Monday, December 29, 2008

Israel's Subjugation of the Palestinians Must End Now

Israel pounded Gaza strip in retaliation for rockets fired at its Southern borders, killing over 280 Palestinians and wounding hundreds more, over half of whom were civilians, and bringing destruction to the already deteriorating Palestinian infrastructure. Israel used F16 bombers against an essentially defenseless population. The greatest weapon in the Palestinian arsenal is inaccurate makeshift rockets with extremely short range that often miss their targets.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Battle for Accountability in Malaysia and Turkey

Politics is a central aspect of social organization as it represents the activities that aim at coordinating the interests and concerns of citizens. Politics presupposes an agreement on a set of rules to ensure representation of citizens in decision making and governance, and to facilitate peaceful transition of power. In most functional democracies, elected officials are replaced whenever they lose popular support in national elections.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Palestine: From Prophecies to Prophetic Principles

The conflict in Palestine threatens to destabilize world politics and embolden fundamentalist demands for religiously exclusive political states. The principle of rule of law has suffered immensely under the climate of fear that followed the terrorist attacks on the American homeland on September 11, 2001. Extremists in both the East and the West are working hard to deepen the divide, and turn a political conflict into a religious war. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is being used by the far right in both Muslim and Western countries to justify bigotry and to demonize people on the other side of the divide.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Interfaith Dialogue a Moral Duty to Finding Common Ground

Extreme voices in the three religions that claim the monotheist heritage of Prophet Abraham--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--are busy sowing the seeds of confrontation and hate. They have recently taken the advantage of the politically rooted tensions between western and Middle Eastern countries to develop misunderstanding and mistrust among the followers of these religions.

Quoting selectively from Islamic sources, they have painted Islam as an intolerant religion that urges its followers to hate people of other faiths. This depiction belies both the historical record of Muslims dealing with the followers of other faiths, and, most importantly, the Qur'anic message itself.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hijab: Personal Choice Not State Law

Hijab, the head cover Muslim women wear in keeping with their religious traditions, has become in modern times a politically charged issue in several Muslim countries, and more recently in Europe. In the early eighties, Iran imposed hijab on its female citizens, while Syria banned it from schools during the same period. Syria gradually came to term with hijab, as the number of Syrian women who chose to wear it increased drastically during the nineties. Hijab is enforced today in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and banned in Tunisia and Turkey. France banned the hijab in 2004, and far right politicians and pundits are calling for similar ban in other European countries, and have already succeeded in doing so in the Belgium city of Antwerp.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Undermining Civil Liberties at Home

Civil liberties are always precious for free people, but particularly so during times of turbulence when the future seems uncertain and society struggles to gain its balance and move in the right direction. These are, sadly, times when opportunists try to advance their fortune without regard to other people's rights, bigots hide behind the language of patriotism, and freedom is curtailed in the name of security. It is under such conditions that civil liberties and the right to dissent become exceedingly important, as free and open debate becomes essential for pursuing the best course of action.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Gaza Exodus Symptom of Grave Situation

The Palestinians of Gaza have been under a tight blockade since June 2007 when Hamas consolidated its control over Gaza's security. The blockade, aims at forcing Hamas out of power, has been strongly supported by the Bush administration, and reluctantly by the Mubarak's government in Egypt. After Israel decided to tighten the blockade last week, by cutting the supply of fuel used to generate electricity, Palestinians broke out of the walls that separate the Gaza's portion from Egypt's portion of Rafah. Deprived of life's essentials, including food, medicine, and fuel, Palestinians desperately flooded the stores of Egyptian Rafah to buy every thing they could lay hands on.