from Aafaq.org (US: Washington DC)
In a letter sent to Aafaq, Shouk Alshammary said that her life and the life of her infant daughter are in jeopardy. Shouk is the daughter of Saudi human rights activist Sheikh Mekhlef bin Daham Alshammary, one of the sheikhs of the Shammar tribe. In her letter to Aafaq she recounts how she was mistreated by her husband and his family. They deprived her of her two-month old infant daughter; they beat and tortured her, with knives and electricity, and by deprivation of food, drink and health care, to prevent her from disclosing information she had about the killing of a woman in which members of her husband's family were involved. They forced her to sign and stamp documents that she had not read with the prints of her hands. When she sought relief, and the return of her infant in the court of the city of Hafr Al-Batin, she found that she was the victim of conspiracies among judges of the court, who were spiteful toward her father, Sheikh Mekhlef, because of his association with Shi'ite clerics ... She still has not had her infant daughter returned to her, and the case has been appealed to the Appellate Court in Riyadh. She fears for her own physical and mental health, and the health of her infant.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
from Aafaq.org (US: Washington DC)
by Peter Worthington from The Toronto Sun (Canada)
What is there to say about a woman in Saudi Arabia sentenced to 200 lashes and six months in prison after being abducted and gang-raped by seven men? ... The trouble for the likes of America, Britain and Canada, all of whom are equally appalled at this case, is that Saudi Arabia is supposedly a friend, an ally, and therefore immune from harsh criticism or retaliation. Canada's previous government chose to believe the Saudis when Bill Sampson was framed for murder, tortured and sentenced to death in 2000, before being released 31 months later. The shame of that still lingers ... Saudi Arabia, of course, survives via the double-standard. It produces terrorists (the 9/11 sky-jackers), and has spread jihadists and Islamic extremists around the world. It is a financier of international terrorism, yet we are afraid if we criticize, they'll jack up the price of oil. Looking beyond the 200 lashes to a gang-raped Saudi woman, if there were less tolerance by the civilized world for barbaric behaviour, and if more discretion were exercised on which countries we called friends, perhaps the money supply would dry up and terrorism would revert to being a local or domestic phenomenon, not an international plague. One can't be sure, but what is certain is that our present attitude encourages rather than curtails outrages and barbarism.
from The British National Party (UK)
The protracted war in Iraq and other policies of the Bush administration sends a schizophrenic message to the Islamic world. The Bush administration opposes Wahabis, al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden. But it supports Saudi Arabia, the source of the Wahabi doctrine. It supports Sunni Pakistan, calling it a key ally against war on terror and opposes Sunni Taliban, which is the creation of Pakistani intelligence services. It opposes the Iranian regime of Shiite ayatollahs, and at the same time it supports the Iraqi Shiite-led government. The administration opposes Sunnis in Iraq and supports Sunnis in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Kuwait. This administration’s myopia minimizes the effectiveness of our military making it incapable of distinguishing a friend from a foe. Bush is guilty of conducting a defensive war. He wants to protect the United States from terrorists, but fails to understand that terrorists are the product of their philosophical views and he fails to attack their philosophy, which is Universal Jihad. The progenitors of universal jihad are Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — the true axis of evil. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are not our allies; they are our enemies. These outlaw nations must be demilitarized, secularized and democratized. That should be the goal of our “war on terror.“
by Angelo M. Codevilla from The Claremont Institute (US: California)
The U.S. government knew well enough that nearly all of those shooting at U.S. soldiers were Sunni Arabs, usually attached to Saddam's Ba'ath party, who were using foreign Wahabi suicide bombers — usually Saudis — as ordnance. Nevertheless, its response to the Sunni insurgency has been to try to co-opt it by arming and empowering those Sunni Ba'athist military figures who promise somehow to temper attacks on Americans. This purchase of truces as if there were no tomorrow was the hallmark of General David Petraeus's 2003 command in Mosul. It was the thinking behind turning Fallujah over to a Ba'athist general in 2004, who, in turn, made it into the insurrection's citadel. It is also, alas, the thinking behind the plan for extricating U.S. forces while maintaining a veneer of success that Petraeus was sent to execute in 2007, especially in Anbar province ... Whatever tactical victories the surge may bring, it is a formula for strategic defeat. Refusing to choose sides, the U.S. armed forces end up the enemy of all—and, surely worst of all, feared by none.
by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times Online (Hong Kong)
Former star cricketer and Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan, was arrested by hardcore fundamentalist Jama'at-e-Islami (JI) students at the University of Punjab campus in Lahore and then handed over to Musharraf's police. Even though JI was also against Musharraf's emergency - it wanted at least the restoration of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Iftikhar Chaudhry plus free and fair elections - the JI cannot stand a secularist like Khan ... Before his arrest, Khan pointed out how during eight years under Musharraf, only 1.8% of the country's gross domestic product was spent on education. Khan also stressed how "Pakistan has the worst social indicators in South Asia", according to the UN Human Development Index. "Even Burma [Myanmar] is ahead. On the other hand in 2006, Pakistan spent US$ 5.1 billion on arms" ... As for JI's criticism of Musharraf, it wants Islamic canon law applied in the whole of Pakistan. The JI's leader, Qazi Husain Ahmad – who is also the leader of the MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e Amal - the Islamic Action Council coalition of Islamic parties), was fiercely opposed to the US bombing of Afghanistan in 2001. The MMA holds 20% of Parliament and two key provinces of Pakistan's five: the ultra-tribal North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and Balochistan.
by Debnath Guharoy from The Jakarta Post (Indonesia)
Every freedom-loving nation in the world needs to recognize Indonesia's capability to influence the Islamic world, its voice of moderation and its commitment to democracy and religious tolerance. After all, this is the world's single-largest Moslem population. Anyone who knows Indonesians knows they are among the most laid-back, tolerant and courteous people ... Taking note of Wahabi money flowing into Indonesian madrassas, it is praiseworthy the Australian government is helping build 2000 schools around the country that will teach a secular curriculum. Palestinian children being taught in school to hate Jews cannot be good for world peace. Nor can the billion dollars a day spent on keeping the American military machine well oiled. Imagine the power of half that money, if spent on educating under-privileged children around the world, every day. Anyone who really wants to fight a war on terror needs to help spread the word of peace. What will help the world do that better and faster is an army of well-paid teachers, not well-armed soldiers.