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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Arab Americans see bigotry behind ports uproar

Charges of bigotry, xenophobia and Islamophobia are being thrown about with impunity.

According to some industry analysts, the change in management would have no real effect on security, which would still be carried out by American workers to international standards. The UAE, whose government owns Dubai Ports World, is an international financial hub and close U.S. ally.

"The Emirates have been very pro-active partners in helping our security. They have a solid track record of cooperation," said Peter Tirschwell, publisher of the Journal of Commerce

"The Emirates have been very pro-active partners in helping our security." This make me very nervous. Anti-Americanism is rife throughout the world, even within countries that we consider to be our traditional allies such as Great Britain, the country from which the port operation concern was sold. Are Middle Eastern Arabs more anti-American than some Europeans? Perhaps not, but they are anti-non-Muslim.

Are the ruling families of the Emirates Islamists? Would it matter if they were? Is Shar'ia the law of the land in the UAE?

The Federal Penal Code (FPC, Law No. 3 of 1987) came into force on March 21, 1988. It does not abolish the penal legislation of the emirates, but only repeals "all provisions contrary" to it. Moreover the FPC leaves intact the sharia provisions on crimes. The public prosecutor’s office will continue to have the discretion to charge a defendant with either a sharia crime before a sharia court, or a statutory crime under the FPC before a Federal court or under an emirate statute before a local court.

United Arab Emirates: First Elections Announced

For the first time in its history, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will hold elections for public office. On December 1 President Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan announced that half of the members of the Federal National Council (FNC), the closest body the country has to a parliament, will be indirectly elected. The ruler of each of the seven emirates will form local assemblies which will then elect half the FNC members from among themselves. It is unclear how the local assembly members will be chosen. The other half of the council's members will continue to be appointed by the leaders of the emirates. The 40-member FNC serves in an advisory capacity and lacks legislative powers. No date has been set for elections. The UAE is the only country among the six Gulf Cooperation Council members that has yet to hold any form of elections.

Great. It's wonderful that they are holding elections, but what does this mean? Do elections always bring "democracy?"

Administratively, the UAE is a loose federation of seven emirates, each with its own ruler. The pace at which local government in each emirate evolves from traditional to modern is set primarily by the ruler. Under the provisional constitution of 1971, each emirate reserves considerable powers, including control over mineral rights (notably oil) and revenues. In this milieu, federal powers have developed slowly. The constitution established the positions of president (chief of state) and vice president, each serving 5-year terms; a Council of Ministers (cabinet), led by a prime minister (head of government); a supreme council of rulers; and a 40-member National Assembly, a consultative body whose members are appointed by the emirate rulers. Shaikh Zayyed bin Sultan Al Nahyyan was president of the UAE from its foundation until his death on 2nd November 2004. His eldest son, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan, is the current president.

As of 2004, the governments of the United Arab Emirates have been accused by several human rights organisations of acting in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the country's failure to allow freedom of expression. The Barnabas Fund organization cites that the Dubai emirate removed the right of appeal against deportation by expatriates accused of `religious crimes`, such as trying to convert a Muslim to another religion. Amnesty International lists further problems relating to human rights on its website, such as the mass detainment of 250 persons related to the United States-led War on Terror, the ill treatment of prisoners in prison, and the continued use of flogging and the death penalty.

It appears that elections have not changed the certain obstacles for allowing greater cooperation and integration among Muslims in the UAE and non-Muslims in the United States: Shar'ia is still the law of the land and Da'wa is a primary goal.
What is Da'wa? Da'wa is perpetual proselytizing of non-Muslims. (Notice that proselytizing by other faiths within the Emirates is a "religious crime.") Da'wa, rather than terrorism, is the big danger for non-Muslims for it creates the a change in culture and the climate for Shar'ia.

Da'wa is a long-term effort, but first the camel's nose must come under the tent. The operation of parts of six American ports is an additional six noses under the tent, a danger to non-Muslims and to certain Muslims residing in the United States that don't toe an ideological line.

Foreign operation of American ports is a security risk regardless of which country is involved for each and every country has an agenda to put forward its own interests. The interests of Muslim countries always includes that of Islam which is unfriendly and downright dangerous to non-Muslims.


  • At Wed Feb 22, 10:00:00 AM PST, Blogger Cubed © said…

    Yea, Eleanor!

    Bigot (from the Encarta dictionary): "Somebody who has bery strong opinions, especially on matters of politics, religion, or ethnicity and refuses to accept different views."

    Yup, that's me - I'm a bigot. Inasmuch as I have found out the truth - the correct identification of reality - about Islam, I will forever be "bigotted" about it.

    Being a "bigot" is not a bad thing if it means devotion to the truth. I wear that label with pride!

  • At Thu Feb 23, 10:32:00 AM PST, Blogger Eleanor © said…

    I am also proud to wear that label as well as that of Islamophobe, one who see's the inherent dangers of Islam and realizes that shying away from those dangers is not a phobia, nor bigotry, nor xenophobia, but commonsenical self-defense.


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