Africa, Europe, News Watch, Side Feature, South Asia
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Views on the News 17/02/2021

Headlines:

  • ·Taliban Controls over half of Afghanistan
  • ·Algerians Take to the Streets, Again
  • ·France Targets Muslims, Despite a Plethora of Problems

Taliban Controls over half of Afghanistan

A survey by an Afghan news agency outlined that the Taliban controls at least 52 percent of the country’s territory. The survey conducted by Pajhwok Afghan News shows that the Afghan government controls 46 percent of the territory.  The survey was conducted between November 30 to February 3.  During the survey, 1,266 people were interviewed through questionnaires and telephonic conversations. The US invaison and post war strategy has been struggling from the very beginning as the US was marred in an insurgency and struggle to defeat the Taliban. The US sponsored regime in Kabul would fall apart if US troops really left and explains why the US cannot really leave and is desperate for negotiations with the Taliban who have for long held the upper hand.

Algerians Take to the Streets, Again

Algerians have taken to the streets in their thousands demanding political change on the second anniversary of the mass uprising that forced long term, dictator Abdelaziz Bouteflika to step down. Footage shared to social media, shows protesters chanting “The secret service controls Algeria” and “Long live free Algeria.” Algeria’s military ensured their position was not threatened and set up a succession plan to appease the people to years ago. Bouteflika was succeeded by Abdelmadjid Tebboune in December 2019 after delayed elections in a vote that many dismissed as a charade. President Tebboune publicly praised the uprising, but has made only limited reforms since taking office. Mass protests continued after his accession, but they were stopped a year ago amid public health concerns as the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the globe. Many rulers in the Muslim world were experiencing uprisings and used the COVID-19 lockdowns to halt them, but as the underlying problems remain and have not been dealt with its inevitable the people will take to the streets.

France Targets Muslims, Despite a Plethora of Problems

French MPs have approved a controversial bill the government says will strengthen the country’s secular principles, but critics argue could harm civil rights, especially those of the 5.7-million-strong Muslim community. The vote on Tuesday on the so-called “anti-separatism” bill, brought forward by President Emmanuel Macron, paves the way for it to be passed into law within months. “It’s an extremely strong secular offensive,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told RTL radio ahead of the vote. “It’s a tough text … but necessary for the republic.” Among the more than 70 separate articles, the law expands the ability of the state to close places of worship and religious schools, as well as to ban preachers it considers “extremist.” During the COVID pandemic, economic crisis and a lack of confidence in France generally the French government and parliamentarians are focussed on targeting Muslims rather then solving France’s series problems.

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