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The War Within Islam

As for Iran, it doesn’t need to flex its muscles. It just needs to wait for the Trump administration to fully appreciate the balance of power in the Middle East. As Mr. Trump’s mirage of an Arab order evaporates, a stark reality emerges: There is no credible Arab challenge to Iran’s regional influence, nor is there any prospect of reducing it with American threats and bluster....

The sheer brutality of the violence unleashed against children is one of the hallmarks of today’s wars. About 350 million children are living in war zones from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Syria and Myanmar. Many of these children are on the receiving end of war crimes and other human rights violations. Yet the world is turning its back.

Words cannot do justice to the moral depravity on display. Children are deliberately targeted for killing, abduction, rape and recruitment into armed groups. Others are treated as “collateral damage” in attacks on civilian infrastructure. Schools – and schoolchildren – are regarded as legitimate military targets. They are bombed in their classrooms or, especially if they are girls, assaulted for the crime of attending school. Obstructing humanitarian aid is now a standard military tactic, depriving children of access to food and medical aid.

Eglantyne Jebb, who founded Save the Children almost 100 years ago in the aftermath of world war one, once commented that “all wars are wars against children”. You can’t help wondering how she would view the wars of the 21st century.

 

The Khashoggi case has become a game of bids and a political ball. But it has clearly exposed strong ideological orientations and deeply repressed feelings, not only of ordinary people, but also of high-profile officials who have hidden their real stances and shrouded them with diplomacy and official courtesy.

 

Many people around the world wrongly believe that Saudi Arabia “represents” Islam. Nothing could be further from the truth. Islam is not represented by any nation, at least not Saudi Arabia. Like all enemies of Islam, Saudi Arabia has blackened the name of Islam.

Arab Education System  needs reform
Zaid M. Belbagi
Arab Education System needs reform
Zaid M. Belbagi

According to the World Bank, the quality of education in the Arab world has dropped in comparison to other regions. Immediate reform in this regard is needed to make the same progress that has been made in Asia and Latin America. Yemen and Egypt, which have high levels of illiteracy, are also plagued with political problems.

 

These states should work to find some sort of formula for serious dialogue and understanding, not just make meaningless slogans or statements because ongoing crisis would mean that terrorism, fundamentalism, wars, poverty and illiteracy will find suitable environments for growth and wise men and wisdom will have no influence whatsoever and the region will drown in a sea of crises, which will produce more of them......

The battle between monarchical and republican Islam goes back to the Cold War, when Arab monarchies backed by Western powers saw secular and sometimes socialist Muslim states as their main rivals. In those days both sides deployed the Islamists against one another....

What that should tell Turkish President Erdogan is that his neo-Ottoman aspiration for Turkish leadership in the Islamic world has once again hit the walls of Middle Eastern reality. All the same, it is fun to watch a Muslim country, the world's biggest jailer of journalists, condemning another Muslim country for the murder of a journalist....

 

At a time when Sunni Gulf monarchies are supposed to stand in unity against Iran, Saudi Arabia’s hostility towards Qatar has only created new rifts within West Asia. It has lost the Syrian civil war and its military and monetary investments there have been in vain. Now, the Khashoggi case is a public relations disaster for a country which wants to be the leader of the Sunni world....

 

His misadventures will diminish the heft and standing of Saudi Arabia whichever way one looks at it. The attack on Yemen involving Saudi Arabia’s UAE allies has no end in sight. Beside the international condemnation the cost to the Saudi exchequer has been high. It is more than likely that Washington and London will be forced to stop providing further military aid and intelligence. The Houthis are nowhere near being defeated....

 

In my country, a variant of this argument is: “The Saudis don’t know how to choose. If we have democracy, they will not vote out of their conscience, they will vote based on their tribal loyalties.” A popular argument in the Arab world is that we need a strong leader. You can hear it in Egypt from an Egyptian businessman who supports the ruling regime. You can hear it from a doubtful Jordanian, maybe even a doubtful Tunisian who seeks a return to the old order....

Home to Medina and Mecca, the two holiest sites in Islam, the regime leverages its role as ward to these cities to shroud its legitimacy with religion; and function as the gatekeeper to the 1.8 billion Muslims around the globe called to enter its bounds to complete the mandated pilgrimage to Mecca....

 

There are a few oases that continue to embody the spirit of the Arab Spring. Qatar’s government continues to support international news coverage, in contrast to its neighbors’ efforts to uphold the control of information to support the “old Arab order.” Even in Tunisia and Kuwait, where the press is considered at least “partly free,” the media focuses on domestic issues but not issues faced by the greater Arab world....

 

Before the way is paved for a Taliban takeover — a power sharing arrangement will be only the first step towards that eventuality — the Americans must take into account the imminent possibility that Afghanistan under Taliban will once again become a magnet for all sorts of Islamists. After all, the Taliban chief is Emir-ul-Momineen (Leader of the faithful) not Emir-ul-Afghan....

 
Saudi Arabia is at risk of becoming a pariah state
Madawi al-Rasheed
Saudi Arabia is at risk of becoming a pariah state
Madawi al-Rasheed

King Salman will never voluntarily push for such a change without serious pressure from inside and outside the country. Given the support he has from the West, especially President Trump, most Western governments might be happy to see another acronym emerge as the new face of the kingdom to absorb the global outrage over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance and murder….

 

For Muslims, Makkah, where the Ka’ba is located, is the epicenter of their faith and Madinah, home of the Prophet’s mosque, their sanctuary for spiritual bliss. These two cities happen to be in Saudi Arabia, which is once again in the news for the most chilling of reasons, presenting Muslims with a difficult decision to make....

If Khashoggi's disappearance shocked Westerners, they were simply not paying close attention to events in the kingdom, and the lengths to which the crown prince has been willing to go to quash dissent, say seasoned Saudi human rights advocates. In an initial wave of executions after Mohammed's abrupt installation as the immediate heir to his father, King Salman, followed by waves of arrests over the past year, he has been ruthless in asserting power. Saudi authorities have spread fear by detaining billionaires and grass-roots activists alike, showing that no one is untouchable....

 

For the dozens of women and other activists arrested in Saudi Arabia this past year alone, Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance last week at the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul will not have come as a surprise. For those who have been able to leave the kingdom after speaking out, meanwhile, it has now become overwhelmingly clear that even on the outside they need to be extremely careful. ...

Since Khashoggi’s disappearance, Republicans and Democrats alike have turned on Saudi Arabia, which spends lavishly on a sophisticated public-relations campaign in the United States. “If this is proven to be true, there is going to be a response from Congress,”...

The continued chaos offers Iran a low-cost opportunity to drain Saudi resources, and it opens up new possibilities for Al Qaeda and the Islamic State to take root in Yemen. M.B.S.’s overly ambitious and misguided foreign policy initiatives have left Saudi Arabia weaker and the region less stable, undermining American objectives. The same goes for Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance. ...

Saudi Arabia the 'kingdom of fear'
Talmiz Ahmad
Saudi Arabia the 'kingdom of fear'
Talmiz Ahmad

The heaviest price for this indifference will be paid by the Saudi people, who will be intimidated into silence by the length their prince is willing to go to silence dissent or even mild, well-informed and well-meant criticism of his policies and conduct In November 2014, Khashoggi had written: “Democracy, popular participation or shura … will inevitably be realised...

 

It is very important to underline this, because an increasingly high number of people now take the manipulations as truth, radicalizing themselves, embracing jihad, and becoming fascinated and indoctrinated by terrorist propaganda that promises salvation of the soul and access to paradise to those who embrace the “true way” or the “true Islam”. This makes it crucial to understand what takfir is and how the concepts of takfir and jihad are used by the terrorist groups, not only to better comprehend how they justify their existence and their bloodshed, but also, above all, in fact, to improve strategies of disengagement and deradicalisation....

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Demolish Kafir/ Mushrik/ Munafiq-Manufacturing Factories, Says Sultan Shahin, Defending New Age Islam against Talibani Onslaught

Officials grow ever more corrupt to make up for the shrinking value of their salaries. Foreign businessmen, who flocked to Iran after the nuclear deal, have left. This year’s intake at the French school in Tehran was down from 350 to 150. Many Iranians want out, too. Such is the demand for work visas at the German consulate that applicants have to wait two years for an interview. Years of sanctions have made Iran develop a “resistance economy”, which is diverse and in many areas self-sufficient. ...

 

In any young democracy, an election would be celebrated as an expression of democratic life, but in the Maldives today, the upcoming vote is just another indication of the death of its democracy. There is currently little hope that the flawed electoral process and the vote on September 23 will change the current tendencies towards an authoritarian relapse in Maldivian politics....

 

He has stamped on the last shreds of a free press. And he has courted Saudi Arabia and China, who have his back. In his boldest act, in February, Mr Yameen suspended much of the constitution and declared a state of emergency in order to annul a Supreme Court ruling that quashed the convictions of nine opposition members. Among them was the Maldives’ first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Nasheed,,,,

 
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