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Archive for category GLOBAL NEWS

Global Peace and Security:  World Leaders Betray the Canons of Truth, Wisdom and Humanity By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

Global Peace and Security:  World Leaders Betray the Canons of Truth, Wisdom and Humanity

Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

 

 

 

Today’s Political World at a Glance

 

Global politics is overwhelmingly becoming robotic when the question of safeguard of mankind comes up. Global political leaders are fast becoming actors on stage – issuing abstract statements of outrage and phoney sense of grief when thousands and millions of human lives are constantly bombarded by the weapons they manufacture and sell to crush the human soul and to support the war economies. The UNO and it’s Secretary-General and the UN Security Council – all are just debating clubs engaged in time killing exercises to deceive the mankind and to betray the ideals of the Charter to “safeguard the humanity from the scourge of wars.” Many top UN officials are paid employees with no sense of accountability to the global community. The reality of man-made catastrophic conflicts enhanced by national interests and war-led economies are ingrained in the war racketeering plans across the globe. The 21st-century knowledge-based informed mankind is the next victim of the global political monsters. Millions of human beings are forcibly displaced, evicted by plans and charcoaled by forbidden chemical weapons across the Middle East yet; most global leaders do nothing to prevent the aggressive catastrophes except statements of fake ‘outrage’ reaction as if others were inhuman casualties. We are witnessing the abnormal political culture of a human bloodbath as being normal.

 

The global community – a divided and dispersed mankind is unable to challenge the war racketeers and global hangmen who claim to be political leaders. They are egoistic professionals with the big mouth without wisdom and full of self-engineered false democratic clichés, contradictions, distortions and misrepresentation of the rights of common citizens in modern democracies. These are frightening trends for the present and future generations to survive. Most of the economically influential actors occupy the political platforms – either through backdoor conspiracies or entrenched political intrigues. They profess to be intelligent and outspoken for the rights of the people but in reality are offensive to truth and listening to voices of reason and honesty. How do we call for a balancing act in a world terribly imbalanced by nationalism, political and economic ideologies of supremacy and shallow imaginations and practices of human equality, human rights, peace and harmony amongst all the diverse segments of the living humanity?

We cannot abandon the search for a better and more rational world of systematic mechanism to protect the peace and security of mankind on this One Planet. We, the People, We the Humanity and conscientious thinkers and scholars must wake-up to the immense sophisticated and technologically advanced challenges to disconnect us from the Nature of Things and to dehumanize us by global scenarios of ethnicities, nationalism, state borders and cultural superiorities and ruling class distinctions. William Godwin (Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and Its Influence on Modern Moral and Happiness, 1793), said it right:

 

Men of genius must rise up….to analyse the machine of society to demonstrate how the parts are connected together… and point out the defects and remedy. It is thus only that important reforms can be produced…He who is a friend to general happiness will neglect no chance of producing in his pupil or his child, one of the long-looked-for saviours of the human race.

 

Do We, the People Realize to be One Humanity on One Earth?

 

We are One Humanity on One Planet and we have a right to be here in peace and harmony, not in conflicts, not collaborators to kill the mankind and destruction of the human environment and habitats. This will be contrary to our Nature and inhuman if we cannot come to terms with our peaceful co-existence, identity and responsibility being the chief guardians of the living planet in a living Universe.  We, the humanity lives on a balanced Planet – Earth located at a measured distance from the Sun and Moon and other stars. God created the Universe and blessed it with all functionalities and provisions for life-sustaining factors since millions and billions of years. Do you realize if there was no water, no oxygen or hydrogen and other gases or sunlight to support all the living creations – what would have been the shape and form of life on Earth? 

 

Could we the human kind count the blessings of God to maintain life for millions and billions of years on this planet?  All things exist in a mathematical order, whether we recognize it or deny it. So strange, we know all about other material things and scientific-technological developments but we are ignorant and arrogant to learn about our own origin and existence on a living planet. We are born from a mother’s tummy – one and the same all over the globe – One Humanity. Yet, we dare to challenge each other with nationalism and ethnic superiorities and indulge in wars and deaths and destruction of our own beings. Are we the human being intelligent enough to know about our own existence and Purpose of Life?  How could we imagine peace and harmony amongst ourselves when we bomb and destroy each other with weapons of destruction as if we were not the human kind but some kind of animals without any sense of rational thinking?

 

 We, the People of Conscience can only correct the political fallacies if we are united and blended together with reason and accountability to be the saviour of our own world. We must awaken the minds and soul of the 21st-century humanity to synthesize the vitality of peace and human security in a world of time and opportunities for political justice, equal rights and participation to be part of the change phenomenon for a better and more promising world of tomorrow.  The voices of reason will echo across the globe if we together are committed and united for this idea and human ideals. We strongly believe that knowledge-based wisdom, plans and actions will lead to benevolence and global harmony, peace and justice and will nullify the malignity and political tyranny from the 21st century highly challenging and competitive world. When We, the People articulate cooperation and understanding in societal diversity, it will replace the impulse and urge for competition and unjust indulgence to destroy fellow human beings.

 

Political Propaganda:   War as “Noble” but Truth and  Peace are Offensive

 

Strangely enough, warmongers hire war propagandists to classify wars as “noble”, “good”, the necessity of the ruling nobility and to protect the flag, borders and national interests. George Bush claimed to be “Man of God” who started the day with the Bible, to orchestrate the bogus war on terrorism. These are cynical notions implied to enforce the monstrous viewpoints of the few warlords in every age.  Professor Camillo “Mac” Bica, School of Visual Arts, New York City and an activist of Peace and Justice (“Atrocity and War”, OpenedNews), offers a penetrating insight on the inequality criterion and falsification of information and facts of human life.

 

Having been indoctrinated by the propaganda of those whose militarism and war-mongers agenda requires acceptance of the mythology of the “good war” and the “noble warrior,” the uninitiated and unaffected most civilians and many non warrior members of the military fail to realize this truth, that all war is barbarism in which cruelty and brutal atrocity is the norm rather than the exception. During World War II, for example, often cited and celebrated as the “good war,” over 50 million civilians were murdered by both Axis and Allied Nations. The American servicemen in the Wikileaks video who so nonchalantly “engaged the target” slaughtering some 12 human beings are no different from the pilots and bombardiers from the “greatest generation” who with equal nonchalance, incinerated millions of civilians during the terror bombings of Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, etc. Despite the moral depravity of their actions, these individuals were not born killers. Rather they were created to do our bidding, first conscripted or lured into the military with promises of employment, a college education, or U.S. citizenship, then subjected to sophisticated indoctrination techniques of value manipulation, moral desensitization, and psychological conditioning, aimed at destroying/overriding their humanity, their moral aversion to killing, reinforced by the violence and horrors of the battlefield environment.

 

Blame Games of Distortion and Prejudice against the Informed Humanity

 

To be united in global political diversity, We, the People must exercise forbearance, canons of rationality and strive for blended unity of mankind – the core of human understanding and harmony. Leaders who want to lead must have rational thinking and followers to claim leadership effectiveness. Most contemporary leaders are devoid of REASON as the focal point of policy formulation and decision-making in global human relationships. Often they use blame game and popularity numbers to score fictitious rating in public eyes. Most leaders are infected with this syndrome and egoistic sickness to remain influential and powerful.

 

To protect the mankind from further dehumanization and annihilation, People of new ideas (Idea Men) are needed to take initiatives for political change – indeed a navigational change at  this critical moment: a New UNO with people’s leadership, New Global Political Systems of Governance planned and developed by the people of knowledge and integrity and rejecting Hobbesian “wars of all against all”; and producing a rational rebuttal to the war of insanity, torture, political tyranny, inept global leadership and offer a balanced new vision of a world enriched with learning knowledge of rational policy-making and decision-making, human equality, fairness, protection of life and its natural support systems, and the Universe and equal justice for all the living beings on this planet. The leaders have not learned from the imposed deaths and destruction of the Two World Wars. The Third World War is already in progress in Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and soon to engulf many self-made tribal Arab kings, princes and authoritarian dictators.

 

Surely, We, the People could create a better and more sustainable world of today and tomorrow. A natural sense of piety and political wickedness cannot co-exist in one human character as most of the world leaders pretend to be. We must THINK and ACT outside the global box of political wickedness and cult of political allegiance to the few and sickening political minds of egoistic leadership. Time and history are not going to wait for the few insane outrage, phony statements on human deaths and destruction unless we take this challenge in its time and opportunity to make things happen  for change and for the best of all mankind. The Divine Revelation (Al-Qur’an) states clearly: “Intelligent people always readily accept advice.” 

American historian Harry Elmer Barnes (“Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: A Critical Examination of the Foreign Policy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and It’s Aftermath”), offered this stern warning to American politicians if the US-led wars to continue leading to man’s annihilation from this planet:

“If trends continue as they have during the last fifteen years, we shall soon reach this point of no return, and can only anticipate interminable wars, disguised as noble gestures for peace. Such an era could only culminate in a third world war which might well, as Arnold J. Toynbee has suggested, leave only the pygmies in remote jungles, or even the apes and ants, to carry on ‘the cultural traditions’ of mankind.”

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international affairs – global security, peace and conflict resolution and IR with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution: Approaches to Understand the Current Issues and Future-Making. Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, October 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

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China, Iran and Russia: Restructuring the global order

It would be in Pakistan’s best interest to join this Regional

alliance

China, Iran and Russia: Restructuring the global order

Powerful countries are alarmed by the threats against Russia as they see themselves as potential future targets.

Last updated: 20 May 2014 10:56

Seyed Mohammad Marandi

Seyed Mohammad Marandi is professor of North American Studies and dean of the Faculty of World Studies at the University of Tehran.

At the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) that opens May 20 in Shanghai, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will meet with both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Among other things, the summit will underscore how rising non-Western powers are playing ever more prominent roles on the global stage. However, Western elites remain stuck in a time warp, wherein the United States and its European partners are the imperial masters of all they survey.

In this regard, it is an interesting coincidence how mainstream Western media outlets consistently produce narratives that are almost indistinguishable from official government statements regarding countries and leaders with dissimilar worldviews from their Western counterparts. For instance, we repeatedly hear about the democratically elected “dictators” in Venezuela, yet we are assured that friendly dictators are “moderate reformers”.

Another fascinating coincidence is that Western human rights organisations pursue initiatives and policies closely aligned with those of their own governments. When the US accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against its own people – notwithstanding noteworthy evidence to the contrary and despite the fact that it was fine as far as Washington was concerned when former Iraqi president Saddam Hossein attacked Iran with chemical weapons – some human rights advocates stood shoulder to shoulder with President Barack Obama in advocating “shock and awe” in Damascus for humanitarian purposes.

Contrary to what Saudi Princess Basmah Bint Saud states, Amnesty International’s soft spot for Saudi Arabia may be linked to more than just oil – for this renowned organisation is a true believer in promoting human rights through liberal imperialism. Until recently, Amnesty USA was led by a former senior US government official who is a leading “humanitarian interventionist“.

On the side-lines of the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago, Amnesty International campaigned for NATO’s continued occupation of Afghanistan under the rubric, “keep the progress going”; Amnesty’s shadow summit for Afghan women was graced with the presence of none other than former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright known for commenting that over half million dead Iraqi children as a result of sanctions “was worth it”.

Generous doses of hypocrisy

It is refreshing to see such consensus at all levels of public discourse in the “Free World”. It seems that there is general agreement among European and North American elites that Western objectives are well-intentioned, even if highly generous doses of hypocrisy are administered on the way. Hence, the British foreign secretary, speaking on behalf of the so called Friends of Syria, just days ago welcomed “the fact that preparations for the presidential elections on May 25 are proceeding well” in violence-stricken Ukraine where roughly half the country rejects the Kiev-based coup regime.

Then, literally a minute later (and with a straight face), he condemned the “Assad regime’s unilateral plan to hold illegitimate presidential elections on June 3. We say in our communique that this mocks the innocent lives lost in the conflict”. Apparently there has been no significant loss of innocent life as a result of illegal cross border support for extremists and al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria over the last three years.

It is also remarkable that any perceived rival to Western power can almost immediately be compared to Adolf Hitler without raising many eyebrows. Benjamin Netanyahu and other Zionist advocates can repeatedly threaten the Iranian people with military strikes, yet simultaneously promote the false logic that the Islamic Republic wishes to create a holocaust by allegedly denying the Holocaust (whatever that means).

In recent weeks, we have once again returned to 1939 as the bizarre Hitler analogy is now being used to describe Putin. The irony here is that the right wing neo-Nazi groups within the pro-Western Kiev regime consider themselves as the Russian president’s greatest foes. Indeed, for some, al-Nusra Front, Islamic Front in Syria or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant analogy would be somewhat more appropriate to describe the Ukrainian political party, Right Sector.

Former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser was another one of many Hitlers in Western political discourse. When in 1956, he nationalised the Suez Canal, then British Prime Minister Anthony Eden viewed his actions as an insult to the British Empire. However, the “Suez moment” was a classic case of overreach for a rapidly declining empire that politicians in the US today should ponder.

Winner-take-all worldview

Their winner-take-all worldview, which has already resulted in widespread inequality and relative economic decline in the US, has also, since 2001, conditioned a series of “moments” whereby Washington’s arrogant zero-sum mentality has produced one strategic failure after another.

Obama’s pivot to Asia is viewed with scepticism, as the US already has more than it can handle in Ukraine, west Asia and North Africa. The real Asia pivot is driven by rapidly rising economies, especially China, as countries with major oil and gas reserves such as Russia, Iran and Iraq are already turning eastward.

The US government is caught in a web of self-deception if it believes that its declining global influence has gone unnoticed among the world’s rising powers. Obama’s pivot to Asia is viewed with scepticism, as the US already has more than it can handle in Ukraine, west Asia and North Africa. The real Asia pivot is driven by rapidly rising economies, especially China, as countries with major oil and gas reserves such as Russia, Iran and Iraq are already turning eastward.

In a 2012 report that some consider to be too conservative in its prognostications, the US multinational investment banking firm Goldman Sachs projects that by 2050 the US will be the only Western power among the top five global economies, with an economy much smaller than China’s. In addition, the World Bank predicts that the US dollar will lose its current global dominance in roughly a decade.

Ironically, instead of attempting to build new bridges and forging new partnerships to stall their declining global status as the balance of power shifts away from Europe and North America, Western governments unwisely antagonise key powers. Spying on the Brazilian president does not help, denying a visa to the next Indian prime minister can spell trouble ahead, giving strong warnings to China can raise tensions – but threatening Russia with economic warfare may prove to be a game changer.

Of course, the US and its allies have already engaged in inhuman economic warfare against ordinary citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The US has targeted the Iranian banking sector as well as the central bank and has threatened Iran’s trading partners with punitive sanctions if they do not abide by US laws.

Many countries have protested against these US imperial dictates, but have so far largely abided by US demands in order to avoid its aggressive behaviour. However, with threats now being made against the Russian Federation, alarm bells have begun ringing, as powerful countries see themselves as potential future targets. Economic warfare against another major power will force emerging economic powerhouses to seriously think about the future of global financial and communications systems as well as the immediate need to enhance cooperation and to restructure the global political and economic order.

During the CICA Summit in Shanghai, Presidents Xi Jinping, Rouhani and Putin definitely have a lot to talk about.

Seyed Mohammad Marandi is professor of North American Studies and dean of the Faculty of World Studies at the University of Tehran.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial policy.

 

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Exam Factories

Exam Factories
 
Almost all children now believe they go to school to pass exams. The idea that they may be there for an education is irrelevant. Leading companies are struggling to recruit teenagers with basic skills because schools have been turned into “exam factories”, business leaders have warned. Many employers had been left “disheartened and downright frustrated” by poor levels of literacy, numeracy, communication and timekeeping among school leavers and graduates. Overemphasis on sitting exams and hitting targets throughout compulsory education had robbed children of the chance to develop the “soft” skills needed in the work place. Business leaders believed the emphasis on passing exams at school meant children failed to develop other skills, including the ability to hold a conversation, display good work ethic, turn upon time and apply basic literacy and numeracy.
 
State, independent and faith schools have become exam factories and are only interested in A to C Grades. They do not educate children. The result is that anti-social behaviour, gun and knife culture, racism, drug addiction. binge drinking, high rate of teenage pregnancies and abortions, high divorce rate are common in society. Exam results do not reflect a candidate’s innate ability. Employers have moaned for years that too many employees cannot read or write properly. According to a survey, school-leavers and even graduates lack basic literacy and numeracy skills. More and more companies are having to provide remedial training to new staff, who can’t write clear instructions, do simple maths, or solve problems. Both graduates and school-leavers were also criticised for their sloppy time-keeping, ignorance of basic customer service and lack of self-discipline.

 

Even Muslim schools have also become Exam Factories, only interested in A to C grades just like state schools. There is a positive co-relation between faith, culture and language. Faith needs culture and languages to flourish. According to a research, children who study the language and culture of their parents may achieve more and become more involved citizens. Migrant Muslims speak variety of languages. State schools as well as Muslim schools give lip service to the community languages but majority of Muslim schools completely ignore or discourage community languages. The ex- chairman of the Association of Muslim Schools Mr.Idrees Mears, a native revert totally rejects the teaching of Urdu and other languages. The same opinion was expressed by the head of state funded Islamia School as well as by the ex- Chairman of the Nida Trust. They are not in a position to understand the needs and demands of the bilingual children because they are themselves monolinguals. It is a well known fact that social and emotional education comes with ones own language, literature and poetry. Pakistani children suffer more than other children. They speak different languages at home and when they go to the Masajid they are exposed to Urdu and Arabic. At schools they are exposed to English and at the age of 11 are exposed to European languages. Now European languages are introduced at Primary level, but Urdu is totally ignored and discouraged by the state as well as by the Muslim schools. English, Arabic and Urdu must be introduced at nursery level so that the children can grow up with three languages. We have already lost three generation and the fourth one is in the process of losing its linguistic and cultural identity by not learning Urdu. The Muslim community is suffering because of social and cultural problems of high rate of divorce, run away young girls, low academic achievements, drug addiction, drinking, teenage pregnancies, disrespect for their parents and elders, forced marriages and honour killings. It is all because our youth are cut off from their cultural roots and languages. I blame state schools because they have never been serious in the teaching of Urdu, Arabic and other community languages.   

 

An American research reveals in 2005 that bilingual learners with no education in their first language take longer to learn English and a bilingual learner with a good education in their own language do best of all. Muslim schools are committing the same mistake by ignoring community languages. Even OFSTED is not serious about the importance of bilingualism and bilingual education. Their priority is the teaching of English language. No body is denying the importance of English as an economic language but equally important is the first languages of the children for social and emotional literacy.

 

The Muslim community has been passing through a phase of fourth Crusades. The battleground is the field of education, where the young generation will be educated properly with the Holly Quran in one hand and Sciences in other hand to serve the British society and the world at large. A true Muslim is a citizen of the world, which has become a small global village. We are going to prepare our youth to achieve that objective in the long run. A true Muslim believes in Prophet Moses and the Prophet Jesus and without them one cannot be a Muslim. My suggestion is that in all state, independent and Christian based school special attention should be given to the teaching of Comparative Religion and Islam should be taught by qualified Muslim Teachers to make the children aware the closeness of Islam to Christianity and Judaism which will help them to think about Islam, as “A Pragmatic and Modern Way of Life,” during their life time.
 
British schooling and the British society is the home of institutional racism. The result is that Muslim children are unable to develop self-confidence and self-esteem, therefore, majority of them leave schools with low grades. Racism is deeply rooted in British society. Every native child is born with a gene or virus of racism, therefore, no law could change the attitudes of racism towards those who are different. It is not only the common man, even member of the royal family is involved in racism. The father of a Pakistani office cadet who was called a “***” by Prince Harry has profoundly condemned his actions. He had felt proud when he met the Queen and the Prince of Wales at his son’s passing out parade at Sandhurst in 2006 but now felt upset after learning about the Prince’s comments. Queen Victoria invited an Imam from India to teach her Urdu language. He was highly respected by the Queen but other members of the royal family had no respect for him. He was forced to go back to India. His portrait is still in one of the royal places.
 
Children should be taught about the contribution Muslims have made to civilisation in order to combat threats of extremism and discrimination. It will help native children to develop positive attitudes towards Muslims. It will bring divided communities closer together, by teaching children about debt west owe to Muslims – coffee and pinhole camera to the three – course dinner and advancement in maths. The teaching will bring together science, history,RE, citizenship and community cohesion – some of the most pressing problems for the minister responsible for the curriculum.One of the major reasons for the alienation of British Muslims is a lack of clear identity. It is crucial for the British society to understand the hugely positive impact that Islamic inventors have had upon the world, and for Muslims to take pride in it. At present there is a widespread mis-conception among many people worldwide that the state of science and technology during the period known as “The Dark Ages” was that of stagnation and decline. The Muslim civilisation flourished and contributed to thousands of essential inventions that still affect western life style. The open recognition of the contribution of the Muslims should be reflected in the National Curriculum. The mainstream history of scientific ideas has failed to acknowledge numerous Islamic scientists and their great efforts and achievements throughout the centuries.
 
A report by the Institute for Community Cohesion found that native parents were deserting some schools after finding their children out numbered by pupils from ethnic minorities. Schools in parts of England are becoming increasingly segregated. The study focused on 13 local authorities. Many of the schools and colleges are segregated and this was generally worsening over recent years. This is RACISM because British society is the home of institutional racism. My statement regarding Muslim schools where there is no place for non-Muslim child or a teacher is based on educational process and not on racism. Muslim children need Muslim teachers during their developmental periods. For higher studies and research, Muslim teacher is not a priority.
 

I have been campaigning for Muslim schools since early 70s because there is no place for foreign cultures, languages and faiths in state schools. Muslim children are victim of racial abuse and discrimination. Neither Muslim community nor the DFE paid any attention to my proposal. Muslim community kept on setting up Masajid for worshiping and for the education of their children. Masajid help Muslim children to recite the Holy Quran without understanding and teach them how to perform their prayers. DFE introduced Multicultural education for the integration and assimilation of the Muslims.

 

I regard Muslim schools not just Faith schools but more or less bilingual schools. I set up the first Muslim school in Forest Gate London in 1981. Special attention was given to Standard English, Arabic and Urdu languages along with National Curriculum. But due to its closure, it could not become a model school for others to follow. Islamia School, founded by Yusuf Islam became the model school where there is no place for the teaching of Urdu and other community languages and only Arabic is taught.

 

The sound knowledge of ones owns language would appear to help – not hinder the acquisition of a second language and bilingual children may even have cognitive advantages and that the ability to speak more than one language is going to be increasingly important for the world of the future. Therefore, Muslim children and young Muslims have potentially a major educational advantage, although sadly this is not being developed well at present. British policy makers now recognise bilingualism as an educational asset rather than a problem. Education plays a central role in the transmission of languages from one generation to the next. The teaching of mother tongues is essential in terms of culture and identity. Arabic is a religious language for the Muslims but for Pakistanis, Urdu is also essential for culture and identity. Blind Muslim children in Bradford are learning to read Arabic and Urdu Braille, by a blind teacher who travelled from Pakistan. Now blind Muslim children are not going to miss out on culture, religion, language and the social aspects and integration into their own community and identity.

 

Majority of Muslim children are from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India They need to learn Arabic and Urdu to keep in touch with their cultural roots and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. Urdu is a lingua frankua of the Muslim communities from the sub-continent. The young generation learn Urdu from Indian/Pakistani films, more than two dozens TV Channels and couple of radio stations broadcasting round the clock in Urdu/Hindi. They can speak and understand but are unable to read and write Urdu literature and poetry. Bilingualism and bilingual education should be part and parcel of each and every Muslim school. The problem is that most of Muslim schools are running by British educated Muslims who are made monolinguals by state schools. They do not feel the charm of bilingualism. They have never been given the chance to learn Arabic and Urdu along with English. An English man is proud of his language, culture and faith or no faith. In the same way a Muslim should be proud of his faith, languages and cultures. In my opinion at least three hours a day must be given for the teaching of English, Arabic, Urdu and other community languages from nursery level. The teaching of Standard English will help them to follow the National Curriculum and go for higher studies and research to serve humanity.

 

According to a recent report, Muslim schools performed best overall, although they constitute only a fraction of the country’s 7000 schools. Muslim schools do well because of their Islamic ethos and a focus on traditional discipline and teaching methods. They teach children what is right and what is wrong, because young children need structured guidance.

 

Bilingual Muslims children have a right, as much as any other faith group, to be taught their culture, languages and faith alongside a mainstream curriculum. More faith schools will be opened under sweeping reforms of the education system in England. There is a dire need for the growth of state funded Muslim schools to meet the growing needs and demands of the Muslim parents and children. Now the time has come that parents and community should take over the running of their local schools. Parent-run schools will give the diversity, the choice and the competition that the wealthy have in the private sector. Parents can perform a better job than the Local Authority because parents have a genuine vested interest. The Local Authority simply cannot be trusted.

 

 

The British Government is planning to make it easier to schools to “opt out” from the Local Authorities. Muslim children in state schools feel isolated and confused about who they are. This can cause dissatisfaction and lead them into criminality, and the lack of a true understanding of Islam can ultimately make them more susceptible to the teachings of fundamentalists like Christians during the middle ages and Jews in recent times in Palestine. Fundamentalism is nothing to do with Islam and Muslim; you are either a Muslim or a non-Muslim. Muslim children suffer from identity crises because their parents teach them Islam and their schools teach them something else. There must be a positive co-relation between school and home, otherwise, children will suffer academically, spiritually , socially and emotionally. They are also unable to develop self-confidence and self-esteem.

 

You better teach your children in your own schools and let migrant communities teach their children according to their needs and demands. British Establishment and society should concentrate on the evils of their own society and stop trying to change the way of life of Muslims. Muslim community does not want to integrate with the British society, indulging in incivility, anti-social behaviour, drug and knife culture, binge drinking, teenage pregnancies and abortion.  Prince Charles, while visiting the first grant maintained Muslim school in north London, said that the pupils would be the future ambassadors of Islam. But what about thousands of others, who attend state schools deemed to be “sink schools”? In education, there should be a choice and at present it is denied to the Muslim community. In the late 80s and early 90s, when I floated the idea of Muslim community schools, I was declared a “school hijacker” by an editorial in the Newham Recorder newspaper in east London. This clearly shows that the British media does not believe in choice and diversity in the field of education and has no respect for those who are different. Muslim schools, in spite of meager resources, have excelled to a further extent this year, with couple of schools achieving 100% A-C grades for five or more GCSEs. They beat well resourced state and independent schools in Birmingham and Hackney.  Muslim schools are doing better because a majority of the teachers are Muslim. The pupils are not exposed to the pressures of racism, multiculturalism and bullying.

 

There are hundreds of state primary and secondary schools where Muslim pupils are in majority. In my opinion all such schools may be opted out to become Muslim Academies. This mean the Muslim children will get a decent education. Muslim schools turned out balanced citizens, more tolerant of others and less likely to succumb to criminality or extremism. Muslim schools give young people confidence in who they are and an understanding of Islam’s teaching of tolerance and respect which prepares them for a positive and fulfilling role in society. Muslim schools are attractive to Muslim parents because they have better discipline and teaching Islamic values. Children like discipline, structure and boundaries. Bilingual Muslim children need Bilingual Muslim teachers as role models during their developmental periods, who understand their needs and demands.

Iftikhar Ahmad

London School of Islamics Trust

http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

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Saudis offer Russia secret oil deal if it drops Syria

 
 
 
 
 
 
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Saudis offer Russia secret oil deal if it drops Syria
 
Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria.
 
27 Aug 2013
 
Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria.
 
 
 
The talks appear to offer an alliance between the OPEC cartel and Russia, which together produce over 40m barrels a day of oil, 45pc of global output. Such a move would alter the strategic landscape. The details of the talks were first leaked to the Russian press. A more detailed version has since appeared in the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, which has Hezbollah links and is hostile to the Saudis.
 
As-Safir said Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord. “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” he allegedly said.
 
Prince Bandar went on to say that Chechens operating in Syria were a pressure tool that could be switched on an off. “These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role in Syria’s political future.” President Putin has long been pushing for a global gas cartel, issuing the `Moscow Declaration’ last to month “defend suppliers and resist unfair pressure”. This would entail beefing up the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), a talking shop.
 
Mr Skrebowski said it is unclear what the Saudis can really offer the Russians on gas, beyond using leverage over Qatar and others to cut output of liquefied natural gas (LGN). “The Qataris are not going to obey Saudi orders,” he said. Saudi Arabia could help boost oil prices by restricting its own supply. This would be a shot in the arm for Russia, which is near recession and relies on an oil price near $100 to fund the budget.
 
But it would be a dangerous strategy for the Saudis if it pushed prices to levels that endangered the world’s fragile economic recovery. Crude oil stocks in the US have already fallen sharply this year. Goldman Sachs said the “surplus cushion” in global stocks built up since 2008 has been completely eliminated. Mr Skrebowski said trouble is brewing in a string of key supply states. “Libya is reverting to war lordism. Nigerian is drifting into a bandit state with steady loss of output. And Iraq is going back to the sort of Sunni-Shia civil war we saw in 2006-2007,” he said.
 
The Putin-Bandar meeting was stormy, replete with warnings of a “dramatic turn” in Syria. Mr Putin was unmoved by the Saudi offer, though western pressure has escalated since then. “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters,” he said, referring to footage showing a Jihadist rebel eating the heart and liver of a Syrian soldier. Prince Bandar in turn warned that there can be “no escape from the military option” if Russia declines the olive branch. Events are unfolding exactly as he foretold.

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