November 23, 2015

News and Analysis (11/23/15)

Justification of “Labott’s suspension with reference to a supposed CNN standard that reporters are not supposed to be ‘predictably partisan’ … is an utter crock…. Glenn Greenwald has drawn up an extensive list of partisan opinions that caused no suspensions”:

“Al-Watan reported that he was charged with blasphemy, spreading atheism and having long hair, along with other charges. New York-based Human Rights Watch said Monday that Fayadh has denied the charges”:

Setting “an important international legal precedent,” South Africa will enforce Turkey’s warrants  “seeking the arrest of the Israeli commanders for their involvement in the 2010 Israeli attacks on the Mavi Marmara aid ship, which led to the deaths of nine humanitarian activists”:

“Wearing a [Mercedes] logo does not make you” a Mercedes:

Many ISIS “supporters rejected the group’s extreme violence and radicalism, they saw the group as a formidable opponent of Iran—’the real enemy,'” and “in fact, most didn’t even pray daily. They were Sunnis who cared about their group: us versus them”:

“The length of Rezaian’s imprisonment is unspecified and has not yet been finalized, according to Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejehi, the spokesman for Iran’s judiciary”:

“I got borderline angry that he would make such a comment and try to drive a wedge between Muslims serving in the U.S. armed forces and people who aren’t Muslim. I felt the need to call him out — particularly because Trump himself has never served”:

“The Brotherhood, which swept every vote held after Mubarak’s ouster until Morsi was overthrown, are boycotting the election, along with most secular, liberal and left-wing activists”:

“The terrorists want us to hate one another. They want to drive a wedge between Muslim communities and the wider society. So I think we really need to double up on our efforts to not let these divisions occur”:

There are “concerns that the legal proceedings against them were flawed and threats of violence by their supporters. A reporter was shot and wounded after covering the funeral of one of the men, though it was not clear who was responsible”:

November 20, 2015

News and Analysis (11/20/15)

Until joining ISIS, Hasna Ait Boulahcen was “deep into alcohol, drugs and sex” and “her purported pre-radicalization behavior fits with other female extremists” …

… exemplified in the fact that “the terrorists — they are not part of the institutions of the Muslim [community], they don’t go to mosques. They don’t recognize the French Muslims as true Muslims. We are also seen as the enemy” …

…yet “[e]ven as some confront a backlash, Muslims are noting a sense of belonging – feeling part of a society that is mourning collectively and standing behind the French government in bringing attackers to justice”:

It’s not just Republicans; “the Democratic mayor of Roanoke, Va., cited the internment of Japanese Americans in camps during World War II, under suspicion because of their race, as a positive lesson for dealing with Syrian refugees”:

“The U.S. military has rarely acknowledged causing civilian casualties in the fight against Islamic State militants, but is investigating several dozen strikes in which civilians were reported killed. In May, it concluded two children had been killed in an air strike in Syria in November 2014”:
“Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and its offshoot al-Murabitoun said they carried out the attack…. An unnamed UN official has said at least 27 people have been killed”:
“While the Islamic State offers its adversaries a geographical target for reprisals, the group may still perceive a win-win scenario: It deters the West or receives a ‘recruitment gift'”:

“Our greatest chance of severely curtailing the pipeline of the scores of young men and women flocking to Isis and other jihadi groups is to have them in communities that provide them with a sense of belonging and acceptance in their adopted countries”:

“[A] large group of strangers surrounded the man and then proceeded to hug him one after the other. Bystanders watching the moment wiped away tears”:

November 18, 2015

News and Analysis (11/18/15)

Juan Cole takes exception to persistent comments about IS that are “exaggerated or just incorrect” about its place in Islamic history, the piety of its membership, its numbers, its influence, and how to fight it:

“[T]he West’s veneer of civilization has been peeled away, leaving in its place, a renewed commitment to barbarity and retribution against the monsters known as ISIS … [yet] incidents of terrorism have increased by 6,500% since the “War on Terror” began in 2001″:

“Many of the benefits from keeping Terrorism fear levels high are obvious. Private corporations suck up massive amounts of Homeland Security cash …, while government officials … can claim unlimited powers, and operate with unlimited secrecy and no accountability“:

Zaman publishes results of a research study proving that “the sarin used in the 21 August attack and analysis demonstrated that the gas used didn’t match the batches known to exist in the Syrian army’s chemical weapons arsenal”:

“Muslim victims of the indiscriminate multiple attacks were all in the prime of their lives. They included a violinist, an architect, a receptionist and a shop assistant”:

“We have to reinforce our borders while remaining true to our values”:

November 16, 2015

News and Analysis (11/16/15)

“ISIS isn’t just at war with much of the world, or, especially, the Muslim world. The Islamic State is at war with how Muslims understand Islam” …

… “Islam’s position is very clear … [against] the killing of innocent people, … these acts do not respect war as it is decreed in the Muslim tradition and … these suicide bombers are convinced they’re going to heaven when they actually risk finding themselves in hell” …

… “Muslims have used social media to demonstrate that they want no part in the extremism and violence that terrorists commit in the name of Islam. The hashtags #NotInMyName and #IAmAMuslim are being used to say that extremists will not be tolerated ‘” …

… “This savagery is no more Muslim than the Ku Klux Klan represents Christianity. The Islam we know emphasizes that the taking of one innocent life is as if one killed all of humanity and …not to hate one another. It also clearly dictates that there is no compulsion in religion” …

Was the coordinator of the Paris murders a Belgian national?

The author of a viral post “liked more than 15,000 times, ended his account by saying he did not want it to be ‘some kind of statement. I just want to tell you about my brief random conversation with a sad Muslim Sydney Uber driver, whose religion is being taken from him”:

ISIS subscribes to the view that music is prohibited in Islam, so imagine how angry they will be when they see these imams singing “To arms citizens! Form you battalions! March, march, let impure blood waters our furrows”:

Remember Freedom Fries? “The U.S. should treat France as France treated the U.S. 14 years ago—by helping the other wage prudent fights and warning its leaders against the rash decisions that trauma can lead to”:

Amir and Nehal Elmasri said when they returned home to their gated community from feeding the homeless Sunday morning, they noticed a bullet hole in their garage door. The family said that the bullet went through their garage and into their master bedroom”:

“There is still no sign of agreement, however, on the key question of the future of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad”:

Egypt’s civil aviation minister says … that a copy of the recording needs to be analyzed with technology ‘unavailable in most countries….’  He didn’t identify the country”:


November 13, 2015

Muslim Condemnations of Today’s Paris Attacks

A Jewish college classmate of mine asked me if there are any Muslim voices willing to condemn today’s barbarous attacks in Paris. I told him that almost all Muslims condemn it. Here  are links to a couple of major Muslim organizations that have already published their condemnations:

Over the coming days virtually every Muslim organization will have condemned the attacks, but don’t expect to see that fact mentioned in the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal.

For the record, everyone here at the Minaret of Freedom Institute condemns these attacks regardless of what the religious or political affiliations of the perpetrators proves to be.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.

Minaret of Freedom Institute

News and Analysis (11/13/15)

“This huge effort to go after this deranged man filled with hate when they can’t make half that effort to save the hostages while … [they] were still alive. It’s unfortunate that the government doesn’t get it. They think it gives us solace, but it doesn’t” — mother of IS victim James Foley:

“Robert F. Dees … has indulged in anti-Muslim bigotry and … described the military as a vehicle to eventually ‘indoctrinate’ the American public at large to evangelical Christianity” and then “to transform the nations of the world through the militaries of the world”:

Fired “from his tenured position over his personal tweets criticizing the Israeli government’s assault on Gaza in 2014. Professor Salaita” says the $875,000 “settlement is a vindication for me, but more importantly, it is a victory for academic freedom and the First Amendment”:

“While skeptics may dismiss this turnaround as a mere deflection from Sisi’s human rights violations against the Muslim Brotherhood and secular youth activists, a better explanation lies in the seismic political changes under way in the region”:

Freedom of speech doesn’t include “reposting names and addresses of 100 U.S. service members, all with the intent to have them killed”:

“[H]ow US colonel James Steele, a veteran of American proxy wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua, played a key role in training and overseeing US-funded special police commandos who ran a network of torture centres in Iraq” that launched the Iraqi civil war and rise of ISIS:

Daniel Polisar’s virtual denial of the context of the occupation and any data contrary to his preconceive conclusions as well as the “mirror of support for violence” and threat perceptions on the Israeli side disappoints and somewhat frightens public opinion researcher Dahlia Scheindlin:

Criminally invading a hospital “Israeli forces disguised in Palestinian clothes – including one impersonating a pregnant woman in a wheelchair – have raided a hospital in the flashpoint city of Hebron, shooting dead a relative of a man suspected of carrying out a stabbing attack”:

“Apparently, it’s hard to find someone who is not only compatible, but also shares a mix of Muslim and American values” says the woman who “jokingly said, ‘Why don’t I make a website to connect all of you, because you all seem really cool.’ Then the emails started pouring in”:

November 11, 2015

News and Analysis (11/11/15)

“We have realized this now, that under an Islamic system all rights of human beings — both men and women — need to be implemented 100 percent” — Abdul Manan Niazi, the deputy head of the breakaway group:

“So how does a former FBI agent who has left the bureau dishonorably make a living? Easy, bash Muslims…. People like Shoebat and Guandolo have the right—which I defend—to spew hate, just as the Klan does.  But these lessons in bigotry shouldn’t be paid for with our tax dollars”:

“Like other Afghans seeking refugee status whom I’ve interviewed across Germany, Rahimi is quick to affirm his Muslim faith. After some prodding, he nervously admits he might convert to Christianity to avoid deportation… Those who are baptized here … get to stay in Germany”:

Netanyahu has a point. Labeling where Nazis got their soap would have “emboldened” enemies  of the Third Reich:

Advocates say that including a woman on every panel is an easily achievable metric to resolve the “dire consequences for our communities” rising from panels without women “discussing important social, policy, and theological questions at Muslim centered events”:
“The U.S. Embassy in Amman said two American civilian security contractors and a South African contractor were shot to death, and one slain Jordanian was a translator. It was ‘premature to speculate on motive at this point’ with the investigation proceeding, it said”:

“[P]arliamentarians wrote to the president last week complaining that the deactivation of centrifuges contradicted the directives … Khamenei … that the deal should only be implemented once allegations of past military dimensions (PMD) of Iran’s nuclear program had been settled”:

“At one point, he was taken to an empty field, told to take off his shirt and trousers, and was then inspected superficially by a doctor, he said. He was also held temporarily in ‘a narrow, dark cell void of anything but two blankets on the floor'”:

“Since the 1960s, the way of avoiding conflict was power-sharing among a set of prince. Salman has upset the tradition by consolidating a lot of power in those two princes and now we are seeing this playing out” — Gregory Gause, professor of international affairs at Texas A&M:

November 8, 2015

News and Analysis (11/8/15)

“[S]urprised to see a September poll showing 30 percent of Iowa Republicans didn’t believe that Islam should be legal in the United States” a UNI assistant professor of religion says, “Islam is connected to the story of America itself” and is not “new to the United States or Iowa”:

“[I]n the newest legal action the inmates’ lawyers argue that the earlier court order was ignored, and the MDoC continued to deprive their clients of sufficient nutrition repeatedly”:

“[F]or the 1 million Rohingya Muslims who live in Rachine State … it’s not a free election[,] … crowded into makeshift huts … [, they] suffer from shortages of firewood, water and food, and are forced to bribe security guards to leave the camp for medical treatment”:

“President Hassan Rouhani reaffirmed last week he expected sanctions to be lifted by year-end, paving the way for the return of the biggest economy to the global trading and financial system since the end of the Soviet Union in 1991”:

Among the security gaps reported by anonymous “officials involved in security at Sharm el-Sheikh airport” was a “malfunctioning scanner had been noted in security reports to their superiors, but the machine was not replaced”:

“As it happened in the 10th and 11th centuries, Muslim intellectuals who live in the West can initiate a new scholarly synthesis between Islam and Western knowledge — something that is a must to overcome the problems of the Islamic world”:

“We call on politicians, rabbis, imams, civil society leaders – all the people of Israel and Palestine to end rhetoric that exacerbates hatred and violence” — Rep. Keith Ellison and Rabbi Adam Latz:

“[T]he New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said reporters face unprecedented threats in President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s Egypt. CPJ said Egypt currently had the highest number of journalists behind bars since it began keeping records in 1990”:

“The war has evolved into a wider proxy struggle between global powers, as Russia has joined the Assad-Iran axis and Western powers have stepped up support for Gulf Arab-backed rebels”:

November 5, 2015

News and Analysis (11/5/15)

A uniquely French plan to stop extremism: “This was the week that schoolchildren in one Paris suburb got a stark choice at the cafeteria: pork or nothing at all”:

Which should be reported as a potential terrorist: “a person posting about a plan to attend a political event, or someone with an Arabic name posting about going on ‘a mission’ overseas”? For the FBI training program it is a no-brainer [No brains, indeed!]:

“Filkins thus assembled a set of ‘facts’ … supporting his thesis of Iranian guilt, without any serious effort to inquire into its accuracy, reliability and significance [and] …suggests a readiness to interpret data that doesn’t fit the accepted picture in such a way as to keep it intact”:

“There is an undeniable link between media censorship and the proliferation of conspiracy theories in Turkey. In turn, society is so polarized that it lacks the means to negotiate truth claims”:

The accusations that the man who provided the rational for America’s disastrous Iraqi intervention was working for Iran were never proven, but there is no doubt that he “justified his lies by insisting that they served a greater good” …

… while a “new biography of the 41st president – Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey Of George Herbert Walker Bush – reveals that Bush Sr held Cheney and Rumsfeld responsible for the hawkish stance that ‘hurt’ his son’s administration”:

Friday’s narrative that the mission “would be totally ‘non-combat'” and suggesting “keeping the operation purely advisory … was ditched almost immediately:

Saad Almasmari, newly elected to what is believed to be “the first majority Muslim City Council … in the entire country” says, “We are going to represent everybody. We are going to serve everybody, Christians, Jewish, Muslims, everybody”:

“It was the fourth time in six weeks that Hindus had killed Muslims they suspected of slaughtering, stealing or smuggling cows”; a neighbor asks, “How can a man whose family consisted of engineers and doctors, and himself a respected headmaster, steal a calf?”
“Following the visit of a delegation of AFL-CIO leaders from Connecticut to Palestine this Fall as guests of the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU), the Connecticut AFL-CIO adopts a comprehensive resolution against Israeli apartheid:

November 2, 2015

News and Analysis (11/2/15)

Surprising most analysts, the AKP wins a clear majority in parliament, enough to rule without a coalition but not enough to allow Erdogan to completely monopolize power:

Having failed to deny Iran a seat at the Syria peace talk, are the Saudis trying to provoke them to walk out?

“What the Government is really saying is that its classification system trumps the decisions of the federal courts as to the public’s access to official court records; in other words, the Executive Branch (in this case, the Military) purports to be a law unto itself — Judge Gladys Kessler:

“[T]he courage and heroism of those Muslims who risked their own well-being to save the lives of Jews, and rescuing the names of these people from obscurity, is … useful response to the Netanyahu uproar. This is a story that has received remarkably little attention” …

… while a viral video exposes “the inhumanity of Zionism…. It is not simple hatred that motivated the disgusting comments from the onlookers, it is an ingrained, inter-generational sense of superiority bred of dehumanization of the Palestinian, and the Arab generally”:

“CISA is … a surveillance bill masquerading as a cybersecurity bill, … giving the NSA access to more personal information for its expansive databases. CISA is fundamentally flawed because of its broad immunity clauses for companies, vague definitions, and aggressive spying powers”:

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has determined unanimously that Malaysia’s imprisonment of Anwar Ibraham is a violation of International Law and that he shjld be reeased immediately and have all his political rights restored:

“Khin Maung Thein, the lone Muslim candidate, is only campaigning in Mandalay’s mosques, rather than on its streets, and is concerned that Ma Ba Tha monks might harass the people he canvasses”:

Two Muslims crossing from the Muslim ghetto “to enter the Christian sixth district … were slain and their bodies chopped up into pieces, while [a] third … was later stoned to death by a crowd near a church. In an apparent act of retaliation, a Christian man was killed” the next day:

“Even if the situation in Iraq gets better, no matter how safe it is, there’s no guarantee it won’t happen again,” says Naghm Yousif Abdel Meseeh, now resigned to “[l]eaving the land where Assyrians have lived for thousands of years”:

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