Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Why is China Buying Record Quantities of Gold? – Patriot Update

Why is China Buying Record Quantities of Gold? – Patriot Update

Russia Says UN Resolution Could Cause Civil War | Vision to America

Russia Says UN Resolution Could Cause Civil War | Vision to America

SHOULD THE U.S. SUPPORT THE FREE SYRIAN ARMY?

From The Washington Institute for Near East Policy:

OP-EDS AND ARTICLES FROM THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY
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SHOULD THE U.S. SUPPORT THE FREE SYRIAN ARMY?
By Andrew J. Tabler
CNN Global Public Square
January 31, 2012
To view this article on our website, go to:
http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC06.php?CID=1809
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Last weekend's sharp spike in death tolls in Syria has come hand in hand with the rise of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) -- opposition members who believe armed struggle is the most efficient way of deposing the Assad regime.
Over the past two weeks, as Arab League monitors visited Syria, the FSA has expanded the scope and scale of their operation, wresting control of towns - and for a time neighborhoods of Damascus - from the Assad regime.
While the FSA is largely a franchise rather than a centrally commanded militia, it now represents a major force within the Syrian opposition that Washington is struggling to reckon with.
The FSA emerged last summer as a collection of Syrian military defectors who fled to Turkey. Once dismissed as a mere Internet phenomena, the FSA and other domestically based groups of armed defectors joined forces to carry out attacks against regime forces throughout the country.
Anti-regime protestors braving live fire have earned the respect and diplomatic support of the international community, but not a military intervention akin to Libya. Without a light at the end of the protest tunnel, local Syrians (many with military backgrounds) calling themselves the FSA began picking up arms to defend protesters from regime fire.
While many operate outside of a central command, this loose association of armed oppositionists, with weapons smuggled over from neighboring Lebanon (as well as Turkey and Iraq) or weapons seized from Assad regime depots, have captured and held the border town of Zabadani and (until the Assad regime moved in full force) neighborhoods on the outskirts of Damascus and into the Ghouta in the countryside of the Syrian capital. The FSA is active in Idlib, Homs and Dera governorates, amongst others.
The question Washington is now wrestling with is: What to do with the FSA?
For months, U.S. policy has been to support non-violent means of opposing the Assad regime as, quite rightly, the opposition has much more political leverage keeping the high moral ground and the regime has the armed opposition heavily outgunned. Nevertheless, the international community's inability thus far to get Assad to stop shooting his way out of the crisis, as well as its reticence to intervene on the ground like Libya, means that more and more Syrians are looking to the FSA not as an alternative to the protest movement, but rather as a way to support an overall revolutionary effort.
Will Washington follow suit? What kinds of assistance can and should the United States and its allies provide the FSA as part of an overall strategy of helping to achieve President Obama's goal outlined last August to get Assad "to step aside"? Or should Washington subcontract that such support to regional allies who may share our short term goal of changing the Assad regime, but differ significantly on what political forces should rule a post Assad Syria? What do you think?
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Andrew J. Tabler is a Next Generation fellow in the Program on Arab Politics at The Washington Institute and the author of "In the Lion's Den: An Eyewitness Account of Washington's Battle with Syria."
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The Washington Institute for Near East Policy 
1828 L Street NW, Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20036
PHONE 202-452-0650
FAX 202-223-5364
www.washingtoninstitute.org
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

ANKARA MOVES CLOSER TO WASHINGTON: How the Arab Spring Warmed U.S.-Turkish Relations

From The Washington Institute for Near East Policy:

OP-EDS AND ARTICLES FROM THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY
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ANKARA MOVES CLOSER TO WASHINGTON:
How the Arab Spring Warmed U.S.-Turkish Relations
By Soner Cagaptay
MES Insights
January 2012
After a decade of discord with the United States, Turkey's ties with Washington improved significantly during 2011: the Obama-Erdogan relationship has established a new foundation for U.S.-Turkish ties, and it appears that the two countries will be bound by common interests in the Middle East even after these leaders leave office.
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To download a PDF of the complete article, go to:
http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC06.php?CID=1808
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Soner Cagaptay is director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute.
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The Washington Institute for Near East Policy 
1828 L Street NW, Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20036
PHONE 202-452-0650
FAX 202-223-5364
www.washingtoninstitute.org
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

EORGE W. BUSH, DISLIKED BUT APPRECIATED

from The Washington Institute for Near East Policy:

OP-EDS AND ARTICLES FROM THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY
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GEORGE W. BUSH, DISLIKED BUT APPRECIATED
By Margaret Weiss
Daily Star
January 31, 2011
To view this article on our website, go to:
http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC06.php?CID=1807
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Protesters in the Middle East have made clear that they look to the U.S. for inspiration and support, and that they look down on the U.S. when they believe this support is not materializing.
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The foreign policy of the United States is not a top concern for most Americans, who are struggling to make ends meet and are afflicted with growing election fever. However, in the Arab world Washington's foreign policy has many feeling disappointed and abandoned as they continue to struggle more than a year into the Arab uprisings. Despite the initial enthusiasm for President Barack Obama, the administration's reactive, incoherent policies toward the Arab uprisings have some Arabs reminiscing about the Bush years.
During a recent trip to Egypt, I heard the deputy head of a Cairo-based nongovernmental organization that champions racial, religious, gender and political tolerance mention that he and his friends made John McCain T-shirts before the 2008 U.S. presidential election. He explained that he evaluated U.S. presidents based on their efforts to spread democracy, and believed that President George W. Bush had put more pressure on the Egyptian government than Democratic presidents, because the Democrats were more concerned with maintaining good relations with Cairo. My source added that most Egyptians indisputably disliked Bush, but there was no love lost for Obama either. Furthermore, he believed a survey of Egyptian democracy activists would find that most preferred Bush to Obama.
Indeed, Egyptian human rights democracy advocate Hisham Kassem has been quoted saying that the Bush administration was the first to seriously address democratization in Egypt. According to Kassem, "The year 2005 was the best year my generation has seen. I am openly saying that without the [U.S.] pressure, there was no way that this progress would have happened." And it is not just Egyptian liberals who hold this view. Muslim Brotherhood members have spoken about the benefits of the Bush administration's democracy promotion, as well.
This sentiment exists elsewhere in the region. For example, in mid-December protesters in Kafr Nabel in Syria's Idlib province displayed a sign that read, "Obama's procrastination kills us: We miss Bush's audacity. The world is better with America's Republicans."
Polls show that the Arab world's views of the Obama administration's policies are quite negative. According to Zogby's "Arab Attitudes, 2011" poll, which was conducted following Obama's May 2011 Middle East speech, favorable attitudes toward the U.S. in six Middle Eastern countries shot up between 2008 and 2009, the last year of the Bush administration and the first year of the Obama administration, respectively. This was indicative of the great enthusiasm for Obama in the Arab world at the start of his term, and especially following his historic speech in Cairo in June 2009.
At the same time, by 2011, Zogby's poll also showed, Obama's ratings in the Arab world were at 10 percent or less, with most Arabs saying that the U.S. president had not met the high expectations that he had set during his Cairo speech. Furthermore, his performance ratings on the issues of Palestine and engagement with the Muslim world – issues in which the administration has been seriously invested – were the lowest of five foreign policy issues listed.
It was no surprise that the Arab world was disappointed by the peace process, which ground to a halt almost before it began. What was more interesting, however, was the deeply pessimistic view of the current administration's attempts to build bridges to the Muslim world. Given the surge in U.S. popularity among Arabs following Obama's inauguration, this fact proved even more striking.
It follows that the Obama administration's response to the Arab uprisings is to blame for much of this disappointment. The administration has made little distinction in its policies between countries vital to U.S. national security interests, which present great challenges for policy formation, and those of marginal importance.
For instance, on Jan. 25, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the Hosni Mubarak regime stable. Yet only a week later Obama was calling for Mubarak to begin a transition immediately. On Syria, Clinton continued to refer to Bashar Assad as a reformer and the administration called on him to make meaningful reforms long after it became clear that this hope was naive. The administration's policy managed to anger those on both sides of the divide. Saudi Arabia was furious with the U.S. for abandoning Mubarak, while liberal activists condemned the administration for moving too slowly.
A year after the start of the revolution in Egypt, the dust from the Arab uprisings has not yet settled and the future of democracy in the Middle East is less than certain. Developing a sound policy toward the Arab uprisings when American influence in the region is rapidly declining, due to internal pressures facing many of Washington's allies and the rise of anti-Western Islamist forces, is a difficult task. Pressing domestic American challenges make this even more difficult.
However, given what is at stake, the Obama administration's lagging, reactive policies are especially disappointing. It is not too late for the administration to emphasize its commitment to championing democracy, human rights, and other U.S. national interests in the Arab world. Protesters in the Middle East have made clear that they look to the U.S. for inspiration and support, and that they look down on the U.S. when they believe this support is not materializing.
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Margaret Weiss is a research associate at The Washington Institute.
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The Washington Institute for Near East Policy 
1828 L Street NW, Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20036
PHONE 202-452-0650
FAX 202-223-5364
www.washingtoninstitute.org
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 30, 2012

MEMRI: Head of Egyptian Salafi Al-Nour Party Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour Evades the Question Whether His Party Will Respect the Camp David Accords

MEMRI: Head of Egyptian Salafi Al-Nour Party Imad Al-Din Abd Al-Ghafour Evades the Question Whether His Party Will Respect the Camp David Accords

MEMRI: Sunni Scholar Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Islamic Law Should Be Implemented Gradually in Egypt; There Should Be No Chopping Off of Hands in the First Five Years

MEMRI: Sunni Scholar Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: Islamic Law Should Be Implemented Gradually in Egypt; There Should Be No Chopping Off of Hands in the First Five Years

The US/Saudi Agenda and the Syrian Rebellion | Common Dreams

The US/Saudi Agenda and the Syrian Rebellion | Common Dreams

Community Organizing in Egypt


Community Organizing in Egypt

Home  »  Foreign Policy  »  Community Organizing in Egypt
Jan 30, 2012 2 Comments ›› Staff Writer
The mainstream media has begun to do everything short of outright ignoring Egypt. What is already shaping up to be another massive foreign policy failure for Barack Obama sheds some interesting light on the consequences of politics. Americans used to safely travel to Egypt in order to visit the pyramids and walk in the sands spoken of in the book of Exodus. Today it is an economic ticking time bomb that will soon explode. The things that are about to happen there are not a failure of democracy. They are a failure of decades of central planning from people who share the same socialist ideology as Barack Obama.
If history is a correct guide (and it usually is), millions of Egyptians are likely to die as a result of famine and war in the coming years. This is not the stuff of conspiracy theories. It has happened time and time again in countries that have imploded under the weight of their own massive financial debts and central government planning.
9-month treasury bond yields in Egypt now stand at an astonishing 16 percent. The plan, presumably, was to have Americans pay for this return through inflated gas prices at the pump. Team Obama has stated repeatedly that they’d like to see us paying European gas prices, and our imports from Egypt would have made the most sense for financing the fledgling Muslim Brotherhood government. In spite of that whopper of a deal – a 16 percent increase in 9 months on your investment – Egypt was only able to sell a third of the bonds it required to fund its government in January 2012.
Wealthy Egyptians are refusing to hold debt in their own national currency. There are reports that the more prosperous business owners are already planning to leave the country. Food shortages have begun in Egypt’s more rural towns, and the people there are too poor to buy what little food there is. Starvation is on the way soon. Gasoline shortages are taking place. Long lines are waiting at filling stations, and the people filling up are bringing plastic jugs, clay jars or anything else that they can dump some gas into. In other words, it looks like the Carter administration.
Egypt will eventually descend into total chaos, likely within the next year or two. The Egyptian military is already loaning money to the central government to keep the lights on, and when that bill comes due… well, students of history know what happens next.
What’s all of this have to with Barack Obama? Everything.
For decades, Egypt was a dream come true for community organizers. Every aspect of its economy was planned under Gamal Abdel Nasser. The government told industries what they could make, when they could make it, what they could sell it for and where to sell it. Things worsened under President Mubarak. The International Monetary Fund came to the “rescue” and the massive amounts of foreign debt that go along with it.
This is the same political ideology of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and every modern-day socialist. The terminology may be different from country to country, but the goals are the same: total nanny-state control of every aspect of the economy and your personal life. Obama just calls it something different.
Here we have a “universal right to health care,” and he “came to the rescue of the auto industry.” Uh huh. Sounds like Marxist central planning from where we’re sitting. Don’t be surprised if you see Egypt descend into another civil war in the coming months as its currency collapses due to its foreign debt load. And don’t think that it has nothing to do with America. Our government is currently going down the same road, even if Obama calls it something different, like a “jobless recovery.”

Democracy is being extinguished across Europe by German leader | Irish News | IrishCentral

Democracy is being extinguished across Europe by German leader | Irish News | IrishCentral

Religion Clause: Syrian Uprising Becoming Shiite-Sunni Conflict

Religion Clause: Syrian Uprising Becoming Shiite-Sunni Conflict

HOW TO GET RUSSIA ON BOARD IN SYRIA?

From The Washington Institute for Near East Policy:


OP-EDS AND ARTICLES FROM THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY
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HOW TO GET RUSSIA ON BOARD IN SYRIA?
HINT: THINK OF THE SEA
By Soner Cagaptay
Hurriyet Daily News
January 30, 2011
To view this article on our website, go to:
http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC06.php?CID=1806
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Russia's refusal thus far to support international action against al-Assad is based solely on its fear of losing access to the port of Tartus.
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Russian foot-dragging is now a key barrier between the Syrian demonstrators and their prospective liberation from Bashar al-Assad's rule. Even the timid Arab League has called for al-Assad to leave, and Syria's powerful neighbor, Turkey, has declared that it's ready for internationally sanctioned action. The question is, can a UN Security Council resolution, including Russia's vote, be secured, paving the way for an end to al-Assad's rule?

Moscow has so far refused to support international action against al-Assad, frustrating other major powers' desire for a UN-supported call for his regime to end. Moscow's obstructionism is not so much because it likes the al-Assad regime, which it has supported since the 1970s. Rather, Russia fears that by losing influence over Damascus, it will also lose its only Mediterranean maritime base, located in the Syrian coastal town of Tartus. For Moscow, this would usher in a catastrophic lockout of the Mediterranean and the "warm" seas.
If each nation had its own all-consuming phobia, Russia's would be "no access to the warm seas." Ever since Catherine the Great made Russia a major power controlling much of the northern Eurasian landmass, Moscow has had a cardinal foreign policy rule: "Never get frozen in the north, lest you lose your great power status."
Thus, even after it became the world's largest land-based empire in the eighteenth century, Moscow has had an Achilles heel: its only waterways were the frozen seas (the Arctic, the Baltic, and the northern Pacific) that surrounded it with ice much of the year. To tackle this problem, Catherine fought the Ottomans and won precious access to the Black Sea, capturing the Ottoman-Tatar Azak fortress (now called Azov) in the Crimea in 1774. This Tatar foothold eventually opened the adjacent Mediterranean Sea, a warm, year-round-navigable sea, to the Russian navy; Russian greatness followed. Hence, the leitmotiv of Catherine's foreign policy, and that of all Russian leaders since, including Vladimir Putin: Always, always, have a foot in the Mediterranean.
This is where Putin's support to al-Assad comes in. The Russian base in Tartus, which al-Assad's father leased to Moscow in the 1970s, represents a long line of Russian naval stations in the Mediterranean. Furthermore, Tartus is the last Russian warm-water base.
So, "lose Tartus and lose access to the warm waters" is how Moscow views the end of al-Assad's rule. Having said farewell to all its Mediterranean client states and bases in the past decades -- from Egypt, which evicted Russia in the 1970s, to Serbia, which became a landlocked state following the dissolution of the last Yugoslavia in 2003 -- Moscow cannot afford to lose Tartus, the last link between Russian foreign policy today and Catherine the Great's grand strategy.
This is why Russia really values Tartus, an otherwise sleepy and charming Mediterranean port, which I visited in 2006. Just recently, Moscow was reportedly investing heavily in modernizing this base, signaling its intention to stay in Tartus for decades to come.
The question now is how to allay Russia's warm-water anxiety. The ideal solution would be to offer Russia a maritime base somewhere else on the Mediterranean. Unfortunately, no state seems eager to accept this proposal, not even the last Russia-friendly nation in the Mediterranean, the Greek Cypriots. Though there are two sovereign British bases on Cyprus, the people there know that they would be opening up a can of worms with Turkey if they were to offer Russia a military foothold on the island.
Thus, the only alternative to Tartus is Tartus. The Syrian opposition needs Russia to get rid of al-Assad. Hence, the opposition needs to reassure the Russians that once al-Assad falls, Moscow will continue to enjoy access to the Tartus base -- and there are some signs this could be already happening. Russia will get on board in Syria if assured that it can continue to sail in warm waters.
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Soner Cagaptay is director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute.
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The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
1828 L Street NW, Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20036
PHONE 202-452-0650
FAX 202-223-5364
www.washingtoninstitute.org
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Holocaust Denial Discussed on Iranian TV: There Were No Gas Chambers; You Cannot Squeeze 2,000 Jews into 100 Square Meters

Holocaust Denial Discussed on Iranian TV: There Were No Gas Chambers; You Cannot Squeeze 2,000 Jews into 100 Square Meters

Antisemitic and Anti-Israel Articles on Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Website

Antisemitic and Anti-Israel Articles on Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Website

Iranian E-Book: 'The Holocaust – The Jews' Greatest Lie'

Iranian E-Book: 'The Holocaust – The Jews' Greatest Lie'

Jordanian Queen Rania's Clarification Following MEMRI Report On Holocaust Denial Posts On Her Facebook Page

Jordanian Queen Rania's Clarification Following MEMRI Report On Holocaust Denial Posts On Her Facebook Page

Posts on Jordanian Queen Rania's Facebook Forum Question Veracity of Holocaust, Legitimacy of Israel's Existence

Posts on Jordanian Queen Rania's Facebook Forum Question Veracity of Holocaust, Legitimacy of Israel's Existence

Guyana: Muslim scholar in boy-sex scandal re-arrested after more victims come forward

From Creeping Sharia:


Guyana: Muslim scholar in boy-sex scandal re-arrested after more victims come forward

The Muslim scholar was Tuesday re-arrested after five more boys alleged that he sexually assaulted them, police said.
East Coast Demerara Divisional Commander, Assistant Commissioner David Ramnarine confirmed that a total of nine boys including four brothers have leveled the accusations against the Mufti.
“The eminent scholar has been arrested after five more boys came forward and made allegations against him,” he told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com).
Earlier Tuesday, Police Chief of Criminal Investigations, Assistant Commissioner, Seelall Persaud had confirmed that medical examinations conducted on one of two boys at that time had confirmed that he was anally sexed.
Up to late Tuesday, police did not divulge details about whether the three others were similarly sexually assaulted.
The scandal broke last week when the mother of four sons was approached by an official of the Child Care and Protection Agency (CPA) and told of the allegations against the Mufti.
The alleged instances of sexual assault took place at a Mosque based in Section D, Turkeyen between December 2011 and January 2012.
Prior to the Mufti’s arrest, he had been placed on GUY$150,000 station bail and asked to report periodically.
He has been sent on leave pending the outcome of the investigation and prosecution.
Police are yet to dispatch a file to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for advice. Authorities have 45 days within which to compile evidence before seeking a committal before a magistrate.
Earlier Tuesday, the rights organisation- Red Thread- picketed the Ministry of Human Services, urging that swift action be taken against the accused. The organisation is worried that the man could tamper with the victims, their parents or other associates.

Calls for UK inquiry into 'anti-Muslim media bias'

From Europe News:


Calls for UK inquiry into 'anti-Muslim media bias'

The National 27 January 2012
By David Sapsted
LONDON // A campaign is under way for a public inquiry led by a judge into the way some British media whip up Islamophobia by "distorting and even fabricating" stories about Muslims. Politicians, academics, lawyers and Muslim community leaders were among 60 signatories of a letter to The Guardian this week demanding an inquiry similar to the one now being conducted by Lord (Brian) Leveson, a senior judge, into phone hacking and media standards.
Supporters of the inquiry said the media, particularly the tabloid press, concentrate on stories centred on violence and crime involving Muslims, so-called honour killings and the activities of extremists, while rarely showing the community or religion in a positive light.
Although she is not backing the call for an inquiry, Baroness (Sayeeda) Warsi, Britain's first Muslim woman cabinet minister and chairman of the Conservative Party, highlighted the problem last year when she said in a speech that prejudice against Muslims had "passed the dinner-table test" and become socially acceptable in the UK.
She blamed the media for creating an atmosphere where anti-Muslim prejudice was seen as normal among so many Britons.
The letter to The Guardian points to a survey conducted by the ComRes polling organisation last year that indicated that a third of Britons believed the media was responsible for "whipping up a climate of fear in Islam in the UK".
"The Leveson inquiry has so far failed to adequately address unfair media coverage as it relates to less- prominent cases, including those relating to Muslims and Islam, focusing as it does on the effect of phone hacking on celebrities and other high-profile individuals," said the letter. (...)
 

How London became the censorship capital of the world

From Europe News:


How London became the censorship capital of the world

Telegraph Blogs 27 January 2012
By Ed West
In 2006 the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet began an investigation into the curious rise of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which had come from a small community on a volcanic island and become an unlikely giant, buying assets across Denmark. The paper found that the bank had links with Russian oligarchs and tax havens and, more worrying, may have overstretched themselves.
Kaupthing sued them. The paper defended its journalism, and the Danish Press Council rejected the bank’s complaint. But then the bewildered Danish editors were informed that the bank was now suing them – in London, which because Bladet was available in Britain (thanks to the internet), they could do. The newspapermen came from a country where a L25,000 libel suit was considered expensive, but soon racked up legal costs of L1 million in London before the case even came to court. Ekstra Bladet agreed to pay substantial damages to Kaupthing and print an apology.
A few months later Kaupthing collapsed, along with the other Icelandic banks, Iceland’s GDP fell by 65 per cent, and Britain and Holland demanded compensation equivalent of the entire Iceland economy. As Nick Cohen writes in his study of modern censorship, You Can’t Read This Book: "As events were to turn out, the English legal profession had also stopped the British investors who were to lose deposits worth $30 billion in Iceland from learning that there was a whiff of danger around the country’s banks, although no lawyer showed remorse about that.”
At the risk of winning the Order of the Brown Nose, Cohen is perhaps the most insightful, thought-provoking and entertaining political writer in Britain today, and comes from the honest tradition of English liberal thought that threads from John Milton to John Stuart Mill and George Orwell; for that reason he has fallen out with the dishonest liberal tradition, a split that began with the fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie on Valentine’s Day, 1989. He has that rare trait of being fair to all parties, refreshing in the tribal atmosphere of political debate, which has no doubt angered sectarians on his side. (...)
 
 

Totalitarianism of Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s Islamic utopia

From Europe News:


Totalitarianism of Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s Islamic utopia

EuropeNews 27 January 2012
By Jan W√≥jcik

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi is being portrayed as an embracing democracy, moderate Muslim. However, his views on the ideal state are closer to other political systems. Recently, al-Qaradawi’s name has been appearing in the context of democracy.
It can be in the mainstream media news he supports democracy in Egypt or Tunisia, or in calls for democratic participation directed to European Muslims by leaders of their communities who follow al-Qaradawi’s spiritual leadership.
But the way al-Qaradawi perceives the ideal of society himself is rather different to what an ordinary person would associate with democracy. His views were published in November on onislam.net under the title "Islam and the Society the World Craves” summarizing the last chapter of his book "Islam the Future Civilization”.
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/growing-in-fai...
Al-Qaradawi’s paraphrases of Muslim Brotherhood’s slogan "Islam is the solution” alone should be warning signals for all commentators who consider him democratic. "Islam is the only system which offers humanity a completely balanced and integrated system (…)” – he says.
Further description of al-Qaradawi’s vision of the ideal state explains why professor of political science Bassam Tibi considers Islamist parties to be totalitarian movements: "What is meant by integration is that Islam integrates sciences and faith, truth and power, creed and activity, religion with the state, instruction and legislation, religious scruples and the duties of rulers, material creativity and moral loftiness, and military power and morale.”
Such profound Muslim social utopia, according to al-Qaradawi, must be safeguarded by firm pillars, which probably are well known to most of us, however in a different context:

1.
 Brotherhood and Love: It is a natural result of faith to unite those upon the firm creed.
2. Sympathy and Mercifulness: These characteristics are especially obligatory regarding the weak, the orphans, the needy, and the wayfarers.
3. Support and Cooperation: It is a must for the believers to cooperate upon righteousness and piety and not to work together for vice and hostility.
4. Solidarity and Mutuality: It must be a society in which the rich support the poor, and the strong come to the aid of the oppressed.
5. Mutual Consultation and Advice: No one in this society is above the law or above being corrected if they do not adhere to God’s commands
6. Purification and Advancement: The Muslim society is a hygienic one that educates its individuals in purification, decency, chastity, and prohibits every kind of abomination whether hidden or open.
7. Justice: It includes economic and social justice as well as just treatment (not necessary equal – authors comment) by the law.
8. Progressiveness: This is perhaps the most important characteristic of Muslim society—it is progressive and not underdeveloped! However the definition of this progress is based upon the collective goal of humanity which is to perfect the worship of God, to fulfill the vicegerency on earth, and to accomplish preservation of the earth.
At the beginning however al-Qaradawi assumes that those pillars can only be achieved "when belief infiltrates the society and enlightens the hearts of its individuals.”
Early researchers of totalitarianism, like Carl Friedrich or Zbigniew Brzezinski, defined characteristic features of that system and among them: the need for creation of the new man, common leading ideology and strong social control of the individual – which in later stage manifests as a system of terror.
Karl Dietrich Bracher added also aspirations to transform society, ideology encompassing all aspects of life and striving for unity of society and the state.
Another scholar, Eric Hoffer, mentioned that both Nazism and communism blamed democratic systems for their decadency. Will it come as a surprise then, that al-Qaradawi starts with such criticism: "Perhaps the most blatantly apparent quality of the 21st century world is that the success of nations is based upon their material advancement with complete disregard for the moral status of its civilization.”
Further, reminding about God’s punishment impending over decadent civilizations and the civilizations already punished for their decadency, al-Qaradawi lists characteristics of degeneration ascribed to the present civilized world. Among them it is worth to notice "rejoicing over scientific knowledge and turning away from the revelations of God” and "insufferable intellectual and material arrogance intermingled with heedlessness of Allah’s severe punishment”. Since this will be corrected, as mentioned above, through integration of faith and sciences.
Al-Qaradawi does not reject western civilization as a whole. Muslims are to learn from it the "scientific and technological application, excellence of administration and management of life’s affairs, giving due consideration to human rights and freedom (although Islam already guarantees these principles (…)”
It is not desired however to confine oneself merely to imitating the West, because "the only way, an Islamic nation could fulfill this goal is to stick firmly to its ‘balanced and integrated civilized project’ and struggle until death to fulfill its identity and mission.”
Total solutions, encompassing the whole of humanity, transforming societies and standing in opposition to Western decadency were the essence of the historical mission of the proletariat, or in another case of "die historische Mission des deutschen Volkes” (the historic mission of the German nation).
Has Europe had not enough yet?
Jan Wojcik is editor of euroislam.pl and president of Europe of the Future association. He loves Austria
 
 

Iran arrests journalists, to execute bloggers

From The Washington Examiner:


byJoel Gehrke Commentary Staff Writer
Follow on Twitter:
Iranian courts have sentenced two bloggers to death for "spreading corruption," and government security forces have arrested four other journalists, in the lead-up to the nation's March elections.
"In the past two weeks, security forces have reportedly arrested four journalists," the U.S. State Department said in a statement, "including Shahram Manouchehri, Sahamedin Bourghani, Parastoo Dokouhaki, and Marzieh Rasouli, and Iranian courts confirmed death sentences for bloggers Saeed Malekpour and Vahid Asghari, both of whom were not accorded due process and now face imminent execution on charges of 'spreading corruption.'" 
The State Department faulted Iran for trying "to extinguish all forms of free expression and limit its citizens’ access to information in the lead-up to March parliamentary elections."