Archive for December, 2013

News and Analysis (12/9/13)

Monday, December 9th, 2013

“It was the first time in more than two years that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had been allowed to go to the Arak heavy water production plant, which is designed to supply a research reactor under construction nearby”:

In England, “Jordan Horner, 19, Ricardo McFarlane, 26, and a third man who can’t be named for legal reasons yesterday pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, including actual bodily harm and affray” …

… while in Brooklyn a Christian man is acquitted after defending himself from a Jewish “patrol” who mistook him for a Muslim:

“During the same week that the state informed the High Court of its intention to retroactively approve four illegal outposts built partially on private Palestinian land, the comments by the justice minister and the public security minister about classifying settler”:

The reduced sentences for the women harshly sentenced for peacefully demonstrating against the military signals no change of heart by the regime:

“Mohammad al-Jassim, a lawyer for the defense team, hailed Monday’s verdict as a political “turning point” for Kuwait”:

“I think of how as a Muslim, Widad could trace her faith back to this story of God seeing Hagar, a woman at the margins. I think of how I can trace my faith back to the story of God also seeing another woman at the margins: Mary, the poor, teenage mother of Jesus”:

“More and more American Muslims find themselves at odds with the culture in their mosque communities, particularly as many of these places of worship retain strong ties to homelands that self-identified American Muslims may not relate to”:

Erdogan has lost support from liberals, Gulen movement members and even from some within his own party:

“A senior Palestinian official said the United States was asking Palestinians to make security concessions in peace talks with Israel in order to silence the Jewish state’s criticism of world power diplomacy over Iran’s nuclear program”:

News and Analysis (12/6/13)

Friday, December 6th, 2013

“Arab and Muslim figures on Friday mourned the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela, noting his cause as an example for the world to follow”:

“Contrary to the common perception of many non-Muslims, the teachings of Islam encourage sexual intimacy and connectedness within a marriage, not just for procreation”:

“In a small village in Turkey, Ahmet Tuzer spends his days as a Muslim cleric, chanting the call to prayer. But by night he is the singer in a rock and roll band, causing waves in the Muslim community”:

Malaysia’s Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Islamic Affairs “called on the Muslim community to stay united in order to reject any attempt to deny their rights as Muslims and at the same [time] not to deny people of other religions their rights to practise their faiths”:

“The international chemical weapons watchdog announced Friday it has verified the destruction of all of Syria’s unfilled munitions — another milestone along the road to eradicating President Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons program by mid-2014” …

… but that’s scant comfort to seduced and abandoned young Syrian refugees:

The repression in Egypt grows:

Kerry reassures a concerned Netanyahu that the deal with Iran doesn’t mean the U.S. is off Israel’s leash:

“Gábor Vona, the chairman of Hungary’s ultra-nationalist Jobbik party, praised Muslims during a visit to Turkey and called for his country to reposition its foreign policy eastward” reportedly saying that “Islam is the last hope for humanity in the darkness of globalism and liberalism'”:

The American teacher’s death “highlighted the tenuous security in the eastern Libyan city where a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed last year. But to Smith’s students, this was more personal. He was a teacher who offered free private tutoring when others had given up, … and [he] loved their country”:

News and Analysis (12/4/13)

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Iran is expanding it foreign charm offensive …

… but at home, the situation is not so charming …

… and they are not getting any better in Egypt either:

“The Free Syrian Army began as a simple group of fighters battling Assad”, but . But Ruth Sherlock, in Antakya, finds their mission is now making millions from bribery and extortion” …

… a clear indicator of the degradation of the struggle is the fact that while in the first three years of the conflict “two bishops and a priest have previously been kidnapped by rebels” only  now have nuns become a target, held captive along with three other women …

… while in in the Central African Republic Christian vigilantes murder civilians in retaliation for the atrocities of the now disbanded Muslim rebel forces that brought the countries first Muslim president to power in a violent coup”:

“There is a need for us to understand that we are measuring the wrong things…. Are people having access to good education, to health care? Can they afford to buy their homes? Are they happy?” — Fatin Bundagji, a Board Member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce:

“In both Republican and Democratic states, there was no difference between the call backs received by the gay candidate as compared with the straight candidate. But in the Republican states, the Christian candidate received more interview calls than the Muslim candidate”:

“Morocco is a signatory to the 1961 drug control treaty and would face sanctions if it legalized drugs for recreational use, however the treaty does provide exceptions for legal and industrial applications” and “lawmakers from several different parties, including the moderate Islamist party running the government, have expressed support for some sort of legalization”:

“The people of Arab and Muslim countries thirst for democracy because they want freedom, coexistence, partnership with others, protection of human dignity and humanity, equal opportunities and development” and must emphasize ethical values, including knowledge, love and strength in confronting “real enemies”:

Hezbollah, openly preparing for yet another Israeli invasion, blames Israel for the assassination of a top leader in the parking lot outside his home and the Saudis for last month’s suicide attacks on the Iranian embassy:

“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday said the bilateral security agreement (BSA) could be signed by Karzai’s defense minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, effectively circumventing” Karzai’s demand that NATO stop attacking residential communities, but Karzai says, dream on!

Aided by the Christian environment at Georgetown University, an Indian Muslim learns that Hindu-Muslim dialogue is highly rewarding, and not as difficult as you might expect:

News and Analysis (12/2/13)

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Under the proposed constitution, “it will fall to Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, to decide on elections. Some activists claim that the assembly, stacked with military supporters, may be preparing for a snap presidential run by Gen. Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the army chief behind the coup”:

“Deepening divisions among Libya’s myriad armed groups are increasingly stirring conflict in the North African state. Now the United States and its allies are prepared to add a new force to the toxic mix”:

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Pepe Alalu said,  “’All the Jews go to the Temple Mount only to create provocations…’ It is a widely held that Jews are forbidden from going to the site of the Temple because of ritual impurity caused by contact with the dead. The religious establishment, principally the Chief Rabbinate, actively reinforces this notion”:

The Syrian situation gets increasingly dark:

Iran makes push to make the promised breakthrough on nuclear program into a renaissance of foreign relations:

“The Taliban’s former No. 2 was set free after years in detention and some officials hope he can help jumpstart the peace process, while others have their doubts as many other insurgents who have been released by Pakistan are thought to have returned to the fight”:

“A well-known Maltese historian … has accused Malta’s Superintendence for Cultural Heritage of attempting to cover-up the island’s Islamic past…. Although a survey conducted by MaltaToday found that 63% of Maltese people acknowledge their Muslim past, respondents aged between 18 and 34 were the least likely to accept this fact”:

“The Lebanese government authorized the army on Monday to take control of the northern city of Tripoli for six months following three days of sectarian clashes, a decision meant to allay fears that fighting in Lebanon’s second largest city was spiraling out of control”: