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.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

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 …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | Leave a comment

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

Opinion: Foreign policy lessons for the Lib Dem approach to Iran

The Green movement in Iran after the presidential elections in 2009 was the first of the recent popular backlashes against entrenched corruption in authoritarian regimes. That was followed by the Arab spring, continuing upheaval in Egypt and now a similar movement in Russia and elsewhere.

At the time of the electoral protests in Tehran, Iranian staff at the British embassy were being accused by the Iranian authorities of treason and fomenting unrest. There was only muted support for the reform movement in Iran from the international community.

Last month we saw the British Embassy in Tehran ransacked and vandalised

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

Nick Clegg: Learning the lesson of Iraq, planning the peace

Nick Clegg has given a speech on the Arab Spring today at the British Council. He also included a passage on last night’s dramatic events in Libya:

The advances made by the Free Libya Forces in Tripoli would have been unthinkable just a few months ago. Unimaginable, even, for the generations of young Libyans who have never known a world without Qadhafi. Now, that world is within their reach. The momentum for change is breathtaking and, for the cynics who said change wasn’t possible, who had written off the Libyan uprising, written off the Arab Spring, clearly, they were wrong. The

Posted in News and Speeches | Also tagged , , and | 10 Comments

LibLink Nick Clegg: Regulating media, empowering citizens

Nick Clegg has a piece in Huffington Post UK today, on media regulation, responsible reporting and replacing the Press Complaints Commission.

He calls new news outlets, such as the newly-launched UK version news and comment website Huffington Post, “a welcome breath of fresh air” at a time when public confidence in the media establishment is being rocked by phone-hacking allegations.

Here’s an excerpt:

The hacking scandal throws up an array of insights. But one in particular stands out to liberals: information is power. It always has been. When elites deploy secretive and opaque practices, it is nearly always to protect their own

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , and | 7 Comments

Martin Horwood MP writes: Facing up to human rights in China

Premier Wen Jiabao of China arrived in Britain over the weekend for a series of events culminating in bilateral talks with the Prime Ministers today at Number Ten.

While the discussions will undoubtedly turn to the economy, trade agreements and further cooperation between our two countries, I hope the Prime Minister will also promote our greatest exports: our long held values of democracy, human rights and free speech.

These bilateral meetings offer the British government a chance to place human rights unambiguously on the agenda in our discussions with the Chinese. As William Hague wrote last year, “promoting human rights is …

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



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTsar Nicolas 26th Nov - 2:00am
    This talk of getting 28 seats when the current polls show the party on around 7% - OK, I'll be generous and say 8% -...
  • User AvatarAndy JS 26th Nov - 1:31am
    Candidates selected so far for GE2015: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0At91c3wX1Wu5dFkzTjFrRmJRN3F6ODBTTEs4NGFhcUE#gid=0
  • User AvatarLiberal Al 26th Nov - 12:35am
    Tony: I, too, know of far too many people caught by this insane rules. Heck, I may, myself, become a victim of them because I...
  • User AvatarLiberal Al 26th Nov - 12:31am
    Roland, today, a Chinese girl and an British boy sat in a living eating Indian food in a Japanese style, whilst watching an African film....
  • User AvatarPeter Chegwyn 26th Nov - 12:29am
    If the right-wing vote in Eastleigh had united behind either the Conservative or UKIP candidate instead of splitting fairly evenly between them, we could have...
  • User Avatarmalc 26th Nov - 12:10am
    It would be interesting to see what would happen if William took legal action against his university to refund his tuition fees, because he clearly...