History is a broad church (to put it mildly) and the term ‘historian’ covers a bewildering range of sinners, from those deliberately hiding from unpleasant realities in the study of the deadest-possible past (agrarian life in the Aztec empire, say) to contemporary historians whose agendas are blatantly political, with no end of variation between.
This month, the al-Aqsa Intifada will be one year old. It was on September 28 that Ariel Sharon, then leader of Israel’s opposition, walked into the Haram al-Sharif surrounded by Israeli soldiers, in an calculated insult to the Palestinians and a demonstration of Israel’s effective sovereignty over the Farthest Mosque.
Arabic has the distinction of being a literary language par excellence throughout the Arab and Muslim world, developed directly from Qur’anic Arabic and used in an array of forms ranging from poetry and theology to public policy and news media.
The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) has been the mainstay of the al-Aqsa Intifada in Palestine. In this issue, we reprint two recent communiqués explaining their approach to the conduct of the Islamic resistance struggle to the Zionist occupation of Palestine.
Ahmad Awyahya, Algeria’s justice minister, has announced that Ali Bilhaj, the deputy leader of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), who has been serving a 12-year prison sentence since 1991, will not be released early, and that the ban on FIS will not be lifted. The announcement was made because of speculation that Bilhaj was about to be released and that FIS, which was banned in 1992, would soon be able to resume its activities as a legally recognised political organisation.
It’s déja vu yet again in the Persian Gulf, with US and British air raids against Iraq throughout most of August. Since August 7, after a three-week break in their bombing, US and British warplanes have returned to pound targets in northern and southern Iraq at the previous rate of three or four raids a week.
By forcing Israeli troops to withdraw from the Abu Sneineh quarter in Khalil (Hebron) on August 24, Palestinians set another precedent that is likely to be repeated whenever Israel invades Palestinian-controlled areas. Late in the evening of August 23, Israeli armoured personnel-carriers and jeeps, backed by helicopters...
As Indonesians celebrated their independence from Holland in 1945 on August 17, western governments congratulated president Megawati Sukarnoputri.
Nineteen years after the gruesome massacres at the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps in Beirut, there is renewed interest in the issue, largely because a lawsuit has been lodged in a Belgian court against Ariel Sharon, now Israeli prime minister, for his role.
China is studying how European immigrants to North America wiped out the indigenous peoples and seized their country.
Following in the footsteps of the occupiers of Palestine, L. K. Advani, the Indian home affairs minister, announced on August 20 in Srinagar, capital of Indian-occupied Kashmir, that Indian soldiers accused of torture, extrajudicial executions or rape of women would be immune to prosecution under a new law.
The North Atlantic Council (NAC), the decision-making body of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), on August 21 authorized the deployment of 3,500 allied troops to Macedonia to collect weapons from ethnic Albanian militants.