After months of wishing away young anti-American Shi’a alim Sayyid Muqtada al-Sadr, Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki is trying to marginalize the Sadrist Current (al-Tayyar al-Sadri) by military means. But the Iraqi military offensive against the Sadrists, which was supposed to demonstrate the power of the central government, has actually laid bare its weaknesses and highlighted the political weight of Sadr’s movement. Operation Cavalry Charge (Sawlat al-Fursan), which began on March 25 in Basra and set off clashes with Mahdi Army fighters in several cities throughout southern Iraq and in the Baghdad itself, has also underlined the growing influence of Iran in post-Saddam Iraq.
No one could have expected that, less than two decades after the demise of the Soviet Union, the world’s “sole superpower”, the US, would also be close to collapse. This is the result of “imperial overstretch”, extravagant spending and grand larceny by a small coterie within the ruling elites at home. Soon after the Soviet Union disintegrated, a group of rightwing zealots—the neo-conservatives—started talking about “full-spectrum dominance” and preventing any rival power from emerging to challenge the US’s hegemony.
Five years after the US invasion of Iraq, it is now widely accepted that the war was based on a web of lies deliberately spun by the Bush administration to justify a war that they were determined to execute come what might. A number of other groups have also been criticised for their roles in the deception, including the US intelligence community and the British government.
At the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner last month, US president George W. Bush performed a comedy skit making fun of all three contenders to replace him, blithely ignoring the fact that he himself is the greatest figure of fun of all -- a lame duck president despite having nearly a year of his administration to go, with the lowest approval ratings of any American president ever.
Five years and still sinking. That is what may well best describe the overall status in the world of its “sole superpower” as it careens from one war-euphemism to another. The United States of America, the inheritor of twentieth-century superpower rivalry, has been scrambling propaganda flares to distract attention from its downward movement ever since it invaded Iraq.
In 2003 the US invaded Iraq on the basis of a fabricated threat of “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs), backed up by the dubious misinterpretation of intelligence materials. Last year, the US’s military intelligence community effectively vetoed a White House and administration plan to attack Iran using similarly dubious claims about its nuclear program.
A fifth of Egypt's 80 million people live under the official poverty-line of US$2 a day, and a large proportion only just above it; the economic hardship they are suffering has worsened as a result of the sharp rise in inflation and food -prices. Most Egyptians are too young to remember the bread riots of 1977, which resulted in successive governments subsidising food-prices.
What was described as the biggest terrorism-related case in Canada is gradually unraveling: four more Muslims have walked free after the prosecution “stayed” charges against them on April 15. Qayum Abdul Jamal, Ibrahim Aboud, Ahmad Ghany and Yasin Abdi Mohamed joined three others against whom charges were dropped a year ago.
Getting on the wrong side of the US involves great risks, but being its friend is no less dangerous. No country proves this better than Pakistan. Since its creation, successive Pakistani regimes have attempted to cultivate close links with Washington. The result has been an unmitigated disaster: today Pakistan is on the verge of disintegration, thanks to the stifling embrace of the US, especially since 9/11, and to Washington’s deliberate attempts to undermine the country.
The US and Ethiopia, alarmed by the growing strength of the "insurgents" backing the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC), have stepped up their military operations in recent months to maintain the faltering interim government (IG) in office. Not only have they increased the number of indiscriminate air-raids and missiles, but they have also extended the targets to include crowded mosques.
Turkey's secular elites, whose attempts to portray the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its leaders as religious extremists continue to fail, have now resorted to a ruse to achieve the desired but elusive results. But because of the determination of those targeted to fight back, analysts believe that the scheme will throw the country into turmoil;
In recent years, there has been increasing awareness of the true nature of zionism and the Israeli state in the West. FAHAD ANSARI discusses the reasons for this change, and finds them in the determination of Palestinians to resist their oppression and dispossession.
Over the last few years, Crescent International has serialised a new tafseer of the Qur’an by Imam Mohammad al-Asi. The first volume of this tafseer is now being published by the Institute ofContemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT), as the ICIT’s Director ZAFAR BANGASH explains.
Tuhfat al-Mujahidin (“Tribute to the Strugglers”) is one of the earliest extant historical treatises about the southern Indian state of Kerala. Its author, the sixteenth-century Shaikh Zainuddin Makhdum, hailed from the renowned Makhdum family of the town of Ponnani in Malabar, northern Kerala. This family traced its descent to migrants from Yemen, who played a leading role in the spread of Islam in southern India. Following in the footsteps of many of his forefathers, Shaikh Zainuddin rose to become a leading Islamic scholar. He spent ten years studying in Makkah, where he also joined the Qadiriyya order. On his return to his native Malabar, he spent almost four decades teaching at the central mosque in Ponnani, then a major centre for Islamic studies in southern India. He also served as the envoy of the Zamorins, the Hindu rulers of Calicut, to Egypt and Turkey.