Archive for November, 2012

News and Analysis (11/29/12)

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

By the controversial move to rush to a vote on the draft constitution today, putting the draft before a public vote within 15 days, the constituent assembly hopes to finesse both judiciary attempts to dissolve the body and Mursi’s polarizing decree immunizing himself from judicial review:

… but a move temporarily “[g]ranting the Shura Council legislative power could cause a backlash on the street”:

“I didn’t know that I was breaking the law when I went to the gun range,” he pleads, but prosecuted after blowing the whistle on FBI attempts to recruit him for terrorism, he could land in prison for up to 10 years on an unrelated gun charge, even if “the court discounts most of his prior convictions” and “he could face a minimum of 15 years” otherwise:

CAIR’s “Ibrahim Hooper said it was unacceptable for the Cedar Rapids-based company to be crippled by the seizure of operating funds without being charged with a crime or formally told what the government is investigating”:

Journalists Without Borders accuse Israel of having deliberately targeted journalists and buildings housing “the offices of al-Arabiya, Agence France Presse, the Palestinian news agency Ma’an, and Russia Today, among others”:

“While the US and Israel have strongly opposed the move, and the UK has said it will abstain from the vote unless Mr. Abbas promises not to use his new status to bring war crime allegations against Israel in front of the International Criminal Court, there appear to be more than enough votes in the UN General Assembly for the motion”:

“The ruling puts it in conflict with European Union rules that allow the practice on the grounds of religious freedom”:

“America’s roughly 2.6 million Muslims are a tiny fraction of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, but they took 41 spots on the 500 list”:

“While Bosnian immigrants are not sure if they will live to see their former homeland thrive, many are confident that their children will also demand that their parents’ and grandparents’ suffering won’t be forgotten”:
“[P]ublic condemnations of terrorism by Muslims have received little media attention, but organizations spreading negative messages continue to stoke public fears that Muslims are secretly plotting to overthrow the U.S. government”:

News and Analysis (11/25/12)

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Mursi’s claim that “temporarily” granting himself Draconian authority will save Egypt’s fledgling democracy leads to threatened strikes by judges and journalists, rival demonstrations, a stock market fall, and death …

… while “several prominent opposition leaders, including Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed elBaradei, have said they will not engage in dialogue with the president until he rescinds the measure, known as the constitutional declaration.”:

Israel makes good on its promise to ease restrictions, allowing fisherman to fish, farmers to farm, Hamas to rearm, and the people to rebuild:

Visitors ” discover that many of the inventions are familiar, and some of them we still use today” such as “soap, toothbrushes, pens and … coffee”:

Critics charge that the emir’s plan to reduce the number of votes from four to one is aimed at weakening an opposition “coalition of youth groups, disgruntled tribes and Islamists”:

In an Ashura message Nasrullah warns Israel not to think it con abuse Lebanon as it has Gaza with impunity:

“The public remains divided …,: according to the Pew Research Center, which noted that about 40 percent of Americans thought Islam is more likely to encourage violence; 42 percent said it is not”:

Obama will :give speeches about how cool he thinks we are ….. But then he authorized close to 300 drone strikes in Pakistan, almost six times more than George W. Bush authorized in his 8 years in office”:

News and Analysis (11/23/12)

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

The fragile Gaza truce is holding so far despite accusations of violations on both sides …

… providing political capital to both Hamas and Morsi, but the latter risks his by exempting his edicts from appeal and threatening his enemies with double jeopardy, provoking arson at FJP headquarters and chants of “Morsi  is Mubarak”:

Timur Kuran argues that economic stagnation of the Middle East is due not to some “incompatibility between Islam and capitalism but laws covering business partnerships and inheritance practices” that have impeded “private capital accumulation, corporations, large-scale production and impersonal exchange”:

“After visiting soup kitchens and homeless shelters to feed hungry people, Jewish and Muslim volunteers in these cities gather for learning/networking events at which they celebrate together the common moral imperative in our two faiths to feed the hungry and help those most in need”:

“A group of organizations led by Students Islamic Organization of India (SIO) planned a nationwide protest on Friday, November 23” charging that “the bid to arrest youths under concocted charges in different parts of the country seems to be part of a planned conspiracy to defame Muslims, tarnish their image before the masses”:

Failing to stop a suicide bomber from crossing police lines, the Pakistanis resort to a cutoff of cell phones:

“More than 4,000 people paid 1 euro ($1.30) to watch the game in the central town of Zenica on Wednesday night, cheering “Bosnia, Bosnia” and celebrating whoever scored”:

When does “free speech” cross the lne into “incitement”?

Despite the fact that France has neither “legalized same-sex marriage … [nor] been open to accepting Islamic practices,” Mohammed Ludovic Lutfi Zahed was inspired by his pilgrimage to Mecca to open a French mosque where gays could be married:

“Rights groups say the Ethiopian government provoked the protests by trying to impose a specific interpretation of Islam”:

News and Analysis (11/21/12)

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

“Gilad Sharon, the son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon,” calls on Israel to “flatten all of Gaza[,]” adding that “Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too[,]” but “there is a growing consensus that a military operation every few years”:

Amira Haas exposes the rotten hollow core of Israel’s claims that it aggression constitutes self-defense:

As with the previous Israeli slaughter in Gaza, the UN again exposes Israeli claims that schools are used to launch rockets, this time thr0ugh CGI animation, as a fabrication:

“Israel has embarked on an adventure it has not calculated properly. It must now bear the consequences. A truce will be on Hamas’s terms, not Israel’s. The first of these will be to lift the oppressive blockade on the Gaza Strip”–Musa Abumarzuq, deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau:

“Palestinians in the West Bank have staged solidarity marches, praising Gaza’s rocket strikes on Israel and calling for an end to the diplomacy track with Israel – an indirect blow to President Mahmoud Abbas”

Iran accuses the emir of Qatar of gifting “a number of watches and ballpoint pens to Hamas leaders, which transmitted low-frequency signals to Israeli satellites”:

In the search for a cease-fire both sides want concessions, an end of rocket attacks for the Israelis and an end to the blockade of Gaza for the Gazans:

“[D]espite the fact that the case was dropped, she had to be flown out of the prison to an unknown location to ensure her safety and has been in hiding since”:

Experts believe the U.S. has spent almost one trillion dollars in counter-terrorism funding n Africa over the past decade:

News and Analysis (11/19/12)

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Largely immune from retaliation by its sophisticated anti-missile defense system, Israel expands its targets to include the media as well as residential areas …

… the Egyptian people show humanitarian concern for besieged Gazans but no desire for a military intervention …

… and even Israelis too have mixed feelings, while the Gazans make clear that a meaningful cease fire requires an end to the siege …

… while American Muslim and Arab groups urge ” President Obama not to sit on the sidelines as American taxpayer-funded weapons are used to kill civilians — including babies — and to destroy the civilian infrastructure in Gaza” …

… and hackers, including Anonymous, declare cyber-war on Israel:

Church leaders feared an Arabic prayer “leaders feared it might offend military personnel or their families” but a sixteen year old Muslim girl fled “from the room crying when she learned the call to prayer was being cut”:

Muslims attracted to the “party whose platform rested on tax cuts and placed small business owners on a pedestal” now flee from the party that ” smeared virtually every Muslim organization in America,” presided over the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib,  and has made it ” clear to the Muslim community that we were all under suspicion”:

A member of Dads Against Discrimination accuses a Muslim judge of shariah-based bias in favor of women, but other alimony reformers distance themselves from his rant:

“A Christian vigilante group killed a Muslim resident who insisted on going through their illegal checkpoint”:

“Murdoch …  seems to believe that the owners of media outlets should require their reporting to conform to their owners political preferences and world-views, rather than reflect observed reality”:

“The New York-based rights group also released new satellite imagery detailing the extensive destruction of several Muslim areas, including a village attacked by Buddhist mobs armed with spears and bows and arrows where adults were beheaded and women and children killed” …

… yet criticism from Obama, visiting the country,  is measured, “”The Rohingya … hold within themselves the same dignity as you do, and I do. National reconciliation will take time, but for the sake of our common humanity, and for the sake of this country’s future, it’s necessary to stop incitement and to stop violence”:

 

News and Analysis (11/16/12)

Friday, November 16th, 2012

As the American media lies about the sequence of events that lead to Israel’s breaking of the effective truce to resume its massacres in Gaza where “two days of Israeli air strikes have killed 19 Palestinians, including seven militants and 12 civilians, among them six children and a pregnant woman. A Hamas rocket killed three Israelis” …

The Israelis launched their attack shortly after the US elections and shortly before the US was about to swear in a president at the inauguration in January and just before Israeli elections were scheduled as well. So there is no question that it has everything to do with Israeli politics”–Phyllis Bennis, director of the Institute for Policy Studies:

“I say, we are children. There is nothing that is our fault to have to face this. They are occupying us and I will say, as Abu Omar said, “If you’re a mountain, the wind won’t shake you”. We’re not afraid, we’ll stay strong”:

Rejecting the shop’s “offer …to find a barber to cut her hair,” McGregor insists the government must force the Muslim barber to cut her hair in contravention of his religiously-motivated objection to touching a female stranger:
“Some members of the Muslim community accuse the Ethiopian Government of controlling the Majlis and sponsoring the propagation of Al-Ahbash” an especially intolerant Muslim group notorious for branding other Muslims disbelievers:
The release of Lebanese-born Ali Mussa Daqduq also underscored how little influence Washington holds over Baghdad’s government since American troops left the country last December:

The protests began over fuel subsidies, but some sources “agree that the forthcoming elections are designed to turn the economic issue into a political one, and link it to the Syrian situation and the internal Palestinian conflict.

“It is astounding to find that one of the handful of prospects being floated to become CIA director following the fall of General David Petraeus is a person reportedly implicated in a 2005 Israeli spy scandal”:

“I think it’s important for people to know: What is their philosophy? Is it non-judgmental? People who are calling are already very hard on themselves”–Alia Hogben, executive director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women:

 

News and Analysis (11/14/12)

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Anticipating the upcoming elections, Israel resumes its policy of assassination:

As the scandal surrounding the Lebanese Maronite femme fatale broadens to include the involvement of her twin sister (of whom a superior court judge has written “Ms. Khawam appears to lack any appreciation or respect for the importance of honesty and integrity in her interactions with her family, employers and others with whom she comes in contact”) …

… and Gen. David Petraeus’s successor Gen. John Allen, commentator Orcas George opines, “If Jill Kelley was not in the employ of a foreign intelligence service then the world’s spy agencies have collectively suffered a dereliction of duty”:

“With the SNC expected to take around two fifths of the 60 or so seats in the new National Coalition, the Brotherhood’s influence is set on paper at least to diminish”:

“The picture isn’t entirely grim for Muslim-Americans, whose response to such discriminatory targeting has been increased political mobilization. An informal exit poll conducted by … the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the country, found that 95.5% percent of Muslim voters said they went to the polls on November 6th”:

Participant in the destruction of Buddhist monujments in Afghanistan wants to do the same in Egypt:

County to Muslim parents: “If you want they schools to close for Muslim holidays, first keep your kids at home”:

“MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi told reporters that the police were not allowing shops to open in the area and this had hit hard the traders, especially fruit sellers, vendors and daily wage earners”:

After Oslo gave most of the Palestinian aquifer to the Israelis, the Israelis have denied the Palestinians even their meager share:

“U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the formation of the coalition, which supersedes the widely discredited Syrian National Council as the face of the Syrian opposition, was an important step, but did not offer it full recognition or arms”:

News and Analysis (11/12/12)

Monday, November 12th, 2012

In the wake of the Petraeus scandal  the CIA flatly denies Paula Broadwell’s allegations that “the CIA annex … had taken a couple of Libyan militia members prisoner and they think that the attack on the consulate was an effort to try to get these prisoners back”:

In the wake of Hilary Clinton’s harsh criticism of the narrowness of the SNC’s base of support, the Syrian opposition unifies and elects Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib to head the new group and “prominent dissident Riad Seif and female opposition figure Suhair al-Atassi … as his deputies”:

“[A]ccording to AFP, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN World Food Program (WFP), which both work closely with the Syrian Red Crescent Society, strongly denied their aid was being seized by the government or anyone else”:

After admitting that the Syrian fire onto the Golan Height was errant, and firing back anyway to “warn” a Syrian regime busy killing its own people not to fire on hostile military forces occupying its own land, not even by accident, Israel, now hints “that the Damascus regime could be deliberately targeting the Golan” and continues its offensive:

“The authorities are trying to conduct the election without conferring the right to vote on Muslim women. Universal adult suffrage is the elementary principle governing any democracy…. Similarly, there is nothing in the Shariath or in the Mohamedan law which forbids women from participating in the election process”:

“We want to ensure that American Muslims are seen as an integral part of the American fabric, that they feel comfortable with both their faith and their American identity…. We want to be seen as partners, not suspects”–Haris Tarin, Washington representative of the Muslim Public Affairs Council:

“The wave of attacks was organized, central-government military sources told Reuters. They were led by Rakhine nationalists tied to a powerful political party in the state, incited by Buddhist monks, and, some witnesses said, abetted at times by local security forces”:

Abbas defends the timing of his bid for recognition as a desperate attempt to keep the “two-state solution” alive …

… and Israeli “Defense establishment officials are reportedly opposed to the idea [of punishing the Palestinians for trying], arguing that it is better to maintain the close cooperation with the PA than to impose sanctions”:

“A senior judge at a special London court said there was a risk that evidence obtained using torture may be used against Abu Qatada and he may not receive a fair trial in Jordan” and that therefore, “British interior minister Theresa May had been wrong not to revoke an earlier deportation ruling against Qatada”:

News and Analysis (11/10/12)

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

“These encouraging results clearly show that mainstream Americans reject anti-Muslim bigotry by candidates for public office and will demonstrate that rejection at the polls”–Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations:

The dispute to replace the words “principles of Islamic Shariah” with the words “the rulings of Shariah” in the Egyptian Constitution is nothing less than a struggle over whether Egypt is to be ruled by laws (nomocracy) or by men (theocracy):

“It would be one thing if the defendant had conceived the crime and then, as obstacles arose, the government removed them. But I think you have to deal with the problem of the full circumstances here. The government comes up with the idea, picks the targets, provides all the means, removes the obstacles”–Judge Reena Raggi:

Unmoved by the facts that Dr. Siddiqui “had not been read her rights[,] … had not had the opportunity to consult any lawyers,” that there was evidence that the weapon “she allegedly picked up had not been not fired and that no spent bullets or casings were found” and that since she “was not being tried for terrorism, the material containing diagrams of New York landmarks allegedly recovered from her should not been introduced into the proceedings,”

“Prior to this case, an anonymous expert has never been permitted in a US criminal trial as there is no genuine way to cross examine someone whose identity is unknown”–Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights:

“The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power in Egypt has brought with it a new group of female politicians who say they are determined to bring more women into leadership roles — and at the same time want to consecrate a deeply conservative Islamic vision for women in Egypt”:

“The arrests, terrorism charges and takeover of EIASC signify a troubling escalation in the government’s attempts to control Ethiopia’s Muslim community and provide further evidence of a decline in religious freedom in Ethiopia”–U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom:

“The interesting thing about it is that people would naturally think the first Muslim MP was elected in an area where a large part of the population was Asian, like Birmingham,…. In fact, it was a working-class constituency in Glasgow where less than 10 per cent of people are Asian”:

“[D]rones could be susceptible to “mission creep,” in which the use of the technology could deviate from the intended use. Metal detectors, for example, originally were used in high-security areas like airports but are now accepted at schools”:

News and Analysis (11/8/12)

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Under a law that state media said allows the government to “re-evaluate the nationality” of citizens, Bahrain’s government revoked the citizenship of 31 Shias  for “breaching national security and damaging the supreme interests of Bahrain,” even though, according to Amnesty International, many had been acquitted previously of such charges:

The prosecutor “argued Youssef’s lies about his identity have caused harm to others, including the film’s cast and crew … [who] had no idea he was a recently released felon” or that Youssef would dub over “the words they spoke in the movie” to make it inflammatory. Youssef;s attorney objected that moviemakers “are entitled to change anything”:

“[I]t is important to remember that when one segment of our population faces discrimination it has ripple effects on us all. We are all interconnected and government policies affect the entire community…. Envisioning a better future is not enough. We, as a community, must be willing to play an active role in creating that future”:
Salam al-Maryati sees Obama’s re-election as “an opportunity … [for] engagement and more inclusion” in “bolstering partnerships with law enforcement for national security, working within faith-based government programs, and building bridges with the Muslim world” promoting democracy and fighting violent extremism”:
The bank says it  “no hats, no hoods, no sunglasses” policy cuts down on crime, but “David Bernstein, a member of the Tulsa Say No to Hate Coalition and the Jewish Federation of Tulsa” says, “There’s a very clear difference between something like a ski mask, and something like a hijab”:
 A prosecutor’s order to enforce a Mubarak-era court decision “fuels a fear among liberals that the rise of Islamists to power will usher in repressive tactics used by the ousted regime of President Hosni Mubarak”:
Arguing against the US government’s position that Congress intended American victims to benefit from the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002, attorney David Strachman says  his Israeli clients should get assets donated by innocent American Muslims but confiscated under criminal forfeiture statutes:
Turkey seeks heavier arms to use against Syria and Britain reviews its embargo policy: