Racism is one of the defining characteristics of the twentieth century. Even societies built on the Enlightenment belief in equality of mankind seem unable to bring about an end to racial discrimination.
The elections in Turkey and Algeria last month were important for the countries’ Islamic movements. In Turkey, the ‘Islamic’ party Fazilat came a disappointing third, behind prime minister Bulent Ecevit’s centre-left party and the right-wing nationalist MHP.
Three years after his death Dr Kalim Siddiqui continues to nourish the global Islamic movement. Like a benign apparition his thoughts and ideas, hopes and aspirations pervade every private thought and every public halaqa of those Muslims who are consciously dedicated to the cause of Islamic change...
A country like Algeria, in the throes of a bloody civil war, with its institutions destroyed and its resources plundered, hardly needs a leader effectively appointed - though ostensibly elected - by those responsible for the mess. Abdul Aziz Bouteflika, the sole candidate and ‘victor’ in the April 15 presidential elections...
Yasir Arafat is perhaps the only person in the world who still clings to the fiction that there is a ‘peace process’ in the Middle East. The Oslo accords which he signed in September 1993 and September 1995 have been an unmitigated disaster for the Palestinian people.
Thousands of non-Palestinian Muslims are languishing in Israeli jails, some of them for more than 20 years. They are routinely subjected to torture, hunger, disease and isolation at the hands of Israeli ‘security forces’ in a systematic attempt to extract information and destroy their Islamic identity.
In his born-again African phase following his recent rejection of Arab nationalism as a racist concept - and perhaps mindful also of the possibility of international rehabilitation following his sending of the Lockerbie suspects to trial in the Netherlands - Libyan leader colonel Mu’ammar Qaddafi seems to be joining in the west’s crusade against Sudan.
Although Anwar Ibrahim’s ‘conviction’ on corruption charges was a foregone conclusion, the April 14 verdict still sent shock waves through Malaysia. The sentence - six years in jail - was even heavier than expected, and Judge Augustine Paul’s decision to have the prison term begin from the day of the conviction...
The struggle of the Malay Bangsamoro people began almost 500 years ago, when Spain invaded the three independent Muslim principalities - the Sultanates of Sulu and Maguindanao, and the Confederated Sultanates of Ranao - which governed mainland Mindanao and the islands of Basilan, Sulu and Palawan. Mindanao and these islands today constitute what is known as the ‘southern Philippines.’ Islam had been here for some 200 years before the Spanish arrived.
From a distance, you wouldn’t think that this is a city under siege. And why should you? Its giant bridges, ancient ruins and ever-flowing rivers are a sign of a well-nurtured civilization. Once you get close to its alleyways, streets and hospitals however, you will be shocked to see a very different reality.
There was poetic justice in the conviction of Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari on corruption charges by the Ehtesab Bench of the Lahore High Court on April 15. Each was sentenced to five years in jail and fined US$8.6 million
The NATO summit which took place in Washington from April 23-26 ended with a typically western fudge. After weeks of strong words against Slobodan Milosevic’s government regarding the genocide of Kosova’s Muslims, the Alliance concluded their 50th Anniversary session by authorising Russia to seek a mediated settlement to its war with Yugoslavia.
The Taliban government in Afghanistan has reacted angrily to Russian plans to establish a permanent military base in Tajikistan. The Taliban foreign minister, Mohammed Hasan Akhond, complained about the plans in a letter to UN secretary general Kofi Annan on April 11.
Turkey’s Islamist Fazilat party suffered a disappointing result in the country’s parliamentary elections on April 18. The largest party in the old Parliament, they hoped to increase their largest-single party status by increasing the number of seats they won.