Author Archive

News and Analysis (01/5/15)

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Free speech requires readers be allowed to judge Houellebecq’s claim that although his novel uses “scare tactics … it’s not clear what we are meant to be afraid of, [white far-right] nativists or Muslims;” but then that same freedom should be extended  Roger Garaudy’s The Founding Myths of Israel:

“In effect, HarperCollins[, part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation,] achieved what the former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatened at the stroke of a pen: wiped Israel off the map” – Alex Brummer – “HarperCollins author and vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews”:

“Al-Azhar’s newly formed Monitor of Infedilizing Fatwas Dept., which responds to radical Islamists’ fatwas labeling other Muslims apostates, has already issued many articles slamming the ‘extremist opinions’ of ‘non-specialized’ sheikhs” and its “Facebook page in English … has 56,050 likes thus far”:

“Over the long term, the United States’ years-long campaign to put down the al-Qaida branch is likely to suffer, warns Bill Roggio from Long War Journal, which chronicles militant activities”:

After attacks on a mosque in Sweden, “[r]esidents of Uppsala, Sweden’s fourth-largest city, have gathered to show their support for the local Muslim community after a local mosque was attacked by a petrol bomb”:

“Habib Essid, 65, who has a month to form a coalition and name a Cabinet, occupied several posts under former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, including in the Interior Ministry, which manages the police” but his party “ust form a coalition with several other parties in the parliament to gain a majority”:

“Last month the village was the scene of one of Nigeria’s most deadly incidents since the Islamist insurgency began in 2009, with locals saying 185 of their kin died, most of them civilians and most of them burned to death. That figure has been disputed by the military”:

“[T]he jets struck the tanker twice Monday in Darna before his government was informed that it was commissioned by the local power station…. Darna is a base for Islamic extremists who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group” …

… but as Western interest in intervention mounts, “the speaker of Libya’s internationally recognized parliament spoke out Monday against any Western military intervention in his country”:

Muslims in Kenya celebrate “Mawlid i- Nabi” or the birth of the of the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). “Songs were played in the procession, which also included dance performances carried out by children enrolled in schools teaching Muslims’ holy book, the Quran”:






News and Analysis (1/4/15)

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Hanan Ashrawi calls Israel’s attempts to punish Palestinians for joining the ICC “highway robbery. Not only is this illegal, they are adding money theft to land theft. The revenues belong to the Palestinian people, they go to pay salaries and support our economy. Israel has no business deciding to steal our funds”:

“Dr. Hathout believed that American Muslims would contribute to America by practicing the Islamic values of mercy, equity and justice. He moved many of us from darkness to light and he wanted all of us to discover the power in the Quran’s message to do the same for others” — MPAC Statement  …

… Some attempted to deny Hatout was a moderate Muslim because of his “disparaging remarks he had made about Israel ,” but according his confidant, the late Leonard Rabbi Beerman, “he expressed a gracious desire for communication with those who stood against him. It was a sign of who he was as a man”:

“Rouhani both countered … critics worried Iran will give up too much while also attempting to signal his administration remains open to negotiation … [saying, if] ‘we are ready to stop some types of enrichment which we do not need at this time, does it mean we have compromised our principles and cause?'”

Anti-Muslim demonstrations continue in Germany,but “while thousands demonstrated under the PEGIDA flag in Dresden, thousands more took to the streets of other German cities – including 12,000 in Munich – against racism and Islamophobia” …

… and “[o]ne of Germany’s most famous landmarks, Cologne Cathedral, will be plunged into darkness on Monday evening in protest at a march by a growing grass-roots anti-Muslim movement through the western German city, cathedral authorities said”:

“Sweden has long been a racially segregated country where many immigrants live in ghettos and struggle to find jobs, but that the success of the Sweden Democrats has made racism more socially acceptable”:

“The Islamophobic reaction many of us feared, did not rear its ugly head to the extent as was witnessed in the aftermath of Operation Appleby. Rather, we came together as a family”:

“We hold the U.S. legally responsible for the death of my father. He had developed cancer while being in prison in America. [He] had undergone surgery in a hospital and had been sent back afterwards to prison though his condition had not been stable” — Al Liby’s son his son Ahmed al-Ragye:

Muslim “[l]eaders around the world … have issued strong and unambiguous statements virtually every time a violent attack has occurred, condemning such acts as immoral and counter to the fundamental precepts of Islam. Yet somehow their responses are not being heard, barely registering in the public consciousness”:

“Hardline Islamic groups such as Islamic State and al Qaeda’s Nusra Front have benefited from the infighting [among other rebels] and have emerged as some of the strongest factions in the conflict”:


News and Analysis (1/2/15)

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Defense lawyers … hoped for speedy trial given a changing political climate between Egypt and [Al-Jazeera’s home base] Qatar … which recently promised to ease tensions in the greater Middle East by dropping its support for Islamist groups throughout the region, like Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood”:

After fighting for twenty years, “Muslims living in the city of Kaliningrad, whose application was denied by Russian courts, then made an application to the ECHR. Muslims in Kaliningrad have fought for 20 long years in order to build their own mosque”:

In Great Britain, radicalization of young Muslims “seems to be happening away from the community behind closed doors and when you hear about it, it’s too late… These guys who are radicalized and go abroad – you never see them at any mosque,” said a volunteer youth leader at the Wycombe Islamic Society:

In Nigeria, “[a] leading Nigerian Muslim group has urged Muslims to support military operations against Boko Haram insurgents in the restive northeast, asking them to take up arms to defend themselves against militant attacks”:

Netanyahu “pledged to protect Israeli soldiers from any potential prosecution” for their crimes against humanity, and the U.S. continues to insulate the apartheid state from the consequences …

… “Israel is not a member of the court and does not recognize its jurisdiction. And the court has no police force and no authority to go into Israel and arrest suspects. But it could issue arrest warrants that would make it difficult for Israeli officials to travel abroad”:

“Tunisia set off the Arab uprisings known as the Arab Spring; Tunisia has now demonstrated that democracy and Arab culture can go hand in hand”:

In India, “Men playing the part of enemies of the state in a ‘mock terror’ drill…were made to wear the traditional Muslim hat, triggering indignation in political circles that Muslims are terrorists”:

“Allah calls on Muslims to be affectionate and loving. The state of mind described in the words “…take the believers under your wing” makes it clear that the affection of Muslims must be an ethical model that covers not just certain specific events, but every moment of life.”:


News and Analysis (12/31/14)

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

“What Mr Hellyer longs to see is the emergence, at least in the wider world, of rigorously independent voices who are willing to denounce human-rights abuses by all sides”:

“The fundamental reason behind this shameful situation in many Muslim countries is clearly the failure of political leadership, exacerbated by the sheepish role of the religious scholars and an absence of a strong civil society”:

“We will work today to replace fear with hope. There is no future for Tunisia without consensus and without harmony between all the parties and civil society” – Beji Caid Essebsi, new President of Tunisia:

“Until shortly before the vote on Tuesday, council diplomats had expected the resolution to get nine yes votes. But Nigeria abstained, with its ambassador, U Joy Ogwu, echoing the US position in saying that the path to peace lay ‘in a negotiated solution'” …

… “Palestinian officials are meeting today to plan their next steps, including possibly setting a date to apply to join the International Criminal Court, Palestinian officials told the Associated Press.  Such a move could pave the way to war crimes prosecutions against Israel, the Financial Times reported”:

Last month Sisi “issued a new law that would technically allow him to deport [Peter] Greste, who is an Australian citizen, and possibly [Mohamed] Fahmy, a dual Canadian-Egyptian national. But fearing a backlash among his supporters, he has not yet shown strong intent to use the law, or to issue a pardon”:

In her New Year’s speech, the German chancellor Angel Merkel criticized the anti- Muslim movement in Germany, calling PIEGDA a threat to German values, and urged to”not follow people who organize these, for their hearts are cold and often full of prejudice, and even hate.”:

News and Analysis (12/30/14)

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

In Philadelphia, Muslims organize a rally against racism. “Rally leaders decried those killings and said demonstrators were focused on improving policing practices and police-community relations, not on protesting against police per se”:

After a Muslim leader denounced the Ahmadis on a popular Pakistani television talk show, “Luqman Ahmad Shehzad was shot in the back of the head near Bhiri Shah Rehman village, a small community of Ahmadis in the Gujranwala district” …

… but in Britain a talk show host who described Lebanese men as “idiots” who hated “our country and heritage” pays the price of his fighting words:

Hindu militants have forced the invalidation of the marriage of two consenting adults on a technicality:

“When it comes to Muslim women, it’s still all about what we wear – and the last 12 months only serves to confirm this sad state of affairs. What we say, our achievements, opinions and self-determination continue to be brushed aside” …

… and women who wear the hijab or the niqab are more likely to experience hate- crimes than men, and the rate of the crimes is on the rise, “TELL MAMA, a national project measuring anti-Muslim incidents, has told Sky News that over the last 18 months they have seen a 5-10% increase”:

“None of the claimed long term objectives for the war in Afghanistan, either from the Bush or Obama administrations, have been achieved.”:

The country’s vice president claims it is. The evidence suggests otherwise:

John Kerry will no longer use the term “Islamic State” to describe Daesh. The idea is ‘to distinguish between Islam and the Islamic State. As French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius explained, “I do not recommend using the term Islamic State because it blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims and Islamists”’:

What does Obama have in common with Winston Churchill?

In the Holy Land of Palestine where Jews, Christians and Muslims lived for many years, Palestinians celebrate Christmas, where people like Saleh Murtaja, “the owner of Hadayana gift shop, said he has sold many Christmas trees to both Christians and Muslims this year”:


News and Analysis (12/27/14)

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

“In Raqqa, once a city of more than 200,000 people, the militants have kicked locals out of their homes and doled out those houses as rewards to fighters and their families, many of whom come from impoverished backgrounds”: …

… but “Isis’s vaunted exercise in state-building appears to be crumbling, as living conditions deteriorate across the territories under its control”:

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld will reconsider its previous decision as to whether Evangelicals demonstrating shouting “crude messages at [Arab] festival attendees” engaged in “disorderly conduct” or merely practicing their 1st amendment rights to publicly express their hatred and ignorance”:

“More than one-third of the Netherlands’ 475 mosques have experienced at least one incident of vandalism, threatening letters, attempted arson, the placement of pigs’ heads, or other aggressive actions in the past 10 years”:

“The arrest of the boy … sparked an outcry, with opposition parties denouncing it as the latest example of the government’s descent toward authoritarianism and its crackdown on dissent. Dozens of lawyers volunteered to defend the teen and petitioned for his release”:

Kenya passes anti-terrorism laws where the country’s’ leading Muslim scholars must not make any negative speech against the government, and such meetings regarding this must be held. Any gathering that criticises the government will be considered a terrorist supported meeting.”:

Can new Muslim celebrate Christmas? The answer is “there is no reason for new Muslims to refuse to join their families on such festive occasions, as long as they do not practice rituals that are considered objectionable-from an Islamic point of view”; e.g., skip the rum in the egg nog:

In Nigeria, “More than 200 Muslim youth volunteers were part of those protecting Christians during church services to celebrate this year’s Christmas”:

The “Muslim community in Malawi has intensified efforts to use teachings from the Holy Quran in order to safeguard the sanctity of marriage and reduce soaring rates of divorce” sparked in part by gender-based violence:

Obama can make history if he recognizes Palestine’s statehood.  Citizenship, is a basic human right, and “Palestinians, as stateless, not only lack most basic human rights, they do not even have a right to have such rights”:



News and Analysis (12/25/14)

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Why do Muslim countries such as the UAE use Christmas decorations in public spaces when Muslims don’t celebrate Christmas? …

… Meanwhile, Linda Sarsour explains that some Muslims celebrate Christmas because “Jesus is very central to Islam and is someone I take great inspiration from”:

… and “Rabbi Jason Miller, Imam Shamsi Ali and Fr. James Martin joined HuffPost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani to discuss what Jesus means to them.”:

Atheist C.J. Werleman “had intended to be as scathing of the Koran as I had been with the Bible, but” his research made it “glaringly obvious that New Atheists … and Islamophobes in general … were equally culpable of taking Koranic verses out of context as were terrorist groups like al-Qaeda” …

… dividing himself from those accusing actor Ben Affleck of “living in a ‘unicorn-like world’ for his critique of those who engage in uninformed polemic to suggest Islam is “an intolerable religion”:

“Several people close to the defendants … say that [they] are not being charged for defying the driving ban but for opinions they voiced online. They declined to elaborate on the specific charges due to the sensitivity of the case. All spoke anonymously for fear of government reprisal”:

What does  “Moderate Islam” mean? “The imperialist trend insists that Muslims condemn Muslim fanaticism, but do nothing to oppose the extremist agenda of the military industrial complex that too often (mis)guides American foreign policy or the prison industrial complex”:

This defendant was  defendant “was accused of apostasy ‘for speaking lightly of the Prophet Mohammed…. [He] explained that it was ‘not his intention to harm the prophet’ … but the judge agreed to the prosecutor’s request for the death penalty” even though “Mauritania … has not executed anyone since 1987”:

The number of protesters alarms German politicians because of support from far-right groups and concerns that anti-foreigner sentiment might be rising despite PEIGA claims that “they are protesting only against extremism and not against immigrants or Islam itself”:

After the Iraq war, all Iraqis have been experiencing injustices in the name of democracy, regardless of religion. Pope Francis “challenged Muslim religious leaders Tuesday to ‘unanimously’ condemn the violent persecution of Christians in the Middle East, as well as killing in the name of God.”:

News and Analysis (12/23/14)

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Karen Armstrong sets out to dispell the bogeymen “that the idea that religion is a gratuitous cause of violence, whose elimination would promote peace[,] … that Islam is an egregious case of a religion that inspires violence[, and] that … the ‘Christian’ … is a more benign global force”:

“[H]alf of SALAM’s congregation is under 30, [the imam] characterized his clash with the board as “a struggle between two generations …, young and the old, the progressive and conservative, people who would like to maintain the status quo and those who would like to break through the roof”:

Instead of putting British Muslims on a one-dimensional “spectrum from ‘extremist’ to ‘normal’ … Bowen has produced a mapping of the adaptations – and maladaptations – that various forms of institutional Islam have made to British society, and their continuing closeness to [their] societies and histories of origin:

“[T]he staying power of PEGIDA in Dresden underlines a gap between East and West Germany, in which the former faces higher unemployment, exclusion, and crucially, far lower rates of immigration – and consequently less tolerance” …

… “Pegida’s organisers have been branded “Nazis in pinstripes” by the centre-left Social Democrats in the ruling coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats.”:

“Diversity is not a curse from God. It is a blessing, for in diversity we are saved from the withering effects of uniformity, from the boredom of the sameness…. One Quranic verse is particularly helpful in this regard:  ‘We made you into tribes and nations (different) so that you may know each other.’ (49:13)”:

If we “don’t hear the Muslim leadership speaking out against the radicals … [m]aybe we’re not listening hard enough (or it isn’t being reported enough)”:

“Religious leaders from the St. Cloud area are standing with the Muslim community after a mosque was damaged by vandals four times in one month”:

UN Reports  said that “displaced Muslim residents, forced to escape the conflict in other parts of CAR over the past 12 months, were now trapped in camps in the western half of the country, living in abysmal conditions and under constant duress”:

“Despite losing fighters by the hundreds, the IS has proved difficult to stamp out, maintaining a solid foothold in the frontier town. IS has also kept a grip on 381 villages in the wider district, villages the jihadi group seized with alarming speed in September”:

News and Analysis (12/19/14)

Friday, December 19th, 2014

The “Dharm Jagran Samiti (DJS) functionary … was reacting to the arrest of Nand Kishore Valmiki, a DJS activist [who] … was arrested on Tuesday for his alleged involvement in forcefully converting over 100 Muslims to Hinduism in Agra”:

“In Geneva, the international community delivered a stinging rebuke to Israel’s settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, saying the practice violates Israel’s responsibilities as an occupying power” …

… while an EU procedural ruling that “inclusion of the group was not based on a ‘concrete examination’ of Hamas’s acts but on ‘imputations derived from the media and the internet'” paves the way for a more objective comparison of Hamas’s record and Israel’s” …

… and the European Parliament has finally voted to recognize statehood of Palestine “in principal.” The vote “was carried by 498 votes to 88 with 111 abstentions”:

Muslims and Jews come together in support of the victims of police brutality against African-Americans:

Despite the fear of a backlash after the Sydney Siege, the Australian community has shown solidarity through the “#illridewithyou” which has gone viral, “Silma Ihram, of the Australia Muslim Women’s Association, said she had faith that Australian would come together in the wake of tragedy.”:

“Physicians for Human Rights called [for] a commission of inquiry to examine the participation of CIA and private medical personnel in the interrogation program, including possible breaches of domestic and international laws”:

News and Analysis (12/17/14)

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

“[T]here are [monsters] in every country, and there are some in this country. Our obligations are to deal with some of the warmongers we have here and the infractions of our liberties here at home. But there is no moral obligation, there’s no constitutional authority, and there’s no practical advantage for us [to go abroad]”:

Man Haron Monis is a “damaged good” as described by his doctor, so “[t]here is no point in trying to place him,  as some have attempted, in an overarching discourse of Islamist terrorism and history, because he was plainly not a terrorist but a mentally disturbed individual and serial sex offender”:

As the anti- Muslims demonstrators take the streets, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the protesters are being exploited by the organizers of these protests and there is “no space for hate campaigns and slander”:

Cheney is giving up politics to become a doctor: ‘Cheney said sticking pureed hummus, pasta and nuts up a detainee’s anus was “done for medical reasons,” and he said, repeatedly, that “waterboarding is not torture”’:

“This is a serious matter, and we don’t want to escalate the crisis, but at the same time [we] condemn the forcible conversions” — Maulana Khalilur Rahman Noorie, general secretary of the Association of Imams:

“Austria’s Muslim organizations said the government violated the rights of an estimated 600,000 Muslims in the country after officials sent a proposed law, dubbed the ‘Islamic Bill,’ to parliament without first consulting the Muslim community”:

“The latest escalation comes days after Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi delivered a strongly worded speech … [accusing] President Hadi of harboring al-Qaida and leaving the country infested with corruption. Opponents of the Houthis … accuse them of being a proxy for Shiite powerhouse Iran”:

Who would have thought that fashion could unite Muslims and Jews? “A&F has brought American Muslims and Jews together…Nathan Lewin, the lawyer for these Jewish organizations, explained to the Los Angeles Times, men and women in the orthodox Jewish communities have also faced discrimination”: