On how Muslims can offer the world their best qualities

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“ My existential crisis as a Muslim man haunts me to the core of my being. Amid the horrendous nihilism of Isis, the dull orthodoxy of self-proclaimed custodians of Islam and the culture of fear in the west which sees everything Muslim as pure evil, I seek an answer to a simple and unasked question: how does it feel to be Muslim today? Instead, you ask me to denounce – even apologize for – the horrors of Manchester, Nice, Orlando, Paris and Berlin, as if I were a silent accomplice cheering softly behind the garb of my faith. You mistake my silence for duplicity, my shock for deceit, and my choking inability to comprehend for disloyalty. But have you asked me how I feel instead of how you feel about me? (…) How can we reconcile the anarchic savagery of our worst Muslims today with the humanist generosity of our best Muslims of yesterday? What have we to offer the world today? (…) My aim here is not to disparage a civilization, but to diagnose its current malaise, one that inflicts Muslims today and prevents them from thinking themselves into the world, not because they are incapable of doing it, but because of a coordinated campaign to deny them the right to do it. Like many Muslims, I feel the weight of this tension everyday because the distance between our religious leaders and the world in which we live is a gaping hole. The biggest orchestrator of this campaign is not Isis. That is only one of its sad manifestations. It is Saudi Arabia and its rampant Wahhabi religiosity which cripples everything Muslim today. Its literalist theology is suffocating and has no place in the modern world. How can we tolerate a religious system which still flogs its people in public squares, denies its women basic rights like driving and looking out windows and criminalizes any form of dissent? Weighty words fit for a colossal peril that is Saudi Arabia ”

Nabil Echchaibi, ‘Muslims today face a deep malaise. We must confront it’, The Guardian

 

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On US punitive measures towards only certain human rights offenders

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“ Officials briefing journalists about the new policy were asked why human rights concerns had led to punitive measures in Cuba’s case but were not playing a role in the administration’s policy to other notable human rights offenders, like the Philippines and Saudi Arabia. One official said the difference was that Trump had specifically promised to take action on Cuba to a rally of the Cuban diaspora last year in Florida, a state which Trump won ”

Julian Borger, ‘Donald Trump to announce new restrictions on Cuba trade and travel’, The Guardian

On the causes of Qatar’s isolation

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“ The problem of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and all the others is precisely this: that by pursuing its national goals, Qatar has disturbed their plans. More than indirect support to terrorist groups […] Qatar has been isolated for supporting movements that threaten the stability of Sunni regimes and monarchies, such as Muslim Brotherhood or Shiite minorities, And for keeping in touch with the worst enemy of the Saudi-led front, that is, Iran. These are all things that should be remembered when we ask: does Qatar really support terrorism? ”

Translated from Italian.

Elena Zacchetti, ‘Does Qatar really support terrorism?’, Il Post

On Corbyn’s strengths and May’s weaknesses

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“ Despite so many years of protest, Corbyn’s greatest strength lies in proposition rather than in opposition: his gentle style is better suited to explaining his own vision than to contesting his opponent’s. The more exposure he receives, the better he looks – while the cameras expose May as charmless, cheerless and, above all, frit. She won’t stand up to anyone who wields power. She will say nothing against Donald Trump, even when he peddles blatant falsehoods in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in this nation, exploiting our grief to support his disgusting prejudices; even when he pulls out of the global agreement on climate change. She is even more sycophantic towards this revolting man than Tony Blair was to George W Bush. She won’t confront Saudi Arabia over terrorism or Yemen or anything else ”

George Monbiot, ‘I’ve never voted with hope before. Jeremy Corbyn has changed that’, The Guardian

On the U.K.’s hypocrisy over legalization of cannabis

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“ Britain loves to criticize foreign countries for their social primitivism. It derides the Irish for banning abortion; it ridicules Gulf states for suppressing alcohol; it formally protests at Nigerian genital mutilation, Saudi isolation of women, and Chechen persecution of gay people. It loves to set the world to rights by its own standards. The hypocrisy is total. The biggest single contributor to global crime is the $300bn drugs market, half of it cannabis. In Britain the cannabis market is worth an estimated £68bn, and is the single greatest cause of social disruption and distress. It is a generator of organised crime, urban gangs, anarchic prisons, corrupt policing, teenage suicide and family breakdown. This is evil enough. Britain’s attitude to medicinal cannabis is unreasoned and cruel (…) In 2014 a coalition government study of global drug laws found “no obvious relationship” between criminal sanction and consumption; yet Theresa May as home secretary fought its publication and demanded it be censored ”

Simon Jenkins, ‘Mice benefit from research into cannabis. Why not us?’, The Guardian

On Trudeau’s inconsistent feminist stance

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” Trudeau famously declared himself a feminist, but he sells weapons to the most vicious and misogynistic government in the world. He chastises China’s human rights abuses, but never Saudi Arabia’s ”

Jordy Cummings, ‘Justin Trudeau is not your friend’, Jacobin Magazine