Sun, Dec 18, 2011 - Page 5 News List

Al-Qaeda criticizes treatment of elderly in Japan and China

AFP, Washington

An al-Qaeda magazine, Vanguards of Khorasan, has criticized China and Japan over their treatment of the elderly, in a bid to promote the Islamic model, a Web site that monitors extremist sites said on Friday.

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

The magazine, quoted by the US-based SITE Monitoring Service, said the trend showed how Japan had embraced “purely materialistic Western culture” since becoming a top global economy.

In the article entitled “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.

“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,” magazine 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 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 technically restricts most families from having more than one child.

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

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