Kashif Hafeez Siddiqui

Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

Islamist Party Leader Returns Home – Wall Street Journal

In Clsh of Civilizations on January 30, 2011 at 8:17 pm

The leader of a long-outlawed Tunisian Islamist party was welcomed at the airport by thousands of cheering supporters on Sunday as he returned to his homeland after more than two decades in exile.

Rachid Ghanouchi and about 70 other exiled members of Ennahda, or Renaissance, flew home from Britain two weeks after autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was forced from power by violent protests. Mr. Ghanouchi took up a megaphone to address the crowd outside the airport, but his voice was drowned out by shrill ululating cries and shouts of “God is great!”

Tunisian Islamist party leader Rachid Ghanouchi, center, is surrounded by supporters shortly after arriving at the international airport in Tunis, Tunisia, Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011.

During 23 years in power, Mr. Ben Ali cracked down on opponents, including proponents of political Islam, jailing them, and sending many into exile. Amid protests over corruption and repression, Mr. Ben Ali was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 14. Tunisia has issued an international arrest warrant for him, accusing him of taking money out of the country illegally.

Thousands welcome Rachid Ghannouchi, the head of the Islamist Ennahda movement, back to Tunisia after 22 years of exile. Deborah Gembara reports.

Swiss prosecutors said Sunday they have launched a money laundering investigation into accounts belonging to Mr. Ben Ali and his family. The Federal Prosecutors Office said the accounts blocked two weeks ago contain tens of millions of Swiss francs. Prosecutors in Paris are also probing the family’s assets in France.

With Mr. Ben Ali gone, Ennahda has moved quickly to carve out a place in the political scene, taking part in demonstrations and meeting with the prime minister. Though the ban on Mr. Ghanouchi’s party hasn’t officially been lifted, the new interim government has been tolerant of it.

Public expressions of support for Ennahda, such as the one at the airport, were unthinkable under Mr. Ben Ali. Mr. Ben Ali banned the party, accusing it of conspiring to kill him and establish a Muslim fundamentalist state. While Ennahda was branded an Islamic terrorist group by Mr. Ben Ali, it is considered moderate by scholars.

Mr. Ghanouchi, 69, left the country as Mr. Ben Ali came to power in 1987. In 1991, he was convicted in absentia to life in prison, as were most of the party’s leaders. They denied authorities’ accusation that they had tried to take power by force.

Mr. Ghanouchi has said he is not personally interested in running for the presidency or parliament in upcoming elections.

“All I want is to breathe the air of the country from which I was exiled for more than two decades” and to pray at a famous mosque in Tunis, Mr. Ghanouchi wrote in a message released on the eve of his return, adding that he wanted “in short, to be an ordinary citizen.”

The new activism by Islamists — who want a role for Islam in their country’s politics — is feeding jitters that extremism may be on the rise in Tunisia, long a Westward-looking nation proud of its modern identity: women enjoy widespread freedoms, Muslim headscarves are banned in public buildings and abortions, a deep taboo in most Muslim societies, are legal.

Ennahda insists that fears of radicalism have no merit. Before leaving London, Mr. Ghanouchi tried to reassure the country’s women, saying he believed they deserve “the freedom to study, to work and to help build the country, whether they wear the veil or not.”

In the past, the Islamist movement was never given a chance in Tunisia, said Mohammed Gharbi, an Ennahda supporter, on the main street in the capital. “Let’s not criticize something that we have yet to try.”

Source : http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703833204576114003510266110.html?mod=WSJASIA_newsreel_world

 

Advertisements

Egypt Situation – Muslim Brotherhood Official Statement

In Clsh of Civilizations, Islam - A Study on January 29, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Egypt is undergoing important events where the Egyptian people started a movement in Cairo and other cities in the country expressing their anger and denouncing the practices and violations by the system.

Their movements were peaceful and effective with the youth spreading everywhere. All called for the next stage to prioritize reform, stability, freedom and democracy without which stability cannot be achieved in Egypt.

The MB, who is participating in these events, is expressing their appreciation of the efforts of the Egyptian people. They also offer condolences to the families of both the citizens and police officials killed during these events. They also wish the injured a speedy recovery.

The MB stresses the following:

The peaceful and civilized movement of the Egyptian people, which started on January 25, must continue against the corruption, oppression and injustices until its demands of legitimate reform are achieved, the dissolving of the rigged-parliament, and the holding of free and fair elections under full judicial supervision.

The regime in Egypt must comply with the wills of the people and conduct the required reforms, abandon the policy of intransigence and oppose the demands of the people, take serious, immediate and effective measures to achieve the required reform in all fields, stop harming protestors and release all those detained in these events and the ones before.

The MB is an Islamic collective organization, and its members belong to the Egyptian society; they share their happiness and sadness and call on all citizens of Muslims and non-Muslims to cooperate in the good, to achieve justice, to lay the foundations of the right and to put the interest of the nation before the personal interest. They call on all to unite against injustices and corruption, effectively and peacefully without causing any damage to any public and private properties.

They stress on the importance of the cooperation between all political and partisan forces to maintain a unified national stanc

Source : Ikhwan English web

Egypt Protests – Changing the Rules of the Game

In Clsh of Civilizations on January 29, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Egyptians have taken to the streets demanding an end to the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak and protesting economic hardship and rampant corruption. Demonstrations in Tunisia brought down the regime of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, and this inspired tens of thousands of Egyptians to stage a countrywide “Day of Rage” that started on January 25. Ironically, the mass rallies were held on a public holiday honoring the country’s police force.

In central Cairo , protesters carrying banners denouncing Mubarak sang the national anthem, expressing their loyalty to their country. Mothers carried babies and young men waved placards with the word “Out”. Demonstrators chanted “Freedom”, knowing that most Egyptians live in dire poverty. The demonstration in central Cairo was peaceful until police fired water cannon and tear gas while demonstrators responded with rocks. Scuffles broke out in a few places. It is clear that the Egyptians have had enough and are no longer cowering under the oppression of Mubarak and co.

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt ’s largest opposition, did not officially take part, but its members assembled alongside the general population all calling for reform. Organisers from the lawyers syndicate defended the right to protest saying the rallies constituted “a day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption and unemployment, marking the end of silence and submission.”

The internet has played a significant role in the launch of the demonstrations as some 90,000 people pledged to demonstrate. A Facebook group named for Khaled Said, an Alexandrian activist beaten to death by police, was central in this call that also extended across the population by Twitter and word of mouth.

The Facebook group demands a two-term presidential limit, an end to emergency laws in force since 1981, raising the minimum wage and dismissal of interior minister Habib Adly, who dared to state that the demonstrators had not obtained a licence to rally!

Egyptians are worse off than their Tunisian counterparts who ousted their president on January 14th. Half of Egypt ‘s population live below or on the poverty line of $2 a day. Unemployment is soaring. corruption is rife and the security forces are known for brutality.

A spirit of defiance has been growing since November 2010 when the ruling National Democratic Party won 90 per cent of the seats in the popular assembly – an election widely regarded as rigged. Egypt is due to go to the polls again in September to vote for president, however, as yet no candidates have been named although it is expected that Mubarak may stand for a fifth term or nominate his son Gamal in his stead.

At least three people were killed during the anti-government protests as confirmed by state TV and the BBC who also said that in Cairo , police used tear gas and water cannon in an attempt to disperse the crowds.

The BBC also noted that protests are uncommon in Egypt , as Mubarak tolerates little dissent, adding that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Obama administration supported “the fundamental right of expression and assembly” and urged all parties “to exercise restraint.”

In a statement indicating that the US is either not aware of the state of affairs in Egypt or is determined to support the Mubarak regime regardless of its tyrannical legacy, Clinton added that Washington believed the Egyptian government was “stable” and “looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people.”

 

Reports state that the regime blocked the social networking site Twitter as well as mobile phone networks in the Cairo area. Nevertheless, the number of protestors exceeded the organizers’ expectations. Police were surprised by the anger of the crowd and allowed protesters to make their way to the parliament building where police regrouped in full riot gear with tear gas and water cannon, temporarily driving the crowd back. However, protesters threw stones and stood their ground, pushing the police back until they were on the run.

Mubarak, hailed as a coward, was surely surprised at the extent and intensity of the demonstrations where people called for revolution, freedom, the removal of their elderly president and their hatred for his son, Gamal. The BBC also reported that in central Cairo , demonstrators attacked a police water cannon vehicle, opening the driver’s door and ordering the man out of the vehicle. The man was not hurt.

 

Police officers used batons to beat back protesters as they tried to break the police cordons to join the main demonstration. In other places live bullets were used even though Mubarak’s advisors warned him not to be harsh. It is also expected that the police will refuse to fire on the people on any large scale should the protests continue. Moreover, the army is likely to intervene against Mubarak if he tries to maintain his grasp on power despite bloodshed.

Mubarak’s regime fears the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest political opposition. The MB’s influence is more notably felt in rural areas and poor urban areas due to their focus on social welfare. The regime uses the Emergency Law to hound the MB members, who have been in and out of jail for years, and the government has never allowed a free election, fearing the MB would win too many seats. Human rights activists allege that the police regularly use torture, including waterboarding, to suppress the Brotherhood.

 

The time of apathetic subservience is over and a new page in Egypt ’s history has been opened. It is one of activism and demanding rights. Demonstrators are determined to present their conditions and requests until the regime responds and leaves. However, unlike Tunisia , Egypt has a much lower level of education, illiteracy is high and internet penetration is low. There also seems to be a lack of backing and support for the demonstrations as Mohamad ElBaradei, despite calling on Egyptians to take part in the protests, travelled abroad before they began.

Protestors were carrying cameras as their weapons, showing the world the true conditions of life in Egypt and gathering support, both locally and internationally. One thing is for sure, vibrant Web activism can indeed be translated into street action.

 

Human rights campaigners have been waiting for this day for a long time and Tuesday’s huge turnout has changed the rules of the political game in Egypt , setting the Arab world on the next step towards democracy.

Source : http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=27939

That’s Not My Job!

In Miscellaneous, Personal on January 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody‘s job.

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Moral of the story?

مسیحا عدم تحفظ کے احساس کا شکار

In Karachi Karachi, pakistan, Urdu Columns on January 27, 2011 at 2:06 am

سیکولر لابی اور انتہاپسندی ,آخری حصہ

In Blashphemy Law - An Islamic Perspective, Islam - A Study, Pakistan's Ideology, Urdu Columns on January 24, 2011 at 3:10 am

سیکولر لابی اور انتہاپسندی, حصہ دوم

In Blashphemy Law - An Islamic Perspective, Clsh of Civilizations, Pakistan's Ideology, Urdu Columns on January 23, 2011 at 2:18 am

سیکولر لابی اور انتہاپسندی

In Islam - A Study, Pakistan's Ideology on January 21, 2011 at 7:00 am

نصاب تعلیم، ہماری زمہ داریاں، آخری حصہ

In Curriculum on January 16, 2011 at 4:55 am

بامقصد نصاب تعلیم کی ضرورت و اہمیت

In Curriculum on January 13, 2011 at 2:31 am