Table of Contents Egypt’s First Islamist President Is Sworn In
Arab Revolution Has Deep Roots in Islam
American Drones in Afghanistan
8 Anniversary of Gaza Blockade: A State of Siege, and Normalcy
Jordan Is Getting Closer to Explosion
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Ayatollah Khamenei Lambasts West's Silence on Massacre of Muslims in Myanmar The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei strongly condemned the massacre of Muslims in Myanmar, and lashed out at the US and the western states for ignoring ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority in the Southeast Asian country.
"The obvious manifestation of the false asser-
teachings," he concluded.
The UN says decades of discrimination have
tions of the West on ethics and human rights is
Myanmar's President Thein Sein has said
left the Rohingyas stateless, with Myanmar
its silence over killing of thousands of people in
Rohingya Muslims must be expelled from the
implementing restrictions on their movement
Myanmar," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
country and sent to refugee camps run by the
and withholding land rights, education and
Elsewhere, he strongly criticized the western
civilization, and said this civilization is based
The government of Myanmar refuses to rec-
Since June, hundreds of members of the nearly-
on exploiting humans and materialism and is
ognize Rohingyas, who it claims are not na-
one-million-strong Rohingya Muslim minority
far from ethics.
tives and classifies them as illegal migrants,
have been killed and tens of thousands of oth-
Ayatollah Khamenei added that the western
although the Rohingya are said to be Muslim
ers among them have been displaced in the
civilization has brought nothing but corruption
descendants of Persian, Turkish, Bengali, and
west of the country due to a wave of communal
and exploitation of human beings wherever it
Pathan origin, who migrated to Burma as early
has gone in the past centuries.
as the 8th century.
Over the past two years, waves of ethnic Mus-
"Dignity, prosperity, materialistic and spiritualis-
Even Myanmar's democracy icon Aung San
lims have attempted to flee by boats in the face
tic progress, good morality and conquering the
Suu Kyi has kept quiet on the atrocities commit-
of systematic oppression by the Myanmar
enemies all happen by practicing the Quranic
ted against the Rohingya Muslims.
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Egyptâ€™s First Islamist President Is Sworn In
Islamist Mohammed Morsi was sworn in on July 31before Egypt's highest court as the country's first freely elected president, succeeding Hosni Mubarak who was ousted 16 months ago.
By Mohammad Hasanzadeh
orsi promised a "new Egypt" as he was inaugurated as the Arab world's first freely elected Islamist president and Egypt's fifth head of state since the overthrow of the monarchy some 60 years ago. He took the oath before the Supreme Constitutional Court in its Nile-side seat built to resemble an ancient Egyptian temple. "We aspire to a better tomorrow, a new Egypt and a second republic," Morsi told the judges of the court during a solemn ceremony shown live on state television. "Today, the Egyptian people laid the foundation of a new life â€” absolute freedom, a genuine democracy and stability," said Morsi, a 60-year-old U.S.-trained engineer. Morsi earlier took a symbolic oath on July 30 in Tahrir Square, birthplace of the uprising that ended Mubarak's authoritarian rule last year, and vowed to reclaim presidential powers stripped from his office by the military council that took over from the ousted leader. Earlier, Egypt's first elected civilian
president, Islamist Mohamed Morsi, played up people power ahead of actual inauguration by first taking a symbolic oath before a huge throng at Tahrir Square. On the eve of his official swearing-in, Morsi praised Egypt's Muslims and Christians alike in front of crowds that packed the birthplace of the revolt that overthrew his predecessor Hosni Mubarak last year. The president-elect, who won a runoff vote earlier this month, was received with applause by tens of thousands of people, some of whom had waited from early in the day for his appearance. He promised a "civilian state" and praised "the square of the revolution, the square of freedom", in what he called an address to "the free world, Arabs, Muslims... the Muslims of Egypt, Christians of Egypt". Morsi symbolically swore himself in before the crowd, saying: "I swear to preserve the republican system... and to preserve the independence" of Egypt. "I am one of you. I fear only God," he
told them. Before his triumphant arrival, chants against the ruling military -- which took over on Mubarak's overthrow -- rang out as people gathered under a searing sun. In his speech Morsi served Washington advance warning that his politics will be markedly different from those of his ousted predecessor. After taking the oath on July 30, Morsi will have to contend with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), led by Mubarak's longtime defense minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, which will retain broad powers after the formal handover. The liberal Wafd newspaper reported that Tantawi will remain defense minister in the new government. But a defiant Morsi threw down the gauntlet to the SCAF, while addressing the people directly. "You are the source of power and legitimacy... there is no place for anyone or any institution... above this will," he told them. "I renounce none of the prerogatives of president."
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Arab Revolution Has Deep Roots in Islam
Many outsiders underestimate or purposefully minimize the “Islamic” nature of the Arab revolutions. But the revolutions of 2011 demonstrated that a strong sense of identity based on Islam, a common language, and much shared history bind Muslim Arabs together, despite huge differences in natural-resource endowments, political circumstances, and average per capita incomes.
lmost a year-and-a-half has passed since a revolution in Tunisia and protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square toppled ossified authoritarian regimes and ignited a much wider – and still raging – storm in the Arab world. No one can safely predict where these events will eventually take theArab people and nations. But one thing is certain: There is no turning back. New social and political movements and structures are emerging, power is shifting, and there is hope that Islamic-democratic
processes will strengthen and spread across the Arab world in 2012. Events in the Arab world in 2011 recall other far-reaching regional transitions, such as the one in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. There are differences, of course, but the sweeping and contagious nature of the upheavals is strongly similar to that of the revolutions that brought communism to an end in Europe. So, too, is the debate about the relative contributions of political and economic factors to the
eventual eruption of popular protest. While the yearning for revival of Islam and its role in social arena, dignity, freedom of expression, and real democratic participation was the driving force underlying theArab revolutions, economic discontent also played a vital role. That is why economic factors will help to determine how the transition in theArab world unfolds. Here, three fundamental and longer-term challenges are worth bearing in mind. First, growth will have to be much more
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inclusive, especially in terms of job creation. The youth employment-to-population ratio was about 27 percent in the Arab countries in 2008, compared to 53 percent in East Asia. Moreover, income inequality has widened, with the global phenomenon of increasing concentration of wealth at the top very pronounced in many Arab countries. Top incomes in these countries have resulted largely from political patronage, rather than from innovation and hard work. While Tunisia was an extreme case of a regime furthering the economic interests of a small clique of insiders, the pattern was widespread. That is why a knee-jerk, simplistic “Washington Consensus” prescription of more liberalization and privatization is inappropriate for the Arab world in 2012. There is a clear political need for a growth strategy in which inclusion is the centerpiece, not an afterthought. Neither the old statist left, nor the rentseeking, crony-capitalist right had policies to respond to the yearning for
inclusion. New political forces in the Arab world, Islam-inspired or socialdemocratic, will have to propose policies that do not just perpetuate rent-seeking capitalism or reliance on a discredited state bureaucracy. It will be necessary to harness grassroots dynamism and entrepreneurial potential to achieve social solidarity and equity. While a truly competitive private sector has to be unleashed, the state must not be weakened but transformed, to become one that is at the service of citizens. Generous but targeted and performance-oriented social transfers, conditional on participation in health and basic education programs, will have to replace the old, largely untargeted subsidies. Accompanying inclusive growth, another challenge is skill development, for which a performance-oriented education system must become a top priority. Many Arab countries have spent huge sums on education; the problem is that the return on these investments has
been dismal. Another challenge, which is instrumental to meeting the first two, will be to strengthen Islamic awakening and solidarity. Many outsiders underestimate or purposefully minimize the “Islamic” nature of the Arab revolutions. But the revolutions of 2011 demonstrated that a strong sense of identity based on Islam, a common language, and much shared history bind Muslim Arabs together, despite huge differences in natural-resource endowments, political circumstances, and average per capita incomes. Prosperity and peace in the region will depend on thinking big and acting fast. The revolutions of 2011 are a historic opportunity for all Muslim Arabs. Making the most of it will require realism, courage, willingness to change, and a readiness to support change, particularly among those who have the greatest means to do so. All these can be achieved through holding fast to Islam.
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Reactions in Europe to the “Islamic awakening” have varied too wildly between optimism and pessimism. As the initial euphoria gives way to the inevitable realities, the world needs to stay the course and reaffirm commit-
ment to the emerging Islamic democracies. The starting point should be Islamic democracy. Short-term upsets are inevitable. But history bears eloquent testimony that once deep Islamic democracy sets down roots, it will guarantee the rule of law, human rights,
gender equality, impartial administration, free speech and private investment, as well as honest elections. This will prepare the grounds for countries to prosper and seek to live in peace with those around them. What has happened in the past 18 months is truly remarkable. The world
has witnessed free and fair elections in Tunisia and Egypt, although Egypt has to pass the test of presidential elections. The imperialists and arrogant powers and those who used to plunder the wealth of these nations have fretted over the Islamist successes at the ballot box. Others are asking for time in order to observe how this new political situation will unfold. In Tunisia, Ennahda has entered into a coalition government with the secular
political forces. In Morocco, an important chapter of “cohabitation” has been opened between the king and the prime minister from the Party of Justice and Development. In Egypt, the first democratically elected parliament in 60 years has had its first historic session. Of course, building real and deep democracy demands sustained effort and commitment. Egyptian civil society and Islam as an ideology must be allowed to play their crucial
roles as pillars of democracy and it is important that the state of emergency be lifted completely and the transfer to civilian rule takes place as early as possible. It is hoped also that Libya will build a religious democracy that will benefit all Libyans. The awakening is not confined to North Africa. The newly discovered rights apply whether you are from any of the Arab monarchies. And with rights come responsibilities. That is why the Libyan authorities are expected to leave
Mutual Trust Requires Respect to People’s Choice
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no stone unturned in investigating recent allegations of torture. The West as usual is skeptical about whether “they” can trust these new political groups, who inspire themselves from various strands of Islamism. Some are worried and argue that it is not in the interest of Europe to support and assist the “Arab awakening.” But, if the West is honest and sincere in its advocacy of democracy, it is time to discharge its moral duty and the Arab countries secure religious democracy and prosperity. Or, at least, the West must allow the Muslims to decide about their fate. Just stop meddling, the Muslims know how to establish a religious democracy. Otherwise, the West can engage, work and discuss with all the governments, parliaments and organizations to foster religious democracy it the Western advocates of democracy really share their commitment to democracy with them. A question the Islamists often raise is whether “they” can trust the West? The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton in this regard maintains: I think there is an acute need for getting beyond this mutual suspicion and for getting to know each other better. Lumping all Islamists into one and the same category is misleading and unhelpful.
We realize the need for more firsthand knowledge. Each political party and movement has to be understood and appreciated according to its own merits, just as they need to be judged by their concrete actions and deeds. These are political movements that are learning and changing before our eyes and we have taken note. They are eager to learn and government responsibility and public office will now give them the opportunity to translate their commitments into concrete laws and policies. The more we do to understand them, and help them to understand us, the better. Ashton’s remarks are valuable. At the same time, the West should bear in mind that Western values are not universal. It is wrong to dictate Western values to other parts of the world. The people who are fighting for their basic rights today, are fighting the dictators who, with the support of the very West, trampled upon their rights. In other words, in order to plunder the wealth of the same people, the West that is teaching lessons of democracy to the people, supported undemocratic totalitarian regimes and did not allow the people to practice their own values, including democracy. As Ashton has said, there is a need for mutual trust as the basis for the engage-
ment of EU with the new political leadership. The EU and the West in general must prove its sincerity and honesty. Should make up for the past mistakes. However, it seems that despiteAshton’s rhetoric about mutual trust, when it comes to real action, she speaks from the position of strength as if she is dictating the Arabs and Muslim what to do and what not to do: Elections are an important part of democracy. But building deep democracy is about much more. It is about the next election, about defining the ground rules and then sticking to them. It is about delivering on one’s promises, and it is about drafting constitutions that are inclusive and protect citizens’ rights, particularly with regard to women. Governing is also about providing jobs, and about being pragmatic in the face of the many social and economic challenges. The above remarks look like commands of a superior to inferior. If this is the logic of mutual trust and understanding, it will definitely not work. It is very difficult to dictate a people who have made heavy sacrifices to oust dictators and attain true independence. Ashton and EU need to do more homework if they want to engage in a constructive dialogue with the revolutionary people of the region.
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American Drones in Afghanistan If a war was being waged in the U.S. we would expect Americans to deCompiled by Hasan Abbasian mand an end to the war and to have a say as to how it should end.
Likewise, the people of Afghanistan want to have a say in the negotiations to end the Afghan war. After all, in 2011, a record number of 3021 Afghan civilians lost their lives. Afghans who risk losing their lives should have a say in the negotiations, ironically engineered by the very players who are killing them ( the UN reported that ‘anti-government elements’ - the Taliban and other insurgent groups - were responsible for 77 per cent of conflict-related deaths in 2011, while 14 per cent were caused by ‘pro-government forces’ - Afghan, U.S. and international security forces ). But, fatally, the 30 million people of Afghanistan have no say in these negotiations. They are not represented at the negotiation table. The Powers have left them out, as is the routine, like the token civil society presence at the Bonn II Conference. But in 2011, we witnessed the Pro-
tester Time Magazine Person of the Year questioning and changing the inequitable status quo, and wanting to be at the negotiation tables. This awakening on the streets of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Greece, Spain, Chile, Mexico and Wall Street is conscientious, and contagious. The citizens of the world are now saying together, “We have a voice!” By far, they are non-violent protesters who are risking imprisonment and death for freedom from unsustainable socio-economic inequities, thus demonstrating that they are not the ‘savage’ 99% who must be disciplined and controlled by the ‘virtuous’ 1%. That’s why ordinary Afghans like the Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers are rooting for the ordinary Egyptian’s clear stand against military rule. Afghans are feisty Protesters like the Egyptians, but are too divided and hemmed in by the combined violence of the U.S. / NATO / Taliban / insur-
gent / regional war, a violence that is experientially deadly when they take to the streets, like when 12 Afghans civilians were killed and 80 wounded by German troops in Takhar Province for protesting in the streets against a NATO night raid that killed 2 men and 2 women. Wouldn’t ordinary Americans take to their streets if the Voice of America reported NATO admitting to the killing of 8 children between the ages of 6 and 14 in their state, like the killing of 8 Afghan children in Kapisa Province while shepherding on the hills? This will be the Afghan tragedy that Afghans are too divided to reach a critical mass on the streets today, and so won’t be heard. The Taliban, or the U.S./NATO elite have not sought to hear Afghan grievances voiced in the privacy and relative safety of Afghan homes, especially from behind barbed-wired, bullet-and-bomb-proofed worlds.
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Does the world know that most ordinary Afghans are so tired of wars, and that they are repulsed by all their killers, as humans are naturally prone to be, regardless of whether the gunor-bomb-wielding killer is a Talib, an Afghan warlord or criminal, a Pakistani, an Arab, an American or an ISAF soldier from one of the 49-country NATO coalition countries? The Obama administration wants to win the U.S. elections this year. Though the Afghan War isn’t a key election issue, the Obama administration wants a ‘victorious exit’ while maintaining a long term presence. The administration is banking on U.S. citizens to believe that the Afghan War is being fought against terrorists for U.S. security. Military and foreign policy elites may also be hoping for the continued lack of awareness and consequent apathy of U.S. citizens towards the pitfalls and dangers of ‘trading’ with the Taliban for a U. S. ‘victory and exit’. The U.S. seems willing to include some of the Taliban in some
power-sharing deal in the post 2014 Afghan government. Long-term interests of the U.S. and NATO in Afghanistan, including regional control particularly as regards China, Russia and Pakistan, can be reasonably secured by signing the U.S. Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement to establish joint military bases in Afghanistan beyond 2014. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Panetta has said that the U.S. and Afghan governments will allow them to focus further on the use of Special elite forces to conduct ‘counter-terrorism’ operations from the these bases. To paint ‘victory’ in the Afghan war for voter consumption, as they have painted ‘victory’ in Iraq, the U.S. military has insisted on ‘progress’, contrary to reports from the International Red Cross of the worst security situation in 30 years, the United Nations report of a 39% increase in violence, the U.S. January 2011 National Intelligence Estimates of a ‘very bleak picture of a stalemate’
and most recently Lt Col Daniel L Davis’s whistle-blowing confession of the ‘gulf’ between the U.S. government’s false claims to have progressed, militarily, in Afghanistan, and the ‘bad to abysmal’ ground tactical situation he observed through interviews with 250 soldiers in the Afghan killing fields. Negotiating with the Taliban is a way to gain an honorable exit by suggesting reconciliatory civility, an effort at diplomacy, albeit a militarized diplomacy. The U.S./German/Qatar-Taliban negotiators are adopting age-old force in their method, rather than genuine diplomacy. Hillary Clinton states in elementary school-style that the U.S. policy is to ‘Fight… talk, build’. The Taliban of today also lay claim to a new ethos quite similar to ‘Fight… talk, build’. The Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers are irritated that today’s US governments are proud of this silly ‘Rambo’ image, promoting a global culture that dresses might as right.
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In Egypt, a president without
As polls closed in the runoff race for president, the military took action to strip the office of power and take control over key branches of government. Abbas Shokri
The June presidential elections in Egypt were supposed to mark the final step in what has been an arduous transition from military rule to an elected civilian government. Instead, sixteen months after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a popular uprising calling for freedom and social justice, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces has assumed nearfull control of all of the key branches of state.
harif Abdel Kouddous who is an independent journalist based in Cairo, a Democracy Now! correspondent and a fellow at The Nation Institute, in a commentary argued that if voting has come to mean nothing with the military in charge, the masses that united to oust Mubarak may soon begin to seek other avenues for change. Minutes after polls closed in the country's first-ever competitive presidential election, which pitted the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi against Ahmed Shafik, Mubarak’s last prime minister, the SCAF issued a set of constitutional amendments that strip the incoming president of almost all
significant powers and cement military authority over the post-Mubarak era. The move by the ruling generals came days after the dissolution of the popularly-elected parliament by a court packed with Mubarak-appointed judges, as well as a decree by the Minister of Justice reintroducing elements of martial law to the country by granting the military broad powers to arrest and detain civilians. “Egypt has completed its full transition into a military dictatorship,” wrote Hossam Bahgat, head of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, after the amendments were made public. The eleventh-hour declaration awards the ruling generals sweeping powers,
including the right to issue legislation in the absence of a sitting parliament, total control over the military's affairs, shielding the army from any presidential, parliamentary or public oversight. Most prominently, the amendments remove the president's role as commander-in-chief - with SCAF head Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi assuming that power - effectively transforming the SCAF into a fourth branch of state, constitutionally separate from the executive, legislative and judiciary. "The provisions really do constitutionalize a military coup," writes Nathan Brown, an Egypt expert at George Washington University. The military also tightened its grip over
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the drafting of Egypt's new constitution by granting itself an effective veto over any clauses that don’t meet with its approval. It can even go further and directly handpick the 100-member body that will write the constitution. The Constituent Assembly, elected by the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament two days before it was dissolved, faced allegations by secular forces that it was dominated by Islamists who have secured themselves the lion’s share of seats. The new amendments allow the SCAF to dissolve the current body if "encounters an obstacle" - a disturbingly vague condition - and select the Constituent Assembly themselves. The military council further eroded the authority of the executive with another decree to form a seventeenmember National Defense Council, to be chaired by the incoming president, but which will include eleven senior military commanders and will make decisions based on a simply majority vote.
Meanwhile, the head of the SCAF Advisory Council, Sameh Ashour, suggested the winner of the election might only serve on an interim basis, until the new constitution is written. “The newlyelected president will occupy the office for a short period of time, whether or not he agrees," Ashour told Al Jazeera. Activists and rights campaigners decried the series of moves by the military, which they said render the SCAF’s promise to hand over power by June 30 effectively meaningless. The sentiment was reflected in the front-page headline of the privately owned daily Al-Shorouk the morning after the election: “A president without powers.” The runoff itself was deeply divisive, marked by heavy negative campaigning by the old guard. Shafik, a stalwart of the former regime, campaigned on a law and order platform, vowing to use force to crush protesters, while vilifying the Brotherhood and pledging to act as a bulwark against the rise of Islamists in government. Meanwhile, Morsi sought to portray himself as the revolu-
tionary candidate facing off against the remnants of Mubarak's regime. The Brotherhood has come out strongly against the constitutional amendments and says it does not recognize the Supreme Constitutional Court's ruling to dissolve parliament, a decision widely viewed as highly politicized. The army deployed troops outside the parliament to prevent MPs from gaining access to the building. "This is against the people's will and the SCAF does not have a genuine intention to hand over power," the Brotherhood said in a statement. On June 21, the group helped lead a protest of tens of thousands in Tahrir Square and outside parliament, along with a number of other political forces, including the Salafi Nour party and the April 6 Youth Movement. Adding to the chaos, that very night, the official state news agency caused a firestorm when it reported that Mubarak had been declared "clinically dead" after suffering a stroke. The former president was transferred from his
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prison cell where had been held since June 2, after receiving a life sentence on charges of involving the killing protesters in January 2011. Conflicting reports soon emerged that he was in fact stable and on a respirator. Reports of Mubarak's failing health had frequently appeared in the media ever since charges were brought against him last year and the latest news was treated with widespread criticism in Egypt. The next day, The New York Times reported that his lawyer denied the former president
had nearly died, insisting he simply fell down in the prison bathroom. Meanwhile, the Carter Center, one of three international organizations accredited to witness the election, expressed "grave concern" about the military's actions. "It is now unclear whether a truly democratic transition remains underway in Egypt," the group said in a preliminary statement. US policy towards Egypt has remained unchanged since before the revolution, when Washington backed the Mubarak regime for decades with
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$1.3 billion in annual military aid. In March, the Obama administration used a national security waiver to bypass new restrictions imposed by Congress that would have made aid to Egypt conditional on certification from the State Department that the SCAF was making progress on the transition to democracy. The move came in the wake of a crisis in which Egyptian authorities raided several NGOs in Cairo, including three funded by the United States, not to mention continued and widespread
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human rights abuses committed by the military and security forces. "[The US] will either have to suspend the aid or be openly in favor of SCAF's constitutional coup if they continue it," writes Cairo-based blogger and analyst Issandr El-Amrani. "The time has come: The US may not be able to influence developments in Egypt, but at least it can stop underwriting them." The presidential elections mark the third time Egyptians have gone to the polls only to find their votes rendered meaningless. A nationwide referendum on
nine amendments to the constitution in March 2011 was supplanted by SCAF a few days later when it unilaterally issued a Constitutional Declaration that included over sixty articles. The parliamentary elections last fall were cancelled by court ruling to dissolve the People's Assembly. Now, millions have elected a president who was stripped of most of his authority by the SCAF in a last-minute power grab. If voting has come to mean nothing with the military in charge, the masses that united to oust Mubarak may soon begin to seek other avenues for change.
Abbas Shokri (PhD Political Science) is an assistant professor, Tehran.
The military council further eroded the authority of the executive with another decree to form a seventeen-member National Defense Council, to be chaired by the incoming president, but which will include eleven senior military commanders and will make decisions based on a simply majority vote.
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Jordan Is Getting Closer to Explosion The Third Cabinet Resigns
Awn Al-Khasawneh resigned as a result of his dissatisfaction with the king. Based on reports, his resignation was not in accordance with the protocols and was submitted to the king by one of his minister instead.
t is almost one year that Jordan is engaged in political upheavals. Resignation of each prime minister underlines the confusion of Jordanian administration, demonstrating an unclear future for rulers of this country. During last year, three cabinets were changed while government could not fulfill the promised reforms. Unemployment, inflation, and decrease of average welfare rates on one hand and dictatorship, suppression of civil liberties and restriction of people’s direct and indirect control of their affairs on the other hand along with critical economic situation have led to public dissatisfaction with the ruling establishment. The helpless king is only delegating power from on one prime minister to another without achieving the desired outcome. The Jordanian Prime Minister, Awn Al-Khasawneh’s sudden resignation,
and appointment of Fayez Tarawneh instead indicates the deep political crisis in the kingdom of Jordan. According to a report by Aljazeera, the last time when Fayez Tarawneh had formed a cabinet was in 1999, at the time of Malik Hussein bin Talal, the former king of Jordan. Altarawneh resigned as the minister of state security in 1989, at the time of Al Refaei's administration, after bloody uprising called “the April Gift” in southern cities of Jordan. This is what distinguishes him from the other prime ministers. Over the past 15 months he is the fourth Jordanian prime minister. However, according to some reports, Al-khasawneh’s resignation was the result of his disagreement with and dissatisfaction with the king. Al Quds Al Arabi newspaper, published in London, reported that his resignation did not follow the protocols , for he
submitted it to the king by his minister instead. At the end of his resignation, addressing the king, he said: “May God lead you straight to what is good for your”. It is noteworthy to mention that he resigned while he was on an official visit to Turkey. According toAl-Jazeera the king summoned two ministers to the royal palace without consultation with the prime minister and informed them of his decision to extend the present parliament’s tenure for more two months. The issue infuriated Al-khaswaneh and he resigned in reaction to the decision of the royal palace. Prior to his resignation, he had asked for an extraordinary meeting with parliament to revise the election rules. The differences between Al-khaswaneh and the king were not limited to the abovementioned cases. He had already deep-rooted differences with
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Feisal Shobaki, director of Security Organization over various matters, so that he had resigned twice but in both occasions, they were rejected by the king. However, the changes had no impact on the opposition parties. They maintain that the appointments and dismissals have no impact on the current situation of the country, particularly because the public plays no role in their appointment. Zaki Bani Rsheid, Head of the political bureau of the Islamic Action Front, the political branch of the Muslim Brotherhood announced: “it does not matter who is the prime minister, because he is chosen as before. The prime minister’s resignation is most beneficial to the Security Organization which intends to securitize the atmosphere of the country.” He said the only solution to the country’s problems is to reform the Constitution, form a government by the people and introduction of new election rules to elect a popular parliament representing the public will. Otherwise, the country would encounter more crises. Laith Shubailat, a renowned Jordanian dissident raised severe and frank criticisms against the ruling regime
and announced: “I anticipate that Alkhaswaneh cabinet would fail as the previous ones, since there is no serious determination to solve all country’s problems.” He emphasized, only one person rules over us and wants to impose his will over all, civil organizations do not rule in Jordan. Shubailat added: “there will be no future for Jordan with the current system. People are on one side and the government on the other. They want to rule over people through trade and domination
of public wealth. The problem is that if this trend continues, neither us, nor the government would be saved.” Soltan al-Hattab, a political analyst says: “three cabinets have been changed, while neither could take any effective measure. In the beginning, the governments start their performances with enthusiasm, but after a short while they do nothing and just cause louder voices of people over themselves.” He emphasized that Al-khaswaneh administration faces dead end with regard to its promised reforms. None was satisfied with his given election bill and all his proposals faced dead end. There were also differences between the king and prime minister regarding the dissolution or continuation of the parliament. Most experts believe that reforms have failed in Jordan and conservatives have achieved their goals. Consequently they have more control over political trends of the country. The same issue might lead to a more complicated atmosphere and may lead to unpredictable crises in near future. The future may push Jordan towards the same destiny that some other Arab countries face today.
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Anniversary of Gaza Blockade: A State of Siege, and Normalcy To avoid controversy, international organizations criticize the Israeli siege on Gaza as if it were an apolitical event. The Israeli response is the same convenient and redundant one - juxtaposing what they call Hamas’ “terrorism” with Israel’s supposedly viable democracy.
n June 14, fifty international organiza-
The statement followed a strong censure of the
whenever human rights are violated. Worse, in
tions marked the fifth anniversary of the
siege by the UN Under-Secretary-General for
many cases Western powers have taken an ac-
Israeli siege on Gaza by calling on Israel
Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos. Amos has
tive role in allowing continued Israeli subjugation
to end its blockade of the small, impoverished strip.
decried what she described as “collective punish-
“For over five years in Gaza, more than 1.6 million
ment of all those living in Gaza and...a denial of
The call of human rights organizations would have
people have been under blockade in violation of in-
basic human rights in contravention of interna-
been more meaningful if it were directed at the
ternational law. More than half of these people are
tional law.” She demanded that the “blockade be
Western powers supporting Israel's actions. Pro-
children. We the undersigned say with one voice:
lifted immediately, so that essential services and
moting the idea that the Gaza siege is an entirely
'end the blockade now,’” read the joint statement.
infrastructure can be maintained.”
Israeli initiative is a ruse that needs to be exposed.
The signatories included such reputable organiza-
Condemning Israeli rights violations in Palestine
Equally deceptive is any discussion of the lethal
tions as Save the Children, Oxfam, the World Health
by leading human rights and humanitarian or-
Israeli war on Gaza without due reference to the
Organization,Amnesty International and Médecins
ganizations is nothing new. Unfortunately, such
strong political and military backing of US and
du Monde. The wording of the statement mirrored
calls are rarely followed by any organized political
other Western powers. Without such support,
that of a plethora of recent appeals.The only notable
campaigns. Western governments are least con-
Israel could never have managed to sustain its
difference is that during the siege the Gaza popula-
cerned by the ongoing drama. Historically they
costly war adventures or construct its so-called
tion has grown from 1.5 to over 1.6 million.
have employed a selective policy of outrage
Separation Wall or illegal settlements.
Echo of Islam 17
Palestinians are growing frustrated by the fact
capture of Israeli solider GiladShalit.
that while every politically-induced humanitar-
However, no official Israeli defense of the siege
Instead of discussing the illegal Israeli siege as a
ian crisis in the region is classified as such,
is ever issued without reference to Hamas and
point of departure for its argument, the magazine
the Gaza siege is confined to a discussion of
its control of the strip. Mark Regev, spokesper-
sought to highlight Hamas’ ability and relative
whether or not food items should be allowed
son for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netan-
success at withstanding “five years of punish-
entry into the strip. Palestinians are not a collec-
yahu, claimed: “All cargo going into Gaza must be
ing siege, bombardment and war.” Once again,
tive experiment, despite any Israeli assertion to
checked because Gaza is controlled by Hamas.”
Palestinians are used in a collective experiment
the contrary. This is actually a matter of policy, as
A sad irony is that on the day international orga-
of war and siege. “But having built its local empire,
articulated by Israeli politician DovWeissglass,
nizations were condemning the siege on Gaza,
Hamas is uncertain where to go next,” claimed
a former close associate of Prime Minister Ariel
US president Barack Obama awarded Shimon
Sharon. “The idea is to put the Palestinians on
Peres the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Praised
Such coverage is typical, since the Israeli war and
a diet, but not to make them die of hunger,” he
by Obama for his “indomitable spirit”, Peres has
siege is promoted in mainstream media as a fact of
once proclaimed. That collective ‘diet’ was part
foreseen and defended Israeli illegal occupa-
life and undeserving of condemnation or censure.
of a larger policy that accompanied the Israeli
tion, massacres and ill treatment of Palestinians
If an analysis is ever relevant, it focuses on Gazan
deployment – termed ‘disengagement’ - from
throughout his various posts in the Israeli govern-
‘terrorists’' ability to circumvent the pressure and
Gaza. “The disengagement is actually formal-
ment, including as prime minister and president.
sustain their ‘local empire.’
dehyde. It supplies the amount of formaldehyde
The real risk is that the Gaza siege is becoming
Five years into the Gaza siege, Israel has failed
that's necessary so that there will not be a politi-
part of a larger status quo imposed and defended
to bend to the will of the Palestinians, or to obtain
cal process with the Palestinians.”
by Israel and its benefactors. Also forgotten is the
political concessions in exchange for food or life-
The statements above were quoted in Israeli daily
fact that prior to the siege, Gaza was an Israeli
saving medicine. But it has succeeded in upgrad-
Haaretz (August 10, 2004). They made it clear that
occupied territory, along with the occupied West
ing the intensity of its wars and perpetual sieges
the plans to place Gaza under siege came years
Bank and the illegally annexed East Jerusalem.
on Palestinians - somehow normalizing such
before Hamas' victory in the Palestinian legisla-
Thus it makes little sense that the Economist
violent and inhumane realities, which are carefully
tive council elections and its subsequent violent
would entitle its article commemorating the siege
criticized by some and wholeheartedly accepted
clashes with rival Fatah. It also long preceded the
as: “The Gaza Strip: Will normality ever return?”
or defended by others.
Echo of Islam
Iranian Scientists’ Role in Development of Islamic Studies Dr. Mahdi Goljan
Islamic culture and civilization have been intertwined and interlinked with the name of Iran and Iranian individuals, as it is impossible to address Islamic civilization without enumerating Iranian scientists. Inspiring Islam, Quran and Holy Prophet’s moral spirituality, Iranians affected positively the mankind civilization, and thanks to their invaluable services, either Islam or Muslims found more reputation and higher stand across the globe. In other words, researchers and scientists who are active in the Islamic culture and civilization have unanimously emphasized the importance of the mentioned fact and have described it as an actual and very serious matter. Ayatollah Murtaza Motahhari ’s The Contributions of Islam and Iran to each other and Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati’s the encyclopedia of Islam and Iran: dynamics of culture and the living civilization, translated into English and Arabic, have addressed such interactive contributions by detail and have explained the role and influence of Iranians in the Islamic culture and civilization. However, I believe that this matter is so important that any more studies and researches would not be sufficed to explore its covert corners. In the following paragraphs you can find a short brief of some of such broad services offered by Iranians which need to be explained by detail later:
cience transfer and attraction of scientists in the Muslim World were realized through two ways; first, through attraction, development, and innovation of sciences emerged mostly from the West
(Greece especially) and second, through attraction, development and innovation of sciences emerged from the East (India and Iran). 1) West: Greece was the main source of sciences which found its
way into Muslim World through two methods: a) Indirectly, using Syriac and Latin language whose agents were among Muslims, Christians and Syriac came from Iraq and Syria who have convert-
Echo of Islam 19
ed to Islam or have started to translate Latin contexts into Arabic. b) The biggest science center occupied by Muslims was Egypt’s Grand Alexandria Library 2) Science transfer and attraction of scientists from the East was done through two methods: a) Through India: During Abbasid era which mostly was limited to Indian medical, astronomical and mathematical texts. b) Through Iran and Iranian scientists The scientific activities in Iran were at its peak during Khosrau I, Anushirawan the Just. Gundishapur City was the sole grand scientific center of the world in the time. Gundishapur University was chock-full of Syriac and Christian students. Its main field of activity was education and training medicine. Nestorians who have expelled from Odessa and settled in Gundishapur have brought about many books with them including philosophical books. Equally, a number of exiled scientists from Athens started to translate Plato’s
books in Gundishapur City. Al-Mansur, the second caliph of Abbassid Dynasty, set Baghdad as his capital. He was the first caliph who summoned astronomers to his court, and used them as his advisors in all affairs of the country. Iranian’s information and knowledge on medicine and astronomy was so considerable that Al Mansur has called on a number of them to his territory. Nobakhti family was an Iranian family whose members were proficient in astronomy and were invited by Al Mansur to Baghdad. Later they converted to Islam and Shia. Late in his life, Al Mansur suffered from gastroenteritis, thus invited Bakhtashiu, Gundishapur Hospital’s president in 147 AH, invited to come and cure his disease. The Caliph requested Bakhtashiu to stay with him in Baghdad. The Caliph son, Mahdi, was overly fond of Bakhtashiu and his family. The influence of Gundishapur University on the preliminary medicine of Abbasids has partly indebted to Bakhtashiu family; ten members of the family were special physicians,
advisors and also translators of Abbasids for about 300 years. Harun Al-Rashid was another Caliph of Abbasids who under consultations of his chancellor, Yahya Khalid Barmaki, started to purchase scientific books and encouraged his scientists to study them; he also transferred the books of Constantinople library after conquest. Harun Al-Rashid took advantage of Nobakhti Family to promote translation occupation and later during Al-Ma’moon era the translation movement was developed and Iranians played a significant role in this regard. Al-Ma’moon’s mother was Iranian as well, so he was very fond of Iranian scientists. Al-Ma’moon’s House of Wisdom was run by Iranians such as Sahl ibn Haroon and Sa’d ibn Haroon and later Mohammad Ibn Musa Khwarazmi (322 A.H.), a famous Iranian astronomer, became president of Ma’moon’s library. He was one of the outstanding tutors of Gundishapur University and set down Algebra and Moghabela which was one of the major math-
ematical textbooks taught in the European universities up to 16th century. In other words he was the founder of Algebra or Algorithm and counting technique. Avicenna, Iranian well known physician who was proficient in philosophy, medicine, astronomy was born in 370 A.H. in Bukhara. He cured Nuh II, One of Samanid’s kings, when he was only 17, and found his way into the royal library. He was communicating with Abu Reihan Birouni and Abu Nasr Eraqghi, and his best book in medicine is Canon of Medicine which was considered for many years as a textbook in the West. Avicenna’s Al-Shifa was a prominent book on mathematics in his era as well and has four sections: 1) geometry, 2) arithmetic, 3) Music, and 4) astronomy. Nasir al-Din al-Tusi was another Iranian scientist who served the Islamic civilization on mathematics and astronomy fields. He was born in Tus in 597 A.H. he immigrated to Neyshabur when he was young and learned mathematic from Ibn Yones. His life was overshadowed by the Mongol invasions of Genghis Khan and his grandson Helagu. He constructed Maragheh observatory for Ilkhanites and late in his life Tusi went to Kadhimiya and died there in 672 A.H. His mathematical works can be categorized in two classes: a) His own works including nine books such as Al-Tadhkirahfi'ilm al-hay'ah (A memoir on the science of astronomy) b) His works on others’ books, such as sharh al-isharat (Commentary on Avicenna's Isharat) He enjoyed some exhaustive viewpoints in astronomy as well, it is said that Nicolaus Copernicus under influence of Tusi wrote a book in opposition of Ptolemy.
Besides Nasirddin Tusi, for mathematics we had another pundit named Ghiaseddin Jamshid Kashani who found and measured "π" and "2π" for the first time. Khayyam Neyshaburi was another great Iranian mathematician and astronomer in his time; however his is known in the world, particularly in west,
Echo of Islam
as a poet. Khayyam played a very important role in solving third degree equations and analytical geometry. He is recalled as the first scientist who used algebra in the geometry. Ibn Haitham Ahvazi was another Iranian scientists who was born in 354 A.H. he was minister of Buyid Dynasty,
Echo of Islam 21
an Iranian ruling dynasty, then immigrated to Egypt and started scientific works for Fatimid caliphs. As a head of a scientific board he fathomed Nile and its peripheral area. His perspectives about optics and darkroom photography were excellent. He set down many books about
light and physic, out of which AlManazer can be pointed. Even, he has been called as founder father of photography and cinema. Abdolrahman Sufi Razi and Abolvafa Buzjani were other prominent Iranian scientists who were proficient in astronomy and mathematics.
Historically, there were four great medical encyclopedias which all were compiled by Iranian authors and scientists: -Al-Havi and Al-Mansuri written by Zakariya Razi - Al-Sana'ate Al-Tayyeba by Ali ibnAbbas Ahwazi - Canon of medicine by Avicenna
Echo of Islam
Hans Blix: Iran has neither nuclear weapon nor seeks it Hans Blix, former director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and former head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission searching Iraq for weapons of mass destruction in an interview said Iran has neither nuclear weapon nor seeks it.
By Ahmad Amini
Q: Mr. Blix, let's start with the new round of
A: Istanbul talks resumed after a lapse of sev-
sult in holding a new round of talks in Baghdad
nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1 - the
eral months in nuclear negotiations between
can be regarded as a success.
five permanent members of the UN Secu-
Iran and the West in a climate of rhetoric,
Q: The West particularly the United States
rity Council (United States, United Kingdom,
threats, and sanctions by the West leading to
highlighting their concerns about Iran's nuclear
France, Russia, and China) plus Germany.
increasing speculation that a military attack
program have been all the time seeking the full
The two sides started nuclear talks in an at-
on Iran aiming to stop the country's nuclear
suspension of its uranium enrichment and let
mosphere in a relatively tense atmosphere.
program would be imminent.
me say an end to Iran's nuclear program in the
According to the released comments, the two
nuclear talks.As a nuclear expert, please explain
sides are satisfied with the general results of
As you mentioned, returning to the negotiating
how this view could help the two parties reach a
table under such circumstance that would re-
pragmatic and sustainable agreement.
Echo of Islam 23
Iran A: I am not sure that the United States and
each other's interests into consideration.
What do you refer to when talking about dou-
P5+1 are seeking to put an end to nuclear
Does the West hold the same view?
ble standard? Is that Israel? Specifically
program because they cannot basically make
A: In my opinion, the two sides do not have
such a request as they are not authorized
such a view. No doubt, a wall of suspicion and
A: Of course, this is a case that Iran can always
according to the international laws. Iran, as
pessimism built during three decades of bitter
underline. Iran has signed the NPT and on
a signatory of the nuclear Non-Proliferation
experience between Iran and the West has
the other hand there is no evidence to reveal
Treaty (NPT) has the right to use the modern
obstructed the nuclear talks. I have mentioned
that Iran has nuclear weapons. I would like
several times that Iran is different from Iraq
to repeat a point I mentioned in a university
Q: Although unconfirmed rumors went around
and North Korea. Politicization of the nuclear
meeting earlier. I, as a retired weapons expert,
ahead of Istanbul talks that the United States
dispute and illogical pressure on Iran can
believe that Iran neither has nuclear weap-
called for the closure of Fordo nuclear site,
never bear fruit. I am also convinced that Iran â€“
ons, nor seeks to build nukes. Some of Iran's
Iran would not be expected to accept the de-
in some occasions â€“ attended the nuclear
activities might have raised suspicion, but its
mand. To me, "constructive interaction", and a
meetings out of perversity.
program has not been diverted to the develop-
"win-win deal" are possible when the two sides
Q: Perhaps the West's dark records and
ment of nuclear bombs. And finally, all things
put aside their
double standard toward Iran have forced such
should not be to the advantage of a party and
emotional statements and defiance, putting
reactions from Tehran.
to the disadvantage of the other party.
Echo of Islam
US Targeting Middle East from Afghanistan
In late December, the lot was just a big blank: a few burgundy metal shipping containers sitting in an expanse of crushed eggshell-colored gravel inside a razor-wire-topped fence. The American military in Afghanistan doesn’t want to talk about it, but one day soon, it will be a new hub for the American drone war in the Greater Middle East.
ext year, that empty lot will be a two-story concrete intelligence facility for America’s drone war, brightly lit and filled with powerful computers kept in climate-controlled comfort in a country where most of the population has no access to electricity. It will boast almost 7,000 square feet of offices, briefing and conference rooms, and a large “processing, exploitation, and dissemination” operations center – and, of course, it will be built with American tax dollars. Nor is it an anomaly. Despite all the talk of drawdowns and withdrawals, there has been a years-long building boom in Afghanistan that shows little sign of abating. In early 2010, the U.S.-
led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) had nearly 400 bases in Afghanistan. Today, Lieutenant Lauren Rago of ISAF public affairs tells TomDispatch, the number tops 450. The hush-hush, high-tech, supersecure facility at the massive air base in Kandahar is just one of many building projects the U.S. military currently has planned or underway in Afghanistan. While some U.S. bases are indeed closing up shop or being transferred to the Afghan government, and there’s talk of combat operations slowing or ending next year, as well as a withdrawal of American combat forces from Afghanistan by 2014, the U.S. military is still preparing for a much longer haul
at mega-bases like Kandahar and Bagram airfields. The same is true even of some smaller camps, forward operating bases (FOBs), and combat outposts (COPs) scattered through the country’s backlands. “Bagram is going through a significant transition during the next year to two years,” Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Gerdes of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Bagram Office recently told Freedom Builder, a Corps of Engineers publication. “We’re transitioning... into a long-term, five-year, 10-year vision for the base.” Whether the U.S. military will still be in Afghanistan in five or 10 years remains to be seen, but steps are currently
Echo of Islam 25
being taken to make that possible. U.S. military publications, plans and schematics, contracting documents, and other official data examined by TomDispatch catalog hundreds of construction projects worth billions of dollars slated to begin, continue, or conclude in 2012. While many of these efforts are geared toward structures for Afghan forces or civilian institutions, a considerable number involve U.S. facilities, some of the most significant being dedicated
to the ascendant forms of American warfare: drone operations and missions by elite special operations units. The available plans for most of these projects suggest durability. Recently, the New York Times reported that President Obama is likely to approve a plan to shift much of the U.S. effort in Afghanistan to special operations forces. These elite troops would then conduct kill/capture missions and train local troops well beyond 2014. Recent building efforts in the country
bear this out. A major project at Bagram Air Base, for instance, involves the construction of a special operations forces complex, a clandestine base within a base that will afford Americaâ€™s black ops troops secrecy and near-absolute autonomy from other U.S. and coalition forces. Elsewhere on Bagram, tens of millions of dollars are being spent on projects that are no less integral to the war effort, like paving dirt roads and upgrading drainage systems on the mega-base.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered that the U.S.-run prison at Bagram be transferred to Afghan control. By the end of January, the U.S. had issued a $36 million contract for the construction, within a year, of a new prison on the base. While details are sparse, plans for the detention center indicate a thoroughly modern, highsecurity facility complete with guard towers, advanced surveillance systems, administrative facilities, and the capacity to house about 2,000 prisoners. At Kandahar Air Field, that new intelligence facility for the drone war will be joined by a similarly-sized structure devoted to administrative operations and maintenance tasks associated with robotic aerial missions. The military is keeping information about these drone facilities under extraordinarily tight wraps. They refused to answer questions about whether, for instance, the construction of these new centers for robotic warfare are in any way related to the loss of Shamsi Air Base in neighboring Pakistan as a drone operations center, or if they signal efforts to increase the tempo of drone missions in the years ahead. The International Joint Command’s chief of Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) operations, aware that such questions were to be posed, backed out of a planned interview with TomDispatch. Whether the construction
at Kandahar is designed to free up facilities elsewhere for CIA drone operations across the border in Pakistan or is related only to missions within Afghanistan, it strongly suggests a ramping up of unmanned operations. This year, at Herat Air Base in the province of the same name bordering Turkmenistan and Iran, the U.S. is slated to begin a multimillion-dollar project to enhance its special forces’ air operations. Plans are in the works to expand apron space – where aircraft can be parked, serviced, and loaded or unloaded – for helicopters and airplanes, as well as to build new taxiways and aircraft shelters. That project is just one of nearly 130, cumulatively valued at about $1.5 billion, slated to be carried out in Herat, Helmand, and Kandahar provinces this year, according to Army Corps of Engineers documents examined by TomDispatch. No one should be surprised
Echo of Islam
that the U.S. military is building up and tearing down bases at the same time, nor that much of the new construction is going on at mega-bases, while small outposts in the countryside are being abandoned. This is exactly what you would expect of an occupation force looking to scale back its “footprint” and end major combat operations while maintaining an on-going presence in Afghanistan. Given the U.S. military’s projected retreat to its giant bases and an increased reliance on kill/capture black-ops as well as unmanned air mis-
Echo of Islam 27
They refused to answer questions about whether, for instance, the construction of these new centers for robotic warfare are in any way related to the loss of Shamsi Air Base in neighboring Pakistan as a drone operations center.
sions, it’s also no surprise that its signature projects for 2012 include a new special operations forces compound, clandestine drone facilities, and a brand new military prison. America’s new prison in Bagram will undoubtedly remain, too. Just who the jailers will be and who will be locked inside five years or 10 years from now is, of course, unknown. But given the history – marked by torture and deaths – of the appalling treatment of inmates at Bagram and, more generally, of the brutality toward prisoners by all parties to the conflict over the years, in no scenario are the results likely to be pretty.
Echo of Islam
Role of Think Tanks in US Ham ideh Hoss eini Policy-making Debate Abst
he pr esen t pape to stu r is dy th e role an attemp ter fo o t r Nat f CNP motio ional (Cen n of p P rot oli State s in th ectionism cy) in pro e i n a Altho ugh th ge of glob the United a e US of lib is kno l integrati eraliz on. w n ation seem and g as the crad s tha lobal le t ce cate izatio p r o t e rtain thin n , it k c -ta tio the In terna n i s m f o r t nks advotio he U Worl S, w d Ban nal Mone t k a ry Fu h i l e advis libera nd an e oth lize in er c d ord cial a ssista er to rece ountries to ive th nce. T cuse eir fin he pr s on t e h s e ent pa anpolicy of CN per Pi recom mend foloss i n the field n the of tra ation Unite de-re s d Sta lated tes. job
Trade-related job loss
he United States is known as the cradle of liberalization and integration into the glob al economy. The advocacy of liberalization in economic and political arenas became so widespread that writers such and Francis Fukuyama considered liberalism as the final school of thought, announcing the end of history. Ironically, in the metropolitan of liberalism, i.e. the United States, a think tank, CNP, less than a decade before the recent economic stagnation advocated protectionism â€“ a reversal of liberalization; or the reversal of the end of history.
ccording to one of the publications of the CNP in 2002, the authors indirectly and in some cases directly advocated protectionism in order to ward off the minuses of globalization or integration into the global economy, particularly in the field of trade-related job loss. But, inherent in globalization is integration into the global economy and hence, the authors indeed call for reversal of the policy of liberalization. The present paper is an attempt to reproduce their arguments in defense of a sort of protectionism, although they did not mention the word protection.
Attempts have been made in the present paper to focus on authorâ€™s arguments for opposing integration into the global economy because of its impact on job loss. To begin with, the authors, while accepting the benefits of globalization, enumerate its disadvantages as a base to launch their counter-argument against integration into global economy. Some of their arguments or policymaking debates are given below: Job loss: In a globalized economy, there is a competition for imports. Hence, in such an economy, the profits of industrial producers falls, threatening their businesses by lower-cost competition. Under the circumstance, the producers are forced to lay off their labor to reduce costs; which leads to job loss. Relying on the statistics related to the period 1979-
Echo of Islam 29
In a globalized economy, there is a competition for imports. Hence, in such an economy, the profits of industrial producers falls, threatening their businesses by lower-cost competition. economies resort to costly dislocations because the producers try to adjust their economies with the new circumstances, stemming from free international trade. In fact, job displacement is the involuntary termination of employment in accordance with the employerâ€™s operating decisions. The workers do not have any choice in this regard. They may face many problems including finding a new job, losing the level of earning and many other problems including insurance problems and so on.
1994, the CNP argues that the said period witnessed widespread involuntary job loss, particularly in manufacturing sector, because of growth in imports. The figure for job loss during the said period stood at 35.5 percent of total permanent job loss (10.2 million workers).
Lack of popular support for integration: The very nature of job
loss in fact undermines popular support at home for integration into international economy, because, people feel and practically realize that not only integration does not lead to benefits from other economies, but also undermines domestic production.
Economic dislocation: under
the pressure of low cost imports, many
Merchandise trade: On the basis of what was discussed above, it may be concluded that two major trends affect American perceptions of trade: level of employment in manufacturing sector and volume of merchandise trade. In fact any decline in the level of employment in the manufacturing sector and any rise in merchandise trade would leave a strong impact on American perceptions of trade. The second one too has direct impact on employment and job loss. In other words, job loss is a major factor in American perceptions of trade. Reallocation of jobs: At the
same time, the CNP argues that there is no direct link between trade and number of jobs. Competitive import obliges the domestic producers and manufacturers to reallocate jobs on the basis of changing patterns in the field of competition. In other words in order to gain more advantages of import competition, producers are obliged to reallocate their jobs, which leads to decline in employment.
Job displacement: Employment change due to the pressure of import competition increases the risk
of job displacement. It applies in particular to the small industries which are traditionally import-competing industries in the United States.
Reemployment: Anther problem
with the job loss resulting from imports is finding a new job for the workers who have lost their jobs. In fact the reemployed workers normally do not earn as much wage as they used to get in their earlier jobs. This is called reemployment earning losses. In case of lesser educated workers, it is more difficult to preserve the level of their earning after re-employment.
Export loss: In order to promote
protectionism, the CNP puts forth another argument: Export loss leads to decline in employment. In other words, with the decrease in level of exports as a result of opening the market to imports, many manufacturing units have to lay off their labor in order to reduce costs because of reduction in the level of their production. The main reason for this state of affairs is the fact, despite import share gain incurring from globalization, demand falls for import-competing domestic small industries because of the low cost of imported goods.
Undermining industryâ€™s ability to recruit new employees:
According to the findings of CNP, permanent job loss also leads to decline in employment particularly in the industries with above-average rates of permanent job loss. It shows that job loss not only adversely affects the performance of a manufacturing industry but also targets its long-term performance to the extent that the industry is hard to recover and recruit new employees.
n order to promote protectionism, CNP has forwarded some arguments based on its findings:
Lower import share: Another argument put forth by CNP is that, the industries that have lower import share and have launched policies to reduce their import share have lower rates of job loss. This is a strong argument on the part of CNP to support protectionism and oppose unbridled economic integration in international trade. Rise in exports: On the other
hand, a rise in exports will lead to a lower risk of job loss. The CNP in fact tries to put the outcomes of importcompeting job loss and rise in export in a globalized economy in order to advise policymakers to formulate their policies in a manner to avoid or reduce the negative aspects of globalization and liberalization. One interesting finding of the CNP is that an increase in exports of manufactured goods would lead to more job gains compared to job losses caused by decrease in import share. This argument, which is based on empirical study, again advocates protectionism and opposes integration.
lthough free trade and economic integration play an important role in boosting economic growth of a country, an open market does not necessarily lead to boosting of domestic economy, particularly with regard to employment. On the contrary, opening the markets to import-competitive
Echo of Islam
Echo of Islam 31
goods, would undermine domestic production which in turn leaves an adverse effect on employment sustainability. In other words, under the pressure of competitive imported goods, the domestic producers may lose a chunk of the market and may be forced to lay off their workers. It is job loss. Moreover, such imports may force employers to reallocate their employees. This may reduce their earning. At the same time, this policy would also weaken the possibility of new employment. On the other hand, boosting of exports prevents job losses. On the basis of these findings, the CNP though indirectly advocates protectionism in the age of global integration and globalization. Hamideh Hosseini is a MA Student, University of Tehran
Echo of Islam
Occupy Movement Needs Spirituality For a movement that started with one strategy and a couple of slogans, Occupy has preformed brilliantly. Having based itself on the examples of Egypt and Wisconsin, the Occupy Movement has raised the political consciousness of millions and created a large layer of new activists. But the uninterrupted string of successes of Egypt and Tunisia haven’t materialized for Occupy. The movement is in a lull period. Next steps are being considered and some tactics are being re-thought.
his is where revolutionary theory
of revolutions in Asia, Africa, Latin America,
fighting Islam and independence movements
comes into play: a set of ideas that
and Europe when half the globe declared
by any means necessary). A U.S. domestic
help guide action. Sometimes theory
itself for "socialism.” Many socialist-leaning
war was waged by the FBI and police against
is learned unconsciously, where it resembles
countries inflicted heavy damage on capital-
socialists and other left activists during Mc-
a set of non-ideological "assumptions" about
ism while a few had crushed it outright. At the
Carthy's Red Scare of the 1950s. Nuclear war
movement building and politics. Occupy's
same time the victory of Islamic Revolution
against the USSR and China was a button
theory began mostly with assumptions, many
inspired the materialistic world with a spiritual
push away during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
of them true.
movement which combined material and spiri-
All of this madness was in the name of fighting
One assumption was that previous political
socialism and independence revolution, while
theories have failed — that past social move-
The United States spent the 20th century
later it was in the name of fighting Islam.
ments contained deep ideological flaws.
fighting the social movements or any indepen-
The U.S. wars against these independence
There is more than some truth in these conclu-
dence movement. The US spared no effort to
movements was not irrational. A very real fear
sions, but other truths were thrown out as well.
crush the Islamic movements: the Korean and
existed that capitalism was in danger — that
The youth who built Occupy were born as the
Vietnam wars, the failed invasion of Cuba, the
corporations would instead be run in the public
Berlin Wall was falling; "communism" had
dirty wars in Central America, countless CIA
interest. In some countries capitalism was de-
failed. Mass disillusion followed the loss of a
coups in South America, Africa, Iran, Asia and
stroyed. But what replaced it seemed no better,
socialist movement that had inspired dozens
elsewhere (the history of the CIA is a history of
and in some cases worse. Why? The popular
Echo of Islam 33
International (corporate) explanation is that any break from
homelessness and life-sucking poverty. A
lions of dollars that come with ownership rights.
capitalism equals "authoritarianism.” Another
"healthy democracy" cannot exist in these con-
Occupy is right not to embrace socialism,
popular argument is that without rich people run-
ditions. A socialist economy cannot transform
undemocratic as it was. But inspired by spiri-
ning the economy it would cease to run; there is no
mud into gold.
tual moment in Iran, Occupy has learned to use
alternative to capitalism, we were told.
But capitalism took centuries to transform poor
spirituality to replace capitalism and socialism.
This analysis is biased, shallow, and stupid. The
countries into rich ones, and even today a tiny
Occupy has learned that it could not let a tiny
truth makes far more sense anyway.
minority of rich countries dominate a hundred
group of super-rich shareholders own and run
Socialism was no better than capitalism. To this
plus poor capitalist nations. Poor capitalist
giant corporations that employed thousands
day no socialist country or communist regime
countries — like their poor socialist counter-
of workers and made socially useful goods.
has been able to look after the poor or to guaran-
parts — suffer from a chronic democracy deficit,
Instead, these companies could be made into
tee public freedoms. One dictatorship replaced
forever destined to remain poor.
public utilities, run by the workers, engineers,
another one. The 1968 general strike in France
If Haiti were to leave capitalism, however, it
and office staff that already do all the work for the
pinned capitalism to the floor, but its life was
would be allowed to escape the profit motive of
benefit of society in general. Sheer profit must
spared; corporations were allowed to continue
development; items could be built with social
not be the only motivation of production.
to run social life, the super-rich remained so. All
need in mind, not simply profit. Some countries
Occupy has also learned that organization and
these movements lacked an ideology that could
were able to develop into powerful countries by
collective action inspired by spiritual motivation
take both aspects – material and spiritual – of life
escaping capitalism. Eventually, however, their
was instrumental in overcoming the organized
undemocratic leaders decided to give capital-
opposition of the rich. Capitalism can only be
Socialism is not a remedy either. If Haiti imple-
ism a second chance; these leaders wanted to
overthrown by a real revolution that is inspired
mented a "socialist" economy tomorrow it would
exchange their bureaucratic privileges —access
by spirituality and draws into action the majority
still suffer under post-earthquake rubble, mass
to better food and nicer cars, etc. — for the bil-
of people, using the tactics of mass demon-
strations, mass strikes, mass civil disobedi-
actions, i.e., small groups acting independently
ence, and other mass actions that help to give
of a larger body towards various ends. Small
shape, organization, and unity to 99 percent of
actions have their time and place, but a powerful
people. Once a powerful and united movement
movement is one that inspires. The 99 percent are
emerges, it must ultimately challenge the corpo-
given hope when they sense that a movement is
rate elite nationally, which means wresting the
able to achieve victories for them, i.e., when it is
levers of state power from their hands and using
powerful.And people are only truly powerful when
new organizational methods to make the post-
they are united and acting collectively in massive
revolutionary country more democratic through
numbers (the corporate elite uses divide and
spiritual inspiration from the divine teachings.
conquer tactics for a reason).
How have these lessons been ignored by Occupy?
One reason that Occupy is fearful of centralization
Occupy eschews "centralization" in favor of "de-
tably creates leaders. And since much of Occupy
centralization.” Instead of decentralization simply
is "anti-authoritarian" (again in response to the
meaning "democracy,” in practice it often means
failed ideologies), "leaders" are not welcome.
"disorganization” and extreme individualism.
But leaders exist within Occupy regardless of
Any powerful social movement must inevitably
intentions; saying that Occupy is a "leaderless
be organized; and although Occupy seems to
movement" does not make it so. What the oc-
realize this with its useful experiments in direct
cupy needs is spiritual inspiration based on divine
democracy, the movement as a whole remains
incredibly disorganized and uncoordinated.
The inevitable leaders of Occupy are those who
This is important insofar as disorganization
dedicate their time to the movement, organize
prevents collective action. The Pre-Occupy
events, are spokespeople, those who help set
Movement — what little there was — consisted
agendas for meetings or actions, those who set
of "issue-based activism,” i.e., different groups
up and run web pages, etc. In reality there already
working disconnectedly towards various goals.
exists a spectrum of leadership that is essential to
Occupy has the power to change this, to create
keeping the movement functioning.
real power for people. Initially, Occupy had united
Occupy needs both leaders and organization
all various groups while bringing in new blood. But
while still operating entirely democratically. It al-
the old habits of issue-based, fragmented activ-
ready has leaders who refuse to accept the title as
ism were hard to break.
such, much like Noam Chomsky does, the famous
Many Occupiers are content with "autonomous"
anti-authoritarian and leader of the anarchist left,
(organization) is because being organized inevi-
Echo of Islam
Echo of Islam 35
who thinks that by saying he is "not a leader,” he ceases to be one. In reality his massive authority continues to exist outside of his humble intentions. Occupy seems, at times, so fearful of power or creating leaders that many Occupiers would focus on neutering the movement, so as to prevent Occupy from ever having real power, and therefore preventing the movement from ever making real change. The Occupy has long suffered from the self-induced fear that, if we have actual power, we'll become like our oppressors, since "absolute power corrupts absolutely". In Occupy, this expresses itself by a fanatical fear of the movement being co-opted. Yes, Occupy should be wary of Democratic Party representatives in sheep's clothing, but this fear has infected and has spread throughout Occupy and now includes internal finger pointing and accusations of "co-opting,” creating more unnecessary divisiveness. It is a healthy impulse to strive towards greater democracy and away from charisma-based leadership, but any idea taken to its extreme can become nonsense. To denounce real organization and leadership "on principle" is to vastly oversimplify the real processes of movement building while erecting unnecessary barriers in Occupy's path to real power. To self-mutilate a movement because of leader-paranoia is similar to euthanize a puppy because of its potentially dangerous sharp teeth. In fact, true leaders can only emerge in the context of real democracy; both need the other. There is no blueprint for movement building, but general principles can be erected based on the revolutionary experiences of the past. The key strategies of Occupy should be based on those ideas that unify and promote collective action against the 1%. Ultimately Occupy needs to organize for power; it needs a greater power to displace the current power of the 1%. This doesn't mean that it must adopt the same forms of power utilized by the state, but that new ones must be created, while using EVERY opportunity within the existing structure to organize, educate, and mobilize the 99 percent. If the action – or actions – are effective it will prove that Occupy needs to organize and mobilize in large numbers over issues that connect with the 99 percent — proving that theory is best learned in action. But it must be inspired by divine teachings.
Echo of Islam
I r a n Expresses Concern over Police Crackdown in S. Arabia By Ali Alami
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on July 11 expressed concern over the use of violence by the Saudi Arabian government against the people and religious figures in Eastern Province.
ehmanparast expressed hope that the Saudi Arabian government would take the measures necessary to meet legitimate public demands and refrain from using violence against the people. Security forces killed three demonstrators at a demonstration held after a prominent cleric’s arrest in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province on July 9. The demonstrators marched in the town of Awamiyah in the Qatif province where Nimr al-Nimr was attacked and detained earlier in the day. The regime forces opened fire on the protesters, leaving three people dead. Meanwhile, Bahrainis took to the streets in several villages to hold demonstrations in solidarity with a detained Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia. The demonstrators expressed solidarity with prominent cleric Sheikh Nemr alNemr, who was attacked in his car and arrested in the Qatif region of the Eastern Province. According to the Human Rights Watch, the Saudi regime “routinely represses expression critical of the government.” Meanwhile, Bahrainis continue demonstrations against the ruling Al Khalifa family despite the Manama regime’s violent crackdown. In mid-March 2011, Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, deployed troops in Bahrain to help the Manama regime crush anti-government demonstrations.