2008 News

December 30, 2008 Israel/Palestine and Gaza

Once again the Palestinian/Israeli conflict spirals out of control and unless a permanent solution is found the violence will continue to increase in severity until the conflict ends tragically.

December 18, 2008 "It's Not Enough for Muslims to be Revolted by Terror,"

"Since the evil attacks of September 11, moderate Muslims dread the news of yet another 'holy attack' in which the name of their religion - which means peace - is used as an excuse for bloodthirsty savagery.

December 18, 2008 Muslims can learn from Catholic Church

Egyptian human rights activist posted an article in which he appealed to Muslims worldwide to learn openness from the Catholic Church in France. He said that Muslims should emulate France's attitude towards its Muslims in their own treatment of minorities in Muslim countries.

December 18, 2008 Secularism Will Triumph in the Arab World

On May 15, 2008, the liberal Arab website Aafaq.org published an interview with prominent Jordanian-liberal author Dr. Nabulsi who discussed the meaning of secularism and its importance to the Arab world.

December 18, 2008 Calls in Iran to Topple Egyptian, Saudi Regimes

Iran's attacks and accusations against Egypt and Saudi Arabia have recently intensified. In early December, Iran's leading conservative government dailies accused the Egyptian and Saudi regimes of treason, and called on their peoples to topple their regimes.

December 18, 2008 Lebanese Sunni Cleric Attacks Iran and Hizbullah, States

"I wish terms like 'terrorism' and 'fundamentalism' would not be used in a hostile manner with regard to Muslims. We

November 26, 2008 Minister Condemned extremism in Saudi Arabia and called for eradication.

Saudi Interior Minister Appeals to Religious and Education Establishments to Fight Ideological Extremism in the Country

November 22, 2008 Palestinian security gets a feminine touch

Using female police officers in the field is part of the latest PA effort to help President Mahmoud Abbas better control the West Bank and Hamas. Although there's also been an overall expansion of the police force, security officials see women as key to a new, hearts-and-minds strategy.

November 20, 2008 Impact of Low Oil Prices on Arabs

After a hefty spike in oil prices in the preceding year, reaching as high as \$147 a barrel in July 2008, prices plummeted in the subsequent four months to below \$55

November 20, 2008 Who killed Gen Alvi in Pakistan?

The authorities investigating the murder of Maj-Gen (retd) Amir Faisal Alvi, former General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the elite Special Services Group (SSG), by two unidentified gunmen in Rawalpindi do not rule out the possibility of involvement of some pro-Taliban militants in the assassination.

November 17, 2008 Saudi Arabia's funding deserves reciprocity

The participation of Saudi Arabia in the G20 may have been viewed in the past with a certain scepticism. There remains a perception among western policymakers that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states are sources of funds rather than agenda setters.

November 13, 2008 Israeli President directly addressed Saudi Arabian King

Israeli President Shimon Peres directly addressed Saudi Arabian King Abdullah from the podium of the United Nations General Assembly today, praising the Arab leader's appeal for religious tolerance and his ideas for Middle East peace.

November 5, 2008 Initial Arab Media Reactions to Obama's Election

Initial reactions in the Arab world to the outcome of the U.S. presidential election focused on several aspects. While some writers discussed which candidate would be better for the Arabs, others compared the democratic process in the U.S. with the situation in the Arab world, where such turnover in government is impossible.

October 30, 2008 Islamists Attempt to Impose Their Agenda on Kuwaiti Society; Reformists Fight Back

the Kuwaiti parliament reinstated the Committee for the Study of Negative and Alien Phenomena in Kuwaiti Society. The goals of the committee, whose members are mostly Salafi MPs, is to study "alien practices and other negative phenomena that are harmful to Kuwaiti society,"

October 30, 2008 Oil and Iran

The sharp decline in oil prices has provided the Saudis with an opportunity to inflict pain on Iran and constrain its political ambitions for regional hegemony by keeping oil production high and oil prices down.

October 22, 2008 Christians and Jews Under Islam

This article will show that, for centuries, perhaps a millennium, during which Islam dominated the area, conflict between Jews, Christians and Muslims was the exception, not the norm.

October 21, 2008 Why Barack is Winning?

Recall that Obama gained credibility by opposing a war that turned into the most expensive military adventure in America history. It is no secret that most of the international community, including most of our allies, considered the Iraq war "unjustified."

October 9, 2008 Syria reaches out for growth

Sitting in his plush new office in an up-market neighborhood of Damascus, deputy prime minister for economic affairs Abdullah Dardari - the man tipped to be named Syria's next prime minister - is adamant his country is beginning to move with the times.

October 5, 2008 SYRIA: Al Qaeda mastermind said to be captured

According to a report in the Arab-language Syrian newspaper Al Liwaa, Syrian officials captured the leader of the Al Qaeda-linked militant group Fatah al Islam two months ago in Syria.

October 5, 2008 The Man in the Middle

King Hussein of Jordan (1935-99)was the great survivor of Middle East politics. For almost half a century until his death in 1999 he balanced delicately between the Arab world, Israel and the United States.

October 2, 2008 The Rise of Fundamentalism Led Me to Turn from Literary Criticism to Criticism of the Arab-Islamic Heritage

Just as secularism emerged in Europe as a remedy to Protestant-Catholic sectarianism, so it is needed in the Arab world to overcome sectarian divisions and pave the way for a democratic future.

October 1, 2008 President Bush sends holiday greeting to Muslims

I send greetings to Muslims everywhere celebrating the Festival of Breaking the Fast.

September 30, 2008 Israel's elections--Kadima charts uncertain course

Across Israel on the eve of the recent primary election likely to decide the next prime minister, most Israelis shared the same feeling: apathy.

September 30, 2008 Iraqi Kurds Speak Out Against Separatism

Several Kurdish writers have warned of the dangers of unilaterally declaring an independent Kurdish state in Iraq.

September 7, 2008 Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of Hamas leader, becomes a Christian

The son of one of the most revered leaders of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has renounced his religion to move to America and become an evangelical Christian.

August 24, 2008 The Price of Oil

Most politicians and writers, who comment on the recent rise in the price of oil, its causes, and implications, simply have no clue what they are talking about. The world is not facing an oil crisis and the price of oil is not exclusively determined by OPEC or any other organization or cartel.

August 20, 2008 Reactions in the Iraqi Press to the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Agreement

Leaked information regarding the agreement sparked wide-scale protest in Iraq, mainly on the grounds that it would severely harm Iraqi sovereignty and perpetuate "occupation."

August 20, 2008 Iran Threatens to Close Strait of Hormuz If Attacked

Following recent threats by Iranian government elites,(1) in the past several days senior Iranian officials have emphasized that if it is attacked, Iran intends to close the Strait of Hormuz, thereby impeding the export of oil from the Gulf to the rest of the world.

August 20, 2008 Suicide bomber kills 43 in Algeria

A suicide attack Tuesday on a police school killed 43 people and wounded 38, authorities said as Algeria reeled from its worst militant assault this year.

August 12, 2008 Saudis Praise Spain

Following Saudi-Sponsored Madrid International Interfaith Conference, Saudis Praise Spain: "Madrid Speaks Arabic"

July 23, 2008 Senior Saudi Cleric: Bin Laden "Is a Promoter of Evil and Depravity"; Al-Zawahiri Is a "Deviant"

"These deviants, who were not tolerated in their [own] countries, went to Iraq and to other countries with the purpose of destroying the [Saudi] kingdom. Whoever cooperates with these [terrorists] or responds to their appeals is regarded as a criminal.

July 18, 2008 Syria's first lady is the more glamorous, modern face of the nation

What would it take to distract the international paparazzi from France's first lady? The answer was Asma al-Assad, the wife of the Syrian President,

July 17, 2008 Saudi King Denounces Extremism, Touts Islam's 'Moderation and Tolerance'

In a bid to counter Iran's influence and establish himself in the eyes of the West as the dominant figure in the Muslim world, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is here to preach that "Islam is a religion of moderation and tolerance" to a group of bishops, rabbis, swamis, and other religious leaders.

July 17, 2008 Saudi king appeals for tolerance

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has called on followers of the world's main religions to turn away from extremism and embrace a spirit of reconciliation.

July 17, 2008 Arab Country Appoints Jewish woman as US Ambassador

This is a remarkable example of traditional Arab tolerance and a sign that hostile relations between Jews and Arabs are beginning to subside. Throughout the last 1400 years Jews have had better relations with Muslims and Arabs than any other part of the world where Jews lived.

July 16, 2008 Science in Muslim countries today

With more than a trillion dollars in cash and a population of over a billion people the Muslim world today should be poised for a remarkable scientific explosion.

July 8, 2008 Exciting Event on Israel-Palestine

You are cordially invited to participate in an exciting event that brings together Israelis, Palestinians, American Jews and American Arabs to debate solutions to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.

July 4, 2008 Judeo-Christian "Rights of Liberty" and Muslim "Rights of Justice

As you consider the arguments comparing and roughly equating "liberty" and "justice" which are made by this essay, keep in mind the wording of the American Pledge of Allegiance: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands -- one Nation, under God, with LIBERTY and JUSTICE for all."

June 25, 2008 Saudi Arabia arrests 701 terrorism suspects

Saudi Arabia has detained 701 suspects of different nationalities in recent months for involvement in terrorist activities, an official source at the interior ministry said on Wednesday.

June 19, 2008 Interview with Syrian President Assad about Israel, Barak...& peace

In a recent interview with the English-language Indian daily The Hindu, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad discussed a variety of foreign and domestic issues.

June 15, 2008 Islamic clerics converged on the Indian capital for the Anti-Terrorism and Global Peace Conference

Thousands of Islamic clerics from across India converged in the Indian capital for the Anti-Terrorism and Global Peace Conference, held by the Assembly of Indian Clerics, a countrywide network of Islamic scholars.

June 7, 2008 It's Muslims who Hurt Islam

The recent re-publication of a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad by the Danish press and release of Dutch MP Geert Wilders' film "Fitna" have precipitated a wave of Muslim protest, some of it violent, throughout the world.

June 7, 2008 It's Time to Talk to Syria

The recent announcement of peace negotiations between Israel and Syria through Turkey, and the agreement between the Lebanese factions in Qatar - both apparently without meaningful U.S. involvement - should serve as a wake-up call that our policy of nonengagement has isolated us more than the Syrians.

June 6, 2008 Dubai Rides the Oil Boom

It was the kind of publicity stunt upon which this desert boomtown was built. Dubai's iconic sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel recently began offering what it billed as the world's most expensive cocktail. Well-heeled patrons could order a glass of 55-year-old Macallan single-malt Scotch, with custom-made bitters and ice cubes made from water near the Scottish distillery, served in an 18-carat gold Baccarat tumbler. All for just \$7,440 a pop.

June 4, 2008 The Jihadists' Quest for Religious Legitimacy

In recent years, the Salafi movement has seen the emergence of a new conception of, and basis for, religious authority.

April 25, 2008 Draft Agreement between Taliban Commander and the Pakistani Government

Yousuf Raza Gilani of the Pakistan People's Party was sworn in as prime minister of Pakistan. His government is advocating dialogue with the Taliban, as is the secular government of the North West Frontier Province.

April 24, 2008 implementing shari'a law in Britain constituted a war against the Enlightenment

Libyan liberal thinker Muhammad Al-Houni writes that the statements by Archbishop Rowan Williams on implementing shari'a law in Britain constituted dangerous encouragement to fundamentalists in their war against the Enlightenment.

April 24, 2008 Arab and Palestinian press on HAMAS

Following the recent escalation in the Hamas-Israel conflict, Arab officials and columnists have been criticizing Hamas in the Arab and Palestinian press, blaming it for the escalation of violence and for the Gaza residents' suffering.

April 24, 2008 High oil price might not be a bad thing

Oil is in blow-off territory and a reaction in the price is inevitable, probably quite soon. But that does not mean that we will return to cheap oil in our lifetimes.

March 31, 2008 Reverse Radicalism

Why do people join terrorist groups?

March 31, 2008 Gaddafi's love-hate relationship with Islamists

The LIFG was established with the purpose of overthrowing Col. Mu'ammar Gaddafi's regime and recreating Libya as an Islamic state

March 31, 2008 Saudi Arabia: Muslim leaders welcome royal call for interfaith-dialogue

The Saudi proposal for dialogue between Muslims, Christians and Jews is the first for a country that has no official ties with Israel and bans non-Muslim religious services and symbols.

March 31, 2008 A Saudi initiative to be encouraged

The launching of an interfaith dialogue by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is a remarkable development that should be warmly welcomed by the Jewish people.

March 31, 2008 Pakistani PM vows to fight terror

Pakistan's new Prime Minister, Yusuf Raza Gillani, has told parliament in Islamabad that his top priority will be the fight against terrorism.

March 23, 2008 First Catholic church for Saudi Arabia

Negotiations are underway to build the first Catholic church in Saudi Arabia with King Abdullah lending his support for its construction.

March 19, 2008 Interview with Al-Qaeda commander in northern Iraq

Al-Qaeda Commander in Northern Iraq: We Are in Dire Straits

March 19, 2008 Arab society and culture were "regressing, not progressing"

Arabs "are living in a world of the supernatural," not today's world of "logic," and that the "so-called religious awakening" had turned everything upside down.

March 5, 2008 Obama and Carter and Israel

Mortimer B. Zuckerman, Editor of US News & World Report and a supporter of Israel stated that he did not yet know who among the three leading presidential candidates, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, is best for Israel.

March 4, 2008 Arab construction & Economic boom - No Limit in Sight

The world's tallest building, biggest mall, largest airport, largest arch bridge - the projects in the \$1-trillion building boom in the Gulf are all about scale, about extreme engineering and about architecture.

March 3, 2008 Saudi Arabia: Nervously Watching Pakistan

No country in the world, except maybe India, is more concerned with the outcome of the political crisis that is gripping Pakistan than Saudi Arabia.

March 2, 2008 In Search for Peace, a Shrinking White House Role

As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice heads back to the Middle East this week, three months after Bush hosted a peace conference bringing together Israelis and Arabs in Annapolis, prospects for peace have shifted dramatically.

February 29, 2008 Saudi Arabia's Anti-Terror Campaign

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has been making intense efforts to fight both terrorism and its religious and ideological underpinnings.

February 22, 2008 Slouching Toward Sharia

Our religious laws should be enacted by choice and choice alone in their whole and in their parts - not as a system one chooses to enter or buck against.

February 15, 2008 Calls mount for time-limit on foreign workers in Gulf of Arabia

Support is growing for time-limits on the residency of the millions of expatriates living in the Gulf, seen by some of the region's governments and nationals as posing a demographic threat

February 15, 2008 Decline and Fall of Western Civilization

The European continent, the core of Western civilization is collapsing. European birth rates have fallen below replacement rates, populations are dwindling and slowly being displaced by large foreign Muslim populations. Wedded to socialism Europe faces a generation in which the elderly and their social services will vastly outnumber a far smaller population of youth leading to economic collapse.

February 11, 2008 Nuclear Weapons and Saudi Strategy
January 29, 2008 Hamas Fails to Understand that the Role of a Leadership Is to Protect the People

Al-Sharq Al-Awsat Editor: Hamas Fails to Understand that the Role of a Leadership Is to Protect the People and Guarantee Their Security and Livelihood

January 28, 2008 Terrorism's Christian Godfather

He was a Greek Orthodox Christian, who sang in his church choir as a boy back in the Palestinian town of Lydda. Habash's life tells us a lot about the long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which seems as intractable as ever, and prompts reflection on the Middle East's seemingly unstoppable whirlwind of violence.

January 27, 2008 George Habash, a Christian and Palestinian Tactician, Dies at 82

"When we hijack a plane it has more effect than if we kill a hundred Israelis in battle... For decades, world public opinion has been neither for nor against the Palestinians. It simply ignored us. At least the world is talking about us now."

January 26, 2008 Christian Palestinian leader, George Habash dies in Amman

George Habash, founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) died in the Jordanian capital at the age of 82.

January 25, 2008 Saudi Arabia to lift ban on women drivers

Saudi Arabia is to lift its ban on women drivers in an attempt to stem a rising suffragette-style movement in the deeply conservative state.

January 24, 2008 Crowds of Gazans streamed into Egypt after the border fence was breached.

Crowds of Gazans streamed into Egypt after the border fence was breached. It was part of a Hamas pressure campaign to open the Rafah Crossing in contravention of agreements Egypt is a party to.

January 23, 2008 Any attack by Israel would also bring retaliation by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hizbullah(2).

Following reports on Israel's January 17, 2008 test of the Jericho III missile, which has a range of 4,500 km, the Iranian website Tabnak wrote that the missile's addition to Israel's arsenal does not change the balance of power between Israel and Iran.

January 22, 2008 "Bush a Liar, Cheat, Murderer and... Expert in Barbaric State Terrorism"

The recent visit by U.S. President Bush to the Gulf evoked harsh reactions from Qatari columnists, who maligned Bush personally and castigated him over his policy.

January 22, 2008 Saudi Arabia in Transition

The project is Saudi Arabia's boldest bet yet that this oil-rich kingdom can transform itself into an industrial powerhouse. The plant is part of a \$500 billion investment program to build new cities, create millions of jobs and diversify the economy away from petroleum exports over the next two decades.

January 22, 2008 A New Arms Race in the Gulf?

The Joint Direct Attack Munition is a kit that, when added to the back end of a 500- or 2,000-pound "dumb" bomb, turns it into a lethal, all-weather "smart" weapon.

January 18, 2008 Abu Dhabi: East Leans West

Each month, 25,000 people from around the globe arrive in the United Arab Emirates, seeking jobs, contracts, and political stability.

January 17, 2008 Two Testimonies by Young Men Who Went to Wage Jihad in Iraq

Two testimonies by young men who went to Iraq to wage jihad were published recently.

January 17, 2008 Pakistanis Want Larger Role for Both Islam and Democracy

An in-depth survey of Pakistani public opinion reveals majority support for a moderate and democratic Islamic state, though a small but significant minority shows sympathy for Islamist militant groups.

January 17, 2008 Egyptian Liberal Hisham Al-Tukhi:"I Have a Dream"

In an article published recently on the Arab liberal websites, Egyptian liberal Hisham Al-Tukhi adapted Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, urging full civil rights and equality for Egyptian minorities.

January 17, 2008 Syrian Government Officials Call on Arab Countries to Deepen Relations with Iran

Against the backdrop of President Bush's Middle East visit high-ranking Syrian government officials called on Arab countries to deepen relations and cooperation with Iran.

January 12, 2008 US President prays in Bethlehem

US President George W. Bush prayed at the traditional birthplace of Jesus on Thursday, in a Bethlehem swamped by security forces, his first stop on a pilgrimage to some of Christianity's holiest sites.