Saturday, May 23, 2009

Views on the news - 23/05/09

No green shoots only economic misery

Despite all the talk in some western capitals about how their economies are showing signs of recovery the exact opposite is transpiring. This week the US Federal Reserve forecast predicts that the US economy will contract by as much as 2% this year, an increase from the 1.3% contraction previously estimated. In addition, recovery in 2010 and 2011 will also be slower than first thought, increasing by up to 3% next year, from an earlier forecast by as much as 3.3%, and by up to 4.8% in 2011, from an earlier estimate of up to 5%. The reduction in forecasts by the members of the Federal Open Markets Committee (FOMC) suggests that the current recession will be deeper and more severe than first thought, and that that will have an impact on the strength of the eventual recovery. And for the UK economy things are looking gloomier by the day. The international ratings agency Standard and Poor's on Thursday downgraded its outlook on Britain's economy to "negative" from "stable" owing to the country's "deteriorating public finances." Minutes from the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, published on Wednesday, revealed that extra money supplies were being considered to boost the economy and encourage lending. According to the minutes, all members of the MPC voted in favour of increasing the quantitative easing plan by £50 billion, taking the total to £125 billion.

MI5 forces Muslims to become agents

On 21/5 the English newspaper The Independent revealed how MI5— Britain’s domestic security service—coerced British Muslims to become agents. The paper states:’ The men claim they were given a choice of working for the Security Service or face detention and harassment in the UK and overseas. They have made official complaints to the police, to the body which oversees the work of the Security Service and to their local MP Frank Dobson. Now they have decided to speak publicly about their experiences in the hope that publicity will stop similar tactics being used in the future.’ Speaking about the episode Frank Dobson said: "To identify real suspects from the Muslim communities MI5 must use informers. But it seems that from what I have seen some of their methods may be counter-productive."

Nearly 25% of Iraqis live below poverty line

An Iraqi study showed Wednesday that 23 percent of Iraq’s population live below the level of poverty line. Abdul Zahra al-Hindawi, spokesman of the Central Statistics office which carried out the study said that 23 percent of the 27 million Iraqis live below the poverty line, most of them in rural areas of the Iraqi provinces. Hindawi told reporters the spread of poverty is attributed to the failed infrastructure, corruption and unemployment. The study comes as Iraq has the world’s third-largest oil reserves, with more than 115 billion barrels. The American occupied country is struggling to rebuild its oil industry after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

Pakistani Ulema condemn Taleban but fail to condemn Pak-American war against Islam

Leading Ulema of the country declared on Sunday that suicide attacks and beheading of people were ‘un-Islamic’ acts and said that militants in Swat and Fata were pursuing the agenda of Pakistan’s enemies. The edict was issued at a convention of Ulema and Mashaikh from different parts of the country. This is the first time that prominent Ulema and religious scholars, mostly belonging to the Sunni school of thought, have denounced the Taliban and their inhuman acts in such a categorical manner. A unanimous resolution adopted at the convention said: ‘The assassination of Ulema should be stopped and sacred places, including shrines, should be cleared of extremists. Suicide attacks and beheading is Haram’. Some of ulema even expressed their readiness to form their own Lashkar against the Taliban if security forces needed their help to eradicate terrorists from the troubled areas. However, the same ulema did not issue a single fatwa to condemn Pakistani government’s alliance with America in fighting Islam.

Allah says in the holy Qur'an

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا عَدُوِّي وَعَدُوَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَاءَ تُلْقُونَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَقَدْ كَفَرُوا بِمَا جَاءَكُمْ مِنَ الْحَقِّ يُخْرِجُونَ الرَّسُولَ وَإِيَّاكُمْ أَنْ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ رَبِّكُمْ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ خَرَجْتُمْ جِهَادًا فِي سَبِيلِي وَابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاتِي تُسِرُّونَ إِلَيْهِمْ بِالْمَوَدَّةِ وَأَنَا أَعْلَمُ بِمَا أَخْفَيْتُمْ وَمَا أَعْلَنْتُمْ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْهُ مِنْكُمْ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ سَوَاءَ السَّبِيلِ

‘O ye who believe! Take not my enemies and yours as friends (or protectors),- offering them (your) love, even though they have rejected the Truth that has come to you, and have (on the contrary) driven out the Prophet and yourselves (from your homes), (simply) because ye believe in Allah your Lord! If ye have come out to strive in My Way and to seek My Good Pleasure, (take them not as friends), holding secret converse of love (and friendship) with them: for I know full well all that ye conceal and all that ye reveal. And any of you that does this has strayed from the Straight Path.’ [TMQ 60:1]

Congress’s grip on power undermines America’s influence in the region

Last week the India’s ruling Congress Party's secular alliance defeated the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies in the month-long Indian general election. The result means that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not only return to power, but also that his government won't depend on support from the Left, as exit polls predicted. With its newfound mandate it is expected that the pro-British Congress will usher in new economic reforms and continue its uncompromising stance on Kashmir. The latter may spell trouble for Obama, as he seeks to normalise relations between Pakistan and India in a desperate bid to change the Pakistani army’s focus on India to fighting militants on the western border.

May 23 2009

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