Tag Archives: arab spring

The Independent View: An Arab EU could be the answer the Middle East needs

The Islamic State is a symptom of a much wider and more dangerous split in the Islamic world between Sunni, Shia and Kurdish communities across the Middle East. Whatever action Western governments undertake to stop the Islamo-fascists ISIS, more must be done to mend an age-old split between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

Opinion: In every conflict, there is always more than one side to the story

Protests in UkraineIt is always tempting to view the world in black and white. When Good is pitted against Evil, who in their right minds would want Evil to succeed? We can all happily unite behind Good and therefore feel Good about that ourselves.

Sadly, the world isn’t like this. This may seem like an outrageously obvious statement, but it is not intended to be patronising. Reactions from various politicians to recent events have given the impression that many political conflicts are indeed black and white.

When the Arab Spring began over 3 …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Liberalism, youth & the new Arab awakening: a Tunisian perspective

Student holds anti-violence poster at protest in Tunis - License Some rights reserved by Magharebia As part of a three year joint project between the Arab Partnership Fund, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the UK Liberal Democrats, a strategic roundtable will be held at our Party conference in Brighton to discuss a roadmap for advancing a progressive agenda in Tunisia and more generally across the Middle East. Youth and female members of liberal political parties have been invited to apply to participate in the roundtable discussion and, although the focus will be on Tunisia, people from all liberal parties across Middle East have been encouraged to apply.

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Opinion: The Arab Spring – a liberal paradox?

What should a liberal make of the Arab Spring as it becomes a bloody winter? The recent wave of violent protest at a mindlessly Islamophobic YouTube video is not an isolated incident. In Tunisia in June, hardline Salafists attacked an art gallery and a trade union office. Since Egypt’s revolution there have been regular attacks on Egypt’s Coptic Christian minority. An Islamist-dominated panel reviewing Egypt’s constitution is likely to water down women’s rights, making child marriage easier and withdrawing from international conventions protecting women and children(£). Husni Mubarak, Egypt’s former President, must be wailing “I told you so” …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 20 Comments

Opinion: Politics in paradise – why the Maldives matters

As coup d’états go, the toppling last week of the Maldives’ first elected President, Mohamed Nasheed, appears an undramatic affair. Nasheed, a former political prisoner, announced suddenly he was standing down; his deputy would be taking over. This involved no tanks, few casualties and little shock and awe.

Should we care about politics in paradise? The answer is a resounding yes.

Politics in the Maldives has been a rough game over the past four years. In an article in the New York Times last week, Nasheed wrote of the corrupt legacy that 30 years of dictatorship had left the small Indian Ocean …

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Opinion: Postcards to Political Prisoners and the disturbing case of Mikael Nabil

On 14th December, the decision of Egyptian student and pro-democracy activist Mikael Nabil’s retrial was announced; his sentence was reduced from three years to two. The result of this retrial, leaving little room for further appeal, shows a serious miscarriage of justice, particularly when considering that despite being a civilian, Mikael was sentenced by military tribunal.

Even before the Arab Spring began, Mikael was taking an active role in promoting democracy in Egypt. He was part of the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY) delegation to the 2009 Liberal International congress in Cairo. Since 2006, Mikael has used his blog to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Why Mohamed Al Bouazizi should be the Liberal Voice of 2011

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

So speaks the first few lines of our constitution. They should be enshrined in everything we do – for if we’re not fighting for this, then, as Liberals, what are we fighting for at all?

So when I think about who should be the Liberal Voice of the Year, I think about who has done most to make those values real. …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 3 Comments
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