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11 July 2017

Rise and fall of Nations - Law of Quran:


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Everything that happens in this world is controlled by the well-known Laws of Nature. The same is true of the rise and fall of a nation. The Quran in one of its chapters gives substance to this law thus: 

God does not change the condition of a people’s lot, unless they change what is in their hearts. (13:11)

 By the world “people” the Quran means the nation or society, and by the word “heart” or “inner self” the Quran refers to individuals. Here the Quran refers to that law of nature which determines the fate of peoples or nations. This law applies without exception to all nations. According to this law, the destiny of a nation depends upon the individuals of which it is composed. Every individual is an important unit of his nation. If the individuals are good in character, the whole nation will be good, but if the individuals are bad in character, then the whole nation will become bad. This law tells us how to reform a nation or a society after deterioration has set in. This law gives us the starting point. Whenever it has become apparent that a nation has fallen in evil ways, we have to start our reform from its individual members; that is the only possible way to begin. You can successfully address an individual mind, but you cannot similarly address a crowd. This means that in such a situation we have to change individuals through education, both formally and informally. We have to change their minds and hearts, we have to change their way of thinking, we have to de-condition their conditioned minds. How to rebuild a society which has gone into decline? The answer is: Begin from the beginning. Begin with individual reform.
(Molana Wahidudin Khan)

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لِكُلِّ شَيْىءٍ إذَا مَا تَمّ نُقْصَانُ      فَلَا يَغُرّ بِطِيْبِ الْعَيْشِ إنْسَانُ

(Everything when comes to its maturity, perishes; therefore, human beings should not be deceived by the (available) comforts and amenities of their life). Nafh al-Tib by al-Maqqari, Vol: 6, P. 232.

There is no exception in Allah’s Way ( سُنَّة اللّه ) that the unjust, tyrant and morally bankrupt nations perish and Allah places other nations in their position. Allah has very clearly warned us about His Way:

"وَإِن تَتَوَلَّوْا يَسْتَبْدِلْ قَوْمًا غَيْرَكُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَكُونُوا أَمْثَالَكُم"  
 اگر تم منہ موڑو گے تو اللہ تمہاری جگہ کسی اور قوم کو لے آئے گا اور وہ تم جیسے نہ ہوں گے (47:38 قرآن )                         

 (If you turn back (from the Path of Allah), He will substitute in your stead another people; then they would not be like you!) Surah: 47, Verse: 38.

The Holy Qur’an has repeatedly warned the mankind and particularly the world nations who do not adhere to the morality and higher values that such systems and strategies which are based on coercion, looting and exploitation, will not persist long and will change. The Divine Design is very well elaborated by Allah; as He (Allah) says:

"...وَأَمَّا مَا يَنفَعُ ٱلنَّاسَ فَيَمْكُثُ فِى ٱلْأَرْض "
جو لوگوں کو نفع دینے والی چیز ہے وه زمین میں ٹھہری رہتی ہے،(13:17 قرآن )

(…while that which is for the good of mankind remains on the earth). Surah: 13, Verse: 17.

Allah further reminds the nations in the Qur’an:

إِن يَمْسَسْكُمْ قَرْحٌ فَقَدْ مَسَّ ٱلْقَوْمَ قَرْحٌ مِّثْلُهُۥ ۚ وَتِلْكَ ٱلْأَيَّامُ نُدَاوِلُهَا بَيْنَ ٱلنَّاسِ وَلِيَعْلَمَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَيَتَّخِذَ مِنكُمْ شُهَدَآءَوَٱللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ ٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ (3:140 قرآن)

 ا ِس وقت اگر تمھیں چوٹ لگی ہے تو اس سے پہلے ایسی ہی چوٹ تمہارے مخالف فریق کو بھی لگ چکی ہے یہ تو زمانہ کے نشیب و فراز ہیں جنہیں ہم لوگوں کے درمیان گردش دیتے رہتے ہیں تم پر یہ وقت ا س لیے لایا گیا کہ اللہ دیکھنا چاہتا تھا کہ تم میں سچے مومن کون ہیں، اور ان لوگوں کو چھانٹ لینا چاہتا تھا جو واقعی (راستی کے) گواہ ہوں کیونکہ ظالم لوگ اللہ کو پسند نہیں ہیں 
(3:140 قرآن)

(If a wound afflicts you, a similar wound has afflicted the others.   Such days (of varying fortunes) We (Allah) alternate between the people, that Allah may know those who believe, and that He may take to Himself from your ranks witnesses (to truth). Allah does not love the evildoers). Surah: 3, Verse: 140.

In the same way the declining nations cannot rise until they change what is within themselves, as Allah says:

"إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا۟ مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ" (13:11 قرآن)
حقیقت یہ ہے کہ اللہ کسی قوم کے حال کو نہیں بدلتا جب تک وہ خود اپنے اوصاف کو نہیں بدل دیتی (13:11 قرآن)

(Allah does not change the condition of people until they change what is within themselves). Surah 13: Verse 11.

Dear readers! According to the Qur’an the Rise and Fall of nations and civilizations is coupled with moral sanctity and adherence to the higher values on both levels, internally and externally, for which the Qur’an invites the people to ponder. Therefore, the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, reminds us:

"إنّ اللّهَ يَرْفَعُ بِهذَا الكِتابِ أقْواماً وَ يَضَعُ بِهِ آخَرِيْنَ"
اللہ قوم کو اس کتاب (قرآن پر عمل کرنے سے ) سے بلند کرے گا اور اس سے ہی پستی میں ڈالے گا (جب وہ قرآن کو چھوڑ دیں گے ) [صحیح مسلم حدیث # 817]

(Allah will give Rise with this book (al-Qur’an al-Karim) some nations; and He (Allah) will cause Fall of some nations with this book (when they will abandon its dictates and teachings). Sahih Muslim: Hadith # 817.

There is good news for those who act in accordance with the dictates of the Qur’an and a warning for those who do not pay any heed to the eternal teachings. Allah says:

"وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۙ وَلَا يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا خَسَارًا" 
(17:82قرآن

 ہم اِس قرآن کے سلسلہ تنزیل میں وہ کچھ نازل کر رہے ہیں جو ماننے والوں کے لیے تو شفا اور رحمت ہے، مگر ظالموں کے لیے خسارے کے سوا اور کسی چیز میں اضافہ نہیں کرتا
 (17:82قرآن

(We (Allah) send down (stage by stage) in the Qur´an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe: to the unjust it causes nothing but loss after loss). Surah: 17, Verse: 82.

It is surprising that many a people, despite the fact that they have the capacity to understand, they do not come to the Divine Guidance. It is exclaimed:

"أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا (47:24)  

 کیا ان لوگوں نے قرآن پر غور نہیں کیا، یا دلوں پر اُن کے قفل چڑھے ہوئے ہیں؟
 (47:24)                                            ”


(Will they not ponder the Qur’an? Or, are there locks upon their hearts?) Surah: 47, Verse: 24.
Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/56-holy-quran-rise-fall-nations-series-inviting-chaudhary

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خدا جو کچھ کرتا ہے ، اس کا تعلق انسانوں کے اختیار سے نہیں ، بلکہ اس کی وسیع تر حکمت سے ہوتا ہے جس کے تحت اسے کائنات کا نظم چلانا ہے۔تاریخ میں خدا کی مداخلت سے انسانی اختیار پر پہرے نہیں بیٹھتے۔

اس ضمن میں اصولی بات یہ ہے کہ فرد کی تقدیر کا فیصلہ اس کا ذاتی عمل اور قوم کی تقدیر کا فیصلہ قوم کا اجتماعی عمل کرتا ہے۔خدا کا کام فیصلہ سنانا اور سزاوجزا دینا ہے۔یہ فیصلہ فردکے لیے آخرت میں اور قوم کے لیے دنیا میں سنایاجاتا ہے۔
http://www.javedahmadghamidi.com/books/view/quran-aur-urooj-o-zawal-ka-qanoon
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Read More:
  1. http://www.cpsglobal.org/content/rise-and-fall-nationshttp://tolueislam.org/2303/
  2. http://kitabosunnat.com/kutub-library/quran-ka-qanoon-arooj-o-zawal
  3. http://lib.bazmeurdu.net/قرآن-کا-قانون-عروج-و-زوال-۔۔۔-ابو-الکلا
  4. http://urdu.chauthiduniya.com/2012/08/falsifa-e-tarikh
  5. https://daleel.pk/2017/05/11/42755

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09 July 2017

India-USA-Pakistan, Afghanistan and Peace? (Modi’s American embrace)

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THE widely circulated picture of Indian Prime Minister Modi clinging to a visibly uncomfortable Donald Trump’s breast illustrates the nature of the emerging relationship between India and the US.

Modi’s eagerness to serve as America’s ‘natural partner’ to contain a rising China is based on the expectation that this will provide India multiple advantages: latest military equipment and technology; expanded US investment; unconditional US support against Pakistan, a free hand in Kashmir and vigorous endorsement of India’s great power ambitions in South Asia, the Indian Ocean and beyond.

The Indo-US alliance has grave security implications for Pakistan. It will exacerbate the military imbalance and make India even more intransigent on Kashmir and belligerent towards Pakistan. Indeed, to deflect attention from its failed oppression of the popular Kashmiri revolt, Modi may feel sufficiently emboldened to actually attempt a cross-LoC ‘surgical strike’ against Pakistan, provoking a war which is unlikely to remain limited.

However, the alliance with America will involve challenges and costs for India which Modi appears to have discounted.

The US and India are unequal powers. As the practitioner of the Art of the Deal, Trump will not be shy to exercise the leverage which the US will progressively acquire over India, eg, to open India’s restrictive trade regime or curtail its traditional ties with Russia and Iran. To sustain the ‘partnership’, India will have to learn to bend, often, to America’s will, compromising the ‘independence’ of its foreign policy.


The alliance with America will involve challenges and costs for India.

As Pakistan discovered, defence ties with the US can be a mixed blessing. The arms and technology tap can be turned on and off by Washington to secure desired behaviour from its allies and partners. When Lockheed’s F-16 production is relocated to India, will the US, as it did with Pakistan, implant software to neutralise the aircraft’s operational capabilities in a crisis? New Delhi will never be sure that any equipment it acquires from the US, or Israel, will not be ‘compromised’ if India attempts to use this for purposes other than those endorsed by the US.

While the US will wish to use India to strategically harass China, it may be more reluctant to support all India’s aims against Pakistan and other smaller neighbours. As a ‘global’ power, the US will want to retain direct influence over Pakistan and other South Asian states rather than delegate this to India.

Undeterred by such considerations, Modi seems to have embarked already on his assigned mission to contain China. India is the only major country to reject China’s Belt and Road initiative. It provoked China by inviting the Dalai Lama to disputed Arunachal Pradesh/south Tibet. And, it has blocked Chinese road construction on Chinese territory along the Bhutan-China border. Beijing has demanded the withdrawal of Indian troops “as soon as possible” and reminded India of the lessons of history, ie India’s 1962 defeat.

In his book, Implosion: India’s Tryst with Reality, John Eliot argues that India is not well placed to confront China. Although India’s GDP is growing annually at seven per cent and China at 6.5pc, the gap is widening since the Chinese economy is more than four times the size of India’s.

Given that India has been unable to bully Pakistan, it is hardly in a position to confront China simultaneously. Even the smaller South Asian states are entering into economic and defence relationships with China. The Bangladesh government, although deeply beholden to India, is buying Chinese submarines and will exploit its major Bay of Bengal gas field with a Chinese rather than an Indian partner.

China’s Global Times asked: “With GDP several times higher than that of India, military capabilities that can reach the Indian Ocean and having good relations with India’s peripheral nations, coupled with the fact that India’s turbulent northern states border China, will Beijing lose to New Delhi?”

India’s vulnerabilities are extensive. Kashmir remains India’s Achilles heel (where, so far, China has urged Pakistan to exercise restraint). India is fighting 17 ‘active’ insurgencies in 119 districts (according to former prime minister Manmohan Singh), including the Naxalite, Naga and Mizo rebellions, the latter two in areas adjacent to China. With millions of Muslims and ‘lower’ caste Hindus alienated by BJP-RSS inspired discrimination and violence, India is also fertile ground for civil chaos.

Despite the grave implications of the Indo-US alliance, Pakistan should exercise strategic patience. India is on the wrong side of history. It is building alliances with distant powers, the US and Israel, both of which are disliked by the people if not all Muslim regimes. Pakistan has the opportunity of building strong ties not only with China but also Russia, Iran, and others across Eurasia who will be part of the Belt and Road initiative, which is likely to have a more profound impact on regional peace and prosperity than the US military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc.

Faced with India’s growing militarisation, Pakistan’s primary objective is to ensure ‘full spectrum deterrence’ against India. The successful test of the short-range Nasr missile is an important step. Islamabad desperately needs a clear, active, national Kashmir strategy to support and sustain the indigenous Kashmiri freedom movement. There is no longer any downside to raising the Kashmir dispute formally in the UN Security Council and other international forums, including the International Court of Justice.

Despite its imbalanced posture, there is no point in a confrontation with the US. In the immediate future, Pakistan may need to reach tactical ‘accommodations’ with the US on Afghanistan in exchange for its active support to end Indian-inspired terrorism in Pakistan.

Over time, the ‘correlation of forces’ in the region will change. India’s friendship with Russia and Iran will erode. (Ayatollah Khamanei mentioned Kashmir twice of late). India may blunder into a conflict with China. Its alliance with the US may erode if India proves reluctant to actually confront China, loosen its links to Iran and Russia or to open its market to US trade and investment.

Meanwhile, Pakistan should continue to ask Washington: would not US interests in Asia be better served by cooperation rather than confrontation with China? Do you really want to step into the Thucydides Trap?

Modi’s American embrace, The writer is a former Pakistan ambassador to the UN: By Munir Akram, www.dawn.com
Original: http://www.dawn.com/news/1344174/modis-american-embrace?preview
More:
http://www.firstpost.com/tag/india-us-relations
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بلاگز، ویب سائٹس،سوشل میڈیا، میگزین، ویڈیوز,کتب
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06 July 2017

The Middle East - Brief

Oil. That is what the modern Middle Eastern geopolitics have usually been about. Given the vast energy resources that form the backbone of western economies, influence and involvement in the Middle East has been of paramount importance for the former and current imperial and super powers, including France, Britain, USA and the former Soviet Union.

Map of the Middle East
Source: World Atlas

Prior to the discovery of oil, the region had been a hotbed for religious conflict and wars over other rich resources and land. The declining Ottoman Empire paved way for the rising European imperial and colonial powers interested in securing various territories and controlling access to Asia. In more recent times, interest in the region has been due to the energy resources there.
As a result, for centuries, western populations have been acclimatized to a type of propaganda and vilification of the Arab and other people of the Middle East, and of Islam in general. This was especially so during the European colonial times, as so vividly examined by Edward Said, in his well-respected book, Orientalism. This negative stereotyping has served to provide justifications for involvement and to ensure stability for the national interests of the powers that want to be involved in the region.
This cultural stereotyping and racism has occurred in the modern times too. Often, especially in the 1980s, war films depicting an Arab or Islamic group as the bad guys were common place, sometimes reflecting prevailing turmoils at the time. Even in the 1990s, those ideas continued, where the bad guy was often a despotic Arab from one of the rogue states and as a result of the terrorist attacks against the US in September 11, 2001 and the resulting War on terror, such imagery is likely to continue. Over such a long time then, such boundaries of discourse about the Middle East have already been framed. To overstep those boundaries is to be labeled anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi, anti-West or some other equally negative label. For most journalists in the mainstream then, self-censorship is often the course, sometimes unknowingly.
To maintain superiority, control and influence over the region, the West has placed corrupt Arab leaders into positions of power and supported the overthrow of those that are not seen as favorable. This has also served to keep their populations at bay, in return for militarization, power and personal wealth of the elite. Sometimes this has been done in the name of fighting communism. The common theme underlying it though has been the struggle to control access to important resources such as oil.
The Middle East is the most militarized region in the world and most arms sales head there. A suppressed people that sees US influence as a major root cause of the current problems in the Middle East has led to a rise in Islamic militancy, acts of terrorism and anti-west sentiment, anti-US in particular. When looking at some of the actions of the US, it can often be seen why this is unfortunately so.
19 articles on “Middle East” and 2 related issues:

Middle East: A 1300 Year Struggle for Control of Resources

Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2001.
With kind permission from J.W. Smith and the Institute for Economic Democracy, part of chapter 14 from the book, The World’s Wasted Wealth II, (Institute for Economic Democracy, 1994) has been reproduced here. It looks back at the last 1300 years of struggle over control of resources in the Middle East to give some context to various events in recent history.

Middle East and North Africa Unrest

Last updated Thursday, May 12, 2011.
A wave of protests has erupted throughout the Middle East and North Africa. A combination of the global financial crisis, rising costs of living, high unemployment — especially of educated youth, frustration from decades of living under authoritarian and corrupt regimes, various document leaks revealing more details about how governments around the world are dealing and viewing each other, have all combined in different ways in various countries, leading to a wave of rising anger.
Some protests have become revolutions as governments such as those in Tunisia and Egypt have been overthrown. Others have not got that far but have sometimes been peaceful, other times met with very brutal repression.
Is this a wave of democracy that cannot be stopped, and will forever change the region, and the global power politics?
Read “Middle East and North Africa Unrest” to learn more.

Control of Resources; Supporting Dictators, Rise of Terrorism

Last updated Monday, December 30, 2002.
After the Second World War, with former Imperial Europe weakened, countries around the world had a chance to break for their freedom away from colonial rule. This struggle for freedom and the Cold War had a geopolitical impact on the Middle East. Control of resources and access to oil became paramount, to the extent that dictators and human rights abusers were supported. Within this backdrop, we see another complex reason for the rise of terrorism and extremism.

Energy Security

Last updated Sunday, May 15, 2011.
Energy security is a growing concern for rich and emerging nations alike. The past drive for fossil fuel energy has led to wars, overthrow of democratically elected leaders, and puppet governments and dictatorships.
Leading nations admit we are addicted to oil, but investment into alternatives has been lacking, or little in comparison to fossil fuel investments.
As the global financial crisis takes hold and awareness of climate change increases, more nations and companies are trying to invest in alternatives. But will the geopolitics remain the same?
Read “Energy Security” to learn more.

Crisis in Libya

Posted Monday, April 04, 2011.
The crisis in Libya comes in the context of wider unrest throughout the Middle East and North Africa. The surge of what looks like spontaneous and ground up pro-democracy protests has been spreading throughout a region long controlled by authoritarian regimes from left and right of the political spectrum, and both pro and anti-West.
Peaceful protests against the long-running oppressive Qadhafi regime in February resulted in a violent crackdown. As the situation quickly escalated ordinary citizens took up arms to help free themselves from Qadhafi’s brutal regime. Despite some military defections, the opposition has generally been a disorganized and out-gunned rebel force.
As Qadhafi’s forces increasingly targeted civilians the opposition appealed to the international community for a no-fly zone to limit or prevent the bloodbath that Qadhafi threatened.
The West appears to have responded with what looks like a genuine humanitarian intervention attempt. Yet, when looked at a bit more deeply, there are many murky — often contradictory — issues coming to the fore that complicate the picture.
These mixed messages make the future for Libya uncertain. Civil war is how some commentators have already started to describe the conflict, which would imply a long drawn out conflict, not a quick fix that the West hoped for.
Read “Crisis in Libya” to learn more.

Syria Unrest

Posted Tuesday, June 05, 2012.
Following the trend throughout the Middle East, the so-called Arab Spring appears to have spread to Syria. The government crackdown on anti-government demonstrators in Homs and other provincial cities began over a year ago and is thought to have claimed thousands of lives. Attempts at brokering ceasefires have predictably failed.
This page provides coverage of recent events via Inter Press Service’s news feed.
Read “Syria Unrest” to learn more.

Iran

Last updated Tuesday, December 06, 2011.
Iran has had a turbulent history in just its recent past. From a democracy in the 1950s, Iran seems to have moved backwards, from an authoritarian regime (backed by Britain and the US) that overthrew the democratic one, to a religious fundamentalist regime toppling the authoritarian one and taking an anti-US stance.
The US ended its support for Iran and instead supported Iraq in a brutal war through the 1980s against Iran where over 1 million people died. More recently, Iran was described as being part of an “axis of evil” by US President George Bush, as part of his “war on terror.”
The US has also accused Iran of pursuing the development of nuclear weapons, while Iran says it is only pursuing peaceful development. Internally, movements towards moderate policies and democratic values are gaining traction, but not with hardliners in power trying to hold on. This section looks into these and related issues.
Read “Iran” to learn more.

Iraq Crisis

Last updated Wednesday, August 01, 2007.
In 2003, the US and UK invaded Iraq under false pretenses (that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction ready for deployment within minutes and posed a great threat to the world, etc.), without the backing of the international community and even with large domestic opposition to war in both those countries.
Since the bombing campaign ended and Saddam Hussein was overthrown, the expected quick democracy, peace, and gratitude to the US quickly became a nightmare and disaster as major religious and ethnic factions started fighting each other and the US/UK occupation forces. The civilian death toll has been immense, with 2006 seeing almost 100 deaths a day.
This section looks into issues during the sanctions following the first Gulf War when the US forced Saddam Hussein to get out of Kuwait, which he invaded, as well as the propaganda build-up to the 2003 invasion and issues since.
Read “Iraq Crisis” to learn more.

Iraq—2003 onwards; War, Aftermath and Post-Saddam

Last updated Sunday, December 12, 2010.
Regardless of international opinion and their failure to secure a second UN resolution authorizing war, the U.S. and U.K. decided to invade Iraq anyway. The Iraqi regime was hardly able to resist and the war ended quickly. However, numerous issues turned up, including,
  • Media reporting of the war once again proving controversial as did the intelligence used by US/UK governments;
  • That even though democratic transition has been attempted, it has not worked out;
  • That religious and ethnic factions have turned on the occupation forces, and on each other as the power vacuum was not fully filled by the coalition-backed new democratic government. Into 2006, for example, some 100 people per day have been dying from suicide bombings, roadside attacks, and other aspects of sectarian violence, and what looks increasingly like civil war;
  • The geopolitical aftermath of the attacks, which will have a long lasting effect, especially as Iran and Syria start to gain more influence.
The collection of articles in this section looks at these issues.

US/UK Buildup for War on Iraq

Last updated Sunday, February 05, 2006.
The build-up to the war on Iraq up to 2003 led to immense media coverage and propaganda. This section looks at the way the US/UK tried to make the case for war based on controversial, often misleading or incorrect messages that the mainstream media often failed to cover adequately, even amidst the immense opposition to the war.
Read “US/UK Buildup for War on Iraq” to learn more.

Iraq—Post 1991 Persian Gulf War/Sanctions

Last updated Sunday, October 02, 2005.
This section provides a series of articles looking at issues during the period of UN-sanctions that were mostly enforced by the US and UK. Issues during this period included the immense civilian death toll due to sanctions. Other issues looked at include various bombing campaigns by coalition forces during the sanctions, and the impact on the environment.

Palestine and Israel

Last updated Sunday, February 01, 2009.
Read “Palestine and Israel” to learn more.

Palestine and Israel Introduction

Last updated Wednesday, December 20, 2000.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or Arab-Israeli conflict, or whatever name it goes by, is perhaps one of the more sensitive issues that is discussed. The introduction section talks about the western involvement in the Middle East in general, that forms a backdrop to the situation between Palestine and Israel.
Read “Palestine and Israel Introduction” to learn more.

The Middle East conflict—a brief background

Last updated Sunday, July 30, 2006.
The history of the Middle East region in the past 100 or so years has been violent. Due to the importance of the region primarily due to the natural resources, geopolitical interests have seen immense power-play at work affecting local populations. This section gives a brief time line of the events that have affected the Jewish and Palestinian people from the creation of the modern state of Israel to the conflicts of today. Maps are also provided.

The Gaza Crisis

Posted Sunday, February 01, 2009.
The Israeli offensive on Hamas in the Gaza Strip on 27th December, 2008 ended on January 17, 2009 when both Hamas and Israel announced separate ceasefires, which have turned out to be quite fragile. The 3 week offensive claimed some 1,300 Palestinian lives, 400 of which were children. Another 5,000 were injured including some 1,800 children and 800 women. 13 Israelis were also killed. How did this crisis come about and what were some of the issues raised?
Read “The Gaza Crisis” to learn more.

Crisis in Lebanon, 2006

Last updated Tuesday, August 15, 2006.
According to most mainstream media outlets, the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier by Hezbollah in mid 2006 sparked off the crisis in Lebanon. While Hezbollah has been firing many, many rockets at civilian targets in northern Israel, Israel has retaliated with air strikes at Beirut and elsewhere, bombing civilian infrastructure. The UN has described both sides as committing war crimes. Thousands have become refugees in Lebanon and Israel, as innocent civilians attempt to flee bombardment. Bush and Blair’s stance give the appearance of a green light to Israel to continue its wave of attacks in order to route out Hezbollah, but they too have received criticism from around the world for this. But there were a number of incidents before the kidnapping that contributed to this latest crisis.
Read “Crisis in Lebanon, 2006” to learn more.

Oslo Dead? Violence and Palestinian Uprising in 2000

Last updated Thursday, January 16, 2003.
The end of September and October, 2000, has seen a series of violent events unfold that probably unofficially mark the end of the Oslo accords. The 1993 Oslo Accord, whereby Israel recognized the PLO and gave them limited autonomy in return for peace and an end to Palestinian claims on Israeli territory, has been largely criticized as a one-sided accord, that benefits only Israel, not the Palestinian people.
A former Israeli military general, Ariel Sharon, (accompanied by 1000 soldiers) visited a holy Muslim site, called the Temple Mount by the Israelis, and Haram al Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) by the Muslims and proclaimed it as eternal Israeli territory. Sharon had been accused of massacres in his military days and is well known to all. He is very right wing and against the peace process. This infuriated Palestinians, and led to a series of protests and violence.
Around the world, countries have condemned Israel's excessive violence. Human Rights groups have likewise criticized the Israeli forces.
This article looks at the rising violence, and also introduces other articles looking at media reporting, how Palestinian, Israeli, US, and UN leadership reacted, and at the quality of the media reporting.

Palestine/Israel Links to more information

Last updated Monday, November 12, 2001.
This part provides links to many other web sites and resources for more in-depth information. Sources include web site and commentators that are critical of the mainstream, of the US, Israeli and Palestinian leaderships. Many include Jewish commentators, that provide an interesting perspective on the issues as they strongly object to the actions of the Israeli leaders. Palestinian perspectives are also provided.

The “Threat” of Islam

Last updated Tuesday, November 11, 2003.
Often when Islam is mentioned negative impressions of fundamentalists, intolerance and terrorism is conjured up; Islamist movements and organizations are automatically linked with terrorism and is blamed for the lack of progress in the Middle East peace process. Islam is stereotyped as a threat to democracy without distinguishing it from terrorism or corrupt leaders who use the ideals of Islam to their own ends.
Read “The “Threat” of Islam” to learn more.

The Strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan

Last updated Thursday, July 15, 1999.
When US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam were bombed, the US retaliated by bombing two sites suspected of being involved in the appalling bombing which cost the lives of many innocent people. Eight months after the bombing, the US quietly admitted it made a mistake.

More Information on the Middle East

Last updated Saturday, September 27, 2003.
Read “More Information on the Middle East” to learn more.
Original : Anup Shah, Middle East, Global Issues, Updated: December 06, 2011

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