MODERN ISLAMIC POLITICAL THOUGHT, by Hamid Enayat (revised edition, with foreword by Hamid Algar). Pub: Islamic Book Trust, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2001. Pp. 307; pbk. RM36.00 / $12.00 (excld. postage)
Much has been made of George W. Bush’s throwaway characterization of the US’s “war on terrorism” as a ‘crusade’. To be fair, he was probably using the word in the sense of a determined, even zealous, pursuit of a cause, rather than in any specifically anti-Islamic sense...
The contemporary world is in the process of a political reconfiguration. The traditional concepts and frameworks of understanding, capitalism vs. communism, right vs. left, and conservative vs. progressive, are outdated and have been left behind.
One feature of the crisis that began on September 11 has been the extent to which the US’s subsequent policy has been questioned and opposed by so many people even in the West. Even in America, where war-fever has been most intense, opposition to the attacks on Afghanistan has been evident, in demonstrations on university campuses, in New York and other cities...
As international attention remains focused on the US-British attacks on Afghanistan and the escalating humanitarian crisis inflicted on the Afghani people, Israel has gone on the rampage in Palestine.
President Husni Mubarak of Egypt has been fighting Islamic movements since coming to power in 1981. Exploiting Egypt’s influence in the Muslim world, he has been instrumental in the adoption of anti-terrorism conventions and resolutions by the Arab League, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), and the General Assembly of the UN.
Whether the US-led war on Afghanistan will overthrow the Taliban is a moot point, but it has already caused tremors in Saudi Arabia. Not because the House of Saud is concerned about what happens to the Taliban or the Afghans...
On October 12 the Nobel prize committee in Oslo announced that it was awarding the United Nations Organization and Kofi Annan, its secretary-general, a peace prize in recognition of their work in pursuit of “a better organized and a more peaceful world.” This is the first time that the UN as a whole and its acting head have received the award.
Propaganda is an important tool of war but, like everything else the Americans do, it is one which they wield crudely. On October 22 the Taliban reported that a hospital in Herat had been bombed, killing more than 100 people, including many children.
The US-British assault on the Taliban and Usama bin Ladin in Afghanistan does not appear to be going well, despite the use of ground troops on October 20 after two weeks of aerial attacks.
China, now a member of the World Trade Organisation, has made substantial political and economic gains at the APEC summit it recently hosted at Shanghai.
Russia and the US have established reasonably friendly ties in order to avoid conflict between their interests, and occasionally to cooperate for those interests.