Muslim Community Lobby Ireland is an independent organization established 1st May 2007. Its motto is TO USE THE VOTE RIGHTLY AND TO RAISE THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY AWARNESS WITH THEIR RIGHTS AND TO PROMOTE TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING OF OTHER EXISTING GROUPS. لترشيد استعمال الصوت الانتخابي ولتوعية وتعريف المسلمين بحقوقهم في ايرلندا وان يعيشوا بتفهم للواقع وللجماعات الاخرى الموجودة على الساحة

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Season's Greetings from CSID

Dear Bashir,

We wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year.

We hope and pray that 2011 will bring you and your family health, happiness, peace, and prosperity.

In this holiday season, let us renew our commitment to make this world a better place for all of us and for our posterity. Let us work together to help bring peace, stability, freedom, and dignity to all of God's creations on earth.

Remember that through your support for CSID, you are making a difference, bridging the divide, and building a better future for all of us.

We look forward to working with you in 2011, and beyond.


Radwan A. Masmoudi
Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy

CIA forms WikiLeaks Task Force to gauge leaks impact


US intelligence agency scarcely mentioned in cables, but wishes to check if ability to recruit informants hurt by whistleblower.
The CIA has decided to launch a panel, entitled the WikiLeaks Task Force, in order to gauge the effect of the leaking of thousands of US diplomatic cables by the whistleblower website, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

The US intelligence agency is launching the task force despite the fact that the CIA has been relatively untouched by the leaks.

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A major issue the panel plans to address is whether the CIA's ability to recruit informants was damaged by the belief that the US government is unable to guard its secrets.

"The director asked the task force to examine whether the latest release of WikiLeaks documents might affect the agency's foreign relationships or operations," the paper quoted CIA spokesman George Little as saying.

The release of the US diplomatic cables has caused Washington and several of its allies embarrassment.

Shortly after the initial release of the cables last month, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said the US is taking "aggressive steps" to find those responsible for the release of documents by WikiLeaks.

She explained that every country must be able to hold private conversations on concerning issues. She added that confidential communication is fundamental in the ability to serve public interest.

Clinton expressed confidence that the partnerships and relationships built by the Obama administration will withstand the challenge posed by the WikiLeaks exposure.

Irish government near breaking point as allies quit

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland (Berlin: IIK.BE - news) 's government neared breaking point on Monday as supporters defected and opposition parties called for an immediate election that could force a crucial 2011 budget -- and IMF (Berlin: MXG1.BE - news) /EU support -- to be postponed.

The political turmoil accelerated a day after Ireland requested a bailout from the European Union and IMF, likely to be worth around 80 billion euros, to shore up its banks and budget against the effects of the global credit crunch.

"What is needed now is an immediate general election so that a new government, with a clear parliamentary majority, can prepare the four-year economic plan, complete negotiations with the EU and IMF and frame a budget for 2011," Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said in an emailed statement.

His comments came after two independent members of parliament on whom Prime Minister Brian Cowen's government relies for support said they may withhold support from the 2011 budget due to be unveiled on December 7, effectively depriving the government of a working majority.

The challenge by Jackie Healy-Rae and Michael Lowry left Cowen's package of 6 billion euros of spending cuts and tax rises, a pillar of a four-year austerity programme that will be key to the EU and IMF bailout, in jeopardy.

Lowry said he would support the 2011 budget only if the main opposition parties, Fine Gael and Labour, had a role in devising it. Healy-Rae also said he might withhold support. This would leave the budget needing the support of opposition parties.

But public anger towards the government over its handling of the crisis has reached boiling point, and the opposition parties certain to benefit from an early election showed no sign of being ready to help.

The government is expected to announce on Wednesday that it will cut the minimum wage, slash social welfare spending, reduce the number of public employees and add a new property tax and higher income taxes.

Labour also called for parliament to be dissolved immediately. The minimum period needed to organise an election is three weeks.

"It is essential that we have a new government elected as soon as possible," Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said in a statement published on the party's website.

"My preference would be for a dissolution of the Dail (parliament) today and the holding of a general election at the earliest possible date provided for under law. This would allow the election of a new government by the middle of December."

Cowen's own coalition partner, the Green Party, said earlier on Monday it would support the government until the budget had been passed and the EU/IMF bailout was in place, but then quit the coalition. It called for an election in January.

"We have now reached a point where the Irish people need political certainty to take them beyond the coming two months. So, we believe it is time to fix a date for a general election in the second half of January," the Greens said in a statement.

"I regret very much that the country is in the hands of the IMF and I and my colleagues are deeply upset by what has happened, but we believe that we had to stay in government at all times to act in the national interest," Green Party leader John Gormley told a news conference. His party is expected to be all but wiped out at the next election.

Cowen said the government's four-year economic plan, to be announced on Wednesday, would involve 10 billion euros in public spending cuts and 5 billion euros in tax rises, on top of two years of harsh austerity and recession already endured.

Unions have warned this could spark civil unrest: a student demonstration over planned fee increases turned violent earlier this month, and unions have organised a march to protest at the planned austerity measures on November (Stuttgart: A0Z24E - news) 27 in Dublin.

The Socialist party Sinn Fein organised a demonstration outside parliament on Monday. About 50 people shouted "Cowen, Cowen, Cowen. Out, out, out!"

(Editing by Kevin Liffey)