A kind of Horror

Another man would have devoured her, torn her clothes off and surged through her flesh, but not Mr. Nadi. On a Thursday night, he takes her out to buy the newspaper. Before they leave, he spends a minute to check if his hair and mustache look good, they don’t, they are crimes against humanity, think the matte black hair and moustache of a plastic doll, he doesn’t notice though, he likes them. Nadi works for a data entry department in one of the Egyptian government’s many administrations. He makes sure names, numbers, and signatures are entered correctly five hours everyday for three thousand pounds a month, enough for ordinary clothes and food with a nice meal every now and then. His hopes and fantasies are relegated to the afterlife.

 

Mrs. Nadi put a shawl over her shoulders and covered her hair, yet her curves screamed underneath the black satin gown. She is told, now that she is forty-two, that her sex drive is gone, but there is this tickling between her legs, the French would bring wine to this place. He’s asking if they have enough eggs for breakfast and she’s thinking about her next bath, her time alone, “yes, we do,” she answers anyway. This was his idea of a conversation to kill time and be a good husband, do we have enough eggs? Did you see the tiger attack at the zoo yesterday? What are you cooking today? She played the part. They arrive at the newsstand and he decides to crack a joke, “should we get New Meal Everyday? I bet we would need ingredients from a sorceress to prepare one of their dishes, ha ha ha.” She smiles, attempts to laugh, but stops at showing her teeth, he doesn’t mind, he takes whatever response he can get, deep underneath the barrier of communicating with language they both acknowledged and were at peace with the roles they have decided to play, or rather parody, until they no longer have to. On the way back they stop at the supermarket and he buys eggs anyway, she doesn’t break her silence, she’s thinking about her bath, she still waxes her blood rose clean.

 

Why hadn’t her father mutilated her sexuality? Why bring a living girl, genitally unmutilated, to a dead world? She often thought. She saw women her age dressed in weird, eye-stabbing costumes without taste content with watching Turkish mind-killing dramas where women have complete intact sexualities and men with erect swords venture forward, and she wondered, why does life have to be behind a screen? She wondered and wondered, until the bathroom door closed and she was finally naked, she then wondered no more.

The Voodoo of fighting terrorism while cradling Islamism 

Following every terror attack in Egypt, secularists, myself included, engage in long conversations on the necessity of combating Islamist ideologies [Islam as a religion and constitution] for the sake of our country’s national security. We also urge the state to allow Muslim reformers to speak freely without fear of getting thrown in jail and to prevent government senior officials, especially in the ministry of Islamic affairs and Al-Azhar, from promoting extremist, fundamentalist, and Islamist ideas. High on adrenaline, we tend to forget that most Muslims in Egypt actually put Islam high above the Egyptian state: they are Muslims living in Egypt not Egyptians who believe in Islam. It is one of the reasons why some Europeans are rightly concerned about the increasing numbers of Muslims in Europe alongside declining birth rates. Islam, unlike Christianity now, supersedes the state. Sharia courts and FGM in England come to mind.

Islamists in Egypt, including the ones in the government and Al-Azhar and Salafists, hold great sway over the minds of Muslims, particularly younger ones. Islamism gives these men of God the moral and executive authority to mobilize millions of youths towards a particular goal should the situation arise and the need for action is true enough. If Sisi challenges the core ideas that enables Islamists to control Egyptian Muslims without a meticulously calculated plan implemented incrementally, the outcome can be devastating for him and Egypt. Islamists will not watch helplessly as the rug is pulled from under their feet and the authority they worked years to achieve evaporates. Sisi is surely well aware of what happened when Saddam Hussein and his party tried secularizing Iraq in an economy much better than Egypt’s. Islamists have the know-how and texts to label him an enemy of Islam if they sense he is sincere about delegitimizing the authority they derive from the interpretation of Islam they promote, preach, and write literature for; they also have the capability to turn millions of youths against him and Christians, like some of them do now but on a mass scale. It is delusional, for example, to think that Salafists believe in anything but an Islamic State, they are just currently relaxed because the government allows them to freely, absolutely freely, propagate the ideas ISIS is putting into action and instill them in the minds of children.

Islam Beheiry, who had been jailed for criticizing extremist interpretations of the Quran and Hadith, says Al-Azhar University’s curricula must be updated to remove all hard-line stipulations derived from the Quran and Hadith such as the ones on fighting infidels and hating non-Muslims or discriminating against them. According to Beheiry, former head of Al-Azhar Mohamed Sayed Tantawi had actually taken this step before the current Grand Imam Ahmed Eltayeb rescinded it. Sisi, on more than one occasion, called on Al-Azhar scholars to actively combat extremist texts, not Islamism, but was met with deaf ears time and time again. And while it is true that Sisi’s authority is unchecked and he can pretty much get away with anything, when it comes to religion, if his vision of reforming and modernizing Islam, which neither denotes nor connotes rejecting the principle of Islam as a religion and state constitution, is not fully aligned with the Islamists and Salafists inside and outside his government he can find himself up against a volcano of terrorism and disobedience.

Taking small but real and effective steps, and cementing them, towards a secular Egypt is the only viable way. Sisi, however, still seems reluctant to take it. Sisi and many Egyptians seem to think terrorism can be fought without challenging Islamism, but if the statement Islam is a religion and state constitution is true, does it not follow that Men of God should rule or fight until power is in their hands?!!

Why Ayaan Hirsi Ali shatters the liberal illusion

More than any other critic of Islam, liberals really cannot stand Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Why?
Because she’s a woman.
She’s an ex-Muslim, now apostate.
She’s a Somali refugee.
She’s university educated.
And she’s also black.

She shatters every single illusion of the worldview promoted by the vocal, metropolitan, liberal elite running amok in our Western societies. That worldview claims that “Islamophobes” (translation: anyone who dares to criticise Islam) are white, working-class men who are uneducated and from predominantly Christian countries in the West.

It’s why, for example, a photo of Birmingham-Pakistani girl Saffiyah Khan apparently confronting a bald, white EDL protestor last weekend went viral. For liberals, this was propaganda of a ‘Category A’ variety and reinforced every stereotype they want you to believe. For anyone who watched the full video and subsequently investigated Khan’s Facebook page, you’ll know what a complete media stitch-up that whole episode was.

The truth…

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why a state of emergency is not the solution

hakawi from the east - حكاوى من الشرق

Presidential decree with state of emergency

Not even a week after President Sisi’s ‘successful trip’ to the US in which he met with his biggest fan the new US president, the church bombings occurred. As usual, the Orthodox Church had called on its people in New Jersey and New York to go greet Sisi on the streets with flags as a show of support – which they did.

President Sisi did not make an immediate statement following the Palm Sunday attacks but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the absurd statement that ‘this is a failed attempt at striking Egypt.’ In addition, the prime minister announced a three-day mourning period. By evening, the president ordered the military to ‘help police’ secure vital infrastructure in the country. The following day, April 10th, at 1pm, the president appeared on TV and declared a state of emergency [martial law]  for three months, contrary to…

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Man breaks down his car in the middle of nowhere to pretend to be Rick from The Walking Dead 

A man in his forties has deliberately sabotaged his car in the middle of nowhere to act out a Walking Dead fantasy where he is Rick Grimes. After the car stopped, he immediately drew his gun and told his family he was going to search for clean water in the woods. “Honey, we have water and we are in the desert, no woods here, shouldn’t we try to fix the car or call for help?” his wife, 38, said a little bewildered by his demeanor but contextually understanding what a mediocre life as a salesman can do to a man’s psyche. The husband lowered his weapon and started snapping out of his breakdown, his wife held his head between her hands and promised great sex when they get home , “we can even try some kinky stuff,” she said looking him in the eye. They both smiled and kissed under a scorching sun. 

Manikins

A man and a widow came to play
I was in a hurry 
I couldn’t stay

At least wait until the game starts 
He said
And showed me two black and white cards

The one you pick is a gift for you
The other, will curse us forever 

I see no game
I said confused

The visitors, now manikins, smirked in silence
One card said madess, the other said violence

The manikins vanished
Were they ever there?
I picked my cards
And cried in despair 

They knew from the start I was going nowhere

Marguerite Baker : Designing Horror

Resident Evil 7 is a scary mansion game, a mansion designed with all classic horror movies and novels in mind. But this is not a ghost story, the horror is resident in all of our minds, not just the minds of the characters in the game, it is the chaos inside everyone that manifests when we snap and lose sanity: madness. And sometimes we go crazy because of reasons beyond our command, which is more terrifying, but not as terrifying as a man experiencing sanity and insanity fighting it out in his own brain, see also schizophrenia. We catch a glimpse of this madness in our darkest moments, when we’re depressed, angry, or in any other extreme state of mind that momentarily puts aside the veil hiding our most vicious thoughts. Take, for example, the things you would do to save a loved one, the violence you would be capable of if it meant saving your child from someone or something, that violence is in you, guarded, controlled, but still resides in you. And people go crazy all the time, there are always active serial killers, hundreds of people are killed everyday, men and women are raped, children are molested, and animals are tortured, we often get to see the violence inside us displayed. Demons do not possess us, madness does.
SPOILER ALERT 

I never really understood the term jump scare until the second encounter with Marguerite, this scare will get you even if you expect it. The place where you fight her, called the greenhouse, is actually somewhat similar to my grandmother’s old house, as I remember it from when I was a kid, and certain pieces of furniture definitely looked familiar, it was like playing in an old faded memory of mine but invaded by a monster. What I first noticed about Marguerite was her crotch. The insects nest she has on that part easily looks like a severe skin disease, skin diseases are not just disgusting and scary, they can also be a source of fear, fear of getting a severe skin disease or losing your skin in an accident, something that is not that rare. Her engorged crotch also affects her walk, her brilliantly animated walk. Despite her monstrous shape and extended arms, Marguerite’s walk, when upright, is still reminiscent of the way some old people move, humanizing her just enough to not turn into a forgettable deformed creature. Once you have taken in Marguerite the almost human, she gets on all fours and takes arachnophobia to new grounds, ushering in madness. You find yourself up against an insane, old woman with a severe skin disease scaling walls like a spider. She gets to you, something that can’t be said about the other bosses in the game.