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Ramadan, 14262005-11-01

Crescent International Vol. 34, No. 9

Guest Editorial

US undermining their Saudi allies in the war against Islam

Abu Dharr

After the “shock and awe” hype of the Pentagon boss Donald Rumsfeld, and the extravagant claims of “Mission Accomplished” by his commander in chief in the White House, a clearer picture of the war in Iraq has gradually emerged, even in the US. Now we see a US government that finds itself stuck in aunwinnable war against the Islamic movement.

Book Review

Confirming the real nature and objects of the international legal system

Leila Juma

Lawless World: America and the Making and Breaking of Global Rules by Philippe Sands. Pub: Allen Lane Ltd., London, UK, 2005. Pp. 200. £12.99. By Leila Juma Among the many interesting points in this book is the difference between the covers of the British and American editions. It is not unusual for books to have different covers for different markets, but in this case the contrast is unusually obvious. The original British edition, published by Allen Lane Ltd. in February, is bright orange and shows a picture of a bound and masked man, wearing an orange jumpsuit, a clear reference to the political prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. It also promises “new revelations” about “Bush and Blair’s illegal war”. The US edition, published by Viking last month, is far lower key, a mottled gray colour with a stylised crown incorporating the stars-and-stripes, a subtle reference to American imperialism.

Editorials

The US, Israel and Mahmoud Abbas battle to resist the political rise of Hamas

Editor

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.

Editorials

Britain and Israel batting for Washington in the propaganda war against Iran

Editor

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).

Editorials

Saddam on trial: small fry face justice of sorts as big fish go scott-free

Editor

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.

Islamic Movement

The centrality of al-Quds and the insight of Imam Khomeini

Zafar Bangash

As part of the commemoration of Yaum al-Quds last month, Crescent International (South Africa) published a booklet called The Struggle for al-Quds. Here we reprint the foreword of that book, written by ZAFAR BANGASH, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) in Toronto, Canada...

Features

The Islamophobic heart of the UK government’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation

Fahad Ansari

This month, the Islamic Human Rights Commission will publish a detailed critique of the British government’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation, written by FAHAD ANSARI. Here we publish an extract focussing on the targeting of “extemism”.

Occupied Arab World

Approval of new constitution still leaves massive political uncertainties in Iraq

Nasr Salem

October 15 was a historic day for Iraqis. Up to 10 million Iraqis may have gone to the polls to cast their votes in the first genuine constitutional referendum in their country's history. But, like every other critical decision-point in the political processes of post-Saddam Iraq, instead of fostering unity the constitutional vote is going to rend the social fabric of a country that is already split along sectarian and ethnic lines.

Occupied Arab World

Syria ill-equipped to deal with increasing political and diplomatic pressure

Abbas Fadl Murtada

Watching the US's increasing pressure on Syria, it is difficult to escape the feeling of history repeating itself. The parallels with the feverish swirl of diplomatic manoeuvres that built up to the US-led war against Iraq are inescapable.

Occupied Arab World

Few hopes for Egypt’s parliamentary elections after farcical presidential polls

M.A. Shaikh

The presidential election in Egypt on September 7, which returned Husni Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for 24 years, to a six-year fifth term, is widely seen by both Egyptians and non-Egyptian as having been heavily rigged. The non-Egyptians include foreign media and human-rights observers who condemned the thinly veiled fraud.

Occupied Arab World

Algerian reconciliation charter offers more to the military than to Islamic movement

Crescent International

The Charter of Peace and National Reconciliation – approved in a referendum in early October – is ostensibly intended to lay to rest the aftermath of a conflict that lasted for more than a decade, in which at least 150,000 Algerians lost their lives.

Reflections

Are international institutions relevant?

Zafar Bangash

Contrary to widespread belief, international institutions such as the UN, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) etc., were not created to bring peace and prosperity to the world, but to serve the interests of the West. It is distressing to note, however, that the very victims of these institutions seem totally mesmerized by the high-sounding rhetoric of these organisations, and act as if their survival depends on them.

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Special Reports

Saudi regime at a turning point after death of Fahd and succession of Abdallah

Nasr Salem

When Saudi king Fahd died on August 1, the kingdom made a fine show of an orderly succession. Nonetheless, his successor, Abdullah, faces enormous challenges and uncertainties. NASR SALEM reports.

World

Earthquake disaster exposes failures of government and deep divides in Pakistani society

Zafar Bangash

Disasters, whether natural or manmade, bring out both the best and worst in people. The earthquake that rocked Northern Pakistan and Azad Kashmir on October 8 has brought out the generous spirit of Pakistan's people and exposed the ineptitude of Pakistan's government.

World

EU reluctantly opens gate a little wider for Turkish entrance

Crescent International

The decision of the European Union summit at Luxembourg on October 4 to hold accession talks with Turkey (over Austria's objections) was hailed by both Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, and Jack Straw, Britain's foreign minister (Britain holds the current EU chairmanship), as “historic”.

World

Condo Rice ill-qualified to preach democracy in Central Asia

Crescent International

President Bush and Condoleezza Rice, his Black secretary of state, are so desperate to defend their now-discredited campaign to establish democratic rule in the Middle East, and in Central Asia, that they are evoking the history of the civil rights movement in the US.

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