* The dark spot on the foreheads of the believers are marks of religious fervor, often seen on particularly pious adherents of the prophet, from banging the forehead on the floor during prayers.
(IsraelNN.com) The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Muhammad Mahdi Akef, and Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman Al-Zawahiri both recently addressed the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its campaign against Israel. Akef pledged 10,000 fighters. Al-Zawahiri called on Hamas to cut ties with the PA’s Mahmoud Abbas and to fight for an international jihad movement.
Brotherhood ‘Must Support All the Forces of Resistance’
In a November 30 interview with the United Kingdom’s Al-Hiwar television, translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Akef was asked, “During the Israeli aggression against Lebanon, you said that the Muslim Brotherhood was prepared to arm 10,000 young men, and to send them to Lebanon in order to support the resistance. Does this apply to Palestine too?
Akef replied, “This applies to any country under occupation. One of the principles of the Muslim Brotherhood is to rid the Arab and Islamic nation of any foreign rule. The Muslim Brotherhood must support all the forces of resistance in the Arab and Islamic world.”
CAIRO â€” There is a strong undercurrent of competition in Egypt these days, an unstated contest among people eager to prove just how religious they are. The field of battle is the street and the focus tends to be on appearance, as opposed to conviction.
It is not that the two are mutually exclusive, but they are not necessarily linked. As Egyptians increasingly emphasize Islam as the cornerstone of identity, there has been a growing emphasis on public displays of piety.
For women, that has rapidly translated into the nearly universal adoption of the hijab, a scarf fitted over the hair and ears and wrapped around the neck. For men, it is more and more popular to have a zebibah.
The zebibah, Arabic for raisin, is a dark circle of callused skin, or in some cases a protruding bump, between the hairline and the eyebrows. It emerges on the spot where worshipers press their foreheads into the ground during their daily prayers.
It may sometimes look like a painful wound, but in Egypt it is worn proudly, the way American professionals in the 1980s felt good about the dark circles under their eyes as a sign of long work hours and little sleep.
Two decades ago, Egypt was a Muslim country with a relatively secular style. Nationalism and Arabism had alternated places as the main element of identity. But today, Egypt, like much of the Arab Middle East, is experiencing the rise of Islam as the ideology of the day.
With that, religious symbols have become the fashion.
“The zebibah is a way to show how important religion is for us,” said Muhammad al-Bikali, a hairstylist in Cairo, in an interview last month. Mr. Bikali had a well-trimmed mustache and an ever-so-subtle brown spot just beneath his hairline. “It shows how religious we are. It is a mark from God.”
Fahri Guven of the antisemitic Islamist Turkish daily Milli Gazete quoted in his column the following excerpts from a recently published book by M. Ertugrul Duzdag and Ali Ulvi Kurucu presenting them as historical truths that every Muslim must take into account:
“The Jew is a curse. If you enter a war against the Jew you end up fighting powerful nations behind him. If you try to make peace, years pass with no result. He lies 70 lies. It is not surprising that America supports Israel. It is because America is a province of Israel! Last century it was god-damned Britain that was under [Jew’s] command, this century they made the U.S. their servant…
“Don’t forget the Russian revolution. The only non-Jew was Stalin but his wife was Jewish. Karl Marks was a Jewish psychopath. Behind the Free Mason’s that played a role in every revolution is Jewish power and intelligence. The Jew wants to rule the world, and step by step, he is advancing towards his goal of destroying faith, respect, love, honor, family values in the world.
“The Zionist organization, exaggerated what was done to the Jews at the time of Hitler; created a genocide balloon; blew into it hard enough so it could fly. He blew it to ten, fifty, hundred times more than what it really was. Then they [Jews] made this the subject of thousands of novels, plays and films.
“Who would have believed a hundred years ago? But here it is now; a Jewish state in the midst of Muslims like an abscess.”
“Look at Armenia. This too will become tomorrow’s Israel. It was built by Christians to severe the ties between Turkey and the Muslim Turkish world and it will grow. It will be the roadblock between Turkey and Azarbaycan and the rest of the Turkic world.”
Source: Milli Gazete, Turkey, December 15, 2007