Who is your Real Enemy?
Dr. Richard L. Benkin writes for Blitz
How many Bangladeshis have been killed by Israeli bombs or Israeli terrorists? The answer, of course, is NONE. That’s very odd because as I read the Bangladeshi press over the past weeks, months, and years, one would think that your people’s greatest enemy is Israel. Israel alone among all nations is not a valid travel destination for Bangladeshis. Israel—along with the United States—is referred to in dark terms, suggesting its leadership in an anti-Islamic conspiracy. Yet, its Muslim citizens have the highest standard of living among all Middle East Muslims.
Articles in the Bangladeshi press demonize Israel for non-specific “human rights abuses,” declaring Israel an enemy of Bangladesh. Yet, has Bangladesh ever objected to real and documented human rights abuses by a legion of nations—from China and North Korea to Saudi Arabia and Syria to Cuba and Iran? Has Bangladesh ever declared its passports invalid for travel to any of those nations?
Since reclaiming Jerusalem in 1967, Israel has guaranteed the rights of Muslims at that city’s Temple Mount, Al Aqsa’s location—even at the expense of Jewish rights. Israel allows Muslim prayer on the Mount, but arrests any Jews attempting to pray there. Since 1967, attendance at Al-Aqsa prayer has been greater than it was under Jordanian occupation. Israel has looked the other way while the Muslim Waqf built additional mosques ripped out of the Temple Mount’s ancient foundations. Despite its defense of Muslim holy sites, Bangladesh skewers Israel as Islam’s enemy. But Bangladesh maintains relations with India, whose citizens destroyed the Babri mosque. Sixteen percent of Bangladesh’s citizens are Hindu, yet Bangladesh maintains relations with Sri Lanka, which destroyed Hindu shrines in the Mannar district in 1990; India, which destroyed the Babri mosque and continuing its repression on the religious minorities, and with Pakistan, responsible for the destruction and desecration of countless Hindu shines in Kashmir in the 1980s and 1990s. Neither did Bangladesh withdraw recognition of the Afghani Taliban after they began destroying all “statues and non-Islamic shrines.” Yet, it does not accord recognition to Israel, defender of Al Aqsa and other Muslim shines. (And I would challenge anyone to produce one scintilla of credible evidence—not hyperbole or propaganda—that Israel has done anything else!)
That all pales into insignificance in the face of what is happening now to the people of Bangladesh, whose country has become a favorite target of international terrorists. Terrorist attacks began in August and have grown in lethality and frequency since. Their favorite target it the legal system—the guarantor against anarchy and the greatest obstacle in the terrorists’ stated goal of turning Bangladesh into a Taliban state with Sharia as the law of the land. They proudly claim they will continue to murder innocent Bangladeshis until they achieve their personal goals.
Experts on international terrorism, Bangladeshi government spokespersons, press commentators all agree that their sources of funding and support are international. Yet, despite the Herculean efforts by State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar, their identity remains shrouded in mystery. But should it?
Statements by the terrorists make it clear that they are among the “baby Al Qaeda” groups that are springing up in various parts of the world now that the US has bin Laden and his ilk on the run. And for a long time, their international backers have not only been known, but have openly claimed credit for their support. Iran is the number one funding and safe haven source for terrorists. Saudi Arabia, though now fighting Al Qaeda in its midst, remains a paramount source of terrorist funding. Syria and the Sudan also deserve mention for their international terrorist role. Has there been any inquiry to those governments? Have Bangladeshi passports been ruled invalid for travel to those places?
No? Well, that’s odd since they’re invalid for Israel, which has not funded the murder of innocent Bangladeshis. Someday soon, however, the evidence of those other nations’ complicity will be known. When that happens, will Bangladesh outlaw travel to those nations? Will they be demonized in the press, classrooms, and mosques? And will Bangladeshi withdraw its formal recognition of those countries.
The terrorists have placed Bangladesh at a crossroads in its international policy. No matter how one dresses it up, Bangladesh today is a nation under siege by Islamic terrorists. The other two nations that have seen many of its citizens murdered by Islamic terrorists recently—Jordan and Egypt—both have peace treaties with Israel. Both nations have recently returned their ambassadors to Israel, and relations with the Jewish State are warming.
It is time that Bangladesh does the same.
Bangladesh is at a crossroads. Its people demand that the terrorists be defeated. And Israel has done the best job of defeating terrorism. For is there any doubt that if Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda, Hizbullah, and the rest could successfully attack Israel they would? Their efforts of late have been anemic at best, and they have killed far more Muslims than Israelis. Which nation besides Israel could offer more to the people of Bangladesh?
Defeating terrorism also requires that tacit support for it be eradicated from various social institutions.
Every time a pundit or government leader condemns terrorism, but tries to exempt “freedom fighters,” they say that terror is justified if the terrorist feels sufficiently aggrieved. Evidently, the Bangladeshi terrorists believe themselves aggrieved. They believe that the nation of Bangladesh has desecrated their faith. Failing to condemn unequivocally terrorist attacks in Israel gives aid and comfort to those who would make an argument that terror is a legitimate tactic for their particular causes—in this case, for turning Bangladesh into a Taliban state.
Some years back, Blitz editor and my dear friend, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury warned about the rise of these terror cells, about the support they find in various social institutions. Over the past months, more than one terrorism expert has said that Al Qaeda and their clones will search for new havens now that the US has thrown them out of Afghanistan and Iraq; and now that Arab nations including Egypt and Saudi Arabia are squeezing them domestically.
For the past several months, I have suggested that the war on terror look not just to the Arab world, but to non-Arab Muslim Asia as well. I have argued that, geographically, Bangladesh in particular would be a very tempting target for the terrorists. Its proximity to India (Number 3 on the terrorists’ most hated nation list after Israel and the US) makes it perfect for them. Will the world and the people of Bangladesh allow the terrorists to turn that nation into the next battleground in the war on terror?
The need to answer that question is coming more quickly than one might think. Terror attacks are becoming more frequent; fatalities are climbing; and the terrorists are losing on every other front. But Bangladesh can save itself.
Choose to ally the nation with the world’s most successful terror fighters: Israel and the United States. Give the terrorists a blow from which they will not recover. Recognize the Jewish State. And why not? The nation that has sent more soldiers to fight Israel, Egypt, has formal relations with it. The Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel, works with the Israelis daily, and depends on Israeli economy for its lifeblood. And there are so many more benefits the people of Bangladesh would get. Israeli technology is unmatched anywhere in the world. Your very cell phones could not function without the Israeli inventions that are at their core. During the first half of 2005, Israel’s exports of industrial products to Arab countries rose by 26%. Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan, Egypt, and other nations benefit from the industrial and consumer products that Israel provides their people.
The government of Bangladesh struggles to protect its people from terrorists, struggles to improve their standard of living, struggles to improve its industrial base. Yet, it passes up their solution and victory over terrorism by taking an extreme position on Israel, while other Arab and Muslim nations are not depriving their people. And for what?
My own sources tell me that identifying the international forces behind the terror attacks in your country is close, and certain organizations are very close. All that the government of Bangladesh need do is knock on the right door, and declare itself an unwavering ally in the war on terrorism—all terrorism, including that against Israelis. But Bangladeshi is a democracy, answerable to its people, and it will only knock on that door when its people recognize that this is the move that will save lives. Only then, will the government recognize Israel and defeat the forces of terror killing your people.
Oman offers free Aids test in 10 minutes
Suraiyya Aziz reports from Muscat
Diagnostic test for HIV/Aids is
already free in Oman. But for one month from now you can expect more. The
Ministry of Health has launched a rapid HIV/Aids test in co-operation with
the Unicef Oman. The test involves just a pin prick and the result is out
within 10 minutes. What is more the test is anonymous and free; there is
no hassle of getting registered or disclosing one’s name! Just walk in any
of the 10 health centres where the “Get Tested” initiative has been
The queen of blogging
Wendy Liu writes from China
"After watching my body, if I expose my face to you then the only thing left will be emotion." Well, in a way I agree - it doesn't matter if she does or does not expose her face on her blog.
Mu Mu is the latest it girl in a string of blogging Chinese following the style of Mu Zimei and the now infamous Sister Lotus, although this new kid on the block again and again has expressed scorn for her two online comrades... or maybe she sees them as competitors.
Just by reading the name of Mu Mu's blog it is immediately evident what content you'll find within: "The Body of a Dancing Girl." The difference between Mu Mu and the string of other copycats is that she posts a sexy photo of her body, sans face, with every diary entry.
Her body is quite hot and her writing is very decent indeed, so it really is no surprise that her fame has spread like wildfire throughout the online world.
Almost all of Mu Mu's photos feature her in a skimpy bikini striking sexy pose after sexy pose, which is why people compare her with Mu Zimei who is well known for the way her diary entries are always descriptions of sex acts.
Sex sells and these two girls know it. But according to Mu Mu, they are selling different things.
"We are two completely different people. Some like to exchange peacockery with her and men's privacy. But I do not. Look at her flat body and you will discover that we are totally different," says the pouty Mu Mu. She is setting her sights at the top of blogging fame and doesn't mind stepping on others to get to the there.
But some visitors to her blog doubt whether the photos are really of Mu Mu's body, and many want to see her face. Rumors abound that she may have a hot body, but she probably doesn't show her face because she is dog ugly.
She answers these accusations in the intro to her blog: "My body is not a secret to you, as long as you see my face, when the four eyes meet, the only thing that can happen is love."
So it is a public service she is providing by not showing her face. And her tactics are working as the number of people logging onto her online diary has already clicked past 10,000.
"I began to write this blog in July this year thinking that if I received over 10,000 visitors I would stop, but now with so many visitors I am unable to stop!"
I appreciate Mu Mu's witty and mature writing style. She actually understands the fun of irony and writes about reading, other authors and discusses topics like marriage in a most thoughtful way.
She steers away from being overtly sexual in her diary entries, which is refreshing as any fool can blog about trashy romances [see Mu Zimei]. In this way, Mu Mu deserves her fame much more than the other flash in the pan female bloggers.
What really got me hooked on Mu Mu though, was a comparison made to Zweig - an Austrian biographer, essayist, short story writer and cosmopolitan, who advocated the idea of an united Europe under one government and is extremely popular among China's youth - who famously said, "I write because I am desperate." "But I write because I am excited," says blogger. Mu Mu really is a rising star to watch.
Koreans Called upon
Korean Central News Agency
The idea of "By our nation itself", the basic idea in the era of independent reunification, serves as a motive force enabling all members of the nation to discharge their responsibility and role in the movement for national reunification and a source of strength for victoriously advancing the movement, says Rodong Sinmun in a signed article. The Korean nation's movement for independent reunification has turned into a nationwide movement which involves all the Koreans, be they persons in authority or common people, irrespective of their ideology, political views and religious beliefs, the article says, adding: It has become a major trend of the history of the nation to advance guided by the idea of "By our nation itself." The historic June 15 joint declaration serves as a landmark for national reunification in the 21st century as it is a declaration on the independent reunification of the nation in which the Koreans in the north and the south committed themselves to solve the issue of national reunification independently by their concerted efforts.
basic spirit of the joint declaration is the idea of "By our nation
Parents still hope to find daughter alive
Suraiyya Aziz writes from Thailand
Patchara “Riem” Meissmer have new hope of being reunited with their
five-year-old daughter, Solitaire, who was presumed lost in the tsunami in
Phang Nga nearly a year ago.
UAE invests USD 5Bn in Morocco
USD 5Bn, placing the Gulf country at the top of Arab countries investing in the kingdom, said Emirati ambassador, Issa Hamad Abu Shihab.
These investments, which concern several sectors like real estate, seaside resorts, trade centers, road and port infrastructures, aim to back the Moroccan economy and to create new jobs, the diplomat told "MAP."
Past may, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed, a draft accord to launch USD 2Bn "Amwaj" project in the Bouregreg river valley that separates the capital Rabat from millennium-old city of Salé.
The project, to extend on a 100ha area, is aimed at boosting tourism and economic activity in the Moroccan capital.
New UAE investments are due to be launched in 2006 said Abu Shihab, citing, in this respect, the prospects of Emirati businessmen in the Kingdom.
He also said that the two counties are working to reactivates the agreements facilitating Moroccan labor flow in UAE, recalling that some 12,000 Moroccan work in his country.