July 23, 2016

News & Analysis (07/23/16)

Although the motives of the Munich attacker are still unknown, Munich’s police chief thinks a “link between the new attack and Friday’s fifth anniversary of [Anders] Breivik’s attacks in Norway is ‘obvious'”:

Though scores of civilians were killed, the US believes its bombing of ISIS targets to be worth it:

The Taliban has condemned, but ISIS has claimed, the deadly attack on the Hazara community in Kabul:

“The voting booth was simply the most feasible way to dismantle the postcolonial, secular systems that, in the eyes of their followers, had failed to bring justice or development to ordinary Muslims:”

The Sultan of Sokoto in Nigeria has reminded Muslims of the Qur’anic principle of no compulsion in religion, as well as that they should avoid fighting with anyone unless attacked directly:

The High Court in Lagos state, Nigeria has ruled that the legality of the wearing of hijabs in schools:

This author is of the opinion that Muslims need to take action against ISIS. Many other Muslims and Muslim organizations share this sentiment:

 

 

 

July 21, 2016

News & Analysis (7/21/16)

At the Republican National Convention, Rudy Giuliani stands by his disastrous surveillance of Mosques in the New York area, and fails to name any leads the surveillance produced:

The United States wants Turkey to provide proof that Gulen was involved in the Coup …

… and Erdogan’s attempts to use the coup to strengthen his grip on the country may backfire …

… and some evidence points to Erdogan’s advance knowledge of the coup, and his allowance of the attempt in order to  …

The “scholars” who banned chess as gambling update a similar 16-year ban on the Pokemon card game to include the banning of Pokemon Go, while the Deputy Head of Egypt’s al Azhar likens it to an intoxicant:

“We hope that this sends a global message that the barbarity touches the whole world and that the people here, the victims, are not those who commit the crimes in Syria and Iraq:”

After more terror attacks in Nice and Wurzberg show the problems Muslim youth are facing with misinformation regarding Islam. Some in Germany are hoping to improve that …

… “These terror attackers are susceptible to IS propaganda because they lack the basic historical and contextual understanding of the faith:”

The fact Islam is a religion and not a race, doesn’t stop Islamophobes from racializing their attacks on the religion as the painting of anti-Arab slurs on Sikh temples demonstrates:

The author argues that the shift to increase support for Israel is due to the large need for campaign donations as the candidates shift into the general election:

Muslims are registering to vote in increasing numbers. 70% are registered as Democrats:

El Mercurio Interview on the Failed Coup in Turkey

[I was recently interviewed by Javier Méndez about the failed coup in Turkey for an article in Santiago’s  El Mercurio newspaper. Here are my answers to his questions.]

Q. After the military coup attemp, Erdogan government has launched an intense repression in Turkey. Has Erdogan the political power to do that?

A. In the aftermath of the failed coup Erdogan’s regime has detained or suspended over 50,000 soldiers, police officers, teachers, civil servants and judges whom he considers to be political enemies. The victims of the purge appear to be people he considers to be influenced by the preacher and former Erdogan ally Fethullah Gulen, now in self-imposed exile in the United States. Erdogan is trying to paint Gulen’s highly secretive but to date peaceful “Hizmet (service)” movement a terrorist organization. It is unclear whether Erdogan has the political capital to pull off this purge. On the one hand he has many supporters who will stand by hm against any opponents, but Gulen also has many followers and the seemingly absurd accusation of terrorism against Gulen’s followers regardless of whether or not they were involved in the coup (an accusation that has yet to be proven) may cause Erdogan’s support among Turkish liberals to erode.

Q.  According to your opinion, Is Turkey a real democracy?

A. Turkey is a democracy, albeit a flawed one. However, it is a fragile democracy increasingly threatened by Erdogan’s growing authoritarianism and paranoia.

Q. Do you think that Erdogan strengthens his power?

A. Erdogan has been gradually increasing his power, but this current move may backfire.

Q. In the present situation in Asia and Europe, how important is the role of Turkey respect the war against Islamic terrorism in Syria, Iraq and the refugees problem and relationship with Europe and United States?

A. I reject the framing of the question. There is nothing Islamic about terrorism. Having said that, Turkey has an important role to play in defeating Muslim terrorists in Iraq and Syria not only because it is geographically closer to the problem than America or the rest of Europe but because as a Muslim country (and one with an important role in Muslim history) it is well-placed to demonstrate how terrorism is a violation of Islamic teachings and practice. Unfortunately, Erdogan’s recent actions detract from his credibility in any such enterprise.

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

July 18, 2016

News & Analysis (7/18/16)

The investigation is still going on into the motives and background of the attacker in Nice. However, people in his community argue he was a bad example …

… But seeking to malign Islam as a whole is still falling right into ISIS’ trap…

… Furthermore, “the country’s colonial history in North Africa, its insistence on assimilation and the greater isolation of its Muslim communities” are factors that contribute to the violence:

Eager to avoid  becoming a “fundamentalist atheist,” Roy Greenslade insists, “Freedom-lovers should not seek to impose their preferences on others”:

Despite the nearly solid wall of disregard for Palestinian rights in American politics, Hillary Clinton has managed somehow to “run one of the most anti-Palestinian, pro-Israeli-aggression presidential campaigns in modern history — from either party”:

Young black Muslims discuss their experiences across identities: including double discrimination, and a lack of representation, even though they account for as much as one-third of Muslim-Americans:

The descendants of Lebanese immigrants to North Dakota, now mostly Christians, keep the memory of their forefathers alive by keeping a Masjid in the prairie, showing the long history of Islam in the U.S., and the religious freedom they faced:

July 16, 2016

News & Analysis (7/16/16)

After an attempted coup by a faction of the military, the Erdogan government seems back in control, but, blaming the highly secretive but heretofore peaceful Gulen (“Hizmet”) movement for the coup, they will not be dealing with the alleged perpetrators lightly …

… with Turkish PM Binali Yildirim hinting that they are prepared to go to war with the United States if it continues to shelter Gulen …

… and John Kerry says the U.S. will consider the preacher’s extradition:

The French government is still investigating the motives of a 31 year old man who killed 84 in his truck attack in the city of Nice:

With apparently no understanding what Sharia is, Newt Gingrich called for the deportation of any Muslim who believes in it:

So far, after the release of 28 pages from the 9/11 Commission, fears of Saudi government involvement seem unwarranted:

A summary of the various Islamophobic attacks the United States during Ramadan:

Notwithstanding an interfaith coalition assessment that the $50,000 project is “fiscally irresponsible, potentially counterproductive, and ultimately unnecessary” the state legislature with stick Oklahoma taxpayers with the bill for the exercise in McArthyism:

July 14, 2016

News & Analysis (7/14/16)

Sissi asked earlier this week for a “religious revolution.” It seems his idea of that entails everyone conforming to his ideas, and thereby erasing religious freedom:

The author realizes the Muslims and Hindus in India “have lived in a state of un-institutionalized apartheid for decades, even centuries:”

Reverend Tabbernee opposes of singling out Muslims, saying is the state of Oklahoma is concerned about radical ideologies, it should study the “17 hate groups that we know about in Oklahoma”:

On the anniversary of the largest massacre during the Bosnian genocide, the author looks at the lessons the West can take from the experiences of these indigenous European Muslims:

The Ahmadiyya community presents its “True Islam” campaign, consisting of 11 principles that differentiate it from extremism, in the Boston Town Hall:

“It would be easy to arrange a route through the Bitunia checkpoint … sparing visitors the exhausting long-short journey. But no. The disregard for the time of those you subjugate is also an integral part of the education and training of every Israeli prison guard”:

July 13, 2016

News & Analysis (7/13/16)

“May used the Human Rights Convention she scorned as a means to halt the extradition of Gary McKinnon to the US – while allowing that of Talha Ahsan. Both had Asperger’s Syndrome. Both were charged of roughly the same crime. But Ahsan was a Muslim”:

The Dawah movement is especially appealing to Arab youth:

Islamophobic sentiments have increased in Europe, seemingly because of the perceived “threat” of migrants…

…, but perceived preservation of culture seems to also play a role:

Many smaller news websites claimed that UNESCO evaluated world religions for ‘peacefulness.’ This body says it made no such proclamation:

“We are trying to tell average Americans this is who we are, and we do not condone (terrorism):”

An argument against the Blasphemy laws in Pakistan, and that “we should understand that there is no compulsion in Islam:”

Using Qur’anic principles, this Malaysian author argues for increased faith, but including acceptance of different beliefs, emphasizing the right to judge religious principles for oneself, and not to leave it to “experts:”

“Fayyaz Ali, 39, is Muslim and has two dogs. He thinks the leaflets are a scam to incite hatred in the community, and he said no Muslim organisation would post such leaflets”:

July 11, 2016

News & Analysis (7/11/16)

The University Chaplain of Duke University makes a statement in support of Black Americans and their struggle for justice in the United States, including a call for reform within the Muslim ummah in general and within Muslim Student Associations in particular:

Despite all the seemingly ubiquitous Islamophobic Rhetoric, a Brookings Institution poll shows the American perception of Muslims is improving, especially in the wake of the Orlando attack:

A former member of the religious police in Saudi Arabia is interviewed about religion in the kingdom. Other figures are also consulted:

Yet again, the niqab becomes an object of debate in Western countries. This time, allowing it to be a reason for the termination of employment:

In Australia, a Muslim woman has been elected to parliament for the first time, and the second Muslim overall:

These girls describe the multi-faceted issues of acceptance many young American Muslims face, through slam poetry:

The ICJ ruling “that Israel’s wall, as well as its settlements, violate the Fourth Geneva Convention … helps to underscore the prejudicial nature of the discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Western mainstream media and particularly in the U.S.”:

“It is difficult with some of these countries to know exactly what is government funding and what is not when you are dealing with royal families, wealthy princes and those kind of things”:

“In practice, the law will affect liberal groups almost exclusively because hawkish groups in Israel largely rely on donations from wealthy individuals, which are exempt”:

July 9, 2016

News & Analysis (7/9/16)

Russia’s new law attempting to stop terror, is a significant affront to freedom. This includes a crackdown on “missionary” activity: including sharing religion outside church:

A far-right party in Britain is labeling British Muslim politicians as extremist “occupiers:”

Some Turkish citizens are calling out the popular televangelists for their lavish lifestyle and Ramadan hauls:

Sing Sing prison in New York is regarded by many prisoners as quite accommodating to Ramadan requirements…

…However, in some prisons in Britain discrimination is increasing:

A Muslim mother discusses raising her child in the United States and worrying about him feeling left out by not having a Christmas tree:

July 7, 2016

News & Analysis (7/7/16)

Images of Eid celebrations “as worldwide displacement reaches an all-time high, with Muslim-majority Syria being the largest driver of displacement” …

… and violations of the Eid truce have already been reported:

Tony Blair stands by his decision to bring Britain into the Iraq invasion despite a thorough British government inquiry finding it to have been a bad choice:

This piece of analysis puts much of the news into perspective, namely, that Islam has not always been the “enemy” of America:

Can Islam’s reverence for motherhood put an end to the “takfiri” horror? The bombing of Medina, like the matricide of the woman who refused to let her sons fight in Syria demonstrates the anti-Islamic nature of terrorism:

“ISIS is not about submitting to Islam. Rather, ISIS is of the persuasion that you must either solely submit to ISIS, or die.” The article also includes images from Muslims and allies as to why they “challenge Islamophobia:”

“Of the 26 attacks since 9/11 that the [New America Foundation] defined as terror, 19 were carried out by non-Muslims:”

This author believes that the ruling elite in Muslim countries are corrupt. She hopes that this Eid will be more than a ritual, and rather will usher in efforts for justice. This starts with everyone looking within themselves:

President Sall freed petty criminals as well as some political prisoners before Eid:

France debates whether allowing Muslim students to take their exams a day after Eid constitutes a violation of secularism:

 

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