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16-31 July 2012 25 Shaban-11 Ramazan 1433 Hijri
Note: Using editorials as an indicator, this series presents views, understanding and attitude of the Urdu periodicals in India towards various developments concerning the Middle East. The selection of an item does not mean the endorsement or concurrence with their accuracy or views. Editor, MEI@ND
Roznama Hamara Samaj (Daily Our Society), Delhi
Editorial, 18 July 2012, Wednesday
1. Israeli Terrorism and the Islamic World
If the Islamic world continues to remain a mute spectator to the suppression of Palestinians at the hands of Israel, then it should be ready to be conquered by Israel in the near future. It has been more than half-a-century since Israel began creating problems for Palestine. Hundreds of Palestinians, men, women, children and the elderly, have achieved martyrdom. But the Islamic world is in deep slumber. Now the time has come to spread the message of peace and love which Islam preaches; Islam wants peace for the entire humanity. Islam has always proved to be a death knell for oppressive powers and arrogant rulers. Islam has always sided with the oppressed people and respects all religions yet presently Islam and Muslims face problems all over the world. Islam has been made synonymous with terrorism. A Muslim can never be a terrorist because Islam preaches peace. Islam has given peace to humanity. Before Islam, humanity was incomplete, Islam concluded the advancement of knowledge and civilization, gave peace, justice and fraternity to the world. However, the enemies of Islam always try to malign Islam and Muslims.
Israel is the most cruel and tyrannical nation of the world, which is the source of terrorism all over the world. It is the most violent nation, supported by the US; it has spread terror across the whole planet. The US and Israel are the source of terror all over the world. Terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and others were created by the US to promote its interests and are now being termed as Islamist terrorists. But strangely, the world buys into American propaganda despite knowing that these terrorist groups were created and reared by the US itself. Countries like, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have been destroyed by the US.
It is time to break the silence, it is time to take up arms against the oppression and it is time particularly for the Islamic world to take on the might of Israel in support of the Palestinian fighters. Palestine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is crucial to the identity of Islam, an identity that has been lauded in the Holy Quran. Islam wants to establish peace all over the world and this is the first lesson we get from Islam.
The Etemaad Urdu Daily (The Confidence Urdu Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 20 July 2012, Friday
2. Final Stage of Fight in Syria
The Syrian Defence Minister was killed in a strong blast in the headquarters of the Syrian security forces recently. President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law was also killed in the attack. The security building was attacked during a meeting of the Ministry of Defence attended by the security officials. Syria confirmed the deaths and termed the attack as an act of terror. It also said that the attack was planned with the help of intelligence inputs from the West, Turkey and the Arab Gulf states. But an attack on the highest echelons of Bashar al-Assad’s loyal security apparatus is an indication of fissures at the highest level. The fight has now reached the highest echelons of power in Syria. The rebels have recently stated that they are now in touch with a sympathiser group within the security forces, which is providing intelligence on the security forces and their movements. The fighting continued in many parts of Syria for several hours and there have been reports of casualties from both sides.
The attack and killing of the Defence Minister and his deputy is a vital strike on the regime. The people who have been targeted in the attack were mainly intelligence and military officers. The government finds itself in a severe problem with fighting going on inside the capital. The way in which the opposition has breached security at the highest level will create vulnerability at the highest level. The closed group of loyalists of the regime has started to shrink. Security forces have continued to back the Assad regime but an attack on the security headquarters shows that it has been weakened. The rebels are now feeling stronger. It would be difficult for Bashar al-Assad to find replacements for the injured and killed officials. The seriousness of the situation can be gauged from the fact that Bashar al-Assad has not appeared in public since the attack.
The problem is that Bashar al-Assad wanted to brutally deal with the opposition and rebels in order to make it a lesson for everyone. Resultantly, more than ten thousand people have been killed since the rebellion began. Both regional and international powers have reprimanded the Syrian regime for such a brutal crackdown on dissent. If the Bashar al-Assad regime accuse the West and regional powers for the attack on its security headquarters, then it should realise who is responsible for creating such an atmosphere in the place. The West and the Arab countries have continuously been asking Bashar al-Assad to relinquish power, while Russia and Iran have been supporting the regime. The UN observer mission also failed in resolving the crisis due to differences among world and regional powers. The two sides have been supplied arms by various powers. It seems that the situation has become more and more complex and Bashar al-Assad is finding it difficult to handle it. If Bashar has even a little understanding of politics, then he should immediately resign with an agreement with the opposition else he will have to leave the country. It would be a death knell for Syria if he takes the foolish step of using biological/chemical weapons on his own people.
Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (National Sahara Daily), Delhi
Editorial, 21 July 2012, Saturday
3. Israel looking for an Excuse to Attack Iran
Israel does not want to waste any opportunity to fuel its propaganda against Iran. It tried to blame Iran for the attack on its embassy personnel in New Delhi, Manila and Baku earlier. It later accused Iran for the attack on an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria, where five tourists were killed and 20 were injured. The Bulgarian driver of the bus was also killed in the attack. It is indeed a deplorable act but using such heinous acts for settling political scores is also deplorable. The two incidents are similar, particularly when it came to Israeli reaction, which initially pointed fingers at Iran and later said that Hezbollah is involved in the attacks. It is strange that Iran or Hezbollah which hardly have any network or influence in such far off places would be able to execute such attacks. The Israeli media has lambasted its intelligence for failing to prevent these attacks. The Israeli intelligence agency Mossad is known as one of the best intelligence agencies in the world which the Israelis take pride in. The agency had also invited severe criticism for the way it had used fake passports of real European citizens to execute the killing of a Palestinian leader in Dubai. However, it was lauded by the people of Israel. However, the liberal media in Israel has been critical of Mossad, blaming it for its continuous failures since the Lebanon war. It could not foresee that such a huge number of people would gather at Tahrir Square to protest against the Mubarak regime. It also failed in gathering information on the plan for protests in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo. India has a large number of fans of Mossad who must have got disappointed with the criticism. Iran was one of the first countries to condemn the attack on tourists in Bulgaria but Israel was trying to use it as an excuse against Iran. The irony is that the former Mossad chief has accepted the role of Mossad in the killing of Iranian nuclear scientists in Tehran. American intelligence has also indicated Israeli involvement in these killings. In fact, the way Israel is creating noise against the Iranian nuclear programme is as if it is directed against them. It would be foolish to say that a country will invite sanctions to acquire nuclear weapons against one country. These acts of violence are criminal and are a creation of sick minds. For example, the recent killings in the US are a product of sick and criminal minds. However, if one says that these attacks were executed by Al Qaeda or Taliban then it would be childish. Israeli propaganda is also childish. It just wants to halt the Iranian nuclear programme. It wants to attack Iran using any excuse. However, any attack on Iran without American assistance is not possible, America being currently busy with its Presidential elections. Moreover, the US is apprehensive of getting into another quagmire in the Middle East after burning its hands in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Hindustan Express (Daily Hindustan Express), New Delhi
Editorial, 31 July 2012, Tuesday
4. Bloodshed in Syria
The fighting between rebel forces and the Syrian security forces is continuing in the holy month of Ramadan. The irony of this country is that Muslims are fighting against Muslims. One the one hand is the Syrian regime while on the other hand is the rebels and both have different agendas. The government forces are trying to suppress the rebellion by force while the rebels want to dislodge the regime from power at any cost. The attempts for peace in Syria by the international community including the Arab countries have failed. Both the sides are currently involved in massive killings of supporters of each other. According to the UN, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been forced to leave their homes due to the ongoing violence.
The UN has said that Syria is now suffering from a humanitarian crisis. The Syrian security forces have attacked the city of Aleppo to flush out the rebels. Rebels have been claiming to have liberated the city from the Syrian security forces. According to the state television, the Syrian military have now taken complete control of the city. The officials in Damascus have also claimed that the rebels have been flushed out of the city though the rebels counter the claim, saying they are still in control of the city. Sources have confirmed that fighting is still continuing in parts of the city.
According to a UN official, more than 200,000 people have migrated from the city of Aleppo in the last two days. He also said that it is difficult to say how many people are still languishing in the fighting areas. A large number of people have taken refuge in government camps. Most of the migrants have taken refuge in nearby villages or have crossed the border into Turkey. The Syrian security forces have bombed parts of the city to take back control over the city. The rebel forces have claimed that they have been able to halt the movement of government forces, but this has not been confirmed through independent sources.
The rebels and the security forces have been fighting it out in Syria causing severe damage to the country and killing hundreds of people in the process. The regional dynamics have ensured external support for both the sides. Iran and Lebanon are supporting Bashar al-Assad while rebels have got support from West. This has led to an escalation in violence while the world has remained a mute spectator. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the UN, was given the responsibility to find a solution for the Syrian crisis. A large number of observers were sent into Syria. However, the situation remains unchanged and both sides continue to fight at each other’s throats.
The crisis in Syria has continued for long, neither said has accepted defeat, but it seems Bashar al-Assad will finally have to find a way out through relinquishing his power. The way fissures have erupted within the regime indicates that Assad’s end is nearing. The thing to watch out for would be, whether Bashar al-Assad would accept an end like Mubarak or Qaddafi.
Compiled and Translated by Md. Muddassir Quamar
Md. Muddassir Quamar is a Doctoral Candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Email
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