Archive for March, 2012

News and Analysis (3/15/12)

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Afghanistan policy is in shambles. As the U.S. struggles with how to proceed against the mass murderer among the troops against a background of peaceful civilian anti-American protests, the Taliban launch violent attacks on the government, Afghanis as well as Obama and Cameron look for rapid withdrawal and Panetta calls for business as usual:

Parti Québécois engages in a disinformation campaign against halal meat:

Among the charges against the whistle-blower is “using ‘bad judgement’ by criticizing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and then-presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann on his blog”:

Saleh’s presence, along with top family members and loyalists in the country’s most sensitive positions, has contributed to the inability of the newly inaugurated president to carry out reforms within the ranks of the military” leaving “parts of Yemen, especially in the south, with a security vacuum which al-Qaida militants have exploited”:

Unless defections from Assad’s army match that of the late shah of Iran’s, the Syrian dictator’s fall will be a messy affair that outside military intervention can only make messier:

As a protected minority, many Iranian Jews “are affluent merchants” and the current holder of their guaranteed seat in parliament says, “No matter who dares to attack our country, we will stand against the threats like other Iranian people…. The Iranian Jewish community will stand by their compatriots under any circumstance, forever”:

We still await explanations as to “why police kept intelligence files on innocuous mosque sermons and plans for peaceful protests[,] … why police noted which restaurants served ‘devout’ Muslims, why police maintained lists of Muslims who changed their names or why innocent people attending Friday prayer services were photographed and videotaped”:

News and Analysis (3/11/12)

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

As the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan becomes increasingly embarrassing …

… al-Qaeda focuses on Yemen:

“A 12-year-old boy was killed in Gaza on Sunday amid a spiraling round of militant rocket attacks and Israeli air strikes over the weekend that left at least 18 Palestinians dead and four people in Israel injured. A further 50 Palestinians were injured, five seriously” in the bloodiest Israeli attack since its invasion three years ago:

Britain has a “Muslim spinster crisis” in which ‘[t]he demand for [polygynous] relationships is led by the women, not the men. In one generation women have become educated, entrepreneurial and professional. The Muslim community is struggling with this, how do you cope with women who wear trousers?’

“Nobody assaulted my honour. It was Egypt’s honour that was assaulted and I will keep going till the very end to regain its rights” — Samira Ibrahim, the first woman to file charges:

As the compressed presidential race begins, young opponents of military rule have to choose between a “human rights advocate” with no “national prominence” and an expelled Muslim Brotherhood figure “who strikes a defiant tone against the generals and has taken some liberal stances, but … whose overall agenda remains ambiguous”:

Tipsters’ trust in police  is the “best thing that ever happened” to the fight against terrorist, but “police investigators, prosecutors and mayors in cities nationwide say the New York Police Department” risk losing that trust:

 

Sanaa accuses Somali Muslim Youths of sending 300 fighters to Yemen

News and Analysis (3/9/12)

Friday, March 9th, 2012
“In a rare public criticism of the New York Police Department, the top FBI official in New Jersey said Wednesday that the department’s surveillance of Muslims in the state has hindered investigations and created ‘additional risks’ in counterterrorism”:
The highest ranking civilian to abandon President Bashar al-Assad since the uprising erupted a year ago announces his resignation and the rebels reject dialogue as long as the bloodshed persists:

If the investigation whose targets “include TV personalities Yosri Fouda and Reem Maged, former Google executive Wael Ghonim, the celebrated author Alaa Al Aswany and lawmaker Ziad el-Elaimy, who has refused to apologize for publicly describing Egypt’s top general … as a donkey … leads to prosecutions, the case could spur international outrage”:

Sarkozy “scrambled Wednesday to dispel concerns in the Jewish and Muslim communities after criticizing the ritual slaughter of animals for kosher and halal meat”:

“The narrative about Muslim women spun by others — and propagated in the media and popular culture — as silent, submissive and oppressed, is one that neither of us recognize in ourselves, the women in our families, or the women we have met over the years through our work within the Muslim community both in the United States and abroad”:

In the aftermath of the “Facebook Revolutions,” Iran further dreads the dangers of the Internet:

“While Obama should continue to apologize for the Quran burnings, we must understand that the Afghans’ rage is a response to an even deeper, rawer wound”

“A western official said the document was about the long-delayed handover of detention facilities from US to Afghan control. The official said the language of the agreement was still being discussed but the major issues had been decided”:

Christians (at 5%) are more migratory than Muslims (at 4%) and Jews (at 25%) are the most migratory of all:

 

News and Analysis (3/7/12)

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
“[T]his dangerous style in the expression of intellectual differences is a threat to peace among the citizens of one country and spreads sedition among them” — Tunisian President Muncef Marzouki :
“One remarkable quality of the Palestinian refugees which Pipes keeps from his readers, is that in the main they, unlike the European colonists who continue to ethnically cleanse them from their homes, may be willing to share their lands with any Jew who will agree to live as equals in a democratic one person one-vote governed country without religious preferences or a foreign ‘chosen colonial people’ imposing an Apartheid regime”:

Aurora’s attempt to prevent a mosque being built outside its city limits violate protections to places of assembly in Dupage County law as well as the federal Religious Land Use and Incarcerated Persons Act:

“A comprehensive survey of U.S. mosques released Wednesday by a group of Muslim and non-Muslim scholars found that most American mosques (56%) use a less literal approach to Islamic texts and teachings that form the basis for Islamic law. By comparison, just 11% follow a traditionalist school of thought, and the rest (31%) take a conservative but still “flexible” approach.” An interesting statistic and campaign, although it is unclear what a “literal” approach to Shariah means:

“Not only did the drone fail, and not only did it crash, it literally crashed into the police.” Yet, the U.S. Congress “wants to allow hundreds of similar drones to fly over US airspace”:

Hamas denies the possibility of supporting Iran in any attack between it and Israel. “The stance underscores Hamas’s rift with its key financial sponsor and its realignment with the Muslim Brotherhood and popular protest movements in the Arab world”:
Defenders say semi-autonomous rule would stabilize the country while keeping it united, but the NTC threatens force to stop it:
“Leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood Ali Bateekh stated on Monday that the Brotherhood will not be nominating a candidate for the presidential race and nor will it be backing a candidate belonging to an Islamist party or movement”:

“[O]nly a handful of people knew that New York City police were secretly gathering intelligence on American citizens who happen to be Muslim. Today, everyone knows, and the value of that intelligence gathering can be freely discussed’ — Kathleen Carroll, AP executive editor:

News and Analysis (3/5/12)

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Arguing that “[d]ue process and judicial process are not one and the same,” the attorney general disposes of the inconvenient need to charge, let alone convict, American citizens before killing them far away from any field of battle:

With conservatives sidelined, Ahmadinejad, blamed for inflation and facing a parliamentary summons for economic mismanagement, loses to his more conservative former allies:

“Here’s what key stakeholders want Egypt’s new constitution to look like”:

Is the “presence of a once-banned Hamas preacher willing to speak incendiary truths” a sign that in the new Egypt the world’s oldest university will be freed from its subservience to the state to resume its place a great independent institution of learning and thought?

Indonesia’s failure to extend the traditional protections Islamic jurisprudence granted to eunuchs to other transgendered persons leaves President Obama’s former nanny in poverty, seeking her “solace in religion, going regularly to the mosque and praying five times a day … just waiting to die”:

The lawmaker was forced to resign after embarrassing his ultra-conservative an-Nour Party, which opposes cosmetic surgery, by trying to cover up his vanity by filing a false police report alleging a mugging rather than a nose-job was responsible for his bandages:

“The attack appeared to be al-Qaida’s response to a pledge by Yemen’s newly inaugurated president … to fight the Yemeni branch of the terror network. The scale of Sunday’s attack points to the militants’ combat readiness as they launch more and more attacks in a region that the US considers a key battleground in the war on al-Qaida”:

Even “hardened skeptics who have lost faith in Washington’s ability to serve as an honest Mideast broker” found Obama’s public professions before the Israeli head of state “that for three years he has done everything Israel wanted”  to be demeaning:

Sudan says it does not trust the U.S. as an honest broker because it broke its promise made before the 2005 peace agreement “to remove Sudan’s name from terror list and” to cancel sanctions “and repeated the same behavior … and backed down on its obligations” again in a later agreement:

 

News and Analysis (3/3/12)

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Military says the five soldiers responsible were “careless, but there was no ill will” …

… but MP and mullah Qazi Nazir Ahmad Hanifi who and other members of the investigating team say that words written in the margins of the Qur’an and other books were merely “translations of difficult Arabic words into Pashto or Dari” and “had nothing to do with terrorism or criminal activities”:

Backed by religious leaders who say Afghani control would have prevented the Qur’an burnings, Karzai stands firm on  transfer of prison control and opposition to night raids:

“Even before the campaign was launched, there was already pushback from two groups, the American Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop the Islamization of Nations, both categorized as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center”:

“Until now the military council cannot understand that there was a revolution and continues the same policies of answering to Washington,” – MB spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan:

An unintended consequence of military threats to Iran? “If true, the 64.6 percent [election turnout] figure is several points above the last parliamentary election, in 2008 – and is meant by Iran’s conservative leaders to remove the stain of the 2009 presidential race and its violent aftermath”:

“Political analysts say Libya’s Muslim Brotherhood is likely to emerge as the most organized political force and a leading player in the oil-exporting country where Islamists, like all dissidents, were harshly suppressed for 42 years”:

The government’s excuse is that it wants recent reform “measures to be in place before Mendez’s visit, ‘so he can assess the progress that Bahrain has made to date’”:

“Syrian forces bombarded parts of the shattered city of Homs anew on Saturday and blocked the first Red Cross aid meant for civilians stranded for weeks without food and fuel in the former rebel stronghold, activists and aid workers said”:

 

News and Analysis (3/1/12)

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

As New Jersey fires back at New York’s claim that the latter informed the former of the NYPD campaign to spy on Muslims …

… “Faiza Patel, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center at NYU Law School” suggests that the NYPD may have violated a consent decree as well as NYC’s anti-profiling law and evaded the oversight requirements governing the federal grants that helped fund their spying operation:

A big win for the CIA’s rendition program responsible for what the ACLU observer at Guantanamo calls “his years of secret, incommunicado detention and torture at the hands of the CIA”, “Khan’s plea agreement prohibits his discussing his CIA interrogation and capture” and prevents him from suing the agency:

“The military said one of the outlets, al-Watan TV, is a pirate [read: Palestinian] station whose frequencies interfered with legal [read: Zionist] broadcasters and aircraft [read: occupation military forces] communications”:

Falsely called a Muslim by an atheist plaintiff after acquitting a Muslim defendant for lack of evidence, the Lutheran judge protests, “In actuality, I’m a Christian. Does that mean I should recuse myself in all cases that involve Christians?”:

Egypt expresses confidence “that the constitution would be written on time to announce that the presidential election commission would accept candidates’ applications between 10 March and 8 April”:

“Syrian troops backed by tanks launched a ground offensive on Wednesday to try to retake the opposition stronghold of Bab Amr in the central city of Homs, … reportedly were meeting stiff resistance from rebels of the Free Syrian Army”:

A “probe showed government troops also violated the truce, officials and the rebels said. Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin welcomed the rebel move, saying the punishment was light but acknowledged that the rebels made a mistake”: