Archive for December, 2012

News and Analysis (12/31/12)

Monday, December 31st, 2012

In a subway system where aid ads implore commuters to side with “civilized” Israeli occupation forces against “savage” Muslims, a patron sides with the psychopaths, shoving a Hindu man to his death and then explaining to police, “I hate Hindus and Muslims — ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up”:

Talk about bad tenants! “Rows of air conditioning units stuck out of a damaged wall, a giant, dilapidated generator was marooned near shipping containers and twisted, dented vehicles remained. But there was no sign of a cheque for a landlord who said years of rent, running to hundreds of thousands of dollars, was owing to him”:

Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch flaunts its contempt for the protection Islamic law given envoys by offering a bounty of “three kilograms of gold worth $160,000 for killing”of the American ambassador:

“Essam al-Erian, deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party” declared, “Every Egyptian has a right to live in his country” and “questioned why former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser expelled the Jews from Egypt in the first place”:

Missing Gadhaffi yet? Now the murder of Egyptian Christians can be added to the attacks “against Sufi shrines and mosques that witnesses say were carried out by militant Islamists”:

Despite the fact that pieces of gravel could be used as a weapons to throw against heavily armed Israeli soldiers by otherwise unarmed Palestinian demonstrators …

… and the high court rules that Haneen Zoabi cannot be barred from running because she was a victim of Israel’s attack on the Gaza relief flotilla:

“YouTube was unblocked on 29 December following government work on a filtering system designed to stop people seeing blasphemous material. However, when the filter proved ineffective the Pakistan government re-imposed its blanket ban on the site”:

Although there has been “no claim of responsibility for the blast,” Human Rights Watch says “the government’s failure to catch or prosecute attackers [in such killings of Shiites] suggested it was ‘indifferent’ to” them:

With the rebels set back by the regime’s return to the strategic city of Homs, UN negotiator Lakhdar Ibrahimi warns that a hundred thousand more could die and Syria end up ruled by Somali-style warlords unless their foreign backers pressure the warring parties to the negotiating table:

 

News and Analysis (12/28/12)

Friday, December 28th, 2012

The government is blocking Wilson’s attorneys attempt to get the charges dismissed on the grounds that “they are based off of testimonies provided to undercover informants and contain no proof that Wilson intended on committing an act of terror” by alleging that unsealing “their alleged evidence” against him ” would endanger national security”:

The  Samajwadi Party (SP) government in Uttar Pradesh delayed its election promise to release youths imprisoned on false terrorism charges until after the Nimish Commission inquiry, but two months after the commission reportedly cleared the youths, the SP continues to stall:

“Initially, German forces said no civilians had been killed but it transpired that the tankers had been abandoned by the militants. It soon became clear that a large number of civilians had died and the attack created a political scandal in Germany in the weeks before national elections”:

According to the suit, “a passenger yelled at her and the driver refused to move until she got off,” on the first occasion and the “next month, she claims, a passenger hit her in the face after another lectured her, and police forced her to get off the bus”:

“Ahmad, my late father’s carer when he had Alzheimer’s, arrives looking like a bearded, smiling Santa bearing gifts. When people say to him ”You do this but you are a Muslim?” he replies ”I do this because I am a Muslim’:

With Egypt’s new constitution signed into law,  the opposition comes under threat of prosecution by Mursi’s appointed public prosecutor, and MB opponents accuse “a 69-year-old Islamist veterinarian” of being the secret ruler of Egyot:

“The 2012 election was a victory for Muslim Americans in the sense that 85 percent of Muslims voted for the winner, President Barack Obama. However, this election also revealed … Muslim Americans haven’t reached the point where they can advocate for policies that benefit themselves”:

With the UN pressing for and rebels resisting a diplomatic solution to the Syrian crisis, a highly fractured but functioning civil society is spontaneously rising in the liberated areas, but the spillover into neighboring states threatens the stability of the region:

Will the economics of halal meat be the driver of the Sino-Muslim axis predicted by Samuel Huntington?

News and Analysis (12/26/12)

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

“If there’s no compensation from the government, we will accept the compensation from al-Qaeda…. If I am sure the Americans are the ones who killed my brother, I will join al-Qaeda and fight against America”:

“Final figures from the elections commission showed the constitution was backed by 63.8% of voters, giving Islamists their third straight victory at the polls since Hosni Mubarak was toppled” …

… but the poor turnout reflects an eerosion of the base of support …

… indicting that  the “Islamist parties, especially the MB, need to be more open and humble in their dealings with the others …. [and] reach a compromise on the few disputed articles in order to bring about a consensus.  As for the secular forces, they need to face reality and accept the will of the people in a new and free Egypt”:

“The Islamists have said they don’t want to harm the manuscripts, … [b]ut other people could take advantage of the situation to attack our heritage” — ” Abdel Kader Haidara,”a specialist in manuscript cataloging and director of one of Timbuktu’s largest family libraries”:

“The religious leaders on Monday acknowledged free-speech guarantees under the First Amendment of the Constitution but emphasized community needs. ‘When we see hate speech … it is incumbent on us who are in the majority to call it out”:

“The informal sector of education and trade forms about 70 per cent of employment in Ghana and drives the country’s economy, and yet we seem not to see the importance of taking our work seriously in order to improve on it”:

“Invoking the Muslim prophet Mohammed, [Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti Sheikh] Abdulaziz [bin Abdullah Al al-Sheikh] noted that killing innocents has been forbidden for 14 centuries”:

“The resolution adopted by the 193-member world body urges government action to improve the situation of the Rohingya Muslim minority ‘and to protect all their human rights, including their right to a nationality’”:

“Although the rules allow each bank to have its own sharia board to supervise products, the central bank has set out strict requirements for scholars, including criteria for whether they are fit and proper, maximum tenures, … stock market listing requirements, ownership limits, minimum paid-in capital amounts, and … capital adequacy ratio”:

Christmas is not a Muslim holiday, but it is still a good day for Muslims to fulfill their obligation to help the poor and needy:

News and Analysis (12/24/12)

Monday, December 24th, 2012

After the second round of voting, the Muslim Brotherhood claims the constitution  has been approved by a solid 64% of the vote, but the opposition claims fraud, promising to continue peaceful protests and other democratic means, possibly forming a single opposition party …

,,, Will the loss of political capital expended impede Mursi’s attempts to deal with the economic crisis?

“Christians live openly here, and they describe Hezbollah as a tolerant group that has steadfastly supported their presence, even sending Christmas cards to Christian neighbors “:

“He was escorted off the airplane and detained for four hours, according to the suit. He was not given water, food or allowed to use the restroom and was ordered to sit and stare at a wall. ‘If he so much as turned his head, he was verbally abused for doing so'”:

“All across the land, posters for halal turkeys in butchers’ shops in Muslim-populated areas…. Of course on the day itself, the turkey will be kept moist with ghee rather than bacon rashers, not a single chipolata sausage will grace the dining table and the brandy butter will probably be… well, just butter”:

“Protesters …  in the western Sunni heartland … say Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has marginalized them, and that anti terrorism laws are being used unfairly against Sunnis”:

“‘Not a single mausoleum will remain in Timbuktu,’ Abou Dardar, a leader of the Islamist group Ansar Dine, told AFP news agency”:

“The judicial process against Badawi has not made clear what words or activities provoked his prosecution”:

Israel continues its violations of the cease-fire:

“If confirmed, the attack on Halfaya in central Syria, which was seized by rebels last week, would be one of the deadliest air strikes of Syria’s civil war. Videos uploaded by activists showed dozens of bloodstained corpses lying amid rubble and shrapnel”:

 

News and Analysis (12/21/12)

Friday, December 21st, 2012

As injuries mount despite police attempts to separate counter-demonstrating parties in Alexandria, opponents of the draft constitution, outnumbered both at the polls and in the streets, come to their senses and now pledge “to fight on to amend it during elections expected next year”:

The peace movement is not happy with the proposed nomination of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, but the Washington Post’s opposition has convinced some that he may be better than the alternatives …

… but for the neocons, the case against Hagel is absurdly clear-cut, and Hagel must be an anti-Semite because he won’t put Israel ahead of American interests …

… as the administration did when–knowing full well that Israeli’s settlements are immoral, illegal, and counter-productive–the US once again sacrificed justice, rule of law, and its own national interests to the greed of its rapacious client state:

Why did the Israelis start a war with Hamas when it “costs $90K per Iron Dome missile to fire at a $200-$500 Qassam rocket[?]” Because American taxpayers footed the bill, spending “$10B for Israel’s anti-missile programs since the 1990s” including “$205M for Israel’s Iron Dome” funding which “the House approved … by a 410–4 vote” at Obama’s request:

The fighting that emptied the Palestinian refugee camp at Yarmouk had led to speculation that it could “be used by the rebels to destroy the airport and to launch their ‘final assault’ into the center of Damascus”, but with the letup in the fighting, Palestinian leaders, divided over the Syrian civil war, “are negotiating the rebels’ exit”:

The accusations of Scud missile firings provide the excuse for NATO’s “placement of an American, Dutch, and German Patriot antimissile system along the border of NATO member Turkey. The deployment of the battery requires troops to operate the missiles, as well – the US is sending 400 to the area”:

Calling for a vote of no-confidence in parliament, al-Issawi blames the arrest of “about 150 of his bodyguards and staff members” on the PM, but “Mr Maliki insisted that he did not order the arrests, suggesting that they were the result of an investigation undertaken by the judiciary”:

Although his “image is still marred by the bloody Gujarat riots, … for a growing number of the more than 60 million people living in Gujarat, Modi’s record during his decade as chief minster has created a number of believers in his vision” of “development and good governance” including the estimated 25% of Muslims voters who cast ballots for the BJP:

“Contrary to popular perception, Christian NGOs receive maximum foreign funding,” outpacing foreign Muslim funding by more than a factor of thirty:

“Muslim group languishes in makeshift homes with no work, no schools and no citizenship rights from Burmese government…. Abu Tahay, of the Rohingya political group National Democratic Party for Development, says the authorities have acted without warrants and Rohingya detainees have been held without bail or access to lawyers”:

News and Analysis (12/19/12)

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

As the pro-torture camp in the US argues that “some utterance extracted by waterboarding in 2003 somehow contributed to the chain of events that led to Navy SEALs shooting an unarmed man in the face at point-blank range in 2011[,]” the European Court of Human Rights issues a unanimous decision on the CIA’s “secret detention and torture” of an innocent  German citizen of Lebanese origin …

… but Macedonia takes the fall an the CIA gets away scott free …

… and public health bears the cost of unintended consequences of CIA actions; “hostility to the campaign increased after it emerged that the CIA had used a fake vaccination campaign to try to gather information about Osama bin Laden, before he was found and killed in a Pakistani town last year”:

“An opposition appeal for mass protests … [yielded] a dismal turnout forcing leaders to acknowledge that they erred in calling their supporters to the street…. The opposition had alleged widespread fraud during the first round of voting, but provided little evidence. Egypt’s Justice Ministry said Tuesday it would investigate claims of voter irregularities”:

As with the US, pragmatic considerations may be forcing Russia to drop the illusion that the Muslim Brotherhood is involved in terrorism:

Engel, 39, said his captors were part of a government militia known as Shabiha, which is loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Engel described the kidnappers as Shiite Muslims trained by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and allied with Hezbollah.

Denying young adults an option to marry, Western law pressures them into covert sex and its legacy of single motherhood;  does Malaysia have the solution?

“It is ironical that no maulvi (expert on Islamic studies) has raised any objection when a male person does not divorce his wife on the basis of Quranic laws”:

“Muslim leaders in Britain on Tuesday attacked proposed legislation to introduce gay marriage as “utterly discriminatory” because it explicitly bans the Church of England from blessing same-sex unions but puts no such interdict on Islam”:

“The previous judge’s order requiring Maj. Nidal Hasan to be clean-shaven or be forcibly shaved before his trial had tied up the case for more than three months, but an appeals court ousted that judge earlier this month”:

The coincidence of Talibani’s stroke with the Exxon oil deal with the Kurds jaopardizes Iraqi stability and US relations:

News and Analysis (12/17/12)

Monday, December 17th, 2012

With Syria’s VP acknowledging Assad may have to go, the regime warns against letting chemical weapons fall into extremist hands and an NGO finds Jabhat al-Nusra helpful in relief efforts despite the the trepidation with which other Syrians view the hardline Islamist organization and the “terrorist” label with which the US has branded it:

Laws against material aid to terrorists will not be enforced against powerful white non-Muslim international bankers:

ACLU to American Zionism’s would-be campus censors: “Speech that criticizes the State of Israel and its policies and actions, or even questions its right to exist as a Jewish State in the region, cannot constitute the basis for government restriction or regulation”:

Letting the market decide, “the owner of a shopping centre in Malawi’s northern city of Mzuzu. He doesn’t cut prices during Islamic celebrations because, he says, Muslims don’t buy new clothes on their major holidays as do Christians”:

“Iran and the six powers – the United States, Russia, France, China, Britain and Germany – have expressed readiness to revive efforts to find a negotiated solution” but ending the stalemate will require the West to stop denying Iran its right to a peaceful program and Iran to stop denying UN inspectors access they need to do their job:

“The accused include prominent members of the Muslim community and activists.  They were charged under Ethiopia’s anti-terrorism proclamation that … has been widely criticized by international human-rights organizations that say that it is used to silence dissident voices”:

The first round of voting, mainly urban, giving a modest margin in favor of the new Egyptian Constitution (and for the Muslim Brotherhood), does not sit well with the opposition, but next Saturday’s polling in the rural areas is expected to be more lopsided:

The Muslim Brotherhod in Egypt “is still unable to restructure itself as a normal political party instead of a semi-clandestine movement with vexing and multi-faceted agenda. The bewildering behavior of the MB reflects the complexity of its internal structure and dynamics”:

News and Analysis (12/14/12)

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Responding to an e-mail warning of Islamic indoctrination in the Dallas-area public school, “a former social studies teacher described …  as a ‘very socially and fiscally conservative’ woman who ‘watches Glenn Beck on a regular basis’ — found quite the opposite”:

A libertarian pioneer in the Tea Party movement, convert to Islam Will Coley was determined to stop the neoconservative takeover of the movement; “We use principles within sharia like maqasid (primary goals) to show their connection with John Locke’s principles of life, liberty and property”:

Continuing protests in Egypt simmer at the edge of violence on the eve of the referendum; is the source of the problem the Muslim Brotherhood, power-grabbing elitists, or romantic music broadcast before midmight?

“In his lawsuit, Naeem says he was written a citation by a Whelan Security guard in June 2011 for wearing “foreign country religious dress.” Other times he had his taxi license suspended or was told he would be arrested for trespassing if he worked in his religious clothing”:

“As a leader of a majority-Muslim nation, I believe Islamic countries must better understand what young people aspire to. This means comprehending two great changes affecting their lives … — demography and technology… In an age of self-determination, they crave freedom of opportunity”–Najib Razak is prime minister of Malaysia:

The founder of  “Adl wal Ihsan (Justice and Spirituality) … accused the monarchy of being corrupt and dictatorial and questioned its claim to religious legitimacy. His spent a decade under house arrest”  and with an estimated 100,000 followers “an important part of February 20 … pro-democracy movement”:

“In return for the rally in Nablus, Hamas has pledged to let Fatah hold an anniversary celebration in the Gaza Strip on January 1” …

… “But an official in the Nablus governorate, who asked to remain anonymous because he wasn’t authorized to discuss politics, says that the PA’s tolerance of the rallies is not an indication of a genuine interest in reconciliation, but merely an acknowledgement of the growing public support for the group”:

“The U.N. nuclear agency expects to reach a deal with Iran next month enabling it to resume a stalled probe into suspected nuclear weapon research in the Islamic state, the chief U.N. inspector said after returning from Tehran on Friday”:

Some accuse Qatar of promoting terrorism and others call it an agent of Western imperialism; David Johnston presents a more nuanced view of the conservative Gulf state that, together with Egypt and Turkey, forms “a Sunni triangle” whose influence was demonstrated by their role in the recent Israeli-Hamas cease-fire:

News and Analysis (12/12/12)

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Allegations of Muslim Brotherhood vigilantism threaten to completely unravel the already chaotic situation in Egypt:

As the rebels get closer to their goal, America, Europe and the Arab states jockey for position, but can the rebels complete their push to victory without the well-funded and highly effective extremist allies the US has accused of killing civilians?

“Proponents of the law, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, noted that failure to protect circumcision would have risked making Germany the only country in the world to ban a practice that Jews and some Muslims consider an ancient and essential part of their religious traditions”:

“She said she believed IHAT was a “cover-up” and that she had resigned because she no longer wanted to be implicated in it”:

“The Rohingya issue, including the minority’s uncertain future, seems to be getting worse as Burma embarks on an otherwise promising agenda of reforms. The topic is extremely sensitive for the government, and in some ways, in Rakhine, it’s still the old Burma, a police state”:

According to a UN report, “cultural restraints, social norms and taboos, customary practices and religious beliefs, discrimination against women that leads to wider acceptance of violence against” women in Afghanistan, but after a 14-year-old was beheaded while fetching water, police spokesman Said Sarwar Husaini says this time it will be different:

“Iraqi Kurdistan has already staked out significant autonomy, providing its own public services, controlling airports and borders, and commanding police and army forces. The energy deal with Turkey would all but sever Kurdistan’s economic dependence on Baghdad, which is perhaps the primary tie that still binds the two sides”:

Asif Mandvi has chosen to do  a play that “breaks just about every taboo about the interface between East and West culture” because there are so few “roles for brown actors and especially Muslim American actors that sort of deal with the identity issue … in such a sophisticated, nuanced way as this play does”:

“Tolimir, 64, is the latest Serb soldier to be convicted of genocide in the bloody climax of Bosnia’s 1992-95 war that left around 100,000 dead” …

… but as revelations of recent Israeli terrorism continue to trickle out …

… Israel uses the pretext of an unexplained search of a militant leftist faction’s offices to ransack and seize equipment and records “of the Palestinian NGO Network; the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees; and Addameer, a group offering legal aid to Palestinian prisoners”:

News and Analysis (12/10/12)

Monday, December 10th, 2012

“The moderate Islamist Ennahda party and the UGTT union are at loggerheads, a dispute that descended into days of riots recently as Tunisians vented their frustration over the country’s stagnant economy. Many blame Ennahda for doing too little to reduce unemployment and curb police abuses — the same complaints that drove Tunisia’s revolution”:

Despite Mursi’s partial retraction of his controversial power-grab, the opposition persists in its objection to letting the majority decide on the new constitution, and Mursi’s reaction to the threat of violence reinforces the army’s intrusion into domestic affairs:

According to a survivor of the wedding party massacre, no insurgents were killed, only his aged father and his infant son killed while nursing at the breast its mother, who has lost the use of her arm from the wounds she suffered:

Rashida [Bi] and Dev Shukla were used the money from their 2004 Noble Goldman Prize for the environment to establish the Chingari Trust. The fund, whose trustees are all female seeks to aid victims of the Bhopi gas leak and to bring the “responsible parties to justice, and [to prevent] future accidents”:

“Muslim women often feel pressured to change their appearance or anglicise their name in order to access employment” …

… and that goes double for the headscarf:

After a billboard depicting “a woman covering a man’s eyes from behind” is taken down and four tourists receive summonses for alleged “indecent behavior,”  PAS is accused of overzealous imposition of “hudud” laws intended for Muslims on non-Muslims, but the Islamist Party accuses its critics of fear-mongering:

“Syrian rebels expect greater military help from Gulf Arab states after they announced a new command structure which aims finally to unite President Bashar al-Assad’s armed opponents” …

… and as they get closer to the presidential palace, Assad’s choices are to stay in place, flee to a third country (such as Iran or Venezuala) or, his most likely choice, “to retreat to the Alawite-populated mountains on the Mediterranean coast”:

“Monday’s announcement on state-run Press TV suggests technicians may have broken encryptions”:

“Europe can have a very significant, bordering on game-changing, role, in reframing cost-benefit calculations for Israelis” — Daniel Levy, the director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at the European Council on Foreign Relations in London: