Imtiaz Bokhari Sahib has written to me again that he wants to continue discussion about the topic in the title. Some of the initial exchanges between some members were done via email but most TF subscribers should have received those exchanges. So Bokhari Sahib, this is in some more detail the point I have been making.
Subject: A visitor of ValueWalk shared an article with you. I read this article and found it very interesting, thought you would enjoy. The article is called India Targeted China With Nuclear Program, Not Pakistan and is located at http://www.valuewalk.com/2015/08/india-nuclear-for-china-not-pakistan/ It is an different slant on the conventional views about the regionand worth a read. Editor
Abstract of the Article:
The term “Arab Spring” was popularized, perhaps invented, by the Western media in early 2011, when the successful uprising against unsavory strongmen like, Ben Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, brought down the dictators. It emboldened similar anti-government protests in some other Arab countries, while a wave of terrorism and bloody offensive from Pakistan to the shores of Mediterranean was ravaging the Muslim lands. It was, basically, a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and rebellions, spread across the Middle East rather than a struggle for the rule of the liberal democracy in the Arab lands. Its purpose, relative success, and outcome remain hotly disputed among foreign observers and world powers, looking to exploit the changing political scenario of the Middle East. But the events in the Middle East went in a less straightforward direction. Egypt and Tunisia entered an uncertain transition period; Syria, Libya, and Yemen are drawn into a civil conflict, while the wealthy monarchies in the Persian Gulf remain largely unshaken by the events. Use of the term Arab Spring is today viewed as a myth or an inaccurate and simplistic movement that disappeared just as the spring gone without flowering. It has, however, left behind a big question: Is the Arab World going to be revisited by a real “Arab Spring” or is the challenge of “Islamic Khilafat” going to end its prospects of democratic modernity?
For all the manifest corruption, for all the scandal of flaunted riches and abused power, the heart of Islam still beats strongly. Is there a possibility that the Arabs should not emphasize that religion is far above politics, or at least in the beginning stage of a nation’s political order “one serves as an instrument of the other.” The Arabs can find a way to liberal democracy by following what the renowned America poet Walt Whitman reflected about liberal democracy in USA: “For I say at the core of democracy, finally, is the religious element. All the religions, old and new, are there.” The concept of “Twin Tolerations”—the minimal boundaries of freedom of action that must somehow be crafted for political institutions vis-a-vis religious authorities, and for religious individuals and groups vis-a-vis political institutions, intertwining liberal democracy with the belief of the religious oriented masses—can help the political leaders indigenize initially a form of theo-liberal-democracy based on the Islamic concept of “rights of the people are more venerable than the rights of God.” The real problem with the Arabs and the Muslims in general is that for the believers religion supersedes politics, while the modernists seek liberal democracy free from the shackles of religion. However, there exists a symbiotic relationship between a religious adaptation and the liberal-democratic formation.—— Mirza Ashraf.
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Subject: Tutu to Israelis: Free yourselves
This is the first time an opinion piece has gone out to our community, but this one’s historic.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu has just published a powerful call to conscience in an Israeli newspaper. In it, the Nobel Laureate and anti-apartheid legend stands with 1.7 million of us in calling on companies to boycott and divest from the Israeli occupation and repression of Palestine. His love shines through, as he urges Israelis (87% of whom supported the Gaza bombing) to liberate *themselves* from this terrible status quo. It’s a must-read:
The piece is exclusively published in an Israeli newspaper, but it’s a powerful legitimizer of what some governments still see as a controversial position, and the rest of the world needs to see it. The only way that will happen is through people sharing it. Let’s share it with everyone!
This campaign is gathering real pace. Russell Brand has recorded this video backing our campaign, and the companies we’re targeting are starting to reach out to the Avaaz team and ask for meetings. Avaazers in the UK are campaigning to end arms sales to Israel as the government there initiates a review. And shockingly, even the US government cancelled a shipment of hellfire missiles to Israel!
The pressure is working – so let’s keep it up! If you haven’t yet, sign the petition here. Or click here to keep sending messages to our target companies. Let’s make sure they don’t think they can ride this out. And if you have a local campaign you could start to ensure that your town, or university, or community divests from the repression of Palestinians, start your own campaign here.
It’s a tremendous thing for us to once again stand alongside Archbishop Tutu – one of our truly great non-violent leaders. Because in a world torn apart by extremists who successfully demonise the ‘other’, non-violent strength is transformative – the strength to be firm, even tough, in standing up for justice, but out of a love for all people that refuses to fall victim to the fear and ignorance that is our universal enemy. A love that recognises that all our fates, and freedom, are intertwined. That’s the precious spirit that our greatest leaders, from Gandhi to Tutu, have taught us, and that our community strives to live up to with each and every campaign.
Ricken, Alex, Fadi, Jeremy, Ana Sofia, Ari and the rest of the Avaaz team
PS – This campaign is about creating the conditions for a lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, and safe homes for Jews and Palestinians alike. Both anti-semitism and racism against Palestinians, like all hatred, are grotesque and should be fought. At the end of day, it is extremists on both sides that work together to threaten a peaceful future, and our work is to bring reasonable people together from all sides to take the action needed to save both Israel and Palestine. If anyone feels this campaign is one-sided, please check the Avaaz team’s response and explanation here.
Avaaz.org is a 38-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making. (“Avaaz” means “voice” or “song” in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz’s biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
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Note from Nasik Elahi:
Bishop Tutu has directed his remarks to the Israelis in an Israeli newspaper but his remarkably ethical statements carry the same import for all countries, particularly in the Islamic world.