Sunday, May 17, 2009

Views on the news - 14/05/09

UK Muslims feel most isolated in Europe

Only one in ten Muslims in Britain see themselves as integrated into the rest of society, a large-scale international survey said last week. And it found that more than a third are dissatisfied with their standard of living. The levels of integration - or 'cohesion' as Labour ministers prefer to call it - compare badly with the way Muslims have mixed into the rest of the population in France and Germany. According to the Gallup Coexist Index, 35 per cent of German Muslims and 46 per cent of those in France regard themselves as integrated into their society. The findings sound a warning that despite the efforts of ministers and Islamic leaders since the 2005 London bombings to build common ground between some Islamic communities and their neighbours, doubts, mistrust and resentment continue to exist. The report, produced by the polling company and the Coexist Foundation, an interfaith think tank, said: 'The sizeable proportions of the populations classified as isolated show that interfaith dialogue will require significant efforts from all concerned parties.'

Spaniards sells kidneys in order to survive

What was once associated with poor countries in Asia and Latin America has sprung up for the first time in Western Europe as the credit crunch reduces Spaniards to selling organs to “transplant tourists”. Spanish “kidney for sale” advertisements have proliferated recently on the internet as people struggle to make ends meet in a country whose 17% unemployment rate is the highest in Europe. Facua, a Spanish consumers’ association, has recently reported dozens of internet organ advertisements to the police and an investigation has been opened in Seville into a man who offered a kidney for sale. The practice is likely to grow, however. Kidney problems affect about 10% of the global adult population. The World Health Organisation estimates that about 70,000 kidney transplants are performed each year, of which 20% are carried out on the black market in countries including China, Pakistan, Egypt and Colombia.

Somalia: Is the western backed Sharif government running out of time?

Somali Islamist leader and onetime president Sheikh Dahir Aweys has launched what appears to be a final assault on the fragile Somali transitional government. Five days of fighting, including heavy shelling, have left dozens dead, almost certainly ending hopes for negotiations to potentially win over Sheikh Aweys's support for, and inclusion in, the western backed government of president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. Both men had served in the short-lived Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) government of 2006, before it was removed by an Ethiopian military intervention. The assault casts serious doubt over the survival of the Sharif government, just days after international donors pledged $213 million to support it. At present, forces loyal to Sharif control roughly 25 city blocks in Mogadishu, including the presidential palace. About 4,000 African Union peacekeeping troops also protect the Sharif government, the seaport, and the Mogadishu airport. "There is no doubt Aweys wants a military solution. He wants to dislodge Sharif," says Rashid Abdi, an expert on Somalia for the International Crisis Group in Nairobi. "They're shelling the presidential palace and parts of the airport. This is looking like the final assault."

The man who insulted Islam is given warm welcome by the leaders of region

In 2006, Pope Benedict XVI vehemently attacked Islam. Speaking in Germany, the Pope quoted a 14th Century Christian emperor who said the Prophet Muhammad had brought the world only "evil and inhuman" things. Today, the leaders of the Middle East have chosen to overlook his deep hatred of Islam; instead some of them have laid carpets so that the pope does not have to take of his shoes whilst making a mockery of Islam in the Masjid.

Zardari: ‘We have come together to save Pakistan’

Speaking at a meeting of overseas Pakistanis in New York, Zardari said that the situation in Pakistan called for a lot of courage and at the same time a lot of thinking. ‘We have to come together and save Pakistan,’ he said. Democracy is part of the solution and a starting point for resolving all problems facing the country. Indeed Zadari idea of saving Pakistan involves allowing American forces to shed Muslim blood through predatory drone strikes on unarmed civilians in Waziristan. Mobilizing the Pakistani army to create a humanitarian disaster in Swat— the likes of which has not been witnessed, since the partition of India in 1947. And to top it all off Zadari is imploring the West to pay him and the military leadership a wage for the current carnage. Acting on American orders to spill Muslim blood is what Zardari calls courageous and has consumed all of his thinking.

On the eve of the Indian election Singh refuses to resume talks with Pakistan

Last week, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ruled out resuming talks with Pakistan until Islamabad took steps against militants India says were responsible for an assault in Mumbai last November."Our minimum demand is that Pakistan must take effective steps to bring the culprits of Mumbai massacre to book before we resume our dialogue," he told a news conference in Chennai. India had engaged with Pakistan for the last five years until the Mumbai attack, he said. Pakistan has already admitted partial culpability in the attacks but despite this India is refusing to engage Pakistan. Manmohan Singh is worried that any dialogue with Pakistan will be perceived negatively by the Indian voters who may choose to punish Congress by siding with BJP.

14 May 2009

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