Being an Islamic state is not easy. We know this from the history of the first Islamic state founded by our revered Prophet (saw). That state – with its Islamic groundwork and Qur’anic political orientation – survived for only a relatively short time, the the epoch of al-khulafa’ al-rashideen. After that it began to founder; the model of social altruism and a leadership in the service of the people – exemplified by the rule of the khulafa’ – gave way to recusant nationalists and tribal irredentists led by the Umayyad dynasty and the rest of the monarchies that followed, from Baghdad to Istanbul and from Cairo to Tehran.
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.
In the second paper we are publishing from the IHRC conference “Towards a New Liberation Theology”, GHADA RAMAHI discusses the right to resist. In its attempt to reconstruct humanity, the contemporary state system has given itself the authority to delegate rights to inhabitants of the earth...
In June, the Islamic Human RIghts Commission (IHRC) held a conference in London on Liberation Theology and the right to resist. Here we publish two papers delivered at that conference. The first is by RIMA FAKHRY, a member of the political council of the Islamic Resistance Movement in Lebanon, usually known as the Hizbullah.
August marks the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the nuclear era with the US;s use of atomic bombs against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. YUSUF AL-KHABBAZ, who was in Hiroshima for the commemorations, discusses those momentus events and their implications.1
As the first presidential election since 1981 that can be contested by more than one candidate – at least in theory – approaches, president Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for 24 years, is stepping up his already formidable rigging programme to secure re-election for his fifth term.
America’s humiliation in Iraq has led some observers to describe it as another Vietnam. This is not quite accurate; the US’s Iraqi experience is much closer to the Russians’ in Afghanistan, with very similar outcomes, both positive and negative. Should the US military stay in Iraq extend for a decade or more, as did the Red Army’s in Afghanistan, there will perhaps be noUnited States left to return to, at least as far as its superpower pretensions are concerned.
For the third time since Jakarta and the fighters of Aceh signed their first ‘treaty' in May 2000, both sides have again reached a deal, hoping to pave the way to a lasting solution of the conflict in North Sumatra. This time the negotiations were conducted in the wake of the region's worst catastrophe: the tsunami of December 26 last year.
The election of Mahmoud Ahmedinejad as president of Iran in June shocked Western governments, apparently misled by their own propaganda that suggested that Iranians had turned against the Islamic State. ZAFAR BANGASH, director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, explains why Iranians elected him, and the threats Iran now faces.
The principal task of the UN Security Council – established under the founding charter of the UN as one of the UN's main organs – is supposedly to promote international peace and security in every part of the world. Yet it is undoubtedly more notable for its failures than for its achievements since its first official meeting, which took place on January 10, 1946.
As soon as it became clear that the chaos on London’s public transport on the morning of July 7 was the result of something rather more than the usual maintenance problems, Muslims inBritain knew that they would come under immense pressure if it was confirmed that Muslims were responsible, as most observers immediately suspected.
The plight of the Afghan people under American occupation is no better, and in many instances much worse, than it was under the Russian occupation in the nineteen-eighties, despite US drum-beating about bringing democracy to the country, a recent report concludes.
The Muslims who had the courage to storm government offices and force president Askar Aliyev to flee Kyrgyzstan in March deserve better leaders than those replacing him after the election held on July 10. Both the new president, Kurmanbek Bakayev, and the prime minister, Felix Kulov, a former KGB officer, served as times in the Akayev government–sharing Akayev's subservience to Russia and animosity to Islam and Islamic activists, and displaying their readiness to live with corruption and practise it.
Shockwaves from the bomb blasts in London's underground system on July 7 were felt thousands of miles away in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, as well. No sooner was it discovered that three of the four bombers were of Pakistani origin, than all the accusing fingers were pointing at Pakistan.