Arab Country Happiness Index 2018/19

Arab Country Happiness Index 2018/19

Jordan wins the coveted number one good Arab country happiness award 2018/19

The country is a mosaic of different ethnic, religious, and racial communities who live in harmony among themselves and with their government who in turn makes a positive contribution to the welfare and happiness of its people

Jordan’s contribution on the Middle Eastern stage was considered outstanding particularly in matters relating to Israeli, Arab and international relations and the settlement of foreigners in the country. (Over 70% of Jordan’s population is of Palestinian origins, Christians, Armenians, Cherkess/Circassians and others). Our research shows that Jordan is one of the most hospitable and peaceful countries in the region and saw off strong competition from Oman and Morocco (two other monarchies) for the top spot.

1. Jordan 🇯🇴 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Comparatively open society freedom of thought, expression & mobility Welcoming and hospitable to visitors. Equal treatment of minorities. A forward, progressive internationally oriented royal family (since country’s foundation in 1921

Main negative; spread of drugs among the young and lack of recreational facilities.

Citizen’s happiness index HIGH

2. Oman 🇴🇲 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Oman is a safe country; Homogeneous population serious crime is rare. A high degree of citizens and settler’s satisfaction. Popular, trusted and liked ruling family. Freedom of the press, assembly and association is restricted

Citizens happiness index HIGH

3. Morocco 🇲🇦 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Apart from isolated incidents the country is generally peaceful and welcoming to overseas residents. Expatriates warn of theft and pickpocketing and the selling of fake products.

Citizens happiness index HIGH

4. Bahrain 🇧🇭 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The country is considered safe by its citizens and resident expatriates.

Its ranking 4th is in part due to the tensions between the Sunni and Shia segments of the population

Citizens happiness index GOOD

5. Tunisia 🇹🇳 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

A stable and generally peaceful nation.

Harassment of foreigners is rare the country is moving towards a democratic society after the upheavals of the Arab Spring.

Citizens happiness index GOOD

6. Kuwait 🇰🇼 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kuwait is a safe crime free and hospitable state for most citizens.

Citizens happiness index: indigenous population GOOD
Citizens happiness index: stateless population (the Bidoons) BAD.  Demands for citizenship have  been denied.

7. Lebanon 🇱🇧 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Known as the “Switzerland of the Middle East” when the Christians were the predominant segment of the population and in control of the country” The flare up of the civil war 1975-1990. resulted in Muslim ascendancy and the birth of terrorist organisation Hezbollah. The equilibrium achieved between the various factions  resulted in fragile stability  in favour of Hezbollah.

Citizens happiness index GOOD

8. UAE 🇦🇪 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Dubai, Abu Dhabi the jewels in the nation’s crown. High rise buildings and glitzy malls.

Appearances are deceiving.

Seventh century culture raises its head quite often. Foreign residents are warned not to forget they are in a Muslim country

Citizens happiness index GOOD

9. Egypt 🇪🇬 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Notwithstanding occurrence of sporadic terrorist attacks in North Sinai, & the Western Desert by the Muslim Brotherhood approval t of government actions is considerable Majority of population content.

Citizen’s happiness index GOOD

10. Qatar 🇶🇦 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Bipolar” society at its best. Glitz and glamour on the surface, Seventh Century culture beneath. High approval index for native Qataris. Very low for settlers.

Over 4000 deaths among migrant workers without compensation. Qatar state aided several terrorist organizations including the Muslim Brotherhood.

Plays host to the leader of Hamas. Fraudulently “bought” the 2022 world cup.

Citizens happiness index: native population GOOD. Citizens happiness index: settlers BAD

11. Algeria 🇩🇿 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Algeria has improved its citizens’ safety and living conditions in recent years. However. index is still low due to political instability resulting in constant demonstrations demanding the  return to civilian rule .

Citizens happiness index MEDIOCRE

12. West Bank 🇵🇸 – ⭐️⭐️

Opportunities of economic development with Israel are wasted by political agitation often encouraged by politically myopic and self-serving leaders. Corruption endemic. Citizen’ happiness index is unpredictable and varies depending on the vagaries of day to day politics.

Citizens happiness index MEDIOCRE

13. Iraq 🇮🇶 – ⭐️⭐️

Iraq is not a safe place for its citizens While the influence of Sunni ISIS has diminished the influence of the pro Iran Shiite Hashd militia and others is in the ascendancy. A long way to go before normal day to day normality.

Citizen’s happiness index MEDIOCRE

14. Sudan 🇸🇩 – ⭐️

Uprising against military dictatorship ongoing. the country in the throes of a security chaos landmines, kidnapping, banditry and terrorism are an everyday occurrence. particularly in the Darfur region home of numerous extremist groups and inter-factional fighting. Life for the citizens and expatriates is intolerable.

Citizens happiness index BAD

15. Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 – NO STARS

First and only purely Islamic State in the Arab World. Financiers of terrorist groups (19 0f 21 9/11 hijackers were Saudi citizens inspired by the Saudi bin Laden). Totalitarian and brutal control of every aspect of life by a single-family numbering in the hundreds. Average 150 beheadings per year. Christians beheaded for  praying in the privacy of own home. Women face imprisonment for slightest infraction. Shiites minority persecuted & leader killed. Destroyed and laid to waste neighbouring impoverished Yemen killing over 20.000 civilians. Hijacked and detained Lebanese PM. Crown prince confirmed by CIA as responsible for murder and dismemberment of body of fellow Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi. UN Human Rights considers Saudi State answerable for the crime… Non-Muslim expatriates have no rights of travel in country.

Citizens happiness index NEGATIVE

16. Gaza 🇵🇸 – NO STARS

The strip has great potential for development. Turned into a prison for its inhabitants under the ruthless control of terrorist Islamic Fundamentalist organization Hamas

Citizens happiness index NEGATIVE

17. Libya 🇱🇾 – NO STARS

Libya is in the throes of a civil war where landmines, kidnapping, banditry and terrorism are an everyday occurrence. Ongoing inter-factional fighting and the risk of being kidnapped by extremist groups makes life for its citizens intolerable.

Citizens happiness index NEGATIVE

18. Syria 🇸🇾 – NO STARS

Syria’s citizens have endured the worst humanitarian crisis in the 21st century. Half a million killed; over one million international refugees and over 3 million internally and regionally displaced.

Citizens happiness index NEGATIVE

19. Yemen 🇾🇪 – NO STARS

Due to the Saudi invasion, Yemen, the poorest nation in the Arab World, has been shattered by war. Half of the Yemeni people don’t have enough to eat Children and families are facing unimaginable terror and suffering and are living in medieval famine-like conditions

Citizens happiness index NEGATIVE

It was not possible to conduct research in Djibouti, Mauritania & Somalia listed as Arab countries by the Arab League.

Research by www.michaelnimier.com carried out often covertly by associates resident in the countries

gaza

While Gaza Burns…

More young Gazans continue to needlessly lose their lives in response to their leaders ‘instigated pantomime of stone and smoke bomb throwing and other futile provocative attacks across the Gaza Israel border.
For decades Hamas , Gaza’s rulers or more precisely its Jailers, have repressed the entire people of the strip, ruling through terror and the imagined fear of the bogeyman: Israel and the West. A time-honoured instrument of deflection from their own paralysis and incompetence, the “imminent” attack from Israel has always kept alive Hamas’s grip on power and provided its leaders with a veneer of political legitimacy and raison d’etre.

Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned. Hamas plays the time-honoured Islamic trump card : Allah commands you in the Quran to cleanse the land of the Jewish Kuffar.

Meantime Gaza burns.

Resolution Of The Israel/Palestine Conflict – Not Rocket Science

The Israel Palestine conflict has dragged on for over 70 years without any sign of resolution.

Most attempts at finding a comprehensive and lasting settlement have failed. The absence of trust between the two parties has always been the major cause of this failure making the next military confrontation an inevitable outcome

It is a given by most in the region and in the international community that the final settlement will inevitably consist of two independent states living side by side, the State of Israel and the State of Palestine. No other solutions are viable.

Two major stumbling blocks stand in the way:

  1. the status of Jerusalem claimed by both parties as their capital city, and
  2. the delineation of the final international border between the two “states”.

Historic Distrust

Israel’s case

The Israelis do not trust Arab promises. “they would push us all into the sea if they have the opportunity” “They would never accept our permanent presence in the region.” “We are willing to wait as long as it takes”, the Arabs often tell us, “the Crusaders stayed for a thousand years in our lands and there is no reason why we cannot wait as long to get rid of the Zionist occupation. ”

“The Arabs say something and mean something else” “they would happily sign a treaty with us for the sake of a temporary gain if they feel they are in a weaker position, only to renege on it when they feel stronger. When Yasser Arafat was accused of treason after the Oslo Agreement he beseeched his people to remember Hudaybiyyah, the 10 year Treaty signed by Muhammad with his enemies at the time, the Meccans. A lull in the fighting gave him the opportunity to rebuild his weekend army and to return to the battlefield at a time of his choosing, and win his war against the non- suspecting Meccans.

Another often stated reason for not trusting the Palestinians is the “who do we talk to” argument. Who represents the Palestinians, the moderate President Abbas of the PLO or the extremist arch terrorist Khaled Mashal leader of Hamas whose constitution calls for the destruction of ALL Israel, or any of the other numerous extremist organizations?

Orthodox Israelis also refer to the Islamic scriptures particularly the Quran that calls for the destruction of all the infidels. . They point to the historic anti-Semitic prejudice deeply rooted in the Muslim psyche that goes back to the days of early Islam and persists to the present day. The infamous battle of the Trench is often cited. When the Qurayzah Jewish tribe of Medina declined Mohammad’s invitation to convert to Islam all the men and boys of the tribe were massacred ( historians estimate that approximately 750 of them were beheaded by Muhammad personally) and the women were enslaved and divided up among Muhammad’s warriors.

Recent history ( e.g. Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 ) is also cited as yet another reason for distrusting the Palestinians. “Instead of turning a free Gaza into a prosperous area, building the infrastructure for an independent entity on the way to statehood, Hamas, after wrestling the strip from the moderate Palestinian Authority, used Gaza as a staging post for launching thousands of rockets against Israel.” (Harkabi: 67-80).

As a result of this Israelis believe that even if their nation were to withdraw from occupied Palestine ( the West Bank ) the Palestinians would still seek the destruction of their state.

Palestine’s Case

Unlike Israel, Palestine is not an independent state. It is merely an occupied territory after the Six Day war of 1967. The Palestinian distrust of Israel’s intentions is therefore based on different considerations. They often cite the absence of “international legitimacy” in dealing with their case and demand a remedy to what they refer to as the “historic injustice inflicted upon them by Western imperialism” “We are not even recognized as a state by the international community! How do you expect us to negotiate on equal terms with Israel, a country recognized by the entire world!” This feeling of inadequacy is deep rooted. It is the engine that propels most of their extreme (albeit self-defeating) acts of aggression. Terms such as, racism, colonialism,, international conspiracy, the greatest land-grab in history and the like, have become part and parcel of Palestinians day to day narrative.

Most Palestinians also, still believe in the oft repeated mantra that “Israel’s agenda is to occupy the whole of geographic Palestine from the Nile to the Euphrates”

After the defeat of 1967 however, the Palestinians became aware of their weakness and political limitations. Notwithstanding this realization the Oslo Agreement of September 13th 1993 ( the acceptance of a two state solution and the decision to give up armed struggle ) is still viewed by most Palestinians as no more than their own Hudaybiyyah.

Hamas rejected both the PLO leadership in the person of Yasser Arafat and his declared commitment to put an end to the armed struggle against Israel. Hamas asserted that “it is inconceivable that a nation under occupation be denied legitimate resistance to its occupation”. In their eyes the sanctity of armed resistance (al-Moqawama) against the occupation is still an important component of their policy towards Israel.

The continued Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the creeping settlement building is leading to further weakening of the Palestinian bargaining power. The urgency of coming up with a settlement is beginning to impress itself upon all branches of the Palestinian body politic.

A Pipe Dream?

Rome Was Not Built In A Day

Rome was not built in a day nor will trust be. As trust building is the first most important prerequisite for solving this seemingly intractable problem let us attempt to think outside the box. Imagine if the two parties found themselves in a position to live in peace and harmony within the present borders enjoying normal relations and deriving all the benefits each party can bestow upon the other for a period of 20 years. Not a long time on a historical scale considering that the two peoples have been in a state of war for the last 70 years ! But long enough to assuage firmly held views and to build the all-important bridge of trust between them.

How can this entente come about ? Two important simultaneous steps must be taken first:

  • Recognition of Israel as a Jewish state with full diplomatic relations by all Arab countries particularly the fundamentalist Islamic States of Saudi Arabia the guardian of Islam’s holy places, and Hamas whose constitution calls for the destruction of Israel.. This will assuage Israel’s deep rooted suspicion of the Arabs’ long term intentions towards the Jewish state. Final borders & Capital city : to be agreed upon at the end of the 20-year transition period
  • Recognition of Palestine as an independent state by the international community including the all-important and influential friend of Israel the USA, This step will enhance the country’s feeling of equilibrium viz a viz Final borders & Capital city : to be agreed upon at the end of the 20-year transition period

A 20 year period of normal relations between two friendly states will make the final decisions on borders and choice of capitals easier to reach. Other outstanding problems such as Israeli settlers in Palestine (no reason why they could not continue to live within the boundaries of a Palestinian state if they choose to do so) and Palestinians domiciled in Israel, will appear less intractable or relevant in the context of the new entente cordiale between the two neighbouring states culminating in the signing of a permanent peace treaty between the two states.

Is this an unattainable pipe dream ? It is not if the two steps ahead were accomplished. The problem does not lie with Israel as the nation is the master of its own destiny and as such is capable of making its own decisions.

The Palestinians on the other hand are not their own masters of destiny. Their financiers, the Arab states particularly Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are the true masters. Qatar plays host to Hamas leader Khalid Mishaal and with Saudi Arabia “the Godfather of terror and extremism” was the financier of the now dislodged terror organization the Islamic State. And even though they pay lip service to the “Palestine Cause” they have no interest in ending this conflict.. They are the puppet masters of the invisible game of control. Peace in the region will unleash many problems for those states including possibly the questioning of their own legitimacy. That is why Qatar’s propaganda mouthpiece Aljazeera Arabic never ceases to fan the flames of conflict and hatred between the Palestinians and the Israelis. By supporting anti-Israel positions, these Arab states project an image of Arab nationalism which endear them to their own populations and give them the all important political legitimacy they all crave.

http://amzn.eu/gVGKqW8

The accomplishment of these two all-important first steps can only happen if there is an international consensus accompanied by a degree of pressure by the super powers preferably under the auspices of a United Nations International Conference on the Middle East.

Seventh Century Man

Puritans and Sophisticates

Puritans

puritans

Islamist seventh century man strikes again. This time his target was a Jordanian Christian/atheist Cartoonist, Nahed Hattar, who was assassinated for the crime of sharing Allah cartoon in a local paper.


Seventh century man roams the world in the twenty first century, oblivious of the passing of time. A throwback, a mutation from a distant past he is to be found everywhere: in Europe, in the Americas and in many other corners of the globe.

His journey started in his “sacred” homeland in Arabia. His sublime role model is the infallible prophet on whom he mirrors his everyday life and actions. He is in fact Abd u Allah (the slave of Allah). That is why quite often he and those of his ilk have names that start with the letters abd (slave) followed by one of the ninety nine names of Allah. His relationship with the Allah (and his prophet) is that of Master and Servant.

Unwavering in his convictions he is essentially a puritan, a true Muslim who follows the scriptures scrupulously.  Groomed from birth by said scriptures his narrative is not open to different interpretations, nuances nor doubt.

He is propelled by a subconscious inner drive to hold all his attitudes and beliefs in harmony and to avoid any cognitive dissonance. Even though he could be born in London, New York, Paris or anywhere away from his ancestral homeland, he will have built an iron clad shield around his mind to stop it from being polluted by the cultural influences of the society in which he is physically domiciled.

In most instances, he is an un-schooled simpleton, with a binary outlook on the world consisting of us –bait al Islam, the house of Islam and them –al Kuffar- the infidels who do not belong to bait al Islam.

The result of this compelling urge to maintain cognitive consistency takes a heavy toll on him and gives rise to a psychotic bi-polarism resulting in criminally irrational and manipulative behaviour.

To his mind though he is a true Muslim and not a terrorist. He is the one who executes the edicts of his master as written in the book. His murderous acts are always preceded by the declaration that Allah U Akbar (God is the greatest). In other words, as God’s obedient and unquestioning servant, he is justifying to himself and to the world that the action he is about to undertake will be done in fulfilment of Allah’s wishes.   “Oh Master I am about to execute your commands!”.

As a puritan he was groomed to believe that those who disobey the will of Allah and the prophet must be dispatched to Jahannam -the inferno where the they will burn for eternity.

Fear of Jahannam is the major reason for his actions. Seventh century man, domiciled in the twenty first century,  is crippled by fear.  This is why, whenever he is instructed to eliminate a kaffir, he jumps at the opportunity to achieve martyrdom. As he has learnt from birth, al shahada-martyrdom- will speedily dispatch him to Al -Janna, paradise where he will be rewarded with endless supplies of wine and women, the terrestrial pleasures he is denied (or denies himself) while in transition on earth from the present fleeting existence he is enduring, to the eternal and blissful afterlife.

Sophisticates

sophisticates

Seventh Century Man also roams the globe in a somewhat different re-incarnation. This version of seventh century man is far more sophisticated in his pronouncements than his fellow Puritan. A Sophisticate, he too will have lived in the West for many years if not all his life. He has mastered the art of narrative deception making his pronouncements sound conciliatory and moderate in order not alienate his Western interlocutors.

Unlike his fellow Puritan he is highly intelligent and educated in some of the top universities in the land. He has no reservation in referring to himself as a Muslim. However, he never ceases to protest that “Islam is a religion of peace” and that “terrorists are not real Muslims nor do they speak for Islam” He has perfected the art of manipulating the facts in order to back up his “moderate “narrative.

Sophisticates and Puritans have one fundamental thing in common. They both abhor change in the religious doctrine that binds them and determines their world view and their everyday life.

A Sophisticate would never be heard questioning the word of Allah as “written” in the Holy Book, nor advocating the reform of the Quran that controls his very existence.  That would amount to blasphemy which is a serious crime in Islam punishable by death. (Quranic verses that support the many Hadith that establish the death sentence for apostates are Quran verses 2:2179:73-7488:215:549:66. ) He is equally gripped by fear and psychological bi-polarism.

When asked by Richard Dawkins in a recent Oxford University debate – whether he believes that Mohammad flew on a winged horse to meet up with Allah in the heavens and on his way there and back alighted in Jerusalem, British born Mehdi Hassan a journalist of renown with a degree from Oxford university replied emphatically that he did “because as a Muslim I believe in everything written in the Quran”.  And for good measure he also added that he teaches his daughter the Quran including the tale of the winged horse!

“But you are an educated man of the twenty-first century!” retorted Dawkins committing his only faux pax of the evening. What in fact Dawkins should have said “I am not surprised to hear this from you coming as it does from a seventh century man transplanted in the 21st century

May be Dawkins did not realise that the Sophisticate is as literalist in his interpretation of the Muslim scriptures as his fellow puritans.

The only difference between the Sophisticates and the Puritans is that, for a variety of reasons, Sophisticates shy away from the use of physical violence.

The Future

Reza Aslan the Iranian American historian of religion wrongly believes that Islam’s Reformation has been going on for the last one hundred years. He cites as examples the numerous convulsions, uprisings and terrorist -led organizations that have swept the region throughout the last century.

None of those was meant to reform Islam; they were uprisings against foreigners (colonialists), Kuffar (infidels), or local corrupt rulers. Not one of those movements ever called for the reform of the religion itself upon which their entire political and social edifice is constructed.  Rather, they all emphasised that “الاسلام هوالحل” Islam is the solution.

Islamic reform beginning with the reformation of the Quran itself has not started yet; who would have dared start it when all Muslims believe that the Quran is “the word of Allah which cannot be altered”. Also, in the absence of a higher Islamic authority- a church- that speaks for Islam (everyone and no one speaks for Islam today) who in the Muslim world would dare be the bearer of the first torch of radical Islamic reform?

In the end however reason, science and technology will prevail. Cultures based on ancient myths and beliefs will ultimately be swept away. In the words of Charles Darwin 1809 “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”.

The Islamic world is decades if not centuries away from making this paradigm shift.

Egyptian Leader Laughs At Hijab Law In 1958

Times have not changed. The people went BACK to the seventh century in the entire Muslim World!!! A unique phenomenon to this part of the world only.

Israeli Settlements in the West Bank: A Deal Breaker?

Demographics

The Security Council of the United Nations recently (2016) Adopted a resolution 2334 stating that Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, have no validity in international law and is a major obstacle to the establishment of two States living side-by-side in peace and security, within internationally recognised borders.

The Council also demand that they immediately and completely cease all Israeli Settlements activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, it underlined that it would not recognise any changes to the 4 June 1967 borders, other than those agreed by the two sides through negotiations.

The number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank currently stands at 474,000 of a total population of 4,500,000 constituting approximately 14% of the total population. The number of Palestinian Arabs living in Israel proper is 1,800,000 of a total population of 8,000,000 constituting approximately 22% of the country’s total population.

Let us for the time being imagine that peace has “broken out” between Palestine and Israel and a peace treaty has been signed with full normalization of relations.
In this hypothetical scenario, you would end up with the following statistics:

PALESTINE: a Muslim/ Arab state with a 14% Jewish population &
ISRAEL: a Jewish state with a 22% Arab/Muslim population.

The Palestinian population will continue to grow more rapidly than the Israeli population (33 percent higher than Israel’s current rate of population growth) because of higher fertility rates among Palestinian women, 4.5 children per woman
Whereas the Israeli population is expected to increase by about 40 percent by 2035, the Palestinian population is projected to increase by over 60 percent. If the West Bank were to be incorporated into Israel, the Jewish proportion overall would be a declining majority, 57 percent in 2014 to 53 percent in 2035 to under 49% by 2050. *
Source
Ralph Bunche Institute, CUNY Graduate Centre

History and Psychology

We can see from the above that notwithstanding the rapid increase in settlement activity in the West Bank, globally speaking, the net beneficiary of present day demographics would in the long run still be the Palestinians.
Israeli is opposed to the return the West Bank to the Palestinians for several reasons.
The first, which is often glossed over and rarely admitted is the “real estate” factor. (Israel proper is only 8,367 square miles which fits into Texas 31 times and into California 18 times!)
The second often quoted reason is the religious historical connection based on the biblical assertion that God promised the land of Judea and Samaria to the patriarch Abraham. This is the reason given by the Israeli right wing to hold on to the West Bank.
The third and the most important reason is the matter of security. Israel asserts that unilaterally returning the West Bank to the Palestinians would seriously endanger its own security. It cites the example of Gaza which it unilaterally returned to the Palestinians in 1994 without a peace treaty resulting in a takeover of the strip by the terrorist organization Hamas, whose leader is a protégé of the state of Qatar. Hamas then went on to use the country as a launching pad for missiles, terrorist raids and suicide bombers against Israeli citizens.
The question of vulnerability of Israel is an understandable concern of survival. The breach of this psychological barrier is a prerequisite to any future Israeli concession to the Palestinians. Since the Gaza debacle the Israelis are not prepared to take any further risks. This “freeing of the psyche” will inevitably remove all obstacles in the way of setting up a framework of a mutually recognized two state solution resulting in the cessation of territory acquisition by Israel.
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The Palestinian leadership, on the other hand, uses the settlements as the main reason for their refusal to enter negotiations with Israel It is worth bearing in mind that ultimately the Palestinian leadership is not master of its own destiny. The financiers and supporters of Hamas and other extremist organizations in the region, mostly Qatar & Saudi Arabia (the Godfathers of Terror and Extremism) and other Gulf states have no interest in peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis. They are the puppet masters of the invisible game of control. They are content with the status quo. Peace in the region will unleash many problems for these states including possibly the questioning of their very own legitimacy. That is why Qatar’s propaganda mouthpiece Aljazeera Arabic never ceases to fan the flames of conflict and hatred between Palestinians and Israelis.
—————————
The creeping colonization of the West bank by Israel will continue if there is no peace between the parties. To the Israelis this as a form of demographic defence. There is very little that anyone can do to stop this other than the usual protestations and the occasional UN resolution. Add to this, the new US administration of Donald Trump appears to be more responsive and sympathetic to Israeli demands.

Hope or Despair?

As neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis are willing or able to move forward by themselves, there is only one way to break this deadlock: a Sadat-style unconditional recognition of the State of Israel by all Arab/Islamic states. This will remove the major Israeli objection to returning the West bank to the Palestinians. Only such a momentous act will force the Palestinian leadership to settle with the Israelis and remove the underlying anxiety of the Israelis which is at the root of all their dealings with the Arabs. As one eminent Israeli professor put it to me recently “We have learnt our lessons; we will not accept anything less”

Now that most Arab states particularly the influential Gulf states share a common enemy with Israel namely Iran the collective recognition of Israel should, in theory, be less problematic. Acceptance of Israel’s right to exit will render the issue of settlements peripheral and resolvable and who knows, in an economically integrated Palestine-Israel, the West Bankers might even find it advantageous to invite the settlers to stay on in the West Bank!

Is this a realistic scenario? Is a full Arab recognition of Israel likely to happen anytime soon?

As we are now in the midst of a dark age of Islamic Salafism brought about by these very same Arab states, notably Qatar and Saudi Arabia, who happen to be the sponsors and financiers of the major Sunni/Salafist terrorist organizations in the region, the foreseeable outlook appears gloomy. The very legitimacy of the Saudi royal family will be in great danger if they inflame the anti -Semite , anti-Western  Wahhabi sect that underwrites this ruling dynasty’s political legitimacy.

Consequently, more Israeli Settlements will be built resulting in more futile complaints by the Palestinians. The status quo will prevail.

Michael Nimier

Turkey’s Armenian Genocide – Will the Kurds Be Next?

Turkey has the dubious honour of being the first nation to perpetrate a genocide against its own people in the twentieth century.

By the year 1915, Turkey had already perfected its plans for the “final solution” to liquidate (expel and massacre) the two million Armenian residents of the country. Armenia was occupied by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. Armenians, were viewed as “Kuffar” infidels who were considered inferior to Muslims and who in compliance with Islamic Sharia law were subject to the punitive JIZYA tax and enjoyed very few political and legal rights

Despite these tremendous obstacles, Armenians prospered . They  were better educated  and more  resilient than their fellow Muslim citizens. Their prosperity lead to the envy and resentment of the Turkish majority. Added to this mix, the Ottoman Empire began to crumble resulting in serious dislocation and internal strife. The despotic Sultan Abdul Hamid found the perfect scapegoat in the Armenians who were blamed for all the ills of his nation by then known as the  “Sick Man of Europe”.

Ordinary Armenians were turned out of their homes and sent on death marches through the Mesopotamian desert without food or water. Frequently, the marchers were stripped naked and forced to walk under the scorching sun until they dropped dead. People who stopped to rest were shot.

The process of ethnic cleansing lasted almost seven years by which time 1.5 million of Turkey’s two million Armenian citizens were massacred and many thousands were forcibly deported.

Records show that during this ethnic cleansing campaign government squads also kidnapped children, converted them to Islam and gave them to Turkish families. In some places, they raped women and forced them to join Turkish “harems” or serve as slaves. Muslim families moved into the homes of deported Armenians and seized their property. Several hundred Armenian intellectuals were rounded up, arrested and later executed. *

In 1908 a group of disgruntled army officers who became known as the Young Turks  deposed the Sultan and seized power. The purge of the Armenians however continued until 1922.  Several killing squads or “butcher battalions” as they became known were created to carry out “the liquidation of the “Christian elements.” as the Armenians were referred to. These killing squads drowned people in rivers, threw them off cliffs, crucified them and burned them alive.

The Treaty of Serves between the victorious allied powers and the vanquished ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War signed in August 1920, provided for an independent autonomous Kurdistan,

Kemal Atatürk

In 1923, Kemal Ataturk a leading figure within the Turkish army, who became knows as the “father of the nation”, ascended to power and proceeded to de-Islamise the state “we must join the modern world” he declared. He closed all religious courts and schools, prohibited the wearing of headscarves among public sector employees, abolished the ministry of canon law and pious foundations, lifted a ban on alcohol, adopted the Gregorian calendar in place of the Islamic calendar, made Sunday a day of rest instead of Friday, changed the Turkish alphabet from Arabic letters to Roman ones, mandated that the call to prayer be in Turkish rather than Arabic and even forbade the wearing of fez hats.

Under Ataturk’s  leadership in other words  the role of Islam in public life shrank drastically and he eventually  succeeded in establishing a secular and quasi- westernized country.

On his death in November 10, 1938, Atatürk, was replaced by his prime minister Is met Inonu, who continued Ataturk’s progressive policies of modernization.

Turkey’s Enlightened Era 1923-2002

Between 1923-2002 Turkey enjoyed a relatively stable democratic secular era with free elections, a multi-party system, a free press and an independent judiciary. The army assumed the role of the guardian of Ataturk’s legacy. This period in modern Turkey’s history is often referred to as Turkey’s Enlightened Era during which the country elected its first female Prime Minister Tansu Ciller from 1993 to 1996.

In 2002 the democratic process led to the election of Recep Tayyip Erdogan of the conservative, Islamic Justice and development Party.

Deconstructing the State

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is hard at work laying his own version of a  final solution to crush the fifteen million Kurds in the country  – a fifth of his own population. .The Kurds have no political rights nor  freedom of speech  . Over the last decades over 2000 Kurdish villages have been destroyed  and tens of thousands have been killed.

Human Rights Watch has reported that «The government’s erosion of media freedom continued. Readiness to limit freedom of expression, restrictive approach to freedom of assembly, and readiness to prosecute demonstrators while tolerating police violence against them, were among features most damaging to Turkey’s democratic credentials… Trials continued of Kurdish political activists, journalists, students, and lawyers on widely used terrorism charges such as ‘membership of an armed organization.’ The evidence against them in most cases concerned nonviolent political association and protest».

Ailing Economy -The Rise of a Dictator

The country’s ailing economy over the recent years  resulted as it did at the turn of the 20th century vis a vis the Armenians, in whipping up the flames of hatred and blame against the country’s Kurdish minority.

Genocide by Attrition

The purge of the Kurds continues to this day. The bombardment of Kurdish soldiers fighting the terrorist organization ISIS, financed by Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and once a friend and ally of Turkey, goes on relentlessly Erdogan is determined to crush the fifteen million Kurds in Turkey – a fifth of his own population – and is being unashamedly brutal in his campaign.

The Kurds’ choice , like that of the Armenians before them and  that of most minorities in Islam throughout history is stark:   Assimilate Or Die

Hannah L S Sikma of The Sunday Times recently referred to the war against the Kurds in Eastern Turkey as Erdogan’s “hidden war” which is sweeping across the region flattening entire neighbourhoods and displacing hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants.

On the political front Erdogan’s agenda is clear. He  wants to replace his country’s system of parliamentary government with an all-powerful executive presidency.  This will give him the constitutional and legal right    to issue executive and legislative decrees and have veto power over parliament as well as being able to appoint ministers and judges to higher courts, in many ways echoing Hitler &the Weimar republic of 1933.

Should the world be concerned about a second genocide in Turkey against the Kurds?

Genocides come in many forms; some take place in a short span of time and others are spread out over many years. The war of attrition started by Erdogan against his Kurdish citizens, if unchecked, will inevitably lead to the elimination of a great number of Kurds and the destruction of their homeland both in southern Turkey and Northern Syria. Let us bear in mind that Genocide is defined as “a premeditated and systematic campaign to exterminate an entire people”)

Genocide in the 20th Century

GENOCIDE DATE DEATHS
Armenians in Turkey 1915-1922 1,500,000
Stalin’s Forced Famine: 1932-1936 7,000,000
Rape of Nanking: 1937-1938 300,000
Nazi Holocaust: 1938-1945 6,000,000
Pol Pot in Cambodia: 1975-1979 2.000.000
Rwanda 1994-1995 800.000
Bosnia-Herzegovina 1992-1995 200.000

http://www.historyplace.com/worldhistory/genocide/

History has taught us that dictators are bullies who must be resisted. Erdogan stated that he would renege on his recent agreement with the European Union and threatened to open his borders to unleash hundreds of thousands of refugees into Europe. He is also threatening to withdraw from NATO and has already established closer ties with Russia’s Putin.

His bluff must be called.

Extracts from “The Rise of Turkey’s new Sultan” to be published Summer 2017

References

* The University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies has compiled figures by province and district that show there were 2,133,190 Armenians in the empire in 1914 and only about 387,800 by 1922.

  • DAVID FROMKIN World War I and its aftermath, “A Peace to End All Peace
  • ROBERT FISk: Living proof of the Armenian genocide Tuesday 9 March 2010
  • THE NEW YORK TIMES covered the issue extensively — 145 articles in 1915 alone by one count — with headlines like “Appeal to Turkey to Stop Massacres

The Plight of Christians in Islamic Lands

christianity

“In all its history, Islam has shown a warlike and conquering face; for almost a thousand years, Europe and it’s Christians lived under its constant threat. What remains of the Christian population in Islamic countries is still subjected to perpetual discrimination with regular episodes of bloody persecution.:

Giuseppe De Rosa, S.I.

Most anti-Christian persecution in the world took place at the hands of Muslims.
American scholar Raymond Ibrahim wrote that “the overwhelming majority of Christian `persecution around the world today is being committed at the hands of Muslims of all races, languages, cultures and socio-political circumstances: Muslims from among America’s allies (Saudi Arabia) and its enemies (Iran); Muslims from economically rich nations (Qatar) and from poor nations (Somalia and Yemen); Muslims from ‘Islamic republic’ nations (Afghanistan) and from ‘moderate’ nations (Malaysia and Indonesia); and Muslims from nations rescued by America (Kuwait).”
Ibrahim noted that in countries that underwent “Arab Spring” uprisings, increased persecution occurred after the regimes collapsed. “Muslim persecution of Christians,” Ibrahim wrote, is “part of a continuum that started nearly 14 centuries ago.”

This ongoing religious persecution is forcing millions of Christians to flee their homes. Christians are disappearing from entire regions in the Middle East particularly in the land where Christianity was born, Palestine.
In other Middle East countries (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq), there were flourishing Christian populations prior to the Islamic invasion and occupation of the region. Today there are only small Christian communities remaining.
In Africa, the situation is not much better. Most Christians in northern Nigeria have fled their homes where the Islamist terror group Boko Haram is waging a campaign of terror against Christians in the country.
In the Maghreb states, there were numerous Christian communities before the Muslim invasion. After the Arab conquest, Christianity was absorbed by the occupying Islam to such an extent that today Christianity has a presence only in Egypt represented by the Coptic church which makes up 8% percent of the Egyptian population. This number is decreasing by the year.
Christian women and girls in Muslim countries have always been particularly vulnerable due to the repression prompted by their gender and the hostility and persecution that comes from their minority Christian faith. In Pakistan and Afghanistan women are regularly abducted and raped for minor infringements of the Islamic dress code.
The Middle East continues to be a major hub of anti-Christian persecution. David Alton the crossbench peer and campaigner on the issue, described events in Syria and Iraq as “a genocide that dares not speak its name”.

In all the places where Islam imposed itself by military force Christianity practically disappeared or was reduced to tiny pockets in an endless sea of Islamic rule. Reduction of Christianity to small minorities was not only due to violent religious persecution, but to the conditions in which Christians were forced to live within the occupying Islamic state. Throughout its history, Islam has shown a disdain for the “infidels” who were given a choice: to convert to Islam, pay the dhimma (a punitive tax) be deported from Islamic lands or be eliminated or killed.” (Quran, Sura 9:29).

Did Christians ever enjoy harmony and equality under Islamic rule? Was there a cultural golden age in Islamic Spain, with Muslims, Christians and Jews living in harmony as we have been made to believe through myths and uncorroborated facts?? Irrefutable evidence points to the contrary. America Castro, who coined the word convivence to describe the life of the three faiths in Spain, wrote, in his book The Structure of Spanish History: “Each of the three peoples of the peninsula saw itself forced to live for eight centuries together with the other two at the same time as it passionately desired their extermination.”

The tension was only resolved in the “Reconquista” of Spain by the Christians. Spain in fact was the only territory long under an Islamic rule where Christians did not dwindle into a helpless minority. This is primarily due to the fact that Muslims did not constitute the majority of the population…
Another exaggerated myth is that of the Islamic contribution to Western civilization. No doubt some Muslim scholars in the “Golden Age” of Islamic expansion- 9th to 13th centuries- such as al-Khwarizmi made a valuable contribution to mathematics (algebra) and astronomy while others acted as conduits for translating Greek and Persian science texts. What is less known however is that most of these translations were carried out by Christians and Jews
One such prominent translator was Patriarch Timothy I of the Church of the East who lived in Baghdad.at the height of the Abbasid Caliphate. Patriarch Timothy, who ruled his church for 43 years, translated Aristotle’s Topics for the caliph al-Mahdi, in whose court he conversed with other Aristotelian philosophers on knowledge and the doctrine of God.

Cri de Coeur

The Status of Christians In today’s Islamic world is no better than it has always been throughout history if not much worse. The following statistics speak volume for their unhappy plight. Each month in Islamic countries 322 Christians are killed, 214 churches and properties are destroyed and 722 forms of violence and abuse are perpetrated against them. *
The latest Islamic acts of terrorism in Europe and around the world, triggered panic among people who became aware of the danger of uncontrolled Islamic immigration. Calls for a stop on immigration from Islamic nations can be heard everywhere. While this is understandable and in some instances justified, the worry is that the Christian minorities in those countries who are at the forefront of Islamic persecution will fall victim to this ban and pay the heaviest price.

“Christians in Islamic countries today do not practice crucifixion, stoning or beheading of their opponents nor do they blow themselves up to kill innocent bystanders” confided a Christian colleague in a recent debate on Muslim immigration to America. “We do not ram buses onto unsuspecting pedestrians walking along a promenade enjoying the sunshine. We do not stab innocent individuals to death for being of a different religion from ours” he continued. “and we certainly wouldn’t dream of flying a plane full of innocent passengers into the twin towers or any other high rise building with a view to massacring as many people as possible”

Above all else, he continued “we are grateful to be living in America and to bring up our children in peace and security as proud and patriotic Americans”

My colleague is right. Christians who settle in American (or anywhere in Europe) assimilate and become a productive and integral part of the society they live in. They do not come with the baggage of an alternate higher religious authority to whom they owe allegiance. Their loyalty is undivided and it goes unequivocally to their new host nations.

For those reasons, any ban on immigration from Muslim countries must exclude the Christians with whom we share our Judeo-Christian heritage. If we in the West continue to need immigrants we must not only exclude Christians from any ban, we ought to proactively seek them and encourage them to come. They will continue to make a positive contribution to our societies.

References

  • Sidney Griffith: The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque (Princeton, 2008).
  • Raymond Ibrahim, “Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians”,
  • La Civilian Catholica October 18 2003
  • America Castro, The Structure of Spanish History
  • The Telegraph  The Middle East is red with the blood of Christians
  • Michael Nimier https://islamarabia.wordpress.com/2016/10/01/first-blog-post/
  • *Open Doors https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-

Qatar and Saudi Arabia: Financiers of Terror

Many observers of the Middle East wonder why the financiers of terrorists, mainly in Qatar & Saudi Arabia are rarely mentioned. Where are the western demands for Qatar, and Saudi Arabia to stop funding international terrorism or being complicit in the rise of jihadi groups?

ISIS has a budget of over 2 billion pounds’ courtesy of these countries. Qatar plays host not only to Taliban representatives but also to the master terrorist Khaled Mechaal, the leader of Hamas who is enjoying the largess of his Qatari hosts while his people in Gaza are being sacrificed at the altar of the group’s reckless and self-serving adventurism.

Qatar’s propaganda, via its mouthpiece of Al-Jazeera Arabic in support of the discredited Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and in its subtle -and often not so subtle- campaigns to brainwash the Arab masses to sympathize with extremist Sunni Muslim groups everywhere, is relentless.

And lest we forget, this is the country that has corruptly bought off FIFA members to host the world cup in 2022 and to whom we will be entrusting the safety and security of our athletes.

Qatar is also considered by many to be a friend of the west with investments in football clubs, department stores, hotels etc… In Britain “Qatar owns lucrative chunks of the county such as the Shard, a big portion of Sainsbury’s and a slice of the London Stock Exchange.”

And paradoxically Qatar is host to the biggest American airbase in the Middle East!

Similarly, Saudi Arabia’s contribution to worldwide terror rarely gets a mention even though the country occupies an honorary position among the world’s terrorist states. Western leaders have perfected the art of sycophancy in dealing with this oil rich “ally”. Saudi Arabia has become an expert in buying everyone’s silence with its bottomless supply of petrodollars. As an example Germany’s development minister, Gerd Mueller, was recently slapped down by his government after pointing the finger at Qatar for funding the Islamic State (ISIS /DAESH)

In a rare moment of public outrage Hilary Clinton recently stated that “It is long past time for the Saudis, Qataris and Kuwaitis and others in the region to stop their citizens from funding extremist organisations”. Notice the use of the less direct attack on those countries by attributing the financing of terror not to the governments themselves but to “their citizens”!! This statement blatantly fails to recognise the pivotal role of the nation of Saudi Arabia in supporting terrorism.

In totalitarian states like Qatar and Saudi Arabia no “powerful private individuals” within the state would be operating without the knowledge and acquiescence of the rulers. According to a secret memo signed by the then secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Qatar has the “worst record of counter-terrorism cooperation” with the US.

Let us look at some facts:

  • Saudi Arabia is the cradle and patron of Wahhabism, the seventh century Salafist, literalist Sharia -based theology by which the country is governed.
  • More than 2500 people have been publicly beheaded in the Kingdom over the last two decades. Go to any Saudi city on Friday after midday prayer and you will witness the grisly spectacle of beheading being theatrically choreographed as “a warning to others” It is worth pointing out that beheading, the preferred method of execution at the time of the prophet, was first re-introduced in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia long before the Islamic State came into existence. Saudi Arabia is in fact the first contemporary Islamic State par excellence.
  • At great expense and with total impunity Saudi Arabia caries out an extensive program of mosque building throughout the world aimed at exporting their version of Islam (Wahhabism) These mosques have acquired a reputation of being centres of extremism where young and gullible individuals are groomed and recruited by fundamentalist imams into jihadi movements. The mosques have also become collection centres for “charities” which funnel money to dubious organizations throughout Arabia and the Islamic world. And lest we forget Saudi Arabia is the country which strictly forbids those who belong to other religions to set foot in their sacred cities nor to build churches or synagogues in the Kingdom.
  • Fifteen of the Nineteen terrorists who attacked the Twin Towers in New York in September 2001 were Saudis. Instead of attacking and occupying the guilty party Saudi Arabia (with whom the US had and continue to have massive financial and business interests), President George W Bush directed his country’s fury on a soft target Iraq with many disastrous consequences.
  • On September 23, 2016, President Barack Obamavetoed  the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act which would have given the 9/11 victims’ families the right to sue in US courts the sovereign state of Saudi Arabia. Fortunately for the victims’ families, members of the Senate, , voted 97-1 to override Obama’s veto of the bill on September 28, 2016. On the same day, the House voted 348-77 to override the veto, effectively making the Act law.

In conclusion those countries know that their wealth buys them the silence of the terrorist organizations they support. Their unwritten concordat with the terrorists as professor Paul Stevens of Chatham House succinctly puts it is “don’t piss inside my tent, piss outside”

Their money also buys them the silence of Western governments who have learnt to look the other way and whose lips shall remain sealed as long as the petrodollars keep pouring in.

The world is now waking up to the astronomical price of silence: terror.