Archive for: January 2015

UK Government’s Call To Fight Extermism Viewed As Islamaphobia

UK Local Government And Communities Minister Eric Pickles sent a letter to 1,000 UK Imams on Friday to encourage them to fight extremism. However, Muslim groups had accused the Minister of using the language of far right parties in a statement on Monday.

They also accused the UK Government of being Islamaphobic and creating a culture against Muslims.

In his letter, Pickles asked the imams to explain to Muslims how Islam could be “part of British identity.” He argued that imams had a duty to help fight extremism and find any Muslim who preaches hatred against others.

Tahla Ahmad was disappointed with the letter. He said: “The letter has all the hallmarks of very poor judgement which feeds into an Islamophobic narrative, which feeds into a narrative of us and them.”

Muslim Council of Britain Deputy Secretary General Harun Khan said his organisation would prepare a letter to complain against Pickles’ letter.

“Is Mr Pickles seriously suggesting, as do members of the far right, that Muslims and Islam are inherently apart from British society?,” said Khan.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, said the letter was patronising, factually incorrect, and “typical of the Government only looking at Muslims through the prism of terrorism and security.”

Britain’s own 2.8 million Muslim community were praised by politicians for peacefully condemning the Paris shootings.


Saudi’s Lower Oil Prices Put Asia’s Prices On The Upscale

Saud Arabia’s massive oil price cuts for European buyers are a defensive move for its market share. It had also helped lower oil prices in the United States. However, Asia is feeling the drawback of this move.

Saudi’s Aramco, its state oil firm, has cut the official selling price of Arab Light crude to Northwest Europe. Trading is now by $1.50 a barrel on February. Brent oil is now about $4.65 per barrel.

Meanwhile, it raised prices for Arab Light Grade for customers in Asia by $0.60

“The moves are reinforcing that the Saudis just don’t intend to do anything to rebalance (price) levels,” said Gene McGillian, senior analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

The Kingdom’s move to cut OSPs is a signal that it is abandoning efforts to bring up falling crude oil prices and focus on maintaining its share in key oil markets.

Cuts to Europe might also be an attempt by Saudi to price out West African barrels from Europe. The West African barrels travel to Asia with quantities decreasing from 1.9 million to 1.6 million barrels per day.