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News and Analysis (10/22/12)

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

“[T]he Catholic Church’s fraught relation with Islam has emerged as one of the main themes at a major gathering of the world’s bishops in Rome”:

“A ban on girls wearing the Islamic headscarf to a school in southern Russia has angered Muslims and forced President Vladimir Putin, who has robustly defended the Orthodox Church, to affirm that Russia is a secular state”:

“A school should provide a secular education, that is what a school is for, and all the more Russian schools,,,, We have enough madrasas open for those who want a spiritual education” — an anonymous teacher:

“This is a landmark of the end of Fatah” — Mahdi Abdul-Hadi, head of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs:

Authorities fired teargas and stun grenades as thousands took to the streets of Kuwait City to oppose changes to the electoral law that could hobble the opposition at polls due in December. Critics have accused the government of staging a constitutional “coup”:

Once largely immune to the violence that has swept over Syria since the anti-Assad revolt began in March 2011, Damascus has become a frequent target of bombings in recent months …

“Many in the Lebanese opposition see the hand of Damascus behind Friday’s car bomb that killed the intelligence chief – heightening tensions in a country already dangerously divided between supporters and opponents of the Assad regime in Syria”…

… and the Jordanian state news agency claims Al-Qaida operatives brought in arms from Syria in a  terrorist campaign aimed at Western diplomats, foreign nationals and shopping centers:

BARBED wire and armed troops guard the Muslim quarter of a violence-wracked city in western Myanmar, a virtual prison for the families that have inhabited its narrow streets for generations. The security forces outside the ghetto in the Rakhine state capital Sittwe are not there to stop its residents leaving – although few dare to anyway – but to protect them from Buddhist mobs after an outburst of sectarian hatred”:


News and Analysis (10/9/12)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

“We want to give a message to America that the more you carry out drone attacks, the more people will hate you,” says Imran Khan, while leading thousands to a protest against drone strikes; a statement that demonstrates why anti-American sentiments sell in Middle East politics:

The women’s mosques and female imams estimated to be in the hundreds “are important because their endurance in China offers a vision of an older form of Islam that has inclusiveness and tolerance, not marginalization and extremism, at its core, the scholars say”:

“American Muslims, polls also reveal, will be critical for the victory of either Obama or Romney in at least three states; namely, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. But in already-decided states, like the blue state of New Jersey, the community has flexed its political muscle in not only local races but also in congressional battles”:

“[A]rmy commanders say they lack the firepower to capture the militiamen”:

Pat Buchanan asks: “If Iran advances ideas to demonstrate convincingly that it has no weapons program, but insists on what President Obama said he supports — Iran having a peaceful nuclear program under U.N. inspection — will America accept that?”

All three islands are strategically located. A treaty signed by the late, deposed shah gives Iran rights over Abu Musa, but the “UAE insists [the other two islands] belonged to the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah until [the shah] captured them by force days before the UAE statehood in 1971”:

“All felony convictions or attempted crimes ‘committed to support the revolution and its goals’ were to be pardoned, the decree stated, with the exception of murder cases”:

“He told a judge that he denied charges that he conspired with US nationals to set up a terrorist training camp in the state of Oregon” just before she “set a [trial] date of 26 August 2013”:

News and Analyisis 9/30/12

Monday, October 1st, 2012

“Information released by the US spy agency, the CIA, has revealed that because of its many undesirable side effects, scopolamine had been disqualified as a truth drug. It listed its most disabling side effects as hallucinations, disturbed perception, headaches, rapid heartbeat, and blurred vision”:

“Bahrain’s highest court has upheld prison sentences for nine medical personnel convicted for their role in anti-government protests last year,” accused “of siding with protesters from Bahrain’s Shiite majority, which is seeking a greater political voice in the Sunni-ruled nation”:

Rioters “blamed the photo on a 25-year-old local Buddhist, though it was not immediately clear if he actually posted the photo”:

“Addressing thousands of party members and regional leaders at a congress of his Justice and Development (AK) Party, Erdogan said the era of military coups in the nation of 75 million people was over”:

The “the UN is turning a blind eye to its own” resolutions against “the defamation of religions, religious symbols, venerated persons, and even an insult to Islam and the Muslims”:

A ban prompted by the contriversy over the Islamophobic video “sparked a slew of complaints from Internet users and officials in Iran”:

“There are widespread worries among Egyptians that Morsi and the Brotherhood have amassed too much power, holding executive and legislative authorities as well as dominating the process of writing the next constitution”:

A series of clips highlighting the selective approach of the media to events in the Muslim world; insults against women stir as much protest as the notorious Muhammad-bashing film:

“Authorities have stressed they were not investigating the making of the film itself, and prosecutors said Nakoula was in custody facing eight probation violation accusations. They did not list the violations but said he had used aliases and could face up to 24 months behind bars if he is found at a later hearing to have violated terms of his release”:

News and Analysis (9/16/12)

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Robin Wright says Chris Stevens “was less an advocate of U.S influence than of U.S. enabling” and “would almost certainly have urged his bosses to hold off on extraterritorial intervention” in Libya:

The cause of the death of the US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, remains controversial. While the US and the UN now claim it was the result of  a spontaneous attack, Libya’s parliament chief blamed the attack on “a few foreign extremists who he said entered Libya from Mali and Algeria and pre-planned it with local affiliates and sympathizers”:

Even in safer areas where schools were open, classrooms sat empty and teachers signed into work solely as a formality:

A Human Rights Watch researcher fears that the backlash against the Islamophobic American film “The Innocence of Muslims” “could bolster a preexisting effort to insert a clause banning religious insults into Egypt’s new constitution”:

Appeals such as Youssef al-Qaradawi’s call that the “manner of protesting should reflect sense and reason … while frequent from many Islamic leaders and scholars in the past week — have competed against opposing calls” from “[p]olitical factions and hardline clerics” seeking “to capitalize as after other perceived offenses against the faith”:

“Surely if the sentence of the Imam (Khomeini) [against Salman Rushdie] had been carried out, the later insults in the form of caricatures, articles and the making of movies would not have occurred,” is the dubious claims from a representative Khamenei: that overlooks the damage the rescinded threat has done to the Muslim world:

“American Muslims are a wasted asset. Probably more than most they understand and appreciate the value of free speech and the [F]irst [A]mendment and could play a crucial role in acting like a bridge between America and … the Islamic world provided that they feel genuinely included in the political discourse and be treated with respect”:

Bernard Lewis rejects Edward Said’s charge that Orientalism is part of the imperialist project, yet his “academic” writings include such chauvinistic claims as “this capacity for empathy, vicariously experiencing the feelings of others, is a peculiarly Western feature”:

News and Analysis (9/10/12)

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Violence erupts as Vice President al-Hashemi accuses President al-Maliki of aspiring to be Iraq’s new dictator:

“Sixteen Muslim preachers from a moderate sect were shot dead in central Mali as they traveled by road to a religious conference…. Early reports indicate that the men’s long beards aroused the suspicion of Mali’s military, which confused them for the extremists who have taken over the nation’s north”:

During his previous visits to Syria – in March and May – Jacques Beres, co-founder of medical charity Medecins Sans Frontiers said he had dismissed suggestions that the rebels were dominated by Islamist fighters but he said he had now been forced to reassess the situation:

Mohammed Morsi vowed to carry out tough structural reforms to overhaul his country’s ailing economy and create a better environment for business and investment, participants in a meeting between corporate executives and the president said on Sunday:

“Muslims are being seen as an impossible-to-integrate, fast-reproducing invasion force who follow a religion that’s more an ideology of conquest than a faith. Using the latest facts and figures,” Doug Sanders demonstrates “the far less alarming truth about these new arrivals”:

“Although Afghan President Hamid Karzai has hailed the handover, disagreements with the US remain. Washington is insisting that it will maintain control over some detainees in the prison”:

The “chief negotiator of the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said more than 50 percent of the issues being tackled by the rebels and government negotiators in Malaysian-brokered talks have been settled in principle” and “President Benigno Aquino III has expressed hope that a peace pact can be signed as early as December”:

The increased political involvement of American Muslims draws advocates from both sides of the gay marriage debate::

Thousands of Ahmadiyya Muslims from around the world have been holding their 46th annual convention in Hampshire over the weekend:


News and Analysis (8/3/12)

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Our previous research is confirmed by a new study on the rhetoric of Islamic extremists that recommends that “western leaders abandon claims that Islamists seek world domination and focus instead on addressing the grievances the groups use:

Al-Azhar successfully pushes back against an alleged attempt to appoint a Wahabi-style “Salafi” as the new minister of religious endowments:

“[N[onproliferation experts and Middle East analysts are skeptical of Israeli claims that the Tehran regime is so close to building a nuclear weapon that time is running out for a peaceful resolution of the decades-long standoff”:

China is discouraging some Muslims in the far western region of Xinjiang from fasting during Ramadan. The government says the move is motivated by health concerns, but others said Friday that it’s a risky campaign to secularize the Muslim minority:

“The king’s bold moves spared Morocco the turmoil and instability many other countries are experiencing,” but do Moroccans “believe that a significant process of reform … has stalled and [will they] choose to take matters into their own hands”:

“The exaggerated version of truth about violence in Myanmar propagated by religious groups in Pakistan to recruit and fund their own agendas”:

Islam at the Olympics:

The resignation of Kofi Annan … emphatically confirmed what events on the ground had already been making clear: The country’s fate is far more likely to be decided by force than by negotiations”:

News and Analysis (8/1/12)

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012
Undeterred by the backlash against Michelle Bachmann’s propagation of his wild conspiracy theories, Frank Gaffney now takes sets his sights on destroying the most effective conservative organizer in America:
Israel proposes to resolve the quandary of second class status of its Muslim and Christian citizens by forcing them into involuntary servitude under the euphemism of “non-military service”:
“Muslim leaders presented the case as an issue of religious liberty, while the town’s Communist mayor Jacques Bourgoin insisted his concern was only for the safety of the campers”:
“Although publicly Mr. Crocker has sometimes presented the glass as half-full when assessing the situation in foreign countries, fellow diplomats say that his private analyses tend to be stark and unromantic” after almost four decades repeatedly confronting “the limits of American power and the hostility of many … to what the United States stands for”:
Huh? In order to prove that it does not recognize polygyny, Britain will INCREASE the welfare aid to polygynous families by  counting excess wives as single women:
Three-hundred and twenty five people died in violence in Iraq in July, making it the deadliest month in the restive country since August 2010, when 426 perished, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday:

“Human Rights Watch called for a strong international response to “atrocities” committed during … violence in western Myanmar that left at least 78 people dead has subsided but many tens of thousands remain homeless — mostly Rohingya in need of food, shelter and medical care”:

Explaining that the Arab Spring has brought the repeal of mandatory seat belt laws to Tunisia, a cab driver explains, “Freedom is not doing something even when you know it’s in your best interest to do it”:

Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi has freed a group of Islamists jailed for militancy during Hosni Mubarak’s era, a step seen as a gesture to hardliners who supported his presidential bid:

News and Analysis (7/27/12)

Friday, July 27th, 2012

A gang of 62 including “Karl Rove, J. Paul Bremer, Fouad Ajami, Doug Feith, Danielle Pletka, and Michael Ledeen” beat the drums to turn Syria into the next Iraq …

… but even they should understand we don;t need another Ahmed Chalabi:

An an unconfirmed PressTV report claims protests have broken out in Riyadh for the release of political prisoners, one of the two women to successfully persuade the Saudi government to allow them to compete in the Olympics finds “the International Judo Federation is moving against the tide in international sports: to stand in her way:

“Islam is a religion of peace. Violence has often been a part of us, in Indonesia, Thailand, North Africa and the Middle East but peace is not the absence of violence, but the presence of justice, which rests on equality and it is us that need to create competence in order to be equal.” An exchange of thoughts within a Muslim community in Thailand:

The Appeals Court in Malaysia upheld a high court decision to lift a home ministry ban of a book, entitled ‘Muslim Women and the Challenges of Islamic Extremism’ which contains, among others, issues discussing the impact of fundamentalist Muslim movements on women rights:

Muslim youth protest the ban on a rap song in praise of hijab:

Egypt’s President Mohammed Mursi has held talks with the head of the Hamas-led government in Gaza, Ismail Haniya:

“I’ve lived here for 19 years in America. I grew up here. I don’t think I should be treated in this way,” said one of the nine Muslims who “said they were fired Wednesday from the plant for using their breaks to pray during the Muslim holiday of Ramadan”:

“[G]roups such as Amnesty International say Rohingyas are the victims of state-sanctioned violence and discrimination in a country that has a long history of mistreating ethnic minorities”:


News and Analysis (7/25/12)

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

“A nearly five-year legal saga will conclude Thursday for Falls Church resident Jamal Abusamhadaneh when he takes the oath of citizenship at a federal courthouse, after a federal judge ruled that immigration authorities wrongly drew sinister conclusions about aspects of his Muslim faith”:

“How easily we forget that in the West, civic liberalism was preceded by the Protestant Reformation. The liberalization of Christian theology and its daily interface with ordinary folk ushered in secular politics. But that did not mean Christianity stopped influencing politics”:

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt finds itself on an ideological pendulum between the liberals and Salafists that can only be slowed down by a successful economic strategy:

A fully veiled Egyptian Islamic Channel has been launched at the beginning of Ramadan. A lot can be said about the cultural transformations that have allow even the  women with the most conservative  backgrounds in Egypt to run and maintain a TV channel:

“Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi surprised the nation Tuesday by naming an obscure bureaucrat as his new prime minister to form a government that probably will be held in check by military leaders during an unsteady transition to democracy”:

“Turkey has closed its border gates with Syria to commercial traffic due to worsening security conditions but will keep them open for refugees fleeing the Syrian conflict”:

Here’s a switch: Christians complaining about Muslim proslytization:

“God’s law involves giving human beings the freedom to sin, the freedom to make mistakes, and part of the law of the land has to be to give people these freedoms. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misapplication of Islamic law in many countries”:

News and Analysis (7/13/12)

Friday, July 13th, 2012

“Whether or not armed conflict is imminent, Sinai leaders say they have increasingly taken on tasks the state is not performing;” but that their courts “are not imposing corporal punishments … and are only arbitrating disputes among people who agree in writing to adhere to the decision of the scholars”:

“Although state religious officials in Malaysia say preventing citizens’ exposure to “un-Islamic” books, authors and entertainers is a moral necessity, opposition leaders offer a different view: It’s largely about political power”:

Ghannouchi insists “that the Islamists of Ennahda, which dominates the government, share power with two centre-left parties” that won 33 percent of the seats in the assembly” so that Tunisia is governed not by Islamists but “by a coalition … in which the secular partners have as much weight as their Islamist partner”:

“[A]bout 1,200 bearded Brotherhood activists marched through downtown Amman on Friday to press for the elections law to be changed,” shouting, “Revolution is headed to Amman”:

The Saudi defense Minister and Egypt’s Morsi “said they talked about their shared ‘moderate Sunni’ Muslim views. When asked Friday in the Cairo press conference if the comment was directed at Shiite-led Iran, Morsi said: ‘I did not mean at all for that to be a veiled message to anyone,’ ” yet the comment calls the Brotherhood’s inclusiveness into question:

“Balci asserts a paradox that secular westerners may find reassuring: the very forces that have created more public expressions of faith, and have made religion a more prominent part of Turkish politics, are reducing support for the idea that Islamic law should rule the country; as Islam has gotten more prominent, Islamism has lost strength”:

“The German Medical Association said it opposed the ban because it could drive circumcision underground with greater risk of infection through poor hygiene, but advised doctors not to carry out the operation until the legal situation was cleared up”:

“Turkey is not a fully mature democracy. We still have lots of problems to fix here before fighting for democracy elsewhere” — a retired Turkish businessman: