Archive for April 1st, 2008

Pakatan Rakyat – logical next step of March 8 political tsunami

Leaders of DAP, PKR and PAS met in Petaling Jaya today and took the logical next step of the March 8 political tsunami – proposing the establishment of a new front of the three political parties to be tentatively known as PAKATAN RAKYAT.

A joint statement issued after the meeting reads:

The leaders of KeADILan, DAP and PAS met today in furtherance of the meeting held on the 18th of March 2008.

Today’s meeting was attended by, among others, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, YB Lim Kit Siang, YB Dato’ Seri Tuan Guru Haji Abdul Hadi Awang and YB Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

In today’s meeting, we have proposed to consolidate the cooperation between the three parties under the name “PAKATAN RAKYAT”. This name has been proposed pending confirmation by the respective parties.

Pakatan Rakyat pledges to uphold the rights and interests of all Malaysians, regardless of religion or race, as enshrined in the Constitution.

With the results of the recent elections, the state governments of Kelantan, Kedah, Pulau Pinang, Perak and Selangor will be known as Pakatan Rakyat state governments. The policies of these governments will be conducted in accordance with the policies of Pakatan Rakyat. Read the rest of this entry »


International Muslim Media has to look at the Bigger Picture

By Farish A. Noor

As someone who studies the phenomenon of political Islam, I have, understandably, been reading much of the international Muslim press over the past few years. In particular I have focused on the International Islamist media- and by this I am referring to the newspapers, websites, journals and magazines produced by the many Islamist organisations, NGOs, political parties and social movements all over the world.

One factor that comes to mind immediately is how parochial and narrow the worldview of much of the international Islamist media has become. More often than not the reportage of world affairs, particularly by Islamist media in the non-Arab world, is focused more on the goings-on in Muslim societies and Arab-Muslim societies in particular. Reading through the material produced by the Islamist media in Pakistan, Malaysia and Indonesia for instance one learns more about the developments in Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, the Gulf states and Iran than anywhere else.

This does not mean to imply that the developments in these countries are not important, or that they are of no relevance to the development of Islamist movements in Asia or Africa or even Europe. But one does wonder how Islamists in Asia view the rest of the planet, and whether they realise that so much else is going on beyond the narrow frontiers of the Muslim world.

More troubling is that the view of the West is often shaped by the Islamist lens that they wear, and here again the ethnocentric and religio-centric biases of the Islamist press stands out in bold relief. We are all well acquainted by now with the controversy over the recently-released film Fitna by the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. But how many Islamist papers reported the fact that during the protests against the recent Gulf War more than half a million Berliners came out into the streets of Berlin to protest against the invasion of Iraq? And what about the other civil-society led demonstrations organised in London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Barcelona?

But perhaps the most troublesome thing about the Islamist media today is the impression it gives of being primarily and solely concerned with the affairs of the Muslim world alone; to the point where the overwhelming majority of the rest of the human race remains neglected and their stories remain untold. Yet if we were to look at the developments in the world since 11 September 2001 it should be clear to us all by now that many of the major geo-political shifts we have seen reflect and mirror many of the developments that we also see in the Muslim world. Read the rest of this entry »