Archive for February, 2014

News and Analysis (2/7/14)

Friday, February 7th, 2014

The consensus constitution was praised by presidents of France, “Senegal, Gabon, Lebanon, Mauritania and Chad, the Algerian prime minister, Spanish Crown Prince Felipe, and several European parliamentary leaders. Conspicuously absent was any representative from fellow Arab Spring nation Egypt” …

… and the U.S. walked out when Iran’s “Ali Larijani slammed the U.S. and Israel for working against Arab Spring revolutions”:

As international aid groups express alarm that the Israeli destruction of Palestinian home sis reaching a new high, a bill to force New Yorkers to do business with the apartheid state fails — for now:

Will President Abdullah Gul do the right thing and veto the threat to free press in Turkey?

Better late than never, a “week after the situation in Homs was discussed at peace talks in Geneva, the state news agency, Sana, said agreement had been reached to allow aid in and safe passage out for civilians”:

“The IAEA’s investigation is focused on the question of whether Iran sought atomic bomb technology in the past and, if it did, to determine whether such work has since stopped…. Iran says its nuclear program is peaceful and that it is Israel’s assumed atomic arsenal that threatens peace”:

With the violence reaching what Doctors with Borders calls “intolerable and unprecedented levels” …

… exemplified by “[t]housands of Muslims fled for their lives from the capital of Central African Republic on Friday, with Christian crowds cheering as the truckloads of Muslim families made their way out of town. One man who fell off a truck was subsequently killed and his body mutilated” …

.. the ICC is moved to to action and will likely result in an extension of the French deployment:

“Although Swiss voters have in the past approved various measures loosening immigration rules, pundits have been wary of predicting which way referendums on the issue will go since being caught by surprise in 2009 when voters approved a plan to ban the construction of new minarets”:

News and Analysis (2/5/14)

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

“The video ridiculously sets images of our crew’s laptops, cameras and mobile phones against dramatic music. People who look beyond the propaganda though will see the video shows what we have been saying all along – that our crew were journalists doing their job” — Salah Negm, director of news for Al Jazeera English:

“Robert Halfon, a Conservative MP, called on the Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, to sack Batten for his comments, after it emerged the Ukip MEP had helped write a “charter of Muslim understanding”. The document calls on Muslims to sign a declaration rejecting violence and accepting the need to modify the Qur’an”:

“[W]e take comfort in the support given by our partners in the community, of all faiths and none, who have always stood firmly together to oppose hatred and division. We are working with the authorities in response to this incident, which has left many people in fear of intimidation and threats” — Dilowar Khan, ED of East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre:

Advocates of the proposed development undermine their own case. They say the high-rise is “a realization of a long-awaited dream and the vision of the members of the community, many of whom initially participated in the purchase of this property some twenty years ago. , but then, why didn’t they move for a zoning change before buying the property?

In his enthusiasm to accommodate Muslims, de Balsio wants to close schools not only the high holidays, but even for the Muslim New Year, a holiday so minor that many Muslims do not celebrate it all:

Syria misses its chemical weapons deadline, and notwithstanding Russian assurances, some wonder why Syria can’t be more like Libya in this respect. (For that matter, why can’t the U.S. and Israel be more like Libya in this respect?) …

… but the Syrian mess goes way beyond chemical weapons, and with the intervention of outsiders a major part of the problem, what outsiders can do is hotly debated (Maybe another Libya, Iraq, or Afghanistan, isn’t such a great idea after all:

CAR civilians accuse Chadian “peacekeepers” (sic) of “atrocities that include arbitrary detentions, torture and executions”:

With the implementation of the Iranian partial settlement going so well, both the U.S. and Iran continue to talk tough, perhaps to keep the powerful pro-war forces at home at bay:

“”Your headscarf is so pretty, Kiki,’ a well-meaning but culturally uneducated character says to one of Kamala’s friends. ‘But…nobody pressured you to start wearing it, right? Nobody’s going to, like, honor-kill you?'”

News and Analysis (2/3/14)

Monday, February 3rd, 2014
The junta signals that the prosecution of Al-Jazeera reporters is only the beginning of an assault on the foreign press …
… and a human rights attorney notes that charges against the Muslim Brothers appear to aim at the death penalty since, he says, “It is obvious since the beginning that they want to form a complete espionage case …:

… and a Muslim Brotherhood website declares that the African Union decision to exclude Egypt from its summit meeting “is a clear message from the AU, not only that it condemns the [Egyptian] coup, but also rejects all the consequent proceedings as null and void, including the sham referendum and the illegitimate constitution”:

“The incident reflects deepening splits between the two members of the Western-allied Gulf Cooperation Council in their approach to Islamists emboldened by the 2011 “Arab Spring” protests…. A source close to the Qatari foreign ministry told Reuters that Qatar could not be held responsible for the views of an individual … [saying,] “Qatar is a country that allows individuals to express themselves and will not change that'”:

Russia assures that the June 30 deadline for the destruction of Syria’s nuclear weapons will be met but disgust over the mass murder of civilians by other means by both sides continues to mount, and Zawihiri denies any connection to the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant while the U.S. denies direct negotiations with the Asad regime:

Iran is expressing both hope and fear regarding the critical importance of the negotiations scheduled to begin on Feb. 18:

The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) is suing Canada’s PM after his communication’s director brushed aside their protests of his inclusion of a supporter of propagandists for “Stop the Islamization of America …, a hate-group according to the Anti Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center”in “the delegation accompanying him on his first trip to Israel” by alleging the NCCM has terrorist ties:

Insisting “that Israel and ‘the Jews’ are one and the same. This is as absurd and bigoted as claiming that a boycott of a self-defined Islamic state like Saudi Arabia, say, because of its horrific human rights record, would of necessity be Islamophobic… [O]nly Israel’s unjust order is threatened by boycotts, divestment and sanctions”:

“The assassination of Sheik Albani in Zaria, the capital of Kaduna state in a central northern region, could discourage others from speaking out against Boko Haram, whose primary recruiting pool is the millions of uneducated youths in the north of Nigeria”:

“The election campaign for Afghanistan‘s next president officially kicked off on Sunday, two months before voting opens in a contest already plagued by violence and fraud but still the country’s best hope of a somewhat stable future. If it goes smoothly the April election will produce the first ever peaceful, democratic transition of power in Afghanistan”:

“Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, whose Shi’ite-led government many in the Sunni minority accuse of discrimination, had held off an all-out offensive to give local tribesmen a chance to expel the militants themselves. But security officials told Reuters on Saturday that a decision had been made to enter Falluja on Sunday”:


News and Analysis (2/1/14)

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

“U.S. District Judge Charles Haight, Jr. said there was a ‘manifest’ need for further legal discovery, which could bolster the plaintiffs’ claim that the NYPD has engaged in discriminatory surveillance of Muslims”:

“A land-use attorney said that the cemetery request appeared to be in line with all county regulations, noting that” there was “no reason to turn down the request. “The mosque has been treated like in everybody else, and that’s the way the system ought to work”:

With the negotiations ending in mutual name-calling and no commitment for the Asad regime to return for another round, analysts are asking what was the point:

“The prosecution’s case … was thin, based mostly on testimony by other bakery members in exchange for lighter sentences … [and] Lewis’ lawyer failed to object to ‘inflammatory’ prosecution evidence about the … murder and other crimes that were irrelevant to the case”:

“Islam’s calling is an ethical and moral one — not a search for codifying permanent power for Muslims”:

Salaam, Love seeks to counter stereotypes of Muslim men by offering stories of men who bare their emotions, admit mistakes, bask in memories of true love, recall heartbreaks, and reflect on caring for a dying wife. The stories range from humorous to heartbreaking, while shedding light on who makes up Muslim Americans”:

“The blast early on Saturday happened in an area where government troops have been battling Muslim insurgents opposed to a new peace deal. A reporter and cameraman at ABC-5 were among at least six civilians hurt by the improvised explosive device”:

“Turkey fired tank and artillery shells on a convoy of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), destroying a bus and two trucks, in response to small-arms fire on a Turkish border post on Tuesday”:

As the most critical of Syria’s few remaining allies, it is Russia’s responsibility to guarantee Asad’s compliance with his agreement to dump Syria’s chemical weapons: