The announcement by US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld during a brief visit to Kabul on May 1, to the effect that the military phase of the campaign in Afghanistan is over, took American soldiers in the country by surprise.
It is a remarkable development that in a country like Egypt, ruled autocratically by a former military officer, members of the judiciary and strongly anti-regime Islamic activists find themselves on the same side in the war the dictator is waging to stay in power and pass it to his son.
What makes some pro-democracy movements popular in the West and others not so popular? Considering the emphasis that the Bush regime has placed on democratisation in the Muslim world as the solution for anti-Western anger among Muslims, one would expect that the eruption of popular protests against a one-party dictatorship led for nearly three decades by the same former military officer might be welcomed in Washington and gleefully publicised by the world’s media.
One feature of the massive political pressure on Hamas, the leading Islamic movement and the most popular political force in Palestine, since it was elected to power earlier this year, has been the increasingly open enmity of both secular Palestinian forces, particularly the Fatah movement led by Palestinian “president” Mahmud Abbas, and of Arab rulers.
Since the death of Imam Khomeini (ra), a group of parasitical politicians have worked their way into position to influence the policies of government of the Islamic State of Iran. They may not hold the highest offices in the government, but they appear to hold sway over some of those offices.
There are basically two reasons why countries go to war: for self-defence, or for pillage and plunder. No country ever admits to indulging in such imperialist adventures; it is always done ostensibly in the name of some higher purpose.
Working on the preparations for the Dr Kalim Siddiqui Memorial Conference in April provided an opportunity to go back and read many of his writings after many years. What was truly remarkable about them was how much of what he wrote years ago, in what were apparently very different historical times, remains as fresh and relevant today as it was at the time.
On April 23, the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) and Crescent International hosted a Kalim Siddiqui Memorial Conference in London. The theme of the conference was The Islamic movement: between extremism and moderation. Here we publish an abridged version of the keynote paper, presented by IQBAL SIDDIQUI, the editor of Crescent International.
Materialist consumerism has become one of the defining characteristics of western/modern societies. YUSUF AL-KHABBAZ discusses how the problem can be addressed by Islam’s ethical and moral framework1
Since the war on Iraq ardent calls for “change” have become fashionable in Arab countries. These appeals come from various quarters. However, the variety of the demands for change betray the nature and the extent of the power-war currently unfolding in the region. While “change” apparently means all things to all people, three broad stages have emerged: the popular arena, the regimes, and the Americans and their European allies.
UN secretary general Kofi Annan, under pressure from the US and zionist-Christian groups, dispatched Lakhdar Brahimi to Sudan on May 25 to coordinate the deployment of UN peacekeeping troops in Darfur after the Darfur accord signed in Abuja, capital of Nigeria, on May 5.
It has become routine for the regime in Kabul to blame Pakistan for allowing “cross-border infiltration” whenever there is any increase in resistance activity inside Afghanistan. Some infiltration is definitely taking place, because the mountainous terrain makes the border virtually impossible to seal completely, but the volleys of rhetoric being hurled at Pakistan betray the Afghan government’s own incompetence.
The US does not want to be known as the world's jailer, according to US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, yet she is apparently happy about her country being the world's number one torturer. US officials, however, are reluctant to admit that they torture people.
The first anniversary of the massacre of unarmed civilian protestors in the eastern city of Andijan by security forces acting on Uzbek government orders on May 13, 2005, has also attracted worldwide attention, mainly because the basic issues raised by the tragedy have so far not been addressed.
Sri Lanka's one-and-a-half million Muslims (8 percent of the island's population) feel that they are caught between the hammer and the anvil. A number of incidents in the last few monthshas caused deep concern among the second largest minority: the fear is that they too face increasing insecurity not only because of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the East but also because of chauvinists within the Sinhala majority in the South.
Somalis have one language, one religion (Islam), and constitute a single ethnic group, and should not have found great – let alone insurmountable – difficulties in being united and living in peace together. Yet their country is in ruins, split into Somaliland, a former British protectorate in the north, and Somalia, a former Italian colony, in the south.