The heritage of despotism

29. Juli 2014, von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

On the point. The dilemma of countries ruled by brutal dictators for decades:

Brian Katulis, a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (…) traces the roots of Libya’s current crisis to a history scarred by years of dictatorship. “The sense of national unity and purpose had been decimated by decades and decades of dictatorship, and it was held together through vicious rule,” he said. “What we’re seeing there, and what we’re seeing in Iraq and other places in the Middle East, is what brutal totalitarian rule does to societies. It actually distorts the possibility for politics once they’re gone.”

FGM in Iraq: The hoax of a hoax?

29. Juli 2014, von Administrator

The supposedly hoax fatwa by ISIS circulating in Social Media is a very mainstream fatwa about FGM. Who ever wrote it knows the hadith (sayings of the prophet) which most clerics use when defending “female circumcision”. Contrary to general perception mainstream Islam is not opposed to this practice. There are small groups like the Ahmadiyya which oppose it fiercly, there are individual prominent clerics who oppose it and there are regions where it was not ever practiced like in the Maghreb. However, most law schools say it is Sunnah, sometimes meaning it is a good thing but not obligatory, sometimes meaning it was done in the times of the prophet and not prohibited by him, therefore people are allowed to practice it. Mainstream Islam views it as a private matter leaving it to the parents. However, one law school, the Shafa’i, say it must be done. The fatwa in question reads like a Shafa’i fatwa. It seems quite plausible that IS would make this interpretation their own as they tend to always pick the most extreme interpretation of an issue.

Read more on Stop FGM Mideast

Helft den Gaza Flüchtlingen!

29. Juli 2014, von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Laut UN-OCHA  sind 215,000 Palästinenser im Gazastreifen internal displaced durch den Krieg und versuchen, entweder in überfüllten UN-Einrichtungen oder bei Freunden und Bekannten Unterkunft zu finden.

Wäre es nicht an der Zeit, dass Europa und vor allem Deutschland, die sich gerne so besorgt um das Wohl der Palästinenser gibt, ihre Grenzen öffnen und zumindest ein paar Zehntausende von ihnen umgehend und ganz unbürokratisch aufnehmen?

Kurdistan proud to be a safe haven for refugees

28. Juli 2014, von Administrator

While Europe closes is borders for millions of refugees, Kurdistan is proud to become a safe haven. Two different attitudes towards refugees:

The President of Kurdistan Region , Massoud Barzani   thanked on Monday the people of Kurdistan, for having aided the huge numbers of displaced people and refugees despite the “blockade” imposed by the Authority in Baghdad.

Barzani said in a telegram of congratulations on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr seen by “Shafaq News” that “the humanitarian situation of the people of Kurdistan has become a place of admiration and respect of the international community.”

He added that “hundreds of thousands of citizens from all ethnic and religious components and across areas of Iraq were forced to leave their towns and move to Kurdistan.”

Barzani said that , “I take this opportunity to reiterate my thanks to the steadfast people of Kurdistan that is helping and sheltering these huge numbers of displaced people and refugees, despite the inhuman blockade imposed by the Authority in Baghdad on our people.”

Die unschlagbare Fußballliga junger Frauen in Irakisch Kurdistan

28. Juli 2014, von Administrator

Ein Interview des Radio Dreyecklandes mit Thomas von der Osten-Sacken über Mädchenfussball in Irakisch-Kurdistan


Is the ISIS Fatwa demanding FGM a hoax?

28. Juli 2014, von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

The Guardian should know better

Shortly after a Fatwa was widely distributed ordering all girls and women to be mutilated in territories controlled by the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) some doubts arose this document could be a hoax. Very fast international media took that claim, although no high rank member of IS denied the existence of this Fatwa so far and in Iraq Human Rights organisations and Women Activists believe IS is going to forcibly mutilate girls and women in the near future.

Although the evidence against the authenticity of this Fatwa is weak, Ian Black and Fazel Hawramy are claiming in the Guardian “that FGM is not required by Islam and is not prevalent in Iraq. It is most widespread in Egypt, Sudan and east Africa”.

Well, FGM is – and the Guardian should know better – prevalent in Iraq, the Guardian in 2013 even started its own anti-FGM campaign with a film about this practice in Iraqi-Kurdistan and recent studies show, that mutialtion is also practiced in other parts of the country such as Kirkuk and Southern Iraq.

It should be known by now that at least one Islamic Law school considers Circumcision for Girls obligatorywhile Salafis and radical Islamists do promote this practice as religious duty. Egyptian Cleric Wajdi Ghoneim is only one of  many examples.



Election results in Libya

25. Juli 2014, von aus dem Netz

Of the total 200 seats in the new parliament, 188 were set, while the remaining 12 seats were absent due to boycott or insecurity in some electoral districts, according to Libya’s High National Electoral Commission.

Analysts said the secular factions have seemingly taken most of the seats, while the Islamist lawmakers, who had a bigger say in the old parliament, only won around 30 seats this time. Some feared that the results might intensify the current armed clashes between the secular forces and Islamist militants in the volatile North African country, given the imbalance of power between the two sides in the parliament.


Islamic caliphate labels female genital mutilation obligatory

22. Juli 2014, von Arvid Vormann

Recently the Islamic state issued a fatwa which called female genital mutilation a religious duty for every woman and girl living within the caliphate’s boundaries.

It is telling that this is one of their first worries when establishing their terror reign… The existence of this “state” is a shame for whole mankind, and every day is a day too much.

This is a translation of the Fatwa:

For protecting our Islamic nation in Iraq and Syria, our land, and our people, we need to look after our women and their behavior while preventing them from the dreadful modern life they are surrounded with.
Abu Baker Al-Baghdady:
A rule to all of the Islamic nations, regions, and districts is to protect women as our Khalifa says and prophet says while the mother Aatyia was circumcising a woman, the prophet said, “Don’t get disappointed, that is good for your husband, and your face”.  In another story, the prophet saw the mother Hajer, who had been known as odalisque’s mutilated woman, and asked her whether she still practice her job or not, the mother Hajer answered with yes. Then she asked the prophet whether it is Haram or not and he answered her with being Halal and he can teach her how to do it. The prophet says, “it is brighter for the face, and luckier for the husband”. Meanwhile, the prophet says, “if you mutilate, do not exaggerate”.
Abu Harera gives another statement that the prophet says, “All Muslim women, accept circumcision but do not exaggerate on it”.  Therefore, this is a call for all women to get mutilated.


No one cares

16. Juli 2014, von aus dem Netz

The caliphate that they declared so recently has just got a lot bigger. And rather amazingly, the world hasn’t paid much attention, because of Gaza. They have attacked towards Deir ez-Zor, which is a big province with a lot of oil wells in eastern Syria. They probably hold about 98 percent of it now. There’s a bit of the capital city which is held by the Assad government, but otherwise they’ve routed the opposition, Syrian opposition, Assad, from themselves. And they’ve also launched another offensive towards one of the Kurdish enclaves right up on the Turkish border—there are about half a million people there—to Kobani. They’re using—I was talking to people in the enclave yesterday, and the ISIS have about 5,000 fighters there, but they’ve also got tanks and artillery that they captured in Iraq. They’re driving around in American Humvees, also captured. And they’re putting a lot of pressure on. So they’re really taking the whole sort of eastern side of Syria, to the east of the city of Aleppo. And they probably will advance towards that in the future. But it’s a major success for them, following their takeover of Mosul and northern and western Iraq, and rather surprisingly, given publicity after the fall of Mosul, that this really hasn’t gathered much attention in the rest of the region or in Europe or America.


Emergency Aid for Internal Displaced Iraqis, who fled the Terror of ISIS

16. Juli 2014, von Administrator
Wadi is supporting refugee families from Western Iraq

Hundred of thousands of Iraqis had to flee the terror of the radical Islamic Group ISIS that took over big parts of Western Iraq in June. The were looking for shelter and safety in neighboring Iraqi Kurdistan.
But refugee camps are overcrowded and many families have to live in schools or other public buildings without getting much of assistance.
In Darbandikhan, a small town nearby Suleymaniah, around 500 families, most of them women and children, are sheltered in a local school building.
As part of the local Iraqi-Kurdish network Hana, which also supports refugees from Syria, Wadi is supporting these families with basic need such as food, clothes and toys for the children.
Please support these effort with your donation too.

A small breaktrough

15. Juli 2014, von Administrator

From the Global Post:

In Iraqi Kurdistan, suicide by self-immolation has replaced honor killing in many cases. Most often the decision is made by a woman herself either to escape a life of misery or shame, or due to pressure from her family members. The majority of these are reported as accidents. Dunya’s sister-in-law died three years ago in one such incident.

WADI estimates around 10,000 women have burned to death since the Kurdish region gained autonomy in 1991. Just how many of these were suicides is unknown as such cases are never investigated, Shaker said.

But changes in law are also slowly beginning to wield their influence in the courtroom.

Last month, WADI’s Shaker served as prosecutor in the trial of Osman Ali Mohammed who killed his wife in front of their children. Decades before, when Mohammed himself was still a child, his own mother had been killed in a slaying orchestrated by her brothers.

On May 20, he was convicted to 15 years imprisonment for the crime, a breakthrough for women’s rights in Kurdistan.

As Mohammed was removed from the court, he turned toward a small gathering of women, among them Bahar Muzir and other members of Zhyan. He spat threats and abhorrent insults at the women vowing he would not serve his time, and would exact revenge against each of them.

One in four women in Central and Southern Iraq is affected by Female Genital Mutilation, new study suggests

14. Juli 2014, von Administrator
A first independent study on female genital mutilation in central/southern Iraq finds that 25% of the women in these regions were subjected to this practice.

 The study was conducted in early 2014 in cooperation between physicians, women’s rights and civil society organizations. The researchers’ identities remain undisclosed due to securitiy concerns.

 500 women in Wasit province and 500 women in Qadisyiah province were sampled for the study. The data collected suggests that most women are subjected to FGM in childhood, especially before the age of 10. The most often cited reasons for the practice are religious belief, cultural heritage and tradition; it is most commonly performed by a nurse or a midwife.

 In light of the challenging security situation and social circumstances under which the study was conducted, the results are to be taken as preliminary indicators urgently demanding further research. Data presented by UNICEF last year suggested that FGM is almost inexistent in southern and central Iraq. The new findings cast considerable doubt on this conclusion and are calling for further thorough investigations.

  Lies den Rest des Artikels »

Tod, Rache und wieder Tod

13. Juli 2014, von aus dem Netz

Ahmad Mansour in einem Essay:

Die nächste Generation muss die Chance erhalten, Selbstreflexion, Demokratie, Gleichberechtigung zu lernen und Vorurteile zu überwinden. Denn der Kreislauf aus Tod, Rache und wieder Tod und Rache erreicht nichts. Er häuft nur Trauma auf Trauma. Wo soll die Gewaltspirale hinführen? Ins Nichts. Hamas muss begreifen: Israel wird fortbestehen. Nie wird Hamas Israel, “alle Juden” oder den Westen “besiegen”. Dieser Traum ist nicht nur destruktiv, er ist auch eine totalitäre Illusion. Eine Bevölkerung, deren Selbstverständnis auf der Fantasie gründet, eine andere Bevölkerung zu vernichten, traumatisiert die Bedrohten wie die Drohenden.

Es ist ein tieftrauriges Sinnbild für die starre, kalte Haltung von Hamas, dass sie Familien auffordert, sich als lebende Ziele auf die Hausdächer von Gaza zu stellen, wenn Israels Militär Vergeltungsschläge übt. Hamas will Opfer schaffen, um ihre Opfermythen zu erhalten. Mit ihren Opfern macht sie Reklame, die auch im Westen, auch in Deutschland nun wieder erschreckend wirksam ist. Lies den Rest des Artikels »

Solidarität wäre

13. Juli 2014, von aus dem Netz

Solidarität mit den Menschen, die in der Hölle Gaza zu leben gezwungen sind, würde darüber trauern, dass das perfide Kalkül der Hamas wieder aufgegangen ist, darüber, dass sie den Menschen einen Djihad aufoktroyiert, der nichts anders verheißt als den Tod der „Mikroben und Bakterien“, wie sie die Juden ruft, und den Märtyrertod der „Eigenen“.

Solidarität mit den Palästinensern würde nach dem Aufstand gegen die Hamas, den Islamischen Djihad und alle anderen Rackets rufen, auf dass diese nie wieder ihre Artillerie zwischen den Behausungen jener eingraben, deren Tode sie propagandistisch zu verwerten wissen …

Den ganzen Artikel lesen

Stop FGM Kurdistan Event in London

13. Juli 2014, von Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Gleiche Ziele

12. Juli 2014, von aus dem Netz

Whatever Bashar al-Assad and Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi may think of one another personally, their top tactical priority in Syria is identical: destroy the Syrian nationalist opposition to the Assad regime.

That destruction is vital to both parties. From the beginning, Assad has maintained that terrorists, top-heavy with foreign fighters, are his only opponents of consequence. By focusing his firepower on the nationalist opposition and by largely ignoring the ISIS phenomenon, he seeks to give his argument the attribute of truth and restore his value to the West. As for ISIS, exterminating Assad’s opposition opens up two possibilities: incorporating non-regime Syria into its declared state; and setting the stage for its ultimate showdown with the regime (unless, of course, it and the regime extend indefinitely their live-and-let-live arrangement).


The Iraqi Civil Initiative is launched by 90 Civil Society Organizations

12. Juli 2014, von aus dem Netz

In the face of the vicious terrorist onslaught against our country, and the inability of the ruling political blocs to fulfill the constitutional obligations in the aftermath of the recent elections, ninety civil society organizations have signed this declaration to launch the Civil Initiative under the slogan: “Achieving Civil and Societal Peace to Defeat Terrorism and to Ensure the Construction of a Civil Democratic State”. Defeating the schemes of evil terrorists requires, at the same time, correcting the course of the political process and dismantling the sectarian-ethnic power-sharing system, as well as defending the freedoms of opinion and expression and human rights, ensuring media freedom, respecting ethnic, religious, sectarian and cultural diversity in our society, and combating financial and administrative corruption.

The Civil Initiative is seeking, through its multifaceted peaceful movement, to deal with the current existential crisis by the following means:

  • Organizing meetings with the political forces in order to find a common national platform to get out of the crisis.
  • Encouraging dialogue between various social strata to contain the tension, and stop sectarian and ethnic agitation, in preparation for convening a broad national conference.
  • Issuing an electronic information bulletin to inform the public opinion about the ongoing developments in a transparent manner without falsification.
  • Holding a meeting with the representatives of the United Nations to exchange views, develop a support system for the political process and preserve the unity of Iraq.
  • Contacting representatives of the diplomatic corps in Iraq to discuss the national affairs and to help contain the crisis and confront terrorism in accordance with international obligations.
  • Mobilizing national, regional and international efforts and relief organizations to address the destructive effects of the armed conflict on civilians and the displacement of thousands of families to other areas lacking the most basic means of human life.

Palestinians and Kurds

12. Juli 2014, von aus dem Netz

Like the Palestinians, the Kurds deserve a state. Unlike most of the Palestinian leadership, the Kurds have played a long and clever game to bring them to freedom.

This is what Barham Salih, the former prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, told me years ago: “Compare us to other liberation movements around the world. We are very mature. We don’t engage in terror. We don’t condone extremist nationalist notions that can only burden our people. Please compare what we have achieved in the Kurdistan national-authority areas to the Palestinian national authority. … We have spent the last 10 years building a secular, democratic society, a civil society.” What, he asked, have the Palestinians built?

So too, Massoud Barzani, the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, once told me this: “We had the opportunity to use terrorism against Baghdad. We chose not to.”

In 2005, the Palestinians of Gaza, free from their Israeli occupiers, could have taken a lesson from the Kurds — and from David Ben-Gurion, the principal Israeli state-builder — and created the necessary infrastructure for eventual freedom. Gaza is centrally located between two large economies, those of Israel and Egypt. Europe is just across the Mediterranean. Gaza could have easily attracted untold billions in economic aid.

Read more

Iraq: Campaign of Mass Murders of Sunni Prisoners

12. Juli 2014, von aus dem Netz

Iraqi security forces and militias affiliated with the government appear to have unlawfully executed at least 255 prisoners in six Iraqi cities and villages since June 9, 2014. In all but one case, the executions took place while the fighters were fleeing Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) and other armed groups. The vast majority of security forces and militias are Shia, while the murdered prisoners were Sunni. At least eight of those killed were boys under age 18.

The mass extrajudicial killings may be evidence of war crimes or crimes against humanity, and appear to be revenge killings for atrocities by ISIS, a Sunni extremist group that in the past month has captured large areas from the Shia-led central government. ISIS, which on June 30 changed its name to Islamic State, summarily executed scores of captured soldiers, Shia militiamen, and Shia religious minorities in areas it controls.

“Gunning down prisoners is an outrageous violation of international law,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “While the world rightly denounces the atrocious acts of ISIS, it should not turn a blind eye to sectarian killing sprees by government and pro-government forces.”

Read more


11. Juli 2014, von aus dem Netz

In Bagdad wird nun befürchtet, dass die Stoßtrupplern des selbsternannten Kalifen Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in ihrem Siegesrausch auch noch das ebenfalls in Mosul befindliche Grab des Propheten Jona ins Visier nehmen könnten. Diese Sorge äußerte zu Wochenbeginn ein ranghoher Kulturbeamter gegenüber der irakischen Zeitung „Az-Zaman“, der auch von der Notwendigkeit sprach, die sich häufenden islamistischen Angriffe auf die Kulturgüter des Landes systematisch zu dokumentieren.

Die Befürchtungen werden nun zusätzlich genährt durch die jüngst kursierende Meldung, die ISIS-Banden hätten den Imam der Jona-Moschee, in der der Prophet Jona begraben liegt, ermordet. Die Tatsache, dass es sich um ein islamisches Gotteshaus handelt, schützt den Ort keineswegs vor dem Zerstörungswahn der Extremisten. Erst kürzlich hatte der ISIS eine prächtige Moscheeanlage im syrischen Raqqa durch Sprengung zerstört und damit in der islamischen Welt helles Entsetzen ausgelöst. Die Zerstörungswut der Islamisten richtete sich wohl gegen das darin befindliche Grab des schiitischen Sufisten Uwais al-Qarani. Der Baukomplex beherbergte aber auch das Grab Ammar Ibn Yasirs – er gilt als einer der engsten Weggefährten des Religionsstifters Muhammad.