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Gloria's Journal
Posted by Gloria in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Sun Aug 20th 2006, 04:12 PM
From the new World Media Watch up now at
Tomorrow at

More headlines in m Journal

3//The Toronto Star, Canada Aug. 20, 2006. 07:03 AM


Haroon Siddiqui

(The author’s book "Being Muslim" is scheduled to be released Sept. 15. For more information, visit .)

Contrary to the popular belief that the West is under siege from Muslim terrorists, it is Muslims who have become the biggest victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001, as inconceivable as that would have seemed in the aftermath of the murder of 2,900 Americans. Since then, between 34,000 and 100,000 Iraqis have been killed by the Americans or the insurgents. Nobody knows how many have been killed in Afghanistan. In the spots hit by terrorists — from London and Madrid to Amman, Istanbul, Riyadh and Jeddah, through Karachi to Bali and Jakarta — more Muslims have been killed and injured than non-Muslims.

None of this is to say that Muslims do not have problems that they must address. They do. But the problems are not quite what many in the West make them out to be.

One of the strangest aspects of the post-9/11 world is that, despite all the talk about Muslim terrorism, there is hardly any exploration of the complex causes of Muslim rage. Muslims are in a state of crisis, but their most daunting problems are not religious. They are geopolitical, economic and social — problems that have caused widespread Muslim despair and, in some cases, militancy, both of which are expressed in the religious terminology that Muslim masses relate to.

Most Muslims live in the developing world, much of it colonized by Western powers as recently as 50 years ago. Not all Muslim shortcomings emanate from colonialism and neo-imperialism, but several do.


While the past casts a long shadow over Muslims, it is the present that haunts them. Hundreds of millions live in zones of conflict, precisely in the areas of European and American meddling, past and present — U.S.-occupied Iraq, U.S.-controlled Afghanistan, the Israeli Occupied Territories, and Kashmir, the disputed Muslim state on the border of India and Pakistan in the foothills of the Himalayas. Only the Russian war on Muslim Chechnya is not related to the history of Western machinations, but even that has had the tacit support of the Bush administration. These conflicts, along with the economic sanctions on Iraq, have killed an estimated 1.3 million Muslims in the last 15 years alone. Why are we surprised that Muslims are up in arms?

In addition, nearly 400 million Muslims live under authoritarian despots, many of them Western puppets, whose corruption and incompetence have left their people in economic and social shambles.

It is against this backdrop that one must look at the current malaise of Muslims and their increasing emotional reliance on their faith.

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World Media Watch October 6, 2006 Edition
Full articles at the homepage or


1//Asia Times Online, Hong Kong--BLOODY FIGHT OVER KIRKUK’S FUTURE (The security situation in the northern oil-rich city of Kirkuk has further deteriorated over the past few weeks after the Iraqi government formed a committee assigned to "normalize the situation". The creation of that committee under a constitutional provision has led to a rise in ethnic tensions among Kirkuk's Kurdish, Arab and Turkoman populations. Violence has risen with the tensions.
September was one of the bloodiest months for Kirkuk, with an unprecedented number of attacks. For many, the message behind the attacks is to stop implementation of Article 140 of Iraq's constitution, and to inflame sectarian strife in the city. Article 140 sketches a three-step plan to remove traces of the Arabization policy of the regime of former president Saddam Hussein. The constitution now provides for a census followed by a referendum on the fate of the city, after normalizing the situation. The issue is whether Kirkuk should be added to the autonomous Kurdish-run region of northern Iraq. … . Amid all these tensions, residents resent remarks that Kirkuk may become the "flashpoint" for an all-out civil war in the country. But not many are sure how the microcosm can withstand the larger divisions within Iraq.)

2//The News International, Pakistan--SOMALI ISLAMISTS WARN OF REGIONAL WAR (Somalia's powerful Islamist movement warned that a regional Horn of Africa war could erupt unless the world presses Ethiopia to withdraw troops it has reportedly deployed in Somali territory. The Supreme Islamic Council of Somalia said the alleged Ethiopian presence in the country would doom peace efforts between it and the weak Somali government and spark conflict that might engulf neighboring states. … . "We are not attacking or creating violence inside Ethiopia, so we ask the international community to press Ethiopia to get out of Somali territory," said SICS executive committee chairman Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. "Otherwise, the consequences will be grave and the pain of war will spread all over the region," he told reporters after meeting Italy's envoy to Somalia, Mario Rafielli, in Islamist-held Mogadishu.)

3//MercoPress News Agency, Uruguay--VENEZUELAN OPPOSITION DARES AND “AVALANCHES” CARACAS (An estimated 200.000 people turned out to the streets of Caracas on Saturday in support of Manuel Rosales, Venezuela’s main opposition leader for the coming December presidential elections and who intends to defeat President Hugo Chavez re-election bid. Under slogans the “Great Caracas avalanche” and “Dare” thousands of Venezuelans convened to the centre of the capital in a massive demonstration of support for Rosales who claimed Venezuela was currently ruled by “Cuban authoritarianism”, which if elected he promised to put an end. … . Rosales reiterated his promise that if elected a fifth of oil windfall profits would be distributed among lower middle class and popular sectors at an average 280 to 465 US dollars per family. He also challenged official oil production figures which allege Venezuela is pumping 3.4 million bpd, “at the most it’s 1.1 million bpd and a big portion is been handed out to other countries”. … . Although the release of public opinion surveys are strictly monitored by the Chavez regime, one of the few to become public showed that support for Chavez between June and September dropped from 55 to 48% and Rosales’ soared from 7 to 30%.)

4//The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia--LABOR VOTE CREEPING UP ON HOWARD (The federal Labor Party has a strong election-winning lead over the Coalition according to the latest Herald/ACNielsen poll, which also shows almost six in 10 voters want Australian troops withdrawn from Iraq. Labor has an eight-point lead over the Coalition on a two-party-preferred basis and, for the first time in almost a year, has a stronger primary vote, leading by three points.

The poll of 1400 people was conducted from Thursday to Saturday last week and comes after a month in which Iraq and the battle over values have been dominant topics. Iraq shot to the fore after a US security assessment which showed the war had increased the problem of terrorism.

The poll shows that recent increased calls by the Prime Minister, John Howard, for Australians to stay in Iraq and defeat the terrorists had little effect on voters. … . The poll result will be welcomed by Labor, especially as it also shows it to be leading the Coalition for the seventh successive month.)

5//The Independent, UK--HOW TIMES HAVE CHANGED: BRITONS WANT TO BE FRENCH (A famous wit once observed there were two reasons for the British to dislike the French. Firstly, they are too logical and secondly they own France - "a country which we have always judged to be much too good for them". How times have changed. Now it seems that Britain's middle-class love affair with all things Gallic has reached the point where a fifth of Britons now actually want to be French. A study of attitudes towards our closest neighbour has found that Britons would prefer to work in France or retire to France above any other country, including their own. The ICM survey found that if given a choice of nationality, just over half of Britons under 50 would retain their British passport. But 22 per cent would rather ditch their British status altogether and opt to become French.)

Copyright 2006, Gloria R. Lalumia

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