I strongly believe that there are Muslims in United States, who got truly integrated into American society, who accepted American values, American Constitution, American law. I have never believed that word “Muslim” might be equal to the word “terrorist”. I have never automatically associated Muslims with terrorism. But I am agianst emotions in politics. I do not believe politicians who play on people’s emotions. It reminds me of a kind of emotional blackmail, emotional sabotage. There is something dishonest in ostentatious expressing emotions by politicians. At once one may suspect them of PR tricks. Even though I must confess that the Mohammed Salman Hamdani’s story is really moving, but I am not politician, I have a right to display my emotions, I do not attend at a serious public debate. I think that ordinary people, ordinary citizens have more rights in this field. Politicans on hearings, participiating in this kind of public debates, do not have such a right. They are obliged to argue, to present their views in sensible, logic, extremely cold way. Emotions in such cases make debate useless, dishonest and a kind of a show, they do not lead to truth, which may be accepted by all participants.
Today I came across an interesting article by Amy Knight on Russia and North Caucasus. And since I have been working with refugees from that part of the world I resolved to write a short comment on this topic:
I have been working with refugees from Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia since July 2006 and met among them many people, who have never supported terrorist attacks. They just look for peace and possibility of normal life.
The problem of North Caucasus poses not only high rate of unemployment, so called “zachistki”(sweep operations), murders, but also illegal apprehensions, rapes, tortures, extremely interrogations. This is everydal life in North Caucasus. Ramzan Kadyrov obtained from Vladimir Putin cart balnche and can do all what he wishes. If he or his people will like a girl, the just take her, if they want to shoot to women who do not wear headscarves, they just do it.
Pushing Chechens, Dagestani or Ingush people towards terrorism – in my opinion – has two reasons: strategic interests of Russian government in North Caucasus and lack of interest of the Western World in this part of the world.
Let’s recall the first and the beginning of the second of the so called Chechen – Russian wars. Chechens fought for independent country, they even had a democratic, secular constitution. In the second war Aslan Maschadov was a moderate, relatively liberal president, who also fought for independence, not for muslim state. But the second world is much more pereceived as a war for Emirate of North Caucasus. Fundamentalist muslims started appearing in Chechnya, common people got to radicalize. It is no wonder. Each long, cruel war must demoralize and change people to the worse. Chechens got disappointed with Western World, they counted that this mytical Western World would support them, not in military way (even though some might have thought that even in a military way), but mainly with political measures. But id did not happen so. They felt abandoned by democratic world, international community and turned to the muslim fundamentalists. And fundamentalists understood that situation very well, they just waited for such course of the events.
I have no idea what may be the way to untie that real Gordian Knot. Addressing of unemployment, poverty may be not enough. As long as there are fighters in mountains and woods, “zachistki”, murders, tortures, illegal apprehensions will continue. It is not enough to give these people employment and money, there are young men who support muslim fighrers because of religious reasons and , whom you just cannot buy. And we should remember thar so many evil happned in North Caucasus and continues to happen that “blood revenge” so strongly rooted in Chechen society may never have an end. I hope I am mistaken.
It is still difficult to understand anti – Israeli and anti – American stance of many European politicians. Comparing the present situation of Israeli Arabs to situation of Jews during Holocaust is the most nonsense thing, which one could imagine. It means that persons who aplly such a comparision do not understand meaning of the term “holocaust” and appear to be ignoramus.
Arab – Israeli conflic is not black and white one, there is not one party which is absolutely good and the second one – absolutely bad, as many European leftists see that, they perceive Israelis as a bad guys and Arabs as an exclusively persecuted victims.
Israelis have a right to possess their own state, and so do Palestinians. But it is absolutely unimaginable to tolerate such a situation when some groups of raidcal Palestinians demand destruction of Israel or in their fight for statehood resort to terrorism and attack innocent civilians.
It pleases me much that Polish government, especially president Lech Kaczynski so unambiguously supports politics of Israeli government. In an interview which he gaved last Saturday to the one of the mot important Polish dailies (“Rzeczpospolita”) he stated that Poles because of its historic and cultural ties whit Jews are lively interested in good relations between these two nations.
I belong to these people who – maybe naivly and sentimentally – believe in brotherhood between nations. I myself live in a town (Bialystok, north eastern Poland), where still live many nations – Poles, Belarussians, Tatars, Russians, descendants of Germans, where coexist different cultures and religions – Catholics, Orthodox faithful, Muslims, Protestants, and traces of the past are visible – former Jewish synagogues, houses, cemetaries.
When I have more free time I will translate that interview with president Lech Kaczynski, in which he spoke so much about Polish – Jewish common history, common national heros, poets, writers. Jewish presence in Poland counts about 800 years, so it is no wonder that these two nations are so close to each other. There is no other possibility than true, deep and sincere reconciliation of Poles and Jews. And it is a good news that Poland appears to be one of the most reliable Israel’s allies.
Recently Slovakians were celebrating 20th anniversary of the Candle Manifestation.
On the 25th March 1988 more than 2.000 people gathered in “Hviezdoslavovo námestie” – main square in Bratislava to show their internal freedom, freedom from fear, from communist terror. They held in their hands fired candles.
In Slovakia opposition was grounded in and supported by Catholic Church, unlike in Czech Republic, most members of Slovakian opposition were catholics, whom supported part of Catholic Church hierarchy. After the Second World War Slovakian catholics were severely persecuted by communist regime.
After the long period of apathy connected to suppressing the “Prague spring” in 1968 – prodemocratic movement on behalf of the real freedom, Slovakian society dared to show their stance toward communist government. They started to demand real religious freedom, preventing the government from interference in the internal matters of the Catholic church and last but not least – obeying the human rights by the state.
As in many other similar manifestations in communist countries militia extremely brutally dispersed peaceful demonstration with using truncheons, water cannons, many demonstrators were cruelly beaten. Afterwards Slovakian secret service started apprehensions on a large scale. Many manifestation’s participants were persecuted for their brave behaviour.
Let’s pay tribute to all members of that manifestation, all persons engaged in democratic movement and persecuted in Slovakia during communist period.
******* All the pictures above were taken from the website of Slovakian magazine “Tyzden” – http://www.tyzden.sk
Brutally supressed democratic, peaceful manifestation in Minsk on 25th March 2008 commemorating the 90th anniversary of The Belarus’ Declaration of Independence; cruely beaten young people in the streets, some of them forcefully packed to the buses, arrested, persecutions of independent journalists – these events make up picture of today Belarussia.
Have Belarussians obtained proper attention from the world? It seems that answer should sound “no”. What is the reason of such a state? Is it conviction of international community that Aleksander Lukashenko has a real support of majority of Belarussians? During several conversations with Belarussians who came to Poland I heard that this support is doubtful. In their opinion Lukashenko is supported mainly in villaeges, but in towns it is not so obvious. Young, well educated people are against him, they want to live in democratic country, they want to travel without limits, without borders, like their peers from European Union or even from Russia. But do they have enough strength to overthrow Lukasekno’s regime? And it seems that majority of Belarussian society lives in the countryside – it is natural electorate of Lukashenko.
Maybe world has lost interest in Belarussia, because similarly to Russia’s case it does not believe in the society’s will to accept the human rights in these both countries? Or maybe it does not want to irritate Russia which considers Belarussia its natural sphere of interest and influence?
Below I publish pictures of regime officials responsible for cruel suppression of manifestation in Minsk taken from Belarussian portal http://www.charter97.org
One of them – Dimitrij Pavlichenko is suspected by international community of abductions and murders of Belarussian opposition’s leaders – Jurij Zacharenko, Victor Gonchar, Belarussian businessman and social activist – Anatolij Krasovski, and independent journalist – Dmitrij Zavadzki.
On 25th March 1918 Belarussians proclaimed the Belarus’ Declaration of Independence. Today, democraticly inclined Belarussians commemorate 90th anniversary of this very important event in their history.
I suppose there are going to be riots, clashes between the participants of the opposition manifestations and governement forces in the streets of Minsk. I have no doubts, no illusions, there won’t be any breakthrough today. Aleksander Lukashenko will not resign even in close future.
But I hope that one day Belarussians will gain a real democratic state. I live only 50 kilometres from border with Belarussia and would like to see the day when this border gets open, open like borders between members states of European Union. I hope one day I will be able to go by my bike to Belarussia without passport and cross the border without soldiers stopping me on the checkpoint.
And the most important thing – I would like to see the day when Belarussians get able to choose thier own governemnt in democratic way and the day when they could openly call their state – “this is really our country where we feel well” and also say: “We live in a country where we can influence our lives and state’s matters. We are not afraid, we are not terrorized, we do not live in fear.”
If I am mistaken with regard to political and social situation concerning Belarussia, let someone put me right.