If Muslims are not careful, they may end up causing so much damage to the Ummah that it will take many generations to recover. The poison of sectarianism is spread and financed by Saudi Arabia and its Arabian allies.
Almost until the expensive limousines carrying senior Fatah members began converging on Bethlehem on August 3 and 4, it had been unclear whether the convention would go ahead...
During the first months of 2006, Shaikh Hasan Nasrallah, the leader of Hizbullah, and Ehud Olmert, the prime minister of Israel, both set out clear goals for their people. After the withdrawal from Ghazzah the previous year, Olmert promised a solution to the problem of Hizbullah on Israel’s northern border, and Israeli and US military officials held a series of meetings in Washington and Tel Aviv to draw up plans for a war to destroy Hizbullah
In recent months, Muslims around the world have watched with consternation as Israel has tightened its economic blockade of Ghazzah, subjecting its people to intense hardship, while Western powers have done next to nothing to stop them, despite the fact that the use of starvation and deprivation as a weapon of war is explicitly forbidden by international law.
In 2003 the US invaded Iraq on the basis of a fabricated threat of “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs), backed up by the dubious misinterpretation of intelligence materials. Last year, the US’s military intelligence community effectively vetoed a White House and administration plan to attack Iran using similarly dubious claims about its nuclear program.
The US followed through on its threats to impose severe economic sanctions on Iranian institutions on October 25, when it announced unilateral measures against the Revolutionary Guard Corps, three major Iranian banks, and more than 20 Iranian companies. However, the fact that it imposed the sanctions unilaterally, instead of via the UN, as initially threatened, indicates caution about the US’s belligerence even among allies that are supporting it publicly, and there was outspoken criticism of the US from Russian president Victor Putin during a state visit to Iran.
While 40 senior officials of the Ikhwan al-Muslimeen (Muslim Brotherhood) were being dragged through the Egyptian courts, four editors were recently fined and sentenced to a year’s imprisonment for defaming president Husni Mubarak and his son Gamal. That the action against the editors was as misconceived and miscalculated as the crackdown on the Ikhwan was demonstrated by the defiance of the editors and the escalation of press attacks on both Mubarak and Gamal.
Months of increasing tension between the Fatah and Hamas movements in Palestine came to a head on June 14, when Hamas militias captured Fatah-controlled institutions in Ghazzah that had refused to accept the authority of the Hamas government of prime minister Ismail Haniya. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas responded by dismissing the Haniya government and appointing a new administration, under Salam Fayyad, in Ramallah, in the West Bank.
Months of negotiations between Hamas leaders and Fatah leaders on forming a coalition government, which they hope will break the political deadlock in the country and facilitate the lifting of the West's economic boycott, appeared to reach a significant breakthrough on September 11. It was announced that agreement had finally been reached after a series of meetings in Ghazzah between PA (Palestinian Authority) president Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah, and Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader appointed prime minister after Hamas's stunning victory in January's parliamentary elections.
Three months after Hamas won a decisive victory in the elections for the Palestinian legislative council, and a month after the new Hamas administration was sworn in, it remains under immense political pressure from Israel and Israel’s Western allies to abandon the program on which it was elected and accept instead the West’s plans for the future of Palestine.
As Crescent International goes to press, it remains uncertain whether the elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) that are due to take place on January 25 will actually go ahead. Israel made a clear attempt to sabotage them on December 21, when it announced that Palestinians in Jerusalem would not be permitted to vote if Hamas were allowed to take part in the polls.
Last month, the British charity MARCCH convened a major conference on “Chechen after Maskhadov”, in cooperation with other Chechen support groups in the UK. It was attended by AHMAD MUSA, a contributor to Crescent International and a supporter of the Save Chechnya Campaign (SCC).1
There were a number of anti-Mubarak demonstrations in Cairo in the days following the presidential elections on September 7, as Egyptians realised that the much-vaunted elections had taken place and nothing had changed; in fact, that Hosni Mubarak and his supporters had consolidated their position by being able to claim a measure of democratic legitimacy for the president’s continuing authoritarian rule.
On August 24 the British government announced details of new measures to be taken against foreign Muslims living in Britain. Foreign Muslims will be deported from Britain, or not permitted to enter the country in the first place, if they are considered by the government to be “fostering hatred or fomenting, or glorifying terrorist violence”.
As soon as it became clear that the chaos on London’s public transport on the morning of July 7 was the result of something rather more than the usual maintenance problems, Muslims inBritain knew that they would come under immense pressure if it was confirmed that Muslims were responsible, as most observers immediately suspected.
Any illusion that Mahmoud Abbas may have had about being the elected leader of the Palestinian people in their struggle for the establishment of an independent, sovereign state in at least a part of their historical homeland must surely have been shattered on June 21.
Such is the US’s sense of uncertainty in Iraq that they have not even been sure how to respond to persistent rumours that Musab al-Zarqawi, the self-proclaimed “Leader of Al-Qa’ida inIraq” has been wounded in action and may even have died.
Officially, suspension of armed operations by both the Israeli occupation forces and popular resistance forces in Palestine is holding and there is progress, albeit slow and halting, in the general direction of a future political settlement.
There was some sense of relief in the Muslim world in late November, when negotiators representing the Islamic Republic of Iran of succeeded in persuading the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) not to report it to the UN Security Council for having a nuclear weapons programme.
Although Ariel Sharon’s plan for the withdrawal of Israeli settlements from Ghazzah, and the redeployment of troops in the area, is part of a larger plan to secure Israel’s control over Palestine as a whole...
The US’s long-running campaign to pressure Iran over its nuclear programme was ratcheted up to a new level last month, when the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) passed a resolution effectively threatening to report Iran to the UN Security Council if it is not satisfied that Iran’s nuclear programme is for purely civilian purposes by its next meeting, which is on November 25...
Hundreds of Iraqis were killed, and the centre of the holy city of Najaf, the home of the shrine of Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra), devastated by a massive American assault on the city which lasted for most of August...
The formal transfer of power from the US-dominated Coalition Provisional Authority to a puppet Iraqi regime led by Iyad Allawi at the end of June was widely recognised as a hollow and meaningless public relations exercise...
One little-noted feature of Israel’s much-vaunted plan to "disengage" from Ghazzah is the role envisaged for Egypt after the withdrawal of Israeli troops, should it ever take place...
As US and Israeli officials prepared for the meeting between George W. Bush and Ariel Sharon on April 14, the Arab world was full of rumours that the Bush administration had agreed to give Sharon "assurances" and "guarantees" in return for Israel’s purported agreement to withdraw from Ghazzah...
Considering the fact that divisions inherent in Iraqi society are supposed to be the greatest problem facing Iraq as it seeks a new future following the American occupation, there seemed to be remarkable consensus among Iraqis of most communities following the signing of the American-dictated interim constitution on March 8, 2004...
UN secretary general Kofi Annan helped the US off a hook of their own making on February 19, when he announced that a UN fact-finding mission headed by Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN envoy to Iraq, had concluded that elections are not feasible in the country before the June 30 date set for the supposed handover of power to an Iraqi administration...
When the history of the US occupation of Iraq is written, November 2003 may well come to be recognised as a turning point, a month in which a number of developments took place indicating the US’s increasing desperation in the face of determined and increasing Iraqi resistance to its presence in Iraq.
The UN’s announcement on September 27 that it is withdrawing its international staff from Iraq for security reasons came as a massive blow to the country’s US occupation authorities, who have been desperately trying to convince the world that they have full control over Iraq and are succeeding in introducing freedom and democracy to a grateful population.
Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon achieved his objective of forcing an end to the road map peace plan last month, when Hamas and Islamic Jihad issued a joint statement formally ending the conditional ceasefire they had declared on June 29.
Israeli military aircraft attacked villages in southern Lebanon on August 10, and flew at low level over Beirut early the next morning, in the latest stage of a significant escalation of its constant tension with Hizbullah early this month. It had resumed air operations over Lebanon earlier in August after a long gap.
Israeli authorities announced on July 27 that they will release 500 Palestinian prisoners, including 100 associated with the Hamas and Islamic Jihad Islamic movements, as a goodwill gesture towards the Palestinian Authority (PA), to facilitate the progress of the ‘road map’ peace plan.
US military authorities said on July 3 that president George W. Bush has selected six of the estimated 680 Muslim detainees illegally held at the Guantanamo Bay naval base for trial by military tribunal and possible execution.
American and British claims that Iraq was calm except for limited resistance by a few pro-Saddam stragglers were blown away on June 24, when six British soldiers were killed by angry people in Majar al-Kabbir, a small town north of Basra, in response to aggressive and intrusive anti-resistance operations.
The two summit meetings at Sharm al-Shaikh on June 3, attended by US president George W. Bush, Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas, and the leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Bahrain, and at the royal palace at Aqaba, Jordan...
A week after the four bomb blasts in Riyadh which killed 24 people on May 12, the US, Britain and Germany shut down their embassies in Saudi Arabia after warnings that more deadly attacks could be expected.
The US made great play of jubilation in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on April 9, when the US invasion seemed to have forced the collapse of the Iraqi regime.
Endgame: Britain, Russia and the Final Struggle for Central Asia by Jennifer Siegel. Pub: I. B. Tauris & Co., London, 2002. Pp: 284. Hbk: $29.50.
Contending Liberalism in World Politics: Ideology and Power by James L. Richardson. Pub: Lynne Rienner, Boulder CO, USA, 2001. Pp: 237. Hbk: $49.50 / Pbk: $19.50.
As a US invasion of Iraq looks ever more imminent, increasing details are emerging of Washington’s plans for the establishment of a reliable, pro-Western puppet-regime in Baghdad.
As widely expected, the US declared Iraq to be in "material breach" of UN Resolution 1441 on December 19, after a perfunctory examination of Iraq’s 12,000-page dossier on its weapons programme.
A Palestinian citizen from Ghazzah revealed on December 9 that Mossad, the Israeli Intelligence Service, had attempted to enlist him to establish a terrorist cell in Palestine under the name of al-Qa’ida
Living on an idyllic tropical island surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful atolls and beaches is a dream for some. Yet, for many inhabitants of the Maldive islands...
George W. Bush finally published the resolution he would like the UN Security Council to pass to justify a military attack on Iraq on October 1. The resolution, also supported by Bush’s loyal servant Blair, is clearly designed to provoke an Iraqi rejection, thereby providing the pretext for a US invasion.
The utter subservience of international institutions to the United States was confirmed on July 12, when the UN Security Council accepted American terms for its recognition of the newly-established International Criminal Court (ICC).