Donor agencies and MDGs

2014-10-12 16:55:00

Nazila Isgandarova When the eight Millennium Development Goals were introduced in 2001, everyone anticipated that these goals must be achieved by 2015. However, only a few months left to reach the 2015, women are still targets in conflicts and wars, millions of children still die in Africa, Latin America and South Asia from preventable causes and chronic malnutrition before their fifth birthday every year, and food still is the most critical issue in the world. In addition, continuous problems and crisis in Africa, Far Asia, East Europe, and the Middle East pose the question: why do donor programs fail to reach their objectives in spite of the significant funding? The second question is with regard to the mode of action of donor agencies. Since their goals overlap in many cases, is it possible that they cooperate together rather than acting independently? Third, why the developed countries criticize the UNDP agencies, for instance, Food and Agriculture Agency, in their performance? Our aim is not to answer to all these questions. However, this article at least gives some insight about the problem with regard to the donor agencies and the MDSs.  The Donor Countries The UN has to work with governments, civil society and other partners to fulfill its ambitious agenda to meet the MDGs. The organization is especially dependent on international donor agencies. Although it takes more time and energy to urge the governments to provide more aid, the UN has no other way, except to wait patiently because one of the indicators of success of the MDGs depends on how donor agencies and recipients together work in the areas of nutrition, education, health, gender equality and the environment. However, the donor agencies also are less confident how to achieve the goals and implement their strategies because the MDGs are too much focused on what should be achieved. Furthermore, The donor agencies are divided into different groups, such as the natio... Devamı

Persecution of Christians is the Betrayal of Islam

2014-10-12 16:41:00

Nazila Isgandarova Fundamentalism in extremist Islamist thought, especially of the bloodthirsty jihadist ISIS, threatens common historical and cultural heritage between Muslims and Christians in the Middle East. Instead of reflecting on how this happened, I will reflect on why the persecution of Christians in the region “in the name of Islam” is the betrayal of Islam itself. Nevertheless, I also suggest that we need a clear explanation of how this happened, as it is important to prevent it in future, and recreate the Middle East as one of the peaceable regions of the world. First, ISIS persecution of Christians in the region, which constituted 5% of the population (approximately 12 million Christians), down from 20% in the early 20th century, deeply insults the Qur’anic respect for them, who are known as “Nasara” and who once helped the first refugee Muslims from Madinah to Ethiopia. Just because of the Qur’anic verses devoted to them and the lessons learned from the sirah, the Prophet’s life narrative, every honest Muslim not only carry a spirit of inherent respect to Christians, but also feel that they owe to “Nasara” for saving the lives of the early Muslims. Second, historically, Muslims and Christians in the Middle East share almost the same cultural and historical legacy. Most Christians in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, and Egypt speak Arabic or Aramaic (both belong to the Semitic languages).  Third, whenIslam became the main religion of the region, the Muslim leaders did not killor persecuted Christians; rather, they granted legal protection to churches, monasteries and Christian shrines.  These places were also under the moral protection of ordinary Muslims, who not only protected their neighbors who had been around longer, but also respected these places and owned them as places of pilgrimage centres. An example for these various shared s... Devamı

What is Wrong with Us?

2014-07-01 17:05:00

Nazila Isgandarova A Toronto-based researcher and the author of the Nectar of Passion Published by Today's Zaman on July 30, 2014 Weblink: The division of the Muslim world into the Sunni and Shi’a sects once more became very sensitive with the war in Syria and the recent resurgence of the ISIS in Iraq. Both Muslims and non-Muslims question how come Islam, which is “a peace of religion”, cannot achieve the unity of Muslims. Who represents the “true” Islam? These questions are valid and the answer is important in addressing the problematic areas of our faith.   First of all, as millions of Muslims, I also strongly believe that Islam preaches unity; however, its followers are so diverse in regards to their values, lifestyles, and approach to religious tradition that anyone who attempts to get a monolithic answer will face many dilemmas. One of the diversity of Muslims is with regards to the existence of sects and multiplicity of religious thought.Such diversity is a blessing in many senses; however, Muslims still struggle how to embrace and deal with this diversity. As the internal war in Syria and Iraq once again demonstrates that the invented famous tradition about the seventy-three sects, which are destined for Hell, except one, still produces very many problems indeed. This tradition formed the basis for the history of sects in Islam, which its advocates, such as early Muslim scholars, including Ibn Batta (d.997), al-Shahrastani (1086-1153) and al-Baghdadi (d. 1037), then Ash'arite theologian Adud al-Din al-Iji (c. 1281-1355) and others, tried to identify the successful sect as their own sects of school of thought. Such attempts opened a new direction in Islamic theology: orthodoxy and heresy. This is one of the important reasons that early and later generations of Muslims came to various, unfortunately bia... Devamı

Angry, religious conservatives against Afghan women

2014-06-09 16:53:00

Nazila Isgandarova Today's Zaman, May 27, 2013, Monday/ 16:41:00;jsessionid=TxEaeBI1R-uCo9b6FDpBKdtd?newsId=316681&columnistId=0 The status of women in Afghanistan came into the limelight again recently as a result of lawmaking efforts in the Afghan parliament. But this time, the issue is not related to flogging women, women who violated the burqa rule of the hard-line Taliban regime or stoning a woman to death for the crime of being a victim of rape. Religious lawmakers in Afghanistan with a conservative mind set blocked legislation that was introduced in parliament. Their principal argument is that the new legislation is un-Islamic and would make women disobedient by granting them more freedom. Attempts to improve the status of women in Afghanistan have been quite challenging. Twelve years after the official rule of the Taliban, the government of President Hamid Karzai has made a few efforts to release Afghan women from their current life imprisoned in their own homes, including opening Afghanistan's parliament to women by reserving 60 seats for female lawmakers. These efforts were the foundation for the recent piece of legislation; however, it did not move forward when first introduced, and there was even a step back on women's issues. Therefore, Fawzia Koofi, a lawmaker, women's rights activist and a candidate for president next year, decided to bring the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women before parliament again in order to prevent any future president from repealing it to satisfy hardline religious parties. However fierce opposition blocked the bill and prevented it from being endorsed by parliament. They argue that the new legislation has at least eight articles that violate strict Islamic principles. These articles include keeping the legal age to marry at 16 years old for women and 18 years old for men; the establishment of shelters for victims of ... Devamı