Law and Order? Outlawed Pigs in an Outlawed Land

The New York Times ran a feature on Mokattam and interviewed a couple of my friends in Cairo among the garbage city with the recent order to slaughter the entire pig population in Egypt in scare of the swine flu.  This order was given despite no recorded cases of the swine flu in Egypt, and the fact that pigs do not transmit the disease to humans.

In other words, my brother who closed down the school of which he is principal in southern rural Wisconsin had more actual dealings with H1N1 than the folks in Egypt who decided Wilbur and friends can’t play with Charlotte in the barn anymore because they have a date with the butcher.

So why in the world would the Egyptian government do such a thing?

I don’t know the certainties, but I can certainly can speculate.

The government is responding with the line that they are “trying to make things more sanitary for the Zabeleen.”

I’m sorry, but political rhetoric belongs with the organic waste being eaten by the pigs. Perhaps the officials have more in common with them than they thought.

The truth is the land where the Zabeleen live is attractive, and beginning the systematic removal of a people for the expansion of tourism by first dismantling their income source is the most strategic way of enabling their removal.  But covering it up with lies is disgusting.

It’s sad when power is abused to silence voices without power, but even worse when those in power use lies (actively telling falsehoods) and deceit (passively – concealing the truth for the purpose of misleading) for the sake of maintaining power and suppressing what might actually expose the truth.

If you are an American reading this, your privilege is all the more apparent and I’m grateful for those we honor on Memorial Day who have provided it for us. Thank-you to our service men and women who continually provide freedom for us.

But if you were among the Zabeleen, an oppressed minority without access to power, how would you address this issue?

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May 2009

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