Monday, December 28, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
BBC reports that Haidar was taken to the hospital today in the Canary Islands, because she was suffering of "severe stomach and abdominal pain." This happens amidst reports that the whole stalemate is coming to a resolution as the Sahrwai activist may finally be on her way back to La'ayoune. According to POLISARIO Ambassador to Algeria, Ibrahim Ghali: “Effectively everything has been resolved, according to our information…a plane is at Lanzarote airport awaiting instructions.”
Haidar has been on a hunger strike for the last month at Lazarote Airport in the Canary Islands, after she was refused entry to Morocco through La'ayoune. Moroccan authorities maintain that Haidar refused to acknowledge her Moroccan citizenship on the airport entry documents, thus renouncing her citizenship. Haidar's case has sparked intense media and international attention. European countries have continued their efforts to pressure Morocco into re-issuing Aminatou Haidar's passport. The Haidar quagmire in the Canary Islands also travelled across the pond, where in the US, Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma recently issued a statement calling for a swift resolution to Haidar's hunger strike.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
It is clear that Morocco will continue to press its position amidst sheepish support from some in the EU and an overwhelming political and popular support, judging from comments on Moroccan press sites and blogs. However, if Haidar's health continues to worsen leading to her death, Morocco would find itself in a tight spot with Spain and the international community.
Haidar’s sit-in and hunger strike have already generated intense press coverage in Europe and the Maghreb. The Spanish Press has claimed that Morocco planned for the expulsion of Haidar even before she arrived in La'ayoune on November 13th. Thus, Haidar's alleged renunciation of her citizenship was just a pretext to get her expelled from Morocco.
The stalemate is embarrassing to Spain as well, since the events are unfolding within its territory sparking a fervent debate among the political elite in the kingdom. The socialist-led government of PM Zapatero is ardently looking for a swift resolution of the problem. Some in Spain have even called for tough diplomatic measures against Morocco, which at this point, is holding true to Mohammed VI's new tough dichotomous line of either you are "a patriot or a traitor" on the issue of the Western Sahara. Unfortunately for Aminatou Haidar, she is considered to be in the latter category as she has been labeled by Moroccan press, state and political elite as a conspirator against Morocco's territorial integrity.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Let me clearly say there is no more room for ambiguity or deceit: either a person is Moroccan, or is not. There can be no more duplicity or evading of duties. Now is the time for clear, unambiguous stances, and for responsible conduct. One is either a patriot, or a traitor. There is no halfway house. One cannot enjoy the rights and privileges of citizenship, only to abuse them and conspire with the enemies of the homeland.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
The author reviews two books, one of which is Tariq Ramadan's latest What I Believe. Ramadan felt compelled to write such a short book in order to explain his views on Islam, which he has articulated over the past 25 years. The reviewer advances Caroline Fourest's book Brother Tariq: The Doublespeak of Tariq Ramadan as a reference for criticizing Ramadan. However, that book should hardly serve as a reference. In a recent show on French TV France 3, Ramadan debated Fourest on her charges in the book, in which he found more than 200 citation errors and misquotes. It is also odd that the fervor against Ramadan and the charges of "doublespeak" seem to center around his lineage to maternal grandfather Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist father Said Ramadan. Do we need him to abjure his family ties to remove that specter of fundamentalism?
Ramadan has always been clear in his argument for promoting Ijtihad (interpretive reasoning), and for a new reading of Quranic and Hadithic texts in areas of social and interpersonal affairs. His much publicized call for a moratorium, during a debate with Nicholas Sarkozy in 2003, on corporal punishment, stoning and death penalty was an indication of an Islamologist's serious attempt to force Muslims to adopt a pedagogical stance towards their scripture when it does not pertain to creed or the fundamental beliefs of the religion.