The United States is both a democracy and a republic, but the terms are not mutually exclusive. So let us break it down whether the United States a democracy or a republic: The United States a Democracy? The United States is a democracy, because, the people, hold ultimate political power. It is not a “direct democracy,” but a “representative democracy.” Representative democracy means voting in elections to choose representatives – this makes it a representative democracy, but remember the United States Constitution does not use the term “democracy.” The United States a Republic? The United States is a republic because … Continue reading Is the United States of America a Democracy, a Republic or an Oligarchy?
Alieu Sanneh, University of Missouri-St. Louis The Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has been declared winner of the election held on 4 December. Barrow received around 53% of the vote cast while his closest rival at the polls, Oussainou Darboe, got … Continue reading The Gambia’s 55-year-old marbles voting system is simple but difficult to cheat
David Kenny, Trinity College Dublin and Conor Casey, University of Liverpool Not so long ago, in a galaxy not so far away… democracy was in danger. Our current political environment is filled with threats to democracy, from the rise of … Continue reading What Star Wars can teach us about the decline of democracy
Madrassas of Pakistan are Islamic seminaries in Pakistan that teach mostly Islamic subjects leading to graduation as a cleric (maulvi, maulanaor mulla). There are five major governing bodies of Pakistani madrassas and their corresponding schools of thought are: Tanzim-ul-Madaras (Barelwi), Wafaq-ul-Madaras (Deobandi), Wafaq-ul-Madaras (Shia), Wafaq-ul-Madaras (Ahle Hadith) Rabita-ul-Madaris (Jamaat-e-Islami). Additionally there are a number of Quran academies offering diplomas in Islamic courses. History The madaris rose as colleges of learning in the Islamic world in the 11th century, though there were institutions of learning earlier. They catered not only to the religious establishment, though that was the dominant influence over them, but also the secular one. To the latter they supplied physicians, administrative officials, judges and teachers. … Continue reading Madrassas in Pakistan
Saudi Arabia’s decision to brand the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation should surprise none, the conservative kingdom’s paranoia about is not just movements that stand for freedom, human rights and democracy, but also Muslim groups or movements that believe in democracy. The Brotherhood has its own agenda yes, and its charter may have aims that sound anachronistic, but the party founded by Hassan al-Banna has been relying on the electoral process to achieve power. The Saudis welcomed the army coup that ousted the Brotherhood’s elected government headed by Morsi. Saudi Arabia is not the only one: recent days have seen … Continue reading Saudi Arabia bans the Muslim Brotherhood – who next?
Due to the following piece being blocked in Pakistan, I have decided to ‘cut and paste with links on my blog – please share (naturally I have some nice pics and videos at the end for my friends :)) Truth, lies and Afghanistan How military leaders have let us down BY LT. COL. DANIEL L. DAVIS I spent last year in Afghanistan, visiting and talking with U.S. troops and their Afghan partners. My duties with the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force took me into every significant area where our soldiers engage the enemy. Over the course of 12 months, I covered … Continue reading The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon (And Pakistani Government) Doesn’t Want You to Read
Iran ends 2011 with a blaze of intelligence By Mahan Abedin The appearance on Iranian state TV on Sunday of alleged Central Intelligence Agency spy Amir Hekmati is yet another twist in a string of apparent Iranian counter-intelligence successes at the expense of US espionage. The 28-year old Arizona-born man of Iranian origin has been accused by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) of trying to feed disinformation to the ministry with a view to gaining a foothold on the outer reaches of the MOIS. A former member of the United States Marines Corps, Hekmati was apparently detained … Continue reading Amir Hekmati – CIA? The Truth?
The life and death of American drones By Nick Turse The drone had been in the air for close to five hours before its mission crew realized that something was wrong. The oil temperature in the plane’s turbocharger, they noticed, had risen into the “cautionary” range. An hour later, it was worse, and it just kept rising as the minutes wore on. While the crew desperately ran through its “engine overheat” checklist trying to figure out the problem, the engine oil temperature, too, began skyrocketing. By now, they had a full-blown in-flight emergency on their hands. “We still have … Continue reading American drones
By Kaveh L Afrasiabi At the closure of 2011, with the US Congress declaring economic warfare against Iran through tough new sanctions targeting the country’s central bank, 2012 could easily be predicted as a decisive year for Washington and Tehran locking horns in escalating tensions. But an important question is: can policymakers in Iran and the US chart a different path, whereby they could become partners for peace in the Middle East, instead of warring parties? As much as this question appears cut off from reality by the sheer weight of animosities piling up at the gate of US-Iran (non) … Continue reading US and Iran: From enemies to partners
Khālid ibn al-Walīd (Arabic: خالد بن الوليد; 592–642) also known as Sayf Allāh al-Maslūl (the Drawn Sword of God), was a companion of theIslamic prophet Muhammad. He is noted for his military tactics and prowess, commanding the forces of Medina and those of his immediate successors of the Rashidun Caliphate; Abu Bakr and Umar. It was under his military leadership that Arabia, for the first time in history, was united under a single political entity, the Caliphate. He was victorious in over a hundred battles, against the numerically superior forces of theByzantine-Roman Empire, Sassanid-Persian Empire, and their allies, in addition to other Arab tribes. His strategic achievements include the conquest of Arabia, Persian Mesopotamia and Roman Syria within several years … Continue reading Khalid bin Walid