Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Islamic Party calls for boycott of Lloyds TSB

Press release:

Not having had the courtesy of a reply after an initial letter of protest to Lloyds TSB, the Islamic Party of Britain is calling for a boycott of both Lloyds TSB and the Islamic Bank of Britain, after Lloyds instructed the Islamic Bank of Britain to withdraw all banking facilities to Interpal, a charity providing much needed assistance to Palestinians suffering under occupation.

"We never understood the so-called Islamic Banking initiatives to be anything but a branding exercise", said Dr Sahib Mustaqim Bleher, general secretary of the Islamic Party of Britain, "but this inappropriate and undemocratic political interference by Lloyds makes it clear who calls the shots". Muslims account holders of either Lloyds or the Islamic Bank of Britain, especially business customers, are urged to move their banking elsewhere or at least communicate to the bank that they may intend to do so. Organisations who have spoken out to support Interpal against this undeserved interference are asked to add their voice to this call for a boycott.

"Talk is cheap", said Bleher. "Muslims should realise their strength and vote with their feet. If we act in concert, there are enough Muslim account holders, given the financial crisis, to turn Lloyds into the next casualty of the banking sector - where they belong if they think they can abuse their power to target our community. If we fail to act, we no longer deserve to be listened to."

Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama: by his friends you shall know him

With the initial euphoria of the election of the first "black" president of the United States of America slowly subsiding, it is time to take a good look at the colour of Obama's politics rather than skin. It quickly becomes apparent then that there won't be much change after all. Early on in his campaign, Barack Obama gave a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) indicating his unwavering support for Israel. His selection of staff and advisers confirms that he is not going back on his word.

Obama's campaign manager was David Axelrod, an American Jew from Manhattan, who will be rewarded with the post of Chief White House advisor. As Chief of Staff, Obama selected Rahm Israel Emanuel, who also holds Israeli citizenship and served as a volunteer in the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). John Podesta, also Jewish, heads the new president's transition team. Likely candidates for treasury secretary are Lawrence (Larry) Summers, Timothy Franz Geithner, and Paul Volcker, all Jewish. John Kerry, whose parents converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism, might become Secretary of State. An exception with regard to kosher credentials might be former CIA director Robert Gates, who could be invited to stay on as defence secretary - not much change in Iraq or Afghanistan then. James (Jim) Steinberg, likely to become National Security Advisor, is part of the tribe again, as is another contender for this post, Dennis Ross, who was Clinton's Middle East Envoy. The few expected black appointments will be safe choices, such as Susan Rice, potential Ambassador to the UN, a former protege of the infamous Madeleine Albright.

So colour really doesn't matter all that much. Those who hope that the Bush administration's unconditional support for Israeli aggression might change with Obama will be in for a nasty surprise. Of course, McCain wouldn't have been any different. And just for the record: Given that only about three percent of the American population are Jewish, their heavy concentration in the corridors of power is, of course, purely coincidental!