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Afghanistan and Syria: Even funeral processions are attacked by FSA and the Taliban

Afghanistan and Syria: Even funeral processions are attacked by FSA and the Taliban

Joachim de Villiers and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

 

The Taliban and Free Syrian Army (FSA) have much in common when it comes to car bombs, attacking funeral processions and beheading people. In recent times the brutal nature of the Taliban and FSA can be seen by scores of people being killed during funeral processions by both terrorist forces. Neither the Taliban nor the FSA respect the living or the dead instead they both spread their hatred to every fabric of society which is deemed permissible to attack.

Organizations and wealthy individuals in Saudi Arabia and Qatar who sponsor terrorism will share much in common with both the FSA and the Taliban. After all, these terrorist organizations are deemed to be “the soldiers of Sunni Islamic jihad” within the stark militancy of the countries where funding is easily obtained.

Of course, with the vast majority of individuals who did September 11 coming from Saudi Arabia alongside the largest forces of international Islamists fighting in Iraq coming from the same country; then the Saudi connection to international terrorism is more than obvious. At the same time both Saudi Arabia and Qatar are spreading the dangerous Salafi ideology whereby other Muslims are deemed to be infidels like non-Muslims. This means that other Muslims and non-Muslims are deemed to be subhuman and worthy of slaughter providing Islamist clerics sanction this murder.

The mass contradiction of spreading hatred to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Mali, Somalia and a host of other nations, doesn’t apply to the policies of individuals and organizations which fund Salafi indoctrination and terrorism. On the contrary, the mass contradiction applies to nations like America, France and the United Kingdom which deem the same terrorist forces to be either friends or foes depending on the given situation.

Therefore, while the nation of Syria is on the frontline of protecting secularism, the rights of women and protecting all religious minorities against the forces of terrorism and Islamist ideology. The hypocrites in Washington, London and Paris are on the same side of the brutal forces of Islamist terrorism, car bombing, sectarianism and other evil deeds against the government of Syria. Yet in Afghanistan, the very same nations which supported Islamist terrorism in the 1980s and early 1990s are now fighting the same forces they once supported. It is this schizophrenic policy which is most alarming because these Western powers clearly have no morals.

Given this reality, it is now open season against the government of Syria. This means that car bombings, killing minorities, attacking funeral processions, killing journalists and other brutal deeds by the FSA and Islamist factions like al-Qaeda; are all glossed over and manipulated by language and a compliant media which is also inciting hatred. However, for the people of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria (and other nations) it is clear that all terrorist attacks are evil and should be condemned. Not only this, all ratlines which are maintaining the flow of funding brutal terrorist organizations like the FSA, al-Qaeda and the Taliban should be eradicated where it is possible. However, when it comes to Syria it is clear that nations like America, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, the United Kingdom and France are enabling these Islamist and terrorist ratlines to spread their sectarian hatred to the people of Syria.

The latest Islamist terrorist attacks against funeral processions and ceremonies in Nangarhar (Afghanistan) and Jaramana (Syria) which is a suburb which is mainly Druze and Christian; highlights the brutal reality of Islamist terrorism whereby nothing is sacred. The FSA in Syria and its Islamist cohorts were behind the brutal attack in Damascus in the suburb of Jaramana. Meanwhile, the Taliban was behind the brutal carnage in Nangarhar whereby at least 25 civilians have perished. However, for policy makers in Washington, London and Paris then clearly they are in a flux and rely on the mass media to manipulate reality.

After all, how can world leaders in America, France and the United Kingdom condemn the brutal terrorist attack in Afghanistan but remain silent about the same crime in Syria because it was done by FSA forces they support? Islamists clearly have no principles when it comes to killing innocents but sadly the same can be said for political leaders who govern in Washington, London and Paris. After all, nobody expects morality to come out of Saudi Arabia under its brutal monarchy which supports killing all apostates and child marriage to old men. Yet why are democratic nations being dragged down to the same depravity which is spreading so much evil far and wide?

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

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Tokyo to decline by more than half by 2100: truth or scaremongering?

Tokyo to decline by more than half by 2100: truth or scaremongering?

Kanako Itamae, Pierre Leblanc and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Once more depressing figures released indicate the demise of Tokyo and Japan by 2100 whereby the population will be beyond recognition of what it is today. This is the stark warning according to another dramatic survey which can only see a static and moribund Japan which refuses to implement real social policies.

One interesting aspect of the survey which is negated is the reality of “a secular society” being over reliant on modernity, materialism, abortion and other aspects of the “new world.” It is clear that Japan does face major problems related to the birth rate and this latest survey relates to this. At the same time issues related to communication issues, hikikomori (social withdrawal), suicide and other areas of a social meltdown needs to be focused on.

Of course, issues related to long working hours, high cost of child rearing, new modern approaches to life and other complex factors; are all tearing apart at the declining birth rate in this country. Sadly, the Japanese government appears reluctant to help people who desire to have more than one or two children but who feel burdened to do so because of the financial hardship that this entails.

According to this bleak survey which was taken by seven academics and a number of bureaucrats, the population of Tokyo will decline to 7.13 million in 2100 from the current mark of over 13 million people. This is indeed dramatic because Tokyo and other major cities like Osaka and Nagoya are the backbone of this nation. Unlike many rural areas which are already suffering from declining populations.

Also, this will not be the end of the hollowing out because in 2100 it is predicted that the over 65 age group will account for roughly 45 per cent of the total population of Tokyo. This would indicate an even more severe crisis long after 2100 which would see the continuing demise of Tokyo and Japan itself.

According to alarming figures released by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, the overall decline of the population of Japan will be massive by 2100. Currently the population in 2012 is just over 127 million. However, according to the above institute this figure will decline rapidly to 49.59 million by 2100 based on current trends.

Despite this, it is difficult to believe that future governments will not do anything in order to alter the current birth rate crisis. Also, tinkering with immigration would help greatly in the short-term while refocusing on ways to help families afford to have more children. At the same time internal social movements may respond to the current declining population because the strains on the economy will be enormous if something isn’t done to alter the current situation.

In the past Japan was written off in many areas but despite this it is clear that this nation is helping the international community in many ways. This notably applies to helping the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, economic aid to developing nations and assisting the European Union during the current economic crisis.

If any nation can find a way to solve the many complex issues it faces, then Japan is a nation which can reinvent itself quickly. Therefore, while the current analysis applies to the reality of today, it doesn’t mean that the same reality will apply in the future.

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Japan

 

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Remembering the fashion sector after the tragic tsunami which killed over 19,000 people

Remembering the fashion sector after the tragic tsunami which killed over 19,000 people 

Michel Lebon, Sarah Deschamps and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The events of March 11, 2011, in Japan will forever be etched into the memory of this nation because of the utter devastation that followed. Over 19,000 people perished because of the tsunami which followed the 9.0 magnitude earthquake. Therefore, this event is now embedded within the psyche of Japan and this applies to both the trauma and the response to such devastation.

Internationally, countless nations supported Japan and likewise individuals, charities, organizations and various sectors gave generously to help the people who were hit the hardest. The fashion industry within Japan and outside of this country also supported the people of Tohoku. Likewise, the nuclear shadow meant that many people in the surrounding areas were also worried about this aspect. Given this reality, local fashion companies in Tokyo and other cities provided not only material support but also emotional support.

In Tokyo for example you had the Mighty Harajuku Project which was the brainchild of Sebastian Masuda (6% DOKIDOKI). While internationally powerful fashion houses responded to the tsunami in many different ways in order to support the people of Japan.

Often the fashion industry is portrayed to be “one dimensional” but clearly this sector is far from “one dimensional.” On the contrary, many within the fashion sector responded with care and sincerity. Giorgio Armani, and many other famous people within the fashion sector, showed the “heart of fashion” to the people of Japan.

Indeed, the deep shock of the tsunami and the enormous loss of life encouraged Giorgio Armani to show his deep respect of Japan. He did this during the Paris Fashion Week show in July of last year. During this major fashion event Giorgio Armani incorporated aspects of Japanese culture within his adorable designs.

In an earlier article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that “Funds being donated by Armani are much appreciated and the same applies to other famous fashion designers who have done so much to support the people of Japan. Often people only see a single dimension towards fashion and this applies to enhancing beauty.”

“Armani’s exclusive haute couture collection (Fall/Winter 2011-2012) during the Paris Fashion Week highlighted the rich heritage of Japan.  His amazing designs focused on dresses being based on the kimono-style, elegant floral prints on exquisite silk, kanzashi, elements of geisha, and other unique images of Japanese symbols were fused within the stunning Armani collection.”

It may appear that fashion and the tsunami are a million miles apart and in terms of what happened on this tragic day, then this is true. However, in other areas both events came together because fashion helped many people during the psychological stress process and lack of confidence related to the nuclear crisis. Therefore, fashion for many people was “therapeutic” and a way of fighting back against so much trauma and despondency.

Financially, then all economic support was welcomed because many communities were devastated by the brutal tsunami. Alongside the financial aspect was a feeling that other people all over the world truly cared about the plight of people who had been hit the hardest. Once more this helped in the area of psychology.

In the past Japan had been a place for famous international brands to “make hay” and since this tragic event the fashion sector is once more buzzing in this country. In this sense, many international fashion companies and individuals were highlighting their deep appreciation related to past and current connections which remain strong. Giorgio Armani commented that he had been “profoundly moved by the tragic events” related to March 11, 2011.

Giorgio Armani’s fashion show titled the Hommage au Japon meant that his entire fashion collection highlighted the natural beauty of Japanese culture within amazing styles. This genuine warmth was appreciated deeply within the fashion sector in Japan and among lay people who adore the fashion sector. Like usual, the collection highlighted the panache of the individual who created such a stunning fashion display.

Overall, many within the international fashion sector showed their love of Japan by providing many different types of support. This applies to economic support, psychological factors, a collective feeling of humanity, showing the people of Japan that they weren’t alone during this tragic period and in other vital areas.

 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

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Tokyo fashion in Ikebukuro: the buzz of Ikebukuro fashion and Miu Miu

Tokyo fashion in Ikebukuro: the buzz of Ikebukuro fashion and Miu Miu

Sarah Deschamps, Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Ikebukuro is awash with fashion and in the last few years this part of Tokyo is re-inventing itself when it comes to stylish boutiques. Therefore, the opening of Miu Miu in the famous Seibu Department Store in late 2011 is mere confirmation that powerful boutiques view Ikebukuro in such a favorable light. This trend continues in 2012 and clearly this district is on “the fashion map” within Tokyo because of the buzzing fashion scene on both the east and west side.

It must be remembered that Ikebukuro train station is the second busiest in Japan and every week millions of people pass through this part of Tokyo. When this is added to the fact that Japanese people like convenience when it comes to shopping, then not surprisingly the fashion dimension within or around Ikebukuro train station is enormous. This reality means that the fashion area is a huge hub and Ikebukuro is also the gateway for people in Saitama prefecture.

Seibu Department Store and Tobu Department Store have a very rich history and both mega-companies, alongside Lumine, Marui, and Parco, are collectively creating a huge fashion district in Ikebukuro. Also, Esola is a lovely place for ladies fashion and you have scrumptious restaurants to eat.

In Esola you have exquisite boutiques which include Actuel, Amphi, Barbie Store, Beardsley Gallardagalante, Blue Bell Market, DouDou, Elleva, FRAMeWORK, Free’s Mart, Jolly Boutique, Muriel & Mercuria, Nuit et Jour Spick and Span, Opaque Clip, Royal Flash, and Turno Jeana.

Lumine, meanwhile, is one of the best fashion outlets in Tokyo and the store in Ikebukuro is a major attraction for Tokyo ladies because of lovely boutiques like SmackyGlam (Smacky Glam) and countless others. Also, the restaurant area in Lumine is a great place to relax and unwind.

Therefore, not surprisingly the fabulous boutique Miu Miu decided to open for business in Ikebukuro. While next year American Eagle Outfitters have also selected to open a store in this fashionable part of Tokyo alongside another store in the environment of Harajuku and Omotesando. This bodes well for the future of Ikebukuro because fashion is very dynamic in Tokyo and areas need to maintain their vibrancy.

In a past article by Modern Tokyo Times about fashion in Ikebukuro it was stated about American Eagle Outfitters that The new store will have three floors of fashion in order to attract the fashion conscious and the international aspect is an added dimension.  American Eagle Outfitters have clearly done their homework because Ikebukuro is a thriving fashion district in Tokyo and redevelopment projects are in the pipeline to further enhance the area.”

“Uniqlo also understands the reality of fashion in Ikebukuro because the future potential of this vibrant district is obvious.  Therefore, Uniqlo will expand their presence in Ikebukuro and this applies to occupying two floors in Tobu Department Store.”

Obviously the same applies to Miu Miu who decided to expand their international operations in the Seibu Department Store in Ikebukuro. Also, the store was designed by Roberto Baciocchi and like usual for Miu Miu they focus on classic concepts and futuristic aspects. Therefore, you can have a lovely shopping experience and envisage the creativity of this exquisite company by viewing the stylish layout and theme of the Miu Miu store.

In the last few years Lumine and Esola have altered the fashion landscape of Ikebukuro and complemented Seibu Department Store, Tobu Department Store, Parco, and Marui. Also, the opening of the Fukutoshin Ikebukuro train station created a new fashion hub in Ikebukuro. This applies to delightful fashion boutiques and other shops which have created a lovely underground hub once leaving the main Fukutoshin Ikebukuro train exit.

The recent opening of Miu Miu and the future opening of American Eagle Outfitters in 2012, alongside the expansion of Uniqlo, is maintaining the vibrancy of Ikebukuro. Therefore, while Ikebukuro might not get the same media exposure, the reality on the ground is very different because Seibu Department Store, Tobu Department Store, Lumine, Marui, Parco, Esola, and other fashion outlets, would enhance any fashion district.

Not surprisingly, Miu Miu and other fashion companies are aware of the ongoing changes in Ikebukuro and future projects which will enhance this part of Tokyo. Given everything, the future of this fashion district is rosy and the elegance of the fashion scene is growing because of the quality of so many exquisite boutiques.

http://www.miumiu.com/it/stores

www.smackyglam.com  –  Smacky Glam

http://www.esola-ikebukuro.com/

http://orizzonti.co.jp/category/actuel/

http://www.barbie-stores.com/

http://www.bluebellmarket.net/index.html

http://www.palgroup.co.jp/brands/doudou/

http://www.turnojeana.jp/

http://www.frees-mart.com/index.html

http://m-muriel.jp/index.html

http://www.elleva.jp/

http://www.frame-works.co.jp/index_n.html

http://blog-s.frame-works.co.jp/ Spick and Span official blog

http://www.jolly-boutique.com/

http://www.world.co.jp/opaqueclip/

http://royalflash-jp.com/pc/home.html

www.smackyglam.com  –  Smacky Glam

http://sanyo-i.jp  -  Sanyo i Store (Sanyo Shokai Ltd)

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in EUROPE, Japan

 

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Japanese Art and Ukiyo-e: Ghost of Koheiji by Konishi Hirosada and Evil Akuba

Japanese Art and Ukiyo-e: Ghost of Koheiji by Konishi Hirosada and Evil Akuba

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The power of the Shinto faith runs deep throughout the fabric of Japanese religion, folklore, culture and other important aspects of society. Buddhism which emanated from outside of Japan would also greatly impact itself within the fabric of society. Modern Japan in major cities may look a million miles away from the richness of Japanese folklore but remnants remain. In the countryside the old world survives much more easily but throughout the veins of Japanese tradition major festivals keep aspects of old Japan alive within major cities even if diluted.

Of course, you will have many living religious places of worship throughout major cities in Japan but the mystery can be felt stronger in the “still night” of the countryside whereby local shrines have so much power. Not surprisingly, with the two dominant faiths having so much richness then ghosts, demons and the underworld played a powerful role in Japanese folklore.

This in turn expressed itself through Japanese art, plays and literature. In the world of ukiyo-e many amazing artists depicted ghosts, demons and the underworld. Also, the power of Japanese culture and the indigenous Shinto faith impacted greatly on Buddhism. This means that many fusions have crossed over between the faiths of Shinto and Buddhism. Indeed, the mystery of the Shinto faith is its openness, diversity, blending naturally within nature and the richness of local traditions which vary from place to place.

Konishi Hirosada (Gosotei Hirosada) produces a stunning image of the ghost of Koheiji (top image in the article) which seeks revenge towards his wife Otowa and her devious lover. Koheiji is brutally tortured and murdered by Otowa with the hands of her lover to blame within many realms. This applies to psychology and a very twisted crime of passion induced by strong emotions between both scheming individuals. The pain of the torture and betrayal was brutally shocking and clearly Koheiji couldn’t enter the next world because his spirit was restless for revenge.

The Toshidama Gallery comments about the print by Konishi Hirosada that “This is a very fine and rare print by the Osaka artists Konishi Hirosada. It depicts the ghost of Kohata Koheiji who, having been tortured and drowned by his unfaithful wife Otowa and her scheming lover, takes revenge upon them from beyond the grave. Koheiji is played by the kabuki actor Arashi Rikaku II. Revenge plays of this sort were hugely popular and often depicted evil women called akuba. This play, A Mysterious Tale of Revenge at Asaka Marsh, was so popular with audiences that a sequel was commissioned.”

Toshidama Gallery further comments that “A strange twist, given the subject of this role, is that the actor portrayed here, Arashi Rikaku II, was the adoptive father of Arashi Rikaku III, himself imprisoned for his part in the poisoning (of) his lover’s mistress. His lover, Yoarashi Okinu, was what audiences would refer to as an akuba. She administered the poison after becoming pregnant by Rikaku. She was eventually arrested in May 1871 and decapitated in 1872.”

Clearly Koheiji was unlucky to have married an akuba lady because these ladies would do anything for the people they love. Extortion and murder, and other acts of betrayal, were part and parcel of being an akubalady. However, the spirit of Koheiji was too strong because he desired vengeance from the underworld and refused to enter either heaven or hell until he fulfilled this.

The power of ghost stories in the Edo and Meiji periods of Japanese history were cherished because of the strong connection of faith and the power of the stories that were portrayed. At the same time amazing ukiyo-e artists could depict the vastness of this world.

 

http://www.toshidama-japanese-prints.com/item_352/Hirosada-Arashi-Rikaku-II-as-the-ghost-of-Koheiji.htm

http://www.toshidama-japanese-prints.com/item_261/Hirosada-The-Ghost-of-Togoros-Wife.htm

http://www.toshidama-japanese-prints.com/item_177/Hirosada-Kasa-Ippon-ashi-One-Legged-Umbrella-Demon.htm

http://www.toshidama-japanese-prints.com/

http://toshidama.wordpress.com/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Japan

 

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Tokyo fashion in Yurakucho: Lumine Department Store

Tokyo fashion in Yurakucho: Lumine Department Store

Michel Lebon, Kanako Itamae and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times 

Tokyo fashion is internationally famous and the Yurakucho fashion angle keeps on growing from strength to strength. This factor is also helping other famous districts nearby and this notably applies to Ginza. Both areas naturally flow together because they share the same dynamic environment whereby the crème de la crème of international and Japanese boutiques can be found.

In recent times H & M and Uniqlo have altered the fashion landscape in Ginza by having places to shop whereby the prices suit all pockets. Despite this, Ginza and Yurakucho are famous for luxury boutiques and amazing department stores which enrich the entire area.

Last year the exquisite Lumine Department Store opened a new venture in Yurakucho and clearly this factor is enticing the younger generation to shop once more in this part of Tokyo. This means that you have ample places to shop in both districts which suit all age groups. Also, because of companies like Uniqlo you now have places to go bargain shopping. Therefore, shoppers are spoilt for choice in Ginza and Yurakucho.

In Ikebukuro the Lumine Department Store enriches the west side of this very trendy part of Tokyo. Likewise, Lumine in Yurakucho is also enriching the fashion scene of this district because of the many amazing boutiques to be found throughout this stylish store.

Timothy Schepis, the owner of Tokyo Fashion Daily, commented about the arrival of Lumine in Yurakucho last year that “…the newly redeveloped Yurakucho location will be the 14th for Lumine in Japan and will be the first not to be part of a railway station. At 22,000sqm Yurakucho Lumine will house up to 100 tenants targeting women in their 20s and 30s which make up Lumine`s core customer. Most of the tenants will be fashion brands including United Arrows with the rest of the tenants; cosmetics brands, household goods and restaurants.”

A partial list of the many boutiques which are based within the exquisite Lumine Department Store in Yurakucho includes Adam Et Rope, Beaver, Bshop, Bulsara, Choosy Chu, Couture by Rojita, Deuxieme Classe, Diana, Emoda, Freak’s Store, Gallardagalante, Goa, Journal Standard Relume, Laguna Moon, Manhattan Portage, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Martinique Le Conte, Mercuryduo, Mignon et Enchainement, Muji Nano Universe, Odette e Odile United Arrows, Ozoc, Parigot, Peach John The Store, Piche Abahouse, Ron Herman, Royal Party, Salon De La Trinite, Shel’Tter, Shinzone,  Spick And Span, Spick And Span Accessoires, Stunning Lure, Tomorrowland, United Arrows ( Men’s, Ladies, United Arrows Green Label Relaxing, Urban Research Doors, Urban Research&Rosso and Wjkw.

If you adore fashion then clearly Lumine in Yurakucho will appeal to lovers of stylish boutiques. Like always the choice at this exquisite store is also extremely rich because each individual boutique provides a fresh angle to fashion.

 

http://www.lumine.ne.jp/yurakucho/

http://www.fashion-j.com/E/trend/201010.html

http://tokyofashiondaily.blogspot.com/ – TIMOTHY SCHEPIS  (can be followed on Twitter)

http://tokyofashiondaily.blogspot.com/2011/10/coming-soon-yurakucho-lumine.html

http://www.fashion-j.com/E/trend/201010.html (3rd article from the top shows some images of Lumine in Ikebukuro.)

MODERN TOKYO TIMES IMAGES

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Japan

 

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Libya and Mali: Salafi Islamists destroying shrines courtesy of Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Libya and Mali: Salafi Islamists destroying shrines courtesy of Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Murad Makhmudov and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The “bomb democracy” Western and Gulf policy in Libya brought on the massacres of black Africans, killing of Gaddafi loyalists and creating a “new society” based on disorder which is currently ongoing. Indeed, the chaos which is engulfing Libya is now destabilizing Northern Mali and creating problems for Tunisia. This destabilization is based on vast quantities of military hardware being available and more dangerously the Salafi ideology is spreading because of money from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Salafi ideology is now intent on destroying Sufi shrines in Libya, Northern Mali, Somalia, and in other parts of the world, where this dangerous ideology fused within a faith is growing in power. In their worldview all other Muslim places of worship and Muslim shrines are deemed to be un-Islamic. This blind hatred can be seen in places like Somalia where all converts to Christianity face death by Islamists in this country.

This isn’t surprising because Saudi Arabia supports killing all apostates to Christianity and not one single Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Christian place of worship is allowed. However, just like old men marrying little children in Saudi Arabia and both Qatar and Saudi Arabia supporting terrorism against Syria. Nothing appears to raise the heckles when it comes to the policies of London, Paris, Washington and other governments which throw human rights out of the window when dealing with Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The appeasement of institutional religious discrimination in Saudi Arabia and trampling down on the rights of women is a policy which is “cheapening” democracy. Likewise, this appeasement shames the United Nations and the various bodies connected with this major international institution.

Turning back to Libya and Northern Mali then currently Salafists are intent on destroying all Islamic thought patterns outside of their “blinkered monoculture” which thrives on hatred and fear. Indeed, in Syria some video evidence survives which makes it clear that the Western and Islamist “marriage of convenience” is now spreading this dangerous ideology within Syria. Therefore, mainstream Islam and religious minorities have much to fear in Syria but like usual political leaders in London, Paris and Washington will support any form of barbarity providing it meets their geopolitical ambitions.

Ongoing attacks against Sufi shrines which venerate Sufi Muslim saints in Libya are now under attack. The same Islamists destroyed a Christian graveyard in this country. These blatant crimes of destroying culture and attacking the diversity within Islam are now in full flow in the capital of Libya just like they reached Northern Mali.

The shrine of al-Shaab al-Dahmani in Tripoli follows on from the attack which took place in Ziltan against the tomb of a notable scholar who enriched the Sufi faith. In Ziltan the rich history of the tomb dedicated to Abdel Salam al-Asmar was attacked. Therefore, just like Northern Mali the history of the past is being eradicated by Islamists who obtain funding and indoctrination from their Salafi brethren in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Attacking “infidel” mosques and shrines is now part of the new “Islamist holy war” being funded and supported by organizations and wealthy individuals in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. One can only imagine what will happen to Alawites, Christians, the Druze and mainstream Sunni Islam in Syria if the same Islamists grow in power. If Saudi Arabia and Qatar remain unchecked then the richness of religious diversity within Islam will end up in some nations like Buddhism in Afghanistan in past history. This applies to being decapitated and destroyed by an ideology which seeks only a world based on monoculture.

In the BBC article about the attack against Sufi shrines in Libya one student commented that “There’s a large group of Salafists – they are the one with the bulldozers, and some military police are also present…They seem to be overseeing the process, rather than preventing it… There are some bystanders who seem to approve.”

Similar acts and much worse are now common in Northern Mali because Salafists are intent on destroying the beauty and wisdom of African Islam in Mali. Therefore, historical monuments, shrines and mosques which have been the envy of nations throughout the world, are now on the frontline of Islamism. Sadly, it currently appears that the liberal version of Islam in Mali is being torn apart by outside forces emanating from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

In a past article by Modern Tokyo Times it was stated that The same foreign Islamists in Mali are akin to the Islamists in Syria. It is a direct mirror looking into another mirror and the Saudi Arabia angle can be seen along the way. In Syria it is much more open while in Mali it is more covert and through channels outside of the government. However, the same violence is the main theme and the same applies to the desire for a monoculture to oppress all alternative thought patterns.”

In other nations like Tunisia the confusion of recent events is enabling massive funding from wealthy individuals and organizations in Saudi Arabia and Qatar to spread their “Islamist Year Zero” policies. It is abundantly clear that an internal ideological war is being funded and supported to spread Salafi Islam. Therefore, the frequent attacks against Shia Muslims and other branches of Islam by Islamists is part of the same conflict which is destroying Muslim shrines in many parts of the world.

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

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