Monday, July 06 2015

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A month in Palestine

Tom BlanxThis May, I travelled to the West Bank in occupied Palestine.

I had a fairly good idea of the kind of things I would see when I went, but wanted to take a closer look at what I think is an unfair and asymmetrical situation. I don't stand against Jews or Israelis. I stand against racism, violence, oppression and ignorance, and all of those things, I think, are here.

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If we are really serious about destroying ISIS, why is our policy so misguided?

British MuslimsI have been watching a bit more television than usual, certainly more than I expected to in this blessed month of Ramadan. I was gripped, in part due to the never-ending conversations about Islam; partly because I despair at the rhetorical belligerence of neo-cons like Douglas Murray; and also, I confess, to watch the performance of a friend on BBC Question Time. A variety of channels have had a veritable media-fest on Islam.

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Tunisia's revolution in the eye of the storm

Few would disagree that what happened in the birth-place of the Arab Spring and the jewel of the Mediterranean a week ago against innocent tourists was a stab in the back of the 17th December Revolution. The brutality of the crime in Sousse and the ignorant nature of the events have led me to call into question the framework behind such crimes. This, of course, becomes even more important when we consider the interior minister's claim that, "There are individuals who seek to create a vacuum in the security sector so that they could continue to carry out the massacre."

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Turkey's growing unease about the consequences of the Syrian crisis

Professor Özden Zeynep OktavSyria was once the jewel in the crown of Turkey's "zero problems with neighbours" policy. However, the Arab Spring and Syrian revolution not only devastated that policy but also led to a big economic burden stemming from an ever-increasing number of Syrian refugees fleeing from the brutal violence and crossing into Turkey. The Syrian crisis also crystallised Turkey's Achilles' heel, Kurdish separatism, and the Sunni-Alawite split as the spillover effect of the Syrian conflict became more and more evident with the appearance of new, and unwelcome, neighbours along the 900 km border: the Jihadist groups Al-Nusra Front, ISIS and the Democratic Union Party ("Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat" or PYD, the Syrian branch of the PKK).

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Syrians in occupied Golan furious about Israel's alliance with al-Qaeda

Asa Winstanley

Israel's most unlikely alliance is that it currently engages in with Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria.

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