News and Analysis (10/20/17)

October 20th, 2017

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Hawaii ruled it “plainly discriminates based on nationality,” and on Wednesday one “in Maryland … issued a second halt to portions of the ban”:

After what Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boyla called “four years of “illegal imprisonment,” the Muslim Irish citizen is finally released a month after acquittal on all charges:

As 47 Christian refugees from Indonesia face deportation “in keeping with Trump’s campaign promise to deport millions of illegal immigrants”…

… the administration is reported to ponder placing even more obstacles in the way of women and children seeking refuge:

Researchers report that black or Muslim prisoners are twice as likely to endure “worse prison experiences … [such as] restraints used against them and being put into segregation”:

“Life if too short for negativity. I forgive them … I feel it comes from a lack of understanding”:

Iran rejects Macron’s suggestion that there are loopholes in the agreement and rules out negotiations over its presence in Iraq and Syria noting both states invited then in:

Arresting independent preachers is not a promising start for social liberalization nor is renting out two hotels for  the royal family on a visit to Moscow for balancing the budget:

Over 300 Somalis, over 3,000 Burmese Muslims, plus death in Yemen, Syria, etc., don’t get “the attention that is often given to deaths due to terror activities in Western” capitals:

“The speed with which Iraqi forces reached the centre of Kirkuk has led the two main armed Kurdish parties to accuse each other of ‘betrayal'”:

News and Analysis (10/17/17)

October 17th, 2017

He wasn’t Muslim, black, an immigrant, and “was not groomed by the FBI,” so old Michael Christopher Estes “narrowly foiled terror plot” got little media attention:

Corker proposes replacing presidential certification of compliance with “re-triggered” sanctions ‘should Iran be assessed within one year of a nuclear weapons ‘breakout’:

“There isn’t any reason in my opinion to decertify it, except for narrow political advantage, or if you really want to have a war…. [T]his just seems like we’re reading Kafka”:

“Non-Muslim prisoners have been instructed to physically assault Muslim prisoners”, and once a guard unwittingly instructed “another Muslim to commit the assault”

A 24-year-old is imprisoned incommunicado in her parents house under a court order while the court decides whether or not she has a right to choose her religion or whom to marry:

Despite allegations of anti-Muslim discrimination the drill instructor “was still in charge of Siddiqui’s training. [He]  and a battalion commander face courts martial“:

“An already disturbing case about a 17-year-old Muslim girl killed as she walked to her mosque took another unsettling turn after an indictment alleged the victim was raped as well”:

In Syria, the SDF “alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias … fighting Islamic State inside Raqqa since June … said it would capture the last Islamic State areas in the city within hours” …

… while in Iraq, “Kurds consider [Kirkuk] the heart of their homeland[,] … cleansed of Kurds and settled with Arabs under Saddam to secure control of the oil that was the source of Iraq’s wealth”:

News and Analysis (10/14/17)

October 14th, 2017

“The UK, France and Germany responded that the pact was ‘in our shared national security interest’…. Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the US was ‘more isolated than ever'” …

“Trump decides to ‘decertify,’ but not scuttle, the … deal…. There are some issues that unite [Trump’s] advisers, and one is not blowing up the Iran deal altogether” …

… and “readings of shifts in Iranian society suggest Americans should support the nuclear pact even as the United States and its allies keep Iran in check on other issues”:

With only 65 yearly visitors to the U.S. from North Korea and with Venezuelans not in government exempt from the ban, including those countries “doesn’t even qualify as a fig leaf”:

“Christians know that their tradition is internally diverse. There’s a lot of diversity within any religion, but that’s also true within Islam”:

“Angered by the Paris terror attacks in 2015, a former US Marine fired dozens of shots at a mosque near his … home. Filled with regret, he tried to make amends”:

“[T]hese clothes weren’t plundered; they’re typical Viking-age clothing that shows the influence of [Islam] on these wide-ranging travelers”:

UNESCO promotes girl’s education, understanding “the Holocaust’s horrors, and [defends] media freedom” but the US & Israel won’t forgive it for defending Palestinian’s rights:

“The greatest threat to [freedom comes not] from immigrants and refugees but from” exploiting fear of them to “chip away at the values and institutions that make our societies liberal”:

There is a “kernel of untruth demanded, of selfhood corroded, that is the burden of passing” as non-Muslim that weighs  upon those who feel the necessity:

This “version of Romeo and Juliet was easy to politicize … [by] those who consider themselves to be the self-appointed guardians of culture and society”:

News and Analysis (10/11/17)

October 11th, 2017

The war in Yemen strengthens Al-Qaeda’s deadliest branch, “yet there’s never been a public debate over the American role in deepening that threat to our own national security”:

“[A]s a Muslim[, y]ou commit your life to being a force for good, particularly in [places] that have struggled because of historical injustices, because of profound disparities”:

There is no “First Amendment” in Malaysia where the “sedition law prohibits discourse that sparks hostility towards other races, the rulers or the government”:

“[T]here’s a ‘rift’ on generational lines. Young Jews see a ‘gaping exception’ to the Jewish values of standing with the marginalized: the treatment of Palestinians”:

Rather than opposing forced marriage, the aim is to deprive women under fifteen of the right to decide whether to marry or not:

News and Analysis (10/8/17)

October 8th, 2017

Turkey’s arrest of U.S. consulate employee for alleged links to Gulen was “condemned by Washington as baseless and damaging to ties between the NATO allies”:

“The words ‘sand n—–‘ are painted across a photo of [Zainab] Baloch’s face”:

Turkey claims “its focus has moved from ousting [Asad] to securing its own border” but eye-witnesses blame the incident on a “Turkish bulldozer removing sections of a border wall”:

“[A]nti-Islamic propaganda posted by the ‘Heart of Texas’ actually originated in … a so-called ‘troll factory’ called the Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg”:

Iran warns U.S. against “designating its Revolutionary Guards Corp as a terrorist group and said U.S. regional military bases would be at risk if further sanctions were passed”:

News and Analysis (10/5/17)

October 5th, 2017

41 states give official preference to Christianity, 30 to Islam, six to Buddhism, and one to Judaism, Ten are “are hostile to religious institutions of all faiths”:

“Antepli’s is the eighth Muslim prayer offered in the House since 2001, and the first in three years”:

“[T]he Times … appeared to give supremacy to a white Christian girl over a backward Muslim family, and … [ignored] more than 1,500 young Muslim children … [put into] non-Muslim homes”:

A study suggests that whether a perpetrator is a Muslim is a factor in whether people perceive violence as an act of terrorism:

“Mahmood said he now feels uncomfortable about leaving his family at home alone when he goes out to work”:

“Armed with a tiny bit of capital and lots of courage, businessmen are slowly returning to the decimated town [that had been] home to Iraq’s largest Christian community”:

“Once the surrounding area falls, IS will be left controlling only a stretch of land along the border with Syria”:

News and Analysis (10/2/17)

October 2nd, 2017

Whether or not he acted on behalf of ISIS, Stephen Paddock’s crime only adds to the statistics of that white American males are the main terrorist threat in the U.S.:

In England officials are open-minded as to whether the stabbing of a 15-year old was racially or religiously motivated:

The story of Singapore’s new president “is a breakthrough for both Muslims and women, two minority populations. Yacob is Singapore’s first ethnic Malay president in nearly fifty years”:

After “China and Russia supported [Myanmar’s] government while the United States, Britain, and France demanded an end to ‘ethnic cleansing’ of its Rohingya Muslim minority” …

… Bangladesh reports “a ‘working group’ to plan the repatriation of more than half a million Rohingya Muslim refugees who have fled to Bangladesh”:

Muslim Ban 3.0 violates the Supreme Court’s June 26 order by barring even those with a bona fide relationship,” and further “is being weaponized in odd but predictable ways”:

“Polls suggest that Hamas would win in both Gaza and the West Bank. Nonetheless, the move is being hailed by PA officials as a victory for Abbas”:

News and Analysis (9/29/17)

September 29th, 2017

Iran’s FM also called for negotiations for release of American detained in Iran in exchange for Iranians “in prison for technical violations of sanctions that no longer apply today”:

A narrowed “interpretation of the Islamic religion and identity … marginalizes religious minorities, and fails to take account of” Malay Muslims diversity:

Rather than protecting Islam, states policing religion “are only enfeebling their societies, raising hypocrites and causing many people to lose their faith in or respect for Islam”:

Saudi rights activist Sahar Nasief is “optimistic about the future” …

… thanks to a meaningful symbolic step towards ending “a tribal tradition in which male relatives control many of the activities of women”:

“In this debate on whether Muslim women need saving, the voices that are most often ignored are the ones that are most important — those of Muslim women”:

“Barzani has said the vote is not binding, but meant to provide a mandate for negotiations … over the peaceful secession of the region from Iraq:

“The total number of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh is believed to be well over 700,000 people” …

… “The complexity of ethnic and religious relations in Burma is obviously a factor…, but their exasperation is due to causes that have nothing ‘spiritual’ about them”:

“At last year’s gathering, 10 lawmakers spoke to this hate group, including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rep. Peter King of Iowa…. [T]hey expect 10 more congressmen this year”:

News and Analysis (9/26/17)

September 26th, 2017

“[I]f Trump issued an order to ban blacks from the Cabinet but then added Venezuelans and North Koreans. It would still be just as racist” …

… “this issue is far from resolved. Here are some questions looking at how we got here, and where we could go next”:

The British government tried to force him to make available 30,000 sensitive documents in violation of “client confidentiality and legal privilege”:

The Muslim parade’s grand Marshall was a rabbi, and the president of the Muslim Foundation of America welcomed protesters along the route as “democracy in action”:

Against International law, “Israeli soldiers freely fire live bullets at Palestinians during confrontations or military raids” permanently disabling victims by aiming for the kneecaps:

Islam requires women to “be good ‘stewards’ of their bodies,” and while, if necessary, “mammography can be performed by a male technician[, ] … most centers have female staff”:

“Divorce in Islam is regulated by a number of considerations and responsibilities“:

A mosque leader not only kept his promise to visit the shooter every other week during his six month imprisonment, but  gave him his grandfather’s Holy Qur’an as a gift:

President Rouhani’s Meeting with American Muslim Leaders

September 25th, 2017

[These are my notes of President Rouhani’s meeting with American Muslim community leaders during his visit to the United Nations (UN) on Sept. 19, 2017. Pres. Rouhani spoke in Farsi. These notes are NOT a transcription of the official translation, but they represent my impression of the meaning of his remarks. I apologize in advance for any errors regardless as to whether the fault lies with me or the real-time translation.]

When Muslim lands were invaded and occupied by foreign powers, the most important job of Muslims was to defend their lands. The oppressors appeared to have been ejected, but they continue to advance their own interests through those dictators who have been put in place. The West’s scientific and technological advantage helped that process and it is a necessity for the ummah to close this gap. I am happy that Islamic countries in the last few weeks had their first gathering of leaders in science and technology to set forth detailed plans to make such advancements, which the president hopes is the first step to return to the point around the time of the Renaissance when we were the teachers and exporters of scientific and technological knowledge to other countries.

But we have seen a new issue since the beginning of the new century that some of the extremists have started to promote terror and violence under the guise of Islam. Where did this extremism begin? What was the role of Zionism and the great powers? The Great Powers do not want to see terrorism against innocents (by whatever label we put on them) to stop and wish it to continue. Our hearts are filled with sorrow when we see the blood of innocents shed, but there is a higher level of sorrow and pain: besides the heads of innocents Islam is being beheaded.

We have no doubt that true Islam is a guiding light in the world. The Prophet (saws) was not a blessing for Muslims only but for the entire world. For us, religion is to free us from all oppression. The faith of the righteous is to enable them to be guided from the darkness into the light. Yet the religion of light and guidance has become known as the religion of terror, even though the number of terrorist savages does not surpass 100,000 (compared to 1.5 billion Muslims in the world). We cannot have jihad before enlightenment, or we have the jihad of ignorance. The terrorist groups in Iraq no longer have the strong positions they held in the past. Terrorists in Syria and Lebanon have been reduced in the same way, but if terrorism is to be defeated we must present the true face of Islam to our youth. As long as terrorist groups have the power to recruit, the problem has not been solved.

Another problem is the idea that Islam is against the will of the people, against the ballot box, against democracy. But the Holy Qur’an commands us to consult with the people. Did not the Prophet consult with the people even though his knowledge came from the Creator Himself? He taught us by his governance that we must be close to the people, consult with the people and decrease the distance between science, knowledge, logic, and Islam and defeat the mentality that would have it otherwise. Islam is the region of science, of wisdom, and of elections. If we are to choose his path we can ultimately overcome the challenges we face. I do not say democracy is without problems or science is without weaknesses or human knowledge is perfect, but that with science, fairness, and knowledge we must manage our society and hope Almighty God will aid us to fulfill our responsibility during these difficult times.

[During the short question period, attendees expressed gratitude for the virtually unique willingness of the President of Iran (and his predecessors) to openly meet with and listen to American Muslim leaders. One asked that Iran change its policy on Syria (support of the Asad regime). Another urged Iran to connect with the American broader public and to invest in a serious public relations program to that end and to provide aid to the countries hosting refugees.]

Rouhani. The people of Palestine have for seven decades been driven from their homes and their lives and lands. The people of Yemen have been the victims of violence and now of disease. In Myanmar over 100,000 have been displaced and run into Bangladesh. This afternoon the PM of Bangladesh says 400,000 refugees have been driven to Bangladesh in the past decades, and land mines have been laid along their path to prevent them from coming back.

Syria is a complex issue. For six years we have witnessed the suffering of the Syrian people, driven for their homes and killed. There is a mixing of [democratic and liberal] opposition and terrorists. We must create a cease-fire after which peace talks and agreements can take place with a free election to put in place a government which must be respected by all. Those driven from their homes and lands must be repatriated. You see like events in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, in Libya. What we see today are difficulties due to terrorist groups that only benefit the Zionists. We wholeheartedly believe Iran must have good relations with our neighbors but unfortunately there are some countries with which relations are not what we would like them to be, principally Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The only way to overcome these problems is dialogue. The continuation of tensions does not benefit Saudi Arabia or Iran or Bahrain. We must stand next to one another and feel like brothers and like a single family.

It is absolutely true that Iran does not have a strong lobby here. Unfortunately, Mr. Trump in his speech to the UN today spoke of Iran in an insulting manner, not befitting a nation’s president. We are duty bond to live up to our commitments and whenever we have been given a commitment we have lived up to it. We have Megawatt power plants, but we remain absolutely committed to international treaties including the nonproliferation treaty. We have always been against weapons of mass destruction as being against Islam. Within the framework of the treaty all sides must adhere to the agreement. Yet Mr. Trump says it is a shameful deal, which is an insult to his own people. The entirety of the EU entered into this agreement. Pres. Rouhani expressed his joy and gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of this meeting, saying it is his loss that we have not had time to hear from all who have wished to speak.

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