Archive for February, 2012

News and Analysis (2/27/12)

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Foreign Policy is accused of publishing incomplete information about the IAEA’s recent experience in Iran,  painting a misleading picture that could cuase us to repeat the mistakes in Iraq:

Minaret of Freedom Institute President Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad challenges the explanations put forth for the incident that Military Religious Freedom Foundation President Mikey Weinstein blames on a culture of Islamophobic evangelism in the U.S. military; Karzai pleads for calm; and U.S. exit strategy increasingly muddled:

As NYC’s police commissioner vows to continue spying on New Jersey, revelations emerge that millions of dollars “in the the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, known as HIDTA,” — a program that “has little oversight — has paid for the cars that plainclothes NYPD officers used to conduct surveillance on Muslim neighborhoods”:

What hath NATO wrought? “This is not just about Nick and Gareth. This is about the thousands of Libyans and foreigners who have been picked up by militias who are freelancing with the law” — Human Rights Watch:

Expressing his regret that political “talk of war, intimidation, and aggression” obscures Iran’s “rich and ancient culture … under the heavy dust of politics,” writer-director Asghar Farhadi “proudly” offer his Oscar “award to the people of my country, the people who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment”:

The green light is not good news for critics who “fear that if the army is in power when the document is drawn up, the ruling generals will manipulate the process to ensure the military keeps its pre-eminent position and remains above civilian oversight”:

News and Analysis (2/24/12)

Friday, February 24th, 2012
“Despite strong statements from both the top U.S. and Afghan commanders, today’s violence took a sharp, dangerous twist as the protests spread into neighboring Pakistan. Radical and religious parties sponsored demonstrations in all four of Pakistan’s provinces, with protests in Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, and Islamabad”:

Assessment of “the question of Iran’s nuclear program, which the country insists is for peaceful purposes only, are pretty much where they’ve been for over a year now” with Iran’s lack of full cooperation “creating the impression that it’s hiding something”:

“[T]he lesson of Iraq, the last preventive war launched by the United States, is that Washington should not choose war when there are still other options, and it should not base its decision to attack on best-case analyses of how it hopes the conflict will turn out”:
Tensions with Muslim authoritarians arise in Tunisia:

NYPD Spokesman Paul Brown insists Newark was “fully briefed” about what Newark Mayor Cory Bookerdenounces as a “blanket investigation of individuals based on nothing but their religion”:

“Somalia’s Al-Shabaab has brushed aside accusations from Human Rights Watch that the Islamist militia recruits child soldiers, saying that Islam considers people to be adults from the age of 15.”

“Some still worry that the increasing numbers of Muslim home-schoolers – an option that a number of families who recently emigrated to the United States have chosen – is a double-edged phenomenon for a community that faces questions and challenges about fitting in with American life and culture”:

News and Analysis (2/22/12)

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012
” ‘I can tell you one thing, we now have a golden opportunity,’ he said, smiling. ‘And in this golden opportunity, I’m not interested in control. I’m interested in delivering the best charismatic system, a charismatic, democratic system. This is my dream,’ ” says Said Ferjani in this report by Anthony Shadid:
Around 3000 Afghanis protest NATO’s burning of Korans at a U.S. Base. While the debate on whether people are allowed to burn the American flag continues till today in America given the flag’s symbolic value to the American people, the reaction of the Afghanis to the burning of their own symbol was somehow unforeseen by the organization:
Hadi’s victory as sole candidate in a presidential election backed by the US and the GCC countries would give him the legitimacy to draft a new constitution, restructure the armed forces and prepare for multi-party elections in two years’ time., but boycotts and attacks on some of the polls have hindered the voting process:
Fearing an emergency hearing at the High Court of Justice that would have kicked off a broad judicial review of Israeli military courts’ practice of administrative detention, which has been used against thousands of Palestinians over time, Israel has realeased Khader Adnan after 33 days of hunger strike:
While Washington still believes a political solution “is the best way to go”, it has recently opened up the option of arming Syrian rebels. Talks about the international communities plans in Syria will be taking place during the “Friends of Syria” meeting on Friday in Tunis:

Iran is willing to negotiate with the EU a the “earliest opportunity” hoping to have the “best relations possible” with the bloc after the talks with the IAEA have proven fruitless:

News and Analysis (2/20/12)

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Avoiding both crony capitalism and a state-run economy, the Brotherhood’s plan include “a constitution based on the US model that guarantees investor rights and … transparency of public institutions, … a low, graduated tax rate,” competitive trade, and fuel subsidy reform that could “generate an estimated 65 billion pounds in revenue annually”:

As the Greek Orthodox and Arameans petition Turkey’s Islamist government for an equality of citizenship they were denied by their secular predecessors, …

… a columnist advises the AKP to use its considerable political capital to resolve the Kurdish question:

None of the “12 people who had been members of Muslim student associations who were later charged or convicted of terrorism” were “from New Jersey schools” and Muslims are demanding oversight of “police activities ‘targeting law-abiding Muslims'” …

… “Not only did the department go well outside its jurisdiction to “get a better handle on what was occurring at” Muslim Student Associations, as spokesman Paul Browne told the AP, it did so in a pretty Keystone Kops manner at times”:

“[T]he FBI has pulled more than 700 documents and 300 presentations that stereotyped Islam or were factually inaccurate, an FBI spokesman said. The federal agency also intends in coming weeks to roll out plans on how it will vet training materials”:

“Despite a trial, an acquittal, and a subsequent plea agreement, the government continues to pursue Dr. Al-Arian in an effort to punish him and once again jail him, due to his political and religious beliefs in a country that prides itself on the bill of rights that purportedly guarantees freedom of beliefs, opinions, and associations”:

“The moment may be one of unprecedented change for Yemen, but it leaves something to be desired as a beacon of democracy. In this election, voters will enter the polling both to find a ballot with only one candidate – Mr. Saleh’s Vice President, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi – accompanied by a graphic of the map of Yemen and the national flag”:

“The UN estimates that more than 300,000 people have died in Darfur, mostly from disease, since rebels took up arms in 2003” and although the fighting has died down recently, the rebels calling themselves the “Justice and Equality Movement” are now detaining U.N. peacekeepers:

“Clashes between military rebels and Syrian forces are growing more frequent and the defectors have managed to take control of small pieces of territory in the north as well as parts of Homs province, which is Syria’s largest…. The country appears to be moving towards a civil war”:

News and Analysis (2/19/12)

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

The shocking story of how U.S. intervention on behalf of the oppressive regime is generating support for Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula …

“Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly … and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg repeatedly have said that the police only follow legitimate leads about suspected criminal activity. But the latest documents mention no wrongdoing by any students”:

With the Internet a powerful tool to sidestep restrictions on their freedom of movement, Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank “believe the private sector is really going to save the Palestinian economy, not the public sector, not the NGOs”:

Egypt tries to allay concerns over the fact that the date of the presidential elections has not been set by promising that “nominations for presidential candidates will open March 10 and last four weeks” and vowing that the election “will be held before the end of June”:

Syria ignores calls for an end to the violence, with diplomatic consequences:

“Adnan is being held in ‘administrative detention,’ under which an Israeli military judge can imprison Palestinians for six-month periods without charge. Palestinians don’t get to see evidence against them”:

Mourning the loss of a premier journalist on Middle East affairs:

News and Analysis (2/16/12)

Thursday, February 16th, 2012
Ultra-conservative Islamist Presidential candidate Hazem Salah is calling on Egyptians to raise money in order to end the US annual aid to Egypt. But how long will the winning parties survive in Egypt if they fail to free up the economy to the point of self-sufficiency?…

… meanwhile the Muslim Brotherhood “declares that it, and the Egyptian people, will not tolerate any officials if they decide to succumb to the pressure or cover up the accusations or interfere in the business of the judiciary:”

In Israel, justice is subject to ethnicity. While Palestinian convicts are subject to a “political decision,” Israelis are given the opportunity to gain a “pardon” through the president:

Britain wants Abu Qatada tried in “a court in which evidence brought about by torture is not admissible.” The Jordanian prince replies, “That is rich coming from a country that believed in rendition agreements”:

Tunisia’s Grand Mufti responds to the successive visits to Tunisia by radical clerics by saying, “Tunisia has been Islamic for 14 centuries and we don’t need them,” fearing the spread of radical ideology in the country. Yet, is avoiding and suppressing such voices an adequate solution when the majority of Islamic parties grew through regime suppression?
“When Saudi women get a chance to compete for their country, they will raise the flag so high…. Women can achieve a lot, because we are very talented and we are crazy about sports” — Saudi soccer coach Reema Abdullah:

Karzai says secret talks are being held between the US, Afghanistan, and the Taliban, but the Taliban deny such negotiations have taken place; does the truth lie in the middle?

The unintended consequences of NATO’s intervention in Libya, “Thousands of Tuareg moved over the years … to Libya, mainly attracted to the better standard of living there…. As the Qaddafi regime began to fall most of these Tuareg … headed back to Mali … with … weapons and vehicles. The head of the NMLA’s military wing is a former Libyan colonel”:

In Pakistan, extremists and politicians are rallying hand in hand threatening civil disobedience if Pakistan were to reopen its western border to NATO and US military supply for the war. Given the link between the army and the extremists, one wonders who wants what?

A story about Jews and Muslims who “have only praise for each other because they are volunteer paramedics who “are taking note of the most important aspects of their faiths: preserving human lives and justice”:

News and Analysis (2/15/12)

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

The most recent Muslim-Americans denied the right to return to the U.S., his attorney had to travel to Tunisia and “raise hell” with the assistance of a U.S. Senator:

Rand Paul wants to send Egypt an unequivocal message, but Essam el-Erian points out that “a cut in aid would violate the U.S.-brokered 1979 peace agreement with Israel”:

In the wake of bombings in Bangkok, Iran and Israel point fingers at one another over the attack on a dipl0mat that follows the pattern of the Israeli assassinations of Iranian scientists and Israel signals maintaining its nuclear monopoly in the Middle East is the motive for its drive towards war:

On the occasion of the Bahraini February 14 Movement’s anniversary, a comprehensive and worthwhile analysis on the year’s unfolding in Bahrain:

The UN sometimes is good at stating the obvious, but the question is what to DO about it?

“Mohammed Shariff, a New York-based fashion and entertainment lawyer, was there to support his fellow New York Muslims, but he also saw a business opportunity. This was, he thought, just the tip of a future iceberg. ‘When I saw this I thought it was a perfect fit for Muslims and non-Muslims who don’t want to be so revealing'”:

Surprise? Muslims decide whom they will marry arranged marriages are not loveless, women in hijab are neither repressed nor asexual, there are gay Muslims, and Muslim women can escape unhappy marriages:

“It may help to remind some of our less informed and unenlightened ‘Islamistphobes’, that history bears witness to the successful application of governing systems steeped in Islamic law. One need only look at the Abbasid Caliphate, Muslim Spain and the Ottoman Empire as identifiable epochs in the political history of Muslims, where the machinations of just government, effective judiciary and requisite checks and balances were all hallmarks of the Islamic body-politick”:

Three Canadian citizens abducted last November by Israel during their attempts to challenge the illegal blockade in Gaza are now asking the “conservative government [to] press Israel to return the boat and its contents”:

News and Analysis (2/13/12)

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Syria rejects the Arab League/U.N. peacekeeping mission; al-Qaeda calls for the overthrow of Asad, but international military action is unlikely:

“[F]or true religion to thrive, for peoples’ affections to be stirred for their Creator, they needed freedom. Freedom from state coercion. Freedom of conscience…. Freedom to accept religion or reject it. When religion, particularly faith in Christ, is mandated by the state … it lulls [people] into thinking they are truly of Christ when in fact they are not”:

After ten years of reflection on arguments over whether and how to celebrate Valentine’s Day, a Muslim woman decides, “I will make every day in my marital life a celebration of love and good feelings towards my husband and my family”:

The unity government solution reduces Hamas’s position in government form the unexpected big win in the last elections to something more like what it had expected to win:

In a move aimed “to help restore stability in the Muslim country ahead of presidential elections due next year [, s]ix members from four political parties were sworn in Sunday as ministers“:

A regime that considers even Jay Leno dangerously controversial is accused of being “a thin-skinned government that gives in to the demands of violent mobs, ostensibly to make political gains but in fact to suppress its critics,” such as the prosecution FaceBook and Google executives and the cancellation of ” the screening of a documentary on Kashmir”:

“Authorities in Iran‘s national telecommunications company declined to comment, saying the outage had no connection to them”:

News and Analysis (2/11/12)

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

“Aero’s operations have spawned a dogged opposition movement in its otherwise conservative, fiercely patriotic back yard. The protests continue to gather steam after six years, despite counter-demonstrations and occasional threats, and amid uncertainty over whether Aero is still involved in what critics alleged was a ‘torture taxi’ business”:

“After the hearing, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance also thanked the Muslim community in Birmingham, ‘which was instrumental in helping law enforcement shut down this threat'”:

Applying the principles of the “maqasad ash-shariah” (higher objectives of the law), Pakistan expands the traditional protections Islamic jurisprudence granted to eunuchs to “transsexuals, transvestites, homosexuals, hermaphrodites and cross-dressers”:

“Iran had topped their group in the first round of Olympic qualifiers after going undefeated, however the Asian nation were given 3-0 defeats in their four second round matches because of their failure to” uncover “their dreams of competing in London abruptly ended”:

“Dr. Laila Al-Marayati, a spokeswoman for the Muslim Women’s League and an OB-GYN who teaches a sex education class at a Muslim middle school … agreed that Muslim families and communities don’t pay enough attention to sexual education and relationships. The results, she said, can include painful sex and dysfunctional relationships”:

Naheed dares to object to letting the people resolve the impasse on the grounds that the environment to which he himself contributed is not one “in which you can have free and fair election”:

The man who tweeted “” said, “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to return to my homeland,” but hours later was detained pending extradition there “against his will”:

News and Analysis (2/9/12)

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

For years we have urged Muslims to return to the sunnah of the gold standard; has the U.S. stabbed the dollar in the back by forcing Iran to go half-way there and paving the way for other Muslim nations (and the rets of the world?) to follow:

“The leaders of rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas signed a deal in Qatar on Monday to form a unity government of independent technocrats for the West Bank and Gaza, headed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas”:

Telling his wife “I am striking against humiliation,” Khader Adnan is called a terrorist by his Israeli captors, but they have never charged him with anything:

Turkish diplomats and Arab religious schoalrs have had their fill of Asad’s bloodshed:

A former teacher home-schooling her children enables her to combine lessons about Islam, science, and current events as “after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan last year. We studied earthquakes and tsunamis and donated” food to the victims in fulfillment of Islam’s charitable obligations:

“A defender of Palestinian rights, a friend of several Lebanese political players, and an former friend of Bashar Assad, Turkey is beginning to be seen as a model of an Islamic democracy, slightly different from the liberal version, but faithful to its most important principles” …

… and those who “say the Arab Spring [read: political Islam] is a threat to the world” have been “conditioned to view Islamism with anxiety since the Iranian revolution” but it is dictatorship rather  than “political Islam which has been unstable…. Reliance “on the Shah and Mubarak to provide stable allies in the Middle East … was shown to be an illusion”:

A comprehensive analysis of the elections in which not a single woman, not among the incumbents was elected amid worries “about the rising trend of sectarian agitation, derogatory, anti-tribal rhetoric, sexist discourse, and violent clashes among competing camps”:

The Freedom and Justice Party is reluctant to take a $3.2 Billion IMF loan that would help cut borrowing costs; while confessing that the “government’s borrowing policy is vague,” FJP vice chairman, Essam ElArian said, “Will we continue to depend on borrowing?”: