The five Central Asian Muslim countries — Kazakhstan, Turk-menistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kirghizstan — dropped out of the Soviet belly almost by accident after Gorbachev’s reform of the old Soviet Union. At the time, a few naive, over-optimistic Muslims saw their ‘liberation’ as another sign of the rise of Islamic civilization after the lean years of the twentieth century
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...
After the establishment of the Islamic State, Imam Khomeini (ra) issued annual messages to the Ummah as the hujjaj gathered in the Hijaz. Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Khamenei has maintained the tradition.
Saudi crown prince Abdullah bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz had more than the Israeli-Arab conflict on his mind when he staged his latest subterfuge. This was to disclose that he might propose that the Arab world offer Israel “normalization of relations” in exchange for withdrawal from the territories that Israel occupied in 1967.
The middle of last month saw yet another upsurge in the intensity of the violence in Palestine. From February 14 to February 20 at least 60 people were killed, two-thirds of them Palestinians. At the same time, the West found yet another approach to trying to disarm the Palestinians politically, with a new peace proposal from Saudi crown prince Abdullah.
Almost eighteen months after the launching of the second Palestinian intifada in September 2000, many observers continue to argue that it is achieving nothing, and that a return to the ‘peace process’ is inevitable.
Flushed with their success in controlling news at home about the ‘war’ in Afghanistan, some Pentagon planners want to extend such manipulation to other parts of the world. The name of the game is deception: planting lies in newspapers, and on radio and television channels around the world...
Muslim governments, vying with each other to demonstrate their readiness to back the so-called war against terrorism, are tightening the noose on Islamic charities and schools, controlling their funding, enrollment and curricula to eradicate ‘Islamic extremism’.
Deep divisions in the interim Afghan government, papered over and ignored under American pressure, erupted last month when Abdul Rahman, the minister of aviation and tourism, was beaten to death on the tarmac of Kabul airport on February 14.
The International Prisoners of Faith conference organised by the Islamic Human Rights Commission attracted a larger crowd than expected in London on 17 February 2002. During the day-long event academics, ulama, Islamic activists and IHRC officers addressed attendees on aspects of imprisonment for one’s beliefs.
Vladimir Putin — a former KGB operative plucked from obscurity by President Boris Yeltsin, who appointed him prime minister of Russia — used the Chechen war to secure his election as president in March 2000, and continues to exploit it to maintain his popularity while conceding privately that victory is not on the cards.