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Sectarian attacks in Iraq and Christian Church bombed in northern Nigeria

Sectarian attacks in Iraq and Christian Church bombed in northern Nigeria

Walter Sebastian and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Islamists once more have killed innocents during the religious period of Eid al-Adha, including a bomb attack which killed several children near a play area in the capital of Iraq. In Afghanistan worshippers were killed while praying inside a mosque and in Syria several terrorist attacks have taken place. Meanwhile, in northern Nigeria a Christian church was hit by a bomb attack. Therefore, religious zealots within the Sunni Islamic faith have been going on a killing spree like usual during this holy period for Muslims.

The Iraqi authorities clearly understand the mindset of Islamists because security was tightened. However, despite greater precautions, it is abundantly clear that little can be done to stop determined terrorists from spreading death, hatred and sectarianism. Even laying bombs near a school playground during Eid doesn’t concern Sunni Islamist fanatics who are being indoctrinated by Islamist clerics.

Sadr City in Baghdad is overwhelmingly Shia and the double-bomb attacks left at least 13 people dead. Whereas the attack in the Bawiya area of the same city, killed seven people including the lives of three children who just wanted to play. The death toll may increase further but clearly Muslims and non-Muslims can’t even rest in peace during holy periods. This is because of the hatred of Islamists who lack any notion of morality.

In northern Nigeria the same Islamists which seek power and control by fear, hatred, violence and spreading sectarianism, have once more attacked a Christian church. Sometimes, the same Islamists attack Muslims for desiring peace with their fellow Nigerians. Therefore, just like in Syria, nobody feels protected in certain parts of northern Nigeria from religious zealots which seek to spread chaos, sectarianism and fear. The same menace is now turning against Sufi strands of Islam in northern Mali and Libya, just like hatred is widespread towards the Shia, Ahmadiyya Muslims, Christians, Hindus and others in Pakistan.

It must be remembered, that some Islamist clerics are demanding the slaughter of Alawites and the Shia in Syria. Christians are also attacked by the same religious fanatics who recite the Koran while beheading people and torturing in unbelievable cruelty. Mainstream Sunni Muslims face the same wrath in Syria if they support a united Syria based on the mosaic of this nation.

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, referred to the need that “all churches in the Arabian Peninsula must be destroyed.” Similarly, the same nation is exporting hatred within the educational curriculum and for this reason monitoring is essential. Therefore, it is clear that something is wrong within certain branches of Islam which seek to rule by fear. After all, they have no qualms in killing Muslims and non-Muslims alike in order to fulfill their hatred and spread sectarianism.

Currently it is known that seven people have been killed by a suicide bomber against a Christian church in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. Christians in this church, just like Muslims in the mosque in Afghanistan, were praying to the God of Abraham. However, for Islamists, you have no sanctity to either life or holy places – therefore, both holy places were attacked during Eid.

Several months earlier in June over 50 people were killed in the same part of northern Nigeria after three Christian churches were attacked. This reality meant that security officials in northern Nigeria, just like in Iraq, knew that during Eid that Islamists would try to ferment more hatred. The desire of Islamists is to spread fear in the hearts of all people, irrespective if Muslim or non-Muslim, in order to rule by fear. Likewise, the other objective is to spread sectarianism therefore Shia Muslims are frequently killed and attacked in several nations.

Baseem Mohammed in Bawiya, Baghdad, told AP news that “Nobody expected this explosion because our neighborhood has been living in peace, away from the violence hitting the rest of the capital….We feel sad for the children who thought that they would spend a happy time during Eid, but instead ended up getting killed or hurt.”

The Shabaks in Iraq were also killed in Mosul in the northern part of this country. This minority fully understands religious hatred because many attacks have happened against the Shabaks after the US led invasion of Iraq.

Other attacks by Sunni Islamists in Iraq have also killed Shia Muslims from Iran who were on a religious pilgrimage during Eid. This reality means that mosques, churches, pilgrims, children and so on – are not free from Islamist hatred even during holy Muslim periods like Eid and Ramadan.

 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

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Mozambique becoming a destiny for many people from Portugal

Mozambique becoming a destiny for many people from Portugal

Walter Sebastian, Jay Doggett and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

The crisis within the eurozone in Portugal is leading to many individuals leaving this nation and relocating to Mozambique. Portugal which once ruled Mozambique is witnessing new “changing sands” because of the current economic crisis within the eurozone. Therefore, many individuals are seeking a new life in Mozambique in order to escape the economic malaise of Portugal.

Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, is witnessing a boom based on strong economic growth in this nation. This is a far cry from the colonial period and the brutal civil war which followed. However, while these times will always remain etched within history and never forgotten; the new Mozambique is focused on economic prosperity and ongoing modernization.

In Portugal the economy remains gloomy and issues related to debt and a bright future remains cloudy. At the same time the economy of Mozambique is growing by over 7% this year and is forecast to do the same the following year. On top of this, new major discoveries of gas and coal are also igniting interest in other parts of Mozambique.

Maputo is still the main pulling power for newcomers from Portugal. However, the discovery of major reserves in the area of natural resources is providing fresh impetus in other parts of this country.

Of course, internal problems remain in Mozambique related to poverty and the relative low base of the economy compared with major developed nations. Yet for many skilled citizens from Portugal it appears that Mozambique is a new gateway to economic prosperity. Of course, the power of the Portuguese language and past history, despite this history being “troubled” and based on inequality, means that you have many natural binding factors.

Until recently many people from Mozambique deemed Portugal to be a gateway to future prosperity and escaping from the cycle of poverty and lack of opportunities in this nation. Yet in a relatively short period of time political leaders have kick started the once moribund economy and sowed the seeds of fresh hope. It is this hope which is galvanizing entrepreneurs within Mozambique and which is enticing people from Portugal because of lean times back home.

Areas of economic growth in Mozambique apply notably to the financial services, transportation, construction, communications and now the energy sector. This in turn is witnessing strong economic growth throughout this nation.

It is the collective crisis within the eurozone and the boom in Mozambique which is leading to people from Portugal relocating to Mozambique. This in itself is highlighting the severe economic crisis in nations like Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy and other nations in the eurozone.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

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Libya and Mali: Salafi Islamists destroying shrines courtesy of Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Libya and Mali: Salafi Islamists destroying shrines courtesy of Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The “bomb democracy” Western and Gulf policy in Libya brought on the massacres of black Africans, killing of Gaddafi loyalists and creating a “new society” based on disorder which is currently ongoing. Indeed, the chaos which is engulfing Libya is now destabilizing Northern Mali and creating problems for Tunisia. This destabilization is based on vast quantities of military hardware being available and more dangerously the Salafi ideology is spreading because of money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Salafi ideology is now intent on destroying Sufi shrines in Libya, Northern Mali, Somalia, and in other parts of the world, where this dangerous ideology fused within a faith is growing in power. In their worldview all other Muslim places of worship and Muslim shrines are deemed to be un-Islamic. This blind hatred can be seen in places like Somalia where all converts to Christianity face death by Islamists in this country.

This isn’t surprising because Saudi Arabia supports killing all apostates to Christianity and not one single Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Christian place of worship is allowed. However, just like old men marrying little children in Saudi Arabia and both Qatar and Saudi Arabia supporting terrorism against Syria. Nothing appears to raise the heckles when it comes to the policies of London, Paris, Washington and other governments which throw human rights out of the window when dealing with Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The appeasement of institutional religious discrimination in Saudi Arabia and trampling down on the rights of women is a policy which is “cheapening” democracy. Likewise, this appeasement shames the United Nations and the various bodies connected with this major international institution.

Turning back to Libya and Northern Mali then currently Salafists are intent on destroying all Islamic thought patterns outside of their “blinkered monoculture” which thrives on hatred and fear. Indeed, in Syria some video evidence survives which makes it clear that the Western and Islamist “marriage of convenience” is now spreading this dangerous ideology within Syria. Therefore, mainstream Islam and religious minorities have much to fear in Syria but like usual political leaders in London, Paris and Washington will support any form of barbarity providing it meets their geopolitical ambitions.

Ongoing attacks against Sufi shrines which venerate Sufi Muslim saints in Libya are now under attack. The same Islamists destroyed a Christian graveyard in this country. These blatant crimes of destroying culture and attacking the diversity within Islam are now in full flow in the capital of Libya just like they reached Northern Mali.

The shrine of al-Shaab al-Dahmani in Tripoli follows on from the attack which took place in Ziltan against the tomb of a notable scholar who enriched the Sufi faith. In Ziltan the rich history of the tomb dedicated to Abdel Salam al-Asmar was attacked. Therefore, just like Northern Mali the history of the past is being eradicated by Islamists who obtain funding and indoctrination from their Salafi brethren in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Attacking “infidel” mosques and shrines is now part of the new “Islamist holy war” being funded and supported by organizations and wealthy individuals in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. One can only imagine what will happen to Alawites, Christians, the Druze and mainstream Sunni Islam in Syria if the same Islamists grow in power. If Saudi Arabia and Qatar remain unchecked then the richness of religious diversity within Islam will end up in some nations like Buddhism in Afghanistan in past history. This applies to being decapitated and destroyed by an ideology which seeks only a world based on monoculture.

In the BBC article about the attack against Sufi shrines in Libya one student commented that “There’s a large group of Salafists – they are the one with the bulldozers, and some military police are also present…They seem to be overseeing the process, rather than preventing it… There are some bystanders who seem to approve.”

Similar acts and much worse are now common in Northern Mali because Salafists are intent on destroying the beauty and wisdom of African Islam in Mali. Therefore, historical monuments, shrines and mosques which have been the envy of nations throughout the world, are now on the frontline of Islamism. Sadly, it currently appears that the liberal version of Islam in Mali is being torn apart by outside forces emanating from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

In a past article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that The same foreign Islamists in Mali are akin to the Islamists in Syria. It is a direct mirror looking into another mirror and the Saudi Arabia angle can be seen along the way. In Syria it is much more open while in Mali it is more covert and through channels outside of the government. However, the same violence is the main theme and the same applies to the desire for a monoculture to oppress all alternative thought patterns.”

In other nations like Tunisia the confusion of recent events is enabling massive funding from wealthy individuals and organizations in Saudi Arabia and Qatar to spread their “Islamist Year Zero” policies. It is abundantly clear that an internal ideological war is being funded and supported to spread Salafi Islam. Therefore, the frequent attacks against Shia Muslims and other branches of Islam by Islamists is part of the same conflict which is destroying Muslim shrines in many parts of the world.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

Islamists in Libya now targeting Westerners

Islamists in Libya now targeting Westerners

Murad Makhmudov, Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

In the last few weeks increasing uneasiness in Libya is gripping elites who worked closely with America, France, and the United Kingdom, in toppling Gaddafi. This uneasiness is based on attacks against Westerners in Libya. The attacks have been limited in scope and don’t have the hallmarks of major sophistication at this stage. Despite this, these warning signs are triggering alarm bells within Libya and in nations which supported the uprising against Gaddafi.

Libya is still blighted by the reality of vast numbers of different militias whereby some have political aims, while others are based on special interests, regionalism, monetary factors, and so forth. In truth, you don’t really have a centralized state which is functioning throughout the country but clearly the situation doesn’t resemble Iraq after the demise of Saddam Hussein. This isn’t surprising because the various different Islamist movements have different thought patterns and links.

Unlike in Iraq part of the opposition in the Libyan uprising came from Islamist networks which had fought against America and its allies in Iraq.  Therefore, you clearly have a pragmatic angle within the patchwork of different movements. This is a “safety cushion” for leading Western nations which supported the uprising because radical Sunni Islamic networks and Western forces worked together in Libya.

Also, unlike in Iraq you don’t have a sectarian angle and the same applies to nationalism. After all, the Kurds currently control northern Iraq despite various different ethnic groups residing within the Kurdish heartland. More important, the sectarian angle doesn’t exist in Libya and this in itself reduces the flashpoint factor based on different sects within Islam.

In saying this, radical Sunni Islamists may turn against moderate Sunni Islam in Libya just like what happened in Iraq. However, even if this happens it doesn’t compare to the sectarian angle in Iraq. Another important feature is that the American government is clearly open to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Syria. Therefore, regional outside meddling is less potent than the geopolitical and religious angle which applies to Iraq.

The real “vacuum” which will enable Islamists to grow in power which are anti-Western and anti-moderate Sunni Islam, is the failed state scenario. Following on from the failed state factor will be poverty, indoctrination, bitterness, and other negative forces which will play into the hands of radical Islamists who want to turn Libya into a fundamentalist Islamic state.

Tara Bahrampour stated in The Washington Post that “The attacks included a bombing last week outside the U.S. Consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi and a rocket-propelled grenade attack there on a convoy carrying the British ambassador, which injured two bodyguards.”

“Explosions have also targeted offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross and a U.N. vehicle, as well as British Embassy cars visiting the southern city of Sabha last week.”

Further down in the article it is stated that “Libyan authorities are investigating the attacks, said Othman Bensasi, director of administration for the Transitional National Council, which has run Libya for the past year. He said there was no evidence that foreigners were involved.”

“We think it is fundamentalist Islamic groups,” he said. “They don’t want stability. They don’t want democracy.”

The ousting of Gaddafi led to many massacres against Gaddafi loyalists and black Africans. Even today you have untold numbers of people being held in deplorable conditions and this “taints” the opposition movement and Western nations which supported the uprising. However, irrespective of the rights and wrongs of what happened in Libya it is now essential to rebuild the infrastructure and to increase the power of the central state.

It is clear that the various Islamic groups in Libya are extremely divided because the majority favor positive ties with Western nations and support the political process. However, a militant fringe remains and given the prowess of radical Sunni Islamic movements to enter “failed states” and to exploit political vacuums then the situation remains dangerous. Therefore, it is essential that measures are taken which favor the political system and the rule of law.

Yet the history of Libya, vastness of this nation, the reality of various different militias, powerful regionalism, and other factors, means that a political vacuum currently exists. If Libya is to prosper from the brutal war which took place, then central forces and institutions need to grow quickly. Also, it is pivotal that educational institutions are supported and that economic investment is put into Libya which reduces poverty.

Libya deserves peace after so many individuals on both sides were killed and this nation also needs an independent judicial system which prevents the abuse of power. However, currently Libya is still in transition and the future remains in the balance.

http://moderntokyotimes.com

Nigeria and the Sunni Islamic insurgency of Boko Haram : over 170 killed in Kano

Nigeria and the Sunni Islamic insurgency of Boko Haram : over 170 killed in Kano

Boutros Hussein and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Islamists in northern Nigeria have killed more than 170 people in the city of Kano after many bomb blasts and gun attacks. It is clear that Boko Haram is not only increasing its violence but the sophistication of attacks also points to greater training and funding. This in itself shows the severity of the crisis in Nigeria because Boko Haram doesn’t recognize the current political and legal system of this country.

In recent months radical Sunni Islamists have attacked Christian churches, the security forces, local police stations, and any area which is deemed to be a threat to their power objectives. It is abundantly clear that members of this Islamist movement deem Christians to be infidels and worthy of killing and the same applies to Muslims who don’t support their draconian thinking. Therefore, Christians in northern Nigeria fear further attacks and the bloodletting threatens to ignite new flashpoints in other parts of this country.

In an article called “Boko Haram: Nigeria’s growing new headache” which was published by The International Institute for Strategic Studies, it was stated that The increased sophistication of Boko Haram’s attacks may be partly explained by growing foreign support. There has been speculation – though without hard evidence – about interaction with al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, including possible training of Nigerians. In August 2011 General Carter Ham, Commander of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), said it was likely that Boko Haram had established contacts with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and with al-Shabaab. He described this as, if confirmed, ‘the most dangerous thing to happen not only to the Africans, but to us as well’. In November, Algerian Deputy Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel said he had ‘no doubts that coordination exists between Boko Haram and al-Qaeda’, citing intelligence reports and common operating methods.” 

However, it is easy to play the “al-Qaeda” card but instead the focus should be on the trinity of the Koran, the Hadiths, and Islamic Sharia law. Muslims, just like Christians in Nigeria, don’t belong to one strand of thinking and Islamic clerics opposed to Boko Haram also face the threat of death. Yet, the methodology of Boko Haram does follow the path of Sunni Islamic radicalism in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Somalia – and this applies to forcing terror against all and sundry who oppose an Islamic state based on Sharia law.

Also, while non-Muslim minorities are attacked and killed the same applies to killing fellow Sunni Muslims and different sects within Islam, for example killing Shia Muslims and so forth. Therefore, instead of linking the “al-Qaeda” bogeyman it is more reliable to focus on the binding reality that the trinity of Islam, the Koran-Hadiths-Sharia, was and continues to be used for supporting violence against all thought patterns which oppose this “limited worldview.”

In Nigeria the central government bowed down and allowed Sharia law in northern Nigeria to spread in power and for Christians, followers of Traditional Beliefs, secularists, moderate strands of Islam, and so forth; this didn’t quell the problem but merely inspired greater militancy. Not only this, it highlighted the fault-lines within Islam itself. Also, Saudi sponsored missionaries and training in Saudi Arabia further increased a limited world view of Islam which was based on being the sole power mechanism in Nigeria.

In Somalia, for example, where Sunni Islamic radicals are intent on spreading their Islamic inquisition and killing every single Christian in the country, it is clear that Arabization and outside meddling from the Middle East is altering the landscape. Therefore, Sufi Muslims in this country also fear the ongoing changes within Islam and the role of outsiders in spreading this indoctrination, which boasts of “purity” and “piety” while enforcing the sword on all perceived enemies.

The vast majority of Nigerians support a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society despite complex ethnic issues and other factors. However, in the eyes of Boko Haram they desire an Islamic state based on Islamic Sharia law and in their eyes the central government and secular laws have no validity.

Boko Haram also desires to spread sectarianism because this will further their view that they are the “Guardians of Islam” and not Muslims who support a united Nigeria. It is essential that Christians, Muslims, secularists, and people from all political persuasions who support a united Nigeria to stand up to this new tyranny. After all, if the “house is divided” then Boko Haram will be hoping to fill the vacuum.

http://www.iiss.org/publications/strategic-comments/past-issues/volume-17-2011/november/boko-haram-nigerias-growing-new-headache/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

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Review of 2011 internationally and events in Japan (March 11 and brutal tsunami)

Review of 2011 internationally and events in Japan (March 11 and brutal tsunami)

James Jomo and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

In 2011 many political convulsions have challenged nations in North Africa and the Middle East. The optimism of the so-called “Arab Spring” remains to be unfulfilled because you have so much uncertainty in nations like Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Tunisia. At the same time the death of Osama bin Laden wasn’t the decisive blow to international terrorism because recent events in many nations show that this menace is still potent. This notably applies to the recent slaughter of Christians in Nigeria by Islamists belonging to Boko Haram.

Images of Christians, Muslims, and secularists, celebrating political change in Egypt seems like a distant dream. After all, many Coptic Christians have been killed and a sizeable minority of Muslims supported an Islamic party which seeks to restrict the role of Christians in Egypt.

President Obama, much like the ethical policy of Tony Blair (past leader in the United Kingdom), showed his hand clearly by announcing a huge military deal with Saudi Arabia. Therefore, any notion of democracy and supporting human rights was thrown out the window. In fairness to Obama this is a systematic reality within the body politic of America. However, it makes a mockery of his ethical stances because in the land of Saudi Arabia not one single Buddhist temple is allowed or Christian church and of course all apostates from Islam face death in this nation.

Meanwhile the Euro crisis and the foundations of the European Union have been challenged to the hilt. This applies to one economic crisis after another and monetary issues will continue to be a major issue in the early months of 2012. At the same time political leaders have lost power in Greece and Italy and European technocrats who have been unelected now rule the roost in these two nations. Therefore, the “Arab Spring” appears to be ushering in “a non-democratic new dawn” while in Europe new leaders can obtain power despite being unelected – not a pleasant thought.

On a more positive note you now have a new nation called South Sudan and providing the international community supports this new entity, then some “rays of sunshine” will have happened in 2011. However, the path ahead is fraught with danger because Arab Islamists in Khartoum still desire to rule the many different African ethnic groups which comprise of Sudan. This means that bloodshed will continue in 2012 in places like Darfur and the fear is that the Khartoum government may seek to create instability in South Sudan because of the delicate nature of this new nation. Given this, the international community must develop mechanisms with political leaders in South Sudan in order to help this new nation and to guarantee its future, while major obstacles are being challenged by central forces in Juba.

The Russian Federation and Kazakhstan are entering 2012 with certain levels of uncertainty. This applies to political challenges and outside meddling from international powers which seek to cause mayhem internally. Therefore, the world is waiting to see if Putin can remain all powerful alongside Medvedev or if “the house of cards” will collapse because of external and internal agitation.

The forgotten Serbian Orthodox Christians in Kosovo still face a bleak future because they can’t freely travel around Kosovo. At the same time, power processes are against the Serbian Orthodox Christians of Kosovo and political leaders in Belgrade have to walk a tightrope – but, if the current leaders could abandon their brethren in Kosovo, it would appear that they would do so in order to enter the EU club. However, internal events and a backlash could alter the political landscape in Serbia and this is the main concern of the current political leadership in Belgrade. This means that the ghettoization of an entire religious and ethnic group will continue in the heart of Europe and what does this tell us about the new Europe?

In Myanmar the international media is focusing on current positives because political elites in this nation appear to be opening up. Yet, despite this, many minority ethnic and religious groups are still being persecuted and Free Burma Rangers continues to highlight the reality on the ground. The fear is that these minority ethnic groups will be further abandoned in order to establish short-term goals. Also, if the regime turns away from China – then minorities have much to fear from further abandonment and isolation.

Therefore, the mainly Christian Karen elites and other ethnic groups like the Shan and Chin will continue to face an uncertain future. At the same time, the majority of the international media will give scant coverage outside of issues related to Aung San Suu Kyi and issues related to the current leaders of Myanmar.

Madness sadly hit Norway in 2011 when Anders Breivik killed 77 people in Oslo. The reason for this barbaric attack was then manipulated like a political football but the truth is that this individual was clearly deranged. He was neither a Bible thumping individual nor a regular churchgoer but this didn’t stop the anti-Christian brigade from having a field day. However, the bare fact is that the majority of people he killed were white Norwegians and Christian – this hardly matches the “mad racist” and “devout Christian” image which was being brandished about. Indeed, Breivik stated that  ”I’ve always been very pragmatic and influenced by my secular surroundings and environment.”

Sadly, the gruesome murder of innocents was lost and the massacre committed by Anders Breivik was clearly aimed at a political party he detested. The events of this day will never be forgotten in Norway because it highlighted the weakness of security agencies because one individual managed to throw the entire nation into deep shock. Hopefully, Anders Breivik will never be released from prison and different ethnic and religious communities will work more closely together in order to show the real spirit of Norway.

Natural disasters hit many nations, including Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, and many others. Therefore, tens of thousands of people died because of natural disasters. The March 11 tsunami which hit Japan was felt all over the world because of the harrowing scenes which were caught on camera. Also, Japan became the first nation in history to be hit by a devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis, at the same time.

The reverberations of the nuclear crisis can still be felt today in Japan and throughout the world. Therefore, the nuclear energy issue became a hot topic and nations like Germany did a u-turn without much thought, irrespective if individuals agree with Germany or not. Ironically, this u-turn will not stop Germany utilizing the nuclear power stations in France but this is a different issue. Meanwhile, the government of Japan is caught between realism, business issues, energy concerns, the green movement, power shortages, a general public which is still divided, and other important factors related to the nuclear sector.

 

The March 11 earthquake which unleashed the tsunami was truly devastating because tens of thousands of people died. Also, the speed of events shocked people because the tsunami literally destroyed towns and villages that were in its path. Therefore, even today many people are still missing and vast numbers of people are without proper homes in areas hit by the tsunami.

Residents who reside (and who resided) near the Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima continue to face a bleak future. Also, the tourist industry, fisheries, and other important areas which created jobs have been hindered by the devastating events of March 11. Given this, the central government needs to work closely with local governments and various agencies in order to get the region back on its feet.

It isn’t all doom and gloom because many communities have started to fight back and rebuild and this also applies to attracting new investment. Therefore, the picture is very mixed but clearly all positive mechanisms need to work together in order to resolve the major obstacles which people and the local business community still face.

2011 isn’t only based on negative events but clearly the political, economic, and natural disasters, have all unleashed convulsions which still can be felt. In this sense, the early period of 2012 will be a natural continuation. After all, the nuclear ill wind in Japan remains unresolved when it applies to radiation and its impact on the natural environment and on local people. The economic crisis in Europe remains and the same applies to other parts of the world but some positive signs can be felt in some nations. Also, the so-called “Arab Spring” may turn out to be truly democratic in the long-term or it may be a false dawn where Islamists take control and new despots emerge – it is impossible to say either way with confidence.

Nations like Nigeria and Somalia will continue to face the menace of radical Sunni Islamic terrorist attacks and attacks against central forces will continue. Issues related to democracy in China will be monitored more deeply given the current political climate and North Korea will probably remain on the same footing. However, North Korea may implement some economic reforms and the new leader may turn out to be more independent minded. Meanwhile, the political merry-go-round will continue in Japan whereby political leaders in the two main political parties will face internal struggles.

The Olympics in London in 2012 offer a positive note because this event will be watched by billions of people. Also, you have signs that China and Japan will focus on greater economic initiatives which will strengthen cooperation between these two powerful neighbors. Overall, 2012 looks like another stuttering year whereby economic issues and political convulsions will continue to create new major problems.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

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Nigeria must brace itself for more Boko Haram terrorist attacks

Nigeria must brace itself for more Boko Haram terrorist attacks

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

  

Nigeria is multi-ethnic and multi-religious and you have many different religious denominations within Christianity and Islam, which are the two dominant religious groups in this county.  However, from a religious point of view then Boko Haram and other radical Islamist groups are the biggest threat to religious pluralism. Therefore, the recent terrorist attacks by Islamists on Christmas Day aren’t a surprise because Boko Haram is intent on spreading Islamic jihad in Nigeria.

Christians and the majority Muslim community which opposes Boko Haram all fear the rise of this Islamic terrorist organization. The armed forces and local government officials in areas where Boko Haram are based also fear the growing rise of this militant terrorist movement.

In 2009 three Christian pastors were captured by Boko Haram and Sabo Yukubu, Sylvester Akpan, and George Orji were tortured by their Islamist captors. Boko Haram gave them the choice of life or death in this world because if all three Christian pastors converted to Islam, then they would be spared. However, these three brave Christian martyrs remained firm to their faith and because of this they were killed brutally.

The spirit of Sabo Yukubu, Sylvester Akpan, and George Orji, couldn’t be crushed and in death these individuals have shown the path ahead for the people of Nigeria, irrespective of ethnicity or religion. This applies to the spirit of “love” and not the dark forces of Boko Haram who kill innocent Christians and Muslims who refuse to bow down to their brutal ideology.

Therefore, the Christmas Day terrorist attacks which took place in Nigeria is a stern warning to the government of this country that this dangerous ideology is a threat to national security. In Nigeria the attacks by Boko Haram are clearly religious but often you have inter-religious killings in this nation which have ethnic overtones and the same applies to clashes over power concentration. Given this, any religious organization which threatens others is a major cause of concern for central forces because this could re-ignite religious clashes in other parts of Nigeria.

It is abundantly clear that Boko Haram is intent on spreading their hatred therefore it is essential that rational voices are heard in both the Christian and Muslim community. Therefore, moderate religious leaders on all sides need to work together because Boko Haram is a threat to all people who support a united Nigeria.

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria commented that “Nigerians must stand as one to condemn them.” Clearly the leader of Nigeria is correct because if Boko Haram fails to ignite inter-communal violence then their power base will be reduced. Also, the central government needs to focus on internal issues related to past corruption and to re-invigorate Nigeria because the potential of this nation is enormous.

In areas where Boko Haram is strong it is clear that the military solution by itself will not work. Therefore, counter-terrorist measures need to be implemented and central power bases need to work more closely with regional leaders who support religious pluralism and a united Nigeria. If this doesn’t happen, then Boko Haram will exploit this political vacuum.  

Since 2002 when Boko Haram was founded the dark forces of this Islamist organization is clear for all to see. This applies to massacres, criminality, religious hatred towards’ Christians, attacks against moderate Muslim leaders, fighting the military of Nigeria, and installing fear into the local population where they are strong.

Guido Westerwelle, the German Foreign Minister, commented that “Even on Christmas Day, the world is not spared from cowardice and the fear of terrorism.” William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary, stated that “These are cowardly attacks on families gathered in peace and prayer to celebrate a day which symbolises harmony and goodwill towards others. I offer my condolences to the bereaved and injured.”

St Theresa’s Church in Madalla, close to Abuja, was the scene of the most barbaric attack on Christmas Day. The death toll from this terrorist attack is currently 35 but it could increase because more than 50 people are injured.

Other terrorist attacks occurred on the same day in northern Nigeria. Therefore, the government of Nigeria needs to implement counter-terrorist measures to tackle this dangerous Islamist organization. Given this, it is essential that moderate religious leaders work together in the Christian and Muslim community in order to prevent more people from joining Boko Haram. Also, Nigeria needs national unity and all citizens who are proud to be Nigerian must work together in order to prevent the dark forces of Islamic terrorism and ethnic chauvinism from tearing this country apart.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

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Gaddafi killed and possibly tortured by the forces of the Revolution

Gaddafi killed and possibly tortured by the forces of the Revolution

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Reports and images coming out of Libya show that Muammar Gaddafi is dead and that his final moments on this earth were based on fear and mob justice. Apparently he was still alive when captured and according to Gabriel Gatehouse from the BBC in Sirte he comments that “I have spoken to the man who says that he captured him… he said he found him hiding in a hole in the centre.”

Other reports claim that he was shot in both legs and from being found in a hole to this, then it would appear that he was tortured, tormented, and shot.  The new Libya appears to be based on “mob justice” and the possible torture of the former leader of Libya leaves a sour taste, irrespective of the past deeds by Gaddafi.

Americans were disgusted when Islamists in Somalia dragged the bodies of dead American troops into the streets. However, today it was the forces of Western anti-Gaddafi loyalists who were dragging the body of an individual who had probably been tortured. This is the sad reality of “democracy in action” and both scenes are sickening but of course it must be stated that American troops in Somalia were innocent soldiers.

Democratic leaders in America, France, and the United Kingdom, feel vindicated in the overthrow of Gaddafi because of past brutal measures by this political leader. Also, with anti-Gaddafi forces killing Gaddafi then past deals can be “washed away” and this will be pleasing because nothing is ever that simple in international relations.

Gaddafi during his 42 year reign intervened in other nations and he was clearly anti-Berber.  Therefore, you will find very few tears for Gaddafi and political activists in the past have suffered at the hands of torture. 

However, the systematic killing of Africans and the probable torture of Gaddafi in his final moments can’t be defended by anyone who supports democracy and liberty. This fact will be brushed under the carpet and Hague war crimes only apply to the enemies of people who are outside the Western elite group of nations.

This duplicity of law is what is staggering because international law doesn’t exist when it comes to morality.  Elites like Bill Clinton during his leadership could tacitly support Islamists entering Bosnia in order to kill Orthodox Christians. This covert policy was implemented and you had many ratlines linked to the Islamist Alija Izetbegovic. However, Bill Clinton could implement and turn a blind eye, without having to fear a war crime tribunal (only a court could state his innocence or guilt) and it is this arrogance which is creating a major problem.   

The world of “good” and “evil” is often dictated by political elites and special groups which manipulate the mass media. Obviously, you will always have dissent and sometimes the mass media will rebuke political elites during military ventures. However, when political elites and the mass media work together, like in Bosnia and Kosovo, then the end-game is over irrespective of the complexity.

Gaddafi tortured during his last moments

During the conflict in Libya the military balance was turned on its head once NATO became embroiled. After this, it was an uneven conflict and Gaddafi loyalists who were intent on fighting were basically “dead men walking.”

Massacres will have taken place on both sides because all civil wars are brutal but this wasn’t a real civil war because outside forces made sure that you would only have one conclusion.

In an earlier article by two correspondents for Modern Tokyo Times called Libya: killing black Africans in the name of the revolution and democracy, it was stated that “Reports for many months have stated that Libyan rebels have been killing and persecuting black Africans in Libya once areas came under their control.  The number of reports highlighting this continues to grow and many images have been shown which show Africans being mutilated and having their bodies abused and mocked by non-black African Libyans.  This disturbing fact mocks the notion of “good” versus “evil” because both sides have committed atrocities but for black Africans it is the rebels who they fear.”

“Also, reports have stated that African Libyans are also being victimized and suffering persecution.  Therefore, since large areas have fell to the National Transitional Council (NTC) both non-African Libyans and African Libyans fear for their safety.” 

The BBC, Deutsche Welle and other major media outlets backed up this disturbing and brutal reality. Therefore, while Gaddafi doesn’t deserve “tears” because of past misdeeds and meddling in other nations. This should not alter the fact that the brutal killings of black Africans and the probable torture of Gaddafi – means that the men of democracy and the revolution are tainted. Therefore, a clear and honest organization needs to investigate this brutal reality.

Simon Jenkins, The Guardian newspaper in England, commented that We may applaud the chance of freedom about to be granted to a lucky group of oppressed people, but that doesn’t justify the means by which it is achieved: in another fury of great-power aggression. The truth is that Gaddafi’s downfall, like his earlier propping up, will have been Britain’s doing. A new Libyan regime will be less legitimate and less secure as a result.”

The reign of Gaddafi is over and the wind of history may appear to be changing but given the opposition and the weak institutions of Libya, then a possible Islamic state may be in the making. Or worse you may have a failed state whereby chaos and other forces create mayhem and hostile anti-Western forces may try to spread their ideology in parts of modern day Libya. Thereby creating a failed state and given the power of radical Islam in Algeria, then this is a distinct possibility.

Alternatively, Libya may become a European Union beach-head in North Africa whereby a nation which is blessed with natural resources truly does blossom. At the moment nothing is clear but at least the Berbers can rest more freely and now it is hoped that international pressure will safeguard African immigrants and put this at the top of the agenda.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

Japan will send Ground Self-Defense Force to assist South Sudan

Japan will send Ground Self-Defense Force to assist South Sudan

Boutros Hussein and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The government of Japan announced that an engineering unit of the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) will assist the new nation of South Sudan.  Therefore, the GSDF unit will assist the United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping operations and help to build the infrastructure.

This will please all politicians in South Sudan because this new nation needs the support of the international community and Japan is amongst the elite when it comes to economic power.  Also, Japanese engineering units are highly respected after participating in U.N. peacekeeping operations in Cambodia, East Timor and Haiti respectively.

It is also hoped that this infrastructural support will lead to business ties developing between both nations. After all, it is vital that the international community invests in South Sudan and supports U.N. peacekeeping operations because the Khartoum government needs to understand that South Sudan is a viable nation state. Therefore, the government in Juba will welcome the announcement by the Japanese government to send 350 GSDF to South Sudan.

Also, the government of Japan is a clear friend of the U.N. and this is based on economic support and just like past projects it is vital that Japan shows its international obligation. 

In another article about this issue by Modern Tokyo Times called Japan may send Ground Self-Defense Force engineers to assist South Sudan it was stated that “In the past the Khartoum Arab-Islamic dominated regime was responsible for millions of Africans being killed in southern Sudan. At the same time the brutal Khartoum regime turned against African Muslims in Darfur.  The leadership in South Sudan is greatly influenced by the binding force of Christianity but all southern Sudanese are pulling together in political circles irrespective of religion. Animism also remains strong in South Sudan and this new nation state is multi-religious and multi-ethnic.”

“PM Noda will likely announce that GSDF will help the United Nations in South Sudan during his visit to New York this week.  If, like expected, PM Noda does announce this noble act then it will show the international community that Japan is serious about helping nations which badly need support.”

“Japan clearly needs to step up its effort internationally because the “quietist policy” of the past did not serve this nation. Historical constraints must be brushed aside because Japan is democratic and a responsible nation state which gives economic assistance to nations throughout the world.”

Therefore, the Japanese government under Prime Minister Noda is going in the right direction because the decision to send the GSDF will be received favorably throughout the international community.  Also, it is an important step because it is showing Africa that Japan cares and is willing to participate for the good of humanity.

Japan will also send a government and private company delegation to South Sudan and this move will be welcomed by political leaders in Juba. This will take place later this week and economic ties are needed because the new nation state faces many obstacles.

http://www.mod.go.jp/gsdf/english/index.html  

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Apostate to Christianity beheaded in Somalia and Saudi hatred in the UK

Apostate to Christianity beheaded in Somalia and Saudi hatred in the UK

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

In nations like Somalia and Saudi Arabia apostates from Islam face the death penalty and in Pakistan the death penalty even applies to blasphemy.  If you want to understand how Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism faired in Islamic history then no point to reach for your history books because systematic persecution is ongoing.

The dhimmitude system and Islamic Sharia law is institutional apartheid with the death penalty added in order to maintain constant fear at all times.  Therefore, every single Muslim in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia is denied free will and in Pakistan minority Muslim groups like the Ahmadiyya face enormous persecution.

At the same time Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, and all other non-Muslim faiths and minority Muslim faiths, face an Islamic inquisition when nations are governed in full compliance with Islamic Sharia law. Therefore, Shia Islam is illegal in Sunni Muslim Malaysia and Ahmadiyya Muslims are persecuted in Pakistan and recently the same persecution is happening against this community in Indonesia.

Shia News reported that “Although other approved religions, including Christian denominations, Hinduism and Buddhism are allowed in Malaysia, the government considers Shi’ite Islam a deviant sect of Islam. Saravanamuttu says the Department of Islamic Development in Malaysia has cracked down on Shi’ite and other non-Sunni Islamic sects in the past and is empowered by law to do so.”

If this doesn’t alarm you then remember that Saudi Arabia is funding countless institutions which are spreading this dangerous ideology. Even in the United Kingdom you had Saudi Arabian curriculum school books spreading hatred towards Jews and homosexuals.

In the New York Times in an article called Lessons of Hate at Islamic Schools in Britain (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/europe/23britain.html ) by John F. Burns he comments that A British network of more than 40 part-time Islamic schools and clubs with 5,000 students has been teaching from a Saudi Arabian government curriculum that contains anti-Semitic and homophobic views, including a textbook that asks children to list the “reprehensible” qualities of Jews, according to a BBC documentary.”

“The 30-minute “Panorama” program quoted the Saudi government-supplied textbook as saying that Jews “looked like monkeys and pigs” and further down the article it states that “One of the textbooks, according to the BBC program, prescribed execution as the penalty for gay sex, and outlined differing viewpoints as to whether death should be by stoning, immolation by fire or throwing offenders off a cliff. Another set out the punishments prescribed by Shariah law for theft, including amputation of hands and feet. A BBC video accompanying an article on the program’s Web site showed a textbook illustration of a hand and a foot marked to show where amputations should be made.”

Therefore, if this branch of Islamic ideology is being allowed to spread in the mainly non-Muslim world it goes without saying that the situation is even more severe where the “heart of darkness” prevails over society. This “heart of darkness” applies to nations which support killing apostates, for example Saudi Arabia, and other Western allies like Afghanistan – yes, with allies like this it makes you wonder what politicians are doing in the West.

In Saudi Arabia and Somalia all apostates face the death penalty and Islamists in Somalia, many who once resided in America and the United Kingdom, have joined the Al-Shabaab in order to kill all Christian apostates and to turn this nation into year zero.

In early September, 2011, Juma Nuradin Kamil was beheaded by Islamists on the grounds that he abandoned Islam and converted to Christianity.  He was decapitated while Islamists will have been in religious ecstasy while killing this innocent Christian in such a brutal and barbaric way.

Juma Nuradin Kamil was murdered for merely leaving the Islamic faith. Therefore, if you wonder why you have no Buddhists left in Afghanistan, then this modern day reality in Somalia will enlighten you more than reading naïve books which often gloss over the truth. 

Sadly, religious freedom isn’t a universal human right and in Saudi Arabia not one Ahmadiyya, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Sikh,  and Zoroastrian place of worship is allowed. Indeed, Iran is more moderate than Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, the Maldives, and Yemen, because the indigenous Christian church is allowed despite certain constraints when it applies to proselytism.

If international pressure isn’t put on Saudi Arabia and other nations which support killing apostates, then nothing will change and state sanctioned ideology will continue to kill people on the grounds of being anti-free will.

Juma Nuradin Kamil was “a beacon of light” for all Somalians who support democracy, liberty, free will and religious freedom.  At the same time, democratic nations need to be vigilant at home because in countries like the United Kingdom this sponsored evil is entering the education system and indoctrinating children because of loopholes in the private educational sector.

However, while Juma Nuradin Kamil was “a beacon of light” the light will one day be fully crushed and darkened if nations, organizations, and other avenues, don’t fight back against religious intolerance and indoctrination.

Many moderate voices in the Muslim world have also been crushed and in Pakistan several prominent Muslims have been killed for defending Christians and other non-Muslims.

Free will is an indelible right for all people irrespective of religion or no religion. Therefore, turning a blind eye or going down the moral relativism path doesn’t wash because innocent individuals like Juma Nuradin Kamil are paying the ultimate price.

Killing people on the grounds of free will is still a reality in the modern world and this authoritarianism needs to be stopped and challenged.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dmeK-Z3Uls – Video about Saudi funded hatred by the BBC

http://somalisforjesus.blogspot.com/  Highlights the persecution of Christians in Somalia

http://www.christianpost.com/news/somali-convert-to-christianity-kidnapped-beheaded-55475/

http://babulilmlibrary.com/news/shia-islam-is-banned-in-malaysia-crackdown-on-shia-muslims 

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