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سوموار، 21 فروری، 2011

Mideast turmoil: Why Muslim rulers loot the nations?

What disturbs one is the fact that the Muslim rulers use Islam as a facade only to pursue their private goals, exploit the people, loot the nation`s resources and money laundering with full official immunity for all nefarious operations.Terrorism, introduced and supplied by the US-UK terror twins has come handy in their hands to pursue their private wealth interests.


By Dr. Abdul Ruff

That is to say Islam is employed by Muslim rulers as a powerful tool to defend their own interests. What disturbs one more is the fact that US imperialists and UK colonialists as well as Indo-Israeli fascist-fanatics skillfully exploit the funny selfish situation in Islamic world, including Mideast, to advance their own interests in the respective regions. This joint phenomenon indeed keeps the Muslim rulers corrupt and core criminals. Illegal assets The Muslim puppets like Zardari, Af Karzai and Iraqi Maliki and the like consider this a boon to pursue all illegal goals by immoral means. Similar logic applies to all Arab leaders who have amassed illegal wealth by swindling the state resources. They do so by offering bribes, like cricket mafia do, to the US-UK mafias and lobbyists authorised to protect the illegal assets of these Muslim rulers. They think they have special right for that. After all, they also offer formal prayers, you know! Mideast nations are being ruled by the most corrupt, anti-Islamic pro-West leaders who seek US-UK support for promoting their transnational capitals and they have no credible concern for Islam or Islamic law. All that they want is secured illegal wealth and free flow of foreign liquor, etc. In doing so, these so-called Muslims pretend they are better than their counterparts in Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism, etc. Uprisings in Arab world has exposed the extremely corrupt Muslim leaders who have amassed illegal wealth violating all rules and engaged in money laundering. What a shame the Muslim leaders, who are supposed to uphold decency and principles of equality just perform a few mere “formalities” like prayers or Haj but, behind the scene, commit liquor consumption, make illegal wealth by immoral means. They by looting the nation’s wealth in fact commit graver, more serious crimes than engaged in interest earnings. Populations across the Middle East and North Africa continue to express opposition to their respective governments, demanding political rights and pressing for economic gains, in an unprecedented wave of unrest and resistance. Hundreds of pro-democracy supporters were arrested in Algeria, as hopes of freedom swept the Arab world. The tiny island nation of Bahrain (population 1.2 million) witnessed a third day of major protests Wednesday, as demonstrators stood their ground against the regime of King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. Mounting protests Both Egypt and Tunisia, like Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan, were being ruled by such anti-Islamic rulers. The Tunisian upheaval began with anger over rising food prices, high unemployment and anger at official corruption - problems which have also left many people Egypt feeling frustrated and resentful of their leadership. Significant demonstrations have spread to other countries in the region, including Yemen, Jordan and Algeria. At least 219 people were killed during the uprising and a further 510 injured in the Jasmine revolution. It is thought that 72 people died in the country’s jails alone, 48 of them in Monastir prison. People are on the streets. The fall of Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has sent shockwaves throughout Africa and the Arab world. There were some self-immolations in Algeria, Egypt and Mauritania that sparked the Tunisian protests. Demonstrators have been protesting again today, demanding that the Ben Ali and Ghannouchi’s party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally, give up all power. The former president’s family is said to have made off with a certain amount of gold. Considering the economic failures in the country this is interesting! The transition regime has made some face-saving efforts to freeze or seize Ben Ali’s assets. A plane belonging to one of his sons-in-law was seized at Le Bourget airport in France. The Swiss authorities have seized a plane, too. European ministers agreed to freeze the assets of Ben Ali and his wife, Leila Trabelsi. But the couple remain in luxurious exile, with 1.5 tonnes of gold from the Tunisian reserves worth $56 million. In total, the family’s assets are estimated at $10 to $12 billion and are spread across numerous countries. They include interests in hotel chains, pharmaceuticals, car plants, tuna fishing, telecommunication, banking and insurance.

The family is thought to control 30 to 40 per cent of the Tunisian economy. Some 30 members of the family have been arrested and the valuables they were attempting to smuggle out of the country recovered. But the whereabouts of most of the wealth, which Ben Ali and his extended family looted from Tunisia over his 23 years in power, are unknown. Mubarak used the 18 days it took for protesters to topple him to shift his vast wealth into untraceable accounts overseas. The former Egyptian president is accused of amassing a fortune of more than £3 billion - although some suggest it could be as much as £40 billion - during his 30 years in power. It is claimed his wealth was tied up in foreign banks, investments, bullion and properties in London, New York, Paris and Beverly Hills. Swiss authorities announced they were freezing any assets Mubarak and his family may hold in the country’s banks while pressure was growing for the UK to do the same. Mubarak has strong connections to London and it is thought many millions of pounds are stashed in the UK. But a senior Western intelligence source claimed that Mubarak had begun moving his fortune in recent weeks. “We’re aware of some urgent conversations within the Mubarak family about how to save these assets,” said the source. The intelligence source suggested that 82-year-old Mubarak may have learnt the lesson of his fellow dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the former president of Tunisia, who was forced with his family into a hasty exile in Saudi Arabia while Swiss authorities froze the family’s bank accounts. The revelation came as the ruling military council, which took power as Mubarak stepped down on Friday, confirmed its pledge eventually to hand over power to an elected civilian government, although it did not set a date. It also reassured allies that Egypt will abide by its peace treaty with Israel, as it outlined the first cautious steps in a promised transition to elections and “to build a democratic free nation”. The military council’s spokesman, Gen Mohsen el-Fangari, appeared in front of a row of Egyptian military and national flags as he read a statement, proclaiming respect for the rule of law - a sign that the current system of emergency law may be ended. But demands were growing among protesters in Cairo last night for Mr Mubarak to be put on trial for corruption. The former president was at his family villa in the resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh. There were unconfirmed reports that he was effectively under house arrest, as the focus of protesters moved from toppling the hated ruler to seizing his fortune, although the army’s ruling council which is in charge of the country pending its transition to democracy said Mubarak was benign treated with due respect. In the knowledge his downfall was imminent, Mubarak is understood to have attempted to place his assets out of reach of potential investigators. There will have been some frantic financial activity behind the scenes. They can lose the homes and some of the bank accounts, but they will have wanted to get the gold bars and other investments to safe quarters.” The Mubaraks are understood to have wanted to shift assets to Gulf States where they have considerable investments already - and, crucially, friendly relations. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have frequently been mentioned as likely final destinations for Mubarak and possibly his family. During the protests last week, former deputy foreign minister Ibrahim Yousri and 20 lawyers petitioned Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, Egypt’s prosecutor general, to put Mubarak and his family on trial for stealing state wealth. Crowds in Tahrir Square were on Feb 16 hotly debating what to do with the disgraced former president, as protesters assembled themselves into clean-up squads to remove rubbish and cranes took away wrecked vehicles. The UK Treasury said it would have the power to seize Mubarak’s British assets if Egypt made a formal request - and no order had yet been made. When people are forced out of office, if they have money way beyond what they should have earned, then a country like Britain should freeze those assets pending a court action by the new government. “Given his and his family’s strong links to the UK, it is reasonable to assume at least some of his assets are here.” Reports emanating from Egypt claim that Mubarak had accounts with the Swiss bank UBS as well as with HBOS, now part of Lloyds Banking Group, which is 41 per cent owned by the British Government. But it is understood that Lloyds Bank officials have so far found no evidence Mubarak had secret accounts with them. Quite how much Mubarak has stashed away - and where he has hidden that fortune - in the past 30 years is open to speculation. His 69-year-old wife Suzanne Mubarak - known in some circles as the Marie Antoinette of Egypt - is half-Welsh while it is claimed the couple’s two sons Gamal and Alaa may even have British passports. The former president made his two sons the “go to” men for any companies that sought to do business in Egypt. Intelligence sources indicate that the Mubarak fortune may be most easily traced via the business dealings of Gamal Mubarak, 47. He once lived in a six-storey house in Belgravia in central London and worked in banking before setting up an investment and consulting firm in London. He resigned as a director of the company 10 years ago. Kefaya, an opposition coalition that emerged before the 2005 elections to oppose the then president and his plans to transfer power to Gamal, released a lengthy investigation into nepotism, corruption and abuse of power by the ex-president and his two sons. It said it was routine for businesses to be required to hand a cut - between 20 to 50 per cent - to Gamal or Alaa simply to set up shop. Favoured entrepreneurs who worked with the brothers were given virtual monopolies in return. The military regime is busy with a new Constitution work. Dealing with the former president will present a major challenge to Egypt’s first real democratic government, which is expected to be formed only after elections. The protesters promised to resume protests if the army does not show clear signs of allowing a transition to civilian rule. The people of Cairo were waking up to a very different world. After weeks of paralysis the economy is in chaos; expectations for the future have been raised dangerously high; and the revolution was so rapid that there is no leadership to offer a vision of a secure political future. The army was hugely supported by the people after promising to hand over power as soon as possible. The army was quick to promise to honour all existing treaties, including the crucial Camp David Accord with Israel. Hundreds of thousands filed through Tahrir Square, smiling soldiers let children climb onto, and even into, their tanks, and a sea of Egyptian flags waved over the heads of the crowd. Like Hosni Mubarak and his Egyptian coterie, Ben Ali and the rest of the Tunisian capitalists that remain, represent international finance capital, and Western governments are working overtime to re-establish puppet regimes that will maintain that mutually beneficial relationship. These rulers are not really the Muslims, but the hypocrites who cheat the people and mint money and make extra wealth by suing military, police and intelligence outfits. The anti-regime movements, among peoples oppressed by their own ruling elites in alliance with imperialism, have sent shockwaves even through Washington, London, Paris and the capitals of all the great powers. However, the western rulers pretend they cannot be affected at all. Perhaps, Arab nations like Saudi Arabia sees a western conspiracy to destabilize Muslim nations and replace Sunni leadership by Shiite one, as it has been done in Iraq. They suspect CIA harbouring the Islamic divide to achieve their anti-Islamic objectives. Does Islam authorise any ruler to loot their nation as birth rights or thinking that God has given them power only to loot the nation? Why don’t they believe they are also answerable? One would very much like to know is there any Muslim ruler in the entire Islamic world of 57 odd nations to claim that they are indeed ruling the nation according to Islamic faith and law and their objective is Islam and nothing else? NO? Not even one? If none of the Muslim nations can at least make a feeble claim, then, who else can be expected to do so- the anti-Islamic Americans or Britishers, Hindus or Israelis? The way and manner by which the pro-regime media, financed by the corrupt mafias, try to shield the corrupt autocracies is indeed awful and shameful.

abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com
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