Latest articles of Ziyoda Kurbanova Return of the Veil2013-01-08T15:42:36Z<p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/s3/photos%2F2013%2F01%2F10eb692bd2b15435.jpg" alt="Quiet Revolution" width="267" height="400" /></p> <blockquote> <p style="text-align: justify;">A Quiet Revolution: The Veil's Resurgence, from the Middle East To America, Leila Ahmed, Yale University Press, $30.00.</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: justify;">The <em>hijab</em> is back &ndash; on an increasing number of women&rsquo;s heads, and as a subject of public debate. This discussion is often premised on contentious and stereotypical images of veiled women as a reflection of Islamic oppression. To what extent is the veil&rsquo;s resurgence a reaction to these perceptions? Are there different meanings to the <em>hijab</em>? What do Muslim women &ndash; veiled and unveiled&ndash; have to say about their choices? These are just some of the questions that Harvard professor Leila Ahmed poses in <em>A Quiet Revolution</em>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ahmed provides an interesting historical analysis of the issues surrounding the <em>hijab</em> since the beginning of the 20th century, before exploring in detail the &ldquo;unveiling movement&rdquo; in Egypt. She then reflects upon the revival of Islam in the United States, and the different forms of activism that have emerged as a result. A key theme throughout is the connection between the reappearance of the <em>hijab</em> in the East and West. Ahmed argues that understanding the situation in Egypt &ndash; a non-Islamist society that went from unveiled to predominantly veiled society in less then 30 years &ndash; will help shed light on contemporary dynamics in the West.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the same vein, Ahmed demonstrates how religious movements are not static. They can transform across frontiers and generations &ldquo;and take root in environments where new social and political conditions open up new possibilities of belief, practice and interpretation.&rdquo;&nbsp;Ahmed&rsquo;s critical perspective on the politics of the veil in Egypt and the United States is a valuable contribution to the study of <em>hijab,</em>&nbsp;and, thus, to a better understanding of the status of women in Islam.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Z. K.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><span><a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">Subscribe</a>&nbsp;or order a copy of&nbsp;</span><em><a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">The Global Journal.&nbsp;</a></em></p>Between Ideology and Faith2012-10-29T18:49:21Z<p><img style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="/s3/cache%2F77%2F07%2F7707d90b96a505e11d3ae684732b40b8.jpg" alt="Islam and Islamism" width="393" height="580" /></p> <blockquote> <p>Islamism and Islam Bassam Tibi Yale University Press &pound;20.00.</p> </blockquote> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bassam Tibi, a prominent Islamic Reformist scholar has decided to conclude his 40 year academic career with an attempt to explain a significant distinction between Islamism as a highly political and ideological movement, and Islam as faith. In <em>Islamism and Islam</em>, Tibi provides an engaging interdisciplinary discussion about the incompatible nature of Islamism and Islam. To support this argument, Tibi opens with the assertion that Islamism &ldquo;is based not on the religious faith of Islam, but on an ideological use of religion within the political realm.&rdquo; He proceeds to make the bold statement that Islamism is totalitarian, undemocratic and anti-Semitic, whereas Islam is the complete opposite. In other words, the post 9/11 world is being shaped not by Islam, but by a &ldquo;politicized ideology.&rdquo; Misunderstanding this may have serious consequences for grasping the new global &ldquo;challenge of irregular warfare,&rdquo; and as a result for preventing the expansion of fundamentalist ideology. Although the book is highly controversial, and is likely to face substantial criticism from target audiences in the West and members of the Ulema, there seems to be a light of hope that the arguments presented may spur &ldquo;inter-civilizational&rdquo; dialogue between the West and liberal-civil Islam in setting the global security agenda. However, Tibi&rsquo;s somewhat na&iuml;ve attempt to bring the world&rsquo;s bipolar constituencies together in dealing with Islamism &ndash; the inherently alien ideology to Islam &ndash; still remains unclear.</p> <p style="text-align: right;">&ndash;Z. K.</p>42 Killed, 40 Arrested in Deadly Clashes in Southeast Tajikistan2012-07-26T10:49:42Z<p style="text-align: justify;">At least 42 people have been killed and 40 arrested as a result of a special military operation in Khorugh, Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province of Tajikistan, officials reported (24 July). The deadly fighting erupted after supporters of the former opposition commander were accused of the murder of the region&rsquo;s top security official.</p> <p><img style="float: left; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" src="/s3/cache%2F0c%2Fe1%2F0ce1739afe73c678c76d1b24c16adfd6.jpg" alt="Khorugh" width="334" height="500" /></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The clashes occurred three days after the fatal stabbing of General Abdullo Nazarov, Regional Head of the State Committee for National Security. Few details have come to light aside from the knowledge that a group of attackers stabbed him to death in the outskirts of Khorugh, a small town on the border with Afghanistan. With almost no time for a proper investigation, authorities have pinned the killing on a group headed by Tolib Ayombekov, a former opposition commander.&nbsp;<br /><br />&ldquo;On July 21st, the group brutally murdered General Abdullo Nazarov, the regional head of the State Committee for National Security,&rdquo; Nozirjon Buriev, spokesperson for the State Committee for National Security, told <a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">RFE/RL</a>. &ldquo;The armed, illegal group led by Ayombekov has, over the years, been involved in drug trafficking and also tobacco smuggling and the trafficking of minerals. It has also committed numerous, serious crimes.&rdquo;&nbsp;<br /><br />Ayombekov has claimed the accusations were groundless, asserting that Nazarov died as a result of getting into a drunken argument at a local bar in a town near Khorugh. &ldquo;He fell and knocked his head against a rock. It was a lethal injury.&rdquo;&nbsp;<br /><br />No information exits concerning the exact number of casualties suffered amongst the local population. A <a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">BBC report</a> (24 July) suggested that the number of military personnel and civilians killed in clashes exceeded 200. All means of communications remain cut off after more than 40 hours, leaving people in Khorugh and their friends and families in complete isolation.&nbsp;<br /><br />The President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, ordered a cease-fire&nbsp;(25 July). In the meantime, tentative reports have indicated that 300-400 people gathered in Khorugh Central Square seeking an end to the fighting, and asking for the opportunity to collect dead and wounded people from the streets.&nbsp;<br /><br /><span style="color: #888888;">Photo &copy; Ziyoda Kurbanova for The Global Journal.</span></p>Clinton's Apologies Reopen Pakistani Corridor for NATO Trucks2012-07-25T17:26:28Z<p style="text-align: justify;">The first truck with supplies to the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan has crossed Pakistan - Afghanistan border today (July 5). This happened after the United States delivered an official apology for the deaths of 24 Pakistani solders killed in NATO airstrike November 2011.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">"We are sorry for the losses suffered by the Pakistani military. We are committed to working closely with Pakistan and Afghanistan to prevent this from ever happening again" said the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a phone call to the Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Tuesday (July 3). Soon after Mrs Clinton&rsquo;s official statement, Pakistan reopened its transport corridor with Afghanistan to allow the NATO supply trucks through its territory.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The move will reportedly improve bilateral ties between the two countries, which has historically been at a low. For the United States, which has been looking for alternative communication routes primarily through Central Asia, the resumption of the Pakistani transport corridor could significantly reduce its federal military spending.&nbsp;The cargo supply through alternative routes has added $100 million to the monthly military spending. In view of upcoming military withdrawal from Afghanistan, the amount of spending could have been significantly increased if the United States and Pakistan would not have resumed the official ties.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">While the United States clearly benefits from the resumed transport corridor, the gains for Pakistan are yet to be revealed.</p>$16 Billion to Sustain Afghanistan's Post-NATO Future2012-07-09T17:38:17Z<p style="text-align: justify;">Major donor countries pledged $16 billion in development aid to help Afghanistan sustain its progress to date at the Tokyo Conference (8 July). Their main concern is to prevent economic and security relapses following the 2014 withdrawal of NATO forces.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Although situation in Afghanistan has significantly changed since the first Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan (2001), the country remains fragile, said Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon added: &ldquo;failure to invest in governance, justice, human rights, employment and social development could negate investment and sacrifices that have been made over the last 10 years.&rdquo;&nbsp;<br /><br />The funds are pledged on several conditions requiring substantial reforms. In the first place, donors require improving financial governance to fight the widespread economic corruption in the country. Further, Afghanistan will need to promote democratic principles. &ldquo;That must include fighting corruption, improving governance, strengthening the rule of law, increasing access to economic opportunity for all Afghans, especially for women,&rdquo; said United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.<br /><br />In the meantime, 14 civilians and seven NATO military personnel were killed in a weekend (July 8) roadside bombings in eastern and southern Afghanistan.&nbsp;<br /><br />(Photo &copy; AFP)</p>Uzbekistan Quits Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization2012-06-30T17:48:02Z<p style="text-align: justify;">In an official note (June 28) to the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), Uzbekistan declared suspension of its membership in the CSTO. The decision to withdraw from the Russian-led security agreement reportedly related to Uzbekistan&rsquo;s intentions to improve its bilateral ties with the United States. Among other reasons, Uzbekistan authorities claim that they are not satisfied with the CSTO&rsquo;s strategic vision vis-&agrave;-vis Afghanistan and with strengthening military cooperation between CSTO member states.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It should be noted that Uzbekistan has suspended its participation in the CSTO for the second time; the first withdrawal in 1999 made a way for the US to set up its military air base in the South East Uzbekistan. In 2005 after Uzbek President&rsquo;s order to close the military base, Uzbekistan returned to the CSTO. The present move can be seen as in that Uzbekistan is interested in having the US military presence back in its territory.&nbsp;<br /><br />While the CSTO is yet to come with an official response, some experts believe that the withdrawal will help the country to revive its bilateral relations with the United States, particularly with the latter&rsquo;s withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. The pretext for the Uzbekistan&rsquo;s decision to quite CSTO was set by the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visit to Uzbekistan in October 2011, when both sides discussed the state of human rights in Uzbekistan and situation in Afghanistan. The following visit to Uzbekistan of the Third Army Commander, Lt. General Vincent Brooks in November 2011 was to discuss the military equipment transfer that the US forces currently use in Afghanistan. The cooperation, according to Brooks, &ldquo;could benefit both countries, Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, with the excess of US equipment from the war.&rdquo;&nbsp;<br /><br />The CSTO was established in 1992 to ensure territorial and economic security of its member states, which now include Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. Besides Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Georgia also withdrew from the alliance.&nbsp;</p>