August 27, 2015

News and Analysis (8/27/15)

“Lord Justice Clarke of the appeal court upheld an earlier ruling to stay the deportation of people originating from all but three Afghan provinces…. However, at least one person from another province was returned despite the court order”:

“The general guideline was set by Prophet Muhammad when he ordered that women be allowed to freely attend the masjid…. Thus we call on all our masjids to be welcoming to women — such that their experience at the masjid be uplifting and not demeaning”:

Is Muslim hip hop haram? “We have good intentions and in our religion intention is everything,” say the team that remixed “I think I found myself a cheerleader” to “I think I found myself a Believer” and “I be in the kitchen cooking pies with my baby” to “I make dua [supplication] for that lady”:

“[S]ixteen Iranians [are] jailed in the United States for bypassing sanctions, and around 60 prisoners … for other crimes. California-born [Jason] Rezaian faces charges of collecting confidential information and handing it to hostile governments … and acting against national security” in Iran:

How to counter ISIS recruitment? Both ordinary young Muslims and ex-hirabis are providing ideas:

“As part of Isis ‘Cyber Caliphate,’ Hussain is also believed to have aided Isis in obtaining the passwords of the US Central Command’s Twitter and YouTube accounts in January and briefly using them to send pro-Isis messages”:

“When it comes to data that is being combed by GhostSec adhering to a plot or a threat including criminal activity, the FBI evaluates it with a degree of skepticism; they prefer to work directly with sources rather than anonymous groups” — Michael S. Smith II, a former FBI agent:

August 24, 2015

News and Analysis (8/24/15)

“The man who boarded a high-speed Amsterdam-to-Paris train with a Kalashnikov rifle before being tackled by passengers was on the radar of authorities in three countries, had ties to radical Islam and may have traveled to Syria”:

“Days after the army uprooted Palestinian-owned olive trees to pave the route of the separation barrier in Beit Jala, … [h]undreds of Muslim and Christian Palestinians protested … against the future establishment of the separation wall that would cut them off from Jerusalem”:

“[A]  pair of devastating terrorist attacks that killed nearly 60 foreign tourists has triggered a state of emergency, and police have been arresting hundreds in sweeps. It is prompting many activists to fear a return to the days of repression under late dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali” …

… while inBahrain, the “Shiite opposition group al-Wefaq identified Isa as the suspect. It said he was innocent and was being targeted under laws that criminalize peaceful political activism. Al-Wefaq earlier said that Isa’s lawyers have not been allowed to see him”:

“[T]he deceased are believed to have been of Rohingya, the ethnic group from Myanmar who currently face persecution, and Bangladeshi origin. They are suspected to have died of abuse and malnourishment”:

“The [Assad] regime’s withdrawal left the city entirely in the militants’ control, though Isis pledged to destroy only what it deemed idolatrous. Isis considers grave markers and statues symbols of paganism that ought to be destroyed, according to their puritanical version of Islam” …

… “What matters is not just how many people live, but how we live. Throughout history, people have made the choice to prefer death over survival at too high a price. As the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata said, “It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees”:

“In Aden, al-Qaida militants and other Islamic extremists continue to patrol the streets. Hundreds of al-Qaida militants hold some key areas in the port city, exploiting a vacuum left by pro-government forces pushing north”:

“Despite their size, the protests seem unlikely to force broader change in Lebanon, which continues to be buffeted by a tussle for regional influence” with Iran backing “Shia Muslims and roughly half of [its] Christians and Druze” and Saudis backing the Sunnis “the other half of the Christians and Druze”:

August 21, 2015

News and Analysis (8/21/15)

“This deal isn’t perfect and no one trusts Iran, but it has become clear to me that the world is united behind this agreement with the exception of the government of Israel” — Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo …

… Although most Israelis oppose the nuclear agreement, many are concerned that “the full-throated lobbying efforts by their government to be undermining ties with the country’s most important ally.” Says one, “We exist here because of the US”:

A bigot’s attempt to ban a Muslim woman from an Uber drivers’ Facebook group backfires when the she herself is banned and her principal employer is notified of her “insensitivity”:

Hoping Syrians will overlook Assad’s tyranny because of IS’s atrocities constitutes a revival of the failed cold war policy abandoned in the 1980s “to look the other way when a dictator was brutal in the struggle against communist rebels”:

A common Muslim traditional way of matchmaking is for families to send pictures and biographical sketches to one another “and if two people say they like each other then they go meet each other. It’s the same model without the middleman”:

Israeli authorities worried that the death of the man held without charge “could lead to unrest, but also insisted that his release would only encourage other prisoners to begin hunger strikes to demand their freedom as well”:

“Western governments were unhappy with … [the] Libyan request to lift the embargo, arguing that the supply of heavy weapons would simply enable the Tobruk authorities to launch a new offensive against its Tripoli-based Islamist rival”:

“Current opinion polls suggest that new elections are unlikely to produce a different outcome…. The AKP could even be penalized if voters believe that AKP’s strategy, driven by Erdoğan’s personal ambition, is forcing early elections.”:

August 19, 2015

News and Analysis (4/19/15)

By supporting the Israeli lobby’s effort to sabotage the best hope for insuring Iran will not obtain a nuclear weapon, Senator Robert Menendez does nothing to lend credibility to his denial of corruption charges for which he was indicted last April:

“Even Senator Lindsey Graham candidly warned back in 2012 that the GOP is losing the demographic battle because “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term“:

“An armed member of a volunteer group guarding an Oklahoma gun store that recently declared itself ‘Muslim-free’ has accidentally shot himself, according to local media” …

… while “George Zimmerman is raising money for himself and the owner of [the] ‘Muslim-free’ gun shop by raffling off an original painting of the Confederate flag”:

“The decision did little to resolve a debate over Israel’s controversial practice of holding suspects without charge, or a new law permitting force feeding of hunger strikers.” This was “to be the first test of the law before he fell unconscious” …

… “Israel is currently holding 340 Palestinians in administrative detention. Last month, it took the rare step of placing three young Israeli ultranationalists in administrative detention” after an arson killed a Palestinian toddler and his father:

“Mehr must be paid immediately after the nikaah [marriage contract], and is in fact one of the seven conditions for a nikaah to be valid; and yet a large number of men (44 per cent according to the BMMA poll) get away without paying it”:

“I fast, I pray, I believe in one god, I give to charity, I’ve been on pilgrimage. All I do know is I exist. I’m gay, I’m Muslim, I’m a drag queen, I’m British, I’m a Pakistani. People say that all these things shouldn’t fit right together but hey, here I am”:

“He refused to reveal the location of treasures in the site. The extremist group held the 81-year old scholar for about a month before murdering him in front of dozens in a square outside the town’s museums” …

… yet, rather than “a terrorist organisation, pure and simple …  Isis is a hybrid of insurgency, separatism, terrorism and criminality, with deep roots in its immediate local environment, in broader regional conflicts and in geopolitical battles”:

“The parliamentary report alleged that Maliki had an inaccurate picture of the threat to Mosul because he chose corrupt commanders and failed to hold them accountable. Maliki … blamed … a conspiracy planned in Ankara” and then Erbil:

“Anti-rebel fighters have failed to push the rebels and their allies out of the Aqaba Tharaa area, which they took control of a day earlier in a similar attack”:

August 17, 2015

News and Analysis (8/17/15)

On top of lying about how and why the government killed over a thousand people at Rabaa Square a new report shows Egypt even lied about whom they were shooting and why they were there …

… and new laws have such an extremely broad definition of “terrorism” that “Critics and human rights groups say the laws are a throwback to those under prior President Hosni Mubarak, and will be used to ‘crush all forms of dissent'”:

Bin Ladin’s primary enemy was “not the United States, as we often think, or the West. It’s other Muslims” and even his “declaration of war” on the U.S. mainly targeted Saudi corruption; 9/11 is almost never mentioned:

European Muslim youth seek to “discursively and practically move toward ways of living and being in Islam that are European” having found that “living in Europe has given them the freedom to critically engage with their faith”:

Their “faith in democracy and political activism has been crushed as Turkey, simultaneously with joining the US-led anti-IS alliance, recently launched a vigorous campaign of arrests and airstrikes against the PKK”:

“If we can show our youth how to engage communities and engage the world around them in a healthy productive, positive way, we can counter the effects of ISIS and their ability to steal our youth away” — Entrepreneur Chris Blauvelt:

“The play set out to explore some of the factors that might cause someone to be attracted to Muslim extremists. The cancellation has infuriated some of Britain’s leading figures in the world of arts and human rights”:

“Cultural and language barriers keep us from fully integrating into the Muslim community; bigotry keeps pushing us further from the conservative Christian nation around us. But we … have each other and we have our faith”:

August 14, 2015

News and Analysis (8/14/15)

The agreement is “the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” and a precondition for any conceivable “international support for military action against Iran”:

Ignoring the vast majority of Muslim women to celebrate a few who fit our stereotypes of what a woman should be by Western secular standards “makes us part of … [an]  oppressive [system] … responsible for the ‘othering” of others”:

Contradicting Kayla Mueller’s letter to her family that her only suffering “throughout this whole experience … is only in knowing how much suffering I have put you all through“, the US claims Baghdadi himself raped the American …

… based on reports from Yazidi girls claiming to have been enslaved and similarly abused:

A Moroccan official says, “Criminality can be remedied through the legal system, but then there’s ideology, and it can only be fought with ideology.” Beny Avni opines that in Casablanca, “they’ve fended off extremists for 12 centuries”:

“[I]n recent years, al-Azhar has grown increasingly politicized…. [O]fficials have grown entangled with controversial policies. And … respect for the institution’s long-honored religious authority has plummeted”:

“10 years [after 9/11] we … have two Muslim members of Congress, visible representation of Muslims on mainstream TV … a president with ‘Hussein’ as his middle name, and increasingly nuanced and complex journalism covering Islam”:

Attorney Steven Wax “remains troubled that the government might still possess classified evidence that could have helped Mohamud’s case. ‘The way our system should work, the government is obligated by law to provide notice,’ he said”:

“U.S. intelligence agencies have said in the past they believed Islamic State has used chlorine gas in attacks in Iraq…. Chlorine is not a banned chemical agent”:

“Last month, Israel’s parliament passed a law allowing the force-feeding of inmates…. The Israel Medical Association (IMA) is challenging the law in Israel’s Supreme Court. They urged physicians to stick by the body’s ethical code”:

August 12, 2015

News and Analysis (8/12/15)

Dr. Salaita’s tweets implicate every “central concern” of the First Amendment … (regulation of political speech, regulation of speech in a public forum, and regulation based on the content of the speech)”:

Support of liberal Islam “ought to be kept separate from counter-terrorism, … [or] you are unlikely to bring the likes of Luton’s Salafists … against Isis … if their peaceful extremism is treated as indistinguishable from violent forms”:

A unanimous ruling “that non-Muslims were eligible to practise as Shariah lawyers” means a religious council “refusal to process an application of a non-Muslim lawyer to practise as a Shariah lawyer … [exceeds] its legal powers”:

Many “say these attacks were entirely preventable, if only authorities had heeded the warnings of parents whose radicalized sons had traveled to Syria, presumably for explosives training”:

The truce “adds to recent signs of new efforts in the region to end diplomatic deadlock over a conflict that has killed a quarter of a million people, made 10 million homeless, left swathes of Syria in the hands of Islamic State militants”:

“Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni’s outburst early Wednesday on Libya TV, and the confusion surrounding it, shows the chaos still gripping Libya years after the ouster and killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi“:

Although collective punishment is harâm, IS had “threatened to kill Salopek …unless Egypt’s government freed ‘Muslim women’ from prison” and “accused Croatia of participating in ‘the war against the Islamic State'”:

August 10, 2015

News and Analysis (8/10/15)

Kurds complain that even after technical problems causing “initial transfers to the state oil company [to be] lower than required” were resolved, the central governments persisted in sending reduced payments:

“An all India survey … reveals that 92.1 per cent of the surveyed Muslim women were opposed to … a form of unilateral divorce that does not give room for reconciliation, and 91.2 per cent were against polygamy”:

“The development comes after almost a year of holding a sit-in protest…. [T]he victim families had said some of the victims have already converted to Islam in protest against the atrocities of upper caste Hindus”:

Rather than some “longstanding natural bond between the” Judeo-Christian traditions, “the history of Jews in Spain and Portugal suggests … the multicultural bond with the greater historical resonance was Judeo-Muslim”:

“Insurgents have regained control of several villages in northwest Syria from government forces and have advanced beyond them, edging closer to a coastal stronghold of President Bashar al-Assad”:

“One of the most puzzling aspects of this new phase of American involvement is that it is in no way expressly intended to provide protection for civilians”:

“A heat wave pushes Iraqis to demand the kind of honest government that can keep the power on and air conditioners running… Many protesters claimed corruption to be a worse enemy than the terrorists of Islamic State”:

A “Farmersville resident who opposes the cemetery told me she was suspicious of the Buddhist meditation center in town because they’re ‘too quiet….’ Raise your voices, Americans. For God’s sake, raise your voices”:

News and Analysis (8/8/15)

To Paul’s “I want to collect more records from terrorists, but less records from innocent Americans,”  Christie demanded how can you tell the difference? It’s called a warrant, counselor, and shame on you for having to ask:
“If Pastor McConnell is convicted and imprisoned I will go to prison with him,” said imam, Muhammad Al-Hussaini, expressing “deep dismay” at criminal proceedings against someone who never “incited physical harm to anyone”:

“[T]he first military prisoner from Afghanistan to be tried in a US federal court … faces a maximum penalty of life in prison….” Now when are going to close Gitmo so other guilty parties may be convicted and the innocent set free?

“Islam gets a bad rap – mostly because it is not understood by large populations of uneducated followers who misinterpret the content and context …  guided primarily by the cultural context of the countries where they reside”:

Accusations that the chlorine gas has been used by Asad  has thus far been circumstantial and ignores evidence that the rebels were supplied with chlorine by an arms supplier to the rebels allied to the US:

Eleven members of “an elite counter-terrorism force” and four Bangladeshi workers were killed. A “previously unheard of Islamic State affiliate, which calls itself Hijaz Province of the Islamic State, claimed responsibility”:

“A Palestinian official told reporters that before the funeral in Duma, a postmortem would be held to provide evidence for a complaint to the international criminal court (ICC) in The Hague”:

Placing UK troops “under foreign authority … [to carry] out combat operations in Syria despite a 2013 parliamentary vote banning military action in Syria” puts “trust and confidence” in the government “at risk” …

… while the “experience [Baathist veterans] bring [to ISIS] is a major reason for the group’s victories in overrunning large parts of Iraq and Syria”:

Like many companies, we used a third party to check all requests. Because this particular request only included the requester’s name, which matched with a number of names and aliases on the denied persons list, it was flagged”:

August 5, 2015

News and Analysis (8/5/15)

Some residents expressed concern that the cemetery is a stalking horse for a mosque or a school if not a nefarious plot to poison the local water supply …

… but “the first Baptist in America, Roger Williams, founded Rhode Island as a haven of religious freedom, not only for fellow Baptists, but for ‘Turks,’ as he called them. That’s right, Muslims”:

A Brotherhood veteran “risked arrest to urge the movement to stay peaceful” and now that he has been arrested, he is being “mocked … on social media as naïve, unrealistic and hypocritical”:

“Muslim mothers’ established social role is one of the few constants across an otherwise heterogeneous religious group. This may be why [ISIS] sidesteps Muslim mothers by reaching out directly to young recruits in … cyberspaces”:

“The Muslim battalion is part of growing relations between Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians…. [The] Turkic and religiously Sunni Islam minority … faced decades of religious and political persecution under Russian rule”:

“The protesters accused the government of trying to impose a little-known Islamic sect called Al Ahbash on the country’s Muslim population”:

“I was humiliated in front of 1,200 students and my Constitutional right was violated. She made us go on stage and forced us to sing the prayer in front of everybody. She scolded me … when I mispronounced a few Sanskrit words”:

“The same people praised me when I took positions against the violence and moral policing of the Hindu right. But I quickly became unpopular when I … [criticized] Islamist groups that were trying to enforce the burkha”:

“There will be civil war in Libya … We will kill one another in the streets…. We will need 40 years to reach an agreement on how to run the country, because … and everybody will want to run the country”:

“There is definitely a shift on the ground…. Young girls don’t feel embarrassed to talk about the problems of the practice in front of their parents … It’s a very important shift in attitude” Mona Amin, anti-FGM activist:

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