Abdel Monem is part of my freedom. I do not know Abdel Monem personally, but I know that in many ways our fates are linked. His freedom of expression is part of my freedom of expression. The Egyptian government would love nothing more than do divide us and thus win.
Abdel Karim is against Islam and we shouldn’t defend him.
Abdel Monem is Ikhwan and we shouldn’t defend him.
We can not continue to buy into their game. History has taught us that lesson time after time. If we do not defend the rights of others our own rights will be taken away and no one will rise to defend them. The lessons from Hitler’s Germany are very clear as someone truly said: First they took the Jews, and I was not a Jew so I did nothing, then they took the Catholics and I was not A Catholic so I did nothing, then they took the Gypsies and I was not a Gypsy so I did nothing, then they took the Communists and I was not a Communist so I did nothing, and then they took me, and there was no one left to do anything.
By defending Abdel Moem I am neither defending him nor the Muslim Brotherhood. I am defending Myself. I am defending my own freedom. Whether you are Muslim, Christian or Jew, weather you are a Liberal, a Communist or an Islamist I call on every human being to rise above his own stereotypes, differences and beliefs and defend the freedom of Abdel Monem. Defend him or you will be next.