Dr Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the former Murshid (spiritual guide) of the Ikhwan al Muslimeen, died in an Egyptian hospital where he was moved from prison. Suffering from cancer, the military regime refused to provide him medication. He was 89.
More than half the Rohingya Muslim population has been ethnically cleansed from Myanmar. The genocidal Buddhists are hell-bent on killing or expelling the rest.
Most people in the world are opposed to nuclear weapons as was evident from the vote in the UN General Assembly last month but the main culprits—the US and Zionist Israel—insist on maintaining their monopoly.
With the failure of imperialist-Zionist instigated mayhem in the Muslim East, their attention has now turned to use the Kurds for their nefarious agenda. Will the Kurds fall into this trap and cause more chaos and confusion?
Hindu fascists target Muslims accusing them of killing cows and eating their meat because Hindus consider the cow as their mother. Yet the largest exporters of beef in India are Hindus, not Muslims!
It was three years ago that the Egyptian army perpetrated a bloodbath against innocent civilians in Cairo. General Sisi was and remains head of the military regime. Far from condemning the killings of innocent, Sisi is welcomed in Western capitals.
The cowardly Arabian rulers have maintained a deathly silence even as Masjid al Aqsa is under a Zionist siege. Is there any insult that will move these despicable creatures to action?
Hindu India and Zionist Israel, fellow travelers on the path of Nazism, have embraced each other even tighter. This was evident during Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel last month.
Burhan Wani was a young charismatic Kashmiri freedom fighter. He was martyred on July 8, 2016 but his sacrifice led to the reinvigoration of the struggle for freedom in Kashmir.
Donald Trump has brought the prospects of war with Russia that much closer by his belligerent and reckless policy in attacking Syria. He is trying to protect the takfiri terrorists that are on the run.
The besieged enclave of Gaza has been plunged into darkness as a result of Israel’s cutting off electricity to the two million people bottled up there.
While al-Quds remains under Zionist occupation and 1600 Palestinian prisoners endure 45 days of a hunger strike, Hamas leadership under the influence of Arabian potentates all but abandons the struggle for the liberation of Palestine.
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Muhammad bin Salman has found a real daddy in Donald Trump. Both are warmongers and want to blow up the world.
Syrian opposition groups oppose the creation of no-conflict zones in the country even though these would provide much needed food and medicines to the besieged people.
Hindu India, Zionist Israel and imperial America form the real axis of evil.
That Zionism is racism and based on the system of apartheid against the Palestinian people is now widely recognized but the UN dare not say so or else…
Among the many tragedies afflicting the Muslim Ummah is also the fact that the West determines for us whom we can support and those we must not help.
State elections in India have enabled the Hindu Nazis to tighten their grip on the political process in India leading to fears among religious minorities.
With its new outlook more in keeping with contemporary times, the Crescent International has taken another step on its long and often difficult journey. But there will be no compromise in its bold and cutting edge analysis.
The Trump regime’s policy of courting Russia is designed to de-link it from China and Iran, two countries being targeted by the US. Will it succeed?
Hamas’ new leader in Gaza, Yahya al-Sinwar is a veteran of armed resistance and has spent many decades in Israeli dungeons. Under his leadership, the resistance front is expected to be re-activated after a period of quietude.
Donald Trump is acting as a bulldozer demolishing everything that comes in his way. He has especially targeted Muslims barring citizens of seven Muslim majority countries to enter the US as well as renewed his pledge to build a wall along the US-Mexico border.
In an astonishing admission, the Saudi Interior Ministry admitted to Al Hayat newspaper that there are thousands of Saudi terrorists operating in different countries. This is what this newsmagazine had repeatedly stated. The Bani Saud have now confirmed this.
The Zionists are continuing to create facts on the ground by a furious campaign of illegal settlements on lands stolen from the Palestinian people.
Canada is a multicultural country but this is no guarantee against racist teachers. The case of one School principal in York Region (same locality where Crescent is based) has brought to the fore the danger of such people poisoning young minds.3
What should Pakistan do? Nothing, as far as these journalists are concerned. They are more interested in whiskey and being in the company of Bollywood actresses. What a disgrace!1
July’s failed coup attempt in Turkey has exposed more than the coup plotters. Turkish President Recept Tayip Erdogan has realized that Western rulers and Nato members are not his real friends. Russia and Iran are.
The people of Libya have suffered for more than five years since the Western Crusaders destroyed the regime of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi. His son, Seif al-Islam who was sentenced to death last year is now seen as a savior of Libya.2
Turkish President Recept Tayip Erdogan has caved in to US-Zionist pressure and accepted an insulting offer of $20 million as compensation for the victims of Zionist crimes on the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010. He also restored diplomatic and trade links with the Zionist entity without getting the siege of Gaza that he had made so much noise about.
Hasina Wajed, the Bangladeshi prime minister, is on a witch- hunt. She is executing political rivals after putting them through kangaroo trials. She is dredging up old hatreds that will cost her dearly as well.
While the Muslims’ attention is fixated on the tragic events in places like Syria, Yemen, Iraq etc, the Zionists are busy killing children in Palestine.
With the month of Ramadan approaching, a host of Saudi agents masquerading as self-styled experts will emerge from the woodwork to try and convince unsuspecting Muslims about moonsighting claims. Their agenda is to conform to Saudi claims completely disregarding Qur’anic injunctions and the Prophetic Sunnah.
The Rahbar, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei of Iran has repeatedly drawn attention to the importance of developing a ‘Resistance economy’. This includes reliance on indigenous talent and production to eliminate the need for imports or external support.
With this issue Crescent International enters its 45th year of publication. It has not been an easy journey by any stretch. That we have survived so long is due to the mercy of Allah and the support of our readers for which we are extremely grateful.1
It is incredible that the 62 richest people in the world own as much wealth as half of the world’s population; that is 3.5 billion people. This half (3.5 billion) experienced 41 percent decline in their wealth while the rich increased theirs by 44 percent. Is this fair or tolerable?
At a time when the wars on Syria and to a lesser extent on Yemen have dominated media headlines, the Palestinians’ suffering has fallen off the radar screen. They continue to suffer even if the media would not report it.
Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian plane over Syria is an act of great provocation. It has increased the threat of global war several notches.
There is conclusive proof, if proof indeed were needed, of Zionist participation in the takfiris’ crimes against governments in Iraq and Syria. On October 22, the Iraqi security forces captured Colonel Yusi Oulen Shahak from Israel’s Golani Brigade.
Only one political leader, Tom Mulcair of the NDP, has spoken out against the Conservative government’s $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia. Muclair, however, is facing pressure from a union at the manufacturing plant that says its members would lost jobs if the deal were cancelled. Jobs are clearly more important than Muslim blood of lives! ...
As an Islamic resistance movement, there are certain expectations from the Hamas leadership. It must conduct itself in a manner that evokes confidence not only among its members but also its supporters elsewhere.
It kills innocent people including children but refuses to accept any responsibility. The Zionist military insists it has done “nothing wrong”. The reality is different.
While drum beating about Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons program, Western regimes hypocritically refuse to make the Muslim East a nuclear-free zone because the Zionist regime possesses hundreds of weapons.
The ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels have provided proof, if proof indeed were needed, that they are agents of Zionism and imperialism. They sent a letter to the Zionist regime thanking it and pledging allegiance.
Amid all the doom and gloom, Iraq and Syria have taken steps to mend fences. This comes at about the same time as Barack Obama’s admission that the takfiris arose because of George Bush’s foolish decision to invade Iraq in 2003.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has entered into an electoral alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the government in Jammu and Kashmir. This gives the Hindu fascist outfit, the BJP a foothold in the disputed state. Many Kashmiris are horrified by this development.
The takfiri project is created by the Americans and zionists and financed by the puppet Arabian regimes of the west. Few are taken in by the latest US propaganda ploy
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, showing resilience and determination, have forced the zionists to accept their terms for a truce. Israel failed to achieve its objectives in its onslaught on Gaza.
While five Latin American states have withdrawn their ambassadors from Tel Aviv, Muslim regimes that have diplomatic ties with the racist entity have not done so. Why?
Parliamentary elections were held in Libya on June 25 but few people bothered to cast ballot. They had more weighty things on their mind: the growing security problem, lack of food and fuel and total chaos that has gripped the country since the US-Nato alliance “liberated” it from the clutches of Colonel Qaddafi.
Several countries have had elections, are going through them or are about to hold them. Do elections bring change or maintain the status quo?
There is something really curious about the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. How can a huge plane like Boeing 777-200 simply disappear into thin air without a trace?
To overcome the effects of illegal US-led sanctions, the Rahbar, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei calls for reduced reliance on oil exports and reconfigure the economy to knowledge-based exports.
The regime of Hasina Wajed who just “won” a fraudulent election in Bangladesh, appears determined to kill all its opponents either through flawed judicial processes or by making scandalous allegations against opponents. The result is turmoil that may perhaps lead to civil war.
Bollywood actors and actresses have jumped on the Narendra Modi bandwagon signaling the rise of Nazism in India.
Contrary to popularly peddled myths, India’s Hindu ideology is very close to Nazism. In fact, the Hindu and Nazi symbols are identical yet observers in the Indian-dotting West have deliberately obfuscated this fact.
The Zionists never give up. Not only have they stolen almost all of Palestine but they have also intensified their encroachment and attacks on the Haram al-Sharif that contains the Masjid al-Aqsa. Muslims worldwide should take note of this and prevent the Zionists from succeeding.
India claims to be the world’s largest democracy and that it is making great economic progress but none of this has trickled to the women of India. Dowry-related deaths have increased alarmingly and are drawing attention.
The US and Saudi-backed regime in Bahrain continues to torture not only adults but also children. There is ample evidence about its horrible behaviour although it would be difficult to find much discussion of this in the Western media.
The allegation of the use of chemical weapons in Syria has aroused the jingoistic instincts of American warmongers. Without waiting for proof or identifying the guilty party, there are preparations to attack Syria. Should it materialize, the chances of the entire region being set ablaze cannot be ruled out.
The European Union’s designation of the military wing of Hizbullah as a “terrorist” organization is a political move that has no relation to ground realities in Lebanon.
Nelson Mandela will no doubt go down in history as one of the towering figures of the 20th century. Looking at the situation in South Africa, some observers ask whether apartheid has truly ended since social and economic apartheid is still in place even if the Black majority has gained the right to vote.
Has Libya been ‘liberated’ from the clutches of Muammar Qaddafi’s tyranny or plunged into chaos by the thugs and hoodlums trained and armed by the west? Life for ordinary Libyans has become extremely grim.
Drone attacks kill innocents and create enemies. This is precisely what the American war industry wants: endless supply of enemies for endless war.
Hamid Karzai is a desperate man. He knows his time is running out and he is running around from pillar to post in an attempt to save his skind—and head. He may be wasting his time.
Barack Obama was able to ‘persuade’ the ass-like stubborn Benjamin Netanyahu to call his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and offer an ‘apology’ for the killing of nine Turkish peace activists. The move exposed Erdogan as much as it did Netanyahu.
With this issue, Crescent International enters it forty-second year of publication. This in itself is a milestone. No other Islamic magazine claiming global readership has survived this long.
Zionist Israel was not the only loser in the eight-day war on Gaza. Almost all the Arabian regimes as well as Turkey also lost. The clear winners were Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Islamic Iran and Hizbullah.
The Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization (MKO) is one of America’s favourite terrorist outfits. It was de-listed from the State Department list last month after sustained lobbying efforts and bribing many congressmen/women, former spy chiefs as well as generals in the US. The tale is quite sordid.
A study by American legal experts from Yale Law School and New York University Law School is a stinging rebuke of US Drone warfare. The study focuses on Pakistan and show that while only 2% of those targeted can be considered “militants” the rest are civilians. This, the report concludes, has led to alarming increasing in anti-Americans in Pakistan.
Are the political fortunes of Anwar Ibrahim, a former deputy Prime Minister who fell out of favour with Dr Mahathir Mohammad, about to change? Recent developments in Malaysia have boosted his party’s hopes.
Without even waiting for official confirmation, the Zionists were quick to make accusations against Islamic Iran for the Bulgarian but attack. Was it another Israeli false flag operations?
Western governments have strange ways of dealing with others. They start with the claim that they represent the will of the international community.
If Pakistan only faced external enemies, it would be easy to understand its problems. The real tragedy is that its rulers are the greatest enemies the state and the people have to face.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the brutal war imposed on Bosnia-Herzegovina.
As the US and its NATO allies head to Chicago (May 20–21) to discuss the future of Afghanistan, several issues have become clear.
Western governments not only claim to have the best system — democracy — they also want to export it to the rest of the world. They send observers to other countries to ensure free and fair elections. Yet the claimant to the strongest democracy in the world — the US — has a serious democratic deficit. Its two party system is easily manipulated by people with money.
Haniyeh was planning to visit Cairo on February 26 (after Crescent goes to press) to request Egypt to supply diesel directly to Gaza instead of sending it through the Israeli pumping station. Israel routinely shuts down supplies to punish the Palestinians. The Zionists have also threatened to cut off water to Gaza. That would be catastrophic.
This month marks the 33rd anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. The US- and Zionist-backed puppet Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (Shah of Iran) was driven from power by a tidal wave of mass uprising led by the charismatic and muttaqi leader, Imam Khomeini (may Allah (swt) comfort him) in February 1979.
State of the Union addresses by US presidents are occasions for chest thumping and blowing the American trumpet. Barack Obama tried to do just that on January 24 but he did it against the backdrop of a crippled economy and his own approval ratings hovering at 45.9%. That the approval rating of the Republican controlled Congress is even lower — at 13.3% — will offer him little consolation.
It seems the Americans never miss an opportunity to get sadistic pleasure out of humiliating Muslims. If it is not physical abuse like torture and rape, they are busy burning copies of the Qur’an.
The truth about what is happening in “liberated” Libya is finally seeping through. Both Amnesty International and Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) have confirmed that prisoners suspected of being Qaddafi sympathizers have been systematically tortured and killed.
Howard Shore, a counsellor at the Town of Markham (home base of the Crescent magazine as well as one of its editorial staff members) has been accused of involvement in a spate of thefts.
There are a host of organizations — the United Nations (UN) with its Security Council, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — that are touted as world bodies whose function is to maintain peace, security and stability — financial and nuclear — in the world. The UN and IMF were created around the time of World War II.
One of the more bizarre cases of terrorism, which reflects more the criminal nature of Indian police, is coming to a close. Seven of the nine Muslim youth accused in the September 8, 2006 Malegaon blast, were granted bail on November 16 by a Special Court in Mumbai. The blast killed 37 people and wounded hundreds of others. That most of the victims were Muslims did not bother the police or the anti-terrorism squad.
Some two million Muslims are assembled in Makkah al-Mukarramah for the performance of Hajj. If the past is any guide, this Hajj will also be performed as a set of rituals in which the hujjaj go through various motions without realizing why they are doing this.
How free is the US and what does it mean to have freedom of speech? Some people now call the US a police state but freedom of speech appears limited only to those that abuse Islam, Muslims, and their revered personalities. Heaven help if you want to criticize Israel or its representatives.
Even as Zionist Israel loses international support because of its cruel siege of Gaza, and is internally convulsed by strikes, one policy constant is its attacks on unarmed civilian Palestinians. On August 18, a series of airstrikes were launched against Gaza killing almost a dozen people including several children.
Most people with even limited understanding of how media outlets spin news can see through the lies dished out by the likes of Fox News and CNN. But how does one explain the lies habitually repeated by such supposedly venerable institutions as the BBC, the New York Times or the Washington Post? All of them in their own right are considered paragons of wisdom and their word is considered sacrosanct.
Power is not given up voluntarily, at least not by those who have usurped it by force in the first place. The Muslim East (Middle East) is witnessing unprecedented uprisings by peoples that were hitherto considered too apathetic to move. There was a sense of resignation until, that is, the uprising in Tunisia sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, the street vendor who could not take the public insults of a female police officer any longer, changed everything.
Divorce is never easy either for husband or wife. The breaking point is reached after months or years of difficult relationship. While almost out of fashion in the West, even among those who opt for marriage, a very high percentage end up in divorce.
Throughout history, Americans have targeted minorities in their midst — Native and African Americans, Chinese and Japanese, to name a few — and blamed them for all their troubles. Muslims in the US are the latest victims.
Emboldened by military, political and diplomatic support from the US and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain’s unrepresentative minority ruling family handed down harsh sentences to pro-democracy activists in the island-state on June 22. Eight were sentenced to life in prison for “plotting to overthrow the government.”
The Muslim East (Middle East) has been in the throes of revolutionary fervor for more than six months. Two dictators have been driven from power; others are teetering on the brink while some are also fighting back with mixed results.
General Ratko Mladic, the third Serbian war criminal, was finally apprehended in Serbia on May 26. Wanted by UN prosecutors for war crimes during Serbia’s war on Bosnia, he was one of the principal architects of the gruesome massacre at Srebrenica in July 1995.
In Libya, al-Jazeera is on the side of the Libyan rebels. Their cause is championed even if Western planes are bombing Libyan positions including the April 26 assassination attempt on Libyan leader, Colonel Muammar Qaddafi.
Given its tiny size (1.215 million population and 290 sq. miles of territory), Bahrain would not warrant a second glance yet its un-elected, tribal rulers rub shoulders with leaders at the world stage. Originally from Kuwait, the Khalifah family moved to Bahrain displacing Banu ‘Utbah nearly 200 years ago.
This issue of Crescent International is late going to press because of global events over which we have no control. One problem is that people do not check with us before planning their important events such as weddings.
While the world and indeed much of the Muslim world’s attention is diverted to the uprisings sweeping the Islamic East, Zionist Israel is using the regional political turmoil as a cover to do what it has always done best: kill innocent Palestinians in Gaza with its weapons of mass destruction and disinformation.
Family members of the ousted Tunisian dictator, General Zine el-Abidin Ben Ali have arrived in Montreal, Canada even as France and the US have refused them entry.
Jonathan Banks, the CIA station chief in Pakistan, left Islamabad in a hurry after his cover was blown. Banks had a “business” visa but operated from the US embassy from where he coordinated drone strikes on North and South Waziristan.
American officials are scurrying to various capitals to advise “friendly” governments that the undiplomatic, indeed nasty language used by their diplomats and officials about other leaders should not be taken too seriously.
As Crescent was about to go to press, WikiLeaks released some 250,000 secret cables between US diplomats and the State Department up to the year 2009. Among them was one dealing with a plea to Washington from Saudi king Abdullah, currently undergoing medical treatment in the US, to attack Iran.
Tortured endlessly, deprived of sleep for 21 days, attacked by dogs and threatened with rape, Omar Khadr, now 24, was handed one last piece of vigilante justice: guilty plea to all charges because confessions extracted under torture
Sport has become a popular means to project a country’s image. Wannabes are quick to jump on the opportunity. India is one of the emerging wannabes but as its lack of preparation for the Commonwealth games shows, it does not belong in the big leagues.
While in Istanbul, we witnessed a remarkable display of brotherhood of Islam. Everyday, there were scores of public iftars organized by officials of various districts in the city, starting with the mayor of Istanbul.
Professor Shahram Amiri’s kidnapping ordeal finally ended on July 12 when he escaped from his American captors in Virginia and took refuge in the Iranian Interest Section at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington, DC. Kidnapped by CIA agents working in tandem with Saudi intelligence.
Last month witnessed more bloodletting in Kyrgyzstan, poorest of the Central Asian republics. Sandwiched between Russia, China, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, its borders were arbitrarily drawn up by Joseph Stalin...
Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an, “[Since they have become oblivious of their Lord], disintegration has appeared on land and in the sea as an outcome of what men’s hands have wrought; and so He will let them taste [the end result of] some of their doings...
For three days (June 25–27), Toronto was turned into an armed camp. An estimated 15,000 police and other forces were mobilized to provide security for leaders of G20 countries to talk about the world’s economic problems...
How to remain relevant is a dilemma that confronts all Western women in old age. This is particularly acute for Hillary Clinton whose husband is a well-known philanderer and who was rebuffed by the Democratic Party for the presidential nomination
June 3rd marks the 21st anniversary of Imam Khomeini’s passing into heavenly company. Amid his many achievements was the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, establishing the first Islamic state in modern times...
There are numerous international institutions with high-sounding names and even higher sounding principles. Led by the United Nations, others include the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), etc...
Politicians in the West love to play wedge politics. Picking on the weakest members of society is their favourite ploy but the recent hysteria about niqab — the full facial and body covering, except an opening for the eyes, worn by some Muslim women — is quite out of proportion with what is perceived as a “threat” to Western freedoms and liberties...
In the 62 years since its creation and numerous wars later, the Zionist entity has engulfed virtually the entire Middle East into flames...
Among the many skeletons in the Vatican’s vast closet, the one that keeps rattling most frequently is that of child-molesting priests. The most recent revelations involve one Rev. Marcial Maciel Dagellado, the charismatic founder of the Legionaries of Christ, a close ally of the late Pope John Paul II...
To understand the Arabian regimes’ open alliance with Israel, and open hostility to the Islamic State of Iran, one must consider their origins...
In this issue, we take a closer look at Zionist mythology and the true nature of the Zionist State. Several myths have been peddled to camouflage the real character of the colonial settler entity. Wrapped in the messianic notion of God’s promise to the “Chosen People”...
David Frum, George Bush’s former speechwriter, is not the kind of person one would invite to dinner. Like all Zionists, he is arrogant, pushy and full of himself. He coined the infamous phrase “axis of evil” used in Bush’s State of the Union address...
Several anniversaries fall in the month of March, both local and international but it is difficult to say anything positive about them. Let us review them. In March 1924, Mustafa Kemal abolished the khilafah, breaking the last organic link with the Islamic State established by the noble Messenger of Allah (s) in Madinah nearly 1,400 years ago.
There is much concern in Western capitals about what would happen in Egypt when the aging Pharaoh, Husni Mubarak dies. He is in his mid-eighties and not in good health. He has ruled Egypt with an iron fist since he became president in October 1981 after his predecessor, Anwar Sadat, was executed by his own soldiers during a military parade. Mubarak has ruled Egypt through a state of emergency that is renewed every six months.
US President Barack Obama’s January 22 deadline for closing the Guantanamo torture chamber has come and gone...
Two laments are common among Muslims: lack of unity and negative projection of Muslims in the Western media. Most Muslims believe cooperation between Muslim rulers and governments constitutes unity...
The US has intensified its war on Muslim citizens. This was clearly expected because its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not going well. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, one could understand that US policy would be driven by fear...
Muslims worldwide have just commemorated the tragic events of Karbala when more than 1,300 years ago Imam Husain, his family and a small group of committed Muslims were massacred by the army of Yazid...
Since the election of Barack Obama as President, US rhetoric about war on terror has been toned down but the policies instituted by his discredited predecessor continue...
At the end of July when 10 people, among them several rabbis, were arrested in New Jersey, USA, it was assumed that this was little more than a case of tax fraud by another charity.
Michael Jackson’s burial on August 29, more than two months after his death, will finally allow his soul to rest in peace. But there is a troubling side to his troubled life and equally troubling death...
After a week of sporadic protests in Tehran, the Rahbar, Imam Seyyed Ali Khamenei issued a stern warning on June 19th during the Friday Khutbah attended by two million people to desist from trying to overturn the results of presidential elections through street protests.
The Caucasus region has never had peace or stability for more than 200 years. Despite a brutal Russian crackdown on Chechnya, the Muslim republic remains in turmoil, as does neighboring Ingushetia.
US President Barack Obama’s much-anticipated speech to the Muslim world delivered in Cairo on June 4 was quite rhetorical duly impressing his audience. He touched all the right emotional buttons: commencing his address with the traditional Muslim greeting of Assalamu alaikum and quoting verses from the Qur’an.
On the political front, it appears the US has resigned itself to the fact that there is nobody capable of replacing Karzai at present.
The West has a peculiar attitude to global problems. In addition to its favourite bogey—war on terror—there is much talk about human rights, respect for the rule of law, the will of the “international community” and fighting racism yet it remains in denial about its own misdeeds.
US President Barack Obama’s Nowruz video message to “the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran” on March 20 created quite a stir globally but it did not impress Iran’s leadership, its intended audience. The reasons are clear but first let us look at some of the positive aspects of Obama’s message. He is perhaps the first US president to address the country by its correct name: the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Every day brings more bad news about the state of the US economy, and indeed that of much of the rest of the world. Not only is America’s economy the largest in the world, its currency—the dollar—is also the global reserve currency with 63 percent of the world’s central bank reserves held in dollars.
Even while the economic tsunami hit the US, George Bush insisted that economic fundamentals were strong. When asked about the collapsing US economy at his last press conference as president, he replied, “I am not an economist; neither are you, by the way. I am an optimist and I believe the economy will eventually turn around.”
By challenging Israeli President Shimon Peres in Davos on January 29, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan captured the imagination of millions of people, especially Muslims, around the world. His 56-word response to Peres echoed globally: “You are older than me and your voice is very loud. The reason for your raising your voice is the psychology of guilt. I will not raise my voice that much.
Israel’s three-week long offensive on the tiny desert patch called Ghazzah has once again revealed the barbaric nature of the zionist state. Showing complete disregard for civilian lives, many of them children, whom they deliberately and repeatedly targeted, the zionists stand exposed as war criminals.
The official Indian version of the November 26–28 Mumbai attacks is well known. Ten members of Lashkar-e Taiba, a Pakistani paramilitary organization banned in 2005 as a terrorist organization, came in rubber boats — unnoticed by the Indian Navy that was conducting naval exercises in the area at the time — to attack Mumbai landmarks.
The celebrations in large parts of the US and most of the rest of the world following the election of Barack Obama as next president of the USA were perhaps understandable, even though there was very little chance of his failing to be elected, given the totality of the failure of the neo-cons under George W. Bush over the previous eight years.
Last month the Lebanese army smashed an Israeli spy ring and discovered something that may have far reaching implications for another terrorist operation: the 9/11 attacks on the US. Two brothers, Ali and Youssef al-Jarrah, operating in Jlela region of the Beqaa Valley near the Syrian border, were found in possession of spying equipment while operating under the cover of the National Association for Medical Services and Vocational Training and claiming to run a humanitarian mission.
By the time many readers see this issue of Crescent International, the US presidential elections will have taken place and the results known. Failing some drastic turnaround in the last days of campaigning (after Crescent goes to press), Barack Obama is likely to be confirmed as the US’s first black president, in what is already being widely anticipated as a total and deliberate repudiation of the legacy of the presidency of George W. Bush.
After months of debate and negotiation, punctuated by periodic reports of progress and agreement on various final drafts, the talks between the US and the Iraqi government on a new Status of Forces Agreement (SoFA) appear no closer to a conclusion than ever before.
The recent history of Pakistan seems to be one of crisis after crisis, punctuated only by periods of waiting to see what the next crisis will be. Developments in the last month, however, have been ominous and dangerous even by Pakistani standards, raising genuine fears that the crisis now developing may reduce the country to levels of disorder and chaos unprecedented even in Pakistan’s turbulent history.
For people above a certain age, there is something almost comfortingly familiar about the international politicking over Russia’s invasion of Georgia and its subsequent recognition of the ‘independence’ of the two separatist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
When US and Iraqi officials said on August 25 that they had agreed a text for the long-awaited treaty covering a full withdrawal of US troops by 2011, it should have been a major political story. The fact that it wasn’t reflects certain political realities that make the treaty virtually worthless.
As events in Bosnia unfolded in the early 1990s, in the aftermath of the collapse of the communist bloc in 1989, Muslims were initially surprised to discover the previously little-noticed Muslim population of central Europe, and then shocked by the attempt to exterminate them.
The last couple of months have seen a sudden increase in Western attention on Iran’s supposed nuclear weapons programme. The campaign is being led by Israel, whose politicians have openly threatened military action against Iran if the UN agencies fail to pressurise it into stopping its nuclear programme.
The first volume of Imam Muhammad al-Asi’s tafseer of the Qur’an, The Ascendant Qur’an, was formally launched by the Instituteof Contemporary Islamic Thought at a function at the Islamic Society of York Region in Toronto on May 24. It was a low-key event, aimed mainly at the local community, rather than a massive event designed to be unmissable by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
In September last year, Israeli aircraft launched an unprovoked and entirely illegal air attack on a Syrian military installation, destroying what Syria said were unused buildings in the middle of the desert. In April, the US State Department published what it claimed were intelligence materials proving that the building was an illegal nuclear reactor, allegations which were rubbished by neutral observers.
At the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner last month, US president George W. Bush performed a comedy skit making fun of all three contenders to replace him, blithely ignoring the fact that he himself is the greatest figure of fun of all -- a lame duck president despite having nearly a year of his administration to go, with the lowest approval ratings of any American president ever.
On the face of it, Kosova’s declaration of independence from Serbia on February 17 should have been grounds for celebration across the Muslim world. The fact that, a few short years later, Kosova’s declaration of independence, and its recognition by much of the international community, should be greeted with so muted a response among Muslims requires some explanation. As for so much in the Balkans, the explanation lies in history, albeit recent.
The results of Pakistan’s elections last month threw up no great surprises. Perhaps the only unexpected thing about them was that they passed relatively peacefully, with few attempts to disrupt the polling on the day, and only half-hearted attempts by the Musharraf regime to prevent the opposition parties’ successes.
Hizbullah has won a stunning victory over the Israelis in southern Lebanon. That is a reality recognised by virtually everyone around the world, despite the efforts of the Israelis and their supporters in the West to pretend otherwise.
While the world's attention has been turned towards Lebanon, Israel has also been continuing its economic and military war on the Palestinians. Some 200 Palestinians have been killed in Ghazzah since Israel launched military operations there in early July, ostensibly in response to the capture of one of its soldiers, shortly before the start of the Lebanese war.
Watching events unfolding in Lebanon over the last month, it has been impossible to avoid a sense that we have seen it all before, that what is now happening is merely a replay of what we have seen so many times already. Lebanon’s modern history has been dominated by Israeli attacks and interference, most notably in 1982, when the Israeli military devastated the country with air strikes and occupied Beirut itself.
Somalia is a country that tends unfortunately to be associated with famine and civil war, rather than anything more positive, for that is how it most often appears in the Western media. It is also a country about which many Muslims know little; many may not even realize that it is a Muslim country.
A month of Israeli attacks on Palestinian targets in Ghazzah and the West Bank, killing over 40 Palestinians, mostly civilians, culminated with Israeli troops moving into southern Ghazzah on June 28, as Crescent was going to press.
What makes some pro-democracy movements popular in the West and others not so popular? Considering the emphasis that the Bush regime has placed on democratisation in the Muslim world as the solution for anti-Western anger among Muslims, one would expect that the eruption of popular protests against a one-party dictatorship led for nearly three decades by the same former military officer might be welcomed in Washington and gleefully publicised by the world’s media.
One feature of the massive political pressure on Hamas, the leading Islamic movement and the most popular political force in Palestine, since it was elected to power earlier this year, has been the increasingly open enmity of both secular Palestinian forces, particularly the Fatah movement led by Palestinian “president” Mahmud Abbas, and of Arab rulers.
Is the West’s war on Islam -- and the Islamic movement in particular -- now reaching a significant new level? That is certainly one conclusion that might be drawn from the intensification of its political, diplomatic and propaganda war on the Islamic State of Iran in recent months. The West has, of course, been at war with Islamic political activism for most of recent history.
The long-running case of Palestinian academic Sami al-Arian, jailed in Florida since early 2003, accused with others of supporting terrorism in Palestine, appeared to reached a conclusion of sorts on May 1. The former professor at the University of Southern Florida was sentenced to 57 months in jail -- the maximum possible sentence -- after he pleaded guilty last month to a minor charge of giving support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement as part of a plea bargain.
Last month marked the third anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq and the toppling of Saddam Hussain. Few now doubt that the invasion was the culmination of a long-held plan on the Americans’ part, and that the intense international politicking of the months leading up to the war, with the talk of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and links between Saddam Hussainand al-Qa’ida, UN resolutions and weapons inspectors, was no more than a process designed to justify the invasion.
As this issue of Crescent goes to press, and barely two months after the Palestinians elected Hamas to power in the parts of occupied Palestine in which they have a degree of political autonomy, the people of Israel are going to the polls to elect a new parliament and government.
Among the many consequences of Hamas' stunning victory in the Palestinian parliamentary elections in late January is the final shattering of any illusions that the neo-conservative clique inWashington may have had about the benefits of democracy in the Muslim world.
Every time there is the prospect of significant political change in any Muslim country, however it is brought about, Muslims jump to the hope that Islamic movements may be able to take advantage of the situation to establish an Islamic state.
Officially, the world has been taken by surprise by Hamas’s overwhelming victory in Palestine’s parliamentary elections on January 25. Yes, there had been fears that Hamas would seriously dent Fatah’s long-established dominance of Palestinian politics, and might have to be accommodated in the Fatah-dominated political institutions, perhaps even to the extent of being given a ministry or two, but that was only to be expected, given the problems that Fatah has had in recent months.
This month, Muslims around the world will celebrate the 27th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, at a time when the Islamic State is facing a greater direct threat than at any time since the end of the imposed war, when US military forces intervened to ensure that Saddam Hussain was not defeated and the Muslims of Iraq were not liberated by Iranian mujahideen.
The Save Chechnya Campaign (SCC) UK proposes to commemorate the Stalin-era genocide of the Chechen people as World Chechnya Day (WCD) on Thursday 23 February 2006. This momentous tragedy in the history of the Chechen people resulted in the deaths of about two thirds of the Chechen people.
The answer to anyone who ever doubted the value of the on-going resistance against the US occupation of Iraq was demonstrated last month, as the tide of opinion in America appeared to have turned decisively against George W. Bush and his neo-conservative administration and policies. After years in which the spectre of terrorism and appeals to US patriotism have enabled the neo-conservative clique in the White House to impose their agenda on US politics, and by extension the rest of the world, opposition politicians finally found their voices last month, emboldened by the increasing anger of the American people. It would be nice to think that this anger owes something to the fact that they have been lied to and misled into a war that is designed to serve the interests of a tiny American elite; the reality, unfortunately, is rather different.
According the official account of American policy in the Middle East, one of the Bush administration’s main objectives in Iraq is to establish a beacon of freedom and democracy as an example to the rest of the Arab world. That is of course no more than a public-relations sop for particularly gullible observers and the media and analysts who uncritically accept all official pronouncements. The reasons that the US is in fact scared stiff of the possibility of genuine democracy in the Middle East was demonstrated in Egypt last month, when the people of the largest country in the Arab world indicated their support for the Ikhwan al-Muslimeen (the Muslim Brotherhood), the country’s oldest and most established Islamic movement, which is officially banned but unofficially tolerated to a degree simply because of the support it enjoys among Egypt’s people.
The state of Israel, proclaimed by zionist leaders on May 15, 1948, emerged from a combination of international politics and military conquest in the aftermath of the Second World War. On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly — dominated by the imperial powers that won the war — voted to partition Palestine, which had been ruled by the British since the defeat of the Uthmaniyya khilafah in the First World War, into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. At this time, about 1.3 million Arabs and 600,000 Jews lived in Palestine, with most of the Jews being recent immigrants from Europe (in 1900 there were fewer than 30,000 Jews in Palestine). Jews owned only about 6-8 percent of the total land of Palestine. Nonetheless, the UN partition plan gave Jews 56 percent of Palestinian territory, as well as keeping the area of Jerusalem and Bethlehem as an international zone.
There is one particular policy that the US and Israel have always followed in their efforts to bring the Palestinian resistance to zionism and the zionist state under control, and that is the cultivating of leaders among the Palestinians whom they feel they can most easily control and manipulate. When the PLO was first established, the Israelis insisted on dealing only with Arab governments. When the first intifada radically changed the dynamics of the Palestinian struggle, the Israelis suddenly discovered that they could deal with Yasser Arafat after all; hence the Oslo talks and the peace process.
As the US cranked up its political and diplomatic pressure for war against Iraq, in the run up to its invasion in 2003, it was clear that two other countries were playing a particular role in preparing the international political ground: Britain and Israel. Precisely the same pattern is increasingly emerging now, as the US builds pressure on Islamic Iran, even though it apparently sees Syria as a more immediate target (described by US officials as “low-hanging fruit” that can easily be picked).
No one could possibly resist feeling a stab of satisfaction on October 19, when pictures were wired round the world of Saddam Hussein sitting behind bars in a court of law. The courtesy of a trial -- even a kangaroo one -- was far more than he offered hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Iraqis and others killed as direct or indirect results of his brutal rule in Iraq. But although few would have complained had he simply been shot on sight -- preferably by Iraqis rather than US troops -- there are serious questions that must qualify one’s satisfaction.
When Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak announced earlier this year that last month’s presidential elections would be the first ever to permit other candidates to stand directly against him, the announcement was greeted in the West as part of the “democratic dividend” of Bush’s invasion of Iraq. According to the American neo-conservative mythology, one of the reasons that Muslims are so anti-American is that they live under repressive dictators who blame the West for all that is wrong in the world. In keeping with this remarkable understanding of contemporary history, the US’s main object in invading Iraq was to restore freedom for the Iraqi people and make Iraq a beacon of democracy in the Muslim world, and an inspiration to other Muslim peoples around the world to embrace freedom, democracy and the altruistic American hegemon that can provide both.
When Hurricane Katrina blew into New Orleans in the end of August, it blew away a lot more than just the lives and livelihoods of a city full of people. It should also have destroyed, for once and all, any illusions anyone still had about the true nature of American society and politics.
About fifteen years ago Muslims in Britain fought a long battle for the defence of Islam after the publication of Salman Rushdie’s blasphemous novel The Satanic Verses. In the two months since the bomb-blasts in London on July 7, it has become increasingly clear that Muslims in Britain face a similar battle now, as secular and liberal fundamentalists in Britain use the bombings as opportunity and justification for a much wider attack on the Muslim community in this country. Although it is entirely understandable that the British authorities should step up security precautions, and intensify investigations of those tiny and marginal groups among Muslims that espouse the sort of appalling violence that was seen on July 7, British politicians and many media and social commentators have turned the debate about the attacks of July 7 into a debate about Islam and Muslims in Britain and, in many cases, another full-scale offensive on Islam in this country.
When Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, long known as the Butcher of Beirut and famous as the champion of Israeli expansionism, first aired the idea of what he called a unilateral disengagement from Ghazzah, many observers were cynical, expecting that it was a ploy that would come to nothing. But there were always good strategic grounds for the decision, and many Palestinians must have drawn grim satisfaction from the sight last month of Israeli troops trying to force Jewish settlers to vacate their luxurious homes in Ghazzah’s zionist settlements. The first and foremost of these grounds was, of course, that the Palestinians of Ghazzah, led by Hamas, had simply made it impossibly difficult and expensive for the Israelis to remain there. But there are others too, which should not be forgotten.
Last month there was a spate of bombings in various parts of the world, apparently by Muslims associated with local Islamic movements. The attack that got the most attention, because it occurred in a western capital and most victims were westerners, was the co-ordinated bombing of three underground trains and a bus in London on July 7, in which 52 people were killed. Four British Muslim youths are believed to have been responsible for the attacks, and to have died in them. On July 21 there were attempts to bomb three more underground trains and another bus; the bombs failed to explode and the bombers, again British Muslim youths, are being hunted. The London bombings have been widely linked to a campaign that included earlier bombings inBali, Madrid, Istanbul and Casablanca, which have been attributed to the amorphous movement known as al-Qa’ida.
At least as sickening as the sight of the devastation wrought by the bombs in London last month was the sight of British prime minister Tony Blair taking a sanctimoniously moral tone while trying to spin the bombings to serve his own political agenda. It is not only that his outrage is hard to take from a man who has been shown to have lied to his own people to justify supporting the US’s murderous invasion of Iraq; it is also that he should use the suffering inflicted by bombings provoked by his own policies to justify those policies. He insists that the war in Iraq does not “justify” the bombings; but that is not the point. The point is that Iraq largely explains them, however unjustified they may have been. Fortunately many in Britain are sceptical about his claim that the bombings have nothing to do with Iraq, but, remarkably, they continue to support a man they openly distrust.
On August 18 Israeli troops are scheduled to pull out of Ghazzah, taking 8,000 settlers with them. Following the Israeli retreat from southern Lebanon in 2000, it will be only the second time in the history of the Zionist state that it is being forced to give up territory that it has conquered and claimed. Although Ariel Sharon promotes the withdrawal as a unilateral decision on his part, as part of a strategy to end the continuing and costly confrontation with the Palestinian resistance, few doubt that he has been forced into it by the refusal of the Palestinians in Ghazzah to accept Israeli rule, and the cost imposed on Israel by the Palestinian resistance in Ghazzah, led by the Hamas Islamic movement. Despite the attempts of Israel and its allies to disguise the fact, it is undoubtedly a victory for the Palestinians and a defeat for the Zionist state, and no one should be fooled into seeing it as anything else.
The election of Mahmood Ahmadinejad as the new president of Iran in the second round of the presidential polls on June 25 can be interpreted in a number of different ways, virtually all of them positive. For one thing, clear to all those observing the elections from outside the country, it rendered the Western enemies of Islamic Iran virtually speechless.
It is very painful to say it, but the bitter truth is that sectarian tensions in Iraq are getting worse. In the past two months, public recriminations from Sunni and Shi‘a religious figures alike have eclipsed their earlier statements asking people to arrest their country’s slide into sectarian strife. It is not just the bigotry and prejudice that are worrying, but also the inhuman and ruthless cycle of sectarian-motivated violence that has cost the lives of thousands.
Later this month, the heads of state of G8 countries will meet in Gleneagles, Scotland, for the latest round of their talks on re-ordering the world economy. To coincide with the talks, British celebrity members of the anti-globalization movement have organized a series of free pop concerts around the world that are supposed to raise awareness for their global campaign to “Make Poverty History”. Unfortunately, all these celebrity do-gooders are really achieving is to promote the strategies by which the world’s capitalist economic elites are strengthening their control over the world’s resources, at the expense of the poor people whom they claim to be helping.
For those willing to see it, there is an undeniable irony in the fact that, at a time when the US and other Western countries claim to be championing democracy in the Muslim world, the only country in the Middle East with a genuinely open, participatory and vibrant political system is the Islamic State of Iran, the country that the US regards as its main enemy in the world. Equally notable is the fact that even as the West attacks Iran for being undemocratic, and represents itself as friend and ally of oppressed Iranians demanding democratic change in their country, senior figures in Iran respond by proclaiming that the Islamic State represents true democracy, and criticising elections in the US and the UK as proving that there is not real democracy in the Western countries that hypocritically claim to be the founders and leaders of universal democratic values.
Every time critics of the West point to oil as a major determining factor in shaping Western policies towards the rest of the world, Westerners scoff, dismissing such critics as paranoid conspiracy theorists. However, the reality is that oil is indeed a major, if often down-played, element of western strategic thinking, even if it is not necessarily “all about oil”, as critics often say.
The general elections in Britain on May 5 brought about more or less the result that most informed observers were expecting: the re-election of the Labour government led by prime minister Tony Blair, but with a much reduced majority in the House of Commons, the lower house of Parliament. For Muslim observers, the main points of interest were the revelations about the legal advice on which Britain went to war in Iraq, which was finally published by the government a week before the elections took place, in response to leaks of the advice published in the anti-war press; the performance of George Galloway, a former Labour Member of Parliament who had been expelled from the party because of his outspoken criticism of the war in Iraq (as well as a long record of dissident stands on other issues); and, a distant third, the fact that the number of Muslim in the Commons increased to four, all representing the Labour Party.
“We now live in a world in which the United States is the only superpower. We must recast our foreign policy to cope with this radically new situation.” Thus wrote Richard Nixon in his book Seize the Moment (1992). Nixon was surely neither the first nor the last American leader to dream of a unipolar world dominated by the US, but his book provides interesting insights into the making of post-1989 American policies on the premise that, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US was the only superpower. The end of the Cold War, symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall, was also taken by US policy-makers as the beginning of a new phase in world history in which all other civilizations would adopt the three idols of Western civilization—democracy, freedom, and the free market economy—as their gods as well.
The language people use to discuss political news stories reflects their understandings of the situations under discussion. In recent months, as the political institutions established in Iraq by the US have gradually taken shape, the language used in the world press has also changed. Where American authorities were once described as the effective rulers of Iraq, with Iraqi groups and their leaders described as political factions representing particular sectors of the community, since the elections in January this year they have been treated as national politicians, even though the flaws of the elections are widely recognised.
Accountability is supposed to be one of the cornerstones of democracy. Elections are the most fundamental element of this process: every few years, political leaders have to put themselves forward to the people for re-election, giving the people a chance to vote them out of office if they are not satisfied with their performance. In the parliamentary model of democracy that originates in.
Among the many comments made in the aftermath of the death of Pope John Paul II was that he was the first truly modern Pope. By this it was not meant that he was what Western commentators would regard as liberal and progressive, in line with the model for western-style modernisation generally demanded of Muslim societies: he was in fact regarded as a voice of conservatism and tradition by those who favour the marginalization of moral values and the general secularization of society.
Russia’s continuing war against the Chechen people is one of the many conflicts in which Muslims are involved which tend to be forgotten in the wider Ummah. Every few months, some major events elevates it to public consciousness for a while, as the atrocity of Beslan did last year. On that occasion, Chechens are confirmed to have been responsible for what can only be described at an appalling crime, even though the precise details of the episode and how it came to such a tragic end remain unclear.
A good conjurer or con-artist operates by diverting attention to one place while doing his nefarious work in another. This is exactly what the Israelis are doing in their current attempt to legitimise their occupation of Palestine.
The phrase ‘American Islam’ was originally coined by shaheed Sayyid Qutb (the Ikhwan ideologue who was executed by the Egyptian regime in 1966), and was later also used by shaheed Ali Shariati (who did so much to prepare the groundwork for the Islamic Revolution in Iran before his assassination by the Shah’s secret service in London in 1977) and Imam Khomeini (ra). For them, it signified a minimalist, quietest, personal Islam that could happily co-exist with American political hegemony and the norms and values of a materialist, secular, consumerist society. It has become a term used with contempt by Muslims around the world, as indeed most things ‘American’ are.
Considering the great emphasis that the United States and the administration of president George W. Bush are placing on promoting political reform and democracy in the Middle East, as their panacea for the anti-American feeling throughout the Muslim world, one might have expected more fuss about the holding of historic elections in the Saudi kingdom, the tribal state currently administering the Hijaz, site of the holiest places in Islam. The country’s first elections for more than 40 years, the first stage of a three-phase election process for members of municipal councils, took place in the Riyadh region on February 10.
Every year, Muslims around the world mark the first days of the new year of the Islamic calendar by remembering and commemorating the events that led to the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (ra), the beloved grandson of the Prophet of Islam (saw) at Karbala in the 61st year after the Hijra (680CE). The tragedy is, of course, and understandably, marked most prominently by Shi’i Muslims, but it should be noted that there has traditionally been no difference between the Shi’as and the Sunnis in their understanding of the rights and wrongs of the political issues that resulted in the tragedy -- indeed, crime.
Elections are supposed to be the cornerstone of democracy, a viewpoint that suggests that 2005 may well prove to be the year in which the US’s claims to be promoting democratization in the Middle East are vindicated. The year opened, on January 9, with elections for the presidency of the Palestinian Authority, and the rest of the month has been dominated with talk of the elections due to be held in Iraq on January 30 (after Crescent goes to press). Later in the year, polls of various kinds are also due to take place in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Oman and Yemen. In Egypt, the most populous and influential Arab country, presidential and parliamentary polls are scheduled for September and October respectively.
At a time when his policies had been demonstrated to be disastrous for the vast majority of America’s people, and his main foreign policy adventures had proven to have been based on blatant falsehoods, George W. Bush’s re-election as president of the United States in November was a triumph of political manipulation; a fact, incidentally, recognised by many within the US itself. Although Bush’s supporters celebrated the fact that he had won a genuine mandate by attracting the majority of votes cast – unlike his gerrymandered election of 2000 – opponents pointed out that he had performed far worse in his second elections than any previous president to have served two terms. The fact that the US population is almost equally divided into his supporters and critics, and that many of those who oppose him are vehement in their dislike and contempt for him, encouraged some to hope that Bush might moderate the tone of his second term.
At a time when Muslims around the world are under intense attack from external enemies, most of them directly or indirectly associated with the United States of America, the sole superpower of the modern world, it is sometimes easy to forget the key objectives facing Islamic movements. Defending our lands and societies from outside attack is undoubtedly essential but our main objective must be the establishment of Islamic institutions and orders in our own societies, most importantly Islamic political orders. All across the world today, Muslim societies are dominated by political orders and state structures that exist not to serve and promote the interests and values of Muslim peoples, determined by their Islamic commitment, identity and political culture, but to serve the selfish interests of ruling elites and the foreign powers that support them.
Shortly after US troops occupied Baghdad in 2003, president George W. Bush warned Iraqis that there was no prospect of political institution-building or transfer of power to an Iraqi government so long as military resistance continued. At the time, the warning was taken as a pretext for the US to maintain political control for as long as possible; eighteen months later, the process of a transfer of power to an elected Iraqi government is well advanced, despite the fact that resistance remains a major problem in many parts of the country. The change in the US’s position is partly a measure of its failure in Iraq, in that it has repeatedly had to adjust its plans because of the strength of Iraqi resistance.
One of the key justifications that the US has used for its aggressive foreign policy in the Middle East has been that it is working to promote democracy and political freedom for the oppressed peoples of the region. Its supporters are claiming major victories in this department at the moment, as the pro-American Hamid Karzai supposedly became Afghanistan’s first democratically elected president last month, and elections for a democratic Iraqi government are due to take place at the end of January. The reality, of course, is very different, as all but the most west-toxified observers recognize.
As this issue of Crescent International goes to press, some 2 million Muslims from all over the world are converging on the Haramain to perform the Hajj, the assembly of the united Ummah that is also the greatest act of personal ibadah that any Muslim can perform. The Muslims that come to perform the Hajj come from every part of the world and from all sectors of the Ummah, to stand together in the same simple clothes, resembling the shroud in which we will one day be buried, standing equal before the Creator regardless of their wealth, power and social standing, and praying for forgiveness for their past deeds and errors. At least, that is how the Hajj is supposed to be.
So now it’s official: George W. Bush and his policies are supported by the majority of those Americans who choose to engage in US politics...
Yasser Arafat was not, by any stretch of the imagination, an Islamic leader. He was famously photographed meeting with Imam Khomeini in the early days of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, after the new Islamic state had renounced the Shah’s close relationship with Israel and declared its solidarity with the Palestinian struggle...
As the Ummah has watched developments in Iraq since the US invasion, many have been aware of the potential for sectarian discord.
Ariel Sharon, the ‘Butcher of Beirut’ and the man whose desecration of the Haram al-Sharif in September 2000 sparked the al-Aqsa Intifada and helped him to be elected prime minister of Israel the following year, was hailed as a peace-maker last month when the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) voted to approve his plan for Israel’s so-called ‘withdrawal’ from Ghazzah...
Americans like to see themselves as the models and champions of democracy in the world. Every four years the US presidential elections are hailed as proving the strength, vibrancy and success of democracy in America...
Until some months ago, few in the world had heard of Falluja, the main city of the Iraqi province of Anbar, even though it was famous as a city of minarets and a summer resort for Iraqis.
It must take a particular kind of gall for someone to stand at a podium in front of a global audience and firmly, confidently make statements and assertions that he knows the vast majority of his audience know are untrue...
The term “terrorism” has become devalued by its abuse in Western discourse to delegitimise the struggle of opponents of the West, without its ever being applied to the actions of the West, or of its friends and allies...
The occasion of Isra’ and Mi’raj was marked in Toronto last month by an international Seerah conference jointly convened by the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) and the Islamic Centre of York region...
One of the questions asked before the so-called transfer of power from US pro-consul Paul Bremer to Iyad Allawi at the end of June was whether the new Iraqi government would be able to prevent another brutal and murderous US assault on an Iraqi city like the one on Falluja in April...
The fact that the Saudi monarchy is among the most corrupt regimes in the Muslim world, and remains in power only because they serve the interests of the US rather than because of any legitimacy among Muslims, has long been generally accepted throughout the Ummah...
Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, won a clear victory in last month’s recall referendum, called by the country’s US-supported right-wing opposition in yet another attempt -- albeit a constitutional one this time -- to remove the popular left-wing leader...
At a time when the Western media and establishment are presenting the tragedy in Darfur as the fault of ‘Arab’ militias attacking indigenous African communities, and the US government is seeking to exploit the crisis to score brownie points at home and internationally...
The Iraqi Special Tribunal was set up by the occupation authorities last year and lacks even a semblence of independence. Completely funded by Washington, it is advised on every level by a team of at least 50 officials...
It is hard to believe now that when Pakistan was created as a state for the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, it was seen as a triumph and a cause for celebration for Muslims all over the world...
The key achievement of the resistance is Iraq is not difficult to identify: by maintaining constant pressure on the US occupation forces, as well as those of the US’s allies, from the outset of the invasion to the present, the Iraqi mujahideen have totally disproved the US’s claims...
The Organization of the Islamic Conference, the international organization of Muslim nations-states, has long been regarded as a bit of a joke in Muslim affairs...
More than a century and a half later, George W. Bush is engaged in a desperate struggle to fool enough of the people enough of the time to control Iraq for long enough to secure the US's interests, while also getting re-elected as president in November, against a backdrop of increasing criticism from all quarters...
In two weeks during May, Israeli forces killed at least 45 people and destroyed about 300 homes in the Rafah and Tel al-Sultan refugee camps, devastating the lives of communities who had little enough to begin with...
US president George W. Bush’s endorsement of Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon’s plans for redesigning and legitimising the political infrastructure of its occupation of Palestine has been widely decried...
Most cliches are cliches because they contain at least an element of truth. The phrase ‘divide and rule’ is a case in point; the phenomenon has been recognised as a strategy of political power, particularly imperial power, since at least Roman times, and was raised to an art-form by the British during their colonial heyday...
Even by modern standards, the last month has been spectacularly bloody in the scale of the political violence seen. It opened with the Ashura killings in Iraq and Pakistan, in which several hundred Shi’a were slaughtered...
José María Aznar, the right wing prime minister of Spain who was the only European leader to join George Bush and Tony Blair in their invasion of Iraq, paid the price for his defiance of Spanish public opinion on March 14, when the Spanish electorate voted him out of office...
Production of this issue of Crescent International has been considerably hampered by the fact that it has coincided with the series of one-day cricket matches between Pakistan and India at the beginning of the Indian team’s first tour of Pakistan since 1989...
The two-week Israeli onslaught on Ghazzah that began at the end of February was evidently designed to bring Hamas to its knees, after months of an ever-tightening economic blockade and political pressure that Israel and its allies hoped would persuade the people of Ghazzah to turn against the Islamic movement that they elected to power in 2006.
All the West’s well-established theories about the political evolution of the Islamic state of Iran were thrown into disarray on February 20, when Iran’s parliamentary elections passed off peacefully...
There are so many aspects of the West’s war on Islam that it is difficult to credit them all. One little-noticed one is the drive for ‘democracy’ in the Muslim world. The call for democracy has become a staple of self-justifying Western rhetoric. Why do Muslim hate America? Americans ask...
After the pre-Christmas respite afforded by the conveniently-timed capture of Saddam, the US occupation of Iraq became more troubled again last month. Paul O’Neill, former US treasury secretary, gave the highest-level confirmation to date that Bush and his clique had been planning an invasion of Iraq from their first days in office...
The huge Muslim anger that greeted French proposals to ban hijab in schools and other public institutions has shocked the French establishment. Whether the depth of anger demonstrated when French Muslims took to the streets on January 17 will be sufficient to force the government to rethink its plans remains to be seen...
The US’s apparent capture of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein on December 13 has enabled the Bush administration to end the year on a rather higher note than they can have expected, particularly after November had proved to be the worst month yet of the US occupation of Iraq...
A ban on French Muslimahs wearing hijab in public schools seems inevitable after president Jacques Chirac voiced support for the findings of a government commission recommending that "visible religious symbols" be banned as inconsistent with the French state’s secular ethos...
Four years after being forced to leave Kosova (1999), Serbian politicians have stepped up what Kosovar prime minister Bajram Rexhipi calls "diplomatic attacks on Kosova". As on many occasions in Serbia’s recent history, Serbian politicians appear to be competing in their use of nationalist rhetoric against non-Serb neighbours in order to rally support (presidential elections are due next year) and to divert atttention from domestic issues.
Three months after George Bush declared an end to "major hostilities" in Iraq, the US and Britain remain under pressure, both from resistance in Iraq and from questions at home about their reasons for going to war. In Britain the issue is now being debated in the framework of the Hutton enquiry, established to look into the apparent suicide of a weapons expert accused by the government of leaking information to the press.
Iraq handed UN officials a detailed dossier of its chemical, biological and nuclear research projects and facilities earlier this month, in accordance with last month’s UN resolution.
Israel stepped up operations in the West Bank and Ghazzah last month after two successful operations by Palestinian mujahideen: one against Israeli forces in al-Khalil on November 15, one a martyrdom bombing in Jerusalem.
The victory of the ‘Islamist’ Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey’s general elections earlier this month was greeted with incredulity and consternation among both Turkey’s secular elite and its Western allies, who have been wont to hold Kemalist Turkey up as a model of the separation of Islam and politics for other Muslim countries.
That the Americans used the September 11 attacks as a pretext to install a pro-Western regime in Afghanistan is clear. Many reasons have been touted: a desire to defeat an Islamic regime...
Anger is a dangerous emotion. In anger people say and do what they would never say or do when in full control of their faculties. Interestingly, it is also often an honest emotion.
Last month people around the world marked the first anniversary of the attacks in the US last year. The second anniversary of the beginning of the Al-Quds Intifada was also in September.
There is little to be said for Saddam Hussein, but he has certainly managed to get on Washington’s nerves. For the last decade he has been the bogey-man that the Americans have invoked whenever they wanted to justify such things as their occupation of the Middle East, or to distract attention from unpleasantnesses elsewhere.
British prime minister Tony Blair has long been recognised as the US’s most loyal servant among its allies; he has supported Washington on virtually every international issue, even when other Western countries have been critical of the US’s arrogant and overbearing approach, for example over the Kyoto accord and the International Criminal Court.
Israel’s attack on an apartment building in Ghazzah city on July 22, which killed Sheikh Salah Shehada and 15 other Palestinians, many of them children, was the latest in a long list of zionist atrocities against the Palestinians.
US president George W. Bush has appealed to the Iranian people to reject the Islamic state. In a written statement on July 12 he called for Iran to abandon its "uncompromising, destructive policies", promising that "as Iran’s people move toward a future defined by greater freedom, greater tolerance, they will have no better friend than the United States of America"
Afghanistan’s Loya Jirga, which opened a day later than scheduled, as the US manipulated events to ensure the election of its favoured candidate as the country’s president, ended with similar farcical scenes on June 19.
Considering that the world seemed to be on the brink of nuclear catastrophe, the end of the crisis between India and Pakistan was surprisingly low-key.
As Crescent goes to press, US president George W. Bush is on day 6 of his much-vaunted European tour, designed both to consolidate support for the US’s ‘war against terrorism’ and to demonstrate that the US is not acting unilaterally or alone.
The routine use of the labels ‘terrorist’ and ‘terrorism’ to criminalise Muslims and legitimise any action against them has reached new levels in India, with cabinet minister Shanta Kumar claiming on April 28 that the Godhra train incident was an act of "international terrorism" whose objective was to "weaken" Indian defence positions on the border and make it more porous for infiltration by jihadis.
Deir Yassin (1948)... Sabra and Shatilla (1982)... Qana (1996)... Jenin (2002) is only the latest in a long list of Israeli crimes against humanity during the zionist state’s short but bloody history. Whether or not a UN fact-finding mission is sent to the camp is irrelevant; everyone who watched events there unfolding, and has seen the devastation...
For the last 18 months the Palestinian intifada has been a symbol of Muslim defiance against world powers determined to crush the spirit of Islam, and a source of pride for Muslims everywhere.
This month marks the sixth anniversary of the death of Dr Kalim Siddiqui (r.a). On April 18, 1996, he suffered his last heart attack in Pretoria, South Africa, at the end of another successful Crescent International conference and lecture tour.
George W. Bush gave another major speech on March 11, this time marking six months since September 11. He avoided any controversial soundbites, such as his notorious 'axis of evil' comment. More important than the content, however, was the image deliberately generated...
The attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon on September 11 gave the US a pretext to attack Islamic movements far more directly than would previously have been possible. Tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan may have died (and more are continuing to die) in the US’s military operations...
The annual celebrations of the Islamic Revolution in Iran on February 11 were marked this year by mass defiance of the US after George Bush’s State of the Union address on January 29 promised action against an "axis of evil" comprised of Iraq, Iran and North Korea.
An interesting and ironic message appeared on an Islamic e-mail forum early this year. The author, a supporter of the Taliban and Usama bin Ladin, had previously been extremely critical of the Islamic State of Iran, which he saw as a sectarian, Shi’i state.
Despite weeks of claims in the West that the war in Afghanistan is over, that its main objectives have been achieved and the Taliban decisively defeated, that al-Qaeda is destroyed and a ‘civilized’ government installed in Kabul, hundreds of Afghans are still dying in ongoing US air attacks.
The contrast between the words and actions of the West’s leaders, and the remarkable ability of most Westerners to believe their politicians, and to accept uncritically a totally West-centric view of world affairs, despite the mass of contrary evidence before them, is frustrating at any time.
While assorted representatives of Afghan groups were meeting with Western leaders in Bonn to map out a government for Afghanistan “freely determined by its own people,” and American bombs were continuing to fall on towns and villages in some parts of the country, two other conferences on Afghanistan’s future were taking place in Washington and Pakistan.
Almost two months after the US began its bombing of Afghanistan, the Taliban remain defiant in substantial parts of the country. As we go to press, the Northern Alliance and the US are claiming to be about to capture the northern town of Kunduz...
Addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations on November 10, US president George W. Bush did something that no US president has ever done: he used the word “Palestine” to describe the emasculated Palestinian ‘state’ that the US and Israel would like to set up in the West Bank and Ghazzah as part of a ‘peace settlement.’
Much has been made of George W. Bush’s throwaway characterization of the US’s “war on terrorism” as a ‘crusade’. To be fair, he was probably using the word in the sense of a determined, even zealous, pursuit of a cause, rather than in any specifically anti-Islamic sense...
Three days after the bombing of Afghanistan began, US officials admitted that they were running out of targets. The bombing is likely to continue, however, to satisfy public opinion. Hawks in Washington also want to attack other countries.
More than two weeks after the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre, the initial shock has worn off and the prevalent mood has changed to nervous anticipation as the world waits to see what the US will do next.
Tens of thousands of people may have died in the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington on September 11.
The US’s position as the dominant power in the world is now widely recognised, as is its freedom to do as it pleases, virtually anywhere in the world, with scant regard even for its Western allies, let alone anyone else. Equally clear is its ability to manipulate international institutions such as the UN to legitimise its actions...
This month, the al-Aqsa Intifada will be one year old. It was on September 28 that Ariel Sharon, then leader of Israel’s opposition, walked into the Haram al-Sharif surrounded by Israeli soldiers, in an calculated insult to the Palestinians and a demonstration of Israel’s effective sovereignty over the Farthest Mosque.
After months of street turmoil and parliamentary drama, Indonesia returned to relative calm with the removal of Abdurrahman Wahid from the presidency last month. His tumultuous 21-month rule was marked by moves to open up political freedom in the world’s fourth most populous Muslim country.
Despite the city effectively being turned into a fortress by an army of policemen equipped with tanks, armoured vehicles, helicopters and riot-control equipment, thousands of protesters gathered outside the venue of a meeting of senior politicians planning their future strategy for promoting their common interests.
Former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic appeared before the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague on July 3, to hear the charges of murder and crimes against humanity being brought against him.
As this issue went to press (June 26), Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon was meeting with US president George W. Bush at the White House in Washington. It was the second meeting between the two men since each came to office earlier this year, and a calculated demonstration of the US’s partiality towards Israel.
Two major elections took place earlier this month. On June 7 general elections took place in Britain, the supposed birthplace of Parliamentary democracy. Tony Blair’s Labour party was returned to power for a second term by a ‘landslide’.
In order to understand fully the nature of the Revolution, and in particular if lessons are to be learnt by Islamic movements seeking to achieve similar results, it is the essence of Imam Khomeini’s work and vision that must be grasped.
The issue of Palestine is central to the Islamic movement. Obviously, the occupation of Islam’s third holy city by the greatest enemies of Islam and the greatest powers of kufr that history has ever known is a situation that Muslims can never accept. But the experience of opposing that occupation is proving a severe testing-ground for the Ummah.
Dr Kalim Siddiqui (r.a.) often spoke of the ‘total transformation’ of the Ummah from its present condition to a state of Islamic order as a “historic process”, and pointed out that this process would take time and patience; it could not be rushed.
The global Islamic movement is so clearly a major force in the world today — the only challenge to the crumbling civilization of the West — that it is easy to forget that less than 25 years ago Muslims barely showed on the geo-political map.
The Chechen capital Johar-Gala (‘Grozny’) is today a burnt-out hulk, where survivors are trying to rebuild their lives in the ruins. The Russians are trying to secure the city and build workable governing institutions, while pockets of mujahideen survive in hiding...
The West’s enmity to Islam was brought home to Muslims in Britain earlier this month, when the British government published its list of proscribed “terrorist” organizations, most Islamic or Muslim.
There was a time, not long ago, when Aal-e Saud were at the forefront of the West’s drive to subvert Islam and the Muslim Ummah. During the 1970s, the Saudi monarchs distributed petro-dollars to mosques and Islamic centres all over the world, usually through international front-organizations...
The destruction of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie (Scotland) on December 21, 1988, was an appalling tragedy. All 259 people on board were killed, as were 11 people on the ground when aircraft-fragments fell on houses.
Every February, Muslims around the world mark the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, which established the prototypical Islamic state of the modern era in Iran. This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the American assault on Iraq in 1991 (the US bombing campaign began on January 16, 1991, and the land war — if that is the right word — lasted from February 23-27).
US president Bill Clinton earned plaudits around the world on new year’s eve when he announced that he had signed the International Treaty agreed in Rome in 1998 which set out the parameters for the establishment of a standing International War Crimes Tribunal.
Even as the Palestinians faced some of the worst days of the intifada, however, representatives of Yassir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority began meetings with Israeli and American representatives in Washington to bring the Palestinian ‘peace process’ — also known as the Palestinian sell out — back on track.
One thing that revolutionary Islamic movements have largely been clear about since the Islamic Revolution in Iran is that trying to come to power through democratic processes in the political systems established and run by secularist politicians in Muslim countries is a waste of time.
The collapse of the communist bloc in 1989 is regarded in the west as the definitive triumph of democracy, a ‘Democratic Revolution’ to rank alongside the other great revolutions of western history, the French (1789), the Russian (1917) and the Chinese (1949).
The formulation of Islamic disciplines equivalent to the western social sciences was one of the Muslim Institute’s key objectives when it was established in the 1970s. Dr Kalim regarded this an essential pre-requisite to the re-emergence of Islamic civilization.
The military coup against Nawaz Sharif’s government in Pakistan last month was greeted throughout the country with joy and relief rather than popular concern for the loss of people’s ‘democratic rights’.
The Chechen peace agreement of August 1996 left the question of Ichkeria’s political status to be resolved within five years. This diplomatic fudge was differently interpreted by the various parties involved.
As Australian and other troops representing the UN prepare to secure East Timor, ostensibly for the Timorese, and a de facto international protectorate establishes new institutions of government in Kosova...
The tragedy unfolding in East Timor is all the more painful to witness because those responsible are supposedly Muslim. Muslims are used to being persecuted and subjected to genocide.
The US is presently engaged in an intensive witch-hunt against Islamic movement activists all over the world, on the grounds that they are part of an ‘international terror network’ controlled by Osama bin Ladin and responsible for the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and numerous other ‘terrorist acts’ against US installations and interests around the world.
It is difficult to believe, surveying Pakistan’s 52-year history, that when the country was founded in 1947, Islamic activists all over the world looked to it for leadership and inspiration.
The Kemalists’ crusade against the Islamic movement is becoming more vicious. Last month there was another assault when an issue of the Selam Islamic weekly was confiscated.
A meeting in London recently witnessed a minor argument between a Kosovar alim and activist and an Iranian alim about the NATO bombing. In his speech, the Kosovar brother welcomed the NATO bombing, saying that the Muslims of Kosova hoped to be able to build an independent Muslim country in the new geo-political realities of the region.
The Prophet’s Seerah (peace be upon him) is a model for Muslims in their individual as well as collective lives. Within his lifetime, the noble Messenger of Allah not only delivered the message of Islam to all parts of the Arabian Peninsula and beyond...
Imam Khomeini, the tenth anniversary of whose death on June 4, 1989, was marked by millions of Muslims all over the world this month, was undoubtedly the most important figure in recent Muslim history, the man whose thought and leadership effectively gave birth to what we now know as the global Islamic movement.
NATO announced the commitment of 25,000 more troops to the Balkans on May 24, taking the number of troops available to enter Kosova ‘when the time is right’ to 50,000. The announcement was presented as a sign of the west’s resolve to go into Kosova if necessary.
The western media tends to focus on one major story at a time. While Kosova dominates the news, other international stories have been largely ignored. For Muslims, however, this is not good enough.
The elections in Turkey and Algeria last month were important for the countries’ Islamic movements. In Turkey, the ‘Islamic’ party Fazilat came a disappointing third, behind prime minister Bulent Ecevit’s centre-left party and the right-wing nationalist MHP.