Swiss President: Muslims have right to pray but not to the adhan
Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz on Tuesday told voters that the call of the Muslims’ prayer leader would not sound in Switzerland, as he campaigned against a referendum motion seeking to ban the building of minarets. “Muslims should be able to practice their religion and have access to minarets in Switzerland too. But the call of the prayer leader will not sound here,” Merz said in a video broadcast to Switzerland. The Swiss are due to vote on November 29 on the motion launched by right wing groups to ban the construction of minarets, which is backed by the country’s biggest political party, the hard right Swiss People’s Party.
Endemic corruption in Iraq and Afghanistan: Fruits of American occupation
Afghanistan and Iraq, countries that receive billions of dollars a year in international support, are among the world’s most corrupt nations, a watchdog group said in a report released Tuesday. Afghanistan, which slipped to 179th place from 176th, has been dogged by corruption for years. Under heavy pressure from the U.S. government, Afghan President Hamid Karzai unveiled an anti-corruption unit and major crime fighting force on Monday following his fraud-tainted re-election. Somalia remained the world’s most corrupt country, followed by Afghanistan, Sudan and Iraq, Transparency International said in its annual Corruption Perceptions Index. “The results demonstrate that countries which are perceived as the most corrupt are also those plagued by long-standing conflicts, which have torn their governance infrastructure,” the report said.
However, the report conveniently forgot to mention that the root cause corruptions is either American occupation of these countries or America’s unwavering support for the despots who rule with an iron fist.
Uzbekistan intensifies its oppression of Muslim women
Unabashed, Uzbek authorities have continued their arrest of Muslim women. Since the beginning of November, some 30 women have been arrested in the southern Uzbek city of Karshi, RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service reports. Apart from arrests Uzbekistan recently banned women from wearing the hijab in schools and universities in the country’s south, where Islamic activity is on the rise. Authorities also forbade women from wearing the head scarf during the country’s Independence Day celebrations in early September, claiming that female terrorists could use the loose-fitting head scarf to conceal a bomb.
US instructs Pakistan to expand its war against Islam
The US has stepped up pressure on Pakistan to expand its fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, warning that the success of the new Afghanistan strategy depends on it, The New York Times reported on Monday. Obama sent a letter to President Asif Ali Zardari saying he expects the Pakistani leader to rally political and national security institutions in a united campaign against extremists – reported the Times, citing a US official who was briefed on the letter’s contents. In his letter to Zardari, Obama offered a range of new incentives to the Pakistanis for their cooperation, including enhanced intelligence sharing and military cooperation, said the Times. The report said the letter was delivered by US National Security Adviser James Jones, who held meetings with Pakistani leaders in Islamabad on Friday. Jones also warned Pakistani officials that Washington’s new Afghanistan strategy would work only if Pakistan broadens its fight beyond the Taliban attacking cities to “groups using havens in Pakistan for plotting attacks against US troops in Afghanistan”, said the Times, citing American officials briefed on the confidential talks. In Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit confirmed Jones had delivered a letter, but declined to give details. “It was a diplomatic communication,” said Basit, who also declined to comment on the reported US call for Pakistan to do more.
America is clearly admitting that its success in the region is linked to Pakistan’s military might. Yet rather than recognizing this fact as a source of strength, Pakistan’s leadership continues to weaken the country to new lows by siding with America’s war against Islam.
America presses for resolution of Kashmir
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, the leader of the moderate Hurriyat Conference, said there had been a flurry of activity between New Delhi, Washington and Islamabad to kick-start a new dialogue. Mirwaiz was speaking after it emerged the Indian government has been holding secret talks with senior Kashmiri separatist leaders in New Delhi to promote a new peace process. According to Western diplomats, the Obama administration believes a settlement on Kashmir, or even a credible, inclusive peace process would allow Pakistan to focus its energies on fighting Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in its tribal areas close to the Afghan border. “India has to come out of Mumbai attacks and start a dialogue with Pakistan The international community is concerned about the prevailing situation in Pakistan. [It] is in a situation where it [does] not need to be pushed against a wall. Pakistan wants U.S intervention in solving Kashmir issue to help the U.S in Afghanistan,” said Mirwaiz.