Archive for the ‘Islamism’ Category
Women gather on the steps of the National Assembly in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, on Monday, during a protest over violence against women. PACOME PABANDJI/AFP/Getty Images
“There were no dramatic demonstrations of joy, but rather a huge sigh of “relief “ : residents of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), did not hide their satisfaction, Tuesday, Nov. 26 at the sight of the French troops arriving to bring a halt to the activities of rebels who have been terrorising the population. “
Le Monde (adapted)
“Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, had mentioned the deployment of 6,000 9 000 peacekeepers. But until now, several countries, including the United States and Great Britain , have seemed reluctant to finance a new operation in Africa . The resolution, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter provides for the use of force, and would call “the rapid application of transitional arrangements in the Central African Republic” with the objective of holding of free and fair elections.”
“According to the UN, without ” swift and decisive action ” in the Central African Republic, there is a risk ” that the crisis will spiral out of control”. The “religious and ethnic conflict “ between Christians and Muslims could lead to ”widespread atrocities” . The Central African Republic, according to the UN risks becoming “a breeding ground for extremists and armed gangs.“
The operation in CAR “has nothing to do with Mali“, said the Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian. He spoke of an intervention that would be ”brief, taking around of six months or less “. He added, “This is a failed state within which there is a grave danger of religious conflict”.
The Independent reports,
“The Central African Republic is in a state of collapse and we cannot allow a country to fall apart like that, with the risk of violence, massacres and humanitarian chaos, ” Mr Le Drian said.
Both sides have accused each other of atrocities since a Muslim rebel alliance overthrew a Christian president in March. There have been reports of massacres, rape and the conscription of child soldiers by the rebel forces.
Over a million people, in a country of 4.4 million, are facing famine. An estimated 400,000 people have been forced from their homes and 68,000 have fled to neighbouring countries.
The UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told the Security Council on Monday that the CAR was becoming a “breeding ground for extremists and armed groups” and could descend into a full-scale civil war between Muslim and Christian communities. (1) UN officials have warned of the “potential for another Rwanda”.
Background in l’Humanité.
More on the religious aspect of the fighting and massacres of civilians in the Guardian.
The latest eruption began in March when the unpopular president, François Bozizé, fled by helicopter with five suitcases after being overthrown by a loose coalition of rebels, bandits and guns for hire known as the Seleka, meaning “alliance” in the local language. One of its leaders, Michel Djotodia, declared himself president — the first Muslim to rule this majority Christian nation of 4.6 million people.
What started as a political movement against the corrupt and autocratic Bozizé is now taking on an ominously religious character. Nearly all the Seleka are Muslim, including mercenaries from neighbouring Chad and the notorious Janjaweed from Sudan’s Darfur region. An “us and them” mentality of mutual distrust and paranoia is taking root, with some Christians taking up arms in vigilante militias known as “anti-balaka” — meaning anti-sword or anti-machete — and committing atrocities of their own, giving the Seleka a pretext for yet more aggression. The spiral of violence has become a recruiting sergeant for thousands of child soldiers.
Few people have raised their voices against this intervention.
(1) About 80 percent of the population of the Central African Republic are Christians. It is believed that many of these followers incorporate traditional indigenous elements into their faith practices.
Frère Tariq Feels Qualified to Give Orwell Lecture.
This year’s Orwell Lecture will be given by Professor Tariq Ramadan of Oxford University on ‘Democratising the Middle East: A New Role for the West’ on the evening of Tuesday 12th November. The event will take place at the new venue of University College London.
More information here.
Here are some extracts from our posts about frère Tariq,
Ramadan’s inability to adopt secular values has come to the fore, as the Flight notes, in his tortuous calls for a “moratorium “ on the most severe Sharia punishments, the “huddud” – the death penalty for apostasy, the stoning of adulterers, the amputation of the limbs of thieves, and other ‘laws’.
That is before we go further into different Islamic ‘legal schools’ and their versions of these and the vengeance of the Muslim talion. The fact that women and non-Muslims count for less than Muslim men in these religious ‘courts’ casts doubt on the credentials of anyone who considers them just. There is no equality before the law in Islamic ‘jurisprudence’.
This came to a head on French television in 2003. The future French president, Nicolas Sarkozy confronted the future Oxford Don. Ramadan refused to condemn these punishments, specifically on stoning miscreant women, arguing that a “consensus” amongst scholars and the Muslim community had to be reached on the subject before anything more than a temporary halt could be called for.
Ramadan simply would not denounce stoning outright. We could then see, “The whole panorama of Muslim women’s oppression suddenly deployed across the television screens of France…”(Ibid) (Post: 2011)
Review. What I Believe. Tariq Ramadan. Oxford University Press. 2009. (Post 2009)
Tariq Ramadan is a “controversial intellectual”. He faces “many-sided opposition”. The soft-spoken supporter of “solidarity, human dignity, and justice” is accused of “doublespeak”. “Criticisms first of (and mainly in) France, then taken up by some French loving groups of some ideological currents, have built up a haze of controversy around me and my commitment.” He asks, “What are the “ideological and/or interests” of these groups?” Not too savoury, as we shall see. He, by contrast, tries to “build bridges between two universes of reference”, “Western and Islamic ‘civilisations’” “and “between citizens within Western societies themselves”.
The book’s contribution to this “process of mediation”? It’s an “opportunity to read me in the original and simply get direct access to my thought”. To show that we “share many common principles and values”. That it is possible to ‘live together’” (all liberal English Anglian inverted commas Ramadan’s). That he belongs to a “reformist trend” within Islam. Which is? A “great and noble religion.”
To counter this, he claims, the religion’s contribution deserves a larger place in the culture. Revised syllabi, he argues, may help. There needs more mention of Muslim thinkers, from al-Kindî (ninth century), al-Ghazâlî (twelfth century) to Ibn Khaldûm (fourteenth century) To rival no doubt the attention already given in Europe’s school trivium to Thomas Aquinas, Dun Scotus, and Anselm of Canterbury.
That in “my Sharia” “all the laws that protect human life and dignity, promote justice and equality, enforce respect of Nature, and so on” are part of the “way to faithfulness to Islam’s objectives”. Take what is true to this, and, as for the rest, well we are not sure. Applied to law and jurisprudence he argues for “radical reform”. Of what? There are plenty of ‘controversial’ parts of the Sharia, throughout all the different schools of Islamic ‘law’. Quite a few subjects for a would-be reformer. Including the Hudud ‘claims of God’ – punishments against Theft, Highway Robbery, Extra-Martial Sex, Apostasy and so on.
These – applied in many countries under what at least some scholars call the Sharia (many with as strong qualifications as Ramadan) are renowned for what we shall call in non-clericalese, obscenity and brutality.
The laws categorised as Qisas, “eye for an eye” – (the law of the Talion) are not mild either. In these what exactly is a matter of custom, tradition, and of divine law?
Sometimes a particularly weaselly attempt is made to say that the Sharia will only really exist in a ‘pure’ Islamic society, with no penalties being carried out – presumably as there will be no theft, no sexual impropriety, no unbelief, and indeed no crime whatsoever.
Ramadan does not provide an answer to how to separate custom from divine legislation. More modestly he once made a call for a ‘moratorium’ (not abolition) on many of the harshest Islamic penalties.
This request doesn’t get a mention here. The idea was dropped without support. What happened on the Way? Did it not shine a light on Ramadan’s reforming path that others may follow? What are his proposals now?
Tariq Ramadan, faces a new crisis (here). This time it’s in Holland. (Post 2009)
Ramadan is employed part-time as an Adviser by Rotterdam City Council. His role is to ’stimulate discussion” on immigration and to ’build bridges’ with the Dutch Muslim community. At the pay of 27 500 Euros a year he does two days a month work, has produced two reports and has led some public debates. This adds to Ramadan’s active presence in various guises across the world: in France, Switzerland, and elsewhere. Which includes the United Kingdom where he has an academic reputation, and is fêted by Conservatives, New Labour, multi-culturalists and Islamophiles alike.
According to Le Monde this week Ramadan stands accused by the magazine Gay Krant of homophobic and sexist comments.
Ramadan aurait déclaré que l’islam prohibait l’homosexualité, laquelle serait “un dérangement, un dysfonctionnement, un déséquilibre”. “Dieu a fixé une norme qui veut qu’un homme soit destiné à une femme et une femme à un homme”, aurait aussi indiqué le philosophe.
Ramadan is alleged to have declared that Islam prohibits homosexuality, which is ‘a disorder, a disequilibrium, a disfunction’. He is also said to have declared that ‘God has fixed a norm that means a man is intended for a woman, and a woman for a man’.
Regarding women’s public appearance he recommended that they take less care of their appearance, and behave with modesty (soberly). In the street, they should “garder toujours les yeux fixés sur le bitume” (keep their eyes fixed on the pavement).
Reactions to these reported remarks have hit Rotterdam Council. An enquiry has been launched. The comments are alternatively denied or considered taken “out of context”. The Islamist has been defended by the Green Party, whose Rik Grashof holds the portfolio of Integration. He has declared that even if Ramadan is opposed to homosexuality he gives priority to “respect for people.”
In France long-standing secular critics of Ramadan place these remarks in context (here). Caroline Fourrest remarks that ’Brother Tariq’, praised as a religious progressive, has more in common with Jerry Falwell than Martin Luther King. In brief his comments are par for the course. While the Council has (here) apparently ‘exornerated’ Ramadan, the controversy rumbles on.
Protest Against Tunisia’s Islamists (September 2013).
“We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British Left in one of its periodical fits of morality.” (Tendance Coatesy. Collected Works Vol.3).
At present the Alliance for Workers Liberty is caught up in such a spasm of outrage.
Beside himself with rage Marcus Halaby writes of the “AWL’s anti-anti-imperialist Islamophobia” in Workers Power Yassamine Mather in the Weekly Worker (October the 31st) spends a page pinning down ”angry accusations of Islamophobia, racism and pro-imperialism” against the AWL leader Sean Matgamma. Halby states, “Matgamna’s shameless Islamophobia, the latest, virulent strain of racism in the West, and the AWL’s failure to distance itself from it certainly deserves to be harshly criticised and condemned.”
One AWL member states that it is this was the final straw that pushed him to resign from the group,
Pat Smith says, “Not just the Islamophobic language, but the chauvinist – worse than chauvinist – world view that it presents; a world view that permeates and informs the entire article, a world view upon which Sean’s explanation for the appeal of Islamic fundamentalism is predicated.”
The response of the AWL is here.
What is this all about?
One article, originally published in 2007, and now re-presented, Political Islam, Christian Fundamentalism, Marxism and the Left Today
Yassamine Mather summarises its arguments,
- First, that “The ‘war on terror’ was not a ‘put-up job’, an artificially concocted replacement for the old cold war with Stalinist Russia … to create an external enemy which can be used to bind atomised capitalist society together.”
- Second, that “[the west] did not for that purpose invent the upsurge of militant political Islam, or, rather, the emergence of political Islam as a force in international politics …” So “Neither covert western encouragement nor neo-con manipulation” explains the “fundamental root of the luxuriantly thriving Islamic fundamentalism.” Instead, “it has other, indigenous, roots.”
- Third, that “In the Arab countries, especially, political Islam has expanded to fill the space created by the collapse of Arab nationalism”, which imploded “in part … because it had achieved all it could achieve – the independence of Arab states such as Egypt and Iraq, which were semi-dependencies of Britain until the 1950s.”
- Finally, that today’s political Islamist movements are the contemporary equivalents of the “desert tribes of primitive Muslim simplicity and purity enviously eyeing a rich and decadent walled city and sharpening their knives, or country folk in former Yugoslavia eyeing a city like Dubrovnik – so now much of the Islamic world looks with envy, covetousness, religious self-righteousness and active hostility on the rich, decadent, infidel-ridden, sexually sinful advanced capitalist societies.”
For her the fault line is clear, for the “philistine Matgamna…. this phenomenon is simply as some sort of ideological ‘living fossil’, separate from the main developments that characterise the other, ‘modern’ world.”
Sean Matgamn’s “monstrosity” largely centres on this paragraph – the pivot of all the other arguments (nobody is, to be honest, interested in the comments on Christianity).
Like desert tribes of primitive Muslim simplicity and purity enviously eyeing a rich and decadent walled city and sharpening their knives, or country folk in former Yugoslavia eyeing a city like Dubrovnik, so, now, much of the Islamic world looks with envy, covetousness, religious self-righteousness and active hostility on the rich, decadent, infidel-ridden, sexually sinful advanced capitalist societies.
Marcus Halby says, “Thus he is accusing, let us put it plainly, Muslims of making hypocritical denunciations of the Western world when in reality they want to plunder it of its riches and enjoy its corruption.”
Yasminna comments, “It is oddly reminiscent of passages one might have read in a mid-19th century history text book, possibly taught in a (second-rate) public school.”
Halby outdoes her, “It should, of course, be shocking that the leading figure of a far left organisation should be using the sort of racist and Orientalist language more traditionally associated with professional Islamophobes like Melanie Phillips, Daniel Pipes, David Horowitz, Brigitte Gabriel and Mark Steyn: a fleshly paradise, harems of virgins, a starved beggar squatting, desert tribes, primitive simplicity and purity, decadence, envy and covetousness, the sharpening of knives, a walled city, the walls of Vienna, sexual sinfulness, infidels, luxuriantly thriving.”
Well, so much for the colourful language. And so much for Marcus Halaby whose detailed sectarian attacks on the AWL – even for Coatesy – pass beyond the will to read further than the lines we cited.
Beloved Bangladeshi People
A boy shouts slogans as he joins activists demanding the maximum penalty for war criminals in Dhaka. AP
If you want to read a proper European report on the condemnation of Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan do not look in the Guardian, still less to the BBC.
Read le Monde today,
A special Bangladesh court has sentenced to death in absentia on Sunday a British and an American for their role in the torture and murder of 18 teachers, journalists or doctors during the struggle for independence waged against Pakistanin 1971.
It then goes on to describe Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin’s role in Britian and Ashrafuzzaman Khan’s in the US.
The article notably states,
A survey identified 1,175 private individuals – including Pakistani generals and Islamist allies in Islamabad at the time – suspected of having committed numerous crimes during the 1971 war, such as murder, rape and the forced conversion of Hindus to Islam .
According to the Government, the 1971 war led to three million deaths. Some independent authorities believe that the total amounted to between 300,000 and 500,000 dead.
Victory to the Beloved Bangladeshi People!
Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin and…..
UK-Bangladeshi Muslim community leader Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khanwas were being tried in absentia by a special tribunal in Bangladesh.
They were found guilty on 11 charges relating to the abduction and killing of 18 independence supporters.
Reports the BBC.
Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, the defacto leader of the East London Mosque and the Islamic Forum of Europe, the fascist Jamaat e Islami wing in the UK, has finally been found guilty of war crimes for killing pro-Bangladesh indepedance academics in 1971.
The Independent confirms this:
“During the trial, the prosecution had also informed the Court that Mueen, besides being the former chairman of the East London Mosque, he was also formerly Director of the Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the UK’s National Health Service, according to his website.”
On 3 November 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Mueen-Uddin to death for killing 18 intellectuals in 1971. Mueen left Bangladesh shortly after its independence in 1971 and went to United Kingdom and staying there till now.
Mueen-Uddin is a director of Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), a member of Multi Faith Group for Healthcare Chaplaincy (MFGHC), and a trustee of Muslim Aid.”
The Bangladesh Daily Star announced today,
The tribunal’s verdict of capital punishment for Chowdhury Mueen Uddin and Ashrafuzzaman Khan met the expectations of justice seekers yesterday. But they were hardly relieved by the judgement as the convicts were still at large in the UK and the USA.
And there is little hope of bringing the duo back home as the laws of those countries do not support extradition of any death convict.
Family members of war crimes victims believe that justice will be served only when the verdict is executed.
In a report Mission elimination of Bangalee intelligentsia Inam Ahmed writes
Scorched earth policy has been followed since the days war was invented. But even Hitler’s atrocity in Ukraine as the Nazis retreated from Russian attack pales in comparison.
Mishuk Munier, who as a grade seven student last saw his litterateur father Munier Chowdhury being escorted out by the Badr group, remembered this last scene forever. From the balcony of their house, all he could do was to watch that dreadful, unbearable sight of separation and agony. Munier’s body was never found.
Shumon Zahid, son of journalist Selina Parvin, will always hear her mother’s last words: “Shumon, have your lunch. I will come back soon.” Selina’s body, mutilated, was found on December 17.
Today, the two main killers of that gang, Mueen and Ashraf, are sitting in the UK and the USA respectively. The UK could try Mueen under the Geneva Convention signed in 1957. But that did not happen.
But at least some solace could be found in yesterday’s verdict.