Tag Archives: Pakistan

University of the Taliban cabinet

The Taliban’s founder Mullah Muhammed Omar, the one-eyed reclusive cleric-warrior who sheltered Osama bin Laden, is being linked to what was called ‘the University of jihad’ but has become now‘the University of the Taliban cabinet,”

Flanked by adoring supporters, one of whom crouches on the floor kissing his legs, Maulana Hamid Ul-Haq jokes about the nickname given by critics who have repeatedly labelled the school a hotbed of radicalisation. This is because its alumni include some of the Taliban’s most powerful and feared leaders, many of whom are on global wanted lists and are now in their new cabinet after the group swept to power in neighbouring Afghanistan last month.

The biggest names from the notorious Haqqani network, a US-designated terrorist group linked to the Taliban, have been taught there, including its founder, Jalaluddin Haqqani, and Khalil Haqqani, now the Taliban’s minister for refugees. The Taliban’s spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid is also a graduate.

Read more in light of its links to several well-known jihadis, the head of Darul Uloom Haqqania is trying to change its image following the Taliban victory: ‘We’re no longer ‘the University of jihad’ but ‘the University of the Taliban cabinet’: inside Pakistan’s notorious madrasa

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In Afghanistan and Pakistan can people trust the Taliban and find some good education

In 2015 there was a wave of outrage, crossing Pakistan’s national borders. The Taliban created a bloody rampage in a school in the province’s capital, Peshawar, killing 141 people including 132 uniformed children in what is being billed as the group’s single deadliest attack to date,

In their war against western, secular education, which the group has denounced as “un-Islamic”, the Pakistan Taliban have destroyed over 838 schools between 2009 and 2012, claimed responsibility for the near-fatal shooting of teenaged education advocate Malala Yousafzai who spoke out publicly against the prohibition on the education of girls that was imposed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP; sometimes called Pakistani Taliban). This Taliban issued numerous edicts against the right of women and girls to receive proper schooling. And today, notwithstanding their promises, it seems they are going to ban again any formal education for girls. Though they say it is only for a short period until they will have found out how to organise an education possibility for female Afghanis.

It may be strange to our ears to hear several Afghanis now want to cross the Pakistan border to find more safety. But perhaps they do know much better the intentions of the Afghan Taliban than we can ever imagine.

Young girls may also find some possibility to study in Pakistan, where the country isin a better condition than five years ago and where alternatives to terrorism and militancy bore some good fruits.

The Citizens Foundation (TFC), a local non-profit, busied itself with a pledge to build 141 Schools for Peace, one in the name of each person who lost their life on that terrible day.

“We dedicate this effort to the children of Pakistan, their right to education and their dreams of a peaceful future,”

said Syed Asaad Ayub Ahmad, CEO of TCF,  in an email launching the campaign.

“With the formidable challenges facing the nation, we passionately believe that only education has the power to enlighten minds, instil citizenship and unleash the potential of every Pakistani,”

he added.

While armed groups and government forces answer violence with more of the same, the active citizens who comprise TCF want to shift focus away from bloodshed and onto longer-term solutions for the future of this deeply troubled country.

The charity, which began in 1995, has completed 1,000 school ‘units’, typically a primary or secondary institution capable of accommodating up to 180 pupils, all built from scratch in the most impoverished areas of some 100 towns and cities across Pakistan.

The 7,700 teachers employed by the NGO go through a rigorous training programme before placement, and the organisation maintains a strict 50:50 male-female ratio for the 145,000 students who are now benefitting from a free education, according to TCF Vice President Zia Akhter Abbas.

In a country where 25.02 million school-aged children – of which 13.7 million (55 percent) are girls – do not receive any form of education, experts say TCF’s initiative may well act as a game changer in the years to come, especially given that the government spends just 2.1 percent of its GDP on education.

“Our job is to ensure that wherever we have our schools, there are no out-of-school children, especially girls,”

Abbas  said.

“We believe the change in society will come automatically once these educated and enlightened children grow up into responsible adults.”

Of the 25.02 million school-aged children who are not receiving a proper education, 13.7 million, or 55 percent, are girls. {Credit: Zofeen Ebrahim/IPS}

He added that the schools are designed to

“serve as a beacon of light restricting the advance of extremism in our society.”

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The Fall of Kabul: The Return of the Taliban

To remember:

  • Mohammed Omar Afghan mullah (cleric) and mujahid commander who led the Taliban and founded the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in 1996.
  • Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second largest city after Kabul, located in the south of the country on the Arghandab River, at an elevation of 1,010 m (3,310 ft).
  • 2001 destruction of two giant Buddhas in Bamiyan by the all male group Taliban = lack of respect by the Taliban for historical &  cultural heritage of Afghanistan.
  • February 2020, Trump administration + Taliban signed historic deal in Doha, Qatar > 14-month timetable for America & NATO allies to withdraw all of its forces from Afghanistan. > Taliban agreed not to allow al-Qaeda or any extremist group to operate in the areas they control.
  • Since 2001 the war forced 2.7 million Afghans to flee their homes mostly to Iran, Pakistan and Europe.
  • United States of America Defense Department states > war- fighting costs over the years in Afghanistan total $815.7 billion; from food for troops to fuel; to Humvees, weapons and ammunition; from tanks to amoured vehicles to aircraft carriers to airstrikes.
  • Taliban = not strong in area of human rights or women’s right. impose strict limitations on women’s bodies & their human rights + women treated as possession of men
  • women are not allowed to dance in public, => bachas (boys), as young as 12, usually orphans or from very poor families, can be made to dance in women’s clothing + they are often sexually abused = bachabaze = playing with boys
  • Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) = second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations, + collective voice of Muslim world to ensure & safeguard their interest on economic socio and political areas

waykam

“Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.”- John F. Kennedy.

We have all seen the stunning and alarming images on our television; hundreds of Afghans both men and women running alongside a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane as it moves down a runway of the Hamid Karzai International airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. The script was not supposed to end like this. The Taliban have moved with fighting speed to control Afghanistan. The United States of American trained Afghan security forces hardly resisted the Taliban. This military maneuvering by the Taliban has led many to wonder whether or not the United States and her allies miscalculated the capacity and capabilities of the Taliban. Many will view the surrender of Kabul as well as the other provinces in Afghanistan with some suspicion especially since the former president Ashraf Ghani fled before Kabul fell to the Taliban. A significant…

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De ellendigste tendens van 2020

December 2019 bracht een eerste tijding van een soort virus dat in een marktplaats zou opgetreden zijn. Volgens China dat dit nieuws liefst niet kenbaar had gemaakt was dat vreemde nog ongekende virus dat in december 2019 in de stad Wuhan was uitgebroken, het coronavirus, van mens op mens overdraagbaar. De dokter die voor dat nieuwe dodelijke virus had gewaarschuwd was eerder wegens zijn slechte nieuwsvoering opgesloten in de gevangenis. Maar door de snelle verspreiding van het virus dat ook na het Chinese nieuwjaar buiten China werd gebracht, kon men de feiten niet meer stil houden. In Wuhan waar  zo’n elf miljoen mensen wonen werd de hoogste besmettingsgraad waargenomen in China en moesten de mensen zelfs 76 dagen lang in een harde lockdown, waarbij mensen helemaal niet naar buiten mochten. (Dus heel wat anders dan hier, waar meerderen steen en been kloegen.)

De nieuwsuitzending doorheen het jaar brachten ons allerlei corona weetjes. Uren radio en tévé geweld gingen aan dat coronavirus verloren. Soms leek het wel of er niets anders in de wereld gebeurde. Natuurlijk mocht Donald Trump op het palmares niet ontbreken. Met zijn bagatellisering van de “Chinese ziekte” en andere absurde uitlatingen mocht hij ook wel ons televisiescherm bijna dagelijks bezoedelen. Hierbij deed hij ons wel meermaals de ‘zure’ lach op anders ernstige gezichten brengen.

Naar het jaar 2020 dichter bij haar einde kwam doken wel wat meer positieve berichten op om die onverwachte pandemie klein te krijgen. Overall in de wereld waren dokters en verplegend personeel druk in de weer geweest om mensen er bovenop te helpen. Toch kwamen over geheel de wereld heel wat mensen te overlijden. 19.581 Belgen en 11.529 Nederlanders verloren het leven, wat niets lijkt te zijn tegenover de 346 000 doden die de Verenigde Staten moest optekenen, waarvan er honderd duizenden konden vermeden worden indien de president de nodige maatregelen had getroffen. In Nederland was de bevolking in 2019 nog gegroeid met 132.000 mensen, tot 17,4 miljoen inwoners, aldus het CBS. De sterkste groei sinds 1975, maar nu leek een uitdunningsslag begonnen te zijn.

Heel wat mensen in de rijkere landen vonden dat hun vrijheden werden beperkt en dat ze het oh zo moeilijk hadden dat ze het niet meer aan konden. Wat zij zeker niet zagen of niet in hun geest op riepen was datgene wat heel wat minder in het nieuws kwam maar daarom niet minder ernstig was.

De ellendigste tendens van 2020, waarvoor ook 2021 geen vaccin belooft, is namelijk die van vluchtelingenkampen en -stromen, en harde politieke dijken en dammen.2020 bracht geen einde aan de vluchtelingencrisis waarmee Europa al enkele jaren zit mee te kampen. Ook al mocht de pers er minder over gesproken hebben mochten wij dit afgelopen jaar  een recordaantal van bijna tachtig miljoen medemen-sen op de vlucht aantreffen. Ruim de helft van hen is ontheemd in eigen land, dertig miljoen hebben een erkende vluchtelingenstatus, ruim vier miljoen zijn in afwachting van hun asielaanvraag. Veruit de grootste massa’s vluchtelingen worden – geheel conform een populair politiek devies – ‘opgevangen in de regio’. In Turkije (uit Syrië), Colombia (uit Venezuela), Pakistan (uit Afghanistan) en Uganda (uit Zuid-Sudan, Congo en Somalië). Op een strookje als Libanon wonen naar schatting 1,5 miljoen vluchtelingen naast 4,5 miljoen Libanezen – en dan gebeurt juist dáár een ramp van nucleaire omvang, waarna de regering aftrad.

Erg genoeg waren er asielzoekers die ten einde raad hun tenten in brand staken, in de hoop beter onderdak te krijgen. Dit bracht hen echter in nog grotere ellende, onder de blote hemel in nachten die alsmaar kouder en natter werden. De komst van het coronavirus maakte de toestand nog nijpender, daar de gewone bevolking rond de kampen die mensen als een mogelijkedreiging begonnen te zien en hen afhield om verder hulp te bieden. De Verenigde Naties bleef vragen om extra noodhulp ter waarde van 500 mil-joen euro voor huisvesting, voedsel en gezondheidszorg. De extra belasting aftrek die door de Belgische regering werd beloofd voor giften aan goede doelen zal hopelijk toch ook iets extra hebben mogen bijdragen. De cijfers zijn hiervan nog niet gekend. Wel is geweten dat veel donoren toch nog aarzelden, want bij vorige acties bleek dikwijls het geld en goederen niet toe te komen waar het hoorde aan te komen. Omtrent Syrië was men ook bang dat het geld en de goederen in handen zou vallen van jihadistische strijdgroeperingen. Die bleven nog lange tijd doorvechten, omdat Idlib de laatste provincie was die nog niet in handen van Assad was en nog een goed toevluchtsoord leek.

De corona-epidemie beheerste zodanig het nieuws in 2020, en zeker in april, toen het virus zich wereldwijd uitbreidde en dagelijks duizenden levens eiste. Nieuws dat anders de voorpagina’s zou hebben bepaald, werd helemaal naar de marge geduwd. Waar dat sinds 2014 een burgeroorlog heerst, die aan meer dan 112.000 mensen het leven heeft gekost, kwam nog uitzonderlijk één Vlaamse reporter ons toch nog wat schrijnend nieuws brengen.

Over Jemen, bijvoorbeeld, wordt weinig meer vernomen. In het land, in het zuidwesten van het Arabische schiereiland, woedt de strijd vooral tussen de rege-ring en de Houthi-rebellen maar voort. Door bemoeienis van Saudi-Arabië, dat de soennitische regering steunt, en Iran, dat de Houthi’s steunt, bleef het conflict daar maar meer mensen verarmen en kampen met voedsel tekort maar ook met een tekort aan medische zorgen. Na vijf jaar oorlog is de helft van alle ziekenhuizen en klinieken verwoest. Er is gebrek aan voedsel, medicijnen en kleren. Miljoenen mensen dreigen te verhongeren.

Ook al mocht het positief lijken dat ISIS of Daesh zware tegenslagen had opgelopen in het Midden Oosten, konden zij ondertussen in Afrika nieuwe uitvalsbases oprichten. Dit deden zij door samenwerking met terroristengroeperingen als Al-Shabaab en Boko Haram. Aanslagen in Nigeria, Mozambique, Congo, Kenia en Somalië, kwamen eigenlijk onvoldoende aan bod in de Westerse media. Algerije en Ethiopië kwamen iets meer in de kijker doordat zuid Europa weer een toename van vluchtelingen te verwerken kreeg uit die streken.

Volgens de cijfers van de UNHCR zijn zestig miljoen vluchtelingen langdurig op de vlucht. De kans dat vluchtelingen naar hun land van herkomst terugkeren, neemt al jaren af. In de jaren negentig keerden nog anderhalf miljoen mensen terug, de laatste tien jaar is dat gedaald tot 385.000. Meer dan zestig miljoen vluchtelingen verblijven in landen of gebieden waar voedselschaarste en ondervoeding heersen, en waar de gevolgen van klimaat- en natuurrampen zich laten gelden. Een aanzienlijk deel van de tachtig miljoen vluchtelingen is nog kind: naar schatting zijn dat er tussen de 30 en 34 miljoen.

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Migration not something to fear

With the terrorist attacks in Paris last weekend, the European Union was shocked again and the social media went as a roller-coaster shouting love and hate messages.

In most messages which tried to bring fear and hate against non-Caucasians and people of an other faith than Christendom we noticed that that’s a gross of given numbers was overestimated a lot. Many overestimate the amount of illegal citizens as well as the amount of refugees.

What does “fair” migration look like? Does protecting citizens’ rights depend upon limiting migrants’ freedoms? Or is migration actually one of the best weapons we have in the fight against poverty, injustice and social immobility – on both sides of our border?

Lets look at real ciphers:

Ten years ago, developing countries hosted 70% of the world’s refugees. In 2014 it could reach 86% of the amount of which those who reached Europe were just a very tiny percentage 4 à 5 %  of the total population of Europe.

The 49 least-developed countries – places like Chad, Malawi, and Yemen – provide asylum to 2.4 million exiles. By whatever measure you choose, the idea that the West is under siege from would-be refugees flies in the face of statistical evidence. In Pakistan, there are 552 refugees for every dollar per capita GDP; that number is 303 in Ethiopia, and 301 in Kenya. For the US, UK and Australia, the equivalent numbers are 5.4, 4.7 and 0.9.

In certain developed states we can see that people move around quite a lot to find work opportunities. This might not be so much in Belgium and Holland, but for France and other countries the locals often have to emigrate to an other place to be able to survive. Spanish, Greek and Portuguese we may find looking for work in Germany.

Most of us, if we move at all, do so within the borders of our own country – from Manchester to London, or from New York to California. In fact, we are at least six times more likely to migrate across a country (from one region to another) than we are to move across a border. There are at least 740 million domestic migrants. Few today would suggest we should restrict these migrations – in fact, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly prohibits such restrictions. But however obvious this may seem to us, your right to move within the borders of your own is relatively recent. The US Supreme Court, for instance, only definitely confirmed US citizens’ ‘fundamental’ right to ‘move at will from place to place’ across state lines in 1920.

English: Stamp of Moldova: 50th anniversary of...

Stamp of Moldova: 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 2013, according to the World Bank, there were 232 million people living outside the country of their birth. This is a significant number: but it isn’t overwhelming. It means that just 3% of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants are international migrants. The real puzzle about the age of global mobility is arguably not why so many people are moving across borders, but why so many are not.

Lots of people are afraid to loose their jobs when refugees come to live and work in their country. they must see that when more people are coming to live here, there shall be a need of more housing facilities, more products to be made for the growing amount of consumers, and those coming to work here shall also contribute to the social security providing enough money to pay for the older generation which shall be able to do more in their retirement.

Until 2008, Swedish labour migration was among the most restrictive system in the developed world: trade unions ‘had, and used, an informal veto on recruitment’. Today, its labour migration system is one of the most liberal. Employers – having first advertised the job to the local EU market for 10 days – can effectively recruit any worker, for any job, from anywhere. The result? Swedish workers working for firms recruiting labour migrants earn on average 10.5% more than those working in firms that don’t. The recent rise of the far-right Swedish Democrats risks pulling apart this liberal – and successful – model for labour migration

When it comes to inequality, birthplace is destiny. In 2012, researchers at the World Bank determined that no less than 50% of our lifetime income is determined solely by the country we live in — which, for 97% of us, is also the country we were born in.  It’s a citizenship lottery – and those of us lucky enough to be born in wealthy states are automatic winners.

This means international migration is one of the only ways in which individuals can redress the arbitrary inequalities of citizenship assigned at birth. And it works – a migrant who moves from a low-income to a high-income country can expect, on average, a 15-fold increase in income — and a 16-fold decrease in child mortality rates.

Emigration is not a one-way flow: Western citizens leave their home countries too.

In 2014, at least 5.6 million British citizens lived permanently abroad. And while some of them may prefer to call themselves “expatriates”, 40% of these emigrants – an estimated 2.2 million UK citizens – are EU migrants by any other name.  That balances neatly with the 2.3 million EU migrants from other states who have come to the UK.

Did those ex-pats bring problems to the countries they moved to? Did those migrating people bring more criminality in those visited countries?

The US has experienced a 45% drop in violent crime rates since 1990. During the same period, the number of unauthorised migrants climbed from 3.5 to 11 million, and the percentage of the population who were foreign born rose from 8 to 13%. Correlation, of course, is not causation.  But it is a good indication that more migration does not translate into more crime.  And in fact, researchers from the US have similarly concluded that ‘broad reductions in violent crime during recent years are partially attributable to increases in immigration’. In the UK, immigrant “enclaves” – defined as neighbourhoods where at least 30% of the residents are immigrants – have lower levels of crime and victimisation than similar socio-economic areas without a large immigrant presence.

We must be honest and we must be sincerely looking at the reality of the migration issue.

Perhaps it would be better if more people would consider how a migration could keep a certain balance and how the refugees of today perhaps can be the solution for the problems we shall have to face when the boomchildren are going to retire.

Remember also what @Shaimaakhalil by mobilitymuse twittered today

Refugees are not the cause of violence,they are the people trying to flee it. Hope EU leaders remember that as they deal with
  • With thanks for the text-material to “Migrants and Citizens” which poses the big questions we need to be asking about immigration and inequality.

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Preceding:

What we don’t say about the refugee crisis?

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

Real progress leaves nobody behind

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Additional reading:

  1. Built on or Belonging to Jewish tradition #3 Of the earth or of God
  2. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #3 Right to Human dignity
  3. Welfare state and Poverty in Flanders #8 Work
  4. Economic crisis danger for the rise of political extremism
  5. Refugee crisis, terrorist attacks and created fear
  6. Europe’s refugees just follow the ancient routes for the peopling of Europe in the Neolithic
  7. Is ISIS a product of American in-action or a product of direct action
  8. Islamophobic hate crimes rise in UK following terror attacks
  9. Paris attacks darkning the world
  10. Trump brand of migrant demonization #1
  11. Trump brand of migrant demonization #2
  12. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  13. Wrong ideas about religious terrorism
  14. State and attitude of certain people to blame for radicalisation
  15. The world Having to face a collective failure
  16. Can We Pay The Price To Free Humanity?
  17. Bringing into safety from Iraq and Iran

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Further reading

  1. Welcoming the Refugee – Choosing to Walk Away from Fear
  2. Feelings on Refugees, Post-Paris Attacks
  3. The other side
  4. So many women stand waiting behind fences…
  5. The Migration of the Irish to Newport in the 1800’s.
  6. America, the Not So Promised Land – The New York Times
  7. Walter Noteboom’s Emigration Record from the Netherlands
  8. San Marino and Paris
  9. Beach Bound
  10. Poll: Third of Jewish Israelis favor urging Arab Israeli emigration
  11. The Feld family – part two
  12. Dithane and Doodlebugs
  13. Jews Leave Europe as Arab-Muslims arrive
  14. Armenia’s independence generation
  15. Leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when I’ll be back again!
  16. Moving Home, Moving On
  17. Looking for emigrants from the Rhineland?
  18. I Need to share…
  19. Hello from the other side…

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