Archive for September, 2014

News and Analysis (9/8/14)

Monday, September 8th, 2014

“The Arab League also endorsed in the closing statement of its meeting in Cairo a UN Security Council resolution passed last month calling on member states to ‘act to suppress the flow of foreign fighters, financing and other support to Islamist extremist groups in Iraq and Syria’:

“ISIS also reportedly had come to believe [the journalist] was an Israeli agent based on information from derived from prisoners during interrogations, which likely included torture”:

Sources claim torture went way beyond waterboarding. “The White House and the State Department fear that the Senate report could still cause a backlash and have made preparations for increased security at sensitive sites when it is eventually published”:

Al-Shabab quickly replaces its leader killed in a US air strike, but the Somali government reacts with a security shakeup:

“A woman who grew up raised not to lie, raised to be a pacifist — and yet here she was doing one of the most dangerous missions in the war and doing it when many people backed away” — Alex Kronemer,  executive producer of the docudrama, Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story (Tuesday on PBS):

Unsatisfied with taking Palestinian land, water, and lives, Israel now steals their natural gas:

A Qatari official insists the detainees are being treated consistently “‘with the principles of human rights’ outlined in the laws of Qatar, and that British embassy officials have visited them to check on their situation. An official at the British embassy in Doha confirmed on Sunday that the mission is providing consular assistance to the men”:

As the AKP attempts “to prevent reversals of Turkey’s accomplishments over the past decade,” the question arises, “Does the civilization discourse of the AK Party, which ended the exclusion of religious Muslims and the Kurds from the public sphere, produce a form of, albeit more inclusive, nationalism?”

“A U.S. State Department official said the plane had failed to update its flight plan after leaving Bagram several hours late for Dubai, on a route that took it over Iran. When Iranian civil aviation officials identified the plane, they could not find it in their system because it was supposed to have flown through hours earlier”:

News and Analysis (9/6/14)

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

An Israeli occupying Syrian vineyards in the Golan Heights, says the Asad regime “is not our cup of tea, [but]… we prefer that the Syrian army controls this region and not a group of radical Al-Qaeda Muslim people”:

“[T]he core coalition only included one Muslim nation, Turkey. The US secretary of state, John Kerry, will now travel to the Middle East to build support for a military confrontation with Isis, an organisation that Obama said ‘killed innocents and enslaved women'”:

With Indian Muslims’ vocal rejection of Zawahiri’s overtures, underscoring how rival hirabist groups are overtaking the a dwindling al-Qaeda core force:

“Lost in the often vitriolic debate, however, are the voices of Muslim women…. ‘While we shouldn’t assume that wearing the hijab immunizes Muslim women from negative body image, our results do suggest that wearing the hijab may help some women reject prescriptive beauty ideals,” said lead author Dr. Viren Swami:

Iranian officials including a source close to Khamenei deny a report that Iran is raedy to cooperate with the US against IS. “Even without an official stamp of approval, both the US and Iran have found themselves on the same side of the Iraqi battlefield since Baghdad’s forces collapsed” …

… and “[d]espite Tehran’s concerns about separatism within its own Kurdish community, it ‘was the first country to provide us with weapons and ammunition’ to fight the militants, Kurdish President Massoud Barzani said late last month”:

The Sisi regime adds new charges to the prosecution of his predecessor, but is no more successful at dealing with Egypt’s electricity shortage:

” A spokesman for Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah … Mujib Rahman Rahimi said Saturday that an equitable power-sharing deal could defuse tensions, but that otherwise postelection violence could break out”:

Investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald has refuted “bizarre claim that NSA documents released by Edward Snowden “prove” the US and Israel are behind al-Baghdadi’s actions”. The why do so many Muslims believe it, and similar absurdities? In part, it is because they have been lied to so often before:

News and Analysis (9/4/14)

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

“Former Deputy Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Mahmoud Ashour told Al Arabiya News that Sotloff’s killing was not only against humanity but ‘there is no religion that accepts the killing of a human soul.’ Ashour cited a verse from the Quran saying “Do not kill any soul, which God has made forbidden, except in just cause” …

… while Sotloff’s family “said they would not ‘allow our enemies to hold us hostage with the one weapon they possess: fear.’ [family spokesman Barak] Barfi then spoke heatedly in Arabic, daring Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), to a debate on the tenets of Islam”:

“Turkey, a Nato member with a powerful air force, is an obvious candidate. Iran, opposed to Isis and backing the new Baghdad government but wary of western intervention – especially against its close ally Syria – is already active”:

“In Ferguson, an invisible line separated white and black communities. In Jerusalem, a no-man’s land separated people, designated by barbed wire” …

…  while Israel’s murder of one American family member and arrests of others may be a game-changer, alarming the Department of State :

“The idea that any contraband could be hidden in a short beard is laughable. But trampling a man’s religious freedom isn’t funny”:

“Other charges against various members of the group include financing terrorism, embracing ‘deviant ideology’, disobeying the king, using the media to support terrorism, providing shelter to wanted people and training for combat”:

According to a Gaza businessman, “The people of Gaza ‘need to feel their humanity and dignity, otherwise the West – the US and Israel – are forming an army of 1 million in the future. And I wonder what power can stop an army of 1 million, ready to die'” …

… and according to Hanan Ashrawi, “the Palestinians are demanding a commitment to the 1967 borders and a deadline for the end of Israel’s occupation [and] … within three years, the occupation should end”:

“Imran Khan’s charismatic style of leadership, and his hero-status as the captain of Pakistan’s only World Cup-winning cricket team, has attracted mass support from urban and youth voters. But Mr. Khan’s decision to press forward with a nearly three-week long protest is beginning to alarm his middle-class supporters”:

The good news is that both sides are serious enough to come to a deal by the [Nov/ 24] deadline” — Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi: 

News and Analysis (9/2/14)

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

As “U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Flavia Pansieri said there was “strong evidence” Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and allied groups had carried out targeted killings, forced conversions, sexual abuse and torture in Iraq” …

… and “Iraqi Shia militias and Kurdish forces are continuing their advance against Islamic State militants after breaking the siege of Amerli in northern Iraq” …

… Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s family objects to the use of her persecution as a bargaining chip, tells IS that they cannot “accept that someone else’s daughter or sister suffer like Aafia is suffering”, and calls on Muslims to “show those who have military might that mercy and forgiveness is even more powerful”:

How well did Israel’s assault on Gaza succeed in undermining support for Hamas? “The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research poll indicates 61 percent of Palestinians would choose the Islamic militant group’s leader, Ismail Haniyeh, for president if elections were held today”:

“Amid fear that Hamas had captured an Israeli soldier, the Israeli military sealed civilians in the Rafah area and began shelling on Aug. 1, 2014. The Israeli military confirmed that Rafah residents were barred from leaving the area, but declined comment on the war crime allegations” …

… and in a real-life reversal of Zionist propaganda, Israel is turning a Palestinian garden into a desert:

“Some windows at the compound had been broken, but it appeared most of the equipment there remained untouched. The journalist saw treadmills, food, televisions, and computers still inside”:

“If confirmed, the capture of Bama would be an extremely significant development and would raise concerns that Boko Haram’s next target will be Maiduguri, the state capital about 70km (44 miles) away”:

“The breakdown in negotiations on a political deal comes days after Abdullah’s team walked out of a U.N. audit” over “the way that fraudulent votes were being handled” leaving the U.S.-mediated deal in tatters and deepened the uncertainty about when … Karzai can hand over power to a successor”:

“It was the fourth such wave of raids since July as the government cracks down on what Erdoğan has described as a ‘parallel state’ within the security forces seeking to topple his government” …

… but the Turks are concerned abut a certain foreign power spying on them as well:

“[A]nti-government cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri and cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan have been leading twin protests since mid-August calling on [PM] Nawaz Sharif to resign” alleging widespread fraud in the country’s May 2013 election,” charges unsupported by international observers:

“Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Reza Najafi, appeared to acknowledge … that Tehran had missed a deadline of Aug.25 to meet five requests from the [IAEA] about its nuclear programme”, but insists, “Iran is in the process of implementing the five agreed steps”: