General Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s ouster from power has opened Tunisia’s political landscape somewhat. Political parties and various groups, such as trade unions and lawyers’ associations, are jostling to secure an advantageous position in the uncertain political climate that currently reflects Tunisian society. Political parties that existed legally were obviously tainted by cooperation with the regime.
Friends and neighbors of Abouzizi’s were so horrified by his suicide that his funeral was turned into a protest rally despite threats from the police.
The release of more than 1,600 secret documents by al-Jazeera TV on January 23 pertaining to complete surrender by the Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiators has confirmed what people have known all along.
The Tunisian dictator, General Zine el-Abidin Ben Ali has been driven from power. The leaderless uprising that forced his departure has been dubbed a “revolution” and Ben Ali’s flight has aroused hopes among people in the Middle East that they too can get rid of their dictators, most of them aging and in power for far too long.
The attempted assassination of US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson Arizona on January 8 (six people were killed in the attack and 14, including Giffords, injured) inevitably provoked a storm in the country. The main focus of the debate has of the debate has been the role of right-wing politicians and commentators, particularly the Republican former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
This solar month — the Persian Bahman and the Gregorian February — marks 32 years since the culmination of the Islamic spirit of change that swept away the decrepit regime of the great grandson of Cyrus the great, his majesty, the now six-foot under.
After two weeks of political uncertainty, the situation in Lebanon began to stabilize on January 25 when the Hizbullah-led alliance secured the support of 68 parliamentarians compared to 60 for the ousted Prime Minister Saad Hariri. President Michel Suleiman asked Najib Mikati, another former prime minister, to form the new government.
The Palestinian issue has been virtually stalemated since before Israel’s war on Gaza in 2008–2009, with Hamas, the most popular and legitimate Palestinian leadership bottled up in the besieged and densely populated Gaza, and the West Bank under the increasingly repressive rule of Mahmood Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (PA).
The assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer on January 4 at the hands of his own bodyguard has exposed the numerous fault lines criss-crossing the social fabric of Pakistani society over the blasphemy law. It has pushed the country toward two extremes drowning out rational and knowledge-based discussion.
Last month’s events have confirmed, yet again, with striking clarity how deeply polarized the Pakistani society is. The killing of Salman Taseer, Governor of Punjab Province, by his own bodyguard on January 4 has scared the living daylights out of the already cowardly rulers.
It is now widely expected that Yemen’s current unrest will lead to secession and not merely to the flight of its president, as has happened in Tunisia. The background to this situation is that the Republic of Yemen was born in May 22, 1990, when the two states of North and South Yemen merged after several clashes that led eventually to negotiations and a commitment to unity.
"In Azerbaijan the government has never arrested leaders of secular political parties. However, the IPA leadership was imprisoned on numerous occasions without any legal basis."
In the month of Rabi‘ al-Awwal, Muslims worldwide celebrate the birthday of the noble Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Lectures are delivered highlighting aspects of his great personality and the miracles he performed. Would it not be more appropriate to express our love for him by reviewing his life-struggle and the pain he endured in order to achieve the supremacy of Islam by establishing the Islamic State? Zafar Bangash, Director of the Institute of Islamic Thought, discusses some of these issues.
In the month marking the 46th anniversary of Malcolm X’s shahadah (real name El-Hajj Malik Shabazz), the task of tabulating his political legacy is a rather delicate enterprise. In US cinematic culture, he is perhaps known best from Spike Lee’s 1992 film.