Saturday, 28 June 2014

MsSolidarity's blog : My Work

MsSolidarity's blog : My Work: As freelance writer I contribute articles on wide variety of topics on local and international politics.     I fo...

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Abduction of 3 Israeli teens to escalate tensions.

The imploding situation created by the ISIS and Syria is unleashing human misery requires immediate actions and those earnestly hopeful of ending the violence through political means are not getting the message.  Middle East is smouldering in flames but the tragedy unfolds rather sinisterly when children are used as shields to make gains and negotiate deals, possibly to swap prisoners who maybe wanted in some serious terror related crimes. When besieged by likelihood of defeat, the attacking and mutilating of human instincts and emotions becomes a winnable formula for the militants.

The recent incident of three Israeli teenagers abducted in the West Bank has escalated the tensions between Israel and the new Palestinian government. The distraught face of Naftali Frenkel ’s mother trying to give hope to her son that very soon he will come back home is troublesome to watch. Like any other mother the first and foremost concern for her will be the safety of her son when he leaves home. To forcefully withhold and keep away any child from the safety of his/her home and family environment is a tactic which sends a message of fear and intimidation by the perpetrators. People in Israel are worried not only for the safety of those three boys; they are concerned as to how the situation in an already precarious environment where so much uncertainty exists will unfold for them, as the days will pass by.

If Hamas is behind these kidnappings it is a tragedy for those Muslims who want to live alongside the Jews and have nothing to do with the tactics of intimidation. It is every child’s right to acquire education but religious extremism indoctrinated to support extreme measures of violence has turned many children into Jihadist fighters. To be used as instruments to support Islamic ideologies which encourage individuals to accept fighting as a just cause is now blatantly accepted by the radicals who indoctrinate young minds to take up arms and weapons and chant Quranic verses. So many young children are being robbed of their childhood because chances of peace are hijacked by the terrorists who will mastermind extreme acts to suit their own vested interests.

AT a time when options for peaceful settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis should have exceeded this incident will create repercussions which will further divide them and will lead to tensions, fear and uncertainty in the region.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

The Iraq War legacy---why is it so blurred!

The article was previously published in on 3 March, 2013.

So it is ten years after the invasion of Iraq by the coalition forces. The speculation that the decision to go to the war was a disastrous mistake which ultimately eroded public trust in the politicians and gave rise to sentiments that intervention can only lead to protectionism and safeguarding of self-interest still reigns down heavily against the judgment that Saddam Hussain was a brutal dictator involved in the genocide of Kurdish people and severely suppressed freedom of speech among his own people.

Any argument in favour of replacing the regime to uplift the economic conditions of the country which by the year 2003 had a weak and deteriorating economic structure, despite being ranked seventh in the list of oil producing nations, is proven weak by the anti-war protestors and the peace activists who rally around the argument that economic sanctions were enough to remove Saddam Hussein.

Leaving aside the statistics, various available data analysis and the reports on the build-up of the decision that war was inevitable there can be little validation to the fact that there is no accountability of the objectives and methods employed by the single entity of power to establish the rule of law which infringes human rights. Dictatorship thrives on absolute power and an individual who wants total control over social and economic organizations will rely on a highly developed ideology to justify doing so. And if Islamization is supported as the rule of law it is the women who suffer the most.

Whether it is the right to drive a car without the need of a chaperone or the ultimate necessity to give protection to the victim of rape and not demand witnesses to prove that the crime had been committed, if the basic argument rests against the need to change these practices because the principles of a faith interpret it differently than it cannot lead to an equal status of women in society. Strict interpretation of Quran in many parts of the world has become an exception to morally validate the case that women should apply a social code which was established in the advent of Islam. With no laws in place to allow freedom of speech and open debate very little can be achieved to make women feel secure and safe. A dictator will choose any law that gives him immunity from leaving power and time and again in the Muslim world the ideals of sharia law have been upheld by totalitarian regimes.

Let us not be deluded by the belief that an organized system of governance brings prosperity where voices which seek change are suppressed and made to remain silence. Iraq has seen its share of tragedy, much need to be done to keep it stable and away from the chaos of a civil war but then for the first time people have the right to vote in general elections. Every war has its ugly consequences but then can we justify the emergence of dictators! The cries to silence the support for the intervention in Iraq blur the objectives----lamenting the reasons for the overthrow of dictatorship is intellectual laziness which hinders taking responsibility for change. 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Trojan horse plot—what should Muslims do.

Some are not only questioning the facts behind the Trojan horse report, they are blaming it as a smear campaign against those members of the Muslim community of Birmingham, who want their children to be educated so as to be better informed about knowledge of Islam.

The extremist character of the schools originated because there was a demand for a system of education that is to make children well aware of a certain Islamic character which can sometimes conflict with the secular curriculum. To make a clear definition of what exactly constitute as a conflict between secular education and religious Islamic education I found the answer in the bloghtt:// conclusive. The author of the blog is a Muslim mother who gives home-schooling to her five children because she believes this method of teaching ‘freely interlink’ secular education with religious beliefs. Among other preferences for giving home schooling, she also highlights the freedom to choose not to study Evolution Theory or teach it in light of ‘our religious belief.’ She goes on to explain that she has set aside a dedicated amount of work for Islamic Studies which includes reading Quran, its commentary (tafsir), books of hadith and explanations from scholars as part of the lesson plans for her children. The blog has all the relevant information for anyone interested in starting home-schooling with emphasis on Islamic educationfrom Muslim home-school planners to Home Education UK and necessary text book to teach children maths, literacy, religion the web-links are there. What I find distressing is the mother’s preference for English Grammar pages where worksheets of nouns, verbs, articles, conjunctions, syllables, suffixes, prefixes, prepositions have images of characters with no physical features and some showed little girls wearing head coverings. The strict interpretation of Islam forbids drawing images of human beings and animals and many families readily accept material for children where drawing of physical features is omitted. Surely a child who is given to accept this belief will find it hard to assimilate with the secular world around him or her later in life. The division between the world confined to religious interpretation and the outside world will lead to extremist thoughts and sense of seclusion since no interplay between cultural influences from the society have been allowed to penetrate.

I doubt the reasons would be any different for some of the parents, governors or teachers who allowed the schools to overly adopt the local Muslim culture in the schools involved in the inspection which led to the Trojan horse report in Birmingham. ‘Localism’ cannot be confused with religiosity and schools should not be allowed to nurture young minds on the ideas which only lead them to the understanding that an identity based on belief and faith is what essentially matters.

In secular societies faith is a personal matter and Britain’s secular outlook has never been a challenge to Muslim communities all over the country. The debate culminating from the  ‘Trojan horse’ plot is not about immigration, Islamophobia or education secretary’s insistence that institutions should be under a centralist control. It is time for Muslim community to rise above ethos and sensibilities which create division with the secular world.      

Worksheets with faces without expressions and little girls in head scarves.