News and Analysis (4/9/14)

Iran is insulted by Ted Cruz’s successful legislative bid to smear the Iranian diplomat through guilt by association (because he allegedly was asked to serve as a translator for the people who seized American diplomats hostage:

“Snowden said the National Security Agency – for which he worked as a contractor – had deliberately snooped on bodies like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch … [and] has specifically targeted either leaders or staff members in a number of civil and non-governmental organisations … including domestically within the borders of the United States”:

Baroness Falkner of Margravine (Lib Dem)  asks if the MB “was thought to have committed terrorist offences, ‘why do they not use existing counter-terrorism laws to prosecute them in the courts? If, on the other hand, the inquiry is being driven at the behest of Saudi Arabia to discredit the Brotherhood … it is the UK government and … foreign policy that risks being discredited”:

“The university said that it admired and recognized her work to defend the rights of women and girls worldwide. However, Ali’s earlier statements conflicting with Brandeis University’s core values could not be ignored, said university officials in a statement, Tuesday. The officials said that they were not aware of Ali’s past statements”

“Although the council’s decisions are not binding, they are seen as important in Saudi Arabia because it is the only official forum in which new laws and government policy on sensitive social issues are publicly discussed. A year ago King Abdullah appointed 30 women to the 150-member chamber for the first time”:

“[T]he thing that keeps me motivated to continue … is the deep encouragement I get from Allah, through my prayer, life and through the opportunities that keep showing up… I’ve never felt Islam asks me to be something other than what I am. If Allah is closer than my own jugular vein, is the creator of my heart … the source of its blood and beat, how could I despise myself?”:

The “rebels appear to be using Kessab as an opportunity to try to undo their reputation for extreme brutality towards Syria’s Christians and Shiites. But the Assad regime, which considers itself the protector of minorities, has launched a media campaign to demonstrate how Islamists are terrorizing Christians in Kessab, turning the town into a public relations battlefield”:

“The dimension of extra-judicial killing of Muslims by the military on a mere whim of unsubstantiated suspicion leaves much to be desired” — Jama´atu Nasril Islam statement signed by its secretary-general, Khalid Aliyu:

“If Middle East peace talks collapse this month, lawfare rather than warfare looks likely to fill the void, with the Palestinians set to confront Israel on the diplomatic stage rather than in any popular uprising”:

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