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1-15 August 2013           22 Ramazan-7 Shawwal 1434 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

Dawat Online (Invitation), New Delhi
Editorial, 1 August 2013, Thursday
1. Egypt on a Dangerous Trail
Egypt seems to be closing towards an uncertain future similar to Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. An elected president was dismissed and detained by the military that is preparing to prosecute him. This has naturally angered the masses. The military has not been able to provide any reasonable justification for the dismissal. That is why the US, Britain and their allies are finding it difficult to justify the act. Though they have not termed it a coup, they have refrained from expressing wholesome support for the military. In effect, these forces are trying to project them as the drivers for a return to democracy in Egypt. It has been three weeks since the Morsi-government was dismissed but the protests have since grown rather than receded. Initially, only Cairo was witness to the protests, but now they have spread to other major cities. The military is trying its best to break the demonstrations. It has tried to instigate other democratic forces against the Muslim Brotherhood. Cairo witnessed a huge rally against the dismissal of the government on 26 July but a massive rally in favour of the military action was also organized. The two groups indulged in minor confrontations at some places but the military tried to produce an exaggerated picture of threat to security and law and order to justify using force to disperse the crowd thereby leading to loss of life. The military has in all, been trying to find excuses for taking action against the Muslim brotherhood.

The situation has put Egypt on a dangerous trail that can lead to civil war. The military is responsible for the current situation but rather than accepting its mistake and taking measures to rectify them, it has resorted to using force, though it has not received the expected support from the public. The West has also not openly extended support to the military. The use of force has further isolated it. It now finds itself in a catch-22 situation. It could have rectified its mistakes but has felt pressured by some friends. It will have far and wide repercussions for Egypt and beyond. If Egypt is destabilized or falls into a civil war-like situation, it will spread to the entire region. If the military does not stop the use of force, the situation can go out of control. The North African Arab countries have faced instability for a long time. The Egyptian military is the largest and most organized in the Arab world but it has lost its face due to its dismissal of an elected president. The military should reflect on the issue.

The Siasat Daily (The Politics Daily), Hyderabad
Editorial, 1 August 2013, Thursday
2. Deaths in Iraq
The situation in Iraq is getting worse. The number of deaths is increasing. Car-bombs, suicide bombing and attacks on religious places have become routine. The situation was looking better till some time back but incidents of violence have increased during the last two months. The number of bombings during the holy month of Ramadan is saddening. According to reports, more than 1,000 people have been killed during the month of July alone. Ramadan has entered its last 10-days, this is the time for people to seek spiritual purity and indulge in ritual prayers. It is said that the prayers during the last 10-days prevent one from the fire-of-hell in the afterlife, but Iraq has been made into a hell. The UN and the government of Iraq have said that the civilian casualty in these attacks have been high. This is the highest number of casualties recorded for a month in the last five years in Iraq. The Quranic and prophetic teachings prohibit fighting and use of force during Ramadan while these people are attacking each other and spreading death and destruction.

The Shia-Sunni divide in Iraq threatens to break the country. Many external forces are involved in fanning the sectarian divide and these forces are instigating the people to attack religious places. The problem is that these groups are involved in violence despite knowing that external forces are working to destroy the Iraqi society. Attacks and counter-attacks have become the norm and bloodshed a common sight. The problematic thing is that civilians are being targeted from both the sides and the security forces are unable to check the violence. These groups are putting the future of Iraq into danger.

It cannot be denied that external forces are active inside Iraq. These forces instigate various groups and provide arms to the militants. Their intention is to break Iraq into pieces. It is important that the people of Iraq, especially the fighting groups, understand the design and refrain from killings and spreading hatred on sectarian lines. Iraq, if has to remain intact will need to work towards bringing the society back to normalcy. All groups will have to understand that it is in their interest to keep the country intact; only then can they progress and work towards a better life. The people have to unite and fight the external and destabilizing forces. The loss of human life should not be tolerated at any cost and it should be brought to an end immediately.

Compiled and Translated by Md. Muddassir Quamar

Md. Muddassir Quamar is a Doctoral Candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  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.