Tag Archives: Western-world

President Karzai Warned To Get Moving!

It is fast approaching seven years since the Taliban was driven from power in Afghanistan and the world looked forward to creation of a democratic government which would end the excesses of a fundamentalist era of governance. President Karzai met with representatives of Europe and the United States in an effort to obtain greater financial support for reconstruction efforts in his nation. One US envoy felt “the question is no longer what Karzai wants from us, but what we expect from him.” One thing is clear, “more of the same” is no longer wanted or will it be accepted. The West believes reconstruction in Afghanistan depends more on the presence of an effective government that will deal with the mess existing in Afghanistan. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier stated bluntly he expects “a determined approach to fighting corruption and lawlessness.”

The next one or two years may well be a crucial test as to whether President Karzai will be supported by the West. He has to create a government that can carry forth its mission for effectively meeting the needs of the population. There is little evidence in the record of the past seven years that will soon be accomplished.

Muslim-West Divide Widens

A Gallup poll published this week in a report on Muslim-Western relations for the World Ecnomic Forum reflects an “alarming low level of optimism regarding dialogue between Islam and the West.” Most people in Muslim and Western nations countries believe dividions between them are worsening and each side believes the other disrespects their culture. Negative perceptions were most prevalent in the Unitd States, Israel and Palestinian terrfitories, most probably due to the Iraq war and the conflict between Israel and Palestinians. Although two thirds of people in Muslim nations said they respected the West, almost the same number felt the West did not respect them. Most Western respondents said they did not believe either side respected the other. Ironically, Iranians who have heard about threats of military action by the United States feel less disrespect than Turks who have scant conflict with America and are interested in entering the European Union. Of course, if they fail gaining entry it will only exacerbate distrust.

The report notes Europeans believe “greater interaction between the Muslim and Western worlds is a threat than a benefit.” One would hope the presence of more and more Muslims in the Western world might eventually reduce fears, it is a hope, not a certainty.