The Crusades are traditionally defined as the series of western expeditions against the Muslim lands of Palestine and the Levant which begun with Pope Urban’s call to arms at Clermont in 1095AD, and all but ended with the Muslim liberation of Acre in 1291.
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.
Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic movement which is the most popular political group among Palestinians, and is also the leading critic and opponent of the ‘peace process’, suffered a major blow on August 30, when the Jordanian government closed down its offices in Amman.
Sudan officially became an oil exporting country on August 30, when it shipped its first barrels of high-quality crude oil from the Bashair oil terminal on the Red Sea. The oil was from the Hegleig oilfield in western Kardofan, and had been transferred to the Bashair terminal through a 1,610km pipeline.
The new agreement between Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian ‘president’ Yassir Arafat, signed at Sharm al-Shaikh, near Alexandria, on September 5, was widely greeted as a new start to the ‘peace process’ that had appeared on the verge of stalling during the premiership of Benyamin Netanyahu.
If the authenticity of a Palestinian is judged by the suffering he endured for the last 51 years of displacement ï as some have suggested ï the nearly 500,000 Palestinian refugees residing in Lebanon must be viewed as the most authentic Palestinians of all.
Looking around, it was difficult for me to see any cause for concern. The stony hill-country of Jebel-Amil in South Lebanon seems an idyllic place; most of the flat-roofed houses have olives, figs and almonds, or at least grapes, growing on trellises over their yards.
The optimism generated by Eritrea’s acceptance of a three-part accord proposed by the Organization of African Unity to end the costly 17-month Ethio-Eritrean war has given way to a mood of pessimism after Addis Ababa rejected the final part.
Kazakhstan lifted the ban on Russian rocket launches from the launching-pad at Baikonur on September 1, ending a two-month stand-off between the two countries.
When, like Kyrgyzstan, you are a small land-locked country in a volatile region, with a poorly-equipped army, you do not engage in battle highly-motivated groups that even mighty Russia is not confident of defeating and that are not targeting you.
Black activist Al Sharpton, who organised a vigil at the site of the shooting on February 9, asked at a forum on police brutality on the night of the shooting, ‘Are we talking about policing or are we talking about a firing squad?’ He pointed out that Amadou must have fallen to the ground after being hit twice or thrice.
People Against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD), a Muslim organization based in Cape Town in South Africa, where crime and drugs are a growing threat to everyone, has had a particularly bad press in South Africa.
The men who surround Nawaz Sharif, with hard looks, bulging bellies and overflowing bank accounts, are casting nervous glances over their shoulders these days. The prime minister of the ‘heavy mandate’ suddenly appears clueless and out of his depth.
Sister Safa Merve Kavakci’s hijab battle dominated the political debate in Turkey about the functioning of democratic norms and secularism until it was buried by the August earthquake. While the secular Kemalist government got egg on its face for its poor handling of the rescue efforts, the hijab issue is still being debated.