Archive for October, 2013

News and Analysis (10/30/13)

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

As the Egyptian military continues its crackdown on civil society …

… “judges presiding over the trial of nearly three dozen members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, including its top leader, stepped down Tuesday after security agencies refused to let the defendants attend the courtroom sessions, judicial officials said” …

… and it’s puppet president meets his anti-democratic sponsors in the Gulf:

The department defends spying on Muslims with “the same losing strategy it deployed in the stop-and-frisk litigation” that the targeting of Muslims by the former, like the high percentage of Latinos and blacks targeted by the latter is “to be expected, because these groups committed the most crimes,” which reasoning a federal court rejected as “a defense of racial profiling”:

According to the suit, “The flustered boy couldn’t find his card and sought a little divine assistance. ‘I start in the name of God, the most merciful, the most beneficent….’ The boy found his card and started to board again. But the unidentified driver had a racist melt-down as soon as he heard the Arabic, spewing the slur [‘terrorist’]and forcing the boy back and closing the doors”:

“The attack, which killed two bystanders and the three occupants of the car, was “carefully planned, organized and premeditated,” the police said, according to the official Xinhua news agency. If [so] …, the incident would represent an unprecedented assault on the iconic heart of Beijing, the entrance to the Forbidden City where hangs a portrait of Mao Zedong”:

“The Quran and the Hadith are clear: learning is an honourable pursuit, regardless of gender. The acquisition of knowledge is binding for all Muslims. Those who argue against educating women do so as a result of a cultural bias, one which frustrates the aspirations of Muslim women – and holds back economies” — Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak:

“Ethnic cleansing and forced migration drove Assyrian Christians out of eastern Turkey decades ago, but Prime Minister Erdogan’s policies have drawn a number of them home”:

The negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program seem to be going well …

… but after publishing “an op-ed article on Wednesday that expressed doubts the Prophet Muhammad had appointed a successor — a statement that contradicts the beliefs of Shiite Muslims”,Bahar becomes the latest victim of “”Iran’s judiciary [which] has shut down more than 120 pro-reform newspapers and jailed dozens of editors and writers” in the past 13 years …:

… while in Saudi Arabia, “a columnist who supported ending his country’s ban on women driving… remains in detention with no access to a lawyer”:

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos has a pork barrel project for sure — but not literally:

Contradicting human rights organizations, the Pakistani Defense Ministry claims that “no civilian had died in a drone strike since the beginning of last year”:

News and Analysis (10/28/13)

Monday, October 28th, 2013

“The media reported that the attack was on a car, but there is no road alongside my mother’s house. Several reported the attack was on a house. But the missiles hit a nearby field, not a house. All reported that five militants were killed. Only one person was killed – a 67-year-old grandmother of nine”

“Thanks to old laws that haven’t been reformed, [Sidi Hassine’s mayor] can’t allocate spending or even hire full-time staff without interior ministry approval”:

Young Muslims in Gujarat say the riots are an issue belonging to the past and they care about the liberalization of the economy,  as Modi pushes for Hindu-Muslim unity; but the older generation of Muslim religious elites are unconvinced of the politician’s sincerity:

“It’s not conceivable for one party to impose their values on others. Could you imagine tourists sneaking in their own alcohol, just to have a good time?” — Nyoman Suwidjana, the secretary general of the Bali Tourism Board:

“Concert organizer Livescape said it received a letter about the decision on the eve of the show that was to be held Saturday at a Kuala Lumpur stadium” even though “Ke$ha and her team had previously agreed to modify their planned show in Malaysia, including making changes to her song lyrics and wardrobe, to comply with the government’s general guidelines for performers”:

“The activists say that no specific law in Saudi Arabia bans women from driving, although women cannot apply for driving licences. Government officials say a ban is in effect because it accords with the wishes of society in the conservative kingdom”:

“The National Union of Somali Journalists … said the raid in Mogadishu on Saturday was connected to stories Radio Shabelle and SkyFM, both part of the Shabelle Media Network, had aired touching on accusations of corruption within government. Police said they were carrying out an eviction order after the network failed to vacate the government-owned building”:

“The military declared an indefinite 24-hour curfew across Yobe state, leaving terrified residents locked into their homes and about 10,000 residents running short of water”:

“With the Syrian National Coalition remaining silent on al Qaeda and economic conditions deteriorating in the northeast, the Kurds have no one to turn to except the PKK and its allies, and the Iraqi Kurdistan government” — Massoud Akko, a prominent Kurdish dissident living in exile in Norway:

News and Analysis (10/25/13)

Friday, October 25th, 2013

The real scoop in the Washington Post’s story on “cooperation between Pakistan and the US on the drone campaign against alleged militants in that country” is that CIA “claims that it knows civilians are rarely the victims of assassination abroad don’t hold water”:

Catalonia’s socialists compare mosques to nightclubs and say “they should be placed where they won’t bother anyone, in an industrial zone”:

The military junta shares more than just policy (towards Palestinians, Iran, and the Muslim Brotherhood) and an unhealthy dependence on foreign aid with Israel; it also shares a lobbying agency:

“You will see that we are not disrespecting Islam, asking for same-sex marriage, or harming the sovereignty of Malaysia. Ratifying ICCPR will not encourage apostasy…. Ratifying CERD will not infuse western values into the local justice system. Our legal system is already largely based on the English legal system” — Comango spokesman Honey Tan Lay Ean:

“Talking openly about sex and pleasure has only recently lost its taboo status in the West. It’s true that its public discussion in Muslim cultures is still difficult. However, in private among Muslim women, it’s as of much interest as anywhere in the world” and 1400 years ago “the Prophet Muhammad pronounced that to deny women foreplay was a form of oppression”:

“Government warily observes public reaction as media joins calls for ban on female drivers to be rescinded”:

Ghadhaffi may have been an anarchist in the political sense of the word, but Western intervention has plunged the nation more deeply into anarchy in the common usage of the term:

“The two sides must overcome the dispute – focused on territory that Palestinians want for a state – before the end of November, when a multi-million dollar EU research program called Horizon 2020 is due to be finalized”:

‘As the world’s most populous Muslim country, Indonesia has high demand for clothing that adheres to religious rules emphasizing modesty for women. But as the stylish, colorful and cool outfits at Jakarta Fashion Week showed, the … Nation also aims to be the global leader in the Muslim fashion industry that is worth nearly $100 billion by some estimates”:

News and Analysis (10/23/13)

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

“One of the members of the group was strangled until his face turned blue and women in the group were threatened with rape, according to people who witnessed the attack last week. They allege that authorities in Saudi Arabia did not take their complaints seriously and deleted a video one of them had made of the incident”:

“As Egypt’s military-backed government drafts a new constitution in secret, there are worrying signs that political violence is becoming the norm in the Arab world’s largest country” …

… “Authorities have shown little inclination, however, to revisit the much larger death toll — nearly 1,000 — that came in mid-August, when police and soldiers violently dispersed Morsi followers who had set up sprawling protest camps”:

The “scale and intensity” of the “popular rebellion” against “a political/ideological movement that had just realized an 80-year old dream, that believed itself chosen by God to fulfill His will on earth” struck a critical blow at “an Egyptian journalism that already had been in the throes of deep crisis” …

… “One significant cause of the wide range of attacks on Western media is the misperception among Egyptians that … the US media operate according to the rules and regulations of an entity similar to Egypt’s Ministry of Information, an authority that controls the public message and serves as a mouthpiece for the ruling regimes”:

“As an anthropologist who had spent decades living in communities in the Middle East, I was uncomfortable with disjunction between the lives and experiences of Muslim women I had known and the popular media representations …, the politically motivated justifications for military intervention …, and even the well-meaning humanitarian and rights work”:

Neocon insanity alert! Glenn “Beck asked if [Grover] Norquist was a libertarian or if he was ‘playing for the progressive side.’ [Frank] Gaffney said that progressives are not ‘hostile’ to America, but implied that Norquist may be”:

“Libya marks two years since the fall of Moammar Gadhafi on Wednesday, but instead of the freedom and development Libyans had hoped for, the country has fallen deeper into anarchy. Rival Islamist and Western-backed factions are melding with the country’s dizzying array of militias, turning political feuds into armed conflict”:

“In many cases, those killed were civilians whose deaths have gone unacknowledged, according to the two groups, who challenge the myth of the “antiseptic assault” and call the strikes violations of the laws of war that may amount to war crimes or even extra-judicial executions”:

“The transfer could not have been a legitimate deportation of Rohingya back to Myanmar since that country refuses to acknowledge members of the Muslim ethnic minority as citizens and won’t accept their repatriation”:

“A top judge has criticised the astonishing’ £350,000 cost of a legal battle over a couple’s right to shave their disabled daughter’s pubic hair” now that the couple has dropped the case after an “unchallenged” expert testified that there is an exemption that the incapacitated are exempt from the religiously and culturally motivated removal of pubic hair:

News and Analysis (10/21/13)

Monday, October 21st, 2013

“The protests come amid heated debate over a new law that would place tougher restrictions on demonstrators, which includes imposing heavy fines and possible jail time on violators” and after the “”military-backed crackdown has left hundreds dead and seen thousands arrested” …

… but the actions of “the civil political elite in Egypt … are not based on any moral or value-based system but more an expression of political opportunism and a desire to get rid of Islamists, even if the price is to create a military dictatorship. This is obviously apparent in the exclusionary rhetoric” and in their promotion of El-Sisi for president” …

… and after a Muslim attack on a church, one priest “told Egyptian media that the church had been left without a police guard since the end of June”:

Following “appeals by some members of the US Congress to tighten sanctions on Iran despite the nuclear negotiations and historic diplomatic breakthroughs last month,” Iran’s PM Ali Larijani said that the Iranian “parliament would not permit world powers to impose ‘special measures’ on the country beyond the obligations laid out by the U.N. treaty overseeing nuclear activity”:

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim the leader of the Opposition coalition has issued a balanced and firm ‘no support’ for the ban unless if it can be established beyond all doubt that the intention by the published is malicious…. No human can be conditioned, threatened, warned, deprived, robbed or denied the right, freedom and honor to call upon the Almighty”:

“We are very much concerned about what is going on in this country. The Supreme Court decision does not ask police officers to look into the voters’ list and check what is there,” said Elections Commissioner Fuwad Thowfeek. “They kind of think they can be our bosses and we are an institution below them, and that they can dictate to us and control us”:

“The actions of the “Muslim Patrol” were condemned by the East London mosque, which described them as ‘utterly unacceptable and clearly designed to stoke tensions and sow discord‘”:

A pastor … held at Maiduguri’s Giwa Military Barracks after he and four others were arrested because weapons were found hidden in the factory where he works … described hundreds of naked people crammed into a cell meant for several dozen. Once a day, he said, a soldier would throw a loaf of moistened bread into the cell to be brawled over. Some prisoners died of torture”:

The instigation of violence by non-Muslim nations against Muslims is clear, Western and even in internecine conflicts there is evidence of Western involvement, as in the “dual containment policy” that fed the Iran-Iraq War, yet Muslims’ “refusal to take ownership of anything,” leads to impotence. “If everything is a puppet, not only don’t you take responsibility, you can’t!”:

“Security officials blame the surge in violence partly on a lack of cooperation from Sahwa fighters, who feel they were not rewarded as promised for taking on al-Qaeda during the U.S. occupation and have been left to face the backlash from the militants alone”:

“The 11 were accused by their captors, the Northern Storm Brigade, of being members of Lebanon’s militant Shiite Hezbollah…. Two of the hostages were released … [within] months but the fate of the remaining nine became mired in lengthy negotiations over the rebel group’s demand that the Assad regime release 282 women detainees”:

News and Analysis (10/18/13)

Friday, October 18th, 2013

“Up to 2,200 people have been killed – of whom at least 400 were civilians – according to the Pakistan government. In Yemen, Emmerson’s report says that as many as 58 civilians are thought to have been killed in attacks by UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles)”:

“While Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was in power, Syrian refugees told Amnesty that they felt safe and protected in Egypt. However, after he was deposed by the military in July, some public figures and parts of the mainstream media started accusing Syrians of being supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and taking part in pro-Morsi demonstrations”:

“The Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Malaysia responded to concerned Christians in Sabah and Sarawak who were worried that the ban also applied to the Bahasa Malaysia bible, the Al-Kitab”:

“Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has vowed that no new mosques will be built in Moscow. He claims that the Muslims praying in streets on holidays are largely Central Asians, guest workers who will eventually go home”:

“Both mayoral candidates, Democrat Bill de Blasio and Republican Joe Lhota, say they support the idea. If such a measure were to come to pass, the New York City school district would be the largest in the United States to grant the days off”:

“In the film, the jihadist group, which has also claimed responsibility for the bloody Kenyan Westgate mall attack, singles out specific British Muslims, including Ansar, who have distanced ‘themselves from the mujahideen who carried out these attacks’ as having ‘mutilated the teachings of Islam’:

“There will always be those who will try to demonize other groups. As someone who has long supported Palestinian rights and was critical of the policy of occupation, I find no contradiction between my long-stated opinions on the Middle East and those of CAIR'” — Jacob Bender, Executive Director of the Council on American Islamic Relations’ Philadelphia branch:

“[T]he extent of how “radical” some of the messages are is not well demarcated. What passed for radical in some schools, in the language of the report, was stated as: “the effect of the [Islamic] lectures are being felt with some [female] students demanding they be allowed to put-on or wear the hijab [or veil]'” :

Cutting off its nose to spite its face? Calling for unspecified “reforms,” the Saudis fault the UN for failing to resolve the Palestinian problem, allowing nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, and failing to back its position on alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria, Saudi announces its refusal to accept a seat on the Security Council, Saudi has yet to inform the UN:

 

News and Analysis (10/16/13)

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

“An internal Hamas poll in February showed 70 percent of Gazans have a negative view of the government’s campaign to collect revenues, [a Muslim Brotherhood member in Gaza] said, after years of anarchy without paying bills” and that “the Brotherhood gives his life meaning but goes astray when it imposes its views on others, especially while in power”:

Participants have “agreed that E3+3 and Iranian nuclear, scientific and sanctions experts will convene before the next meeting to address differences and to develop practical steps,” and the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif “said he hoped the talks would lead to the ‘beginning of a new phase in our relations’ and would help resolve ‘an unnecessary crisis'”:

Americans remember when Iranians held diplomats hostage, and Iranians remember when American shot down a civilian Iranian airliner:

Nowhere in the Qur’an is drug possession a capital crime, yet the state decided Alireza should die for possession of crystal meth. Allah decided he should live. The state is insisting that it have the last word:

“In a long-awaited report on Turkey’s progress toward gaining EU membership, the bloc’s executive arm stressed the country can’t rely alone on the rule of the majority but must seek to include minorities, respect and defend their rights”:

“[C]laims that the publication of reports based on NSA and GCHQ documentation undermined national security prompted a scathing response from United Nations experts on freedom of expression and human rights”:

Montgomery County officials say the closing of schools on Jewish but not Muslim holidays is due to the “secular” impact that the absenteeism in the county, so this year many Muslim parents are keeping their children home on the Eid-al-Adha …

… but oppression, sectarian violence, assassination, and war do not take the Eid day off:

The cut in U.S. aid “is more of a symbolic slap than a punishing wound to Egypt’s new military-backed government for its slog toward a return to democratic rule”

News and Analysis (10/14/13)

Monday, October 14th, 2013

According to the  Center for Constitutional Rights’ lawsuit, the FBI “sought to exploit the draconian burden posed by the No Fly List – including the inability to travel for work, or to visit family overseas – in order to coerce [Muhammad Tanvir] into serving the FBI as a spy with American Muslim communities and places of worship”:

As if England banned translating “Issa” to “Jesus,” by rejecting the Catholic newspaper’s argument that “Allah is a term in the Middle East and in Indonesia … for both Christians and Muslims” and ruling that such use “will cause confusion in the [Muslim] community”, the high court is in essence ruling that Malays are too stupid to see the difference between Christianity and Islam:

After tensions were escalated by U.S. special forces snatching “a Libyan al-Qaida suspect known as Abu Anas al-Libi off the streets of Tripoli and whisked him off to custody in a U.S. warship” the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood has decided it can play the coup game that deposed their namesakes in Egypt:

“Syrians fleeing civil war are straining Jordan’s resources, but they are also filling a gap in the economy as they set up small businesses and take jobs that Jordanians won’t”:

The military repression in Egypt “has not touched the extremist Nour party,” but “moderate Islamists and secular liberals who oppose military rule are suppressed above all”:

“The Egyptian government said a U.S. citizen it detained in the Sinai Peninsula last month for violating curfew was found dead Sunday in his jail cell, the second foreigner to die in detention in recent weeks” …

… while in occupied Palestine, “international activists arrived on the scene and were surrounded by settlers and physically and verbally attacked by them, one of them had water thrown over his camera and another was kicked. An international journalist also present was hospitalized after a settler threw bleach into her eyes”:

“‘This is a shame for an administration that its students and professors are not able to express their viewpoints,’ Rouhani told Tehran University students and professors. ‘This administration will not tolerate factional pressures on universities.’ He also urged authorities not to block scholars from taking part in international gatherings, calling it ‘scientific diplomacy'”:

“A kilo of tomatoes used to be one shekel [17p]; now it is five shekels. Most prices have gone up 50 – 60%. Why? Because of the costs of transportation, because there is no power to pump water to the fields, because there is no water. So people buy less” — Gaza merchant Mohammed Hilis:

Arafat’s body was exhumed after a French murder investigation was prompted by “the discovery of high levels of polonium on his personal belongings.” The Lancet article is no conclusive because of the  delay since Arafat’s 2004 death:

 

News and Analysis (10/11/13)

Friday, October 11th, 2013

“[I]t was widely assumed that Egypt’s military leaders were the prime movers behind the country’s counter revolution. But dozens of interviews with officials from the army, state security and police, as well as diplomats and politicians, show the Interior Ministry was the key force behind removing Egypt’s first democratically elected president”:

“It took about five minutes for the shoes to start flying.” The junta makes it clear that far from separating church and state it fully intends to impose an “official” Islam on Egypt:

“Syrian rebels killed at least 190 civilians and took more than 200 hostage during an offensive in Latakia province in August, Human Rights Watch said on Friday, in what it calls the first evidence of crimes against humanity by opposition forces”:

“With regard to the election, we want it as quickly as possible. But realistically we are talking about spring next year. The Tunisian people will decide at the elections whether this government has failed or not” — Rachid Ghanouchi:

It is true that Islam does not require men to wear beards, but that doesn’t justify prohibiting religiously motivated facial hair:

“Manadatory education” means schooling backed by force and violence. Malala’s courage, eloquence, and love of education must be admired, but allowing herself to be used as a shill by those who would impose a particular curriculum on the children of the world is one of the reasons her homies don’t share Westerner’s enthusiasm for the spunky survivor of terrorism:

A “State Dept. spokesperson” says “Mehsud’s group had claimed responsibility for the attempted 2010 bombing of Times Square … as well as many attacks within Pakistan…. The detention apparently angered Karzai and may have contributed to a series of” recent allegations that the U.S. and NATO inflict “suffering on” Afghanistan and violated its sovereignty:

“Libya’s prime minister has denounced his kidnapping this week as an attempted coup and warned that some of the country’s many armed militias want to turn it into ‘another Afghanistan or Somalia’:

As the repression continues, Obama need not have agonized over cutting aid to Egypt — they insist they don’t need it:

News and Analysis (10/9/13)

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

As Egypt announces the prosecution of its first freely and fairly elected president, the military-installed cabinet has banned the Muslim Brotherhood, but demonstrations continue despite the 57 killed last Sunday and the Obama administration may finally take steps top implement the legal mandate to cut Egyptian aid

A “Koc-owned hotel sheltered protesters fleeing from police during mass protests in Istanbul in June. Since then tax authorities have launched probes into two Koc companies, the government has cancelled a contract with one of its firms to build warships, and a university founded by Koc has been threatened with eviction over disputed back rent”

The school has declined to comment on the letter that says it “has manifestly breached the conditions of its funding agreement by failing to ensure the safety of children at the school; delivering an unacceptably poor standard of education; discriminating in its policies and procedures towards female staff; and failing to discharge its duties and responsibilities”:

“A man who does not even give money to (feed) his own daughter is not a preacher,” said the mother of the child abused to death, “adding that al-Ghamdi did not practice what he preached on television, taking drugs, drinking alcohol and sometimes breaking obligatory Muslims fasts”:

Giladi was also a leader of the south Tel Aviv campaign to protest the presence of asylum seekers from sub-Saharan African countries like Eritrea, who had taken up residence in the city’s impoverished inner city neighborhoods … [and] to have incited the 2012 race riots that left businesses destroyed and dozens of asylum seekers injured”:

“Misuari’s MNLF signed a peace treaty in 1996 that granted limited self-rule to the southern Philippines’ Muslim minority. However the group opposes a planned final peace deal between the government and the remaining major Muslim rebel group, the 12,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front”:

“The error has not yet been corrected on air, but will be addressed on the next broadcast of “Fox and Friends Weekend,” according to a representative of the network”:

“Pope Francis is really doing a wonderful job in terms of outreach, in terms of contributing to world peace, in terms of contributing to stopping wars and conflicts, praying for better understanding…. This was the message of St. Francis Assisi and this is the message of Ibn Arabi, the great Muslim scholar and theologian and poet, and … of all the Muslim saints and Sufis around the world”:

“Myanman’s president … finally appears to acknowledge that organised networks of Buddhist extremists are operating in Myanmar””