Football, Women, Iran and Solidarity

Harry Barnes regrets that Iraq is not taking part in the World Cup but asks us to look at the plight of female football fans in Iran Some will feel that the national fervour that arises when the World Cup takes place has its downside. But in terms of building up feelings of national solidarity, it is a great pity that Iraq isn’t currently playing in Germany. In the absence of Iraq we can direct our attention to what is happening just over the Shatt al’ Arab river in Iran. Women are banned from attending male football matches. In June … Continue reading Football, Women, Iran and Solidarity

Arab world does not endorse fanatics

Hussein Ibish, the executive director of the Foundation for Arab-American Leadership writes much sense in the Chicago Tribune. He opposed the invasion of Iraq and writes convincingly that the battle against this form of (jihadist) extremism must be and increasingly is being fought by mainstream Arab and Muslim societies, although received wisdom in the United States has yet to recognize this. He notes that some activists are so focused on opposing U.S. interventions that they seem unable to grasp the profound menace this so-called jihadist movement poses to Arab and Muslim societies, two thoughts at the same time apparently being … Continue reading Arab world does not endorse fanatics

Assessing the strength of jihadism

Jason Burke The Observer Europe Editor and author of The Road to Kandahar examines why bin Laden is losing his war of terror. He concludes: But, even if it is impossible to say that we have won the war on terror, it is equally the case that the terrorists are not doing too well. Bin Laden’s strategy has not succeeded. The ‘awakening’ has not started – at least not yet. And that is not because of 500lb bombs dropped on militants in Baquba, useful in the short term though they might be, but because of the millions of ordinary men … Continue reading Assessing the strength of jihadism

Ann Clwyd on the oppression of Iraqi women by Islamic extremists in Basra

Ann Clwyd is interviewed about this after her recent trip to Iraq. Ms Clwyd, who returned after a week in Baghdad meeting women MPs, said: ” There is very great concern among women about the pressure put on them to wear the veil or the hijab. I have heard stories of women at the hairdressers being shot. I think there is pressure on women to conform. I really think it is up to the new Iraqi Government to try to get some agreement that women should be able to wear what they want.” She said: “The killing of al-Zarqawi gives … Continue reading Ann Clwyd on the oppression of Iraqi women by Islamic extremists in Basra

Why the Cabinet remains incomplete

A security clampdown would, under normal circumstances, be unpopular. For many Baghdad bloggers, however, a radical solution is needed to deal with both wings of the violence in their city. Healing Iraq comments that militia in the west of the city want the residents to return to 7th Century customs and laws, whilst using 21st Century weapons as their tools of persuasion. Another blogger attempted to make a film about this phenomenon for Newsnight, but found that most people were too scared to face a camera. Iraq The Model suggests that the delay in appointing three security-related cabinet posts serves … Continue reading Why the Cabinet remains incomplete


Iraqi Government demand answers. Denouncing what they called repeated acts of violence by American forces against innocent civilians, Iraqi leaders said today that they would demand that American officials turn over their investigative files on the Iraq deaths in Haditha as they vowed to conduct their own inquiry. Iraqi PM imposes new blitz on Basra. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has declared a one-month state of emergency in Basra, vowing to crush with an iron fist the death squads that have plunged the city into chaos. Residents unite against sectarian conflict Kurds, Turcomans and Christians from northern Iraq have established independent … Continue reading Newsround

News round-up

German Woman Plans Infant Suicide Bomber in Iraq, Michael Moore Faces Iraq War Lawsuit, Former Saddam Officers Fuel Al Qaeda Efforts, Whilst Terrorist Responsible For Hundreds of Beheadings Captured. (David Spector)