Showing posts from January, 2017

Pakistani crackdown: One hand works to neutralize the other

By James M. Dorsey Pakistan has put one of the world’s most wanted men under house arrest in a half-hearted crackdown on a militant group with close ties to the military and intelligence in a bid to persuade President Donald J. Trump from adding the country to those whose citizens were last week banned from travelling to the United States. Pakistani media reports and analysts said the move against Hafez Muhammad Saeed, a leader of the banned group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and its alleged front, Jamaat-ud-Din (JuD), came after US officials days before the inauguration of Mr. Trump gave Pakistan until January 31 to respond to complaints by the Bangkok-based Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) about various JuD financial transactions. Mr. Saeed is believed to be among others responsible for the 2008 attacks on 12 targets in Mumbai, including the Taj Mahal Hotel, a train station, a café and a Jewish centre. Some 164 people were killed and more than 300 wounded. Th

The Muslim world: Liberals pay the price for Trump and Saudi-supported illiberalism

By James M. Dorsey US president Donald J. Trump’s fuelling of Islamophobia with his newly imposed travel ban as well as his war on the mainstream media feed an increasing trend towards supremacism and intolerance as well as restrictions on freedom of expression, media and religion across the Muslim world. In doing so, the president’s moves complicate rather than fortify efforts to counter political violence by giving credence to ultra-conservative and jihadist narratives of war being waged by the West on Islam. The moves strengthen forces that propagate supremacist interpretations of the faith that are intolerant of non-Muslims and alternative Islamic worldviews. The ultra-conservative alliance buoyed by Mr. Trump’s policies includes Saudi-backed ultra-conservative ideologies and governments that are beneficiaries of Saudi largess and opportunistically play politics with religion as well as anti-Saudi jihadists. Saudi largess is part of a massively funded, decad

Qatar’s World Cup sparks battle for legal, social and political reform

MEI Insight No. 159 25 January 2017 Middle East Insights Middle East Institute, National University of Singapore Rule of Law Series [1]   Qatar’s World Cup sparks battle for legal, social and political reform By James M Dorsey Qatar’s successful bid for the right to host the 2022 World Cup has put the Gulf state at the forefront of demands for legal changes to its labour regime that potentially could change the very nature of its society and politics and serve as a model for other countries in the region. The bid has also sparked the beginnings of long overdue debate of taboo issues, including rules governing citizenship and naturalization. As a result, in a world in which mega sporting events largely fail to leave the kind of legal, social and political change that international sports associations like the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the world soccer body, hope to spark, Q