x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Mousavi takes brave stance in politics

In a comment piece for the London-based daily Al Sharq Al Awsat, Abdul Rahman al Rashed wrote: "Mir Hossein Mousavi is the second man in the history of modern Iran after the late Ayatollah Khomeini to lead a popular opposition movement that has rumbled Tehran.

In a comment piece for the London-based daily Al Sharq Al Awsat, Abdul Rahman al Rashed wrote: "Mir Hossein Mousavi is the second man in the history of modern Iran after the late Ayatollah Khomeini to lead a popular opposition movement that has rumbled Tehran. He staunchly took the election challenge and firmly rejected fraudulent poll results. And now he defies the instructions of the supreme leader.

"What is unique about Mousavi is his courage. He is different from other reformists, namely Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammed Khatami, who have tried to oppose the regime but refrained from doing so after it showed its claws. "Mousavi has emerged politically strong, but also attractive to hundreds of thousands of youths and millions of Iranians who rejected the re-elected president and dashed the hopes of Khatami and other opposition figures. Yet his attitude towards the president and the supreme leader does not mean he is revolting against the regime altogether. Mousavi after all is the by-product of the revolution and the system. He supports many of Iran's sovereign ambitions, including the nuclear programme." Mousavi is simply a liberal Islamist who defends the fundamentals of the system, but he loathes the present leadership. His daring stance has exposed him to the ruling elite, which can at anytime target him in person.

"The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has linked the establishment of a Palestinian state with recognising the Jewish status of Israel. Netanyahu's speech coincided with the draft law adopted by the Knesset that punished anyone who would deny the Jewish character of Israel," wrote Dr al Sayed ould Bah in the UAE daily Al Ittihad.

This is not a novel issue in the Israeli political discourse despite the huge fuss made over the latest remarks. What is striking in fact is that a new stream of thought has called into question the very fundamental Zionist ideals on which the state of Israel was founded. Referring to many historians, the writer went on to describe the Jewish identity as being artificial, which only lately crystalised during the 19th century following the rise of nationalist sentiments in Europe.

In the process, Judaism, a varied and rich religious tradition, has been converted into a new concept for a "homogeneous people" whose unity is based on race and mentality while common land, language and history are seen as minor considerations. Thus, a kind of religious narrative has crept into the ideological register of the Zionist movement to be a tactical framework for constructing the Israeli identity and therefore provide reasons for finding a common land. The writer concludes that Netanyahu has followed the same tactic to further legitimise the exclusion of the non-Jewish community.

We have previously warned against bogus academic certificates and criticised solutions that have been put forward by the educational committee at the national assembly, such as stopping students from registering at some universities, wrote Dr Badr Daihaani in the Kuwaiti daily Al Jarida. "Those measures were assessed as less than efficient. But, whereas the state cannot restrict students from studying abroad as long as they do so at their own expense, it can decide about accrediting universities."

"We suggested creating an independent commission for academic accreditation to oversee certification of academic programmes offered by Arab and international universities as well as by national private universities.While waiting to establish that commission, the government has undertaken inspection visits to some private universities in some Arab and foreign countries. Consequently the ministry of higher education issued a decision to restrict entry to some foreign universities."

But students can circumvent this by registering at other weak universities which are not blacklisted. As a solution, the writer proposed laying down international accreditation standards to gauge the quality of foreign higher education institutions. Meanwhile, the ministry needs urgently to prepare a list of academic programmes of foreign universities accredited by international accreditation associations.

Iraq has recently witnessed a strings of bombings that revealed the fragile political and security situation of the country on the eve of changes in security redistribution in light of the imminent retreat of allied forces from cities and residential areas, reported an editorial in the UAE daily Al Bayan. "These terrorist attacks are not something new. They occurred in the past and most of them hit very sensitive targets in order to stir sedition."

Yesterday's bombing near Kirkuk was aimed at prolonging internal conflict and obstructing a smooth transition of control. This turning of events is reminiscent of the "black days" of terror, but also shows the security weaknesses which will prevent the country from recovering its full sovereignty. "Unfortunately Iraq is still plunging down a whirlpool of political crisis." The current situation is caused by the lax attitude of every political actor regarding the introduction of constitutional reforms, and as a consequence the national reconciliation process is stalled. There is a fear now as Iraq assumes more responsibility over its security that it will be challenged by such a dire political crisis. It is urgent to mobilise the efforts of all actors to stop any new signs of sedition.

melmouloudi@thenational.ae