Archive for March, 2016

News and Analysis (3/30/16)

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

“America” is the ideal of “liberty and justice for all.'” “Americans” often fail to live “up to that ideal…. Because of expedience. Because of bigotry. Because of cowardice. Truth to tell, sometimes, they don’t even try. But the failure of the people is not the failure of the ideal”:

“[T]he FBI’s growing network of confidential informants … have their own biases, receive little to no training and certainly aren’t equipped to ferret out violent extremism or distinguish between [constitutionally protected] extremism, … and [legally punishable] violent extremism”:

The judge ruled that none of “15 petitioners … had no standing to raise the issue with the court.” Asked the chairman of a religious nonprofit, “Bangladesh has a state flower — it’s the water lily. We have a state fruit — the jackfruit. Why shouldn’t Islam be our state religion?”:

“The lawsuit asks the court to order all 11 defendants to remain 300 yards from any TMOA [‘Four generations of predominantly African American Muslims who trace their ancestry to the slave trade’] property, to pay unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, and legal fees”:

The judge “held that Rebit’s case was not one of jurisdiction, but of his constitutional right to religious freedom. ‘He does not need a Shari‘ah court order to release him from Islam, because freedom of religion is his constitutional right, and only he can exercise that right'”:

“I think one of the things Wil has showed me is you can’t push (religion) down; people have to believe it for themselves” — Penatcostal mother whose son is now president of his college Muslim Student’s Association:

The atheists’ arguments that by allowing prayer rooms on campus the university must either endorse religious tenets or “dictate to religious students which tenets they are allowed to follow on university property” imply that observant students shouldn’t be allowed on campus at all:

Germans and Europeans tell Erdogan he’s mistaken if he thinks he can suppress freedom of speech in their countries:

At least 19 people are currently on death row … [under] the laws … [which have] religious minorities and … are often used to settle personal disputes. [Although n]o one has ever been executed for blasphemy, … mob violence has killed several Pakistanis accused of blasphemy”:

 

News and Analysis (3/27/16)

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

“In a pointed message to the United States, which has led a separate Western and Arab coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq since 2014, the military command said its gains showed that the army “and its friends” were the only force able to uproot terrorism”:

Sorry to shock you, but there are countries where instead of being slaughtered in the streets, Muslims are actually allowed to ask icons of democracy tough questions on television. “The Burmese politician … [lost] her temper [when] asked her to condemn anti-Islamic sentiment”:

“Tributes were paid to a Muslim shopkeeper killed in what police described as a ‘religiously prejudiced’ attack against the well-liked member of the minority Ahmadiyya community which has been accused by (accuses) other Muslims of disguised unbelief (“heresy”):

“Lafquiri was killed as a result of the attack that took place at the Maelbeek metro station in the Belgian capital” …

… “Nine people in total have been arrested since Thursday in Belgium and two in Germany, as European authorities swoop on Islamic State militants they link to the bombings at the airport and the metro in Brussels … and to the attacks in Paris last November”:

“The abduction of about 270 school girls by Islamic militants from a school in Chibok on 14 April 2014, sparked international outrage and the campaign ž#bringbackourgirls. While about 50 of the girls managed to escape, 219 of these girls remain missing”:

In the face of  “footage of a soldier lethally shooting a Palestinian attacker who had already been shot and subdued” Netanyahu insists that it is the IDF’s victims who are “bloodthirsty murderers” and that criticism of the IDF is “outrageous and unacceptable”:

News and Analysis (3/23/16)

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Annoyed by a question about political prisoners, Castro asked, “What political prisoners? Give me a list of the political prisoners and I will release them immediately.” He wanted to know when the U.S. will return  Guantanamo Bay where it holds uncharged and untried prisoners:

“NYPD Assistant Chief Thomas Galati acknowledged in a court testimony that the program never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation”:

“[T]he biggest break yet in the Paris attacks investigation — the arrest on Friday of fugitive Salah Abdeslam— did not thwart the multipronged attack just four days later on the Belgian capital’s airport and metro that left 31 people dead and an estimated 270 wounded”:

Japan’s non-interventionism had “mostly kept Japan and its citizens out of the conflict in Syria” until its PM pledged $200 million to IS’s Middle Eastern enemies last winter and IS beheaded two Japanese civilians after the government refused to pay” them an equal amount in ransom:

As IS exploits the chaos unleashed by the Western overthrow of Qaddafi to try to establish a base from which it can destabilize neighboring countries, the UN is frustrated in trying to impose a compromise regime to replace Libya’s feuding parliaments:

“[B]ankers from Europe, the Middle East and other countries, … say the remaining sanctions are so complex, and the risks of errors in due diligence so high, that they still don’t dare to engage with Iran”:

As human rights organizations fault Egypt’s deteriorating record, and the Egyptian public is increasingly victimized by an economic dive, el-Sisi looks to a meaningless cabinet reshuffle to solve his countries’ problems:

 

News and Analysis (3/20/16)

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

“There are approximately two dozen quotations on display in the art installation created by the Law School. The three most prominently displayed at the entrance of the art installation, are quotes from St. Augustine, the Holy Qur’an and the Magna Carta”:

What do President Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton Aide Huma Abedin, Congressman André Carson, Justice Elena Kagan, Gen. David Petraeus, Gov. Chris Christie, Grover Norquist, Saddam Hussein and Timothy McVeigh all have in common?

“[E]ven its former defenders in the civilian political elite are turning against [the Sisi regime] as its crimes mount and the economy flounders. For the Obama administration to hand Cairo a blank check now would be foolhardy. Congress should prevent it”:

“Earlier, Israeli authorities raised the number of Israelis killed in the bombing to three, among them two who also hold American citizenship”:

“U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura describes Syria’s political transition as “the mother of all issues” and, emboldened by the Russian and U.S. muscle that brought the participants to the negotiating table, he refuses to drop the subject”:

A “U.N. security council resolution … requires [Houthi rebels] to hand over weapons and withdraw from territory, including Sanaa…. Previous attempts … failed to take hold on the ground, with each side accusing the other of immediately violating the terms”:

“Abdeslam, captured Friday in a police raid in Brussels, was charged Saturday with ‘terrorist murder’ by Belgian authorities … is a top suspect in the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead” and one of more than thirty suspects in those attacks:

News and Analysis (3/15/16)

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

“Prophet Muhammad made it clear that freedom of religion is an inherent right for Christians living in a Muslim nation. His cordial relations with Christians were not due merely to political expediency or personal aspirations”:

Erdogan “said there was no difference between ‘a terrorist holding a gun or a bomb and those who use their position and pen to serve the aims’ of terrorists. Mr Erdogan added that this could be a journalist, a lawmaker or an activist”:

It is not wealthy elites who “can pay 1500 riyals ($400) a month for drivers” that are shaking up Saudi society, but women “who can’t afford drivers or cars, whose families object to taxis, and who persist nonetheless”:

“Two brothers … are on the verge of getting kicked out of school for fighting … bullying [that] moved from the school yard to their front yard, when their house was vandalized”:

“Growing up in a refugee camp near Bethlehem, Ms Al Hroub now works with refugee pupils, with an approach using play that is aimed at resolving violence and tension. ‘I am proud to be a Palestinian female teacher standing on this stage,’ she said”:

“Iran has retrieved thousands of pages of information from devices used by U.S. Navy sailors who were briefly detained in January…. Iranian authorities returned all the devices taken from the Americans even though it had the right to confiscate them”:

News and Analysis (3/12/16)

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

“Congress has never declared war on Somalia, nor has it authorized the use of military force there…. What legal authority does Obama even possess to bomb this country?” Further, “the U.S. government presumptively regards all adult males it kills as “militants”:

“CMUs, highly secretive and dubious of legality. And they’re right here in the United States. And an estimated 70 people might be held there. CMUs, largely unknown to the general public and media”:

“They would never be able to recruit anyone from our group, because we equip them with the knowledge and methodologies to counter any argument from groups like Daesh. More than this, our youth are effecting positive change by stopping other youth from joining extremist groups”:

“Facing opposition in parliament and bickering in his own cabinet, Jokowi has been scaling down his proposed reforms and working … [on] smaller economic fixes – lifting tariffs and quotas and enlisting business support – aimed at igniting growth and aiding … poor citizens”:

With the controversy behind it, the Montana library lecture draws an overflow crowd:

“The Gaza health ministry says … that shrapnel from an airstrike on a Hamas base hit a nearby house killing the boy, Yassin Abu Khoussa and wounding two of his siblings, one seriously, early Saturday”:

News and Analysis (3/9/16)

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

“[P]roposed new powers to criminalize extremist views that stop short of advocating violence. The plans have been criticized by religious and civil liberties groups” as “trying to define extremist speech would be all but impossible and might ‘do more harm than good'”:

“[T]here have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite and diminution of the five year slaughter”:

Special rapporteur Juan Mendez says U.S. officials continue to set what he considers excessively strict conditions for his visits, such as on which inmates he could see…. ‘If I accept terms like that, every other government is going to demand the same treatment, and rightly so'”:

“Shari’ah, with a capital ‘S,’ is the path that is guided by Qur’anic ethos in its totality to achieve justice. It is neither the collection of rules derived by Muslim jurists, nor the interpretations that were solidified by Muslim leaders”:

“[M]ost of the known opponents of the deal and the Rouhani government were MPs from Tehran who have now been voted out…. [T]he current chairman of the Assembly of Experts did not win enough votes to keep his office”:

But only “[s]tudents with a permission slip signed by their parents will be able to attend the presentation”:

The film’s co-director “said it’s unfortunate it took a court battle to get the ads up, but the film they are promoting is still available for download and on DVD.” An MTA spokesman “said the ads have been revised to state more plainly that they are promoting the film”:

 

News and Analysis (3/7/16)

Monday, March 7th, 2016

“This specific blasphemy law was not instituted by [the] Prophet [(pbuh), but r]ather, in an attempt to keep occupied communities separate and docile, … by … [the] British …, in 1860…. [Y]ou’re hailing as a martyr, a man who died defending a British colonial law”:

“Allegations of abuses by police are raising fears that Egypt’s security agencies are growing out of control”:

“Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Egypt’s accusations made on Sunday were ‘baseless and not in harmony with the efforts being exerted to develop the relationship between Hamas and Cairo'”:

MILF Chairman Murad Ebrahim said that ISIS failed in previous efforts to establish “a stronghold in Mindanao,” but the failure to pass the new basic law has raised concerns “that they can capitalize on this because the [frustration] of the people in the area”:

“The problem for the Al Sauds is not just that their legitimacy is wholly dependent on their identification with Wahhabism…. [T]hey have let a genie out of the bottle that now leads an independent life and that can’t be put back into the bottle”:

“I have a responsibility to inspire, empower and show girls everywhere that females can have a role within the professional game. If I am successful, doors will open for others without them having to go through the same racism and sexism I have experienced”:

Erdoğan’s regime has successfully taken over Zaman but at the price of embarrassing EU leaders seeking his cooperation in managing the immigration problem and reversing Turkish liberalization:

“President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo, who heads the most populous Muslim nation, said the entire world is concerned by the deterioration of the situation in Palestine and criticized what he called Israel’s ‘unilateral and illegal policies'”:

“[T]he Brotherhood’s leadership has attempted to reaffirm its nonviolent commitments. But this stance has proved a difficult sell in the face of Egypt’s violent repression and the cancellation of any opportunity for meaningful democratic participation”:

News and Analysis (3/5/16)

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

“Turkish authorities have seized control of the country’s largest newspaper in a widening crackdown against supporters of the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, an influential foe of the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan“:

In an attempt to “more clarifying conversations for those who want to help,” a Columbia University student offers suggestions to those who want to help Muslims fight back against demagogic political rhetoric, “as well a spike in hate crimes and alarming attacks”:

“The worrying aspect from an Islamic point of view is that neither of these persons is an Islamic scholar living in Ireland and therefore they are not eligible to give a fatwa to Muslims in Ireland because they live in Kuwait and don’t know the circumstances of Muslims in this country”:

This is not the first time that anti-terror legislation has been used to repress the speech of a minority Muslim. “Rights activists condemned [an earlier such] ruling as ‘extremely concerning'”:

In her 2014 series “Am I Modern Now?” and “We Are Not The Same,” the Malaysian immigrant to the US “borrowed styles from three famous Western modern artists … to demonstrate ‘how absurd it is to tell a Muslim woman that she is only modern if she adopts Western ideals'”:

There were “written complaints and some calls” opposed to the speaker, who says, “We have to overcome fear with love and we do that with knowledge because knowledge is light. Only light can overcome darkness. With love, we can obtain the highest in human existence”:

A “number of speakers who fed attendees tales of Muslims conquering Europe, infiltrating our schools, and ending Western civilization as we know it”:

“The Iranians held a sign asking for a U.N. representative to visit the camp. Clare Moseley of the Care4Calais British volunteer group said the protest was ‘a cry for help because they don’t know what else to do'”:

“In areas controlled by the group that calls itself Islamic State the penalty for speaking to the Western media is death by beheading, so it took courage and conviction for Mohammed to compile this diary of life in Raqqa, the capital of IS’s self-proclaimed caliphate”:

News and Analysis (3/2/16)

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

The mayoral candidate has linked to “‘extremists’ – despite the Labour MP having in fact dedicated years to fighting radicalisation” because he has appeared on “‘Islam Channel’ on LBC” (as has David Cameron) and long-since renounced views of an ex-brother-in-law:

“[H]alf of Americans think Muslim women enjoy a lower social standing than men in the United States despite evidence that shows Muslim women are second only to Jewish women in educational levels among religious women” …

… and one such woman blames her inability to find a full-time job not on racism, but on the need for a President to “create more good-paying jobs, bring some back from overseas and lower taxes so small-business owners could make additional hires” …

… while another explains that the “first contingency of the public section of sharia law is that a Muslim must follow the law of the country he lives in”:

The man who claims that wearing a Muslim-style of headscarf “is a form of ‘passive terrorism’ … he represents a much larger problem in which fringe Muslim Americans pushing an anti-Islam agenda are promoted … [to mainstream] ideas that are both offensive and incorrect”:

Founded as a secular state after its independence from Pakistan in 1971, the 90%-Muslim South Asian democracy adopted Islam as the official religion in 1988, but now its supreme court “has began to hear arguments which challenge Islam’s status as the official state religion” …

… and Israeli “educators and academics” have qualms about the role of official religion nation-state, as well, where the minority population is even higher (25%, excluding Palestinian exiles):

.. while in France, “[s]harp restrictions on religion in the public sphere have heightened tension with the Muslim population. But the armed forces do things a bit differently”:

Ishtiwi’s executioners feared that Israeli intelligence blackmailed him into providing information that allowed them to murder the infant son and wife of Mohammed Deif, but Ishtiwi’s family claims he was tortured into a false confession:

Knowing that “Erdogan severely criticized the court’s ruling, saying he did not respect it and would not abide by it” helps to explain why so many people feel impelled to insult him:

Farrakhan’s encomium fell short of an endorsement (“Not that I’m for Mr. Trump”), but simply appreciated the fact that Trump, being extremely wealthy, was able to turn down Zionist money that holds most American politicians in thrall:

“[O]pposition official George Sabra said the dates for a resumption of talks remained ‘hypothetical’ as long as the current truce did not fulfill humanitarian demands including a release of detainees held by the government”: