Monday, 31 December 2007

Benezir’s Legacy

The assassination of Benezir Bhutto stunned the world. Perhaps no other recent leaders’ death in the sub-continent made so much impact in the global media as the death of Benezir Bhutto. But the days of mourning is fast coming to an end and the reality of life taking its course.
The cowardly act of killing is condemned in the strongest terms by all civilised people of our world. The global community stands together with Pakistan to show utmost resolve on the face of this outrageous act of terrorism. No one, whether an ally or foe of Benezir in the political world, should or would find it acceptable to celebrate a death of this kind and let it pass without profound impact in their hearts and thoughts. The death of Benezir should act as a catalyst to build unity and bring about necessary strengths to rid the Pakistani nation off its most disturbing elements, the terrorists. However, no such result will take place unless a comprehensive understanding of the prevailing political culture is acquired.
Benezir, on her death, is rightly remembered as a champion of democracy, for she stood on the face of military dictatorship of Ziaul Haque to bring about democracy in Pakistan, she refused rightly to vow down to the threats and challenges of a dictator. However, Benezir, like most previous and present heads of state of Pakistan, symbolizes the very problem of Pakistan, the lack of a genuinely democratic, thoroughly honest and clean politicians who are inspired, motivated and committed to build a happy, prosperous and plural Pakistan where intellect and not gun rules. Unfortunately, Benezir has been part and parcel of a political culture which have been dominated by corruption, greed for power and a serious lack of true patriotism.
Pakistan, from its beginning, were built on a shallow principle where the vision and the values of the state were never clear. The leaders often cited values and customs, used religion and other slogans as they deemed fit to ensure their own grip on power. Even right at the beginning when the ‘great leaders’ freed the nation from the British empire promising to build a modern Islamic state, the core leaders themselves demonstrated little understanding what they were talking about and failed miserably to guarantee the most basic tenets of Islam, the individual freedom, justice and equality. When the then East Pakistanis revolted against the corrupt regime in the West, Benezir’s father, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto were among the grand designers of a grand scale massacre of innocent people. All, one assumes, were nothing but the result of a blind desire to be in power. Benezir simply marked the continuation of that legacy.
Today when we shall rightly mourn the death of a popular politician, Benezir Bhutto, one cannot help but critically look at the legacy her death is bound to leave behind. The party Benezir once lead agrees on her teenage son being the leader while his dad become his deputy. The tenures of Benezir have been over-shadowed by allegation of corruption and the man at the centre of many of these allegation is none other than Asif Ali Zardari, the father and deputy leader of the current Chairmen of the PPP. So what can one make of the new dimension of PPP? Of course Benezir needs to be respected and her contribution to the Party must be recognised. But why should her teenage son who barely been in Pakistan be granted the leadership? By what right her husband becomes the deputy leader? Surely PPP is to serve the nation and not the Bhutto family?
Pakistan needs strong leadership free from the ‘landlord’ mentality. At the heart of much of the problem in Pakistan is the lack of political awareness among the most ordinary people. Very few ordinary people are intellectually aware of the political debates in their country and little intelligence do they use in choosing their leader. A few powerful clandestine families controls the wealth and power of the country who have monopoly in politics. Pakistan must break that tight controlled dynastic influence in her national affairs. The selection of Bilawal does not serves that purpose. Bhutto rose to prominence succeeding her father not for reasons of her political commitment and contribution but merely being the daughter of an unjustly executed popular leader. She did not have the time to grow to become a natural leader. As such she failed to genuinely develop the politics of Pakistan beyond corruption and feudal ‘power play’. Her son runs the risks of doing the same, except that his failure will cost Pakistan even more direly than his mother’s.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

BBC revives ‘Imperial Arrogance’

BBC in a series titled ‘Clashes of the World’ shamelessly attempt to discredit the heroes of resistance movement, the symbol of freedom struggle against British Colonial Rule. Last week on Sunday they were discrediting the heroes of our First Independence movement (often known as the mutiny or cepoy revolt) in India labelling them as mere bandits, fundamental religious terrorists. This week they despise the great Mahdi, the founder of modern Sudan.

Distortion of truth and false propaganda had been at the heart of British attempt to colonise the world using brute force and taking the advantage of simplicity and trust of ordinary people whether in India, Arabia or Africa. The series on BBC merely reminds us of their nature not being changed a little. In India Muslims under Mughal were the first to bring the whole of India together as an entity and lay the foundation of modern day India. Muslim rulers, traders and noblemen went to great lengths to ensure the prosperity in architecture, education, trade, infrastructure and administration. They for the first time gave the Indians a sense of pride in a previously unknown ‘national sense’. They therefore represented the greatest threat to greedy and ambitious forces of the growing British Empire often led by Christian fanatics. They mercilessly slaughtered our people in thousands, confiscated our lands, wealth and pride.

By the very nature of any proud Muslim and the hard work put in building the civilisation that India was, Muslim could not accept such incursions into their land and were determined to offer heroic challenges. Of course they did not do so without the help and encouragement of the followers of other religions, primarily Hindus. To them there were little difference between themselves and the Hindus with regards to forming resistance against aggressions, incursions and attempt of colonisation.

The people who for nearly two centuries offered their lives, sacrificed everything within their possession to date inspires us to be united for a common cause. The greats like Shahid Syed Ahmed, Titumir, Tipu Sultan, Bahadur Shah Zafar and countless others are our heroes who give us a sense of pride in our desire to live as unique and independent people. We dreamt for our freedom, we desired our existence as sovereign nations and those heroes were the sources of our dreams, the power behind our strength. Today when a reputable organisation like BBC broadcasts programmes to discredit such heroes of our contemporary history, it is of course with a great shame, an utter disgrace that we watch.

There are great needs for programmes that bring to us, the new generation, our pasts. But such programmes should be based on truth and justice. The slaughter, massacre and ruthless suppressions by the Imperial rulers and their agents world over mark the most shameful chapter of Imperial British History. The most notorious of commanders who advanced such heinous acts of disgrace, instead of being portrayed as they were, are not presented as great war strategists, intelligent commanders on the field and saviours of civilisations.

With great deal of shock and a great sense of loss we regret the role of BBC which only goes onto reviving the imperial arrogance, lies and distortions. This will be seen by the people of the respective nations as yet another exposure of the real character of our old colonial masters who have not abandoned their old tactics and continues to foster their desire to rule us, albeit in different forms. As a result, while the dramatisation of events using modern media technology seeks to achieve advantage in combating al Qaeda, it will only do the opposite. To bring the legendary heroes on the level of misguided terrorists like those of Osama Bin Laden will only offer legitimacy to their cause and create an environment of sympathy among ordinary folks.
The conclusion must therefore be that for the sake of the global peace and in ensuring a better world based on mutual respect, cooperation, equality and justice, people must be given their due honour and their feelings and sympathies must be respected. Classifying entire section of population as potential terrorists for no reason other than their desire and determined effort to see their values prevail in peaceful political movement is an attempt that goes against the very values of civility, fairness and justice. Let us hope that the days of imperial arrogance are well and truly buried in the past and our present is made to foster better understanding and link between nations, cultures and religion.

First Published on News Monitoring site, News From Bangladesh (http://www.bangladesh-web.com/view.php?hidRecord=176420) on Tuesday November 6, 2207.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Sanctions against Iran disregards Sovereignty of Nations

US step up sanctions against Iran for their alleged support for terrorism. The measures target the Revolutionary Guards and three state owned Banks. This comes only days after the former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair comparing Iran with the rise of fascism in the 1920s. He went as far as almost explicitly framing Iran as the New Fascists of our century, warning ‘western’ powers against complacency. Days before Mr Blair’s pronouncements, the Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Iran in a historic tour, the first ever of any Russian Leader for over half a century. Given the strategic importance of Iran, it is important to look at the issues at stake. It is important because the US-Iran represents the latest most important issues that can destroy the peace and stability of our world.

It is relatively easy to deal with the issue of Terrorism. US accuses Iran of arming fighters in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Hamas and Hezbollah. For US have listed Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organisations and is fighting against the insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the ease of ordering, we will deal with the issue of Iraq and Afghanistan first.

Afghanistan was attacked by the US and her allies soon after the attack on Twin Tower in New York by a group of terrorists which came to be known as the 9/11 attacks. US cited the involvement of Taliban, then ruler of most of Afghanistan and hold them responsible for providing grounds for training and accommodating terrorists. Although in military terms US ousted Taliban from power with little hardship, they continue to face increasingly stronger challenges from the Taliban element which questions the achievement of the ‘allied’ forces in Afghanistan. At present, given the difficulty in finding countries willing to commit troops, there is a real danger that Taliban may again gain grounds. Amid the fear of the return of Taliban in some form, US is desperate to step up pressure on Taliban while shift the focus of US people away from the issues. Iran, being a non-friendly nation to the US and strategically important Neighbour of Afghanistan is an easy escape goat. To date there has been little credible evidence to support Iran’s involvement in arming the Taliban. In fact, history tells us that the Taliban was ousted with silent support from Iran.

In Iraq, US and allied forces are struggling to keep hold of their grounds. The country is in chaos with little progress in sight. Despite the best efforts of the US soldiers, the security situation is in dire, the economy is frail and confidence of people is extremely low. There has been little movement towards stabilisation and the growth of democracy; the government is in tatters. More and more nations are bringing back their forces back, leaving US to sort out the mess it created alone. The opposition to Iraqi occupation is increasing in the US with the election eminent. The Bush administration is failing to keep up its commitment. Yet again they need an escape goat in order to wash their hands off the incompetence and arrogance and who better to blame than a worried neighbour, Iran? Of course the story is familiar; Syria has also been blamed but since Syria poses little significance these days, Iran as the most influential nation in that region suits better. Note again, there has been little evidence to make a compelling case against Iran in arming the Iraqi fighters.

Supposing, for the sake of argument, that Iran indeed is harbouring resistance to US occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, would US be justified to take the measures it is taking against Iran? I doubt it especially if US is to follow its own standards. Meddling in others business, destabilising nations and violating sovereignty of other states have been a common feature of successive US administrations. Even to date, US justify all kinds of actions based on its ‘self interest’. Is it not in the interest if Iran to have a favourable government in its strategically important neighbouring states?

With regards to Hezbollah and to some extent Hamas, Iran have been an open supporter of their causes. For centuries nation after nation supported independence struggles of the people against occupation. US itself fought bloody war to achieve its own freedom. Hamas and Hezbollah have been created under very specific conditions to achieve clear objectives. Both these movements are based on popular support within their respective communities. There is little evidence that they force people in supporting them, in fact, both these movements gained reputation for being fair, just and not corrupt. People in their respective areas see these movements as saviours of their cause. Yet the US and its allies continue to support increasingly isolated forces accused of corruption on mass scale. US talk of democracy and freedom yet denies ground realities and throws her weight behind occupying forces and corrupt, self proclaimed leaders with waning public support.


There are other accusations against Iran which deserves to be discussed with much importance. However for today we shall limit our focus on the issue of terrorism. It is clear to any reasonable person with a fair mind and sense of justice that the accusations against Iran of supporting terrorism are based in thin grounds. If anything, it has been the US continuously threatening Iran from all around with huge force. Iran has reason to believe that it may be subject to an attack from the US and may take precautionary measure. As such, it is conceivable that Iran is being forced to improve their strategic understanding with the forces opposing US hegemony.
The attitude of the US amounts to clear disrespect for international Institutions and the sovereignty of independent states. She has violated the sovereignty of more than one nation and continues to threaten more. This kind of attitude reflects the arrogance of the neo-conservative led administration and poses the greatest danger to our world’s security. Let us hope that the presidential election being just round the corner, common sense will prevail and a major shift will be in place in the US to prevent us going back to the olden days of cold war.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Let Burma be our moment of Reckoning

Situation in Burma continues to be tense with each side determined to see the end. The military junta continues to do all it can to suppress protesters while the pro-democracy activists demonstrate despite the harsh realities. The world, despite some sound bites, observes as bystander. In the mean time, some of us wonder what future holds for Burmese people and the significance of this latest development at the international scene.

For decades now, Burma has been governed by the military elites who established tight control over the state apparatus. They have ruthlessly suppressed all efforts of the pro-democracy activists and imprisoned the leaders. International community only managed to occasionally express concern in words but nothing beyond that has taken place. Meanwhile, in other parts of the world, in the name of ensuring democracy and ushering new era, global powers undertaken expansive military adventures result of which is the messy Iraq, dysfunctional Palestine and the increased uncertainty over global stability.

The test as presented by the Burmese experience is this: how far can international community can go to ensure ‘democracy’ in a state? From what we are experiencing, the answer is that the extent to which international community can go to ensure democracy, rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights is very limited. Of course some would argue that the case of Burma is different in that it does not offer much respite for the only super power to intervene, nor does it inconvenience any of the global players. To proponent of this view, Anglo-US axis has no moral vision and shows little regards to defend democracy; rather they are driven by self interest. While those that sees the axes as the sole custodian of democracy will argue that the Bush lead west perhaps with active participation of the European Union should if necessary take military stand against the Burmese government to ‘free’ the people of Burma from the unimaginable sufferings implicated upon them by their own government. In reality, both of these camps are impractical and unrealistic in the views that they hold.

The war on Iraq, the Palestine Crisis and most recently the increasingly eminent war on Syria points to us that war can only break our peaceful world into suspecting blocks where suspicion, mistrust and lack of cooperation makes it almost impossible to achieve peace and stability. It is also witnessed over the years that however powerful a nation or group of nations may be, they still are unable to mount military challenge in every land where the values of commonly acceptable civility is being violated. We have seen that action in Darfur has been limited to diplomacy and verbal condemnation, Chechnya, Dagestan, Kashmir etc have long been forgotten. In fact, as recently as last week, the British Foreign Secretary himself admitted that while there is victory, there is no military solution. This is extraordinary given that it was this very person who was the tsar of Tony Blair’s policy making.

SO leaving aside the rhetoric, it is now time to take a pragmatic approach to our world’s problems. Our approach should be one of re-conciliation between parties, building bridges and mending differences. War is easy but bringing peace is difficult. There are enough conflicts and potential conflicts, there are far too many potential issues that can divide our world and lead us to devastating consequences. With Burma now dominating the airwaves, we do not need yet another military solution, yet another war in whatever form it may take place. What we need is real courage and determination to come up with creative ideas that will pave the way for a better Burma and indeed a better world.

To this end, it goes back to the old argument in which international institutions like that of UN must be strengthened and their authority well established. TO do so, all nation and most importantly the powerful nations must respect the authority of these institutions even if at times the interest of these nations are not well served. Along with this, we also need to develop an infrastructure, a culture in which no nation is left to be isolated and cornered into little cells. We need effective means of communications with regimes like the one in Burma so we can talk in time of crisis. For this to happen, the authorities in such countries must not feel threatened. We need to create an interdependent world in which no government is able to run its businesses entirely on its own. That way when there is a problem we can apply real pressure that will work.

Isolating countries whether it is Burma or North Korea, be it Iran or Syria, will only make the leadership of such nations ever more determined in going about doing just the kind of things we want them no to do. Allowing them space and time may in short term seem giving way to the ideologically wrong kind of people, but in long term it allows us to weaken those regimes by making them more reliant on others who in turn can force these regimes to change. For the regimes, since they would be used in communicating and cooperating with other regimes, it would be unthinkable for them to isolate and do their businesses alone.
Let therefore our message be one of reconciliation, peace and perseverance. Let us say in loud and clear language, no more songs of wars, no more aggressive tactics to ensure ‘democracy’ but to create space for everyone and give them time to learn to dream of a better world. We want to see an end to the bloody clashes in Burma, but that must be achieved without creating more bloodshed at greater scale. Burma should be our moment of reckoning where we resolve to strengthen international institutions and increase our capacity to deal with this kind of regimes.

Monday, 9 July 2007

Confronting Terror

An interesting article on Christian Science monitor catches the mood of thinking minded sensible people on the issue of terrorism. The author quotes the surprise findings of surveys revealing public attitude towards terrorism. A few points rose in the brief article reflecting on the survey results from countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Indonesia and United States deserve more attention and space.

It has been asserted, validly in my view, that Muslims are no more supportive of terrorism than any other communities of religious and other groups. Terrorism steams out of misguided ideology energised by anger, mistrust and ignorance. Those that seek to kill innocent people indiscriminately do so out of their evil desires. Such actions as unfolded in various terrorist attacks in NY, London and other places are utterly condemned by all people from all socio-religious groups and rightly so. Unfortunately however, some powerful quarters of western political establishments have continued to wrongly accuse Muslims directly and indirectly of not going far enough in condemning such attacks. Many of them go as far as blaming Muslims for harbouring and supporting terrorism. These powerful elements of our political establishments, ideologues of a kind, and their allies in Muslim lands created their own brand of ‘war on terror’ which is equally divisive. At the core of the current strategies adapted by Washington, and to some extent London, lies an unholy desire to pick a fight with wider Muslims societies all around the world to impose ‘western values’ on Muslims world over. This strategy is either fuelled by an arrogant worldview of certain leaders and thinkers who view their ways of life to be so superior that it deserves to be imposed upon others, or that their understanding of Muslims and Islam is so shallow and misinformed that they totally fail to understand the very nature of Islam and Muslims thus adapt policies that instead of befriending Muslims, it offends them. As a result, in what should have been a relatively simple criminal matter in which everyone would sign up to, their policies antagonises Muslims and convinces many of a hidden agenda to subjugate global Muslim communities thus increase sympathisers to Al-Qaeda likes.

The war on terror in the main has been used both in the west and in the East as a powerful weapon to silence Muslim groups which has been fighting for equality, social justice, freedom, democracy and reform. These groups, though in some ways may be different from prevalent western political establishments, are groups that deserve our support rather than being condemned. The puppets, dictators and corrupt rouge elements occupying power in most Muslim lands are enemies of civility, justice and freedom and deserve to be opposed. West, in its support for these governments, lost its moral credibility and only ignited the feelings among many Muslims that they are the subject of a world wide witch hunt.

Islam is a global religion with a very active and clear socio-political and economic vision. As such, many Muslims feel that it is their obligation demanded by their faith to work towards bringing about a society in which their values are appreciated and established in the political apparatus of the state. This, however disliked by many, is a legitimate desire that any groups of whatever ideology can and should hold for so long as they do not seek to impose upon others by force. Westerners feel their ways of life is the superior and they have the right to think in that way, similarly, Christians, Jewish and all other believers of various faiths feel the same regarding their faiths and it is their right which we should respect. Why should than the Muslims be different? The current trend in the global struggle against extremism seems to deny this right to Muslims and seek to silence all political movements, peaceful popular organised, which find its inspiration in Islam.

Of course, the shallow and rather one sided media coverage, the ability of the Neo-Conservatives and their allies world over to twist and spin truth and mobilise public opinion using powerful propaganda tool means today Islam and systems inspired by Islam has been demonised to the extent that the moment a westerner hears of Islamic State, Islamic System, they instantly feel frightened and imagine of some back dated draconian ways of life which has nothing to offer to modern progressive societies whereas in reality nothing can be far from truth. The issue of equality, freedom of speech, freedom of belief, justice and fairness are the fundamental principles that underpin any Islamic system. For centuries, when Islam was firmly rooted in the political, social and economic life of Muslims, they went on to make extremely valuable contribution in enlightening our world through scientific discoveries, mathematical excellence and development of various humanities disciplines. History, astronomy, medicine and mathematics are only but a few of the areas in which Muslims contributed enormously. Today the Muslim world is in disarray, political-socio-economic condition of Muslims is dire. There are good reasons to suggest that at the heart of this direness of Muslims is the legacy of colonial rule and a planned and carefully orchestrated strategy of decapitating Muslims in the colonial error which continues to date in many shapes and forms. And it is not only Muslims who suffers from this utterly despicable condition of the Muslim communities; the non-Muslims alike suffer from it. When Islam dominated the lives of Muslims, non-Muslims were flourishing in the Muslim world with dignity, honour, safety and security. Classic example was the decadent Ottoman Empire in which many westerners fleeing from persecution at home found refuge; Jewish enjoyed relatively better life and a lot of influence. For Islam guarantees freedom for all religious groups and forbids any kind of biasness towards them by the Muslims.
Cutting things short, it is suffice to say that the current strategy to support puppets, marginalising islamically inspired political and social movements is a wrong strategy which in long term will continue to strain the relationship between Muslims and the wider world. This strategy is also doomed to be failure for it fails to recognise the rights of Muslims to be heard and valued. TO Muslims it is not the guarantee of economic prosperity, technological advancement and political authority that means most, though they are very important. What matters to Muslims most is their faith and the integrity of their faith. Let therefore the Muslim community decide for themselves as to what they want, what kind of ways of life they want. Let us not mix up a mere criminal issue with wider aspiration of Muslims to see their ways of life glorious and flourishing. Terrorism is a criminal matter which must be dealt with as such. In the process we should attack the justification of Al-Qaeda type groups for this kind of attacks and not get into a petty propaganda assault to condemn their stated objective of bringing about Islamic state. For every Muslim wants to see Islam prevail at all level of social strata. It is not the desire to see Islam being established politically which is wrong; it is the mean in which one seeks to establish Islam as the political force we should be concerned about. Only than and than alone will we be able to truly confront terrorism in all its evil shapes and forms.
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This article was first published on The Daily Star, leading English daily in Bangladesh, on 8th July 2007.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Terrifying Terror, the course of Justice and our values

First Published on The Daily Star (http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/07/05/d707051502118.htm)
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Britain once again stands frightened by the prospect of terrorist attack. A group of misguided individuals commit themselves to mindless act of carnage and violence. It is right that our government and people condemned such act of outrage with utmost disgust. Praise therefore is due to those who responded so well to the threats to lives of so many. Praise indeed to our security forces, political leadership and emergency response teams throughout the UK. I note particularly the statements of Alex Salmond and Jacqui Smith, both of which emphasised on the need to remain united. Alex Salmond’s reassurance to the Muslim community is particularly noted with sigh of relief and gratefulness.

Having so praiseworthy of our security forces, and largely of our politician, it is fair however for us to pick on those that either deliberately use events like this to further their own narrow interests. One such quarter is of course our media. As always, I note that media once again failed to be responsible and continue with their outrageously biased and inflammatory tone. At a time when we need conciliation, calm and measured coverage of events which is perfectly capable of giving rise to wider social instabilities, media words and tunes its voice in manners which only can flair up the heat causing enormous distress to so many innocent people.

Listening to BBC Radio4 this morning, I felt very concerned for all those doctors from Asian Countries, in particular those from Jordan and Egypt. In fact, the questioning was so outrageous that anyone listening to them would assume that presenter of the programme was convinced that those doctors of Arab origin, in particular from Egypt and Jordan are guilty of crime and pose serious threat to our national security. I wondered where the fine principle of criminal justice which says: ‘innocent until proven guilty’ was? I wondered too of Radio4’s objectivity, respect for due process of law and impartiality. I wondered how would she have reported was this incident to take place in a developing (preferably) Muslim country and some westerners were to be arrested and reported in the same manner in Iranian National Press? I hear some mutter ‘well we cannot be compared with Iran’ and that is where the problem lies.

Terrorism is a threat to us all, it has the potential to destabilise the entire world. The terrorists seek to create confusion, chaos and suspicion between communities and citizens to destroy the normality of our daily lives. Through creating division and suspicion they seek to fracture our social fabric which in turn will give rise to panic and anger. Anger and panic will lead to desperate acts which in turn will lead to backlash and instability thus bring an end to a harmonious way of life. This way eventually terrorists will achieve their objectives without being defeated which is to destroy our society in which people of all faith and none, races and nationality flourish side by side in mutual cooperation, respect and trust. Media and for that matter all those who acts irresponsibly give up fundamental values of our society, and let their prejudice, emotion and hatred lead their judgements only to play to the hands of terrorists in furthering their objectives.

All those people who have been arrested in suspicion of involvement with these notorious attacks should be treated fairly; justice must follow its own course and give them their due. Presumption of their guilt not only violates the basic principle of our justice system, it seriously threatens their prospect of being treated fairly. Furthermore, assuming them being wicked, hinting all their fellow professionals of similar ethnic and religious origin of being a threat to national security, will only help to create mistrust, anger and resentment, more reasons for many to be convinced that society and social institutions being biased against people of a specific religious affiliation. IN addition, not letting justice take its own course indirectly implies that our justice system is incapable of coping with new environment which of course is not the case.

IN conclusion, let me just add one more thing, the discussion of increasing the power of police and giving them more time to detain without charge is unhelpful. I applaud Brown’s reluctance to rush new legislation and hope that commonsense will prevail. There is nothing to suggest that any of the terrorist attacks could have been prevented by longer detention without charge, nor does it follow commonsense. The culture of detention without charges fuels anger and resentment, it makes more innocent people victim of a biasness and abuse of power by our security forces. Extremely low rate of prosecution, and even less success in conviction and the mistakes of Forest Gate, Charles De Menezes are only a very few cases sufficient to highlight the needs for restraint in bringing about new draconian measures. Many citizens of this country concur with me in finding a comparison between some of our harshest laws brought about in response to these terrorist threats with those that existed in places like apartheid South Africa. No one would agree that those laws were effective in keeping the ‘ANC terrorists’ away from realising their dreams, it only helped those activists to strengthen their resolve. We need to be able to stand confident and trust our people of all colour, nationality and faiths. Let us not play in the hands of the terrorists and let our much dared, precious freedom for which so many of our previous generations fought and so many of our fellow humans continue to struggle in many parts of the world prevail.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

To suggest Rushdie debate a ‘justification for Suicide Bombing’ is Unfortunate and utterly irresponsible

The award of Knighthood to Salmaan Rushdie reignited the old rifts between nearly two billion strong global Muslim community and the ‘defenders of free speech’. When I wrote my last entry on the matter, I hoped that I will never again need to write about this wicked man. But the latest diplomatic ‘war of words’ between Pakistan and Britain and the subsequent coverage of the matter forced me to invest my time to shed light for once again on this matter.

The row begins with an alleged comment of Ijazul Haque, Pakistan’s religious affairs ministry. What he said, as clarified by him on more than one occasion afterwards goes much way to clearly show the depth of anger and offence this decision to knight Rushdie will cause around the Muslim world. Unfortunately however, by the time it has been reported on the British media, the language pretty much became something like ‘the Pakistani Minister justifies suicide killing’. This spinning of a simple matter into a complex ‘war of words’ is utterly unacceptable and extremely unfortunate. We should not be surprised however for the British media and the certain quarters of the political arena to blow the whole issue into an entirely new dimension, distorting the main thrust of the debate. They only vindicate the minister and many others who believe that this was a calculated decision aimed at offending Muslims.

UK is among the most sophisticated of countries in the west, here every word matters. NO decision in this country taken at the state level without major thinking by various spin doctors, quangos and other bodies. The government wing responsible for awarding honours is no different. It would be inconceivable that the learned and wise people sitting in the decision making process who confirmed Mr. Rushdie’s honour were unaware of the potential for a backlash. Nor would they be in darkness about the past full with painful memories caused by inflammatory, irresponsible and blasphemous work of Rushdie. And it is for this reason that when some bunch of white collared people decide to confirm knighthood on Rushdie, it is only natural for the Millions of Muslims worldwide to take offence and rightly so. There is no room, and I repeat absolutely no room for those who wants to argue that this was merely a decision influenced by the literary contribution of Mr. Rushdie. Even if we are to accept that the decision was not one aimed at picking fight with Muslim communities, we would still have to conclude that the decision was an extremely irresponsible act and those made the decisions are incompetent and na├»ve. Either way, it is a bad decision which should have been redressed much long ago.

Going back to the row between Pakistan and UK and now Iran, it is indeed regrettable that British government, the Conservative Party and the British media decided to play spin with a matter of such importance. The role of the media, the conservative party and the other quarters involved in it only goes to show the lack of understanding towards Islam and the Muslims, to say the least. Of course, it would not be untrue, illogical to say that a large number of influential individuals within these mechanisms are deeply prejudicial about Islam and Muslims and always seek for opportunities to spoil the relationship developed over a long period of time, thanks to hard working individual who dedicated their life to bringing better understanding between Islam and the west.

Here in the UK and indeed the Muslims world over never wishes to pick a fight, nor do they have appetite for playing spin and politics with issues that run the danger of igniting violence and create hard feelings between citizens within and beyond states. We the Muslims merely expect to be treated with respect, curtsey and dignity; we deserve it. To disrespect values and person that Muslims hold dearer than their own lives in the manner that Salmaan Rushdie and others do is to disrespect and deny the right of Muslims and Islam to exists in its entirety. It is therefore our hope that common sense will prevail and decent, peace loving sensible people of this great nation, and indeed all over the world will rise to take the hate mongers and prejudicial ‘free speech defenders’ head on.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Honouring Salmaan Rushdie is an act of provocation

It is with regret and great sadness that the Muslims community worldwide receives the news of knighthood being confirmed on an infamous writer, Salmaan Rushdie. The decision to honour him with the knighthood amounts to a clear provocation and utter disrespect for the feelings and sentiments of the second largest faith community of this country. Given the circumstances in which British Muslims find themselves at this moment of time and considering the relationship between establishments and the British Muslims community, it perplex us to think that such decision can reasonably be taken by responsible people.

The name of Rushdie represents a hasty, a past in the life of British Muslims which brings with it emotions and strong feelings. The insane and blasphemous work in the name of literature carried out by Mr Rushdie caused a lot of anger, sadness and shock within the wider Muslims community around the world. The distaste shown towards decency in his book, Satanic Verses, amounted to nothing less then contempt and hatred. The responses of the British Muslims were clear and unequivocal. On the face of the history, the known obvious that honouring such an irresponsible, prejudicial person will cause enormous offence to the large British Muslims community should have been enough of a reason for the authorities to veto such decision. When the acts of governments and other establishments fail to respect the sensitivities, feelings and emotions of British Muslims, we are entitled to interpret this act as a deliberate provocation aimed at testing the resilience and good spirit of our community.

The time now has certainly changed as has the mindset and the approaches of Muslim community in the UK. The values and principles on which our faith stands have not changed. The ground on which Rushdie’s work deemed deeply offensive has not changed either. This latest irresponsible act by the establishment may not cause the outpouring of people on the streets, but shall cause bloodbath of disappointment, sadness and helplessness within the hearts of British Muslims. We express our deepest sadness and ask the authorities to rethink their decision.

Friday, 1 June 2007

West has no monopoly over human rights

In recent years the words ‘Democracy’, ‘Human rights’ and ‘civilised’ has become a very common. Often these words are used by the self proclaimed ‘righteous’ guardians of our world to attack the ‘enemies’ of the ‘civilised nations’ who form the axis of evil. Two leaders who use these words most are two staunchest allies, Tony Blair and George W Bush, The prime minister and president of the United Kingdom and the United States respectively. The country who felt the most heat from the use of these words and often been subject of Anglo-US wrath is none other than the Islamic Republic of America. What strange however is that often the Iranian regime have been criticised for ‘suffocating’ the people of Iran and curtailing their freedom through ‘undemocratic’ regime in Tehran. Interestingly enough never has there been any clear and elaborate explanation for such exertion and no serious attempt has been made to undertake an objective study of the matters. Interesting too that our great media institutions who pride in themselves for their objectivity never questioned the validity of such assertion, never has they given opportunity to the Iranians either to defend themselves.

It is important that we do not lose our sight of the need for objectivity. With this in mind, I shall attempt to present my views which I hope would be the views of many others here in relation to some of the issues that Iran is accused of instigating.

The most powerfully used phrase against the Iranians is often the power of the Ayatollahs and as such the regime is often being labelled as ‘theocratic’. As a result in the views of some, Iran is a nation without democracy in which individuals, the ordinary men and women have no freedom. How true is this assertion? Let us analyse and make our mind.

The Iranian system of governance is slightly unique in that it has an elected parliament, an elected president and a supreme leader who is not directly elected. On a day to day basis, the president runs the country with his cabinet, the group of ministers while parliament keeps the government accountable by scrutinising and legislating. The supreme leader rarely gets involve in the running of the government and only on issues of great national importance he intervenes. In most cases however, the role of the Supreme leader is one of a guardian protecting nation’s socio-cultural religious identity and values. And it is on issues of cultural, social and religious matters or other matters with socio-religious and cultural implication the supreme leader steps in to reflect the mood of the people and to unite fighting factions. Where is the wrong in having a figure that remains extremely popular in the position like that of the supreme leader of the Iran? Many other countries have such arrangements in the form of monarchy etc.

The president, arguably the chief executive, elected directly by the people in secret ballots and there has never been allegation of fraudulent activities involving the ballots. Why is it than the Iranian president than should be seen as anything less than democratic? The parliament has a decisive role and the parliament is elected too. Most of the municipalities have elected leaders or representatives of the people, why should Iran than be labelled as anything other than democratic? If we compare Iranian democracy with that of the US, what can we say? We see in the US a system in which money and Brand determine leaders who will govern the people of the United States; we see the grip of corporate big fishes having most part of the ‘pie’. Even on election, the system is marred by allegation of manipulation. President Bush came to power in the first place when clearly he lost the popular vote and that was excluding the votes that then were declared invalid due to systems designed to favour the republicans. Millions of people even now are deprived of their right to vote either through administrative hiccups, or using draconian laws. How can than the US of all the states claim an upper and morally superior position on issue of democracy?

With regards to Human rights, where is the clear proof that Iran falls short on its commitment to human rights than those who attack them? Take the example of the ‘custodians’ of human rights world wide, the US and the UK. United States is still a country deeply divided along the racial lines where colours of skin play major role as to what kind of treat should a person get. We have seen after the events in New Orleans, in relation to the American Muslims and Arabs and others that USA is far from being a country in which freedom flourishes without violation of human rights. Still there are draconian roles that victimise its own citizens and undermines equality of all people. Of course, I have not yet mentioned the appalling and disgraceful Guantanamo which is a scar in the consciousness of the world. How than the United States has the right to criticise anyone else of violation of Human rights? Even if we compare, can we find an equivalent of Guantanamo in Iran? Are there laws that discriminate among its people? Is there such neglect, prejudice or negative measure in Iran against any part of its population? I doubt very much.

There are other allegations such as people are forced to cover in specific ways. But which country does not have limitations? There are cultural and social requirements unique to each nation, people who cannot accept such cultural realities just have to live with it, and that is life. We cannot have unlimited freedom, we must exercise our freedom responsibly without showing contempt for others, their ways of life. True we cannot imagine a lady wearing mini skirts in the Iran, but why should we expect such freedom where sexually implicit and culturally alien matters Iranian society? And even if we are to criticise Iran, why should we not look at others too who have similar draconian measures? Jack Straw found veil not conducive to British society and unhelpful to integration and community cohesion, France finds Hijab at schools contrary to its secular values, Turkey finds Hijab not compatible with their values and tradition, why have we not criticise them for their anti-freedom attitude? Answer is simple, the west lead by the US and European powers are not interested in justice and equality, they are not bothered about respect for others, they have a specific agenda, an agenda in which they wants to see they, and them alone prevail. In the words of a great scholar, writer and thinker, Muhammad Asad, the western views regarding Islam is one of the following: ‘instead of liberating the human spirit from the shackles of obscurantism, Islam rather tightens them; and, consequently, the sooner the Muslims peoples are freed from their subservience to the Islamic beliefs and social practices and induced to adopt the western way of life, the better for them and for the rest of the world…’ These words may have been written long before our current time, never the less the views and attitudes of the western governments towards Muslims is precisely that. When such are the views held by the western powers, not just Iran, any country that rise up in its own right without recourse to western nepotism, they will be criticised, marginalised and where possible destroyed by forces or otherwise. I hope however, that the views of the people of the west are one of mutual respect, and it is time to challenge the prevailing thoughts of our politicians in the west.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

For so long the illegal Israeli occupation remains, our support for Palestine shall continue

Israel is an evil impetus causing enormous grief an incredible hardship and suffering for millions of people. The Zionist empire based in a dream that demeans all people but those of Jews ancestry seeks to impose its will and hegemony over the defenceless people of Palestine and continues to exert whatever pressure, however draconian and ruthless the consequence may be, on the people of Palestine and others in the immediate neighbourhood. The criminality of unprecedented scale some times directly inflicting chaos and destruction on others, and often via hidden means continues to be a major issue on world peace. It would not be too much to say that was it not for the Zionist policies of the Israeli evil empire, the whole of Middle East and indeed the world would have been a much better, secure and stable place. So when I see an article on a news monitoring site of Bangladesh ‘articulating’ how Bangladesh is loosing out from a principles stand to boycott Israel it indeed saddens me.

The article published on NFB presents to us the ‘human and caring’ face of Israel, a site which often is unseen! Israel has acquired some of the ‘best’ best facilities in cardiovascular treatment, agriculture and other important areas. The author informs us of the enormous ‘good’ the effort of Israeli government brings to the world through sharing their expertise in training and helping the people in the poor world. The author tells too of the offer by Israelis to help Bangladesh for no apparent interest to Israel which the BNP led government apparently refused to take. I should have been of course annoyed at the government of my country for depriving the poor and needy people of the chance to be treated by some of the best professional in health, agriculture and other infrastructure development! But sadly I cannot.

It seems that the author’s main argument was to present the kind heartedness of the Israeli government and a genuine desire by them to be a force for good. I wish I could accept such attempt, instead I find it incredible that author felt us to be so foolish that we will not understand the clever stunt by the Israeli to gain some cheap sympathy in its mission to wipe our Palestine.

If for the sake of argument I accept that the effort by Israel to help others is genuine and therefore should be commended, it is only natural to look at the greatest contribution that Israel can may to the humanity. Thousands of people killed by illegal and barbaric Israeli aggression in Palestine, Lebanon and other places, Israel continue to randomly arrest, detain and imprison people of Palestinian origin for months and years. As I write this article, illegal Israeli incursion in the Gaza strip results in the arrest of democratically elected government ministers among others. It is clear that Israel has no regard for the lives of the Palestinian, no desire to end the illegal occupation and no plan to stop their land grabbing policy. Clearly too that Israel wishes never a stable middle east in which each nation flourish with full potential as such outcome will threaten Israel’s superiority. The position taken, however old or ‘antiquated’ the ban may be, it was a decision taken in solidarity of our Palestinian brothers and sister and to show our support for their cause. The ground on which the decision was taken has not change, if any it has gone worse. Of course it is true that many other countries have changed their position. But that is only because those countries lost its courage and have now converted into ‘American out Posts in the Middle east’. It is unfortunate of course to see the last lines in that article that seeks to threaten Bangladesh of US wrath. But I am not at all surprised as US has shamelessly supported the illegal state of Israel and will continue to do so. It is true that country like Bangladesh rely heavily on the goodwill and support of countries like the United states of America, true too that the people of Bangladesh value the friendship with US people, but that does not follow that Bangladesh and her government will be willing give way to bullying by people like Hannah Brown in accepting the state of Israel’s ill and evil destructive actions.

The people of Bangladesh have suffered for centuries in the hand of foreign masters and are fully aware of the humiliation, and hardship of life under occupation. The heroic nation that is my Bangladesh knows too of the difficulties and price often required staying on the ‘wrong’ side of the powerful. But our people also knows to remain firm and steady on the face of injustice and have fought and stood against injustice. For so long as the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine will remain, the solidarity and support of the people of Bangladesh will also continue to be with the Palestinian brothers and sisters. To even think of luring us and bullying us to form ‘noble ties’ with Israel is if anything an insult to our feeling, our values and our principles.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Behind the Attacks lies a greater ambition to build an American Empire

History has been made today with a landmark meeting in Bagdad, the meeting between US envoy and Iranian Ambassador. This is the first high level contact between the countries in 30 years. Whatever the outcome may have been the meeting itself is a step towards the right direction which must be commended. Hopefully more meetings of this kind in the future will eventually bring about normal relationship between the two countries both with distinct history.

The meeting reported on BBC’s website as ‘US warns Iran over arming Iraqis’. Following the positive gloss on the meeting above it is unfortunate that a major news corporation fails to report an important event more positively. On a broader point however, reading the US feedback on the meeting, they very characteristically attacks the Iranian and warns them to ‘stop arming Iraqis’.

The US attack on the independent sovereign Iraq has been a blunder, the greatest mistake of George Bush’s career. The war on Iraq has come to haunt the neo-cons in spectacular fashion marred in controversy and perhaps incompetence though many would say rather arrogance failed their intelligence. What is clear however now is that amid increasing dissatisfaction and eroding support for the president and his project at home and isolated and ridiculed image of the US administration abroad left the master at the White House and Pentagon wonder for solutions. Their failure of astronomical magnitude costing lives and money at a frightening even to think. No body knows of the total death tolls of Iraq civilians and every day dozens more are dying. The country and its infrastructure are in tatters leaving a one time rich and advance nation in ruins. The failure to manage Iraq and bring about normalisation is increasingly frustrating the US administration who now finds an easy escape goat on Iran, an isolated nation being victim of US imperial vision.

But should we be surprised at the US’s hypocritical role with regards to Iran? Let’s briefly list some of the issues that US has with Iran: Nuclear, Arming Insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan and supporting Hezbollah and the likes. Of course the neo-cons and their allies also allege the Iranian regime to be theocratic who are suffocating the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Iran was labelled as member of the ‘Axis of Evil’ pronounced by the president in a famous speech. I shall seek to address each of these in brief below.

The issue of Nuclear energy and suspected military motives by the Iranian regime is one of total and utter nonsense, indefensible by any logic. To start with, the forces demanding the Iranian regime to give up their nuclear ambition themselves are armed with most sophisticated nuclear technology perhaps would not be possible for Iran to ever match and they continue to increase and enhance their capability both at the civil and military arena. To prevent Iran and to bully them to stop nuclear activities is the greatest hypocrisy of our time. There are other unstable regimes with nuclear bombs who instead of being forced to give up their weapons are being helped actively and empowered to strengthen their capability, India just one such nation who have a history of fighting with its neighbours, continues to have interesting relationship with most of its neighbours. India is also a country entrenched into sectarian fighting and many of her provinces are unstable as a result of ‘independence movement’ by various groups. How than is it justifiable that a nation who have been engaged in unprovoked war on more than one occasion with more than one nation is allowed to be empowered with nuclear forces and aided by the US yet when Iran, relatively small nation who never fought an aggressive war and clearly states no desire to acquire military nuclear technology be forced to abandon her projects? Why should there be a ban on Iran’s effort when clearly they have neither broken any role nor threatened or shown any sign of aggression? The only answer is Iran refuses to be a US poodle in a region where most others are happy to do so thus represent a threat to US-Israeli dominance in the oil rich region of our world which also happens to be the heart of a major religion with a global vision.

Iran seen a change over three decades ago, a change that brought an end to the most ruthless and autocratic regime in her entire history. The Islamic revolution was a mass movement of the people who reclaimed their right to govern themselves free from the suppression of ruthless dictator. Ever since the revolution the regimes in Iran have been elected democratically by the popular vote of her citizens contrary to the picture painted in the west. Iran is the only Middle Eastern country to have a thorough democratic system where man and women all participate. Contrary to the claims made by the neo-cons, the government in Iran has better democratic credential than President Bush for it was Bush who ashamed great American democracy by loosing the popular vote yet gaining the presidency.

The rise of the current Iranian political elites to the power came as a result of a stated commitment to fight aggression and help others to free themselves from occupation and dictatorship. As such Iran committed itself to help occupied people of Palestine and Lebanon to mobile their numbers to force occupiers out of their land. Most nation in history have done so, there is nothing inherently wrong in doing so. Even to date, US continue to arm support and fund more rebel and other groups to destabilise more countries than Iran can ever dream of doing. US’s role in funding extremist armed groups is well known and continues to date including currently funding an Iranian dissident group which has been branded ‘terrorist’ organisation by various international entities. Most recently, they have also actively supported a quo against the democratically elected government of Venezuela. The support for Israel and its illegal occupation continues to be a shame on American nation.

The arguments can be built, fact however is that the arrogance of American administrations means little does these arguments means. In affect however, beneath all the words and arrogance lies an ambitious desire to build a new empire spanning the whole world in which only America and her allies will have the ultimate say. Countries like Iran are an obstacle in achieving such vision thus prevented from pursuing legitimate means to strengthen and advance their national interests.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Birth of a new Dawn is inevitable

During the summer of 2006 the people of Lebanon found themselves caught in the midst of fire. The memories of brutal war made a come back destroying live, infrastructure and indeed the whole of Lebanon. Beautiful suburbs and lively streets in Beirut came to a standstill amid the devastation of astronomical scale caused by mighty Israeli shelling from air, sea and land. Though the war raged in full swing for weeks, and despite clear military advantage to Israel, the will of the people of Lebanon, the determined defence of highly committed Hezbollah forces meant Israel came out of the war as the wounded lion that lost its pride. The people of Lebanon and indeed the whole of Arab for first time in modern age felt proud of their strengths, not the governments and leaders but the people found heroes in the men of Hezbollah. These experiences undoubtedly led the leadership of Hezbollah confident who immediately after the war attempted to strengthen their grips in the corridors of power in Beirut.

A year later now that we approach the summer once again, people in Lebanon yet again finds themselves in the midst of war-noises. This time the attacks and the parties of the war no longer are the old enemies, the Israelis against defenceless Lebanese, but rather, the Lebanese Army laying siege against Palestinian refuges apparently taken hostage by a militant group. This development brings about yet again bitter memories of the past when multi racial, multi-faith Lebanon was engulfed in horrific civil war primarily fought along the religious lines. Already Hezbollah made their views known while the government continuing to show their determination to go ahead with ‘finishing’ their business. Recognising the strengths of the militants and potential support from powerful political blocks, military equipments and other necessary resources have already been channelled to the Lebanese army from the US and other Middle Eastern countries. Irony of course is that the Americans only last summer supported the Israeli effort in all forms against this very government even on the face of massive civilian casualties and clear violation of international laws by the Israeli warmongers. Although they argue to help the Lebanese army to increase and improve its capacity, reality is the result of a strengthen Lebanese army and continued siege on the refugees camp will only weaken the Lebanese government and bring about destruction of Lebanese infrastructure and society. There is no interest to be served by the Lebanese as far as the USA is concerned. The only outcome that will satisfy the US and in turn their masters in Tel Aviv is the outcome that will ensure a fragile Lebanon divided along sectarian lines, this latest crisis will go much far into achieving such objectives.

Interesting it is to see how this crisis unfolds. The effort of the Lebanese army is seen as a war against al-Qaeda necessary to defeat the forces of ‘evil’ threatening our global stability. Interesting too to see how other major obstacles to US ambition to control the Middle East are shown to be ‘engaged’ in this conflict. I of course am talking about Iran and Syria. Only this morning Walid Jumblatt, the leader of the Druze Community pronounced the lines so loved by the USA unchallenged by BBC in the Sunday AM programme where he sensed active Syrian and Iranian hands behind the escalation of the current crisis. Irony of course is that these are the lines also expresses the views of Neo-conservative ideologues in the Washington and beyond. It would be significant therefore to see how this latest crisis unfolds in Lebanon. What is clear however that certain forces with deep interest in the region will continue to see an unstable middles east to further their interest. What we of course do not hear is the potential gain by the USA from this conflict. Let’s just look at two such gains.

While the Lebanese siege continues, Israel suffocates the Palestinians, arrests the members of democratically elected government and continues to strengthen its grips on the Palestinian territory. In fact, it is evident that while the media spotlight continues to be away from Gaza, Israel aims to force the Palestinian government of Ismael Hniya to become dysfunctional by arresting his ministers and threatening to kill as many of his activist as possible. All these happen of course while media, especially in the west continues to avoid giving any coverage on the issue. The middles eastern powers too seem to be not bothered by the developments.

It would not be a bad thing to get rid of the ‘evil forces’ if it was to ensure peace and stability in the Middle East forever. The difficulty of course is that the forces identified by the Us-Israeli axis and their allies to be the ‘forces of evil’ continues to enjoy popular support by standing for the rights of the oppressed on the face of mighty enemy while the self proclaimed ‘forces of good’ remains deeply attached to committing evil deeds. Their allies hoping silently to see the end of the popular movements on the other hand continues to lose their grips on power and becoming increasingly unpopular. If this story continues, we shall continue to go round the cycles without ever finding a solution for the deeply troubled region that has so much influence in our lives, in deciding our future.

The peace loving people of the world must demand, and the self proclaimed leaders of the ‘civilised world’ must first stop associating themselves with the evil regime of the Zionists in Israel. Justice must be put before any other consideration regardless of the potential consequences. As an immediate step, Israeli incursion and continued detention of Palestinian people must come to an end and the Unity Government of Ismael Haniya must be given a chance to bring about order, run his country and rebuild the economy. The government of the Palestinian people must be allowed to rule their country free of interference from the outer world. Once the current situation is neutralised, tension reduced and normality return on the streets of Palestine, pressure must be brought about on Israel to give up its settlement of the west Banks and return to internationally recognised borders. Pressure must also be ensured on Israel to force her in accepting the refugees or compensate them if they so wish to be duly which will bring an end to lifelong imprisonment of generations of Palestinians spread all over the world.

There are of course those, in fact the dominant factions of global power, who argues that Israelis must be given assurance of security and left unattacked and undisturbed for any settlement to take place. This argument defies common logic and runs contrary to commonly accepted protocol. The people of Palestine are desperate, under occupation they have lost their loved ones, their homes, their lands and of course their freedom, what hope do they have of living a fulfilling life in an independent Palestine? How can we demand desperate people living in total despair accepting responsibility for situations in which they never played any major rule? The response from the Palestinian side, however harsh may look, is a response that should reasonably be expected from any occupied people, they are merely defending and in most cases seeking to regain the lost honour, dignity and pride, their country and their homes. Surely, for them to stop a clear progress must be made in ensuring their return to their homes, their freedoms must be brought in sight for them to stop fighting for it.
Coming back to the original issue, I was talking of two gains by the Israel-US and their allies from keeping Middle East chaotic. I mentioned one above with regards to Israel Palestine. The other major gain is that given the role of the USA in the middle eastern politics and their biased and totally unjustified stand over many years in supporting Israeli aggression, the continued biased of USA against Muslims and those who aspire to see Islam prevail, even the name of USA should have caused enormous anger in the middles east. The infighting within Middle Eastern society ensures that USA is in demand. As mentioned before, despite the USA role in Israel’s attempt to destroy Lebanon, Lebanese government turn to USA for help in its internal fight, Saudi Arabia remains dependant on USA fearing potential uprising bringing an end to the rule of the House of Saud, Fattah relies on US support to regain its control over Palestinian people and the list can continue. It is not in the interest of the US and indeed the ‘west’, therefore, to see an end to Middle Eastern violence. On this backdrop, therefore, it is not realistic to expect a solution with US at the driving sit. On the other hand, without the US involvement a solution is unthinkable, thus the conclusion is that there is no solution to Middle East problem. The only way out therefore is a new renaissance in the middles east, a renaissance bringing about empowerment of people, true democracy that ensures people’s participation in the governance of their country. For such time to become reality, a new grass root level activity must now be the focus of all peace loving determined people of the Middle East. Only when the puppets are driven out power will we see a truly stable middle east. Of course in the process there will be bloodshed, chaos and conflicts, there will be bitterness and pain. But the pain and bitterness is like the unbearable suffering of a mother prior to birth, once the birth of the new dawn takes place, all pain shall wane away ushering a new era of peace, stability and humanly love and kindness. Of course, there will be the death of the ‘birth giving mother’ as it so happens in real life, but the success if inevitable, however long it may take.