Archive for September 2005
The media was full of speculation on the recent German elections, whether Schroeder or Merkel will be the next Chancellor. In the breakdown of the election results there is little coverage given to the ‘other’ section of voters.
Upon investigation the NPD (one of Germany’s neo-Nazis parties) acquired some 1.6% of the vote, which might be considered small until we ponder that 1.6% translates into over 900,000 votes, and if they could recruit only one in 10 of their voters then that would leave the organisation potentially with 90,000 members.
A frightening prospect nowadays and if major changes were made to the German economy resulting in higher unemployment (greater than the current official 11.6%) the consequences are not bear thinking about.
The news of several Gulf states lifting their boycott of Israel in exchange for a trading agreement with the US highlighted to points: Saudi exceptionalism and the Saudi’s failure at tackling their local Al Qaeda
Saudi exceptionalism is a product of US dependency on oil and American unwillingness to pressurise the Saudis into change.
The Saudi excuse for continuing their boycott otherwise “[it] could provoke the local Islamic organizations and awaken al-Qaeda agents” is indicative of the failure to stem local extremism and their use of Wahhabism is coming back to haunt them. The continued presence and activity of “al-Qaeda agents” results from years of indoctrination into Wahhabism, and not the other way around.
How we treat minorities, people without power or those who have traditionally been neglected or placed in a subservient role tells us a lot about our societies and attitudes. Therefore, the inclusion of Afghan women in the forthcoming election must be welcomed. Their courage in these circumstances is remarkable.
Afghanistan has been ravaged by civil war, dictatorships, warlords, famine and world neglect. Throughout these terrible events to position of women in Afghan society has diminished and become intolerable. The nihilist beliefs of the Taliban are still prevalent but until Afghan women can exert their presence and obtain their just rights then social reform, peace and stability may not be possible in Afghanistan.
The position of women in Afghanistan will be an indicator of its progress.