Views on the News – 29 Dec 2018


  • Pentagon trying to save American plan for Syria after Trump Withdrawal Decision
  • Bangladesh Elections Exposes Real Face of ‘Democracy’
  • Germany resisting US Attempts to create New European Balance of Power with Russia
  • Orban: Europe and Islam Don’t Mix
  • UAE Comes to Pakistan’s Rescue with $3b Bailout Package
  • Forget Xinjiang’s Re-education Camps, China’s Still a Draw for Muslim Tourists

Pentagon trying to save American plan for Syria after Trump Withdrawal Decision

According to Reuters:

U.S. commanders planning for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria are recommending that Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State be allowed to keep U.S.-supplied weapons, four U.S. officials said, a move that would likely anger NATO ally Turkey.

Three of the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the recommendations were part of discussions on a draft plan by the U.S. military. It is unclear what the Pentagon will ultimately recommend to the White House.

Discussions are still at an early stage inside the Pentagon and no decision has yet been made, the officials said. The plan will then be presented to the White House in the coming days with U.S. President Donald Trump making the final decision.

America has been following a very specific plan for Syria since the time of the Obama administration. Fearful of taking the lead, militarily, after the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan, America has fought the Syrian war largely with the support of other countries, some fighting on the side of the revolution and some on the side of the government, principally Russia, Iran, Turkey and Saudi, each of which was assigned a particular area of operation within Syria. But the American military presence has been central to micromanaging the entire effort, ensuring that no force exceeds the area designated to it, for example limiting Turkey to the west of Manbij in northwest Syria while the Kurds take the northeast. Maintaining separate areas for such forces was not only essential to coordinating multiple forces in such a small region but is also part of the post-war solution that America wishes to impose. America wants to reorganise Syria as it has reorganised Iraq, a decentralised state built on sectarian and ethnic lines.

America planned well, but it failed to plan effectively for the unpredictability of President Donald Trump, who spontaneously decided to withdraw US troops from Syria in the middle of a phone call with Turkish President Erdogan, as the above article goes on to explain:

A phone call between Trump and Erdogan led to the decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria.

In the call two weeks ago, Trump had been expected to deliver a standard warning to the Turkish president over his plan to launch a crossborder attack targeting U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, U.S. officials said.

Instead, in the course of the conversation, Trump reshaped U.S. policy in the Middle East, abandoning a quarter of Syrian territory and handing Turkey the job of finishing off Islamic State in Syria.

Consequently, the American establishment in general and the Pentagon in particular are scrambling to find alternate ways to continue with the American plan for Syria without the military presence to ensure its proper execution.

Allah (swt) says in the Noble Quran: وَيَمْكُرُونَ وَيَمْكُرُ اللَّـهُ ۖ وَاللَّـهُ خَيْرُ الْمَاكِرِينَ “But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.” [Al-Anfal: 30]


Bangladesh Elections Exposes Real Face of ‘Democracy’

According to the Guardian:

Bangladeshis will vote on Sunday on whether to grant a record third consecutive term to a prime minister who has overseen one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but whose government is accused of rampant human rights abuses.

Sheikh Hasina, 71, is favoured to remain PM after a bloody election campaign that opposition activists have described as the most stifled in the 47 years since her father became the country’s first leader.

Scores of opposition figures including Hasina’s major rival, Khaled Zia, have been jailed or disappeared in the months leading to the election. International election monitors and press freedom groups have complained of unnecessary delays in issuing visas.

 “Police harassment of opposition activists has reached unprecedented levels,” Kamal Hossain, a human rights lawyer who is serving as the candidate of the joint opposition, told the Guardian.

Hossain, 82, said around 70 candidates from an alliance of opposition parties were too afraid to campaign in their constituencies after a spate of attacks on rallies and party offices by armed thugs.

Many Muslim countries implement democracy or strive to implement democracy, considering it to be morally superior to authoritarian models of government, such as monarchy or dictatorship. But the ugly reality of democracy is that it is designed to perpetuate the existing ruling class, and sometimes even the existing political regime, as is happening right now in Bangladesh.

The fantasy of democracy has never been implemented anywhere in the world at the level of a country, nor arguably even at the level of a city as even in ancient Athens only a minority of the population were entitled to citizenship. The ruling system of the West is in actual fact ‘representative democracy’, a contradiction in terms, in which the masses are allowed to choose, once every few years, between different factions of the ruling elite. And because the system is fully controlled by this elite, including the legislation on which it is based, it is impossible to displace them from within the system, i.e. using ‘democratic’ means. Stable modern ‘democracies’ function relatively smoothly because of common interest and mutual compromise between members of the elite. The turmoil in Bangladesh is because of a fracture in the ruling elite, with one element refusing to compromise with the other. Historically, the Awami League followed a pro-Indian agenda, while the BNP followed a pro-American agenda. But with the shift of India to the American camp, the Awami League has been able to present itself as both pro-Indian and pro-American, thus isolating the BNP internationally.

Islam has provided a very different form of ruling, in which the Khalifah is directly accountable to the state citizenry based on a fixed shar’a that cannot be manipulated at will by an elite. The internal machinations of the Bangladeshi ruling elite are only making more obvious the true reality of their evil system of rule to the sincere Muslims of Bangladesh. With Allah’s permission, the Ummah shall return to establish the Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) State on the method of the Prophet ﷺ that will rid Muslims of treacherous ruling factions following the agenda of the disbelieving foreigners.


Germany resisting US attempts to create new European Balance of Power with Russia

According to Reuters:

Germany would strongly oppose any move to station new medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe if a key Cold War-era arms control treaty is scrapped, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told DPA.

“Under no circumstances should Europe become a stage for a rearmament debate,” the German news agency quoted him as saying in an interview published on Wednesday.

 “Stationing of new medium-range missiles would be met with broad resistance in Germany,” he said.

The United States has threatened to pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which bans Moscow and Washington from stationing short- and intermediate-range, land-based missiles in Europe.

Russia has said it was planning for a U.S. deployment of new nuclear missiles in Europe following Washington’s planned withdrawal from the treaty.

Germany’s Maas said: “Nuclear rearmament is most certainly the wrong answer.”

Ever since Christian Europe compromised on the Peace of Westphalia, the West has seen a continuous ongoing struggle between the Western powers, at times resulting in not only war but world war. A key factor in the perpetuation of this struggle has been the concept of balance of power, elevated to the level of a strategic doctrine. The United States is but the latest practitioner of such a doctrine, seeking to balance the German-French axis with Russia, drawing Russia into Eastern Europe while also bolstering West European countries in opposition to Russian advances. The threatened abandonment of the INF treaty will only acerbate these tensions.

Balance of power is a useful tactic that was historically applied by the Khilafah State also in particular situations. But the adoption of this style as a permanent method, as key Western powers have done, has resulted in a highly unstable world dominated by multiple regional and global arms races and the senseless pursuit of weapons of mass destruction capable of annihilating entire nations.

The people of the West need to accept that the roots of present world disorder lie in their own civilizational norms. Despite the flaws of Christianity, the West’s adoption of secular materialist thinking has been a huge backward leap. With Allah’s permission, the world shall soon witness the return of a civilisation based on a spiritual creed with values that far transcend narrow materialistic greed.


Orban: Europe and Islam Don’t Mix

With EU parliamentary elections fast approaching, Victor Orban is staking out that a Christian pitch could win over a European electorate. The last time there were European Union (EU) parliamentary elections, Brexit had not happened, Merkel had not opened the gates to more than a million refugees and Trump wasn’t around.  Populist right-wing forces were strong but seemed manageable. Fast forward five and years the political scene in Europe could not be more different. With EU-wide parliamentary elections fast approaching in 2019, the battle lines are being drawn, and a new coalition is emerging, and its one that wants to shape Europe in its image. Victor Orban, the Hungarian Prime Minister, is part a crop of EU leaders, alongside his Italian counterpart Matteo Salvini and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz amongst others who are seeking to reshape the EU along a more rightwing agenda. In an interview with the Austrian news portal Victor Orban set his stall for what he sees as political overreach by Brussels; saving the “Christian identity of Europe” and halting migrants from coming to European shores. “When we joined the EU, we felt we were still free. Since then, the EU has taken a different approach. I think that’s the wrong direction” said Victor Orban. In particular, Orban lashed out at what he sees as the evolution of the European Commission, the central administrative decision-making body of the EU into a “political commission”. “It is not the job of the European Commission to lead the EU” Orban added arguing that sovereignty should remain with the member states who are ultimately responsible for running the EU. In 2017 Hungary took no refugees and a little over 3,000 asylum applications were filed. When Victor Orban speaks of the need to tap into and protect the Christian character of Europe he is speaking to a large constituency that resonates further afield than just his country. A recent poll by Pew found that Christian identity remains a “meaningful marker of identity” in Europe even amongst Christians who did not attend church, a fact that politicians ignore at their peril. Far from being a “nominal” aspect of who they are Christianity remains an important reference point. [Source: TRT World]

The European civilization poses a danger for Europeans and the entire population of the world. Europe needs Islam to save humankind from the evils of capitalism and democracy.


UAE Comes to Pakistan’s Rescue with $3b Bailout Package

The UAE announced a Dh11 billion ($3 billion) bailout package for Pakistan that will help ease Islamabad’s balance-of-payment crisis. This could place the country in a better position to negotiate a $15 billion standby-agreement with the IMF early next year. In a statement, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) said it would deposit Dh11 billion in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan hailed the UAE’s decision. “I want to thank the UAE government for supporting Pakistan so generously in our testing times,” Khan posted on Twitter shortly after the announcement. “This reflects our commitment and friendship that has remained steadfast over the years,” he added. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also thanked the UAE leadership and lauded His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who is expected to visit Pakistan in January 2019 to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries. “We thank His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed for his generous financial support of $3 billion. This is a manifestation of the close fraternal ties between Pakistan and the UAE which have always stood the test of time,” Mahmood tweeted. The ADFD has financed eight development projects in Pakistan with a total value of Dh1.5 billion, including Dh931 million in grants. The funds covered projects in sectors such as energy, health, education and roads. Economists said timely financial assistance from the UAE and Saudi Arabia will stablise Pakistan’s economy in general and the rupee in particular besides easing pressure on Finance Minister Asad Umer, who is negotiating its 13th IMF bailout since 1980s. In late October, Saudi Arabia announced that it would offer $3 billion to Pakistan in addition to another $3 billion to buying oil on deferred payments. It has already transferred $2 billion into the SBP account and the remaining $1 billion is likely to be deposited next month. Imran Khan also secured a package during his first official visit to China early November, but financial details have not disclosed. Muzzammil Aslam, former CEO of EFG-Hermes Pakistan, said the timely financial help of the UAE will help resolve economic problems of Pakistan in general and the balance-of-payments crisis in particular. “The $3 billion deposit commitment from the UAE has hedged Pakistan balance of payment crisis,” Aslam told Khaleej Times from Karachi. [Source: Khaleej Times]

It is very unlikely that both UAE and Saudi Arabia have given $6b for free. It remains to be seen whether Pakistan sends troops to bolster the Saudi’s post war settlement in Yemen and elsewhere. The real price for taking these loans will soon be revealed.


Forget Xinjiang’s Re-education Camps, China’s Still a Draw for Muslim Tourists

Beijing is facing growing international pressure to close the camps, which it says are aimed at providing vocational training to stop militancy spreading following a string of attacks in recent years that it blames on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement. But some critics believe the camps are aimed at suppressing the Uygurs’ religion and way of life, with many residents complaining that even everyday activities like attending a mosque have become cause for suspicion and surveillance. Despite the tensions, there is little evidence that Beijing’s treatment of the Uygurs – who account for about half of the country’s 22 million Muslims – is discouraging Muslim tourists like Ismailiya from visiting China. Indeed, not only is China one of the top destinations in Asia for Muslim travellers, its popularity is growing. Indonesian civil servant Farchan Noor Rachman, who runs the travel blog Efenerr, said the situation in Xinjiang would not stop him from visiting China. “For me as a traveller, I do not only think about one issue in my decision to visit a place.” To Rachman, time and money are the determining factors. Muslim travellers spent US$8 billion in China in 2018, twice as much as in Malaysia and Singapore and even outpacing Thailand, according to market research and certification company Salam Standard, which predicts spending by Muslim travellers to China will grow by about US$1 billion annually. Much of the current growth is from Asian Muslims, who tend to be less concerned by reports about Xinjiang than their counterparts from the United States and Europe, according to Amina Liu, owner of US-based Halal China Tours. “The Belt and Road Initiative helps people in Asia know China better. China is close to them, it makes them curious,” she says. [Source: This Week In Asia]

Muslims tourists are not only people to blame for looking the other way. The real culprits are the rulers of the Muslim world who have forsaken Xinjiang in favour for close business ties.