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1. King Abdullah’s Address in World Islamic Conference
Roznama Munsif (The Judge Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 3 August 2010, Tuesday
The patron of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, brought to notice the issue of disunity within the Islamic community and differences among Muslims, in his address to the International Islamic Conference in Mecca. He praised the efforts of the Muslim World League against terrorism and fundamentalism. As far as disunity and disagreement among the Muslim community is concerned, the solution can be found only by following the Quran and Sunnah. At the zenith of Islam, during the time of the pious Caliphs, they never left the way of Quran and Sunnah and the Muslims brought the entire world under their flag. Not only this, wherever they formed governments based on Islamic justice system, they won people’s heart and large native populations embraced Islam. The moment Muslims established kingdoms and left the way shown by the pious Caliphs, disunity and disagreement also made its place among the Muslim community. This period of history of Islam set a horrific precedence. Arguments can be given for or against it, but nobody can deny the fact of the beginning of disunity among Muslim community. Until recently, the presence of the Turkish Ottoman caliphate that finally came to an end in the storm of democracy had completely removed the notion of caliphate from the hearts of people.
When the Muslim community accepted the Zionist and the crusaders’ idea of one country for one nation it proved to be the last nail on the coffin of the Islamic community. The Islamic community is now identified with different nations based on regional identities. In other words, the Islamic community broke apart and the Muslim countries acquired respective regional identities. The Zionist and Crusader conspiracies tasted success. The establishment of the League of Nations before World War I and the United Nation after that was the last nail on the coffin of the Islamic community. Moreover, these powers acquired “Veto Power” for resolution of any dispute in the international organisation. So, the international organisation cannot take any decision without the consent of these powers as they may use their veto.
This indication to the disunity among Muslims by King Abdullah becomes more important in these tough conditions. Today 56 Muslim countries on the map of world seem to have a paralysed presence. They are divided into camps and groups as per respective interests. Any effort to bring them together is faced with international conspiracies by the Zionist and Crusader lobbies. They cannot tolerate any kind of governance in the name of Islam. The devastation of Afghanistan in the name of 9/11 is proof enough for this. For them any invasion to remove a government established by people’s choice bringing death and destruction does not come under terrorism.
Now the question is how to do away with the division among the Muslims? The Muslim countries will have to end their partial disagreements, searching for unity in the light of Quran and Sunnah. In spite of their commitments with international powers, they will have to look for the interests of the community. Without violating the international laws, with the inspiration of Islamic brotherhood, the efforts in the interest of Islamic community can only bring an end to the disunity and division among Muslims.
Dawat Online (Invitation), New Delhi,
Editorial, 4 August 2010, Wednesday
Roznama Hamara Samaj (Our Society Daily), New Delhi,
Editorial, 5 August 2010, Thursday
Roznama Siasat (The Politics Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 6 August 2010, Friday
US President Barack Obama has announced that the American military mission in Iraq will come to an end as promised and on schedule by the end of August this year. Further the US government will support civil authorities in Iraq. Obama had announced immediately after taking oath of office that he intends to gradually wind up the US military mission in Iraq and wants to strengthen its presence on Afghan front. In fact, the war in Iraq is apparently finished for the US as most of the politicians and organisations who were against the US have been eliminated or they pose very less threat to American interests. The US has almost achieved its ambitions here as it got enough opportunities to strengthen its presence in Iraq, which it grabbed with both hands. Obama has said that most of the American military bases are being closed or handed over to Iraqi military. The withdrawal of American military will start soon as well. According to Obama, ninety thousand American forces will be brought back within this year. The local government is being handed over to Iraqi authorities and responsibility for security is also being given to Iraqi forces. Now it will be Iraqi police and security forces that will take care of security concerns in Iraq, although they will be trained by the American forces. The US has no more interest in Iraq from the point of view that it has almost achieved all its ambitions including the use of Iraqi borders for dealing with Iran. So, now it has become almost useless for the American forces to remain in Iraq.
Although Obama has made it amply clear that American military mission in Iraq will come to an end he has also clarified that civilian work will continue as usual, which will be controlled by American diplomats. This is an important point as the Obama administration will control the Iraqi civilian authorities which it was doing through its military. Apart from that, there was anger all around against American military presence in Iraq and it was under pressure to wind up its military mission. The announcement to the end the military mission is not surprising in such circumstances. But honest implementation of this announcement is not free from doubt. While, the need is to remain vigilant against the actual motives of the Obama administration, the responsibility of Iraqi government, Iraqi forces and above all Iraqi public has increased manifold. They will have to take autonomous decisions in the interest of their country and its people. They should endeavour to improve the condition of people including children who have been robbed of their childhood due to war. The Iraqi security forces, Iraqi government and the people of Iraq should consider the past mistakes and take lesson from them in formulation of any roadmap for future of Iraq, which should be their foremost duty. The dream for a bright and better future cannot become a reality without taking lessons from past mistakes.
The Iraqi security forces should try to take into confidence all sections of Iraqi people to formulate a comprehensive roadmap to bring an end to terror and militant activities. Even though the US military has announced an end to its activities in Iraq, but it cannot be completely trusted. So, it shall be the responsibility of Iraqis themselves to bring their house in order and revive normalcy. The people of Iraq should try to come out of past trauma and look forward and try to make a better future. It should be kept in mind that they have been a victim of many international conspiracies and Iraqis themselves have been involved in them. But now the Iraqi people should come together to fight such conspiracies against their nation. It is apparently the responsibility of Iraqi government to create an atmosphere of peace and happiness, which it should endeavour in all conceivable manners.
Roznama Rashtiya Sahara (The National Sahara Daily), New Delhi
Editorial, 6 August 2010, Friday
On 3 August 2010, Israel attacked Lebanon targeting civilians and soldiers, once again flouting all international rules and laws. The reason given by Israel for the attack, however, was laughable. The authorities say that Israeli soldiers were cutting a tree on Israel-Lebanon border, which was hindering the vigil on border. The Lebanese authorities claim that the tree was on the Lebanese side of border and not on Israeli side, so it has no right to cut down the tree. The Israeli soldiers entered Lebanese territory and tried to cut the tree by force, which was protested by the Lebanese military. In response, Israeli soldiers fired and shot dead two Lebanese soldiers. Some journalists were also present on the spot, who requested the on-duty UN forces (UNIFIL) to stop the Israeli forces from entering Lebanese territory. But the UNIFIL failed to act and stop Israeli forces. The Lebanese military then fired in response which caused the death of one Israeli officer and another was injured. This enraged the Israelis and they attacked Lebanese tanks deployed on the border, four people including a journalist, Asaf Abu Rahal, from Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar died as a result. While five others, including Ali Rahil, Mayor of the city of Udaysa, were injured.
It is the first incident of fighting between Israeli forces and secular Lebanese forces. Earlier, the area witnessed only clashes between Israeli forces and the Shia militia, Hezbollah. But Hezbollah remained restrained this time, even though, its leader Hassan Nasarallah had assured the Lebanese authorities that if allowed its militia is ready to give a fitting reply to the Israeli aggression. Hezbollah had earlier in 2006 defeated and forced Israeli exit from Lebanon.
Israel had several motives behind this act: first, Israel wants the UNIFIL to remain at the Israel-Lebanon border so as to secure its bordering areas. Lebanon does not see any benefit in the presence of UNIFIL as it has not protected any Israeli aggression. The resolution which sanctioned the UNIFIL is going to end on the coming 31 August, which can open the way for exit of UNIFIL, but such incidents can ensure the extended stay of peace keeping forces in the area. Perhaps Israel had this in mind when it attacked Lebanon as most of the times it has used UNIFIL to hide its aggression. This force came to Lebanon in 1978 for monitoring the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon, but it is not this force that forced Israel to withdraw from south Lebanon. This was done by continuous guerrilla attack by Hezbollah with caused major loss to Israeli army. Israel had a very shameful exit from south Lebanon but later they portrayed it as they have withdrawn their forces respecting the UNSC Resolutions 425 and 426. This interim force (it should rather be termed permanent force) still continues there even after complete Israeli withdrawal. This interim force has miserably failed in protecting Israeli aggression and has rather worked as a veil to Israeli crimes. This hardly has any utility for people of Lebanon, but it still is said that it protects the Lebanese people. The US and Israel are using this force for their interest. This is the reason that Israel wants to create a major fight out of these small clashes so as to elongate the stay of UNIFIL.
Another motive is that Israel wants to get into a major confrontation with Hezbollah, as it thinks that, it has amassed huge weapons with the help of Syria and Iran in the last four years. It also thinks that Hezbollah is also giving help to Hamas. They have regularly blamed Hezbollah of helping Hamas.
Making a major issue out of a small matter of cutting down a tree indicates that Israel want to bring Hezbollah on the battlefield. It wants to use its newly acquired air force against Hezbollah. It has not yet forgotten the 2006 defeat at the hands of Hezbollah. They are desperate to use their new deadly weapons against Hezbollah. On the other hand, Hezbollah also seems ready for the challenge. But they want the Lebanese forces to join hands so that Israel cannot claim it as a war with a non-state actor. They want that any war should be rightly seen as between Israeli aggression and Lebanese defence.
It would be unripe to say anything about the occurrence of war, but the world should see the habit of Israeli forces of targeting civilians and common people on the pretext of threat to its security by making a huge issue of small matters.
Roznama Rashtiya Sahara (The National Sahara Daily), New Delhi
Editorial, 13 August 2010, Friday
The tension between the US and Iran is not new, it has seen 31 years now. Iran and the US had very friendly relations before the Islamic revolution. Iran was under Shah’s rule. Iranian monarchy had such a close relation with United States that Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran was termed as the American policeman of the region. Iran at that time was the only Muslim country to have diplomatic relations with Israel. None of the Arab or Gulf states dared to look eye to eye with Iran. But the echoes of “Death to America” were heard on Iranian streets after the revolution. America was termed as the Great Satan. People had a feeling that they are being ruled by America under the face of Shah. The tension rose to such an extent that a group of Iranian students captured the American embassy in Tehran. The tension between the two had never decreased since then and at times the situation came to the verge of American or Israeli attack on Iran. These days the strain in relations is at its peak. Both sides are busy in rhetoric. A recent statement about attack on Iran by the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen was protested by the Iranian office in UNSC, which posted a letter. The letter was made public on Thursday (12 August).
Iran’s permanent representative to United Nations Mohammad Khazaee, wrote in his letter, indicating the open threat by American authorities of use of force against Iran, as against international law and basic principles of UN. Mike Mullen, chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff had said in his interview to NBC television on Sunday (8 August), regarding Iranian nuclear programme, that use of force cannot be ruled out and it is one of the options. This statement from Mike Mullen came at a time when some time back the Iranian representative in his letter to the Security Council, in response to the US President’s threat to use nuclear weapon against Iran, demanded that such threats should be strictly taken into notice. US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates had also said in his recent statement that there are possibilities that Iran develops the capability to fire hundreds of missiles towards Europe, which is why they are working on their missile system in Europe. Iran says that this is the symbol of the animosity of the US and the Zionist state towards Iran. The Iranians also said that such threats have become frequent off late. According to them, this is a policy that has put international security at risk. They say that it is a world known fact that America is the only country to use nuclear weapon and had killed hundreds of thousands of people. However, Iran wants a nuclear weapon free world. The Islamic government of Iran has not just made rhetoric, but has signed the NPT and non-proliferation conventions on biological and chemical weapons. According to the Iranians, the US authorities have completely lost their respect all around the world. This is the reason why they have resorted to lies and deception for deviating the world’s focus from dangers to the world due to their imperialist policies and are accusing others. On the other hand, the Iranian public is mentally preparing itself for war. They have started to dig up graves for the enemies. Israel is also putting pressure on the US to attack Iran, but Barack Hussein Obama does not have a warring nature like Bush, so it seems that there is no immediate threat of invasion from American side. It is a different matter the US imposes more sanctions on Iran to make it impossible for the Iranian people to live. The kind of defeat America is presently facing in Iraq and Afghanistan may deter it from attacking Iran. America cannot allow Israel to invade Iran as that will cause a new wave of hatred towards the Zionist state in the Muslim world. It can further enrage the Muslims against the US. So, the US is neither ready to attack Iran nor ready to back Israeli invasion of Iran. However, the bitterness is increasing on both sides.
The US resorted to propaganda against Iraq before attacking it that Iraq had WMDs. The propaganda was so strong that not just Americans, but the entire world believed that Iraq had WMDs. But when no such weapons could be traced after the invasion, the US shamelessly accepted that there were no such weapons. Now the same kind of propaganda is on against Iran that it possesses nuclear capabilities. Any attack on Iran would be on this pretext and maybe it would be accepted afterwards that there was no nuclear weapons. As the holy month of Ramadan starts, the Iranian authorities and population are busy fasting, there are very less chances that America will indulge in any outrageous activity.
Md Muddassir Quamar is a research student at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy