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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 14-May-2014
14-May-14 World View -- Muslim world split by Boko Haram abductions

Web Log - May, 2014

14-May-14 World View -- Muslim world split by Boko Haram abductions

Russia bans U.S. from International Space Station

This morning's key headlines from

Muslim world split by Boko Haram abductions

Both jihadists and ordinary Muslims are condemning Boko Haram for the mass abduction of young schoolgirls
Both jihadists and ordinary Muslims are condemning Boko Haram for the mass abduction of young schoolgirls

It's a common Western complaint of Islam that Muslim officials and clerics rarely condemn the acts of Islamist terrorists, or that any such condemnations are rarely as aggressive as a Christian cleric condemnation of a terrorist act by a Christian.

There have been similar criticisms about the Muslim reaction to the Boko Haram abduction of over 200 young school girls. Within Nigeria itself, there is bitter criticism that the politicians and the army did nothing for weeks, and that Goodluck Jonathan, was even seen dancing the day after the attack.

However, as the worldwide public has become aware of this terrorist act, it's caused a fierce debate with the Muslim community -- both among ordinary Muslims and among jihadists.

One Muslim, Sydney Casely-Hayford in Ghana, says that Boko Haram reflects flaws in Islam. He argues that the "continuous silence" of Muslim clerics is an indication that Boko Haram is subtly accepted:

"I have not heard so far one single high ranking, respected Muslim cleric [in Ghana] stand up and say [the activities of Boko Haram] is totally non-Muslim activity; this is not what Islam is all about. ...

You [Islamic Leaders] need to hold a big stage and say so clearly so that we all understand that you are against what is going on."

In response, the Coalition of Concerned Muslims says that the accusation of "subtle acceptance" is an absurd and blatant lie, as numerous comments by Muslim Clerics and Muslims in general have been published:

His assertion that the ‘Boko Haram’ projects the weakness of Islam as a religion is devoid of logic. It is sad and strange that he has chosen to use the actions of ‘Boko Haram’ as a yardstick in measuring the strength or otherwise weakness of Islam. It is intellectual dishonesty to judge Islam by way of the behavior of a few deviant followers.

A majority of Muslims have conducted themselves well wherever they are located. Under no circumstance should the actions of a few deviant folks be used to describe Islam but rather it is sound and logical to use the actions of the majority of Muslims. Does he not see that the world would be in chaos if Muslims throughout the world were to unite upon violence and aggression? Would it be fair to say the Catholic Church projects the weakness/flaws in Christianity because its priests abuse children? Or the inhumane actions of the Lord’s resistance Army in Uganda show that Christianity has flaws? We Muslims have been thought to be just in our dealings and analysis and so we do not draw such flimsy conclusions as done by Mr. Casely Hayford."

With ordinary Muslims reacting angrily to the Boko Haram abductions, it's perhaps surprising that even jihadists are shocked by the appalling and repulsive nature of the attack. One jihadist was most fearful of revenge attacks, and gave a very interesting historical analysis:

"Today, there are different sentiments, as the peoples of the [Islamic] nation hear from the channels news that we never hoped to hear – namely, the kidnapping of Muslim and non-Muslim girls and your announcement that you intend to sell them as slaves.

This matter, if you proceed with it, will become a dangerous precedent and will bring about grave calamities such as the nation of Islam has never heard of for centuries. Your announcement of 'imprisoning' hundreds of girls will not benefit Islam and the Muslims in any manner. On the contrary, it will reflect tragically not only on their image but also on whatever similar reactions the enemies of Islam will carry out. The [Islamic] nation has enough tragedies as it is.

Brothers in [Boko Haram]: if you do this, and sell the girls as prisoners, can you guarantee to your wives, your daughters, your sisters, and your Muslim relatives here and there that the enemies will [not] commit rape against them and will not defile their honor and modesty?

Do not open the gates of evil, have mercy on your Muslim sisters, and protect your religion's reputation.

Know that not everything that is permitted in Islam is proper to do at all times and in any manner without considering its advantages and disadvantages.

Know that imprisonment and enslavement resulting from war between Muslims and infidels are part of reciprocity, and that this was the norm among peoples in ancient times. Today, however, as the act of enslavement between the nations of the world has ceased to exist, and the exchange of prisoners has become the custom, we as Muslims should not initiate this toward our enemy, since it has grave repercussions. Preventing harm takes precedence over making gains, according to famous jurisprudential principle. We do not know what advantage for Islam and the Muslims will be gained if you do this…

We appeal to you: Release the girls and do not continue their imprisonment and enslavement. The Muslims today are suffering from enough oppression; do not bring any harm on their honor [i.e. their women]."

Not all jihadists were convinced, however. One responded: "On the contrary, [we should] imprison [as much as we can]. Ripping out the hearts of the infidels who have no morals in war is a legitimate administration of justice. As a Muslim, I think that the brothers, the mujahideen in Nigeria, did a good thing. I pray to the great Allah to give them victory and power throughout the land." Citi-Fm (Ghana) and Ghana Web and Memri

Russia bans U.S. from International Space Station

In retaliation for American sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine situation, Russia's deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin announced on Tuesday a series of sanctions against the U.S.:

Moscow Times and Telegraph (London)

Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi resigns in disgust

When the Syria war began in 2012, the Arab League and the United Nations appointed former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan as a special envoy to bring peace to Syria. Annan formulated a farcical six-point 'peace plan' which said absolutely nothing, and so was not vetoed Russia in the U.N. Security Council.

By August 2012, Syria's president Bashar al-Assad has made a fool of Annan enough times that Annan resigned, and he was replaced by 78 year old Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi. I had noticed a difference in tone between the two: whereas Annan sounded pathetic and dishonest, Brahimi sounded realistic and truthful.

Brahimi was congratulated on a couple of occasions, when he got both sides, the al-Assad government and the opposition rebels, to participate in a peace conference in Geneva, once in 2013, and once in February of this year. Syria had previously agreed to discuss a "transitional government body," which meant that either al-Assad would step down or at least that the opposition would have a place in the government. The regime absolutely refused to even put that subject on the meeting agenda. The "peace talks" collapsed once and for all, and Brahimi clearly blamed the Syrian regime, and apologized to the Syrian people. The regime was furious at Brahimi after that, and considered him to be biased.

And why should al-Assad step down? Why should he compromise on anything?

So it's absurd to believe that al-Assad would ever compromise on anything.

Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi have been useful idiots for the Assad regime by providing cover for him to continue his war criminal acts on civilian Sunnis, and cover for the Russians and Iranians to make sanctimonious statements while they support al-Assad's bloody slaughter.

It's worth remembering again, as I wrote in 2011 (see "22-Apr-11 News -- Russia seeks to cripple Nato through Libya United Nations politics"), Russia adopted a policy of using the United Nations Security Council to cripple American and Western foreign policy. Putin has been incredibly successful with this policy, and has crippled American and Western policy almost completely, most recently in Ukraine.

So Lakhdar Brahimi, now 80 years old, stepped down on Tuesday, and apologized to the Syrian people once more:

"It's not very pleasant for me. It's very sad that I leave this position and leave Syria behind in such a bad state."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon promised to appoint a new envoy, but I doubt that there's any hurry. al-Jazeera and BBC

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 14-May-14 World View -- Muslim world split by Boko Haram abductions thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (14-May-2014) Permanent Link
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