Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri may be dead or at least appears to be “completely off the grid,” according to journalist and veteran jihadi-watcher Hassan Hassan. These reports come at the same time as the killing of another very senior al-Qaida leader, Abu Muhammad al-Masri, in Tehran, reportedly by Israeli agents at the behest of the …
In September, Egypt called on Arab states to create common, assertive policy against Turkey. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Morocco began to boycott Turkish imports. These moves stem from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s increasingly interventionist policy towards Arab states and the Mediterranean region. The escalating dispute puts the EU in …
It should go without saying that Erdogan and Khan’s calls for religious tolerance have no reflection in their own policies at home. Erdogan recently converted the ancient Hagia Sophia Church into a mosque and is set to do the same with the Church of St. Savior in Chora, Istanbul. Khan rules over a country where Ahmadi and Shia Muslims and Christians are regularly convicted on blasphemy charges, and where Hindus have been forcibly converted to Islam.
This, however, is precisely the point. These leaders, as is crystal clear to their supporters, are asserting a notion of elevated honor to be afforded the symbols of Islam, not arguing for parity.
When the atmosphere of incitement erupts into violence, as it inevitably must, Erdogan and Co. will be on hand to express regret. Erdogan, after all, only supplied the matches and the kindling. Someone else entirely lit the fire.
“What problem does this person called Macron have with Muslims and Islam? Macron needs treatment on a mental level,” Erdogan recently said.
Pakistani premier Khan, who is known for his deep admiration of Erdogan, followed suit. “This is a time when President Macron could have put a healing touch and denied space to extremists rather than creating further polarization and marginalization that inevitably leads to radicalization,” Khan wrote on Twitter.
While it can be argued that the French president should have dealt with the issue of secularism in Europe in a different way, the criticism by Erdogan and Khan is hypocritical and outrageous.
Pakistan is clearly developing a robust nuclear capability that can not only deter but fight a nuclear war. It is also dealing with internal security issues that could threaten the integrity of its nuclear arsenal. Pakistan and India are clearly in the midst of a nuclear arms race that could, in relative terms, lead to absurdly high nuclear stockpiles reminiscent of the Cold War. It is clear that an arms-control agreement for the subcontinent is desperately needed.
Erdogan’s Turkification process, and expansionist ideas may just be the key, to the beginning of the secularization of Pakistani society. Turkey, though a country which prides itself of its Islamic history and culture, is still secular; a 1928 amendment of the constitution, separated the religion of Islam from the Turkish state. The Turkish constitution also recognises freedom of religion, ultimately displaying itself as a state which values tolerance and pluralism. Turkey has suffered less from religious sectarian conflict, and welcomes tourists from all over the world to enjoy its paramount beauty and rich culture of the Ottoman Empire.