Posted by Women Against Shariah on Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Their concept is simple. They are inviting the Egyptian electorate to sign a petition expressing “no confidence” in President Mohamed Morsi, a move they hope will trigger early presidential elections.
The response has been eye-opening. So far, 6,000 volunteers for the grassroots campaign dubbed “Tamarod” or “Rebel” have collected over 2 million signatures, according to the group’s spokesman Mahmoud Badr. Egypt’s electorate numbers about 50 million, with half of those voting in the last presidential election.
The movement has grown quickly, with opposition parties announcing support, widespread press coverage and black and white leaflets plastered across nearly every Cairo neighborhood. The “Rebel” Facebook page has attracted 150,000 “likes” in one month.
At a busy intersection in Mohandiseen, an upper-middle class Cairo neighborhood, at least 20 people stopped last Thursday to sign the leaflets and jot down national ID numbers to verify their identity.
“Yesterday was even more crowded,” said Basma Sherif, as she handed out forms.
“There were accidents because people were leaving their cars in traffic to come and sign,” said Sherif, a 24-year-old insurance company employee.
People from all walks of life and throughout Egypt are signing the petition – from upper class educated elites to truck drivers and housekeepers – even people who voted for Morsi in the last election are now taking part in the campaign.
"People come from the cars to sign – poor, rich, middle class, everybody has one opinion,” said Sherif.
Those signing the petition were anxious for change. “I don’t want Morsi,” said Khaled Mostafa, a 27-year-old lab technician. “There is no security, no stability and their economic program failed… If we get several million signatures, we will have early elections.”
Amal Ragab, a middle-aged human resources manager, said that the revolution that toppled Mubarak made her believe people have the power to bring down a president. “For us, the Muslim Brotherhood is much worse and weaker than Mubarak with all of his power and security apparatus,” she added.
The group’s goal is to collect 15 million signatures, almost 3 million more than the number of votes Morsi received when he was elected by a narrow margin in June last year. They plan to deliver the petition for early elections to the Supreme Constitutional Court, Egypt’s highest court, on June 30, the one-year anniversary of Morsi’s inauguration, and to hold a massive demonstration in front of the presidential palace that day.
A symbolic move
But even diehard supporters admit there are no legal grounds to call for early elections based on a “no confidence” petition. They say the campaign is really meant to prove that Morsi has lost his majority and, with it, his legitimacy.
Hamza Abdullah, a 37-year-old lawyer who has been coordinating the campaign in three Cairo districts was carrying an armload of signed petitions on Thursday.
“This is a peaceful way to apply pressure and prove that people are against Morsi,” he said. “It is not legally binding, but it is like a poll to prove that he is not popular and not approved as president of Egypt.”
Not so fast, say Muslim Brotherhood
Members of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, however, pooh-pooh the challenge.
Dr. Mohamed Beltagy, a senior leader of the Brotherhood’s political arm, issued a statement calling the petition “no more than a public survey,” saying it was useless unless organizers “transform the millions of participants they’re talking about into a political party.”
Others gave veiled warnings. “If some want to toss out the constitution, then they should admit their aim and bear the consequences because it is a complete and utter crime,” Essam Arian, deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood, told the Al Fajr newspaper.
A lawyer for the Brotherhood, Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud, said that, “Hijacking a political democratic legitimacy constitutes a violation of the law.” And one Brotherhood-linked group launched a rhyming pro-Morsi petition called Tagarod, or “Impartiality.”
Egypt’s prime minister, which operates under the president, was more receptive.
Alaa al Hadidi, the prime minister’s spokesman, said he views the grassroots movement as a sign of growth. “I am happy because before, nobody spoke, nobody cared, nobody was interested. Now everybody feels that they own the country and have a stake.”
From Zee News:
At least nine people were killed and 53 others wounded in bombing attacks against two Shiite mosques in Iraq's southern city of Hilla on Monday, a police source said.
A suicide bomber wearing explosive vest blew himself up at Al- Wardiyah mosque in Hilla, some 100 km south of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, and about five minutes later a bomb exploded in the nearby Al-Galagh mosque, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The two attacks targeted worshipers in the Shiite mosques and some of the wounded people were in critical conditions, he added.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks, but the al-Qaida front in Iraq, in most cases, were responsible for such massive attacks in the country, raising fears that the terrorist group and other militia could return to widespread violence.
Earlier on Monday, a series of car bombs and shootings mainly targeting Shiite areas across Iraq killed at least 61 people, including several Iranian pilgrims, and wounded some 200, apparently in an attempt to stir up sectarian strife among Iraqis.
Monday's violence came amid escalation of sectarian tension between the Sunni and Shiite communities, which has been at its highest level since the U.S. troops pulled out from the country at the end of 2011.
For five months, Sunni Muslims have been protesting against the Shiite-led government in Sunni provinces and the Sunni districts in Baghdad.
At least four people are dead and 44 are injured after two bombs exploded Monday in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region, the Ministry of Health's website says.
Thirty-one of the injured were hospitalized, it says.
The incident -- which occurred in Makhachkala, capital of the semi-autonomous republic of Dagestan -- also caused significant damage. Security officials say they believe law enforcement officers may have been the target because the explosion occurred outside a local marshal's building.
One car bomb was discovered by a police patrol, who called in a unit to defuse it. Before that could be done, the bomb went off, but the explosion was minor, security officials said. Then, as a crowd of people gathered, a second, more powerful device detonated, causing the casualties.
An Islamic insurgency has taken hold in the North Caucasus and there is a strong presence of Islamic militants fighting Moscow's rule.
Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev -- the suspects in the Boston Marathon terror attack last month -- had ties with the region. The brothers are ethnic Chechens who lived in Kyrgyzstan and Dagestan.
Authorities who've been investigating how the brothers became radicalized are interested in a trip Tamerlan Tsarnaev took to Dagestan last year.
Russian authorities asked U.S. officials to investigate Tsarnaev before the trip, saying they believed he was becoming increasingly involved with radical Islam. The FBI investigated, but found no evidence of extremist activity, FBI Director Robert Mueller told a Senate committee.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in custody. His older brother died after a shootout with police just outside Boston days after the bombing.
Russia has been on edge over militant activity and its security forces announced on Monday that they foiled a terror attack planned for Moscow.
A spokesman at the National Anti-Terror Committee said security forces killed two militants and detained another. All three are described as Russian citizens trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan, he said. Security forces conducted their operation in the Orekhovo-Zuevo region of the Moscow suburbs.
"They were planning a terror attack in Moscow," the spokesman said.
No civilians were injured during the operation, but one Federal Security Service officer was wounded, state news agency Ria Novosti reported, citing an unnamed security source. The source said the attack was planned for central Moscow.
From Jihad Watch:
Al Arabiya, May 21:
After months of reportedly going into hiding, the outspoken Tunisian feminist who sparked a trend of “topless jihad” has been found and arrested by Tunisian authorities earlier this week and may be charged for conducting “provocative acts.”
Amina Tyler, 19, was found in the midst of police scuffles with hardline Salafist group Ansar al-Shariah in the central Tunisian city of Kairouan on Sunday.
Tyler previously described herself as a member of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen, which uses nudity in protests.
Witnesses said she allegedly scrawled “Femen” on the wall near the main mosque and may have intended to hang a banner on the building before an angry crowd gathered and started shouting at her to leave, according to The Associated Press.
Video posted by the Tunisian online Nawaat news site shows Tyler, with dyed blonde hair, clutching a banner and being hustled away by police and put into a van as residents chased her.
A local resident shouts at the camera: “She is dishonoring us. We will protect our town, but a dirty girl like her shouldn’t come among us.”
Mohammed Ali Aroui, the spokesman for the Tunisian interior ministry, described her acts as provocative and said she was under investigation and may be charged for her behavior on Sunday. He added that he understood the angry reaction of local residents to her appearance.
The ministry had banned Ansar al-Shariah’s annual conference, citing it as a threat to security and public order, and sent 11,000 soldiers and police to prevent hardline Muslims, known as salafis, from entering Kairouan.
In March, Tyler posted pictures of her topless body with the phrase “my body is my own” scrawled on it, and she went into hiding after receiving death threats. Her family took her to stay with relatives outside the capital before she escaped and hid with friends.
A month later, Tyler had been trying to leave Tunisia, her former lawyer said after a video surfaced in which the woman recounted being drugged and given virginity tests by relatives.
“Free Amina” rallies held by bare-breasted Femen activists hit Paris last month as Tyler’s supporters feared she would soon face criminal prosecution.
From the Associated Press via Yahoo! News:
The shootings and bombings follow three days of attacks that killed 130 people in both Shiite and Sunni areas in scenes reminiscent of retaliatory attacks between the two groups that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006-2007. The spike in bloodshed in recent weeks has raised fears the country may be heading toward a new round of sectarian conflict.
Tensions have been worsening since Iraq's minority Sunnis began protesting what they say is mistreatment at the hands of the Shiite-led government, including random detentions and neglect. The mass demonstrations, which began in December, have largely been peaceful, but the number of attacks rose sharply after a deadly security crackdown on a Sunni protest camp in northern Iraq on April 23.
Majority Shiites control the levers of power in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. Wishing to rebuild the nation rather than revert to open warfare, they have largely restrained their militias in the past five years or so as Sunni extremist groups such as al-Qaida have frequently targeted them with large-scale attacks. But the sharp jump in attacks on Sunni areas, including bombings on Friday that killed at least 76 people, has fueled concerns of renewed retaliatory killings.
In Saturday's deadliest attack, gunmen broke into the house of an anti-terrorism police captain in the southern suburbs of Baghdad, killing the officer and his family in their sleep. Police officials identified the dead as Cap. Adnan Ibrahim, his wife and two children, aged eight and 10.
The attackers fled the scene, and killed another policeman who tried to stop them at a nearby checkpoint.
Meanwhile in the western Sunni province of Anbar, gunmen kidnapped eight policemen who were guarding a post on the main highway linking Iraq to both Jordan and Syria, according to two police officials.
Earlier in the day, security forces and gunmen clashed in the area after police tried to arrest a Sunni tribal sheik suspected of being behind the killing of three army intelligence soldiers stopped by gunmen near a protest site in the city of Ramadi last month. Iraqi authorities had offered a bounty for the arrest or information leading to the arrest of the sheik, Khamis Abu Risha, and two other people they say were linked to the killings.
The fighting near Abu Risha's house north of Ramadi left three people wounded. No arrests were made. Later, gunmen deployed near the main entrance of Anbar Operations Command headquarters in Ramadi, 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad.
Hours later, Ramadi police said a bomb placed under stalls in a small stadium exploded, killing four people who were watching a local soccer match.
Shortly before sunset, a car bomb went off near a small market in in the town of Latifiyah south of Baghdad, killing three people and wounding 12.
Elsewhere, in the predominantly Shiite city of Basra in southern Iraq, gunmen shot and killed a Sunni cleric, Assad Nassir, as he was leaving his house, police said.
Two Iraqi soldiers were also killed and two others wounded when a roadside bomb struck a group of soldiers arriving to inspect the scene of a blast that took place earlier in the northern city of Mosul.
A security official said a roadside bomb hit a police patrol in the northern suburbs of Baghdad, killing one policeman and wounding two others.
Health officials confirmed the death tolls. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to the media.
Posted by Women Against Shariah
From Jihad Watch:
The story below is graphic. But it has to be told, as it graphically illustrates the human cost of Islamic child marriage and the treatment of women and girls as commodities.
"The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)." -- Bukhari 7.62.88
Muslims take this seriously and imitate Muhammad in this. Article 1041 of the Civil Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that girls can be engaged before the age of nine, and married at nine: "Marriage before puberty (nine full lunar years for girls) is prohibited. Marriage contracted before reaching puberty with the permission of the guardian is valid provided that the interests of the ward are duly observed."
The Ayatollah Khomeini himself married a ten-year-old girl when he was twenty-eight. Khomeini called marriage to a prepubescent girl "a divine blessing," and advised the faithful: "Do your best to ensure that your daughters do not see their first blood in your house."
The Qur'an also allows for marriage to pre-pubescent girls, stipulating that Islamic divorce procedures “shall apply to those who have not yet menstruated” (65:4).
"The 8-years-old bride who was brutally killed on first night of her wedding," by Mustafa Kazemi on Facebook, May 17 (thanks to all who sent this in):
ADVISORY – This article includes information that may be undesirable, discomfort & upset some audiences.
The 8-years-old girl whose story you’ll read in coming lines did not make it to the 2nd night of her wedding nor did she make it to her 9th or 10th birthday.
Her name unknown, my source telephoned me last week at 9:30 pm to tell me her story. At the first I thought it’s just going to be a short conversation but later it was unveiled that the story is different.
The story came from a village in Khashrood district of Nimruz province in Afghanistan.A medical doctor assigned in the main hospital in Zaranj city, the capital of the province, who wished to remain unnamed confirmed that he was “made aware” of the incident and that it was “too late to do anything for her” as well the “remote area didn’t allow them to do anything”.
The girl was one of the several daughters of a man in his late 30s. For an unknown reason he gave his daughter to the Mullah of their village for a big amount of money. It is also common in Afghanistan's rural areas or 3rd level provinces/cities to marry young girls to old men, and trading their daughters for their debts or other items.
The mullah is in his late 50s and is the mosque guy of the village where this incident happened.
The mullah is already married and has many children too. The two families hold a tribal meeting, agree on the price that the groom’s family pay to the bride’s family, and they set a date for wedding.In rural areas like this here there are no engagements or any ceremonies beforehand like there are some in the metropolitan and urban areas.
The two families planned a wedding party, the wedding and Nekah (The religious process in which a woman is officially married to a man) took place and the 8-years-old bride became the 50-years-old Mullah’s 2nd wife.
The celebration party was over and the sun downed – the time to have sex (not make love) with the 8-years-old bride.The girl was just 8 years old and everybody understands the fact that she knows nothing about sex or wedding or making love or virginity or sexual related topics; not even at a basic level for two reasons, one being that she’s just a child – not even a teenager and that in that part of the country, nobody knows anything about these things nor they are given trainings or education about a healthy sexual life.
The mullah takes off the bride’s clothes as well as his owns and with apparent so much happiness approaches her for sexual intercourse with the 8-years-old bride. Because of the Mullah’s huge physique which gave him a big penis, he threw himself on her and started to penetrate the girl’s vagina.
After several tries that led him to failure to penetrate her vagina, the Mullah was frustrated.
He failed because the 8-years-old girl who was about to die was physically thin and had a very tight vagina opening.
Sourced from the Mullah’s animal behavior, he took out the sharp knife that he always carried with himself in his pocket and tore apart the girl’s vagina from the clitoris side upwards as well as tore it downwards towards her anus in order to make the vagina larger enough so he can enter his penis into her vagina.
Naturally, she started to bleed in a very bad amount, but the mullah was too annoyed for not being able to have sex with her, to care for what he did or her bleeding or her wounds that he gave her.
The girl had her scarf stuffed in her mouth, crying and trying to not raise her voice because others were there in the room adjacent to or outside.
It is a rule in some of the areas in Afghanistan that the groom brings out a piece of cloth that he cleaned his wife’s hymen blood with it as a proof that the girl was virgin.
Mullah entered his penis into the girl’s severely bleeding vagina and had sexual intercourse with her on a blood-covered bed, and then got up and cleaned himself with a cloth.
The girl, who now has lost everything, was bleeding and there was nobody to help her neither could the Mullah ask for help as it was a shame for him and the girl’s family (who were sitting over a cup of tea in the other room, would kill him).
Our 8-years-old bride bled and went into a traumatic shock because of both forced sex as well as severe bleeding. She had lost so much blood, this I can tell for certain.
She bled and bled as herself was in trauma shock until morning and early in the morning around 5 when the sun was about to rise, she passed away.
According to the Mullah, she was pale and her eyes were open when she died. The bed, as he described, was all red with her blood and she was lying in her blood only. No cloth beneath her was recognizable and everything was in dried blood because a whole night had passed on the blood.
She was pale because she had lost all her body’s blood. Her eyes were open as she was shivering when she died and her hands were tied in a praying position, saying her death time prayer.
The Mullah called in the same person and asked him to clean up the mess around and prepare a reason to tell the others for her death. Because the man was a close friend or family of the mullah, he did whatever he could, including every piece of cloth that was bloody.
They wrapped her in a piece of white clothes and called the others that she has passed away.
That morning her family mourned her death in the saddest manner without looking for proper explanation about her death, and then took her to wash her body as a religious ritual.
Because the Mullah had a great influence on the village, none of the women who washed the girl's body dared to ask or seek the reason for the wounds around her vagina.
By 10 am or so they rallied the now-dead 8-years-old bride to the graveyard and buried her.
Her life ended.
The close friend of mullah, who knew everything, was very upset and shared the story with my source that then called me and told me the story.
Another doctor that I asked in Zaranj said that he wasn’t aware of the case, but he remembers that he used to treat the now-dead bride when she was 4 or 5 years old.
This doctor also asked me to not name him anywhere but only said that he was “deeply saddened that incidents like that still happen in Afghanistan”.
He called it one of the reasons of Afghanistan no going forward: People’s idiocy and uncivilized behaviors and traditions.
This story reached to me was told the exact way as it happened by the Mullah to a very close friend of him after the girl’s dead body was buried. According to the Mullah, he had a “bad conscience” about it.
Today, Palestinians and their supporters, as they have done increasingly over the years, mark what they call the naqba (Arabic for catastrophe). It was on this day 65 years ago that Israel came into existence upon the expiry of British rule under a League of Nations mandate.
That juxtaposition of Israel and naqba in not accidental. We are meant to understand that Israel’s creation caused the displacement of hundreds of thousand of Palestinian Arabs.
But the truth is different. A British document from early 1948, declassified only weeks ago, tells the story: “the Arabs have suffered a series of overwhelming defeats…. Jewish victories … have reduced Arab morale to zero and, following the cowardly example of their inept leaders, they are fleeing from the mixed areas in their thousands.”
In other words, Jew and Arabs, including irregular foreign militias from neighboring states, were already fighting and Arabs fleeing even before Israel had sovereign existence.
Thus, on May 15, what is now called the naqba consisted, not of an Israeli act of forcible displacement of Arabs, but of neighboring Arab armies and internal Palestinian militias responding to Israel’s declaration of independence and Britain’s departure with full-scale hostilities. Tel Aviv was bombed from the air and the head of Israel’s provisional government, David Ben Gurion, delivered his first radio address to the nation from an air-raid shelter.
Israel successfully resisted invasion and dismemberment — the universally affirmed objective of the Arab belligerents — and Palestinians came off worst of all from the whole venture. At war’s end, over 600,000 Palestinians were living as refugees under neighboring Arab regimes.
So the term naqba is misleading. Indeed, it smacks of falsehood, inasmuch as it implies a tragedy inflicted by others. The tragedy, of course, was self-inflicted.
As Israel’s UN ambassador Abba Eban was to put it, “Once you determine the responsibility for that war, you have determined the responsibility for the refugee problem. Nothing in the history of our generation is clearer or less controversial than the initiative of Arab governments for the conflict out of which the refugee tragedy emerged.”
However, the Palestinians do not mourn today the ill-conceived choice of going to war to abort Israel. They mourn only that they failed.
This is contrary to normal historical experience of disastrous defeat. The Germans today mourn their losses in the Second World War — but not by lauding their invasion of Poland and justifying their attempt to subjugate Europe. They do not glorify Nazi aggression.
The Japanese today mourn their losses in the Second World War — but not by lauding their assault on Pearl Harbor and their attempt to subjugate southeast Asia. They do not glorify Japanese imperialism.
The very existence of naqba commemorations is therefore instructive in a way few realize. It informs us that Palestinians have not admitted or assimilated the fact — as Germans and Japanese have done — that they became victims as a direct result of their efforts to be perpetrators. It informs us that Palestinians would still like to succeed today at what they miserably failed to achieve then. And it informs us that they take no responsibility for their own predicament, which is uniquely maintained to this day at their own insistence.
If readers doubt my word, consider this vignette from January 2001. That month, Palestinian rioters in the West Bank burned in effigy John Manley, then Foreign Minister in Jean Chrétien’s Canadian Government. His sin? — Mr. Manley had offered to welcome Palestinian refugees and their descendants to Canada after a peace settlement. The Palestinian response? Legislator Hussum Khader of Fatah, Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’ party — not Hamas or another of the Islamist groups — threatened Canada, saying, “If Canada is serious about resettlement, you could expect military attacks in Ottawa or Montreal.” A similar offer by then-Australian Immigration Minister, Philip Ruddock, also received a threatening Palestinian rejoinder.
Scarcely a typical response by a government official to an offer of refugee relief, Mr. Khader’s was illuminating. Setting up a Palestinian state and resettling the refugees and their descendants inside it or abroad would remove any internationally accepted ground for conflict. That is why helping to solve the Palestinian refugee problem is regarded as a hostile act — by Palestinians.
Naqba commemorations disclose that the conflict is about Israel’s existence — not about territory, borders, holy places, refugees, or any other bill of particulars.
Only when Palestinians accept that Israel is here to stay will the possibility of the conflict’s end come into view. In the meantime, responsible governments can discourage and repudiate naqba commemorations as a small but important step towards bringing that day closer.
Posted by Women Against Shariah
From the Jerusalem Post:
In past week PA security forces interrogated, detained two journalists, despite promises to honor freedom of media.
Despite promises to honor freedom of the media, the Palestinian Authority is continuing its crackdown on Palestinian journalists in the West Bank.
In the past week, PA security forces interrogated and detained two journalists: Haroun Abu Arrah and Omar Arqoub.
Abu Arrah, who was born in Jenin and lives in Ramallah, was detained by the PA’s General Intelligence Security [GIS] for interrogation.
“I went to the headquarters of the GIS two days after receiving a summons,” Abu Arrah told the SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom.
“They asked me provocative and personal questions, such as whether I was having or had sexual relationships. I told the interrogator that this was none of his business. He replied: You better answer the questions.”
Abu Arrah said he was also questioned about a comment he had posted on Facebook about the summons he received to report to the GIS.
He said the interrogator presented to him a printed copy of the Facebook comment.
“The interrogation lasted for two-and-a-half hours after which I was released without knowing why I had been summoned in the first place,” Abu Arrah said.
Earlier this year, Abu Arrah, who is also a film producer, was arrested for 10 days by the GIS for insulting PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
“There was a press conference in Oslo, Norway, where I asked President Mahmoud Abbas directly whether he was aware that people were dying in PA and Hamas prisons,” Abu Arrah said. “The president replied that he did not know about this. So I told him that he should stop it.”
The journalist said that shortly after he returned to the West Bank he was arrested for “extending my tongue” against Abbas.“I spent 10 days in solitary confinement,” Abu Arrah recalled. “In the first two days they confiscated my mattress and prevented me from sleeping.”
He said that the PA security forces have since been harassing him and asking his employers to fire him.
The second journalist, Arqoub, was arrested for 11 days by the GIS, whose agents also confiscated his laptop. He was questioned about a documentary film on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails that he is working on.
Since his release, Arqoub, who is from the town of Dura near Hebron, has been summoned several times for interrogation by the PA’s Preventive Security Service. He said his interrogators forced him to provide them with the passwords to his personal email address and Facebook page.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights expressed deep concern over the arrest and repeated interrogation of Arqoub and called on the PA to “respect freedom of the media and expression.”
Posted by Women Against Shariah on Friday, May 17, 2013
Many people wrongly believe that the rebels are better than Bashar al-Assad. They are not. The rebels can claim this is an isolated event. It is not. There is no "good" side in this horrible civil war. Children and innocent civilians will suffer -- at the hands of either side.
The ghastly video shows how barbaric the Syrian civil war can be.
A man, said to be a well-known rebel fighter, carves into the body of a government soldier and cuts out his heart and liver.
"I swear to God we will eat your hearts out, you soldiers of Bashar. You dogs. God is greater!" the man says. "Heroes of Baba Amr ... we will take out their hearts to eat them."
He then puts the heart in his mouth and takes a bite.
Opinion: Is Obama failing on moral leadership?
A group loyal to President Bashar al-Assad posted the video online Monday. The group describes the mutilation as a "crime that crosses all lines."
It's a sentiment shared by the main opposition alliance, which describes the act as "horrific and inhumane."
"The Syrian Coalition strongly condemns this act, if it is revealed to be true," the dissident group said in a statement.
"The coalition stresses that such an act contradicts the morals of the Syrian people, as well as the values and principles of the (rebel) Free Syrian Army."
On Wednesday, the FSA said it will investigate whether the man in the video is a member of the rebel army.
In a Facebook post, the group also said "the abuser will be punished severely even if they are associated with the Free Syrian Army."
Rebel spokesman: There's more to the story
Although CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video, CNN has interviewed a local rebel spokesman who confirmed the incident and said he has spoken to the man in the footage.
Tariq al Sayed, a spokesman from the Homs neighborhood of Baba Amr, said he is a friend of the rebel in the video. He said the incident took place more than two weeks ago, after several rebels and government troops were killed in a battle in western Homs.
Al Sayed said when he saw the video, he told his friend to take it off the Internet because the act was so perverse.
"This was an isolated incident. (His) actions do not represent the FSA. His actions only represent himself," al Sayed said. "This is not just a normal person who sits home. He has had two brothers killed. His mom and dad were detained, and the rest of his family displaced."
The Baba Amr district of Homs, once a bastion of anti-government sentiment, was subjected to a brutal counteroffensive by the Syrian army starting in February 2012, Human Rights Watch said.
Homs came under weeks of relentless attacks by government forces, including indiscriminate shelling on civilian areas.
But the government has repeatedly denied attacking civilians, saying Syrian forces were targeting armed gangs and foreign terrorists bent on destabilizing the government.
Regardless of the horrors suffered in Homs, the atrocious act in the video is inexcusable, Human Rights Watch said.
"It is not enough for Syria's opposition to condemn such behavior or blame it on violence by the government," said Nadim Houry, Middle East deputy director at Human Rights Watch. "The opposition forces need to act firmly to stop such abuses."