Archive for October, 2015

News and Analysis (10/30/15)

Friday, October 30th, 2015

“[R]eleased after 14 years incarcerated at Guantánamo Bay where he was beaten by his American military jailers, Aamer can be expected to receive compensation, perhaps as much as £1m, as 15 other British residents and citizens did in 2010, in return for dropping a civil case”:

“Iran signaled on Friday it backed a six-month transition period in Syria followed by elections to decide Bashar al-Assad’s fate, a proposal floated at peace talks as a concession but which the president’s foes rejected as a trick to keep him in power”:

“Why did old-style British colonialism, with its last bit of strength, drive wedges round the heart of the region and say: here – against the tradition of 2,000 years of history – here there will be a homeland for a people of only one religion?”

“Bassam Tahboub, Hebron’s head of education, said that the incursion was not the first, adding that scores of students were transferred to hospitals on Tuesday after their school was exposed to tear gas”:

“A campaign to portray Aung San Suu Kyi as pro-Muslim, and to label her National League for Democracy the ‘Muslim party’ is under way.” It’s backers passed laws “intended to stop Muslims having large families” and have conjured “a supposed Muslim menace to Burma’s Buddhist values”:

“Prophet Mohammed spoke frankly about sexuality[,] … about sexually transmitted infections … and preventative measures through … good hygiene after sexual intercourse[,] … about sexual activity and emphasized the importance of foreplay — especially for the woman’s benefit”:

“Countering this online IS propaganda … cannot be achieved simply through using social media or YouTube videos…. What these potential recruits need are … real examples of Muslims who can touch them by their individual success and their peaceful communities”:

“I’m not against the government, I’m just a journalist who criticises the government. Despite this I am still subject to physical assault, so it’s normal that journalists who define themselves as oppositional to the government would feel anxious” — Ahmet Hakan, columnist and TV host:

“I’m Jewish. My father’s family died in concentration camps…. Our job is to build a nation in which we all stand together as one people…. [T]here is a lot of … hatred being generated against Muslims in this country…. [W]e have got to stand together and end all forms of racism”:

News and Analysis (10/28/15)

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

For Muslim universities “to revitalize their teaching methods and meld science with liberal arts such as history and philosophy … [and] develop new ways of assessing faculty members to reward valuable research, teaching and outreach … governments must give universities more autonomy”:

“TV editor Tarik Toros was seen arguing with the trustee manager who entered the station’s control room, apparently to prevent a live broadcast of the raid. The two television channels went off the air hours later as Toros was on live, vowing to fight for media freedoms”:

“Khan’s letter had something rare and valuable in the propaganda war against Isis: authenticity” but “there is a sense that she has been tarnished by her closeness to Cameron’s policies”:

“[T]he US Civil Rights Act ‘rejects’ the idea that employees should just resign when their beliefs come into conflict with their responsibilities, and has often been used to protect Christians: … [such as the] Jehovah’s Witness fired for refusing to raise the American flag“:

“The police visibly attempted to reconcile the First Amendment rights of festivalgoers and the Bible Believers. There may have been much better ways for the police to handle this situation, but there was no First Amendment violation” — Dissenting Appeals Judge John Rogers:

“It’s the American dream at work. And entrepreneurship of course is an important part of that process” — Benjamin Jones, a professor of entrepreneurship and emerging markets at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management:

“Pakistan’s supreme court has called on the country’s politicians to ensure that hundreds of people facing imprisonment and even execution under controversial blasphemy laws have not been falsely charged, often by enemies wanting to settle personal scores.” Best to just end this unIslamic law:

“[T]he United States revealed it had invited Iran to take part in multilateral talks in Vienna on Friday, reversing its long-standing opposition to involving President Bashar al-Assad’s closest ally in discussions about his future”:

The signatories are “deeply disturbed by Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land, the intolerable human rights violations that it inflicts on all sections of the Palestinian people, and its apparent determination to resist any feasible settlement”:

News and Analysis (10/25/15)

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

“The debate in 1788 over the ratification of the Constitution in North Carolina turned into a discussion on the possibility of Muslims as American citizens…. And what emerged … was an agreement that there would be no religious litmus test” and “the possibility of a Muslim president”:

“Undemocratic measures … such as the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the denial of basic rights to Palestinians living there … [have] become permanent…. Israel is settling into the apartheid-like regime against which many of its former leaders warned”:

“I just wanted to do music that wasn’t necessarily speaking about drugs and stuff like that, but speaking about things that are morally sound and things that people can get benefit from in their day-to-day life … to make a change within music that people, mostly teenagers, listen to nowadays”:

“The case for war was not based on unaltered information provided by career intelligence analysts and officers, but by a media unit with the prime minister’s office who lifted information from a PhD student who was not even sure of the argument for his thesis at the time” …

… “The ex-PM said “those of us who removed Saddam” did bear some responsibility for the situation in Iraq today. But he said it was ‘hard to apologise’ for removing Saddam Hussein and Iraq might have become like Syria otherwise”:

Why “Prime Minister Narendra Modi is hesitant to condemn clearly the Hindu communal mobilisation and violence that confronts him as Prime minister, no matter if it gives his party and government a bad name and his country a black mark”:

“Turks on balance still have negative opinions of every major world power tested, including the U.S. (58% unfavorable), NATO (50%) and the European Union (49%). Still, a majority in Turkey (55%) favor joining the EU”:

“The anti-Islam group Hooligans Against Salafists (HoGeSa) were able to bring out about 1,000 supporters…. The counter-demonstration, composed of far-left activists, civil society groups, politicians and average citizens, drew some 10,000 people”:

“Although Israeli security forces control the al-Aqsa mosque compound and Jordan is its religious custodian, it was unclear how new cameras could be installed without stoking more violence at the flashpoint site if Palestinians objected to them”:

News and Analysis (10/23/15)

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

“Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time – he wanted to expel the Jews. And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said: ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here.’ ‘So what should I do with them?’ he [Hitler] asked. He [Husseini] said: ‘Burn them'” — Benjamin Netanyahu:

“A Jewish Israeli man was shot and killed in a scuffle with Israeli soldiers who suspected he was a Palestinian attacker, police said Thursday, in a reflection of the jittery mood that has gripped Israelis”:

“It’s an apartheid wall. They want us to stay in our home and not go to school. If they put up hundreds of walls we will still be here. We will stay in this land”:

“Restoring the province to the control of the Assad regime would allow Hezbollah to extend its front line with Israel from Lebanon’s southern border into the adjacent Golan Heights, opening up the potential for attacks into the occupied volcanic plateau … seized by Israel in the June 1967 war”:

“Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled a controversial counter-extremism strategy this week. It was met with swift criticism from members of the Muslim community that worries the policy will limit free speech, free assembly and freedom of religion”:

“Egypt’s ongoing parliamentary elections – farcical in every sense, with a turnout so far of only 2 percent – are further proof that Egypt is witnessing the solidification of a quasi-authoritarian system of government, not a democratic revival”:

After Qur’anic quotes and citations from Prophet Muhammad’s life, “[o]minous introductory music gave way to images of rifle-toting jihadists and caged prisoners. ‘Their deeds couldn’t be further from the faith they claim,’ bold text read. ‘Their acts are NOT IN HIS NAME'”:

“Ahmed said he was impressed with the program, the modern trappings of Doha, and thinks he’ll ‘learn a lot and have fun, too.’ Looking at all the great offers we’ve had, it’s the best decision, said Eyman, Ahmed’s 18-year-old…. ‘They even have Texas A&M at Qatar…. It’s basically like America'”:

News and Analysis (10/19/15)

Monday, October 19th, 2015
“[T]he Guardian’s Phoebe Greenwood travels across the West Bank to ask why this, why now – and why Palestinian women are getting involved. In the past month, eight Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks – mostly stabbings – and 35 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire” …

… “Israel’s Interior Ministry, which oversees municipalities, declined immediate comment on Sunday on the decision, condemned by a party representing the country’s Arab minority as racist”:

“The man … allegedly shouted ‘white power’ and ‘kill them all.’ [He] then grabbed the woman by her neck and slammed her head into the table. He then attempted to remove the woman’s headscarf”:

“Why are you asking about Islam? You need to ask about radical Islam or extremism or ISIS…to ask someone about Islam is stupid”  — Muslim community leader and anti-radicalisation campaigner Jamal Daoud:

Will giving people a half day off to vote compensate for the state repression that have demoralized voters? 

… “Egypt’s Al-Nour Party leaders hardly referred to religion at a recent rally, a dramatic change for a party that was once one of the strongest advocates for Islamic Shariah law”:

“Isis has a strategic game here: it is aware of Turkey’s deep polarisation and, by not taking responsibility for the bombing, it hopes to deepen the chasm and even provoke conflict”:

“US-trained Afghan security forces are facing a reinvigorated Taliban and not always faring well. Casualties among Afghan forces shot up this year. But on the other hand, Afghan forces are widely demonstrating a will to fight”:

Criticized for “her silence over the treatment of Muslims in Rakhine, … Ms Suu Kyi’s remarks were carefully worded…. Muslims have put their hopes in the NLD, even though it did not field a Muslim candidate on its lists of more than 1,100 hopefuls standing in the 8 November election”:

“Jesus never said, ‘Love your neighbor… just not your Muslim ones’ — Former South Carolina governor David Beasley:

“Harper’s Conservative Party is now vowing to pursue a niqab ban during citizenship ceremonies and to consider a wider ban for all public employees if re-elected. His opponents … have dismissed the niqab issue as a distraction and oppose such bans”:

News and Analysis (10/16/15)

Friday, October 16th, 2015

“[D]ocuments detailing a special operations campaign in northeastern Afghanistan, Operation Haymaker, show that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets”:

“We have been down similar roads before. Jewish-Americans during the Red Scare, African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement, and Japanese-Americans during World War II are examples that readily spring to mind”:

“Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon accused Washington of ‘misreading’ the conflict,” ignoring the fact that 22 of the 32 Palestinians killed were not “wielding knives” but many were “children and protesters” …

… while Mahmoud Abbas condemned an attack against the tomb of Joseph (peace be upon him), ordering “the damage to be repaired and opened an investigation into the arson” and rejecting “actions that violate law and order, and which distort our culture, our morals and our religion”…

… and a “video showing a violent confrontation between Israeli police and a Palestinian woman that ended in her hospitalization for gunshot wounds have inflamed tensions on both sides, as Israel ramps up its government surveillance on Palestinian activists”:

Debating Sam Harris, Maajid Nawaz argues that Islam is not about war or peace per se, but about the “connection between belief and action, one’s interpretation of scripture to what one believes one must do”:

Hassan Minhaj owes his job on “The Daily Show” to Bill Maher becuase “‘Islamophobes are thankfully right on time when you need them… they are like the gift that keeps on giving’ for Muslim comedians'”:

“Witnesses say the militants have enforced gender segregation in public areas, banned music at wedding parties and forbidden non-al-Qaida clerics from preaching in mosques”:

“Reversing policy on Afghanistan, President Barack Obama announced on Thursday he will prolong the 14-year-old U.S. military engagement there, effectively handing off the task of pulling out troops to his successor”:

“Does the new axis of Russia, Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Hezbollah advance eastward to retake the entire country from the rebel forces and the jihadist extremists of the Islamic State? Or will Moscow settle for strengthening the Assad regime ahead of a potential bid for a political settlement”:

News and Analysis (10/13/15)

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

“[T]he vague nature of Iran’s announcement showed that … that the reporter was a bargaining chip … in a ‘larger game'” and ‘that the final decision about how Jason’s case will be handled will be made by political authorities, not by judicial ones'”:

As the Qur’an prohibits wine only for Muslims, the Saudi plan to whip Karl Andree is, like their ban on women drivers, an affront to Islamic law:

“We don’t know who the culprit is yet but the reaction has almost been worse. It has divided the public … because the country’s fault line of pro- and anti-Erdogan camps seems to be trumping all other concerns, including the [separatist Kurdish] PKK and IS” — Soner Cagaptay:

The “commitment of other Tunisians to pluralism and the democratic process” was essential to the mediators’ success. Tunisia’s army is not politically ambitions. and Ennahda, despite “all their critics’ predictions, set aside their election victory”:

“More than 100 British universities are finding positions for about 140 Syrian and Iraqi professors, who will return home when it is safe to do so. They will not be refugees but will have visas as visiting academics”:

“[O]ther passengers silently watched on…. The incident was one of many hate attacks on Muslims uncovered in a study” …

… The antidote to ignorance is knowledge, and the antidote to hatred is love:

“Since Edward Snowden revealed the extent of NSA spying, companies like Google and Apple have stepped up efforts to encrypt customer data so that even if the government issued a warrant for it, the tech giants say they would not be able to comply“:

“It passed with 161 yes votes, 59 no votes and 13 abstentions…. Iran is expected to start work on rolling back its nuclear programme from 18 October … which includes taking out thousands of centrifuges … and pulling out its heavy-water reactor and filling it with concrete”:

News and Analysis (10/11/15)

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

Rallies to protest Islam scheduled for twenty U.S. cities turn out to be a bust:

“The government said Kurdish rebels or Islamic State militants were likely responsible, while mourners accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of fomenting violence to gain votes for the ruling party”:

As the violence increases the root issue of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute must no longer be evaded:

“Unfortunately for Israel and its adoring minions in U.S. and Canadian governance, a people’s movement against blatant injustice can’t be legislated away”:

“USFOR-A will work with those affected to determine appropriate payments. If necessary and appropriate, the administration will seek additional authority from the Congress.” Obama apologized, but MSF wants an international investigation:

“Senior commanders of Islamic State were killed in an Iraqi airstrike near the country’s border with Syria but the group’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was not among them”:

Rezian’s attorney says she has not been informed of the verdict:

“The measure approved in parliament allows the Iranian government to withdraw from implementing the nuclear agreement if world powers do not lift sanctions, IRNA said. Final approval is expected later this week”:

“Nigeria’s … Boko Haram are blamed for using teens and women to carry out suicide bombings in neighboring Chad and Cameroon this weekend” in anticipation of their participation in a multinational force” against them:

“We have a purchasing power of over 1 trillion dollars, but in our reckless and wasteful spending habits we have not been able to pool our resources in a collective manner to build institutions and create jobs for our people”:

News and Analysis (10/9/15)

Friday, October 9th, 2015

“It is a long and difficult process to achieve democratic reforms in a country that has been subjected to such a difficult situation, but it has done everything right and it has been done with active support from civil society” — Swedish foreign minister:

“The US military presence will not create long-term peace and stability in Afghanistan. On the contrary: as long as US troops are there, militants will fight to oust them”:

“The U.S. announcement marked a departure from a previous program to train and equip units of fighters at sites outside of Syria, after that program’s disastrous launch this year fanned criticism of President Barack Obama’s war strategy”:

“[T]he parents of these middle-school kids being taught about Islam don’t understand that simply repeating the tenets of the Islamic religion won’t turn anyone into a Muslim”:

“She’s the face of today’s Britain: authentic, honest, creative, emotional, heartfelt and honest. Oh. And she’s Muslim. And she just happens to wear a head scarf”:

“The announcement is a step toward stitching together the oil-rich but chaotic country that fell apart after the overthrow of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011” …

… but is it too late?

“The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for both killings, but Bangladesh’s government … accused the opposition of supporting a conspiracy to destabilize the impoverished country of 160 million — a charge the opposition denies”:

While especially gruesome, this story of abuse of domestic labor in Saudi Arabia is, unfortunately, not unique:

“An Israeli man stabbed four Arabs in the south of the country Friday morning and a Palestinian later stabbed a 14-year-old Israeli in Jerusalem police said, as spiking tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank threatened to spread”:

News and Analysis (10/7/15)

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

The commander of the US and Nato war in Afghanistan, admits the war-making will have to be extended beyond the next year while giving yet a fourth version of the hospital attack that critics call a war crime:

Observers say the campaign has come at the expense of the local Bedouin community, which has long felt disenfranchised by the government[,] … evicting more than 3,200 families and razing hundreds of acres of farmland”:

The Qur’an says, “If the enemy inclines towards peace, then do you incline towards peace,” but Khamenei is too afraid of American “economic, cultural, political and security influence“:

“Dubbed the Xbox, the IED was designed to look and act like a bomb made by Iraqi insurgents so it could not be traced back to US forces”:

Grass-roots Islamophobia is back-firing with interfaith cooperation growing as faith as a wide-variety of faith communities come closer together as a consequence of united in opposition to hate-mongering:

Iran has agreed to inspections, but the IAEA shamefully still refuses to inspect the sites in the Middle East that already have nuclear weapons …

… as the U.S. favored this shameful outcome, it is no wonder that Iranians have “qualms … with U.S. Middle East policy”:

“Sedef Kabas … faced up to five years in prison for telling her Twitter followers not to forget the name of a prosecutor who dropped a corruption and bribery probe that implicated people close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan” …

… but a Saudi blogger whose weekly lashing were suspended is still “serving a 10-year sentence after being convicted of breaking Saudi Arabia’s technology laws and insulting Islamic religious figures through his blog … and [was] fined $266,000”:

“[F]orced … to choose between wearing clothes she saw as a religious obligation and becoming a citizen in her adoptive country[, she] sued the government, arguing that this policy violated her rights — and this February, she won”:

Ahmet Davutoglu also renewed criticism of Russian airstrikes in Syria, insisting they were mainly targeting the moderate Syrian opposition and therefore helping strengthen the Islamic State group”: