Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|10/07/01 at 18:42:07|
|Western leaders have expressed their support for the US and British military strikes against targets in Afghanistan, as many leading Muslim voices, including the Iranian and Iraqi Governments, made clear their condemnation. |
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French President Jacques Chirac were quick to express unlimited solidarity with the United States, which has launched assaults on military installations of the ruling Taleban and Islamic militant training camps.
Both France and Germany, along with Canada and Australia, have pledged to contribute to the military operation as it unfolds.
The Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said his country would also be prepared to take part in military action, if so requested.
Russia, which is fighting what it calls "terrorists" in the separatist republic of Chechnya, welcomed the attacks and seized the opportunity to urge action against terrorist everywhere.
"It is time for decisive action with this evil. Terrorists wherever they are - in Afghanistan, Chechnya, the Middle East or the Balkans - should know that they will be taken to justice," a foreign ministry statement read.
And Israel, whose Prime Minister Ariel Sharon received a rare rebuke from the White House this week after declaring the US was "appeasing" Arab nations, rapidly weighed in with admiration for US President George W Bush.
"It is a brave decision by the president, along with a very convincing and touching speech," Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres.
President Bush and senior members of his administration had informed heads of government of their plans shortly before the strikes on Afghanistan got underway.
But some Muslim nations have been striking a very different tone.
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, whose country is under US-led UN sanctions, condemned the "aggression" against Afghanistan.
"The true believers cannot but condemn this act, not because it has been committed by America against a Muslim people but because it is an aggression perpetrated outside international law," said an official statement read out on state television, the French news agency AFP reported.
Iran said the attacks against its neighbour were unacceptable.
"I express my concern about this vast operation in Afghanistan and this attack which would result in the loss of life among civilians," said foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi, quoted by the state IRNA news agency.
"It is not acceptable."
There are fears for Afghan civilians
Several Muslim leaders in Pakistan, where a large swathe of public opinion favours the Taleban, denounced the strikes and urged support for Afghanistan.
"We appeal to all Muslims living anywhere in the world to extend full support to their Afghan brothers at this critical time," said the Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith Pakistan group.
The Taleban's consul general in the Pakistani city of Karachi said the Taleban were "ready for jihad" - holy war.
Some countries offered qualified support to the US.
China said it supported action against terrorism provided it was limited to "specific objectives" and avoided civilian casualties.
A foreign ministry spokesman added that China hoped peace would be restored as soon as possible
Prme Minister Goran Persson of Sweden said his government "supports the right of the United States to defend itself against further terrorist attacks", but he urged that any action be "proportionate, and that "innocent civilians benefit from the utmost protection".
Turkey expressed similar concerns.
"We hope the United States acts wisely and that innocent people are spared," Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer told US Vice-President Dick Cheney.
Pakistan, which has joined the US-led coalition against terrorism despite its former close ties with the Taleban, said it had done all that was possible to persuade the Afghan regime to hand over chief suspect, Osama Bin Laden.
"It remains our hope that the US and allied action remains clearly targeted," an official statement said.
The statement said Pakistan hoped "care will be taken to minimise harm to the Afghan people who have already suffered ravages of conflict for more than two decades."
In several European capitals, including Rome, Madrid, London and Amsterdam, hundreds of anti-war demonstrators took to the streets to protest the strikes.
In the Italian capital, several hundred people gathered outside the UN building in the city centre bearing banners, while similar sit-down protests took place in the northern cities of Turin and Milan.
In London, more than 100 people gathered outside Downing Street, chanting "stop the war, feed the poor" in protest at the strikes, in which Britain is assisting the US.
Individual posts do not necessarily reflect the views of Jannah.org, Islam, or all Muslims. All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the poster and may not be used without consent of the author.The rest © Jannah.Org