Mahmoud Abbas (aka Abu Mazen) addressed the UN General Assembly on September 23, making an emotional plea for Palestinian statehood. The moment was made for TV — “Abbas brings Tahrir Square to New York,” declared one observer, noting CNN’s broadcast of the speech spliced with scenes of flag-waving crowds in Palestine.
The First International Conference on Islamic Awakening held in Tehran on September 17 and 18 was a grand affair. There were more than 700 delegates from 84 countries representing all shades of opinion and thought in the Ummah.
Troy Davis was executed on the night of September 21, 2011 as hundreds of people maintained vigil outside the Jackson, Georgia prison hoping the Supreme Court would grant a stay of execution. It was all very civilized; he was killed by a large dose of lethal injection administered at 7pm.
The uprisings in the Muslim East (Middle East) took virtually everyone by surprise including those in the forefront of these movements. They could hardly believe, especially in Tunisia and the sleepy backwaters of North Africa.
Early month, as much of the western world was either wallowing in sentimental commemorations of the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in September 2001, or reflecting on the far greater atrocities perpetrated by the US in its aggressive exploitation of 9/11 in pursuit of their imperialist interests worldwide, warnings of an emerging tragedy of potentially even greater proportions were largely ignored.
ReflectionsThe day Burhanuddin Rabbani was to leave Tehran on September 19 after attending the First International Islamic Awakening Conference (September 17–18), I had briefly chatted with him about prospects for peace in Afghanistan.
Imam Sayyid ‘Ali Khamenei addressed the inaugural session of the First International Conference on Islamic Awakening, held in Tehran on 9-17 and 9-18-2011. Below is a translation of his remarks.
The Fall season is here, and Ankara is somnolent with the dreams of Rome. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan recently completed his Arab Spring tour over North Africa, including the recently despoiled Libya, delivering his trademark no-holds barred rhetoric that has won the hearts of the Arab street.
Some two million Muslims are assembled in Makkah al-Mukarramah for the performance of Hajj. If the past is any guide, this Hajj will also be performed as a set of rituals in which the hujjaj go through various motions without realizing why they are doing this.
How free is the US and what does it mean to have freedom of speech? Some people now call the US a police state but freedom of speech appears limited only to those that abuse Islam, Muslims, and their revered personalities. Heaven help if you want to criticize Israel or its representatives.
Even before the full extent of reforms for women in Saudi Arabia announced by King Abullah was known, western media outlets led by the BBC had started drum beating about the “reformer” Saudi king.
Two Americans accused of spying were released on September 21 as part of a humanitarian gesture by the Islamic Republic of Iran. A delegation of American Christian and Muslim leaders had traveled to Tehran to meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other officials to seek the release of Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal.
Egyptians will go to the polls on 11-28-2012 to elect representatives for a new parliament, the People’s Assembly, so that it can draft a new constitution. Elections to the upper Shura Council will take place on 1-29-2012. Once completed, the new constitution will then be put to a referendum for approval.
Thousands of peaceful protesters were back in the now-demolished Pearl Square in Bahrain’s capital city Manama on September 23 demanding serious and wide-ranging reforms to give the overwhelming majority the right to vote in free, fair and transparent elections.
Pakistan’s relations with the US have never been easy. The differences go beyond the question of divergent perceptions about each other although there was always something unnatural about the rulers of a country best described as a “basket case” rubbing shoulders with leaders of claimant to the title of “sole superpower”.
Since April 1978, the Afghans have experienced nothing but war. An entire generation has grown up with violence, murder and mayhem. First it was the Russians, followed by various Afghan factions fighting it out among themselves, then came the Taliban and now the Americans and their NATO allies.