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Current Affairs

New Milestone in India-Saudi Relations
Zikrur Rahman

Although some political analysts might consider the 10 years of the Manmohan Singh Government as a failure on the corruption front, the decade will go down in the annals of Indian political history for two reasons — first, the civil nuclear deal with the US, and second, the unprecedented improvement in our foreign relations with the Arab world, particularly Saudi Arabia.....

 

Anger As Cameron Tries To Superglue Britain to Israel
Stuart Littlewood

Showing solidarity with the Palestinians in their fight against Israeli terror doesn’t seem to be on Cameron’s agenda. Israel, of course, was founded on terror and is no democracy. It’s an ethnocracy, and a deeply ugly one. The Palestinians however did have a democracy but Britain, Israel and the U.S. stamped on it......

Afridi’s Googly and Council of Islamic Ideology’s No Ball
Beena Sarwar

Some years ago they declared that men who practice family planning would go bald. Last year, they decreed that DNA tests are unacceptable as primary evidence in rape cases. One hopes they never have to take recourse to DNA tests to get justice for any of their own family members. Thankfully, Shahid Afridi and the Council of Islamic Ideology have no actual powers to enforce their retrogressive views.…..

 

Changing Israel's Secular-Religious Status Quo
Kate Shutttleworth

Israel is tackling one of its most polarizing issues, the exemption of its most religious Jews from military service. A new law forcing the conscription of ultra-Orthodox Jews has led to widespread tensions....

 

The Many Shades of Grey in Ukraine
Kenan Malik

When is an invasion not an invasion? When is sovereignty not sovereignty? When is an unelected regime more legitimate than an elected government? The answer, it seems, is when we are discussing Ukraine. The crisis in Ukraine has swiftly turned into a global stand-off. It has also become the focus for a war of words about the meaning of freedom, democracy, legitimacy and sovereignty.....

 

Malaysian Plane Disappearance Linked To 9/11
Dr. Kevin Barrett

It happened on 9/11. Now it has happened again in Malaysia. Family members of the passengers on Malaysian Airlines MH370 report getting ring tones when they call their missing loved ones. Social networking sites show the missing passengers "on-line." The airline reports getting ring tones on the crew's cell phones. ….

 

The Palestinians aspire to control all the holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, not only those holy to Islam, but those holy to Christianity and Judaism as well......

The Danger Lurking Beneath Al-Aqusa
Ramzy Baroud

Something sinister is brewing around and below Al-Aqusa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, and it has the hallmark of a familiar Israeli campaign to strip the mosque of its Muslim Arab identity. This time around, however, the stakes are much higher. The status of Al-Aqusa mosque is unparalleled within the context of Muslim heritage in Palestine itself. It is also the third holiest Islamic site. But equally as important, it is a symbol of faith, resistance and defiance. Its story of struggle and perseverance goes hand in hand with the very modern Palestinian struggle for rights, freedom and identity…..

...but the departure from military dictatorship has also coincided with a flowering of a radical Buddhist nationalism that has crystallised in communal violence against the country’s Muslim minority. Wirathu has emerged as the public face of that movement, and the monk’s anti-Muslim rhetoric has helped incite attacks on Myanmar’s Muslim civilians — particularly its ethnic Rohingya — over the past 18 months. Last year, Time magazine featured Wirathu on its cover under the headline ‘The Face of Buddhist Terror’....

 

A Global Protest against Tyranny
Tarek Fatah

"The Crimean basin in the Black Sea has only recently been surveyed and shows huge oil reserves that would have made Ukraine less dependent on Russian oil blackmail," he said. "Then there is the question of underwater oil pipelines that Russia is building. We cannot discount these factors."….

 

Assad: Beneficiary OF Ukrainian Crisis
Liz Sly

It is in Syria, however, where strains between the US and Russia are likely to have the most immediate impact. For most of the three years since the Syrian uprising began, the Obama administration’s Syria policy has been predicated on the assumption that Russia would be a willing partner in efforts to convince Assad to relinquish power. That policy, perhaps unlikely ever to work, has now been exposed as unrealistic....

 

A Play Offers a Rare Chance to Forget the Killing
Rami G. Khouri

Set in 1880s Damascus, it batters the deceitful and scheming political and religious leaderships of society, alongside moving episodes of sexual affirmation and transformation by both straight and gay men and women who are held together by a common thread: the power of liberating oneself from the constraints of oppressive social rules…..

 

Hindu-Muslim Amity: Some Suggestions
Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

One of the biggest problems that independent India was beset with was that following the Partition, social interaction between Hindus and Muslims, something that had carried on for centuries before, was suddenly almost completely snapped. This made it virtually impossible for members of these two communities to enjoy a normal, cordial relationship that would have enabled them to learn and benefit from each other and work together for the country’s progress.....

Saving al-Aqusa Mosque
Ramzy Baroud

That same dangerous combination - rightwing politicians allied with religious zealots - is at work once more. They are eyeing al-Aqusa for annexation; the same way the Israeli government is labouring to permanently annex large swathes of the occupied West Bank, in anticipation of any future settlement with the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas.....

Under the proposed "national race protection law", Buddhist women would be required to obtain permission from their parents and local officials if they wished to marry a Muslim. In turn, Muslim men would have to change their faith and then provide proof of their conversion to local officials, or risk up to 10 years in prison. They could also have their property confiscated if they could not provide proof of having converted....

As Canadian universities adjust to the country’s increasingly multicultural population, one area that has been especially difficult has been accommodating religious differences and needs....

 

Reading Modi, Between the Lines
Aakar Patel

I can report that as a writer, Mr Modi is weak and not possessing of many or even any great worldview. He has a shallowness and lack of observation that we would expect from any person from the lower middle-class who has not had much education. His writing, which essentially means his thinking, is full of clichés and dense with stock phrases. There is little original, even in his poetry, some of which is the product of a child. Even L.K. Advani, who wrote a ghastly autobiography, has more to offer in his writing than Mr Modi....

 

Apparently, Islam Owns the Rights to Words like “Believer” and “Prayer”
Alessandria Masi

The following words are also to be banned for non-Muslims in Brunei: Azan (the call to prayer); Baitullah (house of god); Al Quran fatwa (an Islamic legal ruling); Farman Allah (the Word of God); Haji (pilgrimage); Shariah Law, Ilahi (divine); Ka’bah (Muslim shrine in Mecca); Kalimah al Shahadah (word of testimony); Quiblah (Direction of the Prayers); mosque, imam and mufti (Muslim legal official).….....

“We have a very limited number of Muslims here. People don’t really understand us. But that is actually an opportunity for us. Chinese people respect anyone who follows any religion — they think that those who go to mosques, temples and churches are good people.”….

 

Praying For a Miracle in Pakistan
Najam Sethi

The policy framework document envisages dynamic coordination and virtual Intel sharing between the country’s 6 Intel agencies (ISI, MI, IB, SB, Naval and Air Intelligence) and assorted police and paramilitary forces in the federal and provincial governments. NACTA will use this Intel to analyse, locate and physically degrade or destroy terrorist cells across the country by means of a Rapid Deployment Force of 500 commandos equipped with helicopters and modern high voltage weapons....

 

“When we made the decision to offer our (BN) candidate, it is to prevent the problems that may arise after the by-election. This, to me, is a responsibility. In Islam, it is ‘jihad’ (holy war) to seek good, to avert evil, to avoid undesirable disputes. But then whatever happened to this so-called jihad when former Sarawak chief minister Taib Mahmud marauded the state throughout his 33 long years of helming Sarawak?....

 

The history of Indian Muslims can be traced back to the Malaccan Empire, with Bendahara (prime minister) Tun Ali being an Indian Muslim. Despite its rich history pre- and post-independent Malaya, the Indian Muslim community in Malaysia is currently facing an identity crisis, with the risk of being just a footnote in the nation’s history. “The Tamil Muslims, in particular, are hard pressed to identify themselves with the majority Malays or to maintain their heritage as Tamils…

 

Omar and the Checkpoint: The Essential Story That Is Rarely Told
Ramzy Baroud

Omar is not a poster child for victimhood. His pain and that of his dad should not merely invoke sights of petty, or philosophical diatribes of how the occupation is killing Israel’s soul, or reignite yet more arguments of what ‘solution’ to the ‘conflict’ we like most…..

Origins of Militancy
Khurram Husain

Origins of Militancy
Khurram Husain

The narrative that emerges goes something like this: injustice in society and a dysfunctional economy creates anger, and that anger finds a voice in terrorism and the voice exerts a pull on disenfranchised youth who take up arms against an unjust order. There is something seductive about this analysis. In a sense it says that there is symmetry between the anger you and I feel at the state of affairs in our country and the anger that animates the Taliban....

That brings us to the question that if AAP is gaining so much popularity among prominent Indian thinkers, in addition to among the masses, where is the recognizable Muslim-Indians in it? And if they are not there, what are they waiting for?....

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