Archive for December, 2006

News and Analysis (12/12/06)

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Now that Ethiopia is itself 50% Muslim, it’s prospective intervention into Somalia could have unintended consequences:

Terrorist bait-and-switch: offer people work, then kill them:

President Carter defends his book:

Israel is to Iran as “ambiguity” is to “deception”:

Palestinian civil war loom sin the wake of the murder of three boys:

The head of the civil affairs team says: “’They are never going to want us here. In terms of an embrace, they did that for five minutes in April 2003 [when US forces toppled Saddam Hussein], and that was it.”

55% want troops home within a year:

Ethan Bronner argues that Ehud Olmert’s own actions belie his criticism of the Independent Study Group report:

In a unique criticism of the Independent Study Group report, Congressman Ron Paul argues that it is Congress, not the President that is responsible for foreign policy:

News and Analysis (12/11/06)

Monday, December 11th, 2006

British foreign secretary insists that the “train is still firmly on track” for EU admission:

Pope can pray with Muslims but Cardinal of Cologne says children may not:

The Iranian sponsors say their purpose is not to question the holocaust but to highlight the lack of freedom of speech in Europe to discuss this subject; then why why won’t they let Khaled Muhameed participate?

It’s more efficient that asking the village gossip, but is it any more reliable?:

Fear of anti-corruption measures cited:

Government supporters kill civilians and their critics take hostages:

Scholars argue that “data mining would waste taxpayer dollars, needlessly infringe on privacy and civil liberties, and misdirect the valuable time and energy of the men and women in the national security community”:

The Afghani president says, “It’s too much”:

News and Analysis (12/10/06)

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

“By defining ‘entrepreneur’ in a broader way we can change the character of capitalism radically, and solve many of the unresolved social and economic problems within the scope of the free market”-Muhammad Yunus:

· Nobel peace winner unveils bold vision for ending Poverty (AFP)

Bangladeshi opposition will protest:

· Army Deployed in Bangladesh Ahead of Election (Reuters)

Some Arabs say the are finally being heard …

· Arab World Welcomes Iraq Study Group Report (Christian Science Monitor)

… but the Iraqi PM especially dislikes the parts about sharing the oil wealth with the Sunnis and reconciliation with the Baathists …

· Talabani Criticizes Study on Iraq (Washington Post)

The devil is in the details of an oil revenue compromise:

· Iraqis Near Deal on Distribution of Oil Revenues (NY Times)

Lebanese protesters now number hundreds of thousands …

· Beirut Rally Piles Pressure On U.S.-Backed Govt (Reuters)

· Lebanon’s Shiites Grapple with New Feeling of Power (Washington Post)

Palestinian PM shot at as Constitutional crisis emerges:

· Showdown Looms over New Palestinian Elections (AFP)

In a blatant rejection of Islamic teachings, the Taliban call for execution of noncombatants:

· Slaying of Teachers in Afghanistan Follows New Rules From Taliban (Washington Post)

He wanted to provoke a discussion, and he has succeeded:

· Speaking Frankly About Israel and Palestine: Jimmy Carter Says His Recent Book Is Drawing Knee-Jerk Accusations of Anti-Israel Bias (LA Times)

News and Analysis (12/08/06)

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Discussion of prayer room at airport as false rumors continue to swirl about Imams’ actions before being kicked off plane:

Sign of Unity: A Sunni leads Friday Prayers at predominantly-Shi’a anti-government protest in Beirut…

…Meanwhile, Lebanese TV channels, each loyal to a different party, seem to be promoted sectarianism:

Man who plans to organize pig races to protest future Mosque says, “”I would be like a total idiot if I didn’t. I’d be the laughingstock now because I’ve gone too far.”…

…In Germany, plans to build a mosque also faces ignorance:

Jordan faces influx of Iraqi ‘visitors’:

News and Analysis (12/07/06)

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Battle lines being drawn in Baghdad:

UN Security Council, at the urging of the U.S., endorses peacekeepers for Somalia to ‘prop up’ another puppet regime:

Malaysian city to impose fines for ‘tight fitting clothes’: ‘I would like to know what is the (acceptable) level of tightness of a pair of pants or jeans, and what happens to those of us who have larger buttocks?’

Saudi Arabia fires advisor over op-ed in the Washington Post

Breaking stereotypes, addressing taboos, and increasing understanding through laughs:

A summary of the various reactions to the Iraq Study Groups Report:

News and Analysis (12/6/06)

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

Confused by the commentators? Read the report yourself:

Anthony Shadid traces Hizbullah’s rise from one of many Lebanese armed militias into a full-blown movement:

John Cooley insists that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be solved first:

The Teachers Also Owe an Apology

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

A non-Muslim friend sent me a copy of an article in The Australian (“Muslim Boys Urinated on Bible”) that explained how an Islamic school in Australia expelled two boys who desecrated a Bible by urinating on it, spitting on it, and burning some pages. My friend said that he was impressed that school disciplined the perpetrators and would have been pleased even if the school had simply demanded that the boys publicly apologize. Whether or not the school was unnecessarily harsh on the boys, I think it was inexcusably soft on the teachers—especially if it is true, as claimed by the principal, that the students did not realize the significance of their actions. After the fact, the school brought in an assistant imam to explain that the Bible is a sacred book and that Islam requires they “respect their neighbours and respect all religions.” Well and good, but how dare it call itself an Islamic school and yet fail to instruct the students before this and as a matter of course that such disrespect to the holy books of another faith (especially an Abrahamic faith) is an affront to Islamic teachings? The article makes no mention of discipline to the teachers. Some action, at least a sincere and abject apology for their failure to teach the children proper Islamic manners is called for.

“And dispute ye not with the People of the Book except with means better (than mere disputation) unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury): but say ‘We believe in the Revelation which has come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our god and your god is one; and it is to Him we bow (in Islam).'”-29:46

“Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides God lest they out of spite revile God in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did.”-Qur’an 6:108

“Did not God check one set of people by means of another there would surely have been pulled down monasteries churches synagogues and mosques in which the name of God is commemorated in abundant measure.”-Qur’an 22:40

-Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D.

News and Analysis (12/05/06)

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

Human rights in Saudi Arabia: “The government seems, at least at the rhetorical level, interested in reform.”

Pakistan is willing to give up its claim to Kashmir if India agrees to a far-reaching self-governance plan for the Himalayan region”

Video showing inhuman treatment of Jose Padilla released as his lawyers express concern over long-term mental health effects caused by the severe isolation and mind games:

And I thought “the most important text in American history” was the Constitution: Member of U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council ‘compromises’ saying Muslim Congressmen should at least bring a Bible with him:

News and Analysis (12/4/06)

Monday, December 4th, 2006

The head of the coalition holding almost half the seats in the parliament says, “We believe that the Iraqi issue should be solved by the Iraqis”:

·        Bush Meets Shiite Leader Hakim As Iraq Toll Mounts (AFP)

“Managers of the $1.1 billion training program cannot say how many officers are actually on duty or where thousands of trucks and other equipment issued to the police force are now”:

·        American-Trained Afghan Police Ill-Prepared, U.S. Report Says (Washington Post)

An interview with Jimmy Carter on his new book:

·        Enough Blame to Go Around: `Israel Always Had the Option of Withdrawing, and Now Its Choice Is Illegal Occupation and Colonization of Land’ (Chicago Tribune)

The Israeli Prime Minister is the only regional leader to think things are getting better:

·        Mideast Allies Near a State of Panic: U.S. Leaders’ Visits to the Region Reap Only Warnings and Worry (LA Times)

Talk about unintended consequences: some of the Arabs forced to move by the “separation barrier” are moving into Jewish neighborhoods:

·        Israel’s Wall Has Forced Palestinians to Move Home – Right into Jerusalem (Times on Line)

News and Analysis (12/03/06)

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

Both Lebanon’s president and parliamentary speaker “have ruled the government’s approval of the tribunal as unconstitutional due to the absence of the Shiite ministers and the lack of prior coordination between the president and prime minister”:

·        Lebanon Again At The Brink: Are Syria And Iran Behind Hizbullah’s Latest Gambit To Bring Down The Lebanese Government? (Christian Science Monitor)

… and the crowds grow bigger:

·        Tens of Thousands Protest in Beirut (Washington Post)

Speaking of state-sponsored terrorism and kidnapping:

·        Tehran Court Judgment Could Turn Over US Embassy to Plaintiff: Court Rules That US Must Pay Damages to Iranian Businessman Abducted In 1992, or Present a List of Assets for Seizure (Christian Science Monitor)

Israel says no and Hamas walks:

·        Cease-Fire Deal for West Bank Falls Short: Israel, Hamas Fail to Agree on Terms (Washington Post)

“Clearly, what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough,” wrote Rumsfeld before his resignation …

·        Rumsfeld Memo Proposed ‘Major Adjustment’ in Iraq (NY Times)

… but the outgoing U.N. chief says “civil war” is too mild a term:

·        Dozens Killed as Annan Says Iraq Violence Worse Than Civil War (AFP)