December 18, 2011

JAPAN: Al-Qaida criticizes Japan, China over how they treat elderly

TOKYO, Japan / Japan Today / National / December 17, 2011

WASHINGTON

An al-Qaida magazine has criticized Japan and China over their treatment of the elderly, in a bid to promote the Islamic model, a website that monitors extremist sites said.

In a rare reference to East Asia by a movement usually focused on the West, the magazine of al-Qaida in Afghanistan highlighted an unspecified broadcast news report that said that theft by “isolated” elderly Japanese was increasing.

The Vanguards of Khorasan magazine, quoted by the U.S.-based SITE Monitoring Service, said that the trend showed how Japan has embraced “purely materialistic Western culture” since becoming a top global economy.

In the article titled “They Ate Their Meat and Spit Out Their Bones,” the magazine also voiced alarm about suicide rates in China among the elderly and city dwellers, saying that the Chinese had traditionally taken care of elders.

“If those poor people had been blessed with Islam, their state would have been different, whereas the elderly would receive appreciation, respect and good treatment,” the magazine’s editor Hossam Abdul Raouf wrote.

“They would enjoy the easy life and would not have to ask for money or resort to evil to get it, or commit suicide out of despair of the situation ever improving,” he said, according to the monitoring service.

He said that Islamic societies would protect even non-Muslims in old age, writing: “This is the greatness of Islam of which the ignorant are unaware and that the tricksters and stubborn refuse to acknowledge.”

It was unclear which reports the al-Qaida editor was citing and he did not appear to follow East Asia closely.

Explaining Japan, he wrote that the country “suffers from the problem of inflation,” while in fact Japanese policymakers have been battling deflation for much of the past two decades.

Japan has one of the world’s oldest populations, with the elderly enjoying high longevity and many younger people putting off having children.

China is also expected to face a major demographic shift as a result of its policy that restricts most families from having more than one child.

Al-Qaida in the past has threatened Japan over its dispatch of forces to Iraq and vowed to avenge deaths of Muslim Uighurs in China, but the militant group issues far more statements about the West.

© 2011 AFP
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