Political Concepts

Views on the News – 17 July 2009

US State to outlaw hijab at the workplace

According to the Oregon Workplace Religious Freedom Act the wearing of head scarf by Muslim women is to be outlawed. The Act states: “No teacher in any public school shall wear any religious dress while engaged in the performance of duties as a teacher.” The bill also says education officials and schools would not be breaking the law if they “prohibit a teacher from wearing religious dress while engaged in the performance of duties as a teacher.” Oregon legislation directly contradicts a statement made by US President Barack Obama during a speech in Egypt in June. “Freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one’s religion.” The bill has been passed by the Oregon state legislature and according to asiaone News the governor “has said he will sign it.”

UK is the most violent place in Europe

Analysis of figures from the European Commission showed a 77 per cent increase in murders, robberies, assaults and sexual offences in the UK since the Labour government came to power in 1997. The total number of violent offences recorded compared to population is higher than any other country in Europe, as well as America, Canada, Australia and South Africa. The UK had a greater number of murders in 2007 than any other EU country – 927 – and at a relative rate higher than most western European neighbours, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain. It also recorded the fifth highest robbery rate in the EU, and the highest absolute number of burglaries, with double the number of offences recorded in Germany and France. Overall, 5.4 million crimes were recorded in the UK in 2007 – more than 10 a minute – second only to Sweden. There are over 2,000 crimes recorded per 100,000 population in the UK , making it the most violent place in Europe. Austria is second, with a rate of 1,677 per 100,000 people, followed by Sweden, Belgium, Finland and Holland. By comparison, America has an estimated rate of 466 violent crimes per 100,000 population.

Russian president reaches out to Muslims

This week Medvedev visited the central masjid in Moscow and tried to reach out to Muslims. He praised Islam and said, “Russian Muslims have enough respect and influence. Muslim foundations are making an important contribution to promoting peace in society, providing spiritual and moral education for many people, as well as fighting extremism and xenophobia. There are 182 ethnic groups living in Russia , and 57 of them claim Islam as their main religion. This figure speaks for itself.” However, the stark reality is that Russia is the foremost enemy of Islam and Muslims everywhere. At home Russia has brutally suppressed Muslims in Chechnya and Dagestan. Abroad, Russia offered its air space to America to bomb Muslims in Afghanistan and more recently described the massacre of Muslims in Xinjiang as China ‘s internal matter.

Pakistan again concedes to India

India will not start peace talks with Pakistan until the Mumbai attacks suspects are brought to justice, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said. A joint statement said the two countries would co-operate to fight terrorism – and this should not be linked to wider peace talks. Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Mr Singh met in Egypt , on the sidelines of a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. The two leaders also agreed to “share real-time, credible and actionable information on any future terrorist threat”. The prime ministers’ joint statement said action on terrorism “should not be linked to the composite dialogue process” – which includes talks on the disputed territory of Kashmir . This is the umpteenth time that Pakistan has made concessions to India without gaining anything in return. Pakistan has given up its demands over Kashmir, allowed India to establish bases in Afghanistan , permitted Indian culture to ravage Islamic values at home, and now will spy on its citizens and share the information garnered with the Indian government.

Gates: US needs more troops in Afghanistan

The Pentagon’s chief -Robert Gates-said Thursday he could send more U.S. troops to Afghanistan this year than he’d initially expected and is considering increasing the number of soldiers in the Army. Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ comments came during a short visit to Fort Drum in upstate New York – an Army post that that he said has deployed more soldiers to battle zones over the last 20 years than any other unit. Two Fort Drum brigades are headed to Iraq in coming months, and a third is currently in Afghanistan . Asked about Afghanistan by one soldier, Gates said, “I think there will not be a significant increase in troop levels in Afghanistan beyond the 68,000, at least probably through the end of the year. Maybe some increase, but not a lot.”

Gates’s comments clearly indicate that America is loosing the war against the Taliban and is quickly running out of options. Another batch of American soldiers will be too insufficient. America ‘s own counter insurgency experts warn that America needs 600,000 troops to put down the Pushtun resistance.

25 Rajab 1430