Archive for July, 2019

News and Analysis (7/31/19)

Wednesday, July 31st, 2019

“[N]either the Saudi government nor the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC, responded to multiple requests for comment about the disappearance and detention of various Saudi citizens”:

“Authorities in the Chinese capital have ordered halal restaurants and food stalls to remove Arabic script and symbols associated with Islam from their signs, part of an expanding national effort to ‘Sinicize’ its Muslim” people …

… while its boasts of “mission accomplished” are rejected by China policy experts and ethnic Uighur Muslims abroad who say that those nominally freed are forced into labor programs”:

The revaluation constitutes monetary surrender in the face of a rial that “has plunged from 32,000 to $1 at the time of the 2015 deal to around 120,000 to $1 these days”:

Instant divorce is prohibited by the Qur’an which requires a divorce take three months, but Modi think those who do not fear God will fear him:

After featuring Zoha Rahman in Spider-Man: Far From Home as “Marvel’s first inclusion of a hijab-wearing Muslim character,” Marvel announces Mahershala Ali will be the new lead of Marvel Studios’ reboot of Blade“:

Denouncing the government’s attempt to brand the demonstrators as terrorists, the cardinal insists, “From my own understanding, the protests were always peaceful and we never saw them armed”:

In a racist conception of “balance,” Israel will spend tax money building 6,000 new homes for illegal settlers while allowing only 700 Palestinians to build homes on their own land with their own money:

“Boris is not the only ‘passionate Zionist’ on the frontbench. In fact, all four Great Offices of State are now occupied by committedly pro-Israel MPs” and any no-deal Brexit will increase dependency on Trump’s America:

“[T]his administration’s Iran outreach falls flat, because it’s rooted in ignoring the lived experience of Iranians — not least the devastation wrought on them by U.S. policy”:

News and Analysis (7/29/19)

Monday, July 29th, 2019

MbS promotes a Saudi “strand of ultra-conservatism that preaches absolute obedience to the ruler … as a way of countering … the [Iranian] notion of an Islamic republic that recognizes a degree of popular sovereignty”:

A spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry says, “Intensification of security-policing approaches would not help settle the crisis in Bahrain” that has followed pro-democracy protests of the 2011 “Arab Spring” uprisings:

“Several people have been attacked in India after being forced to say ‘Jai Shri Ram’, which roughly translates to ‘Hail Lord Ram’, a Hindu god,” but police question this boy’s story and accuse him of setting fire to himself:

Giuliani and Bolton embrace the MEK, but Pompeo insists neither he “nor the president have any association with the group” that a State Dept. report called “[s]hunned by most Iranians and fundamentally undemocratic”:

Ahmadis, Christians, and ordinary Muslims are among the victims of the violent backlash against the the so-called Islamic State’s Easter Sunday attacks:

Those arrested by Iran may or may not be among the CIA spies there, but to believe that “the US abhors war and avoids it at all costs” is to forget “Vietnam, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya”:

Many Palestinians are skeptical that Abbas is capable of the “extensive preparations, strategic planning and coordination among the various organizations and institutions” needed to implement his declaration:

Noting that Muhammad’s early followers overcame “their hatred for each other, become united and helped towards the establishment of the great Muslim civilisation” and asks can today’s Muslims not do the same?

News and Analysis (7/26/19)

Friday, July 26th, 2019

In a bizarre statement Pressley defended her vote condemning non-violent anti-apartheid activism “as an expression of  solidarity … [against] hateful rhetoric from the Trump Administration”:

“Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have heightened in recent days after the demolition of the buildings … which Israel’s High Court said had been built too close to its [illegal] West Bank barrier” …

… while in Lebanon, “demonstrators oppose a new Lebanese labor ministry rule requiring them to have special work permits”:

Estimated at “1 percent of the U.S. population, Muslims make up about 9 percent of the U.S. prison population. In some states, including Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, that number [exceeds] 20 percent”:

Petrobras feared to do its job because of American sanctions, but Iran’s ambassador to Brazil says if the issue is not resolved, Iran can turn elsewhere “because this is a free market and other countries are available”:

“Although many expressed concerns about allowing many Muslims into the United States, none indicated that Muslims in the country should be denied the right to individually practice their religion”:

When Trump previously picked her to serve on “the National Security Council[, s]he withdrew herself from consideration after it was discovered that her book and doctoral thesis were filled with extensive plagiarism”:

The eviction of “Saudi Arabia’s most fanatical pro-Israel influencer … [from] al-Aqsa mosque … was a propaganda gift for the kingdom’s anti-Palestinian trolls, tasked with pushing normalization with Israel at all costs”:

The Israeli and Saudi “de facto veto … [is] evidenced by US support for MBS’s senseless and unsuccessful war in Yemen and by the Trump administration’s effective abandonment of the two-state solution”:

News and Analysis (7/24/19)

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

“The protest leaders were certain that as soon as the soldiers saw that the villagers had retreated, they would stop shooting. But the troops kept up their fire” …

… “[T]he demolition of some 10 apartment buildings … left 17 people homeless, including 11 children. Another 350 Palestinians await the imminent arrival of bulldozers on their doorsteps too” …

… “[R]aids … take place also in areas under the full control of the Palestinian Authority, … conducted with no need for a search warrant, whenever and wherever the military chooses in keeping with its … arbitrary powers”:

Passage of the nonbinding House version notwithstanding, “House Democrats have voiced concerns that the Senate bill [would] … penalise free speech otherwise guaranteed by the First Amendment”:

Civilization brought to Europe “primarily … by the Black Africans of the Nile Valley” was passed on by the Greeks “to the Romans who ultimately lost it …[until other] Black Africans. he Moors, brought the Dark Ages to an end”:

In appreciation, she founded “a nonprofit that works with the city’s homeless population, seniors, youth, and families and orphans in Bosnia”:

“Human Rights groups say Zakzaky, who is being held with his wife, deserves a speedier trial”:

One of six Arab  ‘journalists officially hosted by the Israeli foreign ministry” aimed  at normalization of relations, Saud professed his love for Israel; Israelis called it a step towards peace and Palestinians called it treason:

“[T]he EU ban on oil sales to Syria concerned only EU member states[,] … the Grace I was in international waters and seizing it is a form of piracy[, and] there is no proof it was headed for Syria”:

Energy subsidies have been problematical so “government ministers will vote on a measure to approve an electricity rate for mining farms”:

News and Analysis (7/21/19)

Sunday, July 21st, 2019

The Navy feared a drone a half mile away, but the Iranians say none of their drones are missing and accuse the British of smuggling oil:

“The signatories included the usual global rogue’s gallery — Cuba, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela. But a dozen Muslim governments also joined in — thereby sanctioning one of the largest assaults on Islam in modern times”:

Muslim voters have recently leaned Democratic “despite holding many traditionally conservative values –– mostly due to the fact …. [that] Republicans have vilified Islam” and yet:

“When the store got their order wrong, the couple went inside to have the simple mistake corrected. Instead, they were confronted and physically threatened by an employee who told them to ‘go back to your country'”:

“The imam gave refuge to … 262 Christians in his mosque and his home…. then stood outside the doors confronting the Muslim attackers, … even offering to exchange his own life for theirs”:

Court finds that “Dutchbat (Dutch battalion troops) acted unlawfully in the evacuation of 350 men. They took away the chance of the men to stay out of the hands of the Bosnian Serbs”:

“It was not known if any of the hackers managed to gain access to the targeted networks with the emails, which typically mimic legitimate emails but contain malicious software”:

News and Analysis (7/18/19)

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

“Her relatives expressed serious concern …, saying it was ‘unusual for political prisoners to be guarded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, rather than regular prison guards during hospital treatment'”:

“Demonstrators on Tuesday also demanded the Lebanese ministry of labour overturn a rule that requires Palestinian workers to obtain a work permit in order to gain employment”:

“[W]omen told researchers that the Islamic faith was ‘sometimes unjustifiably used to maintain family norms and traditions which are based more on cultural and patriarchal constructs'”:

The High Court “routinely rejects petitions filed by Palestinians – while … [approving] systematic human-rights violations, including forcible transfer, collective punishment, blanket impunity to … security forces and torture”:

“[W]ith the success and recognition of ‘Ramy’ and ‘Patriot Act,’ the future of American Muslim portrayals on screen feels brighter today than it ever has before”:

“If the OIC wants to be the global voice for the rights of oppressed Muslims everywhere, its members need to stop looking the other way and denounce China’s abusive policies in Xinjiang”– HRW China director:

According to the Pew Research Center, “Israel was one of the top 20 most religiously restrictive countries in the world, according to Pew. It also has the fifth-highest level of ‘social hostilities related to religious norms'”:

“The US has wanted to base troops there for some time because security assessments have shown Iranian missiles would have a difficult time targeting the remote area”:

“Washington has gotten Iran wrong for nearly seven decades. President Trump has an opportunity to get it right, but that will require an entirely new approach”:

News and Analysis (7/15/19)

Monday, July 15th, 2019

Is this Trump’s big chance?  Is he smart enough to seize it?

British FM Jeremy Hunt promised Javad Zarif to return the ship if Iran satisfies the Gibraltar court that the ship is not bound for Syria:

Taking a lead from China, Israel’s Anyvision’s confidential project “includes facial recognition technology elsewhere in the West Bank, not just at border crossings”:

“Ayatollah Khomeini put it shortly after the revolution: ‘We recognize our Jews as separate from those godless Zionists'” and unlike the U.S. and Germany, “Iran has not seen a single attack on a Jewish building”:

Netanyahu called Peretz’s anti-gay comments “unacceptable” but offered no objection to his desire to deny Palestinians the vote:

“[E]ven if the act succeeds in preventing such manufacturers in most countries from selling mining units to Iran, … this might not prevent Bitcoin or cryptocurrency mining from taking place in the Islamic Republic”:

On a plane leaving Turkey (!) two women accused three bearded men in prayer shawls of being “terrorists”; and one “stood at the front of the plane screaming abuse[, refusing] to let the plane take off with them on board” …

… while in the U.S., Trump told four Congresswomen to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Three were born in the U.S. and the fourth lived here since she was a child:

“Attitudes have changed. In 1980, two-thirds believed women should wear hijabs. Today, fewer than 45% approve of government intervention in the issue”:

News and Analysis (7/12/19)

Friday, July 12th, 2019

Of Netanyahu’s eugenically tainted claims, archaeologist and University College London professor Dr. David Wengrow says, “There’s so much wrong here I almost don’t know where to start”:

For Iran, as “for most of the developing world, the key events of the 20th century were not the two world wars, the Holocaust, the Cold War or the fall of the Berlin Wall” but repeated cases of Western aggression:

The 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act will mandate the U.S. sanction its NATO ally after U.S. failure to provide Patriot missiles drove Turkey into an arms deal with Russia:

“For a government to prescribe the garb of those who act on its behalf may or may not be sensible…. Banning swimsuits which do no obvious harm seems more clearly illiberal” …

… but a study finds “far from a binary categorisation of the oppressed and the oppressor, … a world in which Muslim women hybridise their faith and piety with modern ideas of feminism, activism and consumerism”:

“British marines seized Grace 1, an Iranian-owned oil tanker, off the strait of Gibraltar following a request from the US” …

… which Iran considers an act of piracy saying the British claims against the ship “are without legal basis and we advise [Britain] not to start a dangerous and unclear game under the influence of the Americans” …

… “Another major war in the region will only further work to the advantage of the Islamic Republic and the Islamic State at the expense of the already very weak constellation of Arab states”:

The U.S.”has sacrificed its credibility,” jeopardized “U.S. primacy in global finance, and … infuriated … [its] closest traditional allies” and risked yet another war by “goading Tehran to renege on its nuclear promises”:

Despite sanctions, “Western food, movies, music and clothing are still widely available. And 40 years after the Islamic Revolution … Iranians — particularly the young — embrace U.S. products”:

News and Analysis (7/9/19)

Tuesday, July 9th, 2019

The root cause of the current Persian Gulf crisis is the US withdrawal in May 2018 from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action …

… and here are five reasons why “the United States is in the wrong—politically, diplomatically, and even legally” in its dispute with Iran:

“Bolton manipulated [Trump] by advocating for the most extreme options …  when more modest ones would have sufficed … and he seems unable to think strategically about America’s interests”:

“If a convict voluntarily offers his or her organ before or after execution and no medical obstacle is offered, then the judge can approve this in coordination with the ministry of justice and the coroners’ office”:

No law mandates headscarves, so they “were charged with ‘gathering and colluding to commit crimes against national security’, ‘spreading propaganda …’ and ‘inciting and facilitating corruption and prostitution'”:

“The internet shutdown forms part of a larger effort to stifle the free expression and association of the Sudanese population, and to curtail the ongoing protests” — UN human rights experts:

“The opposition Alliance for Freedom and Change … has [replaced] actions aimed at the military junta that were scheduled for this week … with activities that support the agreement signed” with the junta:

“If we had a thing against being gay then we would have campaigned when Mr Moffatt was appointed four years ago. He’s homosexual, that’s fine. … But his sex life needs to be left in his bedroom”:

Q&A on Saudi-American Relations

Monday, July 8th, 2019

Q.    What’s your perspective on U.S.-Saudi relations from their beginning till now?

A. The U.S. has been entangled in Saudi fortunes through the engagement of America I the Saudi oil industry. American entrepreneurs helped to create ARAMCO and the American public is dependent on Saudi oil. This entanglement has made the Saudi’s an American client state. Their common enemy of the Soviet Union during the Cold War reinforced the alliance and their common enemy in Iran perpetuates that alliance.  

Q.    What are the most prominent points of cooperation between the two countries?

A. Except for a temporary alienation during the Arab oil embargo it has been oil and, as mentioned above, a common enemy in the Soviet Union until its fall and in Iran since the Iranian Revolution.

Q.    There have been some times in history where the relations have been tested (9/11, murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi) – were there any changes in the relationship over time?

A. 9/11 and the murder of Jamal Kashoggi have hurt American popular opinion of Saudi Arabia, but have not substantially impacted the alliance. Warming relationship of the relationship between Saudis and Israel has coincided with stronger American support for arming the Saudi regime.

Q.    How would you evaluate relations under the Obama’s administration?

A. Obama’s pro-democracy speech in Egypt caused some concerns about the relationship, but subsequently policies demonstrated business as usual.

Q.    How would you evaluate relations under the Trump’s administration?

A. Relations have strengthened under the Trump administration.

Q.    Will the Justice against Sponsors of Terrorism Act affect the relations between the two countries? How?

A. Saudi threats to retaliate for the passage of the act by selling U.S. Treasuries have not come to pass. It is not clear that the plaintiffs will meet the burden of proving Saudi government complicity in sponsoring the 9/11 attacks. Saudis may end up pleased of the act ends up being used against states Muslim-majority republics like Turkey.