março 30, 2007

“Abrindo caminho para uma sociedade muçulmana paralela” na Alemanha in Spiegel online International, 29 de Março de 2007

A recent ruling in Germany by a judge who cited the Koran underscores the dilemma the country faces in reconciling Western values with a growing immigrant population. A disturbing number of rulings are helping to create a parallel Muslim world in Germany that is welcoming to Islamic fundamentalists.

She didn't know it, nor did she even expect it. She had good intentions. Perhaps it was a mistake. In fact, it was most certainly a mistake. The best thing to do would be to wipe the slate clean. Last week, in the middle of the storm, Christa Datz-Winter, a judge on Frankfurt's family court, was speechless. But Bernhard Olp, a spokesman for the city's municipal court, was quick to jump in. Olp reported that the judge had been under emotional stress stemming from a murder that had been committed in her office 10 years ago, and that she was now planning to take a break to recuperate. He also mentioned that she was "outraged" -- not about herself or her scandalous ruling, but over the reactions the case has triggered. The reactions were so fierce that one could have been forgiven for mistakenly thinking that Germany's Muslims had won the headscarf dispute and the controversy over the Mohammed cartoons in a single day and, in one fell swoop, had taken a substantial bite out of the legal foundations of Western civilization. The ensuing media furor came from both sides of the political spectrum. The left-leaning daily Die Tageszeitung ran a story on the case titled: "In the Name of the People: Beating Allowed," while the right-wing tabloid Bild called it "An Outrageous Case!" The same unanimity across party lines prevailed in the political realm. "Unbearable," was conservative Bavarian Interior Minister Günther Beckstein's ruling, while Lale Akgün, a member of parliament of Turkish origin and the Social Democratic Party's representative on Islamic issues, commented that the Frankfurt judge's ruling was "worse than some backyard decision by an Islamist imam." Even the deputy head of the Green Party's parliamentary group, Hans-Christian Ströbele, noted that a German judge is obligated to uphold German law. The original purpose of the case was not to carry the clash of cultures into the courtroom. Instead, the case brought before Frankfurt's family court was that of a 26-year-old German woman of Moroccan origin who was terrified of her violent Moroccan husband, a man who had continued to threaten her despite having been ordered to stay away by the authorities. He had beaten his wife and he had allegedly threatened to kill her. But German law requires a one-year separation before a divorce can be completed - and exceptions for an expedited process are only granted in extreme situations. When the woman's attorney, Barbara Becker-Rojczyk, filed a petition for an expedited divorce, Judge Christa Datz-Winter suddenly became inflexible. According to the judge, there was no evidence of "an unreasonable hardship" that would make it necessary to dissolve the marriage immediately. Instead, the judge argued, the woman should have "expected" that her husband, who had grown up in a country influenced by Islamic tradition, would exercise the "right to use corporal punishment" his religion grants him. The judge even went so far as to quote the Koran in the grounds for her decision. In Sura 4, verse 34, she wrote, the Koran contains "both the husband's right to use corporal punishment against a disobedient wife and the establishment of the husband's superiority over the wife." Put plainly, the judge argued that a woman who marries a Muslim should know what she's getting herself into. In Germany, no less. Leading German feminist Alice Schwarzer argued that this was tantamount to a "softening of our legal system" that is "by no means a coincidence." Germany's only minister of integration at the state level, Armin Laschet, a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from the state of North Rhine Westphalia, sees the Frankfurt ruling as the "last link, for the time being, in a chain of horrific rulings handed down by German courts" - rulings in which, for example, so-called honor killings have been treated as manslaughter and not murder. This, says Berlin family attorney and prominent women's rights activist Seyran Ates, is part of the reason one should "be almost thankful that (judge Datz-Winter) made such a clear reference to the Koran. All she did was bring to the surface an undercurrent that already exists in our courts." Out of a sense of misguided tolerance, says Ates, judges treat the values of Muslim subcultures as a mitigating circumstance and, in doing so, are helping pave the way for a gradual encroachment of fundamentalist Islam in Germany's parallel Muslim world. It's an issue Ates often runs up against in her cases. "In Frankfurt," she says, "someone expressly openly for the first time what many are already thinking."
Ver artigo integral em,1518,474629,00.html
JPTF 29/03/207

“61% dos espanhóis contra o véu islâmico nas escolas” in El Pais, 30 de Março de 2007

El 61% de los españoles está en contra de que las niñas musulmanas lleven velo en la escuela, mientras que la sociedad está prácticamente dividida entre los que apoyan (41%) y los que se oponen (39%) a que los musulmanes recen en la Mezquita de Córdoba, según el primer Barómetro del año del Real Instituto Elcano. La oposición al uso del velo en el colegio crece con la edad, pasando del 52% para los menores de 30 años al 70% de los mayores de 65. También con respecto al rezo islámico en la mezquita, la tercera edad es más contraria (55%) y desciende hasta el 27% entre los menores de 30. Por otra parte, un 46% apoya la exhibición de los crucifijos católicos en las escuelas, mientras que se muestra en contra un 29%. Preguntados por la posibilidad de que los niños españoles estudien el Corán como estudian la Biblia en clase de educación cívica, un 48% se manifiesta en contra, frente a un 31,5% a favor. En el plano político, los españoles ven con buenos ojos que los musulmanes residentes en España puedan votar en las elecciones. Un 67% está a favor, frente a un 25% en contra. Sin embargo, este porcentaje es menor que cuando al entrevistado se le pregunta por los extranjeros en general y sin distinguir religión. Entonces defiende el derecho a voto un 70,5 por ciento.
JPTF 30/03/2007

março 29, 2007

Propaganda iraniana sobre os reféns britânicos

“Livro escolar belga insulta Atatürk, fundador da República da Turquia” (por figurar numa lista de homossexuais famosos) in Zaman, 28 de Março de 2007

Following the broadcast of videos with explicit content about Atatürk by a Greek youth on the famous Internet site, Belgium has engaged in similar infamy by listing Atatürk among the important homosexual and bisexual personalities of history. A book by the minister of education of the province of Valon in Belgium and distributed to all schools in the province claims that Atatürk was one of history's important and famous homosexual or bisexual figures. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was included on a list of "Famous homosexuals and bisexuals in history" on the 105th page of the 144-page book titled, "Fight Against Homophobia." The small book, prepared at the instructions of Valon Education Minister Marie Arena and distributed to all students in primary and secondary education, emphasizes that homosexuality is not actually a negative thing and that there were many famous and important homosexual or bisexual people in history. Today’s Zaman’s efforts to reach Marie Arena proved fruitless. It is unknown what source this information was based on, though it will certainly spark harsh reactions in Turkey. A leading paper in Belgium, De Standaard, covered the issue and in a related report wrote that Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, was included on the list and noted that it was yet unknown whether the Turkish Embassy in Belgium was aware of the incident. Belgium is one of the few countries in the world that grants its citizens the right to same-sex marriages and child adoption by homosexual couples. It is stated that the distribution of the book was aimed at “enlightening the future of the young generation in Belgium” and informing them correctly by giving information on the history of homosexuality and the general sociocultural perception in regard to homosexuality. The book also touches on the equality of women and discusses the viewpoints of other societies regarding homosexuality, with an aim to prevent the younger generation from harboring negative opinions on homosexuality. Among famous homosexuals in history, according to the book, are Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, and Goethe. Other interesting names on the list are some spiritual leaders of the Catholic world such as Pope Benoit IX and Pope Jules III. Turkey currently has some other problems with Belgium, such as allowing the escapte of Fehriye Erdal, the murderer of Özdemir Sabancı, brother of late famous businessman Sakıp Sabancı. Belgium is also a country where members of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) freely walk the streets. Belgium is also trying to punish the denial of the so-called Armenian genocide. Meanwhile a Belgian court found a security company guilty of discrimination after it refused to employ Turkish national Murat Çalışkan on the basis of his being a foreigner. The court accused the company of “apparent racism” and ruled that it should pay compensation to Çalışkan. He said he would use the compensation money in the fight against racism and donate it to immigration centers.
JPTF 2007/03/29

março 27, 2007

Comentário “A Turquia e o futuro da União Europeia”

Cinquenta anos após o Tratado de Roma, assinado a 25 de Março de 1957, o projecto europeu está numa fase de indefinição. Neste contexto difícil, quais as implicações da adesão da Turquia para o futuro da União?

1. Provavelmente o aspecto mais crítico da actual União Europeia (UE) é a indefinição de rumo no projecto europeu. Qual o objectivo último da integração? Um grande mercado comum com uma moeda única? Uma potência político-militar mundial? Uma Europa federal? Ou uma confederação de Estados soberanos? Mas há um outro aspecto também importante, que passa mais despercebido, e que hoje está em aberto. Historicamente, a UE tem funcionado com base num equilíbrio político e financeiro entre “grandes” e “pequenos/médios” países, entre contribuintes líquidos e beneficiários de ajudas estruturais. O cerne deste equilíbrio tem sido este: os países grandes (os caso mais óbvios são a Alemanha e a França, mas também o Reino Unido) têm um peso fundamental na decisão política – visível, por exemplo, nas votações por maioria qualificada do Conselho (ligado directamente à sua população, desde o Tratado de Nice). Em contrapartida, uma parte significativa dos países pequenos/médios são os tradicionais beneficiários das ajudas estruturais (por exemplo, Grécia e Portugal, aos quais acresce, agora, a generalidade dos doze novos membros, Bulgária e Roménia já incluídas). Por outras palavras, e na linguagem crua da realpolitik, quem paga (o benefício dos outros) é também quem decide (politicamente).

2. Foi neste contexto, marcado pelo maior alargamento de sempre e por um ambiente internacional conturbado, que surgiu a questão da adesão da Turquia. Vários argumentos têm sido avançados sobre as vantagens desta: i) vantagens estratégicas de ter um grande país situado numa zona geopolítica importante; ii) vantagens de abastecimento energético ligadas ao acesso ao petróleo e gás natural; iii) vantagens de um mercado que já tem mais de 70 milhões de consumidores; iv) vantagens de uma mão-de obra jovem e em quantidade significativa; v) vantagens para evitar o “conflito de civilizações” com o Islão. Vale a pena analisá-los. Em primeiro lugar, as vantagens estratégicas. É indiscutível que a Turquia se encontra numa zona geopolítica importante. Aliás, por isso mesmo, é um membro antigo da NATO. Mas qual a vantagem estratégica como membro da UE? Vai permitir uma política externa e de defesa mais credível, pode argumentar-se. Mas será crível que, com cerca de trinta membros, a UE possa conseguir os consensos necessários para tal política, quando, no passado, não os conseguiu? Para além disso, e exceptuada uma evolução extraordinariamente favorável no Médio Oriente, os “ganhos” previsíveis são passar a ter, como vizinhança, um país com ambição nuclear (o Irão), outro envolvido conflito sectário violento (o Iraque) e um terceiro empenhado em destabilizar o Líbano (a Síria). Em segundo lugar, o argumento do acesso ao petróleo e ao gás natural. Importa notar que a Turquia não é um produtor e fornecedor relevante. Assim, se o argumento é ter membros com grandes recursos energéticos, então deveria integrar-se a Rússia, o Azerbaijão, ou o Cazaquistão. Se a questão é da passagem desses recursos, a Turquia já está associada à UE, através de um acordo de integração económica. Para além disso, está ligada militarmente pela NATO, da qual são membros a maioria dos países da UE. Não se percebe a razão pela qual estas soluções deixaram de servir. Quanto ao terceiro argumento, o do mercado de mais de 70 milhões de consumidores, este esquece o já referido acordo de união aduaneira, que vigora desde os anos 90, e abriu o mercado turco às empresas da UE, como também abriu o mercado europeu às empresas turcas. Em relação ao quarto argumento, se a necessidade é de mão-de-obra qualificada, países como a Ucrânia e a Rússia têm população mais qualificada. Se a necessidade é de mão-de-obra jovem, não qualificada e barata, há todos os dias centenas de emigrantes do Magrebe ou da África subsariana a tentarem vir para trabalhar para UE. Por que não deixá-los vir trabalhar? Quanto ao quinto argumento, que é o de evitar o “conflito de civilizações”, é simplista pela visão essencialista da realidade. Sendo o Islão heterogéneo – sunitas e xiitas são apenas uma faceta dessa heterogeneidade –, e existindo clivagens religiosas importantes (entre o Islão ortodoxo e as “seitas heréticas”, aluitas, alevis, druzos, etc.) e étnicas (árabes, persas, curdos etc.), é ingénuo acreditar num “apaziguamento civilizacional”. Mas há um risco verosímil, que é o de importar rivalidades. Apenas um exemplo. Nem países xiitas como o Irão, por razões religioso-políticas, nem países árabes como o Egipto e a Arábia Saudita, por razões históricas e ambições políticas, aceitarão uma primazia turca.

3. O argumentário usual, aparentemente convincente, que ouvimos num país pequeno e atlantista como Portugal mostra-se frágil, pois a Turquia já está integrada num quadro euro-atlântico (união aduaneira e NATO). Na realidade, são semi-vantagens mitigadas com riscos estratégicos. Para além disso, o up-grade da integração na UE é percebido pela França, Alemanha, Holanda, Áustria e outros países, como sendo-lhes desfavorável na decisão política, nos encargos financeiros e no futuro do projecto europeu. Tudo isto vai muito para além da questão da abertura dos portos e aeroportos turcos ao tráfego cipriota (e da própria reunificação de Chipre), que se discutiu em finais de 2006. Estamos a assistir ao primeiro round de um longo jogo diplomático, onde a estratégia, de ambos os lados, é afastar o ónus da quebra das negociações e, da parte turca, aproveitar-se ainda das divisões e do sentimento de culpabilidade europeia. Mas há uma incontornável questão de realpolitik: alguém está a ver a UE a funcionar num modelo onde quem paga mais (a Alemanha e a França), perde poder de decisão política para o principal beneficiário das ajudas financeiras (a Turquia)?

JPTF 2007/03/1

março 25, 2007

Os 50 anos da União Europeia, com alguma depressão à mistura - desenho de Alex, no jornal La Liberté de Friburgo

“A Turquia suspende compra de F-16 aos EUA”, devido a proibição de uso em Chipre in Zaman, 24 de Março de 2007

Turkey has reportedly suspended negotiations with the US over the purchase of an additional 30 F-16 fighters after Washington set the condition that they not be flown over the divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus.Military sources close to the Turkish Air Force Command (THK) told Today's Zaman that US technology restrictions, including a ban on their usage by Turkey over Cyprus, irked Ankara. "The US condition that fighters should not be used over Cyprus made us mad," said a source at the THK.The US has not imposed any such restriction on the around 300 F-16s already in Turkey's inventory, said the same sources, adding that the possible adoption of an alleged Armenian genocide bill by the US Congress sometime in April has no direct links with Turkey's suspension of talks over the F-16 purchase. Turkey and the US have also been in dispute over the price of the F-16s, estimated at around $2.9 billion. The US Congress approved earlier this year the sale of an additional 30 advanced F-16 Block 50 aircraft as well as associated equipment and services under Foreign Military Sale (FMS) credit to Turkey. US's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), when it notified the US Congress in late September last year of the Turkish decision to buy additional F-16s, said, "This proposed sale will not adversely affect either the military balance in the region or US efforts to encourage a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus questions." The island of Cyprus has been divided into a Turkish north and Greek south since 1974.According to well-informed military sources, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have been attaching great importance on the attitude of the US over Turkey's outlawed terrorist organization the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), reported to have been preparing for attacks inside Turkey in their bases in neighboring northern Iraq.“Rather than Armenian genocide bill, the PKK issue has the potential to turn upside down Turkish-US strategic relations on the part of Ankara. If the US does not take action against the PKK in northern Iraq or allow the Turkish military to stage a cross-border operation, the THK may even consider to abandon the idea of buying around 100 JSF fighters from the US,” stated one air force source.During the American-Turkish Council (ATC) meeting due to start in Washington early next week, both the PKK and the Armenian genocide bill are expected to top the agenda, in addition to the F-16 and JSF purchases.
JPTF 2007/03/25

março 24, 2007

“Grupo de escritores ataca falhanço da União Europeia em por fim à violência no Darfur“ in The Independent, 24 de Março de 2007

Cahal Milmo

A coalition of Europe's most eminent intellectuals today delivers a devastating critique of the failure to end the violence in Darfur by the European Union, as its politicians embark on a weekend of lavish 50th birthday celebrations. In a letter to the 27 leaders of EU states gathering in Berlin and published by The Independent, 10 of the continent's leading writers and thinkers evoke the atrocities of Auschwitz and Srebrenica in their call for immediate action against the Sudanese regime. The signatories - Sir Tom Stoppard, Seamus Heaney, Sir Harold Pinter, Dario Fo, Günter Grass, Umberto Eco, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Franca Rame and Václav Havel - demand that the EU imposes the "most stringent sanctions" on the leaders of Sudan. As Tony Blair and his fellow leaders sit down to a special summit in the German capital tomorrow to unveil a "birthday declaration" hailing the achievements of the single market, the letter argues there is little to celebrate when mass killings in Darfur continue. The gathering to mark the formation of the first, six-strong, European club with the Treaty of Rome in 1957 will include a banquet tonight along with a street party, fireworks and the strains of Beethoven. In Darfur, it is likely several hundred more refugees will arrive at crowded camps while unknown numbers will fall victim to a campaign of rape and enslavement. More than 200,000 people have died in Darfur, the western region of Sudan, since a campaign of violence against rebel groups targeting ethnic African farmers and herdsmen began in 2003, with the backing of the Khartoum government. A further 2.5 million people have been displaced in the four years of fighting led by the Arab Janjaweed militias, amid evidence of systematic looting, sexual violence and village burnings. The US has described the violence as "genocide". Alluding to Srebrenica, the UN-protected Bosnian "safe area" where 8,000 men were massacred in 1995 by Serb paramilitaries, as well as the Nazi death camps, the signatories, who include four Nobel literature prize-winners, make it clear that the EU is ignoring its founding purpose by failing to bring an end to the war in Darfur. The letter said: "Has the European Union - born of atrocity to unite against further atrocity - no word to utter, no principle to act on, no action to take, in order to prevent these massacres in Darfur? Is the cowardliness over Srebrenica to be repeated? If so, what do we celebrate?"Amid the pomp and parties this weekend, the Berlin Declaration will be unveiled. The document will contain an affirmation of the basic dignity of the individual.The writers call for unilateral action by the EU to impose a travel ban on the Khartoum government, including the Sudanese President, Omar Bashir. The sanctions should also include freezing of assets held in EU banks and a ban on the use of health facilities and the import of luxury goods into Sudan, they say. The letter will increase the pressure on Mr Blair over Darfur. He wrote this week to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, whose country holds the EU presidency, outlining his own proposal for UN sanctions. Number 10 said Mr Blair would be seeking to discuss the measures with his fellow leaders this weekend. It was announced this week that refugee camps in the region are full. Sudanis refusing to hand over two officials named as war-crime suspects by the International Criminal Court.
JPTF 24/03/2007

março 23, 2007

TV Al Aqsa, próxima do Hamas, entrevista os filhos de Rim Al Riyashi, uma bombista suicida que se fez explodir em 2004

por Guido Olimpio

La tv palestinese Al Aqsa, vicina alle posizioni di Hamas, ha diffuso l’intervista ai due figli di Rim Al Riyashi, una donna kamikaze palestinese che si è fatta saltare per aria nel 2004 al posto di confine tra Gaza e Israele. Cinque le vittime dell’attentato. Nel servizio televisivo i bambini Dohah e Mohammed sono invitati da un giornalista a recitare poesie che inneggiano al martirio, definiscono la loro mamma «una bomba di fuoco». I piccoli sorridono, ovviamente non si rendono conto del significato delle parole, sembra che giochino. Il filmato, rilanciato dall’istituto di ricerche israeliano Memri, è una rappresentazione della propaganda e dell’uso dei più piccoli da parte di movimenti radicali. L’azione suicida è vista come un gesto positivo, come qualcosa di naturale. E colpisce vedere come i figli di Rim siano in grado di dire quanti «ebrei ha ucciso» la madre. In passato a Hebron o Nablus, città palestinesi dalle quali sono partiti molti kamikaze, si vendono figurine con i volti dei «martiri»: dal semplice guerrigliero all’uomo bomba. Una degli effetti più devastanti dell’intifada è stato quello di alimentare nella società palestinese la cultura della morte e del martirio. Una realtà abilmente sfruttata da gruppi come Hamas o la Jihad per spingere altri seguaci sulla sua stessa via. A prescidere dalla loro età. In nome della causa si può sacrificare una donna come un bimbo.
JPTF 2007/03/23

março 22, 2007

“Ele batia-lhe e ameaçava-a de morte. Mas como marido e mulher nasceram ambos em Marrocos, a juíza não viu caso para alarme” in Spiegel online

por Veit Medick e Anna Reimann

The case seems simply too strange to be true. A 26-year-old mother of two wanted to free herself from what had become a miserable and abusive marriage. The police had even been called to their apartment to separate the two - both of Moroccan origin - after her husband got violent in May 2006. The husband was forced to move out, but the terror continued: Even after they separated, the spurned husband threatened to kill his wife.
A quick divorce seemed to be the only solution - the 26-year-old was unwilling to wait the year between separation and divorce mandated by German law. She hoped that as soon as they were no longer married, her husband would leave her alone. Her lawyer, Barbara Becker-Rojczyk agreed and she filed for immediate divorce with a Frankfurt court last October. They both felt that the domestic violence and death threats easily fulfilled the "hardship" criteria necessary for such an accelerated split. In January, though, a letter arrived from the judge adjudicating the case. The judge rejected the application for a speedy divorce by referring to a passage in the Koran that some have controversially interpreted to mean that a husband can beat his wife. It's a supposed right which is the subject of intense debate among Muslim scholars and clerics alike."The exercise of the right to castigate does not fulfill the hardship criteria as defined by Paragraph 1565 (of German federal law)," the daily Frankfurter Rundschau quoted the judge's letter as saying. It must be taken into account, the judge argued, that both man and wife have Moroccan backgrounds.

"The husband can beat his wife"
"The right to castigate means for me: the husband can beat his wife," Becker-Rojczyk said, interpreting the judge's verdict. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, Becker-Rojczyk said the judge indicated to her that it makes no sense to insist on an accelerated divorce. The judge's advice? Wait for the year-long waiting period to elapse. The fax from the Frankfurt court granting the conflict of interest claim. The lawyer and her client were shocked. Immediately, they filed a claim alleging that the judge should have recused herself due to a conflict of interest. They felt that, because of the point of view presented by the judge, she was unable to reach an objective verdict. In the reply sent to Becker-Rojczyk, the judge expressly referred to a Koran verse - or sura - which indicates that a man's honor is injured when his wife behaves in an unchaste manner. "Apparently the judge deems it unchaste when my client adapts a Western lifestyle," Becker-Rojczyk said. On Tuesday evening, Becker-Rojczyk expressed amazement that the judge was still on the bench, given that the controversial verdict was handed down weeks ago. Becker-Rojczyk had elected to go public with the case to attract attention to the judge's conduct. It seems to have worked. On Wednesday, after the Tuesday evening publication of the story on SPIEGEL ONLINE, the attorney received a fax from the Frankfurt court granting the conflict of interest claim and excusing the judge from the case. Still, it is unlikely that the case will be heard again before the mandated year of separation expires in May. But the judge who heard the case may have to face further consequences for her decision. On Wednesday, numerous politicians in Berlin voiced their horror at the verdict - and demanded disciplinary action against the judge.

Further investigation
"In my opinion, this is a case of extreme violation of the rule of law that can't be solved with a mere conflict of interest ruling," Social Democrat parliamentarian Dieter Wiefelspütz told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "There have to be further consequences. This is a case for judicial supervision - this case needs to be further investigated."The deputy floor leader for the Christian Democrats, Wolfgang Bosbach, agreed. "This is a sad example of how the conception of the law from another legal and cultural environment is taken as the basis for our own notion of law," he said on Wednesday. This isn't the first time that German courts have used cultural background to inform their verdicts. Christa Stolle of the women's rights organization Terre des Femmes said that in cases of marital violence, there have been a number of cases where the perpetrator's culture of origin has been considered as a mitigating circumstance - although such verdicts have become seldom in recent years. But there remains quite a bit of work to do. "In my work educating sexist and short-sighted Muslim men," asked Michaela Sulaika Kaiser of the Network for Muslim Women, "do I now have to convince German courts that women are also people on the same level with men and that they, like any other human, have the right to be protected from physical and psychological violence?",1518,473017,00.html
JPTF 2007/02/22

março 21, 2007

50 razões para gostar da União Europeia, segundo o The Independent

1 The end of war between European nations
2 Democracy is now flourishing in 27 countries
3 Once-poor countries, such as Ireland, Greece and Portugal, are prospering
4 The creation of the world's largest internal trading market
5 Unparalleled rights for European consumers
6 Co-operation on continent-wide immigration policy
7 Co-operation on crime, through Europol
8 Laws that make it easier for British people to buy property in Europe
9 Cleaner beaches and rivers throughout Europe
10 Four weeks statutory paid holiday a year for workers in Europe
11 No death penalty (it is incompatible with EU membership)
12 Competition from privatised companies means cheaper phone calls
13 Small EU bureaucracy (24,000 employees, fewer than the BBC)
14 Making the French eat British beef again
15 Minority languages, such as Irish, Welsh and Catalan recognised and protected
16 Europe is helping to save the planet with regulatory cuts in CO2
17 One currency from Bantry to Berlin (but not Britain)
18 Europe-wide travel bans on tyrants such as Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe
19 The EU gives twice as much aid to developing countries as the United States
20 Strict safety standards for cars, buses and aircraft
21 Free medical help for tourists
22 EU peacekeepers operate in trouble spots throughout the world
23 Europe's single market has brought cheap flights to the masses, and new prosperity for forgotten cities
24 Introduction of pet passports
25 It now takes only 2 hrs 35 mins from London to Paris by Eurostar
26 Prospect of EU membership has forced modernisation on Turkey
27 Shopping without frontiers gives consumers more power to shape markets
28 Cheap travel and study programmes means greater mobility for Europe's youth
29 Food labelling is much clearer
30 No tiresome border checks (apart from in the UK)
31 Compensation for passengers suffering air delays
32 Strict ban on animal testing for the cosmetic industry
33 Greater protection for Europe's wildlife
34 Regional development fund has aided the deprived parts of Britain
35 European driving licences recognised across the EU
36 Britons now feel a lot less insular
37 Europe's bananas remain bent, despite sceptics' fears
38 Strong economic growth - greater than the United States last year
39 Single market has brought the best continental footballers to Britain
40 Human rights legislation has protected the rights of the individual
41 European Parliament provides democratic checks on all EU laws
42 EU gives more, not less, sovereignty to nation states
43 Maturing EU is a proper counterweight to the power of US and China
44 European immigration has boosted the British economy
45 Europeans are increasingly multilingual - except Britons, who are less so
46 Europe has set Britain an example how properly to fund a national health service
47 British restaurants now much more cosmopolitan
48 Total mobility for career professionals in Europe
49 Europe has revolutionised British attitudes to food and cooking
50 Lists like this drive the Eurosceptics mad
JPTF 2007/03/21

março 20, 2007

Reportagem na mesquita Lal Masjid em Islamabade, Paquistão: “O seu negócio é a jihad” in Guardian, 20 de Março de 2007

por Declan Walsh

"Have you seen Best of Baghdad?" enquires Abdul Rashid Ghazi, proffering a fresh cup of tea. It is Friday morning, just before prayers, and we are sitting in a cramped room at Lal Masjid, a radical mosque in central Islamabad. Beside us a wispy-bearded young man is hunched over a computer, copying movies. Best of Baghdad, it turns out, is one of them.
A slick piece of jihadist propaganda, the 15-minute video shows numerous US soldiers in Iraq being shot by a sniper called Juba. Every sequence is similar. The camera follows the GI from a distance, watching him stand near a vehicle or chat to a friend. There is a bang. The picture jolts and the wounded soldier crumbles to the ground. His panicked comrades swarm around. Iraqi civilians sprint for cover. "It's wonderful," says Ghazi.
Lal Masjid, or the Red Mosque, has become a potent symbol of the power of Pakistan's radical Islamists. It sits incongruously but defiantly among the tree-lined streets and neatly pressed bureaucrats of the capital. The supreme court, parliament and prime minister's office are maybe a mile away. Lal Masjid is run by the university educated Ghazi and his brother Abdul Aziz, the firebrand preacher - and their business is jihad.
"I met Osama bin Laden once, in Afghanistan," muses Ghazi, recounting a trip to the al-Qaida leader's headquarters on a farm near Kandahar in 1998. "Then he was very much against the American presence in Saudi Arabia. He is still a hero to us all."
Ghazi is quick to add that he does not agree with the slaughter of innocent civilians, such as at the World Trade Centre in New York, which is against Islam. But, September 11 is just an "allegation" against bin Laden, he says, and his admiration for the militant leader remains strong. When their father was killed some years ago - shot as he crossed the mosque courtyard - Bin Laden sent a letter of condolence. Still today, Abdul Aziz compares the al-Qaida leader to the biblical figure of Abraham in his Friday sermons.
In some Muslim countries, such as Egypt or Jordan, such unabashed support for Bin Laden might land a cleric in jail. Not in Pakistan. Instead Lal Masjid enjoys a large following. There are the faithful who crowd into the mosque for five-times daily prayers, but also the thousands of young men and women who fill the two madrasas the two brothers have built next door.
Ghazi is the public face of Lal Masjid. Speaking in soft tones and fluent English, he outlines his unbending view of the world. He supports the killing of US soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else and he calls for the imposition of strict Sharia law, a sort of Taliban-like state, in Pakistan. Saudi Arabia, the country that currently comes closest to this vision, "is not complete" he says. "Only Islam can bring peace and harmony. Only Islam can give you justice. Pakistan was established on the basis of an Islamic system, and we should have one."
I point out that most Pakistanis may not agree - the religious parties have never scored over 13% in general elections. But Ghazi does not believe in democracy. "Democracy is about elections. Islam is about selection," he says. "For example a drug addict doesn't know what is good for himself or his family. But he has the same vote as a person who is intellectually strong, who understands what is good. That is where the problem is."
Western diplomats working in the high-security embassy quarter less than a mile away are worried about Lal Masjid. It's partly to do with the reports of AK-47s and other weapons stashed inside - Ghazi insists they are licenced - but mostly the diplomats wonder why President Pervez Musharraf cannot shut down this obvious incubator of radicalism at the heart of his capital.
In truth, the Pakistani government has tried. But so far its best efforts have conspicuously failed. In January the city authorities tried to close Lal Masjid, pointing out that, like many mosques in Islamabad, it had been illegally constructed on public land. Ghazi responded with an iron fist. Hundreds of young women from Jamia Hafsa, his female madrasa, rushed to occupy a public children's library next door. Newspaper readers were alarmed to see a picture of several hundred burka-clad figures sitting in the library. One image showed a small boy amongst them, dressed in military fatigues and brandishing a toy rifle.
The government then tried to end the occupation by surrounding the library with hundreds of police and threatening to storm the building. In response Ghazi dispatched young men armed with sticks onto the street. A few tense weeks later the police backed down.
Today an uneasy truce has been negotiated. The library is controlled by a "students sction committee" while Ghazi negotiates with the government. In the meantime, the library is open. "Other children are free to come. All are welcome," he says. To end the humiliating siege, Ghazi and his brother are demanding the immediate reconstruction of seven previously-destroyed mosques, and the imposition of an Islamic state. "The library is not important. But a mosque is a most sacred place," he says.
I ask to speak to some of the protesting students. Sadly, he says, that would not be possible. Once an over-zealous student told a visiting journalist that he wanted to kill George Bush, which was a little embarrassing, he explained: "They are just young people. They don't mean it."
Prayer time nears and, slurping the last of his tea, Ghazi rises from the floor and excuses himself. I pocket my newly minted Best of Baghdad CD and leave. In the street outside worshippers are filtering into the mosque, watched by ranks of wary-eyed police. A black flag flutters over the library. And on the street outside, clutches of young men with masked faces stan guard, bamboo staves tightly gripped in their hands.,,2038568,00.html
JPTF 2007/03/20

março 15, 2007

“Fui o cérebro do 9/11” , confessa Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Times, 15 de Março de 2007

por Tim Reid

The suspected mastermind of the September 11 terror attacks in New York has confessed publicly for the first time to the atrocity during an unprecedented military trial at Guantanamo Bay. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was moved from a secret CIA prison to the US naval base on Cuba in September, admitted to planning, financing and training the 19 hijackers who carried out the attacks, according to tribunal transcripts released by the Pentagon last night.

“I was responsible for the 9/11 operation, from A to Z,” claimed a statement in his name that was read out by a US military officer representing him at the hearing. The confession was read with Sheikh Mohammed present.He also claimed responsibility for a host of other terrorist attacks and plots, including the financing and training of Richard Reid, the failed British shoebomber, the attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993 and the bombing of a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, in 2002. The statement said that Sheikh Mohammed had plotted a second wave of attacks after the strikes on September 11, 2001, with hijacked airliners. The targets were to have been the Library Tower, Los Angeles, the Sears Tower, Chicago, the Plaza Bank, Washington State, and the Empire State Building, New York.Sheikh Mohammed, who is believed to have been at Osama bin Laden’s side during the September 11 attacks, is the most senior alQaeda figure to have been arrested since 2001. He was captured in Pakistan in March 2003.
JPTF 2007/03/15

março 14, 2007

“Nuclear iraniano passa a figurar nas notas de banco” in Le Figaro, 14 de Março de 2007

por Delphine Minoui

Quand il s'agit de titiller la fibre nationaliste de leur population, les autorités iraniennes ne sont jamais à court d'idées. La banque centrale d'Iran vient de mettre en circulation un nouveau billet de banque frappé d'un symbole nucléaire. De couleur orange, vert et mauve, il présente, en son verso, un atome autour duquel tournent des électrons, le tout sur un fond représentant une carte de l'Iran. Avec cette phrase, rédigée en persan, et attribuée au prophète Mahomet: « Si la science existe dans cette constellation, les hommes de la Perse l'atteindront. »
Dans le domaine monétaire iranien, il s'agit d'une petite révolution. Le nouveau billet de 50 000 rials (l'équivalent de 4,10 euros) représente la plus grande coupure émise par la banque centrale iranienne. De quoi alléger les poches des ménagères qui, jusqu'ici, avaient l'habitude d'aller faire leur marché avec des liasses de 10 000 rials, et plus récemment de 20 000 rials. « Ça fera moins de sous à transporter », se réjouit Afkham Alizadeh, une mère de famille.
Le nouveau symbole de ce billet provoque, en revanche, l'inverse des effets escomptés. « Je me fiche de ce logo nucléaire. Les autorités feraient mieux de se pencher sur des solutions à la crise économique au lieu de chercher à servir leurs propres intérêts », râle Ali Farahani, un chauffeur de taxi. « Avec ce billet, les autorités iraniennes veulent faire croire à tout le monde que la nation iranienne est prête à payer n'importe quel prix pour défendre son droit au nucléaire. Mais ce n'est pas le cas ! », confie, pour sa part, Hossein Zamanipour, un commerçant de 50 ans. « À l'heure du bras de fer entre Téhéran et l'Occident sur son dossier nucléaire, cette initiative relève de la provocation », dit-il.
Une provocation de plus ? Ce nouveau billet fait ironiquement son apparition au moment où la République islamique, soupçonnée de vouloir développer l'arme nucléaire, risque de faire l'objet de nouvelles sanctions. Les États-Unis, la Grande-Bretagne, la France, l'Allemagne sont actuellement en train de se rapprocher d'un accord avec la Russie et la Chine, qui devrait déboucher sur le vote d'une nouvelle résolution de l'ONU d'ici à la fin de la semaine. Elle devrait inclure, selon certains diplomates occidentaux, un embargo sur les exportations d'armes, une interdiction de prêts gouvernementaux à l'Iran et un gel des avoirs de davantage de personnes et d'entreprises liées au programme nucléaire de Téhéran. Washington, qui a déjà lancé d'autres mesures de rétorsion économique parallèles, n'exclut pas, non plus, l'option militaire.
« La confrontation ou la soumission »
Face aux pressions renforcées, le gouvernement de Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continue pourtant à tenir tête. Hier encore, Gholam Hossein Elham, le porte-parole du gouvernement, rappelait que l'Iran avait « complètement exclu » la suspension de l'enrichissement d'uranium. De son côté, Ahmadinejad vient de provoquer un nouvel effet de surprise en annonçant, dimanche, son intention de se rendre à une réunion du Conseil de sécurité de l'ONU en vue de défendre le droit de la République islamique aux technologies nucléaires civiles. Le mois dernier, le président iranien s'était déjà fait remarquer en comparant le programme nucléaire de son pays à « un train sans frein ni marche arrière ».
Inquiète des retombées internationales de tels discours, la population iranienne n'est pas la seule à tirer la sonnette d'alarme. Depuis l'annonce des premières sanctions, en décembre dernier, le président iranien s'est retrouvé sous une pluie de critiques de la classe politique, y compris d'anciens alliés conservateurs. Pour regagner la confiance internationale - et pour éviter une attaque américaine -, les adversaires réformateurs d'Ahmadinejad osent même aujourd'hui suggérer ouvertement la suspension de l'enrichissement de l'uranium.
« La République islamique n'a que deux choix devant elle : la confrontation ou la soumission », observe le journaliste réformateur Ahmad Zeid Abadi. « Il est donc préférable de suspendre l'enrichissement pour reprendre les négociations », dit-il. Des propos qui rejoignent le récent appel à la modération lancé par l'ancien président Mohammad Khatami. « Nous devons payer un certain prix pour obtenir des négociations, ne pas se diriger vers la crise et garantir les droits (de l'Iran) pour l'avenir », déclarait-il, lundi, dans une interview accordée au quotidien économique iranien La Science et le Progrès.
JPTF 2007/03/14

março 08, 2007

Entrevista a Bassam Tibi: “Os europeus deixaram de defender os seus valores” in Spiegel online International

por Cordula Meyer e Caroline Schmidt
Bassam Tibi nasceu em Damasco, na Síria, numa família muçulmana sunita. É professor de Ciência Política e Relações Internacionais e reside na Alemanha desde os 18 anos, sendo cidadão alemão desde 1967.

SPIEGEL: The administrator of one of Berlin's opera houses, the Deutsche Oper, has cancelled the Mozart Opera ‘Idomeneo‘ out of fear of an Islamist reaction. Is this the first sign of Germany bowing down to Islam?
Tibi: It's not the first sign, but rather a repeated one. Recently we have been seeing more and more acts of submission, the most recent case being the Pope's apology. When it comes to Islam, there is no freedom of the press nor freedom of opinion in Germany. Organized groups in Islamic communities want to decide what is said and done here. I myself have been dropped from numerous events because of threats.
SPIEGEL: You are trying to say that critics of Islam are systematically silenced in Germany?
Tibi: Yes. Even the comparatively moderate Turkish organization DITIB says there are no Islamists, only Islam and Muslims - anything else is racism. That means that you can no longer criticize the religion. Accusing somebody of racism is a very effective weapon in Germany. Islamists know this: As soon as you accuse someone of demonizing Islam, then the European side backs down. I have also been accused of such nonsense, even though my family can trace its roots right back to Muhammad and I myself know the Koran by heart.
SPIEGEL: You have said numerous times that the conflict between the Western world and Muslim groups here is an ‘ideological war.‘
Tibi: The result of a conflict between two sides is that people politicize their cultural backgrounds. In Germany representatives of the Islamic communities try to hijack children who are born here, along with the entire Islamic community, to prevent them from being influenced by the society which has taken them in. Children born here are like blank sheets on which you can write European or Islamic texts. Muslim representatives want to raise their children as if they don't even live in Europe.
SPIEGEL: Many Germans believe that communities should live together peacefully without any parallel societies. Is it therefore right to compromise in order to avoid antagonizing Muslims unnecessarily?
Tibi: Quite the opposite. The Islamic officials who live here are very intelligent and view this as weakness. Muslims stand by their religion entirely. It is a sort of religious absolutism. While Europeans have stopped defending the values of their civilization. They confuse tolerance with relativism.
SPIEGEL: When something insults Muslims, we often tend to just back off - doesn't this help defuse the conflict?
Tibi: No. That is simply giving up. And the weaker the partner is viewed by the Muslims, then the greater the anger which they express. And this anger is often carefully staged. The argument over the cartoons for example was completely orchestrated. Nothing was spontaneous. A lot of people don't know if Denmark is a country or a cheese. Where did they get the Danish flags? Protests like these are weapons in this war of ideas. Or take another example: The president of the Iranian parliament was visiting Belgium where he had an appointment with a female Belgian colleague. He refused to shake her hand, so she didn't meet with him. He left Belgium and accused her of racism. The accusation of cultural insensitivity is a weapon. And we have to neutralize it.
SPIEGEL: Can the Islam conference which the German minister of domestic affairs, Wolfgang Schäuble, organized in Berlin last week, help in this regard?
Tibi: No, because the biggest taboo is that there even is a conflict at all. Everyone denies that. Instead people talk about misunderstandings and how these should be resolved. But a conflict of values is not a misunderstanding. Islamic orthodoxy and the German constitution are not compatible. And that is why the Islam conference failed.
SPIEGEL: So what's the answer then?
Tibi: Muslims have to give up three things if they want to become Europeans: They have to bid farewell to the idea of converting others, and renounce the Jihad. The Jihad is not just a way of testing yourself but also means using violence to spread Islam. The third thing they need to give up is the Shariah, which is the Islamic legal system. This is incompatible with the German constitution. There are also two things they need to redefine.
SPIEGEL: Which are?
Tibi: Pluralism and tolerance are pillars of modern society. That has to be accepted. But pluralism doesn't just mean diversity. It means that we share the same rules and values, and are still nevertheless different. Islam doesn't have this idea. And Islam also has no tradition of tolerance. In Islam tolerance means that Christians and Jews are allowed to live under the protection of Muslims but never as citizens with the same rights. What Muslims call tolerance is nothing other than discrimination.
SPIEGEL: How many of the 3 million Muslims living in Germany would agree to these demands?
Tibi: A few thousand perhaps.
SPIEGEL: And what about the organizations at the Islam conference? After all, they all clearly said that they accept the German constitution. They also stated that it is allowed to change religion or to have no religion at all, even though the Shariah punishes a loss of faith with the death sentence. Is this a credible statement?
Tibi: I doubt that these statements are correct. Only representatives of organized Islam went to Schäuble's conference. Schäuble's problem is terrorism. And when the organizations tell him: ‘We are against terrorism,‘ then everything is hunky-dory. But that is not a policy.
SPIEGEL: So who should Schäuble talk to? To you? For many years you have been a proponent of an enlightened form of Euro-Islam - a topic which has been much discussed. But you are pretty much a lone voice.
Tibi: I support reforming Islam and I am not alone in this. Next month I'm meeting 20 other Islamic reformers in Copenhagen. We are trying to reinvigorate the tradition of enlightening Islam. But our mistake is that we are not united.
SPIEGEL: And apart from these scientists and thinkers?
Tibi: It would be much more important to have enlightened Imams. But when the Alfred Herrhausen society wanted to invite a German-speaking Imam with European ideas to a discussion, no one could be found. In the end they took the Grand Mufti of Marseille. And why are there such people in France and not here? Because the French state and French society has worked on developing them.
SPIEGEL: So the German state should reform Islam?
Tibi: Of course not. But the French state helped set up a council of Muslims which was completely in line with European values. If the French state had not been involved, the council would have probably been in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. This is a challenge facing civil society, but the state also has to help. By staying neutral, as is the case here in Germany, you are handing victory over to the Islamists.
SPIEGEL: Schäuble is looking for partners who can help in the teaching of Islam in schools and the training of Imams.
Tibi: That is a good start. The important thing is that the teachers must be trained here and that the state and the society decides on the curriculum.
SPIEGEL: You have often said that the integration of Muslims in Germany has failed. And that integration can only be achieved by ‘educating a civil society.‘ But who should do this and who decides who needs to be educated?
Tibi: I am thinking in particular about the re-education programs which were carried out in Germany after the Third Reich. Social studies teachers and political science faculties were given the task of turning young people into democrats. That worked then. Why shouldn't we have a similar model for Muslims? In youth clubs, or during Islamic instruction in schools. Of course it takes a long time, 50 years say, but we have to start.
SPIEGEL: But how do you expect to draw the third generation away from the influence of the mosques?
Tibi: I don't have any clear idea either about how this should be done. The situation is this: young Muslims want to be ‘members of the club,‘ part of German society. But they are rejected. And parallel societies provide warmth. It is a vicious circle.
SPIEGEL: But what is astounding is that you see yourself also as an example of failed integration. You have been working for 30 years at a German university, you have written 26 books in German and have been awarded the Federal Cross of Merit. Why, out of anyone, are you not integrated?
Tibi: It's more to do with a feeling of belonging. In Germany it is not a contradiction to say, Mr. Tibi is Syrian and has a German passport. In France however it is. And in America it would be a reason to take someone to court, as you are excluding them from American society. Even after 40 years here, I'm still not German. I also believe that I have not progressed higher as a professor here because I am a foreigner. When I retire I will be leaving Germany and going to Cornell university.
SPIEGEL: That sounds quite sad. What should Germany do?
Tibi: We need to see a change in culture among Germans too. We must change this idea that only those who are born here and have ethnically German parents, are seen as German. Almost 20 percent of the people living in Germany today have a foreign background. The problem is that Germany can't really offer foreigners an identity because the Germans hardly have a national identity themselves. That is certainly a result of Auschwitz. America's strength is that it is capable of accepting people into its communities.,1518,440340,00.html (2/Outubro/2006)
JPTF 8/03/2007

março 02, 2007

Livro “Twice a Stranger” de Bruce Clark, Londres, Granta Books, 2006

O livro de Bruce Clark, editor de segurança internacional da revista britânica Economist, retrata um dos episódios mais dramáticos e mal conhecidos das primeiras décadas do século XX. Na sua origem está o fim do Império Otomano e a vitória dos nacionalistas de Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk), na “guerra da independência” da Turquia, contra a ocupação das potências aliadas, e a megali idea da Grécia. Ao nível humano, a nefasta consequência foi que entre 1,2 milhões a 1,4 milhões de “gregos” tiveram de abandonar as suas casas e propriedades na Anatólia (a actual Turquia, em cidades como Constantinopla/Istambul, Esmirna e Trebizonda), deslocando-se para a Grécia, que teve de gerir um incremento populacional de quase 25%. Em contrapartida, cerca de “400.000 turcos” tiveram também de deixar as suas casas e propriedades no território da actual Grécia (sobretudo na Macedónia, mas também em locais como a ilha de Creta) e deslocarem-se para a Turquia (3% da sua população turca na época). Por mais estranho que aos olhos de hoje possa parecer, este acordo para a troca compulsiva de populações (de facto uma deportação recíproca), contou com os bons ofícios do norueguês Fridtjof Nansen, Prémio Nobel da Paz de 1922 e Alto Comissário da Sociedade das Nações (SdN) para os Refugiados na época. Uma leitura importante para compreender a identidade grega e turca modernas e os antagonismos e traumas que assolam os dois Estados.
JPTF 2007/03/02