News and Analysis (9/15/18)

September 15th, 2018

“Khankan says she is not challenging the Quran, just rewriting a male-dominated way of worship … ‘by promoting and disseminating new narratives, with a focus on gender equality. It’s not a reform. We’re going back to the essence of Islam'”:

“For Palestinians, America was never an honest broker,” but Trump and Kushner have dropped the facade completely to openly embrace the occupation and offer billions of dollars to the Palestinian leadership to sell out their people’s rights, but so far they have not taken the bait:

When “Dorrie O’Brien proposed that the appointment of Shahid Shafi — who was named vice chairman of the local GOP this summer — be reconsidered in a secret ballot vote … [o]ne Republican booed” but when Shafi “stood to introduce himself, dozens of Republicans gave him a standing ovation”:

Wendy Sherman’s book is “a devastating reminder of just how much the United States invested to build a consensus with allies and adversaries alike, only to have it dismantled by people with a fraction of [her] experience in international matters” …

… more than sanctions, the Iran treaty was possible only because the “United States not only was willing to negotiate but also dropped its unfeasible demand for zero enrichment, leading to a detailed agreement that would ensure that the Iranian nuclear program stayed peaceful”:

Scholars argue that it is “wrong to view Islam as a Malay religion because its teachings [are] universal” and that muftis must “understand different cultures and customs before issuing fatwas”:

After she filed a formal complaint over harassment by prison employees, “she was told she would be put in solitary confinement if she did not remove the scarf before leaving her cell” but a judge dismissed her suit, “saying that it did not provide enough information to show how she had been harmed”:

“In 2017, the agency found that the workers had been harassed and discriminated against for protesting the unannounced policy change that denied them opportunities for obligatory prayer”:

“Israel contends that it’s defending its border and accuses Hamas of using the protests as a screen for attempts to breach the border fence to attack civilians and soldiers. Human rights groups have accused Israeli troops of excessive and unlawful use of force against unarmed protesters”:

News and Analysis (9/12/18)

September 12th, 2018

John Bolton threatens to “use any means necessary” to insulate Israel and the U.S. from what others see as the “recourse for victims of genocide and other war crimes in lawless countries.” offered by the ICC’s “court of last resort [that] seeks to complement, not replace, national courts” …

… while “Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat told reporters in Ramallah that the full range of political, economic and security ties would be reassessed in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision on Monday to shut the Palestinian mission in Washington”:

Modern Israel started life “by passing a series of Orwellian laws which enabled the new state to seize Arab-owned land (over 2 million acres were taken…) and demolish 385 Arab villages—all done in the effort to physically erase any evidence of the prior Palestinian presence”:

After repeatedly being disappointed by U.S., Iraq’s kingmakers, now the swing vote between rival Shia factions, see Tehran as a more attractive partner than Washington:

“Iran shares the United Nations’ concern about a potential humanitarian catastrophe in Syria’s Idlib province and will seek to avert it”:

A state dictated French Islam? The author of the report calling for subordination of Islam to the French state is Hakim El Karoui, “an essayist and ex-Rothschild banker, is also the nephew of former Tunisian Prime Minister Hamed Karoui” …

… while in China the state “intends to extend aspects of its crackdown on Islam in the north-western province of Xinjiang to all religions as is evident from the publication of proposed restrictive guidelines for online religious activity“:

He claimed Muslims are offended by the American flag, but now that he’s met some he co-organized a program on demystifying Islam:

Israeli support for the Syrians who would fight Assad’s Iranian ally instead of the dictator himself was tiny, yet they came to depend on it. Then Israel left them in the lurch:

“Turkey, Russia and Iran reached an agreement to conduct bilateral trade in their own currencies, and to avoid the use of US dollars … that included all trade in petroleum, natural gas and other commodities as well as some banking issues”:

The “play’s director, Maryam Kazemi, and the manager of the theatre in which it was hosted, Saeed Assadi … were taken into custody … on $24,000 … bail each [after a] clip on social media showed female actors dancing with men as part of the trailer”:

News and Analysis (9/9/18)

September 9th, 2018

Trump thinks he can get Palestinians to accept apartheid by “cutting money to cover cancer treatments and other critical care for Palestinians at Jerusalem hospitals” …

… but instead it will stoke the resistance …

… while Iran mocks the Trump regime’s inconsistency in accusing Iran of “‘squandering’ our resources abroad” one week and then of “not financially supported the Palestinians enough” the next:

“There is no evidence that Iran and al Qaeda cooperated in carrying out terrorist attacks, according to a study … based on detailed analysis of documents seized in Osama bin Laden’s hideout after U.S. forces killed the al Qaeda leader in 2011”:

The Trump Administration promised that despite the ban on immigration from certain Muslim countries they would prioritize “the safety of Christians in the region.” Not true:

Apart from the ritual significance of Mecca and Medina, not since the time of Muhammad’s (pbuh) companions had Arabia been the center  of Muslim geography until restoring its position at the expense of the Ottomans became part of modern Britain’s plans for world domination:

[P]rotesters hold Iranian-backed political parties responsible for the mismanagement and poor services in the city” — Prof. Abbas Kadhim, George Washington University:

An expert on the Iraqi military and Middle East history casts doubt on a Reuters story:

“Currency exchange offices will also be allowed to import gold”:

“The single-camera project follows the life of a Muslim woman who has Cerebral Palsy (Zayid), as she struggles to find love, the right career, and discover who she is separate of her opinionated Muslim parents”:

“Video posted on social media allegedly shows Abu Tuyur in a white T-shirt hurling a rock toward Israeli soldiers from a distance then waving at them before he was struck”:

News and Analysis (9/6/18)

September 6th, 2018

“Israel’s new Nation State Law … has already increased the discrimination against Palestinians in Israel to absurd levels: they’re being prohibited from raising chickens, planting potatoes, gathering traditional herbs. Small sewing and knitting factories are being closed down”:

“Amnesty International’s Saudi Arabia campaigner Dana Ahmed called the reports “a disturbing trend in the Kingdom [that] sends a horrifying message that peaceful dissent and expression may be met with the death penalty”:

“[T]his might be the first instance of a government openly using a cryptocurrency to usurp the influence of other governments … [but] it won’t be the first time a government has developed its own cryptocurrency”:

Believing a false Internet report that Muslims had pressured a Catholic Church it removing its cross, Raymond shot down two civilians and two police officers:

“The Salam Sisters represent various racial and ethnic backgrounds…. The dolls were given a wide range of interests and aspirations, including journalism, astronomy, art, history, sports and social leadership”:

The Zionist Organization of America “which had not long ago been accusing Qatar of funding Hamas and terrorism” changed sides in return for Qatar’s suppressing a documentary with “explosive revelations” about Israeli interference in American affairs that could undermine pro-Israeli sentiment in America …

… sentiment already declining as “77 percent of Israelis approved of President Donald Trump’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations, while only 34 percent of American Jews did. Eighty-five percent of Israelis supported” moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem compared to 42% of American Jews:

News and Analysis (9/3/18)

September 3rd, 2018

“Islam does provide for women’s rights, but enforcement is the problem” in South Africa. “How do you leave someone desolate when you know that person was an equal contributor to that marriage?”

An 11-year old student says the madrassa is “friendly and you can practice your religion freely. It’s just a normal school and teaches us about Islam and to respect other faiths so we can make friends. I am very excited about going to high school but I will be sorry to leave”:

At its 2017 world premiere the Berlin International Film Festival, the movie in  which “ex-inmates re-enacted their interrogations and discussed the humiliation they experienced during their detention … won the main documentary prize … and one of three audience awards”:

Blaming “the parties and in the international community’s lack of will or utter inability to bring about a negotiated and peaceful resolution of the conflict between Israel and Palestine,” Krahenbuhl said, “The attempt to make UNRWA somehow responsible for perpetuating the crisis is disingenuous at best”:

Forced into the role of spokeswoman for Islam, an 11-year old girl came to find changing minds fun, but she came to see impressing her “peers by existing as adequately human … as disheartening”:

Forgiving her attacker in court as he pleads guilty, a Muslim teen says, “In the end, because of you I felt so much pain and betrayal and hardships in my life. Because of you, I grew, I forgave and I began changing the world one person at a time”:

A punishment intended to humiliate rather than inflict pain on two women arrested for engaging lesbian sex in a car in a public square draws condemnation of human rights groups. “Lesbian sex is illegal for Muslims in Malaysia under Islamic laws, but not for the country’s … ethnic Chinese and Indians”:

There is no mention of a reward of 72 virgins to martyrs in the Qur’an. Farhana Qazi explains how the twisting of an obscure hadith demonstrates that “[w]ithout proper context, extremists [and, we would add, Islamophobes] will remain forever ignorant and merciless”:

“Media reports say British officials have been asking Japanese officials how they were able to avoid parts of earlier sanctions against Iran”:

News and Analysis (8/31/18)

August 31st, 2018

Worse than cutting off aid to the Palestinians is the effort to strip Palestinians of their refugee status to undermine their inalienable “right of return”:

Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail refuses to condone the LGBT cause, but stands by their “right to exist in Malaysia if they keep their ‘practice’ behind closed doors”:

“[W]ith the crash of the rial, Iranians are using gold for more everyday payments, most notably rent”:

A veteran diplomat says, “U.S. governments should have learned from past experiences that an effort to squeeze an enemy government, strangle its economy, and isolate it from the world rarely works, especially when the desired end remains unclear and deeply contested”:

“Federal officials are investigating whether Farmersville violated the law by banning the religious use of the land” …

… while in Virginia Spotsylvania County had revised rules for cemeteries’ proximity to private wells and drinking water sources. By increasing the distance from 100 feet to 900 feet, the revision effectively barred the property’s use as a cemetery:

“His comments come after the Nobel committee said Ms Suu Kyi would not be stripped of the prize she was awarded in 1991 for campaigning for democracy, despite a UN report concluding Myanmar’s army had carried out genocide against the Rohingya people”:

“The unjust trials of over 200 Dervishes is one of the largest crackdowns against a religious minority in Iran in a decade” — Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch …

… and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was not among the 615 prisoners Ayatollah Khamenei has “pardoned or reduced the sentences for … as part of … Eid Qorban and Eid Qadir” holidays:

“One of the big problems in this case is all the ancillary, inflammatory allegations, when really this case always should have been about a dead four-year-old,” said Tom Clark, an attorney for Ibn Wahhaj. “State prosecutor Timothy Hasson declined to comment”:

News and Analysis (8/29/18)

August 29th, 2018
To demonstrate that “Islam is grounded in equality and freedom and it is against all forms of oppression … Guzman asks each of his subjects to choose a chapter from the Quran or a ‘hadith’ … to accompany their portraits”:

Iran claims US sanctions violate a 1955  treaty. “Although the ICJ’s rulings are binding, it has no power to enforce them” if the Trump administration goes rogue:

Khan’s backs “the blasphemy clause that has served as a ramming rod against minorities and a means to whip crowds into a frenzy and at times turn them into lynch mobs and inspired vigilante killings” while ignoring China’s persecution of Muslims …

… where one million Muslims in internment camps are “forced to renounce Islam, criticize their own Islamic beliefs and those of fellow inmates, … recite Communist Party propaganda[,] … eat pork and drink alcohol, … [and face] torture and death“:

… like too many other Muslim politicians:

China isn’t the only country skilled in the arts of brainwashing, but Israel turns the schools instead of internment camps for its captive audience:

Trump goes easy on corporations but pursues criminal prosecution of individuals:

A UN fact-finding mission wants “the country’s top military generals … investigated and prosecuted for crimes against humanity … [and] accused Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, … of failing to use her position to protect the country’s civilian population”:

“[S]uccess is more likely if the U.S. makes its demands clear, imposes costs on Iran that outweigh the benefits of standing firm and clearly and credibly offers a diplomatic off-ramp to end the pressure. The Trump policy fails each of these tests”:

“The EU’s commitment to maintaining economic ties with Iran, among other things, is fueling calls for greater independence from the U.S.” …

… as Trump’s policy benefits China with “new opportunities, starting with the option to take control of South Pars after Total failed to secure an exemption from the U.S. penalties”:

Sanctions apply pressure that stress the Iranian economy’s weak points. The fact that weak points exist should be attributed to “government corruption, or just old-fashioned bureaucratic incompetence”:

News and Analysis (8/26/18)

August 26th, 2018

“The Palestinian people and leadership will not be intimidated and will not succumb to coercion. The rights of the Palestinian people are not for sale. There is no glory in constantly bullying and punishing a people under occupation” — Hanan Ashrawi:

“The government shouldn’t be allowed to copy and keep our digital lives simply because we travel overseas, … without a warrant, or even probable cause”:

Americans will miss John McCain the defender of a  free press and opponent of torture, but residents of the Middle East remember him as the supporter of war and occupation:

A “judge’s ijtihād here allowed the Court to defend some of the child’s rights in accordance with the Moroccan constitution without violating Islamic law”:

“In the Polish history, for 600 years Tatars have always fought for Poland, from the Battle of Grunwald to September 1939 as separate Tatar units of the Polish army”:

“[R]elations between Azerbaijan and the Jewish communities living there were normally excellent … [until] Azerbaijan became part of the USSR in 1920 when it was invaded by the Red Army”:

Amnesty International says, “Nazanin has had to endure – nearly two-and-a-half years behind bars, eight grueling months of solitary confinement without a lawyer, a deeply unfair trial, and also being subjected to a string of unfounded accusations”:

News and Analysis (8/23/18)

August 23rd, 2018

Tunisia’s Ennahda Party achieves what the nation’s secularists never did: they have elected a woman as mayor of the capital city:

As Israel releases Ahed Tamimi from prison it sentences her brother and to make sure no videos of its troops misbehavior ever surface again passes a law penalizing filming its soldiers while on duty with five to ten years’ imprisonment”:

Executives of Indonesia’s two largest Islamic organizations criticize the government’s conviction of a Buddhist woman on blasphemy charges because she complained that that speakers broadcasting the call to prayer were too loud:

The U.S. media rarely reports the Israel’s daily abductions of Palestinians which this past July alone included “69 children, nine women and five journalists” …

… because Israel “prefers headlines that make Palestinians sound like instigators and terrorists – and when they don’t, a few well-placed phone calls or tweets will usually do the trick. Mainstream media lives in Israel’s pocket” …

… which is a shame since reporting can change things, as following widespread reporting of a 3-year-old denied his mother’s presence for his chemo treatments because she is related to a Hamas member, she will now be allowed to join him:

India finally joined every every other Muslim country in banning “triple talaq” divorce after “a Muslim women’s grassroots organization … conducted research into …  the custom, its history within India and its lack of legitimacy within Islamic law”:

Modest but fun-loving Muslim women “wearing lightweight, form-fitting ‘burkinis’ that covered all but their faces, hands and feet — rappelled down a waterfall, went for joyrides on a tortuous water slide in a forest, and ziplined, four times, through the trees”:

With the collapse of the rial, Iranians can’t afford international travel …

… but “Iran, Russia, and Turkey [can] escape the sanctions stick” by turning gold which has “no political baggage to carry[,] is already widely … used in Iran, Russia, and Turkey” and is sanctioned by Islamic law:

A former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer says Israel is greater threat to U.S. national security than Russia. Powerful Americans will do anything a self-professed Mossad agent says, “including literally dropping their pants”:

“Her new EP, ‘Barbarican,’ addresses her feelings as a Syrian-American woman who is grateful for the freedoms she has in the U.S. but demands more from the so-called greatest nation on Earth”:

News and Analysis (8/22/18)

August 22nd, 2018

With the transfer of the Iran portfolio to Brian Hook (“John Bolton’s man in the State Department”), the “Iran Action Group” might as well be renamed the “Iran Coup Squad,” but it reflects administration doubts about prospects of its Iran policy: 

“During Eid al-Adha , Muslims commemorate Prophet Abraham’s sacrifice by slaughtering an animal such as a sheep, cow or goat. The meat is then given away to friends, family and those in need”:

The head of the “Tarrant County party’s finance committee …  called [Shafi] a patriotic conservative” but Republican Sara Legvold wants him removed because he’s “a practicing. Mosque-attending muslim” (sic):

“The EU has vowed to counter Trump’s renewed sanctions on Iran, including by means of a new law to shield European companies from punitive measures”:

“Sentencing someone to 18 months in prison for something so trivial is a stark illustration of the increasingly arbitrary and repressive application of the blasphemy law in the country” — AI’s executive director for Indonesia:

The founder of  MuslimGirl is “the first veiled Muslim woman to be named to the Forbes 30 under 30 in media”:

“The head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, was quoted by state TV on Wednesday as saying British experts would fill in for the American ones”: