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Islam and Politics

Quick to point out that this happens across the globe, and certainly not only in Muslim-majority countries, Bennoune also praised Malaysia as a wonderfully diverse country in which many people do enjoy their cultural rights. But she warned, as with everywhere in the world, the creep of hard-line religion into politics could place this tolerance at risk....


"First, this is a game against China, as China has very large investments in Arakan [Rakhine]," Mosyakov told RT. "Second, it is aimed at fuelling Muslim extremism in Southeast Asia…. Third, it's the attempt to sow discord within ASEAN [between Myanmar and Muslim-dominated Indonesia and Malaysia]."..

No Country for Rohingyas
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

No Country for Rohingyas
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

The neighbouring countries have the power to bring the military junta to exercise moderation over its treatment of minority Muslims but they will not do so for a variety of reasons. The Chinese are concerned about their pipeline which will run through the Rakhine state. The Indians are concerned about strategic factors in the north eastern states. Both therefore do not want to annoy the military junta of Myanmar and want them at their side. Bangladesh has to face the brunt of refugee exodus and till date has already accommodated Lakhs of Rohingyas in their country....

Israel Endorsed Kurdish Independence: Saladin Would Have Been Proud
David M. Halbfinger

“Iraqi and Iranian Kurds have deep ties,” he said. “And to create trouble for Iran, one way is to encourage independence for Iranian Kurds. The Iranians are terrified and furious about exactly that: that the Israelis are doing it, and that an independent Kurdistan will be a base for Israeli operations against Iran, via Iran’s Kurdish population.”....


Fact Check: Aung San Suu Kyi's Speech on the Rohingya Crisis
Oliver Holmes

The government and state media in majority-Buddhist Myanmar have squarely and repeatedly blamed the conflict on “extremist terrorists”, without condemning widely-reported abuses by the security forces or ethnic Buddhist mobs....

The Moral Case for Kurdish Independence
Sharif Nashashibi

If or when such a referendum takes place, it would undoubtedly result in a massive vote in favour of independence. Regardless, I would continue to condemn Kurdish abuses of human rights, as I do with abuses throughout the region. Similarly, and when necessary, I would criticize the new Kurdish state’s regional policies, and any expansion into territories whose populations would predominantly reject Kurdish rule....


Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch, referring to Aung San Suu Kyi's assertion that military operations had ended, asked: "If that is true, then who is burning all the villages we've seen in the past two weeks?" He said satellite images showed about half of all Rohingya villages had been torched and it was time that Aung San Suu Kyi, the government and the military faced the fact that the security forces "don't follow a code of conduct and shoot and kill who they want".....


Aung San Suu Kyi – the Lady, the Iron Butterfly, a Nobel laureate, a pro-democracy icon and the Nelson Mandela of Myanmar – has turned out to be very different indeed from her South African counterpart. But just like Mother Teresa of Kolkata, Aung San Suu Kyi has probably been held in too high regard by too many people for too long....

The Doomed Palestinian Reconciliation Plan
Grant Rumley

For one, this is less about unity and more about finances. In March, Hamas announced the formation of the administrative committee, a quasi-governmental body that would ostensibly assume more functions of a state. Fatah leaders reacted with outrage, accusing Hamas of forming a shadow government that would “perpetuate the division instead of promoting reconciliation.”...


The intent behind her silence is incomprehensible. May be she has toned down her opposition to the military. Or, may be her silence will give her more power and influence over the military establishment she shares power with. But she has the moral duty to protect the minority community. As Nobel peace laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu said in a letter to Suu Kyi last week, “If the political price of your ascension to the highest office in Myanmar is your silence, the price is too steep.”...

How Do Palestinians Define ‘Terrorism’?
Jonathan Schanzer and Grant Rumley

How Do Palestinians Define ‘Terrorism’?
Jonathan Schanzer

That means the clock is now ticking for the Palestinian Authority, which receives around $350 million from the U.S. each year. The Taylor Force Act wouldn’t block humanitarian or security aid, meaning U.S. funds wouldn’t be zeroed out, but our sources say the total could fall as low as $120 million, depending on how far Congress and the Trump administration want to go. ...


The Rohingya – the World’s Most Persecuted Religious Minority on My Mind
Aijaz Zaka Syed

With our indifference and inaction, we are not only betraying Myanmar’s Muslims but we may also be paving the way for more such tragedies around the world. If we do not act and soon, there will be a catastrophic price to pay. That is the message from the Haram....


Myanmar’s Unpeople: Suu Kyi Is Not the Only Leader Who Can Be Accused of Hypocrisy
Mahir Ali

Given that she eventually entered into a power-sharing arrangement with the military, which continues to exercise considerable control, not least in matters related to ‘security’, speaking up for the human rights of the Rohingya would in all likelihood have made precious little difference on the ground. That is, of course, an inadequate excuse for not speaking up. ....


Myanmar Treatment of Rohingya Looks Like 'Textbook Ethnic Cleansing', Says UN
Michael Safi

Myanmar’s treatment of its Muslim Rohingya minority appears to be a “textbook example” of ethnic cleansing, the top United Nations human rights official has said. In an address to the UN human rights council in Geneva, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein denounced the “brutal security operation” against the Rohingya in Rakhine state, which he said was “clearly disproportionate” to insurgent attacks carried out last month....


Personal law is not person al at all; arguably, it is not even law. It bestows rights to a community but its members can exercise that right only individually. It is inherent in India's circumstances that it pits the Hindu majority against the Muslim minority. Few care to recognize that the crux of the matter is gender inequality across the board. Instead, the conflict features two sets of men, each of whom claims to speak for women but uses that as a pretext for inter-community fear-mongering and contestations.


Are We Really Prepared For A Uniform Civil Code?
Faizan Mustafa

It is an erroneous perception that we have different personal laws because of religious diversity. As a matter of fact, law may differ from state to state. It appears that the framers of the Constitution did not intend total uniformity in the sense of one law for the whole country, because the power to legislate in respect of personal laws has been given to both Parliament as well as state assemblies. ...


One Nation One Code: The four-part series on Constituent Assembly debates on the Uniform Civil Code

How Ambedkar and others pushed for a uniform code before Partition

How the clause on a Uniform Civil Code was rendered toothless

Uniform code will hurt harmony, minorities argued to make a case for

How Muslim fears were allayed, and the UCC became a directive


True secularism demands a Uniform Civil Code

Compiled by New Age Edit Bureau


The future of Islamism: Can political Islam make it in the modern world?
The Economist

As with Islamism’s downfall in Egypt, its happier progress in Tunisia is, in large part, a matter of context. Unlike Egypt and Turkey, Tunisia does not have a strong and politicised army. And whereas the state’s repression in Egypt before the revolution seemed to harden the Brotherhood, in Tunisia it led Ennahda members, who shared prison cells with other opposition leaders, to adopt a more liberal worldview. The unique challenges faced in each country undoubtedly shaped their development. So Mr Ghannouchi says he has no desire to export the Ennahda model, seeing it as derived from the Tunisian context. “But if others find that they can benefit from our experience, that would make us happy.”

Iran Is Sending a Dangerous Message to the World
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

Russia, Turkey and Qatar are leaning further toward Iran. Moscow has intensified its intervention in Syria. Regional conflicts have helped Tehran create proxies and Shiite militias in several Arab countries. Europe appears more focused on striking business deals with Iran than on its militaristic policies and human rights violations. All these factors have empowered and emboldened Tehran.

Autumn of Iraq’s Bleeding Map
Ghassan Charbel

Seeing Iraq’s Kurds opt for independence would be a resounding event. Change is very dangerous in a region with fragile maps. Coexistence in the terrible Middle East is not in its best days. Velvet divorce similar to that of Czechoslovakia is not an option. Our culture does not produce velvet. The picture is really vague. But it is certain that the autumn has invaded the Iraqi map, and the country will not be the same after this fall season.


Dear Muslim, Have You Learnt To Live With Insults And Prejudice?
Aakar Patel

What’s it like to hear casual bigotry (references to ‘mossies’, ‘terrorists’) in the office, at the parties, and to overhear such things in public places? Did you once feel like punching people in the mouth (I would have) and have you stopped feeling it now? How? When our great leader separates Muslims from other Indians because of their faith (as he did so brutally the gentle Hamid Ansari), do you feel less Indian? Actually, wrong question. What I am searching for is more likely this: do you feel pushed away from all of us, and your country, or just the man who said those words? I hope it’s the latter.....

The Terror Next Time: The Daesh Story Is Not Ending
Ramzy Baroud

Strangely, the ‘US-led Global Coalition to Counter ISIS’ seems to have access to the firepower needed to turn cities into rubble, but not the wisdom to understand that unchecked violence inspires nothing but violence; and that state terror, foreign interventions and collective humiliation of entire nations are all the necessary ingredients to restart the bloodbath all over again....


White Supremacism in Israel
Rima Najjar

 Recent survey has found that nearly half of Israeli Jews believe in ethnic cleansing. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin reportedly called the findings a ‘wake-up call for Israeli society’. But what is it that these people should wake up to? The Jewish state was founded on ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Arabs and defends its “existence” by continuing to ethnic cleanse Palestinians. That’s what they should wake up to — the end of Israel as a Jewish state....

The Battle for Al-Aqsa 'Has Just Started'
Linah Alsaafin and Budour Hassan

The Battle for Al-Aqsa 'Has Just Started'
Linah Alsaafin

The importance of the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and its status among Palestinians stretches beyond being a place of worship into a communal space. "Al-Aqsa is like our own home and our sole breathing space," Zahra Qaws, a nurse and resident of the Afro-Palestinian community inside Jerusalem's Old City, told Al Jazeera.  "We don't just pray there," Qaws said. "We gather there, we rest and relax there, and our kids also play there. Separating us from al-Aqsa is like stripping us of our lungs."....


Only Palestinians Can Change Their Reality
Amira Hass

Even if the Palestinians had a single, united, respected leadership that had a reputation for integrity, and even if its members excelled intellectually, were committed to their people and strategically capable, it would have been difficult for it to challenge the dispossessive/acquisitive enterprise that Israel keeps strengthening and enhancing. Difficult, but possible.....

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