7 September 2016   Leave a comment

On 8 July, a leader of the protest movement against Indian control of parts of Kashmir, Burhan Wai, was killed by Indian security forces.  Since that time there have been numerous protests against Indian control of a primarily Muslim population. The strife has been omnipresent since the division of India into Muslim-dominated Pakistan and Hindu-dominated India, but it flares up periodically into violent protests.  The recent spate of protests is related to a sense of hopelessness among Muslim Kashmiris over the rule of an India  ruled by the nationalist government of Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist.  It is remarkable how little attention the Western press pays to this conflict.

The hajj begins this weekend.  The pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and all Muslims who are physically and financially able are expected to make the pilgrimage at least once in their lives.  Mecca is in Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia, but many of the pilgrims will be from Iran, a Shia-dominated country.  The two states are divided more by geopolitics than by religion, but both use religion to contest each other’s influence in the Muslim world.  And each accuse the other of being un-Islamic. 

The Ka’bah in Mecca

Image result for hajj

Austria has threatened to sue Hungary if the country refused to take back migrants who crossed their mutual border.  The Austrian state is under pressure by the success of the anti-immigrant Freedom Party which has taken a very hard line against the flow of refugees into Europe.  Disagreements among European Union members about migrant policies are tearing the Union apart.


Posted September 7, 2016 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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