Turkey views nuclear proliferation as a consequence rather than a cause of insecurity. It acknowledges the threats and risks of further proliferation in its region and beyond, and has been a committed member of international regimes on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.17 Ankara has plans to harness nuclear technology for electricity generation, and would be adversely affected by proliferation trends in the region. Additionally, its ties with the Middle East (historical and cultural) and the West, particularly its strategic relations with the United States and the accession process to the European Union, grant Turkey with the ability to “speak both languages.” More importantly, it is one of the countries that would incur the negative impact should negotiations with Iran fail and proliferation trends rise in the region. In sum, Turkey is fit to play an active role in negotiations and it is willing to do so
Military strikes are less credible, particularly for Israel, given Iran’s vast network of tunnels which hide the various uranium enrichment facilities around the country?
Who says Israel has to attack only once? There are no rules to survival.
The virtual defection of Turkey’s regime from the Western alliance (yes, it really is that bad) and the end of the special relationship between Jerusalem and Ankara is a bad thing. But the Turkish semi-Islamist rulers are restrained by their desire to play a role in regional peacemaking and not to make the Americans or Europeans too angry.
While America has been absorbed by the Afghan election imbroglio, a
less-noticed event slid into place in the Middle East. It is less dramatic than
President Hamid Karzai's near removal; but this event tilts the strategic
balance: Turkey finally shrugged off its United States straight-jacket; stared
past any beckoning European Union membership; and has fixed its eyes toward its
former Ottoman Asian and Middle Eastern neighbors.
Turkey did not make this shift merely to snub the West; but it does reflect
Turkey's discomfort and frustration with US and EU
The prospective Nabucco gas pipeline to central Europe may gradually eclipse the energy primacy of Saudi oil. This article is accusing Israel of creating the situation where they are responsible of demonizing not just Iran, but rather a whole region that is becoming allied for economic and strategic reasoning. It is interesting that the journalist downplayed the Chinese and Russians.
Islam’s masculine ideals and unequivocal condemnation of homosexuality may have lured young Lindh, who, soon after his father left his mother and moved in with another man, converted to Islam at age 16. Shortly thereafter, he went a-jihading.
There is another, more subtle, factor that may attract men to Islam: traditional male roles are well preserved in the religion. This may appeal to Western men who find it difficult to assert their “masculinity” in what may be perceived as gender-free Western societies. Harvey Mansfield’s book, Manliness, defines that term as “a quality both bad and good, mostly male, often intolerant, irrational, and ambitious. Our gender-neutral society does not like it but cannot get rid of it.
John Walker Lindh especially seems to fit this paradigm. Precipitating his conversion to Islam was his teenage discovery that his father was homosexual — an event that appears to have traumatized and alienated Lindh. Islam’s masculine ideals and unequivocal condemnation of homosexuality may have lured young Lindh, who, soon after his father left his mother and moved in with another man, converted to Islam at age 16. Shortly thereafter, he went a-jihading.
read the whole thing via docstalk.blogspot.com
A growing number of young Muslims in the UK are entering marriages that are not legally recognised, BBC Asian Network has found. This is because couples are having an Islamic wedding without the civil ceremony needed for the marriage to be recognised under British law.
Ms Khan says unregistered Muslim marriages are on the increase
Shaheeda Khan married her fiance in a traditional Islamic religious ceremony, the nikah, at her home in Birmingham.
After the wedding the couple moved to London where they started to build a life and home together but, 13 months into the marriage, Shaheeda realised that her nikah was not legally valid.
''I had to show a marriage certificate when I was enrolling at university. It was then I realised I didn't have one and it came as a big shock to me," she said.
Shaheeda, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, said she asked her husband to register their marriage but he was against the idea.
A few months later she came home and found that the locks to her front door had been changed and that she had been thrown out of her home.
"I was homeless. I took legal action but I got nothing," explained Shaheeda. "I had been paying the mortgage on our home but the house was not in my name so I lost everything.''
Eventually, Shaheeda moved back home with her family.
''It was as though the marriage had never happened. It was the worst time of my life,'' she added.
Family lawyer Aina Khan says that she is dealing with an increasing number of cases like Shaheeda's.
"It's a rising trend for Muslim couples to have marriages that are not legally recognised," explained Ms Khan.
''The problem is extremely widespread and it's an increasing timebomb because it's affecting mostly young Muslims, who are under 30 or in their early 30s.''
Ms Khan says that the individuals have no legal marital rights if the marriage ends or if a partner dies.
I know of cases where men have taken on several wives because they have just had the nikah with each partner
Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui
She said: ''My colleagues and I are having to deal with hundreds of cases where things have gone wrong because the wedding has not been registered.
"Because the couples only have co-habitant rights, it is extremely expensive and complicated to use the law to get the individuals any justice once the marriage ends.''
Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, the head of Britain's Muslim Parliament, says the lives of many Muslim women are being ruined because their Islamic marriages are not legally recognised.
''It is a major problem in the community," insisted Dr Siddiqui. "But it is very difficult to put an exact figure on the scale of this because there are no statistics. It could be in its hundreds if not thousands."
Shaista Gohir is the head of the UK's Muslim Women's Network. She says the problem arises, in some cases, out of ignorance as many young Muslims believe that the nikah is legally binding.
''If a couple has a nikah in a Muslim country then the marriage is recognised under UK law. But many do not realise that this is not the case if the nikah is conducted in this country,'' she explained.
However, Ms Gohir said, some couples preferred to wait and "test out" the marriage before they had their civil ceremony.
This was something Leicester couple Saila and Riaz Choudary, both 25, wanted to do. They had their Nikah before waiting more than a year until their civil marriage.
''I wanted to be sure before I committed to the civil ceremony,'' said Saila.
''A divorce costs a lot of money and I wanted to avoid all that hassle if the marriage didn't end up working.''
Ms Gohir says many couples say they will register their marriage later, but later never comes.
Dr Siddiqiui added that he believed some Muslim women were being exploited as their partners promised them a civil wedding after the nikah only to refuse to go ahead with it.
''This allows Muslim men to control their wives because they can threaten to leave them and end the Islamic marriage by just saying the words 'divorce, divorce divorce' to her,'' he said.
Riaz and Saila both agreed to wait to get a civil ceremony
''It also enables some men to commit polygamy. I know of cases where men have taken on several wives because they have just had the nikah with each partner.''
He wants Muslim women to protect themselves by always having a civil ceremony before the nikah and is also calling for all mosques to become registered to conduct civil marriages.
This would then allow the couple to have the nikah and registry at the same time under one roof.
''The problem is that only a handful of mosques across the country are registering themselves," said Dr Siddiqiui.
''I don't know why this is the case because it is very simple to do - all they need to do is fill out a form.
''Religious leaders must take a bigger responsibility to protect many Muslim women who are unnecessarily suffering.''
BY KHALED ABU TOAMEH
PA negotiator says Palestinians should consider declaring Oslo Accords "null and void."
A paper prepared by Chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat on the status of the peace talks with Israel recommends that the Palestinians consider the possibility of abandoning the two-state solution in favor of a one-state solution if the peace process does not move forward.
Another option that the Palestinians should consider, according to Erekat, is the re-evaluation of the Oslo Accords and “declaring them null and void, partially or completely, or applying them selectively in a manner consistent with Palestinian interests.”
The paper recommends that the Palestinians link cooperation on issues that matter to Israel, such as security cooperation, with Israel upholding its obligations [to the peace process].
Erekat’s paper also recommends a “campaign of non-violent resistance, such as prohibition of Palestinians working in settlements and boycott of Israeli products.”
On the two-state solution, the document suggests that the Palestinians “develop credible alternatives to the traditional two-state solution, such as a one-state solution or a bi-national state,” and dissolve the PA.
The paper, which is entitled “The Political Situation in Light of Developments with the US Administration and Israeli Government and Hamas’s continued Coup d’etat,” was written in December 2009.
The paper calls for unifying Palestinian messages and positions regarding the peace talks with Israel.
Its main points include the following directives:
• Final-status negotiations must be based on previously agreed terms of reference – international law, UN resolutions, including 242, 338, 1397, 1515 and 194, as well as the Road Map and the Arab Peace Initiative.
• Final-status talks must lead to ending the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and the establishment of a sovereign and viable Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.
• Final status talks must be resumed from the point where they ended in December 2008.
• Israel must implement a comprehensive settlement freeze, including in east Jerusalem, and reopen Palestinian institutions in the city. Israel also must remove settlement outposts established since March 2001, lift the siege and closure on the West Bank and Gaza Strip and halt raids, arrests and assassinations and all activities that may jeopardize building mutual trust and confidence.
Erekat’s paper recommends that the Palestinians try to secure a UN Security Council resolution that recognizes the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital, as well as a just and agreed solution to the Palestinian refugee issue in accordance with Resolution 194.
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