Maikel Nabil Sanad – another blogger who happens to be a criminal!
Date posted: November 13, 2010
Maikel Nabil Sanad – AKA Ibn Ra'a – is a 25 year old Egyptian veterinarian from Asyut in Upper Egypt. I met him once in a gathering for Egyptian Liberals and I was struck by his audacity; Christian by birth, he is now an atheist who has been renounced by his family for his religious and political views. He campaigns regularly against oppression, use of arms, male circumcision, turning Egypt into a religious state, and compulsory military service. He promotes peace, secularism, and freedom of speech. Yesterday, November 12, 2010, Maikel Nabil Sanad has been taken into the custody of the Egyptian Military Police. This post [AR] sums up Maikels' beliefs.
Quoting War Registers'
War Resisters' International is concerned about the liberty and safety of Egyptian conscientious objector Maikel Nabil Sanad from Cairo.
Maikel Nabil Sanad finished his college education last year, and has now been informed by the military authorities on 18 October that he is to report to the College of Reserve Officers at Fayed (Ismailia) on 22 October 2010, to begin serving his compulsory military service.
There is no experience in Egypt regarding treatment of conscientious objectors to military service. There is a risk that Maikel Nabil Sanad might be arrested for not reporting for military service, and could be punished with a prolongation of military service – which could lead to a vicious cycle of refusal and sentencing. However, once detained, it is also possible that charges for disobeying orders would be brought, based on the experience from other countries.
Maikel is a self-proclaimed pacifist and he clearly said:
I thought too much and my decision was that I would refuse to do the military service in Egypt and I would bear the consequences whatever they would be. Despite of my knowledge that the consequences would be a misfortune as I am considered the first Egyptian youth to reject the compulsory military service because of my pacifist beliefs.
He further explains his stance saying:
But, my words don’t mean that I am an evader of the military recruitment. I am rejecting, not evading. I live in the same address written on my identification card which is known to the Administration of Recruitment and Mobilization, the Military Security Forces and the Intelligence, which also is written in my letters to Minister of Defense, the Prime Minister, Heads of both Houses of Parliament and the President of the Republic. I am not hiding anywhere so the Egyptian police can arrest me anywhere and I am fully prepared to deliver myself to justice once I am being informed that I am wanted.
Many Egyptian bloggers and tweeps are not supporting him; Zeinobia for example believes that "He Asked For This And He Got It" because of his support of Israel.
"I am Pro Israel" he stated in his interview published on Ynet News
As the conversation progresses, it becomes clear that these are not the only strange ideas Sanad has. "I am pro-Israel," he says. "I don't want to take part in anti-Semitic operations or those that negate Israel's right to exist in the region. I see Israel as a liberal, modern state with a religious character. I have friends in Israel and I think Israelis have a right to defend themselves."
The young Egyptian doesn't even hesitate to say the Palestinians are to blame for the conflict with Israel. "If the Palestinians had a democratic leadership, everything would be solved," he says. "Take the war on Gaza for example (Operation Cast Lead) two years ago. Hamas started it. They refused to hold elections in Gaza and took control of the regime. They planned a dictatorial and fundamentalist regime. They refused to speak to Israel, fired rockets at it and caused it to defend itself."
He says the IDF response to the rockets was "normal" compared to any nation in the world. "I don't see what the difference is between that and Turkey's response against the Kurds in northern Iraq. It's exactly the same."
1) Is Maikel Nabil Sanad just a fame seeker?
2) Is he just trying to evade military service?
3) Is he a spy?
4) Why don't "they" like him?
I highly doubt that he just enjoys creating ripples; he has been an activist for more than 5 years, he is very well-read about the issues he campaigns for, and he has an argument – whether you think it is valid or not, the guy has brains! He might have pushed things overboard! He might have dangled his carrot to close to "their" face! He might adopt ideas that are contrary to the Egyptian mainstream! Still, he has the right to have ideas and express them – freedom of speech and freedom of choice are our God-given rights!
As for evading the military service, the kid has a heart condition! Yes! Had he turned himself in, he would have been exempted by law. This means that his campaign was not "a spoilt brat ditching the military" it was more like "I don't believe in it; I won't do it!". Who was he really challenging? The military regime! He is the first Egyptian to speak the mind of many young Egyptian males who would do anything to avoid the obligatory military service. He will be exempted by law but he opened the door that will be hard to slam shut!
He is not a spy; he is not a traitor! He is just a man whose mind works more towards peace as opposed to conflict. He is more geared towards human rights as opposed to racial and religious discrimination. He is attuned to end conflicts as opposed to those who fuel. Personally, I might not agree with his stance but I respect his logic and argument. He clearly sees that wars are a matter of politics and civilians are the only ones who pay the price of arms and weapons.
If I were in "their" shoes, I would be scared too! Here is a young man who has firm beliefs – agree with them or not – and he lives by those beliefs! He is outspoken, courageous, and quite fearless – what could be scarier than such a man? He challenges all forms of authority! He is smart and cultured! He has a stance! Most important of all, he is a blogger who has a voice – a loud clear audible voice reiterating a clear compelling consistent message!
واو ألف و واو ألف تبقى إيه؟
و اللى بيطلب حقه يبقى بيعمل إيه؟