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  • Check the Man Not The Map

    In 1994 Putin declared: “What happens to ethnic Russians beyond our borders is for us an existential question.” To a ruler inside the frame of law it should, of course, be a political question.

    This means that the current Crimean affair cannot be resolved inside a political structuration of any existent system.

    This means, in turn, that attention must be paid to the man, not the maps.

    If permitted, this fantastic doctrine, then the following, in logic, would be legitimised: a referendum in Kashmir, a referendum in Tibet, a referendum  in Xinjiang, a referendum in Catalunia, a referendum in the Basque Country, and there are more. Some of these may be deemed worthwhile but the categorics of the present legal world-frame do not allow it.

    Further, with a Russian minority of over 38% it must follow that the next target will be Kazakhstan. Again, .... Read the full article...

  • The Islamic Dinar – A Way-stage Passed

    When I entered Islam in the early sixties of last century the Azhari ‘ulama informed me that Zakat was a voluntary charity comprising 2½ percent of my income which was to be given to worthy causes. Of course, income is not even taxable in Shari’at.

    The issue of Zakat was never clear to me until Mawlana Wazzani, Allah’s blessings on him, in reply to my question: “Is it anywhere declared in the Qur’an that Zakat is not a gift but a collected and taken Sadaqa?” – rose to his feet and called out that Allah had declared in one word of command (Surat At-Tawba, 9:104):

    “Take”

    From that moment the journey back to Islamic Law began. After two hundred years of western (American and European) teaching, Arab intellectuals had simply assumed that we too, the Muslims, had a political doctrine like the modern west and .... Read the full article...

  • Syria: “The Horror! The Horror!”

    At the heart of ‘The Heart of Darkness’, Conrad’s towering masterpiece, Marlow, the author’s narrative voice, recounts the death of the Belgian trader in the remotest of up-river settlements on the Congo.

    “Anything approaching the change that came over his features I have never seen before, and hope never to see again. Oh, I wasn’t touched. I was fascinated. It was as though a veil had been rent. I saw on that ivory face the expression of sombre pride, of ruthless power, of craven terror – of an intense and hopeless despair. Did he live his life again in every detail of desire, temptation, and surrender during that supreme moment of complete knowledge? He cried in a whisper at some image, at some vision – he cried out twice, a cry that was no more than a breath – ‘The horror! The horror!’”

    He, the narrator, .... Read the full article...

  • “…to the Shores of Tripoli…”

    If the deconstruction of the political frame, based on that of the Roman Republic, that is to say, the reduction of an elite Senate to one reduced to a second chamber of the common people, marks one crucial fault line in the collapse of America, then the crisis in the military system is of equal importance.

    America was created by the breakaway of a British colony led by General Washington, reared on studying Julius Caesar. John Jay in ‘Federalist no 2’ wrote, thanking Providence for creating ‘this one connected country, to one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs.’ This assured a basic patriotism, vital element in the fusion of a military force.

    Jefferson foresaw that freedom of trade ‘might yet require .... Read the full article...

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