The Turkish government is experiencing turmoil and conflict as it awaits news from the Constitutional Court as to its decision of banning or not banning the ruling Justice and Development Party(AKP) as a legal political organization. The Court is reviewing a case brought by the Public Prosecutor who charges the AKP with seeking to undermine the Turkish constitution by working to end its secular base and institute a Muslim centered society which will govern on the basis of sharia law. In recent days, ultra nationalist leaders have urged Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, to stand down from politics if his party is banned in order to avoid further conflict in society. In parliamentary debate, Erdogan disregarded the request, and stated bluntly, “if a politician decides to stand down from politics, it will be due to the will of the people,” not because of a judicial decision.
Deniz Baykal, of the opposition Republican People’s Party, argued Turkey is fast approaching a decision if the Constitutional Court decides to ban the AKP. “Will Turkey remain a modern nation or become a weird Islamic state of the Middle East?”
However, there is a third option which Erdogan and many members of the AKP are urging– creation of a modern nation which respects the rights of its religious members while also respecting the rights of those who believe in secular principles. If this third path is taken, it offers a model for the entire Middle East.
A group of brave Australians prevented the world from experiencing another terrorist attack by spotting the terrorist and then ensuring it could not do any damage. A group of Aussies were are their favorite watering hole in the Outback doing what one does at a watering hole when one spotted the terrorist lounging around near the door. They immediately ran to the door, seized the terrorist who was disguised as a crocodile and brought him inside. In a spirit of comradeship, the Aussies invited the terrorist to join them for some libation at the bar, but there was no response from the terrorist who was disguised as a crocodile. Barmaid, Sarah Sparre, said “he was pretty complacent, easygoing, but we weren’t going to test him out.”
The world undoubtedly was saved from another 9/11 experience due to the bravery of these gallant Australians. The croc is now back at a croc farm and being carefully watched since he will undoubtedly abandon the disguise and return to his natural terrorist life form.
Members of Congress may decide to vote against an agreement hammered out between former President Putin of Russia and George Bush regarding both nations agreeing to cooperate in the area of nuclear development. Congressional leaders are upset at the refusal of Russia to assume a more proactive stance towards Iran and believe a message must be sent to Russia. President Bush will undoubtedly reject any effort by Congress to halt the proposed program since he regards it as an important step in developing positive relations with Russia.
Given the Bush effort to construct missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic which Russia regards as a hostile action, any positive reaching out to Russia is important. Congress has a right to feel upset at Russian refusal to be tougher on Iran, but preventing a positive program in nuclear development makes little sense.
Posted in Democrats, George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Peace, Politics, Republicans, Russia, US Foreign Policy, World News
Tagged Iran, nuclear, Russia, US
One of the most under-reported aspects of the Bush invasion of Iraq has been the devastating impact of the war on the lives of Iraqi Christians. The Christian presence in Iraq goes back over a thousand years, but due to changes brought about by the American-led invasion, at least half of the 800,000 Christians who were in Iraq in 2003 have fled for their safety. They are threatened by fanatic Muslim fundamentalists who do not wish non-believers in their midst. Sweden is among the few nations which have responded to the Iraq refugee problem which includes at least two million now trapped in Syria and Jordan and fearing to return.
The German Christian Democratic Union is pushing for a new plan which would allow 10,000 Iraqis to come to Germany as permanent residents. The catch is the offer would only be applicable for Christians. The proposal calls for allowing 10,000 people suffering religious persecution to enter Germany which, in effect, means they would be Christians.
It is an interesting proposal although a bit tainted by only allowing Christians to enter, but, in these days, half a loaf is better than none. Perhaps, Germany could learn from the example of Sweden which has opened its doors to thousands of Iraqis, Christian or Muslim or non-believer.
Posted in Christianity, Europe, Germany, Human Rights, Iraq, Iraq War, Multicultural, Muslims, Politics, Sweden, World News
Tagged German Immigration, Iraqi Christians, Sweden
President Musharraf arranged for the return of Benzair Bhutto as well as that of Nawaz Sharif with the understanding both would be allowed to participate in the political arena despite the fact both had been convicted of prior crimes against the state. Sharif is leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N and placed his name in nomination to run for a seat in parliament but the court which was appointed by President Musharaff turned down the request on grounds he had a prior conviction. This has aroused the fury of both the PML-N and the governing Pakistan People’s Party which regard the court decision as invalid.
Pakistan can ill afford a constitutional crisis at this moment in its existence. Hopefully, calm voices will find a way for Nawaz to engage in politics without the need for street demonstrations and threats. It is time for Musharraf to display leadership by urging the courts to change their decision.