IS IT TIME TO RECONSIDER THE TERM ISLAMIST?
Independent experts sent by UNESCO to examine the church recommended turning down the request, saying that while the church roof needed patching up, the shrine could not be considered “to have been severely damaged or to be under imminent threat”.
Friday’s meeting was attended by the Palestinian foreign minister, and the PA has viewed its entry into UNESCO as a strategic milestone ahead of the broader international recognition it seeks for future statehood.
“This gives hope and confidence to our people in the inevitable victory of our just cause,” said Prime Minister Salam
Fayyad in a statement following the decision.
“It increases their determination to continue efforts at deepening readiness for the establishment of an independent
State of Palestine, with its capital in East Jerusalem within the 1967 borders,” Fayyad said.
Israel has questioned the need for Bethlehem to be registered as an endangered site and sees Palestinian moves at
UNESCO and other UN bodies as efforts to embarrass Israel on the world stage.
“This is proof that UNESCO is motivated by political and not cultural considerations,” Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office said in a statement following the decision.
“Instead of taking steps to promote peace, the Palestinians are acting unilaterally, which makes peace more distant.”
David Killion, the US ambassador to UNESCO, said he was “profoundly disappointed by the decision”.
The Palestinian government plans to register about 20 more sites with UNESCO, including the ancient city of Jericho and the archaeological site of Sebastia, and has dismissed Israel’s accusations.
“Our goal is to preserve and safeguard these sites in spite of the threat from Israeli occupation,” Hanan Ashrawi, head of
the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s Department of Culture and Information, told Reuters.
Last year, UNESCO granted the Palestinians full membership, a decision seen at the time as a boost to their bid, since
largely stalled, to win United Nations recognition of its statehood.
Israel and the United States, which later cut off its $80m annual funding of UNESCO, condemned the decision, saying
peace negotiations, which collapsed in 2010, were the only viable path to a Palestinian state.
Motivated by her faith, she was a powerful advocate for radical political and social change. Upon meeting her, President Abraham Lincoln reportedly said, “So this is the little lady who made this big war.”
Was Harriet Beecher Stowe a Christianist? At this year’s National Prayer Breakfast, President Barack Obama said his policies were grounded in his Christian beliefs. In a 2008 speech, former GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum said America was in the middle of a spiritual war in which “Satan has his sights on the United States of America.” Are Obama and/or Santorum Christianists? The answers to those questions would depend on how the term is defined. But it is unlikely you will hear any Christian politician or activist referred to in that way. What American and western audiences are increasingly hearing, however, since the political and social upheaval that accompanied the Arab spring, is the term Islamist. Muslims already face significant prejudice in the U.S.: 43 percent of Muslims in a 2011 Pew Forum survey reported experiences with intolerance or discrimination in the past year. And now there is growing concern that the label that was once welcomed by some as an alternative to more pejorative terms such as Islamic fundamentalist may itself be more a source of stereotyping than understanding. “I used to like it [Islamist] because I thought it represented a broad term that represented those who believe Islam should have a role in society,” said University of Kentucky researcher Ihsan Bagby, who led the U.S. Mosque Survey 2011. “But it’s been used so much in the media for a little while now to conjure up militant, extremist, radical” imagery. A larger question is whether the term still holds a coherent meaning for general audiences. “Right now, it’s confusing,” Bagby said. “Who is an Islamist?” An Evolving Termreadmorehttp://muslimmalaysia786.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/is-it-time-to-reconsider-the-term-islamist/