- Saudi MBS Defends China’s Anti-Muslim Policy
- India Launches Attacks on Pakistan
- Arab Spring comes to Algeria
Saudi MBS Defends China’s Anti-Muslim Policy
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman defended China’s “right” to forcibly detain Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps 22nd Feb Chinese state media quoted MBS saying: “China has the right to carry out anti-terrorism and de-extremisation work for its national security.” China’s President Xi Jinping told MBS that the two countries should strengthen global cooperation on de-radicalisation to “prevent the infiltration and spread of extremist thinking”. The United Nations (UN) have estimated that at least one million Uyghur Muslims have been forcibly detained in detention centres, which Amnesty International has compared to “wartime concentration camps”. Former inmates have stated that they were physically and mentally tortured into denouncing Islam and swearing allegiance to the Chinese Communist Party. But Muslim leaders are yet to criticise China, which has in recent years become an important trading partner with many Muslim majority countries. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the first to condemn Beijing, accusing China of “genocide” and its treatment of Uyghur Muslims as “a great cause of shame for humanity”. However, Turkey has since established closer economic and diplomatic ties with Beijing.
India Launches Attacks on Pakistan
After two weeks of threats and counter threats the Indian military this week conducted air strikes in Pakistan. The Indian government said strikes targeted a training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM). Tuesday’s air strikes are the first launched across the line of control – the de facto border that divides India-administered Kashmir from Pakistan-administered Kashmir – since a war between the two countries in 1971. Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay told a news conference that the strikes had killed a “large number” of militants, including commanders. Pakistan’s army spokesman Major General Asif said the strikes caused no casualties. He tweeted that Pakistani jets were scrambled and forced the Indian planes to make a “hasty withdrawal,” dropping their payload in an open area. The Pakistani government and army find themselves in a spot of bother, after deriding Pakistan would not be walked over after the Pulwama attacks, public opinion requires a response and their hand is being questioned as they need to now put their money where then mouth is.
Arab Spring comes to Algeria
Tens of thousands of students joined a growing protest movement across Algeria after ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced plans to run for a fifth term. Rallies in and around the capital and other cities have been ongoing for the past five days, with Tuesday’s protests led by university students. Students were demanding that Bouteflika, 81, drop his intention to seek re-election in the 18 April presidential vote. The student protesters, who chanted “peaceful, peaceful” and “no to a fifth term”, were also asking for government steps to provide jobs, a Reuters news article said. Roughly a quarter of Algerians under 30 are unemployed, according to World Bank data. Dozens of people have been detained for “public disorder” and other acts of alleged violence. Two days later, hundreds of protesters rallied in Algiers, but they were met by a heavy police deployment and tear gas. On Monday, around 100 lawyers demonstrated in court against a fifth term for Bouteflika. Sudan and now Algeria, it would seem the Arab Spring still alive and kicking.