Archive for May, 2012

News and Analysis (5/10/12)

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

“[A]s the next round of talks looms on May 23 in Baghdad, questions are being raised about whether the US can – or even intends to – ease sanctions no matter what steps Iran agrees to take”:

In Egypt, pragmatism increases Fotouh’s popularity, particularly among the Salafists in Egypt. The Salafi’s support for Fotouh can be regarded as a sign that they are now endorsing moderation and that their ideology has become politicized upon immersion into a democratic system of elections …

… but conflict proceeds between the Parliament and the generals in Egypt as an administrative court on Wednesday attempts to suspend Egypt’s presidential election scheduled to start for May 23:

“Despite the rapid growth of the media in Afghanistan, many still get their news and commentary during the traditional Friday prayers at the mosque. The Friday sermon usually has one religious lesson — but another section is reserved for current events. The message on one recent Friday at a central Kabul mosque was about corruption”:

“Al-Kidd said he was imprisoned for 16 days, repeatedly strip searched and at times left naked in a jail cell” and that the government falsified an affidavit “to get a judge to sign his arrest warrant, and that the United States falsely imprisoned him and abused his right to due process,” but the perps plead immunity as they were just following orders:

“I believe we are part of a growing global chorus … [of] moderates [that] exist everywhere, in every tradition and in every political environment. There are moderates in Israel. There are moderates in Iran, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party. And what we need to do is … to marginalize the voice of the extremists” — ” Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf:

After three years of silence, captured soldiers family says they are “worried that the government isn’t concerned enough to put him on the [negotiating] table”:

In Germany, clashes have emerged between a a right-wing political party and an Islamic group. In response there are calls for the government to “deny entry to Salafists who are known to be violent, as well as prevent Pro NRW from showing any more anti-Islamic cartoons”:

“Cultural barriers to participation were recently highlighted … when [Saudi Arabia] refused to allow Saudi women to compete in the Olympics. The institutional barrier, by contrast, can be seen in Fifa’s ban on women wearing hijab on the pitch” preventing Iran’s women’s team from completing “their 2012 Olympic second-round qualifying match”:
“It’s my duty and my passion to show another facet of Arab women…. We are very strong, we’re human beings and we have our own personality on our own. We want to be seen like that. We don’t want this projection of the Western world or Islamic culture on us from both sides. We just want to be seen as human beings”:

News and Anlysis (5/8/12)

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

“Reacting to these provocations with violence is not the way of peace-loving Muslims because it is un-Islamic and moreover plays into the hands of the right wing” — the Central Council of Muslims:

Faithful to Islam’s pro-market and anti-monopoly teachings, Indian Muslim leaders welcome the phase-out of tax subsidies to pilgrims and call for ending Air India’s monopoly on flights so airlines may compete to attract more travelers at lower fares:

“Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla have been placed in ‘administrative detention’, a controversial practice whereby people can be held without charge or trial”:

“All of the defense counsel, all of the guards and everybody who works in Guantanamo Bay camp has seen me dressed like this. … I never thought in my wildest dreams that this would become an issue” —

“The latest video further identifies Al Qaeda with the kidnapping of the elderly Mr. Weinstein, a dubious public relations strategy, notes the Monitor’s Dan Murphy”:

Former MB deputy supreme guide Mohammed Habib contrasts the current leadership to the organization’s founder “who he said was deeper and more far-sighted” and “more open to making alliances” unlike the current group’s attempts at monopolizing power whether in the parliament, the constitution, or the presidency” …

… while the “religious establishment in Egypt … regards religious interpretation as being the domain of academic specialists, or ‘the learned’ (‘ulama), rather than put into the hands of political activists who would corrupt God’s religion for petty political gain” …

The U.S. called him “the worst of the worst,” but the regime we installed in Iraq says there is insufficient evidence to hold him:

“Military officials receive promises from local village elders that violence will decrease in their towns if certain prisoners are released, and warn the prisoners that if they are caught attacking U.S. troops again they will immediately be detained”:

Public criticism of the king “is unprecedented, and the only way out for the king is to move toward real reform” — Zaki Saad, “a leading figure with the Islamic Action Front, the political party of the Muslim Brotherhood, Jordan’s most organized opposition movement”:

News and Analysis (5/6/12)

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

“Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said Bangladesh will press the U.S. to eliminate its 15.3 percent tariff on Bangladesh’s vital garment industry. Bangladesh exported $5.1 billion worth of goods — mainly garments — to the U.S. last year and imported $676 million worth in return”:

“Al-Nour party, along with others, has thrown its weight … behind Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, … who split with the [Muslim Brotherhood] while still backing its broad aims…. ‘The new president must be strong … and not beholden to any particular party or faction” — Ashraf Thabet, deputy speaker of the Egyptian parliament (Al-Nour)

“Lawyer Ragia Omran said that the roundup is one of the largest mass arrests to follow violent protests during the country’s troubled transition. The detainees, who include 18 women, are being interrogated by military prosecutors and could face military trials, she said”:

Organizers of the bake-sale-funded dance’s organizers  ignored “naysayers who could not imagine anyone coming to a prom without boys,” and found enthusiasm not only among those unable “to attend the coed prom because of cultural and religious beliefs” but among “non-Muslim students [who]wanted to go, too”:

Susann Bashir “said she had already endured years of harassment by co-workers and had started pursuing a religious discrimination case against her employer when the supervisor, during a routine meeting in his office, snatched her scarf and exposed her hair”:

“The plight of 15-year-old Sahar Gul captivated the nation and set off a storm of international condemnation when it came to light in late December”:

Her mottos are “from Frederick Douglass (‘Power concedes nothing without a demand’), Howard Zinn (‘Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world’) and a hadith attributed to the Prophet Muhammad (‘Whosoever of you sees an evil action, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart’):

“Supporters of the populist president were relegated to a small fraction of the parliament, hugely outnumbered by the conservatives closely linked with the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei”:

Juan Cole reveals “the top ten reasons Israel’s Likud Party would have wanted to censor American television news on this occasion”:


News and Analysis (5/2/12)

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

“The deal pledges Afghanistan to fight corruption, improve efficiency and protect human rights, including women’s rights…. The United States promises to seek annual funding to train and equip the Afghan armed forces but gives no dollar figure.”:

“In the backchannel talks, Hamas is seeking assurances that European countries will recognize the outcome of future Palestinian elections…. ‘They have to accept the Palestinian democracy,’ [Hamas official Osama] Hamdan said of the international community”:

In “clashes outside the Ministry of Defense as thugs armed with guns and knives sparked a melee that left at least 11 people dead and dozens injured. A small group of Islamist protesters demanding the reinstatement of salafi sheikh Hazem Salah Abu Ismail into the presidential race were attacked by a group of armed young men in civilian dress”:

Backing off from uits attack on freedom of religion, the NTC takes aim at freedom of speech instead, announcing that public “praise of Gaddafi or his regime will now be an offence”:

“Following the Arab uprisings, there has been significant improvement in the traditionally repressive Middle East region, and some sharp deterioration in the Americas”:

The magazine’s young editor “had to give up a university education” because she chose to cover her hair, but says, “Now there is normalization, an improvement. Now our veiled comrades can enter university and have more professional opportunities”:

Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Mahdi Akhondzade dares to say that Israel’s nuclear stockpile is a greater threat to peace that Iran’s nuclear power program:

Egypt’s Muslim “Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia share Sunni Muslim values,” but the former’s embrace of democracy is perceived as a threat by the latter:

Concerned that “reneging on oaths, and perfidy” (not civilian deaths) was giving al-Qaeda a bad name, Bin Ladin complained that the would-be Times Square bomber attempted his terrorist “act after swearing a loyalty oath to the United States as a newly naturalized citizen,” and he wrote “that it is not permissible to tell such a lie to the enemy”: