Why Was Khaled Hamza Detained?
|Wednesday, March 5,2008 16:39|
|By Saeed Abbadi|
The Egyptian regime proves day after day that it still- despite the feigned margin of democracy- carries out aggravated violations against its critics specially if it is related to dealing with foreigners concerned with Egyptian affair.
Although it was so painful to hear it, but I was expecting that Khaled Hamza will be detained specially under the current regime which sees that anyone who opposes or criticizes president Hosni Mubarak must be detained or even-in some cases-sent to oblivion.
Khaled Hamza Salam, the editor-in-chief of the Muslim Brotherhood"s official website Ikhwanweb.com, is one of those gave the Egyptian regime this opportunity. I first got acquainted with Khaled Hamza after I graduated from university and joined the media work in late 1997. With his many talents, Khaled was our mentor to the cyberspace. We worked together in the media committee of governorate in 2000 People"s Assembly elections. He was very distinguished with his ideas and suggestions. Ashahed2000.tripod.com/, a website for political and strategic studies, proved the media genius of Khaled Hamza after it had a very good media effect during this period.
Later on, a friend phoned me and told me to meet Khaled Hamza who asked me in the meeting to cooperate with him in editing Ikhwanweb.com and I did so.
I benefited so much from Khaled with his Muslim Brotherhood media method of openness to the other, an openness on all people of all affiliations across the political spectrum. He was applying the phrase of the Muslim Brotherhood founder, Hassan Al Banna, who said:" Let us cooperate in those things on which we can agree and be lenient in those on which we cannot." Hamza turned Ikhwanweb into a podium for all views demanding democracy and freedom for all human beings regardless of race, religion or gender.
Ikhwanweb, under Khaled Hamza, expressed solidarity Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Ayman Nour and even Karim Amer who was charged by Egyptian authorities of offending religions in addition to showing solidarity with many others despite their intellectual and ideological differences but they shared him living under the same repressive regime.
What upset him most were ideas of Al-Qaeda Network and hardliner Islamic groups that adopt violence. He saw that such groups may lead Muslims to backwardness and cultural deterioration under such a hard-line understanding of Islam"s cultural concepts.
So, Why was Khaled Hamza Detained?
This question may be raised among many. Why was Khaled Hamza detained at this time. Khaled was among the first Muslim Brotherhood figures to enter the cyberspace. He has a key role in spreading the Internet culture in the Muslim Brotherhood community. He helped in spreading the Email groups and internationally spreading MB issues and the oppression the group is facing in Egypt to human rights organizations. Why wasn"t he detained in any of these events starting from 1993 municipal elections across the 1995, 2000, 2005 People"s Assembly elections and the many other activities in which Hamza had played a prominent role. Why was he detained now.
Khaled Hamza was detained likely for the following:
-Khaled managed, along with Ikhwanweb.com team, to open a very important channel for the Muslim Brotherhood"s media in the western communities. Although the website is still young, kicked off in October 2005, it became a main source of MB news for western think tanks and research centers. Any dictatorial regime, like the Egyptian regime, definitely fears the western media"s focus on it.
-The latest military trial against Muslim Brotherhood leaders, started in late 2006, witnessed a huge attendance from media outlets and human rights agencies. The case came under local and international focus. Hamza had a prominent role in activating and receiving western delegations that took part in monitoring the military trials including Hasiba Sahrawi, Mahdi Bray, Violit Daghere, former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, former congressman Waltr Fauntry, Cindy Sheehan and others. His last meeting was with Violit Daghere who came to monitor the trial sessions for the third time. He was detained just after leaving her. This is actually a reminiscence of the earlier detention of colleague Abdul Moneim Mahmoud after he met Hasiba Sahrawi, the delegate of Amnesty International who came to monitor the military trial sessions. This confirms that the dictatorial regime is so sensitive towards attempts to expose its misdeeds or criticize it in front of western circles.
-Hamza adopted the issue of opening horizons for the Muslim Brotherhood youth. He urged them to create weblogs and freely express their vies in various issues (these weblogs became a media source for most Egyptian newspapers). He also arranged for some meetings between those interested in the blogosphere in the western press like Stephen Brook and some MB bloggers.
-Hamza managed to establish a very good network of relations with all other political powers that differ or even completely oppose the MB ideology.
These are some of the reasons that made Egyptian security detain Khaled Hamza at this time. Definitely, there is a relation between detaining him and the long-awaited municipal elections.
This is a bird"s eye view of Khaled Hamza with whom I lived a part of my life and whom I hope to meet under an umbrella of freedom and creativeness. With all his talents, a man like the talent spotter Hamaza doesn"t deserve to be thrown behind bars under this dictatorial and repressive regime.
Finally, I call on all freemen all over the world and any one loving freedom and human beings to speak out and call for releasing Khaled Hamza, the chief editor of Ikhwanweb.com to maintain his role as a uniter and his message of calling for reform.