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IOS Minaret Vol-1, No.1 (March 2007)
Vol. 9    Issue 16   01-15 January 2015

Minaret Research Network

European Parliament Votes to Support Palestinian State

On December 17, 2014, European Parliament in Strasbourg voted 198 to 88 with 111 abstentions, to support “in principle, the recognition of Palestinian statehood.” European Parliament also reiterated its strong support for the “two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the common capital of both states with the secure state of Israel and an independent and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security on the basis of the right of self-determination and full respect for international law.” The resolution reiterates that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

EU Reverses Ruling on Hamas as Terrorist Organisation

Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, has been in the European list of terrorist organizations since 2001. In a significant move, the General Court of the European Union, the EU’s second highest court, on December 17, 2014 reversed the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Palestinian Resolution Rejected by UN Security Council

The United Nations Security Council on December 30, 2014 rejected a resolution, submitted by Jordan with the support of 22 Arab states and Palestinian Authority, calling for Israel to fully withdraw from all occupied Palestinian territories by the end of 2017 and for a comprehensive peace deal to be reached within a year. The motion also called for new negotiations to take place based on territorial lines that existed before the 1967 war.

Of the 15 members of the Security Council, 8 members, namely, Russia, China, France, Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan and Luxembourg, voted in favour of the resolution. Predictably, the US and Australia voted against it, while the UK, Lithuania, Nigeria, the Republic of Korea and Rwanda abstained. The resolution needed the support of at least 9 members. Even if the motion had received the support of 9 members, the US would have used its veto power to scuttle the resolution, as it has persistently done in the past.

Escalating Sectarian Strife in Yemen

The sectarian conflict in Yemen has intensified in recent weeks and has assumed alarming proportions. Following the takeover of Sanaa by the Houthi rebels, car explosions and suicide bombings have become increasingly frequent in several provinces. On December 31, 2014 more than 30 Shia fighters were killed in a suicide bombing in central Yemen by suspected al-Qaeda militants.

Desecration of Mosques in the Netherlands

Racist and Islamophobic sentiments in the Netherlands show no sign of abating. Such sentiments are being reinforced by far-right political parties and extremist groups. Geert Wilders, a leader of the far-right Freedom Party in the Netherlands, makes no secret of his hatred for Islam and Muslims. He calls Islam “the ideology of a retarded culture”. He has carried out a vicious campaign against the Quran, comparing it to Hitler’s Mein Kampf and telling Dutch Muslims that if they wish to stay on in the country, they should tear up half of their holy book. Wilders set up an “International Freedom Alliance” in July 2010, with the twin objectives of “defending freedom and stopping Islam.”

Dozens of mosques across the country have been attacked by extremist groups. Women with face-covering veils are often subjected to verbal abuse and racist slur. During the past ten years, more than one-third of the Netherlands’ 475 mosques have been desecrated and vandalized by far-right and extremist groups. Acts of desecration include arson, placing of pigs’ heads in the premises and spray-painting racist and neo-Nazi graffiti on the walls and doorstep of mosques.

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