Archive for December, 2008

News and Analysis 12/09/08

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

Blame for the massacre in Baghdad should extend to the Blackwater organization and the Bush administration:

Targeting Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a charitable organization seen as the successor to Lashkar-e-Taiba could have drastic impact on support for the Pakistani government:

The politics of “martyrdom”:

Will the recent violence led by settlers shift the Israeli right to a more moderate or radical position:

Hackers target computers with oversight in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Egypt plays grinch who stole Eid and prevents smugglers from bypassing the Israeli- blockade for celebrate of the sacrifice of Abraham:

Israel allows a limited amount of food and fuel into Gaza, not addressing the shortage in currency:

The best strategy to curb Iran’s nuclear weapon development includes accepting their intentions to enrich uranium for powerplants:

News and Analysis 12/08/08

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Eid Mubarak (Blessed Feast of Sacrifice)!

Palestinians express frustration with Hamas as blockage continues:

“It’s a pity we have to prove ourselves as Indians… But the fact is, we need to speak louder than others, to make clear that those people do not speak for our religion—and that we are not Pakistanis”:

“The one-year-old AUIS is trying to reinvent university education and produce independent-minded graduates who can help rebuild Iraq in the process”:

NATO disputes extent of Taliban influence:

Highlighting tensions, a phony phone call threatened Indian military action unless Pakistan acted while the terrorists were at large in Mumbai:

Iran seeks Obama to honor his campaign promise for “change”:

Hindu Terrorists

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Before the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, the Washington Post published an article addressing the growing threat of “Hindu terrorists” in India. The article focused on two central points, recognizing the category of Hindu terrorists and the implications of such accusations in Indian society. A review of the lessons of that article is particularly important in the aftermath of the atrocious attacks carried out in Mumbai.

Mistrust is highlighted throughout the article. One Muslim victim of a recent bombing was quoted saying, “We have always known that Hindu extremists were behind the blast, but we never thought the government would have the courage to arrest Hindus. The suspicion is always on Muslims.” With tensions between Hindus and Muslims increasing, conquering the paralyzing fear that government is incapable of impartial prosecution of guilty parties must be a top priority in providing a context for the investigations of the Mumbai attacks, if the deteriorating relationship between India and Pakistan is to be salvaged.

The article brings attention specifically to the group ‘Abhinav Bharat’ (‘New India’ in English) suspected of the Malegaon bombing. On an ideological level, this group advocates the desecularization of India and the creation of a Hindu nation coupled with a call for Hindus to strike against Muslim extremist in the country. Such radical beliefs pose enormous threats to any society, regardless of affiliation of the extremists.

It is interesting that the reaction of Hindus to the idea of Hindu terrorists reflects that of Muslims to the phrase “Islamic terrorism.” “’Hindus can never be terrorists,’ the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said, adding that terrorists do not have a religion.” Others suggest distinguishing between the terms Hindu and Hindutva, meaning Hindu chauvinism or pride. This may not be mere semantics. We at the Minaret of Freedom Institute have emphasized that while Muslims may commit terrorism, killing non-combatants is quite pointedly prohibited by Islamic law. Emphasizing that terrorism, or hiraabah, is contrary to the shariah has been of some help in fighting terrorism, and any such arguments that can be made with regard to Hindu law should be employed to the fullest.

Notwithstanding suspicions to the contrary, the investigation to date strongly indicates the Mumbai attacks originated in Pakistan with no local support. This can be helpful in calming intercommunity wrangling within India, but the urgency of Pakistani cooperation in the investigation is critical to Pakistan’s need to coordinate peaceful relations with India, including a comprehensive solution for Kashmir. While terror attacks of this scale are typically seen as a call for a military response, it would be better to seize the opportunity provided by common threat posed by the various terrorist elements in their respective populations to forge a lasting peace between these rival states.

We should also remember the risks associated with the IMF’s loan to Pakistan. Shall the international community continue to be the enabler for a failing state? Combining these issues with the continued chaos of Afghanistan, which extends into Pakistan’s northwest territory, the fragile condition of Pakistani authority is fully exposed. Additionally, India will continue to suffer if it does not promote stability within Pakistan. Until these neighbors form common cause against all forms of religious bigotry, extremists will have a natural outlet for promoting their violence.

Imran Malik and Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad
Minaret of Freedom Institute

News and Analysis (12/6-7/08)

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

The empowerment of tribal and religious leaders leaves women struggling for equality, justice:

Will the pursuit of justice in the prosecution of the Hariri assassination be sacrificed to political pressure to move Syria away from Iran and towards Israel?

“The conditions are ideal …’for settlers to seek to force their agenda without fear of challenge or repercussions'”:

US must open dialogue and improve relations:

Opportunistic tribal forces offer peace with Pakistan to fight India:

Sectarian divisions continue to plague Iraqi unity:

Blackwater’s trigger happy security guards claim the government is trying to second guess ‘honorable men’:

News and Analysis (12/05/08)

Friday, December 5th, 2008

Under the new security pact, US military loses the ability to detain Iraqis without charge, leaving 16,000-17,000 detainees who either will stand trial or be release:

Rebel group Jundallah claim discrimination against Sunnis by the Iranian authorities:

“If they focus on politics and cultural matters, the Iraqi people will accept them more,” said Barrak al-Shimirty, a lawmaker with the Supreme Council. “That will make them more powerful.”

“We are the victim of baseless Indian propaganda…we are just doing welfare work and nothing else.” – spokesman for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a group US officials claim is the sucessor to Lashkar-e-Taiba:

“Afghanistan has long accused Pakistan of failing to take action against Taliban militants based in the tribal region, and even colluding with them”:

Three million expected to journey to Mecca as Saudi officials seek to maintain safety and security:

News and Analysis (12/04/08)

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

“By opening up Iran’s closed economy, making trade easier and promoting privatization, Ahmadinejad wants to turn the country into a regional powerhouse:”

“The Dubai Financial Market has lost nearly 70 percent of its value since the summer:”

The predominant extremists in India are Hindu nationalists:

Par for the course, “Settlers claim they have lawfully bought the Hebron house from a Palestinian, who denies selling the house:”

US plan to withdraw by 2011 officially approved:

Despite entry of humanitarian aid for the first time in a week and lifting the ban on foreign journalists,

Although decreasing, ethnically charged incidents are still higher than the pre-9/11 average:

News and Analysis (12/03/08)

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Interrogation reveals suspect is Pakistani trained in Pakistan, and linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba:

Approximately 60% of young Palestinians are not affiliated with any political faction:

Army doctor establishes “Hope.MD” to provide needy children with medical care:

Notable countries not signing the treaty include, “US, China, Russia, India and Pakistan as well as Israel, which fired many cluster bombs during the 2006 Lebanon war”:

Accused by the Iranian embassy of confusing salt for cocaine, the US military claims to have caught more than 30 suspects sponsored by Iran over the past four weeks:

Social commentary at its best in Simpsons episode dealing with Muslims in America:

News and Analysis (12/02/08)

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

India has requested extradition of these fugitives before and they are not believed to be links to the attack in Mumbai:

Once prominent on the road, women drivers slowly return amid security concerns:

Israelis refuse to leave settlement despite facing eviction for 18 months:

Upcoming elections could measure Sadr’s strength:

Divisions between the Kurdish regional government and Iraqi’s central government continue to grow…

…Meanwhile, members of the Kurdistan Workers Party, who seek an independent Kurdish nation, are targeted in Northern Iraq:

Increasing troop levels are unlikely to result in the quick turnaround seen in Iraq:

Between September and March every year, approximately 100 people a day cross into Yemen:

News and Analysis (12/01/08)

Monday, December 1st, 2008

Note to Muslims — sometimes civil disobedience is both the moral AND legal thing to do:

Optimism fades as Obama’s cabinet nominations do not indicate a break with the Bush administration’s hawkish policies or America’s pro-Israeli stance:

The only gunman captured after the attacks said he belonged to Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani militant group which was banned in 2002:

Libyan ship containing food, blankets and powdered milk forced to dock in Egypt:

“I became more aware of people’s struggles,” she said. “I didn’t think about repercussions. I wasn’t calling for war or killing. I just called people to hold to their dreams, their dignity.” — Iman Bakry

Robert Baer, a former CIA operative, argues Iran’s attempt to domininate Arab politics should be met with diplomacy and negotiation rather than confrontation: