July 11, 2016

News & Analysis (7/11/16)

The University Chaplain of Duke University makes a statement in support of Black Americans and their struggle for justice in the United States, including a call for reform within the Muslim ummah in general and within Muslim Student Associations in particular:

Despite all the seemingly ubiquitous Islamophobic Rhetoric, a Brookings Institution poll shows the American perception of Muslims is improving, especially in the wake of the Orlando attack:

A former member of the religious police in Saudi Arabia is interviewed about religion in the kingdom. Other figures are also consulted:

Yet again, the niqab becomes an object of debate in Western countries. This time, allowing it to be a reason for the termination of employment:

In Australia, a Muslim woman has been elected to parliament for the first time, and the second Muslim overall:

These girls describe the multi-faceted issues of acceptance many young American Muslims face, through slam poetry:

The ICJ ruling “that Israel’s wall, as well as its settlements, violate the Fourth Geneva Convention … helps to underscore the prejudicial nature of the discussion about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Western mainstream media and particularly in the U.S.”:

“It is difficult with some of these countries to know exactly what is government funding and what is not when you are dealing with royal families, wealthy princes and those kind of things”:

“In practice, the law will affect liberal groups almost exclusively because hawkish groups in Israel largely rely on donations from wealthy individuals, which are exempt”:

July 9, 2016

News & Analysis (7/9/16)

Russia’s new law attempting to stop terror, is a significant affront to freedom. This includes a crackdown on “missionary” activity: including sharing religion outside church:

A far-right party in Britain is labeling British Muslim politicians as extremist “occupiers:”

Some Turkish citizens are calling out the popular televangelists for their lavish lifestyle and Ramadan hauls:

Sing Sing prison in New York is regarded by many prisoners as quite accommodating to Ramadan requirements…

…However, in some prisons in Britain discrimination is increasing:

A Muslim mother discusses raising her child in the United States and worrying about him feeling left out by not having a Christmas tree:

July 7, 2016

News & Analysis (7/7/16)

Images of Eid celebrations “as worldwide displacement reaches an all-time high, with Muslim-majority Syria being the largest driver of displacement” …

… and violations of the Eid truce have already been reported:

Tony Blair stands by his decision to bring Britain into the Iraq invasion despite a thorough British government inquiry finding it to have been a bad choice:

This piece of analysis puts much of the news into perspective, namely, that Islam has not always been the “enemy” of America:

Can Islam’s reverence for motherhood put an end to the “takfiri” horror? The bombing of Medina, like the matricide of the woman who refused to let her sons fight in Syria demonstrates the anti-Islamic nature of terrorism:

“ISIS is not about submitting to Islam. Rather, ISIS is of the persuasion that you must either solely submit to ISIS, or die.” The article also includes images from Muslims and allies as to why they “challenge Islamophobia:”

“Of the 26 attacks since 9/11 that the [New America Foundation] defined as terror, 19 were carried out by non-Muslims:”

This author believes that the ruling elite in Muslim countries are corrupt. She hopes that this Eid will be more than a ritual, and rather will usher in efforts for justice. This starts with everyone looking within themselves:

President Sall freed petty criminals as well as some political prisoners before Eid:

France debates whether allowing Muslim students to take their exams a day after Eid constitutes a violation of secularism:


July 6, 2016

News & Analysis (7/6/2016)

“Through its monstrous acts, ISIL has long taken Rumsfeld’s ‘shock and awe’ doctrine and extended it to terrorise Muslims into submission to its bloody barbarism:”

People are still left questioning the divergence in responses between terror attacks. A Muslim-American journalist expresses her “faith in the power of words to decrease the empathy gap between Muslim deaths and non-Muslim deaths”:

Australia is just one example of how resurgent world-wide right-wing populism targets Islam:

A book about Muslims in the suburbs has some observations known to American Muslims, but so often unfathomed by the media. It shows that they create “Third Spaces:” where ideas and cultures blend, well beyond the masjid:

Dudley, Massachusetts to Muslims: Bury your dead in Connecticut:


July 4, 2016

News & Analysis (7/4/16)

“I am a Muslim and I advocate for human rights worldwide. I love my headscarf dearly, and I respect women who decide to protest topless. Simply, because Islam taught me not to judge others”:

It has proven easy to tune out the violence against the innocent civilians of Iraq:

Three suicide bombs went off in Saudi Arabia, two in Qatif, and one outside the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. Six people were killed in the latter attack:

CAIR in Florida is taking the response to extremism and Islamophobia into their own hands, by being vigilant. They are skeptical of the governments effectiveness in either field:

The racialization of Muslims as dark-skinned Middle Easterners. is demonstrated by the fact that those that fit that stereotype are profiled and face attacks, no matter their religion:

Not all Muslims in China have the same status as those in Xinxiang. A semi-autonomous region of Han Chinese Muslims with a good relationship to the Communist Party enjoy increased religious freedom:

“Khalidi divides Muslim thinkers into those who regard the Koran as the end of knowledge and those who regard it as the beginning of knowledge. The Koran should be used to question the world, ‘to confront its mysteries’:

July 2, 2016

News & Analysis (7/2/16)

The debate over the government’s report on the number of civilian deaths from drone strikes is exemplified by the dispute over whether young men of military age are automatically presumed to be combatants:

A terror attack on a Bangladesh bakery popular with foreigners has highlighted concerns over the Bangladeshi government’s ineffectiveness in the face of extremist Islamist attacks:

This article illustrates the tendency to see Muslims as responsible for terrorism, even when they constitute the majority of the victims and argues that there is no inherent conflict between Islam and “the West”:

Holding all Muslims suspect for the actions of a few is unfair and against freedom. The small community of Muslims is targeted for surveillance despite the fact there has been no Muslim terrorist attack:

The Chicago Police, a force already mired in controversy, last year arrested a Muslim woman, for no apparent reason. She was just cleared of any wrongdoing by a court, but now the police have to answer:

From the perspective of American converts to Islam, the crux of the religion is a personal relationship with God, who has no partners, and gives their soul peace. This runs contrary to typical media portrayals of what Islam is:

June 29, 2016

News & Analysis (6/29/16)

Turkey observes a national day of mourning after a heinous attack in Istanbul last night. Well over 200 people were injured above the 41 killed. Officials believe Daesh is responsible:

The popular conspiracy theory among Islamophobes that all Muslim organizations are fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood have made it to the Senate of the United States. The sheer boldness and stupidity of these claims never ceases to amaze:

In the United Kingdom, there has been a three-fold increase of public attacks on Muslims, mostly on women, usually those with hijabs. Social media seems to be a tool of radicalization for the attackers, who are usually mobs of teenagers:

The Swiss have strict rules of naturalization, based partly on the level of assimilation into the local culture. The refusal of participation in a compulsory swimming class resulted in a rejection of citizenship:

The Indian supreme court is seeking to bring equality to women by banning unjust practices in Muslim traditions. However, most, if not all, of these practices are already not in line with Islamic law, especially the Qur’an, which emphasizes just the gender justice they are seeking:

June 27, 2016

News & Analysis (6/27/16)

According to the author, the best model is a “[n]eutral, non-interventionist state…that guarantees individual freedom…” Furthermore, modernization is not the same as secularization, contrary to what some may think:

The state has no right to regulate the religious practice of people. However, a mostly-Muslim country should be aware that the Qur’an clearly states that those who are ill are exempt from fasting:

“The fatwa stated that a female-born transgender person having ‘visible signs of being a male’ may marry a woman or a male-born transgender with ‘visible signs of being a female’, and vice versa. However, it ruled that … [an] intersex [person] may not marry anyone”:

Masters Students are protesting the lack of jobs in Egypt, even though protests are not allowed. Their situation is worsened by a “bloated” and “labyrinthine” civil service bureaucracy. The Egyptian government may be “the single largest employer in the Middle East”:

Turkey’s resumed diplomatic relations with Israel and Russia may be a case of “practical realpolitik overriding ideological considerations” …

… since the only possibility of a coup against Erdogan lies in the possibility of mass public protests in response to further foreign policy blunders or excessive zeal in fighting Kemalist  laïcité:

A pastor criticizes the lack of religious tolerance from some Christians toward Muslims. The problem, he says, are “zealots,” presumably on both sides, who preach hate and mask the positive aspects of their faiths:

June 26, 2016

News & Analysis (6/26/16)

Michele Flournoy doesn’t deny advocating military intervention, but only insists that she stopped short of boots on the ground”:

Historical context and analysis shows how America’s “cultural and demographic ignorance” explains why its decades-long political and military geopolitical engagements “exacerbate rather than diminish the region’s myriad difficulties”:

U.S. Law does not allow transfers to the prisoners’ own lands, so the government sends them to its Balkan allies instead:

Islam is the fastest growing religion in the U.S. and the world. These portraits challenge Islamophobia by providing a sampling of the diversity of American Muslims:

In making the accusation, the lawyer for the restaurant accelerates his campaign promoting the idea that merely being visibly Muslim is act aimed at destroying Western Civilization:

A preacher on Facebook accused a group of “radical Muslims” of rallying around a picture of Jesus decapitated. In fact, it was an image of Imam Hussain and the people were Shia Muslims celebrating Arbaeen, mourning the martyrdom of the Prophet’ Muhammad’s (pbuh) grandson:

“Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory in Fallujah over a week ago…. He pledged that remaining pockets of IS fighters would be cleared out within hours, but fierce clashes on the city’s northern and western edges persisted for days.”:

An immigrant from Afghanistan recalls how they were treated by their neighbor after two terror incidents in Norway. It shows how dangerous–and easy–it is to blame an entire group for the actions of few:

June 24, 2016

News and Analysis (6/24/16)

A mosque was destroyed in a village in Myanmar, belonging to the persecuted Rohingya Muslims. The president, Aung San Suu Kyi refuses to recognize the Rohingya as an ethnic group, nor call them by their preferred name:

A NYPD policeman dismissed from his job because of his “violation” of the department’s beard policy recently won his first amendment freedom of religion case in court:

The Civil War in Yemen is continuing with Saudi involvement in the fighting. The United States continues to support them because it prefers the devil it knows:

The killing of Jo Cox, British member of Parliament, illustrates, yet again, the hypocrisy following mass shootings/acts of terror. The media has taken pains to avoid calling him a terrorist, even though he was motivated to kill an innocent person by extremist political views:

“No fly, no buy” has been presented as a common-sense gun safety measure. However, upon closer inspection all it does is doubly-oppress those that have been placed on a “watch list” that is beyond appeal as neither its members nor its criteria are public:

“[O]nly through an equation combining respect for collective culture with individual freedoms and the demands of identity with the reality of pluralism, can Muslim societies hope to regain their lost equilibrium and stability”:

Why does Rachid Ghanouchi collaborate with a party “whose raison d’etre is to oust Islamists and restore secular governance”? Partly practical politics and partly because he thinks the notion of “political Islam” is “a Western concept”:

A Muslim woman in London, Canada had her hijab ripped off at a supermarket. Earlier this Ramadan, a bloody pig’s head in a gift basket was left at the steps of a mosque in Quebec:

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