With America’s departure from Afghanistan now almost certain, new alignments are beginning to emerge among regional players aimed at securing the most favorable outcome for each country. Islamic Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan are in the forefront of this effort but Russia, China and the Central Asian republics are not far behind either.
Imagine a Muslim government popping off American and Israeli scientists because these were perceived to be a threat to the Islamic state and further imagine that this had been going on for the better part of several decades.
The real oligarchic nature of democratic polities and societies, and the fact that “freedom” is actually a cover for the untrammelled exercise of power by the strong in society, are subjects that I have written about before in this column and elsewhere.
There is heated debate in Washington about what to do with the runaway debt crisis. And this time it is real. Both halves of the American body politic — the Republicans and the Democrats — have finally been stung by the uncontrollable debt that is officially acknowledged to be around $14.4 trillion.
On its 64th birthday Pakistan has a unique opportunity to change policies that have been little short of disastrous so far. Such change will depend on several factors.
An estimated 138 million people live in places other than their country of birth. Many are forced by circumstances, especially wars, to flee to safer havens. The overwhelming majority, however, are economic migrants seeking a better life elsewhere.
Turkey’s policy vis-à-vis the uprisings in the Muslim East (Middle East) have left many observers bewildered. It has not only joined the US-NATO assault on Libya but Ankara has also recognized the Libyan rebels in the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) as “legitimate representatives” of the Libyan people.
Disturbing evidence has emerged of continued abuse and torture of prisoners by sadistic American guards in Guantanamo Bay (Gitmo), the American gulag in the illegally occupied Cuban island. To protest mistreatment and continued illegal detention, many prisoners resort to hunger strikes.
Successive US regimes have claimed that al-Qaeda is their enemy number one and that no effort would be spared in costs or human lives to eliminate it. Does empirical evidence support this claim? Let us examine the facts.
Held for three years at a local school without incident, it suddenly became an issue last month when a Hindu group objected to Muslim students praying in the school cafeteria. Valley Park Middle School in Flemingdon Park, in the Toronto suburb of Don Mills inhabited predominantly by Muslim immigrants from Pakistan and India, became the centre of controversy when a group calling itself Canada Hindu Advocacy (CHA) raised objections.
Afghanistan’s most powerful warlord, Ahmed Wali Karzai, half brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was shot and killed by Sardar Mohammed, a trusted family friend and security commander, at his home in Qandahar on July 12.
Minutes after the Norwegian neo-Nazi terrorist Anders Behring Breivik launched his atrocious plan on July 22 — blowing up a government building by a car bomb in the center of Oslo that killed seven people and then moving on to Utoya Island for a two-hour rampage shooting dead 84 youths — it became uncomfortable and even unsafe for people with Middle Eastern features to walk in the streets of Europe.
The story of the second relief Flotilla to Gaza is a tale of how to marshal all the king’s horses and all the king’s men in order to muffle a humanitarian enterprise. After Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish members of the first Freedom Flotilla on May 31, 2010, Turkish-Israeli relations chilled to sub-zero, while Israel’s already-brittle reputation developed minute fracture lines.
Most people with even limited understanding of how media outlets spin news can see through the lies dished out by the likes of Fox News and CNN. But how does one explain the lies habitually repeated by such supposedly venerable institutions as the BBC, the New York Times or the Washington Post? All of them in their own right are considered paragons of wisdom and their word is considered sacrosanct.
Power is not given up voluntarily, at least not by those who have usurped it by force in the first place. The Muslim East (Middle East) is witnessing unprecedented uprisings by peoples that were hitherto considered too apathetic to move. There was a sense of resignation until, that is, the uprising in Tunisia sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, the street vendor who could not take the public insults of a female police officer any longer, changed everything.
Zainab Cheema reviews Zafar Bangash’s latest book entitled Power Manifestations of the Sirah: Examining the Letters and Treaties of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and published by Crescent International for the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (384 pages; soft cover, $30.00).