News and Analysis (7/27/18)

July 27th, 2018

“Israeli forces suppressed Palestinian crowds at return camps using live bullets and tear-gas bombs … [in a futile attempt to stop the] ‘Great March of Return’ protests … launched by thousands of Palestinian civilians in Gaza … to demand their right of return as refugees to their original homelands” …

… while Israelis offer claims that “stones and fireworks were thrown at the police forces” as the excuse for the attack on Palestinian worshipers “just a week after over a thousand Israeli settlers stormed the Al-Aqsa compound under the protection of Israeli occupation forces” …

… but back off of closure of the mosque after calls “for non-violent action/protest and prayed in front of lions gate until they open the Al-Aqsa mosque”:

Iran would be well-advised to denominate its planned cryptocurrency in gold and back it with oil, but only if it is not intimidated by the fact that the “plot to overthrow Gaddafi was fueled by first their desire to quash the gold-backed African currency“:

“[P]olitics are everywhere in the United States’ current approach to religious freedom … [starting with] President Trump’s indebtedness to conservative evangelical Christians for his election … including excessive deference to politicians and co-religionists who have shown hostility toward Islam”:

Rather than being held to different standards; Israel isn’t “held to any international legal standard at all. Israel has been criticized and condemned by numerous international bodies and foreign governments, yet there has been absolutely no sanctions or consequences for its illegal actions”:

Increasing isolation of Hamas and Iran drives their move to reconcile, but dictators in both Damascus and Cairo want to thwart it:

U.S. support for a brutal Saudi-led military campaign in the country has created a humanitarian crisis of staggering proportions, while offering an opening for Iran to expand its influence in the country … [making] insurgents more reliant on support from Tehran and is turning civilians against U.S. partners”:

A leading rabbi is concerned that instead of exposing and countering extremists, European states are taking children away from their parents to teach European “‘values,’ including Christmas and Easter traditions”:

Rep. Betty McCollum’s bill to “prohibit Israel from using any of the billions of dollars in annual aid received from Congress for ‘the military detention, interrogation, abuse, or ill treatment of Palestinian children’ … has 28 co-sponsors, all of them Democrats”:

“Former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer…, who was for eight and a half years a chief propagandist for the catastrophic US war on and occupation of Iraq, appears to have learned nothing”:

News and Analysis (7/25/18)

July 25th, 2018

One of Ramadan’s accusers now admits that the date on which she claimed she was raped cannot be right, but the court which previously denied bail refuses to dismiss the charges:

If you thought Joe Walsh was willing to humiliate himself to suck up to Israel, wait until you see the depths to which Jason Spencer sinks …

… or for that matter, Donald Trump:

As dangerous as the Pompeo-Trump saber rattling may be …

… Iran isn’t falling for it, with Iran’s foreign minister tweeting back, “COLOR US UNIMPRESSED” …

… yet the debate over whether the U.S. is seeking to provoke a war with Iran should not obscure “how much of Mr. Pompeo’s speech was accurate, and whether in some instances — intentionally or not — he may have exaggerated, omitted facts or mixed facts with conjecture”

Small countries can evade Trump’s bullying by resorting to old fashioned barter …

… while an EU “law forbids European companies from complying with the US measures and allows them to recover damages arising from the sanctions “from the person causing them”:

“[I]n a softening of stand, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board … is expected to agree to codification of personal laws related to the issues of adoption and inheritance” and to meet with the commission “looking at codifying and reviewing personal laws with a ‘gender justice’ lens”:

As in the US:

Palestine’s ambassador to the U.N. says that the U.S. and Israel are “still denying we are a state. We walk like a state. We quack like a state. Therefore we are a state”:

“This behavior by Israel infringes on our diplomatic relations and is a further indication of the need for South Africa to implement the ANC’s resolution for the immediate and unconditional downgrade of the SA Embassy as Israel. There can be no doubt that Israel is a hostile state to South Africa”:

“In court papers, the district attorney’s office argued that no one can be a good-faith purchaser of a stolen work”:

News and Analysis (7/23/18)

July 23rd, 2018

“[W]hite and rightwing terrorists carried out nearly twice as many terrorist attacks as Muslim extremists between 2008 and 2016″ but “attacks committed by non-Muslims (or where the religion was unknown) received an average of 15 headlines, while those committed by Muslim[s] … received 105 headlines”:

The Saudi “tie up with Britain’s Independent news website to launch services in Urdu, Turkish, Farsi and Arabic” seems to be the latest move in “a pattern of Saudi chequebook diplomacy that aimed to buy positive coverage of the kingdom by European, Middle Eastern and African media“:

The speaker said that Muslims should follow the Qur’an because it “gives meaning to life…, [that religion] is about transformation … [and] should not be used to repress others, saying this was the gist of the Qur’an’s message provided its verses are understood in their true context”:

The “bean pie … was developed by black Muslims in the Nation of Islam in the 1930s. The history of why they created it, and what it represents, tells one of the most essential stories about Muslims in America. And as you’ll see, it is extremely delicious”:

As with the murder of two Palestinians in Malaysia on Saturday the mysterious deaths in Tunisia appear to follow a pattern of “Palestinian scientists and experts around the world … killed in recent years in assassinations alleged to be carried out by Israel’s Mossad espionage agency”:

“The law would create a new, more autonomous political territory for the predominantly Muslim Moro people and other indigenous groups in western Mindanao island, capping 17 years of negotiations between Moro rebels and the government”:

“The deal came after Israeli forces killed four Palestinians in the Gaza strip on Friday”:

66% of Iranian women (compared to 25% of American women) have experienced domestic violence.

“Pompeo neglected to mention that a major cause of Iranians’ current economic plight is the Trump administration’s decision to unilaterally quit the 2015 Iran nuclear deal after months of undermining its implementation”:

News and Analysis (7/21/18)

July 21st, 2018

“But the Trump administration is using it to denaturalize citizens who’ve been living in the United States for decades, are married to American citizens, and have no criminal history.”:

“Al Jazeera has been told, off the record, that the US put pressure on Iraq not to pay the Iranians” provoking the electricity cutoff that sparked the protests:

“More than 65 Israeli laws already exist that discriminate against Palestinians in Israel and the occupied territories” …

… and now, “[p]rovocations by Israeli settlers in occupied Palestine happened days after Israel approved the nationality bill, which reiterates Jewish supremacy” …

… so, the ICC’s “surprising decision to establish outreach activities in Palestine is a welcomed step in the right direction”:

For the purpose  of destabilizing Iran’s economy, the US government will engage all possible groups even including listed terrorists to contributing to deterioration of Iran’s relation with the world to enhance its collapse:

The letter notes there is no written policy to justify the “pretext for the true motivation behind their conduct: discrimination against these children on the basis of their race, religion, and/or socio-economic status”:

“The Expediency Council, tasked with resolving conflicts between parliament and the Guardian Council, backed parliamentary amendments allowing members of recognized religious minorities to run for city councils”:

“According to Palestinians, the U.S. administration seeks to impose a political solution that calls for the establishment of a state in the Gaza Strip and a limited autonomy in the West Bank, with Israel retaining control over the city of Jerusalem”:

A former Indian ambassador condemns Nikki Haley’s “intemperate remarks”:

“For the last few years, we have not carried any meat while returning from our hometown in western Uttar Pradesh after Eid. Traditionally, we would carry our share of meat for our maids, drivers, helpers and other needy people in our vicinity”:

News and Analysis (7/19/18)

July 19th, 2018

The atheist asked if his preference for church bells over the Muslim call to prayer is due to  his cultural upbringing. Fatima Bhutto replied, “No, it’s your bigotry,” and a former Winchester Cathedral chorister who finds “muezzin enchanting and profoundly evocative” calls Dawkins’ tweet “gratuitously vile” …

… but rather than apologize, Dawkins doubles down with a reference to “to suicide bombers shouting ‘Allahu Akhbar’ just before blowing themselves up,” demonstrating a remarkable inability to distinguish a call to the humble act of prayer from the maniacal ravings of suicidal murders:

Many call Donald Trump Putin’s puppet but according to Netanyahu the one who pulled his strings on the Iran deal was — Netanyahu:

When she correctly noted that the practice of repeating a declaration of divorce without attempting a reconciliation “is not the form of divorce that exists in the Quran” the Mufti reacted violently …

… and now another imam wants to silence the discussion that threatens to expose the religious establishment’s ignorance of the Qur’an:

With the passage of  the “Jewish Nation-State Law” “defining Israel as the exclusive nation-state of the Jewish people and demoting the official status of Arabic” Israel has abandoned any pretense that it is not an apartheid state:

Advocates of regime change fail to realize that Iran is run not by clerics, but by bureaucrats:

Palestine’s U.N. ambassador condemned Israel’s refusal “to allow several of the experts to travel from Ramallah to Jerusalem where the U.S. Consulate is located to check on their visas”:

Her lawyer denies the plea is an attempt to get a “free pass” for entering the mosque armed and “removing fliers and Qur’ans from shelves, bins and bulletin boards”; the  Islamic Community Center of Tempe “declined to comment on the settlement discussions”:

“Given the difficulty of running Iran under sanctions, Rouhani has no choice but to listen to the Guards” …

… and if “Trump’s ‘maximum pressure’ campaign succeeds, the volatile and rising gasoline prices that result could finally dent his approval ratings, even among hardline supporters, and spark a global recession”:

“For two decades, riflery was the only international sport open to Iranian women. Then, in the 1990s, a national soccer league was established…. [Now, a]  new regulation allowing 16-year-olds to train with senior clubs will be a huge aid in preparing Iranian women athletes for the 2022 Olympics”:

News and Analysis (7/17/18)

July 17th, 2018
There may be more Muslims running for office than ever before in the U.S. but they face challenges that range from haters to admirers who won’t support opponents because they fear that Muslims just can’t win:
By responding to the question of cooperation with Russia on Syria that both U.S. and Russia “work very well together with Israel, and Israel’s security is a driving issue” Trump “reduced this to an Israeli issue rather than the broader regional conflict that it represents” …

… meanwhile, by appealing to Joe Walsh’s eagerness to suck up to Israel, comedian Sasha Baron Cohen tricks the radio show host and former Congressman into supporting a ludicrous plan to arm three-year-old children:

They don’t like it, but with Israel taking away their water and preventing them from holding jobs in Israel, for many Palestinians growing tobacco is the only option …

… and in violation of the Geneva conventions Israel has kept bodies in morgues, in military cemeteries and “at the infamous ‘cemeteries of numbers‘”:

“A group of American Jews visiting Israel on a free Birthright trip walked off the tour during a visit to the City of David in Jerusalem to visit a Palestinian family who is facing eviction from their eastern Jerusalem home”

There is a “fear that Trump, egged on by the Saudis and Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, … may privately offer de facto US recognition of Crimea’s annexation and an easing of Ukraine-related sanctions” for “Putin’s agreement to push Iran out of Syria, thereby safeguarding Israel’s border”:

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted, “Iran is committed to the rule of law in the face of US contempt for diplomacy & legal obligations. It’s imperative to counter its habit of violating int’l law”:

China wields “an iron fist to weed out what it calls “religious extremism” and “separatism” in the wake of deadly unrest, throwing ethnic Uygurs into shadowy re-education camps without due process for minor infractions such as owning a Koran or even growing a beard”:

“The country which is often in the spotlight for its Islamophobic social policies won the ultimate footballing prize with a team that is one-third Muslim”:

“Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki said the city was wrong to use a vaguely-worded policy to bar Muslim kids wearing cotton shirts, shorts and headscarves from the city’s Foster Brown pool”:

News and Analysis (7/14/18)

July 14th, 2018

FDD helped “propel the administration to unapologetically implement a widely unpopular policy … [thanks to] ties to powerful administration insiders … combined with a seemingly open-ended invitation to testify before Congress, … [and] close ties to the GOP establishment and hawkish Democrats”:

They were told they had to leave the pool because they were wearing cotton and/or because it was over capacity, but other who were wearing cotton and/or had been there longer were not asked to leave:

After killing a 15 year-old and a 20-year old at the Gaza border demonstrations, the Israelis launched air strikes that killed two more teenage civilians and provoked a response of rocket attacks by Hamas …

… while Jewish settlers will now be allowed to build on lands of a Palestinian neighborhood in Silwan whose “nearly 4,000 Palestinian residents … have been prevented for years by the Israeli government from any type of building or construction work under the pretext of preserving the national park” …

… and by refusing to let “foreign nationals … add value to the community, by not letting them come in, the quality of life is reduced and that is more suffocating for Palestinians forcing them to leave the country” …

… and the Episcopal Church passed six of fifteen resolutions on “the plight of Palestinian children, the status of Jerusalem, the disproportionate use of lethal force on both sides and ways the Episcopal Church can press for peace through its investment decisions”:

President Trump seems heading to another devastating war with Iran. Any armed conflict with Iran will bring another ugly consequence like Iraq for the US as well as for the Middle East and the world at large:

In Muslim majority Pakistan, it is hard for the non-Muslims to be elected to voice their demand in the parliament. If they have their problems in their neighborhoods, it is not easy for them to press the government to solve them:

The U.S. allows a favored Chinese firm to do business with Iran …

… even as it rebuffs European allies …

… but preventing Lloyd’s from using a partly U.S. owned platform for IT may create new business opportunities for non-U.S. companies:

London streets showed anti-Trump demonstrations when Muslims gathered to pray together on Friday and protested Trump’s policies against the Muslims when he was on an official visit to London …

… which, Rohani says, only shows how “America’s illegal actions … have even isolated it among its own allies”:

Nationalizing a Hindu school and then allowing Muslim teachers to dress as they please in it has stoked tensions in Sro Lanka:

News and Analysis (7/11/18)

July 11th, 2018

“The new law is part of a broader ‘ghetto package‘ designed to force immigrants living in 25 mostly Muslim enclaves to assimilate”:

If Germany prevents the Iranian’s from withdrawing their own money just to placate the U.S., “it could mean the collapse of the Iran nuclear deal, which the European Union still hopes to salvage”:

China forces Muslims to put GPSs on their bikes and cars and give police “smart glasses” that can “notify a patrolling officer when a Uighur Muslim has moved beyond his orher ‘safe area’, that is home or place of work” …

… the campaign, reminiscent of failed attempts to undermine Uyghur culture during the Cultural Revolution, involves the creation of a surveillance state of the future and the forced re-education of large numbers of Turkic Muslims …

… while “[f]or many Palestinians, the knowledge that Israeli authorities are tracking their social media activities is seen as just another level of oppression and restriction in an intractable, ­decades-old conflict”:

Both top officials and the general public have cried out against a decision to block members of religious minority groups from running “for seats in Muslim-majority constituencies” as a violation of  Iran’s constitutional guarantee that members of those communities  may elect their own representatives:

North Korea’s envoy to Sweden and his Israeli counterpart meet in a café in Stockholm to bargain on an old deal:

“Since the village started resisting attempts by the Israeli state to push them out of their land, it has become a heavily policed community. On Wednesday it was both men and women who were beaten by Israeli soldiers in front of their children”:

Anti-Muslim hate correlates with “susceptibility to Muslim radicalization in regions of the U[U.S.] that are poorest and most homogeneous. And it suggests the ethnic diversity of the U.S. may protect against radicalization because people are less prone to pit one group against the other”:

Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri confirms that Iran’s foreign ministry and the central bank are cautious to take proper steps to keep banking operations active to face the U.S. sanctions. There was no explanation about this statement:

Israel offers to use its lock on the U.S. Congress for Russia’s benefit if it removes the Iranian threat to its continuing occupation of Golan:

Interview by Reza Saiedi on Iranian-American Relations

July 9th, 2018

[This is the text of free-lance journalist Reza Saedi’s interview with Minaret of Freedom Institute president Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad on Iranian-American relations.]

Q. Please comment: US sanctions have a direct impact on the Iranian civilian population– limiting medical and research supplies, limiting machinery used to maintain civilian transportation systems, etc. While such actions are criticized by the UN and other world organizations dedicated to improving civil society worldwide, the US gives itself (and Israel) permission to ignore the rule of law. 

A. The great economist Frederic Bastiat observed, “If goods don’t cross borders, armies will.” Sanctions in the form of a blockade or embargo constitute an act of war, and if the Trump sanctions fall short of that on a technicality, they nonetheless open the door for war which is precisely what the Neoconservatives and Israel who are behind the sanctions are hoping will be the result.

Q. The parameters by which the US is seeking to keep the sanctions against Iran in place are in violation of international laws. With this being the case, why are other nations willing to comply with American pressure to abide by those sanctions and cut their own relationships with Iran? 

A. The nations willing to comply with the American sanctions are unwilling to bear the short-term costs that are being inflicted upon them by America’s strong economic position, especially as regards American dominance of the international banking due to the central role of the dollar. They could free themselves from this dependence on the dollar by returning to a gold standard, but that is a long-term commitment that short-sighted politicians are loathe to deal with and in any case they perhaps remember that Moammar Qaddafi’s intention “to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar” was followed by violent and undignified overthrow

Q. Pres. Trump met with Kim Jong-un and plans to talk with Putin, however in spite of these “diplomatic” steps, Trump has also alienated long-time US allies Europe and Canada and launched a trade war with them and China. How will this schizophrenic foreign policy balance out?

A. As President Trump aligns himself with dictators, oligarchs, and absolute monarchs to the detriment of America’s relationships with liberal democracies and republics, the decline of the American empire will accelerate.

Q. Please comment on the disconnect between the how marches to protest domestic problems in the United States is never portrayed in the media as an attempt to bring down the government, however the smallest march in Iran is blown up to a larger scale and made to appear that Iranians are seeking “regime change”.

A. Although the American media certainly exaggerates the connection between Iranian demonstrations about particular issues and opposition to the regime in general, it would be to Iran’s benefit to understand that such misrepresentations are facilitated by the harshness of the Iranian government’s response to demonstrations against it as compared with the response of the American government to its domestic critics.

Q.The United States is spending billions of dollars on the military, in particular invading Iraq and Afghanistan and also playing a role in Syria. While Trump states that these invasions have brought no positive results for American interests, the help and involvement of Iran in these same conflict zones has been very strategic, although that point goes unnoticed by the mainstream media. Were it not for Iran’s assistance in fighting Daesh in Iraq and Syria, the US would be faced with two newly formed terrorist states in those areas. Would you say that this is a fair assessment? Your comment?

A. This is a fair assessment. The U.S. media that accepts without comment or criticism claims of the Trump administration that it, rather than Iran and the Kurds, has been responsible for the decline of Daesh in Iraq and Syria.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.
Minaret of Freedom Institute

News and Analysis (7/9/18)

July 9th, 2018

It is a war crime for an occupying power to transfer its “civilian population into occupied territory. Passing the bill would simply mean that Ireland is moving to modify its domestic legislation to comply with its third-state obligations” …

… Palestinians refuse to bow to Israeli extortion as the apartheid state threatens to withhold taxes stolen from Palestinian citizens unless the PA withholds welfare payments to the families of people it has imprisoned …

… “For several years, Israel has attempted to block activists who support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which leads a nonviolent campaign aimed at pressuring Israel to adhere to international law”:

Al-Issa “sees no contradiction between opposing the occupation of the Palestinian territories and condemning the Holocaust, which he says ‘shook humanity to the core” and calls for making “East Jerusalem (capital of Palestine) and West Jerusalem (capital of Israel), and there is no choice but peace”:

“Caution in substituting the court’s own judgment for the president’s on a question of national security might normally reflect wise self-restraint. But there is a difference between self-restraint and willful blindness to discrimination”:

“Five world powers agreed with Iran on Friday to forge ahead with negotiations with the country and maintain its ability to export gas and oil as they seek to preserve a nuclear deal with Tehran despite the withdrawal of the United States”:

“Is Trump’s son-in-law – ‘adviser’ on the Middle East, real estate developer and US investor – delusional? After three Arab-Israeli wars, tens of thousands of Palestinian deaths and millions of refugees, does Jared Kushner really believe that the Palestinians will settle for cash?”:

Trump’s Iran policy, not OPEC is behind rising oil prices:

“[T]he recent strike of the bazaari can be seen as a jibe against Rouhani, and an act of support for a conservative, future president.Once again, Iranians are articulating very specific demands related to the economy. But this is a part of the reform process in the country and not a revolutionary movement”:

“The main reasons behind the water shortage are more than thirty powerful pumps installed by the owners of several orchards in neighboring city of Kazeroon on the local river for illegal irrigation of their properties during dark hours of the night” — Dashtestani representative to parliament: