The dreaded health disaster has not occurred in the Middle East, as in the Maghreb countries or in Africa, even if there is no indication that the coronavirus crisis is about to end and that the situation may still change, especially with the second wave that is once again raging in the region.
The French should be proud. Their values – secularism, citizenship, equality – are today being waved in bruised and divided countries, where we didn’t expect it. In Lebanon, huge crowds, young, colorful, united beyond their differences, demand that an end is being put to the old confessional system. Born after the civil war, hostile to the manipulation of their small country by rival and predatory powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran, these demonstrators reinvent, in Levant, the beautiful “fatherland” word. Hezbollah, contested for the first time in its own strongholds, vainly sends its soldiers to attempt to crush the movement.
When he died in 2003, Bernard-Henri Lévy had described former President Aliza Izetbegovic as “de Gaulle of Bosnia in struggle”. However, it was this man who wrote in 1980: “The Muslims have formed the plan to take control of the fate of their world and to shape it thanks to their own conceptions”. Head of state during the Balkan War, Aliza Izetbegovic welcomed thousands of jihadists from all over the world.
What might philosophers tell us as we live through a pandemic crisis that forces us to be confined to our homes and avoid our fellow human beings? Obviously, we will have to listen to the scientific, medical and technical word. Scientists are the only ones who can give us practical answers on how to respond to the attacks of this dangerous virus.
In order to denounce the opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood and radical Islam, communicators linked to Qatar usually used pseudonyms. He could also occasionally call on François Burgat, a retired researcher, now president of the Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies (CAREP) in Paris, an organisation financed by the gas emirate. However, the latest article, “Mud on Qatar,” published on June 20 on a blog hosted by Mediapart, is signed by Paolo Fusi, a scandalous character, author of crude forgeries during the last Gulf War.
The modus operandi often adopted by China to make inroads into economically weaker nations, whether in Asia, Africa or Latin America, has been to strike deals with corrupt Heads of State. This enables Chinese companies to not only further their business interests in that country but the Chinese State to surreptitiously penetrate the nation’s polity, with the objective to ensure its long-term influence. The Himalayan nation of Nepal is emerging as a classic example of this Chinese machination where the ruling Nepal Communist Party, led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has been seen to blatantly advance Chinese interests, to the extent that it has made many senior members of his party uncomfortable.
About fifteen years ago, I had the privilege of entering Gamal al-Banna’s lair, the youngest brother of Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. In a small apartment in a working-class district of Cairo, he had collected more than 30,000 books, many of which cannot be found today, hundreds of unpublished documents, such as handwritten notes on the secret links between the Brotherhood and the Free Officers Movement, the military organization founded by Gamal Abdel Nasser. During Gamal al-Banna’s lifetime, these treasures did not interest many people. What have they become since his death in January 2013?