Archiv für die Kategorie ‘Nahost’

Helft den Gaza Flüchtlingen!

Dienstag, 29. Juli 2014

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?

Tod, Rache und wieder Tod

Sonntag, 13. Juli 2014

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. (weiterlesen…)

Solidarität wäre

Sonntag, 13. Juli 2014

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 …

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Palestinians and Kurds

Samstag, 12. Juli 2014

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.

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Moscheenzerstörer

Freitag, 11. Juli 2014

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.

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Wo die Raketen herkommen

Dienstag, 08. Juli 2014

The long-range projectile fired by Hamas in Gaza at Hadera is an M302 Syrian-produced rocket, according to initial analysis on Wednesday of the remains of the rocket fired at the city on Tuesday.

The attack represents the longest-range rocket strike by Hamas on Israel to date. It came amid a heavy barrage of dozens of long-range rockets directed at greater Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as well as Ashdod, triggering air raid sirens across the country. One rocket fell in Jerusalem, but failed to cause injuries.

In March, the Israel Navy intercepted an Iranian arms ship destined for Gaza, which included 40 Syrian made M302 rockets that had a range of between 90 to 160 kilometers.

Palestinian rockets continued to pound southern Israel throughout the day, with some 120 projectiles striking by the evening.

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Über das Khalifat

Freitag, 04. Juli 2014

Thomas v. der Osten-Sacken und Oliver M. Piecha in der Jungle World:

Sicher streben Isis auf der einen und schiitische Milizionäre und Apokalyptiker mit ihren Unterstützern im Iran auf der anderen Seite einen neuen Nahen Osten an. Ihnen geht es dabei um vieles, die Justierung nationaler Grenzen gehört nicht dazu, schließlich träumen sie von einem islamischen Reich, das per definitionem keine irdischen Grenzen kennt. Das islamische Kalifat, das Isis am Wochenende ausrufen ließ, ist nicht mittelalterlich, sondern die postmoderne Aufhebung des Nationalstaates und seine Transformation in ganglands unmittelbarer religiös legitimierter Herrschaft. Der neue Kalif, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, sei, hieß es in einer entsprechenden Erklärung, fortan legitimer Herrscher aller Muslime.

Wenn auf der anderen Seite vor dreieinhalb Jahren, als es überall in der Region zu Massenprotesten kam, westliche Beobachter erstaunt feststellten, dass die Parolen der sogenannten arabischen Straße irgendwie nach dem Europa von 1848 klangen, lag das keineswegs nur an eurozentrischen Sichtweise, sondern entsprach vielmehr populären Forderungen nach Demokratisierung und Partizipation. Es mag Regionen der Welt geben, in denen neue Grenzziehungen geholfen haben, blutige Bürgerkriege zu beenden. Der eigentliche Konflikt im Irak, in Syrien und anderen Ländern des Nahen Ostens ist allerdings keineswegs einer um nationale Grenzen – einzig Kurdistan mag da eine Ausnahme darstellen –, sondern ein Krieg all jener, mal mit- und mal gegeneinander, denen es erklärtermaßen um die Vernichtung von vermeintlich künstlichen Nationalstaaten und dem geht, wofür sie noch immer stehen.

Doomed to fail

Donnerstag, 03. Juli 2014

The effort to build an anti-ISIS coalition with Iran will inevitably fail—and spectacularly so. There are many reasons why, but one deserves special attention: Iran is incapable of making it succeed. Consider: over the last three years, Obama gave Iran a free hand in Syria and Iraq to counter Sunni jihadism. The result is a revitalized Iranian alliance system—and an al-Qaeda safe haven that now stretches from the outskirts of Baghdad in Iraq to Aleppo in Syria.

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The only Solution

Mittwoch, 02. Juli 2014

Hussain Abdul-Hussain about solutions in the Middle East:

Solutions in the Middle East should be formed from the bottom up. This in turn requires greater visionaries than today’s local politicians and Western diplomats. People who oversee solutions should have a deep understanding of the socio-economic constructs of Arab societies and an awareness of their histories. Any solution short of a complete overhaul of the socio-cultural, political, and economic situation will only produce the same people, the same leaders, and the same crises.

 

Der Mythos von Sykes-Picot

Montag, 23. Juni 2014

After too much emphasis on the Sykes-Picot order as the root of problems in the region, it is now the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that claims the legitimacy of fighting Sykes-Picot. ISIL may believe in its own fantasies about the history of the Middle East and claim that it is “smashing the Sykes-Picot borders,” but we need to be more literate about the past and more sober about the present. Enough is enough about the myth of Sykes-Picot. It is true that the infamous secret agreement was more or less reflected in the drawing of the borders of a number of modern Arab states after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire. However, firstly, the Middle East was no bed of roses before the First World War; secondly, Sykes-Picot was not the sole determinant of the fate of modern Arab countries; thirdly, the modern history of Arab countries of the last century cannot be reduced to the impact of the post-First World War settlement.

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Kurdish villages declare themselves FGM-free

Dienstag, 17. Juni 2014

For ten years, Hivos partner WADI has been campaigning against female genital mutilation (FGM) in Iraqi Kurdistan. Director Thomas von der Osten-Sacken finds that communities are slowly but surely turning away from this degrading tradition.

The Iraqi-German human rights organisation WADI first came upon the harrowing consequences of FGM in the Kurdish Autonomous Region through its mobile teams. “At that time, it was thought that FGM barely existed in Iraq. FGM was seen as an ‘African problem’,” says von der Osten-Sacken. “Right now in publications people talk of about 140 to 160 million women who have been genitally mutilated worldwide. But Indonesia – the country with the largest Muslim population in the world – is not included, and it is estimated that about 80 percent of women are circumcised there. If you add Iraq, Iran, Oman, Yemen and Malaysia, you come to the conclusion that the number of victims of FGM is probably twice as high.”

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Iraq we know is gone

Samstag, 14. Juni 2014

Excellent analysis of the situation in Iraq by Professor Dlawer Ala’Aldeen

For decades, the Middle East Order was stagnant and stable, with ruthless dictators ruling populations with iron fists. Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait gave the USA the opportunity to take leadership and change this Order. American presence and influence shaped subsequent events, culminating in the removal of Saddam regime and paving the way for the Arab Spring. However, the Iraq experience for the occupying forces proved costly, deadly and will remain forever bitter. Iraq and the rest of the Middle East proved too complex for simplistic military solutions.

Regional powers, particularly Iran, and international forces, particularly Islamic Salafist groups backed by their wealthy Arab funders, defeated the US and eventually expelled its troops from the region. Worse still, Barrack Obama’s foreign policies added insult to injury and helped the US lose impact and relevance. Iran, on the other hand, became the ultimate policy- and decision-maker for both Iraq and Syria, and are now shaping events to fit their national security agenda.

For Iran, the Sunni-ISIS expansion in Syria was tolerable, as it weakened the Syrian opposition and provided a least desired alternative to Bashar Al Assad’s regime. ISIS’s further crossing into Iraq and gaining territories last year remained tolerable for as long as Baghdad city and the central Government remained in the hand of pro-Iranian Shia factions. Such battles would not disrupt the Shia belt of Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Southern Beirut. However, for Iran, the latest ISIS success is one step too far and it may get Tehran to become more active soon. Iran is now said to be mobilising Al-Quds fighters in support of the demoralised Iraqi Army. The USA may provide limited support or even strike from the air. All these will further fuel the war, which may turn into a civil, as well as international, war. (…)

Taken together, the last few days’ events have, in effect, fragmented Iraq, once and probably for all. So far, bloodshed, political rivalry and power struggles have divided Iraq, but now the system of governance is divided into three de facto independent states, with no mutual trust, good will or good intentions between them. There will be no credible way out of this mess.

Talking about Sex in The Arab World

Montag, 09. Juni 2014

An interview with Shereen El Feki, author of Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World.

Do you see greater openness about sex as an extension of the Arab Spring?

We have all this grand rhetoric about justice and freedom and dignity and equality, but [...] I fail to see how we’re going to walk the talk of empowering young people into being real leaders in their societies if we don’t trust them with information on sexual and reproductive life to lead their own intimate lives. I do not understand how we are going to empower women, politically or economically, if they do not have control over their own bodies. How are they going to speak out in the parliament or the boardroom if they can’t express themselves in the bedroom? It is all connected.

Barrel Bombs – The new trend

Samstag, 07. Juni 2014

In desperate efforts to gain ground on battlefields, frustrated governments in the Mideast and Africa are using barrel bombs against their enemies — launching the cheap, quickly manufactured weapons as a crude counter to roadside blasts and suicide explosions that insurgents have deployed with deadly success for years.

New evidence that they are being used in Iraq after being dropped on civilian populations in Syria and Sudan has raised concerns that governments in a number of unstable nations will embrace them.

Source

Stop it!

Donnerstag, 22. Mai 2014

Participants of the 2nd Conference against FGM in the Middle East and Asia say: Stop FGM!

Second Middle East & Asia Conference on FGM shows that new strategies are needed

Sonntag, 18. Mai 2014

Embedded image permalink

On May 7th to 10th the Second Middle East & Asia Conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was held in Istanbul where more than thirty activists and researchers from Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Indonesia and India met as well as representatives from UNICEF Iraq, Orchid Project (England) and Terre des Femmes (Germany). It was the second such conference organized by the German-Iraqi NGOs WADI and the Dutch NGO Hivos.

For the longest time FGM was regarded as an African problem, based on the African continent with some prevalence in neighboring countries like Yemen. This mantra was overcome only recently when WADI strated raising conscious, that FGM is also widespread in a Middle Eastern country like Iraq. In January 2012, the first conference on FGM in the Middle East was held in Beirut. In the last two years the STOP FGM Middle East Project by WADI and Hivos collected further evidence, that countries like Oman, Malaysia and Indonesia have a significant high prevalence rate of FGM. Therefore, this second conference widened the scope from the Middle East to South East Asia.

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Solidarity Against Female Genital Mutilation

Donnerstag, 08. Mai 2014

Irfan Al-Allawi writes for Gatestone Institute about the efforts to fight FGM in Islamic Countries with examples from Iraq, Oman and Iran quoting activists who were also present on the Second Middle East Conference on Female Genital Mutilation WADI and Hivos jointly have organized in Istanbul:

Although FGM is associated often with Islam, it is found commonly in non-Muslim areas of Africa and among immigrants to the West from that region. Muslims should take the initiative in opposing FGM; campaigns against this violation of women’s rights are underway already in several Muslim lands.

The best known such effort has taken place in Iraqi Kurdistan. In a recent interview, Thomas von der Osten-Sacken, who is affiliated with WADI, an Iraqi-German organization supporting human rights and civil society in the Middle East, described the beginning of the Kurdistan campaign. Von der Osten-Sacken recounted, “Following the toppling of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003, mobile teams we organized [went to] various Kurdish villages and towns to offer medical services. One year later, women started approaching the team members about having been cut… It was a taboo to discuss but… we started helping women in 35 villages.” The Kurdistan anti-FGM movement gained attention in media.

In 2011, the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq made FGM a crime, and interviewer Heidi Basch-Harod states that FGM “in Iraqi Kurdistan has significantly decreased, from 90 percent to zero percent in some areas. Nevertheless, the practice has not disappeared.”

(weiterlesen…)

Second Middle East Conference on FGM

Donnerstag, 01. Mai 2014

The Second Middle East & Asia Conference on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) by WADI and Hivos will take place from May 7th to May 10th in Istanbul.

The conference will tackle two myths about Female Genital Mutilation. It is commonly believed that FGM is mainly practiced in Africa and that it has no religious grounds. Both claims are not true.

FGM is practiced widely in Asia: In Middle Eastern countries such as Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Iran, but also in Southeast Asia: in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, India and the Maledives.

New study from South Iraq

We have invited the most prominent Anti-FGM activists from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Malaysia and Indonesia to present new studies about the prevalence of FGM in their countries and talk about their struggle against the cruel practice which much more than 140 million girls and women have fallen victim to worldwide. Highlights will be three new studies, which have not been presented before: from Southern Iraq, from Iran and from Oman. For South Iraq it is the first study ever on FGM.

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Lebanese triumph for LGBT community

Mittwoch, 05. März 2014

A Lebanese judge made a historic ruling for the under-fire Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender (LGBT) community in the country when he acquitted an unidentified transgender woman accused of having sexual relations with men.

 “People living with a disorder regarding their sexual identity, even if they stray away from the rules and the familiar, will remain part of nature which they have come from,” Judge Naji al-Dahdah of the Jdeideh Court said in a January 28 ruling published earlier in March in Al-Moufakkira al-Qanouniya NGO’s monthly magazine.

 In his ruling, Dahdah added that “doing something out of the ordinary does not mean that it is an abnormality. And nature is not defined by the behavior of its majority.”

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Feb 6th: Many media reports on our work and FGM in Asia

Freitag, 07. Februar 2014

On February 6th, the eleventh international Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation, a number of media outlets have picked up on the topic of Female Genital Mutilation in Asia. Many non-governmental und international organizations tackling FGM, including the World Health Organization, still don’t mention the existence of FGM in many Asian countries. Breaking the silence is a first step to saving millions of girls in these countries from being mutilated. WADI and Hivos stressed this in their press declaration on this year’s February 6th. Therefore, we are happy that many journalists have now brought out this message. In several cases Stop FGM Middle East and WADI were able to provide information.

Al Jazeera Turkey came to Wadi’s office in Suleymania in North Iraq and spoke with victims of FGM. The film also describes the situation in Iraqi Kurdistan and the successful campaign against FGM.

De Vokskrant, the largest newspaper of the Netherlands also reported on the work of Wadi in Iraqi Kurdistan on February sixth. On February 7th, they ran a long story on FGM in Indonesia, underlining the importance to stop ignoring the brutal tradition in Asia.

Y-Magazin, an Omani English language culture and lifestyle magazine, ran a large feature article on FGM in Oman quoting the activist Habiba al Hinai, presenting her study and mentioning Stop FGM Middle East mission in Oman.

The Iraqi Kurdish channel KNN interviewed Wadi’s women project coordinator Souaad Abdelrahman in Suleymania. And the Kirkuk Torture Center published a declaration condemning FGM.