Abbas to U.S.: Go fly a kite!

The Independent echoed the common Western views of  Salam Fayyad’s resignation. The Palestinian prime minister’s exit had “thro[wn] into doubt the future of the Palestinian Authority and the peace process with Israel,” observed the liberal British newspaper. Has Fayyad’s parting really caused  – or rather reflected – the crisis facing the Palestinian government and the...

Bangladesh’s epic quest for identity

I’M SADDENED by the bloody mayhem rocking Bangladesh, where I lived and worked through two turbulent decades.  Street fights between the country’s secularist government forces and Islamist activists have claimed dozens of lives. The clashes were triggered by a death sentence handed by a Bangladeshi court to  a leader of the Islamist political party Jamaat-e-Islami. ...

On to the Malian quagmire?

ISLAMIST GUERRILLAS  are fighting back French and Malian forces in northern Mali, from where they were expelled last month by invading French forces. The Muslim militant group Mojwa (Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa) has twice engaged the French in sustained gun battles in Gao, the region’s largest city. The guerrillas have vowed...

Obama’s sermon on extremism

President Obama  told the U.N. General Assembly that Muslims must shun “extremism” and exercise “tolerance” for their adversaries. He was referring to the violence-prone protest rallies that the American film “Innocence of Muslims” has triggered in many Muslim countries. The amateurish video shows  the Prophet Muhammad in pornographic poses and other demeaning postures. Some Muslim...

Syria ‘extremists’ scare off U.S.?

 The Obama administration knows by now that Russia will not let any action against the murderous Syrian dictatorship get the green light from the U.N. Security Council.  In response, the administration is taking baby steps to help the Syrian uprising, dedicated to overthrowing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. These steps include sharing intelligence with...

Modern Islam Egypt Islamists’ goal

“The revolution goes on,” said Mohammed Mursi, on being declared president of Egypt in its first-ever democratic election.  He ran for president as the head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party.  The transnational Brotherhood has been the world’s oldest Islamist movement. The president-elect has called for national unity. Mursi wouldn’t,...

Taliban fight for freedom, justice

By Mustafa Malik SYLHET,  Bangladesh — Aunt Salima Khatun, my mother’s sister, barged in to see me here in the Bangladeshi town of Sylhet.  I spend part of my Bangladesh vacations in Sylhet, known for its tea gardens, cane furniture and the shrine of the famed Muslim saint Hazrat Shah Jalal. Behind Aunt Salima was...

Secularism loses ground in Indian subcontinent

By Mustafa Malik (Published in the Columbus Dispatch, October 12, 2011) Bangladesh has had a big political surprise since my last visit here a year ago.  Its staunchly secular Awami League party government has amended the constitution, making Islam the “state religion”!  The amendment also gave the constitution this opening statement from the Quran:  “In...