Ikhwan Web News Digest 09-04-09

Ikhwan Web News Digest 09-04-09

Violence overshadows Indonesia poll


A series of deadly attacks in Indonesia’s troubled Papua province have overshadowed voting in the country’s parliamentary elections.
Today’s parliamentary election is only the third democratic vote since the autocratic Suharto regime was pushed from power in 1998 amid student protests. The three week campaign period leading up to the vote was billed as a celebration of the Indonesia’s young democracy, with towns and cities decked in colourful flags of the 38 competing parties.
Moreover, five people were reported killed overnight and early on Thursday morning in incidents that police blamed on separatists in the eastern province.


G20 police assault on Ian Tomlinson


 


An independent probe is looking into the death of a man who died of a heart attack soon after being pushed to the ground by a police officer during the G20 protests in London.

Ian Tomlinson, 47, was on his way home from work when he was pushed to the ground by an officer in central London. After initially walking away, he died of a heart attack several minutes later. The incident happened on the first day of G20 protests in London, where thousands of people took to the streets to protest on a range of issues.

The police have well-established powers to use reasonable force if they think there is a threat either to themselves or the public, but these are enhanced during a protest or riot.

The Guardian news paper runs a full coverage in the assault and when I was reading the letters sent to the newspaper I was so amazed by how people reacted and how they support actions to be taken against the police and in turn how officials call for sever stances against the officers who show accountability for the assault.
Ian Tomlinson’s death brought back to my eyes many images of the hundreds or thousands Ians in the Middle East who died or tortured by the police upon government orders without the world showing any care for their lives. I guess in the Middle East we have a long way to take to be proactive like nations in Europe.
 
Obama’s Surprise Visit to Iraq



President Obama’s surprise layover in Baghdad on his way home from Europe and Turkey serves as a gloomy reminder that the war he opposed and then inherited isn’t over yet. While the president has sought to shift focus to Afghanistan, Iraq has seen a spike in violence, including a series of bombings in Shiite Muslim neighborhoods of the capital that killed at least 46 people in the last two days. At meetings with American soldiers and Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, Obama reaffirmed his commitment to draw down most of the 139,000 troops still stationed in Iraq by August 2010, and he rightly noted that the solution to the country’s problems is political, not military.
Marc Lynch thinksObama has things on the right course” and he’s sending the right message: “American troops cannot be the answer to Iraq’s problems, they really are leaving, and it’s now up to the Iraqis – whether things go well or they go badly”. Although I tend to have similar optimistic view like that of Lynch but only time will tell what is going to happen.


 


Islamic Democracy


Many people always ask me what Islam got to do with democracy? And many believe that any Islamic system has to be a theocratic, dictator system based on monarchy but Reading Islam Team shed light on the relationship between Islam and democracy. The article also represents what distinguishes Islamic democracy from Western democracy.


 


It stresses out that Western democracy is based on the concept of popular sovereignty, while Islamic democracy rests on the principle of popular khilafah, mixing religious devotion with a notion of democracy and citizenship.


In Western democracy, the people are sovereign; in Islam sovereignty is vested in Allah and the people are His caliphs or representatives. The laws given by Allah through His Prophet (Shari ‘ah) are to be regarded as constitutional principles that should not be violated.


This definition and concept accepted by Muslims worldwide proves that Muslims do not need the tailored system presented by western countries and their attempts to force Muslims into accepting a version of democracy that is alien to the Muslim nation.