Arabian Business Weekly Update July 31, 2005

More than words are required from world leaders to cure the terrorism disease. THE HORRENDOUS attacks in Egypt are yet another reminder of why it is so important not to give an inch — as prime minister Tony Blair rightly said last week — to hate-mongering zealots who murder innocents in the name of religion. There is absolutely no justification for the attacks perpetrated by these megalomaniacs bent on wreaking mayhem wherever they can. The gravity of situation; be it in Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Casablanca, London, or Jakarta, requires more than words from governments and leaders around the world.

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By  Massoud A. Derhally Published  July 31, 2005

Search for justification continues|~||~||~|More than words are required from world leaders to cure the terrorism disease. THE HORRENDOUS attacks in Egypt are yet another reminder of why it is so important not to give an inch — as prime minister Tony Blair rightly said last week — to hate-mongering zealots who murder innocents in the name of religion. There is absolutely no justification for the attacks perpetrated by these megalomaniacs bent on wreaking mayhem wherever they can. The gravity of situation; be it in Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Casablanca, London, or Jakarta, requires more than words from governments and leaders around the world. A web site used by Al Qaeda reposted an old communiqué this week threatening a certain Arab country if it didn’t capitulate to its ominous debauchery. If it wasn’t clear before, there is no doubt now that there is an endemic problem in the region. It is no longer a problem that relates to the Western world but concerns us and this problem will simply not wither away on its own. It requires a concerted effort from teachers at schools; who can steer youth along the right path, to Muslim clerics around the region and the world; who must condemn this prevailing bigotry by issuing edicts that outlaw these violent acts as un-Islamic and unrepresentative of the Arab and Muslim world. While the likes of Osama Bin Laden and his henchmen in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, and elsewhere will continue to manipulate whomever they can, leaders in political and religious circles must not let these acts stand and make every effort to fight this heresy. And they should do this in tandem with promoting a culture of pluralism that ensures people’s civil rights and freedom of speech; where emergency and martial laws are abolished and above all social, economic and political reforms are implemented. Using terrorism as an excuse to stall on these fronts will give more power to the hydra of terrorists. ||**||Signs of change|~||~||~|SUPPORTERS of the former warlord Samir Geagea danced in the streets as soon as news spread that their leader had left his cell at the Ministry of Defence. Geagea had spent 11 years underground in solitary confinement, years during which members of his Lebanese Forces party were regularly harassed and beaten by security agencies. But last Tuesday, the former Christian militia leader was escorted by the army into freedom. An amnesty law pardoning Geagea was signed last week by the country’s new parliament, dominated for the first time in decades by anti-Syrian legislators. The message of his release was one of ‘let bygones be bygones’ but to move on, Lebanon needs to deal with its past. Hopefully this is a sign of changing times in the country. ||**||Fuelling shocking scenes|~||~||~|Something urgently needs to be done about last week’s terrible fuel protests in Yemen where there was violent unrest over the price increases in oil-derivatives. Many people died there unnecessarily as a result of the riots. The direct cause of the unrest was clearly the fact that the government raised the price of fuel. However, indirect reasons involve the spread of corruption, shocking economic conditions and tribal struggles. Continued corruption and mismanagement in Yemen threatens not only the stability of the country, but also its young, its unity and any semblance of democracy that exists there. ||**||

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