dezembro 31, 2007
dezembro 30, 2007
por Kamran Haider
Par un funeste caprice du destin, le docteur Mussadiq Khan a tenté en vain de sauver jeudi la vie de Benazir Bhutto, visée par un attentat, tout comme son père avait échoué 56 ans plus tôt à maintenir en vie le Premier ministre de l'époque, également assassiné.
Khan a tout tenté pour essayer de sauver Bhutto lorsqu'elle a été emmenée dans un hôpital de Rawalpindi après avoir été la cible d'un attentat suicide alors qu'elle quittait une réunion électorale organisée dans un parc public de la ville.
Le père de Khan, Sadiq Khan, était de garde dans un hôpital de Rawalpindi en octobre 1951 lorsque le Premier ministre de l'époque, Liaquat Ali Khan, fut emmené après avoir été blessé par balles lors d'un rassemblement... organisé dans le même parc que celui où Bhutto tenait meeting.
Liaquat Ali Khan a perdu la vie et le parc a été rebaptisé "Liaquat Bagh" en sa mémoire. Bagh signifie "jardins" en Urdu.
"C'est la volonté de Dieu", a déclaré Khan à Reuters à propos de cette coïncidence qui a voulu que le père et le fils prennent en charge deux dirigeants pakistanais attaqués au même endroit, à plus d'un demi-siècle de distance.
Khan a indiqué que Bhutto était tout près de la mort lorsqu'elle est arrivée dans son hôpital.
"Elle ne respirait pas. La pression artérielle était nulle, son coeur ne battait plus. Nous avons entrepris une réanimation complète. Nous avons tout tenté mais malheureusement nous n'avons pas réussi à la réanimer", a-t-il expliqué.
"J'ai fait de mon mieux mais je n'ai pas réussi. Que puis-je dire ? (...). C'était une grande dirigeante. C'était notre dirigeante", a-t-il ajouté.
Khan confirme la thèse avancée par le gouvernement sur les circonstances de la mort de Bhutto. Selon lui, celle-ci a été tuée dans le souffle de l'explosion en se cognant la tête contre le levier du toit ouvrant de sa voiture.
Cette version est contestée, notamment par une proche collaboratrice de l'ancien Premier ministre selon laquelle elle a été atteinte d'une balle à la tête.
Autre coup du destin, Bhutto a été tuée à environ deux kilomètres de l'endroit où son père, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, a été pendu en 1979.
Les deux fils de Khan sont médecins. Il espère qu'ils n'auront pas à vivre d'autres coïncidences comme celle-là.
dezembro 28, 2007
A report by the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan quoted ministry spokesman Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema as saying, "Al Qaeda in a statement has accepted the responsibility of her assassination, as in the past she had been receiving life threats from this terrorist group."
CNN could not independently confirm that al Qaeda has claimed responsibility.
On Thursday, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin citing an alleged claim of responsibility by the terror network for Bhutto's death, a DHS official said.
But FBI and other law enforcement officials said that the claim is unsubstantiated and that federal officials are not making any comments about its validity.
No one has accepted responsibility for the Pakistani opposition leader's death on radical Islamist Web sites that regularly post such messages from al Qaeda and other militant groups.
Bhutto, 54, was killed Thursday in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, by flying shrapnel stemming from a suicide bombing, the Pakistani government said. See photos from rally and aftermath »
Italian news agency Adnkronos International apparently was the source of the al Qaeda claim, saying the terror network's Afghan commander and spokesman Mustafa Abu Al-Yazid had telephoned the agency with it.
"We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat [the] mujahedeen," the Italian news agency quoted Al-Yazid as saying.
The agency said that al Qaeda's No. 2 official, Ayman al-Zawahiri, set the wheels in motion for Bhutto's assassination in October.
One Islamist Web site repeated the assertion, but experts in the field don't consider the site to be a reliable source for Islamist messages.
The DHS official said the claim was "an unconfirmed open source claim of responsibility" and the bulletin was sent out at about 6 p.m. Thursday to state and local law enforcement agencies. Watch as an analyst says the killing gives al Qaeda "running room" »
The official characterized the bulletin as "information sharing."
FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said the validity of such a claim is "undetermined." Kolko said the FBI and the intelligence community is reviewing it "for any intelligence value."
Ross Feinstein, spokesman for Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, said the U.S. intelligence community is monitoring the situation and trying to figure out who is responsible for the assassination.
"We are not in a position to confirm who may be responsible," Feinstein said.
Bhutto had been critical of what she believed was a lack of effort by Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's government to protect her.
About a week after an October 18 car-bomb attack on her motorcade in Karachi, Pakistan, Bhutto sent an an e-mail to Mark Siegel, her U.S. spokesman, lobbyist and longtime friend.
Siegel forwarded the message to CNN's Wolf Blitzer with instructions not to report on it unless Bhutto was killed.
In the e-mail, Bhutto said Musharraf should bear some of the blame if anything were to happen to her.
dezembro 27, 2007
The main suspects in Benazir Bhutto’s assassination are the Pakistani and foreign Islamist militants who saw her as a heretic and an American stooge and had repeatedly threatened to kill her.
But fingers will also be pointed at Inter-Services Intelligence, the agency that has had close ties to the Islamists since the 1970s and has been used by successive Pakistani leaders to suppress political opposition.
Ms Bhutto narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in October, when a suicide bomber killed about 140 people at a rally in the port city of Karachi to welcome her back from eight years in exile.
Earlier that month, two militant warlords based in Pakistan's lawless northwestern areas, near the border with Afghanistan, had threatened to kill her on her return.
One was Baitullah Mehsud, a top commander fighting the Pakistani army in the tribal region of South Waziristan. He has close ties to al Qaeda and the Afghan Taleban.
The other was Haji Omar, the “amir” or leader of the Pakistani Taleban, who is also from South Waziristan and fought against the Soviets with the Mujahideen in Afghanistan.
After that attack Ms Bhutto revealed that she had received a letter signed by a person who claimed to be a friend of al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden threatening to slaughter her like a goat.
She accused Pakistani authorities of not providing her with sufficient security and hinted that they may have been complicit in the bomb attack. Asif Ali Zardari, her husband, directly accused the ISI of being involved in that attempt on her life.
Mrs Bhutto stopped short of blaming the Government directly, saying that she had more to fear from unidentified members of a power structure that she described as allies of the “forces of militancy”.
Analysts say that President Musharraf himself is unlikely to have ordered her assassination, but that elements of the army and intelligence service would have stood to lose money and power if she had become Prime Minister.
The ISI, in particular, includes some Islamists who became radicalised while running the American-funded campaign against the Soviets in Afghanistan and remained fiercely opposed to Ms Bhutto on principle.
Saudi Arabia, which has strong influence in Pakistan, is also thought to frown on Ms Bhutto as being too secular and Westernised and to favour Nawaz Sharif, another former Prime Minister.
dezembro 26, 2007
É no longo processo histórico que levou à dissolução do Império Otomano e à criação dos Estados-Nação nos Balcãs e na Anatólia, entre os inícios século XIX e as primeiras décadas do século XX, que se encontram as raízes do problema que vamos abordar: a troca de populações entre a Grécia e a Turquia, no quadro da Convenção e Tratado de Lausana, assinados em 30 de Janeiro e 23 Julho de 1923, respectivamente, sendo a Convenção o texto diplomático fundamental para este assunto. Ironicamente, esta ferida traumática da
memória colectiva de gregos e turcos pode voltar a adquirir uma inesperada actualidade, com a perspectiva de adesão da Turquia à União Europeia, pelas razões que veremos mais à frente. Para a correcta compreensão desta questão é necessário efectuar uma retrospectiva
histórica, ainda que breve, sobre a formação da Grécia e da Turquia modernas. Em ambos os casos, estamos a falar de processos históricos complexos e mal conhecidos pelo europeu médio, o que não deixa de ser curioso, especialmente no caso da Grécia, dada a enorme influência da cultura grega da Antiguidade Clássica na formação da Europa e Ocidente Ver texto integral do artigo.
dezembro 22, 2007
dezembro 20, 2007
dezembro 17, 2007
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - A Catholic priest was hospitalized Sunday after being stabbed, the Italian Embassy in Turkey said. Police said they detained the suspected attacker.
The assault was the latest in a series of attacks on Christians in Turkey and was likely to add to concerns about whether the predominantly Muslim country - which is bidding for European Union membership - can protect its Christian community.
The priest, Adriano Franchini, was stabbed after Sunday Mass at St. Anthony's church in the port city of Izmir, said Simon Carta, the Italian consul there.
The priest is responsible for the Capucine order in Turkey and heads the Church of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, Carta said. He said the priest was conscious when he was taken to a hospital.
The state-run Anatolia news agency said Franchini was stabbed in the stomach but his condition was not life-threatening.
Police said they detained a man in connection with the attack, but gave no further information.
Private news channel Haberturk said the assailant approached the priest saying that he wanted information on Christianity. An argument broke out between the two shortly afterward and the man stabbed the priest, the report said.
There have been a number of similar attacks over the past two years.
In February 2006, at a time of widespread anger in the Islamic world over the publication in European newspapers of caricatures of Islam's Prophet Muhammad, a 16-year-old boy shot a Catholic priest to death as he knelt in prayer inside his church in the Black Sea city of Trabzon.
Following that murder, a Catholic priest was attacked and threatened in Izmir, and another was stabbed in the Black Sea port of Samsun. In November this year, an Assyrian cleric was abducted in southeast Turkey and rescued by security forces.
In April, three Christians were killed at a publishing house that produces Bibles. Last week, Turkey began an investigation into alleged collusion between police officers and at least one of the suspects charged in the killings. The three victims, a German and two Turks who had converted to Christianity, were tied up and had their throats slit.
Christians make up less than 1 percent of Turkey's population of some 70 million.
dezembro 15, 2007
dezembro 14, 2007
Ayman al Zawahiri: "Não renunciaremos às nossas crenças nem ao Al-Ándalus" in Público.es, 14 de Dezembro de 2007
El número dos de la organización terrorista Al Qaeda, el egipcio Ayman al Zawahiri, condena en una grabación difundida hoy la conferencia de Annapolis (EEUU) e insiste en que no renunciará a recuperar Al Andalus (España).
En una grabación de audio, cuya autenticidad no ha podido ser confirmada y que ha sido difundida a través de una página web utilizada normalmente por la organización, Zawahiri califica el acuerdo alcanzado en esa conferencia de "una traición para vender Palestina" y entregarla a Israel.
El discurso, titulado "Annapolis: la traición", aparece acompañado de una imagen fija de Zawahiri en la que está vestido con una túnica y turbante blancos frente a una estantería con libros religiosos y un fusil.
Zawahiri también critica a los líderes árabes que se sentaron junto al presidente estadounidense George W. Bush y al primer ministro israelí, Ehud Olmert, por participar en "uno de los capítulos de la cadena de etapas que tienen como objetivo la venta de Palestina".
El líder terrorista critica especialmente a el secretario general de la Liga Árabe, Amro Musa; al presidente de la Autoridad Nacional Palestina, Mahmud Abás; al presidente egipcio, Hosni Mubarak; y al rey de Arabia Saudí, Abdulá bin Abdelaziz.
El lugarteniente de Osama bin Laden también dijo, dirigiéndose a la comunidad islámica y a los islamistas revisionistas que quieren abandonar la violencia que él que no renunciará a Al Andalus (España), Ceuta y Melilla por muchas conferencias de Annapolis que se celebren.
"No detendremos nuestra guerra santa"
"Juramos por Dios que no abandonaremos las armas, no detendremos nuestra guerra santa, no renunciaremos a nuestras creencias ni a Al Ándalus, Ceuta, Melilla... por mil conferencias de Oslo, Annapolis, Londres o Salahadin que se celebren", asegura Zawahiri.
La cinta, que tiene una duración de 20 minutos, ha sido editada por la productora islamista As-Sahab, encargada de transmitir los mensajes de la red terrorista.
Asimismo, se dirige a los muyahidines (combatientes de la guerra santa) y les pide que no abandonen al pueblo palestino y que lo defiendan "con todos los medios a su alcance".
También, llama a los "hermanos palestinos" a unirse bajo el estandarte del islam y en el camino de la guerra santa "contra el enemigo cruzado-sionista".
Zawahiri se dirige a Egipto y la comunidad islámica de este país, así como a los miembros de los grupos radicales que están renunciando al uso de las armas para preguntarles que "dónde está su papel para detener el ataque contra el islam y los musulmanes y para luchar contra los sionistas (israelíes)".
En la grabación califica a Egipto de "régimen agente" de Israel y EEUU y llama a su pueblo para enfrentarse a Mubarak que "mata y encierra a vuestros hijos", "quita el hiyab (el pañuelo) y el niqab (tela que cubre la cabeza y el rostro) de las mujeres" y "quiere que participemos en el cerco impuesto a nuestros hermanos palestinos".
El islamista de origen egipcio se dirige a todos los musulmanes para que sigan en la lucha por el camino de Dios y no se dejen engañar por la "conspiración" de la conferencia de Annapolis.
"Organizações marroquinas criam uma 'frente nacional' para reclamar Ceuta e Melilla" in El Pais, 14 de Dezembro de 2007
La coalición durante una marcha por la "liberación" de ambas ciudades españolas en la que han participado medio centenar de personas.- Pretende defender la soberanía marroquí de los enclaves frente al "colonialismo español".
Dos organizaciones marroquíes han anunciado este viernes la creación de un frente nacional para defender la soberanía marroquí de las ciudades autónomas españolas Ceuta y Melilla, enclavadas en el norte de África. La presentación de la coalición ha tenido lugar en el marco de una marcha por la "liberación" de los enclaves españoles situados en el norte de África, que ha congregado a medio centenar de personas ante la frontera ceutí y el islote de Perejil.
El objetivo de la formación, creada por la Coordinadora de las Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil en el Norte de Marruecos y el Comité para la Liberación de Ceuta y Melilla, será dar a conocer "la situación" de esas dos ciudades autónomas españolas y denunciar ante la opinión pública internacional lo que los creadores califican de "colonialismo español" en el norte de Marruecos.
El anuncio de esa coalición que agrupa a "partidos políticos, sindicatos y asociaciones de la sociedad civil" tuvo lugar en una conferencia de prensa celebrada en el marco la llamada "caravana de liberación y de desarrollo", que ha reunido a unas 50 personas. La marcha partió anoche de Nador, ha alcanzado esta mañana la frontera con Ceuta, para dirigirse después frente al islote de Perejil, y tiene previsto finalizar el próximo lunes en la frontera con Melilla.
"Pedimos a España un diálogo urgente y serio con nuestro Gobierno para retirar sus fuerzas y finalizar el colonialismo español en las dos ciudades", ha declarado Abdelmonen Chauki, representante de la Coordinadora de las
Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil en el Norte de Marruecos.
Chauki ha asegurado que llevarán a cabo nuevas concentraciones hasta que las autoridades españolas dialoguen con las marroquíes sobre esos territorios. Los organizadores de la protesta han expresado, además, en nombre de toda la población marroquí, su voluntad de que se alcance "una solución política al conflicto" y su deseo de que "la retirada española" tenga lugar "de manera diplomática".
Los manifestantes, que ondearon tanto banderas marroquíes
como palestinas y portaban una pancarta en la que se podía leer "Juntos por la libertad de todas nuestras ciudades ocupadas", equipararon "la ocupación española sobre Ceuta y Melilla a la israelí sobre los territorios palestinos".
dezembro 13, 2007
"Lídere europeus assinam Tratado marcante" in BBC News, 13 de Dezembro de 2007 (por isso, convém não efectuar referendo)
EU leaders are preparing to sign a treaty in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, that will greatly alter the way members govern themselves.
The treaty creates an EU president and a vastly more powerful foreign policy chief for the Union's 27 nations.
At the same time the document scraps veto powers in many policy areas.
It is a replacement for the EU constitution abandoned following French and Dutch opposition. EU leaders insist the two texts are in no way equivalent.
But the Lisbon treaty incorporates some of the draft constitution's key reforms, and several governments face domestic pressure over the document.
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has chosen not to attend the ceremony, citing a prior engagement in the British parliament.
However, he will sign the treaty separately, later on Thursday.
The UK's opposition Conservatives accused Mr Brown of "not having the guts" to sign the treaty, which is politically controversial in Britain, in public.
Having started this year with a celebration of its 50th birthday, the EU hopes the signing of the Lisbon treaty will end the serious mid-life crisis brought about by the death of the constitution, the BBC's Oana Lungescu reports.
There will be a lot of relief, said a senior European diplomat, but also some apprehension about what happens next.
Ireland is the only country planning to hold a referendum, but most voters there seem either undecided or indifferent.
Parliaments in Britain, the Netherlands and Denmark are also expected to give a turbulent reception to the 250-page text.
However, Germany, France and Poland have pledged to be among the first to ratify it, so that the new reforms can come into force in 2009 as planned.
The treaty is a slimmed-down version of the European constitution, with a more modest name and without any reference to EU symbols such as the flag and anthem.
It is meant to ease decision-making, by scrapping national vetoes in some 50 policy areas, including sensitive ones such as police and judicial co-operation.
There will also be a foreign policy chief, controlling a big budget and thousands of diplomats and officials, and a permanent EU president appointed for up to five years.
But some already fear that instead of giving Europe a strong single voice in the world, the new posts will only generate more rivalry, our correspondent adds.
dezembro 12, 2007
Livro: "Os Últimos Dias da Europa. Epitáfio para um Velho Continente", Rio de Janeiro, Odisseia Editorial, 2007
Nas vésperas da assinatura do Tratado de Lisboa, um dúvida ocorre: quem está a antecipar melhor o futuro da Europa no século XXI? O europtimisno de Durão Barroso e José Sócrates, que prometem uma Europa mais unida e fortalecida e o seu regresso à cena mundial com o novo Tratado, ou o contrastivo europessimismo do historiador Walter Laqueur, que prognostica dias sombrios para os europeus e a sua passagem nas próximas décadas para o "museu da história"? Por contraponto com o discurso oficial, e para uma reflexão crítica sobre o que poderá ser a Europa num futuro não muito distante, vale a pena ler os Últimos Dias da Europa. Epitáfio para um Velho Continente, recentemente publicado em língua portuguesa, pela Odisseia Editorial do Rio de Janeiro.
dezembro 11, 2007
Segundo advogado turco, Inter com "equipamento de cruzados" ofendeu o Islão in La Vanguardia, 11 de Dezembro de 2007
Tuve una terrible conmoción viendo el partido y me vino un profundo dolor en el alma", enfatiza el experto en derecho europeo Barış Kaşka a La Vanguardia.
Después de un año sin ser batido en competiciones europeas, el 27 de noviembre llegó la derrota para su equipo, el Fenerbahçe estambulí, a manos del Inter de Milán.
La superioridad del equipo italiano sobre el terreno de juego fue incontestable. Un 3-0 que impide al equipo de Roberto Carlos liderar el grupo G en la Liga de Campeones. Pero a Kaşka, según dice, no le hizo tanta mella el resultado como la camiseta que el Inter vistió en el estadio San Siro de Milán ante su equipo, con una enorme cruz roja sobre fondo blanco.
Su imagen ha dado la vuelta por varios medios turcos, acompañada casi siempre de otra: la de un templario, perteneciente a la orden de los legendarios monjes soldados fundada poco después de la cruel conquista de Jerusalén (1099) en la primera cruzada y que estaba, dice la leyenda, en posesión nada menos que del Santo Grial.
"Esta cruz me recordó a los días sangrientos del pasado", indica Kaşka. Así que el abogado del gabinete jurídico Turkoglu & Turkoglu, de Esmirna, al oeste de Turquía, no lo dudó dos veces y tras ver la derrota presentó una denuncia ante un juzgado que remitió a los comités disciplinarios de la UEFA y la FIFA, en Suiza, pidiendo la anulación de los tres puntos conseguidos por el Inter por "manifestar de forma explícita la superiodad racista de una religión", según recoge la propia denuncia.
La similitud entre ambas cruces, la del Inter y la de la orden del Temple, es sin duda llamativa. Tanto, que mereció el editorial "¿Cómo lo permitió la UEFA?", del célebre comentarista Mehmet Y. Yilmaz, un día después de la paliza italiana al Fener."¡Los tres goles de este Inter cruzado deberían ser borrados!" fue, por su parte, el titular elegido, categórico donde los haya, por la redacción de deportes del rotativo liberal Radikal.
El comienzo del declive de los templarios, su derrota ante Saladino en 1244, va acompañado del resurgir de un nuevo imperio: el otomano, también formado por abanderados de la fe. De la del islam. Durante los seis siglos posteriores, los otomanos estuvieron casi constantemente en guerra y comercio con los cristianos. Y, curiosamente, cuando el historiador Bernard Lewis habla de la instrumentalización de la fe por los primeros turcos llegados a Anatolia portadores de "una religión de guerreros, cuyo credo era un grito de guerra, cuyo dogma era una llamada a las armas", no se puede dejar de pensar en los cruzados, su espejo.
Después de todo, lo que quizá mayor dolor en el alma produjo a muchos aficionados del Fener fue ver cómo Ibrahimovic acometió el segundo gol en el minuto 66, cómo detuvo la pelota lanzada desde el lateral izquierdo con parsimonia antes de rematar a sangre fría sin moverse apenas. Porque lo hizo con temple, el vocablo legado por los templarios; con la fortaleza enérgica y valentía serena para afrontar las dificultades y los riesgos que muchos entrenadores bien desearían para sus equipos en partidos europeos. Y porque, aunque cruzado por un día, sus orígenes son musulmanes y sus ancestros, descendientes de aquel imperio otomano que se asentó en los Balcanes. Nacido en Malmö, su padre es bosnio musulmán y su madre, croata.
Emblema da cidade de Milão e bandeira de Inglaterra devem também ser mudados para não ofender o "outro"?
A questão do Kosovo vista pela Rússia: "Era preciso desmembrar a Sérvia?" in Courrier International, 10 de Dezembro de 2007
por Alexeï Bogatourov
[...] Etait-il intelligent de détruire la Serbie ? Evidemment non. De même qu'il a été stupide de laisser la Géorgie éclater. Même fragile, une Géorgie unie aurait pu être plus réceptive aux discours russes. Encore aurait-il fallu, dès la fin des années 1980, prendre la peine de "chouchouter" ses dirigeants, capricieux, contents d'eux et (Chevardnadze mis à part) incapables de gérer un Etat. Il aurait fallu les persuader, les flatter, ruser, manœuvrer, leur offrir de l'aide. Nous avons négligé tout cela. Aujourd'hui, ce sont les Américains qui s'en chargent.
Les riches voisins occidentaux de la Serbie n'ont pas fait preuve de plus de sagesse à son égard. Ce pays, malgré toutes les difficultés qu'ont posées ses gouvernants dynastiques, a été un rempart européen dans les Balkans, la ligne avancée de contact avec l'Orient islamique. Les Serbes et les Monténégrins ne sont pas des gens de compromis, mais ils sont combatifs, excessivement courageux, et ils ont le sens du sacrifice. C'est ce qui leur a permis, même sans aide occidentale, de contenir la pression de la Sublime Porte ottomane sur l'Europe, aux frontières où se dessine le basculement ethnique. Une Serbie forte, en dépit de tous ses défauts, était dans les Balkans un facteur de cohésion, rôle que les autres pays de la région ne pouvaient jouer pour de nombreuses raisons, géopolitiques entre autres.
La "stratégie de démembrement de la Yougoslavie" que l'Allemagne a adoptée à la fin des années 1980 [en prenant l'initiative de reconnaître l'indépendance de la Slovénie et de la Croatie], suivie par les autres Etats de l'Union européenne, la Russie voisine (alors dirigée par Eltsine, avec Andreï Kozyrev en chef de la diplomatie) et les Etats-Unis, a tout bouleversé. La Serbie a dès lors commencé à être "grignotée" de toutes parts, perdant des terres peuplées de Serbes. La Croatie en a avalé une partie, la Bosnie, officiellement devenue un Etat musulman à hauteur d'un tiers, en a absorbé une autre. Après cela, le projet de "Grande Albanie", islamique elle aussi, est revenu sur le devant de la scène. Enlever définitivement le Kosovo à la Serbie pour le transformer en Etat indépendant constitue une étape supplémentaire dans la réalisation de ce projet.
L'Union européenne s'accommode de sa propre islamisation. Il y a des raisons à cela. Il y a trois ans, la Russie a trouvé le moyen de s'associer à l'Organisation de la conférence islamique (OCI). A l'époque, de nombreux pays de l'UE avaient exprimé leur perplexité à ce sujet. Aujourd'hui, l'UE elle-même pourrait rejoindre l'OCI. La prochaine entrée de la Turquie dans l'Union, l'absorption du "giron balkanique" et de ses enclaves islamiques, l'afflux d'immigrants en provenance de pays musulmans d'Afrique et d'Asie rendent irréversible l'islamisation des Etats européens.
Fatalité, sens de l'Histoire et paradoxe culturel. L'UE que les Russes voulaient rejoindre au début des années 1990, l'UE actuelle et celle qu'elle sera dans dix ou quinze ans n'ont rien à voir entre elles, que ce soit du point de vue de la culture, du mode de vie ou de la politique. Combien de temps encore Paris, Berlin et Londres continueront-ils par inertie à susciter chez les Russes un vrai désir d'adhérer aux valeurs européennes ? Autre grande question, les rapports de la Russie et de l'UE deviendront-ils plus chaleureux ou plus distants lorsque l'Europe se sera complètement "islamisée" ?
dezembro 10, 2007
"A ideologia do islamismo radical: o pensamento de Mawdudi e Qutb" in revista Segurança & Defesa, nº 3
Entre os diversos pensadores que mais contribuíram para a moderna ideologia islamista radical, no âmbito do mundo muçulmano sunita, dois nomes se destacam pela sua importância: o paquistanês Sayyid Abul´l-A´la Mawdudi (1903-1979) e o egípcio Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966). Começando pelo caso de Mawdudi, importa notar que estamos perante um personagem prolífico nos seus discursos e escritos, com um pensamento multifacetado, que se alterou bastante ao longo do tempo. Inquestionável é a importância ideológica da sua obra e do seu activismo político – foi fundador, em 1941, do Jamaat-i-Islami, literalmente o «Partido Islâmico», que pode ser considerado o arquétipo dos actuais partidos islamistas – deste antigo súbdito do Império Britânico da Índia. Ver texto integral do artigo.
O multiculturalismo está cada vez mais no centro da agenda política nas sociedades abertas da Europa/Ocidente, devido à crescente heterogeneidade e diversidade cultural da população. No último ano, acontecimentos dramáticos e extremamente mediatizados como os atentados terroristas no metro de Londres, em 7 de Julho, e os distúrbios e turbulência social verificada em França, a partir de 27 de Outubro e prolongando-se pelo mês de Novembro, reforçaram esta tendência, pela associação, correcta ou incorrectamente efectuada, ao “multiculturalismo de emigração”. Neste contexto político, o objecto deste artigo é a análise das relações que se podem estabelecer entre o multiculturalismo e a segurança societal, quer ao nível da discussão teórico-académica (com particular incidência no campo da Filosofia Política), quer ao nível de algumas evidências empíricas que se podem observar em sociedades europeias (Reino Unido e França) e da América do Norte (Canadá), associadas sobretudo às comunidades muçulmanas que vivem nesses países. Em particular, procura-se avaliar em que medida o multiculturalismo comporta um risco de ruptura da coesão societal, por erosão das instituições, práticas e valores que suportam e estabilizam as sociedades abertas e pluralistas. Ver texto integral do artigo.
A violência das guerras da ex-Jugoslávia nos anos 90 do século XX e a complexidade étnico-religiosa das suas populações, mostraram a existência de uma Jugoslávia e de uns Balcãs num registo histórico bastante diferente da island of peace da União Europeia. Na maioria das análises efectuadas pelos media e pelos académicos das Relações Internacionais prevaleceu uma tendência para leituras a-históricas ou interpretações à luz da actual história europeia/ocidental, pouco esclarecedoras sobre as raízes mais profundas desses conflitos. Um dos aspectos mais surpreendentemente negligenciado foi o das implicações das instituições sociais e religiosas e da governação política otomana, na realidade dos países balcânicos do século XX. Assim, neste artigo, o autor analisa os principais traços do «cunho otomano» que moldou os Balcãs durante quase meio milénio, com especial destaque para o sistema de governação dos millet e o estatuto dos dhimmi e as consequências sociais e políticas que daí resultaram para esta região da Europa. Ver texto integral do artigo.
A 3 de Julho de 1990 o governo da Kypriaki Dimokratia/República de Chipre presidido por Georgios Vassiliou solicitou formalmente a sua adesão às Comunidades Europeias. Na sequência deste pedido, e após diversas hesitações e diligências prévias de aproximação, foram finalmente abertas negociações de adesão (1998). Estas, após uma fase negocial marcada por alguma turbulência, acabaram por ser concluídas com sucesso já nos primeiros anos do século XXI (2003). Deste modo, a República de Chipre é hoje um dos dez novos membros que integram a actual União Europeia (UE), desde o último alargamento efectuado a 1 de Maio de 2004. Mas, o pedido de adesão da República de Chipre e sua entrada na UE, marcaram, também, pela primeira vez, o envolvimento directo europeu nos territórios históricos da «questão do Oriente», pela integração, para já ainda parcial, dum território e duma população estreitamente ligados aos problemas resultantes da dissolução do Império Otomano e à formação do seu principal Estado sucessor, a República da Turquia. Ver texto integral do artigo.
Poucos acontecimentos na história dos último século têm gerado tanta controvérsia como o destino das populações arménias na fase final do Império Otomano, durante os anos de 1915-1917, num período em que decorriam as hostilidades da I Guerra Mundial. Gwynne Dyer sintetizou bem este problema num artigo publicado em 1976 na Middle Eastern Studies sugestivamente intitulado Turkish ´Falsifiers´ and Armenian ´Deceivers´, onde referia que «qualquer historiador que tenha de lidar com os últimos anos do Império Otomano, mais cedo ou mais tarde vai encontrar-se a desejar desesperadamente que a neblina se dissipe sobre os
arménios otomanos do final do século XIX e início do século XX, especialmente sobre as deportações e os massacres de 1915». Infelizmente, apesar de já terem decorrido quase três décadas desde que Gwynne Dyer fez esta observação, e quase um século sobre os
acontecimentos, o ar parece não estar ainda totalmente límpido, permanecendo uma irritante neblina que dificulta qualquer tentativa imparcial de traçar os contornos exactos dos
acontecimentos. Ver texto integral do artigo.
dezembro 09, 2007
Prime Minister Gordon Brown boycotted the meeting in Lisbon, the first European Union-Africa summit in seven years, because a ban on Mugabe travelling to Europe was lifted to allow him to be there.
Merkel said that the world could not stand by while human rights were 'trampled underfoot'. 'Nothing,' she said, 'can justify the intimidation of those holding different views and hindering freedom of the press.'
She added: 'I appreciate that some African states have tried to solve the crisis in Zimbabwe, but time is running out. The situation of Zimbabwe is damaging the image of the new Africa.'
South African President Thabo Mbeki, whose speech preceded Merkel's, avoided any mention of Zimbabwe, where he has tried to mediate between Mugabe and his opposition. Mbeki said leaders should work to ensure Africans 'escape from poverty'.
'We are fully conscious of the fact that good governance and respect for human rights are fundamental to the achievement of this objective,' he said.
The meeting, described as a 'summit of equals' by Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates, was a forum for 70 leaders to meet and forge new partnerships between the world's largest trading bloc and its poorest continent.
Also making his voice heard this weekend was Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi, who has set up base in a tent outside Lisbon. He called on Europe to compensate its former African colonies. 'The riches that were taken away must be given back somehow,' Gadaffi said in a speech. 'If we don't face up to that truth, we'll have to pay the price one way or another - through terrorism, emigration or revenge.'
Controversy over Mugabe, who is seen by many Africans as an independence hero, underlines the difficult relationship between Africa and the former colonial powers. 'The real significance of this summit must be to lay the foundations of a new partnership based on mutual respect,' said Ghana's President John Kufuor, chair of the African Union.
European leaders are realising they need a different approach as many African economies are growing more rapidly than in several decades, thanks to the commodities boom.
Huge Chinese investment in Africa has prompted concerns in Europe that it is losing out on opportunities. Some African states welcome Chinese economic involvement partly because it comes without the pressure for recognition of human rights attached to European aid deals. EU-Africa trade is at a sensitive juncture, as the EU is rushing to reach new agreements with developing nations as replacements for a World Trade Organisation waiver due to expire on 31 December.
The meeting with MI6 had been arranged by John Shaw, who was the Pentagon’s deputy undersecretary for international technology security. “There was no doubt that the Iranians were focused on developing a nuclear weapons capability,” Shaw recalled last week. “It wasn’t about keeping the lights burning in Tehran.” American intelligence agencies startled the world last week by judging “with high confidence” that while Tehran continued to enrich uranium – which could be used for nuclear power or bombs – it had halted its nuclear “weaponisation” programme in 2003, before the MI6 meeting.
The declassified summary of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran not only ran contrary to its insistence two years earlier that Iran was “determined” to develop nuclear weapons, but flew in the face of accepted facts among western intelligence agencies.President George W Bush, who warned recently that a nuclear-armed Iran could provoke a third world war, was left with a dollop of egg on his face.When Dick Cheney, the vice-president and leading Iran hawk, was briefed on the about-turn a couple of weeks ago, there was a “pretty vivid exchange” with intelligence officials in the White House, one participant told The New York Times.
According to an intelligence source, Cheney sought to block the NIE’s release, but was overruled. Vincent Cannistraro, the CIA’s former counterterrorism chief, believes the view expressed by Robert Gates, the defence secretary, and Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, was: “Whatever the intelligence shows, it shows – we won’t influence it, but it should be released.”In an interview last week, Cheney conceded that “there was a general belief that we all shared that it was important to put it out – that it was not likely to stay classified for long, anyway.” He added, “Everything leaks”, a wry admission of the in-fighting that has divided the Bush administration.
War with Iran now appears to be off the agenda and it will be difficult to persuade the international community to approve harsher United Nations sanctions against Iran. But was American intelligence really fooled for four years? Or is it being undermined from within? Some American officials believe the NIE’s findings could present a historic opportunity to open direct negotiations with Tehran. Robert Kagan, an influential neoconservative writer, argued that “with its policy tools broken, the Bush administration can sit around isolated for the next year. Or it can seize the initiative, and do the next administration a favour, by opening direct talks”. But other neoconservatives and Iran hawks mounted a ferocious counterattack, insisting the report was payback by a trio of antiBush former state department officials, who opposed the Iraq war and sanctions on Iran.
David Wurmser, Cheney’s former Middle East adviser, charged: “One has to look at the authors of this report to judge how much it can really be banked on.” The “guilty men” were named as Thomas Fingar, Kenneth Brill and Vann Van Diepen, all now in top US intelligence posts, who had seethed at Bush policies for years and were said to have executed a triumphant revenge. One “very senior intelligence official” who was privy to the same classified information on Iran described the NIE’s conclusions as “a piece of crap”, according to Jed Babbin, a senior defence official under the first President George Bush. “The ‘high confidence’ that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons programme was not justified by the data he had seen,” Babbin said.
Yet there was an infusion of new information about Iran that persuaded all 16 American intelligence agencies to back the NIE. Israeli sources told The Sunday Times that a key part of the jigsaw was supplied by General Ali Reza Asghari, 63, a former Iranian deputy defence minister who is believed to have defected after disappearing from his hotel room in Istanbul in February. The Iranian regime accused Washington of kidnapping him, but western intelligence sources say he is in America of his own accord. His debriefing was so secretive that information went directly to the director of the CIA, rather than to senior officials. “People who would normally know, and should know, are completely out of the loop,” said one informed source.
American intelligence agencies also received a trove of information last summer, including intercepts of Iranian phone calls by GCHQ, the British listening station, which suggested that Iranian military officials were angered by a decision in late 2003 to halt a project to design nuclear weapons. The suspicion that the revelations might be a complex hoax were discounted. After the report was released, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s president, exulted that a “fatal blow” had been delivered to America’s war party. Yet some American intelligence experts remain baffled by the black and white picture presented by the NIE. Former CIA official Paul Pillar, who helped to compile the 2005 NIE on Iran, believes the difference with the 2007 report has been greatly exaggerated. “It’s described as a dramatic 180-degree reversal but it’s not.
The key ‘pacing element’ about when Iran is going to get a nuclear weapon is the uranium enrichment issue and that hasn’t changed,” he said. As before, the NIE suggests “with moderate confidence” that the Iranians could be capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon by 2010-2015. “You can differ with the president on his policy direction but the issue remains the same,” said Pillar. He maintains that the intelligence community has “shot itself in the foot” by oversimplifying the debate.
dezembro 08, 2007
Prognósticos sombrios para a Europa: Livro "Declínio e Queda" de Bruce Thornton, Nova Iorque, Encounter Books, 2007
Once a colossus dominating the globe, Europe today is a doddering convalescent. Sluggish economic growth, high unemployment, an addiction to expensive social welfare entitlements, a dwindling birth-rate among native Europeans, and most important, an increasing Islamic immigrant population chronically underemployed yet demographically prolific – all point to a future in which Europe will be transformed beyond recognition, a shrinking museum culture riddled with ever-expanding Islamist enclaves.
Decline and Fall tells the story of this decline by focusing on the larger cultural dysfunctions behind the statistics. The abandonment of the Christian tradition that created the West’s most cherished ideals–a radical secularism evident in Europe’s indifference to God and church–created a vacuum of belief into which many pseudo-religions have poured. Scientism, fascism, communism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, sheer hedonism – all have attempted and failed, sometimes bloodily, to provide Europeans with an alternative to Christianity that can show them what is worth living and dying for.
Meanwhile a resurgent Islam, feeding off the economic and cultural marginalization of European Muslims, knows all too well not just what is worth dying for, but what is worth killing for. Crippled by fashionable self-loathing and multicultural fantasies of multicultural inclusiveness, Europeans in the face of this threat have met this threat with capitulation instead of strength, appeasement and apologies instead of the demand that immigrants assimilate.
As Decline and Fall shows, Europe’s solution to these ills–a larger and more powerful European Union – simply exacerbates the problems, for the EU cannot address the absence of a unifying belief that can spur Europe even to defend itself, let alone to recover its lost grandeur. As these problems worsen, Europe will face an unappetizing choice between two somber destinies: a violent nationalistic or nativist reaction, or, more likely, a long descent into cultural senescence and slow-motion suicide.
dezembro 06, 2007
dezembro 05, 2007
If generals are fated to prepare for the last war, intelligence agencies always bear in mind the last time they were proved wrong. The ghosts of Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction haunt America's latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear programme.
Having wildly overestimated Saddam Hussein's devotion to poison gas and germ warfare, the 16 intelligence outfits dotted around Washington are treating Iran's nuclear ambitions with a newfound and zealous scepticism.
They have also developed an engaging candour about the gaps in their knowledge. "We do not know," reads the considered judgment of every US spy agency, "whether it [Iran] currently intends to develop nuclear weapons."
But that is the key question - indeed, the only question that matters. The goal of intelligence agencies is to discover the capabilities and intentions of their targets. In principle, nailing down their capabilities is the simpler task. Either Iran has a nuclear weapons programme or it does not. In theory, any facilities it may possess can be uncovered and their activities tracked.
Yet, in the final analysis, the thoughts, aims and priorities of the Islamic Republic's key policy-makers are of far greater importance. If Iran did halt a nuclear weapons programme in 2003, as America's spy agencies now say, this might have been a tactical move designed to fend off international pressure.
The long-term aim of Teheran's regime might still be to build nuclear weapons, perhaps after a suitable pause designed to evade tighter economic sanctions and escape a US military strike. If the strategic goal remains unchanged, Iran will go about acquiring the means to make a bomb once it becomes expedient. Capabilities follow from intentions.
The inescapable verdict is that no safe conclusion can be drawn from the National Intelligence Estimate. Even the headline finding that Iran froze a nuclear weapons programme four years ago - and that it remains frozen - is qualified in the nuance of the text. There is a crucial difference between conclusions delivered with "high confidence" and those worthy only of "moderate confidence".
Thus Washington believes with "high confidence" that Iran stopped its weapons programme for "several years" in 2003, but only has "moderate confidence" that this represented a "halt to Iran's entire nuclear programme". In other words, Teheran may have shut down some facilities and kept others open. As for whether it has restarted its weapons programme, the spies answer reassuringly in the negative - but only with "moderate confidence". The problem for President George W Bush is that his agencies keep changing their story. In 2005, the National Intelligence Estimate concluded Iran was "determined" to build a bomb. That finding has been contradicted. This week's judgment could also be overturned.
Hidden behind the work of every intelligence agency is the fact that they have their own capabilities and intentions to worry about. During the long saga over Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, it became clear that spies on both sides of the Atlantic succumbed to "group-think". They all believed that Saddam had amassed poison gas and canisters filled with deadly germs. Every piece of evidence that emerged from inside Iraq was filtered through this prism. The intelligence agencies fanned one another's pre-existing beliefs and in the process they infected their political masters. Everyone told everyone else what they wanted to hear. Jacques Chirac, who knew that French spies agreed with their British and American counterparts on Iraq, said that the world's intelligence agencies were "intoxicating" one another.
Most dangerously of all, the spies gave the politicians intelligence which justified their policies. In a leaked memorandum recording a meeting of senior British officials in 2002, Sir Richard Dearlove, the then head of MI6, said that the "facts and the intelligence" were being "fixed around the policy" of the Bush administration.
Despite the lessons of Iraq, there are signs of the same tendency at work in Washington today. Both the State Department, under Condoleezza Rice, and the Pentagon, under Robert Gates, are united in believing that a military strike on Iran would be disastrous.
Miss Rice fears the diplomatic consequences, while Mr Gates worries about an overstretched military machine already waging wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both understand that if Iran were attacked, it would retaliate by creating mayhem in Iraq, reversing the fall in violence and rendering the "surge" of extra troops an irrelevance.
So the National Intelligence Estimate represents a coup for both. They hope it will ensure that the Bush administration will go out of business in January 2009 without having bombed Iran. When the spies formed their judgments, did they completely close their minds to the fact that they were doing such a favour for Miss Rice and Mr Gates?
Of America's 16 intelligence agencies, the CIA has the highest profile. Steve Kappes, its deputy director, is a Farsi-speaking specialist on Iran. He is, incidentally, something of a dove when it comes to policy towards Iran. But does the CIA really possess a real and effective presence inside the country? The experience of Iraq suggests otherwise.
Six years on, the CIA is still demoralised by the defeat represented by September 11. In order to prevent enemy agents from penetrating its ranks, the agency has developed elaborate security procedures governing recruitment and promotion. This makes it far harder for the CIA to operate effectively.
Before September 11, co-ordination between the array of intelligence outfits was woeful. There is little to suggest that it has improved, and the creation of a new director of national intelligence, supposedly with an oversight role, has simply added another layer of bureaucracy.
So a group of fallible intelligence agencies have delivered a provisional judgment, possibly with the subliminal aim - however repressed - of pleasing their political masters. Meanwhile, the central question remains unanswered: what are the intentions of Iran's leaders? The spies do not know - and nor, for the moment, does anyone else.
dezembro 04, 2007
"O Irão parou o seu programa de armas nucleares em 2003, dizem agências de informação dos EUA" in Times, 4 de Dezembro de 2007
The findings contradict an assessment by US intelligence officials two years ago that Tehran was seeking nuclear weapons and appear to undercut President Bush’s repeated warnings about Iran becoming a nuclear power.
As recently as August Mr Bush warned that Iran’s pursuit of nuclear technology could lead to a holocaust and that the US “will confront this danger before it is too late”. In October he said that a nuclear-armed Iran could lead to a third world war.
Last night, however, Mr Bush’s closest aides claimed that the finding was vindication for the White House’s muscular but diplomatic approach. Stephen Hadley, Mr Bush’s National Security Advisor, said that the White House was only told last week about the new assessment of Iran’s nuclear programme.
The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report — the consensus view of all 16 US intelligence agencies — says that Iran continues to enrich uranium, which means it might be able to develop a nuclear weapon between 2010 and 2015 if it restarts its weapons programme. It also said that Iran’s ultimate goal is still to develop the capability to produce a nuclear weapon.
But it adds: “Tehran’s decision to halt its nuclear weapons programme suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005.” Two years ago the NIE stated with “high confidence” that Iran was pursuing the nuclear bomb.
Yesterday’s report said that Iran’s ultimate intentions about acquiring a nuclear weapon are unclear, but that Tehran’s decisions “are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic and military costs.
“Some combination of threats of intensified international scrutiny and pressures, along with opportunities for Iran to achieve its security, prestige, and goals for regional influence in other ways might, if perceived by Iran’s leaders as credible prompt Tehran to extend the current halt to its nuclear weapons programme.”
The assessment comes five years after the release of another report by the NIE which claimed that Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons and was pursuing the nuclear bomb. The report was one of the main pieces of evidence used by the White House to justify the invasion of Iraq.
It also comes amid a presidential campaign in which the issue of Iran has eclipsed Iraq as the most pressing foreign policy challenge facing the US. Several leading Republican candidates have been bellicose on the issue.
The report addresses claims by President Ahmadinejad of Iran that Tehran has 3,000 centrifuges enriching uranium. It says that Iran might have the centrifuges, but is having difficulties in making them work.
Mr Hadley said: “It [the report] confirms that we were right to be worried about Iran seeking to develop nuclear weapons. The intelligence also tells us that the risk of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon remains a very serious problem.
“It suggests the President has the right strategy: intensified international pressure along with a willingness to negotiate.”
Last month the International Atomic Energy Agency, the world’s nuclear watchdog, reported that Iran was operating 3,000 uranium-enriching centrifuges. But it said it was unclear if Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapon.
dezembro 02, 2007
recensão de Jürgen Endres para Qantara.de
The extensive 170-page study by the Berlin political scientist Ralph Ghadban aims to analyze Tariq Ramadan's key positions and methods. Ramadan's considerable writing, consisting of some 20 books and 700 articles to date, serve as the basis for this analysis. Ghadban leaves no doubt as to his assessment of Ramadan – the grandson of Hassan al-Bannas is clearly an "Islamist" and his goal is the Islamization of Europe and the establishment of Islamic rule.
Against this backdrop, the principle claims made in Ghadban's study can hardly come as a surprise. For the most part, at least, he presents what seem to be well-founded arguments against Ramadan's reputation as a liberal reformer. It is somewhat unfortunate that so much emphasis is given to issues of Islamic scholarship in Ramadan's work. The book title raised other expectations, and many of the arguments tend to leave the "political" Ramadan neglected in the background.
Context within the Islamic history of ideas
Nonetheless, Ghadban convincingly succeeds in setting Ramadan's thought within the tradition of the Muslim Brotherhood by elaborating its fundamental positions, historical context, and its place in the Islamic history of ideas. According to Ghadban, these ideas include the classification of the West as "godless" and the restriction of thought to a prescribed framework, Ramadan's "Islamic universe of references."
Ghadban argues that there is no room at all for theology in Ramadan's conceptual scheme, whereas it offers Islamic philosophy an extremely marginalized place. Ghadban concludes that Ramadan’s position is primarily "Islamic-juristic" and essentially limited to the "classical doctrinaire Fiqh."
In contrast to modernization, a position often attributed to Ramadan, what remains is merely an "updating of the eternally valid Sharia" by adapting to specific contextual conditions. Instead of a reformer, Ghadban presents Ramadan as a traditionalist, who, according to the argumentation of the study, recognizes neither human rights nor the separation of church and state.
Islamization, not integration
In this context, Ghadban questions Ramadan's understanding of the concept "integration" and concludes that Ramadan's Euro-Islam aims not at integration, but rather Islamization.
In his numerous publications, Ramadan provides a uniquely peculiar and often very eclectic account of history. Ghadban succeeds in aptly analyzing this as one of the various forms in which the history of Islamic thought has been manipulated.
Ghadban engages in long digressions in which he contrasts Ramadan's account of history with the consensus of Western Islamic scholars. Certain statements made by Ramadan, claims Ghadban, are just "patently false," and much of what he writes is consciously formulated in an ambiguous manner due to political considerations. Ramadan's "interculturalism" allows him to characterize jihad as liberation struggle, the headscarf as an expression of the emancipation of women, and criticism of Western decadence as anti-imperialism.
A man without a mandate?
Ghadban's assessment of Ramadan's role in the so-called Islamic world is also worth considering. After all, "Time" magazine in the USA chose Ramadan as one of the 100 most important personalities of the 21st century. In contrast, Ghadban sees the significance of Hassan al-Bannas' grandson as being much overrated.
Although he serves as an important figure for Islamic youth in France, he nonetheless is not recognized as a religious authority by Muslim scholars. As he is not a theologian, he is not qualified to interpret religious doctrines nor does he possess the necessary mandate to act as a spokesman for Muslims around the world.
Despite its many strengths, Ralph Ghadban's book is not completely without its flaws. Alongside the more or less aggravating minor details, such as irregularities in the transcription of Arab names, reading pleasure is especially dampened by excessive digressions on scholarly Islamic topics, such as the history of Islamic thought and the development of Islamic law. These only serve to distract from the stated intention of the book, namely, the critical examination of Ramadan's work.
It would have been desirable had the author here continuously worked to reestablish the connection of these arguments to the writings of Ramadan as well as presenting them in a clearer light.
In short, whoever would like to learn more about Tariq Ramadan and especially about his basic positions, as well as his place in the history of Islamic thought, is thoroughly advised to consult this study. Yet, even Ghadban's book is no substitute for undertaking one's own analysis of Ramadan and his extensive body of work. This is particularly true as Ghadban categorically characterizes Ramadan from the very start as an "Islamist" and completely excludes other interpretations proposed by various authors.
novembro 30, 2007
Thousands of knife-wielding protesters took to the streets of Khartoum today to demand the execution of the British primary school teacher who let children in her class name a teddy bear Muhammad.
AP reported about 10,000 attended the protest outside the presidential palace in Khartoum's Martyr's Square, demanding the Liverpudlian be killed by firing squad. The rally was held after Friday prayers.
Pick-up trucks carrying Sudanese demonstrators drove around the capital blaring out messages to Gillian Gibbons.
Protesters shouted: "No tolerance: execution" and "Kill her, kill her by firing squad".
Hundreds of riot police were deployed to the protests in Martyr's Square, but they did not try to stop the rally.
Last night Gibbons was found guilty of "insulting religion" and sentenced to 15 days in prison by a Sudanese judge after an eight-hour hearing. Gibbons is now in Omdurman women's prison, some way from today's demonstrations. She will face deportation at the end of her sentence.
The schoolteacher, from Liverpool, was cleared of the more serious charge of inciting hatred, for which she would have faced the maximum penalty of six months in prison and 40 lashes.
Ali Ageb, a member of Gibbons' defence team, said he was "very unhappy" with the verdict and would appeal. "She did this as part of her profession as the teacher," he told reporters outside the court. "She did not intend to insult anybody."
Ageb said Gibbons, who was arrested on Sunday, had been calm when the verdict was announced. "I think she was expecting it," he said.
The diplomatic moves to secure Gibbon's freedom are ongoing. Gordon Brown spoke with a member of Gibbon's family to convey his regret that the teacher was now in prison.
"He set out his concern and the fact that we were doing all we could to secure her release," his spokeswoman told reporters.
The Foreign Office said it was "extremely disappointed" by the sentence, and David Miliband, the foreign secretary, again summoned the Sudanese ambassador to explain the verdict. During the 45-minute meeting, Miliband expressed concern at the continued detention of Gibbons "in the strongest terms".
Louise Ellman, MP for Liverpool Riverside, said the teacher's family was very upset. "I do realise that the sentence could have been harder, but 15 days in a jail in Sudan could be very, very harsh," she told Sky News.
"There is still an appeals process ... the decision is one for the Sudanese authorities. I hope we can see some common sense here. I think there's distress and there's anger and I can't see much positive that has come from this."
It had emerged earlier in the day that complaints about naming the teddy bear Muhammad had come from a fellow member of staff at the exclusive Unity high school where Gibbons worked.
Teachers and clergy from the school's board turned up at court to support Gibbons. Robert Boulos, the school's director, said education ministry officials had originally told him that parents had complained about the naming of the bear. But, he said: "Today I heard that it was a member of the school staff. I was horrified."
The complainant was named as Sara Khawad, an office assistant at the school, who was the key prosecution witness.
The charges relate to a project initiated in September, when Gibbons, who had been in Sudan for a month, asked pupils to suggest names for a bear. Each child would take the bear home and write in a diary about their experience.
The chosen name was Muhammad, one of the most common names in Sudan, and the name of Islam's prophet. The diary featured a picture of a bear on the front and the label: "My name is Muhammad".
Since Gibbons' arrest, there have been fears for her safety, and that of her colleagues at Unity, which is now closed.
Riot police wearing helmets and shields and clutching batons and rifles were posted outside the court yesterday. But though leaflets condemning Gibbons had been distributed in Khartoum on Wednesday, there was no sign of protesters.
After the verdict, announced by the judge Mohammed Youssef at 9pm, Boulos attempted to quell lingering anger on the streets. "We are happy with the verdict," he said. "It is fair. There were a lot of political pressures and attention. We will be very sad to lose her."
novembro 29, 2007
Her lawyers announced that Ms Gibbons was found guilty of insulting Islam. The 54-year-old former Liverpool primary school teacher had faced a maximum penalty of 40 lashes and a six-month jail sentence.
Tonight David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, said he was "extremely disappointed" with the sentence and summoned Omer Siddig, the Sudanese ambassador to London, to the Foreign and Commnwealth Office (FCO) to make Britain's position clear.
"We are extremely disappointed that the charges against Gillian Gibbons were not dismissed," said Mr Miliband.
"As I said this morning our clear view is that this is an innocent misunderstanding by a dedicated teacher.
"Our priority now is to ensure Ms Gibbons welfare and we will continue to provide consular assistance to her.
"I have called in the Sudanese ambassador to explain this decision and discuss next steps."
Beyond summoning the ambassador the Government is not expected to take any further serious action.
The entire judicial process was completed within a single day with reporters and British consular officials banned from the courtroom. . After a short delay this morning, the case got under way in late afternoon.
Ms Gibbons has already spent five days in prison and is expected to serve out her sentence in the Omdurman women’s prison near Khartoum.
Robert Boulos, the director of the Unity High School that employed her, declared it “a very fair verdict”.
Ms Gibbons had been held in the modern, air-conditioned Khartoum courthouse since shortly after dawn. Witnesses said she looked dazed and tired as police led her to the dock. She wore a black blazer and a blue skirt and her head was uncovered.
Earlier in the day the Foreign Secretary had relayed British concerns to Sudan at the "highest level".
After summoning the Sudanese Ambassador to the Foreign Office, David Miliband told him that Britain was "very concerned" at the decision to charge Ms Gibbons for allowing her class of seven-year-olds in Khartoum to name their bear after the Islamic prophet.
Britain had put diplomatic pressure on Sudan to release Mrs Gibbons swiftly. In a statement issued after his meeting with Mr Siddig this afternoon, Mr Miliband said: "I explained to him that we were very concerned by the case. We believe that this was an innocent misunderstanding."
The Foreign Secretary said that he had reaffirmed to the Ambassador "that the British Government fully respects the faith of Islam and Britain has a long-standing tradition of religious tolerance".
He added: "The Sudanese Ambassador undertook to ensure our concerns were relayed to Khartoum at the highest level. He also said he would reflect back to Khartoum the real respect for the Islamic religion in this country."
Before the meeting Mr Miliband told reporters at the Foreign Office that he would make his displeasure clear. "This is not a political dispute, it is about an innocent person who was making a contribution to Sudanese society," said Mr Miliband.
"It is right that I make clear, from the top of the Foreign Office, our concern. We want to see her freed as soon as possible. This is a human story, no malice is involved. Her security and welfare are absolutely at the forefront of our concerns."
Meanwhile, Gordon Brown confirmed today that he had spoken to a close member of Mrs Gibbons’s family. The Prime Minister's spokesman said: "He reassured them that all available assistance would be made available."
British consular officials expressed their frustration that they have so far not been allowed to see or talk to her. "We would have expected to be allowed to be in court," said one.
This morning Sudanese justice officials arrived so early at the Criminal Exploration Bureau where Mrs Gibbons has been held for the past two nights that her transfer to court took place virtually unnoticed. When staff from the British consulate arrived at the bureau to see her, they were told that she had already left. They jumped back into their vehicles and headed off quickly to the court.
Mrs Gibbons, a mother of two, was arrested on Sunday at Unity High School, an exclusive British-run institution favoured by the Sudanese elite, after a complaint was lodged. In a bid to teach the children about animals, Mrs Gibbons had introduced a class teddy bear that each child would take home for the weekend in turn and allowed them to choose its name by a class vote.
But when the children chose the name Mohamed, after one of the most popular pupils in the class, a complaint was lodged with the ministry of education that it was blasphemous [...]
novembro 27, 2007
"Irão anuncia a construção de um míssil com um alcance de 2.000 km" in El Pais, 27 de Novembro de 2007
Irán ha anunciado que ha fabricado un nuevo misil balístico de un alcance de 2.000 kilómetros, según ha informado la agencia Fars citando al ministro de Defensa, Mostapha Mohammad Najar. El anuncio se produce en plena crisis nuclear que mantiene el país persa con la comunidad internacional.
"La construcción del misil Achoura, con un alcance de 2.000 kilómetros, forma parte de las actuaciones del Ministerio de Defensa", ha declarado Najar, que no ha dado ninguna otra precisión. El 'Achoura' es la mayor ceremonia de luto de los musulmanes chiíes.
De esta manera, Irán vuelve a hacer gala de su poder militar. En septiembre pasado, en el desfile militar anual, Teherán presentó un nuevo misil, el Ghadr-1, con un radio de acción de 1.800 kilómetros, capaz de alcanzar Israel y las bases estadounidenses en la región.
novembro 25, 2007
novembro 16, 2007
"O Irão pode construir a bomba atómica dentro de um ano, diz Agência Nuclear de Energia Atómica das Nações Unidas" in Times 16 de Novembro de 2007
Iran has expanded its capacity to enrich uranium and now has 3,000 centrifuges operating — enough potentially to produce an atom bomb within a year — the United Nations nuclear watchdog reported yesterday.
But the Islamic Republic has also taken tentative steps towards calming international fears about having secret plans for a nuclear device, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Iran’s deft diplomatic high wire act is likely to further frustrate efforts by the West to push further sanctions through the UN Security Council. Instead, the IAEA conclusions looked set to bolster the arguments of China and Russia that Tehran needs more time to open its books.
According to the report, Iran has given limited - but as far the agency can tell truthful - detail about its past nuclear work while still refusing to obey a UN demand for the suspension of the uranium enrichment programme.
“Iran has provided sufficient access to individuals and has responded in a timely manner to questions and provided clarifications and amplifications on issues raised,” said the ten-page report.
It added that the IAEA was “not in a position to provide credible assurances about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran”.
Tehran yesterday lost no time in trumpeting the findings as a vindication of its defiance against the West. President Ahmadinejad said: “The world will see that the Iranian nation has been right and the resistance of our nation has been correct.”
Iran’s official news agency said the US, France and Britain knew in advance they were “going to suffer a blow by the scheduled report” and were resorting to “extortion” by presenting the IAEA with a list of additional questions for Tehran to answer.
Britain and the US have made plain that they are not satisfied and will pursue further sanctions from the Security Council and the European Union. The Foreign Office issued a statement yesterday saying: “If Iran wants to restore trust in its programme, it must come clean on all outstanding issues without delay.” The US envoy to the IAEA, Gregory Schulte, had already stated: “Selective cooperation is not good enough.”
But China’s foreign minister Yang Jiechi, visiting Tehran yesterday, indicated support for Iran’s “right to peacefully use nuclear energy”. Yang’s spokesman said Iranian officials had told him they do not intend to develop nuclear weapons, adding: “China also hopes all parties show flexibility and make its due efforts to the peaceful resolution of the issue.”
The IEAE report confirmed that Iran, which insists its programme is for peaceful purposes, has expanded uranium enrichment to around 3,000 centrifuge machines. This number is enough to start industrial production of nuclear fuel and could provide the material needed for an atom bomb within a year.
There is growing concern among senior military sources in Washington - among whom enthusiasm for military action has waned - that such a level of production could trigger an air strike from Israel on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility.
Israel’s prime minister Ehud Olmert was yesterday forced to deny a Reuters report that he was already preparing specific measures to counter a nuclear Iran.
Speculation about Israel’s intentions has been fueled by its recent air strike against an alleged nuclear plant at Dayr az-Zawr in Syria. One source has suggested that the Pentagon did not know about the plan until Israeli F- 151 aircraft were already on their way to the target on September 6.
Another claimed that the airstrike was designed to send a message to Iran which has surrounded its Natanz nuclear facility with the same air defence weapons purchased by Syria to defend Dayr az-Zawr. “It showed Iran that Israel can hit them whenever they want,” said the official.
Tehran’s co-operation with the IEAE has included handing over a long-withheld blueprint showing how to shape uranium metal into hemispheres for a nuclear warhead. The Iranians claim this document was given to them unsolicited by rogue Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan.
Iran also provided information about a new centrifuge system called the “P2” - believed to operate with technology provided by Khan - which can refine uranium two or three times faster than the earlier prototype.
Yesterday’s IEAE report added, however, that Iran’s “cooperation has been reactive rather than proactive”.
novembro 08, 2007
"‘Terrorista lírica‘ condenada pela posse de documentos de incitamento ao ódio" in Guardian, 8 de Novembro de 2007
Samina Malik, who burst into tears on hearing the verdict, wrote poems entitled How To Behead and The Living Martyrs and stocked a "library" of documents useful to terrorists.
On the social networking site Hi5 she listed her interests as: "Helping the mujaheddin in any way which I can ... I am well known as lyrical terrorist."
The jury at the Old Bailey found Malik guilty by a majority of 10 to one of possessing records likely to be used for terrorism.
Judge Peter Beaumont, the Recorder of London, bailed Malik on "house arrest" and ordered reports into her family background ahead of the sentencing on December 6, warning her that jail remained a possibility.
"You have been, in many respects, a complete enigma to me," he told her.
Malik, who worked at WH Smith at the airport, was arrested in October last year. When her bedroom was searched police found a ringbinder full of documents as well as a bracelet bearing the word "jihad".
There was also a sticker on a mirror inside the door, bearing the words "lyrical terrorist".
In one handwritten document found by police, she wrote: "I want to have the death of a shaheed [martyr] ... I want the opportunity to take part in the blessed sacred duty of jihad."
Also found were publications from an Islamist extremist group called Followers of Ahl us-Sunnah Wal-Jammaa'ah, linked to another group, The Saved Sect, and to the extremist cleric Sheikh Omar Bakri.
In a box file in the family lounge was a printed version of the "declaration of war" by Osama bin Laden.
One of Malik's poems, entitled The Living Martyrs, said: "Let us make Jihad/ Move to the front line/ To chop chop head of kuffar swine".
A second poem was called How to Behead. "It's not as messy or as hard as some may think/ It's all about the flow of the wrist," it read.
The Mujaheddin Poisoner's Handbook, Encyclopaedia Jihad, How To Win In Hand To Hand Combat, and How To Make Bombs and Sniper Manual were found on her computer.
The court heard Malik joined an extremist organisation called Jihad Way, set up explicitly to disseminate terrorist propaganda and support for al Qaida.
Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, said she was an "unlikely" but "committed" Islamic extremist: "She had a library of material that she had collected for terrorist purposes. That collection would be extremely useful for someone planning terrorist activity."
But Malik, of Townsend Road, Southall, west London, told the jury: "I am not a terrorist." She claimed to have used the nickname "lyrical terrorist" because she thought it was "cool".
Malik was convicted of possessing records likely to be useful in terrorism under the Terrorism Act 2000. She was earlier cleared by a jury of a separate count of possessing an article for terrorism.