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Dhu al-Hijjah, 14262006-01-01

Crescent International Vol. 34, No. 11

Main Stories

Iraq’s elections emphasise the sectarian divisions in Iraqi society

Nasr Salem

It was more like a numbers contest than a vote to choose a common political future for an anguished nation. Members of Iraq's diverse communities turned out in large numbers on December 15 to elect their representatives for a four-year parliament. But instead of voting for political platforms that would foster unity and reconciliation, most Iraqis voted for lists representing their own communities.

Reflections

Planning for a post-US world order

Zafar Bangash

America has been so decisively defeated in Iraq that no amount of verbal sophistry by US president George Bush or his neocon allies can hoodwink the American people into believing otherwise. The cabal operating as the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which led the chorus for “perpetual war” and “full-spectrum dominance”, appears to have gone into permanent hibernation.

Editorials

OIC summit confirms that Muslim states remain the West’s first line of defence against Islam

Crescent International

The Holy City was host to a very different gathering of Muslims from all over the Ummah, the “Kings, Heads of State and Government, and Emirs of the Member States” of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the club of Muslim countries established after the burning of the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in 1969

Editorials

The US’s gross hypocrisy over torture, rendition and so much else besides

Crescent International

Sitting alongside US senator John McCain at a White House press conference on December 15, announcing that he would support a new law banning cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of terrorist suspects, president George W. Bush looked the very picture of reassurance. “We’ve been happy to work with [McCain] to achieve a common objective,” he said. “And that is to make it clear to the world that this government does not torture and that we adhere to the international convention on torture, be it here at home, or abroad.”

Occupied Arab World

Abbas and Israel struggle to find ways of limiting Hamas’s power in Palestine

Ahmad Musa

As Crescent International goes to press, it remains uncertain whether the elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) that are due to take place on January 25 will actually go ahead. Israel made a clear attempt to sabotage them on December 21, when it announced that Palestinians in Jerusalem would not be permitted to vote if Hamas were allowed to take part in the polls.

Occupied Arab World

US faces up to its total defeat in Iraq, militarily and politically

Mohammad B. Ansari

Beset by mounting problems in Iraq and a precipitous drop in approval ratings at home, President George Bush asserted on December 19 that the United States is “winning the war” in Iraq. According to the Associated Press, he issued a plea to Americans divided by doubt: “Do not give in to despair and do not give up on this fight for freedom.” He was forced to admit, however, that Iraq is proving more difficult than had been expected.

World

Afghanistan’s new Parliament designed to create an illusion of peace and normality

Zia Sarhadi

The inauguration of Afghanistan's new assembly on December 19 was a fairly accurate reflection of the country's present plight: Dick Cheney, dubbed vice president for torture in his own country, came all the way from Washington to preside over the bizarre event that nearly did not happen because three days earlier a bomb had exploded outside the building.

World

West embarrassed as Nursultan Nazarbayev secures third term through rigged elections

Shaikh Ahmed M

President Nursultan Nazarbayev secured a third seven-year term of office after receiving 91 percent of the votes in a probably rigged poll on December 4, while his main challenger, Zarmakhan Tuyakbai, came second with only 6.6 percent. Most pre-election predictions were that the corrupt, authoritarian ruler of oil-rich Kazakhstan would win, but with a much smaller majority.

Special Reports

OIC’s Makkah Declaration suggests an end to Saudi-sponsored sectarianism in the Ummah

Zafar Bangash

Last month, the Organization of the Islamic Conference held an Extraordinary Summit in Makkah to discuss urgent issues facing the Ummah. Unlikely though it may seem, ZAFAR BANGASH, the director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, hopes that some good may come of it...

World

Mass protests fail to prevent Western powers from exploiting poor countries at WTO

Usman Khan

The latest round of trade negotiations held by the World Trade Organization (WTO) was characterised by all the features that have become familiar parts of such high-profile gatherings.The trade ministers of the 150 member-states, and 6,000 other delegates, spent six days in intensive negotiations at a major international conference venue, barricaded by hundreds of police and security personnel to protect the WTO and the Western powers that run it from the wrath of ordinary people from all over the world who recognise the talking shop for what it really is: a way of forcing the world’s poorest countries to accept and legitimise a trade regime designed to protect and further the interests of the economic elites of the world’s richest countries.

Book Review

Remarkable account of medicine in a time of war – and of what it means to be a Chechen

Ayesha Ansari

‘THE OATH’: A SURGEON UNDER FIRE by Khassan Baiev with Ruth and Nicholas Daniloff. Pub: Walker & Company, New York, USA, 2003. $26.00 "Two reasons motivated me to write The Oath. First, I wanted the world to know that war is a hellish thing that victimizes the innocent. In war there are no winners. Secondly, and equally important, I wanted to introduce my readers to the Chechen people." -- Dr Khassan Baiev, The Oath

Features

The Palestinian struggle: from nationalism to Islamic movement and intifada

Crescent International

In October, Crescent International (South Africa) issued a booklet called The Struggle for Al-Quds to mark Yaum al-Quds 1426AH. Here we publish an adaptation of the second part of this booklet, focusing on the evolution of the Palestinian liberation movement. The first part, focusing on the problem of Israel and the threat to al-Quds, was published in the last issue of Crescent International.

Guest Editorial

Brother Ahmadinejad draws the wrath of the West for discussing the “Holocaust”

Abu Dharr

Here we go again. Once again, the mainstream Western media is up in arms over the issue of the ‘Holocaust', and particularly ‘Holocaust denial'. This time their target is Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, the president of the Islamic republic, although he comes across more as a brother in the Islamic movement than the president of a modern state. The inevitable and orchestrated uproar occurred when brother Ahmadinejad committed the unspeakable blasphemy of questioning the gospel truth that six million Jews died in what has become known as the Holocaust.

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