Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 14 April 2018


  • West Hypocritically Strikes Syria after Chemical Weapons Allegations
  • As expected Trump now talks about rejoining the TPP
  • Islam Shouldn’t Culturally Shape Germany
  • How Islam Shaped the Enlightenment
  • Pakistan could face US Aid Cuts over Human Trafficking

West Hypocritically Strikes Syria after Chemical Weapons Allegations

America, Britain and France have conducted airstrikes on three locations within Syria following allegations of the use of chemical weapons by the regime of Bashar al-Assad in its ongoing operation against the civilian population of Ghouta. According to the Washington Post:

The United States and European allies launched airstrikes on Friday night against Syrian research, storage and military targets as President Trump sought to punish President Bashar al-Assad for a suspected chemical attack near Damascus last weekend that killed more than 40 people.

Britain and France joined the United States in the strikes in a coordinated operation that was intended to show Western resolve in the face of what the leaders of the three nations called persistent violations of international law. Mr. Trump characterized it as the beginning of a sustained effort to force Mr. Assad to stop using banned weapons, but only ordered a limited, one-night operation that hit three targets.

“These are not the actions of a man,” Mr. Trump said of last weekend’s attack in a televised address from the White House Diplomatic Room. “They are crimes of a monster instead.”

Shortly after the attack, the Syrian presidency posted on Twitter, “Honorable souls cannot be humiliated.”

The false outrage of US President Donald Trump is designed to conceal the fact that it is America that controls all aspects of the war in Syria, and it is America that has involved other countries, including Russia, Iran and Turkey, to support the evil regime of Bashar al-Assad. Even now, America has contented itself with airstrikes from afar and fears to place significant force of its own within Syria, after the humiliations that the America military faced in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is in addition to the fact that the strikes were effectively symbolic, intended to incur the least possible damage to Assad’s forces. As the New York Times noted:

In sending missiles and bombs at Syria, President Trump hit more targets and used more firepower than he did in a similar military strike last year. But in the end, he opted for what was still a restrained operation that was evidently calculated to avoid provoking Syria’s patrons in Russia and Iran into retaliating.”

Also, according to Reuters, Russia was able to provide the Syrian regime with advanced warning of the attacks:

The Syrian government and its allies have absorbed a U.S.-led attack on Saturday and the targeted sites were evacuated days ago thanks to a warning from Russia, a senior official in a regional alliance that backs Damascus said.

Syria air defences strike back after air strikes by U.S., British and French forces in Damascus, Syria in this still image obtained from video dated early April 14, 2018. SYRIA TV via Reuters TV.

“We have absorbed the strike”, the official told Reuters.

“We had an early warning of the strike from the Russians … and all military bases were evacuated a few days ago,” the official said. Around 30 missiles were fired in the attack, and a third of them were shot down, the official said.

“We are carrying out an assessment of the material damages,” the official added.

Furthermore, it is Western civilization that has been responsible for the development of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons. It was the West that was the first to use such weapons, and continued their use, even supplying them to Saddam Hussain for use in his war against Iran.

The Khilafah State dominated the world for a millennium, and its great cities were renowned for learning and science, but the formidable scientists of the Muslim world did not think to develop weapons to target civilian populations because the armies of jihad would always scrupulously focus themselves on military targets alone and even those were dealt with as mercifully as possible. Furthermore, Islam succeeded in creating a global public opinion against war crimes; the massacres of the Mongols and the Crusaders were reviled and abhorred, leading even those peoples to turn away from such practices, at least as long as Islam remained dominant.

With Allah’s permission the righteous Khilafah (Caliphate) State upon the method of the Prophethood will soon be reestablished, which will battle the evil of the world, soothe conflicts, and restore peace and justice throughout the Earth.

As expected Trump now talks about rejoining the TPP

America had to pull out of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal last year after intense domestic popular opposition forced both presidential candidates in 2016 to declare themselves against it. But the reality is that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were equally keen to participate in a trade deal that was designed to greatly benefit American political and economic interests. Now, a year later, US President Donald Trump is talking about getting back in. According to the Wall Street Journal:

President Donald Trump is talking again about getting the U.S. into a Pacific Rim trade agreement. But any serious effort to do so would be fraught with difficulty, not least because Mr. Trump is demanding a “substantially better” deal than what Washington got two years ago.

After the U.S. dropped out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership last year, the remaining 11 nations struck their own TPP deal, and sealed it at a March ceremony in Chile. Each country is now moving ahead with ratification. Mr. Trump’s suggestion Thursday that the U.S. might want to join after all left many nations concerned that the process could get disrupted.

“We’ve got a deal. It’s a good deal. Eleven countries have signed up and we’re firm on the deal,” said Australian Trade Minister Steve Ciobo. “I can’t see all that being thrown open now to appease the United States, but we would welcome the U.S. coming back to the table.”

Japan’s top government spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, compared the TPP deal to a piece of “delicate glasswork” and added: “To take out one part and renegotiate would be extremely difficult.”

U.S. participation in the TPP is still an attractive prospect for many of its members because it would lead to lower tariffs in the huge American market for products like Malaysian palm oil and Vietnamese apparel. Some members, particularly Japan, like the idea of cementing the U.S. economic presence in the region as a bulwark against China.

The truth is that Japan and Australia continued the TPP deal under American instruction and fully intended to include America at a later point. America is the global imperialist hegemon and other countries are forced to carry out America’s will even when it contradicts their own interests. But when will the world perceive America’s weakness, and when will the world realise that the great powers conspire only for their own interests and not for the benefit of humanity.


Islam Shouldn’t Culturally Shape Germany

A leading German politician has dug his heels in to the debate over Islam in Germany. In an interview, Alexander Dobrindt said he wasn’t discriminating against Muslims, but that Islam “has no cultural roots in Germany.” Alexander Dobrindt, the leader of the Christian Social Union’s (CSU) parliamentary party, defended against criticism on Wednesday that his conservative Bavarian party was seeking to marginalize Muslims while doubling down on the stance that “Islam is not part of Germany.” The comments by a high-ranking politician from the sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) threaten to reignite a debate that the German government has been hoping to let peter out for weeks. Dobrindt’s comments come as Merkel attempts to smooth over rifts in her coalition government between the Social Democrats (SPD), her CDU and the CSU. The CSU and the SPD in particular have been butting heads over refugee policy, with the Bavarian conservatives attempting to take a more hardline approach.  In March, CSU party head and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer sparked controversy when he said in an interview that Islam was not part of Germany. The phrase was a central pillar in the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party platform in last year’s general election. Shortly after Seehofer’s comments, Merkel told parliament that Islam was part of Germany. The CSU has upped its conservative rhetoric in recent weeks as part of an effort to win back voters from the AfD ahead of state elections on October 14, having conceded a large number of votes to the far-right party in last September’s national election. [Source: Deutsche Welle].

Western politicians are papering over the failure of liberal democracy and blaming Islam instead. The real issue is that much of Western enlightenment drew its inspiration from the study of Islam. However, Western scholars have worked hard to conceal this truth.

How Islam Shaped the Enlightenment

In 1698, the noted Arabic scholar and Catholic evangelical crusader, Ludovico Marracci published the first historically accurate Latin translation of the Qur’an, as well as a refutation of the Muslim holy book—both of which he hoped could be used to help “fight Islam.” Since the Reformations of the sixteenth century, religious conflicts had been settled not only by the sword, but with the potent weapon of philology, the linguistic science that produced accurate versions and translations of holy and ancient texts. Philology had such force that new translations and interpretations of the Bible had helped split the Church. Marracci hoped that his accurate work would have the same effect in training crusading priests to dispute the word of Muhammad. As it happened, Marracci’s translation did not have the effect he intended, as Alexander Bevilacqua shows in his tour de force study of the origins of modern Islamic scholarship in the West and its central role in the Enlightenment, The Republic of Arabic Letters, Islam and the European Enlightenment. Bible critics and burgeoning Islamic scholars from Paris and Leiden to Oxford used his accurate translation of the Qur’an not to fight Islam, but to study and appreciate it. His work became the basis of even more translations and historical works, ultimately leading to the founding of great schools and centers of Islamic languages and culture in Europe the eighteenth century. Central to Bevilacqua’s story are two friends who began the feat of explaining Islam to Europe in the seventeenth century: Antoine Galland, the Orientalist scholar, book hunter, archeologist and translator of One Thousand and One Nights and the court scholar, Barthélemy d’Herbelot. Fluent in Arabic, Persian, and Turkish, d’Herbelot included full translated poems and even entertaining and grand mythological tales. He listed all histories, sciences, arts, literary traditions, mythology, magic, and poetry of the Orient, as well as the stories of great military captains. Basing his own work on works such as the sixteenth-century literary scholar Ibn Khatib al-Qāsim’s anthology of Islamic literature, and on the work of the seventeenth-century Ottoman scholar Kātib Çelebi, d’Herbelot attempted to make Islamic scholarship accessible to Europeans. Rather than an attack on Islam—as Marracci had attempted—d’Herbelot’s book was a remarkable tightrope walk between fulfilling the desires of his repressive patrons and creating the most serious European encyclopedia extant of the Islamic world. [Source: The New Republic]

Any sincere Western scholar that studies Islam and its influence on the Western world would soon realise that early European scholars took much of their thinking from Islam. Indeed, Europe was apt at the intellectual theft of Islamic ideas, just as today China steals its ideas from America.

Pakistan could face US Aid Cuts Over Human Trafficking

The Trump administration is warning Pakistan it could lose US civilian aid worth tens of millions of dollars this year if Washington finds that the South Asian nation has not done enough to combat human trafficking, US officials said. An aid cutback would deal a fresh blow to US-Pakistan relations following President Donald Trump’s suspension in January of some $2 billion in US security assistance over what Trump said was Islamabad’s failure to crack down on Afghan insurgent sanctuaries used for attacks into Afghanistan. A large portion of US civilian aid – $265 million in 2017, according to a source at the US Embassy in Islamabad – could be withheld if the State Department puts Pakistan on a list of worst global offenders in human trafficking in an annual report due out in June. The funding is relatively modest for the size of Pakistan’s economy. But Islamabad could suffer a heavier jolt if Washington also decides to oppose new assistance from international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. These are all sanctions that the United States, under federal law, can impose on any country receiving the lowest grade on human trafficking unless Trump issues a full or partial waiver. He did so for most countries on last year’s blacklist, following a pattern set by recent predecessors who were especially lenient on US allies and partners.  By making good on its threat against Pakistan, the Trump administration would raise questions about whether it was using the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report to pressure Islamabad to do more on counter-terrorism.[Source: Reuters]

Despite American threats to cut various forms of aid to Pakistan, the leadership of the country continues to beseech Washington. When will the civil and military leadership of Pakistan realise that severing ties with the US will place the country on the path to recovery?