Bad News: Davutoglu Wants “New Middle East”

When, in a recent speech, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pledged to defend all faiths, “even Buddhism,” a Buddhist friend sent a message saying that: “I understand we were wrong to feel safe from the wrath of Turkish Islamists’ Sunni supremacy. Judging from how they wanted to crush every other faith, including different disciples of Islam, while faking to respect them I now worry about the Buddhist faith.”

Echoing the Buddhist friend’s fear and commenting on Davutoglu’s most recent remarks on the making of a new Middle East, an EU ambassador told this author in a telephone conversation: “I think we should be worried again.”


The Palestinians and Israeli Elections

So far, the Palestinians have shown little interest, if any at all, in the upcoming Israeli elections, slated for March 17.

But if there is one thing most Palestinians would like to see, it is the removal of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and right-wing parties from power.

The Palestinians, in many ways, seem to have joined the “Just Not Bibi” (Netanyahu’s nickname), or “Anyone But Bibi,” campaign launched by the heads of his rival Zionist Camp, Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni.


Turkey’s Bad Joke: Crocodile Tears for Victims of Holocaust

It all looks nice. It isn’t.

On Muslim Brotherhood channels based in Turkey, Egyptian clerics and commentators called for the murder of Egypt’s President Abdel Fatteh al-Sisi and the journalists who support him.

Under the nice wrappings of Holocaust Remembrance Day, there is an entirely different Turkey.

Perhaps he thinks the Holocaust, too, happened because of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


Austria Threatens to Close Saudi-Backed Interfaith Dialogue Center

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann has expressed public outrage over the refusal of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue to speak out against the flogging of Raif Badawi, a Saudi human rights activist and blogger who has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison for “insulting Islam.”

“Saudi Arabia practices a form of Sharia law that is one of the most brutal systems in the world… Does the Austrian Foreign Ministry really want to give such a state the opportunity to build an international propaganda center in Austria?” — Editorial, Die Presse.

“An inter-religious dialogue center that remains silent when it is time to speak out clearly for human rights is not worthy of being called a dialogue center. It is a silence center.” — Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

“If the center wants to remain only an economic center with a religious fig leaf, then Austria should no longer be a part of it. In any event, Austria will not allow itself to be threatened or blackmailed.” — Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.