Archive for September, 2012

News and Analysis (9/28/12)

Friday, September 28th, 2012

In Libya and Tunisia, crackdowns are planned those who would attack embassies; in America, of course we would never attack a diplomat–OOPS:

California con men aren’t the only ones making fun of Islam, as Saudis make a mockery of Hajj, forcing hundreds of women to turn back “because their male guardians had been checked and cleared ahead of them” so at the women’s turn “security claimed they were not accompanied by their guardians and were unwilling to listen to any explanation”:

The Benghazi attack may have been an unintended consequence of the U.S. intervention into Libya that has resulted in an al-Qaeda beechhead in Mali:

A Saudi princess says the issue is not driving, but human rights:

“A man who assaulted two men because he thought they were Muslims and was then ordered to write a report on the cultural contributions of Islam has a new assignment”:

Egypt’s “first civilian president elected democratically following a peaceful revolution … laid out the new Egypt’s vision on issues in the Middle East and Africa and denounced a recent video that mocked Islam” and “said the most important issue facing the international community is the need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”:

A Muslim preacher accused of tearing “a copy of the Bible outside the US embassy during protests against the YouTube clip … was released until his trial, while [a Christian charged under the same blasphemy law] remains in prison during his case.” The Muslim’s son and a journalist who interviewed him … were also charged, for reasons that remain unclear”:

“In May, as he appeared as a witness in 36th District Court, Fareed said two security officers told him he would have to remove [his kufi, a Muslim skullcap] or leave”:

News and Analysis (9/26/12)

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

“Siemens said its nuclear division had done no business with Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, suggesting that the Iranians, who are prohibited from buying nuclear equipment under United Nations sanctions, bought the booby-trapped equipment from third parties”:

“In view of [developments in Syria], I think it is better for the Arab countries themselves to interfere out of their national, humanitarian, political and military duties and do what is necessary to stop the bloodshed in Syria” — Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani of Qatar:

After “mixing blustery rhetoric with conciliatory remarks” to the press …

… at the U.N., Ahmadinejad calls for “a just and fair order in which everybody is equal before the law and in which there is no double standard” …

… while back home, repression hits even those close to him:

“A spokesman for Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi said Wednesday that there is currently no need to amend the peace treaty with Israel, despite calls in Cairo to revise the 1979 accord to allow the country to beef up its presence in the Sinai Peninsula to combat militants there, the state news agency reported”:

“A statement from the judiciary … did not give the basis of their appeals, but said these would be heard quickly in open court. The judge’s ruling guarantees further publicity in a case which has gripped the British media and even dragged in Britain’s Queen Elizabeth”:

News and Analysis (9/25/12)

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

“It’s a catastrophic intelligence loss…. We got our eyes poked out.” The “consulate” in which Chris Stevens died turns out to have been just one building a compound from which the CIA was conducting covert operations targeting groups that included Ansar al Sharia which launched the attack against the  compound:

“The CIA’s programme of ‘targeted’ drone killings in Pakistan’s tribal heartlands is politically counterproductive, kills large numbers of civilians and undermines respect for international law, according to a … study by Stanford and New York universities’ law schools”:

“[A]s Arabs strive to establish new governments in the wake of the 2011 uprisings, those minorities pose challenges far beyond their size – not only for their governments, but for US policy:

“‘There is no speech that justifies mindless violence,’ such as the attack that left the four Americans dead in Libya, Obama said. ‘The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech — the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect,’ says Obama …

… but the “US differs from European nations in the extent to which it protects free expression. In most European nations and Canada, expression is more limited. Hate speech, for example, which is legal in the US, is banned in many European countries ad Canada. Denying the Holocaust is also a crime in some European countries”:

The American actress who struggles to obtain justice in her suit “for fraud and slander against Internet search giant Google, which owns YouTube, and Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man behind the video who has gone into hiding since it rose to prominence last week”  …

… might take a tip from the Queen whose complaint that Britain’s own Egyptian troublemaker was couldn’t be arrested for although he conducted “radical activities and he called Britain a toilet[,] … was incredibly anti-British”even while “was sucking up money from this country” led to the miscreant’s prosecution for “for soliciting murder and racial hatred” …

… and now, despite his and his co-defendants’ arguments “that they would face degrading treatment because they would be sent to the notorious ADX supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, … the grand chamber of the European court in Strasbourg unanimously decided there would be ‘no violation’ of the European Convention of Human Rights”:

“In an apparent allusion to recent comments by U.S., Israeli and Iranian officials, Ban” warned, “I … reject both the language of delegitimization and threats of potential military action by one state against another,” Ban said. “Any such attacks would be devastating”:

What would Jesus (peace be upon him) do?  A radical Christian proposal for dealing with the Muslim threat:

“Be assured that we do not lump together a few extremist individuals and the entire American people,” he said. “Neither do we wish to see the Tunisian people reduced to a group of religious radicals” — Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki:

“Muslim kids can — and should — fully participate in American culture without compromising their Islamic values. It’s a formula that’s worked for generations”:

 

News and Analysis (9/23/12)

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Morsi “said Washington earned ill will in the region in the past by backing dictators and taking “a very clear” biased approach against the Palestinians and for Israel. Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region’:

A year after the NATO invasion left militant groups in control of large parts of the country, “Ansar al Sharia, which has been linked to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed” has been “driven out of Benghazi:

“US military forces can destroy Iran, or as an Iranian-American analyst told the author of this article, they can take that country back to the 19thcentury, but they will become trapped in another long, unconventional, asymmetric conflict – known as fourth generation warfare (4GW) – that has the potential to damage the US economy beyond repair”:

“Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” says, “”Iran will not start any war but it could launch a pre-emptive attack if it was sure that the enemies are putting the final touches to attack it”:

“The Turkish military has traditionally played a dominant role in Turkish politics and staged coups in 1960, 1971, 1980 and 1997”:

Iran’s move to legitimate hard currency will help with its monetary problems, but not as much as moving to a gold dinar payable in oil:

“Shafqat Jalil told the BBC the government “absolutely disassociated” itself from comments by Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour”:

“A controversial video degrading Muslims had nothing to do with an attack in Libya that killed the U.S. ambassador there, the House intelligence chairman said Sunday”:

News and Analysis (9/20/12)

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Does  this mean we shall soon see signs onNYC transit saying “In any war between the civilized man and racists, support the civilized man. Support Palestinians Defeat Apartheid”? Or is freedom of speech only for bigots?

Cindy Garcia’s plea was rejected “in part because the man behind it was not served with a copy of the lawsuit. Also, Garcia wasn’t able to produce any agreement she had with filmmakers” and in part because of “a federal law that protects third parties from liability for content they handle”:

Among the broad spectrum of Muslim leaders calling for a calm response to the cartoons they deem  offensive, “Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, condemned what it called an act of “aggression” against Mohammad but urged Muslims not to fall into a trap intended to ‘derail the Arab Spring and turn it into a conflict with the West'”:

World Bank warns of mounting economic crisis in Palestine unless sustained by private investment and Israel lifts its restrictions in the West Bank.

Rule of law? Libya’s central government is so out of control that Benghazi’s security chief  “sacked this week over the attack on the U.S. Consulate here that killed the ambassador and three other Americans … sees little peril in refusing an order from the Interior Ministry in Tripoli that he step down from his post”:

Perhaps the paradox can be explained by the fact that his soothing words have been accompanied by an escalation of his predecessors militant policies:

A glimpse of a disturbing future? “The birth in a field hospital is thought to be the first time a serving member of Britain’s military has gone into labor in a combat zone”:

The “30-year-old Army private, served in Iraq in 2006” where “she became disillusioned with the mission” and “crossed the border into Canada while on leave in February 2007, after she was ordered to serve another tour there”:

“Muslims in America need to break out of their cocoons in mosques and practice what the Koran preaches and the values that prophet Muhammad exemplified even in the face of discrimination and animosity—patience and good civic engagement”:

News and Analysis (9/19/12)

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Do the Feds offer phony fatwas to radicalize American Muslim youth? According to the complaint “federal agents invented a foreign Imam who gave the bombing his blessing after Daoud’s own Imam at the Islamic Foundation and a second Imam told him ‘that type of rhetoric was improper and not consistent with Islamic belief’”:

Fighting words are not protected by the First Amendment. “The current standard for restricting speech – or punishing it after it has in fact caused violence – was laid out in the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio. Under the narrower guidelines, only speech that has the intent and the likelihood of inciting imminent violence or lawbreaking can be limited” …:

… but discretion is the better part of valor. “Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, condemned what it called an act of “aggression” against Mohammad but urged Muslims not to fall into a trap intended to ‘derail the Arab Spring and turn it into a conflict with the West'”:

“An American Coptic Christian activist whose California TV facility was used to make an anti-Islamic film that touched off protests across the Muslim world” joins the chorus of those “deceived by the film’s producer about its inflammatory content”:

“The guy who made it was a bit obscure, but the people who’ve promoted it and circulated it are part of a very well-organized and very, very well-funded network of activists who’ve received funding from mainstream conservative foundations,” — Journalist and author Doug Saunders:

Mitt Romney’s one-sided view that Palestinians alone are responsible for the failure of the peace process disqualifies him as a peacemaker, but Palestinians and Israelis also have doubts about the two-state solution and the U.S. “roadmap”:

New talks held on Iran’s nuclear program: What is the preferred solution to the nuclear issue?? Negotiations or sanctions?

Taliban shifts strategy and so does NATO:

Benghazi Renews debate on Al-Qaeda:

 

News and Analysis (9/18/12)

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and others initiated the lawsuit out concern that the “statute that authorizes indefinite military detention for people deemed to have ‘substantially supported’ al Qaeda, the Taliban or ‘associated forces’ would adversely affect their First Amendment rights:

“[T]he prosecutor’s decision to take legal [action] appears aimed at absorbing at least some of the public anger over the amateur film, which portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womanizer and buffoon”:

Coptic Bishop Serapion and Muslim Public Affairs Council Senior Advisor Maher Hatout agree “that no religion or group should be blamed for the actions of one”:

If political opportunists and  state media in the Muslim world has exaggerated the significance of the shoddy anti-Islamic propaganda film promoted by Terry Jones, the American media has exaggerated the depth and breadth of the response:
“[I]nflammatory materials that are clearly designed to offend the deeply-held sensibilities of over a billion people around the world only contribute to the escalation of tensions with no observable benefit. Muslims should either ignore such provocations, or respond nonviolently, as per the limits laid down by their religion” — the Grand Mufti of Egypt:
“[T]he prosecutor’s decision to take legal appears aimed at absorbing at least some of the public anger over the amateur film, which portrays the Prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womanizer and buffoon”:

“I hope justice is served because it’s not okay, especially in America, … just to come up to someone and to punch them because we are expressing our freedom of speech” — Tili Ayala, after she saw her fellow volunteer at a Muslim information booth receive a swollen, bleeding eye from a screaming stranger:

Netanyahu and Abbas refused to comment, but “Palestinian lawmaker and scholar Hanan Ashrawi accused Romney of ‘destroying the chances for peace’ and called his remarks ‘irresponsible and dangerous and both ignorant and prejudiced'”:

“After America negotiated a cease-fire that included written guarantees to protect the Palestinian civilians remaining in the camps from vengeful Lebanese Christians, the Marines departed Beirut” but when the slaughter began, facilitated by the Israeli army, the U.S. failed “to exert strong diplomatic pressure on Israel that could have ended the atrocities”:

Statements to the Dundalk Eagle on the Recent Events in Libya

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Asked by the Dundalk Eagle for statements on the recent events in Libya, I offered the following:

“It is a tragedy not only for America, but for the Muslim world that a man with the stature and record of constructive diplomacy of Chris Stevens was the victim of this terrorist attack.

“Attacks on embassies ar forbidden by Islamic law and it we pray that the new Libyan government will make good on its promise to find and punish the perpetrators.

“Although the facts are not clear yet, all evidence known so far suggests that the demonstrations against the Islamophobic film insulting the memory of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) were nonviolent and that the attack on the embassy was the work of opportunists in possession of heavy arms taking advantage of the demonstration to execute what may have been a pre-planned attack.

“Ironically, the attackers may have been enabled by the American military intervention into Libya and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has taken credit for the attack as revenge for assassination of their Libyan mastermind Sheikh Abu Yahya al-Li, killed by an American drone on June 4 in Pakistani-administered Waziristan.”

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
President
Minaret of Freedom Institute

News and Analysis (9/16/12)

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Robin Wright says Chris Stevens “was less an advocate of U.S influence than of U.S. enabling” and “would almost certainly have urged his bosses to hold off on extraterritorial intervention” in Libya:

The cause of the death of the US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, remains controversial. While the US and the UN now claim it was the result of  a spontaneous attack, Libya’s parliament chief blamed the attack on “a few foreign extremists who he said entered Libya from Mali and Algeria and pre-planned it with local affiliates and sympathizers”:

Even in safer areas where schools were open, classrooms sat empty and teachers signed into work solely as a formality:

A Human Rights Watch researcher fears that the backlash against the Islamophobic American film “The Innocence of Muslims” “could bolster a preexisting effort to insert a clause banning religious insults into Egypt’s new constitution”:

Appeals such as Youssef al-Qaradawi’s call that the “manner of protesting should reflect sense and reason … while frequent from many Islamic leaders and scholars in the past week — have competed against opposing calls” from “[p]olitical factions and hardline clerics” seeking “to capitalize as after other perceived offenses against the faith”:

“Surely if the sentence of the Imam (Khomeini) [against Salman Rushdie] had been carried out, the later insults in the form of caricatures, articles and the making of movies would not have occurred,” is the dubious claims from a representative Khamenei: that overlooks the damage the rescinded threat has done to the Muslim world:

“American Muslims are a wasted asset. Probably more than most they understand and appreciate the value of free speech and the [F]irst [A]mendment and could play a crucial role in acting like a bridge between America and … the Islamic world provided that they feel genuinely included in the political discourse and be treated with respect”:

Bernard Lewis rejects Edward Said’s charge that Orientalism is part of the imperialist project, yet his “academic” writings include such chauvinistic claims as “this capacity for empathy, vicariously experiencing the feelings of others, is a peculiarly Western feature”:

News and Analysis (9/14/12)

Friday, September 14th, 2012

The tragic death of an outstanding American diplomat and the accompanying loss of sensitive information  …

… in a “lightly-guarded consulate in a quiet residential area” was more a consequence of the administration’s  failure to understand that not everyone in Libya welcomed foreign military intervention than a riot provoked by the trailer for a propaganda film …

… confusion over which Omid Safi cuts …

… as Islamic scholars and political leaders  explain why violence is an un-Islamic response to attacks on the Prophet ..

… and American religious leaders of many denominations condemn hat speech even as they defend free speech:

… while the cast and crew of the film deplore deception involved in their recruitment for the project, exposing post-production insertion of insults to Muhammd not in the script …

… and an actress duped into participating in the film threatens to sue it duplicitous its producers  …

… including the man who recently posed as an Israeli-American named “Sam Bacily” but is actually a “maverick” Coptic Christian con artist named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula:

The bill allows government to “eavesdrop on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a probable-cause warrant so long as one of the parties to the communication is believed outside the” US and is interpreted so that “as long as the real target is al-Qaida” they can wiretap purely domestic e-mails and phone calls without getting a warrant from a judge”:

When the U.S. sarcastically responded to Ikhwanweb’s sympathetic tweet with “have you checked out your own Arabic feeds? I hope you know we read those too,” Ikhwanweb snapped back with ” it will be more helpful if you point out exactly the Arabic feed of concern”:

Rounding up the usual suspects?