Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 19 July 2019


  • Boris Johnson Faces More Accusations of Islamophobia
  • Tickets to Saudi Arabia’s Biggest Music Festival Sell Out in Four Hours
  • Pakistan Completes Homework for PM’s US visit
  • Pakistan Ordered to Pay $5.9 million in Damages
  • Turkey reports $14 Billion Budget Deficit
  • China Thanks 37 Countries for Praising Its Uighur Policies

Boris Johnson Faces More Accusations of Islamophobia

Boris Johnson, the overwhelming favorite to take over as Britain’s prime minister next week, is facing renewed accusations of Islamophobia after claiming in a newly-unearthed 2007 text that the religion has left Muslim countries “centuries behind” the Western world. In an updated version of “The Dream of Rome,” a book he wrote on the ancient capital, Johnson argued that “bitterness and confusion” had spread throughout Muslim nations, prompting their involvement in “virtually every” outbreak of global conflict.  In the chapter, brought to light by The Guardian, he added that “there must be something about Islam” that has prevented the Muslim world seeing a period of modernization as Christianity did from the 16th century, and that “there are many shameful things about modern interpretations of Islam.”  Comparing the evolution of Christian societies in Europe with Islamic countries in the Arab World, he added: “There must be something about Islam that indeed helps to explain why there was no rise of the bourgeoisie, no liberal capitalism and therefore no spread of democracy in the Muslim world … Something caused them to be literally centuries behind.” Last year, he was condemned for likening Muslim women wearing veils to “letter boxes” and “bank robbers.”  He has also called people from the British Commonwealth “flag-waving piccaninnies,” referred to the “watermelon smiles” of people from the Congo, and suggested that former US President Barack Obama held an “ancestral dislike of the British Empire” because he was “part-Kenyan.” [Source CNN]

Johnson’s Islamophobia is no secret and he is likely to lead a party that is also Islamophobic. This development is troublesome for Muslims of the UK and is likely to precipitate a huge backlash against them in the not too distant future.


Tickets to Saudi Arabia’s Biggest Music Festival Sell Out in Four Hours

Tickets to Saudi Arabia’s biggest music festival, Jeddah World Fest, sold out four hours after going on sale, the festival tweeted on last Tuesday. A video posted on Jeddah Season’s Twitter page showed crowds rushing into one of Virgin Megastore’s branches in the city when they went on sale. The music festival, featuring a selection of top international performers, is set to take place at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium. UK singer Liam Payne and American DJ Steve Aoki are among the event’s headliners who will take the largest stage ever produced in the Middle East, according to the festival’s website. The performances will mark the end of the “Jeddah Season: Sea & Culture” entertainment festival. The six-week event, taking place from June 8 to July 18, offers visitors an array of activities, performances, events, and culinary experiences with the aim of boosting the city’s tourism.  [Source: Al Arabiya]

Under Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has gone from the bastion of Wahhabism to liberalism in a matter of months. Where are the Ulema of Wahhabism? Why don’t they stand up to stop the spread of filthy western culture in the heart of Islam.


Pakistan Completes Homework for PM’s US visit

Pakistan has completed the homework ahead of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s much-awaited visit to the United States where he will meet President Donald Trump on July 22. Senior officials at the foreign ministry told The Nation that Pakistan had prepared a good case to present to the US during Imran Khan’s visit. “We have given good support (to the US) for the Afghan peace process, the ties with India have improved and trust level with the US is also much better than the past,” he counted. Another official said the US had already acknowledged Pakistan’s role in Afghan peace process. “We are on the same page with the US about the regional peace. We have tried to improve relations with India and Afghanistan. Relationship with Iran is also good,” he added. Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who left for the US yesterday, said Pakistan was mindful of the US priorities. The minister said Pakistan and the US must realise common objectives of peace and security in the region and bring prosperity to the people of South Asia. He said it was natural for Islamabad and Washington to work for broader engagement from Afghanistan to bilateral economic cooperation and trade cooperation to peace and stability in South Asia. [Source: The Nation]

Any solid homework undertaken would make the following demands of America: Return $100b lost due to America’s war on terror; complete withdrawal of US forces and personnel from both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and end to all hostilities against both countries. These are minimalistic demands that the secular nationalistic Prime Minister of Pakistan should demand, but he won’t. Instead he will beg for more money…


Pakistan Ordered to Pay $5.9 million in Damages

The Inter­national Centre for Settle­ment of Investment Disp­utes (ICSID), one of the five organisations of the World Bank Group, has announced a huge award of $5.976 billion against Pakistan in the Reko Diq case. The World Bank dispute settlement body has ruled that Pakistan must pay Tethyan Copper Company over mining rights in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. The TCC completed an extensive feasibility study establishing the basis for mine development at Reko Diq during 2010. Progress on the project came to a standstill in November 2011, when the government of Balochistan rejected the application by the TCC’s local operating subsidiary for a mining lease in respect of Reko Diq. The TCC was of the view that under the Chagai Hills Joint Venture Agreement (CHEJWA) between the company and the Balochistan government, as well as under the Balochistan Mineral Rules 2002, the TCC Pakistan was legally entitled to the mining lease subject only to ‘routine’ government requirements. The TCC said it had invested more than $220 million by the time Pakistan’s government, in 2011, unexpectedly refused to grant them the mining lease needed to keep operating.


Turkey reports $14 Billion Budget Deficit

Turkey’s government has reported a $14 billion budget deficit between January and June as expenditures increased by 20% to $86 billion year over year. Turkey’s external debt currently stands at 61% of its gross domestic product, marking its highest since 2002. Although the country has been printing money to maintain consumer consumption, the continuing depreciation of its currency is making it increasingly difficult to address its foreign debt. The chickens have not come home to roost for Erdogan. For long, many touted Erdogonomics as a unique form of economic devleopment but this has all now been exposed as it was all built upon debt. With the bubble now burst it would seem Erdogan’s reign also doesn’t have long.


China Thanks 37 Countries for Praising Its Uighur Policies

More than 30 countries have signed a letter defending China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region in response to criticism. Ambassadors of 37 states praised China’s “contribution to the international human rights cause” in the letter sent to the UN’s Human Rights Council. The states, included Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Syria, Tajikistan, Egypt, Algeria, Nigeria, and Togo who stated China had faced terrorism, separatism and religious extremism in Xinjiang. The letter was in response to the action taken by 22 mainly European countries. They had urged China to halt the arbitrary detention of Xinjiang’s ethnic Uighurs estimated to be around one million people into forced re-education.