News and Analysis (7/26/17)

July 26th, 2017

No one says they do not want a mosque in the area, yet similar arguments that it would disrupt the communities way of life have not prevented the approval of churches:

Israel is not going to give up on imposing its control over the holy site, so Islamic leaders urge Muslims not to concede until they fully understand the measures Israel will place on the mosque …

… Rightfully so, since Israel intends to spend $28 million to add cameras with facial recognition, an even more intrusive measure than metal detectors …

… and the U.N. envoy warns of “potential catastrophic costs well beyond the walls of the old city”:

Hindu relatives of the victim of BJP terrorism convert were protected and cared for by the Muslim community:

How the American government honor-killed a honeymoon:

With the intense negative coverage of Islam, BuzzFeed finds it necessary to balance the negativity …

… voices of hate “should not be censored but ‘should not be featured prominently as authoritative voices’:

75% of “sense a lot of discrimination[,] … half say being Muslim in this country has been more difficult in recent years … [and] 89 percent … are proud to be both American and Muslim”:

Markets always prefer making money over intolerance:

Haroon Moghul talks about his memoir:

Russia and Syria have every right to sue because Syria never invited the U.S. into their country for help and the American intervention violates The U.S. Army Field Manual 27-10:

News and Analysis (7/25/17)

July 26th, 2017

Many of the supporters of the Anti-Boycott Act realized afterwards they did not know what they were actually supporting; Jewish Voice for Peace says: “Take Action to Stop Unconstitutional Attack on Freedom to Boycott”:

Israel abandons the policy of forcing worshipers through metal detectors …

… after violence provoked by the policy went international when “an Israeli security guard killed two Jordanians after being attacked by one of them with a screwdriver”:

“While KPFA emphatically supports serious free speech, we do not support abusive speech”:

The American Muslim community is growing into a dynamic group — one that is firmly planted in the U.S. tradition of individualism:

Trump explains his hesitation over his staff’s proposed Afghanistan policy, “I want to find out why we’ve been there for 17 years”:

Starting from the bottom, Zarif Khan worked his way up to be a humble and charitable millionaire promoting equality in his restaurant and fighting for his citizenship:

With one of the oldest generations of Muslims, in this community you can see Muslims in the banks, schools, and hospitals; they are a vital part of Philadelphia:

“49 Palestinians have now been killed by Israelis in 2017”:

A “student of American politics, … [Khan] often paraphrases John F. Kennedy: he is not a Muslim mayor; he is a mayor who happens to be Muslim”:

Legally blind Syrian Refugee takes photos to show the humanity of the people from his refugee camp and becomes noticed by Canada:

News and Analysis (7/22/17)

July 22nd, 2017

“Blackwater military contractors opened fire in a city square in Baghdad, killing 17 civilians in one of the worst episodes of the Iraq war” but now they have an even worse idea– for American taxpayers to foot the bill for them to rule Afghanistan:

It’s “the deadliest outbreak of violence between the two sides for years;” as Israeli officer kicks a Palestinian man while he is down praying, a settler kills a teenager, and live ammo fired at demonstrators, many injured others killed in Jerusalem and the West Bank:

Dozens of families in the U.S. are waiting for their children they are adopting from overseas, but with no “real family” to claim, are unable to even enter the country:

Saudi-led deadly air strike bombs an area in which there were no military targets:

In a single tweet Dawkins both admits to never having read the Qur’an and charges Islam with being the “greatest force for evil today,” yet he is befuddled as to why he is accused of “abusive speech”:

Why one out of five American Muslims plan to leave the country:

“Practicing Alevis … read from the same Islamic texts as mainstream Muslims, but worship in a cemevi, or prayer hall, rather than a mosque. Men and women pray alongside one another, and — unlike observant Sunnis — are not expected to pray five times a day”:

Barbary Wars and Barbaric Blogs

July 21st, 2017

Blog posts have been appearing that quote Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman from Tripoli in 1786, in the era of the Barbary pirates, saying that it is the “right and duty” of Muslims “to plunder and enslave” any who did not acknowledge the Prophethood of Muhammad “and that every [Muslim] who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise.” This message proffers the quote as evidence that the attacks on American ships by the Barbary pirates were a reflection of a scriptural command for eternal war with nonbelievers and that, for that reason, Thomas Jefferson “declared war on Islam” in response. The virus, virus in more than one sense of the term, is an instructive example of how context-dropping can be used to advance a completely fallacious political position. Yes, the ambassador made a Bin-Laden-like statement, but Jefferson, who had George Sale’s translation of the Qur’an, knew his statement doesn’t represent accurately the Qur’an’s position on just war, and Jefferson’s  subsequent attacks on “the shores  of Tripoli” (as they have been memorialized in the “Marines’ Hymn”) were neither a war on Islam, nor even on all Muslim states, as basic knowledge of the history of the Barbary Wars demonstrates. Here is the context of the events, a context of which the Islamophobes appear ignorant and, in any case, prefer that the rest of us be ignorant.

In that time the practice of encouraging “privateers” to attack enemy ships was common. (The U.S. Constitution provides for it in the authorization of “letters of marque and reprisal”.) Britain was paying tribute to the Barbary states for the protection of British ships traveling in the south Mediterranean. This protection extended to ships coming from the American colonies which were under British control. Once the U.S. broke free from Britain, the British were quick to advise the Barbary states to whom they themselves were paying tribute for protection, that the former colonies were no longer under British protection and fair game for the pirates. Some, but not all, of the Barbary states took the bait.

The Sultan of Morocco Mohamed Ben Abdullah had initiated friendship with the U.S. in 1777, when no other country in the world recognized the U.S. as an independent nation, by guaranteeing safe passage through the Straits of Gibraltar where pirates plagued maritime trade in the belief that Christendom was at perpetual war with the Muslims. The sultan recognized that the nascent American nation was different from the European imperial powers, and evidently hoped to keep it that way by befriending us in our time of need. Grateful for the Sultan’s intervention on behalf of the newly declared American nation, in 1783 Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and John Jay urged the U.S. follow up by negotiating a perpetual treaty with Morocco, which was signed in 1786 and ratified by Congress in 1787, beginning a friendship that has lasted without interruption until this day. (A sign of the respect accorded the U.S. in Morocco is the presence until today of the Tangiers American Legation Society and the beautiful building in which it is housed in the old city of Tangiers, shown at left.) Clearly the Moroccan state has for over two centuries had a different understanding of Islamic law and the common values of the Muslim world and the American nation than that of the ambassador for Tripoli. Just as clearly, that Jefferson understood this is reflected in the fact that his first action was not to urge war, but a negotiation.

However, negotiations with the neighboring states proved more difficult. Tripoli and Algiers in particular allowed the pirates to operate freely. For a while Portugal, at war with Algiers, provided a blockade that allowed American ships protection, but a truce between those nations in 1793 left American ships vulnerable.  Accordingly, the U.S. initiated treaties with Algiers and Tripoli in 1795, 1796 and 1797, and with Tunis in 1797. The 1796 Treaty of Tripoli, drafted by Jefferson’s friend Joel Barlow, famously included the clause that that “the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion, as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility of Musselmen.”

The real issue for Jefferson was not over the nature of Islam, but over the advisability of paying tribute. Muslim states were not the only states that demanded tribute of client states. (Such tribute is called not Islam-geld, but Dane-geld, as in “once you have paid him the Dane-geld, You never get rid of the Dane.”) Unlike Congress, Jefferson wished to build a strong Navy so that we could protect our own ships rather than pay tribute to a protector state. Algeria’s infidelity to the treaty of 1796 was due not to religious fanaticism compared to Morocco, but to the fact that “Algiers was much more dependent than Morocco on the fruits of corsairing.” Not religious enthusiasm, but greed for the things of this material world sparked the Barbary Wars of the early 1800s. Not a religious mandate, but a state of war was behind the hostilities in the period. The war was with Tripoli and not with the the other Barbary powers, let alone with the Muslim world or Islam itself. Jefferson sought only to fight aggression and embraced the end of the war in 1805; it was his political opponents who wanted to prolong the war to effect a regime change in Tripoli by reinstalling Hamet Qaramanli as Pasha. 

Seven years of peace were ended when war broke out between Britain and the U.S. in 1812. The new Dey of Algiers saw an opportunity to increase the tribute by siding with the British, nullifying the treaty, and declaring war on the U.S. The U.S. was unable to act against Algiers as long as it was at war with Britain, but once the Treaty of Ghent has been signed, the U.S. sent a squadron to Algiers under Commodore Stephen Decatur. By then, however, there was yet a new Dey in Algiers, Omar who “wished to restore order after several years of political instability and was acutely aware that he could no longer count on British support against the Americans.” Decatur was able to negotiate treaties with Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis which required no tribute. Such treaties should have been impossible according to the account of the Islamophobes, who say Muslims prefer to die and go to Paradise rather than stop their war against everyone else. Islamophobes will argue that the treaties are worthless shams, examples of “taqiyya” under which (they claim) Muslims may lie freely to the infidels. Such an argument fails to explain why those treaties, like the one with Morocco, were never broken. Pirates continued to raid French ships despite (because of?) French bombardment until the French conquest of Algeria in 1830, but no U.S. ship was captured by Barbary pirates after Decatur’s treaties.

Morocco has stood by the U.S. from the beginning. Algiers broke the Treaty of 1797 at the urging of the British. The fanatical misrepresentation of the Qur’an given by the ambassador from Tripoli to explain the behavior of the Barbary pirates is the understanding of  warmongers among Muslims and Westerners, but is not the understanding of Thomas Jefferson, Sultan Mohamed Ben Abdullah, the vast majority of Muslims, or the respected scholars of Islam.

A neutral academic summary of the Barbary Wars in context can be found at the Oxford Islamic studies website.

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

News and Analysis (7/21/17)

July 21st, 2017

Chuck Schumer and Ben Cardin eagerly sacrifice civil right on the altar of Israeli apartheid, proposing to make felons of American engaging in political activism supporting the boycott against Israel with penalties up to $1 million and 20 years in prison …

… while Israel disregards the “Israel’s Freedom of Information Law” to keep its plots against the BDS movement secret” from its own people:

As protest mounts over Israeli demonstration of its control over al-Aqsa through the installation of metal detectors, the number of Muslims praying in the streets outside the mosque have grown:

Women caught in the middle of the Syrian war who were captured and sold as sex slaves escaped and join a women’s militia sponsored by the US SDF, vowing revenge in proportion to the injustice they suffered:

Campaigners removed from the UN’s report on endangering children under Saudi pressure complain that the rich and powerful “get away with killing and injuring children”:

After hours of questioning, the detained Saudi women, who’s video of her walking around in a revealing outfit, was released without charge due to her claim the video was posted without her knowledge:

Resistance and even armed struggle against a colonial occupation force are not just recognized under international law but specifically endorsed, something Israel would like to change, knowing the wrongfulness of their occupation:

All though many citizens of Middle Eastern countries are still banned, at least their laptops are now welcome:

News and Analysis (7/20/17)

July 20th, 2017

The opponents of the Travel Ban argue that excluding certain family members from entering the U.S. is “nonsense” and the court should not define what “close” is…

… although Congress has the power to defund any of Trump’s executive orders, including the Travel Ban, they narrowly decided to let the administration ban Grandma:

A  German judge’s ill-thought out and probably illegal order for a woman to appear in court without her headscarf will effectively derive her of her right to sue for divorce:

“A bus driver with more than 20 years on the job filed a lawsuit against an Atlanta principal … [who refused] to let her in the [school] building because saw her praying”:

The headlining Afghan Girls Robotics team earned a silver metal …

…and a new perspective from Americans. Not only did President Trump intervene to get them their visa, but his daughter Ivanka welcomed them in person:

“Muslim-Americans are always finding themselves having to defend their patriotism and Americanism”:

Before 6:30 am, two men caught on camera leaving a pigs head in a back pack with a swastika on it outside of an Islamic School Gate:

Flying in the face of partisan polarization a Republican candidate promptly comes to the defense of his Democratic opponent Deedra Abboud, when she is bombarded with relentless hate messages because of her Muslim faith:

Notwithstanding reforms respecting Saudi women’s freedom “to play sports in public school and have access to physical education classes” it’s still illegal to show their belly buttons or legs:

“Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia, which saw the anti-Assad program as an assault on its interests”:

News and Analysis (7/19/17)

July 19th, 2017

The mosque caretaker kicked the burglar in self defence and then … went on to make him scrambled eggs and sat down to let Boyle tell him about he he was homeless, had been in and out of prison and was having problems with his girlfriend”:

A Saudi teen living in Germany campaigned for the inclusion of a woman wearing a headscarf emoji. This emoji, among a man wearing a beard are the newest emojis to enter later this year. It has been met with some backlash among twitter, but gained enough support to be inducted:

Throughout Boston’s bus stops and public spaces, posters have been put up addressing aggression towards others based on their appearance or beliefs. This campaign has began because “education is key to fighting intolerance”:

Compared to roughly 80 citizens were killed fighting terrorist groups abroad under Obama, the average is 360 per month now:

Israel could not survive without the U.S.’s aid, a serious problem for the country considering most young Americans care about the state of Israel considerably less then that of their elders, and an increase in intermarriages has “vexed any notion of [Jews as] … a single and singular people”:

Beyond headlined support for Afghanistan’s girl team, a group of students from Virginia helped the Iranian team circumvent sanctions that prevented hem from receiving needed parts:

Lacking the historical baggage of the Americans or the Europeans, China tries to play the honest broker for the Middle East in support of a Palestinian state:

After winning her crown she used her newly awarded platform to explain to the crowd “people tend to blame religion for the atrocities that are happening, but if we do that we take responsibility away from the individuals”:

“Muslim and Christian children attend the same schools, live in the same neighborhoods, and play together. Jordanian children do not learn, as ours do in the West, that the other is stranger and maybe even enemy”:

News and Analysis (7/18/17)

July 18th, 2017

“The State Department on Monday expanded its definition of ‘close family’ to include grandparents and other relatives that constitute a ‘bona fide’ US relationship for visa applicants and refugees from six mainly Muslim nations” …

… yet the president and executive director of Muslim Advocates charges that “the Trump administration has also moved forward with parts of the president’s order that the justices will not review this fall”:

“A referendum that has the effect of discrimination or the violation of freedom of religion can be ignored. The purpose of the Charter in a democracy is to protect against the majority” — Constitutional lawyer Julius Grey:

The first Women ever to win the prestigious Field Medal in mathematics is so loved and respected in her native Iran that “newspapers have broken strict dress-code rules by publishing obituaries with photos of her not wearing a hijab”:

The arrests of Rouhani’s brother and trusted adviser on unclear charges and the arrest of a Chinese-American graduate student as an “American infiltrator” put Rouhani in a difficult position internally and externally respectively:

Failing to pass an emergency resolution calling for a ban on face veils, the LNP Queensland state conference now seeks to ban headscarves for children, warning that otherwise there will be “Muslim uniforms” in state schools within three months:

Petition: “a wedding is a public demonstration of a relationship … not done in private, but … publicly celebrated and promoted” it contradicts the goes against the predominant Shia jurisprudence “which NASIMCO must uphold”:

With “Iraqi security forces engaged in organized extrajudicial executions and torture … [and] throwing live men off a cliff, before riddling their bodies with automatic gunfire … a lasting victory against ISIS may still be a generation away:

“[H]undreds of thousands of Western converts who … are fully Western and Muslim … directly challenge the Islamophobic stereotypes”:

Due to the persistence of the Australian Friends of Palestine Association, South Australian Parliament passed a motion calling on the Australian government to recognize the State of Palestine just as it recognizes the State of Israel:

News and Analysis (7/16/17)

July 16th, 2017

“I put an emphasis on having sex only with your spouse, but having the full range of sexual experiences with that spouse. Islamically, there’s an emphasis on enjoying physical relationships within the context of marriage…. It is the wife’s right that her husband satisfy her sexually”:

In Alabama “Muslim family with Middle Eastern heritage had its van spray-painted with the ‘N-word,’ … [and] references to the ‘KKK'” …

… while a victim of an acid attack in Britain is “rendered ‘speechless’ by the frequency of attacks in recent weeks and called for acid to be treated like guns or knives” …

… and a government review will reasonably ask “[w]hether judges have sufficient sentencing powers to deal with acid attack perpetrators” and absurdly how to restrict sales of “chemicals are under everyone’s kitchen sinks”:

“The fate of Qalqiliya, which … is surrounded on three sides by Israel’s separation barrier, touches on one of the conflict’s thorniest issues: the battle over the 60 percent of the West Bank known as Area C,” occupied Palestinian land that remains under full Israeli control:

“The WCRC also cautioned that the Christian faith should not be used to justify the injustice against the Palestinian people and rejected any use of the Bible “to legitimize or support political … injustice”:

The girl’s Jewish, Muslim and Christian classmates are shocked that by a Christian man’s “honor killing” of his own daughter after learning that she wished to marry a Muslim man:

News and Analysis (7/13/17)

July 13th, 2017

Under public pressure the Trump administration will allow a team of Afghan girls twice denied visas to enter the U.S. for a robotics competition entry on “parole” (Parole? Are they afraid the girls will bring in an army of robots to conquer the country?):

A police force of women organized to take pictures for women’s passports, to counter terrorist measures where raiding houses with women are present or suspects in conformance with Yemen’s gender segregation …

… is breaking up and beating down protests and petitions by the female relatives of Yemeni men who have disappeared and been taken to secret prisons where torture is rampant:

Faced with increasing threats, the Muslim chairman of the DNC blames the example set by President Trump who has “made it OK for all these people who have all these hateful thoughts against immigrants and against Muslims”:

“For a jurist who has reached the last stage of his professional career, to be included in a … decree prepared in an anti-constitutional way, has an impact that is worse than death, [b]ecause your whole life has passed in a struggle for the law”:

After fleeing thousands of miles from terror, refugees find it once again at the door step of their supposed asylum:

Republican Omar Qudrat is running for a U.S. House seat in the 2018 U.S. election and is thought to be one of the first Afghan-American Muslims to run for Congress:

Senator Durbin denounces “cruel and un-American policies that harm our economy, do not make us safer, and are inconsistent with our heritage as a nation of immigrants”: