News and Analysis (10/21/20)

October 21st, 2020

“They can put locks on our office but they can’t put it on our voice”  — Anuradha Bhasin, the owner and executive editor of Kashmir Times:

Being neither the head of state nor of government, MbS is not immune to “recourse in U.S. courts for violations of international law and for victims of ‘flagrant human rights violations,’ including torture and summary execution abroad”:

Biden condemns “any effort to boycott [Israel] or withhold aid to force policy change.” In 2016 he “helped get the country its biggest ever U.S. aid package, US$38 billion” and “has already announced he would not move the U.S. embassy back to Tel Aviv if elected“:

“Even if Joe Biden triumphs at the polls, Iran’s weakened government may only have a few months to negotiate a revived nuclear deal before facing its own electoral challenge by hardliners who oppose any engagement with the west”:

The number of voters registered in a third party exceeds the difference between Democratic and Republican registrations by 4991 at a time when Muslims are “tired of voting for the cleaner dirty shirt”:

“Macron doesn’t need to ‘build an Islam in France that can be compatible with the Enlightenment,’ because that already exists. Whether French secularism can adapt to Islam is another question”:

“Prior to the nullification of Article 370 and Article 35A of the Constitution, only state subjects were allowed to buy land and apply for government jobs in Jammu and Kashmir”:

“Pro-Israeli activists” are angry that Hadassa hospital is treating the Palestinian leader who has compared Israeli apartheid with that of South Africa:

News and Analysis (10/19/20)

October 19th, 2020

Not satisfied with classifying singing Palestinian songs as a form of terrorism within its own borders, Israel is “examining the possibility of calling for the cancelation of all of Assaf’s events in the United Arab Emirates”:

“Al-Aqsa Mosque shall be entered through the gate of its owners, not through the gate of the Israeli occupation” — Palestinian PM Muhammad Shtayyeh:

History, not ideology. Usmani insists he would not mind removing every picture of Jinnah from government buildings but there are portraits of “S Radhakrishnan, C Rajagopalachari, Rajendra Prasad and Jawaharlal Nehru, E M Forster alongside Jinnah in the campus”:

The “document on judicial security … [also] “stressed the ‘transparency’ of the judicial process, including the right to freely choose a lawyer and ‘the principle of the presumption of innocence’. It also guaranteed ‘consular access’ for foreign nationals”:

The Lebanese doctor who “passed the naturalization test with the best possible score” will be denied citizenship because he refuses to break a promise to his wife that he would never shake hands with another woman:

“The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the arrest of Mr Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat in Europe, a move that is fundamentally illegal and in egregious violation of international practices and the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations”:

An Iranian FM spokesman said “Iran will respond to any aggression even the unintentional ones” after “ten missiles landed in two villages in the Khudaferin district in Iran’s East Azerbaijan province, south of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, injuring a civilian”:

The negotiation “process has only moved slowly, while violence escalated, a factor diplomats and officials have said is sapping the trust needed for negotiations to succeed”:

News and Analysis (10/16/20)

October 16th, 2020

Existing law forbidding anyone from knowingly contacting the agent of a foreign state or terrorist organization without explanation would be expanded to impose a 15-year sentence on contact with any “foreign political entity,” including human rights organizations:

Feeling “discriminated against by the politicians and bureaucrats,” Buddhists initially welcomed Modi’s scrapping of the state’s status, but now even BJP members are “furious,” feeling “vulnerable to outsiders who will come and buy our land and take our jobs as well”:

Iran has already beaten the U.S. to having a female Vice President.  Will the Guardian Council allow it to have a female President first as well?

“We’re only giving the government more time to negotiate the withdrawal” “The truce isn’t open-ended,” Ahmed al-Assadi, a lawmaker representing the political arm of pro-Iran armed coalition Hashd al-Shaabi:

Do you think the dispute over Jerusalem is between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Now Erdogan has declared that Jerusalem is Turkish; and the Saudis, too, want in on the action:

Even if Muslims were “only about one percent of the country’s total population – … their concentrations in key swing and battleground states, such as Michigan, Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, could make their vote especially impactful”:

It was reported that “an Arab medical worker who was sent to conduct a Covid-19 test was refused entry to Yitzhar [because] he was an Arab,” yet “many critics … continue to support institutionalised discrimination against Palestinians” …

… and despite the postponement of official annexation of parts of the West Bank, “more than 12,000 illegal Israeli settlement homes were approved this year” — Ahmed al-Assadi, representing the political arm of pro-Iran armed coalition Hashd al-Shaabi:

“Far from doling out fiscal help and other supportive measures, the government… wants to suck the life and blood of people” — Nati9onal Conference Party statement opposing the imposition of property taxes:

“Hizbullah, a lawyer at the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, was arrested under the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which allows the government to detain suspects without charge and or having to present them before a judge”:

News and Analysis (10/13/20)

October 13th, 2020

By amending its rape laws to punish “anyone convicted of raping a woman or child … with ‘death or rigorous imprisonment for life'” Bangladesh joins four Muslim countries and China in taking a hard line against the most brutal and humiliating crime of aggression:

“The judiciary today does not reflect the America it presides over,” the letter states. “As of 2020, there is to our knowledge no appointed member of the federal judiciary who identifies as Muslim, nor has there ever been”:

The militias will stop attacks on American military and diplomatic targets if “Washington present(s) a timetable for the withdrawal of its troops”:

“He is on hunger strike against administrative detention, in which the prisoner and his lawyer lose all tools to protect him. We have no access to confidential information, no possibility of cross-examining the source of that information” — al-Akhras’ attorney, Ahlam Haddad:

“Inge-Hanif says she is running a deficit this year, even though she doesn’t pay herself a salary, has no staff and lives in the shelter with the women she serves. She maximizes her ability to help with the assistance of her four grown kids, their families and … volunteers”:

The video showing Hindu-Muslim harmony “has got more dislikes than likes on YouTube, with more than 2,000 people disliking the video and only 545 people liking it. The comments section has been disabled” …

… but a Muslim family is unaffected by Muslim hardliners walkout on the inclusion of Hindu chants in a ceremony honoring the accession of a new elder:

“There were no problems whatsoever during the meeting, but soon messages started circulating in various local Facebook groups. There are a number of Burleson Facebook groups that have just gotten hateful” — Burleson Mayor Ken Shetter:

The school contests that it “functions as an indoctrination centre for future terrorists,” and “[d]isowning the arrested trio” says “none of the was a teacher at the school”:

News and Analysis (10/10/20)

October 10th, 2020

Critics called the BJP-led government imposition of a “property tax in the Union Territory … ‘despotic and anarchic rule’ aimed to ‘harass’ the people of Kashmir economically”:

By refusing to accept that a truly secular government would not engage “in what is essentially a community’s own private religious discourse,” Macron mainstreams fringe conspiracy theories:

“In an infrequent acknowledgement of collaboration between the federal government and social media companies, Justice credited Google, Facebook and Twitter with supplying intelligence to the investigation”:

“A timely new documentary film titled ‘There Is A Field’ tells the story of Asel Asleh, a 17-year-old Palestinian peace activist who was murdered by Israeli police, through the lens of Black Lives Matter activists in the United States”:

After “criticizing treatment of prisoners” she was sentenced to years in prison “for her work … against the death penalty,” … for “gathering and colluding with intent to harm national security,” and … for “spreading propaganda against the system.” “:

“Maher al-Akhras was detained on July 27, and held by the Israeli authorities under the administrative detention, with no trial or charges, which pushed him to go on an open-ended hunger strike”:

“In the IAEA we do not talk about breakout time. We look at the significant quantity, the minimum amount of enriched uranium or plutonium needed to make an atomic bomb. Iran does not have this significant quantity at the moment” — IAEA head Rafael Grossi:

News and Analysis (10/7/20)

October 7th, 2020

The Lancet took down a letter noting that “poverty, military occupation, discrimination and institutionalized oppression” turned the Covid-19 outbreak in Gaza into “a preventable biosocial injustice rooted in decades of Israeli oppression” three days after publication:

A survey of articles published about Palestinians in the US over the past fifty years finds that less than 2% of the 2,490 articles in The New York Times, only 1% of the 3,249 in The Washington Post, and not of a single one of 497 in The New Republic were by Palestinians:

The Qur’an (18:23-24) commands believers to say “If God wills” when promising to do something in the future, but Biden’s use of the phrase to characterize a promise by Trump reflects the derogatory colloquial Arabic usage, meaning “it ain’t gonna happen”:

“The proposed bill ‘would require the President to consult with the Israeli government to ensure [qualitative military edge] concerns are settled’ in respect to weapons sales to Middle Eastern countries”:

After her humiliation m she was acquitted of the charges against her:

In its ruling the court equated the kidnapping of an innocent college student with the detention of an FBI agent “on an unauthorized CIA mission,” awarding damages to a foamily that has already “received a $2.5 million annuity” in CIA hush money:

“Yemeni American Sfuaun Ali, 29, has been waiting for three years to hear back from … (USCIS) about the status of the I-130 form he submitted for his wife to join him in New York.” USCIS offers no explanations for waiver rejections:

Like some Iranian Marie Antoinette an Iranian Food and Drug Administration spokesman urged those who can’t afford butter to substitute more expensive “avocados and olive oil”:

“Iranian media said stray shells from fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave had fallen on villages near Iran’s northwestern border, wounding a child and damaging buildings”:

News and Analysis (10/5/20)

October 5th, 2020

“While some conservatives warn that a “soft-totalitarianism” of progressive intolerance is growing in the U.S., when it comes to Israel-Palestine, full-blown authoritarian coercion, like the blacklisting carried out by Canary Mission, is already well entrenched”:

“Twenty scholars—including eight women” bring “collective analytical sensibility combined with academic rigour” to the polemical debate on the status of women in Islam in an anthology titled Muslim Women: What Everyone Needs to Know:

“These newly revealed passages underscore the seriousness of the threat posed by white supremacists to law enforcement personnel and the public at large. That the FBI has continued to withhold this full document … is indefensible” — Jamie Raskin:

“Lozina pleaded guilty to assault, but maintained that he had not attacked Elasmar because of her faith and attacked because she had refused to give him money” yet he was removed from a video court appearance “after he repeated a racist statement over and over again”:

“The measures include placing stringent limits on home-schooling and increasing scrutiny of religious schools, making associations that solicit public funds sign a “charter” on secularism”:

Education week urges teachers to ” Be the catalyst behind the disruption of systems and traditional school practices that continue to muffle the voices of Arab students, Muslims students, and other students from historically marginalized backgrounds”:

Both sides are committed to Islamic jurisprudence; the question is whether the Taliban’s vision can accommodate “women’s rights, freedom of expression and electoral democracy”:

“[T]here is little indication that Prince Mohammed has drawn lessons from the fallout of past actions that have significantly damaged his and the kingdom’s image”:

India’s military made “a rare admission [that] its soldiers exceeded their legal powers in killing the men they described as Pakistani terrorists”:

News and Analysis (10/2/20)

October 2nd, 2020

Israeli murdered an unarmed autistic man and made 442 people homeless during the pandemic, demolishing “389 … homes and other structures in the West Bank, the majority for lacking building permits that Israeli authorities make virtually impossible to obtain”:

Over one “thousand academics and lawyers call on academic and government institutions around the world to cease subjecting those defending justice for Palestinians to censorship and penalisation” through the conflation of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism:

“[T]he Taliban’s choice of negotiators provides a glimpse into the movement’s vision for Afghanistan’s future”:

“For the longest time, Muslims have held onto the view that they don’t see race, which pushes aside important conversations needed around anti-Blackness that exists in the Muslim community, which dismisses our struggles and also our achievements”:

Despite the author’s “largely nonjudgmental view of Noble Drew Ali (1886-1929), the controversial founder of the Moorish Science Temple of America, a forerunner of the Nation of Islam …, Ali emerges as a con artist of unusual audacity”:

Iran offers to mediate between Armenia and Azerbaijan, as Rouhani declares, “Our region can no longer take instability and new wars”:

It “is unlikely that [Pakistan] will continue to moderate its engagement with [Iran and Turkey] in deference to Saudi Arabia”:

“In a consent order, Emirates said it doesn’t believe the violation deserves enforcement action but agreed to the fine to settle the matter”:

“What a joy in these trying times to see that #MsMarvel (a Pakistani American teen superhero!) has cast its lead role, a young actress named Iman Vellani! I can’t wait to see the show!” — Mindy Kaling

Explaining the Paradox in the New Muslim Poll

September 30th, 2020

Dalia Mogahedand and Azka Mahmood have released ISPU’s new annual poll on national conversations with the voices of everyday Americans (“American Muslim Poll 2019: Predicting and Preventing Islamophobia“). Their poll of Muslim attitudes includes a remarkable paradox: of all religious groups surveyed Muslims were least likely to approve of President Trump’s governance and most likely to report religious, gender, and sectarian discrimination, and yet they were the most likely to express optimism with the direction of the country.

I believe this paradox can be explained by the increasing sentiment among non-Muslim groups that Muslims are unfairly affected by policies such as the “Muslim ban.” In other words, the mere fact that non-Muslim groups are troubled by the very trends about which Muslims are concerned is good news for Muslims as regards the “trajectory” of America’s future. That Muslims are less alone in their indignation is cause for hope.

The rise in positive sentiment is the first since the studies began in 2016, but is still below 2016-2017 levels. Also the “positive sentiment about the country’s direction within the Muslim community is not uniform. Muslims are twice as likely to be satisfied than Black Muslims (20%). However, Black Americans who are Muslim report satisfaction at much higher levels than their non-Muslim counterparts in our sample (3%), as do white Americans in the general public (43% vs. 20%).”

It is particularly interesting in that “roughly 10% of all faith groups say they personally know someone who experienced unwanted sexual advancement [sic] from a faith leader in their community” but Muslims were most like to report the transgression to law enforcement.  This flies in the face of the submissive Muslim woman stereotype (see below), but is consistent with an understanding that Islamic morals tolerate neither sexual impropriety nor physical aggression. Conservative and progressive Muslims may disagree about the roles of women in Muslim society, but neither has grounds to tolerate, let alone to defend, sexual aggression against women.

“The notion that Muslim women have been socialized into expecting and accepting ‘second-class status’ crumbles under the weight of evidence that shows that they decry gender discrimination inside and outside their community. Moreover, the data show that Muslim women are four times more likely to have favorable opinions as unfavorable opinions (47% vs. 11%) of those who work for women’s empowerment.”

One thing that has not changed in the recent survey is that those who know a Muslim are more likely to be favorably disposed toward Muslims than those who do not.  Jews are among the most likely to know and be favorably disposed towards Muslims and Evangelical Christians most likely to not know them and fear them.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute

News and Analysis (9/29/20)

September 29th, 2020

Erdogan sides with Azerbaijan against Armenia “to boost his credentials with nationalists and distract from perpetual economic crisis at home” while Iran whose Azerbaijani community may be up to one fourth of its the population take a pragmatic approach:

“UAE served as the backbone of the coalition’s ground war in Yemen and was involved with allied Yemeni militias in running a series of secret torture facilities there,” and “past weapons transfers to the UAE have landed in the hands of extremist groups … rebels included”:

“[G]iven that the Taliban want to alter the current Afghan state into a theocracy while the other side wants to preserve as much of the current democratic setup as possible, the likely compromise will be a Sunni Afghan version of the Islamic Republic of Iran”:

The death sentence for praising an imam above the Prophet (as) has experts “‘deeply concerned over the lack of due process’ … including being held incommunicado and having no access to a lawyer during his initial trial, which was not open to the public”:

“It took just fifteen days for New Delhi to take steps to address the demand in Buddhist majority Leh for constitutional safeguards to protect [a population of 33,000] … but a similar demand for protection to [7 million Muslims in Kashmir Valley] has no takers” …

… while according to “[h]ighly placed sources … two persons have been arrested by the police for allegedly being part of a conspiracy that led to the killing of three labourers from Rajouri by the army” …

… and a former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir continues to sit in jail six months after her six month detention order was set to expire:

“By allotting a fragile residency status in East Jerusalem, Israel has succeeded to revoke and subsequently uproot more than 14,200 Palestinians”:

“This rule is akin to telling Muslim girls that they need permission to be a Muslim” — Sabina Mohyuddin, executive director of the American Muslim Advisory Council: