February 8, 2016

News and Analysis (2/8/16)

The provost’s apology to Hawkins elicited rejoicing, but after the president’s  later letter announcing announcing Hawkins’ departure, one professor wrote on Facebook that he “will be wearing black in class the rest of the semester”:

Examples of successful Musli entrepreneurs are “software mogul Azim Premji” and, long before him, the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Program topics include “improving networking, inclusion of women, and education”:

“What is Salafism?Why don’t Muslims sing during worship? What is the difference between Sunni and Shia traditions? Why do women cover their heads? Do Muslims believe in the Bible? Why do Muslims wash before praying?”

“Rather than a traditional romantic speed date, it’s a forum for non-Muslim men and women to ask Muslim women about their faith and their culture. With free coffee, tea and sweets”:

Right wing extremist rallies against Islam brought out  only a couple of hundred in Birmingham and Amsterdam but thousands in Germany:

“Although Riyadh states about the intention to fight against the Islamic State terrorist organization, there are big doubts about that. It is more likely that the Saudis intend to provide support … against the Syrian government forces“:

“The army first began demolishing structures and forcibly evicting Palestinian residents in 1999. Residents returned to their land they mounted a legal challenge in court. The matter was never resolved”:

“[T]he music of Al Firdaus [weaves] the sounds of East and West, just when the seams look in danger of being torn apart”:

February 5, 2016

News and Analysis (2/5/16)

Video and text of Obama’s speech at the Islamic Society of Baltimore:

To counter extremism and promote freedom, the [Marrakesh] declaration calls for a “broad movement for the just treatment of religious minorities in Muslim countries and to raise awareness as to their rights”:

“Omid Safi … told a B.C. Supreme Court on Thursday that the RCMP should have helped John Nuttall overcome his radical ideas, instead of preventing him from reaching out to mainstream, moderate religious leaders”:

While upholding the divorce, the Philippine Supreme Court ordered the husband to pay the wife about $500 and remanded the question child custody to the Sharia court saying the wife’s due process rights were denied:

“If a marriage is entered into without the consent of a girl, the marriage is not valid, according to Sharia. Yet, there are families that are guided purely by their customs, and such things are commonplace”:
“I will no longer allow myself to live in fear of being pigeonholed or persecuted simply for subscribing to a (not actually very) different belief system”:
” [K]nowledge … is pursued solely by man … for the sake of knowledge itself, because its acquisition is truly delightful, and … the good cannot be brought forth, and evil cannot be avoided, except by knowledge” — al-Biruni:

“Finding similarities in the problems they face, Muslim leaders from countries outside the Islamic world created an American-led federation to tackle Islamophobia, youth radicalization and integration in their respective societies”:

Even as “parties that are welcomed at the negotiating table … represent – or bankroll – the very same forces enacting savage blockades which sparked dire humanitarian conditions in Syria … and brutalized women” …

… a Pentagon spokesman offers to repeat history, saying that “‘there have been US forces on the ground in Libya, trying” …  to determine which forces might be ‘worthy of US support’ in an eventual fight with the Islamic State”:


February 2, 2016

News and Analysis (2/2/16)

Obama’s symbolic visit, limited to 150 invited guests would “build support for the president while numbing people to the fact that, under his presidency, … Muslims have been detained, tortured, and extrajudicially assassinated”:

“Muslims from other parts of China who come here, especially from Xinjiang, can’t believe how free we are, and they don’t want to leave”:

The news that the “punishment for apostasy conviction to eight years in prison and 800 lashes” provokes one critic of Fayadh’s persecution to exclaim, “[I]t’s way past time western governments stopped dealing with this pervert regime”:

The move looks like an attempt to pre-empt a proposal by an expert panel for “an international commission to investigate alleged human rights abuses by all sides in the conflict” in the wake of the attack on Doctors Without Borders:

“When there was nowhere for me to study ballet due to my outfit, [my mom] opened a performing arts academy that taught ballet, martial arts and aboriginal arts …, where no one questions children why they dress or look a certain way”:

The Saudi backed HNC “won’t take part until a set of preliminary demands are met: releasing detainees, ending the bombardment of civilians by Russian and Syrian forces, and lifting government blockades on rebel-held areas” …

… while “the most powerful groups in northern Syria [who] when they briefly teamed up with other Islamists last year in an alliance called the Fatah Army, the rebels scored one of their biggest victories” fail to merge:

“[R]esidents say there’s not much ethnic tension worth mentioning…. Alice Kopecky, a lifelong resident who emigrated from Poland 50 years ago [says], ‘I want to see what they do, and if they accomplish a lot, then let’s reelect them'”:  

“Some Muslim women wear hijab, some don’t, and it’s just not an issue — it’s a non-issue. But then you have one person write an engaging article, and suddenly it’s a debate that we’re supposed to be having, that we are not having”:

January 30, 2016

News and Analysis (1/30/16)

“Muslim women are often celebrated as courageous when pushing back against legal, social and cultural norms within their faith communities. But … aren’t Muslim women pushing back against Islamophobia ‘courageous,’ too?”

When it acted “against all its tall and much-publicized claims about the freedom of expression and the freedom of conscience[, …] the hypocrisy of American society came to surface and lay uncovered before me” – Jermaine Jackson:

“The Flint community needs us, and … [we] are helping by providing them with clean drinking water, filters, educational material related to the hazardous water, offering free lead testing, and raising money to assist” them:

“[A]s the story of Basma and other women shows, even under the unsparing rule of Isis a growing number of people have risked their lives over the past year to help Yazidis flee”:

What’s going on here? A Muslim is elected head of the campus branch of a Zionist peace group while Netanyahu hurls an anti-Semitic slur at America’s ambassador to Israel:

“Those who watched ‘Little Mosque [on the prairie]’ had more positive attitudes toward Muslims both immediately after the viewing and four to six weeks later” than the control group who watched “Friends”:

Just as the Constitution is misinterpreted by American militias …, as it was by Timothy McVeigh, … just as the Confederacy quoted the Bible in support of their right to possess slaves, so also the Quran is misinterpreted”:

January 27, 2016

News and Analysis (1/27/16)

Sami Al-Arian tells the inside story of his persecution and explains why the 81% of Americans who don’t trust their government are right:

David Cameron refers to the “traditional submissiveness of Muslim women” in a private conversation and gets a very public outcry from Muslim women refusing to submit to his stereotype:

“Nearly 1,400 years [after the Prophet Muhammad wrote the Medina Compact …, hundreds of religious scholars met in Marrakesh in a bid to revive the charter to protect religious minorities in Muslim communities today”:

“Reinterpreting – or even abandoning – antiquated rules rooted in outdated social structures does not amount to subverting the word of God. On the contrary, it proves the true depth of Islam′s sacred texts”:

More Americans are killed by toddlers, by unstable household furniture,  and by distracted driving than by Muslims, while 5 out of the 12 past people who have won this award have been Muslim (and no, we didn’t include Barack Obama):

Al-Jazeera said “it had ‘no other option’ but taking legal action through the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) in Washington DC … after Cairo declined to respond to the network’s complaints” …

… but if you think criticizing Muslim rituals like the animal sacrifice on Eid-al-Adha will protect you from Sisi’s oppression, think again. Jailed secularist Fatima Naoot regrets “that the efforts of reformists have been wasted”:

“Hundreds … — including … high-school students — are being prosecuted under a previously seldom-used law that bars insults to the president.” A victim protests that “unable to distinguish strong criticism from an insult”:

“We do not think that it is the role of Ofsted inspectors to judge schools on uniform policies and dress codes. Inspectors should focus on what schools achieve, rather than what people wear”:

January 25, 2016

News and Analysis (1/25/16)

The unusual public announcement of arrests for such an incident suggests Iran is signaling that it will no longer condone such actions:

“Met Commander Richard Walton praised the Muslim community for fighting terrorism and added police were receiving more similar calls from young people within the community”:

“[A]s a Muslim parent, if my [child] goes to a Muslim school and … speaks in good manner to any boy or girl, regardless of what background, it doesn’t matter, because I believe this is not against my religion. What is this nonsense policy?”

“The prophet was religiously persecuted, so he knew first-hand what it was to experience religious persecution. His religion ensured the rights of religious minorities — Shaykh Hamza Yusuf:

The now-disbanded NYPD program that targeted Muslims for their religion “used informants, known as ‘mosque crawlers, in order to monitor sermons” and “resulted in zero terrorism-related charges”:

“Philippine government and Muslim rebel peace negotiators both … urged lawmakers to immediately pass a new Muslim autonomy law in a region of southern Mindanao to counter radicalism, especially among young Muslims”:

“As soon as the political transition is complete, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi and her party must move swiftly to redress discrimination against Myanmar’s Muslims and to end the Rohingya’s terrible plight”:

“Italy is poised to sign deals worth up to 17 billion euros … underscor[ing] the potential business bonanza on offer for European firms following the lifting of crippling financial sanctions on Tehran earlier this month” …

… but a contract with Boeing “could take more time. The US-based company is currently blocked … by the primary sanctions still in effect, which means that any deal would likely require special government permissions to move forward”:


January 23, 2016

News and Analysis (1/23/16)

“It’s an incredible irony here because … Islam … [is] intellectual as well as religious and chess was the emblem of that. The pieces themselves were aesthetically reshaped into abstract pieces there”:

Despite Kerry’s professed optimism, the peace talks are threatened by refusal of the Saudi-backed Syrian opposition to include other groups …

… and an anonymous participant calls the private meeting between  Iran and Saudi “a dialogue of the deaf”:

“The summit meeting, expected to attract more than 300 Muslim religious leaders, will hark back to the Charter of Medina, in which the Prophet Muhammad enumerated the rights of non-Muslims 1,400 years ago”:

“As an Arab proverb reminds us, ‘Nothing can scratch your skin quite like your own nails…’ The development path of a country can only be determined by its people in light of its history, cultural traditions, and” socio-economic condition:

On the battleground of “[w]omen’s lives – and bodies – … the west … [has] cast those it wishes to subjugate as barbaric. ‘White man rescuing brown women’ was the … desire for domination … masked as virtuous duty” …

… and thus “contradicting every principle of the scientific method he purports to champion, Dawkins established imaginary links between wholly divergent subjects, between terrorist attacks in Paris and Muslim women’s dress choices” …

… in contrast, “Gul Ozyegin shows that we cannot understand young peoples’ intimate lives in universal ways – either as conforming to traditionally religious sex/gender scripts, or as morphing into modern global neoliberal selves”:

“This week, Wheaton’s faculty council, which represents the college’s 211 faculty, unanimously voted to recommend the administration withdraw its efforts to fire Hawkins and to end her administrative leave”:

“[T]he hard-line Guardian Council disqualified more than half of 12,000 would-be candidates. Of 3,000 reformists, 99 percent were rejected.” President Rouhani protested, “It is called the house of the nation, not the house of one faction”:

January 21, 2016

News and Analysis (1/21/16)

We live in an age when a spelling error can lead to a criminal investigation:

… and “problems with alcohol, anxiety and depression and [having] just finished watching a week of Fox News coverage on the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris” can lead an unstable person to threaten a Muslim advocacy group:

Elhassan’s attorney charges that in this “case and in others, federal agents have engineered a threat, then publicized their efforts to convince the American people that they are being protected”:

“More than 80% of people in each of these groups said that they strongly belong to Britain, with the narrow exception being Asian Christians.” It is not religion but the “risk of racist victimisation” that leads to alienation:

“It is only if people can act in accordance with their own values and inclinations that people from very different cultural backgrounds can coexist.” Forcing Muslims to watch films that creep them out doesn’t serve that purpose …

… nor do shutting down stores selling Muslim style headscarves and forcibly shaving men:

“We asked them to kill all of us or leave us alone,” Salah Farah, a Kenyan teacher who was on the bus, told the Daily Nation after the attack. “As we argued, they shot me and the boy” …

… while “the bouncer who risked his own life by instantly tackling the shooter at Ten X Nightclub on Jan. 10, after the gunman pulled a pistol and began firing from the doorway into the bar” was a Muslim …

… and “none of the anti-Muslim critics are aware that, with respect to the single greatest source of deadly intentional violence worldwide, Muslim societies are among the least violent in the world”:

“Last week, Erdoğan urged prosecutors to investigate scores of academics for signing a declaration criticising military action in the mainly Kurdish south-east of the country”:

“Most of the kidnapping victims released by IS were women, children, and elderly men. Men between the ages of 14 and 55 were held for questioning” and may not be released if determined to have ties with pro-government forces”:

“Israel is stealing land specially in the Jordan Valley under the pretext it wants to annex it[,] … a flagrant and grave aggression which kills all chances of peace” — Hanan Ashrawi:

January 18, 2016

News and Analysis (1/18/16)

A senior Iran analyst calls the exchange for seven Iranians “a smart move to prove to hard-liners on both sides that even a narrow arms control agreement can produce more positive knock-on effects than coercion and confrontation” …

… it came on the day “the UN’s nuclear watchdog agency, … determined that Iran has fulfilled the necessary obligations to achieve a broad relaxation of nuclear-related sanctions” …

… and one day before Israel, despondent over failing to torpedo the nuclear deal vowed to draw “on U.S. defense aid to prepare for a possible military face-off” with Iran …

… and the Obama administration “imposed fresh sanctions on 11 companies and individuals for supplying Iran’s ballistic missile program” …

… regarding which an Iranian spokesman notes: “America sells tens of billions of dollars of weaponry each year to countries in the region. These weapons are used in war crimes against Palestinian, Lebanese and most recently Yemeni citizens”:

“The dead included 85 civilians and 50 regime fighters, according to the human rights monitor, … [and the] more than 400 civilians … abducted, all of whom are Sunnis, include women, children and family members of pro-regime fighters”:

U.S. Officials declined to “identify the missing Americans or say what they were doing in Iraq”:

“What would Muhammad say about the Islamic State group? Is Islam compatible with democracy? Are Muslim women allowed to use contraceptives?”

Plaintiffs charge American Airlines cited no “basis of inappropriate or boisterous behavior, … [and no] security issue or threat,” when they kicked four dark-skinned passengers (three Muslims and a Sikh) off the flight”:

“Islamic State … has accepted allegiances from jihadists in Nigeria, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, but has yet to formally recognise any radical groups in Southeast Asia”:

“Burkina Faso and Mali have agreed to work together to counter the growing threat of Islamic militants in west Africa by sharing intelligence and conducting joint security patrols, following two deadly and well-coordinated attacks”:

January 16, 2016

News and Analysis (1/16/16)

“The decision comes after objections to a proposal to keep schools open on the Jewish holy days … for the first time in more than three decades. Maryland law already requires schools to be closed on days that include [3] Christian holidays”:

Four teachers claimed to be victims of forged resignation letters but the court believe only the Christian, not the three Muslims:

“Not only are Muslim Americans successfully integrating into U.S. society, they are actually more opposed to intolerance and violence than many other Americans”:

“I’m a very headstrong person. I do not think I have to sacrifice my scarf just because some people think that we’re the problem. I’m going to wear my head scarf even if I get hate. I’m going to live through it”:

“I don’t think the Mosul offensive could happen this year. I don’t think the Iraqi armed forces are ready and I don’t think the (U.S.-led) coalition is confident in the ability of everyone to get ready in time for an offensive this year”:

Mohammad Javad  Zarif predicted that the IAES would certify Iran’s compliance and “that all parties would ‘not allow the outcome of these talks to be wasted'” and sanctions lifted today:

“Travel writer Judith Fein said she created the lecture series to provide a direct counterpoint to blatant prejudice against Muslims…. Fein said the Muslims she has met worldwide bear no resemblance to the stereotypes”:

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