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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘arabia’

US Losing Middle East Coalition

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Ever since the seventies, the world has become accustomed to the split in the Middle East, between those countries that support the West – Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco and Israel, and we might add Turkey to this list as well, and those countries that were members of the opposing, Soviet, coalition: Syria, Libya, Iraq and South Yemen. Lebanon was then between the democratic hammer and the Syrian anvil.

Despite the dissolution of the Soviet Union at the end of the eighties, there were no big shifts in political orientation, and the countries that were faithful to the Western bloc led by the United States remained faithful to it until recently, mainly because a new hostile bloc was formed, led by Iran and supported by Russia and China. The stronger the Iranian threat became, the more the pro-Western countries depended on America for support.

Lately, however, the pro-Western coalition has begun to crumble, and two key countries – Saudi Arabia and Egypt – are searching for a new political crutch, ever since it became clear to them that the American crutch is nothing but “a broken reed” (Isaiah, 36:6). A few more countries can be added to this list, mainly Turkey and the Gulf Emirates.

Saudi Arabia

In an unprecedented move, the Saudi kingdom has refused to become a member of the most powerful body in the world, the Security Council of the UN, a body authorized to deal with the world’s security problems and, with the power of the authority vested in it, can even declare war as a world body on a country that violates its resolutions. The question that immediately arises is: why did Saudi Arabia refuse to become a member of the body that is perhaps the only one capable of dealing with Iran’s military nuclear project? Why did Saudi Arabia reject the opportunity to influence events in Syria from within the Security Council? Why doesn’t Saudi Arabia take advantage of the most important stage in international policy in order to take action against Israel?

The superficial reason is that which the Saudi foreign office published, expressing an ethical position: the kingdom will not agree to enter the Security Council until the Council undergoes reforms that will enable it to fulfill its role, which is to maintain world peace. The obsolete apparatus, the wasteful practices, and double standards used by the Security Council all prevent it from fulfilling its role. There are many examples of this: the Palestinian problem has not been solved despite it having been created 65 years ago, and despite the fact that the wars stemming from it have threatened the peace of the entire region and the world several times. The Council allows the Syrian dictator continue slaughtering his citizens for almost three years without imposing effective sanctions, and the Council has failed to achieve the goal of turning the Middle East into an area free of weapons of mass destruction because it has not managed to create an effective method of oversight for military nuclear projects.

Despite the fact that the Saudis do not speak specifically about Iran in their official announcement, it is clear that their reference is not to Israel, from whom they fear no danger, but to Iran, whose nuclear plans do keep them awake at night. However, it is specifically the Iranian nuclear issue which should have pushed Saudi Arabia to become a member the Council; membership could have granted them an active role in making decisions against Iran, so why not join?

In part, the reasons relate to the way that the Saudis see the international alignment of countries recently but is also connected to the customary culture of honor in the Middle East, without which it would be impossible to understand the behavior of the Saudis, proud sons of the desert.

First of all, a person of honor does not join a club where he is considered a class ‘B’ member. In the Security Council there are class ‘A’ members – the five permanent members (the United States, Russia, Britain, France and China) who have nuclear weapons and veto power, and there are class ‘B’ members – the ten countries with temporary membership, who are not allowed to attain nuclear weapons and do not have veto power. Saudi Arabia would in no way agree to be a class ‘B’ member of any organization, and would prefer not to join because honor is more important to it than anything else.

Muslimah Misogyny: ‘Muslim Women Against Femen’

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

I recently reported deep concern for a young Tunisian Muslima who had disappeared after she posted topless photos of herself to protest the sharia oppression and subjugation she suffered as a Muslim girl. One controversial image showed the young Muslimah, Amina Tyler, smoking a cigarette, baring her breasts, with the Arabic written across her chest: “My body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour.”

A Muslim cleric in moderate Tunisia called for her stoning death.  Tunisian newspaper Kapitalis quoted preacher Almi Adel, who heads the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, saying: “The young lady should be punished according to sharia, with 80 to 100 lashes, but [because of] the severity of the act she has committed, she deserves be stoned to death. ”Her act could bring about an epidemic. It could be contagious and give ideas to other women. It is therefore necessary to isolate [the incident]. I wish her to be healed.”

There were rumors that her family had her locked up in an asylum. Such is the life of millions of Muslim girls that want to be free in Islamic society.

Thankfully, Amina’s story went viral and gained international attention. One of the more outrageous reactions was from the Ukraine-based feminist group, Femen, who staged a Topless Jihad Day, to stand in solidarity with Amina. It’s not what I would do but I loved the moxie and in-your-face action to call worldwide attention to misogyny under Muslim rule. These feminist activists  held “International Topless Jihad Day” in major European cities including Berlin, Kiev and Paris. They painted their bodies with slogans such as, “bare breasts against Islamism,” and they protested outside of mosques in various cities.

“We’re free, we’re naked, it’s our right, it’s our body, it’s our rules, and nobody can use religion, and some other holy things, to abuse women, to oppress them,” Femen member Alexandra Shevchenko said while demonstrating outside a Berlin mosque in freezing temperatures.

Finally, a well publicized response to the crushing subjugation of women under the sharia. But what happened next was ……. unforgivable. Reminiscent of the Muslim women who hold down their daughters for FGM (clitordectony), a group of Muslim women came out against the Amina Tyler supporters. “Muslim Women Against Femen” was formed to show that Femen “does not speak for all members of their community.”

The members of Muslim Women Against Femen encouraged other self defeating supporters to participate in Muslimah Pride Day. They are posting pictures of themselves on social media (see below) declaring that they are not oppressed. Well, bully for them. Are they really that selfish? Self absorbed? Inhuman?

If they are not oppressed then this campaign has nothing to do with them.

Millions of women under Muslim rule are oppressed like Amina Tyler and suffer unspeakable brutality under the honor violence code of Islam. What about them? How can these Muslimahs turn their back on their sisters?

“Muslim Women Against Femen” may very well choose to wear the niqab or burka or hijab but that is their choice. They can wear purple hair for all we care. But what about the millions of Muslimah who are forced to wear it? What about the millions of Muslimahs forced into marriage, beaten or honor killed?

The utter disregard of these Muslimahs for the fate of their sisters in other lands is either a depraved lack of humanity or a strange Stockholm syndrome. The mission statement of these supremacists is; “Muslim women who want to expose FEMEN for the Islamophobes/Imperialists that they are. We are making our voices heard and reclaiming our agency!”

This exclusive self-reference, typically encountered among adolescents, accounts for the scorched earth policy of Islamic supremacists. These Muslim women have no interest in the fate of Muslimahs victimized by the sharia because what happens to those unfortunate Muslimahs has no impact on the daily life or goals of Islamic imperialists.

Why are these Muslim women fighting those who wish to help Muslim women?  FEMEN were not demanding Muslimahs remove their cloth coffins or head pieces.  They were tyring to help the oppressed.

Here’s the thing – this whole “Muslim Women Against Femen” is based on a false premise. Nobody is stopping these girls/women from wearing  head and body coverings. But what about women who don’t have the liberty to choose. That’s the point.

Making Kafka Proud in Dubai Court

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

The “Trial,” the nightmarish novel of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, was written in 1914 and is one of Franz Kafka’s best-known works. A contemporary variant of that nightmare is unfolding in Dubai.

When the Australian airline Qantas recently announced a commercial deal with the Gulf-based airline Emirates, we started researching what this might mean to ordinary travelers to and from Australia. Then we began understanding its possible impact on Jews and Israelis. Then we came across the ongoing, scandalous and worrying story of a gentle, frail and very distinguished South African doctor caught up in the kind of nightmare that can only happen in places where the rule of law and transparency in the imposition of power are a form of inside joke.

While it’s an affair that directly affects just one man, the implications (as we noted in a previous post) of what is being done to Prof. Cyril Karabus are horrific. We feel air travelers planning to fly Qantas at some future time need to know them. The background is in these three earlier posts:

* 26-Sep-12: Dubai, Dubai, Dubai

* 15-Oct-12: Back to Dubai: Australian travelers might want to factor this report into their plans

* 21-Oct-12: Update on Prof. Cyril Karabus and his ongoing nightmare in United Arab Emirates

In brief: Prof. Karabus is a notable and honored professor of medicine with a lifetime of service to the community in his native South Africa. He is now 78. He passed through Dubai airport in the UAE on August 18, 2012 en route to his home after taking part in his son’s wedding in Canada.

In Dubai, he found himself under arrest; he was notified that he had been convicted a decade earlier on charges arising from the death of a three year old child he had treated for terminal cancer. No notification had ever been given to him at the time of the child’s death or since then. He knew nothing about it until he was arrested in transit at Dubai airport.

In court, having been obliged to hire lawyers, he denied any involvement in the charge of killing a young leukaemia patient. The prosecution was unable FOUR times to bring the files on the basis of which the elderly doctor was brought to court. So four times his application for bail could not proceed and he remained incarcerated in an appalling prison. Then finally he was granted bail, but was and still is unable to leave Dubai.

Now this week’s update, via a limited-circulation South African newspaper:

South African paediatric oncologist Prof Cyril Karabus (78), of Claremont, Cape Town, held on bail inAbu Dhabi since August 18 on a 10-year-old charge for which he was tried and found guilty in absentia, relating to the death of a child patient from leukaemia, is again in the ignominious situation of having his trial postponed for a further week, until December 13, due to a “missing folder” with details of the case history. Said his daughter, Sarah: “There is still no sign of the missing folder, and we are certain that it will never be found. If they find it, it will show the world that they convicted him erroneously, so we suspect it will remain ‘missing’. “I am not sure how long this farce will continue – even our lawyers are not sure of that,” she added… At the time of going to press on Wednesday, Michael Bagraim, the attorney representing Karabus, explained: “The trial is destined to reconvene tomorrow, Thursday December 13. At the last hearing, the prosecution, once again requested a postponement of a further month due to the fact that they were still unable to find the paperwork and the necessary hospital file. “Prof Karabus did address the judge by stating that he thought the request was an insult to the court and a waste of the country’s money. The judge tended to agree with this statement, and addressed the prosecution harshly about the continual postponements. “The judge then said that he would only agree to a seven-day postponement and he wanted a full explanation from the prosecution as to why they wanted to continue prosecuting without any paperwork. We are feeling quite hopeful about the appearance tomorrow, but obviously we are in the court’s hands. “There was a medical scare at the last hearing as Prof Karabus did indicate chest pains in the middle of the trial. He now appears to be alright, but certainly is very frail. We have hope in that even the newspapers in the UAE are indicating that Prof Karabus might not be guilty,” said Bagraim.

Visit This Ongoing War.

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