Analysis, Europe, Middle East, Side Feature, South Asia

News Headlines 23/08/2019

  • Britain’s Ukip Might Not Get Votes – But its Anti-Islamic Voices have a Platform
  • Saudi and UAE Allies Are Fighting Each Other, Now Yemen Is Questioning the Whole Coalition
  • Pakistan Divided Over Raising Kashmir Issue at ICJ

Britain’s Ukip Might Not Get Votes – But its Anti-Islamic Voices have a Platform

It seems tempting to ignore the election of Richard Braine, the new leader of the UK Independence Party. After all, its former leader Nigel Farage moved on to found the Brexit Party and much of Ukip’s support seems to have migrated there with him. But it would be a mistake to disregard Ukip. Its strongest impact was never in the parliamentary seats it failed to get, either in the House of Commons or the European Parliament. Rather, it made its mark by moving the conversation dangerously further to the right than was previously acceptable. Take, for example, the first controversy to emerge involving Mr Braine. Footage of a hustings for the leadership race showed him complaining some British towns and cities were effectively no-go areas for non-Muslims and calling for it to be a crime to hand out copies of the Quran under laws connected to violence. For a party that is arguably on the far-right of British politics, Ukip enjoys an outsized presence in terms of press coverage. The boisterous antics of the likes of Mr Farage boosted his popularity and was handsomely rewarded by a disproportionate amount of airtime on television, a radio show on a mainstream network and a platform with various media outlets. But as oxygen has been given to such right-wing views in so much of the mainstream media, such voices and their radical views have become normalised. The anti-Islam animus has been present within Ukip since its early days – but it now seems to have overtaken nearly all other considerations within the party today. Anti-Muslim sentiment is a problem that infests many parts of the political spectrum already, including within the ranks of the Conservative party, to the point where even the term Islamophobia is challenged. Ukip is currently polling badly in the UK. But with anti-Muslim bigotry across Europe on the rise, history reminds us that insignificance at the ballot box doesn’t mean irrelevance elsewhere. [Source: the National]

There are several parties like UKIP scattered all across Europe feeding off anti-Islamic bigotry and working towards creating a new Europe similar to the 1930s. In this Europe, Muslims and immigrants are not welcomed, just like the Jews in the 1930s.

Saudi and UAE Allies Are Fighting Each Other, Now Yemen Is Questioning the Whole Coalition

The exiled government of Yemen has begun to question the entire coalition led by Saudi Arabia and supported by the United Arab Emirates as local partners of the two foreign states engaged in a series of clashes that threatened to further divide the Arab World’s poorest, most devastated nation. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have supported the administration of exiled Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi as part of a coalition against a rebellion led by a Zaidi Shiite Muslim group, known as Ansar Allah or the Houthis, since 2015. However, southern separatists backed by Abu Dhabi have turned on the Riyadh-backed presidential guard, seizing Hadi’s abandoned palace in the southern port city of Aden after a week of bloody clashes. On Thursday, the Southern Transitional Council held a massive rally and vowed to take charge of the south in anticipation for total independence. In a series of tweets Friday, Yemeni Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani criticized the move as “not only a coup against the legitimate government, but also a threat to the social fabric and a strike against the national project.” “Any permission of or identification with the coup of the Transitional Council in Aden in this circumstance brings down the legitimacy of confronting the Houthi coup in Sanaa, and brings down the justifications for the intervention of the legitimate coalition facing the Houthi militia coup against the elected Yemeni government,” he added. Though the Saudi-backed forces of Hadi and UAE-backed southern separatists have clashed before, their feud escalated dramatically after a rocket strike claimed by the Houthis earlier this month killed members of the pro-south fighters. The Southern Transitional Council ultimately held the pro-government Islamist group Islah for the attack, claiming it was intended to undermine separatist control of Aden, and fire was exchanged between the rival sides at a funeral for the slain fighters. The Houthis have meanwhile pointed to the inter-coalition conflict as further reason to consider Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s intervention illegitimate. On Thursday, rebel Supreme Political Council member Mohammed Ali al-Houthi tweeted that the group was “monitoring the events in Aden” as the Southern Transitional Council held its massive rally there. The U.S. has expressed concern over the situation in Aden, but has faced domestic struggles in backing the coalition. Amid accusations that Saudi Arabia and the UAE were responsible for war crimes there, Congress moved to block President Donald Trump’s ability to offer military assistance to their war effort there, but the U.S. leader vetoed the historic vote, expressing unwavering support for the monarchies he viewed as leading allies in efforts to isolate Iran in the region. [Source: NewsWeek]

The Saudi-UAE alliance in Yemen was temporary from the outset. This is because both countries are subservient to great powers US and Britain. Each one wants to resolve Yemen to safeguard its own interests, and the Saudis and Emiratis are mere proxies in the quest for American or British dominance in Yemen.

Pakistan Divided Over Raising Kashmir Issue at ICJ

After Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan decided to raise the Kashmir issue at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the law ministry is yet to frame its views on the move. On Tuesday, foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had said Pakistan had decided to move the ICJ on Kashmir issue and the law ministry would share the details soon. On Wednesday, the ministry said no decision had been taken. ‘The Express Tribune’, a Pakistan English daily, has reported that opinion over the issue was divided. A senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader told the newspaper that senior party leaders were in touch with Ben Emerson, a London-based lawyer, who advised Pakistan to approach the ICJ on Kashmir issue. Even the international law experts in Pakistan have expressed astonishment over the government’s decision. The opinion is said to be divided due to the jurisdictional issue. According to international law expert Taimur Malik, the matter can be referred to the ICJ but its opinion is only advisory in nature and not binding to the parties concerned. But it could help Pakistan make the Kashmir issue ‘international’, he added. Malik also said it would be difficult to put India in the dock due to various provisions of the international law as India reserves the right on bilateral issues at the ICJ. [Source: The Khaleej Times]

Khan’s Kashmir strategy is at sea. The Prime Minister and his supporters who champion a no war stance are clueless in terms of applying the necessary pressure on India to revoke the annexation of Kashmir. The only strategy on the table is war to liberate occupied Kashmir from the clutches of the Hindu Zealots, but somehow Khan does not want to tread this path despite public support.